My current work in progress:

1. "T-Rex," designed by Rebecca Danger, knit from Blue moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in the "Lucky" colorway on U.S. size 3 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Trick or Treat!

Lucy is all ready to go trick-or-treating.

lucyhalloween06 Trick or Treat!

See?

strlabel102606 Trick or Treat!

(This yarn was mysteriously sent to me by the Great Pumpkin, by the way. It is a “one-off” and is not available for sale.)

Thank you so much for all the nice comments about my denim sweater yesterday.

To recap, it was knitted from the Elann Den-M-Nit yarn, on 4.0mm needles. I love it passionately. It is not a commercial pattern, but one I made up. A combination of Sweater Wizard and my own fevered brain. I will not be writing it up — it’s just a handful of notes. And I don’t have time to turn it into a full-scale pattern, with a reasonable size range and what-not. But it is certainly easy enough to make up your own. If you read over my blog entries for the past month or so, I explain what I did. I’m thinking you could modify a commercial pattern fairly easily.

By the way, I also finished the first of my Blue Raspberry socks over the weekend.

sip103106 Trick or Treat!

The second one is well underway.

Anyhow, in celebration of finishing a project knitted with string (heh), I whipped off a quickie hat from Noro Iro. Here it is, with a hat knit from Noro Transitions.

hats103106 Trick or Treat!

Today I put both these hats in the mail to Rabbitch, for her Hats for the Homeless project.

Blue Sky Needles

needles103106 Trick or Treat!

Several of you asked about the Blue Sky dpns in the tin that I bought over the weekend.

The needles themselves are Surina wood, and are 5 inches long. While 5 inches long is an ootch shorter than I like in needles, I bought ‘em anyway. Because I wanted the tin! While that may seem frivolous, there you have it. I may knit with them eventually, like for glove fingers or tiny socks, but I haven’t yet.

And just so you know (if you care), I purchased the needles and the Alchemy Haiku (the colorway is called “Two Rock”) at Purl, and the Handmaiden Sea Silk and 4-ply Cashmere, and the Austermann Step, at Knitty City. I don’t know the name of the colorway of the cashmere — there’s no name on the label. But it’s black and brown. icon smile Trick or Treat!

I bought the cashmere to make a scarf to go with my black coat, and the Alchemy Haiku is earmarked for the Casino Shawl. The rest? I dunno. icon smile Trick or Treat!

Tune in tomorrow for another small project!

Weekend Fun

Yup, it was a fun weekend!

I took a quick trip to Manhattan to visit Formerly Blogless Margaret — took the train up on Saturday morning and back last night.

Despite a horrific weather report, we had a lovely almost rain-free Saturday afternoon, made lovelier by lunch at The Peanut Butter Company, and then a visit to Purl. I got to see the wall of Koigu and a lot of other lovely yarns, including some amazing Alchemy stuff — some colorways I hadn’t seen before.

After Purl, we went uptown to Knitty City, where we had a nice leisurely time browsing the yarns and hanging out and knitting.

My haul from the weekend:

yarn103006 Weekend Fun

Clockwise from top left, that is Austermann Step sock yarn, Handmaiden Sea Silk, Handmaiden cashmere, Alchemy Haiku and a tin of Blue Sky dpns.

After the yarn crawl, these two little charmers entertained me. Meet Formerly Blogless Margaret’s kitties!

Kiki:

kiki103006 Weekend Fun

And Coco:

coco103006 Weekend Fun

These beautiful kitties are Siberians. Kiki is 2 years old and Coco is 12 weeks old.

Coco was a huge help in the knitting process!

coco103006a Weekend Fun

Look at that sweet, sleepy face!

coco103006b Weekend Fun

So the rest of the weekend was spent talking, knitting, going out to dinner, and watching movies. I did offer to take Coco home with me, because I know Lucy would love to have her as a baby sister. You know, because I am thoughtful like that.

But I came home alone. Lucy is sleeping off her disappointment.

lucy103006 Weekend Fun

So there was a lot of knitting time this weekend. Guess what I finished?

denim103006 Weekend Fun

Yup, the denim sweater is done! Alert the media!

And here are some “in the mirror” shots with the flash off, so the color is off — the actual color is much closer to the first pic.

denim103006a Weekend Fun

I finished the knitting on the train home yesterday, and painstakingly mattress stitched the whole thing together today. I did not enjoy knitting this — the denim yarn was like string. Was it worth it?

denim103006b Weekend Fun

So totally worth it. It’s exactly what I wanted and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

I’m feeling lucky. I think I need to go buy a lottery ticket.

The Shining

This hallway reminds me of the long hallways in the movie The Shining, only uglier. Well, apart from the extremely picturesque dumpster parked in the foreground. Ain’t it special?

hallway102606 The Shining

That is the view standing outside my office suite at work. You can tell we had it professionally decorated, can’t you?

And here’s a still life of my desk early this morning.

desk102606 The Shining

By now you have probably figured out that I got nothing today.

