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.

TNNA

As you may recall me mentioning last week, I went to TNNA last weekend.

I came home totally exhausted but happy. It was a great time.

I got to meet up with friends I don’t see nearly often enough, as well as online friends I’d never had the chance to meet in real life, as well as make some new friends.

On Saturday morning I took a class with Lucy Neatby on creative edgings for your knitting. Lucy is not only a great teacher, but utterly charming as well. Here’s my favorite of the samples I did in her class.

sample061510 240x160 TNNA

I did a signing of my newest book (Toe-Up Socks for Everybody) at the Unicorn Books and Crafts booth later Saturday morning and that was a blast.

And then Saturday afternoon I was free-range and wandered around the exhibits. I got some freebies — always a nice thing!

Check out this beautiful green!

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This is Anne in the new “Apple Green” colorway, from Schaefer Yarn Company. I’m thinking shawlette . . .

And look at this little lovely:

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This is Honor, a new yarn from Lorna’s Laces. It’s 30% silk and 70% baby alpaca and is as yummy as it looks. I think I’ll make a little lacy smoke ring from this sample.

And a non-yarn goodie:

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These are needle inventory cards from Needlecards. They can be custom-designed for a LYS with their logo on them. Sarah was nice enough to give me several “generic” ones, so I’ll pass them along to you all. Leave a comment on this blog entry and on Thursday we’ll randomly pick 4 people who will receive the samples I got.

And here, the mighty hunter with her prey:

lucy061510 240x152 TNNA

Gothic Spires

Remember the Gothic Spires Stole I made a few months back? I blogged about it here.

Stole061410 160x240 Gothic Spires

At the time I said that a pattern would be available eventually, and would include a scarf version. Well, the pattern is ready, and will be up for sale on Ravelry later this week. The pattern will also be available from Zen Yarn Garden.

The stole version takes 2 400-yard skeins of fingering weight yarn, and the scarf version takes half that amount. I used Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20, a 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% nylon. Very VERY soft!

stole061410a 240x160 Gothic Spires

In celebration of the release of the pattern, how about a giveaway? Leave a comment to this post by 4:00pm Eastern time this Thursday to be entered in a drawing to win a copy of the pattern AND 2 skeins of Serenity 20 kindly donated by Zen Yarn Garden. The winner can choose from among the colors in stock. (My stole is knit in the “Topaz” colorway).

Not sure how to leave a comment? Read this!

I returned home from TNNA yesterday. It was a great trip, but I am wiped out. Good thing I took today off from work. Lucy is helping me by demonstrating the fine art of relaxing.

lucy061410 240x160 Gothic Spires

Linen Stitch

Yay! I am past the horror of 3 inches of twisted rib and into the linen stitch portion of this knit.

WIP061010 240x160 Linen Stitch

All of the linen stitch I’ve done in the past has you performing the slipped stitch maneuver on every row, like in these instructions.

This pattern, however, has a resting row between the slipped stitch rows where you knit around. It gives the resulting fabric a slightly different look than what I consider linen stitch.

But it is very pretty and I am well pleased with the results.

wipcloseup061010 240x160 Linen Stitch

I now have to knit about 10 more inches of it before the divide for the front and back. That should keep me busy in my spare time this weekend when I am not TNNA-ing.

The yarn is nice (Rown Lenpur Linen). I’ve not used it before. It is pleasant to knit and my only gripe is that because it is a multi-strand yarn one must remain vigilant to keep from splitting it. Pointy needles do help!

So as I said yesterday, I’m off to TNNA tomorrow. No blog post on Sunday, but I will be back on Monday with a chance for you to win something very nice. See you then.

Lucy is planning her party for this weekend.

lucy061010 240x182 Linen Stitch

Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

I have the pattern all done for the Kauni shawl and available free to you all, here:

Seriously Simple Shawl (pdf)

It is also available from my Free Patterns Page and I put it up on Ravelry here for your queuing pleasure. Have at it!

