My current work in progress:

Ottar Hap Shawl, designed by Kate Davies, knit from Buachaille in the Squall, Ptarmigan, and Islay colorways, using a U.S. size 9 (5.5mm) needle.

Faux Taxidermy Knits

I have here a review copy of Faux Taxidermy Knits: 15 Wild Animal Knitting Patterns by Louise Walker (David & Charles/F+W; $22.99; Available Now).

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If I had to sum up this book in one word, that word would be “quirky.” Given a paragraph, I would say that this is a collection of 15 patterns of anima-based knits. The patterns include both wearable items and home decor.

On the back cover, it states that this is a “tongue-in-cheek” collection, and that is for sure. Some of the patterns are brilliant. For example, the “tigerskin” rug is a masterpiece.

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I love (and laughed out loud at) the crocodile make-up bag.

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The hedgehog slippers are adorable.

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As are the bear coasters.

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Some of the patterns made me go “huh?’ Like the hanging pheasants:

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And the badger head, suitable for wall mounting.

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But I can imagine that these have their place — they are just not for me!

Who’d like my review copy of this cute, quirky book?

To be entered in a drawing to win my copy of copy of Faux Taxidermy Knits by Louise Walker, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 am Eastern Time Sunday, March 1, 2015. I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.

Loki is a little concerned about all this taxidermy . . . see how anxious he looks?

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Sous Sous Progress

It has been a very odd week, with way more snow than we usually have here in the Washington DC area. That coupled with other breaks in the normal routine means that I got the back of Sous sous done.

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I have just barely begun the front.

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And my little helper is on the job!

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New and Old

I, of course, have something new on the needles since I completed my Chloe sweater last week.

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This is Sous Sous, designed by Norah Gaughan, an oversized pullover sweater designed for DK weight yarn.

I am knitting mine from stash yarn — second project in a row for me using stash yarn. It’s another discontinued Rowan yarn: Calmer, one of my very favorite yarns. It has great stitch definition.

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The pattern calls for a U.S. size 6 needle and I got both row and stitch gauge using a size 6 and Calmer so yarn and pattern are a match!

I plan to make my sweater a little longer than the pattern directs, and I plan not to do the “reverse dip” on the front. I will likely make the sleeves a bit longer and bigger around. I don’t like tight sleeves.

The majority of the sweater is knit in double moss stitch, which is very tedious, but the results make the knitting tedium worthwhile.

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Noro Lace Giveaway

The winner of my review copy of Noro Lace: 30 Exquisite Knits is Liv, who has been contacted. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be entered in the giveaway.

It is stupidly cold here, with insane wind chill. Loki is lucky he has such a lovely thick fur coat!

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Noro Lace

I have here a review copy of the newly published Noro Lace: 30 Exquisite Knits.

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As the title suggests, the book contains 30 patterns from a variety of designers. You can see all the designs on Ravelry, here. All the designs are made with Noro yarns, of course, and there are patterns include ones for hats, cowls, blankets, shawlettes, sweaters, gloves and accessories. A few of my favorites:

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Loop Mesh Scarf, designed by Amanda Blair Brown, is knit from Noro Silk Garden Sock. This pattern is very intriguing!

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The Tilted Blocks Scarf, designed by Cheryl Murray, is made from Noro Taiyo Aran — looks like it would knit up quickly and make a fabulous gift.

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The Cropped Cardi by Anna Davis is knit in Noro Silk Garden. The pattern is fairly easy, with simple lace and bobbles. I’d love this over a plain black dress.

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And the very cute Leaf Band Hat by Cheryl Murray is also knit in Noro Silk Garden. I love slouchy hats!

All of the patterns take good advantage of the striking Noro colorways and striping sequences. The book itself is hardcover and beautifully photographed. The patterns look well-written and clear. some of the lace patterns are charted, and some are written out.

Who’d like my review copy? To be entered in the drawing to win my copy, leave a comment on this post by 11:00am Eastern Time, Sunday, February 15 and I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.

Meanwhile, I have finished my Chloe sweater.

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And Loki is in a contemplative mood.

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Progress You Can See

I actually have progress you can see on my Chloe sweater. The collar is done!

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I elected to knit the collar before the sleeves. I did the three-needle bind-off for the shoulder seams and picked up the stitches around the neck. It’s a very deep collar and you increase two stitches at the center back of it every other row, so it was a lot of knitting. I finished it last night.

Then I picked up stitches along one side for a sleeve.

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I am making my sleeves bigger than the pattern directs. As written, the sleeves are rather tight-fitting, but for me, that defeats the purpose of a big loose comfy sweater. So my sleeves will be nice and loose. I am knitting mine in stockinette stitch instead of reverse stockinette stitch as directed. I am not crazy about how reverse stockinette looks in this yarn. 

As you can see, this project is no longer very portable!

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Meanwhile, Loki has perfected the art of relaxation!

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