My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Rachael Rachael

I finished reading Rachael Herron‘s second novel this week: How to Knit a Heart Back Home. (Rachael was kind enough to arrange for me to receive a review copy, but I will confess to you that I also purchased the Kindle edition so I could read it on my iPad.)

Book031011 192x240 Rachael Rachael

This is the second book in Rachael’s “Cypress Hollow” series and I think it is even better than the first, which I enjoyed thoroughly. The story takes place in the same town, but the main characters are different. A nice Barbara Pym-like touch, however, is that the main characters in the first book (How to Knit a Love Song) make cameo appearances in this book. Rachael writes well and sucks you immediately into the story. There’s a nice amount of knitting content, as well as an original pattern for a very pretty sweater that is integral to the plot.

Rachael has offered a free copy of How to Knit a Heart Back Home to one of my readers, so let’s do a drawing. icon smile Rachael Rachael

To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment to this blog post, by 11:00am Eastern Time on Sunday, March 13, 2011. The great and might Random Number Generator will be awakened from its lair and exhorted to pick a winner from the comments. Then I’ll get the winner hooked up with Rachael and if you ask nice I bet she’ll even sign your copy. icon wink Rachael Rachael

Please note that as usual, I require you to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. But for every drawing I hold, I still get emailed entries, and even Ravelry messages. Please read this page if you are unsure how to leave a comment and/or wonder why I require entries via comment only.

Knitting!

Thanks for all your lovely comments about the Twisty Aran. I appreciate them very much!

I seem to have had many non-knitting things cutting into my knitting time this week. But the baby sweater is coming along as you can see:

WIP031011 240x196 Rachael Rachael

Nothing much else to see here, apart from Lucy.

Lucy031011 240x160 Rachael Rachael

Twisty Aran

The Twisty Aran is done!

Twisty030811 216x240 Twisty Aran

To recap, this is knit from Rowan Calmer in the discontinued “Delight” colorway on U.S. size 7 (4.5mm) needles. It’s knit from the bottom up, in pieces, and seamed.

The sleeves extend into a shoulder strap.

TwistyShoulder030811 240x160 Twisty Aran

And I worked an applied i-cord around the neck.

TwistyNeckline030811 240x160 Twisty Aran

Very happy with it, I am, as Yoda might say. The pattern for this may be available at some point in the future.

Onward . . .

I started a new project using the pink yarn I showed in my last blog post. The yarn is Schulana Sojabama, and as the name suggests, it is a blend of soy and bamboo. It is a DK weight ribbon-ish yarn. I say “ribbon-ish” because it is sort of flat, but not completely flat like most ribbon yarns I’ve seen. It comes in 50 gram balls with a yardage of 120 yards per ball. It was distributed by Skacel, but it is not listed on their website so I assume it has been discontinued. That’s a bit sad, because it is a very pleasant yarn to knit. Of course that explains why it is available from Webs at a closeout price — and that is where I purchased mine.

The colorway I got is called “Ravishing Pink” and I’m knitting Alison Green Will’s sweet little baby sweater Helena from the Summer 2008 issue of Knitty. I am making this for a pink-obsessed friend who is due in June. Fortunately, the baby is a girl.

WIP030811 240x160 Twisty Aran

The pattern calls for a DK weight wool, but because this is a summer baby, I subbed the soy/bamboo yarn. It’s handwash only which is a bit of a pain, but the mom is knit-friendly so hopefully it won’t be too much of an issue. I may try machine-washing and drying a swatch on the gentle cycle to see how it does before handing over the sweater.

Lucy sez:

Lucy030811 240x160 Twisty Aran

“I’ll be over here if you need me.”

Twisting in the Wind

Here is the second sleeve of Twisty.

Sleeve030611 240x160 Twisting in the Wind

I was hoping to be further along at this point — like getting ready to seam this sleeve to the body. But the best laid plans and all that, well, I didn’t spend as much time knitting yesterday as I thought I would. Still, I ought to be able to finish the sleeve today, barring any unforeseen atrocities. I just have 5 rows to go before binding off before the shoulder strap.

I have a DVD of The Buccaneers mostly unwatched (I watched the first episode one night last week while my cable was out), so that should afford me some good knitting time.

I’ve taken to making Sunday afternoons DVD-watching and knitting time (interspersed with getting up to deal with the laundry). So far this year I’ve watched Downton Abbey, The Cazalets, the first two seasons of Merlin, and the new Sherlock Holmes on DVD on Sunday afternoons.

You can get a good idea of my viewing preferences from that list, can’t you? I like owning DVDs of series I’ve enjoyed so I can’t watch them whenever I like. I also own, among others, the entire series of Flambards, The Camomile Lawn, and Upstairs, Downstairs. All great series to knit to.