There was a question in the comments about how scratchy the Kauni yarn is. I had mentioned that it does soften up a bit when you soak it pre-blocking. Yes, it does soften and bloom, but it is shetland wool. And shetland wool is always going to be a heckuva lot scratchier than — say — merino. The scratchiness of the post-blocking shawl does not bother me, but I am not much bothered by wool scratchiness. If you know you have a tendency towards sensitivity here, you might want to avoid it for garments worn next to the skin.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Something Cool

A while back Signature Needle Arts very kindly offered to send me a sample circular needle to test drive and let me pick exactly what I wanted. Here’s what I chose and what I just got:

needle060910 240x224 Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

This is a size 6 (4mm) with 5″ long stiletto tips and a 32″ cable.You can pick your needle length (4, 5 or 6″) so you get a size that best fits your hands. I like the 5″ length best. You can pick the pointiness of your needle — it looks like right now you have two choices: middy or stiletto, but I believe there is also a blunt option on some of their needles. I’ll always go with stiletto because in my mind, the pointier the better. And you can pick your cable length — 24, 32, 40, or 47″. You can request a custom length as well, but that’ll cost you an extra $10.

I very sneakily requested a size 6 with stiletto tips because that’s the size I use most for my fingering weight lacework. Always thinking here . . .

Last night I sat down to test-drive this beautiful needle. Did I like it?

This morning I ordered the same needle configuration in sizes 5 and 7. Oh yeah, I liked it!

The tips are delightfully pointy and the needle is as smooth as silk.

point060910 240x159 Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

The cable is thicker than that for most circular needles, but is very flexible, and the join between cable and needle is as close to perfection as is humanly possible, I think. I love my Addi Turbo Lace needles, but I think I love this Signature Needle Arts needle even more. Yeah, they are pricey. But you are getting quality for your money.

I understand these needles debuted early this year and were yanked because of some problems with the joins. Obviously, those problems have been fixed because, as I said, the joins are fantastic.

join060910 240x154 Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

I have achieved Needle Nirvana.

Current Knitting

Since I finished knitting the Kauni Shawl a couple of days ago, I have started a new project.

wip060910 240x160 Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

This is the Elemental Boatneck pattern by Hannah Fettig that was in the Summer 2009 issue of IK. (Ravelry link here). The pattern calls for Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy yarn, but I am using Rowan Lenpur Linen, which is 75% viscose and 25% linen. I’m using shade #569 — a nice moss green.

I am still in the middle of the horror that is 252 stitches in the round in a twisted rib pattern — I need three inches of it before I can start the body pattern, which is linen stitch (slow to knit, pretty to behold). The sweater is knit in the round up to the armholes.

I wanted something relatively easy and mindless to knit to take with me to TNNA this weekend.

Speaking of TNNA, I’ll be at the Unicorn booth from 11am til noon on Saturday, so if you are there and attending, stop by and say hi! The rest of the time I’ll be free range, either limping around the Convention Center or collapsed in a corner. Feel free to say hi in either of those cases as well. icon wink Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

Lucy is tutoring me in the fine art of napping.

Lucy060910 240x160 Seriously Simple Shawl and Seriously Fabulous Needles

Knot a Problem

There was a bit of discussion in the comments yesterday about the presence of knots in skeins of yarn and the varying emotions that rise at the sight of said knots.

Me, I’m not overly concerned about a single knot in a skein. And in this case (in my skein of Kauni) some care was taken that the newly-joined yarn be the same col0r. It’s kind of amusing that the striping sequence was reversed. Had I not noticed and just continued knitting along, it would not have been the end of the world, either.

I think when you are dealing with yarns like this (and Noro) you have to make the decision to just roll with it and not let these anomalies bother you or you could drive yourself nuts. Just my opinion.

But there have been times when I’ve had a skein of good quality yarn with multiple knots in one skein. There were at least 6 knots in a skein of yarn that had about 220 yards! That I do find unacceptable.

Lucy did consent finally to get off the shawl so I could block it last night. Then she got right back on it.

KauniShawl060810 240x123 Knot a Problem

Blocked, it is 68 inches across the top and 33 down the center back.

KauniShawl060810a 171x240 Knot a Problem

Here’s a close-up:

KauniShawl060810b 240x160 Knot a Problem

Lucy sez:

Lucy060810 240x160 Knot a Problem

“Mine.”

Free pattern coming soon.