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.

My Little Helper

I really don’t know what I would do without Lucy.

Blocking070610 240x156 My Little Helper

As you can see from this photo, she was hard at work yesterday, making sure that my shawl stayed nice and flat during blocking. What a little trooper!

And here is the shawl being modeled by Gwendolyn:

WoodlandFront070610 213x240 My Little Helper

And the back view:

WoodlandBack070610 240x182 My Little Helper

Unblocked, it is about 23″ long, and because of its shape, it stays nicely on the shoulders.

WoodlandFlat070610 240x182 My Little Helper

There was a question in the comments about the difference between a shawl and a shawlette.

I tend to say “shawlette” when I am designing something that can be knit from 100 grams of sock yarn — 400 yards or so. I don’t know of nay hard and fast rule about what makes a shawl a shawl and what makes a shawlette a shawlette.

But just to be different, I am calling this one a “shoulder shawl.” Its official name is “Woodland Walk Shoulder Shawl.”

The Last Hurrah

This weekend I am taking a quick trip down to Richmond. I’ll be at The Yarn Lounge on Saturday, July 10, from 1 – 3pm, signing books and hanging out with the knitters. I hope I’ll see a lot of you there.

I call this the last hurrah, because as some of you already know, I’ve had to cancel all remaining travel (including my trip to Europe for KnitNation) due to ill health — doctor’s orders. I am both completely bummed out and slightly relieved, because I was beginning to realize that I can’t manage the rigors of travel and teaching at this point.

Lucy sez:

Lucy070610 240x160 My Little Helper

I want Momma to stay home all the time!”

Before and After

I finished my shawlette — did the bind-off last night. Here is the before photo:

before070510 240x160 Before and After

As you can see, this design has 5 triangular-shaped sections.Pre-blocked, the long edge of each tirangle is about 14 inches.

And here it is, blocked and pinned out:

After070510 240x171 Before and After

After blocking, each of those long edges is about 23 inches.

I knit this on a U.S. size 6 needle and used 2 skeins of The Loopy Ewe Solid Series yarn in the “Hydrangea” colorway — it’s fingering weight hand has approximately 220 yards per 2 ounce skein. I estimate I used a bit under 400 yards — there was about 17 grams of yarn left over.

The pattern will be coming soon.

In the meantime, Lucy demonstrates a perfect circle:

Lucy070510 240x213 Before and After

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to all who celebrate it.

Today Lucy exerts her free will to sit in my lap for as long as she wants.

lucy070310 240x162 Independence Day

And I will knit on my shawlette:

Wip070410 240x160 Independence Day

I lost a great deal of knitting time yesterday being ill — I either poisoned myself with my own cooking on Friday night or had some sort of stomach bug. But I am feeling much better today, so I will spend a good part of the day knitting. Who knows? I may complete this project today!

Have a great Independence Day and/or a great Sunday!

Fun Stuff

Yesterday I got a new app for my iPad. It’s a knitting app, and it is designed specifically for the iPad: Knitting & Crocheting HD by Pocket Cocktails Inc.

It is a very comprehensive resource for all sorts of knitting and crochet topics. I took some screen captures of the menus. The Getting Started menu:

gettingstarted070110 180x240 Fun Stuff

If you click on the photos, you can enlarge them to actually read the menu.

This is the “Basics” menu that leads to step-by-step instructions and “how-tos”:

basics070110 180x240 Fun Stuff

Not all of the menu items are visible on the screen — you can scroll down through each menu with the flick of a finger. There is a section of different stitch patterns.

designs070110 180x240 Fun Stuff

When you select an item, it takes you to knitting instructions. And here is the menu for finishing techniques.

finishing070110 180x240 Fun Stuff

This is not an all-inclusive look at all the menu items, but enough to give you an idea of what’s available. There is also an excellent search function within the app, the ability to zoom in on a page, and switch from landscape to portrait mode and back, and more, including some patterns from projects.

The how-to photos are very clear with good text explanations accompanying them.

There is more info about this app in the iTunes store here. There are more screen shots there, so you can get a better feel for what’s included in the app.

It looks to me like a good resource with lots of great basic information. The price is $4.99 (and it looks like that is a special “launch” price) — way less than you would spend on a book that contains all the information here.

Speaking of my iPad, I ordered a Zagg InvisibleShield for it — I got the front coverage shield only because I have a case for it. I have a Zagg shield for my Droid phone as well. They make screen protectors for pretty much every electronic device you can think of. I highly recommend them for devices with a touch screen. While they can be a little fiddly to install, they really do an outstanding job of protecting the screen and keeping it scratch-free.

The other fun thing I wanted to show you is this:

Stitchmarker070110 240x160 Fun Stuff

This is a little doo-hicky my friend Muriel (she is part of the Tempted Yarn family — she’s Stacy’s sister) made for me (okay, I have three of them).

It’s a stitch marker that has a separate long wire attached with a lobster claw clasp. You remove the long bit and place your barrel row counter on it, then slip the marker on your needle to mark the beginning of your round in circular needle. Isn’t that slick?

Stitchmarker070110a 240x160 Fun Stuff

Muriel’s regular stitch markers are available for sale in the Tempted Etsy shop. I asked her if she was planning on making these clever little devices available there and she said she might do special orders.

It’s a long weekend here in the U.S. Wheeeeee!

Lucy sez:

Lucy070110 240x160 Fun Stuff

“I want a catnip app for the iPad.”