My current work in progress:

1. Mighty Mini, designed by Rachel Henry, knit from Socks That Rock Worthy in the "Tanzanite" and "The Green That Sings" colorways on a 3.0 mm needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Friday

She said with relief. Twas a long week, made longer by the knowledge that next week I will not be going to work. I’m taking the whole glorious week off. Nothing to do but knit.

That’s not exactly true. I’ve got lots to do. I need to do some fairly intensive spring cleaning because stuff is threatening to take over my condo. Not just knitting stuff.

May will mark the tenth anniversary of my buying my condo. Ten years seems like a long time to live in one place, and I have acquired way too much stuff for comfort. I forsee trips to the Salvation Army next week. I’ve got a lot of mucking out to do, but I will make time for some quality knitting.

And of course, I’ll be cutting a steek at Knit Happens on Wednesday.

Speaking of Knitting . . .

I cast on for my first summer bucket hat yesterday, using the 1824 Cotton. The yarn is slightly heavier than called for in the pattern so I went down two needle sizes to get the gauge. Yes, I swatched. The Queen of No Swatching swatched. Wanna make something of it?

I used a heavier yarn because I want my completed hat to be nice and stiff. We’ll see how good my idea was.

And yesterday Liz asked a question about the Mission Falls cotton:

I just bought some myself but am not having fun with it anymore. It’s getting “pilly” as I work and is detracting from the look of the project (well, at least for me). Has this happened to you before?

I’ve not used this yarn before, so I have no pilling experience. Anyone have any info on this? I’m thinking (hoping) pilling won’t be a problem on the hat because it’s being knit very tightly, and it’s not going to get the kind of wear a sweater would.

However, I’ve knitted three rounds on the hat, and in three rounds came across three knots in the yarn. I think this is inexcusable.

My lovely Colinette poncho is coming along. I finished half of it but neglected to take a photo last night. Forgetfulness brought on by exhaustion.

And then there’s Flora.

flora040804 Friday

I did manage to take a photo of her. And I took a photo of my sweet little Lucy, as she slept blissfully in my lap.

lucy040804 Friday

April Contest

You have until 4:00pm EST today to email me to enter the drawing for the Dale 126 book. Scroll down to Monday’s entry to find the link to email me.

Winner will be announced on Monday. Stay tuned . . .

Critter Knitters!

Believe it or not, there are more prizes posted on the prize page!

A Book Review

Confessions of a Knitting Heretic
by Annie Modesitt

I received my copy of the above book last Friday, and since then have read through it once. My impressions:

First of all, I was impressed by the nice quality created by Cafepress. Very professional.

This book is a gold mine. It’s chock-full of wonderful information presented with style, wit, and humor. The book consists of essays, technical information, and projects.

I read through all the essays completely. I was very interested to read about Annie’s knitting style and knitting history, along with her observations about a lot of aspects of knitting. I was particularly interested in the knitting as passion versus obsession essay. I tend to think of myself as obsessed with knitting, but after reading this, I think it’s more accurate to say that I have a passion for knitting.

The technical chapters I looked over quickly. A lot of great information is crammed into these pages. There are lots of charts and illustrations and careful prose explanations. This is a great reference that you’ll grab to refer to when your knitting presents you with a technique that you are unfamilar with or need a refresher on.

In the section on cabling, there are illustrations of the stitches on the needle before, during and after cabling. The stitches have little faces, and the expressions on their faces change in each picture, reflecting their status in the cable — the first stitch looks annoyed when it is skipped and the second stitch is knit first in twisting the cable. I found this utterly charming. (And I was relieved to see both stitches smiling after the cable was completed.)

In the Projects section there are a number of patterns, including a couple of fun “knitting with wire” projects, and my personal favorite — Annie’s beautiful knitted picture hat.

Bottom line? This book would be a great addition to your knitting library. Wendyknits gives it two thumbs up!

You can buy the book here.

Knitting Report

Not a lot of progress on Miss Flora, because I was inexplicably drawn to the Mother Ship after work yesterday.

I bought some Mission Falls 1824 Cotton for a summer bucket hat:

1824cotton A Book Review

And some Classic Elite Flash for another summer bucket hat:

flashyarn A Book Review

I also bought the summer Filati book Kristine blogged about on the Knit Happens blog the other day, and some Point cotton yarn to knit the same tank top Kristine was swatching for.

pointyarn A Book Review

Kristine was swatching in light blue and I bought natural. The Point yarn is very fun — light and springy!

Lucy waited patiently for me to return home.

lucy040704 A Book Review

Knitting in Paducah?

The other day on my commute home, a garrulous elderly man sat down next to me and launched into conversation. During the course of his monologue he told me that there was a “famous knitting museum” in his hometown of Paducah, Kentucky.

“Really?” said I. “Are you sure it’s a knitting museum? I’ve never heard of it, which strikes me as strange.”

“Oh yes,” said he. “Definitely knitting. Most famous one in the world. When they have an event you can’t get a hotel room for miles around.”

I finally remembered to do an online search for a knitting museum in Paducah, Kentucky yesterday. Came up with zilch. But I did find the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society in Paducah, Kentucky.

