My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for January 2005

Chasing Winter Away

How Lucy deals with a cold dreary day:


Looks like a good idea to me. But instead, I pulled out this:


This is 100% mohair roving, handpainted in a rainbow of colors. Here are the singles it made:


Relentlessly cheerful, don’t you think? Here it is plied:


Definitely the thing to brighten up a dreary day!

Here’s yesterday singles plied:


The fiber was purchased from Ravenheart Treasures, by the way.

And the shawl continues:


At this moment I’m on row 113, ten rows from switching to the second lace pattern — vine lace.

In answer to a comments question, I’m working extra repeats of the lace pattern into the shawl as there is room for them. It keeps me awake, anyhow!

The Fickleness of Moi, Part Deux

Work commenced on my sweater being knitted from my handspun Corriedale. I started it with the feather and fan pattern on the lower edge.

Eight inches into the back, I decided I didn’t like it. So I ripped it out, and restarted it using a vine lace pattern on the bottom edge, only getting a few rows into it before going to bed Friday night.


I woke (way too early) on Saturday morning, thinking about vine lace. Vine lace, grape vines, grapes.

So I got up and charted out a pattern for a triangular lace shawl. Clusters of yarn-overs to depict grapes on the top part, with a deep border of vine lace around the border. Then a knitted-on lace edging.

I made a foray into the stash room to look for the perfect yarn. Having an obscenely large stash has its advantages — I found the perfect yarn. 100% silk yarn, dk weight, from Spirit Trail. It’s hand-dyed in lavender and pale green.


So I started the shawl.


I’m knitting on US 8 needles. Pre-blocked it’s about 5 stitches to the inch. I expect it to block out to 3.5 or 4 stitchs/inch.


And to ensure that the winter blahs stay away. I’m spinning some handpainted merino roving.


Here’s what the singles look like:


Lucy watches from a safe distance!


About that eBay Auction . . .

A question from the comments concerning last week’s post about the eBay auction:

Just curious, would you feel the same way if your link was included in a ‘knitting on the net’ type book for sale in bookstores?

That’s not the point. I responded via email to the commenter thusly:

Links of mine have been included in a book — and the author emailed me first for permission, by the way. Also, there was no statement in the book encouraging people to use my free pattern to knit something for sale (in direct violation of my copyright statement) like there was in this ebay auction.

My original complaint was that this woman was using a link to my website to advertise something she was selling. And that is indeed in violation of eBay’s listing rules.

At some point the seller removed her link to my site and revised her auction description to include this statement:

Because of copyright laws, you cannot sell the patterns themselves. You can, however, sell what you make with them. All of these links take you to the web sites of many people who have taken the time to share their time and talents on the internet free of charge. You can of course print out the pattern on your own computer, knit it and then sell the finished item.

Charming, no? I sent her a message politely asking her to remove the link to my site from the list she is selling, pointing out that her statement is in violation of my copyright statement (which is clearly posted on each of my free pattern pages). She sent me an email saying she had removed my link.

I emailed her back the following:

You might want to check the copyright notices on other free patterns you are including in your list of links — many of them state in their copyright notices that the pattern may not be used for commercial purposes. Either that or not tell people in your item description that they can knit items from these patterns and sell them.

And she actually revised her auction description to take out the crap about selling things made from the free patterns. Good.

This morning I received several emails from her, all containing this message (which I see I’m not the only one to have received):

I am a 63 year old woman who has chronic pain due to mercury poisoning and my husband is unable to work. I am applying for social security benefits but this is taking a long time. Since I am home bound and cannot work, I thought this idea to share knitting patterns that were offered free was a good idea. I have to pay 40 cents to list this auction, pay another 40 cents to eBay in final value fees and then if a buyer pays with PayPal, they charge another 40 cents. So, my profit margin was not too large. I am sorry that many of you have decided to carry on a campaign to threaten and belittle me. I cannot fight you any longer. I give up. Whether or not you believe me is not important. Please tell all of your friends to leave me alone now.

I responded:

As a long-time user of ebay, I am well aware of their pricing structure. I also know their rules for listing. I emailed you directly rather than file a complaint with ebay about your using my graphics to advertise your auction (and later about your encouraging people to make things to sell using copyrighted patterns) as a courtesy. Nothing in any of my emails to you was combative or unpleasant.

