My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Looks Pretty Much the Same, Doesn’t It?

kinsale020705 Looks Pretty Much the Same, Doesnt It?

Yeah, progress is just ootching along, ever so slowly.

Not helped by the fact that I spent a lot of my evening last night spinning. I’ve spun and plied about two-thirds (I think) of my Cotswold Lamb, and have 300 yards or so of yarn to show for my work.

yarn020705 Looks Pretty Much the Same, Doesnt It?

So . . . I was looking at the photo of Kinsale and thinking that it’s longer than I’d like (I linked to the photo of Kinsale on the Virtual Yarns site last week, so if you don’t know what it looks like you can check it out there). I was toying with the idea of shortening mine, as I don’t want a tunic length sweater. I measured a sweater whose length I though would be good for Kinsale. It’s 26 inches long.

How long is Kinsale? 26 inches long. Alrighty then.

I’m guessing the model wearing it in the photo is either shorter than I, or she’s wearing the largest size, which is 28 inches long.

lucy020705 Looks Pretty Much the Same, Doesnt It?

Lucy is unconcerned.

Coolness!

Lookie what I got in the mail today, sent to me by Kate, the winner of the weird spinning contest:

cookbook020705 Looks Pretty Much the Same, Doesnt It?

This is a cookbook, published in 1929, from my birthplace, Worcester, Massachusetts. It’s a compilation of prize-winning recipes sent into the local newspaper, the Worcester Evening Post. Every recipe has the name of person who sent it in, along with her address.

Wow!

Okay, I just flipped it open at random and found, on page 233, a recipe that was sent in by my grandmother, Mrs. Ernest Audette. The recipe is for Mock Lobster Salad.

This is too cool for words . . .

Hey Mom. I bet you just loved Mock Lobster Salad (made with haddock) when you were a kid, huh?

Ew.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But isn’t it nice of me to share?

This morning when I was on the train coming to work, a couple got on and sat in the seat in front of me. They immediately locked in a feverish embrace and began what I can only describe as tongue wrestling. I mean, they were literally poking at each other’s tongue — with tongues extended a remarkable length. Ew! Ew! Ew! Jeez people, do you really have to do this at 5:30am? And if you really do have to, have the decency to go to one end of the train car where you have a bit of privacy and don’t gross out the other passengers.

I felt sorry for the people who didn’t have reading material or knitting to distract them.

New Spinning

I hadn’t done any spinning for a while, but I started spinning some pink mix Cotswold Lamb at the end of last week. Here’s the roving:

roving020605 New Spinning

What a fun yarn this is going to make! Here are the singles.

singles020605 New Spinning

I plan to use this to knit a scarf to go with this:

clubcoat New Spinning

Purchased a little while back from the J. Crew “final” sale on their website.

Kinsale Update

Last night we watched the movie Troy, which afforded me lots of knitting time! The results:

kinsale020605 New Spinning

Janet asked:
Do you find it hard on your hands to knit the wool/cotton so tightly? AS says on her site that when she knits Ganseys she ends up with a red ring around her finger from knitting the yarn at such a tight gauge. I’m thinking of using a lighter weight (fingering) yarn so that I won’t have to knit so tightly, especially since I’m a loose knitter to begin with. I’m concerned, though, that the fabric won’t be quite right. Do you have any expert advice regarding that?

Even though I’ve gone down quite a bit from the recommended needle size for the Wool cotton, it’s not at all hard on my hands. Surprisingly.

You could certainly use a lighter weight yarn to knit a gansey, if you find the gansey wool knitted tightly hurts your hands. But you’ll want to do a guage swatch in the pattern stitch first, to make sure that the pattern shows up properly in your finer yarn. One of the things that makes the stitch patterns show up so nicely in a gansey, I think, is the tight gauge.

lucy020605 New Spinning

Lucy doesn’t care whether we watch the Superbowl or not, as long as someone is scritching her neck.

Excuse Me While I Hibernate

I don’t know what’s with me lately. All I want to do is sleep, and sleep some more. And after that . . . sleep.

Hence, little knitting progress here. Last night I actually fell asleep before 9pm, and it’s been that way every night this week. L-B reported a similar phenomenon and wondered if we’re just trying to hibernate. Could be!

(She also had the extremely bad taste to suggest that we might be getting Old, but we shall gloss over that.)

However, I got this in the mail from L-B today, so she can say what she likes!

yarn020305 Excuse Me While I Hibernate

That would be a skein of lovely green Maggi Knit’s Irish tweed, and half a skein each of all the new KnitPicks yarns. L-B ordered a skein of each to try and generously split it with me. The yarns look and feel very nice and it’ll be fun to try ‘em all out!

I do have a bit of progress to show you. Here is Kinsale.

kinsale020305 Excuse Me While I Hibernate

This pattern is really quite easy. I memorized the chart before embarking on the knitting and have not once had to refer to it. I find that symmetrical designs like this are very simple. All I really need to do is remember what happens on two rows: the point where the diamondy bit is at its narrowest and the point where it is widest. The rest of the rows are leading up to those two events, if you know what I mean. I keep those two row numbers in my head so I can remember “Oh yeah. Time to turn back and go the other direction.”

Did that make any sense at all? Or am I babbling incoherently? Don’t answer that.

