My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Mini Mochi Musings

I’ve turned the heel on my Mini Mochi sock.

sip012909 240x219 Mini Mochi Musings

Some observations:

The yarn is of consistent quality. So far I’ve come across no knots or slubs or anomalies.

The dye does come off on my hands a bit as I knit it, but washes off easily with soap and water.

There are no “ugly” colors in my colorway, unlike in Noro Kureyon, where you can be dreamily knitting along in a beautiful colorway and suddenly hit a patch of muddy grey.

I have to pay closer attention than usual while knitting because of the nature of the yarn. The single ply is loose and fuzzy, so I need to knit carefully not to split it. Even though it looks loose and unspun, it’s strong. I haven’t broken it tugging on it.

I think this yarn would be great for other small projects — a scarf or a hat.

Oh, and the pattern for this sock will be coming next week.

In the meantime, I could resist the siren song of my Wollmeise Lace in the Single Malt colorway no longer. That’s what was on my swift yesterday. I successfully wound the whole skein on my electric ballwinder with a minimum of intervention, so I think that’s a job well done.

yarn012909 240x212 Mini Mochi Musings

Incidentally, Lucy ignores the swift and ballwinder most of the time. Because I have a standing swift, the action is not at her level. She can’t get too close to it, like she’d be able to if I were using a swift on a tabletop. Perhaps it looks like too much work for her to deal with.

And of course the news you’ve been waiting for — the winner of the Signe mitten kit. The Random Number Generator chose comment #325, which was left by ajdury. ajdury, you have been emailed!

As always, thanks to everyone who left a comment.

Speaking of comments, I keep forgetting to mention that the WordPress spam filter snags a fair number of non-spam comments, but I go in at least once a day, usually more often, to release them from the filter. And I always do this before a giveaway, so if you make a comment and it doesn’t show up immediately, don’t worry — I’ll make sure it gets out there!

Lucy sez:

lucy012909 240x160 Mini Mochi Musings

Extreme close-up!

Oh, and one more thing:

teddy012909 240x221 Mini Mochi Musings

Waterfall

Judging from the number of comments, It seems as though you like Johanne’s patterns. icon wink Waterfall

If you’ve been order to The Loopy Ewe today, you’ll know that her patterns are almost completely sold out. No worries — I know the North America distributor, and they’ll be back in stock soon. By the way, if you click on the “0″ at the bottom of the “Born to Knit” category, it’ll take you to the page with her sold out patterns, so you can see that the pattern for the Signe hat is there as well.

Remember, you have til tomorrow at 4pm EST to leave a comment on yesterday’s post to be entered in the drawing.

Here’s my Mini Mochi sock again, in close-up.

sip012809 240x160 Waterfall

I didn’t want to knit just a plain sock because I was afraid I’d get bored with all that stockinette, so I worked up a very simple lace pattern. I think the vertical pattern looks nice against the wide horizontal stripes. I’m calling the pattern “Waterfall” and I’ll be offering it as a freebie as soon as I’m finished knitting it. I think it will work nicely with a lot of different handpainted yarns.

I’ve not made a whole lot of progress on the sock because I’ve been playing with this.

swift012809 240x160 Waterfall

Sing it with me:

“Oh, the yarn on the swift goes round and round!”

Lucy is ignoring me and working on being fluffy.

lucy012809 240x160 Waterfall

Born to Knit!

A lot of you know my friend Johanne’s blog, Born to Knit. By the way, you seriously have to visit today because she has posted photos of her little boy in knitted armor and the level of teh cute will make you keel over in a faint.

Anyhow, what you may not know is that Johanne has been designing some knitting patterns. Up until now she’s only been selling them in her native Sweden. But because one of her friends might have nagged her incessantly (and I’m not saying who), she has released 4 patterns (so far) for sale in the U.S, available from The Loopy Ewe.

Her patterns are here.

In celebration of my having harangued her into starting to distribute her patterns in the United States, I’m doing a giveaway: a kit to knit Johanne’s lovely Signe mittens.

signe012709 180x240 Born to Knit!

The kit includes the pattern, and Cherry Tree Hill merino yarn in black and cream.

Would you like it? Leave a comment to this blog entry be 4:00pm EST on Thursday, January 29. I’ll choose a commenter at random to receive the kit.

Meanwhile back at the ranch . . .

I decided to dig into my new Mini Mochi sock yarn and start a sock.

sip012709 240x160 Born to Knit!

Incidentally, this yarn went up for sale at The Loopy Ewe last night as well — the category is here. It may well be sold out at this point, but I’m pretty sure that Sheri has more on the way. I’m using color #108, by the way.

