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.

F-f-f-friday

(Warning! Crankiness ahead! You may want to skip down to the knitting content.)

Damn, it’s cold again. Yesterday was a nice respite, with temps that went up above freezing. But we’re back to low temps and nasty wind chill today.

Those of you who are getting ready to fire off an email to me to tell me (in a superior way) how cold it is where you are and how I don’t know what cold is? Don’t bother.

Yes, I’ve actually received emails like the above when I mention it’s cold. Some people have way too much time on their hands.

Yes, I know that there are many places colder than Washington DC. It’s sub-arctic where you are? Good for you. You can have it. It’s cold enough for me here. It’s all relative, you know? It’s colder than is normal for DC. This is all I’m saying.

Can you tell I’m still cranky? Yes, there are idiots everywhere, my friends. But there seems to be a higher concentration of stupidity in my general vicinity.

Speaking of idiots . . .

Yesterday there was a bunch of Roe Vs. Wade demonstrators downtown. When I went to take the train home, the train was jammed with these animals.

I’m not disputing that these people have the right to assemble peacefully or believe whatever they want. What I take exception to is them nearly ripping the door off the train and trying to push people off the train because they want to board an already overcrowded train, even though the driver is repeatedly announcing that there is another train three minutes behind us. This is not decent human behavior.

TGIF. Ya know?

Lace Knitting

Yesterday Joe asked in my comments if I had ever done any lace knitting. Why yes, I have. There’s a “lace knitting” category in my knitting gallery, the link to which is in my sidebar. Joe also asked — what the heck do you do with it when you’re done? That’s a good question!

I’ve got several lovely lace shawls that have never been worn. I do keep two in my office — the Highland Triangle and Summer in Kansas. If the office is cold, I huddle in one or the other of the two, depending on how cold it is — the Highland Triangle is warmer, being heavier.

And I’ve given my mom two lace shawls — a black one and a white one. She and my dad go on cruises several times a year, and the shawls are great to wear on the formal evenings.

And I’ve made a couple of shawls for other people as well.

But I think the reason I stopped knitting lace is because I have more shawls than I can possibly use in a lifetime.

Mail Call!

Lookie here:

lbcookies F f f friday

Mmmmm . . . pepparkakor! A surprise gift from the ever-generous L-B!

Knitting Progress

On Norfolk

norfolk012204 F f f friday

And Abalone

abalone012204 F f f friday

Q&A

From my comments:

Barb asked:

Can Lucy have kitties? She sure would make a beautiful mommy. She is the prettiest cat I have ever seen.

Lucy has been spayed, so no motherhood for her. There’s a guy in my office who has a neutered male Ragdoll kitty, named Tabasco. We’ve conjectured that if neither of our cats were neutered, we could collaborate on some beautiful kittens!

Since Lucy was two years old when I got her, I missed out on her kittenhood. I can only imagine what a beautiful baby she must have been!

lucy012204 F f f friday

Donna asked:

When you knit with Kureyon do you take the yarn from the middle every time(to start rolling your ball of yarn) or do you take the yarn from the outside?

I’ve used the yarn from the center of the ball consistently on all my Booga Bags.

That’s all for now folks. May your Friday move swiftly towards the weekend! And to start it off with a laugh, check out this auction on eBay France.

“Will you Knit Me a Scarf?”

A very good friend hesitantly asked me this question yesterday morning when we were going for coffee.

Will I? Of course I will!

What’s involved here is me picking out the pattern, the yarn, and the colorway, ordering the yarn, knitting the scarf, and presenting it to her as a fait accompli. What’s not to like?

And she pays for the yarn. She even offered to pay in advance. And she’s not a cheap person, so the sky’s the limit.

I went back to my office and said to Monica, “I get to buy yarn! I get to buy yarn!”

So I’ve ordered three skeins of Noro Silk Garden in colorway 53 and will make a multidirectional diagonal scarf from Karen Baumer’s most excellent pattern.

Now, I wouldn’t do this for anyone. But this is a friend would do anything for me, and do it without hesitation. A friend like that is a rare and precious thing, so I’m delighted to be able to do a little something for her, particularly because she’s going through a particularly bad patch right now.

I have no qualms about picking out colors for her — we have uncannily similar tastes, even though we couldn’t look more different. She’s a 4’10″ tall Mexican and I’m a 5’6″ tall Swede. We have on more than one occasion worn identical outfits to work, without even knowing that the other owned the same outfit.