Anyway. What do you like to knit to?

Here’s my yarn for my next project as soon as Twisty is done.

Yarn030611 240x160 Twisting in the Wind

Can you guess what I’m going to knit?

It’s a dark rainy day today. While I knit to DVDs, Lucy plans to do this:

Lucy030611 240x160 Twisting in the Wind

More Twisty

Or should that be “Twistier?”

Last night I seamed a shoulder strap and sleeve onto the body of Twisty.

WIP030311 240x160 More Twisty

I am working on the second sleeve now.

Sleeve030311 240x160 More Twisty

I like doing the seaming as I go along — I don’t like leaving the whole chore til the end. Better to do the seaming (which I do not particularly enjoy) in chunks.

I’m hoping I’ll have the second sleeve mostly done by the end of the weekend, which means I’ll be able to finish Twisty hopefully by the end of next week.

Winner!

Thank you for all your comments entering the giveaway for Silk Road Socks. The Random Number Generator selected Gloria. Gloria, I’ve emailed you. icon smile More Twisty

Guerrilla Knitting?

There was a question in my comments asking what I think about guerrilla knitting. The truth is that I’ve never given it much thought. I don’t find it offensive, but I would never consider participating in it, as I prefer to make garments, not statements with my knitting. To each his/her own.

Lucy sez:

Lucy030311 240x204 More Twisty

“I’ll be over here with my mousie.”

Knitopedia

Last week I was sent a review copy of Vogue Knitting Knitopedia: The Ultimate A to Z for Knitters.

Book030111 240x222 Knitopedia

This is a hardcover book, 240 pages, and states a publication date of today.

Here is the product description, shamelessly lifted from Amazon.com:

If knitters could own just one guide to their craft, Knitopedia™ would be their book of choice! Created by the trusted experts at Vogue® Knitting, this beautifully designed encyclopedia is an A-to-Z of knitting techniques, history, and lore that’s filled with more than 400 individual articles and lavishly illustrated with color photos, technical illustrations, charts, patterns, and maps. It’s an ideal reference for both beginning and advanced knitters, who will treasure it for years to come.

It certainly is a beautifully designed book, nicely laid out, with full-color drawings and photos. And it is an interesting mix of “stuff.” There are some techniques documented step-by-step, for example, decreases.

Decreases030111 240x179 Knitopedia

There are a number of essays written by knitting designers on a variety of topics. And there are encyclopedic entries on all sorts of things, including knitting history, different styles and types of knitting, knitting magazines, people, events, etc. The book is laid out alphabetically, as an encyclopedia should be, and is nicely cross-referenced and indexed.

But . . .

I have a few beefs with this book. For something that calls itself the “Ultimate A to Z for Knitters” there is a lot missing. The content of the book seems rather arbitrary. There is a section on Bohus Knitting, yet neither Wendy Keele (author of the great book Poems of Color) nor Solveig Gustafsson (who has meticulously recreated patterns and yarns from the original Bohus designs) are mentioned. There’s quite a bit about knitting history in it, but two authors who wrote histories of knitting (Richard Rutt and Anne L. Macdonald) do not get a mention, yet individuals involved in the “guerilla knitting” movement do.

Some yarn companies are mentioned, some are not. (Manos del Uruguay is, Malabrigo isn’t.) Some designers are mentioned, some are not. (Cookie A. is, I am not.) Least you think I am just in a snit at being excluded (okay, I am a little), I hasten to point out that there are quite a few designers listed I’ve never heard of, while many widely-known, very popular, designers do not get a mention. Kathy Zimmerman, Jared Flood, and Ysolda Teague, to name a few, are all absent from the book.

While I realize that  it is unrealistic to expect inclusion of every yarn company in the world and everyone who calls him/herself a designer, I do wonder what the criteria were for what/who got an entry.

I have a beef with the entry on socks. The first sentence states that you can knit socks top down or toe up. Following is more than a page on top-down construction, complete with a photo, but nothing about toe-up.

Socks030111 240x179 Knitopedia

I could go on, but the point of this review is not to list all the problems with this book. I think this book is better described as a subjective sampling of topics for knitters, not an ultimate one.

Still, it is a very pretty book with a lot of fascinating information in it. (But be forewarned — I’ve found some inaccuracies in the information presented.) Just don’t expect it to be the only knitting reference book you’ll ever need. Caveat emptor.

Meanwhile in my own little world, I am finishing up the shoulder strap on my first Twisty sleeve.

WIP030111 240x160 Knitopedia

Lucy sez:

Lucy030111 240x160 Knitopedia

“Oh hai!”