My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for 2012

The Right Stuff

I firmly believe that you need to have the right tools to get any job done.

I have waxed lyrical in the past about my Signature Needle Arts needles, so I won’t repeat myself here. I have also gushed about my lovely Spindlecat Studio stitchmarkers.

Now check this out:

This is a Chic-a Single Yarn Caddy that I purchased from The Loopy Ewe. Pop your ball of yarn inside, pull the end through the eyelet in the top, and zip it closed. It keeps a center-pull ball tidy as you knit from it. I wind my yarn with swift and ballwinder into center-pull balls, but usually use the yarn from the outside of the ball to keep it from collapsing in on itself once I’ve used half the ball. The yarn caddy keeps it from collapsing. It also keeps it out of the paws of inquisitive kitties. (I’m not naming names here.) You can get caddies that hold 2 and 3 skeins of yarn at a time too — great for colorwork!

I’ve got another caddy working for me:

My buddy L-B gave this to when we got together at the beginning of this month. Now I don’t know how I managed without it. It’s great for carrying my knitting around the house. Not only my knitting — when I’m ready to move to another room, I can toss in my phone, my iPad, a water bottle, and anything else I might need. And I only have to make one trip!

I’ve got a good part of the right side front of my jacket completed, by the way:

Book Review

The other day I was sent a new booklet for review from Annie’s Knitting:

This is Easy How-To Techniques for Simply Stylish 18″ Dolls by Andra Knight-Bowman. It includes patterns for seven outfits for (you guessed it) 18″ dolls.

The cool thing about this book is that each pattern includes a lesson for a different technique — knitting in the round, jogless stripes, cables, etc. So as you knit you can learn new techniques, or brush up on ones you already know. I think these doll clothes would make great gifts for little girls who have the dolls of course, as well as being hot items for a charity sale or raffle.

I’m giving away my review copy. Who’d like it? To be entered into the drawing to receive my copy, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern time on Sunday, November 18, 2012. I’ll draw a comment an random to receive the booklet.

Lucy seems pleased that I have no plans to knit little outfits for her.


Got Back

Popping in to report that the back of my Aran Jacket is almost done — I’m ready to do neck decreases here:

Lucy thinks that this piece makes a spectacular blanket!

More Cormo

Thank you for all the lovely comments about the Rainbow Coat. I will not be writing up the pattern because it is too difficult to resize: each pattern repeat is very large and to get an even number of repeats on the front and back (which is what I wanted) there would be a 16″ difference in sizes.

In answer to a question in the comments, I did not felt it. Before I started this project when it was still in the planning stages it briefly crossed my mind to do a felted stranded colorwork coat, but I did not. I blocked it by steaming the heck out of it, though. 🙂

There were some questions about the pattern I used for the edging. I just sort of winkled that together and attempted to make it go with the main pattern.

For all of the edgings I knit a facing, did one purl row as a “turning” row to make it easy to fold the facing to the inside, then knit the band, sewing the facing down on the inside after I completed the piece.

I sewed snaps on the from band because I thought buttonholes would detract from the edging pattern. Just plain snaps you use for clothing.


I am working on another “big” project: an Aran jacket.

I started this in Cascade Eco+ back in September, but wasn’t happy with it. I was using a U.S. size 8 needle and the fabric I was getting was too stiff. So I set it aside, planning to rip it out, re-figure the design, and start over with a larger needle.

Then Elsa Wool Cormo came into my life.

I have restarted the same jacket using Elsa Wool Cormo woolen-spun worsted weight in the medium grey colorway. This yarn is slightly finer than the Cascade Eco+ so I am getting a nice fabric with a U.S. size 8 (5mm) needle, the gauge being 4 st/inch in stockinette stitch.

This is another knit that I am making up as I go along. I even made up the big cable I am using. That’s not to say that it doesn’t exist somewhere already, but I created my chart from “scratch.” I do love a complex cable with plenty of twists and turns!

The Cormo is a dream to knit with and is great for cables and texture.

Since the time change it is dark when I get home from work. Lucy has taken to crawling up on the back of the sofa, basking in the glow of a the lamp I’ve turned on.

She’s Like a Rainbow

A couple of extra days off makes for a lot of knitting time. So much so, I was able to finish my coat.

I got both sleeves done last week and attached the to the body with a three-needle bind-off. I sewed large snaps on the front bands rather that use buttons.

This was such a fun knit. I was getting a little sick of the pattern by the end of the second sleeve, but all in all, it kept me happy!

Dishcloth Diva Give-Away

Congratulations to Pam Gardner who has won a digital copy of Dishcloth Diva by Deb Buckingham. Pam has been emailed.

Lucy Sez

Well, Lucy is too busy napping to comment!


After the Storm

Miss Lucy and I did just fine during Hurricane Sandy. Thanks for all your good wishes. My electricity stayed on the whole time so I was able to log on and work from home on Monday and Tuesday. By late Tuesday afternoon I think Lucy was hoping I’d go to work as I was upsetting her normal routine. Today I was back in the office so she was able to return to her regular nap schedule.

Dishcloth Diva

Last week I received a review copy of this book: Dishcloth Diva by Deb Buckingham.

The book is available as an ebook and in hardcopy from Cooperative Press. I was sent an ebook to review.

This is a book of (you guessed it) dishcloth patterns, twenty of them. There is a nice Foreword written by Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting, who freely admits that she loves knitting dishcloths. There are many great reasons to knit them: they are portable, they are quick, they are a great way to try out new stitch patterns, and they make great gifts.

(Stuck for a holiday gift idea? Knit up a dishcloth/washcloth, wrap it around a nice bar of scented soap and tie with a ribbon!)

In the book there is a nice discussion about cotton yarn: pros and cons, differences in cotton yarns, etc. Then we get to the patterns. As I mentioned above, there are twenty patterns. They are divided into 4 categories: Knotty or Nice, Lines, Rib It, and Texture. On the publisher’s website here you can see photos of all the patterns. Several different cotton yarns are used (from Tahki Stacy Charles, Universal Yarns, Knit One, Crochet Two, KnitPicks, Malabrigo, and Classic Elite) , but you could of course substitute a different cotton yarn for the one used in a particular pattern. Each pattern is written out line by line — there are no charts.

It’s a nice little book (64 pages long) with lovely full-color photos of the dishcloths and well-written knitting instructions. You can purchase the ebook only for $9.95 or the ebook and the hardcopy both for $15.95 from Cooperative Press — see the link above.

Cooperative Press has authorized me to give away a copy of the ebook to one of my readers. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing for the e-copy of  Dishcloth Diva, leave a comment on this blog post. Do not email me, do not use the “Contact Me” link at the top of the page (which sends me an email). It may seem like I am harping on this, but on every single giveaway I get multiple emailed entries. The number I pick at random is from the number of comments — I can easily do this from within WordPress, so emails are not counted. The link to leave a comment is right below the title of the blog post, which is “After the Storm.” Please do not email me aski8ng how to leave a comment. You need to figure it out if you want to be entered in the drawing!  😉

Anyway, please leave a comment by noon Eastern time next Sunday, November 4, 2012. I’ll use the Random Number Generator to pick a comment at random at that time. Thanks!

Lucy sez:

Happy Halloween!