My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for April 2008

My Knitting Bag

Thanks for the nice comments about ny new blog template. We are still tinkering, so pardon our dust.

The bag pictured in yesterday’s blog entry is a Lexie Barnes “Lady B” bag, in the Dutch Treat fabric. It’s a distinct possibility that the fabric has been discontinued, because I don’t see it among the current offerings on the Lexie Barnes website.

I also have (in the same fabric) a “Superstar” messenger bag, a little “Gem” shoulder bag, and a “Redondo” (a large tote bag which may be a discontinued model).

Yes, I like Lexie Barnes bags. 😀

I have many many (many) knitting bags, and the Lady B is by far my favorite. I got it in June 2006 when I was on my book tour. When I did a signing at The Yarn Lounge in Richmond, it was there, waiting for me. Stewart (the owner of The Yarn Lounge) told me that Lexie had sent it there as a gift for me. I loved it the moment I clapped eyes on it, and I still love it.

I’ll likely take it as my carry-on bag when I travel to St. Louis at the end of this month for The Loopy Ewe Spring Fling.

Lismore Report

I’m almost finished with the body. I could have finished it last night but I was particularly tired and went to bed early instead.

As you can see, we have a neck steek.

When the body is complete, I might go ahead and do the neckband next. I sometimes like to do that before the sleeves, so that there is less sweater hanging off my needles as I knit the neckband. The pattern calls for a turtleneck, but my Lismore will have a crew neck. If I had a long swan-like neck, I’d consider a making a turtleneck version, but I don’t, so I won’t.

And I think I’ll just go ahead and cut the steeks without reinforcing anything. I like to live dangerously.

I got home late today, so the neckband will not be started tonight. Maybe tomorrow night.

Menawhile, Lucy is attempting to memorize the pattern by osmosis.

Up to My Neck

I have reached the point on Lismore where I put stitches on a holder and cast on a front neck steek. So things are moving along nicely.

Vicki asked if I’m finding a lot of veg matter in my yarn. There is a bit — I do pick a tiny sliver of a twig or straw out now and then. But it’s not too bad.

And Brigitte asked:

Will you need to stitch the steeks Norwegian style, or is the yarn sticky enough to just cut them without reinforcing the steek edges?

That’s something I’ve been thinking about.

The pattern directs you to backstitch up the center of a steek stitch on either side of the cutting line. Now, the pattern calls for a non-hairy non-sticky yarn. But I’m using a pretty sticky yarn. I think what I’ll do is steam the steeks before cutting and see how they look. I’m betting I won’t need to reinforce the steeks before cutting.


When going through bloglines this morning, I found this post on Fricknits.

I’ve been a member of Ravelry for almost a year. I donated some bucks when I first joined, but figured that considering all the use and pleasure I’ve gotten from it since I joined, it was time to make another donation. Here’s the perfect time to do it: you can help Ravelry and at the same time be entered to win fabulous prizes. See the post I linked to in the previous paragraph for more info.

Nice Case!

Can you stand another post about my MacBook Air? Well, this is not so much about the computer as it is about the wicked cool case I got for it.

As soon as I ordered BabyMac, I started surfing around for the best case for him and for me. After reading a great review of their bags, I ended up at Waterfield. I am very glad I did.

I ordered their “Vertigo MamboCombo” last Monday.

You pick out a notebook sleeve from their chart that tells you which sleeve fits which computer. And pick out the size bag you want ( I opted for a vertical bag), and the options you want. I placed my order. You can also tell them the make and model of your notebook so they can confirm that what you ordered is the best fit. (You can buy the pieces separately, of course, but there is a price break if you order them together.)

Later that afternoon I got a phone call from Gary at Waterfield (who is a very nice guy indeed), telling me that the large vertical bag I ordered was probably larger than I needed. We discussed my options, and I changed my order to the (cheaper!) size medium. My order arrived on Thursday — not bad for west coast to east coast shipping.

The sleeve fits BabyMac perfectly, and goes into the vertical bag with enough room to spare for peripherals you might want to take along (I can easily put in a bluetooth mouse, the power cord, a power cord extension, and the ethernet adapter — I like to be ready for anything). I test-drove the bag over the weekend and was delighted.

I can also put BabyMac in the sleeve and stow that in my knitting bag, should I so desire, and he’ll be snug and well-protected from bumps, scratches, and yarn fuzz.

So if you are in the market for a case for your notebook computer, do take a look at Waterfield. Apart from being very well-designed to fit their function, the cases are beautifully made and lovely to look at.

(Must resist buying 2 or 17 more bags . . . )

Speaking of lovely to look at . . .


My new little MacBook Air is called “Baby MacDougal,” or “BabyMac” for short.

My iMac is called MacDougal, so it does make sense, sort of.

I don’t think the MacBook Air is a great desktop replacement, but that’s not what I bought it for. Its mission in life is to go with me to remote locations, and it works just fine for that. I bought the basic model, but all I really plan to use if for is internet and email, so it’s more than sufficient for that.

When I wasn’t playing with BabyMac, I did knit on Lismore.

I’ve run into a couple of knots in the yarn that messed up the color sequence, so in both cases I’ve broken the yarn and reconnected it in the proper place in the sequence.

Here’s an armhole steek.

Kristin asked:

When you’re ready to do the sleeves, are you going to attempt to keep the color progressions symmetrical on both sides by trying to start the yarns in the same spot in the color progressions? Or are you just going to knit it up however it comes off the ball and see what happens?

I think I will try to make the color progressions match, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to, rather, that I have enough yarn to be able to. We’ll see. If I can’t, I’m not going to sweat it to much.

