My current work in progress:

1. Drachenfels, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Madelintosh Pashmina in the Black Walnut, Seasalt, and Mineral colorways on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Gothic Spires

Yesterday I finished my stole knit from Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 yarn:

StoleA033110 240x160 Gothic Spires

I decided to call the design “Gothic Spires” because, well, that’s what it reminds me of.

StoleB033110 240x160 Gothic Spires

I knit this piece in two halves, from the ends in to the middle, and then I joined the two pieces using a three-needle bind-off.

Rather than wet-block it, I did a very gentle steam blocking. The finished dimensions are 64″ long by 20″ wide.

I used a U.S. size 5 needle and  two 400-yard 100-gram skeins of the yarn, with 23 grams left over. I might have been able to get another 16-row repeat for each half out of the remaining yarn, but preferred to play it safe and stop when I did.

When designing a piece, I never want to work it so that there are only a few yards left over because everyone knits a little differently, and different people will have different results. I’d hate to have someone run just a few yards short when knitting one of my designs. So I always over-estimate slightly. So this pattern will state that it requires 800 yards of fingering weight yarn, although I knit it in approximately 750 yards. Because, as always, your mileage may vary. icon wink Gothic Spires

The pattern will be available eventually. A scarf version that will use 400 yards is in the works, and I want to include that in the same pattern.

And I’ve started something new . . .

wip033110 240x160 Gothic Spires

Lucy wonders — what could it be?

Lucy033110 240x160 Gothic Spires

Actually, Lucy probably wonders whether I will give her another treat if she looks pathetic enough.

A Quick Review

I was recently sent a review copy of 60 Quick Knits: 20 Hats * 20 Scarves * 20 Mittens in Cascade 220:  by Sixth & Spring Books.

033010 211x240 A Quick Review

The title pretty much says it all. The book has a total of 60 projects, 20 each of hats, scarves, and mittens, and they are all knit in Cascade 220.

Cascade 220 is a great all-purpose worsted weight wool. It’s lovely to knit, comes in eleventy-billion gorgeous colors, and is nicely affordable.  I think a book showcasing this great yarn is a pretty brilliant idea.

The patterns are done by a number of different designers — you’ll recognize many of their names as you flip through the book. There are many, many projects that caught my eye. A couple of cute hats that would be great to whip up as gifts, scarves for everyone in the family, and a wide range of mittens — from fair isle to puppy faces. Many of the projects can be completed with just one skein, others in two or three.

The difficulty level is shown for each project and the instructions are clearly written — most are only one-page long.

The publisher very kindly sent along a pdf of one of the patterns from the book for me to offer to you here. It’s the Garter-Ridged Hat by Karen Garlinghouse. Click the link to download it.

Lucy is too busy contemplating life to comment today.

Lucy033010 240x160 A Quick Review

You Gotta Have Friends

Thank you to the generosity of Tola this past weekend in Philly, Teddy has a new friend.

Teddy032910 240x160 You Gotta Have Friends

They seem to have gotten very close very quickly, haven’t they? But there is a good reason — they do have something in common.

TeddyBack032910 240x160 You Gotta Have Friends

It’s always nice to make a new friend with whom you share a special bond. icon smile You Gotta Have Friends

Inside the zippy portion of Teddy’s new friend, I found this:

rowcounter032910 240x160 You Gotta Have Friends

One of my own personal Holy Grails of knitting — a row counter that turns easily enough that it doesn’t take two hands and force, but doesn’t turn so easily that it goes spinning around and loses track of what it is supposed to be counting.

It’s the little things in life that help . . .

I’m plugging along on my stole but as it doesn’t look a whole lot different than yesterday’s pic, I’ll spare you.

I’ve got a couple more repeats to go before I can put this baby together, so I hope to finish it this week.

Just a Heads Up . . .

I’ll be signing books locally this coming Friday, April 2, 5 – 7 pm, at fibre space in Alexandria, VA. All the deets are here. I hope I’ll see a bunch of you local knitters there.

Lucy sez:

Lucy032910 240x160 You Gotta Have Friends

“That means Momma won’t be leaving me for the weekend! I’ll just wait for her here . . . “

Busy Weekend

I had a busy weekend — took the train up to Philadelphia on Friday to spend some time at one of my favorite yarn shops — Loop. I was two hours late arriving, courtesy of Amtrak, but fortunately I always assume that Amtrak is going to be late, so wasn’t late for the Friday night party and book signing.

After classes on Saturday, it was back home again Saturday evening (and thankfully the train was on time).

As usual, I got almost no knitting done while I was away, maybe one repeat of my stole. Here’s what the first half looks like:

stole032810 240x160 Busy Weekend

And the second half:

stole032810a 240x160 Busy Weekend

I’m getting there.

The hardest thing about going away for the weekend? Leaving this:

Lucy032810 240x160 Busy Weekend

Publication Day Plus One

Thanks for all your wonderful comments about the new book. I love hearing that some of you have received it and have already identified some “must-make” designs. I’ll be honest — this book took a lot out of me, so I am so very very happy to hear that so many of you are pleased with it. Very.

There is a new group on Ravelry for this book, btw.

A bunch of you commented on and asked questions about the ring I showed in yesterday’s post. It is not vintage, but brand new. I bought it from Bimonte. They are in Italy, but if you email a query, you’ll get a very nice response in excellent English. You won’t find my ring on their site because it was a one-of-a-kind, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be making more similar pieces.

I have a particular fondness for cameos of subjects other than people, and found this website via an extended google search late one Saturday night. They will size your ring when you order it (there’s a place in the online ordering process to leave them a note) and the ring ships via FedEx a couple of days after you order it. I had mine within a week of ordering.

Here’s a traditional cameo brooch that I possess:

cameo030810 197x240 Publication Day Plus One

It is well over 100 years old (it belonged to my grandmother and most likely her mother before her) and the lovely lady depicted is Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers. Isn’t she fabulous?

Back to knitting, I have made some progress on the second half of the stole.

stole032410 240x160 Publication Day Plus One

And I’m thinking about my next project, which will not be socks, nor will it be a shawl or stole.

Whatever am I thinking?

Lucy sez:

lucy032410 240x160 Publication Day Plus One

“Beats me.”