My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Knittin’ Class!

Yesterday at lunchtime I had my first class teaching my newbie knitter.

I had dug out a skein of pretty blue Sheepswool (left over from Ian’s Maximilian) and a 24″ Addi Turbo circular in size 6 and brought those to work. Fortunately a new Knitpicks catalog came in the mail Wednesday night, so I brought that along to give to my student. It has lots of pretty pictures and books and patterns geared towards beginners, so I thought it would be fun for her to peruse.

So we cast on 20 stitches and proceeded to learn garter stitch. In the space of 45 minutes she had completed two inches(!!) and was heard making comments like “This is so relaxing!” and “I love this!” and at one point she got up and ran down to show Monica how much she had done.

I feel like a proud Momma.

So I sent her off with her little swatch so she could work on it at home if she liked. We’ll see what she comes back with tomorrow.

I’ve taught many people how to knit, and this young lady is a natural.

Lucy Calendar

A question yesterday asking me how it’s coming. So far, all I’m doing is taking lotsa photos of Lucy!

I’ll wait a couple-three months before starting the task of going through the photos to choose the calendar-worthy.

Speaking of calendar-worthy:

lucy011504 Knittin Class!

Lucy’s Kitty Bed Goes International!

Thanks to Marit, who translated the pattern into Norwegian. The translated pattern is available here.

Abalone

Thyere hasn’t been an update photo for a couple of days so here you go: Abalone relaxing on the couch!

abalone011504 Knittin Class!

Current temperature is 17 degrees F., with wind chill: 1 degree. I’m wearing St. Enda today. Stay warm!

Swatch This

What a cute li’l swatch!

lamullgarn Swatch This

This is Lamullgarn, 100% lambswool yarn, available from NordicFiberArts. I’m knitting up a test swatch on size 3mm needles and am getting 7.5 stitches/inch. I thought this would make a nice alternate yarn for knitting gansies. Even in this dark color, the little seed stitch diamond I worked in the middle shows up well (though I can’t photograph it — there’s something about the color red!), so I’m thinking I’ll have to order me up a bunch!

Wendyknits Message Board

So happy to see so many people have registered for the Message Board. And a few questions are popping up on the board. Remember, anyone and everyone can post on the board — feel free to ask/answer questions, offer opinions, share experiences, etc. The only rule is . . . play nice! I do have the power to ban. Tee hee. Though I’ve never had to ban anyone from my comments (apart from SpamBots) so I don’t see it happening over at the message board either.

I’ll pop in to see what’s going on there and particpate as well, never fear. I think it’ll be fun!

New Knitter-to-Be!

Today at lunch I start teaching a woman in my office to knit. She’s very excited and motivated, so I think we’ll get on well. It’s been a long time since I taught an absolute beginner, so this will be fun.

Gratuitous Lucy Story

Or “Why Wendy Doesn’t Wear Eyeliner Anymore”

I have a lovely antique dressing table that was my grandmother’s, and every morning I sit down at this table, where I have positioned my 5x magnifying mirror, to attempt to apply make-up.

Note to women over 40: 5x (or higher) magnifying mirrors are depressing.

Lucy waits for this moment. As soon as I sit down, she jumps up on the table and immediately turns into a purring, quivering mass of affection. She stretches, she twirls, she butts her head against my hand. Imagine, if you will, attempting to apply eyeliner when suddenly a big furry ass is thrust into your face. The sudden impact of a kitty head against the hand holding the eyeliner. The mirror falling over from another kitty head-butt. I used to use liquid eyeliner. Ha! Not any more, after stabbing myself in the eye with it. I switched to pencil liner, but abandoned that after the first stab.

Now it’s simply eyeshadow applied with my pinky. Mascara? I’m a coward. I apply that standing up.

Yes, I realize I could shut myself in the bathroom to apply make-up, but I think Lucy looks on this as “Mommy and Me” time and I hate to deprive her of it.

lucy011404 Swatch This

The WendyKnits Message Board

Announcing . . .

The WendyKnits Message Board!

I’ve installed a message board on my site for all of us to use. It works pretty much like any other message board you’ve seen. I thought it might make it easier for some of you who would like to chat amongst yourselves to do so.

Right now there’s just a “General” Forum. If you have any ideas on what kinds of Forum topics you’d like, leave me a comment and I’ll create them.

I don’t know if this board will see much action, but I thought it would be fun to try it out. The link to the board is in my sidebar, and will remain there for easy access. There’s a FAQ section there to help you out if you get stuck.

A Pleasure to Know!

I was surfing through blogs yesterday and read this on Kerstin’s blog:

While the cyber world can be a creepy place and full of miserable people, I have personally found that for every nut case out there, there are at least 100 fine people who are a pleasure to know.

