My current work in progress:

1. Hats!
2. Myriad stealth projects.

In Between

I am between insane cowl designs, and I thought something relatively quick and easy would be fun. This:

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This is a simple shawl of my own design, knit in a DK weight merino gradient.

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The yarn is Violet Lynx Dyeworks Pearl 250. You can find Violet Lynx Dyeworks on Etsy.

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I love her gradients!

In other news, here is my third set of squares in my Martin Storey Afghan KAK.

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I’m working on the 4th set now.

Loki and I agree:

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We do not like turning the clocks ahead an hour!

A Winner, a Cowl, and a New Book

First, the winner. Judy (who has been emailed) has won my review copy of Refined Knits: Sophisticated Lace, Cable, and Aran Lace Knitwear by Jennifer Wood. Thanks to all who entered the giveaway!

Next, the cowl. My Bohus Cowl is complete and the pattern is now available on Ravelry!

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Thank you once more to my long-suffering colleague Lemiel for modeling the cowl.

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All of the details of the cowl are on its Ravelry page.

The outside is my interpretation of a Bohus design

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The lining is a simple wave design.

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It’s big enough to wrap around your neck twice but you could easily make one half the diameter.

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The pattern price is $5.00 but this is included in my Half-Off Leap Year sale (going on through March 13), so once you put the pattern in your cart, the discount is automatically taken and your cost is $2.50. Such a deal!

Finally, a new book.

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This is Ami Ami Kittens: Seriously Cute Crochet! by Mitsuki Hoshi and let me tell you — they are not exaggerating with the subtitle “Seriously cute!” I cannot begin to describe how cute it is.

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The book has patterns for 12 different cat breeds/colorways: Calico, Scottish Fold, Solid white, Ragdoll, Munchkin, Bicolors, British Shorthair, Russian Blue, American Shorthair, Siamese, Tabby, and Tuxedo.

Here is the Table of Contents

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One of the things that makes this book so squee-worthy (that is so a word!) is the photography. Each cat breed has a two-page photo spread.

Here is the “Solid White” kitty photo spread.

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And the Scottish Fold:

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And the Munchkin — look at the short little legs!

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And of course, the Ragdoll. One of the Ragdolls is on his back, demonstrating the “Ragdoll flop.”

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I don’t crochet well — I can do a chain and a passable single crochet, but that’s about it. So I asked a colleague who does crochet to take a look at the book and she says the patterns are very well-written and thorough.

Since I don’t crochet, I’ll pass along my review copy (albeit reluctantly) to one of you. Who’d like it?

To be entered in a drawing to receive my review copy, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time next Wednesday, March 16, and I’ll select a winner at random from the comments posted.

Loki sez:

Call that a Ragdoll flop? This is a Ragdoll flop!

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Refined Knits

Before I launch into this next book review, I am pleased to report that the winner of my review copy of New Directions In Sock Knitting: 18 Innovative Designs Knitted From Every Which Way by Ann Budd is Susan (sjanova), who has been emailed.

And I have another book to show you.

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This is Refined Knits: Sophisticated Lace, Cable, and Aran Lace Knitwear by Jennifer Wood, published by Interweave.

There are eighteen patterns in this book, which you can preview on Ravelry here. There’s a nice assortment of items represented: sweaters, cardis, a hat, fingerless mitts, wraps, and cowls.

One of my big issues with a lot of patterns for garments that I see is that they look unfinished to me. They are lacking the nice details that sets apart a thoughtfully designed garment from something that just looks thrown together. No neatly worked neckband or hem, just a rolled edge — one of my pet peeves.

So that’s one of the reasons I like this book so much — everything looks thoughtfully designed and beautifully finished. Some of my favorites:

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This is Idril, knit in fingering weight yarn, available in a wide range of sizes. I love how the center cables extend up from the bottom of the sweater to frame the v-neck.

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Brielle is a cardigan that is also knit from fingering weight yarn, also available in a wide range of sizes. I love the complex braided cable that makes up the front bands.

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Estee is a cowl knit in worsted weight yarn that pairs cables with lace — with beautiful results.

