My current work in progress:

1. Woodfords, designed by Elizabeth Doherty, knit from Madelinetosh Merino Light in the "paper" colorway on U.S. size 3, 5, and 7 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Koigu, Baby!

It’s all Koigu all the time here at WendyKnits.

I might have gone just a tad overboard on my Koigu purchasing frenzy Wednesday night at Knit Happens.

Kerry, I did leave some Koigu for you — honest! Does it help to know that I was thinking about you as I was grabbing the Kersti? No, I didn’t think it would . . .

So here’s what I purchased.

Ten skeins of Kersti.

kersti120904 Koigu, Baby!

I wound one of the skeins into a ball last night and it accompanied me to work today. I gazed longingly at it all day. It whispered sweet nothing to me. Soon, my pretty . . .

I plan to use this to knit a short-sleeve ribbed raglan pullover. It’s a design I worked up last summer (Lisa) and knit in Rowan Calmer. I wasn’t completely thrilled with the way it looked in Calmer — I’ve tweaked the pattern slightly and I’m thinking I’ll like it better in Kersti.

I did knit a Kersti swatch last night to double-check gauge. I love how this colorway works up! I get to start it as my commuter knitting tomorrow.

It took all of what little willpower I have to not cast on immediately. But I did finish my Kashmir scarf first.

scarf120904 Koigu, Baby!

Okay, it’s almost finished.

Yes, I do remember saying that December is Small Projects Month. This will be a small project because it has short sleeves. So there. (stamps foot)

Speaking of Small Projects . . .

Here’s what else I bought.

koigu120904 Koigu, Baby!

Two skeins each of six colorways of KPPPM. What am I gonna knit with two skeins of KPPPM? I dunno.

I’m thinking about gloves, for starters. Not socks, though.

Hey, here’s an idea. Tell me what you think. Email me here, and tell me what you think I should knit from 2 skeins of Koigu KPPPM. I’ll pick a winner and send said winner a fabulous prize.

Contest rules:

1. One entry per person
2. Tell me a specific pattern and either a link to it (if it’s a free pattern) or where to buy it (if it’s a for-sale pattern)
3. No patterns for socks, gloves, or mittens.
4. Submit your entry to this email address by 4:00pm EST Friday, December 17, 2004, to be considered for the contest.

I haven’t decided on the prize yet, but I promise it’ll be fabulous!

Spinning . . .

I plied some singles!

yarn120904 Koigu, Baby!

Q&A

Another Wendy asked:
So does the use of three Who songs as opening theme’s for CSI, CSI:
Miami, and CSI: NY bother you?

Well . . . it does now. I’ve never seen any of the CSI shows. But now I know. Sigh.

Yet another Wendy asked me to clarify: Do I know the entirety of Tommy by heart? Why yes, I do.

In fact, when I went to see the musical a few years ago, I couldn’t enjoy it. Every single time it strayed from the original rock opera, it bothered me. Intensely. Insanely.

Just so you know: if I ever hear a muzak version of Wish You Were Here, I will not be held accountable for my actions.

Have a good weekend.

lucy120904 Koigu, Baby!

Lefties Rule!

Judging from yesterday’s comments, I’m not alone in this assessment. Clearly, lefties rule!

(Not that righties don’t rule — in their own way!)

I think we should have being lefthanded declared a superpower. Who’s with me? And who do we see about getting that done?

In a show of leftie pride, I’ve applied to join the Leftieblog webring (note new ring in my list of webrings over in de sidebar). Though I did note upon joining that there are more prospective members in the queue than members in the ring, so this could take a while. icon smile Lefties Rule!

Feeling Edgy

Thanks for the helpful comments and suggestions about how I should edge my shawl. I’ve been leaning toward doing a picot edge, because, well, I am a fan of the picot edge.

But . . . but . . . several people pointed out perfectly good beefy lace edgings to me. One of which is on the Highland Triangle Shawl, from Cheryl Oberle’s Folk Shawls.

I was wrapped in this shawl at work today, because it was a tad chilly in the office. I was able to examine the lovely beefiness of the lace up close and personal.

(Aw, crap. Now I want a hamburger.)

What to do? What to do?

Here’s the handspun shawl in progress:

shawl120804 Lefties Rule!

