My current work in progress:

1. Boxy, designed by Joji Locatelli, knit from Handmaiden Mini Maiden in the "Polar Sea" colorway on U.S. size 4 needles.
2. Fine Sand, designed by Heidi Kirrmaier, knit from Rowan Creative Linen in the "Ochre" colorway on a U.S. size 4 needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

Defarge Does Shakespeare

I’ve got another fun book to review: Defarge Does Shakespeare, edited by Heather Ordover.

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That link takes you to the paperback version on Amazon.com, but it is also available as an ebook that you can purchase via Ravelry, here.

This is the latest in the “Defarge” series of knitting compilations, the third compilation on the them, preceded by What Would Madame Defarge Knit and What (Else) Would Madame Defarge Knit. The two previous books had some great patterns, and this third book is happily following in that tradition.

There are 29 patterns for a wide variety of items, and I found quite a few patterns that I loved. You can view them all on Ravelry here.

Some of my favorites:

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This is Lady M, designed by Mari Chiba. It is knit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport and is available in a nice wide range of sizes.

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Ophelia’s Garden Mittens are designed by Rosemary Cox and featured dainty colorwork flowers, worked from Knit Picks Palette fingering weight wool.

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Midsummer’s Evening Wrap by Meg Warren is knit from Briar Rose Fibers Sea Pearl, a merino/tencel fingering weight yarn. It’s a great pattern for a lace newbie — relatively easy to knit with spectacular results.

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Viola’s Stockings by Sarah Jordan are top-down socks with beaded cuffs, knit from Cascade Heritage Silk fingering weight yarn.

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Diamonds in the Ruff by Wendy McDonnell is a sweet lace collar, knit from Yarn Fairy Fairy Lace, a lace weight merino.

There are multiple good clear photos of each of the projects, nice big clear charts, and essays from the designers about their inspiration for their designs.

I’ve been authorised to offer a copy of the ebook in a giveaway — who’d like it?

To enter the giveaway for the Defarge Does Shakespeare ebook, leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am Eastern time on Sunday April 26. A winner will be selected at random at the time.

Boxy!

Both Jennifer and I have cast on our Boxy projects and are knitting along. I started mine a few days before she did, and here is my progress:

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One of these days I’ll get a photo that accurately depicts the richness of the color. Here is Jennifer’s:

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Jennifer is using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Dustbowl colorway. I love how her yarn is knitting up!

I am using Handmaiden Mini Maiden in the Polar Sea colorway, and I love how my colorway is knitting up too!

While my stitch gauge is spot on, my row gauge is compressed. That is, I need to knit more rows to achieve gauge. That’s not a problem as I have plenty of this yarn.

Both Jennifer and I are doing the seamed version. I prefer to have side seams in my knits for the structure they add to a garment, and because this is Jennifer’s first sweater, I advised her to do the seamed version for two reasons. First, knitting it in the round would mean a lot of stitches on the needle and psychologically that can be overwhelming! I always think that knitting in pieces goes faster because you can see more progress. Second, it’s a good opportunity for her to learn how to seam a sweater, as this is her first sweater project.

Meanwhile at home, Loki pauses during play.

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Ropewalk

I finished my Ropewalk sweater the other day. And today I threw it in the washer and dryer, on a delicate cycle. Ta-da!

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I knit this from Berroco Indigo yarn, color #6410, a stonewashed blue. After its trip through the washer and dryer it softened up considerably, and did not shrink at all.

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The color is much more accurate in the first photo.

I spent most of the weekend working on the Outlander MKAL shawl. No spoiler photos here on the blog, but if you’d like to see mine, you can visit my Ravelry project page. There are photos there.

Now I am working on Boxy, being knit from this:

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And Loki is relaxing by the window!

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One Sleeve

First things first, the winner of my review copy of  60 Quick Knit Baby Essentials is Linda Emery, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be entered in the giveaway.

In Ropewalk news, I have one sleeve completed, and I set it into the armhole and sewed up the side seam on one side.

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And I have a good chunk of the second sleeve completed.

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So this will be a finished item by the weekend.

So . . . what’s next?

You may recall that I taught one of my colleagues to knit last summer. Jennifer has been making great progress and has knit all sorts of things, including a pair of toe-up socks. She is just finishing up a project so I have encouraging her to take on a sweater. We decided we’ll both make the same sweater: Boxy, by Joji Locatelli.

We are both doing the seamed version — me because, well, you know how I feel about seams in sweaters. Jennifer, so she can learn how to seam a sweater.

Jennifer is making her Boxy from Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the “Dust Bowl” colorway.

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I am making mine in Handmaiden Mini Maiden in the “Polar Sea” colorway.

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We have both done our gauge swatches, so we’ll be ready to cast on at a moment’s notice!

In other news . . .

A certain sweet little boy has his fourth birthday tomorrow.

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It’s Quick, Baby!

I have here the latest in the “60 Quick Knit” series of books from Sixth&Spring books:

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This is 60 Quick Knit Baby Essentials which was just released. All of the patterns in this collection are made using Cascade’s Cherub acrylic yarn. The Cherub yarn comes in a number of different weights — from chunky down to sport.

And as the name suggests, the book contains 60 patterns. They are all nicely catalogued on Ravelry, here. If you browse through them, you’ll see that there is a little bit of everything for babies and toddlers.

I have to say, there are some extremely cute patterns in this collection! Take a look at the Hugs & Hearts Onesie by Linda Cyr.

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Adorable! It’s knit from DK weight yarn and available in 4 sizes.

And look at this!

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Mouse-mobile toy by Megan Kreiner.

And I love this:

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Kitty-Cat Pullover by Pat Olski. Minimalist and adorable!

The book has a really great assortment of projects — a great value and a great resource for a mom or grandmother. Or for anyone who wants to knit for wee ones.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in a drawing to win my copy of 60 Quick Knit Baby Essentials, leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00am eastern time on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. We’ll select a winner at random at that time.

Meanwhile, I have finished the body of Ropewalk!

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I did a crew neck rather than a turtleneck and I now have sleeve number one on the needles. But sleeve knitting has been put on hold for the weekend as I work on Clue #2 of the Outlander MKAL.

And Loki is as adorable as always.

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Hoppy Easter

First things first, the winner of my review copy of Wanderlust: 46 Modern Knits for Bohemia Style by Tanis Gray is Vicki K., who has been emailed.

Very little work has been done on Ropewalk over the past week because I keep doing things like this:

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This is Flora. She has gone to live with my friend who is undergoing chemo. She was knit from the adorable pattern by Julie Williams. Her bunny dress was knit from the basic dress pattern included with the bunny girl pattern, and I inserted my own bunny chart. It’s bunny overload!

And then I spent the weekend working on the Outlander MKAL. No photo, because it’s a mystery and I don’t want to post any spoilers!

Lastly, here is my own not-so-little Easter bunny:

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“Who are you calling a bunny?!”

He doesn’t really fit in my lap anymore!