Well, not exactly nothing. I did get my new flyer for my Majacraft Gem (to replace the flyer with the delta orifice) the other day and switched them. Of course, with the new “regular” flyer I need an orifice hook, and the two I have do not fit through this flyer’s orifice. L-B pointed out to me that I could use a crochet hook. she is indeed a clever girl.

My spinning on the Gem is getting better, so I’m a happy girl.

I turned the heel of my first Blue Raspberry sock and am delighted with how prettily this yarn is knitting up.

sip102606 The Shining

And I am well into the sleeve cap of the first sleeve of the denim sweater.

denim102606 The Shining

I’ll finish it tonight and cast on for the second sleeve. I’ve got some secret knitting to do tomorrow night, but I have lots of knitting time planned for this weekend, for I am taking a quick trip out of town and will be on a train Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. This will hopefully make for good progress on the second sleeve. I’m not saying where I’m going, but there will be a good knitting buddy, and there will be yarn shops and there will be kitties!

I’ll not be posting on Sunday, but will be back on Monday.

Happy Birthday, L-B!

Today is another special birthday — the birthday of my friend, Blogless L-B. If you are so inclined, leave her some birthday wishes in my comments!

I know she’s having a good day because her mom is visiting her for a long weekend. Hi, L-B’s Mom! I just want you to know that I, too, am left-handed, and I can knit. I’m just sayin’ . . .

Lucy sez:

lucy102606 The Shining

Thank you for the new toy, Auntie L-B! And purrs to L-B’s Mom!

Princess in Bowling Shoes

No, the title has nothing to do whatsoever with today’s blog entry. It’s just that the title popped into my head this morning when I saw the title of Ann’s post yesterday on Mason-Dixon Knitting. An old boyfriend once sent me an email with the subject line “Princess in Bowling Shoes.”

I’ve never been bowling in my life. And I sure ain’t a princess. (Dude, where’s my tiara?)

Anyhow.

Sock Talk

There were some interesting comments about sock toes and short rows and increases on yesterday’s blog entry.

MJ commented:
I’ll be trying Misocrafty’s short-row technique on my next pair. For the toe, however, I’ve found that the lifted/raised increase works well. Here’s a good pictorial link: http://www.domiknitrix.com/howtos/pairedraised.cfm

Have you tried this one yet, Wendy?

I haven’t tried it, but thanks for the link!

Leisel commented:
I’ve never had a problem with holes at the sides of short row heels and toes, so I always thought the problem was just where you started back up going in the round.

I use your method all the time, although I did make one major change. I noticed the the two sides of the heels/toes looked different, and I preferred one (the one where the knitting just looks like it bends) over the other (which has a row of dashes).

So now, to match them up, instead of just purling the stitches & matching wraps together on the back side, I purl them together through the back loops (it IS harder to execute, but the perfectionist in me really thinks the result is worth the effort).

If you prefer the side with the dashes, knit through the back loops on the front side, and then both sides will have the dashes.

Strangely, I’ve never had a problem with holes in my short rows toes at the point where you start knitting in the round. This does occur, however, on my short row heels. For the heels I always pick up two extra stitches at each side of the sock after the heel. If I’m making the sock for myself, I usually keep the two extra stitches because I have fat ankles. But if they are for someone who is normal, I decrease back down again after a row or two.

Leisel also gives an excellent explanation in her comment of how to make each side of your short row toe or heel look the same. Me, I like the look of the row of dashes, so on the knit side, I always knit the stitch and wraps through the back loops.

Nancy (Sockaholic) commented:
I’ve fallen in love with the Magic Cast-on (from Knitty.com) for toe-ups…with just simple make-one increases rather than short rows…no bumps, no holes, no fuss, no do-overs…if you haven’t looked into that cast-on (which can even be done on a train! hehe), you might find it an interesting alternative as well…

I did try it out, but I like my provisional cast-on better. Maybe I was just having an off day, but it was too fiddly for me. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime!

Speaking of socks, here’s my Blue Raspberry sock:

sip102506 Princess in Bowling Shoes

Kat commented:
I LOVE the blue raspberry sock, do you think the striping will stay that small throughout the entire sock (it looks like one round of each color) or will it even out into wider stripes?

I think it will stay in narrow strips (except the heel, of course) but you never know. That is, I think, one of the joys of handpainted yarn.

sip102506a Princess in Bowling Shoes

katomliz commented:
Curious about how your Log Cabin blanket progress..I decided to start a practice one tonight to get an idea of what I am doing. Hav enot had alot of practice picking up so many stiches before.Wonder how yours looks using left over sock yarn?

It looks exactly the way it looked the last time I posted a photo of it. I haven’t worked on it in a long time. I may return to it soon. I think when I finish the denim sweater, I’m going to turn my attention to small projects for a while. I need to knit hats for Rabbitch’s project, and a red scarf for the Red Scarf Project 2007. Et cetera. So I outta be able to fit the Log Cabin blanket in there as well.

