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.

Just a Quickie . . .

. . . because I am one tired buckaroo after this past weekend.

Friday night, a party to launch my book. Big thanks to Kristine who let us have it at Knit Happens, and equally big thanks to Holly, Phyl, L-B, and the KOARC who helped me with the planning and execution of said event!

I posted some random party pix on a separate page, so those of you who would like to see them, go there for a look-see, please!

Saturday afternoon was my first book signing, also at Knit Happens.

poster042906 Just a Quickie . . .

Note the wristwarmers — they were knitted and beaded by Johanne to match my book cover — I’ll post a better photo tomorrow.

One of the first people I met was another Wendy, and not just any Wendy, but the organizer of the Knitting Wendys webring!

wendys042906 Just a Quickie . . .

My good buddy L-B was there too, of course, and she brought me this that she knitted for me:

banner042906 Just a Quickie . . .

This is a banner/table runner/scarf knitted from ArtYarns Supermerino, in the colors of my book cover, with “Wendy Knits” knitted into it! Is that not the coolest?

My Mom and Dad came too:

momanddad042906 Just a Quickie . . .

I can pretty much guarantee that this past weekend was the most time my Dad has ever spent in a yarn shop in his life.

I met my mom’s friend Julie:

mom042906 Just a Quickie . . .

A couple of movie stars stopped by as well:

jessica042906 Just a Quickie . . .

No, they aren’t really movie stars, they just look like they could be. That’s Jessica, one of my editors, and her friend Adam. They delivered this:

chocolate042906 Just a Quickie . . .

A box of Jacques Torres chocolates, a gift from my editors. Oh . . . my . . .

The King of All Remote Controls and I enjoyed them thoroughly.

L-B attempts to hide behind my book poster, but I think everyone pretty much knows now that she and I are not the same person.

poster042906a Just a Quickie . . .

And thank you to everyone who came by to say hello and have a book signed — it was great to meet you.

Lucy? Lucy stayed at home and relaxed.

lucy042906 Just a Quickie . . .

Knitting talk tomorrow. Honest.

Woo, Doggies!

Busy day today — busy, busy, busy!

But I did manage to finish the first Tiger sock for the KOARC. And here it is, in its glory.

sock042706 Woo, Doggies!

The sock is 72 stitches around on a size 0 (2mm) needle, which gives me 8 stitches to the inch. When I did the ribbing at the top I increased to 80 stitches and did a 5×5 ribbing. Then finished it off with the stretchy sewn cast-off.

I will often increase stitches before I start the ribbing, to ensure that the sock will not be too tight around the top, thereby making it easier to put on and take off. The ribbing pulls the knitted fabric in, so the increases are not noticeable.

Because I am assuming the KOARC does not wish to wear one sock and hop around on one foot, I have started the second sock.

sock042706a Woo, Doggies!

I made a halfhearted attempt to match the socks but I can see already that they are going to be fraternal twins. Is it even possible to match the stripes on tiger yarn? I dunno . . .

Marjorie had a good question in the comments:
What do you think of the reinforcing thread to make all-wool sock heels and toes more durable? I tried it on the heels of one pair, and I was very disappointed because the heels looked much thicker than the rest of the sock.

Okay, I’ll confess the truth. I’ve never tried using the reinforcing thread because it looked like a pain to deal with and I am far too lazy. Please do not judge me too harshly!

Deirdre

I am still plugging along, though progress is slow. The row gauge on this baby is about 8.25 rows/inch. These cables really suck up rows!

deirdre042706 Woo, Doggies!

First Book Signing Event!

My first book signing! This Saturday, April 29, noon til 2pm, at Knit Happens in Alexandria, VA. There is a map and directions on their website. Come see if I remember how to sign my name. Doh!

The King of All Remote Controls will be present at the book signing, complete with his (pumice) stones, as he mentioned earlier this week on his blog.

Lucy Sez:

lucy042706 Woo, Doggies!

Hey! That’s my daddy you’re talking about!

Welcome to Distraction Central

It’s a wonder I remember how to knit.

But it seems that I do, and I actually did some work on Deirdre last night, apres margarita.

deirdre042606 Welcome to Distraction Central

It doesn’t look like there are any margarita-induced errors . . .

And I worked on the Tiger sock today.

I’m into the ribbing at the cuff. Wheeeeee!

sock042606 Welcome to Distraction Central

I divided the skein into two equal balls of yarn, and I plan to knit til I run out. Here’s how much there is left for the first ball:

sock042606a Welcome to Distraction Central

But still I am distracted. Gee, I wonder why?

In an effort to distract you from my distraction, allow me to show you some beautiful sock yarn I bought last week:

sockyarn042606 Welcome to Distraction Central

This is from Lisa Souza — ain’t it glorious??!! Left to right the colors are Mahogany, Peacock, and Wild Things. And they are much prettier in real life! It is her Sock! yarn — 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon. She also has a sock yarn that is 100% superwash merino, for you wool purists.

But me? I like a sock yarn that has some nylon in it because I think the sock wears better. That’s not to say that I don’t love 100% wool sock yarn, I’m just happier with it if there’s a bit of nylon added.

