My current work in progress:

1. Woodfords, designed by Elizabeth Doherty, knit from Madelinetosh Merino Light in the "paper" colorway on U.S. size 3, 5, and 7 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

30,103

Thanks for all the comments you guys left on yesterday’s blog entry. It’s nice to see old friends and to meet new friends through the blog comments. Today’s blog title is the total number of comments as of this moment. icon smile 30,103

I read blogs through Bloglines, so, I confess, I don’t always take the trouble to take the extra minute to leave a comment — it’s so easy to just skim through posts without doing so. But I know how much I like to hear from readers and I know other people do too, so I try to make an effort to comment more. Thank you for doing so as well!

The 30,000th comment was left by Dana M., whom I’ve emailed and will be sending a surprise in the next few days.

Thanks also for all the kind get-well wishes. Sinus problems are a real pain (literally) but fortunately I don’t have big problems too often. A couple of you mentioned homeopathic remedies, which I know about and practice to a certain extent. For some great information, check out this post by Norma that she wrote in October 2005. She linked to it yesterday, and I encourage you all to read it, if you haven’t already.

Speaking of sinus issues, a bunch of you spoke up in the comments and admitted that you, too, stuff tissue up your nose. Well, just to show you that I have no vanity at all, here is a photo that the KOARC surreptitiously took of me over the weekend (you know, in-between being sympathetic) — asleep on the couch, clutching my knitting like a teddy bear, mouth open, kleenex stuffed up the nose.

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Well, I do have some vanity, as I made it pretty tiny. Otherwise, it was very fuzzy as he must not have used the flash (didn’t want to wake me up). But go ahead, laugh at my expense.

On to the Knitting

A bunch of you marveled at how much knitting progress I made over the weekend. It’s really not all that much. I started the sock Thursday evening, and by the commute home on Friday had the heel turned. I had more than half the red scarf done before Friday, and finished that up Friday night. It’s chunky yarn, knitted on 6mm (U.S. size 10) needles, so it goes fast.

The cashmere scarf was also knit on a 6mm needle. I tried the yarn single strand and thought it was too fine for a nice cushy scarf, so figured I’d try holding it doubled, with a large needle. (This was just trial and error — I used no exact equation for how thick finer yarns become when held double).

The red scarf was 31 stitches per row, the cashmere scarf 23 stitches per row. So you can see, this is quick knitting!. I finished the cashmere scarf on Sunday night and went back to the sock, which I finished yesterday.

There was no colorway marked on the tag for the Handmaiden cashmere, but the colorway is a combination of chocolate brown and black.

Current Project

Here’s what I’m working on now:

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This is the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, designed by Susan Lawrence. You can purchase the pattern here. It’s a smaller sized shawl that can be made from a 350 yard skein of Mountain Colors Weaver’s Wool Quarters. I am knitting mine from my own handspun. I have a 4-ounce 360 yard skein of about fingering weight that I spun from Lisa Souza’s hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester roving in a colorway called “beachstone.”

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This is a great pattern for a lace newbie or lace wanna-be. The pattern is easy and fun to knit, and can be memorized quickly. Experiecned lace knitters will like it too, as it’s fairly quick to knit — an instant gratification project. The pattern is very detailed and well-written and the charts are clear and easy to follow. For people who don’t like to knit from charts, the whole pattern is written out as well.

When will I start my next big project? I’m not sure — I think there’s another quickie or two I want to knit before I do.

Heifer Project

We are over $22,000! And don’t forget, the random number generator will be picking more prize winners tomorrow afternoon.

Lucy Sez

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“Catnip? What catnip?”

Twins

It has already been established in my mind that Theresa and I are sock twins, what with our mutual love of Crown Mountain Farms fibers, but I have long suspected that Phyl was my bag twin. This suspicion was confirmed late last week with this blog entry by Phyl.

I got my Zelda bag last week. From The Loopy Ewe.

zelda121006 Twins

Oh, all right. I’ll admit that I got two Zelda bags, in two different sizes.

zelda121006a Twins

Phyl is right that the straps are exactly the right length to neatly tuck under your arm, and the bag fits snugly at your side. The only thing that prevents this from being the ultimate, perfect bag is the lack of an outside pocket.

Holiday Decorations and a Quickie Contest!

Thank you all for your stories of holiday decorations in the comments — I really enjoyed reading them all!

(By the way, I can see that I am closing in on 30,000 total comments on this iteration of my blog. I’ll send a nice prize to the 30,000th commenter. Yes, I am whoring for comments. I love comments.)

But we did no decorating this weekend. Maybe next weekend.

Um . . . Yeah . . . Knitting Progress

On Thursday night, I went to bed at 7:00pm with Lucy snuggled tightly next to me. Remember how I was whining about not feeling well? I’ve been having sinus issues of Epic Proportion, no doubt brought on by inhaling too much dust and other icky stuff when we moved offices. Ew. So I’ve spent the past few days hopped up on Zyrtec, in a zombie-like fugue. The KOARC spent the weekend not only enduring my sniffling and whining about feeling ill, but made sympathetic noises and made me cups of tea, and not once did he make fun of me for reclining on the couch, Camille-like, with tissue stuffed in my nose (the tissue up the nose is very un-Camille-like, I admit. But effective).

