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.

Columbus Day

It’s Columbus Day! For federal workers in the United States, that means a day off from work.

Aaaaahhhh. A day to rest.

As I tiptoed through the blogring last week I noticed a number of people remarking on how tired they’ve been lately. So I’m not alone. I thought it was just me. So what is it? The weather?

Well, here’s the weather from yesterday.

sky101004 Columbus Day

Me, I think I’m just over-extended. I’ve got too many things to do. Too many projects, too much to think about, not enough time. And definitely not enough sleep.

I’m hoping to spend my Columbus Day getting things in some semblance of order in my home.

But first things first.

Blog Contest Winner

The winner of the Noro Silk Garden is Yvonne in Ohio. Congratulations! Your prize will be on its way tomorrow.

Kitty Bed Update

I finished knitting my kittybed on Saturday, and thought it would make a lovely hat.

kittybed101004 Columbus Day

Maybe just a tad large.

I knitted it from one strand of Big Kureyon held with one stand of Dale Heilo on the bottom, then two strands of Big Kureyon held with one stand of Dale Heilo on the sides, then finished off the top with just two strands of Heilo.

Pre-felted:

kittybed101004a Columbus Day

I ran it through three full cycles in the washer. Here it is blocking:

kittybed101004b Columbus Day

The sides are quite sturdy and it curves in a little at the top because of the two rows knitted with just the Heilo at the top. I’ve very pleased with it. It’s about 18 inches in diameter finished size.

Once it’s dry, it’s off to Petfinder. com it goes!

Butterfly

I finished Butterfly on Saturday, too.

Here is the in-the-bathroom mirror photo, a la Julie:

butterfly101004 Columbus Day

Not a great photo because I didn’t want to use the flash in the mirror and the light’s not great.

Note my lovely t-shirt and sweatpants.

Note also that I did knitted i-cord ties at the collar. I’m very pleased with that.

I’m also very pleased that I read Claudia’s blog entry about her Butterfly and the growing shoulder seams. I backstitched mine extremely firmly, so they ain’t going anywhere. I also shortened my sleeves by an inch.

Eloise

And then I started knitting Eloise, a pattern in the same Jane Ellison book as Butterfly, in Blossom color 6.

eloise101004 Columbus Day

This yarn is great fun to knit!

To My Secret Pal 3

Ian and I just want you to know how very much we’ve been enjoying the yummy Bonnat chocolate you sent. We only allow ourselves a tiny bit on the weekends, to make it last. It is fabulous!

Speaking of Fabulous . . .

lucy101004 Columbus Day

All is Revealed

lucyfur100604 All is Revealed

This photo should give you a very strong hint about what the rare, precious, and beautiful fiber in yesterday’s blog entry is.

Yes, it is 100% Lucy-fur, spun by the extremely talented L-B.

And you can see from the photo that Lucy was intensely interested in it.

We had some discussion about what I should make from it. I think it’ll become a catnip mouse for Lucy. That oughta freak her out, huh?

We also discussed the possibility of offering it for auction on eBay. Considering the source, Lucy the Glamour-Puss, the bidding ought to go high enough for me to pay off my mortgage, don’t you think? And of course give L-B a cut for doing the spinning.

And then there was the suggestion that I shave Miss Lucy. I said if I were to do that, I’d have to knit her a sweater from her own fur.

Yes, I think a Lucy-fur catnip mouse is what it will become.

And congratulations to Clare in the UK for being the first person to send me the correct answers to both parts of the question. Rare Precious & Beautiful (Volumes 1 & 2) were albums by the BeeGees — very early work, released in 1968, I believe. Before a bunch of you were born. Ahem.

What I Bought at Knit Happens

This!

blossom100704 All is Revealed

Ten skeins of Noro Blossom, color #6. Mwha-ha-ha!

I plan to use it to make Eloise, from the new Jane Ellison Noro book.

eloise All is Revealed

Spindle Fever

Thanks to everyone who commented or emailed me advice about spindles. Stay tuned . . .

Don’t Fergit!

Entries for the October contest must reach me by 5:00pm EST today. Instructions for entering are in Monday’s entry. Scroll on down . . .

The sky is still blue here, by the way.

sky100704 All is Revealed

I’m still knitting on Butterfly.

butterfly100704 All is Revealed

And Lucy is still cute.

lucy100704 All is Revealed

Rare Precious & Beautiful

Before I get into what I’m talking about, who among you knows what the title could refer to in the world of pop music?

Googling is not permitted. You are on your honor.

If you think you know, AND you can also identify the rare, precious, and beautiful fiber pictured below, send me an email at my regular address (“Contact Me” link over in the sidebar). I’ll send a little prize to the first person to get both parts of the question right.

And if you were at Knit Happens yesterday and saw this rare, precious, and beautiful fiber up close and personal and found out what it was, sorry, you can’t play!

Here it is:

rarefiber100604 Rare Precious & Beautiful

What could it be? Full disclosure tomorrow!

L-B came up for the day and we spent the day at Knit Happens. Fun, fun, fun!

L-B had entered some of her work in the Virginia State Fair — she won a ribbon for her beautiful Fulmar!

lbfulmar Rare Precious & Beautiful

And she won second prize in the “Nimble Fingers” contest for her very speedy knitting!

nimblefingers Rare Precious & Beautiful

She also won a first place for her beautiful lavender wands, made from her own home-grown lavender!

lavender100604 Rare Precious & Beautiful

The other day I mentioned that I’d like to learn how to spin with a drop spindle, so of course she brought me a bag of roving to practice on:

roving100604 Rare Precious & Beautiful

Doesn’t that look inviting??!! And everyone calls me an enabler!

