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.

Full Steam Ahead!

A number of you requested more info on how I steam blocked my mittens.

I have a Rowenta iron that I’ve had for years. It gives great steam (sounds somewhat obscene stated that way, doesn’t it?) and it has a “shot of steam” button that’s fantastic.

I gently iron the knitted piece while pressing the “shot of steam” button. The iron touches the knitting directly — no damp towel or nuthin’. Remember, I’m using superwash wool, which is pretty sturdy, and I am very careful. If I were using a delicate fiber I’d treat it a heck of a lot more gently.

Here’s the progress on my glove:

2200714816 0e801a4511 m Full Steam Ahead!

Glove 011708

As you can see, I did not put in a lot of knitting time last night. I had other assorted things to deal with so only knit for a short while.

Snow!

We had a bit of decent looking snow today. Here’s what it looked like as it was starting:

2199919965 6dc4a27449 m Full Steam Ahead!

Outside the Office 011708

Big fluffy flakes, caught in the act!

2199920093 2697d5c366 m Full Steam Ahead!

Snow 011708

It was sleeting when I came home and is probably turned to rain by now. But it was pretty while it lasted.

Little does Lucy know what was going on outside while she was snuggled up warm and happy.

2200714984 a83a5510b9 m Full Steam Ahead!

Lucy 011708

Wollmeise Laceweight Giveaway

I got 1343 emails for the Wollmeise giveaway. That’s after I deleted the duplicate emails. I know — sometimes your email program belches and spits out two identical emails. No worries. But the people who tried to fool me by sending emails from two or more email addresses, but with the same contact information? Shame on you. icon wink Full Steam Ahead!

I wish I had 1343 skeins of Wollmeise to give away, but as I don’t, I had to draw a name.

I exported all the messages into a spreadsheet and sorted them in order of date and time received, then used a random number generator to pick a number within the range on said spreadsheet. The winner is:

Shelby in Vermont, who sent me email #1280!

Shelby has been notified and has responded. Thanks to everyone else who sent me an email to be entered in the drawing. My favorite thing about doing a drawing like this is to see all the emails. Some are from “old friends” and some are from lurkers I never “see.” As you can probably guess from the number of emails I got, I can’t respond to them individually. But I do try to open and give a quick read to all of them. Thanks for all the smiles you give me!

And those of you who offered to go to Tahiti to receive the yarn are just too kind and obliging.

Oooh, Steamy!

A couple of you asked me if I blocked or steamed my Flower Power mittens before photographing them. I did indeed steam them. I always steam colorwork when I finish it. It smooths out any lumps and bumps and “sets” the stitches so all is nice and smooth.

If you think that your two-color knitting sucks because it’s so bumpy, don’t pass judgment on it before you give it a good blast with your steam iron — it really does a lot towards smoothing out all sorts of inconsistencies.

Since this blog is all about reality, here is a photo of my current work in progress, un-steamed and un-retouched.

2197788317 1ecbdf03b2 m Oooh, Steamy!

Glove 011608

And a close-up of the un-steamed un-blocked knitting.

2197788521 2de01066c4 m Oooh, Steamy!

Glove Closeup 011608

Yup, it’s a glove. Here’s the flip side.

2198575444 0c5917f961 m Oooh, Steamy!

Palm 011608

And a close-up of the thumb gusset:

2198575636 557e0de25c m Oooh, Steamy!

Thumb Gusset 011608

So . . . much . . . fun . . . to . . . knit! I even like knitting the fingers, because I have wee short dpns.

2197788045 f2d544c395 m Oooh, Steamy!

DPNs 011608

These are 4-inch long Suzanne ebony dpns, purchased from Patternworks.

Thanks for all the entries I’ve received so far for the Wollmeise lace give-away. See yesterday’s blog post for details on how to enter. You still have time!

Oh, and L-B has a request. She would like people to stop saying how nice and sweet I am in the comments. I have to tell you, she has been snickering. She knows me In Real Life, you see. icon wink Oooh, Steamy!

Lucy has a request, too.

2197788741 7210b658dd m Oooh, Steamy!

Lucy 011608

“Feed me!”

Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

When you use two 4-ounce skeins of yummy yarn to knit mittens, you are gonna have half of each skein left over. icon smile Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

So I’ve started another project with the same yarn.

2195512837 8f29c01ce8 m Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

New WIP 101508

At this point, it looks quite similar to my Flower Power mittens, no?

But it is not very exciting yet, so we shall move on.

A Bunch of Random Stuff

1. Look at how nicely the Flower Power mittens match my pretty new tote bag.

2196301678 4e35b27404 m Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

Tote Bag 011508

This is a Ham’s Jams bag, and I got it last week when Sheri did a shop update at The Loopy Ewe.

2. I also have a matching Ham’s Jams Yarn Cruiser, a holiday gift from L-B. I am so matchy-matchy!!

2195513717 8c99a7c303 m Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

Yarn Cruiser 011508

3. Another thing I bought from the Loopy Ewe last week were these wicked cool “ball of yarn” earrings by Designs By Romi. Cute, no?