Denim Sweater

Close to sleeve cap on the first sleeve. Ooooh!

denim102506 Princess in Bowling Shoes

Peggy asked:
I have some denim yarn I have been planning on knitting up but I have been dragging my feet since I get lazy when it comes to swatching. I like the idea of washing and drying the yarn first. How to you handle the yarn during the wash and dry?

My recommendation is NOT to attempt to wash and dry unknit yarn. I did, and it was a horrible tangled mess after its wash/dry. On the ball band of my yarn it recommends knitting a large swatch, wahsing and drying that, and then unravelling that and using that yarn for seaming.

I had the bright idea to skein up the rest of the ball I used to knit my swatch and wash the skein. Even though I was very careful and tied the skein in 6 places, it was a mess to untangle and wind back into a ball. It briefly crossed my mind that I could put it in one of those wash bags for delicates, but if I did, then it wouldn’t receive the same treatment in the washer and dryer as the rest of the sweater, which is not being washed in a delicates bag. So I did it and lived to tell the tale.

Though it is possible that I’m over-thinking the whole thing. icon smile Princess in Bowling Shoes

Public Service Announcement: Donate Blood!

Martha left the following comment last night:

The reason I’m writing is that my mom has Lymphoma and I’m running a contest on my blog to help get blood donations. She was in dire need of blood and we had to wait DAYS for her blood type to be located and transported. Simply, I need your help to get the word out. Please help.

Thank you,

Martha Holiday

Has it been a while since you last donated blood? Please consider making a donation, and after you’ve done so, do to Martha’s blog and enter her contest!

Lucy sez:

lucy102506 Princess in Bowling Shoes

Just do it!

Change of Plans

I made some progress on my current sock, but this morning decided that I’d rather use the lovely Rosewood merino/tencel for something other than socks — it would be so beautiful knit into lace. So off the needles it came!

merinotencil102406 Change of Plans

And I pulled out of my stash a recent sock yarn acquisition: some handpainted superwash merino from an etsy shop — Lavender Sheep.

sockyarn102406 Change of Plans

The colorway is Blue Raspberry — isn’t it gorgeous? I love that the turquoise and raspberry work so well together.

So, on the train this morning I started a toe-up sock with a crochet chain provisional cast-on, as is my wont.

sip102406 Change of Plans

But I did the short rows a wee bit differently.

I recently saw a tutorial on a different way of picking up your wraps that is supposed to eliminate the holes that plague some people on their short rows — it is here, on the Misocrafty blog. It’s a popular tutorial! I saw that Lolly linked to it today as well. The basic idea is that instead of knitting the wraps together with the stitch, you pick up the wraps, put ‘em on the right needle, knit the stitch, then pass the wraps over the knitted stitch.

Anyhow, I read through it with interest a couple of days ago, so tried out the technique on my sock toe this morning.

Yup, no holes on the sides of my toes.

sip102406a Change of Plans

And it looks nice and neat.

My only complaint is that there are bumps on the inside of the toe, running up each side. And I’m wondering if those bumps will annoy me when I’m wearing the sock. Remember, I’m a delicate flower.

So I’m going to switch back to my old method of picking up the wraps and knitting them with the stitch. I’ve never had holes when I do my short rows this way, and the inside of the toe feels smoother to me.

But I encourage you to give this method a try, particularly if you are plagued with holes. The inside bumps may be due to my own stupidity while executing the technique. Your mileage may definitely vary!

Speaking of sock yarn . . .

claudia102406 Change of Plans

This is some Claudia Handpainted in new colors I just got from The Loopy Ewe. Top to bottom, the colors are Toast, Leopard, and Boot Camp. Are they not gorgeous?

Denim Sweater Update

Still working on the first sleeve.

denim102406 Change of Plans

Barbp asked:

Wendy I didn’t think about this from the post the other day when your sweater looked like a tank design after you washed and dried it (and were cheated on by your dryer). But my brain has caught up to your process, do you recommend washing and drying the pattern of most of your garments before doing the neckline and sleeves or is it more of what the properties are for the individual yarn your using?

I’m washing each piece separately and then putting the sweater together because it is what is recommended for the denim yarn, which shrinks on the first washing, It is important to seam the washed pieces with washed yarn, too, otherwise the yarn you used to seam will shrink the next time you wash the sweater, and the rest of the sweater won’t.

Technology Bites

Yesterday for a chunk of time my comments weren’t working. Thanks to Josette woh mentioned it in an email to me, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have figured it out for a while. I did manage to fix the problem of my corrupted comments script by uploading the backup, after which I hid in a darkened room and rocked back and forth, whimpering, for a while. I don’t know nuthin’ about birthing cgi scripts. Anyhow, things are working more or less now, but I noticed that the database seems really slow from time to time. So if things are moving slowly on this here blog, I apologize! Hopefully all will return to normal at some point.

Lucy! Lucy! Lucy!

There was a suggestion in the comments that I offer a Lucy coffee mug for sale. There are now two in my Cafepress store. Buy a mug and the $1 profit will be donated to animal rescue.

Lucy sez:

lucy102406 Change of Plans

Wednesday Oct. 25 is my Daddy’s birthday! Happy birthday, Daddy!