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.

No Rain!

It didn’t rain yesterday! First day in a while.

Yarn Acquisition

Yesterday at Knit Happens, L-B and I, inspired by the Colinette poncho kits, strove to come up with poncho kits of our own making, not using any Colinette.

This is what I came up with. A brown colorway:

yarn041504b No Rain!

And a colorway in the Official Knit Happens colors:

yarn041504a No Rain!

Groovy, huh?

This is one of the things I love about Knit Happens. L-B and I wandered around, grabbing a skein here, a skein there, comparing colorways, putting stuff back, trying new stuff. Kristine and Liz have so many different great yarns in the shop that it took us quite a while to play with them all. And there were so many possibilities of colorways.

Now and then I’d whine “I need . . . [whatever I was looking for at that moment] and Kristine and/or Liz would produce just what I was looking for. Great customer service!

Then we sat around the table and knitted for an hour or two. What a great relaxed atmosphere. I want to move in.

Poncho Questions

There were questions in the comments about why my poncho looks different in size from Kristine’s and how we knitted them differently. To the best of my knowledge, we didn’t do anything different in the knitting. But remember, they are being worn by two different people. Kristine is taller than I (though in our photos together you can’t really tell because she was wearing flats and I was wearing heels). And I think she has broader shoulders than I, which explains why her poncho looks a bit shorter on her. The necklines on the ponchos are the same, I think I just had mine pulled down a bit in the front, making the neck look larger.

It’s as simple as that.

Yesterday was spent in doing some serious cleaning, and a bit of serious knitting. I got a fair bit done on Flora’s second sleeve.

flora041504 No Rain!

Lucy doesn’t care — she just wants food.

lucy041504 No Rain!

Critter Knitters!

More blankets received! More prizes posted!

And A Good Time Was Had By All

L-B came up yesterday, and brought her Colinette stash with her. We spread it out on my livingroom floor, along with my Colinette stash, and gazed in awe upon its loveliness. L-B rolled in it.

lb041404 And A Good Time Was Had By All

So of course I did too.

wendy041404 And A Good Time Was Had By All

Wanting to get in the spirit of things, Lucy allowed herself to be dressed in L-B’s Koigu shawl.

lucy041404a And A Good Time Was Had By All

And she decided she likes Koigu!

lucy041404 And A Good Time Was Had By All

L-B also brought her Apple Laine Apple Butter socks she was working on the last time she was here:

lbsocks041404 And A Good Time Was Had By All

Aren’t they gorgeous?

So we headed on in to Knit Happens. I wore my new Colinette poncho, so of course Kristine and I had to pose for a photo op.

ponchogals And A Good Time Was Had By All

We may have gotten a little silly . . .

ponchogals1 And A Good Time Was Had By All

But I calmed down long enough to pose for the Official Colinette Poncho Portrait.

poncho041404 And A Good Time Was Had By All

And then, in front of a small intimate crowd, I cut open my steek. I don’t have photos of that because I was . . . uh . . . doing the cutting and picking up of the stitches. But Kristine took lots of photos and there will be proof positive on the Knit Happens blog!

So I’ll be temporarily abandoning my Noro Lily shell as my main project to finish Flora. Gotta knit the second sleeve.

So what yarn did I acquire at Knit Happens? Tune in tomorrow for my full confession.

Critter Knitters Update!

Check out the blankets received page!

Isn’t She Pretty in Pink?

lucy041304 Isnt She Pretty in Pink?

Awwwwwwwww . . .

And speaking of pink, I finished the back of my Noro tank:

checkshell041304 Isnt She Pretty in Pink?

The Noro Lily yarn is lovely to knit. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m not a fan of knitting with cotton. But I’m enjoying this very much. The addition of 30% silk makes it feel quite nice and gives a nice sheen to it.

Crocheted Flower!

crochetedflower Isnt She Pretty in Pink?

That’s the flower on my bucket hat that I crocheted on a whim. Here’s what I did:

Chain 12 and join to make a circle. Double crochet four times in the first chain stitch, slip the next chain stitch and repeat this until you have six petals. Couldn’t be easier, right?

Speaking of the bucket hat . . .

