My current work in progress:

1. Brickless, designed by Martina Behm, knit from Mrs. Crosby Carpet Bag in the "Boston Fern" colorway on a 4.0 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Slow

It has been a slow week, knitting-wise. I have been inching along on the back of my current sweater.

Well, inching is over-stating things a bit. Last night I knit two rows. But that’s better than nothing. So here it is in its current state:

WIP092911 240x160 Slow

And because I don’t have much else to say right now, here is a gratuitous close-up:

WIPCloseup092911 240x160 Slow

Lucy sez:

Lucy092911 240x160 Slow

“Momma always makes time for me!”

 

Beyond Toes

In yesterday’s mail I got Judy Becker’s new book Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures with Judy’s Magic Cast-on, which is due to be released on September 30.

Book092711 240x182 Beyond Toes

I actually got to see a pre-release version of this book a few months ago, because Judy asked me to write a blurb for the back cover (and blurb I did — you can read my blurb on the Amazon page I linked to above).

I am so pleased to see this book: so many sock designers (me included) have been using Judy’s cast-on in their designs for years, so it is particularly nice to see Judy get some much-deserved recognition.

The book has a very detailed techniques section, complete with illustrations for (you guessed it) Judy’s Magic Cast-on:

Book092711a 240x160 Beyond Toes

Not just the “plain vanilla” cast-on, but several variations for different situations. Very cool.

And there are 23 patterns from many different designers (including Judy) — and I know you’ll recognize some names when you see the book.

The first section of patterns is for hats:

Book092711b 240x160 Beyond Toes

Next we have neckwear:

Book092711c 240x160 Beyond Toes

And I have to show you a picture of what I think is the cutest, most insane project in the book:

Book092711Scarf 240x185 Beyond Toes

A sock scarf! icon biggrin Beyond Toes

Next in the book are mittens:

Book092711d 240x160 Beyond Toes

Then socks. (How could there not be socks?)

Book092711e 240x160 Beyond Toes

Garments and wraps:

Book092711f 240x160 Beyond Toes

Bags and cozies:

Book092711g 240x160 Beyond Toes

And comfy things!

Book092711h 240x160 Beyond Toes

I love the little pigs!

There is of course a reference section in the back as well.

Book092711i 240x160 Beyond Toes

Bottom line, this is a great book with a whole lot of very cute patterns.

Judy actually sent me two signed copies of this book, one for me and one to give away. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing for this book, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern time next Tuesday, October 4. I will select the recipient via the Random Number Generator and announce said winner in next Tuesday’s blog post.

Lucy sez:

Lucy092711 240x160 Beyond Toes

“It’s autumn! Kitty bed season!”

 

Sunday

As you can see, my creativity is at low ebb when it comes to coming up with clever titles for blog posts.

I’m telling myself that I am reserving my creativity for knitting. icon wink Sunday

I’ve completed the bottom border of my latest lace tunic.

WIP092511 240x160 Sunday

Here’s a closer-up photo:

WIPCloseup092511 160x240 Sunday

If you enlarge it (by clicking on the photo) you can see that there are subtle variations in the yarn. It’s not plain, un-relieved black.

Why I am knitting a black lace sweater? I want it to go with this skirt:

arabellaskirt 240x240 Sunday

I bought this skirt on sale from the Sundance Catalog. (It is still available, here, but looks like only size14 is left). I had been stalking this skirt since I first saw it on the Sundance Catalog website but I didn’t want to pay full price. So when it went on sale this summer, I grabbed it. I am not even remotely trendy enough to pair it with a chartreuse blazer as shown in the photo (let alone the floofy boots), so I thought I’d go with something safer: black.

Speaking of lace tunics, I’ve been asked a few times for suggestions on yarn substitutions for the Hand Maiden Swiss Silk I am using for my sweaters. You could pretty much use any light fingering or heavy laceweight yarn. You have some leeway in the yarn weight because it is lace and the final dimensions are post-blocking. Hence the wiggle room. If you don’t want to use silk but want some drape and sheen, try a tencel or bamboo blend yarn.

Lucy sez:

Lucy092511 240x132 Sunday

“Stre-e-e-e-etch!”

Quoth the Raven

Despite all sorts of things taking up my time this week I did finally sit down yesterday and seam up my last sweater. Here it is:

Sweater092211 160x240 Quoth the Raven

I haven’t even tried it on yet. That’s what kind of week it has been. But there it is.

I knit this from my current favorite yarn, Hand Maiden Swiss Silk in the “Earth” colorway, on a U.S. size 6 (4mm needle). It’s a very simple sweater, just 4 rectangles: front, back, and two sleeves. The neck is a boatneck so there isn’t even any neck shaping. And the lace pattern is a simple 4-row all-over design.

So I’ve started something new.

WIP092211 240x160 Quoth the Raven

Yes, it is another lace sweater. Yes, it is being knit from Hand Maiden Swiss Silk. This colorway is an almost-solid black and is called “Raven.”

And just for grins, I thought I’d start it with a bobble border. icon smile Quoth the Raven

Bobbles092211 240x160 Quoth the Raven

So far so good!

And just in case you were wondering, I have planned at least two more lace sweaters knit from Hand Maiden Swiss Silk.

Learn From Our Mistakes

Check out the new blog post at Crafter News: Ask the Experts: Knitting Disasters We’ve Learned From. All our guilty secrets revealed!

Lucy sez:

Lucy092211 240x204 Quoth the Raven

“I have been taking all of Momma’s knitting time this week. It is all about me, me, me.”

 

Its All Over But the Seaming

I finally finished the second sleeve of my sweater.

Sleeve092011 240x160 Its All Over But the Seaming

The first sleeve has been attached to the body via three-needle bind-off.

WIP092011 160x240 Its All Over But the Seaming

And I’ve done the crochet edge around the neck.

Neck092011 240x160 Its All Over But the Seaming

Once I attach the second sleeve, all that remains is to sew up the side seams.

So I’d best get to it!

Another Worthy Cause

I got another email from Lynne (aka Shanti‘s Mom) this morning:
I have just become involved with The Puppy Rescue Mission, a 501 (c) (3) that helps soldiers in Afghanistan bring home dogs that they have adopted while they are serving there.  Not only have these pups helped the soldiers maintain a sense of normalcy while in the field, they help with some of the PTSD issues when they get home.

TPRM is competing in the Pepsi Refresh Project in the $25K division in the hopes of getting that amount contributed to their efforts.  Please, go to this link  and vote for them every day … it would be amazing for them to get this amount.  You will have to register with Pepsi, but they don’t send you a lot of junk mail.  TPRM has a backlog of 30 dogs at this point in time and could really use the funds.

Thanks for your daily votes, they are currently #6, let’s help move them to #1 … and please pass it along.

Lucy sez:

Lucy092011 240x160 Its All Over But the Seaming

“Even if this is about puppies instead of kitties, it is still a worthy cause!”