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.

Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

After a really really late night Monday, we got up early and were at Knit Happens, ready and waiting, for Debbie Bliss’ talk.

db061504 Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

Debbie was a delightful speaker. She talked about the design process, her upcoming new yarns, and new designs. She had lots of knitted sample garments to show us, and Kristine and Amelia made very elegant runway models, trying on the samples and showing us the sweaters’ lovely lines and beautiful design elements. There were lots of nice jackets and wraps that were body-conscious but very flattering to many figure types, and I was quite impressed with them all.

Debbie also showed us the beautiful baby and toddler sweaters in her upcoming book. There were gasps of admiration (and rightly so) when she held each little garment up for us to see.

We also had the opportunity to drool over and fondle a new Debbie Bliss yarn — a silk alpaca blend. Thanks to Kristine’s generosity, I had the opportunity to knit a swatch of this a while back. It knits up at aran weight.

I wish you could feel it. It’s wonderful.

swatch061504 Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

Debbie took any and all questions, ranging from how one develops a new yarn to the mechanics of producing a book of knitting designs.

After the formal talk, everyone got the opportunity to chat with Debbie one-on-one, have books autographed, and try on the many sample garments she brought with her.

Afterward, we had a lovely lunch with Debbie before saying good-bye as she continued on her way in her travels.

I’m really looking forward to Debbie’s new designs — she has some lovely, sophisticated adult garments and the baby things are absolutely exquisite!

Ingeborg

I also managed to get some work in on Ingeborg over the past couple of days. I completed the front bands.

ingeborg061504 Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

And started on the lace edging. Yawn.

ingeborg061504a Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

No, actually, it’s not that bad. It’s an 8-row pattern repeat and easily memorized. Commuter knitting, here I come!

I need to make button loops as well, but I want to wait until I receive the buttons. I ordered them last week (from Nordic Fibert Arts), so should have them soon.

Prezzies!

L-B brought me some lovely gifts. Among them was this:

kara061504 Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

This pitcher is Kara Irish Pottery. It’s decorated with aran cables! Isn’t it wonderful?

And look at this lovely skein of Dancing Feet sock yarn, from Joslyn’s Fiber Farm!

dancingfeet061504 Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

Thanks, L-B!

Back to work today. I am so not amused. It’s a bit of a letdown after hobnobbing with knitting royalty, lemme tell you.

But Lucy needs me to keep her in Fancy Feast.

lucy061504 Debbie Bliss at Knit Happens

Stash Enhancement!

I was asked if I bought anything at Knit Happens last Friday when I was there.

Why yes . . . I did . . .

I bought three skeins of the Interlacements Montana — enough for a sweater. Isn’t the colorway gorgeous?

montana061404 Stash Enhancement!

And I bought one skein of the Laughing Lizard (Knit Happens’ own hand-dyed yarn) Loop — a mohair/wool boucle:

lizardloop061404 Stash Enhancement!

And four skeins of the Laughing Lizard Big Lizard — bulky 100% wool.

biglizard061404 Stash Enhancement!

I swatched this Friday night and it is to die for. The colorway is gorgeous knitted up! Oops — I ripped out my swatch before photographing it, but you’ll see it in progress soon.

In Ingeborg news, here she is:

ingeborg061404 Stash Enhancement!

And I picked up sttiches for one front band — see?

ingeborg061404a Stash Enhancement!

A Fun Night Out!

L-B (who is our special guest) and I had a lovely dinner out this evening with Kristine, Amelia, and the very charming and talented Debbie Bliss. A great time was had by all!

And today we have the workshop with Debbie Bliss!

Lucy Sez:

I have the day off — don’t bother me!

lucy061404 Stash Enhancement!

All Ingeborg All the Time

Not going to work today — I took today and tomorrow off. Woo-hoo!

I did some Ingeborging over the weekend. I finished the first sleeve.

ingeborg061304 All Ingeborg All the Time

I measured the top of the sleeve, so I could mark the depth of the armholes on the body. I sewed all the steeks.

Here’s a close-up of the front neck steek.

ingeborg061304a All Ingeborg All the Time

And here it is cut open.

ingeborg061304b All Ingeborg All the Time

I picked up the stitches and started knitting the neckband.

ingeborg061304c All Ingeborg All the Time

I will complete the front bands before I start the second sleeve, I think. There’s a lace edging that is knit separately and sewed around the neck, cuffs, and bottom of the sweater. I may knit that and sew it in before I do the last sleeve — I’ll see how I feel when I get to it.

I do like the idea of having everything completed and when I finish the second sleeve, I can just sew it in the armhole and be done with the whole thing.