Anyhow, that doesn’t do much for one’s knitting progress.

But I do have some progress.

Here’s the first of my Magic socks. Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

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and I did finish the Red Scarf on Friday night, while watching Captains Courageous on DVD.

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It ended up about 66″ long (not including fringe) and 6″ wide, so it’s within the parameters requested for the Red Scarf Project.

With the Red Scarf complete, I needed another project — something simple so as not to overtax my sinus-infection-befuddled brain. I pulled out some Handmaiden handpainted 4-ply cashmere I bought at Knitty City when I went to Manhattan at the end of October. I had two skeins of it, so decided to knit it with two strands held together and make a mistake rib scarf. One strand is dk weight, so 2 strands made a nice chunky weight. I did the scarf 23 stitches wide and used a 6mm needle.

Two movies on DVD on Saturday afternoon/evening (The Desperate Hours and Streetcar Named Desire) and I finished it. The results:

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It’s about 5″ wide and is about 66″ long (excluding fringe). This one’s for me — I bought the yarn because I thought it would make a great scarf to go with my black cashmere dress coat.

Anyhow.

I’m feeling much better today, but am having a quiet afternoon, and am starting a fun not-too-taxing knitting project. I’ll talk about that tomorrow. I’ve got tomorrow off from work, so that’s a good thing. More time to rest up!

Lucy sez:

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“I’m available for kitty snuggles whenever you need them, Momma!”

Wild Thing

I think I love you.

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The Wild Thing knee socks, they are done, And not a moment too soon, because otherwise? Blog-wise, I got nothing. So here they are again, avec cat:

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I did make some good progress on the Red Scarf last night, but that hardly makes for exciting blogging. But here it is, avec cat:

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(Don’t worry, it’ll be washed and blocked before it leaves my abode.)

I’ll have an F.O. photo of it for Sunday’s blog entry. And I will have no doubt started something else. Hmmmmmmm . . . what will it be?

Well, I know I will start my Magic socks (or are they my Kitten-Yarn socks?), but those are slated to be commuter knitting. I need an at-home project as well. I’ve got something in mind. We’ll see if I change my mind between now and when I finish my Red Scarf. Are you overwhelmed with anticipation yet?

Yeah, it’s been one of those days. I couldn’t decide if I was sick. Am I getting a cold? Or is it just allergies brought on by dust stirred up during the office move? Do I have a fever? Or am I just overheated from the office temperature being one billion degrees Fahrenheit? Do I have a headache? Or is it just — Wait. That one I can answer. I do have a headache.

But enough whining.

I was toying with the idea of putting up my fake Christmas tree this weekend. So here’s a question for you — if you indulge in Christmas decorations, what do you do to decorate and when do you put them up? I’m just curious nosy.

Heifer Project

We did indeed go over $20,000 last night. This project has exceeded my wildest expectations — thank you to everyone who has donated money to Heifer, donated prizes for the raffles, and given this project a shout-out on their blogs. We are still several weeks away from the end and I think we can mark this a huge success!

Lucy sez:

“Purrs and kitty kisses to you all!” And as a special treat, proof that she is not a little angel all the time:

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Yup, she unwound some yarn and spread it around.

(Didja notice that because I have almost no content, I put three photos of Lucy in this post? Shameful, isn’t it?)

I’ll be back Sunday, and hopefully a tad more coherent.

A Red Scarf

No doubt y’all know about the Red Scarf Project. Here is the description, shamelessly lifted from the Red Scarf Project blog that is maintained by Norma:

The Red Scarf Project, a project of the Orphan Foundation of America, or Orphan.org, collects red (and other unisex-colored) scarves to send in Valentine’s Day care packages to college students who have aged out of foster care. These brave young people are going it on their own and trying to improve their lives and the community by attending college. The care packages are welcome tokens of encouragement to young people who otherwise receive little to no mail. Your scarf should be soft (any material), unisex design, and approximately 60 inches long by 5 to 8 inches wide. Machine washable is a plus, but it is not absolutely necessary.

(If you have questions about the project, hie thee to the Red Scarf blog, where there is an FAQ section.)

So my new work in progress is a red scarf, to be donated to this worthy cause.

redscarf120606 A Red Scarf

I bought the yarn specifically for this — it’s Lorna’s Laces Chunky Swirl in the Cranberry colorway. It’s chunky weight, 87% merino wool and 13% silk and man oh man, is it ever soft and cushy! While it is not machine washable, it is hand washable.

redyarn120606 A Red Scarf

I started out knitting a scarf that had cunning little cable twists on each side — a very nice pattern indeed. I knit about ten inches and stopped to critique. The variegation in the yarn was totally obscuring the cables, so I ripped it out.

