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.

Silk Road Socks

I got a copy of the new book Silk Road Socks by Hunter Hammersen this week.

Book022711 240x221 Silk Road Socks

If you’ve seen the back cover of this book, you’ll know that this wasn’t my first look at the book.

I was offered a chance to see it pre-publication. Here’s what my back-of-the-cover blurb says:

This book is a fascinating combination: lessons on the origins of oriental rugs and carpets, as well as a collection of sock patterns inspired by 14 of these beautiful textiles. Packed with useful technical information and lovely illustrations and photos, sock knitters are sure to find several “must knit” projects within its pages.

That’s it in a nutshell. The book starts with an introduction to the origins of oriental rugs and the “silk road” — the network of trade routes where silk was traded and transported. There’s some pretty interesting technical information about the rugs, including different types of knots used in their construction.

History022711 240x136 Silk Road Socks

Next comes the technical information you need to be able to knit the socks in this book — info on gauge and re-sizing, along with a key to the symbols used, among other things.

Next come the patterns, 14 of them. They are top-down, textured, cabled, and/or lace. Most are pretty intricate, but they are a couple that are a little easier that less-experienced knitters can start with and then work up to the more complex designs. Each design is beautifully photographed with the rug that inspired it.

Pattern022711 240x140 Silk Road Socks

The book is available in both hard copy and digital format — see the book website for info on ordering the different formats.

I was sent the digital version, but also received a signed hard copy. I am tempted to keep the hard copy, but decided to be nice and give it away to one of you.

Who’d like it?

Leave a comment to this blog entry by 4:00pm Eastern time, Thursday March 3 2011 to be entered in the random drawing to win my copy.

Note that my blog was redesigned over the weekend (yay — I love it!) and the link to leave a comment is now right below the title of the blog post. After clicking on the link, scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see the comment form to fill out.

Meanwhile, there is some Twisty sleeve knitting going on:

Sleeve022711 240x160 Silk Road Socks

And Lucy has decided on a nap!

Lucy022711 240x160 Silk Road Socks

She wants to be wide-awake and alert for the Academy Awards tonight. icon wink Silk Road Socks

 

Floofy

I enjoyed reading your guesses as to Lucy’s weight — they really ran the gamut from tiny to huge! Of course, it’s impossible for you all to accurately guess her weight based on photos, so this was very much a game of chance.

Lucy is a tiny girl underneath all that floof. She weighs only 7.7 pounds. And only one of you guessed her exact weight: Leslie.

In knitting news, I completed my worsted weight Starving Artist Hat. (Free pattern in Ravelry!)

Hat022411 240x179 Floofy

To recap, I knit this from a worsted weight handspun created and given to me by The KnitGirllls. I used a U.S. size 6 (4mm) needle and got a gauge of 5 st/inch in the k1 tbl, p2 pattern. I cast on 90 stitches and followed the instructions for the increases, which gave me 150 stitches. I worked as directed through Row 11 of the decreases for the crown (and had 30 stitches remaining), then I worked as follows:

Row 12: k2tog tbl around (15 stitches)

Row 13: k2tog tbl 7 times, k1 tbl (8 stitches)

Row 14: k2tog tbl 4 (4 stitches)

I then worked an i-cord on those 4 stitches for 5 rows and bound off.

And I love the results. icon biggrin Floofy

HatA022411 160x240 Floofy

Lucy sez:

Lucy022411 240x160 Floofy

“I’m not fat . . . I’m floofy!”

Skinny and Twisted

There is nothing terribly exciting going on here. I knit on my Skinny Starving Artist on my commute today.

Hat022211 240x160 Skinny and Twisted

And I worked on my Twisty Aran at home.

Twisty022211 240x160 Skinny and Twisted

The poor Twisty Aran has been languishing on the needles far too long, thanks to my knitting hiatus courtesy my broken hand. I’m hoping to get it done soon and move on to something else.

In other news, Lucy had her annual visit to the vet yesterday for check-up and shots. And of course she got weighed.

Would anyone like to hazard a guess how much she weighs?

Leave your guess in the comments (please do not email me or use the contact me form, only guesses left in the comments will be eligible to win). Everyone who guesses her exact weight to one-tenth of a pound will be emailed a coupon code that you can redeem in my Ravelry store for one free WendyKnits pattern. So be sure and use a valid email address on your comment (email addys are not displayed — only I can see them.)

Please enter your guess in pounds and tenths of pounds (not ounces) — like this:

3.5 pounds

Enter your guess by 4:00pm eastern time on Thursday, February 24, 2011 to be eligible to win a free pattern.

Lucy sez:

Lucy022211 240x160 Skinny and Twisted

“This is so embarrassing . . .”

Skinny Starving Artist

I decided to knit another Starving Artist, this time modifying the pattern for worsted instead of bulky yarn. I had one very special skein of handspun, spun by the Knitgirllls themselves.

I knit a tiny gauge swatch and figured that based on my gauge of 5 st/inch, I needed to cast on 90 stitches. So I did. I happily knit on this for a while Friday night but decided I wanted to keep it for commuter knitting, so left it at this point.

Hat022011 240x160 Skinny Starving Artist

On Saturday I picked up a project I’d stopped working on when I first broke my hand — my Twisty Aran. The twisted stitches really hurt to execute right after the accident.

But I’m pleased to report that things are much better now. Here’s the back of Twisty.

Twisty022011 240x160 Skinny Starving Artist

Strangely, colorwork does hurt — quite a bit, so I’ve stopped working on Caller Herrin’. Another problem — it is WAY too small. So small that blocking will not solve it. (I know I have a large head and a lot of hair, so this does not come as a very big surprise.) I’m knitting to gauge, but clearly the pattern is for a much smaller head than mine, so it will need to be ripped out and recalculated. And I’m not in the mood, so it is off the radar for now.

Lucy sez:

Lucy022011 240x240 Skinny Starving Artist

“Nice work on the bind-off.”

Starving Artist

I completed my Starving Artist hat last night and immediately popped it on my head and took a picture with my webcam, even though it was dark.

starvingartist021711 240x180 Starving Artist

This was a very fun, fast knit. I used less than one skein of Colinette Skye and U.S. size 10 needles.

beret021711 240x160 Starving Artist

And to make things even better, the pattern is available as a free Ravelry download. What are you waiting for? Seriously.

My Caller Herrin’ hat is not nearly as far along. Sorry for the blurry pic!

Herrin021711 240x160 Starving Artist

I have found that colorwork is still a bit painful at this point, so I can only do a couple of rows at a time.

But just so you don’t feel that you have made a wasted trip, here is a series of photos that I call “Stacy and the Gray Ladies have fun with fingerless mitts.”

grayladiesA021711 240x180 Starving Artist

grayladiesB021711 240x180 Starving Artist

grayladiesC021711 240x180 Starving Artist

Kay021711 180x240 Starving Artist

Mitts021711 240x180 Starving Artist

Stacy021711 237x240 Starving Artist

I think I’m going to have to call that pattern “The Gray Ladies.”

Lucy sez:

Lucy021711 240x160 Starving Artist

“I wonder if the Gray Ladies like kitties?”