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.

One Down, One to Go

I have finished the first Twisty Bits Sock. Lookie here:

twisty052908 180x239 One Down, One to Go

I am quite pleased with how this turned out. I am also loving this colorway — Aegean. The lighter bits in the yarn look to me like sunlight on the water. Very tranquil and summery, don’t you think?

twistycloseup052908 240x160 One Down, One to Go

I do love the Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 sock yarn — it’s got a nice firm twist so it’s great for textured patterns. The tiny twisty cables really pop, even though this yarn is oh-so subtly variegated. I was a little concerned about that at the get-go, but after an inch of patterning, I could see it was going to work out just fine.

Haiku Contest

Wowie, wow, wow, we’ve gotten such wonderful entries! Remember, the deadline for submissions for the contest is midnight tonight. First thing tomorrow morning I am closing comments to the contest blog entry so the judges can get on with the business of judging without having stragglers to consider. By rights I should close the comments at midnight, but since my alarm will go off at 4:00 am tomorrow, I have no plans to be awake at midnight tonight. Unless I happen to wake up — then I’ll stagger over to the ‘puter and close comments.

Anyhow, thanks for all your great poetry. I’ve really enjoyed reading your haikus. My judges (who will remain anonymous) have their work cut out for them. Come back on Sunday to vote for your favorite among the finalists!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

While we celebrated last weekend, my mom’s actual birthday is tomorrow (Friday). As you will recall, my mom is donating the iPod Shuffle for the haiku contest. Want some good karma for the contest or just wanna be nice? Wish my mom a happy birthday in the comments!

Speaking of Contests

If you are a member of the WendyKnits group on Ravelry, check out the fun contest that Goatlady (group founder and one of the group moderators) set up in the “Lucy Fan Club” thread. icon smile One Down, One to Go

Lucy will not be fit to live with when I show her that . . .

lucy052908 240x160 One Down, One to Go

I Don’t Usually Do This Sort of Thing . . .

But my creativity is at low ebb ad I don’t have much to blog about. Also, I’m exhausted from the day-long hissy fit I threw yesterday with our IT people. I do believe that the hissy fit qualifies as both Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength for Festivus. Kind of like a two-fer.

Cindy tagged me for the Peeps I Want To Know More About meme.

1. What was I doing ten years ago?

I was working for OSHA in the directorate of Safety Standards and was in a long-distance relationship with a man who lives in Wales. Oh, and knitting.

2. What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:

What is this “To-Do List” of which you speak? icon wink I Dont Usually Do This Sort of Thing . . .

3. Snacks I enjoy:

Pretzels, tortilla chips, and most importantly, popcorn (or as I call it, The Staff of Life).

4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Buy an apartment in the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Buy a small (preferably hybrid) but luxurious car and hire a driver. Hire someone to stand by Lucy’s litter pan and clean it immediately after every use. Buy a farm with a lot of land and start my own animal charity there. And so on.

5. Places I have lived:

Worcester, MA; Forest Heights, MD; Norfolk, VA; McLean, VA; Pinner, England; Sterling, VA; Reston, VA; Falls Church, VA; Alexandria, VA; Arlington, VA. I think that’s everywhere . . .

6. Jobs I have had:

Clerk typist for the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office in Arlington, VA with Lady of the Loom, paralegal in a private law office, publications assistant at the American Psychological Association, editor of a monthly publication on EDP audit, control, and security, tech writer at a series of companies, publications manager and director of business communications, writer and public affairs person for OSHA, and my current job which involves screeching at labor unions.

7. Peeps I want to know more about:

Anyone who cares to respond. icon smile I Dont Usually Do This Sort of Thing . . . I am terminally curious.

In Sock News . . .

The Twisty Bits sock is coming along.

twistybits052808 240x160 I Dont Usually Do This Sort of Thing . . .

Extreme closeup!

twistybitscloseup052808 240x160 I Dont Usually Do This Sort of Thing . . .

Sheri did a shop update last night at The Loopy Ewe. Last time I checked, all my new patterns were still available (Alana, Costa, Spring Fling, St. Louis, and Twisted Logic).

Lucy Sez:

“Raise your paw if you like Wildside Salmon!”

pawsup052808 229x240 I Dont Usually Do This Sort of Thing . . .

Nah, actually she was just doing kitty yoga.

lucy052808 240x160 I Dont Usually Do This Sort of Thing . . .

You People Sure Can Haiku

Thanks for all the great entries in the haiku contest I’ve received thus far. You people are very talented, I must say. Remember, you have til midnight Eastern Time on Thursday to enter — leave your entry in the comments for yesterday’s post.

I’ve got two judges: one knitter and one non-knitter. They will be submitting their top picks from among the entries, and I’ll create a poll with those entries for Sunday’s post and you all can vote for your favorite.

It’s all very scientific, you know?