Aside: I first met my friend when years ago I took a job as a contractor in OSHA’s Directorate of Safety Standards. On my first day, she walked past my cubicle, stopped, stared at me, and said, “Who the hell are you?”

So as soon as the yarn arrives, Norfolk will slide onto the back burner, and I’ll start on the scarf as commuter knitting.

Okay, I was gonna put a photo here of Norfolk sitting on the back burner of my stove, but it loses a lot of effect when you have a smooth-top range. Oh, what the heck. Here it is anyway.

norfolk012104 Will you Knit Me a Scarf?

Norfolk Questions

In answer to a comment question, I do not have a photo of Norfolk, other than the one in the book, which is copyrighted material. So I won’t scan it and post it here. You’ll just have to wait and be surprised, though it’ll be a long wait, considering I can only complete 1 or 2 rounds a day, and I’ll be temporarily abandoning it to work on my friend’s scarf.

Another question about how I like the Peruvian Collection Baby Silk. I love it! It has a lovely silky sheen to it and is very soft. Quite pleasant to knit.

More Q&A

Peter, those priority mail boxes are new empty ones. No yarn came in them. Honest. I have a pretty good-sized inventory of mailing supplies left over from my days as a power eBay seller. In the U.S. you can (or at least you could a few years ago) order priority mail supplies — boxes, bags, labels, tape — free of charge in quantity from the post office. Cool huh?

And the question about where the Booga Bag pattern is — it’s Julie’s pattern, available free, here.

Lucy in the Lap With Knitting

Can anyone hear Beatles music in the background?

lucy012104 Will you Knit Me a Scarf?

Several comments about how great it is that Lucy is so well-behaved with my knitting while she’s in my lap. She is well-behaved because she is asleep. When I sit down to knit in the evenings, Lucy always climbs up into my lap and comfortably arranges herself while I obligingly hold the knitting out of the way. She seems to fall asleep immediately, and I gently place knitting on top of sleeping cat. She never budges.

Of course, I do need to make sure that I have everything I need within easy reach (pattern, all the colors of yarn, phone, tv remote) so I don’t have to lean forward and disturb Sleeping Beauty.

Lucy asleep at night is another story. I’ve noticed lately that as she gets more familiar in our home, she’s less obedient and well-behaved. I woke up yesterday and today at 3:00am because she was . . . um . . . sitting on my face.

So much for excessive cat sentimentality.

Lucy is a highly intelligent cat, by the way. Don’t believe me? Look at the text message I received on my cell phone the other day:

txtmessage Will you Knit Me a Scarf?

Off I go, to fight the forces of stupidity. Gack. Good Thursday to all.

Danger: Cranky Knitter Ahead

Dunno why, but I am In A Mood. Well, yeah, I know why. A large number of small things that add up to big annoyance, mostly work-related. Why is it that some people are incapable of following even the most simple of directions?

Grrrrrrrr . . .

And the crappy weather ain’t helping.

I ask you. It’s enough to make a girl want to use her size 0000 steel dpns in a way not recommended by the manufacturer.

Thank you for listening. Back to knitting now.

abalone012004 Danger: Cranky Knitter Ahead

I worked on my beloved Abalone last night because there’s a problem with the pattern I’m test-knitting and I’m waiting for the designer to get back to me with how he wants me to proceed.

Ah, Abalone! Abalone! All other knitting is full of baloney.

Lucy agrees.

lucy012004 Danger: Cranky Knitter Ahead

New Project

Woo! Woo! New project alert! What do you suppose this is?

norfolk012004 Danger: Cranky Knitter Ahead

What? You can’t tell from that photo? It’s Norfolk, from Alice Starmore’s Fisherman Knits. Knitted in the Peruvian Collection Baby Silk in the “butter pecan” color (purchased from Elann). I’m using size 2.5mm and 3.0mm needles and it’s my commuter knitting.

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say it’s my “knit a few stitches at work at lunchtime when I get a chance” project. I’ve not been able to knit on the train for a while — too crowded.

It’s a sick sick world when the train is jam-packed full at 5:30am.

My, I’m just a whiney girl today, aren’t I? I make no apologies, but revel in my whineyness.

But here’s something cheery — a finished Booga Bag. Isn’t she purty?

booga95a Danger: Cranky Knitter Ahead

And what did I block her on?

boogablocker Danger: Cranky Knitter Ahead

Two small size Priority Mail boxes. They fit perfectly and the price is right!

