My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

Reading While Knitting

A lot of comments about reading while knitting on yesterday’s post.

I always read while I knit during my lunch break. I have a somewhat inelegant way of doing so.

sip030107 Reading While Knitting

I prop my book open with a stapler on one side and a tape dispenser on the other.

Some of you commented that you were not accomplished enough knitters to be able to read and knit at the same time. I think this is just something that comes with time and experience. I’ve been knitting for ages, and I will often knit with my eyes closed. Of course, if there’s a tricky knitting maneuver I have to execute, I open my eyes, but I do enjoy knitting without looking. I feel the stitches rather than look at them, and it is a very nice sensation because I think I feel them more “clearly” with my eyes closed.

When I read while knitting, I do have to stop and turn pages, but I’m used to that. But it would be nice to have my own personal page-turner. That’s it — when I win the lottery, I am not only going to have my own personal driver, I’m gonna have my own page-turner. Lucy will have a personal assistant to brush her and fish her paper balls out from under the fridge.

Back to knitting. Notice in the photo above that my sock-in-progress is pretending to read my book to give you the impression that it is all intellectual-like. Do not be fooled. That sock is a party animal! Here’s what it did as soon as I got home tonight:

sip030107a Reading While Knitting

The other socks were appalled, and staged an intervention:

sip030107b Reading While Knitting

I thought it was darn nice of them, you know, being there for the new sock and showing that they were sole-mates. (Get it? SOLE-mates? I crack me up.)

But I did think it was going a bit too far when they all joined toes and sang “Kumbaya.” Sheesh.

So far I’ve gotten 751 entries for the drawing for the copies of The Friday Night Knitting Club. Keep ’em coming! (See my previous blog post for instructions on entering the drawing.) One of the things I love about giving stuff away on the blog is that I get to hear from so many of you who are out there reading. I’m sorry I don’t have time to respond to all your contest entry emails, but I do try to read every one. Lucy says thank you as well for the greetings you have sent her.

Some of you mentioned how generous I am to buy and give away four copies of this nice hardcover book. Much as I’d like to take the credit, honesty compels me to tell you that the publisher contacted me and asked me if I’d like a copy of the book, along with some copies to give away to my blog readers. I of course said yes!

Photo and Graphic Hijinks

Our favorite Sheriff of Knittingham asked me if the color in my last photo of Cromarty was true to life. Not exactly — it’s a bit deeper in color than the photos show.

Erika asked:
Could you please tell me how you make charts for fair isle to post online? I want to make an image file for my first modest little fair isle hat pattern, and I looked online (and in your blog!) but to no avail!

I use the Stitch and Motif Maker software for charts, as well as Knit Visualizer. But if you don’t want to buy a charting program, you can use Excel to make charts for knitting. Twisted Spinster has an excellent tutorial on making charts for knitting using Excel. And for the knitting symbols to put in those charts, I like the Knitting Symbol Font by Aire River Design.

Sherry asked:
Do you have any tips for taking pics of the pets with the flash? I was trying to take some pics of Henry the other day and he kept closing his eyes each time the flash went off. He has beautiful amber eyes, so they HAVE to be part of his pics.

Pretty much all the photos I take of Lucy are with the flash. If I turn the flash off, I almost always get a blurry photo because she never stops moving. I will often hold the camera in one hand, focus it on her (I have an SLR camera) and then pet her with the other hand to get her to look up. As soon as she does, I take my hand out of the frame and snap a few shots. I will also chirp at her to get her attention (but she is getting better and better at ignoring that). Dangling a toy above her works — I believe professional animal photographers do that.

Sometimes I can get a good picture of her from a distance using the zoom lens. I like to try to get photos of her from different angles. One of my favorites is to lie on the floor in front of her and take photos at Lucy-eye-level. This doesn’t work very often because as soon as I get down on the floor, she gets up and walks towards me. I think my most successful floor shots are birds-eye views of her when she is lying on her back. Sometimes she will roll over on her back, stick one paw up in the air, and look at me as if to say “Well, take the picture, stupid!”

But all in all, she likes the profile shots best.

lucy030107 Reading While Knitting