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.

St. Patrick’s Day

At 5:30 this morning, four drunks got on the train, all wearing green paper top hats. That is just wrong.

Because I am knitting along on my boring stockinette, I’ll answer some questions to distract you.

The other day, Peg asked:
What is your favorite Fair Isle sweater pattern?

That’s a tough question! I don’t think I can point to one particular favorite. All my favorites are Alice Starmore designs, though. I have particular fondness for Marina, Luskentyre, and Oregon.

Lisa asked:
Have you ever met yarn you didn’t like? I have a large stash of Rowan Summer Tweed that I bought for a summer cardigan and tank, but I hate it! I forced myself to make one short-sleeve sweater and knitting with it was miserable. I can’t get gauge with the $%#$%#$ yarn–I go up a needle size, down a needle size, but it’s the same gauge continually.

Have I ever met a yarn I didn’t like? Oh yes.

I’ve never knitted with Summer Tweed, so I can’t comment on that. But a yarn I detested was Dale of Norway Svale. I bought it to make a summer sweater and ended up abandoning the project in disgust. (Long-time readers of this blog might remember that incident.) I hated the Svale, the way it felt, the way it knit, everything.

So there.

Here’s an extreme close-up of the boring stockinette.

deli031705 St. Patricks Day

Who Knew?

Who knew that this little sucker was so sought after?

chibi St. Patricks Day

It has recently come to my attention that pink Chibis are very much in demand. I’ve had this little fella for ages.

Lucy

Lucy is still in training. She has a rigorous weekend of napping ahead of her.

lucy031705 St. Patricks Day

Merrily We Stockinette Along

Yeah, plain old stockinette stitch is boring.

deli031605 Merrily We Stockinette Along

So are photos of plain old stockinette stitch.

There’s a bit of gentle shaping in the body of Deli, so one does get to decrease a few stitches every coupla inches. Be still, my heart.

But I do like the yarn. It’s very pleasant to knit. At first I was wondering how exactly so much Lucy hair had gotten into it, but then realized, it’s that bit of Angora that is giving it the slightly fuzzy halo. Duh.

I’ve not had too much problem with the angora shedding — not so’s you’d notice, anyhow.

Because I’m knitting straight stockinette, in my boredom, I’m thinking ahead. The pattern directs you to knit a lace edging that is to be sewn on around the bottom, side fronts, and neck in one continuous piece — and two more pieces to edge the sleeves. I’m thinking I’ll knit the edging directly on to the sweater. The thought of sewing that much lace on the sweater makes my brain hurt.

I am having a bit of doubt about the amount of yarn I bought, too. I bought the amount called for in the directions, but I just finished the first skein and can see how far it got me. I’m thinking I might pick up an extra skein or two, for the sake of insurance. Ya know?

Yup, stockinette is boring (did I mention that?) but soothing in a way. You can knit on autopilot. And the excitement of decreasing a few stitches every couple of inches breaks the monotony.

KnitCast!

Yesterday Marie posted a follow-up to my interview of a few weeks ago on the KnitCast blog. Just a quickie, answering a couple of questions.

If you have enjoyed the Knitcasts that have been posted so far, please consider helping to support KnitCast by making a donation through the Paypal link that’s on the KnitCast site.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

We know that it’s not until tomorrow, but Lucy would like you to see the lovely St. Patrick’s Day gift she received from L-B.

pillow031605 Merrily We Stockinette Along

It’s a catnip pillow, knitted in two shades of green (one on each side) using the center cable from my Liam sweater!

pillow031605a Merrily We Stockinette Along

Lucy loves it. Usually she “helps” me get ready for work in the mornings, but lately she has taken to lying on her catnip pillow instead.

Hey, it just occurred to me. Since Lucy is distracted, I wonder if I can attempt liquid eyeliner again?

Speaking of Lucy

I have to tell you that she is highly insulted by the insinuation that she is resorting to extensions to make her tail look longer and more luxuriant. The very idea!

She would tell you herself how insulted she is, but she’s busy taking a nap.

lucy031605 Merrily We Stockinette Along

Beware the Ides of March

The Ides of March will make you go all wonky, ya know?

Case in point: I was knitting along on Mel’s second sleeve when I suddenly decided I didn’t want to work on it now, and threw it aside.

Instead, I cast on for “Deli,” from the Rowan magazine Classic Cafe. I’m using the new CashCotton DK yarn in color #605, which they call Magenta but I think is Raspberry.

deli031505 Beware the Ides of March

The recommended needle size is a US 6, but I went down to a 5 to get gauge.

The yarn is quite nice. Very pleasant to knit. Its composition: 35% Cotton, 25% Polyamide, 18% Angora, 13% Viscose, and 9% Cashmere. A DK weight, and has 142 yards per 50 gram skein.

Because Phyllis Asked

1. Do you knit continental or English? It’s more continental than anything but the bottom line is that my knitting style is just plain weird. But it works for me!

2. How long ago did you learn to knit? Ages ago. When I was a tiny tot.

3. First FO? Apart the requisite knitted squares? I started a raglan pullover in worsted weight yarn when I was 8 or 9 and finished it when I was 13 or 14.

4. Favorite yarn? I don’t have any one favorite — but give me silk or cashmere, please!

5. Favorite pattern? It’s hard to pick a favorite, but right up there is Alice Starmore’s Inishmore.

6. Favorite pattern source? Alice Starmore!

7. Favorite needles? Holtz & Stein ebony circulars

8. Nicest thing you’ve ever knit? It’s hard to picky any one thing when you’ve been knitting as long as I have.

9. Most hated project? I can’t think of anything I hated. Not right now, anyway.

10. Who are you going to pass this on to? Whomever wishes to answer it.

Lucy’s Training Schedule

Lucy is still in training for the Kitty Sleeping Olympics. Sometimes her Daddy helps her to train.

lucy031505 Beware the Ides of March

Hair Update

I sucked it up this afternoon and went to get my hair colored. What is not always evident in photos is that my hair has this odd two-toned effect because it lightens in the sun. However, it does not lighten evenly, hence the patchwork effect. And it also lightens to an unattractive shade of yellow.