This is a very interesting yarn — it stripes like Noro but is softer, and when knitted up has a halo. It’s 80% wool and 20% nylon, but it’s hard to believe there’s that much nylon content in it. It’s a single ply that looks like an Icelandic Lopi — very “un-spun” in places, but I’ve found it to be quite strong. I guess that’s the nylon talking, eh?

Because of it’s single-ply-ness and un-spun-ness it takes a bit of getting used to, particularly if you are used to knitting socks from something with a firm twist. At first I had trouble splitting it, but as I knit, I became more accustomed to the yarn and am now working merrily along.

I’m doing a very simple lace pattern that I sketched up. But more on that tomorrow!

Meanwhile, look at this cute little profile:

lucy012709 240x160 Born to Knit!

Back to Real Life

I always find it annoying to drag myself back to work after a long fun-filled weekend, but today I did.

The highlight of my morning was that the Coke machine spat out two cans of Diet Coke for the price of one.

But things could be worse, and for the most part my day was uneventful.

Roseann asked about the booklet that was created for the Bohus exhibit.

bohus012609 154x240 Back to Real Life

No, that’s not my name on the cover. I’m Wendy D. Johnson. Wendy J. Johnson, the co-author of this booklet, was at the exhibit, so I got to meet her. Her husband took a photo of us together to mark the auspicious occasion: The Meeting of the Wendy Johnsons.

Anyway, back to the booklet. It’s not a pattern collection,  but a series of articles and essays about Bohus knitting, written by, among others, Solveig Gustafsson, Kirsten Olsson, Susanna Hansson, and Wendy J. Johnson. It’s a great little book packed with a lot of information and history, and gorgeous photos.

I checked the American Swedish Institute website and don’t see it for sale in their online shop, but you could give them a call and see if you can buy it over the phone.

Speaking of their online shop, they do have a section for Bohus Knitting, and there are kits for sale there. Just sayin’. icon wink Back to Real Life

ETA: The booklet is now available for sale in the online store — link in the paragraph above. icon biggrin Back to Real Life

I’ve finished my Sign of Spring Socks — see?

sos012609 160x240 Back to Real Life

Tempted Good Grrl sock yarn in the “Iris” colorway — I’ll be writing the pattern up soon.

And here is Lucy, the picture of contentment!

lucy012609 240x182 Back to Real Life

Minneapolis!

Those of you who are as old as I (or who watch sitcoms in syndication) will remember the tv series Rhoda. Remember during the opening credits she said “I moved to Minneapolis where it’s cold and I figured I’d keep better” — yeah, now I get it! icon smile Minneapolis!

It was not very cold the day I arrived (in the 20s I think?) but got colder while I was there, and it felt wonderful. And a bonus — no allergies! When I woke up this morning (I got home yesterday afternoon) I had that familiar “unable to breathe” thing going on that I had not felt since I left home. This area is really bad for seasonal allergies, and even in the winter I still have some symptoms.

But anyway.

I got to Minneapolis Thursday morning, and was met at the airport by my friend Cat and her mom, Donna. They got me settled into the condo I was staying in. Here are some views of the guest condo (after I messed it up a bit!)

condoa012209 240x180 Minneapolis!

condob012209 240x180 Minneapolis!

We made a quick trip up to Donna’s condo (she lives in the same building) to meet her kitties, and then Cat and I went out for lunch and yarn shop visits.

Of course, being me, I took no photos, so you’ll just have to imagine. icon smile Minneapolis!

First shop was Needlework Unlimited. What a wonderful place — it is HUGE and has so much yarn. You could spend hours there — well, I sure could. I can’t show you what I bought there because it is a gift for a friend.

Then we went to Bella Lana, which is a smaller, but exquisite shop. (Unfortunately I had gotten something under my left contact lens in between the two shop visits so I was a bit distracted with that mounting irritation while there, but that didn’t stop me from appreciating the beauty of this shop).

Back to my condo for a couple of hours so I could take care of some business and relax before going to a party Thursday night at the home of Cat and her husband Brad.

Cat and Brad really know how to throw a party and make you feel welcome. And I will forever be indebted to Brad for introducing me to this:

sheepdip012209 240x180 Minneapolis!

And I of course also have the obligatory photo of the knitbloggers in attendance.

knitbloggers012209 240x180 Minneapolis!

From left to right, me, Kathy (KmKat and her Keedles), Chris (Stumbling Over Chaos), and Susan (The Rainey Sisters).

