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.

Ladies, Start Your Needles!

needles051505 Ladies, Start Your Needles!

Needles? Check.

markers051505 Ladies, Start Your Needles!

Stitch Markers? Check.

(Please to note that my stitch markers now live in the tiny Spongebob lunchbox that dear Greta gave me last weekend. I went “Squeeeeeeeee!” when I saw it!)

counter051505 Ladies, Start Your Needles!

Row Counter? Check.

seaivory051505 Ladies, Start Your Needles!

Yarn? Check.

lucy051505 Ladies, Start Your Needles!

Cat? Check!

We’re cleared for take-off!

Yep, the Inishmore Challenge starts tomorrow, May 16th. Barring any unscheduled insomnia, I will be casting on at approximately 4:30 tomorrow morning. I will probably manage two or three rows before I leave for work, then I’ll knit on the train going in, at the office during my lunch break, and on the train coming home. I’ll take a photo at that point, before the evening knitting commences, and post it tomorrow.

We will gratefully accept donations for the raffle up until we declare a winner, however, your guess for who will win and when will only be considered if you get it in before 5:00pm EST tomorrow, May 16th. We won’t accept any guesses after this point because we’ll be posting updates of our progress that could give later guessers an unfair advantage.

To recap, for every dollar you donate (all donations will be sent to the Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation at the end of the Challenge) you will receive one entry in the raffle to win one of the three prizes. The link to donate is over to the right in my sidebar.

And just for fun, I am offering a yarn prize to the person who guesses (before the deadline for guesses, above,) the winner and comes closest to the date and time of completion of her Inishmore (as indicated in the comments field on the paypal form you fill out when you donate).

I’ll be posting a page with the names of the donaters soon. Have a look-see and make sure your name is how you want it to appear in the letter I will be sending along to the Susan B. Komen Foundation with the check from all of us. I know some of you might have your Paypal account in your husband’s name, business name, etc., so just email me if you’d like to make a change to the name I use.

I am very excited about this! I can’t tell you how pleased and thankful I am for all your generous donations.

And Now For Some Q&A

Kim asked:
I noticed you have cast mahi mahi aside. At what point do you decide that you don’t really like working a pattern, or that it doesn’t suit you? Do you finish it no matter what?

Okay, I shouldn’t have said “cast” aside. I should have said “set” aside. For I picked Mahi Mahi up this weekend and finished it. I’ll show you a photo later this week.

But it’s a good question nevertheless. I very rarely cast anything aside completely. If I start knitting something and the yarn isn’t working for whatever reason, I figure it out early on and stop. Rip out, use the the yarn for something else.

I do sometimes get sick of something and set it aside. But I almost always come back to it. I think I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of knits I’ve abandoned.

On another topic, Donna asked:
I am making a sweater with a 12 st cable (6 over 6) in a worsted weight yarn that doesn’t stretch much. I am finding it impossible to get into the 2nd 6 stitches while leaving the 1st 6 on the needle. I tried pulling the 1st 6 off and pinching with my thumb and forefinger while going into the 2nd 6 stitches, but the last stitch keeps raveling down before I can get to it to pick it up. Any tips?

Another interesting question. I thought about this one for a while, because I’ve never had the experience where I can’t jam the tip of my needle into the stitches to cable without a cable needle.

But. I think this has something to do with how one knits to get gauge. I tend to knit loosely on smaller-sized needles to make gauge, while some people knit more tightly on larger-sized needles to achieve the same gauge. Know what I mean? In my knitting, I always have plenty of “give” in my stitches. But I’ve noticed some peoples’ knitting is much tighter on the needles.

That’s the best explanation I can come up with, anyhow. I think if you are having trouble getting the tip of your needle in the stitches, you are better off using a cable needle. After all, the point is to make the process easier. There are some situations where a cable needle will be easier. And faster.

P.S. to Polly: Yes I very well might start a lace shawl when I’ve got the Inishmore Challenge done!

A Tisket A Tasket

I knitted my Nantasket Basket.

Here it is pre-felting:

felted051505 Ladies, Start Your Needles!

I used Lorna’s Laces “Bullfrogs and Butterflies” (wool/mohair belnd yarn) in the Somerset colorway, with some blue Brown Sheep Naturespun worsted for the edging.

Here’s a close-up of the knitted fabric before felting.

felted051505a Ladies, Start Your Needles!

And here’s the basket after felting. I love it.

felted051505b Ladies, Start Your Needles!