Bet that’s what he was talking about, eh? Harrumph.

Exciting Critter Knitter News!

Liz had a great mail day yesterday! Check out the blankets received page!

Resistance is Futile

lichengiotto Resistance is Futile

What is it about Colinette? (That’s a close-up of Giotto in the lichen colorway, btw.)

I was asked that question a couple of times yesterday, by people who’ve never seen it in person. (In person? In yarn?)

I blame Emma for the start of my Colinette obsession. icon smile Resistance is Futile For in January 2003 she sent me the most beautiful Colinette Fandango scarf. I adore this scarf. And I’d never seen any Colinette up close and personal before.

fandango040604 Resistance is Futile

So that’s where it started. I bought some Skye to make felted bucket hats, and did indeed make two hats from it. And I picked up a skein here, and a skein there . . .

The stash grew.

And then last month I saw Kristine’s poncho and bought the kit in the teal colorway from Knit Happens and my obsession exploded into a frenzy.

And you know . . . I almost don’t want to knit my Colinette. It’s so gorgeous in the skein that it seems a shame to do anything with it, apart from fondle it and admire it.

And in answer to a comment question from Liz, none of these are really spoken for, project-wise. They could each become just about anything. I’ve got some vague ideas in my head about what each should be. And some of them may spent an extended periods of time simply striking languid poses, reclining in bowls and/or baskets.

I want to be a skein of Colinette. Last night I dreamed about Colinette yarn.

Flora

I’m doggedly working away on Flora’s first sleeve. This is my least favorite part of a fair isle — when the sleeve gets too small for the 16-inch needle and I’m down to a 12-inch needle. I don’t like knitting with a 12-inch circulat, but it beats the alternative — fair isle on dpns. I’ve tried using two circulars and I like that even less than dpns. So I guess I ought to just shut up and knit, huh?

flora040604 Resistance is Futile

Critter Knitters!

Did y’all see the very cool maps that Liz put up? They show where the donated blankets have come from so far. Liz will update them as more blankets come in, and they are linked to from the main blanket page.

Ooh! A Knit-along!

Upon reading about it on her blog, I immediately succumbed to Becky’s Bottoms Up Bucket Knit-along! I bought the pattern a while back for Bonne Marie’s Bottoms Up Bucket Hat, but haven’t yet made one. This is a perfect excuse.

After work today I’m gonna check out cotton yarn for a warm weather bucket. Betcha can’t guess where I’m gonna go . . .

Lucy and the Time Change

Lucy has not yet adjusted to the time change. For the past two nights she has awakened me by lying on my face at 3:00am. Last week she was doing this every night at 2:00am, so it’s obvious to me that she’s not looking at the clock before waking me up.

Yesterday morning she looked at me in disgust and horror when the alarm went off. I know she was thinking “Why is Mommy getting up in the middle of the night?” After helping me put on make-up and ensuring that I’d got cat hair in my eyes, she gave up and went back to bed. She was curled up in her kitty bed, asleep, when I left for work. She barely opened one eye when I said good-bye to her.

Tough life.

lucy040604 Resistance is Futile

I Might As Well Face It

I’m addicted to Colinette.

L-B and I agree that Colinette is the Borg. Resistance is futile.

I’ve been slowly, but happily, working along on my Colinette poncho. This is my “lunchtime at work” knitting, so I don’t get a lot of time to work on it. But here she is.

poncho040504 I Might As Well Face It

The cool thing about the Colinette kit is that you can knit any one of four things using the yarns in the kit — a poncho, a wrap, or one of two different styles of vest.

And I just love these yarns!

I love them so much that I’ve pulled out my Colinette stash and I’ve been um . . . augmenting it with eBay purchases. I don’t have everything I’ve bought in hand yet, but when I do, I’ll have enough to make something using my kit pattern in the “leaf” colorway:

colleaf I Might As Well Face It

And in the “gold” colorway:

colgold I Might As Well Face It

And in a “pastel” colorway — made up by me:

collavender I Might As Well Face It

Oh, and last but not least, in my own made up “fire” colorway!

colfore I Might As Well Face It

Like I said, resistance is futile. And now you know. I’ve confessed a dirty little secret. And since confession is good for the soul, here’s the rest of my Colinette stash:

colstash I Might As Well Face It

And a close-up of “Skye” in the “Pierro” colorway for L-B:

colpierro I Might As Well Face It

April Contest Clarification

Yup, to enter the contest is email me at the address in yesterday’s blog entry. I received a huge number of entries yesterday — over 200! A couple of people asked if that’s all they had to do to enter. Uh-huh. If you want a chance at the book, all you gotta do is email me. No fuss, no muss.

Flora Update

I’m still knitting away on Flora’s first sleeve — see?

flora040504 I Might As Well Face It

When I’ve got this sleeve done I’ll set Flora aside until April 14. And then on April 14 I’ll cut open the second steek and start the second sleeve, in front of anyone who cares to watch, at Knit Happens. As I’ve mentioned previously.

