My current work in progress:

1. Woodfords, designed by Elizabeth Doherty, knit from Madelinetosh Merino Light in the "paper" colorway on U.S. size 3, 5, and 7 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Monday

lucy053004 Monday

Not only Monday, but a Monday holiday here in the U.S.: Memorial Day.

And even though it is still May, I am announcing the June Contest today. Why? Because I am the Queen of this blog and I say so.

June Contest!

We have a special prize this month:

prize053004 Monday

This is 1897 yards of drool-worthy mohair (90% mohair, 10% nylon), donated by Jen of Spirit Trail Fiberworks, who hand-dyed it especially for the Wendyknits contest. Isn’t it spectacular?

Thank you so much, Jen!

And all you must do to enter the drawing to win it is to send me an email at the Official Wendyknits Blog contest email address — 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.

Send an email to that address by Friday, June 4 at 4:00pm EST to be entered in the drawing for this yarn. The winner will be chosen at random.

I suppose if I were to submit an entry and win, it would look suspicious? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere

I’ve received several questions on how I like working with this yarn.

I started knitting the Lucy sweater using Addi Turbos. I quickly switched to bamboo needles because the Addi Turbos were a tad slippery for knitting the lace portion. and I stuck with the bamboos, because I liked how they felt with the yarn. So for the readers who found it slippery to work with, try a wooden needle, if you haven’t already.

It’s not a shiny cotton. The addition of the cashmere gives it a soft hand. It’s great for stitch definition and worked really well for the Lucy lace pattern.

Now here’s something interesting.

The lavender cotten cashmere was very nice, lovely to work with. I started knitting with the teak cotton cashmere and hello! Knitting heaven. I can hear quires of angels singing in the heavens above every time I pick it up.

Remember in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when they showed the image of the grail in the sky (which was really the light from the grail-shaped beacon in the Castle Anthrax) you could hear angels singing?

That’s how I feel about the teal Cotton Cashmere. It’s soft and springy and just all together yummy.

I was surprised at the difference between the two colors, though. But as a friend reminded me (hej, Johanne!) some yarns will react differently to different colors of dye. So perhaps that’s it.

Even with that variation, I recommend it. I’ll be using it again.

The Lucy Sweater!

Speaking of Cotton Cashmere, here are the official FO shots of my Lucy sweater.

luci053004 Monday

And:

luci053004a Monday

It is too large for me, of course. I am still making sweaters too large for me. I really should have made mine in the smallest size.

That said, I really like this sweater oversized. It has gentle waist shaping that I think looks rather nice when worn in a loose-fitting way. And in the summer heat, a loose-fitting sweater is a Very Good Thing Indeed.

I am considering making myself another one in the small size, because I think I’d like that too.

I also decided to add instructions to the pattern to make the sweater without the waist shaping, as that is not flattering to everyone. One could easily make it longer, too, in a tunc length.

I’ll be offering the pattern in fours sizes, with finished bust measurements of 35, 39, 42.5, and 46″.

More progress . . .

On Luanne.

luanne053004 Monday

And even a bit on Ingeborg.

ingeborg053004 Monday

Friday! Friday! Friday!

And it’s the day before a holiday weekend here in the U.S.

I wore Lucy to work yesterday and it received the Coworker Seal of Approval from Monica. icon smile Friday! Friday! Friday!

luci052704 Friday! Friday! Friday!

I found it to be a very comfy sweater, so it received the Wendy Seal of Approval as well.

Lucy approves, too.

lucy052704 Friday! Friday! Friday!

And I made some progress on Luanne.

luanne052704 Friday! Friday! Friday!

Thanks to Louren, by the way, for filling me in on the origins of Luanne Platter’s name in yesterday’s comments!

Luanne is going to be a slightly cropped tank, with (I think) a picot edging around the neck. Sleeveless. Why sleeveless? Because I have seven skeins of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in the yummy teal with which to knit her. And that ain’t enough for sleeves.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

June Contest

I realize that is won’t be June until Tuesday, but I have something so wonderful and yummy to give away, that I can’t wait! The June Contest will be announced on Monday.

