My current work in progress:

1. Drachenfels, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Madelintosh Pashmina in the Black Walnut, Seasalt, and Mineral colorways on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Just Say No

NoNegativity Just Say No

Here ya go. My mantra.

Thank you all for your positive comments and emails I received in response to Friday’s entry. I attempted to answer all emails received, but I got so many, that quickly became impossible.

I did receive one odd email from a total stranger. (It is interesting but probably not surprising that people who have something nasty to say do it via email rather than in my comments.) Several of you suggested that I ought to post the negative comments here. For those of you who would like to read this email, I have linked to it here. If you are tired of this topic, you can pass it by. I found the message interesting in a bizarre way. I did not respond to it.

The mis-spelled words and errors, by the way, are those of the writer — the only change I made was to “x” out her name and email address, and my email address.

One more thing — I was so happy to see so many comments and get so many emails from people who told me they are long-time lurkers. Please — feel free to comment whenever you want! I love hearing from you guys.

(BTW, Shirley in PA, I attempted to respond to your email on Friday, but my email to you bounced back as undeliverable.)

Okay. Nuff said.

May Contest!

I promised something yummy for May, and here it is.

may04contest Just Say No

Seven skeins of laceweight shetland wool, 30 grams and 252 yards per skein, in a lovely light heathered greyish blue. Enough for a good-sized shawl, I’d say.

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, May 14 at 4:00pm EST to be entered in the drawing for this yarn! Please note the ending date — I was still receiving entries for my April contest on april 30!

Weekend Knitting

So what did I knit this weekend?

I finished the Not-Colinette poncho in the Official Knit Happens colors. Yay!

poncho050704 Just Say No

I posted the photo on my Official Poncho Page, along with a listing of the yarns that I used, so kindly visit there if you’d like to know what the yarns are.

Here’s a close-up:

poncho050704a Just Say No

The blue you see in the photo is from the t-shirt I was wearing when the poncho photos were taken — see?

wendy050904 Just Say No

Lucy looks on, unflappable as usual.

lucy050904 Just Say No

And I worked on the lovely Audrey. I have the front and the back done.

wendyaudrey050904 Just Say No

And I started a sleeve.

wendyaudrey050904a Just Say No

Ingeborg Knit-along

The Ingeborg Knit-along is slated to begin in a few days — on Saturday, to be exact. Some knit-alongers have already started, some have not. count me in as one of the yet-to-start Ingeborgers. I’ll start on the starting date, or near to it. So if you thought you might want to knit along, you still have plenty of time to join us.

A couple of people posted messages to the Ingeborg group (the group is linked from the button in my sidebar) expressing mild concern at keeping up with me in the knitting. There’s no requirement to knit to my speed, but I do understand wanting to keep up with the group.

So I’ve decided to knit on Ingeborg part-time. I’m not trying to say that I’m so much faster than anyone else, because I know that’s not true. But I want to give some of the less-experienced color knitters a better chance at keeping up, if they want to. So if fear of keeping up was keeping you from joining, please don’t let that stop you. I’m not gonna whip Ingeborg out in a month and then abandon the group.

Of course, there’s an ulterior motive for me as well. I have succumbed to the siren song of summer knitting, and there are a million and one things I want to knit. Right Now. So I am more than happy to make Ingeborg my secondary project and happily knit away on fun little summer sweaters.

This attitude is such a departure for me. I’ve never been so excited about summer knitting before. I have other people to thank for this.

First off, many great bloggers. Well, just look at my list of blogs I read and you’ll know who I’m talking about. For example, the knitters who post thoughtful entries about what they are working on and why they love the yarn and the pattern, the knitters who host fun knit-alongs, knitters who design wonderful, fun patterns and offers them to us. And many, many more. I salute you all with a twenty-one skein salute.

Second, my new favorite LYS, Knit Happens. I’ve mentioned before how I’ve never really frequented an LYS in the past. That is so much a thing of the past since Knit Happens opened! I love going there! There are so many beautiful yarns and patterns but the best part is the atmosphere. Kristine and Liz have created a haven for knitters — warm, friendly, and creative. I wish I could quit my job and move in.

Fiona Bag

Speaking of fun patterns and knit-alongs, I started my Fiona Bag!

fiona050904 Just Say No

I’m using colors 302 and 203 of Mission Falls 1824 Cotton for my bag (a moss green and a purply-pink). I want to say a big public thank-you to Brooks for offering this great free pattern, and to Kristine, for hosting the knit-along!

One More Thing

A number of you have asked me where I got the pattern for Tina. It’s a free pattern available from the Berroco website.

some of you already know this, but for new readers I’ll say it again. While I’m working on a project, information about pattern, yarn, and needle size will be posted in my WIP list over on the right in the sidebar. Once I’ve completed a project, it will be linked to from my main knitting page (also linked to in my sidebar), with all pertinent information listed on the page for the project. You can find out where I got the pattern for something with a few simple mouseclicks.