You need to read Susan’s account of the party because she expresses so well how much fun it was. Kathy has a great blog entry about the party as well (with a photo labeled with all our works in progress!)

Karen from Needlework Unlimited and Cornelia from Bella Lana were also there, and it was wonderful to be able to talk to them and tell them how much I loved their shops.

Cat and Brad invited some non-knitting friends as well, so it was a great mix of personalities. This is my new friend Maura.

mauraandwendy012209 240x179 Minneapolis!

It seems that somehow I am responsible for Maura signing up (online, during the party) for the Minneapolis Marathon on May 31. We are holding the print-out of her registration confirmation.

I see this as proof that my enabling powers extend well beyond just yarn purchases!

On Friday morning Cat and I took her gorgeous poodle Tache (did I spell that right?) to the dog park for a run.

dogpark012309 240x180 Minneapolis!

Then it was back to Cat’s place, where I taught her Judy’s Magic Cast-on, which she mastered faster than anyone I’ve ever taught it to. Then lunch at Bread and Chocolate, and a trip over to The Yarnery. I loved how they had the yarn organized by weight, and I spent a lot of time in the sock yarn room. icon wink Minneapolis! I found two sock yarns I hadn’t seen yet:

yarn012509 240x160 Minneapolis!

Yarni is a local hand-dye, and Mini Mochi is from Crystal Palace — it reminds me of the Noro sock yarn, but is much softer.

I also bought this great bag!

bag012509 240x160 Minneapolis!

Back to Cat’s for a bit, where I spend some quality time with her critters.

poodle012309 240x157 Minneapolis!

Isn’t he just beautiful? And such a sweet and well-behaved dog. Oh, and did I mention she has five Ragdolls? Here I am holding Pearl, while Ruby turns her back to me because, I think, she’s a bit put out because I’m paying attention to someone other than her.

wendy and ruby and pearl012309 199x240 Minneapolis!

But she consented to a photo op anyway. She really was a sweet little girl. She resembled Lucy quite a bit, but her fur is a bit darker.

ruby012309 240x180 Minneapolis!

The two girls were the friendliest — the three boy kitties were more shy. But I did get a photo of one of the elusive boys:

moon012309 240x146 Minneapolis!

Check out those baby blues!

Then Friday night was The Main Event: The champagne VIP reception for the opening of the Bohus Exhibition at the American Swedish Institute. Once again, Susan has a great blog entry about the opening, here.

I saw Susanna soon after Cat and I arrived — she was just glowing, and rightly so, considering the beauty of the exhibit. She introduced me to Solveig Gustafsson who has worked so hard to re-create the beautiful Bohus designs. I was so happy to finally be able to thank Solveig in person for her incredible work, and also for the kindness she has personally shown me. Then Susanna introduced me to Kerstin Olsson, one of the original Bohus designers and the designer of The Wild Apple, my very favorite design. (I have the kit, but haven’t knit it up yet.) I think the highlight of my trip (if not my year) is that Kerstin Olsson knew who I was.

Kerstin gave a guided tour of the sweaters in the exhibit to the attendees of the pre-opening reception, explaining the inspiration for many of the designs. What a treat!

Then Solveig gave a talk, with accompanying slideshow, about her process of re-creating the designs — so interesting to get an inside glimpse into the the incredible amount of work that goes into re-creating a Bohus for modern knitters. I appreciate Solveig and her efforts all the more for it.

I was so happy to see how crowded the opening was, and so many of the attendees proudly wore their Bohus sweaters. Here is the one photo I took, of several of the attendees in their Bohuses.

bohusattendees012309 240x180 Minneapolis!

The redhead in the pink sweater to the left is my friend Rusty. Hi, Rusty!

After the event, Brad picked us up and we three went to a fun little eatery where we had the best pomme frites I’ve ever eaten and discussed the evening’s events, and all sorts of other things.

And yesterday morning, I reluctantly headed home. Chris very kindly picked me up and took me to the airport, presenting me with one of her wonderful mix cds when I got in her car.

wintermixcd 240x160 Minneapolis!

I had a quick and uneventful flight home and was greeted enthusiastically by my sweet Lucy, who has forgiven me for consorting with other Ragdolls. And she still loves her sheepskin, which, incidentally, I ordered online from Sheepskin Factory. This is what I ordered.

Lucy sez:

lucy012509 240x160 Minneapolis!

“Did I mention that I love my sheepskin?”

So, to close this very long post — thank you, Minneapolis, and thank you to all the wonderful people I was lucky enough to meet there!