Again, Thank You

Wow, I can’t thank you enough for all the comments and emails you’ve sent me in support of my book. And I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear how so many of you are enjoying it.

I really, really enjoyed writing it — even though it was tiring and frustrating and sometimes so dang hard to put into intelligible English what I was trying to say. It really wasn’t until after I submitted the manuscript to my publisher I started thinking “Yikes! People are actually going to read this? What was I thinking? What if everyone thinks it sucks? And what if it does suck?” So it’s been scary, too.

So now it’s out there, and so far, no one has told me it sucks (I repeat, so far!), therefore I am over-the-moon happy. This book has truly been a labor of love for me, so thank you for buying and reading it.

Lucy Sez

lucy042606 Welcome to Distraction Central

“Hey! Don’t forget I helped you write it!”

Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

It took me years to write, will you take a look?

(Apologies to the Beatles)

Today was the official publication date of my book. Woo-hoo! What did I do? I went to work. Clearly, I am not hooked up right. Or as Holly might say, I’m broken.

Oh well, as it was pointed out to me, Lucy needs me to support her in style, so work I must.

Thanks for all the lovely comments about the book. I am indeed very excited, even though I did plod into the office like it was any other Tuesday. I will confess, however, that I told anyone who would listen that today was publication day. And my boss very kindly remembered it (before I had a chance to inform her) and congratulated me.

Just in case you wondered, it was at some point between 1:30 and 4:00 this morning that the book’s status on Amazon went from “not yet published” to “usually ships within 24 hours.”

Deirdre

There’s a bit more progress made — see?

deirdre042506 Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

The cable pattern I chose (Colleen called it a “banana leaf cable” and I have no reason to dispute her word) is a bit labor-intensive, as you are cabling on every right side row. But that’s what gives the cable its own special charm and somewhat flat appearance. I think cabling without a cable needle is a necessity for this design, otherwise I would drive myself batty (well, battier) wielding the cable needle continuously.

Grrrrrrrrr . . . Tiger Sock!

sock042506 Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

I am happily knitting away on this sock. I have gotten a lot more interested glances when I knit this on the train then when I knit a sock in a more sedate colorway. Not that this surprises me.

Colleen (same Colleen as above) commented:
I adore the Opal Tiger, having made myself some socks out of it recently (from the new stock). If you still have the first socks out of the original Tiger, I’d love to see a side by side comparison of the yarn.

I don’t have the socks made from the original Tiger yarn — gave ‘em away to someone. But there’s a photo of them here. The new yarn with the additional color and shading seems more sophisticated. icon smile Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

More on the Alpaca Socks!

The source from whom I got the prototype sock yarn let me know that she has a limited amount of this yarn available for sale — you can inquire by emailing amazinggrazeATsympaticoDOTca — and you know to replace the “AT” and the “DOT” with the appropriate symbols, right?

The Wallace and Gromit toys featured in yesterday’s blog entry, by the way, are actually puppets — the arms are hollow and you can put your fingers inside and move them about. They were purchased via eBay at least three years ago.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to break out the good catnip for Lucy, and the good tequila for me. Oh, who am I kidding, I already did.

tequila042506 Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

Decent tequila, Cointreau, and Key Lime juice make an awesome margarita.

margarita042506 Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

Lucy sez:

lucy042506 Dear Sir or Madam, Will You Read My Book?

“Catnip? What catnip?”

New Stuff

Finished my socks, finished my sweater. So there’s new stuff in the works!

But First

A report on the alpaca socks I finished over the weekend. I wore them all day on Sunday. I schlepped around in the rain, going to the grocery store, putting gas in the car (ouch!) and made a couple of trips back and forth from car to home.

At the end of the day I handwashed the socks — soaked them in warm water with a mild soap for half an hour. Rinsed them, and put them in the dryer until they were just barely dry.

socks042406 New Stuff

They came out looking perfect. They did not felt a bit, even though I was wearing athletic shoes that rubbed the heel of the socks slightly because the shoes were a tad large for the finer gauge socks.

So. New Socks.

socktoe042306 New Stuff

Teddy is happy to pose wearing the new sock toe.

That is Opal Rainforest Tiger sock yarn. I made a pair of socks from the original Opal Tiger sock yarn in 2002. This yarn differs slightly in the colorway — there’s a sort of caramel-colored shade, in addition to the black, cream, and orange.

I’m actually a lot further along now:

sock042406 New Stuff

These socks are for the KOARC — he picked the yarn out of my new (ahem) sock yarn stash. See what a fun-loving guy he is? I did promise not to knit his socks in Feather and Fan, by the way.

Upon seeing the sock in progress, he commented “Better not let Phyl see that sock.”

More!

I also started a new sweater.

deirdre042406 New Stuff

This is what I knitted a swatch for towards the end of last week. It’s Rowan Calmer in the color “Calmer,’ and the design is my own. I’m calling it Deirdre. It will be a long-sleeve pullover with waist shaping.

I really like this cable. Because the design is fitted, I wanted a nice flat motif that wouldn’t stand out too much and add bulk to the sweater. This cable fits the bill perfectly.

deirdre042406a New Stuff

Lucy Sez

lucy042406 New Stuff

“Hmmmmm, I think tomorrow’s date is significant in some way. April 25 – what could it be?