My current work in progress:

1. Drachenfels, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Madelintosh Pashmina in the Black Walnut, Seasalt, and Mineral colorways on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Almost

Here is the body of the Zig-Zag Gansey, with one sleeve attached.

WIP021612 188x240 Almost

As you can see, I have knit the neckband too.

Neck021612 240x160 Almost

Here is the second sleeve, completed. All that remains is to join it to the body and sew up the side seams.

Sleeve021612 240x160 Almost

That is all.

Lucy021612 240x160 Almost

Meow!

Have you seen this book?

Book021312 240x160 Meow!

This is Knit Your Own Cat: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 16 Frisky Felines by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne.

Are you a knitter? Are you a cat lover? Then I think you need this book!

BackCover021312 240x160 Meow!

I got this review copy a little while ago and brought it to work. There was some serious squeeing and exclaiming from the cat lovers among my coworkers. The cats in this book are really cute. Here is a panoramic photo of all the kitties in the book:

Cats021312 240x72 Meow!

And here is the Table of Contents:

Contents021312 240x160 Meow!

The cats are made from small amounts of many Rowan yarns — but if you had bits of leftovers in the proper colors and fibers you’d be fine. And you could always use different colors to make different cats.

A few of my favorites, starting with, of course, the Ragdoll:

Ragdoll021312 240x160 Meow!

The Devon Rex!

Rex021312 240x160 Meow!

And the exotic Bengal:

Bengal021312 240x160 Meow!

The pattern for each cat is very detailed and accompanied by several clear photos of the cat. While there are lots of fiddly bits to knit and a fair bit of finishing, there is nothing terribly difficult about the patterns. They just take time and patience.

The book is written with wit and humor and is fun to read. After visiting the authors’ website, I discovered that they designed Princess Diana’s black sheep sweater back in the 1980s. (I made a black sheep sweater in the 1980s — mine had a blue background instead of red. I used a fingering weight wool — seems like it was called Coraline or something like that and was made by Baruffa or Lane Borgosesia. But I can’t quite remember. Anyone remember that yarn?)

Anyhow, if you think this book is something you’d like . . . get it! You won’t be disappointed!

Lucy021312 240x160 Meow!

Lucy is feigning indifference.

Pieces

I’ve got a back.

Back021212 214x240 Pieces

I’ve got a front.

Front021212 213x240 Pieces

I’ve got part of the first sleeve.

Sleeve021212 240x191 Pieces

So things are progressing.

The plan for this afternoon is to join the back and front and knit the neckband, then return to the sleeve and perhaps finish that today. All while watching the remaining episodes of Downton Abbey I have to watch.

Winner!

The random prize winner selection thingie has chosen Seafair Narr (aka Olivia’s mom) to win the book from “the Color Guys.” Thanks to everyone who entered to win.

And as you can see, Lucy is all ready for the Downton Abbey marathon.

Lucy021212 240x160 Pieces

Terse Thursday

I must be brief by necessity — I’m working on a Real Life deadline.

I have reached the point on the front of the Zig-Zag Sweater where I can commence neck shaping. Here it is:

WIP020912 240x160 Terse Thursday

Whether or not that neck shaping will commence this evening remains to be seen. I think I am too distracted by other things so will likely work on my small stealth project instead.

But I can tell you what I’ll be doing this weekend:

DVD020912 199x240 Terse Thursday

Downton Abbey marathon!

Lucy sez:

Lucy020912 240x160 Terse Thursday

“I’d rather watch Animal Planet.”

The Color Guys

I was sent a review copy of a new book by Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably: Knitting With the Color Guys: Inspiration, Ideas, and Projects From the Kaffe Fassett Studio.

Book020712 213x240 The Color Guys

The book is available now — its publication  date is today. And the subtitle pretty much says it all: inspiration, ideas, and projects.

The projects are for the most part throws, scarves, and pillows, along with some legwarmers, fingerless gloves, and a hat. The emphasis here is on color, not on design techniques. The book is divided into four sections organized by color inspiration: soft tones, singing color (vibrant brights), moody hues, and rich shades. Each project is beautifully photographed (of course!) and is accompanied by a detailed explanation of the inspiration for the design and the color palette used. There are lots suggestions and tips for using color to make the designs your own.

A couple of the patterns show up in more than one section of the book.

OpalDot020712 240x144 The Color Guys

The Opal Dot Scarf above also makes an appearance as the Dark Dot Scarf:

DarkDot020712 240x144 The Color Guys

This is a good illustration of how different color palettes can make strikingly different pieces.

I recognize some of the motifs from Kaffe Fassett designs of the past, like this pineapple:

Pineapple020712 240x144 The Color Guys

Shown knitted up as a blanket here, I’m pretty sure this was used in a coat in one of his early books. Glorious Knits, perhaps? The yarn used for this blanket is Rowan Colourscape Chunky, a self-striping yarn designed by Kaffe Fassett himself. Using several different colorways of a yarn that has color shifts within each colorway adds more dimension to the piece. Very cool!

The patterns range from very simple (one or two colors) to complex (many many colors), so there’s a little something for everyone. There’s a section in the back with some basic information on colorwork techniques: both fair isle and intarsia.

All in all, this is a great book, both for someone who wants to follow the patterns exactly as written, and someone who’d like to use the patterns as a jumping-off point to explore color.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in the random drawing for this book, leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern time on Sunday, February 12, 2012. At that time I will use my WordPress plugin app to randomly select a winner.

Leaving a comment on this blog post is the only way to enter.  Do not use the “contact me” link directly below the header — that sends me an email. Do not leave a comment on a different blog post — the plugin app will select only from comments on this entry. The link to enter a comment is right below the title of this post, which is “The Color Guys.”

Lucy sez:

Lucy020712 240x160 The Color Guys

“My colorway is perfect.”