My current work in progress:

Freshet, by Irina Anikeeva for Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 13, knit from Rowan Softyak DK in the Steppe colorway, using 3.75mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for November 2006

Casting Off From Sleeve Island

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Casting off — get it? I slay me.

So I have completed the knitting of the West Side Raglan. I seamed. Alert the media.

Too dark at this point to get a good photo — I’ll try again on Sunday.

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There were a couple of questions in the past few days about said West Side Raglan.

Spurred on, no doubt, by my whining about seaming, Ellen commented:

West Side Raglan looks like it could be knitted from the top, maybe even in the round. Would that work? I seem to have length issues that knitting from the top down would ease.

You certainly could adapt the pattern to knit from top down and in the round. I wouldn’t (you’ll have to search my blog archives for past rantings on “in-the-round” versus “knit-in-pieces” and my various “need for seams” rants), but you could. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wen asked:
I noticed that you’re knitting straight from the skein wrapper and all… When you get yarn like that do you usually knit it straight away or do you like to wind on the ball winder?

I almost always knit it straight from the skein, unless there’s a pretty darn compelling reason not to. And this yarn pleased me because the end from the center of the skein was nicely sticking out on every skein. No digging in the center and fishing around for the end and pulling it out, only to discover that you’ve pulled half the skein out in a giant barf-glob.

I will often knit from the outside of a skein, but not with this yarn. The skeins are large — 290 yards each — and very firnly wound. Working from the outside of the skein would have been quite cumbersome with the heavy skein bouncing around while I pulled on it. And when I reached the end of each skein, it behaved very nicely — no collapsing in a tangled mess. Gotta love that.

Speaking of things you gotta love . . .

I finished my first Wild Thing knee sock! I am overwhelmed with feelings of love for this sock.

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Almost-still life with cat:

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I immediately cast on for the second sock.

With the completion of the West Side Raglan, I think I’ll work on small projects for a while. I think I’ve got my next big project picked out, and it’s a doozy. (Anyone wanna guess what that will be? Johanne, you are not allowed to guess. That goes for you too, L-B.) So before I start in on doozy-ness, I thought some small stuff might be in order.

Speaking of things you gotta love . . .

Look at the Heifer donation total. We’re closing in on $20,000.00 That’s TWENTY thousand. Wow!!

Ode On a Sock Yarn

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Thou sproingy cushy softness lying quiet,
Thou lengths of stripey goodness in a skein,
Thou colors burst forth in colorful riot.
Wild Thing, how canst I express my anticipation?
What delights await my dpns?
What glories will reveal themselves?
As the sock grows on yon needle,
Patterning of glorious hues!
What mad barber-poling! What struggles to stripe!
Heathering like the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods spun this? What rovings loth?
What singles and plies? What wild ecstasy?

Wait — I think I can hear something. Yup. It is John Keats, rolling in his grave.

Here’s my sock in progress in my Wild Thing sock yarn.

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It looks suspiciously like it is going to become a kneesock, doesn’t it? I’m pretty darn sure I’ve got enough. I’ve been doing increases up the leg and I’m thinking I’m now within a few inches of completion.

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This colorway consists of shades of golds and burgundies — so not my colors. But I love this sock with such depth and passion that it inspires me to write very bad poetry.

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I deliberately chose a colorway that was way outside my usual palette, just for grins. That’s one of the things that is great about knitting socks — it’s a way to knit with colors that you usually don’t wear because they make you look like crap.

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I knit on this sock on train platforms and trains. When I enter a brightly-lit train from a dimly-lit platform, the colors of this sock leap out at me and I feel a flutter of joy at the sight. This sock just makes me so incredibly freaking happy.

Lucy Sez:

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My momma is a nut-job. Just sayin’.

Tuesday Twaddle

You know, it’s awfully hard to plunge back into career mode after a week of being a Domestic Goddess. Particularly when one’s office is in the throes of moving and space renovation.

Yesterday I went down to our storage room with a member of my staff, to see the state of things there, as we have to move a lot of stuff into that rather small room in conjunction with the whole renovation/move extravaganza. Staff Member was not off work being a Domestic Goddess last week, so he had made some very good progress in clearing out the room.

Anyhow, when I went down there yesterday, Staff Member pointed this out to me:

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This is written on the wall behind a (formerly full) bookcase. Call me childish, but it totally cracked me up. So much so that I made Staff Member tilt the bookcase away from the wall so I could read what was obstructed by the slat of the bookcase (it reads “Leon &”). So much so that I trotted back down there today to take the photo. And we both sniggered. A lot.

(Incidentally, neither of us have any idea who Leon or Ed are.)

I thought the photo would be particularly nice accompanying an article about the office renovation in the next edition of the employee newsletter. Must remember to run that idea past the Big Boss. Heh.

West Side Raglan

I’m on the second sleeve. Alert the media.

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I sewed the first sleeve to the body of the sweater and sewed up the side seam last night. You know, just for grins. Mainly because I really loathe doing the finishing work, so it’s nice to have half of it done now. It’s all mattress-stitch, in case you wondered.

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A number of you have mentioned how quickly I’m knitting this bad boy. Remember, I started it right after finishing Elizabeth I last week (while I was home being a Domestic Goddess) and apart from spinning and starting my current sock, that’s all I’ve been working on. And it really is a fast knit. 4.5 stitches and 6 rows to the inch. Zoom zoom zoom. Ya know?