One of my friends pointed out your auction out to me — that’s how I found out about it. I do not know who else may have emailed you about this auction — I certainly never asked any one to.

As far as I’m concerned, as long as you don’t use anything from any of my websites to advertise your auctions, or encourage people to make things to sell using my copyrighted patterns, there is no problem. Please stop emailing me — I received the email below from you several times. Thanks.

So there you have it. Call me cynical, but the hard-luck story she carted out makes me think she’s just a scammer.

When someone emails me, wanting me to send them copies of copyrighted patterns and I refuse, 9 times out of 10 they respond with a hard-luck story and tell me I’m a monster for refusing them.

I had one instance last fall where a woman emailed me wanting a copy of a pattern I didn’t even have. When I responded telling her this, she starting flooding me with venomous emails, saying the pattern was for a dying child and what kind of cold-hearted bitch was I to refuse a dying child?

The funny thing was that after this happened I was comparing notes with another blogger. She had received similar emails from this same woman with the exact same story about the same dying child. A couple of years before my experience.

Sad, ain’t it? It takes all kinds.

The Fickleness of Moi

Last night I posted that I was going to knit my handspun Corriedale into a sweater based on the sweater pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Shortly after posting that statement, I remembered that last year I had started writing a pattern for a pullover with feather and fan around the hem and the bottom of the sleeves. And decided I would use that pattern for my Corriedale.

So I shall. Knitting will commence tonight (hopefully). Can you stand the excitement?


I do have a lot of crappy house-worky type things to do tonight as well. Doing laundry, picking up the big chunks and disposing of them, and other assorted grueling tasks. I wish I could train Lucy to perform some of these chores, but no doubt she would feel that they were beneath her. As indeed they are.


Oh, and the scarf I showed you last night? Ripped that mother out. Yuh-huh. I had started knitting it (in waffle stitch) on US 9 needles and it didn’t seem quite right. The fabric was too dense for my liking. I started it again on the morning commute on US 10s, and am much happier with my results.


Blah Blah Blah

Travelling through the knitblog world I see that a lot of people have a case of the blahs. I’m no exception. Feeling particularly blah these days, thank you very much. January seems like such a gruesome month, followed by the equally gruesome February. And March is often not much better.

And in my infinite wisdom, I am embarking on an off-white sweater after finishing . . . an off-white sweater. Uh . . . think much?

I’ve done no spinning since Sunday afternoon. I’ve been so gol-durned tired this week. The strain of going to work every day, no doubt. But next week will be a good one. Monday is a holiday, I’ll be at work Tuesday and Wednesday, we get Thursday off for Inauguration Dal, and I’m taking Friday off. Wheeeeeee!

Here’s Something Creepy

A kind cyber-bud alerted me to this eBay auction.

If you read through the description, you’ll find that she lists all sorts of free patterns that she is selling a list of links to. (Yipes, I ended with a preposition.) And she is offering one live link to show you what sort of things you get when you buy her list. The live link in the auction description is to my Fearless Fair Isle charts. Or rather, it was. I renamed the charts page and her link now links to a page that says “Not available.”

While I guess she isn’t really doing anything wrong, I took exception to her using my free pattern to advertise something she’s selling.

What do you all think?

UPDATE: The seller changed the link to the Red Lipstick site after I posted this blog entry. Whatta loser!

Hey Mom & Dad!

Wanna see what you gave me for my birthday?


I went to Knit Happens this evening and shopped with my birthday gift certificate. Thank you!!

I bought a whole mess o’ Koigu Kersti in purple (yum!) and three skeins of Artyarns Royal Silk (double yum!).

Knitting Progress

I sucked it up and finished the second sleeve of the Lucy top. Sewing together and neckband knitting will ensue shortly.

And I started a scarf using my handspun wool — this in a lighter grey than the hat I made.


And soon I will start a sweater using my handspun Corriedale. It’s going to be a very plain design, based on the the pattern for the pullover that’s in the book Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Lucy, You Got Some ‘Splaining To Do . . .

Lucy is obsessed with iPod earphones. When I first got Irving, Lucy removed the little foam covers from the earphones, then obligingly brought the earphones to me. I put the spare covers on the earphones and attempted to keep them away from Lucy, but no matter where I hide them, she finds them.

