My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

This Never Fails To Amuse Me

Whenever Lucy lies like that, it cracks me up.

lucy082406a This Never Fails To Amuse Me

And she does. A lot.

lucy082406 This Never Fails To Amuse Me

There’s something about her little furry legs that amuses the hell out of me. But I try not to laugh at her because she gets insulted when I do.

Sally A asked if I’ve worked on my log cabin blanket lately. I have not, because a while back I used up all my sock yarn leftovers. I set the blanket aside until I had built up my stash of leftovers. I like to have a little bit of choice when adding a new color. Heaven forbid I should use two green colorways in a row.

logcabin082406 This Never Fails To Amuse Me

But I will return to it — eventually.

I’ve got so many projects waiting in the wings. I have 2 skeins of Sea Silk in the Nova Scotia colorway (you didn’t really think I stopped at one colorway, did you?) that at this point in time is slated to be used for Sivia Harding’s gorgeous Diamond Fantasy Shawl.

novascotia This Never Fails To Amuse Me

I got my pattern in the mail yesterday.

I got something else in the mail yesterday that’s gonna make you soooooo jealous . . .

cormo082406 This Never Fails To Amuse Me

That is 1320 yards of sportweight Cormo, handpainted by the very talented Carol of Black Bunny Fibers.

cormo082406a This Never Fails To Amuse Me

Why, yes, I did wind one skein into a ball. It’s Cormo, for gosh sakes! I haven’t swatched yet, but I’m sure I will in the next , oh, 20 minutes or so. I haven’t decided exactly what to do with it yet. I’ve got a couple of nebulous ideas. What do you all think?

I’d show you a picture of the Fir Cone Wrap, but you really don’t need to see it again. It looks like yesterday’s picture, only a bit longer.

In closing, I just wanna say that I feel a bit sorry for Pluto. I only hope it doesn’t feel like it has to go out and buy a big car to compensate.

How Warped is Warped?

In the comments last night Roseann asked:
How do you like the Skacel bamboo needles? My Clover ones are quite warped and I am reluctant to invest in new ones.

(By the way, Roseann, an awesome spinner and knitter I know in real life, is a new blogger. Check out her blog and give her some bloggie love.

Anyhow, back to the question.

I love my Skacel bamboos, and have used this set for a number of pairs of socks. While they are slightly warped, it’s not bad at all.

needles082306 How Warped is Warped?

Interesting color variation in the needles, eh?

My Colonial Rosewoods, which have gotten as much use as this set of bamboos, are also pretty good about not warping too badly.

The worst warping I’ve experienced thus far in dpns is with Brittany Birch needles. Your mileage may vary!

I do grip my needles pretty tightly when I knit socks, mainly because I knit them on the train, and I don’t want to accidentally drop a needle. I think having to get down on one’s hands and knees on the floor of a train to search for an errant needle whilst clad in business attire is somewhat inelegant. Just sayin’.

Anyhow.

I did finish the first blue/purple potluck sock.

sock082306 How Warped is Warped?

And started the second one.

sip082306 How Warped is Warped?

And I am still plugging away on the Fir Cone Wrap.

fircone082306 How Warped is Warped?

This past weekend I worked up a gauge swatch and design for something I’ve been really wanting, in a yarn I’ve had since last November and I am really really looking forward to starting on it. (Really.) It’s taking all my willpower to not chuck the Fir Cone Wrap to one side and dive right in. I can well understand why so many of you have so many works in progress. It’s soooooo tempting . . .

myster082306 How Warped is Warped?

Speaking of works in progress, remember the brown striped bag I felted a little while back? I’ve not done the finishing on that yet because I decided I wanted a brown lining instead of pink in it. I’ll save the pink silk for something else. I ordered some chocolate brown dupioni silk yesterday, so when that arrives, finishing can commence.

Crocs

The Cros pictured yesterday are actually black — I did note that the color in the photo was a bit off.

I find them extremely comfortable, and that’s saying a lot for me. They do not give me blisters when I wear them barefoot. This is a first for me. They are supposed to fit loosely, so there’s plenty of room for handknit socks, should you care to wear them. I was a bit skeptical til I wore mine for a weekend. Now I’m a convert. They only come in whole sizes and I wear a half size, so I ordered up a half a size. They are wonderful. Not exactly haute couture, but I’m more interested in not screaming in pain with every step I take, ya know?

I remember when I was in college and at my summer job (hi Alice!) one of the middle-aged women who worked in the office (who wore Mushrooms) would look at my extremely high-heeled shoes and say “You just wait til you’re my age.” Mrs. Ashwell, now I know what you were talking about.

P.S. to Rufus, Ruby, and Rosemary

Please do not give Lucy any tips on Googling or I will have to change my computer log-in to one she does not know.

Here she is checking the program guide for Turner Classic Movies.

lucy082306 How Warped is Warped?

She doesn’t seem to realize that she’s looking at Friday’s page. Silly kitty.

Self-Portrait Tuesday

tuesday082206 Self Portrait Tuesday

Heh.

Questions! So Many Questions!

And mebbe a few answers.

