My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

I Heart Cathay

But first . . .

Thanks so much for all the nice comments about the tennis sweater! I really appreciate them.

I still haven’t dug out my green skirt to see if it matches. I do know that I have a long white linen skirt it’ll look cute with, if the green is wrong.

One more comment about this design and then I’ll move on.

I stated I made the body of the sweater an inch longer than the pattern directs. I am 5’6″ tall, so please take that into consideration when thinking about making alterations to suit your height. Also, I added the inch in the body above the ribbing but before the v-neck shaping — it’s quite a deep v and I think would be a bit cleavage-baring if it were any deeper.

And a comment about the yarn, Cotton Cashmere.

Mary asked in the comments if I found it to be a bit stiff to work with. And I believe the Divine Ms. Em mentioned on her blog the other day that she found it a bit hard on the hands.

This is the third sweater I’ve knitted in Cotton Cashmere. And I’ve had no problem with hand or wrist pain while knitting it. Other cottons have bothered me, but not this one.

In fact, I like it so much, I bought more.

strawberry041405 I <i>Heart</i> Cathay

Seven skeins in a lovely bright strawberry pink, for a summer top. Yup. They’ll see me coming in this one, won’t they?

Moving on . . .

lacy041405 I <i>Heart</i> Cathay

This is the back of my new project, a Lacy Cardi being knitted from Debbie Bliss Cathay, which is 50% cotton. 35% viscose, and 15% silk.

I love this yarn. The viscose microfiber in it gives it some springiness and “give,” while the silk adds sheen and that slightly crunchy feeling that I so love in some silk yarns.

It’s DK weight and I’m knitting it to a gauge of 22 stitches and 30 rows to 4 inches. Suggested needle size for this gauge is 3.75mm (US 5) but I’m getting gauge with a 3.5mm (US 4) needle. I often need to go down a needle size when knitting cotton and cotton-blend yarns.

The cardi (my own design) has lace at the bottom edge and a simple all-over eyelet pattern.

(I say simple, but yesterday I did manage to screw it up, not paying attention. I lined up two rows of eyelets instead of staggering them and had to rip back a few rows. Doh!)

It will have three-quarter length sleeves, a v-neck, and front ties instead of buttons (I think).

The piece pictured above is the back, of course.

The yarn is made up of many plies, but I haven’t had any problem whatsoever with it splitting while I knit. Even with the few rows I ripped out and reknit.

Yup. I *heart* Cathay. So much so that I bought this:

tealcathay041405 I <i>Heart</i> Cathay

(Sorry about the blurry pic!)

Six more skeins of it in teal. For a summer tank.

And to think I used to be the girl who knitted fair isles and arans all summer because she hated cotton. I think it’s more a case of cotton changing than me changing.

That’s what I’m telling myself, anyhow.

Lucy believes me.

lucy041405 I <i>Heart</i> Cathay

Game, Set, Match

The Tennis Sweater is done. The Official in the Bathroom Mirror Photo:

tennis041305 Game, Set, Match

Some notes about this project:

The description in the pattern said “close-fitting.” I didn’t want close-fitting, so I made the largest size, 42″. It has 3 — 4 inches of ease for me in this size, and I am happy.

I made the body an inch longer and the sleeves an inch shorter. Also happy with this.

The size I made called for 14 skeins of the Cotton Cashmere. I used just under 12. Still happy!

Yup. All in all, happy! It’s a cute design and a well-written pattern. I give it two thumbs up!

In answer to a comments question, yes, I can see it with short sleeves.

What’s Next?

This!

lacey Game, Set, Match

This is the new Debbie Bliss yarn, Cathay, which I am using for a design of my own. I’ll discuss it more fully tomorrow. And be forewarned: I’ll be waxing lyrical about the yarn!

lucy041305 Game, Set, Match

We are quite worn out here today, so we’ll sign off for now and be back tomorrow!

Yup. Dagmar.

The new ‘puter is indeed named Dagmar. And a whole bunch of you guessed it, so clearly my last hint did make it much easier as someone ::cough::Ian::cough:: suggested.