Lucy and I have a special guest coming to stay with us tonight. As you can see, Lucy is primping in preparation!

lucy061304 All Ingeborg All the Time

Another DC Pic

Yesterday morning at 10:00am, the line of people waiting to get into the Capitol was wrapped around the Reflecting Pool.

capitol061004 Another DC Pic

Someone remarked in the comments yesterday what good photos my camera takes. The DC photos yesterday and today were taken with my “baby” camera — a Canon Powershot S200 Digital ELPH. Not my Canon digital SLR.

I bought the ELPH because it’s teeny tiny and fits in my purse. Which is where it lives.

It occurs to me know that if I had brought my big camera with a zoom lens, I coulda gotten some good close-ups. But, of course, I would have had to haul camera equipment into work and I am loathe to do anything that requires extra effort in hot weather.

So be it.

Lucy

lucy061004 Another DC Pic

Lucy is very much a baby. She may look elegant and sleek, but inside she is a child. She loves toys! She has several beautiful catnip mice made from luxurious fibers — one is even cashmere. But her favorite toys are wadded up bits of paper and plastic bendy straws. Sigh.

She is forever carrying a ball of paper in her mouth. I’ll glance down and notice that she has put one on the couch next to me, and is sitting, waiting patiently for me to throw it for her, a few feet away. Once when I was sitting at my desk, working on the computer, Lucy quietly placed a ball of paper next to the keyboard and then jumped down to the floor. I didn’t notice it until she reached up with a front paw, and gently moved it an inch or two closer to me.

The cutest thing is when she brings a toy to bed with her. Awwwwwwwww. Her catnip pillow stays on the foot of my bed, but she usually brings a toy mouse or paper ball with her at bedtime.

Knitting Update

I didn’t work on Lucky at all yesterday, but speaking of Lucky, I believe the tank will take around four skeins of the Jaeger Silk. But I do have a tendency to use less yarn than most people do. I wonder how that is possible?

I did some Ingeborging. I also finished the little Hana Silk Scarf, and here it is, it all its silky glory.

hanasilk061004 Another DC Pic

It’s 22 stitches wide — mebbe 4″? And about 4 feet long.

It’s hard to describe how this yarn feels. It’s very soft — it surprises me every time I touch it. Yet it has that lovely crunchy silk feel too. It was oh-so very pleasant to knit, and I’m not a huge fan of ribbon yarns. But Hana Silk? Yeah buddy, you get the WendyKnits seal of approval!

Speaking of Ribbon

A question from yesterday’s comments . . . “Is ribbon yarn suitable for ribbing?” I’m not sure how to answer that. I think it depends on the ribbon. As I said, I’m not big into ribbon, so don’t have much experience knitting with it.

If you were planning on knitting a sweater from ribbon that has ribbing at the bottom, well sure, I think it’s fine. But an all-over ribbed pattern? You’d want to swatch with the ribbon yarn to make sure it would work with your pattern.

But you knew I was gonna say that, didn’t you? Swatch!

That from the Swatch-less Wonder.

Tee hee hee.

Federal workers are off from work today, so I will not be going to work. I will be going here.

As it happens, I’m taking Monday and Tuesday off from work as well. Debbie Bliss will be at Knit Happens on Tuesday morning and I signed up as soon as I could, so I will so be there!

Wheeeeeee!!!!!!

Hot and Hazy and Humid

That was the weather yesterday. And very poor air quality. Hard to breathe.

Washington was eerily quiet most of yesterday. It was very strange to glance out my office window from time to time and see virtually no traffic. I guess a lot of people took to heart the warnings about not attempting to drive downtown and stayed home. The federal government was on unscheduled leave but, intrepid little civil servant that I am, I soldiered my way into work.

Before they closed the roof of my building for security, I went up and took a photo of the Capitol. Look at that haze!

capitol060904 Hot and Hazy and Humid

And here’s another photo with something you rarely see in the foreground: Constitution Avenue at midday with no traffic.

capitol060904a Hot and Hazy and Humid

Ingeborg

I did work on Ingeborg’s sleeve last night, so she is feeling a bit more loved. Compared to the body pattern, the sleeve pattern is dead simple. And it’s quite a pleasant knit.

ingeborg060904 Hot and Hazy and Humid

My Sweater Designs

I’ve gotten a few questions, in the comments and via email, about when my original patterns will be available for sale. My answer is still: at some point in the future. Lucy and Luanne are being test-knitted and I’m waiting for the comments from all the test-knitters before proceeding any further. Then I’ll need to tweak the patterns as needed. And Lucky is still in pattern development stage.

lucky060904 Hot and Hazy and Humid

Lucy Sez:

lucy060904 Hot and Hazy and Humid

Life’s too short to be dignified all the time. Play with a bendy straw!