My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

December Contest Winner!

This was a tough contest, eh? And we had a tie for winner — Lindsey-Brooke and Katey in Georgia. I was going to flip a coin, but L-B exempted herself, telling me she was just doing it to prove that she could (over-achiever that she is), so the prize goes to Katey!

Congratulations Katey!

A number of you got a near-perfect score — but on the question on what I brought to my office Christmas Party last year, almost everyone said just “chocolate chip scones.” In addition to getting all the rest of the answers correct, L-B and Katey both correctly reported that I brought the scones and a coffeecake to the office party, so that’s why they tied for first.

Here are the answers:

1. Where was Wendy born?
Worcester, Massachusetts (source: 100 Things page)

2. What is the name of the town where Wendy lived as a child in the UK?
Pinner, Middlesex England (source: December 19, 2002 entry)

3. Where did Wendy buy the yarn from which she knit a sweater for her brother when she was a teenager? (source: December 24, 2002 entry)
Kmart

4. What is Wendy’s favorite Christmas cookie?
pepparkakor (source: December 20, 2002 entry)

5. What is the name of the shawl that Wendy’s sister-in-law ruined and gave back to her to repair?
Stonington Shetland Shawl (source: March 21, 2003 entry)

6. What did Wendy bring to her office Christmas party last year?
Chocolate chip scones and coffeecake (source: December 17, 2002 entry)

7. What date did Wendy get Izzy (month, day, year)?
December 31, 1986 (source: December 31, 2002 entry)

8. What was Izzy’s full name and title?
Isolde, Bitch Cat From Hell (source: October 4, 2002 entry)

9. What date did Wendy get Lucy (month, day, year)?
May 11, 2003 (source: May 12, 2003 entry)

10. Where did Wendy go on vacation in February, 2002?
Caribbean cruise (source: cruise page on wendyjohnson.net)

11. What was the purpose of the February 2002 vacation?
Parents’ 50th wedding anniversary (source: cruise page on wendyjohnson.net)

12. What date did Wendy start her blog?
April 1, 2002 (source: April 1, 2002 entry)

13. What is Wendy’s neighbor-across-the-hall’s first name?
Yvonne (source: comments on September 18, 2003 entry)

14. On what day of the week was Wendy born?
Wednesday
Aha! Got most of you with this one. Because on my personal website the earliest photos of me were from around 1958? (I’m not sure of the actual date), you assumed I was born on January 2, 1958, which would make it a Thursday. Only a very few of you figured out that I was born in 1957, which would make it a Wednesday. The way you can fiigure this out is from my Yahoo ID, which is “wendy1257″ — get it? If any of you knew me from any Yahoo Groups, you might get that.

Yeah, I know it was tough, but if you go back and read my entry describing the contest, I did say that the answers are available in one form or another in my online world. I didn’t say they were all on my blog.

15. Who is Wendy’s favorite knitting designer?
Alice Starmore (source: well, all of you got this right, just from reading my blog!)

16. What is the name of the sweater that Wendy knit on her trip to Canada in the Summer of 2003?
Parched (source: July 2003 entries)

17. What sweater was Wendy knitting during Hurricane Isabel?
Marina (source: September 18, 2003 entry)

18. On what date did Wendy do a salute to nurses in her blog?
July 12, 2002 (source: July 12, 2002 entry)

19. What day did Wendy start knitting Henry VIII?
March 12, 2003 (source: March 13, 2003 entry)

20. Does Wendy float or weave?
Float, baby! (from multiple blog entries)

Thanks for playing, everyone! This was great fun!

Fern

Did some work on Fern over the weekend. I finished the first sleeve and knitted the shoulder strap to the front and back of the sweater.

fern1214 December Contest Winner!

And I got a decent start on the second sleeve.

Kitty Bed

I finished Lucy’s kitty bed!

Here it is after knitting — it’s about 28″ in diameter, not including the sides.

kittybed121403 December Contest Winner!

And the side view:

kittybed121403a December Contest Winner!

I ran it through 2 complete cycles in my washing machine. Then I stretched it over a Tupperware pie carrier with a bath towel folded up and taped around it.

kittybed121403b December Contest Winner!