Critter Knitter News!

Check out the blankets received!

Friday, Thankfully

The Poncho Issue

First of all, thank you to those of you who left positive comments or emailed me privately after Wednesday’s post about people asking me to send me the poncho pattern. I appreciate your support and understanding.

But of course I’ve gotten some snotty emails too. Quite a few of them, actually. My day wouldn’t be complete without them. Chastising me for my uncharitable attitude. Criticizing me for buying expensive kits and blogging about the knitting of them.

Okay. I’m not ready to drop this yet.

I have been in a position where money is very tight. Heck, I remember a time years ago, when I was first married, when after paying the bills we had twenty dollars left over to buy food for two weeks. We bought a turkey and lived off that until payday. I knitted with KMart acrylic.

I have worked all my life, and I’m now in the position of having money for luxuries. I work hard for every penny I get, I am my sole support, and I’ll spend my money any damned way I please. And my number one favorite luxury is nice yarn. If it offends you to read about my knitting with nice yarn then don’t read my blog. I’m sick to death of getting emails from people with sob stories about how poor they are, so I owe them something.

No one ever handed me anything — I’ve worked for everything I have. I’ve had some bad breaks over the years, and I’ve had some lucky breaks too. That’s life.

As I said, I’ve gotten a surprisingly large number of unpleasant emails since my Wednesday post, criticizing me and my attitude towards this. If you are one the people who sent me a nasty email and think I’m directing this tirade at you personally, please know that you are only one of many to whom it is directed. I’m not interested in discussing it further via email.

So, anyone who doesn’t like my attitude about this is cordinally invited to bite me. If you feel the need to email me and flame me on it, knock yourself out. To quote the great Kim Salazar: “Flames cheerfully deleted at no extra charge.”

BUT . . . There are Nice People Too!

The universe is a wonderful thing. Just when you despair of people, someone does something wonderful that restores your faith in the innate goodness of people.

Case in Point Number One

Look over to my sidebar, right under my WIP List. mouse made that button for me. I laughed out loud when I saw it. Oh, and be sure and read mouse’s May 6 entry. Amen!

Believe me, my blog post today would have been much stronger, had I not received that button.

Case in Point Number Two

Jocelyne in France, who sent me these:

magazines050604 Friday, Thankfully

Jocelyne had a clear-out of some of her old patterns and she very kindly send a huge pattern stash to me. Tricot! Sandra! My head is reeling from all these knitty delights!

Thank you mouse and Jocelyne! You’ve made my week!

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blog Stuff

I’ve gotten a few questions about my knitting bag — it is indeed an Elizabeth Austen knitting bag, and I did get it at Knit Happens. They have a number of lovely Elizabeth Austen items.

And I’m not sure why Lucy has suddenly taken such a fancy to it, after ignoring it for weeks. Unless . . .

The last time L-B was up here, she gave me a little herbal sachet, which I slipped into an inside pocket of the bag. That could explain the bag’s allure for Lucy.

lucy050604 Friday, Thankfully

Poncho

I’m too afraid to post a progress pic . . .

No, seriously, it’s almost done. FO photo on Monday.

Audrey!

How I love her! I’m on the back and I’ve done the decreases, and have now started the increases.

wendyaudrey050604 Friday, Thankfully

A couple days ago someone expressed surprise that I swatched for Audrey, as most of the time I am in a No-Swatch Zone. But sometimes I do swatch. Like when I’m using a yarn I’ve never used before, like this one, Rowan Calmer. The pattern calls for 21 stitches and 30 rows to 10cm on a US8 (5 mm) needle. I got the exact gauge with a US7 (4.5mm) needle. So the moral of the story is that sometimes swatching is good.

But I’m so in tune with my personal knitting karma, that I started swatching with a US7, figuring that’s what I’d get gauge with. Ain’t I special?

May Contest

I’ll have something yummy as a give-away on Monday, so come on back.

Happy Mothers Day . . .

. . . to all mothers out there. And let me tell you, there are a few real mothers out there.

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Yarn Dreams

It’s good to know I’m not the only one having yarn dreams. I started dreaming about Colinette a few weeks ago, but lately it’s been all about Rowan!

I went to Knit Happens yesterday — what fun! Have I mentioned lately how much I love that place?

Here are some of my purchases!

First, five skeins of Rowan Calmer in “Coral.”

coralcalmer Yarn Dreams

Yup. I am hooked on Calmer. I bought this batch because of this dress:

lauraashleyblkdrs Yarn Dreams

That’s a black Laura Ashley dress I won off eBay the other day. I think it’s screaming for a shrug. So the coral Calmer is for “Iris,” the adorable little shrug in Rowan 35.

And I bought this:

cottoncash Yarn Dreams

Seven skeins of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere. This I blame on L-B. She special-ordered this from Knit Happens and has been telling me how wonderful it is, so I bought the rest of the bag from her special order.