Kinsale is great and glorious fun to knit, despite the fact that the gauge is a billion stitches to the inch and a gazillion rows to the inch.

This morning before leaving for work I actually picked up my Corriedale sweater sleeve and did 4 rows on it.

Whee.

Maybe I need to do a little spinning to perk me up.

But first, I think I’ll take a nap.

lucy020305 Excuse Me While I Hibernate

Before I do, check out my new purse:

purse020305 Excuse Me While I Hibernate

It’s a Brighton bag. The cats are all needlepoint, and each one has an embellishment sewn on.

I love purses.

A Huge Thank You!

A huge thank-you to everyone who participated in the Knitblogger’s Knitting Basket Project. Thanks to the generosity of many of you, Deb will be sending a check for over $5,000 to Heifer International. That’s 10 knitting baskets, plus change.

Here is Heifer International’s description of a knitting basket:

Your gift of a Knitting Basket will include two llamas and two sheep — one male and one female of each — four animals famous for their warm, income-producing wool.

From shearing to spinning, weaving and finally selling woolen goods at market, your gift of a Knitting Basket will help four struggling families earn extra income to break free from the grip of poverty and hopelessness.

Over time, as your gift multiplies and more animals are passed on to help others in need, entire communities will be warmed by the precious wool of your Knitting Basket.

So . . . your contributions will at the outset help forty families in need. And more, in time.

Does It Make Me Weird . . .

. . . that I’m so concerned about Onslow?

When Ann first posted about Onslow getting smushed on Monday, I was horrified. You see, I have a huge crush on Onslow. There’s a Mini Cooper that parks in my train station. Every morning when I go to work, I pass this Mini Cooper and say “Hello, Onslow.” Even though I know that he’s not the real Onslow. He is my substitute Onslow.

On second thought, don’t answer the question about my being weird. Instead, send healing thoughts to Ann’s Onslow!

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Here is Kinsale, caught in a candid, quiet moment, reclining gracefully on my windowsill at work.

kinsale020205 A Huge Thank You!

I do so love me a good natural light in which to photograph.

I also love me Rowan Wool Cotton and a glorious design in which to knit. I’d probably knit on Kinsale a lot faster if I didn’t have to keep stopping and gazing at it.

But that’s half the fun.

Just for grins, I Googled up a map of Ireland to see where Kinsale actually is, and discovered it’s on the southern coast. The closest I ever got to Kinsale was Cork. Which is pretty close.

Aren’t you glad you know that?

Lucy says “whatever.”

lucy020205 A Huge Thank You!

Timing is Everything

In the comments to yesterday’s blog entry, Emily alerted me to a Fishermen’s Sweaters knit-along, being hosted by Amy.

Now that’s what I call perfect timing! I joined up, so now I’m knitting along. Yay!

Some questions from the comments . . .

Helene asked:
You knit a lot of projects at a tiny gauge or with lots of work. Won’t you ever get tired of a project? If you do – how do you overcome it? It seems like all of my projects have a sort of “dead end” – when I get there it is not exciting anymore, just boring, and it’s so difficult to resist the urge to put it away and start something new.

Do you really only have two WIPs, or do you have a stash of UFOs like the rest of us?

I do get tired of projects from time to time, but I do finish most of them. If I’m knitting something I develop an intense dislike for, I will abandon it, never to return.

I’ve always been a “one at a time” knitter. And I used to not have a stash. When I was about halfway through a sweater, I’d buy the yarn for what I was going to knit next. And so on.

It’s only in the past few years that I’ve allowed myself to have more than one project going at a time. I’d have an “at home” project, and a commuting project.

Okay, I’ve got two projects going right now. I haven’t touched my Corriedale sweater since I started on Kinsale. But before I started Kinsale, I did complete the front and start a sleeve.

I think this sweater will be relegated to my “I’m too tired to knit on Kinsale” project. I’ll knit a bit on it before going to bed, and when I get up in the morning and am ready for work, watching the early, early early news.

There have been times in the past year or so when I’ve had more than two works in progress and I actually felt some anxiety about that. Yeah, it’s not easy being me. I’m much happier concentrating my energy on only one project. Two at the most.

Ginny asked:
I have some Scottish Fleet set aside for a sweater from Alice’s Children’s Collection. If I could ask you a question, do you have to pull very tightly on the yarn to produce the correct fabric?

I think if you find yourself having to pull tightly to achieve the proper fabric, you should try going down a needle size. In the long run, it’ll be easier on your hands than all that pulling.

I’ve knitted with gansey yarn a few times, and I find that I do go down in needle size sometimes. For Fulmar I used US size 1 and 2 — gotta check the pattern and see if that’s the size recommended or if I went down a bit.

Lauren asked:
It’s like peanut butter and jelly have been reunited. What inspired the return?

I’ll tell you later. icon smile Timing is Everything

Not a very good answer, is it? I do promise to tell. Just not today.

Anyhow, here’s what Kinsale is looking like.

kinsale020105 Timing is Everything

I do like this color, although it is not a “usual” one for me. It makes me think of pumpkin pie. Yum!

And here, for Marie, is the photo of Lucy I took while we were chatting. She was on my lap, listening, but refused to utter a single “meow.” She says she’s sorry.

lucy020105 Timing is Everything

Just Because

Here is a link to an internet based, self-correcting digital clock. Cool, huh?