My current work in progress:

1. Mighty Mini, designed by Rachel Henry, knit from Socks That Rock Worthy in the "Tanzanite" and "The Green That Sings" colorways on a 3.0 mm needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Weekend Update

We are having a lazy weekend here at Wendyknits.

The weather is extreme — there is a heat advisory because the combined heat and humidity make for a very uncomfortable mix. At night we’re having dramatic thunderstorms and flash flooding.

Lucy has retreated to her kitty bed in the cool of the a/c.

lucy071705 Weekend Update

“Huh, what? You’re taking another picture?”

And I’m working on my Shetland Garden shawl, equally thankful for the a/c.

faroese071705 Weekend Update

As it doesn’t look like much on the needles, I’ve attempted to spread it out and photograph separate lace motifs.

faroese071705a Weekend Update

And this:

faroese071705b Weekend Update

And this:

faroese071705c Weekend Update

Q&A!

Brigitte asked:
How do you SSK on the wrong (purl) side?

I believe that “purl 2 together” matches “SSK” and “purl 2 together through back loops” matches “knit 2 together.”

Janet asked:
Can you recommend an easy [lace] starter pattern?

I think something with the same all-over pattern would be easiest — and perhaps knitted in a heavier than laceweight yarn. Try the Fiber Trends Flower Basket or Leaf Lace shawl — I believe both of them have options for using heavier than laceweight yarn.

Rebecca asked:
What do your co-workers think seeing shawls hanging on your cubicle wall?

I actually didn’t leave the shawl pinned to the cubicle wall (and the cubicle was an empty one — I don’t have a wall like that). My coworkers already think I’m nuts — no point in proving it to them further.

Welcome to My World

Ann’s comment this morning (and Ann? sorry about the insomnia thing!) made me smile:
I think someone needs to do a study on the itsy bitsy vs. inky dinky phenomena. Where I grew up, it was itsy bitsy spider all the way — I don’t know that I could, in good conscience knit an inky dinky (even if I did possess the talent)

So . . . Inky Dinky or Itsy Bitsy?

I Googled Inky Dinky Spider.

In 1965 the song Inky Dinky Spider (sung by the Kids Next Door) was number 46 on the Canadian charts. (Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire was number 1. Just saying.)

I scrolled through the music site linked to above for a bit, overcome by waves of nostalgia. I was looking at a chart for January 1968, and there was a song listed by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. (Though they had them incorrectly called Dee, Dave, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. Jeez! Don’t these people know anything?) Hey! Have you ever been to the Official Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich website?

I have.

But, sady, I have no Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich music on my iPod. Must find a download of “Wreck of the Antoinette.” Oh! Oh! And “Mrs. Thursday”!

Am I alone here? Anyone else out there a Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich fan?

I do have a Tremeloes song on my iPod . . .

The Things You See . . .

During this morning’s commute, I saw a man wearng this tie.

Let me say here and now that I am and always have been completely and utterly creeped out by the Dancing Baby.

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a coworker years ago, in the early days of the internet:

Clueless Coworker: I have this really cute dancing baby thingie I have to email you.

Me: I’ve seen it. I think it’s creepy. Don’t send it to me.

Clueless Coworker: Where is that? I know I saved it . . .

Me: I’ve seen it. I think it’s creepy. Don’t send it to me.

Clueless Coworker: Don’t worry, I’ll find it and send it to you.

Me: NO! DO NOT SEND IT! IT CREEPS ME OUT!

One More Thing While I’m Raving Incoherently

I am so sick of that freaking Subaru commercial that uses the song “Dust in the Wind.”

Why, Yes, There IS Knitting Content

If you’ve made it this far, I commend you.

Peacock Feathers went to work with me today, where she’ll stay for a while. I usually keep two or three shawls at the office, for that is where I wear them. One wall of my office is window, and there’s a radiator contraption along that wall that I control. If I have the a/c switched off, it’s too warm from the heat coming through the window. Switched on, it’s too cold. (Opposite problem in the winter.) Further, our conference room (the thermostat for which we cannot control) is set to “meat locker” year round. We have a lot of meetings, so I spend a lot of time in there, so the shawl is an important accessory. I’ve even had a couple of the guys beg me to loan them a shawl. Heh.

