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.

Kitties Gone Wild

What happens when you give a perfectly normal cat this?

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THIS!! (Click on the link for a pop-up window.)

Lucy says thank you to Greta and Carson who sent her the wonderfully potent organic catnip. She has had a very nice weekend, to say the least.

And she is now napping you-know-where:

lucy071005 Kitties Gone Wild

Peacock Feathers Update

I’ve embarked on the last chart, which is about 26 rows long. So in a few days I ought to be ready to attempt the crochet chain cast-off, for I did indeed decide to give that a try and see how it looks.

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So . . . what’s next in the lace lineup?

I had planned to make the Inky Dinky Spider Stole next, but I’ve changed my mind, because I received this in the mail yesterday:

faroese071005 Kitties Gone Wild

The pattern for the Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl, from Sivia Harding Knit Design.

I’ve not ever knitted a Faroese shawl because I’d never seen a pattern that really grabbed me. I do own a book of Faroese shawl patterns but have never felt compelled to knit any of them. They are very pretty, but none were “just right.”

But a Faroese shawl with shetland lace motifs is just exactly my cup of tea! So I’m dying to dig in. The pattern is very clearly written, with nice big charts, and I think it’ll be great fun.

Now . . . which yarn to use?

I think I’ve decided on this:

greenyarn071005 Kitties Gone Wild

This is yarn bought from eBay seller Over the Rainbow Yarns. I’ve got 1500 yards of this slightly variegated olive, and the shawl takes about 1100 yards, so I’ll be good to go!

It’s supposed to be relentlessly hot here in the D.C. area over the next few days. Stay cool by knitting some lace!

Knitting Not So Important

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that I rarely talk about anything but knitting. But today, knitting is secondary.

I kept checking the CNN website all day, feeling more and more ill as reports came in about the atrocities committed in London. My heart goes out to everyone affected by today’s events.

Annie of the Going Underground blog did a great job of keeping us updated with posts throughout the day. And Annie, I’m so glad to know that you are safe.

Security was stepped up in Washington. It was a nerve-wracking day and every siren I heard made my heart skip a beat. Also unsettling to have armed transit police on the subway.

But I’ll leave you with a lighthearted image. And return to knitting talk next week.

The Knitting Bag Issue

lucy070705 Knitting Not So Important

Apparently, she wants all my knitting bags now.

London, We Are Praying For You.

Just dropping in to let you know — L-B just emailed me to tell me that Jill posted to the Rowan message board that Polly, Jacinta, Carol G. and Sharon are all safe. And Amelia is out of London, in Wales, I believe.

Other London knitters we know — are you okay?

Peacock Feathers

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I have made it to the 7th chart on the Peacock Feathers shawl. The seventh level of nirvana, sez I.

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It doesn’t make for good WIP photos, but it makes for great knitting!

I mentioned that I thought Tina was a more difficult pattern than Peacock Feathers. Snow mentioned in the comments:

Hmmmm. I thought Tina was (is) easier, although definitely more work, quantity-wise.

So, it just goes to show, different people react to different patterns . . . uh . . . differently.

The Peacock Feathers pattern has a small pattern that you repeat many times. The first half of each row is charted, then the second half is mirror-image of the first. I know this has given some people trouble, but strangely, I have no problem mirroring it in my head. But then, I’m a mirror-image kinda gal.

There are basically three different patterns in the Peacock Feathers — it changes as your work grows –and I’m in the last one, the bottom of the plumes. And this one is by far the easiest one for me to remember. Go figure. And that’s probably a good thing, because the rows are getting pretty darned long at this point and anything to make the going easier is a good thing.

I’m having reservations about the edging for this shawl — it is finished with little crocheted loops: approximately seventeen billion of them. Crochet is absolutely not my forte, not by a long stretch, but I’m willing to give it a try. They are, after all, just little crocheted chains. But if I don’t like the look of them, I shall be investigating alternate cast-offs. Perhaps a picot edging? Stay tuned.

Oh, and by the way, this shawl so will not be done by the end of the week!

Wear Time!

Logan asked:
You have made an amazing collection of stunning shawls and scarves. Do they actually get wear time? Or are you more of a process knitter, and just love knowing they are safe in the closet, and there if you need them? I’m wondering if I should be cleaning out a linen closet for future shawls myself.

A number of the lacy items I have made were gifts for other people, though I have kept a few for myself.

My shawls do actually get wear time. I keep two or three at a time at the office because they are just the right thing to throw over my shoulders when the a/c is too aggressive in the summer, or the heat not enough in the winter.

Tina came to work with me this morning. I think if it were 90 degrees in the office, I’d still be wearing her today because I love her so much.

Lucy 1, Wendy 0

Current score in the Battle for the Big Knitting Bag.

lucy070605 Peacock Feathers

More Q&A

Brigitte asked:
How does Peacock Feathers compare to Tina as far as complexity and stitch repeats goes? I’ve been looking at it on Dorothy’s site for awhile now, but…me scared…!

I think that Tina is the more difficult. The construction is more complex and the stitch patterns more varied. I’d say go for the Peacock Feathers! The Fiddlesticks patterns are extremely thorough and well-written, and the charts are large and clear.

Kelly in New Mexico asked:
How do you store all your beautiful lace shawls that you’ve finished? Do you treat the yarn with anything to keep the shape of the blocking after you unpin them?

My shawls are folded gently and stored on shelves. I take them out periodically and refold them. So far, nothing has needed reblocking.

I don’t treat them with anything — just let them soak in warm water with wool wash, then rinse and squeeze out excess water before I pin them out. I knit shawls pretty much exclusively from wool, mohair, alpaca, silk, and cashmere. They all have blocked very well. I would imagine that synthetic fibers might not.

Renada asked:
Since Tina was a circular shawl, how did you start her?? I’m about fed up with my circular beginning..it just feels so wrong to have 8 stitches split between three or four US7 needles…any advice??!!

Actually, Tina is a square shawl and is started by knitting the center square, then stitches are picked up all around the center square.

The only circular shawl I’ve made is the Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi shawl. And I agree with you — the beginning is really fiddly! It just occured to me that I start my Kitty Pi cat bed pattern the same way as well.

You probably already know this, but an excellent way to get started on a circular knit is to use Emily Ocker’s cast-on — Theresa of Spelling Tuesday has an excellent pictorial of that technique here.

I didn’t go to the office today — went to Knit Happens instead.

Tina went with me for a photo op.

Here she is being modeled by Holly:

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And by Lara:

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Don’t they look gorgeous? Thanks for modeling, you guys!

I made some progress on my Peacock Feathers.

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Lucy worked at home.

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