My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Friday!

She says with relief. Tough week.

lucy020504 Friday!

Roi asked another good question:

Looking at Abalone this a.m. and seeing how you used a perfectly contrasting color thread to sew the buttons on reminded me of Meg’s article, “Fussy Knitting” in the last VKI. Would you describe yourself as a fussy knitter?

First of all, I sewed the buttons on Abalone using the dark green wool that is part of Abalone, so doing so doesn’t count as being fussy. If I had indeed found the perfect color of knitting thread . . . now that would be fussy.

Am I a fussy knitter? I don’t think so. I very very rarely rip out and do something over because it doesn’t meet my standards the first time. I think this is due to laziness and impatience. I have both of those traits in abundance.

Is being fussy an inherited trait? I wonder. It’s interesting to contemplate, because I think my mother and her mother were complete opposites of each other on the fussiness scale.

My grandmother was a wild woman. She acted on impluse, threw things together any old way. And she was a heckuva lot of fun to be around when I was a kid. Of course, one had to put up with the occasional sandwich made from Cheetos and pickle relish on white bread, because if she didn’t have the proper ingredients to make something, she’d substitute with whatever she happened to have. Sometimes this worked. Sometimes it didn’t (see reference to Cheeto-pickle relish sandwich, above).

My mother, on the other hand, does everything by the book. Always follows instructions and everything always turns out perfect.

I think I fall somewhere in-between the two of them.

Abalone Sleeve Progress!

abalone020504 Friday!

Hopefully early next week I’ll have an FO photo for ya.

Lucy Calendar

I’ve had several questions over the past few weeks about the Lucy Calendar for 2005. All of which I’ve ignored. icon wink Friday!

So I think it’s about time to talk about it.

The other day, Mouse asked this question in my comments:

Lucy calendar question: would you prefer a portrait, or a, hm, rubenesque type painting? or both?

You see, when we first started talking about this, Mouse very kindly offered to do a portrait of Lucy for the calendar. So . . . what do you all think? what sort of picture of Lucy would you like to see? Leave a comment.

As for how the photos are coming . . .

I take at least 5 or 6 photos of Lucy every day. Some days many more. Many of them are calendar worthy, I think.

The plan I have brewing in my fevered little brain is to at some point late summer/early autumn narrow down the photos to a few dozen. Post small versions of them online, and let you all vote on which ones you want to see in the calendar. Sound good?

As for creating the calendar itself, I’m thinking Cafepress. It’ll make the calendar more expensive because they take quite a big chunk off the top, but I can’t see any other way of doing this project that wouldn’t involve a large outlay of cash by me up-front, and having to manage the mailing myself.

And we can figure out how much you think the mark-up from the Cafepress price should be to be reasonable, and still make some money for the rescue organization.

Sound good? If anyone has any other brilliant ideas, we at WendyKnits! are open to suggestions!

February Contest

The February contest will be announced on Monday. Happy weekend, all!

Benefits of Blogging

An interesting question in yesterday’s comments, from Roi:

I wondered if and how you’ve benefited from reading other knitting blogs? I know you use patterns designed by other bloggers, but do you also pick up knitting techniques from other bloggers? Have you ever changed something about the way you knit due to something you’ve read?

Yes, I do knit patterns from other bloggers, most notably the wonderful Julie’s Booga Bag, and the equally wonderful Bonne Marie’s Bucket o’ Chic.

Knitting techniques? Hmmmmmm . . . I’ve given that some thought. I can’t think of any right off the top of my head. I’m a pretty opinionated knitter who has been knitting for a long time. I do things a certain way and I like it that way. (wasn’t there on old man character on SNL a few years back who used to say that? “And we liked it that way!” Gawd, I’m getting old.)

Yeah, you can keep your magic loop, you can keep your knitting on two circs.

But one thing I have gained is an appreciation for yarns I would never have bought B.B. (before blogging). Thanks to Julie’s Booga Bag, I fondled Noro Kureyon for the first time. That’s a yarn I never would have considered buying, because it does not coincide with the types of things I like to knit.

I’ve also been influenced by knit-alongs. I never would have knitted Smooch without Alison’s knit-along.

But the most important benefit of blogging is friendship. Sorry to sound sappy here, but it’s true. I’ve got a huge number of friends I never would have known without the knitblog community.

Abalone

I took some time out from sleeve knitting to put the buttons on and finish off the bands.

abalone020404 Benefits of Blogging

Lucy feigned indifference.

lucy020404 Benefits of Blogging

Dales in Stash

Yeah, you guys did make me check my stash to see what Dales I have, didn’t you?

