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.

St. Lucia Day

Today is St. Lucia Day, and I’m all set.

L-B always sends me a box of goodies for St. Lucia Day, and this year was no exception. She sent me:

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Tray 121307

A tray that depicts my very favorite Carl Larsson painting. If you look at the enlarged picture closely, you should be able to figure out why it’s my favorite.

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Napkins 121307

Some paper napkins depicting the jultomten with his goat, a painting by another Swedish artist, Jenny Nyström.

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Cookie Tin 121307
A tin of pepparkakor with another picture by the same artist whose work graces the paper napkins — same subject, but a different color goat!

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Selvedge 121307

And a copy of the latest issue of Selvedge magazine, because its theme is Scandinavian. Thanks L-B!!

So tonight I’ll be eating pepparkakor while reading my magazine. However, I don’t think I’ll be knitting any of these dresses shown in the magazine.

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What Not to Knit 121307

I’ll be knitting lace, though.

Kittything asked:

Do you lightly steam block as you go along? for the pictures? Your lace doesn’t look wonky like my vision of most lace while in progress.

Busted! Heh! Yes, I did steam-block the start of my shawl, because I wanted to see how it looked. It blocked out so nicely with just a light steaming that I don’t think I’ll wet-block it when I finish — just a light steaming will make me happy.

You can see the difference between the blocked portion and the unblocked portion here.

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Pacific 121307

Blocked:

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Blocked 121307

Unblocked:

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Unblocked 121307

Lucy is no doubt dreaming of pepparkakor.

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Lucy 121307

The Long and Winding Skein

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my shawl-in-progress. I am so delighted with how the Wollmeise colorway I’m using works so well with the pattern.

Reader Christy commented:

I have a hank of the Dani colorway, how in the world did you wind it? Did you wind half of it, then cut the yarn, then wind the other half? I’m concerned that my ballwinder won’t be able to handle a cake that large.

The winding of the yarn was not pretty.

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Yarn 121207

I have an electric ballwinder that I acquired several years ago. I don’t think it’s available in the U.S. anymore. And sadly, it’s showing its age — but with a little encouragement it will wind a skein of yarn off a swift.

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Ballwinder 121207

My 300 gram skein of Wollmeise is over 1700 yards and I wasn’t too enthusiastic about winding it by hand. So, without really thinking it through, I popped the skein on my swift and started winding with the electric ballwinder.

It is important to note here that my ballwinder is capable of holding an 8 ounce skein. And that the skein of yarn I was winding was over 10.5 ounces.

(Yeah, I do that — jump in feet first without really thinking about the consequences of my actions.)

So of course I ended up with a big fat ball o’ yarn on the ballwinder that was threatening to overflow, and about a quarter of the skein left on the swift. If the ball o’ yarn were to overflow, it would get caught in the gears of the ballwinder and that is a definite no-no.

So I took the ball of yarn off the ball winder and manually wound the last quarter skein, pulling it through the guide on the ball winder because there was no way I was going to cut it.

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Yarn guide 121207

It took a while. icon wink The Long and Winding Skein

Incidentally, the pattern calls for approximately half the amount of yarn that’s in my giant ball o’ Wollmeise, so I really could have cut it. But I’m stubborn like that. And I’ll likely give away the remainder of the skein of Wollmeise when I’m done, so I wanted an unsullied skein.

The shawl in progress:

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Pacific 121207

The Little Princess, with her box.

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Lucy 121207

Boy, is she ever gonna be pissed when I throw it away . . .

Well, Yeah, It’s a Shawl — But Which Shawl?

It was sort of mean of me, asking you to guess what my new WIP was, because I’m test-knitting a pattern that’s not yet been released.

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Pacific 121107
This is the Pacific Islands Shawl, designed by Laura Patterson. You can see Laura’s scarf version of the shawl on her blog, here.

Last week Laura posted about her scarf and said she was looking for a test-knitter for the larger shawl version of the pattern. Because I was looking around for a new lace project and I loved the scarf, I volunteered.

It is a stole, knit from each end and grafted together in the center. The edging is knit as part of the body, a design feature that I love.

I’m using Wollmeise laceweight, purchased from The Loopy Ewe, in the Gewitterhimmel colorway. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Pacific Closeup 121107

It makes me think of sunlight on the water.

Because my yarn is a bit heavier than the Jaggerspun Zephyr wool/silk called for in the pattern, I went up one needle size to a US 6.

And because I wanted the cast-on edge to be very stretchy, I did a simple backwards loop cast-on, using a US 9 needle. I’m very pleased with the results!

Heifer.org

Several of you have emailed or commented to ask if I’m going to do my annual Heifer.org holiday charity drive this year. Sorry guys, I simply don’t have the energy required to run it and deal with prizes and drawings, etc. this year. I did put a link to my Heifer gift registry in the sidebar yesterday.

Then this morning I discovered that Rachael over at Cattywumpus is doing a Heifer challenge, complete with prizes. I encourage you to donate through her project!

Lucy is dreaming of baby chicks.

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Lucy 12107

Just Stopping By to Ask

Can you guess what this is?

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New Project 121007

Lucy knows, but she’s sworn to secrecy!

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Lucy 211007

Onward

Thanks to everyone who weighed in and voted on the Pinwheel Sweater and left comments. It was very interesting to read the wide variety of opinions. Some of you said you thought it looked great on me, some of you said you thought it looked awful. I guess what it boils down to is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, huh?

Before I posted yesterday, I had decided to knit on.

Here’s how much yarn I had left after knitting the first sleeve:

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Yarn After First Sleeve 120907

The first sleeve took about 150 grams, so I knew I’d run out. But last night I knit until I ran out of yarn, and, predictably, got about one-third of the second sleeve done.

I tried the sweater on again this morning:

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Pinwheel Sweater 120907

Much better I think. The sleeve really helps.

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Pinwheel Sweater A 120907

So much so, that I think I’ll be able to wear it without a pin holding it together. The lack of sleeves made the sweater want to slide off my shoulders, and I do have narrow shoulders, which did not help things.

Lucy does not get all the hoopla over a sweater.

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Lucy 120907