Critter Knitters Update

And I’m still crocheting on my second Critter Knitters blankie — this one larger than the first. And there’s a possibility I’ll run out of yarn before I have a square. I do have some Plymouth Encore Chunky in light blue that will probably match, though, so if I do run out, I’ll add a few rows of plain blue to each end.

blankie040504 I Might As Well Face It

Speaking of blankets . . .

Ingeborg Question

From my comments:

I need an Ingeborg consult. I just took my measurements and the largest size will be skin tight in the bust! (No cheering, please.) Do you think I could knit the body of the sweater to gauge 6.5 stitches to the inch and knit the sleeves to a gauge of 7 stitches to the inch?

That could work, but it might look odd to have the body knit at one gauge and the sleeves at another. Then again, the body and the sleeves are patterned differently, so it might look fine. But I’d want to knit a swatch of the body pattern to the 6.5 st gauge and a swatch of the sleeve pattern to the 7 st gauge to make sure they look okay together.

Can’t forget the kitty cheesecake!

lucy040504 I Might As Well Face It

April Contest

The April Contest is here. And it’s an easy one. All you have to do is send me an email to be entered in the drawing for this:

126cover April Contest

A copy of Dale Book 126, which contains the pattern for Ingeborg, the sweater some of us will be knitting next month in a knit-along. Didja want to knit along but didn’t have the pattern? Look no further — you can win it here.

Important:

I have set up an email address specifically for contest entries — blogcontest@comcast.net. Click on the link to send your contest entry. Please do not send entries to my regular email address — use this one.

And one entry per person, please.

Send entries by Friday, April 9, 2004, 4:00pm EST to be entered in the drawing for the Dale book 126.

This is a great pattern book, by the way. It’s got a ton of nice patterns!

Q&A

Does Lucy have her front claws? My kitty loves my knitting as much as Lucy seems to love yours, but recently she loved something I didn’t want her to love. I was blocking this lovely tangerine and lime sweater I made for a friend’s child, and Jazmine decided to sleep on it…and subsequently snagged it. It’s 100% cotton and I’m heartbroken and have no idea how to fix it. She managed to snag it on two sides, and not a whole stitch mind you, just a thread from the
yarn. It’s not broken, but it definitely ruined the perfection of the knitted cotton and I’m not sure what to do now. Any advice, other than keep her off my knitting? Does Lucy ever snag yours? thanks, and thanks for keeping the blogiverse interesting for a lot of us!

Lucy does not have front claw — she was declawed already when she came to live with me. And surprisingly, she doesn’t seem to want to knead and love my knitting they way all my other cats have in the past. She loves to sleep in my lap while I knit, so that my knitting lies on top of her, and she loves to sleep in her kitty beds. But I’ve never seen her demonstrate any potentially destructive behavior towards knitting. Yet.

Now, about what to do about your snagged sweater. That’s a toughie. I’ve got a couple of ideas. One is to duplicate stitch over any snagged stitches. The other is to carefully cut the yarn and pull out a few stitches, then reknit the area with unsullied yarn.

Anyone have any other ideas?

Could you address a question about the charts for Fair Isle knitting?
You have been knitting FI (beautifully) for awhile and must have used
different charts. For AS designs in her original books she used a
different symbol for each color in a design. It was very easy to copy for
the magnetic board and follow along. Jamieson followed suit for books I
and II. Ann Feitelson’s book seems to have started the colored charts
craze. Colored squares are used for each stitch which makes it difficult
(almost impossible) to copy for use on a magnetic board. This method
has made it necessary to rechart with symbols for each color on Excel.
Sometimes it is very hard to tell the colors apart even with a good
color copy. These charts are just confusing to many of us. Do you have a
preference? Do you rechart the color graphs? Are VY charts symbols or
colored? Writing to Jamieson to complain might be an option here.

Colored charts in fair isle are a huge pain in the butt! I can understand that it cuts down on unauthorized copies being bandied about, but all it does for me is to make me not want to knit the pattern.

Starmore fair isles are all charted in symbols. Old designs and Virtualyarns designs. Thankfully.

Ages ago I knitted a fair isle or two from charts that were color blocks, but they were relatively simp0le charts that I memorzied quickly. I have test-knitted a design that was charted in color and it was hell. The colors were too similar and the print quality was poor. I ended up recharting it in symbols, which was a major nuisance.

I think at this point if I saw a fair isle design that was charted in color, I wouldn’t even consider knitting it. Life’s too short.

Flora Update

Here’s my weekend progress:

flora040404 April Contest

A close-up of the collar:

flora040404a April Contest

And a close-up of the bottom of the front bands:

flora040404b April Contest

I picked up stitches and worked a row, then cast off, at the bottom of each of the front bands. I thought it gave it a more finished look.

And I started a sleeve:

flora040404c April Contest

I Hate the Time Change

I’ve been cheated ut of an hour of good knitting time. Grrrrrrr . . .

And Lucy was too sleepy last night to catch up on her email.

lucy040404 April Contest

And last but certainly not least . . . there are more prizes posted on the prize page And check out the blankets received page!!