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.

Lenny

lenny122304 Lenny

He and Katarina are getting to know each other.

Single drive, scotch tension. What a concept. I fiddled with it, spun some practice fiber, fiddled some more and ding! My moment of zen. The light bulb turned on. Lenny is quiet, smooth, and debonair. My singles were looking quite even and nicely twisted in short order.

lenny122304a Lenny

Lucy offered her opinion:

lucy122304 Lenny

We Have Knitting!

Can anyone identify this?

design122304 Lenny

The Perfect Margarita

Sara asked:
What is your favorite flavor of margarita?

As far as I’m concerned, this is the ultimate margarita:

1 ounce tequila
1 ounce cointreau
1 ounce key lime juice

Served over ice. No salt, no frozen crap. YUM.

Except when I make ‘em, it’s usually 3 ounces tequila, 3 ounces cointreau, 3 ounces key lime juice. Saves having to get up and make another one. Ya know?

By the way, shortly after posting last night, I saw an advertisement on FX that they were doing a 24 hour marathon of Jingle All the Way Christmas Eve into Christmas Day (as mentioned in the comments by Kim). Upon hearing that, I felt woozy with horror. Why would a television network want to torture their viewers?

By the way, I have nothing against A Christmas Story (though I will admit it’s not one of my favorites). I just don’t “get” showing the same movie over and over and over for 24 hours.

This is my last post until after Christmas. Thanks for all the good wishes, fun, and friendship. Happy Holidays to all!

Why Do I Need a Second Wheel?

That was a question in the comments to yesterday’s blog entry.

For starters, the Lendrum is a portable folding wheel (yes Claudia, I ordered the custom padded bag for it as well!) and Katarina is not. I’ll be able to take Lenny with me to Remote Locations. Ooooooooh.

But I won’t be taking Lenny on my commute on the train. Still . . . wouldn’t that be cool? Spinning on the train during rush hour?

Another alluring thing about Lenny is his plying head with the extra large bobbin. That’ll be very handy. He also comes with a fast flyer.

But I liked Juliette’s answer best: “Because.”

Tree Watch

The fake tree is up.

lucy122204 Why Do I Need a Second Wheel?

I’m sorry, what was that? I’m supposed to decorate it too? Aw, crap.

Can Anyone Explain This?

How can TBS possibly think it’s a good idea to show the movie A Christmas Story over and over and over starting 8pm December 24th straight through until 8pm December 25th? Am I missing something here?

And I just realized that I haven’t seen a tv listing for It’s a Wonderful Life once this month. Huh?

Alert the Media

Lucy and I are going to wrap presents tonight. As soon as I post this I’ll be making myself a very large Margarita indeed and giving Lucy a big ol’ pinch of catnip. And then we’re gonna dive in with both hands and both feet. And four paws. Hijinks will no doubt ensue.

In Case You Are Wondering

What did I do with the blue Coopworth yarn I spun? It went to a happy home!

Didja Notice?

There’s like no knitting content in this post? I did finish my stealth holiday project at lunch today, but I can’t post a photo because the giftee reads my blog. And I’m devoting the evening to cleaning and gift wrapping. So instead of knitting content, all you’ll find here are dusty dry tumbleweeds.

Sad, really.

My New Wheel

My new wheel is scheduled to be delivered on Thursday. It is a Lendrum double treadle complete folding wheel. I purchased it from Bountiful. The extremely nice lady I talked to on the phone told me she had several in stock, so if you’re looking for this wheel, there you have it.

So Lenny the Lendrum should be delivered on Thursday. Starting Friday, I am off from work until January 10. Ahhhhhhhhh . . .

I foresee lots of spinning.

Speaking of spinning, my current spinning project:

Staid grey wool.

yarn122104 My New Wheel

It occurs to me that I ought to slop the gifts into the gift bags (yup, bought the gift bags ages ago) before the wheel gets here, otherwise there may be serious problems with getting that done.

And the fake tree was delivered today. I really ought to put it together tonight.

tree122104 My New Wheel

Stash Enhancement

I made an unscheduled surprise trip to Knit Happens this past Sunday. I saw the Kaalund mohair yarn in person (in yarn?) that Kristine blogged about last week on the shop blog. It is indeed glorious. And some of it asked nicely to come home with me.

What could I do? It said “please take me home.”

I am a sucker for nice polite yarn. I also forgot to take a photo of said nice polite yarn. Doh!

I bought one skein each of “Toucan” and “Forest Floor.” There’s a color chart here.

Poor Deprived Kitty

Some of you commented on yesterday’s photo of Lucy and the sad lack of kitty toys shown. I believe there were only four catnip mice visible in the photo. And only one of those mice was knitted from cashmere! Poor Lucy!

lucy122104 My New Wheel

Hair Update

Several of you have left comments asking about the state of my hair. Some of you have emailed me with similar questions.

Nope, I’ve not had it cut yet. See?

wendy122104 My New Wheel

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cough up a lung.

Holidaze?

In cruising around the knit-blog-iverse, I note a lot of people in full holiday panic mode. And rightly so, I guess — it’s just a few days until Christmas, right?

