My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Slow and Steady May Win the Race

But it makes for lousy blog-fodder, I must say.

Like the tortoise alluded to in the title, I am plodding along on my chevron stole.  It is more than half done, but I don’t think the whole thing will be complete until a week from now. It looks like it did yesterday, only a little longer.

So that’s it.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Apart from Miss Lucy, that is.

Lucy030810 240x160 Slow and Steady May Win the Race

You Can Never Have Too Many Shawls

That’s my opinion.

And just to prove it, I’ve recently purchased another shawl pattern: the Brandywine Shawl, by Rosemary Hill. You can check it out on Ravelry, here, or on Romi’s blog  — read her post about the pattern here. She is donating $5.00 of the purchase price for each pattern sold to Doctors Without Borders and has set herself quite a goal for the number of patterns she hopes to sell and the amount of money she wants to donate.

So if you think it’s pretty and like me need another shawl in your life, buy the pattern!

Meanwhile, I’m still working on the Chevron Stole.

Stole030710 160x240 You Can Never Have Too Many Shawls

I am halfway done. I know this because I have just about finished the first skein of yarn, and I bought two skeins. The finished shawl will block out to at least 72″ long, I’m thinking.

Winners!

The great and mighty Random Number Generator has chosen winners to receive copies of my new book! So many of you left a comment (Yowies! 1400+ comments!) that I decided to give away three copies. The winners are Sarah, Jayne, and Kelly-Ann. I’ve emailed the three of you, so if you think one of those individuals might be you, check your email! Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

Here are some details about the way I pick the winners . . .

I check the total number of comments on the blog post, and then have the generator pick 3 numbers within that number range. In WordPress (my blogging software) it is pretty easy for me to go in and find the comments with the winning numbers because I can display the comments for a particular post 20 on the screen at a time.

Why am I telling you this? I am telling you this because  this is the reason why I ask that entries be left in the comments and not emailed to me or sent using the “contact me” form. If one sends me an entry via email or the “contact me” form (which is also emailed to me and in fact sometimes ends up in my spam filter, for whatever reason), the entry is not assigned a number.

Okie dokie, gotta run! I’ve got a busy Sunday planned. Lucy does as well:

Lucy030710 240x160 You Can Never Have Too Many Shawls

She has to “make biscuits” on her sheepskin!

A kitty’s work is never done.

A Very Good Mail Day Indeed

Upon arrival home today I found in my mailbox a present for Lucy.

LucyandMouse030410 240x160 A Very Good Mail Day Indeed

This is a new mousie that the very wonderful Keri made to replace the mouse (also made by Keri) whose tail Lucy bit off. Keri’s kitty Slick carefully tested it for Lucy before it was sent off. (If you click on the link above, you can see proof of this.)

Keri included a gift for me too! A wrist tag:

Strap030410 240x160 A Very Good Mail Day Indeed

Don’t you love the fabric?

Thank you Keri and Slick — we love you!

There was something else waiting for me when I got home — a large heavy box.

box030410 240x160 A Very Good Mail Day Indeed

What could it be?

books030410 240x160 A Very Good Mail Day Indeed

It is full of advance copies of my new book, Toe-Up Socks for Every Body! Eeeeeeeeeeeee!

Publication date is March 23 — just a little over 2 weeks away.

Want a copy now? Leave a comment (don’t email me, don’t use the “contact me” form, but leave a response at the end of this blog entry by clicking on the “x responses” link you will find at the end of this post and filling out that form) by noon Eastern time this Sunday, March 7, and the Random Number Generator will chose a couple of winners to get a copy asap.

Lucy sez:

LucyandBook030410 240x160 A Very Good Mail Day Indeed

“Huh. I like my mousie better than this silly book.”

The Cheese Stands Alone

Yesterday I made cheese from my homemade yogurt and boy howdy! Is that stuff ever yummy! Move over, cream cheese.

My yogurt maker is this one: the YoGourmet Yogurt Maker. (I know you can make yogurt in a slow cooker, but this baby has a much smaller footprint which is great for my small kitchen.) I bought an extra jar for it too.

And although I know that I can make cheese with the help of cheesecloth, I bought this little yogurt cheese maker. No fuss, no muss!

I realize that this has nothing to do with knitting but I got some emails asking about my yogurt maker.

I use fat-free milk, so (guided by the instruction booklet that came with the yogurt maker) I add some fat-free milk powder while heating the milk, to make the resulting yogurt thicker. You can also add unflavored gelatin as well. I do that for batches I am making that I am not using to make cheese — you don’t want to use gelatin there.

I’m thinking about adding herbs and stuff to my yogurt cheese to make my own Boursin-like concoction. Nom!

And I am still knitting along on my Chevron Stole, albeit rather slowly.

wip030310 240x160 The Cheese Stands Alone

Lucy sez:

Lucya030310 240x160 The Cheese Stands Alone

“Did you make a mistake here?”

A Random Post

I don’t have much to blog about today because most of my knitting time last night was used dozing off and waking up until I finally gave up and went to bed. And my knitting time on my commute is taken up by a stealth project.

However, I can show you a close-up of the cast-on edge of the Chevron Stole.

Edge030210 240x160 A Random Post

I used a lace cast-on for the bottom edge so it would be nice and stretchy. The cast-on is one where you start with a slip knot on the left needle and then knit a stitch into it, transferring the new loop onto the left needle to make the second cast-on stitch. Then you continue on, knitting into the previous stitch on the left needle each time, and pulling the new loop up and placing it on the left needle.

The stole has garter stitch edgings — I started by working several rows of garter stitch before beginning the lace pattern. Once I started the lace, I worked the first and last 5 stitches in garter stitch to keep that edge going up the sides of the stole. To get a nice stretchy edge, on every row I slip the first stitch as if to purl with the yarn in back, then knit the next 4. Then onward to the lace section.

WIP030210 240x160 A Random Post

In other news

From time to time y’all ask me in the comments how the clean eating is going. It is going just fine, thank you. It’s been almost 3 months since I made this lifestyle change and I don’t miss my old ways one little bit. I would estimate that I eat 95% clean because as far as I know, nothing I eat is processed or has preservatives in it (and I work hard to make sure this is true). I eat no sugar or artificial sweeteners. I drink water all day (and one cup of coffee in the morning.) I’ve even started making my own yogurt (from organic fat-free milk) and let me tell you, that stuff is yummy. I do buy organic as much as possible.

I’ve noticed that I am much healthier. The respiratory and sinus issues that have plagued me forever are gone, as are any digestive issues. Unfortunately clean eating has not stopped my spine from disintegrating, but then, I guess that’s a bit much to expect. I look on the bright side — while I am hobbling around and screeching in pain as my lumbar vertebrae viciously squeeze my nerves, at least I’m not sniffling and sneezing at the same time.

Another a nice side-effect of clean eating is that I’ve lost a bit of weight.

(Aside: Speaking of hateful uncooperative vertebrae and disks, the little bastards are causing me  rather a lot of pain these days. So much so that it affects my normal day-to-day activities. I’ve had to cut back on some things — like computer time. I get a fair amount of email every day with knitting questions, requests of one sort or another, and other random things. Because it hurts to sit at the ‘puter, I can’t answer ‘em all.)

To close:

Lucy030310 240x160 A Random Post

A girl and her tail-less mouse.

ETA: I appreciate all your good wishes and suggestions but truly, I am not looking for medical advice here (I’ve got a good doc I’m working with). Just wanted to let you know that I am less available than usual. Thanks!