This morning I pinned the shawl out on a cubicle wall to attempt to take a full shawl photo.

peacock071405 Welcome to My World

Gross aside:
(please skip this paragraph if you do not appreciate discussions involving cat puke):
Note the lovely color of our cubicle walls. They are the exact color of cat puke after the cat has eaten Fancy Feast Salmon.

But the photos came out okay. Even though government offices are not really set up for fashion photography. I did complain about that to the guy who is charge of space reconfiguration. (Yep, we’uns is gonna get reconfigured at some point.)

peacock071405a Welcome to My World

But anyhow, I am very pleased with the shawl. And I’m glad I did all those stinking crochet loops because I think they do look nice.

Hope asked:
What was your favorite to knit, as in relaxing, yet interesting, lace shawl. I love the interest in design, but I don’t like to be married to a chart.

Do you, Hope, take this chart . . .

Get it? Married to a chart? Hahahahahaha!

I tend to like the patterns that change a lot. I get bored quickly and find myself demanding entertainment from my lace. (Dance, lace! Sing, lace!)

So I like the shawls that change a lot. Tina was fun because of that. The Shetland Garden Shawl that I’m working on right now is particularly fun, because (a) it is made up of Shetland lace motifs and I do so love me some Shetland lace motifs, (b) the further you get into the shawl, the more different motifs are knitted on each row, and (c) some of the wrong side rows have patterning. Mix it up baby!

faroese071405 Welcome to My World

Rebekah, while this yarn is single ply, it seems pretty strong. I think I’ll be able to block it without snapping it.

Lucy Sez

lucy071405 Welcome to My World

Happy Bastille Day!

Peacocks in Blogland

Wow! Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my Peacock Feathers shawl! I really appreciate them.

But mine is not the only Peacock in Blogland, no-siree-bob. There’s a whole passle o’ Peacocks!

Julia is knitting one.

Françoise just finished hers!

Deb has a completed Peacock too (check her June 14 entry).

Snow also has a completed Peacock. (Check her December 12, 2004 entry.)

And I’m pretty sure a couple of blogless members of the Summer of Lace Group are Peacocking along too.

And I’m sure I’ve missed other Peacocks — who else has a Peacock out there?

Speaking of Peacocks, I unpinned mine as soon as I got home from work. (By the way, I did use blocking wires across the top edge. Lucy really enjoyed the process of “helping” me insert the wires.)

Because my couch is blue, I couldn’t find a really good place to photograph the shawl. But here’s an “artistic-in-the-window” shot:

peacock071305 Peacocks in Blogland

And a close-up of the bottom point:

peacock071305a Peacocks in Blogland

Faroese Shawl

I’ve made a wee bit of progress here.

faroese071305 Peacocks in Blogland

It’s a very fun knit, and so far, the instructions and charts are very clear and easy to work with. I sense that there will be more Sivia Harding designs in my future.

faroese071305a Peacocks in Blogland

The yarn I am using is a one-ply laceweight from Over the Rainbow Yarns (link to the ebay store is in the sidebar). It feels just a wee bit finer than the Joslyns’ Fiber Farm Angel Hair laceweight I used for the Peacock Feathers.

yarn071305 Peacocks in Blogland

I loved this comment from Susan:
Whoa, wait a minute. A Faroese-shaped shawl! What gives??

Heh! It’s true that I am not a particular fan of Faroese shawls. I had never met one that I particularly liked. Until I saw this pattern!

Besides, I vowed to myself that for the Summer of Lace, I’d do a bunch of different-shaped shawls. I’ve got a long one that’s curved on the ends (the Deborah Newton shawl), the square Tina shawl, and now the triangle Peacock shawl. Faroese? Step right up! And after that I plan on the Inky Dinky Spider stole — a rectangle.

I try to remain open-minded. Peace out, man.

Lucy

Lucy has been showing a preference for my largest knitting bag, the pink Elizabeth Austen one. But she says that any bag will do in a pinch!

And tonight she is playing dress-up!

lucy071305 Peacocks in Blogland

Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

The results of the “how many hours per day do you knit on a normal weekday” poll were about what I expected: the majority of responses in the 1-3 hours category. That’s where I thought I was, until I added up all those stolen minutes I get in during the day that push me over 3 hours. Thanks for participating in my highly scientific study.

Crochet Loops. Dude.

