My current work in progress:

1. Drachenfels, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Madelintosh Pashmina in the Black Walnut, Seasalt, and Mineral colorways on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

A Random Post

I don’t have much to blog about today because most of my knitting time last night was used dozing off and waking up until I finally gave up and went to bed. And my knitting time on my commute is taken up by a stealth project.

However, I can show you a close-up of the cast-on edge of the Chevron Stole.

Edge030210 240x160 A Random Post

I used a lace cast-on for the bottom edge so it would be nice and stretchy. The cast-on is one where you start with a slip knot on the left needle and then knit a stitch into it, transferring the new loop onto the left needle to make the second cast-on stitch. Then you continue on, knitting into the previous stitch on the left needle each time, and pulling the new loop up and placing it on the left needle.

The stole has garter stitch edgings — I started by working several rows of garter stitch before beginning the lace pattern. Once I started the lace, I worked the first and last 5 stitches in garter stitch to keep that edge going up the sides of the stole. To get a nice stretchy edge, on every row I slip the first stitch as if to purl with the yarn in back, then knit the next 4. Then onward to the lace section.

WIP030210 240x160 A Random Post

In other news

From time to time y’all ask me in the comments how the clean eating is going. It is going just fine, thank you. It’s been almost 3 months since I made this lifestyle change and I don’t miss my old ways one little bit. I would estimate that I eat 95% clean because as far as I know, nothing I eat is processed or has preservatives in it (and I work hard to make sure this is true). I eat no sugar or artificial sweeteners. I drink water all day (and one cup of coffee in the morning.) I’ve even started making my own yogurt (from organic fat-free milk) and let me tell you, that stuff is yummy. I do buy organic as much as possible.

I’ve noticed that I am much healthier. The respiratory and sinus issues that have plagued me forever are gone, as are any digestive issues. Unfortunately clean eating has not stopped my spine from disintegrating, but then, I guess that’s a bit much to expect. I look on the bright side — while I am hobbling around and screeching in pain as my lumbar vertebrae viciously squeeze my nerves, at least I’m not sniffling and sneezing at the same time.

Another a nice side-effect of clean eating is that I’ve lost a bit of weight.

(Aside: Speaking of hateful uncooperative vertebrae and disks, the little bastards are causing me  rather a lot of pain these days. So much so that it affects my normal day-to-day activities. I’ve had to cut back on some things — like computer time. I get a fair amount of email every day with knitting questions, requests of one sort or another, and other random things. Because it hurts to sit at the ‘puter, I can’t answer ‘em all.)

To close:

Lucy030310 240x160 A Random Post

A girl and her tail-less mouse.

ETA: I appreciate all your good wishes and suggestions but truly, I am not looking for medical advice here (I’ve got a good doc I’m working with). Just wanted to let you know that I am less available than usual. Thanks!

Lady Bertram Shawlette

The red lace shawlette that I finished last week has a name: the Lady Bertram Shawlette. (I was on a Jane Austen kick there for a while).

Bertram022110 240x214 Lady Bertram Shawlette

She had her photo-shoot for her glamour photos.

Bertrammodeled022110 224x240 Lady Bertram Shawlette

The unblocked shawl measures 44” across the top and 16” down the center back. Blocked it measures 58” across and 23” down the center back. These measurements are approximate because they depend on how severely you block your piece.

Bertramtied022110 232x240 Lady Bertram Shawlette

The shawl pictured was knit with 1 150-gram 574-yard skein of Wollmeise Sock yarn, with 71 grams left over, so approximately 306 yards were used.

BertramCloseup022110 240x160 Lady Bertram Shawlette

And the pattern is now available for sale in my Ravelry store, here.

The green shawl that was shown blocking yesterday sure was a quickie! I started it on Thursday and finished it yesterday morning. It is knit from Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in the “Prophets of Persia” colorway.

The all-over lace pattern is supposed to represent flowers, and I chose a relentless green colorway to represent a harbinger of spring, so this will be called the Printemps Shawlette.

Expect a pattern soon. icon smile Lady Bertram Shawlette

Does Gwendolyn look a bit over-dressed?

Shawls022210 160x240 Lady Bertram Shawlette

Lucy sez:

Lucy022210 240x152 Lady Bertram Shawlette

“Snack time!”

To Mark Or Not To Mark

That is the question.

In the photo of my shawl in progress yesterday, you may have noticed that I have the pattern repeats marked with stitchmarkers. I have since removed the markers.