You may have noticed that I’ve made no mention of holiday preparations. There’s a reason for that. I . . . um . . . haven’t made any holiday preparations.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I did slop a few holiday cards in envelopes last week and sent them out. But holiday baking? Zilch, apart from the stuff I made to take to work for the office party. Decorating? Zip, apart from ordering a prelit fake tree is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow and that I may or may not actually assemble before Christmas.

Lucy is primping for Santa on the off chance that I get my act together.

lucy122004 Holidaze?

Gift knitting? I am, believe it or not, ahead of the game here. I finished my gift knitting months ago. Though I do have one bit of holiday stealth knitting to do, but it’ll be done in the next couple of days.

So, you say, surely she’s wrapped all her gifts? You would be wrong. Nothing is wrapped. Gifts are stuffed here and there, hither and yon, all over my home. I’ll be doing well to find where I put them all. I do have some holiday giftwrap, however.

I’ll be wrapping gifts Christmas Eve, no doubt. With Lucy “helping” me, I’m sure. While I’m at it, it wouldn’t kill me to vacuum. Not only is there cat hair all over, but little bits of fiber from my spinning pursuits.

Doesn’t all this really make you wanna come over to my place for Christmas?

COLD

Holy crap it was cold today! It was 11 degrees F. this morning with winds of 20-30 mph which made for a very nippy commute. I still have a cough and I’m sure being out in that weather didn’t help much.

When I was leaving for work this morning Lucy was huddled on my bed, all fluffed up, so I turned up the master bedroom thermostat a bit for her before I left. And thought about her snug and warm all day, as I sat in my chilly office that has a breeze coming in around the window. Brrrrrrrrr!

Good thing I have plenty of knitted items at the office to wrap up in.

(Some of you who live in colder climes may think “Huh! that’s nothing!” but believe me, when you’re not used to it, it’s something!)

I Do Still Knit

Proof:

lisa122004 Holidaze?

The Koigu Kersti sweater, nearly completed. Just gotta put it together, ya know?

Ply Me to the Moon

Thank you for all your kind comments about my spinning. I attribute any success I’ve had to beginner’s luck and easy-to-spin fiber.

Here’s some woool/alpaca blend:

yarn122004 Holidaze?

Deb asked:
I’m curious, though–now that you have the wheel, are you still using your drop spindles?

Um, er . . . no I haven’t. And it’s quite possible that I . . . uh . . . ordered a second wheel.

Mia asked:
Can I ask how you ply? It almost looks like navajo plying … very rounded yarn.. usually two ply comes out looking a little flat.. just wondering!

It’s two ply — plied with a z-twist on my wheel. Mebbe it looks more rounded because I photographed it after the skein was washed and hung to set the twist.

Kim asked:
What type of drafting method are you using? I’m still using a short draw, which is okay, but feels a bit slow to me. I’m thinking of attempting a long draw, but I’m really nervous.

Kim, I think what I’m doing is sort of a hybrid between short and long draw. It depends on the fiber — the easier it is to spin, the longer the draw!

Y’all know that I’m just faking this spinning stuff, right? I’m just making it up figuring it out as I go along.

The Best Yarn Ever

Not the best yarn ever, ever. But the best yarn I’ve spun so far. Lookie here:

redyarn121904 The Best Yarn <i>Ever</i>

This is 4 ounces of what I think is Cormo (doh! forgot what it was) that I’ve spun and plied — it’s approximately sportweight. It’s my best, most even spinning to date.

Though I am very pleased with the blue Coopworth I did last week.

blueyarn121904 The Best Yarn <i>Ever</i>

There’s approximately 8 ounces of that. Amie asked where I bought the Coopworth. I got it on eBay, from a seller called “jehovahjirehfarm.” They’ve got some very pretty dyed Coopworth roving.

Thank-you

For all your kind comments and notes last week. I think I’m going to live. I’ve still got a cough and congestion and feel crappy, but not nearly as crappy as I did last week.

Nurse Lucy, I discovered doesn’t have much of a bedside manner. She obviously didn’t want to catch my cold:

lucy121904 The Best Yarn <i>Ever</i>

She’s on top of the wall unit in the living room.

Just kidding about the bedside manner. She slept snuggled up with me, purring happily.

I did haul my sorry butt into work on Friday. I hate being sick and hate taking sick days. I am in denial about being sick. The last time I called in sick was in 2001.

What to Do With Two Skeins of Koigu

And thank-you to everyone who entered the Koigu contest. I compiled my favorites among your responses and have posted them here. I’ll link to that page from my main knitting page, eventually.

And I chose a winner at random: Bonney in NH, who was one of several people who suggested the Caryl Kerchief. Bonney will receive as a prize three skeins of Debblie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Ought to be enough for a hat or a scarf. And if you don’t mind Bonney, I’ll mail it next week, (hopefully) after the frenzy of holiday shipping has died down.

Critter Knitters Challenge 2005

Katy has just started a new charity project — Critter Knitters Challenge 2005. For every knit or crocheted pet blanket donated between now and January 31st, 2005, she willl donate $1 toward funding a school art project of her choice, up to a maximum of $500.

The Yahoo group page for it is here.

So if you’d like to help out, head on over!

Knitbloggers Knitting Basket Project

We are still receiving donations for this project (details and donate button in the sidebar). Deb and I would like to once again thank everyone who has donated so far. An encourage anyone who is thinking about donating to jump on board!