A couple of y’all asked how I joined in my second skein of Sea Silk on the Fir Cone Wrap. When I’ve got 3 or 4 inches left of the old yarn, I hold the new yarn together with it, and leaving a tail of an inch or so, knit with both yarns for a few stitches. Then I drop the old yarn and continue with the new yarn. It helps if you can accomplish these few stitches over a more solid part of your pattern, which I did on mine. Here it is from the wrong side.

fircone082206 Self Portrait Tuesday

And from the right side — really doesn’t show:

fircone082206a Self Portrait Tuesday

After blocking, I may trim the ends. Then again, I may not.

And a couple of you asked about blocking socks. See, I don’t actually block my socks. I just slip the socks on the sock blockers when I photograph them for posterity. Perhaps it is frivolous to own not one but two pairs of sock blockers for the sole purpose of photographing socks. If so, I am guilty as charged. Forty lashes with a limp sock.

Winter asked what needles I am using for my current sock-in-progress.

sip082206 Self Portrait Tuesday

They are Skacel Bamboos and while they are alleged to be 6 inches long, they are actually about 5.875 inches long.

sip082206a Self Portrait Tuesday

As you can see from that photo, I am knitting these socks in the ubiquitous feather and fan pattern. I offer no excuse — handpainted yarns of this ilk just look really really good in feather and fan.

sip082206b Self Portrait Tuesday

Wavybrains asked where one could acquire the Cherry Tree Hill potluck yarns. I bought the sock yarn from the Simply Socks Yarn Company. The bulky yarn for Lucy’s bed was purchased from The Knitting Garden several years ago. I note, however, that they no longer seem to be carrying Cherry Tree Hill yarns. However, if you do a Google search on “Cherry Tree Hill Potluck” you’ll find a number of places that have it.

Lucy wishes she could do Google searches. If only she had opposable thumbs . . .

lucy082206 Self Portrait Tuesday

Sock Blockers and Sea Silk

A couple of you mentioned the sock blockers pictured in yesterday’s entry. They are new — from the same place I got my other sock blockers, this eBay store. They have lots of cute designs, apart from the kitty designs, and are lovely to deal with.

blockers082106 Sock Blockers and Sea Silk

Thanks for all the nice comments about the Lucy socks. I am delighted with them and am looking forward to wearing them when the weather turns cooler.

I do think Lucy deserves a little toy knitted from “her” yarn.

lucy082106 Sock Blockers and Sea Silk

Julie asked:
I have a sort of technical question. I have some Blue Moon yarn, and I wondered, did you reinforce the heel or anything?

I didn’t — but I did knit it very firmly on size 0 needles. I’ve not yet had any problem with my handknit unreinforced sock heels wearing our. Yet.

Thank you also for the comments about the Fir Cone Wrap. Here it is as of this afternoon.

fircone082106 Sock Blockers and Sea Silk

I have just started the second skein, so I’m just an ootch over half done.

The lace pattern I’m using is the traditional shetland lace fir cone motif (hence the name of the wrap!) and the idea to use it came to me because I was flipping through my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar and the April 17 page caught my eye. I thought it would look good in a rectangular wrap, so charted it out.

Clearly I had the same experience a while back, because there’s a Fir Cone scarf in my book.

Sacha asked:
I like how the colors in the shawl have a sort of crossed design with the green, did you expect this?

Nope — didn’t know what to expect, but I am liking it!

Lorraine the Knitting Hammy asked:
The seasilk is amazing- do you like the smell- all oceany and salt waterish?

I do like the smell of the silk. I notice in the skein it is quite aromatic, but as I knit it, the wrap loses a lot of the scent. I guess from being handled and aired out.

LaurieM asked:
Which photograph shows the true colors of the Sea Silk best? There’s a fair bit of variation.

Always hard to get a good photo of colors indoors! The photo above, I think, is pretty accurate.

Your monitor, of course, may vary.

New Sock in Progress

My new sock is being knitted from Cherry Tree Hill Supersock yarn in one of their potluck colorways — blues/purples.

I’ve bought several of Cherry Tree Hill’s potluck yarns and have always been delighted with what I got. It’s always a bit of a surprise — my understanding is that the potlucks are made from dyes leftover at the end of a dyeing run, so they do vary from skein to skein.

The second kitty bed I made for Lucy was from Cherry Tree Hill bulky in one of their potluck colorways.

kittybed122603 Sock Blockers and Sea Silk

Anyhow, while knitting on the sock on the commute this morning, I realized how nicely it color-coordinated with my outfit. Here it is, sitting on the blouse I was wearing today.

sip082106 Sock Blockers and Sea Silk

Where does the blouse end and the sock begin??!!

Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks!

The Lucy socks, they are done!

lucysocks082006 Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks!

I tried them on and took a photo, a la Cara:

lucysocks082006a Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks!

Even Lucy tried them on:

lucysocks082006b Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks!

To recap, these are knitted from Socks That Rock Lightweight in the “Lucy” colorway, beautifully handpainted by Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I used my generic toe-up pattern on a size 2mm (U.S. 0) needle, and incorporated a cat’s paw lace motif, chart shown in this blog entry.

Fir Cone Wrap

I’ve made some progress on the Fir Cone Wrap:

fircone082006 Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks!

I’ve still got a bit left in the first skein and unstretched, the wrap measures 28″. I can easily stretch it to 36″, so the wrap will end up being at least 6 feet long — plenty long for my purposes.

A close-up, with the pattern stretched out slightly:

fircone082006a Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks!

And closer . . .

fircone082006b Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks! Lucy Socks!