My current work in progress:

1. Ashburn, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Woolfolk Tynd in colorways 6, 7, and 8 on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Uncommon

I have here a review copy of an upcoming book: Uncommon Cards by Jeanne Williamson, due for publication June 25.

Book052913 197x240 Uncommon

This is not a knitting book, but a book that shows you how to make stationery and greeting cards with a sewing machine and a whole bunch of everyday items, found objects, and recycled materials.

The book has inserted into the back 8 sheets of card stock in different colors to get you started. The book has 52 different projects and gives you complete directions for applying different items and sewing to create one-of-a-kind cards.

There are some wonderful creative ideas in this book — like saving the plastic webbing from a crate of clementines for this clever card design:

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Or how about this one, using a sleeve from a coffee cup?

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This started me thinking (which I’m pretty sure is one of the goals of the book!) about what else you could save and use for your one one-of-a-kind cards. Fancy papers — I get mailers all the time from Chanel, for example, and their fancy gilt envelope liners could be recycled and reused. When you get a gift in a pretty gift bag, or wrapped in unusual paper, think about how you could use that paper. Even wrapping from items you have purchased might be usable, along with cuttings from magazines, etc. Once you start looking at items with an eye to recycling them, it’s amazing how many fun and creative ideas you’ll come up with.

Who’d like my review copy of this intriguing book?

To be entered in the drawing to win Uncommon Cards by Jeanne Williams, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 AM Eastern Time on Sunday, June 2, 2013. I’ll pick a winner at random at that time.

Speaking of Uncommon

Have you visited the Signature Needle Arts website recently? They have just introduced a new needle concept: Signature Convertible Circulars.

It is no secret that I love my Signature Needle Arts circular needles. And that I dislike interchangeable needle sets because most of them have joins that don’t work for me — they invariably come unscrewed and/or have lousy joins. I gave away the set of Addi Clicks I purchased. Ditto the Knitpicks interchangeables.

This is not a set of interchangeable needles, but rather a way to convert a single size circular to different lengths. From the website:

Convert your size-specific circular needle stalk/cable combinations to easily meet the needs of your project with Signature Convertible Circular Knitting Needles. Signature Convertibles offer cables and stalks that can be changed within a size to create a new overall length when the size on the needles matches the size on the ferrules.

I personally think that this interchangeable concept is a great idea — I will continue to use my beloved Signature Needle Arts needles, and if I need a different length circular, I will not have to buy a whole new needle, just another cable. Cheaper than a whole new needle. Also, for projects that grow or shrink, I can change lengths within the project. I do find that I do that quite a lot.

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If you are someone who knits all your projects on a single length circular, for example, if you find that a 32″ circular meets all your needs, you won’t find much advantage with this new concept. But if you change needle length like I do, I think you’ll be pleased with these new needles. When I am knitting a triangular shawl from the bottom up, for example, I start with at least a 32″-long needle and as I work up the piece and the rows grow shorter, I want to switch to a shorter length. I don’t like having a lot of extra needle length — I find that it slows me down. And of course when I knit in the round, I need different lengths for different items.

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The joins between needle “stalk” and cable on these new needles are great — each cable is carefully crafted for each size needle stalk, they are carefully and beautifully made. The join is smooth and does not become unscrewed — let me repeat that: in my experience it does not come unscrewed, no matter what. This is a huge pet peeve of mine with some needle components. The only other needles that are in components that I have used that do not come apart are the Dyakcraft Heavy Metal needles (I reviewed these needles here a few months ago). All the others that I have used (and I have used plenty over the years) work themselves loose.

I have been testing these new convertible needles for the past 6 weeks, knitting with them exclusively. And I have done a lot of knitting: two samples full-size shawls for my Summer Mystery Shawl KAL, one full-size-and-then-some Viajante, and I am currently halfway through another Viajante. I’ve used several different sizes and a number of different cord lengths and I can honestly report that they work just as well as the old fixed length Signatures. Not only have I not had a join unscrew, but the joins are beautifully smooth. I have knit laceweight yarn with a size 6 needle and had no problem whatsoever sliding the yarn over the join.

The corresponding needle size is marked on each cable piece so you don’t get your size-specific cables mixed up.

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And of course you have all the fabulous choices of needle length and point as you have with the “regular” Signature Needle Arts needles.

I want to stress that the opinions above are my own — I am honestly delighted with the new needles. While I have a fair number of fixed length Signature circulars, yesterday I ordered and paid for some convertibles. I am willingly and by my own choice spending my needle budget on this new concept.

Mystery!

Speaking of this weekend, my Mystery Shawl KAL starts on June 1! Have you bought the pattern yet? icon smile Uncommon Remember, if you purchase it before June 8, it is half price: $2.50.

There is pre-KAL discussion in my Ravelry group, here. icon smile Uncommon

Lucy sez:

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“Such a deal!”

 

 

The Plan

I am continuing to knit on my Not-Viajante.

WIP052613 240x160 The Plan

On June 1, I’ll set aside Not-Viajante to start work on my Camp Loopy project, which will be knit with this:

Yarn052613 160x240 The Plan

Today, Lucy is helping me change the sheets and do laundry.

Lucy052613 240x160 The Plan

Summer Mystery Shawl KAL

This is just a quick note to let you know that the pattern for my Summer Mystery Shawl is now available for sale on Ravelry.

 

magicalmysteryshawl v4 240x240 Summer Mystery Shawl KAL

 

If you purchase before June 8, it is half price: $2.50. June 8 and after, it will cost $5.00.

The Knit-along will commence on June 1 when the first clue will be released. If you buy before June 1, you will receive some preliminary information with yarn suggestions, a pattern for a swatch, and a full description of the sizes you can make — it comes in three sizes.

Check out the pattern on Ravelry for more information. You can discuss the project in the forums for the WendyKnits Ravelry group.

More Changes

The Triquetra Capelet is no more.

Shortly after my last blog post, I decided that a. the yarn I was using was not right for the design, and b. I wanted to size down the capelet a bit. So I ripped it out.

I plan to knit it with a smaller circumference in a different yarn, which I have ordered. Since I am going to be starting over, I completely re-did the cable knot motifs used.

So when I knit it again, it will be longer, smaller around, and with a different cable motif. That’s all. icon smile More Changes

To kill time before my yarn gets here, I started another Viajante. Well, it is Viajante-like, anyway.

Viajante is a long skinny tube and as such, when worn as a poncho it is rather fitted across the shoulders. So for my second version, I changed the increases, increasing at each side until it hits the shoulder.
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I am using Dream in Color Smooshy With Cashmere in the “Medieval” colorway. I love both the yarn and the colorway!

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Lucy is thinking about it.

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Change of Plans

I started swatching with the silk I showed in my last blog post and decided it wasn’t right for what I had in mind. So it went back into the stash room and I started something else.

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This is the beginning of the Triquetra Capelet which appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Interweave Knits.

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I am knitting mine from Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds Chunky Undyed in “Black Welsh Mountain.”

And of course I am incorporating some mods. I am making mine much longer. I’ve got lots of yarn, so I can easily add a lot of length to it.

The capelet has a large Celtic knot in each panel around, and the knot spans the length of the piece. Here’s the start of a knot:

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Because I am making mine longer, I need to add some length to the knot motif. I’m adding a series of repeats of circles. Well, it’ll be easier to describe when I have a bit more done. And I won’t start the decreases for a while.

That means I currently have 658 stitches on the needles.

Lucy is impressed.

Lucy051913 240x160 Change of Plans