I have this:

dale10903 Benefits of Blogging

Design #10903, in the light colorway, in Daletta. I plan to make the pullover version.

And this:

lotus Benefits of Blogging

Lotus, in the raspberry pink colorway, in Daletta. Sigh. Isn’t it pretty?

And this:

beito Benefits of Blogging

Beito, adult sweater in the blue colorway, in Daletta.

And this:

empirecanyon Benefits of Blogging

Empire Canyon, in the white colorway, in Heilo.

Okay, you asked for it, you got it. Vote on your favorite to influence which Dale I should knit next! Please, no stuffing of the ballot box.

Anticipation

Julia asked:

Abalone is going to be breath-taking. I can’t wait for the reactions out and about when you first wear it. Doesn’t the anticipation build once the sleeves are underway?

I’ve learned from experience never to expect any reactions to handknitted attire. Many times I get no comments whatsoever. I don’t think many people who see me day-to-day realize that my stuff is knitted by me.

Expect ye nothing and ye shall not be disappointed.

abalone020304 Anticipation

But the finishing anticipation is building. A couple of weeks ago I bought a lavender cotton turtleneck (thank you, L.L.Bean) to wear under Abalone on its first outing.

abalone020304a Anticipation

I’m working on the second sleeve now. So I am looking forward to Abalone’s completion. I still have some ends to weave in from the creation of the button bands, and I need to sew on buttons. But next week at this time, Abalone ought to be a fait accompli.

Assuming Lucy relinquishes control.

lucy020304 Anticipation

And now I have to decide what to knit next.

Andrea mentioned Norfolk in my comments yesterday. No progress on it at all, not since I abandoned it to knit the scarf I’m working on. The scarf is more than halfway completed. I meant to take a photo last night but forgot, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

When complete, I’ll return to Norfolk. I may knit on it for a while as a primary project. But probably not for long, as it’ll be very boring.

I’m thinking it’s time for another Dale.

The last Dale I knitted was Frogner. I have several Dales-in-waiting in my stash. Hmmmmmm . . .

Chuckle du Jour

A perusal of my site statistics shows me that someone reached my blog by doing a search on the phrase “sexy young lady.”

Who am I to argue with such honesty?

Steeks

abalone020204a Steeks

That’s a close-up of one of the sleeve steeks on Abalone, in response to a question yesterday about how I knit my steeks. As you can see, this is knit in stripes. But I have knit steeks in a checkerboard pattern as well. It really makes no difference. I’ve been knitting in stripes because it makes a neat line that’s easier to cut. That’s all. There’s no difference in the steek — either way you are alternating the colors every other stitch, so the “quality” of the steek remains the same.

abalone020204 Steeks

And that’s the first sleeve at the start of the cuff. It’s on a 12-inch needle. I started the sleeve using a 16-inch needle and about halfway down switched to the 12-incher. And won’t have to resort to dpns to finish the sleeve. I don’t like using dpns on fair isles — I’d much rather use a circular if I possibly can.

lucy020204 Steeks

The mere thought of using dpns just wears Lucy out!

Yesterday’s Lucy photo was an action shot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her fall asleep on her back.

There’s another storm heading towards Washington D.C. Right now there is no precipitation and the pavement is dry. Yet the government is operating on a two-hour delayed arrival. I think I’d rather go in now when everything is dry, rather than wait two hours until everything is a mess.

But that’s just me.

Superbowl Fever!

lucy020104 Superbowl Fever!

Nope, contrary to what it looks like, Lucy did not have Superbowl Fever yesterday. We watched movies instead.

Lucy inspected my partially completed Abalone sleeve:

abalone020104 Superbowl Fever!

Yes, I’m coming along on Abalone!

abalone020104a Superbowl Fever!

There was a question in my comments last week about why I complete the bands before the sleeves. It’s partly because I like knowing that when I cast off the last cuff, I’m done. It’s a psychological lift. And I think it’s a bit easier to knit the bands on when you don’t have the sweater plus sleeves flopping around whilst you knit.

Black Frosting!

Yup, that was black frosting on the birthday cake featured in Friday’s blog entry. Did you know that Wilton makes black food coloring? It took a lot to get the frosting black. The roses were more of a steel grey, but I kept adding the coloring to the icing to get the cake as black as possible. When we ate it, all our tongues turned black.

Dave was quite delighted with that cake as I recall. He made one for me a few years later that was also delightful, but as it was completely lacking in taste and was incredibly politically incorrect, we won’t talk about it here. Besides, I don’t have a photo of it. Though I bet Dave has.