The Mission Falls cotton is a bit heavier than the gauge the pattern calls for, and I chose it on purpose. I wanted to knit a heavier yarn at a tight gauge to make a stiffer fabric. I went down two needle sizes to get the gauge for this hat and I’m very happy with the results. It was tough knitting in places, but I think the results are worth it.

Steek This, Baby!

Yes! It’s today! This afternoon at 4:00pm I’ll be cutting the steek for Flora’s second sleeve. At my favorite yarn shop, Knit Happens. Y’all come by now, hear?

Lucy’s gonna stay home and nap. I love it when she uses her tail as a pillow!

lucy041304a Isnt She Pretty in Pink?

Get Out the Ark

Wow, it rained nonstop yesterday. Heavy rain. All day. Lucy was starting to be concerned. I think she wanted little kitty water wings.

But I did get a lot of cleaning done yesterday. It ain’t fun, but it’s necessary.

And I finished my bucket hat knitted in Becky’s Bucket Knit-along!

buckethat041204 Get Out the Ark

After seeing that photo, no one can accuse me of vanity. I cropped out the rest of my face because . . . well, children read my blog and I don’t want to be the cause of nightmares.

I added a little crocheted flower, just for fun. And I’m pleased to report that I ran into no more knots in the Mission Falls cotton, since those first three. And no pilling so far.

I also got past the armholes on my checkerboard shell.

checkshell041204 Get Out the Ark

It’s eleven inches to the armhole shaping. I considered making it a tad longer, but I think it’ll stretch a mite, so I didn’t.

And I put together some prize kits!

Liz is planning on several knit-out-in-the-park events in and about NYC for the Critter Knitters project. We thought it would be a fun idea to have an instant prize to be raffled off at each of the knit-outs. Here are the partial contents of a “Summer Fun” kit:

summerfun Get Out the Ark

Each kit contains the yarn, pattern, and needle needed to knit the “Perfect Pouch,” along with a bar of wonderful handmade soap. All kits contain some fun summer yarn, and some of them contain an autographed copy of a novel by Barbara Bretton.

Barbara was kind enough to donate the Kureyon and patterns for the Perfect Pouch, along with the autographed copies of her book. The soap was donated by Tami, and I threw in the needles. The extra summer yarn (not pictured) is a surprise in each kit, and was donated by Natalie.

So if you’re in the NYC area, be sure to attend at least one of Liz’s knitouts. Not only will they be loads of fun, help the animals, but you could win a wonderful instant prize!

Lucy is giddy just thinking about it.

lucy041204 Get Out the Ark

And Liz received more blankets!

Thanks

To one and all who left comments yesterday. And it may interest you to know that another knitblogger emailed me and told me that austin had been pestering her too. In the same creepy way. Ewwwwww.

Monday

And I’m not going to work. Tee hee hee.

Yes, I’m rubbing it in.

I got a large number of entries for the April contest, 375, to be exact. So many so, that I decided to draw two names at random and give away two copies of Dale Book 126. See? I’m a nice girl. Don’t believe what you hear.

The winners are:

Jo of JoKnits! and Julianne in Seattle.

Congrats to you both! Your prizes will be mailed by mid-week.

Cotton Bucket Hat

Because I was so remiss about photos of my works in progress on Friday, I felt guilty all weekend and had no fun at all. (Does anyone believe that?) so here, in all its lilac glory, is the start of the bottoms-up bucket hat:

buckethat041104 Monday

Colinette Poncho

Because I was so remiss about photos of my works in progress on Friday (see above) here’s a photo of the completed Colinette poncho:

tealponcho041104 Monday

Mmmmmmmm, yummy colors! I’ll post a photo later in the week of it being worn.

This is a very fast knit, as Kristine told me after she completed hers. I knit most of the second half of it Saturday night, while watching the movie “School of Rock” (which I recommend, by the way).

A nice thing about this design is that I’ve got lots of yarn leftovers! I weighed each of the six balls of yarn, and they all weighted more than 50 grams –more than half the skein. All but the Zanziba — there was about a third of a skein left of that. So one could easily make a second poncho if one wanted to purchase another skein of Zanziba. One could trade one’s leftovers with a friend!