I have a new sock design on the needles.

twistybits052708 240x160 You People Sure Can Haiku

I spent part of Saturday and all day Sunday fiddling with new sock patterns and by Sunday night had tweaked this one to my satisfaction. It is being knit from Fleece Artist Merino in the “Aegean” colorway, and I’m knitting the non-twisty bits with a 2mm needle and the twisty bits with a 2.5mm needle. It’s a very entertaining knit, because you do little cable twists on every other row. That also makes it a somewhat slow knit. But that’s okay.

I had a couple of names in mind for the pattern, but while writing this, I realized that now and forever, I will think of this pattern as “Twisty Bits Socks.” So be it.

twistybitsa052708 234x240 You People Sure Can Haiku

I went back to work today and was pleasantly surprised to find my ailing computer back in my office. It booted up, I logged on, no problems. But all my data and settings were gone. They had backed it all off onto a portable drive, but it took my five hours and numerous phone calls to get someone to bring the freaking drive down and restore my data.

When I left the office, all my data was restored and I was working on restoring all my program settings.

It’s like a Festivus miracle.

lucy052708 240x160 You People Sure Can Haiku

Those Pesky Heel Holes

Last week we were talking about ways to avoid the hole that often forms at the top of the heel. When I was working on my second Six-Pack Sock, I took a few ictures of how I deal with this annoying problem.

In this photo, I’ve turned the heel and I’m ready to resume working in the round:

heel052608 240x177 Those Pesky Heel Holes

(Remember, as always, you can click on the photos to see larger versions.)

As you can see theres a bit of a gap between the top of the heel and the instep stitches. So I pick up a stitch:

heel052608a 240x178 Those Pesky Heel Holes

I pick it up from the center of a stitch so it looks more natural. I knit the stitch.

heel052608b 240x173 Those Pesky Heel Holes

Then I continue and knit across the instep stitches. Then I pick up one stitch at the other side of the heel. On the next round, I knit each picked up stitch together with the heel stitch next to it.

heel052608c 240x161 Those Pesky Heel Holes

In the comments, a few of you mentioned that Charlene Schurch recommends picking up 2 stitches on each side. I used to do that, but I’ve found that once I got adept at it, I only need to pick up one stitch and that closes the gap nicely.

Thanks for all your lovely comments about the Six-Pack Socks. I’ll be sure to let you know when the pattern is available.

I’m working on another sock, but I’ll talk about that tomorrow. icon smile Those Pesky Heel Holes

Un-Official Start of Summer Giveaway!

Here in the United States, Memorial Day (which is today) is the un-official start of summer. In celebration of summer, I’m giving this away:

ipodshuffle052608 234x240 Those Pesky Heel Holes

A brand-new still-in-the-box 1GB iPod Shuffle. This iPod was donated by my mom. She won it in a raffle, and offered it to me for a blog giveaway. Thanks, Mom! icon biggrin Those Pesky Heel Holes

To be entered in the iPod contest:

1. Write a summer-themed Haiku. A Haiku is three short lines. The first line usually contains five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables. For example:

Summer-time is here

heat and humidity now

turn the a/c on.

Yeah, T.S. Eliot I ain’t. But I wrote that on the spur of the moment, so do cut me some slack.

Okay, write a summer-themed Haiku and leave it in the comments for this post. If it is not summer where you are, you can still enter — it may be the start of winter for you, but you can still write a summer Haiku, right?

2. One Haiku per person, please.

3. Leave your Haiku comment by midnight Eastern time, Thursday, May 29, 2008. The WendyKnits panel of judges will select several finalists. These finalists will be published on Sunday June 1 for everyone to vote on, and the winner will be selected by popular vote.

Okay? Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. My spam filter does not appreciate fine poetry, so your entry might be ensnared in its net. Not to worry, I’ll go in and release comments from time to time.

Lucy is clearly trying to come up with a good entry.

lucy052608 240x160 Those Pesky Heel Holes

I’ll have to break it to her gently that she is ineligible to enter.

Weekend in Photos

Here’s a photo for those of you who were concerned by the lack of chocolate on my kitchen counter.

bostoncreampie052508 240x146 Weekend in Photos

The cake I was making is a Boston Cream Pie.

And for those of you who were concerned that the yarn on my counter was in danger of having food spilled on it — trust me, not enough actual cooking goes on in my kitchen for this to be much of a danger.

Here’s Teddy, hanging out with a friend.

teddy052508 240x160 Weekend in Photos

We went to my brother’s weekend cottage for a barbecue yesterday. Here’s the only photo I took, of the side of his fridge.

davesfridge052508 193x240 Weekend in Photos

You can tell he is a car guy . . .

Lucy stayed home and went mountain climbing.

lucy052508 240x172 Weekend in Photos

And I finished the second Six-Pack Sock.

sixpacksock 240x229 Weekend in Photos

Here’s a close-up:

sixpacksockcloseup52508 240x160 Weekend in Photos

Tune in tomorrow for some pix of closing up the hole at the top of a heel, and a giveaway to celebrate the unofficial start of summer!