I quickly figured out that the iPod earphones were just too danged big for my ears. (What’s up with that, anyway? Do those things fit anyone? Everybody I have talked to reports the same experience.) Last weekend I bought some Koss earphones that are okay, and more stable as they have the over-the-ear hooks. Last night Lucy brought those earphones to me after I had gone to bed. She had gone into my briefcase and pulled them out. I got up, put them back, this time tucking them securely in a side pocket.

This morning when I was getting ready for work, Lucy came into the bedroom and dropped one of the little foam covers from the Koss earphones on my bed. Yep, she had gone into my briefcase again and removed a foam cover — without disturbing the earphones. And happily brought it to me.

Maybe she wants her own iPod?

She looks so innocent . . .


I’ve ordered yet another set of earphones based on reviews I’ve read. When they arrive, you can be darn sure they will be kept under lock and key.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I first saw this over at Nake-id Knits. Here are my responses:

Grooming Products
Shampoo: Sebastian Mohair
Moisturizer: none
Cologne: currently wearing Estee Lauder Dazzling Gold or Guerlain Shalimar
Razor: Venus
Toothpaste: Colgate Whitening

Cell phone: Victor, my LG4400
Computer: Daisy, my Dell Inspiron 8600 Laptop
Television: 2 Panasonics
Stereo: Irving, my 40Gb 4G iPod, plus other assorted devices

Sheets: 370 thread count 100% cotton Ralph Lauren
Coffee-maker: Cuisinart drip coffee maker
Car: Xena, my 2004 Honda Civic EX
Stationery: cute knit-themed notecards

Bottled water: many different brands
Coffee: Starbucks French Roast
Vodka: Stolli (for the pain, darling)

Jeans: Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren
T-shirt: Maryland Sheep & Wool Fesitval tees
Briefcase or tote: Coach suede
Sneakers: Saucony
Watch: Numerous! Current fav: Citizen Eco-drive

Favorite Places
Knit Happens, Home

Necessary Extravagance
Yarn, Purses, Books

This is the Shawl Formula

It goes like this:
Cast on 5 stitches.
Row 1 (right side): Knit 1, yarn over, knit 3, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over. You now have 7 stitches on your needle.
Row 2 (and all wrong side rows): Purl across.
Row 3: Knit 1, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 3, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 1. You now have 11 stitches on your needle.
Row 5: Knit 1, yarn over, knit 3, yarn over, knit 3, yarn over, knit 3, yarn over, knit 1. You now have 15 stitches on your needle.
You can see where this is headed, right? You keep increasing one stitch each at the beginning and the end of the row, as well as one stitch on either side of the center three stitches. And you continue to knit until the shawl is as long as you’d like it to be. Or until you run out of yarn. Or until you pass out from the boredom of it all.

I referred to this as L-B’s shawl formula because I copied it from a shawl she made. She pointed out at the time that it is no doubt not an original idea, as it is so simple. So we’re not claiming to have invented it, ‘nkay?

I did wear my Kermit-skin scarf yesterday to work, with brown leather jacket and these extremely cool beaded pulse warmers my friend Johanne knit and sent me for Christmas. (I do not have pattern information for them, btw.)


I was stylin’!

My boss came in my office and saw the scarf draped over the back of my chair and exclaimed over it. I told her it was a dead Muppet. She only looked mildly alarmed. She does, after all, know what I am like.

I only hope the PETM* doesn’t come after me.

A Way Cool Book!

I got this as a birthday gift:


I love this book! The bags in it are all knit from Rowan yarns, are cute, and for the most part, are pretty easy. The best part is, I think, that the designs are a good jumping-off point for one to start thinking about alternate colorways and shapes and sizes.

Progress . . .

But just a little. Way, way tired last night, so I didn’t get far on the second sleeve for the Lucy top. Heck, I didn’t even spin last night.


But I did work on the handspun hat a bit more. And finished it.


Lucy News

Lucy and I have worked out an arrangement wherein she can play with her balloon under strict mommy supervision. She has accepted the situation.

My condo is on the air route from Ft. Belvoir to the Pentagon, so we occasionally have a plane or helicopter fly overhead. This week there has been a marked increase in air activity. Every single time she hears aircraft, Lucy runs to the window and looks out.

She can go from this:


to this:


in three seconds flat!

(*People for the Ethical Treatment of Muppets)