Oh, and I did finish the first Flora sleeve. Here is a photo.

flora041104 Monday

So Flora is on vacation too. Until Wednesday at 4:00pm, when she undergoes surgery on her uncut sleeve steek.

Checkerboard Shell

I started something new, too. This:

checkshell041104 Monday

This is an Ann Norling pattern — “Checkerboard Shell.” Here’s a photo from the pattern:

norlingshell Monday

I’m knitting it from Noro Lily yarn, which is a 70/30 cotton/silk blend in a dk weight. Hot pink color. Yarn and pattern purchased at Knit Happens.

Here’s a close-up of the basketweave stitch:

checkshell041104a Monday

The yarn is quite nice to knit. The silk adds a nice sheen to the knitted fabric.

Friday’s Comments

You may have noticed a post in my comments for Friday’s entry from an individual calling himself Austin. As clarification, Austin emailed me a while back, identifying himself as being 14 years old (though I didn’t know his gender until he left the snotty response to Vanessa’s comment addressing his first comment on Friday). This, I think, explains the somewhat childish and petulant tone of his comment, as well as the errors. When he contacted me the first time he said he had chosen me to act as his “knitting mentor.” For the record, I’ve responded to his emails, however, if I remember correctly, he emailed me from a Yahoo email address, not the address he listed in his comments. So perhaps he didn’t get them, or for some reason chose to ignore them.

No doubt there are other people who feel the same way about me as Austin does. You are entitled to your opinions.

However, I’d like to point out that my blog does not reflect my entire life, just a small slice of it. I almost never talk about my job, because I don’t think it’s appropriate content here, and because I work for a federal agency that has lately been in the limelight for a major initiative we are undertaking. But for all of you who don’t think you’re getting your money’s worth from me:

This is a personal website. You are not paying me anything to read it. No one is paying me to write it. No one is paying me to answer questions or figure out knitting problems. I do not consider myself a “knitting goddess,” just someone who loves to knit.

I am away from my home for work a minimum of eleven hours every weekday. I have a pretty demanding job that requires my attention and concentration during the day. I am my own sole support and don’t have a cook, or cleaning person, or any kind of help of that sort.

For over a year, my blog has been getting over 2 million hits a month, and in the month of March 2004, it went over 2.5 million. I know that a whole lot of that is repeat traffic, but that’s a lot of people reading me every day.

And I get email. Boy, do I get email. On a slow day I get 50-75 emails from people wanting help. Some of them I can help, some I can’t. A lot of people are asking me to search for patterns for them, decipher someone else’s pattern (rather than email the pattern author), or tell them what a certain yarn that I’ve never used is like. Those questions I can’t answer. The ones I can, I do.

So in the few hours of leisure time I have each day, I answer emails, take photos of my work, write my blog entry, work on my current charitable cause. Run errands, prepare meals, clean house. Oh, and try to get some knitting in. And maybe some sleep.

And in response to my alleged selfishness? I knit plenty for other people. I just don’t blog about knitting things for others, because many of the people I knit for read my blog, and I like my gifts to be surprises whenever possible. Duh. Not that who I knit for is anyone’s business anyway.

The friend who bought yarn for me to knit her a scarf has received gifts from me of a Dale of Norway sweater, a fair isle sweater, as well as several pairs of socks, mittens, and a Booga bag.

I donate to charity, and in the past year have hosted or cohosted three charity projects to which I contributed considerable time and expense. And oh yeah, I give stuff away every month in my contests.

I think Austin’s comment is a perfect example of why some children should not be allowed to use the internet without parental supervision. And Austin? That comment is going on your Permanent Record!

Of course, for every self-centered moron out there there are many more wonderful people. The online knitting community, for the most part, is a great place and I’ve met so many amazing people and made some wonderful friends. I’m not planning on leaving. I like it here.

So to all the Austins out there, I say a hearty “Bite me!”

Thank you for reading. For those of you who are still with me here — a picture of my Lucy.

lucy041104 Monday

Critter Knitters!

Check out the blankets received page! And while you’re at it, check out the prize page!