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.

Camouflage Socks

The Camouflage Socks are at long last done.

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I love the heel. icon smile Camouflage Socks

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They seemed to take a particularly long time because I had five days off from work in the middle of their production, therefore, there were five days when I did not work on them at all. But they are done and I am happy.

Knitted from Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the “Camouflage” colorway, on 2mm (US size 0) needles, I did them toe-up with a gusset and a slip-stitch heel.

In celebration of their completion, I have posted a generic pattern for a toe-up slip-stitch heel sock. It is available here, in pdf format. It is also linked to permanently from my Free Patterns page. I’ve written the pattern in three sizes, oh-so cleverly named small, medium, and large. The Camouflage Socks I just completed were worked in size large.

So have at it. If you find errors, just remember: you get what you pay for. Oh, and you can let me know as well, and I’ll fix the pattern.

Handsome Triangle

There was little lace knitting last night as I was overcome with a vague feeling of ennui. There will likely be little lace knitting tonight as well, as tonight is Laundry Night. (Okay — I’ll allow a few minutes for you to get over your jealousy.)

Be that as it may, here is a photo of the Handsome Triangle, looking just an ootch larger than yesterday’s photo.

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Hmmmm, there appears to be a small fur-bearing animal on it . . .
WendyT asked:

Do you prefer the Addi lace needles over your Knitpicks Options needles?

Hard for me to choose. I do like them both, very much. The points are nice and pointy on both of them, and the joins to the cable are really very nice and smooth. I do thing I prefer the Addi lace needles slightly — and I do wish they came in a wider range of sizes.

Marjorie asked:

Where did you get those nice thin markers that seem to be hard plastic? The thinnest I can find are the “rubberband”-type that Patternworks sells in neon colors. They are fine, but they sometimes shoot off the needle, causing me to utter expletives. The red rings are a little too thick for lace.

My stitch markers are made by Clover, and they are indeed great — nice thin plastic, and you get two different sizes in each pack. They can be hard to find — they do seem to sell out quickly.

The Return of the Book Giveaway!

It’s book giveaway time once again! Woo-hoo!

This week it’s another wonderful Charles Todd mystery: False Mirror. Want it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday June 10, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient.

Milestone

Odometer reading this morning:

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Lucy Sez

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“Who cares? I’m gonna rock out to the mix CD that Chaos & Mayhem’s Mom sent us!”

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Sweden’s National Day

Today is Sveriges nationaldag och svenska flaggans dag. Go hug a Swede, please. icon smile Swedens National Day

(This public service announcement is brought to you by the Coalition of Americans with Swedish Ancestry Who Wish to Make Sweden’s National Day a Paid Holiday forThem as Well.)

Thinking About Some Handsome Lace?

Last weekend when the completion of the short-sleeve cardi was imminent, I was casting around for a new project. I went in the stash room and selected the Gemstones Silk, thinking I wanted to knit some lace with it. I flipped through my notebook where I keep my single lace patterns but nothing really called out to me. I started flipping through Victorian Lace Today and the Handsome Triangle caught my eye.

The chart for the Handsome Triangle looks somewhat daunting — it’s a huge chart printed in teeny tiny print.

But the lace in this shawl is very easy. It’s only a 4-row repeat and a very logical progression.

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In between each pattern repeat of the main lace pattern is a column of faggoting.

Some people might be put off because there is lace patterning on the wrong-side rows as well as the right-side rows. Don’t be! As I said, it’s a very easy pattern. I like the patterning on the wrong-side rows — it makes purling back less boring.

I use stitch markers to separate out each column of faggoting.

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It’s not really necessary, but it makes the knitting more mindless — I know when I come to a green marker I need to do something different.

I used a different color marker to mark the exact center of the shawl.

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Again, this is just a quick visual reminder to me to let me know where I am. Once again, it’s not necessary, but I find it helpful.

