My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

First of all, the winner of a pristine ball of Zauberball Starke 6 in colorway #2081 (which is a very fun yarn) is Niki, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Fun Knitting

My new work-in-progress is a very fun knit!

WIP022812 240x160 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

This is the Swiss Cheese Scarf by Winnie Shih and it is available as a free pattern on Ravelry.

This pattern blipped onto my radar a couple of weeks ago when Susan (one of the Rainey Sisters) posted about her version on her blog. Go look at it now!

The combination  of Susan’s impeccable knitting and great photos made this a must-knit for me.

The original pattern calls for laceweight yarn and a cast-on of 110 stitches. Susan posted mods for her version (made with Kauni which is fingering/sport weight). Not one to mess with success, I am following Susan’s mods, including those for a one-row buttonhole.

I am using Kauni 8/2 Effektgarn in the EQ (Rainbow) colorway. Because I tend to be a loose knitter, I am using a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle for a reasonably firm fabric.

WIPCloseup022812 240x160 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

This is so entertaining to knit. I really love the Kauni Rainbow colorway — it keeps me knitting because I am always anxious to see the next color change. Never mind that I may never wear the resulting scarf. It’s just so danged fun to knit. Maybe I’ll hang it on the wall.

Lucy’s Idea of Fun

Lucy0228121 240x160 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

And Speaking of Fun

Check out my new toy:

Basil022612a 240x143 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

This is my new 2012 Mini Cooper, acquired on Sunday. His name is Basil. icon biggrin Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

My first “fun” car since I was in college. I think it’s about time, don’t you? I don’t think I’ll ever go back to sensible cars.

Basil022712 240x143 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

If you thought my odometer reading was low before, you should see it now!

Winging It

I finished Wingspan on Friday. Here it is in all its glory:

Wingspan022612 240x145 Winging It

Cat included for scale.

To recap, I used one 150-gram skein (437 yards) of Zauberball Starke 6 in colorway #2081 which is a lovely mix of olive green and black. Knit with a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle, I got a gauge of 5.25 st/inch in garter stitch.

I did a total of 17 triangles, and after knitting the few rows along the long straight edge and binding off as directed, this is how much yarn I had leftover:

Leftovers022612 240x240 Winging It

Since I figured that each triangle took a bit over 8 grams each, I made the right choice by stopping at 17 triangles. I do so love a happy ending!

This scarf measures approximately 70″ along the long edge, a nice big size, I think. I did not wet block it, but steamed it vigorously to “plump up” the garter stitch and it worked just fine.

WingspanCloseup022612 240x160 Winging It

Lucy’s Toy

Miss Lucy has lots of toys, of course. Here she is with her current favorite:

Lucy022612 240x232 Winging It

A paper towel.

Wingspanning

Here is the state of my Wingspan Scarf as of this morning, spread out as much as possible on my desk at work:

Wingspan022312 240x144 Wingspanning

I am on the 16th triangle and am thinking about how many more triangles I can make. I have this much of the skein left:

Yarn022312 240x144 Wingspanning

Before I started the 16th triangle, I weighed the skein. It weighs 29 grams. This yarn comes in a 150-gram skein, so the first 15 triangles took 121 grams of yarn, or just over 8 grams each.

After completing the triangles, I need to work 4 rows along the long edge and then bind off. That long edge will be over 200 stitches, because each triangle contributes 13 stitches to the edge.

A variable — I did not weigh my skein before I started knitting. It may have weighed slightly more or less than 150 grams.

So what I think I will do is work a total of 17 triangles then work the long edge.

I did purchase a second skein of Zauberball Starke 6 in this colorway, but I think I’ll be very happy with the length of the scarf worked with one skein.

Would anyone like my second skein to knit their own Wingspan? icon smile Wingspanning

To be entered in a random drawing to win one skein of Zauberball Starke 6 in colorway #2081 (a lovely mix of olive green and black), leave a comment on this blog post by Tuesday February 28, 2012, noon Eastern time.  I’ll choose a recipient at random from the comments left (you must leave a comment on this post to be eligible to win).

Speaking of Giveaways

The winner of the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit & Purl is Shannon N., who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Vote for Your Favorite Needles!

Signature Needle Arts, my hands-down favorite knitting needles made the finals for the About.com Knitting Readers’ Choice Awards in the category of Favorite Needle Brand. Want to cast your vote for your faves? You can do so here! You can vote daily for your favorite (Signature Needle Arts) through March 21, so hop on over and vote (for Signature Needle Arts). Not that I’m biaised or anything.

The link to all the voting categories for the Knitting Reader’s Choice Awards is here.

