My current work in progress:

1. Woodfords, designed by Elizabeth Doherty, knit from Madelinetosh Merino Light in the "paper" colorway on U.S. size 3, 5, and 7 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Circle of Friends

You know how it is when you meet someone and “click” with that person immediately?

Last May I traveled out to Guthrie, Oklahoma for the S.W.A.K. Knit Out. My friend Tempted Stacy was attending and offered to pick me up at the airport, as she drove down to the event. Stacy’s sister, Muriel, lives in Guthrie, so she came along to the airport as well.

Muriel is one of those people. As soon as I met her, I loved her. She’s intelligent, beautiful, kind, and has the same smart-ass sense of humor as me. The fact that we hit it off immediately doesn’t really surprise me, since she’s Stacy’s sister and Stacy is one of the greatest people I know.

So as well as having a great time at the Knit Out, I gained a wonderful new friend. While in Guthrie I taught Muriel how to knit, and she took to it like she was born to knit. Considering her gene pool, this really isn’t shocking.

Anyway, this week Muriel has been visiting Stacy and did some dyeing with her. And yesterday I got this in the mail:

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A colorway that Muriel created for me, with (Stacy tells me) pretty much zero help from her.

I love the name she gave this colorway.

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Thank you so much, Muriel. I feel so fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet you and am so happy and proud that you and Stacy are in my Circle of Friends.

You can be darn sure that there will be a Circle of Friends sock design in the very near future!

Hey, Look!

Guess what’s available for pre-order over at Amazon.com?

Dye Dreams Sock Club Design

My stealth project right now is something I’ve been told I can share. icon smile Circle of Friends

A while back the lovely ladies of Dye Dreams contacted me to see if I would be willing to design a sock for their Four Seasons Sock Club — the Autumn sock, to be exact. Autumn is my favorite season so I was happy to do it. Stephanie and Mona have been lovely to work with. I was  given carte blanche on the design and they even let me pick the colorway I wanted to work with from among a number of samples they sent to me.

They told me I could blog about the process of creating the design, so here I am. I have a photo of the design in progress that I’ve hidden behind a link, so those of you who are already club members and want to be surprised won’t see it.

You have been warned. Click at your own peril.

Click here to see the design in progress.

I’m loving knitting with Dye Dreams yarn! Just sayin’.

See Ya!

Tomorrow I’m off to Newark, Delaware for fun and classes at Stitches With Style. See y’all Sunday!

Lucy Sez

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“What? Momma’s going away again?”

Hello Cupcake

Check out this lovely book:

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This is Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone’s Favorite Treat, published by Clarkson Potter on June 2, 2009. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy.

This is 352 pages of delicious recipes, good advice, step-by-step how-tos, and glorious photo-styling.

Don’t these look yummy?

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And you gotta love a dinosaur cupcake!

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The step-by-step techniques are meticulously illustrated:

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There are even templates and clipart for cupcake toppers!

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When I got this book for review, I was overwhelmed with greed and thought about keeping it for myself. But given that I can’t remember the last time I made cupcakes, and have no plans to make them in the foreseeable future, I’ll pass this book along to one of you.

If you’d like to be entered in the drawing to receive my copy of this gorgeous book, leave a comment to this blog post. On Sunday July 12 around noon Eastern time, the Random Number Generator will pick a winner.

Me? I’m still shawl knitting.

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Lucy is not sure how she feels about that.

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Pick and Choose

Erica asked in the comments yesterday:

Could you explain a little about how you chose the lace motifs you’re using? I’ve only knit lace from patterns, but would love guidelines on how to pick and combine my own.

Ah, that is the $64,000 question.

What motifs “go” together? I am of the opinion that this is something that is really subjective. I am very very very picky about patterns and what motifs and/or separate elements I think go together. Note that I said “I think.”

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I used to knit a lot of Aran sweaters, but I was very choosy about the patterns I’d knit. Very often I’d see a sweater pattern I liked — except for one element that did not seem to “go” with the rest.  It would stick out like a sore thumb and would ruin the design for me. Sometimes I’d change that one motif or element to something more pleasing to my eye, sometimes I’d just reject the pattern as a whole and move on.

I see this a lot in lace and sock patterns — I’m very picky about what I knit lacewise and sockwise as well because I have the same experience as I do with Arans. And many times I know it’s just me, because I’ll see lots of people happily knitting and loving a design that to me looks like a hodge-podge of mis-matched “stuff.”

This leads me to wonder — am I just weird or does everyone have similar experiences? Does what looks like a harmonious flowing design to me look like a pile o’ crap to others?

A lot of the time I think it’s just me. There’s at least one design out there (I can think of one right now) that many many people have knit happily, some multiple times, that I just don’t “get.”

This does not really answer Erica’s question, does it? I guess the answer is — put stuff together and see if it looks right to you. icon smile Pick and Choose

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On the Road Again

I’m looking forward to this Friday and Saturday when I’ll be at Stitches With Style in Newark Delaware for book signing, fun, and classes. I’ve updated my travel page, by the way, removing events that have occurred and adding a couple of new ones. Almost all my events for the rest of 2009 are now scheduled and listed there (with one exception that has not been set in stone yet). As you can see, I’ve been invited back to Oklahoma in October! icon biggrin Pick and Choose

Sock Bags and Sachets, Oh My!

Remember the beginning of last week when I showed a photo of a box bag and sachets that my friend Aimee made for me? This photo, to be exact:

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Well, Aimee is now selling her little box bags and sachets on Etsy. Just sayin’. icon wink Pick and Choose

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Then let us tell you a story . . .

Lucy Sez

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That’s just silly!

Free Peace

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In a spurt of energy, I wrote up the pattern for “A Finer Peace Socks” that I finished last week. You can find it, in pdf format, here. The pattern is also linked to from the Free Patterns page.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, I’m working on both a stealth project and my new circular shawl.

The circular shawl is my own design. I’ve flung together a number of lace motifs and we’ll see what happens when it is off the needles and stretched out, because you can’t really tell much about it in its current state, can you?

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I have 4 skeins of the yarn — a total of 1840 yards. I am pretty darn sure that I won’t need all of it for the shawl I’m planning, but I’d rather have too much than too little.

This yarn is really great, and this colorway has just enough variegation to be entertaining, but not enough to obscure my lace pattern.

Lucy Sez:

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“I am embracing my innate fluffiness!”

A Finer Peace

I completed the second sock of my modified Peace Socks pattern on Friday.

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When I get a chance, I’ll write up this pattern and post it as a freebie. I think I’ll call it “A Finer Peace.” Why? Because it is knit with fingering weight yarn instead of sportweight, which is what the original pattern is written for. Yes, I do crack myself up on a regular basis.

In other news, I started yet another experimental circular shawl, this one in Ella Rae Lace Merino. The colorway is “The Deep End.”

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The name of this yarn is somewhat misleading, as it closer to fingering weight than laceweight. It’s a 100 gram skein with 460 yards per skein and the stated gauge is 29 stitches and 37 rows to 4 inches on a US 3 (3.25mm) needle. Using a size 0 (2mm) I expect I’d get my usual 8 stitches per inch for socks.

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But I’m knitting lace, and using a US 4 (3.5mm) needle.

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So far, all is well. No leaching of dye, no atrocities. The yarn is quite nice, in fact!

Okay, back to the couch for me. I still can’t shake this viral crud that took hold of me over a week ago, so I have an afternoon of doing very little planned.

Lucy has an afternoon of looking adorable planned.

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