The Lucy Pattern

Thank you for all your inquiries about when the Lucy pattern will be available. It is currently being test-knit in all sizes, so will be available when my test-knitters are done. I want to make sure it’s as perfect and error-free as possible before I offer it for sale, you understand. icon smile Friday! Friday! Friday! I’ll keep you posted, promise!

Ingeborg

Poor Ingeborg! I picked her up and did a few rounds because I hadn’t touched her since Monday.

ingeborg052704 Friday! Friday! Friday!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday is my mother’s birthday, so please join me in wishing her a happy one. After all, she’s the one who stuck the yarn and needles in my hands in the first place.

Memorial Day

The other day on the train going home, I was sitting behind a young man in Army uniform. At one stop an older man with his 4-year-old grandson got on — tourists, judging from the map and Smithsonian bag the man was carrying. The man sat in the single side seat in front of the young soldier, and indicated to his grandson to sit next to the soldier.

The little boy looked worried — he’d obviously been cautioned about strangers. His grandfather said “It’s okay, he protects our country. He’s a hero.”

The little boy stared at the soldier solemnly, then broke into smiles, and happily sat down next to him.

A happy Memorial Day to all heros past and present protecting our country.

Seams: Not Always a Bad Thing

A comment from the other day:

I noticed that you are working the lavender Lucy back and forth rather than in the round. Is there a particular reason you decided to do it this way? I usually prefer knitting in the round (esp stockinette stitch) and was wondering what motivated your designing decision.

So glad you asked! Why, yes, there is a particular reason.

Lucy is knitted in DK weight cotton. This is a yarn that has virtually no elasticity or bounce back. I think side seams will help it keep its shape and lend some stability to the garment. Cotton has a tendency to sag over time, and the side seams are the steel girders that hold this building together.

This is true of heavily textured designs, too, I think. I’m pretty sure I’ve blogged in the past about why I would not knit an aran in the round. Gotta have those steel girders holding everything together.

And that’s why I like a three-needle bind-off on shoulders rather than grafting. I think it’s a stronger join. It’s the ceiling beams in our building.

Does it sound like Wendy wants to be an architect? I confess to having taken a course in architectural drawing at a local community college a number of years back, simply because I love building floorplans.

What? Me, weird? Nah. Only the voices in my head say that.

Okay, speaking of building, I got out the cranes and bulldozers and finished La Lucy last night. Ta da!

Here’s a very sucky photo by way of sneak preview:

luci052604 Seams: Not Always a Bad Thing

Hard to take a photo of yourself! The color is way off because I took it without flash and lightened it. You’ll get a better photo on Monday.

Luanne

I started knitting Luanne. Why the name Luanne? I was looking for another “L” girl’s name so decided to name this design after Luanne Platter.

Tee hee hee.

Here she is:

luanne052604 Seams: Not Always a Bad Thing

Cell Sock Pattern!

Here’s a fun little pattern that Roi Wamboldt sent me yesterday, and kindly gave me permission to share with you all:

Roi’s Cell Sock

cellsock Seams: Not Always a Bad Thing

Inspired by a pattern in Best of Knitters Arans, using Koigu PPPM left-overs, I cast on 40 stitches (using 2.5 mm Pony Pearl dpns), joined, and knitted a k1, p1, rib stitch for 8 rows.

I switched to 3.0 mm dpns and did mix of twisted rib (knitting into the back of the stitch) and cable pattern (6 stitch) with stocking stitch on sides (makes two side slots and keeps the phone from turning around inside the sock):

K2, P1, TW1, P1, K6 (cable 6 on 4th row of 6-row repeat), P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, K4, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, TW1, P1, K2. (I placed a marker here so I would know where the center of one side was.)

I continued in pattern until the sock was about 3/4″ taller than the phone and about 1/2″ from the bottom of the phone, and then I decreased 1 stitch on each side for 4 or 5 rounds as my phone is narrower on the bottom. I used the Kitchener stitch to close the bottom.