The extraordinarily observant among you may be able to discern that the photo was taken at Knit Happens. I stopped there after work. I showed Cindy how to knit backwards — she did great!

cindy120804 Lefties Rule!

Oh, and I bought just a little bit of Koigu ::cough 22 skeins cough:: and a new knitting bag.

knittingbag120804 Lefties Rule!

A Message From Lucy to Ann

Lucy would like Ann to know that the photo of her yesterday was not a flattering one. She is not nearly as stout as she looked there. That is indeed her lovely furry winter coat that is adding girth to her slender figure.

lucy120804 Lefties Rule!

Why the Use of Let My Love Open the Door in a J.C.Penney Commercial Makes Me Nuts

This next bit is totally non-knitting related. Stop reading now if you’re only here for the knitting. icon smile Lefties Rule!

Yesterday I mentioned how I hate hearing Pete Townshend’s song being used as background music in a J.C.Penney commercial. I went so far as to visit Pete’s website to see if there was a place where I could leave a comment to let him know what I thought about this (like he’d care). Wise man — no place for comments.

I’ve been a fan of Pete’s and The Who’s music for most of my life. Have most if not all the recordings. I don’t need to play them anymore because I can play them in my head whenever I want.

I remember a New Year’s Eve a few years ago when my brother challenged my statement that I knew all the words to Tommy, so I sang the entire thing from start to finish. He was impressed. Not surprisingly, we had been drinking.

Pete’s Empty Glass album is my favorite of his work. I think it’s his best work. And it coincides with a period of my life that was rife with turmoil, so this music (rife with turmoil as it is) became my anthem.

Just like certain knitted items remind me vividly of where I was and what I was doing whilst knitting them, music is an even stronger reminder. (Oops! Got a reference to knitting in there when I said I wasn’t gonna!)

Hearing one of the songs from Empty Glass (even though it’s one of my least favorites from the album) being used in a tv commercial like this makes me sick.

Nissan (I think) used Baba O’Riley a few years ago in one of their commercials. That annoyed me, but not nearly as much as this does.

The Divine Ms. Em posted earlier today a fabulous idea. She’s having a contest where to enter you must (1) tell her what you think is the most egregious existing commercial use of a song, and (2) take a product and think of the worst possible song that could be used in an advertisement for it.

I’ve already submitted my entries.

Life on the Edge

Because I’m slogging through miles of stockinette stitch on my handspun shawl, I’m letting my mind wander.

Well, I’m letting it wander more than usual.

I’m thinking about an edging for the shawl. I’ve pretty much decided I don’t want fringe. I’m not a big fan of the fringe on shawls. I’m thinking more along the lines of a simple lace edging, knitted on sideways to the live stitches at the bottom edge of the shawl.

You know what I mean, right? Nothing too fancy-schmancy, as this is worsted weight handspun. Dainty delicate fairy lace just won’t do. I need some beefy lace, if such a thing exists. Time to get out the stitch dictionaries. And my copy of Knitting on the Edge.

I was interested to read your comments on knitting backwards. I am lefthanded, and I wonder if that has something to do with being able to knit backwards easily. I can write mirror-image as fast as I can write normally. Do any of you lefties out there do that? When I was in college, I took all my notes mirror image, so that other people wouldn’t ask to borrow my class notes. (No, sharing was never one of my strong suits.)

Oh, and I do hold the yarn in the same hand (my left hand) whether knitting backward or forward.

Spinning . . .

Melanie asked:
Your spinning is looking very consistent. I am also a beginning spinner but haven’t worked with a variety of fibers. I’m curious as to how you enjoyed each of the fibers you have spun and how you find one different from another.

As some of you may recall, I ordered a couple of sampler packs of fibers from Jen at Spirit-Trail. This was a great idea. In my two packs I got approximately 14 different fibers, each in the amount of 1 ounce. I’ve been spinning these up and noting which fibers I liked better than others. I think my top two at this point are Rambouillet and Shetland. Though I started spinning up something last night with the somewhat bizarre name of “chocolate cvm.” I have since figured out that “cvm” stands for “California Varigated Mutant.” Anyhow, I do like this mutant wool. All the stuff I like best is soft and springy.

