My current work in progress:

Geiger by Norah Gaughan, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the “Schwefel” colorway, using 3.25mm and 3.75mm needles.

Happy Birthday, Lucy

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Today, Valentine’s Day, is Lucy’s official birthday. She is seven years old.

I sang happy birthday to her before I left for work this morning, and she seemed pleased. Well, she’s usually pleased when I pick her up and snuggle her, and I was doing that at the time . . .

Lynne E had some questions:

How many items did you knit from stash last year? I think you said that sock yarn purchases didn’t count–and then you knit a lot of socks as part of the “Summer of Socks”. What about this year? Are you planning to reduce your stash at all?

Apart from socks, in 2007 I knit 8 items from my stash (a shortsleeved cotton cardi from VK, Kiri, the Handsome Triangle, Maltese Shawl, Alpine Shawl, Cromarty, Mitred Squares Sweater, and Large Lace Collar Bohus) and after the end of my knit from my stash pledge, I knit 3 items I purchased yarn for after September 2007 — the Pinwheel Sweater, the Angel Shawl, and the Pacific Islands Stole. I knit a whole lotta socks, some from stash yarn, some from newly purchased yarn.

What about this year? So far this year I’ve bought some laceweight and sock yarn. I haven’t given a lot of thought to stash reduction so far this year.

I’ve got lots of yarn in my stash for knitting sweaters, but for the past couple of years I’ve been unable to wear sweaters (apart from cotton ones in the dead of winter and I’m not overly fond of knitting with cotton) because I’m just too frigging warm all the time. It makes knitting sweaters uncomfortable, too. I can’t bear the warmth of it as I knit a large heavy piece. That’s one of the reasons for so many socks, mittens, and lace projects — far, far more pleasant for me to knit.

Speaking of lace, I have done a bit more work on Garden Party.

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Lucy says:

“It’s my birthday! Poached chicken br**sts for everyone! Well, really, just for me. ;-)”

She also says:

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“Oh no! Is Momma gonna sing to me again?”

Ice Ice Baby

The Washington DC metro area had an ice storm last night and all I got was some lousy rain.

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But apparently in the outlying areas there was some serious icing going on. So much so that the federal government announced a two-hour delayed opening and unscheduled leave. I looked out my window when I got up this morning and saw cars zooming along I-395 at their normal speed, so I plodded in to work at my usual time. Nay, actually, I went in 15 minutes early.

Why am I telling you this? No reason, except that it’s Random Wednesday.

Dudes — Chill!

I’ve been blogging now for nigh on 6 years and I really ought to know better than to make a statement like “I’ve been particularly tired since the start of the year” in my blog. Because a statement like that always brings on a spate of kindly, well-meaning, but un-asked-for medical advice.

I mentioned pervasive fatigue as an excuse for not doing much knitting on my current project (not that I need to make excuses, but that’s another issue), but what I have not mentioned (well, I might have alluded to it) is that I’m working on approximately seventy ga-jillion things that are not bloggable, and that situation is in a large part contributing to said fatigue and issues with not getting enough sleep. Nnnnnnnnnnn-kay?

Fortunately, sixty ga-jillion of those things will be over and done with by mid-March so things should ease up. In the words of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley: “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Of course, I could go all negative-y and think like the immortal T.S. Eliot:

“April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain”

But now I’m just rambling, aren’t I?

Poo free, as free as the wind blows, as free as the grass grows . . .

A few of you asked me if I’m still shampoo free. Yep, I am, and very happy with it, thanks very much. I’m still using the Chaz Dean Cucumber Aloe Cleansing Conditioner. How committed to it am I?

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That would be the gallon size.

Hey! An entire post with no pictures of knitting. I think that’s a new personal best for me.

But my day would not be complete without a picture of Lucy.

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Zzzzzzzzz . . .

You will excuse me, I hope, if I fall asleep while writing this. Ever since the beginning of the year I seem to be needing a huge amount of sleep. Must be the winter blahs. In fact, I slept through almost all my knitting time last night, so I have very little progress to show you on the Garden Party Shawl — see?

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I’m working down the right side of the shawl’s “backbone” now.

A question from the comments, from babyface:

I know you said the pattern tells you exactly what to do, but I was wondering if there is any piecing or sewing once you get started?

Nope. No piecing or sewing. You’ll have a few ends to weave in, but that’s it!

Debra I commented:

Interesting shawl. I bought the pattern and notice it calls for 900 yards of yarn, and the Smooshy Baby has only 700 in a skein. So I’m assuming you’re using 2 skeins — and if so, are you alternating skeins every 2 rows, or are you just taking it on faith that they’ll match up well enough when you start the second one?

Yes, I have two skeins of Smooshy Baby. I am knitting from the first skein and when I run out, I’ll knit from the second skein. The skeins looked pretty much identical when I got them, so I didn’t see the need to alternate skeins. Besides, I’m lazy.

I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed my interview over on Sheri’s blog at The Loopy Ewe though some of you seemed to think that Loopy should interview Lucy. Well, actually he did, and this is how it went:

Loopy: Baaaa! Baaaa baaa baaa.

Lucy: Meow! Meow, meow, meow.

They had quite an animated conversation.

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And because I got nothing and I resort to cat-blogging every day, I will now resort to hair blogging. L-B, this one’s for you! 😉

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I Went to a Garden Party

Unfortunately, the song Garden Party has been running through my head since I started knitting the Garden Party Shawl. Hopefully I’ll be able to turn off the music at some point.

Because the shawl is a pure delight. While it has some interesting construction, don’t let that frighten you — the pattern tells you exactly what to do every step of the way with large clear charts and well-written prose.

Last night I finished knitting out from the left side of the “backbone” of the shawl.

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I’ve just barely started the right side.

Yesterday I had reason to haul out my light tent for some photos. Lucy was intrigued.

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“Is this a kitty house for me?”

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“Why is it white?”

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“It’s not terribly cozy, you know.”

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“Can we paint it and put in a fluffy cushion?”

It’s nice to have help with everything I do.

Switching Gears

I finished my second Hot Stuff! mitten on Friday night. Behold:

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To recap, these are my own design, knit from Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Shadow colorway, and Wollmeise Sockenwolle in the Campari Orange colorway on 2.75mm needles. I may write the pattern up at some point.

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Mitten Palms

I’m still quite enamored of mittens, but decided to switch gears.

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Garden Party 021008.jpg

This is the Garden Party Shawl, the latest from Laura Patterson, available here. I encourage you to follow that link — there are some beautiful photos of the shawl there.

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Garden Party Closeup 021008.jpg

I’m making mine from Dream in Color Baby laceweight yarn, in the Deep Sea Flower colorway (purchased from The Loopy Ewe, and am using a 3.75mm needle (US size 5).

This is a triangular shawl, with a very interesting construction. You knit a narrow center panel — a “backbone” for the shawl. Then you knit sides out from the backbone, then a deep border along the bottom. I’m currently knitting the first side. It’s a lovely pattern and fun to knit.

And I think we all know how I feel about Dream in Color yarn . . .

Here’s the Netflix description of a movie I’m about to watch. If you click on the pic to enlarge, you can read it.

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Movie Description 021008.jpg

Seriously, who writes these things??!!

Lucy is resting up so she can watch the movie with me.

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Lucy 021008.jpg

ETA: Since the WordPress upgrade, people have been having trouble commenting. You will likely encounter an error when trying to leave a comment saying you need cookies and javascript enabled in your browser. It appears to be a WordPress issue and hopefully we’ll get it figured out soon. Thanks.

Edited AGAIN to add — I think its fixed — you should be able to comment now!