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.

Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

leprechaunpocket Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

After yesterday’s post, several of you mentioned my purse. Here it is, in all its glory.

purse031507 Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

It’s an Isabella Fiore purse and I love it. Truly. Madly. Deeply. The style is the “Knight Terry Frame” in brown.

And eagle-eye Allison noticed that my sock-in-progress was sitting in a little clear tote bag from The Loopy Ewe.

Good eye, Allison!

loopybag031507 Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

That bag is a perfect size for a sock-in-progress, plus a pattern and a couple of notions. For commuting, though, I usually take a larger tote bag because I always have other “stuff” to schlep.

In the Alert the Media Category

I finished the second sleeve of Cromarty! I finished the second sleeve of Cromarty!

cromarty031507 Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Yesterday I took time out from knitting to sew the first sleeve in, so I’ll be sewing sleevo numero dos in tonight. Then starting on the neckband, which will not take too long. Cromarty will be completed tomorrow evening.

cromarty031507a Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

In celebration of this, I have something plummy to give away:

celtic031507 Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

A lovely hardcover copy of The Celtic Collection by Alice Starmore, the book that contains the pattern for Cromarty. Reader Shirley in PA kindly sent it to me to offer up as a contest prize.

Wanna win it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday March 18, and I’ll use the ubiquitous random number generator to pick a lucky recipient. As usual, anyone with a mailing address on Planet Earth is welcome to enter the drawing.

And Now For Something Completely Different

Here is a music video that tells a lovely little story. With knitting content!

And I know the “secret” of how the scarf was made. But I’m not telling. Hee hee!

Have a great weekend!

lucy031507 Is that a Leprechaun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

My Day in Photos

I slept late!

clock031407 My Day in Photos

(Yes, that’s late for me on a weekday.)

Lucy had breakfast:

breakfast031407 My Day in Photos

While I sent a happy birthday email to Margene:

margene031407 My Day in Photos

I trimmed my bangs — can you tell?

hair031407 My Day in Photos

And I knit a little on Cromarty.

cromarty031407 My Day in Photos

Then I went down to my car.

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I obeyed all traffic laws and stopped for all red lights.

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My sock-in-progress rode in the passenger seat.

sip031407 My Day in Photos

I went to the dentist.

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I was praised for my good dental hygiene. icon smile My Day in Photos

I stopped for groceries.

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Then back home to Lucy, who was happy to see me!

lucy031407 My Day in Photos

But I had to go out again. It was so warm I opened the sunroof!

sunroof031407a My Day in Photos

The price of gas in my area:

gas031407a My Day in Photos

Ooh! A Doritos truck!

doritos031407a My Day in Photos

Went to have an eye exam:

optical031407 My Day in Photos

(I had Lasik 6 years ago, but as time marches on, my vision has deteriorated a little. Getting old sucks.)

Then back home to Cromarty.

cromarty031407a My Day in Photos

And back to work tomorrow. Cripes, where did the day go?

Everyone Jump in the Pool!

It’s a pool party!

I was pleased to see so many of you commenting that you like the pooling and flashing that handpainted yarns do sometimes.

Don’t know what pooling and flashing is? Take a look at my “Ingrid’s Blues” socks — good example there in the foot of the socks. I love these socks.

So I started the second sock from the Rockin’ Sock Club. Clicky-poo to see it.

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The foot on this is striping in a similar manner to the first sock. I really like how it looks.

In answer to comments questions, at this time the pattern and yarn is available to club members only (and membership is now closed for this year). But I suspect both pattern and yarn might be available at some point in the future, because patterns and yarn from last year’s sock club are now available. Well, I know some of the patterns are. Are the yarns available too?

A couple of you have asked how the garter stitch toe and heel feel while wearing them. That I can’t comment on yet, because I just finished the first sock — I won’t wear them til I have a pair, ya know? I tried the first sock on and it fit nicely, but I did not walk in it.

Needle Question

Jenna asked:
Just out of curiosity from reading through your blog, when you say you don’t use straight needles do you mean completely? Like you haven’t touched them in years and wouldn’t consider knitting anything on them?

In the past ten years, I might have used straight needles twice. I guess that’s as close to never as I’m gonna get, huh? I have a set of 10″ straights in ebony that are very nice — I used them to knit a scarf two or three years ago. Other than that, I pretty much use circulars and dpns for everything.

Cromarty Update

Debi asked in the comments if I thought using a cable needle would help when cabling with my splitty yarn. Possibly, but I think if I were using a cable needle with this I’d be going even slower. icon smile Everyone Jump in the Pool!

cromarty031307 Everyone Jump in the Pool!

Lucy

Lucy woke up to say hello.

lucy031307 Everyone Jump in the Pool!

But it wasn’t long before she was all “Geez, would ya turn out the light?”

lucy031307a Everyone Jump in the Pool!

Almost There

Lorraine commented yesterday:
Cromarty is almost there. Did you enjoy the cabling?

Almost . . . there . . . (gasp) . . .

cromarty031207 Almost There

But I’m betting it will take me the rest of the week to finish it. After the never-ending sleeve is done, I’ve still got all the sewing to do. And I have to knit the neckband. The neckband is done in 4 strips that are sewn into the square neck.

Did I enjoy the cabling? Yes and no.

I love cable knitting, the more complex the better. These cables are medium-complex, I’d say, and extraordinarily enjoyable to knit. And in the yarn I am using, Koigu Kersti, the cables “pop” beautifully.

But.

