My current work in progress:

Tawney Sweater,by Jenni Barrett, knit from MadelineTosh Tosh Sock, using 3.25mm and 3.5mm needles.

Aftermath

I hope you all had a great holiday. Lucy and I did! Even my little Droid got a present:

A cellphone beanbag chair!

Here is Lucy’s favorite new toy:

A tear strip from a box. Gotta love kitties!

Right before Christmas I put my Talisman Shawl pattern up for sale on Ravelry for $5.00 for a pdf download. Here is the direct link.

And I finished Ishbel. Here it is on Gwendolyn, shown draped over the Talisman Shawl, which is draped over my Exonumist’s Shawl:

A close-up:

And a floor shot:

I knit the larger size and used Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in the Green Riptide colorway, on a U.S. 6 needle. It used about 1.5 skeins of the yarn. I didn’t wet-block it — just steamed it with my trusty steam-iron.

And I started something new.

Can you guess what it is?

Lucy sez:

“Now where is my tear-strip?”

Unpinned and Ready for Action

The Talisman shawl has been released from bondage! Here it is, being worn by Gwendolyn.

A couple of you asked when the pattern would be available. I’m working on it as we speak. 🙂

And a couple of you were spot-on about what my new project is:

Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague.

Yeah, I don’t knit a lot of things by other designers, but this is my Christmas break knitting. 😉 I’m not designing, just happily following a pattern.

I am using a lovely lovely yarn from Dragonfly Fibers called Dragonsock:

The colorway is called “Green Riptide.” It’s pretty much heaven in a skein for a lover of all things green, like me.

I bought two skeins of it when I visited Fibrespace last month, with the thought of using it for a shawl or shawlette. So I’ve got 780 yards, which is plenty for the larger-sized Ishbel.

I’m using a U.S. size 4 needle and am loving the fabric that makes on the stockinette section.

In other news, I went into work today. The government was offering unscheduled leave for today, but today was my last day at work before my holiday leave — I’m off until January 4 — and there were a few loose ends I needed to tie up. The commute went fine as the streets around me are pretty much clear. The only issue was the train station parking lot. Black ice on asphalt in the dark makes me extremely nervous. I crept along and got to the sidewalk without any slipping or falling, so all is well.

And now I’m home, home, home. Not that I’m happy about that or anything.

Just for fun, here is a photo of a chair full of stuffed animals.

Or is it?

Dry Spell

It was a dark and dreary morning . . .

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I seem to have hit a bit of a dry spell with the knitting.

See, in less than a month I am embarking on the Unique Sheep’s Enchanted Wood Lace Shawl Knit-Along. We start January 10 (if I remember correctly). I’m sorta sick of socks for the moment. So what to knit?

Aside: I did finish my socks-in-progress, see?

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They are sportweight, knit from Fiesta Boomerang in the “White Zinfandel” colorway (which is one of my all-time favorite colorways). I like the socks, but as I was knitting the second sock I thought of some ways I want to adjust the pattern a bit. So i shall be winkling it a bit at some point and knitting another pair.

But not right now.

I am feeling uninspired, so what to do?

Wollmeise to the rescue!

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This is Wollmeise sock yarn in the “Rhubarber” colorway. I started knitting some lace with it last night, but I didn’t like my results — I was using too large a needle (a U.S. size 7 – 4.5mm). I didn’t have other needles handy just then, so I just frogged the bit I did and will start again today with a size 5, I think.

I tend to like more “solid” lace, particularly when I’m using a variegated yarn. While this colorway isn’t wildly variegated, there are definite shifts of color. If I knit on too large a needle, the open-ness of the fabric plus the shifts in color detracts from the lace pattern.

Tune in tomorrow to see how successful I am!

Before I start in on the knitting, I have some gifts to wrap.

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And Lucy is getting ready to settle in for a long winter’s nap!

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Eating Clean

I enjoyed reading your guesses as to why I cleaned out my cupboards and gave away all my food. (I cleaned the fridge too, but there wasn’t too much to clean out.)

I guess you could call the reason a major life change — I’m making a commitment to eating clean — only natural and organic foods. No processed crap, no preservatives.

I made a start a few weeks ago when I stopped drinking diet soda. And as of yesterday, I am drinking only one cup of coffee per day, water (and lots of it), and green tea.

After cleaning out my kitchen I went shopping. It’s a good thing I received my annual performance award a week ago, because that was a pricey proposition. Here’s what my kitchen looked like after I got home.

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Now my cupboards are nicely restocked.

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So’s the fridge.

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I got only all natural stuff and organic where I could. No processed sugar, no white flour. I’ve been building up to this over the past couple of weeks, and jumped into it with both feet yesterday.

So far so good. The only drawback so far is the amount of time it takes to prepare everything. It’s a heckuva lot easier to pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave.

If you google “eating clean” you can find a lot of good information online. This article is a very good summary of the concept of clean eating.

I got this book a couple of weeks ago. (It says it will be published in January, but it is available now.) While the book layout is kind of garish and makes it look like a fad diet book, it has sound ideas and principles. It’s rather poorly organized so that you have to flip back and forth alot, but I still recommend it.

In knitting news, I did very little over the weekend. I did manage to knit this sock.

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Sorry for the lousy photo, but it is dark and I am tired.

It’s sportweight, so it went quickly. Knit from Fiesta Boomerang in the “White Zinfandel” colorway, on 2.75mm needles.

And I’m knitting the second sock. Excitement abounds!

Lucy exudes excitement.

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And That Is the Weekend That Was

How is it possibly that holiday weekends can whiz by so quickly?

We had a lovely Thanksgiving and the turkey was yummy. Lucy had her own little plate on the floor next to the table and she enjoyed her turkey dinner as much as we did.

I finished my diamond lace socks:

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A close-up:

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As I mentioned, there are knit from ShibuiKnits Sock in the “periwinkle” colorway.

And if you look at them side by side, you can see the difference in the yarn, even though it is the same colorway and same dyelot:

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One sock striped and one didn’t. It’s always weird when that happens.

Name That Mitten!

Thank you to everyone who suggested a name for my mitten design. There were so many wonderful names you guys offered tht it was hard to narrow it down. But we finally have and we have chosen a name: Celtic Frost.

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Several of you mentioned this name, but the prize goes to the commenter who offered it first: Cathie Jones. Cathie has been emailed and will receive a kit to knit these mittens.

As you recall, I designed this mitten for the Dye Dreams Four Seasons Mitten Club. The kit will be available soon, so if you like the design but did not win, you can still make ’em!

New Project

I started something new. Here’s a sneak peek:

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More later!

Lucy Sez

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“Why can’t we have Thanksgiving every week?”