My current work in progress:

1. Mighty Mini, designed by Rachel Henry, knit from Socks That Rock Worthy in the "Tanzanite" and "The Green That Sings" colorways on a 3.0 mm needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Knits That Breathe

A couple of weeks ago I was sent an advance copy of Knits That Breathe: 12 Breezy Projects To Keep You Cool by Julie Turjoman.

BookCover050714 224x240 Knits That Breathe

While the hard copy is not due out until next month, the electronic version (which is what I received) is available now.

I think this book is a great idea. The author had me with the first paragraph in her introduction:

The light bulb clicked on for me at one of the many fiber industry events I attend each year. The event convention center seemed to echo with knitters bemoaning the fact that, for a variety of reasons, they could no longer wear their warm and woolly sweaters. Frustration dripped from their voices as perspiration beaded their foreheads, because they suffered from Itchy Wool Syndrome, Acute Tropical Climatitis, or that midlife condition for which time is the only sure antidote, Variable Personal Thermostatosis (known to the rest of the world as ‘hot flashes’).

So Julie came up with 12 patterns for garments that will be cool and comfortable for those of us who suffer from any of those conditions mentioned above.  There are tunics, tees, cardigans, shrugs, and tanks knit from cotton, linen, and bamboo, as well as from some of the modern fibers derived from soy, milk, Tencel™, Outlast®, and SeaCell®.

There is a great chart in the front of the book that lists 9 different “cool” fibers along with descriptions of their elasticity and hand, how well they take dye, how good they are at wicking away moisture, how well they breathe,  how strong they are ,and more.

The patterns all come in a nice size range., going down to a 31″ chest measurement for one pattern and up to 71.25″ in one case, with lots of options in-between. you can view photos of all the patterns on Ravelry, here.

My favorites:

Iced Frap050714 240x160 Knits That Breathe

This is “Iced Frappuccino” and it is knit from a DK weight unknown-to-me yarn: Kollage Milky Whey, a blend of milk and soy.

Sirena050714 160x240 Knits That Breathe

This is Sirena, knit from Handmaiden Flaxen, another DW weightyarn I’ve not yet had the pleasure to knit, this one a silk/linen blend.

Haven050714 160x240 Knits That Breathe

And Haven, knit from Berroco Linsey, a worsted weight cotton/linen blend.

I have been authorized to give away a copy of the electronic version of this book. Who’d like it?

To enter the drawing to receive an electronic copy of Knits That Breathe, please leave a comment on this post by 11:00am Eastern time, Sunday,  May 11, 2014. The Random Number Generator will at that time select a winner.

Summer Mystery Shawl

A number of you have asked me here and on Ravelry if I plan to do another mystery shawl knit-along this summer.  I’ve given it some thought and decided that, yes, I’m up for it. icon smile Knits That Breathe

I will be starting it later than I usually do because I have a knitting deadline coming up soon (cue mysterious music here) so will not be able to start work on the mystery design until after that is completed. so watch this space (and the WendyKnits Ravelry group) for the KAL announcement. I’m thinking we’ll start in July, but that date has not yet been nailed down.

Current WIP

Despite many distractions (and unfortunately most of them not pleasant) I am making progress on my second Foolproof cowl:

WIP050613 240x89 Knits That Breathe

I am close to done with one side. I will reverse the colors in the striping on the other side.

Loki

Loki can’t come to the blog right now. He says he is busy.

Loki050714 240x172 Knits That Breathe

Foolproof!

I finished my Foolproof Cowl last week!

Foolproof050414 240x178 Foolproof!

My cowl is about 60″ in circumference.

Foolproof050414a 161x240 Foolproof!

It goes around the neck doubled very nicely.

Foolproof050414b 240x195 Foolproof!

This was knit from Three Irish Girls Kells Sport — one skein each of the two colorways: Mary Bailey and Illusion. I used a U.S. size 5 needle.

The pattern can be found here.

How much did I enjoy this pattern? So much that I immediately wound up some yarn to start another one:

Yarn050414 240x126 Foolproof!

This is Wollmeise “Pure” fingering weight in the Pfefferminz Prinz and Wasabi colorways. I started another Foolproof using a U.S. size 3 needle:

WIP050414 240x160 Foolproof!