I will never knit a cabled design in Kersti again. It is very splitty and the splittiness of the yarn has detracted from the enjoyment of the knitting to a pretty large extent. Which, I think, is why it is taking me longer than usual to knit it. On weeknights I toss it aside pretty quickly because I am tired and cranky and the splitting gets on my nerves.

But once it is done, I predict I will love it.

SallyA asked:
How long is it? It looks really short but I’m wondering if that’s just the angle of the photos.

It is short. According to the pattern, it’s 22 inches long. I haven’t measured my Cromarty yet, but it is probably very close to that. I plan on wearing Cromarty over a sleevless blank tank dress, so the shortness of it is not an issue. I promise I will not be wearing it with low-rise jeans so that my belly is hanging out. No one needs to see that. Eeeeek! I may have to gouge out my mind’s eye at the mere thought of it!

It’s a Monsoon!

I’ve completed the first Monsoon sock. If you want to see a photo, click on the link below.

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And here it is inside-out (it’s a reversible pattern!):

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And here’s how much yarn I had left over from the half skein I used for the first sock:

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I used a US 0 for the foot (including heel and toe) and a US 2 for the cuff. I was planning to use a size 1, but decided to go up a size to make sure it would be stretchy enough to fit. And it does. Fit.

Christine asked:
When you are commuting, where do you put the extra dpns. How are you storing the working needle during it’s non-knitting time.

I just jab the needle through the knitted fabric of the sock. I’ve always done this and have not lost a needle yet.

Margo asked:
I’m not a big fan of pooling and I’m considering splitting the skein and working each sock alternating skeins to encourage as little pooling as possible. Have you done this before? Do you think it’s worth the effort? Looking at how the pattern knits up I’d probably be able to stop doing it once I reach the leg as the pooling seems to be happening only on the foot portion.

I am a fan of the pooling. So much so that I would never consider alternating skeins while knitting a sock. I am of the opinion that the variations you get when knitting a sock from handpainted yarn are part of the beauty of the process. I like letting the yarn do as it pleases. In fact, I prefer knitting with handpaints that pool rather than stripe — I find it much more entertaining to knit.

I’m really the only person who ever gets a good look at my socks while I’m wearing them, so I only have to please myself. icon smile Almost There

PattiO asked:
How is “Knit from your stash” coming along?

I’m doing fine. since the beginning of the year I’ve bought only sock yarn, and the yarn needed to complete a project that was knit predominantly from stash yarn. (remember the extra skein of Kidsilk Haze I needed to complete the Maltese Shawl?)

Lucy Sez

lucy031207 Almost There

“I still hate the time change.”

Splitsville

Liz R. and Katey both asked how to split a skein of yarn into two balls.

This is how I split a skein of yarn into two equal size balls.

Using my swift and ballwinder, I wind the skein into a ball. (You could also easily do this winding the ball by hand.)

I weigh the skein on the digital scale that the KOARC got me for Christmas. (This is a kitchen scale and the KOARC got it at Linens n’ Things. You can find similar ones at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Mine is made by Salter and it weighs in both ounces and grams. I set it to grams for yarn weighing duties.)

sclae031107 Splitsville

I start winding a second ball of yarn directly from the first one on my ballwinder, eyeballing it until the ball I’m winding from looks to be about half its original size. Then I put it on the scale and weigh it, while it’s still attached to the new ball I’m winding. If it’s more than half the original weight, I wind off some more. Less than half, I pull some back from the new ball. Lather, rinse, repeat, until the original ball is half its former weight, then cut the yarn.

Take the new ball off the ball winder and then wind the original ball into a new ball. I do this so that all the yarn is wound in the same direction. That way when you knit the socks, you’ll be knitting in the same direction from each skein.

If you don’t have a scale, it is trickier. My advice would be to hand-wind the skein into a ball, that then wind a second ball from the first ball and compare the two balls in size. You could probably get pretty close this way.

knitopia commented:
I’m intrigued by the garter toe. Is there a similar set of instructions anywhere on the web?

Here is an article in pdf format by Lucy Neatby that discusses garter stitch short row heels. The toe would, of course, be similar.

Even though you don’t pick up the wraps, there are no holes (unless you really stretch the knitted fabric out). Because it is garter stitch, it really squishes together once knit, so that takes care of the holes.

It will be interesting to see how this toe and heel feel when being worn — as well as the ribbing on the sole of the foot. Because the Socks That Rock yarn is lovely and soft, I’m betting it will feel good!

Click the link below to see the completed garter stitch heel.

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I know the KOARC often remarks that he likes his handknit socks because the texture of the purl bumps on the inside of them give his feet a little massage.

After dividing into two balls, each ball looks pretty big — I’m betting there will be plenty of yarn to knit a decent size leg to these socks. I wear a size 8.5 shoe and have wide feet, and I have always been able to get a nice length leg on my socks when using Sock That Rock lightweight (360 yards per skein). This sock is knitted in the medium weight, with 380 yards per skein. So much the better!

There was a request in the comments to see what I bought from The Loopy Ewe last week. Here you go:

sockyarn031107 Splitsville

Clockwise from bottom right, that’s Sweet Georgia sock yarn in three different (unnamed) colorways, 2 colors of Applie Laine Apple Pie (Earthy Delights and Pretty in Pink) and 2 of Perchance to Knit (Breezy and Tartan).

(It’s not all for me!)

And the state of Cromarty:

cromarty031107 Splitsville

With a bit of the second sleeve done:

cromarty031107a Splitsville

Lucy Sez

lucy031107 Splitsville

“The time change sucks.”