Knitters for Knockers

One of L-B’s knitting buddies in Richmond. Lou, is participating in a team fundraising for the Komen Race for the Cure.

Their team name is Knitters for Knockers, and up until race day, May 10, they’re trying to raise at least $5,000. As our thank you to those who donate, for every $5 a person gives, they’ll enter their name in a prize drawing (e.g. $25 gets your name entered 5 times). Check out their website for details.

Menawhile, back at home, Lucy spent an exhausting weekend lying on her Daddy.

Why I Made Little Knitting Progress Yesterday

There is a new baby in the house. Behold:

MacBook Air

My new MacBook Air. Isn’t that the cutest baby you’ve seen in a long time?

Because I spent a lot of my knitting time last night playing with the new baby, Lismore got short shrift.


(Several of you in the comments yesterday confirmed that there are some copies of The Celtic Collection that have the photos of Lismore and Alba switched. I had a vague memory of hearing about that years ago, so thank you for the confirmation.)

Frncie commented:

I am wondering whether the quantity of yarn used for the background is roughly equivalent to the quantity used for the foreground. In other words, does the color progression for the background go faster or slower than the foreground? If so, will you correct for this if, for example, you should ever find that your foreground and background colors have converged and suddenly it is all green? (I think I know the answer!)

Yeah, that crossed my mind, too. The background seems to take more yarn, and there are three rounds in each pattern repeat that are background color only. However: when the colors reverse themselves in the progression so that what was the background sequence is now the foreground sequence, I’m hoping that it will even itself out. Does that make sense? It does in my head, but that usually doesn’t mean it will to others.

Of course there are some unknowns. Are the lengths of each color in the sequence identical? Are there any knots or splices in the yarn that would screw up the sequence? That’s part of the excitement!

So far, I haven’t diddled the colors at all. But if things look like they are going to go out of whack, I will.

I’m finding this knit so entertaining that I’m actually disappointed when I get to the boring but faster plain color rounds.

Blogiversary Contest Results

Here, without further ado, are the answers to my trivia quiz.

1. What is Wendy’s brother’s first name?

My brother’s name is David, or Dave.

2. What is Wendy’s middle name?

My middle name is Doris, which is my mom’s first name. (Her middle name is her mother’s first name.)

3. What was Wendy knitting when she made her first blog entry on April 1, 2002?

I was knitting Norge 2000 from Dale of Norway

4. How many iPods does Wendy have and what are their names?

Ha! Got most of you on this one. I have three iPods: Irving, Neville, and Sheldon.

5. What was Wendy knitting during Hurricane Isabel?

Alice Stamore’s Marina

6. What was Wendy knitting when she bought her current car?

Dale Design # 10903, which I named Frida.

7. On what date did Wendy first mention The Loopy Ewe in her blog?

August 8, 2006

8. Name a rock and roll legend who was born in the town in the UK where Wendy lived as a child.

This was interesting, too. Most of you got the answer: Elton John, (or Reginald Dwight). A few of you mentioned that Simon LeBon lived there as a child (though he was not born there). And I was impressed that one of you knew that Rick Wright (of Pink Floyd) was born and lived in Hatch End. I counted that, as Hatch End is part of Pinner, postally speaking. (But that person missed at least one of the other questions.)

Fifty-four of you entered the contest, and to my very great surprise, five of you got all the answers right. So the Random Number Generator stepped in and drew a grand prize winner. That winner is Mandella, who will receive the $50 gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe.

The other four winners, Lisa, Alicia, Rachel, and Nicole will receive a sock kit consisting of one of my patterns and yarn to knit it. I’ve emailed these four. Thank you to everyone who entered the contest!

And Lucy is pleased that you all admired her paw fluff!


Wednesday, No Foolin’

Thanks so much for all the lovely comments about my blogiversary. It was indeed a special day – I went to work, endured a two-hour meeting, had UPS completely botch up a delivery I was eager to get, and then dined on a microwaved a Lean Cuisine.

So, onward.

Just for grins, here are photos of Lismore’s insides. Here is the inside of the ribbing:

(We’re fiddling with image options. For now, click the thumbnails for bigger.)


And inside the body:


It really is a compelling knit – I want to keep going because the color changes are just so much fun.


Barbara commented: I wonder if you made the non-symmetry of the narrow vertical columns (to the left and right of the middle one with the big flower motifs) intentionally. At least they are symmetrical in the original pattern.

I’m following the original pattern chart exactly.

In the pattern, they are symmetrical, but not side-to-side. If you were to divide the whole chart with a diagonal line from the upper right corner to the lower left corner, the two triangles created are mirror-image of each other.

Interestingly, I got an email from someone who seemed sure I was knitting the design “Alba” from The Celtic Collection, not “Lismore.” She said she pulled out her copy of the book to check and said that she’s certain I’m knitting Alba.

And I’m just as certain I’m knitting Lismore. Particularly since my Lismore matches the photo of the Lismore on the Virtualyarns site, here.

But that leads me to wonder — are there some copies of The Celtic Collection with the photos of Alba and Lismore switched? Has anyone else had that experience?

Oh, and I finished the first of the Peace Socks.


Speaking of socks, in the comments, Marjorie asked if I ever frog anything. The answer is: very rarely, and mostly just on socks.

I’ll frog back on socks if I don’t like the way the pattern is working out. But I usually make adjustments and reknit until I’m happy. I did recently give up on a pair of socks – the ones I was knitting in red Fleece Artist merino a month or so ago. I kept knitting and frogging and knitting and frogging and never was satisfied, so threw the sock aside and started something else.

Lucy wanted you to see her paw fluff:


And then she took a nap.