My current work in progress:

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

Archives for October 2005

Sleeve Tuesday

I’m making good progress on the Ribbed Sweater’s first sleeve. Lookie here:


But appearances can be deceiving. There’s a lot of sleeve above the armhole shaping because of the style of the sweater, so there’s still quite a bit to go.

In the “In Case You Care” Department

I ordered Falk to knit the Dale Torino sweater. Why? Because I’ve never knitted with it and I thought I’d try it out.

And because it’s Bea Ellis’ “yarn of the month” and therefore on sale at her site through the end of the month.

Both compelling reasons, no?

Of Cats and Vacuums

Snow mentioned that Wilbur the Amazing Deaf Cat enjoys having the vacuum run along him. Snow, my parents had a Siamese cat (the dearly departed Cadbury) who also enjoyed it.

But Lucy is terrified of the vacuum. So consequently I don’t vacuum very often. That’s my excuse, anyhow.


Of Were-Rabbits and Suchlike

I’ve not seen the new Wallace and Gromit movie yet, nor am I likely to until it comes out on DVD. Just not a movie theatre kinda gal — ya know?

Speaking of W&G, did you see this very sad news?

All Lucy All the Time

Szarka asked how I collect Lucy fur for spinning. After grooming her, we take the loose fur out of the brush and/or comb and store it in a zip-lock bag.

Lucy’s fur is very soft. Ragdoll cats are categorized as having a coat like bunny fur, and that’s a very apt description. Lucy’s fur spun up into a very soft yarn.

Since I gave her the toy mouse knitted from her fur, she’s been carrying it around like it’s her doll-baby. Very cute! Though, no doubt, she’ll tire of the novelty soon enough.

Anne asked:
Besides wondering what it is like to knit with cat hair and spin it and if it smells when wet (like dog hair does), the more important question is – does it shed?

It doesn’t seem to smell. But then, I don’t think that wet cat is quite as odiferous as wet dog. (Anyone with experience to the contrary, please feel free to weigh in on this.) L-B spun up this batch of Lucy fur, and she said it was pretty easy to spin. The resulting yarn does have a bit of a halo to it, so I guess it will shed a bit. I have some handspun angora that someone gave me a while back and the Lucy-yarn very much reminds me of that.

Theresa asked if Lucy has a favorite Greenies flavor. So far she’s had both the salmon and the liver flavored Greenies, and she seems to like both of them equally.


In the “How True!” Department

Your Hair Should Be Orange

Expressive, deep, and one of a kind.
You pull off “weird” well – hardly anyone notices.

In the “I’m Getting Punchy” Department

Clearly, it is time for my nap.

Columbus Day

One of the great things about being a Fed: getting a day off work for Columbus Day!

And a productive day it was. Alert the media: I vacuumed.

Lucy is scared silly of the vacuum cleaner, so to make up for the trauma I inflicted on her, I made her a new catnip mouse.


She is incredibly attracted to this mouse. Why? Because it is knitted from yarn spun from her fur.

(Spun by L-B last year. I just got around to knitting it up into a toy for the little princess.)

But that’s not my only crafty endeavor of the day. I finished the back of the ribbed sweater.


Rather odd-looking, isn’t it? That’s because the raglan sleeves extend and meet in the center to become the top of the body of the sweater.

This knits up a bit more slowly than I expected. But that’s because it’s a rib pattern and I always knit much slower on ribs. I have started on a sleeve. That way, when the sleeve is done, I’ll be half done, and I can see if I’ll have enough yarn for the sweater. I think I do, but if it looks like I’ll run short, I’ll be able to pick up more at Knit Happens.

The Alpaca Silk is a lovely yarn. I knitted two sweaters from it last year, and loved it then. My opinion has not changed. It’s incredibly soft, and knitted in this rib pattern is working up into what will be a very soft, very warm, cuddly sweater.

So bring on the cold weather!



I finished it, and I took crappy photos of it. See?


I took a flat photo too.


It rained for two solid days, and today it is dark and overcast, so good photos are almost impossible.

But I did start knitting something new:


This is the Ribbed Sweater — the free pattern for autumn ’05 for members of the Debbie Bliss Club. I’m making mine from chocolate brown Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk.

It’s an allover rib pattern, so it’s going to be a thick, cosy sweater.

Lucy thinks it looks like it would make a great kitty bed!


Some Random Stuff

Yeah, like this isn’t all random stuff.

Some Qs and As:

Jon asked:
Do you always do a three needle bind off for your shoulders? Have you ever grafted the shoulders together?

I can’t remember ever grafting shoulders together. I always do a three-needle bind-off . . . or on rare occasions I’ll sew them together.

Wanna know why I never graft? I suck, suck, SUCK at grafting! The word has not yet been coined that describes the extreme suckiness of my grafting skills.

There. I’ve confessed. Please don’t hate me.

I think a three-needle bind-off is more sturdy than a graft. At least, it is when I do the grafting.

Mary Tess asked:
I am wondering why you prefer the non-washable Dale yarn to the washable. I haven’t tried either so I have no opinion, yet.

I prefer Heilo (hand washable wool) to Falk (superwash wool) because the Heilo feels nicer to me. Falk has, in my opinion, a not-so-great “hand” because of it’s magical superwash qualities. Just my opinion. Those of you who have fondled both . . . whaddya think?

That reminds me. Oh, Snow . . . lookie here!


It’s my pattern for Torino. Oooh! You know you want it.

I finished the first Skye sleeve and started the second on on the morning commute.


I might just attach the first sleeve to the body tonight, so that I’ve got that bit out of the way. But then again, I might not. You just never know . . .

So . . . what’s next? I do have an idea for a lacy sweater swimming around in my fevered brain, but it’s nothing more than an idea, at this point. I need swatches and ciphering and such-like. So, for immediate gratification, I may cast on for the Debbie Bliss sweater I pictured here, in my chocolate brown Alpaca Silk that I’ve been dreaming about since I bought it at Knit Happens a month or so ago.

Speaking of Knit Happens, I am taking a sanity day tomorrow and shall not be heading into the orifice office. So Holly, if you’re reading, be forewarned: I’m heading your way tomorrow! Providing we don’t have a monsoon, of course.

A Question for Lucy

Martha in Mobile asked:
Is Lucy’s back always that dark, or is that her winter look?

Yesterday’s photo was a somewhat dark picture of Lucy, but her fur is pretty shaded. When she first came to live with me she was not fully mature, and her body fur (apart from the points, of course) was almost completely cream colored. As she’s matured, her fur has darkened to her current toffee-color.


Cool looking sky this evening!


On a Clear Day, You Can See the Skye

Well, it’s not a particularly clear day . . .


But here is a natural light photo of Skye, for Liz, who asked about the accuracy of the color in my photos.


I think this one is pretty close. (P.S. to Liz — I agree that cowboy boots are great year-round footwear, but sometimes in Washington DC summer humidity, a girl’s just gotta wear sandals. Today, however, I was wearing black lizard Dan Post boots.)

Other Skye Hijinks

I took time out from Sleeve Island to join Skye at the shoulders and knit the neckband.

I did the shoulder shaping using short rows, wrapping and turning.


Then I did a three-needle bind-off on the shoulders.


Picked up stitches around the neck.


And finished off with a neat little neckband.


By the Way . . .

I’ve added the Colin Firth Pride & Prejudice to my Amazon wishlist, thanks to you guys. I quickly realized that it is something I need to own! Stephanie, I went on a hunt for “A Month In The Country” and found that it is apparently not available in a US format DVD (or videotape either, for that matter). No fair!

Now if you’ll excuse me, Lucy and I have a sleeve to finish.