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.

Mail Call

I love getting stuff in the mail, and an added benefit is getting stuff in the mail when you have little to blog about. Presto chango, instant blog fodder!

Exhibit A:

ShawlYarn092209 240x160 Mail Call

This is my yarn for the Enchanted Wood Lace Shawl KAL from The Unique Sheep. Hope on over to the page I linked there to read all about it. The Unique Sheep is finishing up The Secret Garden KAL. I didn’t join that one, but my buddy L-B did and she has been having a lot of fun with it. so I decided to sign up when they announced the Enchanted Wood club. You make your choice from many many yarns, and I chose their Luxe yarn (wool/silk blend) in a gradience colorway: Mirkwood. I love my yarn!

It looks like sign-ups are still open so anyone interested can still join in the fun. The KAL starts January 10, 2010.

Exhibit B:

What a surprise it was to receive a package from Johanne, as I was not expecting it. Inside was this:

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Sock yarn! Sock yarn! Sock yarn! And this:

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It’s a Swedish crafts magazine, and this issue is focused on knitting. Great magazine — it reminds me somewhat of Threads. Johanne sent it to me because it has an article about traditional Swedish knitting with some wonderful photos:

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I was flipping through the rest of the magazine and this caught my eye:

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Hee hee. icon biggrin Mail Call

(It’s from an article about knitting resources on the internet.)

And from the comments . . .

Tammy said:

Oooh – I love the kitty bag.  Where did you get it?

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That is a custom made bag from Three Bags Full. Michelle does gorgeous work — I highly recommend her bags!

Lucy sez:

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“What’s for dinner? Catfood again?”

The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

Once a literature geek, always a literature geek. icon wink The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

In the comments Brit observed:

It seems that progress on the True Love stole is going more slowly than on your last two shawls.  Is that because you aren’t finding as much time to knit?  Or is it because it is a difficult pattern?

I was wondering when someone would ask me why the heck it is taking me so long to knit this baby.

Stole092109 160x240 The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

The reason is the former, not the latter. While this stole is heavily patterned, there really are no tricky bits to it. The lace stitches consist only of yarnovers, k2tog, and a sl1 k2tog psso double decrease. Every row is knit. There is patterning on every row, but that just makes it more entertaining to knit, as far as I’m concerned.

And each row can be completed pretty quickly. Because it is a stole, it is not extremely wide, so I can whack out a row in a few minutes.

Getting that few minutes is the problem. I have had a whole lot of impediments to knitting lately, so progress has been almost non-existent. Still, I got a nice chunk of knitting time in yesterday afternoon, so that was encouraging.

And my second sock is almost done. I will hopefully finish it tomorrow on the commute. As soon as it is done, the stole will accompany me as commuter knitting, so I can get a few more rows knit every day.

SIP092109 240x160 The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

Stay tuned for further developments . . .

Lucy sez:

Lucy092109 240x160 The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth

“Just finish my white blankie, willya?”

Needle Necessities

This comment from Al on my last blog post made me smile:

Wendy – we laypersons have to know, how did you get so many size zero needles? Do you use all of them from time to time? I never know how Roseann keeps track of all her needles, except that she has so many projects ongoing.

Al is Roseann‘s husband, by the way. I believe he has reasons for wanting to know. icon wink Needle Necessities

Well . . . I have a gazillion size zero needles because that’s the size I use for most of my socks. I will often have more than one sock project going on at the same time. Stil, that’s not a very good reason for having so many, is it?

I still have every size 0 needle I’ve ever owned, apart from those that have fallen apart. And there have been a lot of different types and brands of needles created over the years. And of course I had to have them all.

Can you imagine my consternation if I had a burning need for that one perfect needle and it wasn’t in my Tower o’ Needles? The horror!

Anyway . . .

I did actually do a bit of knitting on the True Love Stole. Here it is:

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And a close-up:

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And here is something lovely:

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Stitch markers from Blue Ridge Notions. Aren’t they pretty? They are amethyst & mother of pearl, with one pretty blue & white porcelain bead making up the set. These markers will fit up to a size 7 needle and are beautifully made. Best of all, they are very reasonably priced. They’d make a great gift for a knitter . . .

Lucy thinks salmon treats are a better gift.

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Needle Storage

Gail asked in the comments:

How do you store your needles? Do you keep them in the original Addi bags and sizes together? I’m just beginning to have enough needles that I need to determine a better way to keep them organized.

I have this:

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The Tower o’ Needles!

It has a total of ten drawers.

I put each size in a separate drawer (though the larger sizes are doubled and tripled up) and for the most part I do keep them in their original packaging.

The size zero drawer is jammed full. icon smile Needle Storage

I’ve had the Tower o’ Needles for several years. I bought it somewhere like Staples or Office Depot. While it not exactly fine furniture, it serves its purpose very well!

In Knitting News

I have turned the heel on my commuter sock.

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And I did not knit at all on the True Love Stole last night. I spent the majority of my knitting time working on non-knitting things.

Shocking, isn’t it?

Since this is an “at home” weekend, I’m hoping to get in some quality time with my True Love. icon smile Needle Storage

Speaking of true love . . .

I Heart Wollmeise

I loved the comment that Natalie made about the pic of my Wollmeise I posted yesterday:

Claudia is amazing – the picture just jumped out at me & yelled Wollmeise. Mmmm. Perfect colours.

So true. Wollmeise is an original. Ain’t nuthin’ that compares to it as far as I’m concerned. Period. The end.

Several of you asked what I was going to do with my Wollmeise bounty. As I said, I bought it sight-unseen in a grab bag. I figured I’d make socks with it. But don’t those colorways look fabulous together? Here: I’ll post the pic again:

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Five skeins of Wollmeise Twin (80/20 wool/nylon) which is a total of 2550 yards of fingering weight yarn. What would you do?

Lucy thinks I should give her a treat. But really, that is her answer to a lot of things.

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Sock Needles

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In the comments Dorothy asked:

I was looking at your sock and was wondering what length of circular do you use. I am using a 26″ well two of them from knit picks and I am not quite sure I like the length. For comfortable knitting I need the needle part to be at least 4.5 to 5 inches long. Any thoughts to help me along?

When I first switched to two circulars, I used Knitpicks needles in the 16″ length. Those worked pretty well for me, apart from one thing — the needles didn’t last long. After one or two pairs of socks, the joins lost their integrity, and I’d have to toss the needles out and get a new pair. The Knitpicks needles are dirt cheap, though, so this wasn’t too big an issue.

But I decided I’d be happier knitting my socks on slightly longer needles. I took a look at my 24″ Addi turbo needles and started a pair on them. Big mistake for me! The needle portion of those circulars is longer than the 16″: 5″ compared to a scant 3.5″ for the 16″ long circulars. Unlike Dorothy, I like the needle portion of the circular to be shorter.

But I found a good compromise for myself — Addi turbos in the 20″ length. They have the shorter needle portions like the 16-inchers, but an ootch more cord.

My one regret? Addi Lace needles apparently do not come in the 20″ length. They come in 16 or 24. icon sad Sock Needles

Dorothy, I’m not sure if you are wanting a longer or shorter cord on your needles, but if you are thinking shorter, I’m afraid you are out of luck! The shorter cords have the shorter needles.

Eye Candy!

Claudia recently put up for sale in the online Wollmeise shop some “grab-bags” of one-off colors. I bought one (sight unseen) and it arrived today. Check out these babies:

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These colors could not be more perfect! Yum!

Meanwhile, Lucy pauses in her play with her Plague Rat to tidy up.

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