The first to get it right was Arlene. Congratulations, Arlene! Your yarn will be winging its way to you later this week.

Several of you guessed Doris, which I found amusing. My mom, on the other hand, would probably not have been amused, as that is her first name (it’s my middle name).

lucy041205 Yup. Dagmar.

Coming Down the Home Stretch

On the Tennis Sweater, that is.

I just now finished the second sleeve, but last night I sewed the first sleeve to the body.

tennis041205 Yup. Dagmar.

So all that’s left is to sew the second sleeve to the body.

I tried it on in it’s one-sleeved state. I really like it, and I’m glad I added an inch to the length of the body — makes it the perfect length for me. And I knit the sleeves one inch shorter than called for in the instructions. But that’s just me — I almost always shorten sleeves. I must have short arms.

I do so hate to sew up my knits, but taking the time to do a careful job is really important for my overall success with a sweater. I mattress-stitched this baby, and as much as I don’t like doing mattress stitch, I have to admit that I always like the results when I do.

When I mention how much I hate sewing sweaters together, it usually spawns the question: why don’t I knit everything in the round?

Knitting in the round certainly has its place. I would never do a fair isle in pieces — colorwork is so much easier in the round.

But take the Tennis Sweater, for example. The Cotton Cashmere is lovely soft yarn and is working up into a lovely soft sweater. A sweater that really benefits from the stability that side seams give it. Sure, you could knit it in the round. But I don’t think it would hang as nicely as it does with seams to give it some structure.

Just my two cents.

Nope

As of this moment, no one has guessed the computer’s name. But I want to thank you for all the guesses and nice comments! You guys have some great ideas for names. But none of them happen to be the right name.

However, Della would have been a cool name for her.

But . . . I think you need another hint or two.

It’s not the name of a flower, nor does it have the syllable “Del” in it.

It is not a common American name, rather, it is a Northern European one.

I was actually going to give that hint yesterday but was convinced by someone ::cough::Ian::cough:: not to, as said someone ::cough::Ian::cough:: thought it would make it too easy.

If you would like to guess again (or for the first time, if you haven’t yet), send your guess to my blog contest email address. Please don’t leave it in the comments.

First person to guess correctly wins a fabulous yarn surprise!

Update: Several of you have guessed correctly! The first person to get it right has been notified. Thanks for playing — I’ll post the winning response tomorrow.

Tennis Sweater

Still happily knitting along on the second sleeve. I do believe I’m going to end up with a fair amount of the main color left over — two full skeins, it looks like, so if you are someone knitting this sweater who had slightly less yarn than the pattern called for, you should be okay. I made the body an inch longer, and am still coming in under the recommended amount. Neato, huh?

tennis041105 Nope

It’s Q&A Day!

Leigh asked:
I am doing a baby outfit with a bit of fair isle. Here is my question: how “twisted” is the new color supposed to be? I have a feeling I am twisting the new with the old too much.

Ah, the age-old question. To twist (or weave) or to float. Long-time Wendyknits reader will know that I prefer floats to weaves in my fair isles. However, Leigh mentions in her question that she’s making a baby outift. When I am knitting for a baby or a child, I will weave my yarns, because there’s less chance of little fingers getting caught in the floats on the wrong side.

How much weaving is too much? Isn’t there a method (Philosopher’s Wool, perhaps) that advocates twisting the yarns on every stitch or two? Anyone with experience in this want to weigh in with a comment?

Just So You Know What I Put Up With at Work

This is the remains of one of my coworkers’ afternoon snack.

snacks041105 Nope

His comment as I was taking the photo: “Well you could at least tell them it was from several people.”

Not on your life! Full disclosure!

Lucy Sez:

Why, yes, I am cross-eyed!

lucy041105 Nope

My New Love

I’ve been holding out on you. My new love arrived Thursday afternoon. Can you guess what it is from this photo?

dell041005 My New Love

Yup, new computer! My desktop computer died at the end of October last year and I’ve been relying solely on my laptop (her name is Daisy) since then. While I love Daisy, I find using a laptop all the time arduous and not ergonomically sound.