I had a question in the comments asking what style knitting I do, and how long I’ve been knitting. My style? I dunno. Any of you who’ve seen me knit — in what style do I knit? What would you call it?

How long I’ve been knitting? Since I was a tiny tot. A very long time. Very long.

Another question in the comments — which are my favorite sweaters to wear?

While I really enjoy knitting the very complicated stuff, I currently enjoy wearing the simple stuff the most. That’s why I’m slogging through boring stockinette to make the West Side Raglan. ๐Ÿ™‚

Raffle! Raffle! Raffle!

This week’s winners are as follows

Celia P. wins the Handpainted J-Knits Sock Yarn in the Boston and North Carolina colorways, donated by Julie, J Knits.

Dawn H. wins a Knitspot pattern of her choice, donated by Anne Hanson, Knitspot

Anne H. wins a set of 4 handmade ragdoll cat stitch markers donated by Wee Ones.

Nina S. wins a copy of Swedish Sweaters by by Britt-Marie Christoffersson, donated by Patty B.

Vanessa wins a complete set of knitting greeting cards, donated by Denise Satterlund. You can view the whole set here: http://www.unravelled.com

Barbara (CatBookMom) wins a copy of A Treasury of Magical Knitting by Cat Bordhi, donated by Liz.

All winners have been sent emails.

Can I have both a “woot!” and a “woo-hoo!”? Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

There’s another bunch of great prizes to be awarded next Tuesday, so keep those donations coming in!!

Lucy sez:

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Baby chicks! Keep those baby chicks coming!

Do You Believe in Magic?

That’s the name of this roving’s colorway.

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This is superwash merino and I purchased it from Crown Mountain Farms. I am planning on spinning my own sock yarn. Yes, I’m nuts.

This roving is fabulous! It drafts like a dream and spinning it is even dreamier. It makes me think I actually can spin my own sock yarn. I guess the colorway name is appropriate, because when I am spinning this, I do believe in magic.

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I’ve got a long way to go, though. I’m spinning slowly in an attempt to make it as fine and uniform as possible. I’m extremely anxious to see how this is going to look plied, but I don’t want to screw anything up by speeding through it, either.

In the meantime, I’m knitting a sock from Crown Mountain Farms’ Sock Hop handspun sock yarn — spun by someone other than me, obviously.

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The colorway is “Wild Thing.” It’s lovely and soft. Because it is handspun and fairly dense, I’m knitting it at a looser gauge than usual sock weight yarn. I’m using a 2.5mm needle and getting 6 stitches/inch. It’s wonderful and soft and sproingy and a pleasure to knit. I can only hope my own handspun sock yarn will be half as nice.

By the way, I completely blame Theresa for my desire to spin my own sock yarn. She spun up some beautiful Crown Mountain Farms roving in the “Hang On Sloopy” colorway into sock yarn and put the idea in my head.

Speaking of Theresa, she has released a new sock pattern — “Whiskers and Paw Prints Socks.” She will be donating part of the proceeds from the sale of this pattern to the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago in honor of her aunt who devoted much time to animal rescue. I have my copy of this pattern and while I haven’t started it yet, I can tell you it is a beautifully written, clear, detailed pattern. I’ll be starting my Whiskers and Paw Prints socks later this week when I finish the West End Raglan.

Speaking of the West End Raglan

A number of you asked how I like the Chester Farms cotton/wool/silk blend yarn. It is extremely nice to work with. I actively dislike knitting with cotton, but this yarn is quite a pleasure to knit. And at 290 yards per skein, it’s a pretty good value!

Heifer Project

We’ve gone over $15,000 in donations to the Heifer Project! Yahoooo! I’m hoping we can reach $20,000 by January 2, 2007.

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be turning to the random number generator to select the winners for this week’s prizes, and there are really some goodies to be had. If you’ve been thinking about donating, you’ve got plenty of time to make a donation before the drawing, which will be held Tuesday afternoon at about 4:00pm Eastern Time. If you’ve already donated, there’s no reason why you can’t make another donation. Just sayin’. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you so much for making this such a successful project so far!

Lucy Sez

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Enough with all the talk. Where’s the leftover turkey?

Weekend Wrap-up

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Here’s Lucy, relaxing in her Daddy’s lap after her Thanksgiving dinner.

Thank you for all your good wishes and lovely comments about Elizabeth I. We’ve had a great weekend. The turkey was cooked, much food was partaken of, and much jocularity ensued.

And I did some more spinning.

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This was spun from more Blue Moon Fiber Arts roving, another merino and angora blend. The colorway is called Atomic #6.

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It was from a roving that L-B acquired and split with me — my skein is 2 ounces and 116 yards. I’m thinking about using it together with the Purple Rain handspun I finished earlier in the week and perhaps making a scarf.

I also started a sweater.

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This is the West Side Raglan, a lovely simple design from Oat Couture. I’m making it from this yarn:

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This yarn is from Chester Farms, and is a cotton/wool/silk blend. The colorway is called Sea Shell and is a nice heathered tan.

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Actually, I did more than just start this sweater — I’ve got the front and back done.

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It’s knit at a gauge of 4.5 stitches/inch on a 5mm needle — it goes very quickly!