I sucked it up and actually completed all the crochet loops for the Peacock Feathers shawl. By knit-quittin’ time last night, I had more than half of them done (those little suckers annoyed the hell out of me, but they do go fast), and I finished the rest of them on the morning commute and at lunchtime today.

precock071205a Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

Judith, there are no crochet-in-progress photos, mainly because I was by myself. I would have needed another person to wield the camera to produce halfway decent photos. Sorry! But if you’re planning on making the Peacock Feathers shawl, you should know that the pattern includes step-by-step instructions for the loops with a clear photo for each step.

I really liked Barbara’s idea of making up a song with a beat for each stitch in the crocheted loop: doop, doop, doop, doop, doop, doop, doop, badoop! That worked fine last night, but on the commute this morning it was hard to manage while listening to “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” and other such classics on the iPod. Instead, I was crocheting to ” . . . let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it . . . ” Worked almost as well.

(Except that now Meatloaf’s opus has been running through my head, nonstop. So much so, that when one of my minions at the office asked me a question today, I responded: ” . . . let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it . . . ” Oh yeah, I’m a fun boss.)

Fancy, the stitches are not terrible fine — in yesterday’s photo, they were shown on a US size 4 needle — that should give you some idea of gauge. I measured it, and the pre-blocked gauge is around 6 sts/inch.

And Diane, yes, one reverses the slant on the decreases on the second half of each row. It’s knit on a stockinette background and proper slantiness counts! But the pattern is so logical that mirror-imaging it in your head is really not a big deal.

Here’s the whole sucker, pre-blocked.

precock071205 Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

So . . . as soon as I got home, blocking ensued. Ta da!

peacock071205 Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

A close up of the edge:

peacock071205a Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

And the bottom point:

peacock071205b Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

It took me about an hour to pin it out. I pinned the little loops out twice. The first time it was a bit crooked, so I evened things out some on the second go-round.

During the blocking process, Lucy seemed to think it would help me if there were a little furry ass parked on the shawl. It didn’t.

But the shawl is pinned out, drying. I’ll wait til tomorrow after work to unpin it.

Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl

Knitting has commenced!

This morning before leaving for work, I wound one skein of the wool into a ball in preparation. I think this yarn is even prettier in the ball than it was in the skein.

faroese071205 Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

I did just a few rows at lunchtime, basically setting up for the chart knitting.

faroese071205a Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

The shawl is knitted on US size 5 needles, in one piece, from the neck down.

When asked if she likes this new shawl pattern, Lucy responded:

Let me sleep on it, baby, baby, let me sleep on it.

lucy071205 Let me think on it, baby, baby, let me think on it.

Relentless

The heat and humidity, I mean. Ick.

So much so that when I pulled the Peacock Feathers out at the train station this morning at 5:11 a.m., my hands were immediately too hot and sticky to knit. Eeeew!

A couple of people have commented recently about knitting speed. Esther asked if I could post some tips for completng things quickly.

So, here’s a typical weekday for me:

4:35am: I am up, showered, and dressed for work. Sick, I know. I sit on the side of the bed, watch the early news and knit until 4:57am, at which time I head out to the train station. Sometimes Lucy “helps” me with this (like this morning), sometimes she doesn’t.

5:11 am: I’m at the train station and the board says my train will be here in 4 minutes — time to bang out a couple of pattern repeats.

5:15 am: I knit on train until about 5:45 am, when I have to change trains.

Then, no knitting until lunchtime. I knit for a half hour at lunch, barring any work atrocities.

In the summer, I usually don’t knit on the trip going home — the train is usually packed with tourists so there isn’t the space.

In the evening, I generally knit a couple of hours (with some interruptions) — 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

So adding it all up, that’s about 3.5 hours in a “normal” day. A fair chunk of time. So my tip for speed knitting is persistence. Knit a few stitches whenever you’ve got a few minutes of spare time. It really adds up. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I don’t think I’m a particularly fast knitter — I’m just a persistent one.

I’m curious: How many hours per day do you knit on a weekday?

Peacock Feathers Update

I’ve finished the last chart. I’ve found this last chart to be the most enjoyable one in the pattern, for some reason.

peacock071105 Relentless

Possibly because it’s got the most openwork.

peacock071105a Relentless

After the agony of the crochet chain, I’ll embark on the Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl.

Fear not, Snow. Song of Hiawatha is still in the line-up. And the Spider Queen? A definite maybe.

Lucy

Miss Lucy partook of the organic catnip this evening. And then she did this:

lucy071105 Relentless