Because I used two different yarns, one a wool/mohair blend, and one 100% wool, they felted slightly differently, so my basket does not have perfectly straight sides. This occured to me before I started. I have no problem with the way it looks — I still think it is way cute!

Now I’m gonna go rest up for the start of the Inishmore Challenge.

Comments

  1. That basket is fabulous! I love it! I think it looks great. :)

  2. Cute basket! And good luck to both you and L-B– I hope the contest goes smoothly and nobody gets any RPS from it!!

  3. Seeing your lovely basket, Wendy, has convinced me of my need for one…. thanks!

  4. Very cute Nantasket! OK, I hope you’re getting in your rest before the big start! Good luck to both you and L-B!

  5. that is one great basket!

  6. I agree with your assessment regarding cabling without a cable needle. I’m a fairly tight knitter, and I greatly prefer to cable without a cable needle, but if there are too many stitches in the cable, or my stitches get too tight, it is indeed much easier to break out the cable needle now and then.

    I love your cabling without a cable needle tutorial, by the way. It’s what got me started on the technique, which is easily one of my favorites!

  7. Congrats on the lovely basket! The colors look beautiful together, and I can just feel the softness of the mohair when I look at the picture. Still way too much mohair in my stash! I may have to “cast aside” my last kitty bed for a basket! After all, what does a 12 pound medium hair fuzzball with the longest tail in the house need with a kitty bed? (Especially during the summer!) She just wraps her tail around herself and, voila!, instant bed! Besides, she and her Uncle Pippin have been going after my alpaca/wool blend (I am using on a project for my brother) every time I pull it out! What are they going to do when I pull out the 100% alpaca for my son’s sweater? Help!

    Marvelous, wonderful luck to both you and L-B! May both of you absolutely enjoy your cabling every moment of the grudge match, um, challenge! And thanks for the tutorial on no-needle cables. I always felt guilty doing that, so I carry the cable needles with me, and don’t always use them. I didn’t know it was actually a “technique;” I thought I was cheating or lazy, and that someday the whole piece would unravel in retaliation! Yay! I am legal! Thanks!

  8. Gorgeous basket! I think the slightly rounded sides are pretty.
    Forgive me if this has been asked but I was just wondering- is it pronounced “IN-ish-MORE” or “in-ISH-more”? Having to read that word over and over and not knowing the right way to say it is bugging me. ha

  9. Nantasket’s just as cute as can be. Now please limber up those fingers and focus for Inishmore. My money’s on you!!!

  10. The Nantasket looks cute and relaxed with its rounded sides. I think I’ll make one for myself, too!

  11. Love the basket!

    Does L-B have a blog? If so, please post her address. I’d like to watch both of you in progress. This is such a great idea and lots of fun for all of us onlookers! Good luck!!!

  12. Woooo…I see smoke coming from needles!

    On the Must Have Cardi comment you left…I know it’s with love everytime I see that wry smile you give, followed by your little chuckle when I pull MHC out! It’s OK…her confidence is building…her owner has been inspired by you and LB…I WILL remain focused, I WILL knit only on Must Have (except for commute knitting), AND I WILL probably watch you knit an entire Starmore before I can get one darned sleeve finished! :)

    Good luck ladies!

  13. Susan Maurer says:

    Good luck, ladies, and may the fastest knitter win. Soooo… are you slowing down to read these comments, Wendy? Or do you do that at work? Are you able to knit any at work? (Or am I asking things that might divulge secrets to the competition?) I’m guessing you’re knitting while reading comments and sneaking rows in when you can at work. Bon chance!

  14. vanessa says:

    so have you finished the back yet ;-0

  15. Vroom! Go Wendy! Go L-B! Can’t wait to see the progress!

  16. the basket is WAAAAY cuter than I imagined.
    Best of luck to you and L-B…
    we’ll be happily cheering for TWO
    amazing sweaters by
    the both of youse…..

  17. Wow! Great rim job!

  18. Wendy- Thanks for answering my question about cables. I’m now using a plastic double-pointed needle 1 size smaller than my circs as a cable needle. It’s working pretty well. The plastic has enough friction that it doesn’t fall out and it’s easy to transfer the stitches. But I will definitely try your no-needle technique next time I’m doing a narrower cable.

  19. WOW WEE on the $$ donated so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Lovely basket, Wendy. I think the rounded sides make it unique. And I have that Lorna’s Lace’s colorway (for socks), it is a pretty melange of pastels, isn’t it?

    Good luck with Inishmore! My co-workers are *ahem* betting on you…