My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for August 2005

Just Call Me Tenacious W

Though Compulsive W might be more accurate.

In the continuation of my quest for the perfect lace knitting needle, I received more needles in the mail yesterday. And I found one that warms my heart.

It is a Boye needle — not a Boye Needlemaster needle, just a Boye circular. This needle.

Look at the point on this bad boy!


And the join is good too!


As you can see from the top photo, my long-suffering Inky Dinky Spider Stole is pressed into service as the needle testing guinea pig. The needle works great with this very fine Suri Alpaca yarn. No catching at the join, and the points are pointy enough to make all those k2togs fairly easy to execute. And the finish isn’t too slippery.

There were some good questions in the comments today, but I’m tired and Lucy wants some Mommy time, so I’ll address them tomorrow. See you then!


Stash Enhancement

L-B paid a visit to Holly Spring Homespun on Friday and boy, did I ever luck out! Because look at what she sent me!


This is alpaca laceweight, 1200 yards, hand-dyed by Kathy, owner of Holly Spring Homespun. It’s even more beautiful in person!

It’s not yet available on the Holly Spring website (and I understand that Kathy is on vacation this week), but look for it soon.


And this is her hand-dyed superwash merino dk — 230 yards per skein. One skein makes a pair of socks using the Simply Socks pattern Kathy has for sale.

L-B got me two skeins, so I’m thinking a long cosy scarf.

Oh, I do so love new yarn! I am going to need to knit up that laceweight alpaca soon!

More Needle Talk

Lorraine asked:
How is the cord on the Inox circular? It looks like the stiffer type. Does it impede your knitting or do you have some secret trick to straighten stubborn circulars?

It’s actually pretty flexible. No problems. As for tips for straightening out stubborn circulars, try steam — boil water and hold the cord of the circular in the steam from the water. Some people say to actually boil the needle in water. I understand you can microwave circs to straighten them out, but I’ve never tried it. Don’t try it on a metal needle!

Kelly said:
I’ve been using Pony circulars all this while. Is Aero better?

I confess to never having tried a Pony circular. I heard several negative reviews of them shortly after they came out, so have never sought them out. But I think I should — in the interests of scientific experimentation, you know.

Also in the interests of scientific experimentation I ought to try the Country Crock Cinnamon spread that Heather mentioned in the comments. 😉

I’ll spare you a photo of Inky Dinky. Look at yesterday’s photo and picture it a bit longer.

Five Things I Miss From My Childhood

(Swiped from La who swiped it from Margene)

1. Going “up to camp.” My maternal grandmother owned a summer house on a lake (a reservoir, really) near the town of Spencer, Massachusetts. We’d go there in the summer and we always called it going “up to camp.” (I dunno, is that expression a New England thing, or did we make it up?) That place was always simply “camp” to us. Picture a house on a small cove in the lake, so that in late summer there’d be a small beach. My brother and I spent days fishing, feeding ducks, hunting for wild blueberries, rowing the ancient rowboat out to the island, chasing chipmunks, collecting pinecones . . . well, you get the idea.

Camp was sold ages ago so it is but a memory now. The movie “On Golden Pond” makes me homesick for camp.

2. Watching “The Wizard of Oz” on tv with my brother. It was an event: we’d count down to it, my mom would make us popcorn, and we always suffered great anxiety over whether Dorothy would escape from the wicked witch. Though we knew darn well that she did.

3. Pinner. When I was a child we lived for several years in the U.K., specifically in the village of Pinner, northwest of London. We lived close enough so that we kids could walk in to the village center, we played in the beautiful park, and caught tadpoles in the River Pinn.

4. Hot buttered cinnamon toast. YUM.

5. The Easter Bunny. He used to show up every year, showering us with chocolate and small toys. I wonder what the heck happened to him?

Lucy wishes he would visit just one more time . . .


Mmmmmm . . . Toast!

Last night I dreamed about buttered toast. (As I usually dream about yarn, I find this mildly alarming.)

