My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Yow!

Another crazed day at the office yesterday, but I made durn sure to leave on time. I had to stop at the grocery store on the way home to replenish Lucy’s supply of Fancy Feast, because if we were to run out, well, that simply would not do.

Hey! Today is Hallowe’en. I just thought of that. Duh . . .

Every year on Hallowe’en the children in our daycare center at work wear their costumes and have a parade. Today it’s at 10:30 this morning, being held in the Great Hall. In years past they used to parade through the halls of the building and everyone came out of their offices to watch. We could give them candy then, but that was a more innocent time.

I must try to get down there for the parade. Some of those kids are so cute in their widdle costumes . . .

Hmmm, I wonder if Lucy would like to dress up as a fairy princess for Hallowe’en tonight? I’m thinking probably not.

lucy103003 Yow!

But I could dress up like a fairy princess if I wanted because . . .

I finished it!

pis1030 Yow!

Happy Hallowe’en, all.

Tension!

No, not stress from work . . . knitting gauge. icon smile Tension!

Yesterday Dorothy asked:

A question about Starmore designs – do you ever have trouble getting gauge? I don’t consider myself a particularly loose knitter, but I sometimes have to go down 3 needle sizes to get her gauge. This has discouraged me from doing any of her FI’s because I just don’t look forward to knitting an entire sweater on size 0 needles – it hurts my hands! Even a size 1 or 2 makes a huge difference. Anyone else have the same problem?

Personally, I’ve never had trouble getting gauge on Starmore designs. Particularly on fair isles. I don’t think Starmore fair isle gauge is any tighter than is normal for a fair isle.

In my admittedly limited experience, fair isles are knitted on size 3.0mm or 3.25mm needles with a gauge of 7 or 8 stitches to the inch using shetland jumperweight wool. I think that’s fairly standard for fair isles, is it not?

Using the Virtualyarns two-ply Hebridean wool, the pattern for Amphora calls for a gauge of 7 sts/inch using 3.25mm needles. A gauge easily gotten without knitting particularly tightly. At least for me.

And Speaking of Tension . . .

I got home from work last night 14 hours after leaving home in the morning. So pardon my brevity. And lack of photos.

But I’ll tell you — I’m this close (picture me holding my thumb and forefinger about an inch apart) to finishing PiS. So with any luck, there’ll be an FO report tomorrow.

Time to leave for work. Wait, wasn’t I just there?

Who Cords? Why, I Cord!

I have completed the applied i-cord neckband on the PiS sweater.

I did it thusly.

I picked up stitches all the way around the neckband and left them on a circular needle.

At the shoulder where the last picked up stitch is located, I use the working yarn to cast on three stitches on a double-pointed needle, and knit back those three stitches.

Then, start the applied i-cord.

Knit the first 2 stitches from the dpn onto a second dpn. Slip the third unworked stitch from the first dpn onto the second dpn, and slip the first unworked neck stitch from the circular needle next to the unworked stitch on the second dpn.

Using the first (now empty) dpn, insert it through the back loops of the two unworked stitches and knit them together.

pis1028 Who Cords? Why, I Cord!

Slide the three stitches to the other end of the dpn and continue to work i-cord rounds, working the last of the three stitches together with one stitch from the neck.

(If you don’t know how to make a “regular” i-cord you can find plenty of websites with instructions by doing a Google search).

Now for the neckband, one has to fudge to make it lie down properly. On the curved bits I thought I needed a bit of ease, so I worked a round here and there without attaching it to a neckband stitch. And on the straight bits, I thought it needed tightening up a bit, so every 6th round I worked the last stitch of the i-cord together with 2 neckband stitches.

Then when I finished, I sewed the ends of the i-cord together as neatly as possible. As it’s at the shoulder, it doesn’t really show much anyway.

And there you have it!

pis1028a Who Cords? Why, I Cord!

Lucy would like to point out to you that I sewed in the first sleeve as well.

pis1028b Who Cords? Why, I Cord!

Q&A

Karen asked:
I love the colors for Amphora. Do they have names?

The Amphora colors are: Driftwood, Selkie, Limpet, and Mara.