This time, I’m making up my own striping sequence. But more about that next time. I have something important to do right now:

Loki050414 240x240 Foolproof!

No Fooling

Here is my new work in progress:

WIP043014 240x135 No Fooling

This is Foolproof, a design by Louise Zass-Bangham. It’s a garter-stitch cowl with a very clever and fun construction. From the pattern description:

How about a cowl with no casting on & no binding off?

It’s made in rows but ends up all in one piece.

There’s no knitting in the round, no sewing, no grafting, no provisional cast-on, no picking up stitches. Promise.

You can make it to your own custom size, in your own choice of yarn without having to make a tension square. No kidding.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I can assure you: it is fun!

I am making mine from Three Irish Girls Kells Sport, in the “Illusion” and “Mary Bailey” colorways, using a U.S. size 5 needle. My cowl is around 11″ wide and when complete will be around 60″ in circumference.

This pattern is highly adjustable. When I finish this, I am tempted to immediately cast on again with different yarn and do another one in a different strip pattern. This one is going to be a gift, so I can easily talk myself into knitting another one, this time for me.

Loki

On Monday when I got home from work I found that my cleaning lady had left me a note. When she arrived at my home earlier that day she discovered the television in my bedroom was on and Loki was lying on my bed on his back, with his head on my pillow, watching daytime television.

Clearly he was not listening when I warned him that too much daytime television would rot his brain.

Loki043014 240x240 No Fooling

MatchMaker

My Matchmaker is done!

MATCHMAKER042414 240x236 MatchMaker

To recap, this is the Matchmaker pattern by Martina Behm, knit from fingering weight Wollmeise in the Mistelzweig and Bob colorways on a U.S. size 3 needle. Because the pattern called for a 2.5mm needle, it is knit at a looser gauge, so my Matchmaker is larger than stated on the pattern.

It also used more yarn. I ran out of the solid color 4 rows before the end, so simply worked 4 fewer rows. I ran out of the variegated color in the “triangle” portion (this makes sense if you have knit this). But I had a second skein of the variegated “Bob” so used some of that. I also have a second  skein of Mistelzweig, but because it was so close, I didn’t bother to break into it. I just stopped the piece a little sooner.

To block it, I put it in the washer/dryer. Best idea I had this week! I put it in a mesh bag and washed it on the delicate cycle, using a warm water wash and rinse. I used my regular detergent — it’s one of those no-dye-added for sensitive skin detergents. Then I threw it in the dryer on the delicate setting until it was just dry. It came out looking perfect. It softened up beautifully and the stitches are all nice and even. Wollmeise unblocked feels sort of stringy so it really needs a good blocking. And this did it perfectly.

MatchmakerCloseup042714 240x135 MatchMaker

I have found that I wear my knitted cowls more than any other item I have ever knit. So I foresee a lot more cowl knitting in my future! Here’s the yrn for my next cowl:

Yarn042714 240x135 MatchMaker

Chemo Caps

Someone I know is a caregiver for a family member going through chemotherapy right now. She mentioned the following about the chemo caps at a cancer center:

The baskets filled with colorful hats is a cheery site, but a woman who is still working came in for chemo infusion dressed in a dark, professional suit and was looking for a neutral hat. When she found a dark grey hat, you would think she had found gold! So happy! I told her I will spread the word to knitters that neutral colors are needed and appreciated!

So I’m doing my bit here to spread the word a little further. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to knit a hat for someone going through chemotherapy.

Loki’s Plan for the Day

Loki042714 184x240 MatchMaker

Watching his favorite television show. I hope it doesn’t give him any ideas!

Happy Easter

Loki thanks you all for your kind birthday wishes. He would also like to remind you that in Honor of his third birthday all of my patterns available for sale on Ravelry (including my new Nordic Scarf pattern) are 40% off their regular price through the end of April if you use the coupon code LOKI when you check out. The code can be used as many times as you like before May 1, 2014.

On the knitting front, my Matchmaker is progressing nicely — I am getting close to the point where I will join it into a circle.

WIP042014 240x210 Happy Easter

And other than that, here is our plan for the day:

Loki042014 238x240 Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!