2196300934 ecab207932 m Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

Earring 011508

(My ear lobes are not always that red — the photo was taken shortly after I blow-dried my hair. I am a delicate flower.)

4. Sheri did another shop update last night and boy, was there ever a feeding frenzy in the Wollmeise section! I might have (cough, cough) scored some, but I know that many people didn’t. So as a consolation prize, I’m doing a giveaway.

2195513353 a23e9fc8d0 m Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

Wollmeise 011508

This is a skein of Wollmeise laceweight in the Pfefferminz Prinz colorway. 100% Superwash Merino, 300 gr, 1739 yards.

2195512495 18533a0c62 m Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

Label 011508

Would you like it?

Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before 4:00pm Eastern time on Thursday January 17, 2008. The random number generator will choose the recipient and I’ll announce the winner Thursday evening.

Rules:

1. One email per person.

2. Only entries emailed to the Official WendyKnits Blog Contest email address, above, will be counted. Entries in the comments will be ignored. But if the spirit moves you, you are free to leave a comment telling me what a sweet and generous soul I am, okay? icon wink Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

3. Anyone on Planet Earth with a mailing address where I can send a package is eligible to enter. You do not have to be in the United States — I will mail to Tahiti, if need be.

That is all.

2196301212 4ab658cbae m Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

Lucy 011508

Flower Power!

Thanks for all the nice comments on my mitten. I completed the second one Sunday night. Behold, Flower Power Mittens!

2193116027 5af79d20ab m Flower Power!

Mittens Backs 011408
To recap, these mittens are knit from Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Yarn in the Lime Granita and Chocolatier colorways at a gauge of 9 sts/inch.

2193116281 e781d4932b m Flower Power!

Mittens Palms 011408

A number of you commented on the color combination — I love it too. Like you, it makes me think of mint chocolate chip ice cream (even the KOARC commented on that). Browns and greens are my two favorite color families, so I love putting them together.

2193901760 5e8272e6be m Flower Power!

Mitten Closeup 011408

Roseann asked what brand of needles I used for these mittens. I used the Knitpicks Harmony wood circulars in the 2.75mm size, 16 inches long. I chose to use wood over metal because I like the little extra grab from wood needles when I’m doing colorwork — it makes it easier to spread out the stitches so that the stranding along the back isn’t too tight.

2193116533 814d484d2c m Flower Power!

Thumb 011408

Anne commented that she prefers longer circulars for colorwork. While I did these on 16′ long circulars, I can see her point — I think I’d like the longer circulars too. So I ordered some Knitpicks Harmony wood circulars in the 24″ length to try out. I’ll let you know what I think when they get here.

2193901552 b5ae8a29fc m Flower Power!

Mitten Acrobatics 011408

Several of you commented on how quickly I finished the first mitten. I started the first mitten Thursday evening, and completed the second mitten last night. So yeah, that’s pretty speedy. It is a small project, though, and I always knit faster when doing colorwork, because I find it so darned entertaining.

And a bunch of you asked if I was going to write up the pattern. I will . . . eventually. But it is way on the back burner, so please do not hold your breath. icon wink Flower Power!

A Note About Contacting Me

I sometimes respond to comments via email, and reply to email sent to me using the “Contact Me” link in the sidebar. Lately a lot of the emails I’ve sent in response to questions have bounced back to me as undeliverable. Both the comments form and the “contact me” form require you to enter an email address, and of course if you enter an invalid address or make a typo in your address, I won’t be able to respond.

So if you’ve asked me a question and I haven’t responded, it’s quite possible that a typo is to blame.

Just sayin’.

Bunny Thumpers!

2193901316 a977b8d9ee m Flower Power!

Bunny Thumper 011408

Lucy’s Bunny Thumpers are a dainty 3.5″ long

Lucy sez:

2193115439 5eb32dd6b0 m Flower Power!

Lucy 011408

“Okay, why is she measuring my feet? FPS!”

Smitten

I am smitten with my new project . . . because it is mittens.

2190705638 808cd4b924 m Smitten

Mitten Front 011308

(Get it? I am smitten with a mitten. So clever am I . . . )

2189917793 7b3647971d m Smitten

Mitten Back 011308

I winkled together this design, based on Scandinavian mitten designs and incorporating a traditional Fair isle motif along with my own doodlings.

2190705734 f88507a9f6 m Smitten

Mitten Front2 011308

In the past, I always knit mittens on dpns. This is my first time using two circulars and I am quite liking it. I’m finding that colorwork on 2 circulars easier than on dpns.

2190705836 d660910922 m Smitten

Thumb Up 011308

Now, in the past when working on a fair isle sweater, I tried two circulars for the lower sleeves (where the circumference is too small for a 16-inch circular) and did not like it. I wonder if I tried 2 circs again for a fair isle sleeve would I have a change of heart? I’m betting yes.

Lucy sez:

2189917687 a08f0c30a3 m Smitten

Lucy 011308

“Mittens? I don’t need no stinkin’ mittens!!