I forgot all about the dream until I saw a coworker this morning with some buttered toast. I felt a sudden surge of desire and had to fight the impulse to grab the toast from her unsuspecting fingers. Because that would have been Wrong.

What does this have to do with knitting? Well . . . nothing, really. Except I’ve been yearning for buttered toast all day.


Yah, I got knitting. But how many times can I show you the pre-blocked Inky Dinky Spider Stole and say “Ooh! Look at my progress.”


At least several more times.

This is boring. The patterns I’m knitting now are the same patterns I knitted on the other side of the center.

(Insert big yawn)

But I am hoping to finish this dratted thing lovely stole within one more week. And then . . . the blocking! I dearly love blocking lace!


Yup, I do believe Inox Greys and Aero circulars are the same needle. Here is one of each, side by side.

The points:


The joins:


Babes in Blogland

I stumbled across a couple more Baby Norgis in progress in Blogland:

Felica’s and Diana’s. Looking good, ladies!

This Just In

Why, yes, I did order “Dew” from the Kim Hargreaves site. In the “Meadow” colorway.

Coming Tomorrow . . .

Stash enhancements pix. Lucy can’t wait!


I’m Not the Only Enabler Here

No, I ain’t!

Because L-B someone is trying to talk me into this. And L-B someone has suggested that I should make it in the “Meadow” colorway.

The design is calling out to me, so I may have to cave and order it.

But the self-same enabler also pointed this out to me: Annabelle’s Caps.

The book is a tribute to Annabelle Dawson, a founding member of the CKDA. All proceeds of the publication go to the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

And Suzanne sent the link for this extremely pretty hat pattern in a blog comment.

Inox Needles

I got the Inox grey needles I ordered. Close to perfecto!

Here’s the point:


And here’s the join:


The point is slightly less pointy but the join is slightly smoother on these versus my Holz & Stein rosewoods. And the fact that the stitches of the java colorway I’m knitting show up better against the grey needle pushed me over the edge — I’ve put the Inky Dinky Spider Stole onto an Inox needle and have been using it all weekend.

Lucy gives it two paws up!


Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last

I’ve always thought that was good advice.

I was reminded of it again earlier this week when someone I know received some extremely bad news about her health. Suddenly, out of the blue, totally unexpected.

In situations like this, one feels very helpless. So last night I bought yarn and I am starting a chemo cap for her.

I am making this hat from Rowan’s The Calmer Collection — Aura.


But with a few mods.

The pattern directs you to knit the hat back and forth, then sew a seam up the back. I modified it to knit in the round — no need here for a seam to irritate sensitive skin. I am making it on a needle one size smaller than the pattern directs, as the hat is sized for a medium head with hair. The person I am making this for is petite, so I took out one repeat of the stitch pattern as well.

I think this pattern will work well for a chemo cap. Although it’s an openwork stitch pattern, it’s not extremely “holey.” It should work well for wear in warmer weather. And it’s such a pretty pattern. And if you are in the position to need a chemo cap, you sure as heck want one that is as pretty as possible, right?

(By the way, if you are looking for another pretty chemo cap pattern, be sure to check out Shedir from Knitty — also knit in Rowan Calmer.)

I was a bit up in the air about what color to make, but L-B wisely told me that she thinks that when you are unsure, choose a color to match the recipient’s eyes. Excellent advice, I thought!

So I selected a pretty blue shade of Calmer: Slosh.


The sad truth is, I’m not even sure that the recipient will have time to use the hat, but if not (and I sincerely hope that won’t be the case), I will donate it to one of the many worthy organizations that collect chemo caps. I’m thinking I ought make a second hat to donate, along with this one. It is the very least I can do.

At the same time, I’m still Inky Dinky Spidering. I’m getting ready to embark on the 160 rows of spiderwebs on the second side. Eeeeek!

By the way, Lucy approves of the choice of the color blue.


Have a great weekend. And live each day like it’s your last, eh?