(I’m getting a lot more mature about things like this. I used to never be able to rip out without a tantrum of epic proportions. I ripped out the start of this scarf with nary a whimper. Get me. I’m an Adult.)

So last night I was in search of an appropriate pattern. I thumbed through Scarf Style, but nothing seemed quite right. Then I remembered that I had seen that there were links to scarf patterns from the Red Scarf Project blog, so I headed on over for a look-see.

I found a link to a pdf for two patterns for Bias Scarves, available from Maia Spins. I’m making the first of the two scarves.

I’m using fewer stitches (31) than the pattern directs because my yarn is a heavier weight. I’m knitting on a 6mm needle and am getting a fabric that pleases me.

This is not exactly exciting knitting, but the resulting scarf is pretty and I’m thinking will make a college kid happy. That’s what I’m hoping, anyhow!

Office Move

As of today, I am ensconced in my new temporary office.

On the plus side:

1. Brand new furniture and carpet which is in major contrast to the appalling conditions we were working in.

2. When I got to work this morning (at 6:00am) all my stuff had been moved, my computer was connected to the network and my phone was working.

On the minus side:

1. The temperature in our temporary space fluctuates between 80.5 and 85 degrees during the day. Because we are temporarily sharing space with another division (whose permanent office this is) and they actually like it this hot, we are stuck with it. Not good.

2. I miss my window. Waaaaah!

But hopefully we won’t have to stay in this temporary space too long. We have a move-in date of early February for our renovated space. Here’s hoping they get us in there sooner rather than later. But I’m not counting on it.

Heifer Update

Look at the total so far! How cool is that?

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Lucy thinks it is wicked cool.

Magic & Cats & Heifer & Charity Knitting

Yesterday, I finished spinning up some Magic.

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This is the superwash merino roving in the “Do You Believe in Magic” colorway that I got from Crown Mountain Farms. I spun up 4 ounces of it, for 300 yards.

The Sock Hop yarn I bought from Crown Mountain Farms (and am currently knitting) is approximately 210 yards per 2.75 ounce skein. So unless my math is off, my 300 yards for 4 ounces is pretty much comparable. It looks and feels pretty much the same, too.

I got a total of 8 ounces of the roving, but I think I’ll not spin the rest right now, but knit shorter socks from my 4 ounces of yarn. I’m getting one knee sock out of each 210 yard skein of Sock Hop, so I will be able to get a nice-size shorter sock out of 150 yards.

I love this yarn. A lot, I suddenly realized why. It reminds me of something:

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That is Margaret’s beautiful little Siberian kitten, Coco. I think the yarn’s colorway matches her nicely!

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I made Kitten Yarn! Woo hoo!

Continuing the Cat Theme

I finished the Whiskers and Paw Prints socks. Here’s an upside-down pic:

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I love these socks. What a fun pattern this was to knit. So much so that I think there may very well be more Whiskers and Paw Prints socks in my future. Just sayin’. Thank you, Theresa, for such a great pattern.

Nope, I’m not ready to start on a big project yet. I’ve got a couple more small things I need to make. A Red Scarf, for starters.

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Heifer Drawing!

Seven raffle prizes this week! Wheeeeeeee!

Julia K. wins the Amazing Graze Alpaca Sock Yarn, 75% alpaca fibre/25% nylon, approximately 100grams and 350 yards, Gauge 8st/in on 2mm needles and Amazing Graze Alpaca Rovings, 100% superfine cria fibre provided by Mike, 100grams of mini-mill prepared rovings, both donated by Marj. of Amazing Graze Alpacas.

Chris wins the Peace Fleece Lighthouse Socks Kit, donated by Sybil, The Skein

Cathy in MN wins 6 bars of handmade soap from Blessed Juno, donated by Laurie, Blessed Juno

Kathy W. wins the Susan Lawrence pattern of your choice, plus yarn to knit that pattern, donated by Susan Lawrence, I’m Knitting As Fast As I Can

Maeve D. wins Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman, donated by Nancy Degener

Stephanie wins a Sheep2Shoe kit, donated by Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Lesley W, wins Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, donated by Nina S.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who has donated so far. icon smile Magic & Cats & Heifer & Charity Knitting All winners have been emailed.

Speaking of Charitable Causes: Caps to the Capital

I got an email from Barbara and she told me:

You may have heard of the Caps to the Capital Project, which is being sponsored by Save the Children and several yarn companies, among others. The response is so far not very good. I got a newsletter from Bernat yarn, saying that they’ve received less than 25,000 caps. And at the time of the count, only 149 from California ! My seniors’ group alone, from our senior center here in Burbank , is sending just over 75, after I finish a couple more myself before I seal and send the package.

This is a very worthy cause — if you have time, you might consider whipping out a hat or two! Check out the Caps to the Capital web site and Barbara’s blog for information

Lucy Sez

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“Meow.”