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Important note: There are errata for Victorian Lace Today posted online here in pdf format. There’s one tiny correction for the Handsome Triangle chart posted there.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I’m using a 5mm needle for this shawl. Because the Addi Lace needles don’t come in that size, I’m using a Knitpicks Options needle, and it is sufficiently pointy to make me happy and make the k2togs pretty easy to execute.

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Lucy the Supermodel

Deb commented:

I’m amazed at how well Lucy poses for you. I have two dogs and both are camera shy. With all the pictures you take of Lucy, how does she react when you pull out the camera?

Lucy is not camera-shy. In fact, she will often strike a pose and hold it, staring at us as if willing us to look at her so we can whip out the cameras and document her unbearable cuteness.

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And of course we do.

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Meeting Marathon!

A couple of you expressed a hope that I could knit in my meeting marathon. Ha ha! Allow me to clarifiy. This was one meeting that lasted for two full days. The first break we had on the first day was late afternoon, (apart from lunch, which was the only time I was able to knit.) So you may commence feeling sorry for me now. icon wink Meeting Marathon!

Today was better — I got home only a little late.

Actually, although the meeting went on for hours and hours (and hours and hours), it was very interesting and involved a lot of spirited discussion. This was the kick-off session for a project we are doing to created an online interactive advisor to help our regulated community comply with and understand their rights under one aspect of the law we enforce. There was a cast of thousands, the core of which was the project manager, two programmers/gurus, a contractor technical writer, the policy department regulatory expert, the policy department compliance assistance liaison for my agency, a representative from the departmental solicitor’s office, a subject matter expert from my agency, a contractor subject matter expert (an individual who retired from my agency a couple of years ago — hired on contract for this project), and little ol’ me (I am in charge of compliance assistance for my agency).

As I said, it was very interesting and also somewhat enjoyable and we made a great start on the project. One of the players listed above is a friend of mine (Hi, Mary!) so that made it more enjoyable too.

So there you have it. A glimpse into Real Life.

On to the knitting . . .

Although there was no meeting knitting, I did complete the heel on my second sock.

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A couple of you have asked why it is that cotton is hard on my hands. The yarn I used for the cardi is an aran-weight 100% cotton yarn and it has absolutely no stretch or “give” whatsoever. Executing k2tog in this yarn (particularly when you have to do so on the first row after casting on) is arduous and involves a lot of tugging. I find cotton blend yarns (like All Seasons Cotton) much more forgiving — the addition of microfiber adds a little more give.

But now I’m happily knitting along on sportweight silk. While silk doesn’t have as much give as wool, I find it much more forgiving than cotton.

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Ahhhhhh!

Lucy Sez

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“Momma wasn’t too late today, so I shall forgive her.”

Handsome is As Handsome Does

It was back to work today, after a very fun weekend. Sunday afternoon found us at a lovely brunch at Clyde’s, to celebrate my mom’s birthday. The KOARC took a set of very good photos, which you can find on Flickr, here.

Today I had an all-day meeting. Well, more than all day — I got home two hours late from work. (Lucy was not amused.) A far cry from what I was doing Sunday: drinking Dom Perignon and eating incredibly delicious crabcakes. Ah well, life goes on.

Thanks for all the lovely comments on the short-sleeve cardi. I really am quite delighted with it, in spite of the pattern anomalies.

So much so that it crossed my mind to work up a long-sleeve version of it for winter wear. I’ll have to file that away in the back of my brain for future reference.

About the lack of shaping in the front pieces, Sylvia had a good point:

I was thinking the stretch of the lacy portion may compensate for the absence of the increases after the ribbing?

That crossed my mind as well. The back above the ribbing is stockinette stitch, while the front is a lace pattern which is indeed more stretchy. But I went ahead and worked the increases anyway. My thinking was that I am larger across the front than across the back (hello — boobage) so it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have that extra inch across the widest front of the sweater. So I increased to match the back, and I am pleased with the results.