And put it on top of a box and left it to dry.

kittybed121403c December Contest Winner!

The finished size is approximately 17″ in diameter. Want the pattern? Instructions for knitting exactly the way I did are here.

Lucy is patiently waiting for it to dry.

lucy121303 December Contest Winner!

I Love I Love I Love My Calendar Cat

I think a 2005 Lucy calendar is a fabbo idea!

Lisa and Andrea and Barb and Katxena all were egging me on in my comments yesterday.

And donating any profits to Capital Animal Care is a great thought! So that does it — I’ll spend the next few months taking what I think are calendar-worthy photos of Lucy.

Speaking of Little Miss Spoiled Princess, I’m nearing completion of her kitty bed, so expect the pattern sometime next week. The ever-generous Lindsey-Brooke is sending me some Gedifra Techno Hair Lungo — a fun hairy novelty yarn — in color 9705, which should match the Big Kureyon #7 beautifully. So I’m going to put an edging of that around the bed. Fun!

lucy121103 I Love I Love I Love My Calendar Cat

Ladies and gentlemen, the couch potato!

lucy121103a I Love I Love I Love My Calendar Cat

I vant to be alone . . .

Fern

Still sleeving away! If I work at it, I oughta have the first sleeve done this weekend.

fern121103 I Love I Love I Love My Calendar Cat

December Contest

Don’t forget! Entries due by 5:00pm EST today. I’ve been having great fun reading the entries. Winners announced Monday.

Happy weekend, all. I’ll close the week with a photo of my hair after coming home yesterday. It was really really windy outside.

I give you . . .

Curls Gone Wild!

curlesgonewild I Love I Love I Love My Calendar Cat

Thursday, Right?

I’m losing track of the days here!

lucy121003 thumb Thursday, Right?

Fern Update

Working on a sleeve. Yes, indeedy, I am. Not a lot of progress because I’m back to killer days at work and insomnia at night which adds up to not a lot of energy for knitting.

fern121003 Thursday, Right?

Lucy Bed

kittybed121003 Thursday, Right?

It’s coming along! I’ve got about 21 inches in diameter right now (though you can’t tell with it all smooshed up on the needle). I want to knit to about 24″ diameter before the sides. I’m hoping to felt it down about 30 — 40%.

Well, we’ll see.

Camera Question!

Judy asked:

I saw the paws and had to ask..
I had decided last weekend to buy the same camera. I’m switching out from a larger format ( and a lifetime of german cameras) so I want to pick a great normal lens that will also do close-ups. As you know, the optics make the difference. So, what did you use for the paws, and do you have a favorite lens?

For the paws photo, I used the EF-S 18-55mm Lens — here are the specs:

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6
Lens Construction: 11 elements in 9 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 75-degrees 20′ – 27degrees 50′
Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with MM
Closest Focusing Distance: 0.28m / 0.92 ft. to infinity
Zoom System: Rotating Type
Filter Size: 58mm
Max. Diameter x Length: 2.7 x 2.6 in. / 69mm x 66.2mm
Weight: 6.7oz./ 190g

This is a great all purpose lens and it came with the camera. I understand this camera can be purchased with or without a lens.

I don’t really have a favorite lens. I’m a camera moron, really. That’s why digitals are so great for me. I can snap and snap and snap away and some of my shots come out great!

I adored my film SLR camera, but there ain’t nothing like the immediacy of digital. so when I got my first digital camera a few years ago, I never touched the SLR.

So I’m happy as a pig in slop to have a digital SLR!

Lucy Pic du Jour

lucy121003a Thursday, Right?

Speaking of Lucy, Andrea said in my comments yesterday:

What a cat! She really is gorgeous. Have you considered a modeling contract? She could endorse Fancy Feast!

One of my coworkers pointed out that I ought to enter her photo in as many amateur pet photo contests as I can. Hey, maybe we’ll do a Lucy calendar for 2005.

And I think she is way prettier than the cat who is the spokesmodel for Fancy Feast!

But I could be prejudiced.

Wendy Loves Her New Camera

Yes I do!

lucypaws Wendy Loves Her New Camera

You may ask, what the hell is that a photo of?