Joan asked:
I have not knitted FI yet and I would love to knit Amphora (only four colors), but I am only 34 inches around the bust (if I stick my chest out). Wouldn’t 103 cm (40.5 in) be too large for me? I imagine it is written at such a small gauge that I would get carpal tunnel syndrome if I tried smaller needles. I would also probably like to have it shorter. Should I just pick out another, more suitable pattern?

Joan, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprisedat how a sweater with 6 inches of ease fits, unless you like your sweaters really fitted. I’m 36″ around, and I like a fair isle that’s just about 43″ around — leaves room to wear a cotton turtleneck beneath it (which I always do) without feeling stuffed into the sweater.

Try on a 40″ sweater and see what you think of the fit. You could easily go down a needle size. The pattern calls for a 3.25mm needle with the 2-ply Hebridean, but you could try swatching with a 3.0mm. It’s fine knitting, but not really tight, so you could do that without hand pain.

I also think you could successfully shorten it. The main pattern motif is 38 rows — you could eliminate 19 rounds — half a motif — or 38 rounds for a whole motif, depending on how much shorter you’d like it.

I may shorten it myself. icon smile Who Cords? Why, I Cord!

Lucy Fur!

lucy102703 Lucy Fur!

Several comments yesterday about my fluffy little girl, Lucy.

Lucy is getting her winter coat and looks gorgeous. Her fur is very soft and thick and fluffy. The breed standard for Ragdolls describes them as having “bunny fur” and that’s a very good description. It also is non-matting. We brush Lucy twice a week to keep her looking her loveliest.

The other thing about Ragdolls is that they don’t really shed — I think “molting” is a better description of what Lucy does. When she came to live with me in May, I believe she was in mid-molt. As it were.

But right now when I brush her, there is very little if any fur in her brush. When she sits in my lap before I leave for work in the morning, she leaves no cat hairs on me whatsoever. Even when I’m wearing black!

So I think it would take me quite a while to gather enough fiber to spin. Besides, I don’t spin, and don’t plan on learning.

Why, you ask?

My home is already jam-packed with yarn. I don’t need another fiber obsession. I don’t have room for all the unspun wool.

So for the forseeable future, Lucy’s fur will be for her to wear and for me to enjoy when I pick her up and snuggle with her.

By the way, there was a question in the comments asking how I keep Lucy from chasing my yarn. She never has, really. She’s content to sleep in my lap while I knit. I don’t leave my knitting where she can get at it when I’m not around, and I also make a point to not dangle my working yarn in fron of her in what she might consider an enticing manner.

All in all, she’s a good girl!

Amphora!

Yes, Amphora is next in the pipeline. Here’s a photo of the yarns for it:

amphora1027 Lucy Fur!

Only four colors.

Another Crazed Week

That’s what it’s shaping up to be — a week of working through lunch and working late. So not much time for blog reading or email answering. Again.

PiS

Watch this space tomorrow, as Wendy attempts to document the creation of the i-cord neck.

Monday

It may have been a three-day weekend for me, but it went by in a flash. What’s with that?

I did, however, finish the first Poetry in Stitches sleeve:

pis1026 Monday

I got a good start on the second sleeve as well.

At some point this week I’ll machine stitche the steeks on the body and knit the i-cord neck. Could have done that last night, as I now know how deep to make the armhole because I’ve got a sleeve done (11.5″ for those who want details), but didn’t feel like it. Maybe tonight.

So what’s next on the knitting agenda after I complete the PiS sweater?

This.

Should be fun, I think. I really like the border around the bottom.

So a good weekend was had by all. Lucy and I threw a nice birthday party for Lucy’s daddy. Lucy got brushed, and took a nap right afterwards.

lucy102603 Monday

She seems to have gotten her winter coat — very thick and plushy. The state of her coat might be due in part to the fact that I’ve switched her to Artemis Cat Food. Barbara (of Capital Animal Care) recommended it and gave me some samples. Lucy adores it, and it’s very good for her. It’s not cheap, but my little angel derserves the best nutrition.

Well, I’d show you a photo of my Booga Bag in progress, but it would be the same photo as Friday. But I’ll get the knitting done on it this week. And in answer to a comments question, my pre-felted gauge is 3 st/inch.

Have a good Monday, all!