My current work in progress:

1. "T-Rex," designed by Rebecca Danger, knit from Blue moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in the "Lucky" colorway on U.S. size 3 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Going Sideways

Now that the Wispy Cardi is off the needles, I am devoting myself full-time to the to-be-named sideways shawl.

This was previously my commuter knitting, so it didn’t get any attention over the long weekend. But now I am more than halfway done with it.

WIP090910 240x160 Going Sideways

This baby should be off the needles this weekend.

And look what arrived today.

soxbox090910 240x160 Going Sideways

My upcoming release, Toe-Up Socks in a Box!

I got two early advance copies . . . er . . . boxes.

boxtop090910 240x130 Going Sideways

I’m keeping one, of course, but I’ll give the other one away at random to a commenter. Would you like it? Leave a comment on this post by Sunday, September 12, 2010 at noon Eastern time. I’ll draw a winner then.

Don’t know how to leave a comment? Read this.

Lucy is screaming with excitement.

Lucy090910 240x160 Going Sideways

Wispy Cardi

First of all, I want to let y’all know (in case you didn’t already) that the Knitgirllls have posted Episode 24, the one they recorded last Sunday night with me and Lucy. I’m afraid Lucy rather disgraced herself. She was in a cranky mood so she just makes a brief cameo appearance at the start.

I finished up my Wispy Cardi last night.

WispyFront090810 160x240 Wispy Cardi

I made some mods — I added 5 stitches of garter stitch at each front edge of the bottom section so it wouldn’t curl because I knew that would drive me nuts. Because I did that, I moved the increases to inside that garter stitch border. I also made it 3″ longer than the pattern directs.

I couldn’t really tell you what size I made. I started out making the sleeves the width of the size 42 as I wanted it to not fit too tightly, particularly since I was planning to wear it over dresses. However, according to the schematic on the pattern, the size 42 has a back width between the sleeves of 28″ so I made mine way less wide. I checked the designer’s blog for info on the sizing, here. My actual back width, measured as she described (Put your arms at their sides.  Start at the side of your left arm, then across the back of your arm, across your back, across the back of your right arm, finishing the measurement at the side of  your right arm.) is about 20″. As I mentioned in a earlier blog entry, I knit the sleeve/body in two pieces and joined then at the center back using a three-needle bind-off. I knit each side back (after you work the sleeve bind-offs) for about 11″ so I’d have a little ease.

To be honest, I don’t really like this sweater.For one thing, it is seriously frumpy looking from the back.

WispyBack090810 156x240 Wispy Cardi

It’s really my own fault — I should know that a shrug with a “skirt” hanging off the bottom is going to look odd. I tried it on pre-blocking, which was a mistake. After steam-blocking it looked a little better, but I’m still not crazy about it. It accentuates the girls a bit too much for my liking. Not the look I’m going for when I dress for work. Here’s what it looks like with a dress I’d never wear it with — but happened to be what I wore today.

WispyOn090810 182x240 Wispy Cardi

But I’ll try it with a few different dresses and see what I think. I may have a dress or two that it’ll work with.

I had 5 skeins of Tempted Lovely Grrl for this project, and I started a new skein for each piece of the upper body, so I wouldn’t have to join in any new yarn. Then I started another new skein when I picked up and knit the ribbing, and continued using that skein for the “skirt” of the sweater. I did use up that skein and had to join in a new one. I used less than three skeins of my yarn. Plenty of leftovers to make a shawlette, as well as a toy for Lucy, since this is her favorite yarn!

Mmmmmm . . . Pi!

Thank you all for your lovely comments about my completed Shetland Pi. I must say, this has been the easiest and most enjoyable knit-along I’ve ever done. You guys are fabulous — pat yourselves on the back, please. But only if you can do so without dropping any stitches, okay?

April had a question:

When blocking, is there an easy (or easier!) way than using so many pins? When blocking a straight-sided shawl, stretching it to size and pinning always seems to make points on the side.

Well, there’s more than one way to block a circular shawl, but in my opinion, pinning it out with eleventy-billion pins is the easiest way. Do any of you have any ideas for an easier blocking method?

Lucy sez:

Lucy090810 240x160 Wispy Cardi

I’ll take the Wispy Cardi off your hands. It would be fabulous on me. Or rather, under me.”

The Fully Baked Pi

I promised photos of my completed Shetland Pi, so deliver I shall.

Here is my pi pre-blocking:

PiUnblocked090710 240x160 The Fully Baked Pi

And here it is blocking.

ShetlandPiblocking 240x160 The Fully Baked Pi

Before blocking it was about 50″ across, and after blocking it measures 72″. I could have blocked it out a bit bigger still, but ran out of floor space. icon wink The Fully Baked Pi

Pi083010 240x160 The Fully Baked Pi

There was some question in the comments about whether the stitches are doubled again before starting the Part Five chart — they are not. Part Five (which is the edging pattern) is knit on 576 stitches, same as Part Four. To provide a divider between Part Four and Five you will work “k2tog, yo” around. Because you are working one decrease with each yarn over, you are not increasing stitches.

PiModeled090710 160x240 The Fully Baked Pi

Now, after you complete the Part Five pattern, you work “k1, yo” around and double your stitches to 1152. This is done right before the bind-off to help ensure a really stretchy edge, so you can easily block your shawl out nice and big.

Shetlanpiedgeblocking 240x160 The Fully Baked Pi

In my August 22 blog post I mentioned this: “Part 5 (edging) — 20 rounds over 576 stitches.Bind-off is 2 rows of 1152 stitches.” So I imagine some of you remember seeing the 1152 stitches number from that and thought the increase was done at the beginning of the section.

Lucy sez:

Lucy090710 240x160 The Fully Baked Pi

“If the Knitgirllls aren’t coming over, I’m gonna take a nap.”

Goldfish Wanda

wanda2010aug28b 240x162 Goldfish Wanda

You’ve friended her on Facebook, you follow her on Twitter or Plurk . . .

Now you can knit and felt your very own Goldfish Wanda!

WandaFelted 240x160 Goldfish Wanda

Knit from Cascade 220, Wanda takes less than 50 yards for the main color and less than 20 yards for the contrast color.

WandaTopView 240x160 Goldfish Wanda

She is easy to knit and fun to felt. The pattern is available for sale on Ravelry and costs only $1.50. And half of the proceeds from the sale of the pattern will be donated to animal charities.

You can get your Goldfish Wanda pattern here on Ravelry. Pattern details are on this page.

Lucy and I had a wonderful weekend with Leslie and Laura, who are delightful houseguests. Lucy is eyeing me suspiciously since I got home, wondering what I did with her two new frends.

Lucy090610 240x160 Goldfish Wanda

“Are they in here?”

Tomorrow: pix of my finished Shetland Pi!

Part Five

Without further ado, here is Part Five of the Shetland Pi Shawl, in pdf format. This is the last piece of the puzzle, so once you download this, you will have the entire pattern.

I don’t have time for a lengthy blog entry today because I am busy with my lovely houseguests, the Knitgirllls. They arrived a bit before noon yesterday and we had a great day of knitting and fun.

Lala is battling with the Angry Birds on my iPad.

Laura090510 160x240 Part Five

Leslie is photographing said battle.

Leslie090510 240x160 Part Five

And Lucy is so delighted to have extra peeps to play with she doesn’t know what to do.

Lucy090510 240x160 Part Five

We are getting a little knitting done too. icon wink Part Five

Now, if you’ll excuse me, we have a day of fun planned. time to get started!