WIP021710 240x160 To Mark Or Not To Mark

Most of the time, I prefer to knit lace without stitchmarkers. I put them in this project, because I took it with me to work on at the yarn shop on Monday. I knew I’d be talking to people while knitting, picking it up and putting it down mid-row, etc. In that scenario, I’m happier having markers to keep me on track.

But when I’m knitting in solitude (and this is how most of my knitting is done), I’m happier without the markers. I find that for me, they get in the way of the “big picture” of the lace. I also find it annoying to have to slip them as I knit. Even more annoying — when a marker is in the middle of a maneuver that requires that I move the marker one stitch to the left or right. Know what I mean?

Take a look at this chart:

chart021710 To Mark Or Not To Mark

This is an all-over lace pattern that has a 6-stitch repeat, which is shown on the chart with dotted lines. The even-numbered rows are not shown, because they are all simply purled.

Note that on Row 5 of the chart, the beginning of the repeat comes in-between a yarn-over and a double decrease (sl 1, k2tog, psso).

Okay, you start working Row 5 — you have three stitches before your first repeat marker, right? The chart tells you to knit 2, yarn-over before the marker. But you still have 1 stitch left before the marker. That’s because the yarn-over makes your third stitch before the marker, and that 1 stitch is part of the double decrease on the other side of the marker — that “sl 1, k2tog, psso” maneuver takes up only 1 stitch on the chart, because there is a yarn-over on each side of it there to compensate for those 2 stitches that are decreased. But because it is in the middle of a pattern repeat, you have to move your danged stitchmarker one stitch to the right before every repeat.

Of course, if you think ahead, you can make this move on Row 4 — as you purl across move each marker one stitch to the left (left instead of right because you are on the back side of the work, going in the opposite direction).

Still, I prefer to do away withe the markers entirely.

Lucy sez:

Lucy021710 240x174 To Mark Or Not To Mark

“I’ve got my eye on you!”

Guess My Favorite Color

Here’s the yarn I bought while at fibre space yesterday:

yarn021610 240x160 Guess My Favorite Color

That’s, reading from left to right, Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in the Prophets of Persia, Golden Pear, and Villainness colorways, Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Clover colorway, and Miss Babs Yummy in the Spring Lettuce colorway.

Winners!

The Random Number Generator has chosen five winners in the Crazy Aunt Purl book contest: Laura S in MD, Liz T, Amy in Atlanta, Kathy D, and Jackie. The winners have been emailed, so if you think one of those individuals is you, check your email!

Current Knitting

I haven’t talked much about what I’m working on at the moment. I started another lace shawl, then decided I didn’t like how it was looking, and ripped it out and started over. Here is what it is looking like now:

WIP021610 240x160 Guess My Favorite Color

This is Wollmeise 100% merino sock yarn in the Herzblut colorway. I finally got around to putting “herzblut” into the Google online translator and discovered it means “Lifeblood.” I figured it was blood of some sort . . .

I’m using a U.S. size 4 needle for this. After ripping out the all-over lace pattern I started, I went back and started with stockinette in a more-than-a-triangle shape, and am now doing a lacy edging on that. I think I’ll like this much better.

Lucy Sez

Lucy021610 240x182 Guess My Favorite Color

I got this toy for my birthday. I’m not exactly sure what to do with it, but it has catnip in it!

Bird’s Eye

Not the brand of vegetables, the lace pattern.

I finally made it to the Bird’s Eye Lace portion of the Aestlight Shawl.

Aestlight010610 240x160 Birds Eye

I would have made more progress had I not done something stupid halfway through the first repeat. As I knit I realized that the holes in the pattern weren’t lining up properly, so I had to backtrack and see where I had messed up. I’d dropped the second yarnover on one of the motifs so I was off by one stitch. I managed to repair it without having to rip back, so all’s well that ends well!

I’m trying to time the completion of this shawl to coincide with the start of the Enchanted Wood Knit-Along. I’m too lazy to read the posts in the Ravelry group, but L-B tells me that the first clue will be emailed to us just after midnight this Saturday night.

I guess I could wind up some of my yarn in preparation. icon smile Birds Eye

But at the moment I’m too distracted to even think about such mundane tasks. Look what I got today:

Book010610 240x160 Birds Eye

On preview copy of my new book Toe-Up Socks For Everybody, which is coming out on March 23rd. I am very very excited but Lucy doesn’t seem to be too concerned about it, does she?

Bonus shot — the back cover!

backcover010610 240x160 Birds Eye

Lucy seems a bit more interested — I guess she likes colorwork socks better than lace.