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.

Rainy

It’s been a cool rainy day here — seems almost Autumnal!

Yesterday I celebrated Labor Day by . . . laboring. Doing things that needed to be done around the house. But I did find time to work on my current lace sweater:

WIP090611 240x160 Rainy

I am doing a simple 4-row all-over lace pattern. I do like the results in this yarn, very much. It is, however, somewhat boring to knit.

A big thank you to aliceq who in the comments recommended Intaglio as an easy graphics program for creating pattern schematics. Five minutes after downloading the demo version I created a decent-looking schematic, so I am happy.

I will have the patterns for my last two lace sweaters finalized soon.

Winner!

The winner of a signed copy of Rachael Herron’s new book A Life in Stitches, drawn at random from the comments, is Hester from Atlanta, who has been notified. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Lucy sez:

Lucy090611 240x116 Rainy

“I don’t like it when she does this.”

Labor Day Weekend

Hard to believe that here in the U.S. it’s the middle of Labor Day Weekend already. It seems like it was just the beginning of July — I blinked and it became September. Not that I’m complaining — autumn is my favorite season so I’m happy to be a little closer to it.

Last week I started a new project, once again using my new favorite yarn — Hand Maiden Swiss Silk. Another lace sweater, my third from this yarn. Yesterday morning I took a look at what I had so far and ripped it out. The lace pattern I had come up with was just not working with the colorway I’m using (Earth).

Yarn090411 240x160 Labor Day Weekend

I decided this time to do a very simple all-over pattern. No complex bottom border, just the same simple lace motif from bottom to top. Here’s what I have so far:

WIP090411 240x160 Labor Day Weekend

This time I think I’ll do a boatneck to make this a really simple design to knit. So basically, it will be just knitting 4 rectangles and putting them together.

I do remember that I have not yet written up the patterns for the last two lace sweaters I’ve designed. I do have the patterns pretty much completely written. Do you want to know the main thing that is holding me back from finalizing the patterns? I need to create schematics for the sweaters, and I don’t have a way to easily do that.

Can anyone recommend an easy-to-use Mac graphics program that I can use to create pattern schematics? I just need to be able to draw the shape of the body (with neckline) and sleeve laid flat and insert the multiple measurements for each piece. I do own Adobe Illustrator, but simply do not have the time to learn how to use it. I’d love to have a program that is dead-simple since I don’t need to do anything fancy. I’d love to hear any ideas y’all have.

Last week was my first week at my new job — so far so good. I haven’t broken anything as far as I know. icon wink Labor Day Weekend While it’s a great place to work and my new coworkers have been extremely nice and welcoming, I staggered home on Friday in a state of advance exhaustion. I don’t deal well with change and find it stressful being the new kid. (I am working in the same huge federal building I’ve worked in for over 15 years so happily I don’t have to deal with a change in commute and location.) This “new kid” feeling will pass, of course, but all the same I am very happy to have a three-day weekend after my first week. I’m looking forward to going back to work on Tuesday, so that’s a very good sign for the future!

But I’ll be spending the rest of this holiday weekend watching old movies, knitting, cuddling Lucy, and doing not much else. Gotta conserve my strength, right?

Lucy sez:

Lucy090411 211x240 Labor Day Weekend

“Look at me! I am decorative!”

 

A Life In Stitches

Well, it’s not my life in stitches . . .

A couple of weeks ago I was sent a review copy of A Life in Stitches by Rachael Herron.

Book090111 190x240 A Life In Stitches

I’ve known Rachael since way back when we were both baby bloggers in the early days of knitblogs, so I have of course read each of her novels as they were published — and loved them.

I finished reading A Life in Stitches last week. This is not a novel but a collection of autobiographical essays with knitting content (and a fun pattern at the back of the book). I highly recommend this book. Rachael is such a lovely writer (I’m sorry, but there is no other way of putting it) and her words are simply a pleasure to read. And knowing Rachael in real life, I can tell you how genuine her writing is. Well, read this book and you’ll see what I mean!

The print version has been out for a bit and today the ebook version was released so no matter how you prefer to read, you can grab a copy.

This week I conducted a mini-interview with Rachael via email.

Wendy: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? When you write a novel, do you have the plot worked out ahead of time, or does it develop as you write?

Rachael: My writing process is this: write every day. If I do that, I tend to get less overwhelmed. A little bit of writing is always better than none, and you can always fix it later. As to plotting, my writing is one part plan, two parts accidental. I tend to start with a fantastic idea which gets less and less awesome as I work on it, and I’m left sitting in front of the computer with a dazed look on my face. Really? I thought I could write a whole book about this? What was I thinking? Then I go have a little lie down on the bed and try not to hyperventilate while I stare up at the cobwebs on the ceiling fan. Usually I get struck with the obvious answer either while in the shower or while driving — both inopportune times to write anything down, you’ll notice — and that new idea will carry me until the next freak-out.

Wendy: My Lucy is an “only child” but I know you live in a multi-critter household. Does everyone get along most of the time or do various factions gang upon each other?

Rachael: Hoo boy! Yep, we have three dogs and four cats. It’s a zoo. Most get along: Clara the border collie has her very own cat (Waylon), and she drags him around the house (the cat loves it, and is often completely covered in dog spit), and our chihuahua cuddles with our beagle/pit mix. Now, my cat Digit? Lucy’s boyfriend? The only animal he gets along with is Lucy, I’ll have you know, and that’s because absence makes the heart go fonder. He hates everyone and everything else (I’ve had him since he was four weeks old–he’s pretty much always been a sourpuss), but he makes an exception for me, for which I am glad. I love that cat SO much.

Thanks, Rachael, for answering my questions!

But wait — there’s more!

Would you like to be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of A Life in Stitches? Leave a comment on this blog entry by noon Eastern time on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. The great and might Random Number Generator will select a comment at random for that commenter to receive the book.

I promise that I have been knitting since I completed my last sweater last Friday, but it has all been stealth knitting. But I am starting something I can show on the blog, and will do so in my next blog post. Honest.

Lucy sez . . .

Lucy090111 240x160 A Life In Stitches

Well, Lucy isn’t saying anything because, as you can see, she is in the middle of a very important nap.