Abandoned!

abalone011904 Abandoned!

That’s right. I’ve abandoned Abalone. I hate it. It sucks. It’s ugly. It’s boring. Yuck, yuck, bleah, bleah, pooeys, pooeys!

Nah . . . just kidding. I still love Abalone. But I have abandoned it, though only temporarily.

You see, last summer Matt of Threadbear Fiber Arts asked me if I’d test knit a fair isle pattern for a teddy bear sweater, and I agreed. The project heated up a couple of weeks ago and I received the yarn:

teddyyarn Abandoned!

Late Sunday night I received the pattern, so I started knitting it today. So Abalone is on hold until I finish the teddy bear sweater. I’m knitting the largest size (for a bear with a 19″ chest) so it’ll take a little while. Hmmmm . . . it looks like it might fit Lucy . . .

teddy011904 Abandoned!

No, that’s a bad idea.

Also today, I felted my last Booga Bag that I finished a week or so ago. Pre-felted:

booga011904a Abandoned!

And felted:

booga011904b Abandoned!

This one’s going to my mom’s friend and neighbor.

Lucy had a busy day as well.

lucy011904 Abandoned!

Back to work today. Have a bitchin’ Tuesday!

January Contest Winner

We had a tie, and you’ll soon see why.

I got lots of fun entries — many of you suggested gloves or wristwarmers, sexy undies, hot water bottle covers, socks, hats, scarves, and little shoulder shawls. But the entries that made it to the finals were the ones where the person said she would knit something for someone else. And two really stood out from the crowd.

Since I only had the one skein of cashmere to give away, I flipped a coin.

The winner is Kerrie!

Here’s her winning entry:

I would use the 200 yards of cashmere to make a twisted rib vest top for Brooke (age 4). It would be a similar style to the picture attached below however a little lower at the front and with no stripes. It would be worked in one piece with ribbon fastenings at the back. I would also use a fine ribbon to make straps for the top of the vest, similar to the Phildar tiny tank that Alison, Claudia and a number of other people including myself made last year.

The stitch pattern would be my favourite twisted rib stitch worked over a number of stitches divisible by 4

Row 1 Purl 2 Knit 2 to end
Row 2 Purl 2 Knit 2 to end
Row 3 Purl 2 Knit 2 together but before removing stitches from left needle knit the first stitch again and then move them both over to end.

And she very cleverly attached a photo of beautiful Brooke.

brooke January Contest Winner

Doesn’t this little sweetie deserve something knit from cashmere? I think she does, and I defy you to think otherwise.

But wait, there’s more!

The runner up was Johanne in Sweden, with this entry:

If I was to win that lovely cashmere yarn I would make a bucket o´chic-hat
for my daughter Elise.
You can see what she looked like aged 2 on the picture I´ve attached (sorry
I don´t hava a more recent digital photo of her).
But she is still blond with rosy cheeks and I think that she would do a hat
in the colourway peaches justice.

And she just as cleverly attached a photo of Elise.

elise January Contest Winner

Isn’t she adorable? How could I not send her something as well? So I’m sending off to Johanne a consolation prize of some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock yarn to knit something for her little Elise.

llprize January Contest Winner

I think the blue colorway will look lovely on Elise!

Thanks to everyone who entered! It was great fun!

(No doubt I will now be accused of excessive child sentimentality.)

My New Knitter

My new knitter came in the office on Friday with some more done on her swatch. Her tension has improved and her knitting is now very even. She told me she has a friend with a baby due in September, and would like to knit a baby blanket for her. So we’ll be looking for patterns for pretty, easy blankets.

Ex-TREME Hedonism! News

My dad emailed me to tell me that he loves his Ex-TREME Hedonism Neckwrap I made and gave him for Christmas. Thanks, Geane, for a great pattern! and for sending me the yarn to make it! What more could a girl ask for?

Abalone

I’ve made more progress. Here it is:

abalone011804 January Contest Winner

I started the armhole steeks this weekend. Here’s a close-up:

abalone011804a January Contest Winner

This is a long cardigan — much longer than most Starmore fair isles. It finally occurred to me that’s why it’s taking me so long to complete the body. Duh.

Today is a federal holiday, so no work for me! Yay!

Lucy celebrates by chowing down.

lucy011804 January Contest Winner