And I bought this, the yarn for my Fiona Bag:

fionayarn050504 Yarn Dreams

And look at the adorable button to go with it!

button050504 Yarn Dreams

Isn’t that too cute?

So . . . I did some work on my poncho in the Official Knit Happens colors:

poncho050504 Yarn Dreams

This is the second half, and I’m more than half done with it.

Oh, and I promised you a picture of my completed Tina, didn’t I?

tina050504 Yarn Dreams

For the neck, I picked up stitches areound, knit-wise. Purled one row, knit one row, then cast off purlwise. I kinda like it!

(By the way, the front porch isn’t quite as . . . uh . . . impressive as it looks in the photo. It’s the angle. Tough to photograph yourself.)

And I’ve saved the best for last — Audrey.

No work on her since my middle of the night knitting, but here’s a photo. Came out a bit lighter than the actual color.

audrey050504 Yarn Dreams

She’s coming to work with me today, and I’ll be knitting her on the train.

Theresa emailed me yesterday and kindly invited me to join the Audrey Knit-along, so join I did!

Oh, and by the way, Lucy (who is a ragdoll) is still fascinated by my knitting bag!

lucy050504 Yarn Dreams

And by the way, I received 37 requests for the poncho pattern on Tuesday alone. I didn’t count the ones I’ve received previous to that.

Amazing, no?

Confession is Good for the Soul

Confession time:

Monday night I planned to finish the first half of my poncho. I knitted on it for a while, then tossed it aside to swatch my Rowan Calmer. Got the gauge for Audrey.

So I thought, well, I’ll just cast on for Audrey. I cast on the back. So I thought, well, I’ll just work the first row. I worked the first row. Then I worked the second row.

Then I went to bed.

I started dreaming about Rowan Calmer in one of those continuous loop dreams. I woke up for my regularly scheduled insomnia at 1:37am. I lay staring into the dark for a while, then turned on the television. By the light of Nick at Nite, I worked four more rows of Audrey.

Obviously, I am not well.

But I was a good disciplined knitter and finished the first poncho half last night.

poncho050404 Confession is Good for the Soul

Speaking of the poncho, I’ll mention again that the pattern is one that comes with a Colinette kit — the “Vintage Knits” Kit. As far as I know, it is not available for purchase separately.

I’ve had a lot of questions about what pattern I’m using, and where one can purchase/obtain it. There’s the answer. I’ve edited my description of the project in the sidebar to make it clear what pattern I’m using.

And for the many of you who have emailed me to ask, no, I will not send a free copy of the pattern to you. And no, I will not answer questions about pattern details that seem to me to border on copyright infringement.

Do I sound a tad peeved? I am. I got 37 emails yesterday asking about the poncho pattern. More than half of them were from people who wanted me to send a free copy of the pattern to them. And of those people, more than half of them didn’t even say please.

Harrumph.

Ooh! Ooh! Tina progress!

tina050404 Confession is Good for the Soul

Okay, the truth is that I finished Tina, but it was late, and I didn’t feel like taking another photo.

And here is one nosy little kitty!

lucy050404 Confession is Good for the Soul

Poncho Madness!

Yes, I am in the grip of poncho madness!

Here is my new “Not-Colinette” poncho in progress:

poncho050304 Poncho Madness!

This could be the Official Poncho of Knit Happens, eh? The colors certainly are right.

I wasn’t too sure about my yarn choices at first, but the more I knit, the more I like it. Don’t think this will be a particularly practical garment, but it’ll be a fun one!

Fiona Bag Knit-Along

Didja see the cute button for the knit-along that Brooks made? It’s over there to the right, in my sidebar. I’ll be buying my yarn to make Fiona this week, but will do my best to refrain from starting til the official starting date.

Tina Progress

I’m close to armhole decreases on Tina — see? Just a couple more inches.

tina050304 Poncho Madness!

I haven’t made up my mind about the collar yet. I’m not too crazy about the rolled stockinette stitch stuff they have going on there. But it’s less offensive than some rolled collars I’ve seen. So I may knit it according to the pattern. Only time will tell. Exciting, no?

Something New . . .

I’ve been mulling over what to knit with the Rowan All Seasons Cotton I won off eBay last week. I couldn’t find anything that really rang my chimes. So . . .

This is what I might do.

pattern050304 Poncho Madness!

Pattern writing at its finest.

Speaking of Rowan

I got this in the mail yesterday:

calmer Poncho Madness!

The color is “Pool,” the yarn is “Calmer.” I also got Rowan Book 35, and I plan to knit Audrey. I finally succumbed after reading another knitter’s blog where she describes how wonderful knitting with Calmer is. I will name no names (cough::Becky::cough) but I blame her entirely.

It’s the best excuse I can come up on short notice.

Critter Knitters Update!

Liz is back from vacation and has updated the blankets received page! She reports a total of 145 blankets received so far, and she hasn’t gotten her mail delivery started up yet, so I bet that number will go up in the near future!

lucy050304 Poncho Madness!