It’s Lucy’s little hind paws. I love the tassles of fur between her widdle toes.

Does Lucy seem amused?

lucy120903 Wendy Loves Her New Camera

Maybe not.

By the way, I have not retouched any of the photos I’ve taken with this camera so far. I’ve cropped them, reduced them in size, and saved them as compressed jpegs, but no fiddling with color balance, brightness/contrast, sharpness, etc. that I usually did with the old camera.

That said, it’s really hard to take a good photo of Fern in artificial light.

Fern

Speaking of Fern, its coming along nicely. I’ve finished the back.

fern120903 Wendy Loves Her New Camera

And started a sleeve. When I do the sleeves, I’m going to knit the shoulder straps onto the front and back of the sweater, as I have done in my last few arans. And I’m not going to do the cabled sewn-on neckband. It’s very pretty and if I had a long swanlike neck I would.

I have a short fat neck, and a regular crew neck will work much better for me. I’ll do the neckband in the same ribbing as the rest of the sweater, by picking up stitches around the neck and working the band for maybe two inches.

Lucy’s Kitty Bed

Chugging away on it.

kittybed120903 Wendy Loves Her New Camera

I’ll post the full pattern upon completion — at some point next week, most likely. That way you’ll have a pattern that hopefully has any bugs worked out, and some idea of how much yarn it’ll take.

Ooh! Ooh! Wendy profile!

wendy120903 Wendy Loves Her New Camera

Sorry. Got carried away.

Knitbloggers Knitting Basket

News flash! Teresa has purchased the first seven baskets.

Pat yourselves on the back, please.

Move That Stash!

The observant among you might have noticed that my Yarn Diet button is gone. Uh huh. We all knew that wouldn’t last long, didn’t we?

In it’s place, I’ve got a new button, for the Great Stash Redistribution Project, which is the brainchild of Amy, over at Cyborgoddess. Go and read all about it! Deadline to sign up is tomorrow so run, run, run!

Yup, I fell off the Yarn Diet. Nope, I don’t want to talk about it.

Big Kureyon!

It came! It came!

bigkureyon7 Move That Stash!

How big is Big Kureyon? In the photo below, the regular Kureyon is on top, the big Kureyon is on the bottom.

kureyoncompare Move That Stash!

I was planning on using a size 15 needle to knit the kitty bed, but I decided that would be way too big, even for something that’s gonna end up felted. So I settled on a US size 10.5.

Lucy’s Kitty Bed

I started it last night.

Cast on 9 stitches on dpns.
Knit 1 round
Knit 1 round, increasing by knitting into the front and back of each stitch — 18 stitches.

And here’s what it looks like at this point.

kittybed120803 Move That Stash!

Knit 3 rounds.
Knit 1 round, increasing by knitting into the front and back of each stitch — 36 stitches.
Knit 6 rounds.

Does this sound familar? It should, to you Elizabeth Zimmerman fans. It’s the start of a pi shawl. It makes a nice flat circle. I’ll continue on with the pi shawl instructions until the circle is the pre-felted diameter I want.

Lucy IS Spoiled!

Look what one of our blog readers sent her:

devilstower Move That Stash!

Kindly note that this matches Lucy’s placemat, which has a photo of Devil’s Tower on it.

Lucy says: “Thank you, Ms. Jennifer!”

lucy120803a Move That Stash!

Lucy also says “Why does Mommy keep taking my picture?”

lucy120803 Move That Stash!

Practice makes perfect, so practicing with my new camera is what I’m doing. There’s not too much of a learning curve, as I’m fairly proficient with SLR cameras and with digital cameras. It’s a matter of putting the two together and figuring out what works best for each situation.

I have a great zoom lens that I’ve had for ages, but I don’t have a macro lens. So that’ll likely be my next camera-related purchase.

I Almost Forgot!

I finished the multidirectional scarf!

scarf120803 Move That Stash!

As I mentioned before, this is a Multidirectional Diagonal scarf knitted in Noro Kureyon in color #55, on size 8 US needles from Karen Baumer’s free pattern here. It’s 31 stitches wide, took exactly three skeins of Kureyon, and is about six feet long.