My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for September 2010

Get Back

My new cardi-in-progress now has a back. Or rather it will within the hour, as I am almost done with the raglan decreases.

For the left side front and the back I have used only 2 skeins of my yarn. Not bad!

Since I don’t have anything particularly thrilling to say about my cardi-in-progress, I shall now distract you by showing you Cute Things.

Look at my new Piddleloop bag!

This is the Large Wedge Bag, and it is a very nice size — big enough for me to put a piece of my cardi in, and certainly big enough to carry around a lace shawl project.

I love Mr. Kitty appliqued and embroidered onto one side.

I love my Large Wedge Bag so much, that I bought a Piddly Bag too — to put my knitting bits and bobs in.

The Piddly Bag is big enough for a sock project, so I may at some point change my mind and use it for that purpose!

Lucy would wish you all a good weekend, but she is busy resting up for said weekend!

Today is a Good Day

Why is today a good day, you ask? Because the special Gifts Issue of Knitcircus is out!

(I do not have an article in this issue because it is a special — my column will return with the next regular issue, the Winter Issue, due out November 1.)

The Gifts Issue is full of great stuff — book and yarn reviews, product recommendations, a lovely article about gift knitting, and an interview with Sally Melville. There are even some cookie recipes. And of course, the patterns!

There are some wonderful patterns in this issue and they all would make great knitted gifts. And some are really quick knits, so you can whip out a gift in no time. You can view all the patterns at the link above, and you can either buy single patterns or buy the whole pattern collection. The Organic Bath Set is a free pattern — you can download it from the magazine online.

Once again, Jaala Spiro, the very generous Editor-in-Chief of Knitcircus, has authorized me to do some giveaways! I have ten free pattern collections from the Gift Issue, and two free one-year subscriptions to give to WendyKnits readers.

To enter the drawing for one of these goodies, leave a comment to this blog post. As always, if you are unsure how to comment, check out my comment tutorial. Leave your comment by noon Eastern time on Sunday September 19, 2010. At that time I will awaken the Great and Mighty Random Number Generator and exhort it to choose winners at — you guessed it — random.

The Project at Hand

I am at the point on the back of my cardi where I can start the bind-offs for the armholes. Excitement abounds!

Transverse Shawlette

Thanks for all your great comments on this design. I’m so pleased you like it. I hope many of you will knit and enjoy it. 🙂


Lucy can’t come to the blog. She is involved in a stand-off with her fuzzy rat.

Chocolate Cardi

Before I get into my current WIP, I wanted to give you a heads-up that the Transverse Shawlette pattern is now available for sale in my Ravelry store for $5.00.

There was a question in the comments about how severely I blocked mine. Actually, I didn’t block it within an inch of its life — more like within 6 inches of its life. 😉 Garter stitch always blocks out beautifully. Because by nature it smooshes up small without blocking, the post-blocking measurement in comparison to pre-blocking is always impressive.

I think this is a fairly easy project, and a fast one. As I said on the Ravelry pattern page, you can pretty much make it any size using any weight yarn. Just make sure you use a needle size larger than the yarn is normally knit with so you’ll get a nice open lace.

There is lace patterning on every row, but it is not difficult, and it is only on the edges. You have a nice field of garter stitch in the middle. 🙂

And it is a fast knit. I started mine on September 1 and finished it on September 10, and didn’t knit on it at all for 4 of those 10 days. So it would be good for banging out a quick holiday gift or two.

I’ve worked up a couple more sideways shawl designs, but haven’t knit them yet. But soon . . .

Now, back to the project at hand.

I decided I wanted a milk chocolate brown cardi, so I asked Stacy of Tempted Yarns if she would custom dye some of her Lovely Grrl base for me. I asked for a milk chocolate with very subtle variegation and that’s exactly what Stacy gave me.

I drafted a design for a v-neck slightly a-line cardigan with raglan sleeves and a lace bottom border and cast on Friday night. I decided to start with one of the side fronts, just in case I needed to adjust my lace pattern. Less ripping out than if I started with the back like I usually do for sweaters. Fortunately, no ripping was needed.

Here is a close-up of the lace border.

I am now working on the back and enjoying the awesomeness that is Lovely Grrl!

Aran Knitting

You may have seen that the Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore has been re-issued by Dover Press. I pre-ordered it from Amazon as soon as I heard the news, and it arrived a couple of days ago.

