My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Doh!

Remember the lovely cone of green yarn pictured in Friday’s blog entry? It’s not wool, it’s 100% cashmere! I should have figured that out, given its incredible software, but it took an email from Jun to set me straight. Here’s a close-up:

cashmere102204 Doh!

Hmmmmmm . . . I’ve been having some fun, thinking about what I can use this for!

Lucy and I had fun together on my day off on Friday. Here’s what my hair looked like:

hair102204 Doh!

And here’s what Lucy’s hair looked like:

lucy102204 Doh!

Obviously Lucy has a better beauty regime.

The Best Chocolate Cake in the World

Is this:

cake102404 Doh!

I used a recipe from the “Chocolate and Zucchini” blog — here.

I used Valrhona baking chocolate. I am a firm believer in using the best quality chocolate possible, and I really really like Valrhona baking chocolate. You can mail order it in the U.S. from a number of different places — do a Google search to find a place.

That was Lucy’s daddy’s birthday cake.

Which reminds me: Jenifleur asked in a comment on Friday:

I’m confused and I can’t be the only one. We are familiar with Lucy’s dad, but I think some of us would like to know how he is Lucy’s dad. Don’t mean to disspell the mystery or anything, just curious!

Lucy’s daddy answered that question:

That’s kind of an odd question. She should be able to figure out that I’m simply the male authority figure in Lucy’s life, so she considers me her daddy, particularly since she is adopted and all that, eh?

I mean . . . y’all knew that Lucy was adopted, right?

Laura

I did finish the Laura sweater on Friday — see?

laura102404 Doh!

And I returned to working on something I put on hold last summer.

ingrid102404 Doh!

Lucy sez . . .

Your tv choices are boring me!

lucy102404 Doh!

The Kindness of Knitters

Once again I am overwhelmed by the kindness of knitters.

When I went to Knit Happens Wednesday night, there were two packages waiting for me! For me!!

And not just any packages, but packages from far away: New Zealand and Japan.

The New Zealand package contained these:

wallace102104 The Kindness of Knitters

Wallace & Gromit knitting patterns. How fun! These were sent to me by Sally, along with a lovely note written on an extremely cute notecard.

The Japan package contained these:

tweed102104 The Kindness of Knitters

Three beautiful Japanese knitting magazines. And a cone of lovely fine green (my favorite color!) wool. AND two skeins of yarn that looks a lot like Noro Kureyon, but isn’t. I love the colorway and think it’ll make a lovely scarf. All these goodies were sent to me by Jun, who also enclosed a sweet note — on an adorable Knitters Review notecard.

Thank you both, Sally and Jun!

Wensleydale Longwool Kit

The hat and scarf kit I showed in my blog the other day says that it’s from the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop. Their website is here. I think I’ll be knitting up this kit over the holidays.

I like to knit small things over the holidays. Last year it was hats, scarves and kitty beds, as I recall. I’ve got lots of fun new yarns for scarves right now, so perhaps this year I’ll come up with a medley of scarves!

Warning: Sleevage Ahead

The first sleeve of Laura is complete. I slopped it down on the carpet and took a photo.

laura102104 The Kindness of Knitters

And I started the second sleeve. Here’s a close-up of knitting through the back loop:

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And of purling through the back loop:

ptbl102104 The Kindness of Knitters

Critter Knitters Prize Update

As of this moment, I have six prizes yet to be mailed out. Some of those (as many as I can carry) will be mailed today, some early next week. My goal was to get all the prizes mailed out by the end of October, and it looks like I’ll be meeting the goal.

I started out by emailing recipients when I mailed, but that quickly became too labor-intensive. The mailing of the prizes has been an overwhelming task. I now know just how long it takes to package up 70 prizes and just how expensive it is to mail them all out. Thank you to those of you who contributed money towards the mailing costs. It was very much appreciated.

And thank you for your patience with me. If you haven’t received your prize yet, you should be getting it soon. Lightweight packages were sent first class or priority, heavier ones parcel post. Books were sent via media mail.

Lucy is guarding the boxes here.

lucy102104 The Kindness of Knitters

Okay kids. I have the day off work! I have the day off work! That means I’m posting shortly after midnight, then going to bed and sleeping as late as I can. Then Lucy and I are going to make a birthday feast for her daddy.

Have a good weekend all!

Greetings From Sleeve Island

Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here.

postcard102004 Greetings From Sleeve Island

(The postcard was sent to me by my SP3! Thanks, Pal!)

No — really. Sleeve island can be a wonderful place, particularly when you are knitting with yarn that could be considered the nectar of the gods: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk.

Speaking of Debbie Bliss — have you seen her new website? It’s quite fabulous!

Here is the sleeve, reclining mysteriously in the shadows:

laura102004 Greetings From Sleeve Island

And just for fun, one more close-up of twisty rib!

laura102004a Greetings From Sleeve Island

Yarn Sniffers of the World, Unite!

It was nice to see so many yarn sniffers confess in the comments yesterday. It’s always comforting to know that one’s weird behavior is shared by others.