Lucy Sez

Lucy022112 240x160 Wingspanning

My momma forgot to post my picture in Tuesday’s blog entry! She has been really busy at work and it’s made her forgetful. Or maybe her problem is old age. icon wink Wingspanning

A Tale of Two Scarves

When I finished my Zig-Zag Pullover, I thought it would be fun to knock out a couple of quickie projects. The first one is the Infinitude Scarf, designed by Jeni Chase. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download.  I started mine on Friday night and completed it on Saturday night. Here is Gwendolyn modeling it:

Infinitude022012 160x240 A Tale of Two Scarves

And here it is worn doubled:

InfinitudeWrapped022012 240x160 A Tale of Two Scarves

Doesn’t Gwendolyn look cozy and warm?

This is a very quick fun knit. I used some yarn that has been marinating in my stash for years:

YarnLabel022012 144x240 A Tale of Two Scarves

I purchased two skeins of this handpainted cormo wool/silk handpainted yarn at a past Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. I haven’t attended MDS&W for years, so this yarn has been waiting patiently for me to use it for years.

I knit a swatch because I thought the yarn would be too fine for the pattern. The stated gauge is 3.25 stitches per inch. I was right — the yarn was too fine. So I knit with it held doubled and got gauge with no problem.

It’s a very easy pattern and fun to knit. Held double, I didn’t have enough yarn to knit the number of rounds specified in the pattern, so I simply bound off when I ran out of yarn. It turned out just fine since while my stitch gauge was spot on, my row gauge was way off — I got far fewer rows to the inch than the specified 7.5 rows/inch. So it ended up a very nice width. The pattern has two sizes — short and long. I made the short scarf, which is plenty big enough to double up as a cowl.

The Second Scarf

Last month I noticed the pattern for Wingspan (by maylin Tri’Coterie Designs) on Ravelry. This is another free download, I’m happy to say. I ordered yarn from The Loopy Ewe specifically to make it: Zauberball Starke 6 (from The Loopy Ewe) in colorway #2081. Here is what it looked like yesterday morning:

Wingspan022012 240x160 A Tale of Two Scarves

I am using a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle to get a nice firm garter stitch. The pattern is written for fingering weight yarn, but offers adjustments for DK weight and worsted weight. I am knitting this with the DK weight adjustments.

This is an extraordinarily fun and easy knit. And perfect for a yarn with long color repeats. The pattern is very well-written and easy to follow and is very easy to memorize. There are many short rows and I found early on that I did not need the “traveling stitch marker” you are directed to use to help you keep track of your short rows.

The pattern shows the scarf with 8 points but it is very easy to adjust the size — you just keep going. I am currently on my 12th point and will continue on as lobng as my ball of yarn holds out. There are some long edge rows you have to knit at the end, so I need to be sure to have enough yarn left for those.

I brought it to work today to work on during my commute. It sat on my desk during the day, curled up, looking pretty. icon smile A Tale of Two Scarves

Wingspan022112 240x144 A Tale of Two Scarves

Lucy spends a good part of every day curled up looking pretty.

Zig-Zag Gansey

I finished my Zig-Zag Gansey. Here it is, being modeled by the ever-lovely Gwendolyn.

ZigZag021912 160x240 Zig Zag Gansey

I knit this with Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in the “Blossom” colorway using a U.S. size 6 needle to get 4.25 stitches to the inch. (I’m a loose knitter.)

It was knit in pieces, then joined at the shoulders using a three-needle bind-off. I picked up and knit a neckband after that.

Shoulder021912 240x160 Zig Zag Gansey

The sleeves are three-quarter length and knit from the bottom up, then attached to the body (drop-shoulder construction) using a three-needle bind-off.

Sleeve021912 160x240 Zig Zag Gansey

Then the only seaming left to be done was the side and sleeve seams.

The Cotton-Ease was quite pleasant to knit. The acrylic content in it gave it a bit of stretch so my stitches were nice and even, and it was quite pleasant to knit and easy on the hands. I just lightly steamed the pieces before putting the sweater together — no severe blocking needed.

I haven’t yet decided whether I will write up the pattern and make it available. The large pattern repeat makes it difficult to resize — I’d only be able to offer it in a couple of sizes. Adding/removing one pattern repeat from the front and back results in an 8.5″ difference in size. But I’ll fiddle with it and see what I think.

Book Giveaway!

I just received a review copy of this:

Book021912 240x160 Zig Zag Gansey

This is the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit & Purl. It was released in hardcover a few years ago and is now due to be released in paperback early next people. The nice folks at Sixth & Spring Books sent me a review copy of this new paperback edition.

This stitch dictionary contains over 300 stitch patterns, all beautifully photographed and presented.

BookA021912 240x160 Zig Zag Gansey

It’s a great resource and I frequently use my hardcover copy when I’m looking for a stitch pattern.

I don’t need both the hardcover and paperback versions, so I’m offering this one up to one of my readers.

To be entered in the random drawing for this great stitch dictionary, please leave a comment on this post (you know the drill: emails sent to me via the “contact me” form or comments on other entries aren’t included in the drawing) by noon Eastern Time this Thursday, February 23, 2012. At that time I’ll use my WordPress plug-in to select the winner from the comments to this post.

Lucy021912 240x160 Zig Zag Gansey

Lucy clearly needs to work on relaxing.