The sock fits my little Nokia 3589i perfectly. Tight enough to stay on floating around in my relatively small purse, but loose enough that I can slide the phone out quickly/easily.

* * *

Isn’t that adorable? I think Victor deserves a Koigu cell sock!

Victor is my cellphone. Yes, I name everything. Shut up.

Lucy, a kitty with a mission:

lucy052604 Seams: Not Always a Bad Thing

Insomnia

3:00 a.m.

I am slowly regaining consciousness because a small, but substantial, warm, furry, purring being has plopped herself down on my chest and is now repeatedly shoving her head under my hand.

“Pet me! Worship me! Adore me!”

So of course I do. After fifteen minutes, Lucy decides she’s had enough and wanders off. Leaving me in a semi-stupor. That’s when the yarn dreams begin.

As I doze off, swatches invade my mind. Fat plaited cables and diamond patterns elbow gloriously colored snippets of fair isle out of the way. I’m pretty sure I can see a beefy celtic knot punch a fair isle swatch right in the peerie. And the lace! Lots and lots of lace! The lace swatches hang back uncertainly at first, afraid of the macho cables and aggressive brightly colored fair isles. Slowly, though, they approach. Eyelets on a stockinette background, feather and fan, picot edgings. All these swatches are climbing over each other, jockeying for position. Then I hear them.

“Knit me!”

“No, knit me first!”

“You have the perfect yarn for me!”

So I lay awake until the alarm goes off, thinking about swatches and patterns and design possibilities.

It’s not easy having voices in your head. Particularly when you feel compelled to do what they tell you. Fortunately, mine are telling me to knit.

Jaeger Silk

My Jaeger Silk is fingering weight — 7 st/inch. Too fine for the Lucy sweater. But fear not! I have some ideas swimming around in my subconscious. It’s those danged voices again! Telling me what to knit. Stay tuned.

By the way, it was an eBay acquisition.

Fiona, Rest in Peace.

It’s official. I’ve abandoned Fiona. It’s a great pattern for an adorable bag, but every time I look at it in progress, my hands and wrists ache. So Fiona has been frogged and the Mission Falls 1824 Cotton has been returned to the stash.

A moment of silence, please.

Lacy Lucy

But I am happily chugging along on the Lucy sweater. I’m on the second sleeve, as a matter of fact, which means that after that there is just the neckband and finishing work. She is coming down the home stretch, she is.

luci052504 Insomnia

And that’s a good thing, because I’ve got a new design that’s working its way out of my fevered little brain onto paper.

Lucy sez:

“Pet me! Worship me! Adore me!”

lucy052504 Insomnia

Tuesday

lucy052404 Tuesday

A day without yarn is like a day without sunshine.

But yesterday was a bright, sunshiney day!

In the mail I got my Berroco Suede, destined to become little cellphone cases.

suede052404 Tuesday

I got a couple of skeins of Colinette Wigwam.

wigwam052404 Tuesday

And I got (pause for dramatic effect):

Six skeins of Jaeger Silk 4-ply in a gorgeous dark chocolate brown.

silk052404 Tuesday

I am drooling helplessly here. Dunno what exactly I’ll do with it yet, but it’s nice to consider the options!

Sweater Wizard

Yesterday Marta asked in the comments what I thought of the Sweater Wizard software and if it was worth purchasing.

I’ve had the software for a couple of years — I have the 2001 version, which I believe is the latest.

I’ve played around with it, but that’s all. I’ve never used it to design a sweater. If you have a calculator and some common sense, you can do everything that this software will do. The software makes it easier — you can plug in variables like gauge, sweater type, size, and it will spit out a pattern that you can tweak. But I find I’m happier doing it the old-fashioned way.

Okay, I just Googled Sweater wizard, went to the website, and discovered all kinds of patches and updates for the product. It looks like they’va added a bunch of features, so I need to download and install the patch and check it out again.

Ingeborg

I sedately worked a few more rows.

ingeborg052404 Tuesday