Lucy, by the way, is also a yarn-sniffer. Though she is not give the opportunity to sniff yarn without adult supervision.

Not if I can help it, anyhow.

This peeves her.

lucy102004 Greetings From Sleeve Island

P.S. Go Sox!!!!

Bitter and Twisted

Actually, today’s title has nothing to do with the blog entry. It’s just that all day yesterday the song Bitter and Twisted was running through my head. Anyone else remember McVicar? Wow — thanks to a Google search, I discovered that John McVicar has a website. If y’all click on the link he’s going to wonder wot the bloody hell is going on with all those referrals from a knitting website. Hee hee hee.

(Scary factoid du jour: I used to listed to Bitter and Twisted every morning before leaving for work to get myself into the proper frame of mind.)

Ahem.

Laura now has a front to match her back — see?

laura101904 Bitter and Twisted

And I’m now back on Sleeve Island. It’s a good thing I asked the cabana boy to hold my deck chair for me.

And because other than the front of Laura I got nuthin’, I’m going to torment you with a giftie I received in the mail.

This, from my lovely lovely friend Amelia!

colinette101904 Bitter and Twisted

This is two skeins of Colinette Tagliatelli, in the Tapis colorway. You may all pause to drool now.

I adore Colinette.

And this!

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This is a wonderful little kit to knit a hat and scarf, from Wensleydale Longwool, in the natural “black” and marl. And it contains a length of curly fleece, to be knitted into the ends of the scarf to form a fringe. How cool is that??!!

As it happens, I lust after Wensleydale wool. And these skeins have that lovely sheepie smell to them.

(Does it make me weird that I spent all evening happily inhaing the fumes from my new wool? Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

Thank you Amelia!!

(I also adore Wensleydale cheese. But that’s another story.)

And Now For Something Completely Different

Is anyone interested in making a kitty bed for a deserving kitten in the UK? The recipient will pay, and I am making my kitty bed pattern available to the knitter who wants to take this on.

If you want more information, please send me an email, and I’ll forward it to the party who desires said kitty bed. A good opportunity for a UK knitter, but recipient also has a US P.O. box, so US knitters may apply as well.

That’s all the info I have — I’m simply acting as go-between here, trying to do a good deed.

Lucy says that all little kittens deserve hand knit kitty beds!

lucy101904 Bitter and Twisted

Twisted

No, I’m not talking about myself.

I’m talking about the ribbing on Laura.

Lookie here:

laura101804 Twisted

I am a fan of the twisted rib. How to do it? Assuming an even number of stitches:

Row 1 (right side): [knit 1 through back loop, purl 1] to end of row.
Row 2: [purl 1 through back loop, knit 1] to end of row.

As easy as pie. (When I say “pie” I am pronouncing it the way Cartman does, by the way. “Pahhhhh . . .” Get it?)

And when you do this, the wrong side just looks like normal knitting. Cool, eh?

laura101804a Twisted

Lucy’s being a good little watch cat and is keeping a close eye on Laura.

lucy101804 Twisted

Eloise Buttons

After a request in the comments for a close-up of my Eloise buttons I responded that I had tried to take a close-up but had a tough time getting a usable photo.

But then it occurred to me to pinch the photo from the eBay auction listing. Duh.

So here they are!

aur bt101804 Twisted

But I really liked this suggestion from Amy:

Have you tried using a tripod for taking close-up photos? I bought a really cheap one that does the job…my close-ups are much, much nicer now, i.e. they actually look like something icon wink Twisted

I do have a tripod. I also have a macro lens for close-ups. Most of time I am too lazy (or rushed) to actually haul them out.

Another problem is the season. This time of year it’s dark when I leave for work and getting dark when I get home, so natural light photos are pretty much out of the question.

Wearability?

KeLee asked:

I am curious, do you wear a sweater every day to work? I look at all the beautiful things you have knit over the years and can’t figure out how you could not. icon smile Twisted

Well, thank you!

And the truth is that my sweaters get very little wear. I work in an office where regulating the heat is capricious at best. So I hesitate to wear a sweater a lot of the time. Yes, I know that one can actually remove a sweater should one get too warm, but that would require me to be wearing an outfit that’s work-appropriate with the sweater removed. I don’t consider a cotton turtleneck and pants or skirt (which is what I usually wear with sweaters) work-appropriate for me, without the accompanying sweater. Call me weird — you won’t be the first.

I actually have some sweaters that I’ve never worn, and many that have only been worn once or twice.

Though I did successfully wear Eloise yesterday. Woo-hoo!

I’m Not Trying to Start an Argument Here . . .

But leaving the house at 5:00am is so not the same as getting up at 5:30am.

I’m just saying.

Sadly, this horror that I call my morning routine is necessitated by the State of the Commute in the DC area. If I want to be able to park at the train station, I need to be there before 5:30am. However, if I actually want to be guaranteed to be able to sit down on the 45 minute train ride (and I do), I need to get on the 5:15am train.

Nuts, ain’t it?

No, I’m not asking for sympathy or advice . . . just responding to questions asked. I’m used to the routine. Sort of.

And I do get to leave the office at around 3pm on a good day.