Amen, Kerstin! I receive proof of this over and over! The latest proof:

Monday afternoon I got a package in the mail, from a blog reader, Karin in Princeton, NJ. Inside:

pinnerneedles The WendyKnits Message Board

A set of dpns, with a note. Karin had read on my blog that I spent part of my childhood in Pinner, a small village in England. Coincidentally, she passed through Pinner a couple of years ago, and bought some knitting needles in a charity shop there. She sent me one of those sets as a souvenir.

I’ve never met Karin, our only contact is through her reading of my blog. How’s that’s for a kind and generous act?

Q&A!

Lisa asked:

When you are doing colorwork such as you are now with Abalone, do you have to look at the chart for each row, or do you memorize it and just know when to change colors by looking at your work on the needle?

I look at the chart at the start of most rows. I don’t for the small 6-row pattern in between the large pattern repeats — that’s easy as pie. But at the start of each row of the main pattern I glance at the chart. That gets the pattern repeat stuck in my head, so I can complete the round without referring back.

abalone011304 The WendyKnits Message Board

Gratuitous Sentimental Cat Photo du Jour

lucy011304 The WendyKnits Message Board

Lucy, in weird lighting.

Scary Sighting du Jour

Seen (and heard) out my office window:

An open truck loaded up with Lyndon LaRouche supporters, blaring the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” I think Handel must be turning over in his grave.

Not that I’m making a political statement here, mind.

Not So Cold

But the way-chilly air is supposed to be back — tomorrow or Thursday, I think. Along with the threat of some more snow.

Last week “swellmom” asked an interesting question in the comments:

I know this is a dumb question, but I’ve never lived in a cold climate. How do you dress for work? I would imagine it is unbearably cold getting to the train, but then are you too warm on the train? When you get to work do you wear your beautiful wool sweaters in the office throughout the work day, or is it necessary to strip down to a lightweight blouse? How about going to a restaurant? What do people do with all their outerwear while dining?

I’ve lived at the beach in southern California all my life. I love hot, bathing suit weather. I can’t imagine temperatures colder than 45 degrees F.

When it’s really cold, I wear a cotton turtleneck with a wool sweater over it. Bundle up with coat, scarf, and gloves to stand outside and wait for the train. Brrrrr! Then as soon as I get on the train, I’m too warm. By the time I get off the train I’m nauseated from being overheated. Then it’s back outside again to walk across the street from the station to my office. Brrrrr!

Well, at least I’m awake by the time I get to work!

Fortunately my office is not terribly overheated. We are in a cubicle environment, and I have one of the few, coveted, window cubicles — one side of my office is a wall of windows. I also have control of the thermostat to radiators that run along the windows (there’s a main heat source as well, that we the office inhabitants can’t control).

I supervise a team that has four members (including me): two men and two women. While Monica and I are always comfortable, the two guys are bundled up with their outerwear jackets on. What babies. icon smile Not So Cold

In the past I’ve had overheated offices and I wasn’t able to wear my wool sweaters at all. Or if we have a mild winter, my sweaters stay home.

Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf, Revisited

Yesterday Monica told me that she was wearing the scarf I knitted her for Christmas when she picked up her mom after work one day. Apparently the scarf was a big hit with her mom, who exclaimed over it and loved it, and said it brought back fond memories of her deceased sister, who was an avid knitter.

I love positive feedback.

Abalone

It makes a great Lucy blankie:

lucy011204 Not So Cold

I’m not bored with this yet . . . while the fair isle pattern is relatively simple, it’s fun to knit and entertains me. For I must be entertained at all times!

And at the risk of displaying “excessive cat sentimentality” here is a photo of Lucy being adorable.

lucy011204a Not So Cold

There is an online listing of craft blogs that describes my blog thusly: “if you can cope with the excessive cat sentimentality, this is another good one, particularly if you’re into fairisle. ”

No, it doesn’t bother me. It’s sort of amusing. I gotcha excessive cat sentimentality right here, buddy!

January Contest

The challenge:

What would you knit from 200 yards of handpainted dk/light worsted cashmere yarn that looks like this?

peaches January Contest

Email me (one idea per person, please) using the contact me link in my sidebar your entry. The prize will be awarded to the individual who comes up with the most creative/useful/fun/cute/clever idea for what to make with 200 yards of yummy cashmere.

The prize? Uh . . . 200 yards of yummy cashmere. The very 200 yards that are pictured above! The colorway is “peaches” and it is the same yarn that I used to make my feather and fan scarf — purchased from Danette Taylor Designs.

I’ll be choosing as the winner the person who sends me the idea I like the best. Subjective, I know, but what have you got to lose?

You can describe an idea, send me an original pattern, or a link to a free pattern. Creativity counts.

Please note that the winner is not obligated to knit his/her submitted idea with the prize yarn!

Entries due by 5:00pm EST, this Friday, January 16, 2004.

Abalone

I did get a bit of knitting done on Abalone over the weekend. An update photo:

abalone011104 January Contest

I’ve got less than 30 rounds left til I start the armhole steeks.

Lucy

Is primping — getting ready for the week!

lucy011104 January Contest

Have a good Monday!