So here is the new girl.

dell041005a My New Love

What do you suppose I named her? If you would care to hazard a guess, send it to my blog contest email address. I’ll give you a hint:

It begins with a “D.”

First person to guess right wins a fabulous yarn prize!

Edited to add: Please note that I asked for entries to be sent to the email address above, not left in the comments — thanks!

Speaking of Contests . . .

I selected two winners in my “How Hideous Were You in the ’80s?” Contest. This was really, really difficult, because there were so many excellent entries!

But the grand prize goes to Mouse, who won with this entry:

Ah, the 80s. My childhood. I’m not going to delight you with stories of mismatched socks and spiral laces, but I will share this little jem;

When I was about 10 (circa 1987) my mother’s work won a cruise to Mexico. My mother, not realizing it, brought the only kid. Everyone else brought spouses/signifigant others/call girls/rent boys. It was a party boat. My mother, in all her infinite wisdom, decides that she needs to be able to ‘see me better’, so she requires me to wear certian things at all times on the boat. The outfit?

NEON pink windbreaker with orange cuffs. NEON pink (but a different shade) SAILOR HAT. Vertically striped rainbow sweatpants. And I liked sandles. With socks. Polka-dotted socks. (I was ten, cut me some slack).

Couple this with my little round body, and the HORRIBLE perm I had (tight little spirals in naturally red hair) I looked like a clown. In fact a few patrons on the boat thought I was a clown. I made five bucks making a ballon animal (a snake) for some yuppy’s kids.

And I thought I was *so* cool.

Thank god I got to the 90′s, where I started to wear all black, all the time. Including black lipstick and sunglasses. Indoors. Yeah, I am *so* cool…

I mean . . . how could she not win with that entry?

There’s an honorable mention too, which goes to Kerry, who was one of very few brave enough to post a link to a photo of herself in the ’80s.

Wow, the 80s spans a lot of bad fashion, as someone else already mentioned. I decided to do the early 80s (84ish?) since I actually have a photo (gasp)! And besides, I kind of liked the goth look I was sporting in the late 80s. So without further ado, the “new wave” me:

http://www.curlyq.org/blog/images/boygeorge.jpg

I was going for a Culture Club look here. The photo’s not that great, but I’m wearing a white puffy shirt with rolled up sleeves that button and a white panel across the chest, cropped black crinkly rayon pants with white polka dots, ankle socks with Xs and Os, and black Chinese Laundry shoes. Oh, and the fedora. The FEDORA. My naturally curly hair was PERMED and BRUSHED into frizzlivion. Curled hairsprayed bangs. Long dangly earrings. I thought I was NEW WAVE! Worn with this ensemble, but not pictured, was the black parachute-material “Members Only” knockoff jacket. Because my mom wouldn’t buy me the real Members Only jacket so I had to shop at Zayre’s….

Sorry Kerry, but I have to say, I think you look awfully cute in that photo! So you win honorable mention!

If you lovely ladies will email me your snail mail addresses, some lovely non-1980s sock yarn will soon be winging its way to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered! It was fun (and only a little painful) to experience the ’80s flashback!

In the interests of fair play, here is a link to a truly hideous photo of myself.

That photo was actually from four years ago — Ian and I were attending a “Tacky Party” and that was my outfit for the event. Does it surprise any of you that I won the prize for the tackiest outfit?

Having a Wonderful Time

Yep, I’m here on Sleeve Island!

tennis041005a My New Love

The first sleeve is done! I just cast on for the second.

And Friday night I knitted the neckband, see?

tennis041005 My New Love

The extreme close-up of the center:

tennis041005b My New Love

The pattern directed you to pick up the neckband stitches using the contrast color, but I elected to use the main color instead, and then work two rows with the contrast. I thnk the picked up stitches would have shown if I’d done them in the contrast.

Lucy doesn’t have an opinion.

lucy041005 My New Love