So I went to Celadon Spa, so Garland could work his magic on the hair color.

And happily, I happened to run into Rossana outside Celadon, and she gave me a hug that conveyed good hair vibes!

The official photo in the bathroom mirror:

hair031505 Beware the Ides of March

I only wish I could blow dry my hair like Garland can. I would be fabulous, dahling.

Speaking of Fabulous

I have a wonderful neighbor. Why do I say that? Because when I came home from work today, these were waiting for me, from her.

flowers031504 Beware the Ides of March

Just because I did something thoughtful for her over the weekend.

Monday

That pretty much says it all, I think. So I’ll be brief.

Mel Update

I did achieve sleevage on Sunday: the first sleeve is done, the second one started. Whee.

mel031405 Monday

Feline Sleeping Olympics

lucy031405 Monday

Lucy is clearly in training.

Phyllis is working on finding out if we can knit twelve hours a day in prison. If so, she, Kristine, and I are all going to commit white collar crimes, get sent to Camp Cupcake, and be each others’ bitches.

Fighting City Hall

I was going to write at length about the insanity that Kristine has been going through in her attempts to set up her warehouse in the City of Alexandria for the online version of Knit Happens. But Phyllis did such a good job of it on her blog yesterday, that I will simply link to her most excellent post.

And while you’re there, give our Phyl-Phyl some love! I’m so happy to see that she’s moved her blog to Typepad — now I can subscribe to Got Gauge via Bloglines.

But back to the online store, as I mentioned last week, I went with Kristine to City Hall when she was once again trying to get some answers. I think banging our heads on the table would have been just as helpful.

If you are so inclined, please show your support for Kristine and Knit Happens in any way you can: good vibes, prayers, or if you can, build her a warehouse with a three-hour fire rating.

Phyllis has included a link in her blog entry for contact information for city officials. I know this goes without saying, but if you choose to send an email to any Alexandria city officials about this situation, please keep it positive. I don’t think sending flames (Get it? Flames? Fire rating?) will be of any help. More helpful would be calling their attention to the fact that a small business owner is doing everything she can to work with the City and comply with their rules, but is being stymied at every turn and receiving a different answer (or no answer at all) on how to move the obstacles in her way.

I know that many of you don’t know Kristine, nor have you shopped at Knit Happens. But a lot of you are her friends and customers, both “in-person” and online. I count myself lucky to be one of her “in-person” friends. She has my wholehearted support in all her ventures.

And that’s why I’m talking about this. I have no stake in this, financial or otherwise. I am simply showing support for my friend.

Knitting Knews

A couple of people asked me what I’m going to do with my Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies in “Black Purl.” It shall be something felted . . . but not a kitty bed.

I did go to Knit Happens yesterday, to hang out and knit with friends and to spend money. Two of my favorite pastimes. Phyl-Phyl and I decided we’d be great photo-stylists — we have posed “Baashful” the Basket Beanie lamb (who was sent to me by L-B — thanks L-B!) with a skein of Blue Sky Organic Cotton and Phyl’s sheepie tape measure.

lamb031305 Fighting City Hall

Then Phyl fashioned a small fez out of a plastic water bottle cap and decorated it with — what else? — pink and green yarn.

lamb031305a Fighting City Hall

What’s that? Don’t quit our day jobs? Right.

I knitted on the front of Melody in the shop and after closing, while having drinks and snacks with Kristine. Front is finished!

mel031305 Fighting City Hall

And I’ve just barely started a sleeve.

March Contest

In my “what should I knit with 1.5 ounces of fingering weight qivuit” contest I got lots of responses. A lot of people suggested I make a lacy scarf, a cravat, or a smoke ring. And there were a lot of suggestions for fingerless gloves and wrist warmers as well. Socks and a headband were also suggested.

And several people suggested that I should knit Lucy the most luxurious catnip mouse she is ever likely to possess.

(And Ian suggested knitting a catnip musk-ox, an idea I really liked. He exempted himself from the drawing, however.)

Anyhow, the winner is Julia of Knitting History, drawn at random from the entries. Her suggestion:

Might I suggest the Chain Mail Fingerless Gloves from the Knitting Pattern-A-Day Calendar, featured on August 29. I made a pair for myself and love them, and your quivut should make for a really luxurious pair. The eyelet cable stitch is beautiful in this pattern, and you should have enough yardage at 1.5 ounces of fingering weight yarn. The gloves are perfect for chilly offices when you need your fingers free, and lightweight enough for spring/summer wear. My completed pair are in my “Finished Projects 2005″ folder on my blog if you need further convincing!

What will I knit from the qivuit? As I already have a qivuit lace scarf, I believe I will make qivuit fingerless gloves. I like the idea of doing them with a rib and cable pattern, so Julia’s suggestion will work for me, I bet. But my calendar is at work and I am at home, so I’ll check the pattern tomorrow. I actually have about 200 yards of the qivuit, by the way. And who knows? I might have enough left over for a wee qivuit mousie for you-know-who.

lucy031305 Fighting City Hall

Why am I posting so early today? I’m up and doing laundry, then I’m going to head out to run some errands. And then I’ll go over to Knit Happens. To hang out and knit with friends and to spend money.