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And Elodie is a pattern for fingerless knits that include a lot of lovely details, including a picot edge, kint from a sportweight yarn.

The patterns are well-written, detailed, and offer tips and notes on construction.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in a drawing to receive my review copy, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time next Wednesday, March 9, and I’ll select a winner at random from the comments posted.

WendyKnits Pattern Sale

Don’t forget: all my patterns available for sale on Ravelry are now 50% off through March 13. No coupon code needed, just add them to the cart and the discount will be automatically taken. No limit — buy as many as you want.

My Bogus Bohus Cowl pattern will be released before this sale is over.

Loki is demonstrating his usual level of excitement at such announcements.

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Leap Year!

Tomorrow is Leap Year Day and because I have’t run a pattern sale lately I thought Leap Year is as good a reason as any. So all my patterns available for sale on Ravelry are now 50% off through March 13. No coupon code needed, just add them to the cart and the discount will be automatically taken. No limit — buy as many as you want and I thank you for your support!

Martin Storey KAL

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Here are my 6 blocks for the second pattern in the Martine Storey afghan.

I’m now working on the third pattern.

Bogus Bohus

And here’s my Bogus Bohus cowl in progress.

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This is what it looks like with the lining folded to the inside.

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The lining is nicely plain, in contrast to the complex outer design.

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I should have this completed within a week.

Loki sez:

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“Buy my mommy’s patterns. Help keep me in feather toys and catnip!”

New Directions in Sock Knitting

I have in my hands a review copy of this:

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This is New Directions In Sock Knitting: 18 Innovative Designs Knitted From Every Which Way by Ann Budd, published by Interweave and new this month.

Speaking generally, there have always been two ways to knit a sock: top down or toe up. Do you think that’s all? Think again!

This book is a collection of 18 sock patterns by a variety of well-known designers that will change the way you look at knitting socks. The designs are knit using a variety of techniques (double knitting, intarsia, short-rows, etc.), and in a variety of different directions! Different directions? Some examples:

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This pattern is Vanishing Point, designed by Jeny Staiman. You start knitting at the center of the diamond at the instep. Then you work a Judy’s Magic Cast-On down the length of the leg and foot, working it around the diamond. The sides of the sock are worked back and forth simultaneously, so when a gradient yarn is used, the pattern is mirrored across both sides. Clever, huh?

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Smokey Zickzacks by Natalia Vasilieva are knit side to side in garter stitch, and increases and decreases form chevrons that produce the traditional knitted-in-the-round sock shape.

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For Boomerang by Louise Robert the back leg, heel, and sole are worked in one piece that’s shaped like (you guessed it) a boomerang, then the top of the foot and front of the leg are worked in a lace pattern while the sides of the boomerang are joined into a tube.

You can view all eighteen patterns here on Ravelry and read the description of how they are constructed.

The book features nice clear instructions and includes a very useful illustrated glossary of techniques.

This is definitely not just another book of sock patterns, but a great collection of creative approaches to sock knitting. Who’d like to try out these patterns?

To be entered in a drawing to receive my review copy, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time next Wednesday, March 2, and I’ll select a winner at random from the comments posted.

Bogus Bohus

I’m working on the lining of my Bogus Bohus cowl — a much simpler colorwork pattern from the outside.

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The construction is this: I started with a provisional cast-on (the green at the bottom of the cowl), cast on approximately a million stitches, knit to the depth I wanted, purled one round for the turning round, and am continuing to knit the lining to the same depth as the outside. The cowl’s circumference is large enough to double around the neck, and I think it’ll be pretty to have the simpler lining show in places. Or you could turn it inside-out so the simpler pattern is on the outside.

Right now it’s smooshed up on the needles so it’s looking rippled. Once off the needles and steam-blocked, everything will lie nice and flat.

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There was a question in the comments about working with two yarns held together. For a couple of the colors I am using two laceweight yarns held together. I do not twist them together — just hold them loosely together.

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Loki would like you to know that among the various yarns I am using for the cowl is about 1% Ragdoll fur!

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