Here’s my “cvm.”

yarn120704 Life on the Edge

The only one I actively did not like was the Leceister Longwool. It was extremely easy to spin, but the resulting yarn is somewhat coarse and hairy. I’ve knitted it into my shawl and I’m not fond of how it knits up, either. But it’s just one little bitty stripe, so it’s staying there.

Scarf It Up!

Update photo:

scarf120704 Life on the Edge

And an extreme close-up:

scarf120704a Life on the Edge

Things That Make Me Nuts

J.C. Penney’s tv ad for their “big sale.” The background music for the ad is Pete Townshend’s Let My Love Open the Door.

Arrrrggghhh.

lucy120704 Life on the Edge

How Could I Not . . .

. . . buy this?

ratnesthead How Could I Not . . .

Entirely apart from the allure of its name, I highly recommend it. Not cheap, but a little teeny tiny bit goes a long way. And it smells like grapefuit, which I love.

I bought mine at Drugstore.com.

Small Project

Here’s what I cast on for last night for commuter knitting.

scarf120604 How Could I Not . . .

A scarf! Wheeee!

I’m doing a herringbone lace pattern and knitting it from Trendsetter Kashmir — that’s 65% cashmere and 35% silk. So soft and yummy it oughta be illegal. But I’m glad it’s not.

Julie asked:
Are you a fan of modular projects? That would solve your commuting needs and provide a use for the small bits of handspun. How about a shawl constructed of diamonds of different hues?

No, I never have been a fan of modular knitting. I’ve tried it and just have never cared for it. But I think your idea of a shawl constructed of handspun diamonds is quite brilliant. It definitely merits further thought.

Speaking of Shawls

The handspun shawl is progressing, albeit slowly. See?

shawl120604 How Could I Not . . .

I’m at the point where each row seems to be — oh — 100 miles long. And to my mind there’s nothing more boring than 100 miles of stockinette stitch.

So, to amuse myself, instead of purling the purl rows, I’ve been knitting backwards. Do you ever do that?

I learned to knit backwards a very long time ago. Up until now, I’ve used it exclusively in the creation of bobbles. You know, where you have to work on a few stitches back and forth a few times and then cast off all stitches into one to make the bobble.

Last night I started knitting backwards on one of the purl rows on my shawl and made two amazing discoveries.

Amazing Discovery Number One: Knitting backwards instead of purling does not change my gauge.

Amazing Discovery Number Two: I can knit backwards faster than I can purl.

Both of these Amazing Discoveries . . . well . . . amazed me. I heartily encourage any of you who do not like to purl to try knitting backwards. If you do a Google search for — you guessed it — “knitting backwards” you will get a number of sites with instructions, some with photos or video.

Lucy seems unimpressed.

lucy120604 How Could I Not . . .

P.S. to Caroline

I bought handcarders last week.

December is Small Project Month

At least it is at WendyKnits.

I did the same thing last December: knitted a lot of small fun projects before embarking on a sweater project on New Year’s Eve. I had such fun doing this that I decided to have a repeat this year.

I’ve finished my AbFab afghan.

abfab120504 December is Small Project Month

It’s now neatly folded over the back of the couch.

abfab120504a December is Small Project Month

I’m knitting on my handspun shawl.

shawl120504 December is Small Project Month

The shawl is a bit awkward now for commuter knitting, so I need to start a small project to take on the train to work. I’ll cast on for a scarf tonight.

I spun some more yarn:

yarn120504 December is Small Project Month

That’s Rambouillet on top (yum!) and Leicester Longwool on the bottom.

Getting Twisted

Mia commented:
Nice spinning there for just a beginner! But I’m wondering if you’re setting the twist on all those little balls before you knit them into your shawl? If not, aren’t you a little worried about how the shawl will react when it’s washed? I always wash or steam my yarn after spinning, before I use it so I was just wondering what you do.

Yes, I do set the twist after plying my yarn. I wash the skeined yarn in warm water with wool wash, then rinse it and gently squeeze as much water out as possible. I hang it up to dry with a metal S-hook hooked onto the bottom of the skein as a weight.

The back of my bathroom door almost always has a hanger on the hook with a skein of yarn on it, drying.

Secret Pal 3

My Secret Pal 3 who has kept me delighted with her postcards and gifts over the past several months has revealed herself to me: she is Elise. Thank you Elise, for being such a lovely Secret Pal!

lucy120504 December is Small Project Month