That brings me to a question for you spinners out there — what drop spindle would you recommend for a beginner?

I worked a little on Butterfly’s back while at the shop.

butterfly100604 Rare Precious & Beautiful

I did shorten the sleeves somewhat from the pattern directions, by the way. We’ll see how they turn out in the finished sweater.

I didn’t stay for late night — I was ready to fall asleep by late afternoon because I’ve not gotten nearly enough sleep lately. I came home, did a few rounds on Butterfly, and made some progress on my kitty bed.

Tune in tomorrow to see what I bought at Knit Happens!

Lucy can’t wait!

lucy100604 Rare Precious & Beautiful

Historic Day

Yesterday was a historic day at Wendyknits.

For it was yesterday at lunchtime that the first meeting of the Department of Labor Lunchtime Knitting Group took place.

It all came about when someone from another agency in Labor emailed me after The Washington Post article ran next month, asking about the possibility of a lunchtime knitting group at work. And a few days later I got another email inquiry. And then a woman who works in my agency mentioned that she used to knit and wanted to get back into it.

That was enough for me!

We had lots of fun! A couple people who were interested couldn’t make it, but hopefully will be able to attend in the future.

I now have my own little downtown knitting posse. I am verklempt.

Here we are:

dolgroup100504 Historic Day

Left to right: Jennifer, Kate, and Meg. Hi guys! [waving wildly]

Yes, I browbeat them into letting me photograph them. A girl’s gotta have blog fodder, you know!

How To Make Wendy Almost Want To Do Intarsia

My Secret Pal 2 sent me this link.

(Warning — a couple of pop-ups will open when you click on it if you don’t have a pop-up stopper, but they are nothing nasty.)

Butterfly Update

I finished the second sleeve. Here are the two sleeves, side by side:

butterfly100504 Historic Day

I am very pleased at how well the stripes matched up.

Lucy, too, was impressed.

lucy100504 Historic Day

I have the day off from work today. Yay!

A word of warning to Holly: We’re coming in!!!!

Fern: A Dirty Little Secret

Heh heh heh. I was planning to reveal this dastardly secret to you today anyway, and yesterday got a very timely comment question from Debbi:

How does Fern *wear*? Is it one of those sweaters you have to worry
over or fiddle with, or is it comfortable and can you forget about the
asymmetrical closure? It looks gorgeous; I especially love the length and
drape of it. But the older I get, the more I am All About Comfort.

It’s a fiddle sweater. Or would that be a fiddlehead fern (hee hee!)?

It is more accurate to say that it WAS a fiddle sweater. Because on Sunday afternoon I carefully overlapped and pinned it — then sewed the fronts together. So that baby ain’t going nowhere. I didn’t see any reason not to — it’s not like I’d ever wear it open.

A Hair-Raising Tale

I appreciate all your suggestions about the evil creature that is my hair. All those suggestions have been tried in the past. Anti-frizz serum? Been there (even though my hair is not frizzy in the least). Combing it wet? Suffered through it. My hair actually comes out of the shower looking like that. Antihumectant and other conditioners and treatments? Tried ‘em all. I don’t use leave-in products because they make my hair look and feel incredibly greasy (no matter how little I use) within an hour of use.

The problem is, I believe, that I have really really fine hair, but I have a whole heckuva lot of it. It takes forever to blow-dry. When I was in college I had it long — check out this photo of me from 1979. I used to let it air dry, and it was so thick it would still be damp underneath at the end of the day.

The one thing I haven’t tried is this intriguing suggeston from Judy:

One thing I have found that helps a great deal is putting conditioner on the shanks (for lack of a better word) of my hair BEFORE shampooing, then just shampooing the roots and my scalp. Then you rinse it all out and condition all over again, but rinsing for only a few seconds.

Interesting! I might just need to try that, but only the first part of it. I’ve yet to find a conditioner that doesn’t leave my hair feeling dirty, no matter how little I use or how long I rinse. And I’ve tried ‘em all! So double-conditioning might lead to disaster of epic proportions.

One more thing. I am Queen of the Hair Dryers. I’ve worked my way through many a hair dryer and the CHI Ceramic Ionic Hair Dryer is by far the best one I’ve ever owned. I love it. Dries faster and causes less damage to hair, also reduces static.

Enough hair talk. Back to knitting.

Butterfly

I’m chugging along on the second sleeve. But I still have the back to do as well.

butterfly100404 Fern: A Dirty Little Secret

The sleeves match at the bottom, and that’s enough to make me happy.

A Musical Interlude

From an email from Ian yesterday:

Check out this one:
http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/exclusives/record_collection/

and navigate down into the first group in “Dave’s Record Archive”, and the 4th link on the right side will be “The Kathy Anderson Listen & Learn Knitting Album”. Click and a small popup window will open for Real Player and an excerpt from that album will play.

Sorry, but getting the direct link is impossible.

Blog Contest

Just so you know, if you’ve written any personal messages or asked questions in your contest entry email (see yesterday’s entry), its very likely I haven’t read it. I’ve gotten over 1,000 email entries so far and just don’t have time to open and read ‘em all. (I bet Comcast just loves me.) It’s nothing personal, I’m not trying to ignore anyone! If you have a question, please ask it in the comments, or use my regular email address (the “Contact Me” link in the sidebar.) I use a random number generator, by the way, to pick the winner.

Blue Sky!

Not to be outdone by Donna, here’s a photo of the sky over D.C. yesterday.

sky100404 Fern: A Dirty Little Secret

Lucy

lucy100404 Fern: A Dirty Little Secret

Lucy would like you to know that she loves to be brushed. Particularly so when it’s her daddy doing the brushing!