I do have the original hard-cover Aran Knitting, which I bought when it was first released, and have knit most of the designs in it, some of them more than once. But the re-issued edition has a new design not included in the original version: Eala Bhan (link to Virtual Yarns). Click on the photo on that page for a view of the back.

I have to knit it, of course.

It calls for Starmore’s own 2-ply Hebridean yarn, which is available from her website, Virtual Yarns. You can conveniently buy a yarn pack for the design in any of the colorways of the 2-ply Hebridean (you need to order the book to get the pattern, though). And it is (I think) reasonably priced — ranging from approximately $70 for the smallest size to $87 for the largest size (based on today’s exchange rate).

If you did not want to use the Hebridean 2-ply, you could substitute a heavy fingering weight yarn, I think. According to Virtual Yarns,  Hebridean 2-ply has approximately 93 yards (85m) per 25g skein, 13 wpi. Gauge in stockinette stitch is 6.5 – 7 stitches/9.5 – 10.5 rows to the inch on a 2.75 – 3.25mm needle.

In Ravelry it is listed as a sport weight, but I think it is closer to fingering weight. Ravelry also states that the wpi is 12 (while Starmore’s site states 13) and says it is 100% shetland wool (it is Hebridean wool, not Shetland).

I ordered the 2-ply Hebridean because I know from experience that it is very soft and lovely, and I’m thinking this is something I’d wear with just a tank or cami under it, so I want a soft wool. I ordered the “Bogbean” colorway for my Eala Bhan. Raise your had if you are shocked at my ordering green. 😉

Anyway, I will likely start this project at the beginning of October. Anyone want to knit along with me? 🙂

Speaking of lovely girl . . .

Transverse Shawlette

I have released the Transverse Shawlette from the blocking wires and pins and it is now ready to go.

As I mentioned, I used one skein of Madelinetosh Pashmina (and a U.S. size 7 needle). At the beginning of the shawlette my skein weighed 117 grams and after completion I had 15 grams of yarn leftover.

This shawl is knit sideways. On the first half I increased one stitch every other row. Then on the second half, I decreased one stitch every other row until I was down to the original number of stitches I started with — in this case, four.

The pattern will be available very soon.It is a pretty easy knit, I think because there are no tricky maneuvers. You need to know how to knit, yarn over, knit 2 together, double-decrease by working a slip 1 knit 2 together pass slip stitch over, and increase by knitting in the front and back of a stitch.

When you knit this design, you can either weigh your yarn at the start and knit until you have used half of it (instructions are included for doing this), or you can knit the number of repeats I did — this information is also included in the pattern.

And you can pretty much use any yarn and needles you like, remembering that the larger the needle size you use with your yarn, the more open and lacy your shawlette will be. The yarn I used, Madelinetosh Pashmina, is listed as a sport weight, and I used a US 7 (4.5mm) needle with it to achieve a nice open-looking lace.

By the Way . . .

I keep forgetting to tell you that I was asked to be one of the designers for the Knit-Purl Sock Club. If you follow the link there, you can see I am in very good company! I understand that there still are a couple of slots open, so if you are interested, you may still be able to join.

Onward to the New WIP

Lookie here:

This is a pile of Tempted Lovely Grrl yarn, in a colorway I asked Stacy to custom-dye for me. It is called, very appropriately, “Milk Chocolate.” Lovely Grrl is fingering weight, 50/50 merino/silk and is a delight to knit.

I have started a cardigan (my own design) from it and am once again loving knitting with this fabulous yarn. But I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Lucy is mildly embarrassed about that photo of her I posted yesterday, so I have had to apologize to her. Profusely.

Will You Knit Them in a Box?

With abject apologies to Dr. Seuss . . .

Will you knit them in a box?
Do you knit sox tough as rocks?
Can you knit sly as a fox?
Or do you suffer knitting pox?

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my last post. The Random Number Generator has spoken, and Lynda Hitt is hereby proclaimed the winner of my Toe-Up Socks in a Box! Lynda, I’ve emailed you.

In other news, the formerly unnamed sideways shawl, now known as the Transverse Shawlette (thank-you Sharon for the naming idea!) is now a fait accompli.

Here it is pre-blocking, measuring 40″ across the top edge and 20″ down the center back.

And after blocking it has grown to 64″ across the top edge and 26″ down the center back.

This was knit from one skein of Madeline Tosh Pashmina (using the Posy colorway) on U.S. size 7 (4.5mm) needles. Pattern coming soon!

In other news, Lucy may have had a bit too much fun this weekend . . .