What’s the New Project?

This:

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This is the start of the “Handsome Triangle Shawl” from Victorian Lace Today.

On Friday night I started flipping through lace patterns, trying to find one that jumped out at me. This one did.

So I started digging around in my stash. I unearthed this lovely silk that I bought almost exactly a year ago, at the Yarn Lounge in Richmond, Virginia, when I was there for a book signing.

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It is Halcyon Yarn Gemstone Silk in Fuchsia. It’s sportweight, 100% silk, and 260 yards per 100 gram skein. (I’ve got 4 skeins total.) Coincidentally, the shawl pictured in the book is almost the same color.

This is a triangular shawl that starts with just 4 stitches at the neck, and you increase outward from there, adding repeats of the pattern as the piece gets wider.

The pattern is easily memorized and so far it’s fun to knit. But ask me again when I have eleventy-billion stitches on the needles!

I may or may not blog tomorrow night, depending on how late tomorrow’s meeting runs. Just a heads up . . .

Lucy Sez

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“While my favorite napping place is on my Daddy’s lap, my Momma ain’t half bad either!”

Pattern Errors

Yeah, they certainly can be annoying. But errors in knitting patterns are a very common occurrence.

I think it is terribly hard to write a pattern that is completely non-ambiguous to at least some people and totally error-free. But I found this pattern (for the short-sleeve cardi) particularly irritating because of the multiple discrepancies in it.

Several of you commented that you had contacted Vogue Knitting in the past with errata and have never heard back from them. I will let them know about the problems I found in the pattern, but I certainly am not expecting any response from them.

Speaking of the cardi . . .

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. . . I finished it.

It’s pinned shut. I still need to add buttons. I’ve ordered some deer horn buttons, which should arrive in a couple of days.

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When I had the body pieces done, Friday night, I decided to join the shoulders and knit the bands before starting the sleeves. Picking up 223 stitches in aran weight cotton is not my idea of a good time, but I got it done and I’m happy with it. I knitted the sleeves yesterday and assembled it last night. Happily, I found no pattern errors or ambiguities with the sleeves. Once again, seaming aran weight cotton was not a lot of fun, but I’m pleased with how the cardi turned out. I mattress-stitched throughout.

It took exactly 10 skeins of the GGH Big Easy — almost 200 yards less than the pattern called for. I’m betting you could make this cardi with 10 skeins of Rowan All Seasons Cotton. That was my first choice for the pattern, actually, but I only have 10 skeins of any one color of ASC and I didn’t think it would be enough.

I do like the way the cardi looks, but I don’t think I’ll be knitting it again. I don’t particularly enjoy knitting with cotton, and this was really tough on my hands.

Sock Cast-On

Those of you who guessed that the cast-on I used for my sock was the Turkish cast-on were correct. Yes, I still think it is fiddly. Yes, it makes me cranky. But I will admit that it does make a nice toe.

Knitting Mojo

I’m having a tough time with this. When I finished Kiri, I was scrambling around, looking for a another project to knit, because I had nothing in mind. I’m usually thinking about my next project by the time I’m halfway through my current one. I picked up Vogue Knitting, flipped through it, and remembered that I liked the little cardi, so cast on for that. I came very close to abandoning it before I had much more than an inch done, but since I had nothing else in mind, I continued to knit.

I started to panic when the end was in sight for this project. It was a very quick knit. I called L-B on Friday and whined into the phone “L-Beeeeeeeeeeeee! I don’t know what to knit next. What shall I knit neeeeeeeeeeeext?” L-B, Queen of the UFOs, was surprisingly unsympathetic. icon wink Pattern Errors

Do I want to be knitting a fair isle in wool? You know, because we are about to hit high summer. I’m thinking . . . no.

I did start something new, but I’ll talk about it tomorrow.

Lucy Sez

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My Daddy’s lap is my very favorite place to nap!