My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

You May Commence Groaning Now

Why? Because I have named my new shawl pattern “Faro-Easy Shawl.”

How easy is it? I finished it in under a week. Gotta love knitting with DK-weight yarn right after knitting with laceweight!

shawl082709 180x240 You May Commence Groaning Now

But I’ve not blocked it yet, so the official FO post will have to wait til Sunday. The color in that photo is way off because I was shooting into the sun.

In the meantime . . .

Book Review!

I have in my hot little hands (and have had for a week or so) a copy of this book:

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Men’s Knits: 20 New Classics by Erika Knight. The publication date is September 1 — next Tuesday.

As the title suggests, this is a collection of classic designs for men. I love how the table of contents has photos of each design:

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And there are some accessories as well as sweaters:

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For each design, there is a photo of the sweater being worn by a “real” looking guy, as well as a photo of the sweater lying flat, with arrows superimposed on it to show you exactly where the size measurements were taken.

Of course, most of the models were young and cute:

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But there are a couple of older guys in here too. Here’s one of them:

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For the most part, the sweaters are indeed classic and non-fussy — perfect guy sweaters. This is the only one that gave me pause:

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But I think it is just a matter of a too-big sweater on the model. Your mileage may vary, but most guys I know would not wear an oversized sweater like that.

Well, the back cover photo made me stop and think as well:

Book082709a 204x240 You May Commence Groaning Now

The cardigan looks rather ill-fitting but then, the pants do too.

There’s a range of sizes — from small to xxl. But a word of warning: the small is generally a 36″ chest, and the xxl is 44″. When I think of xxl for a man’s size, I think of 50″ or so. If you are knitting for a big guy, these sizes might not work for you.

There’s a wide variety of yarns represented from chunky to fingering, all of which could be swapped out and subbed with little problem, I think.

Okay, who would like my review copy?

If you’d like to be entered in a drawing to receive this book, leave a comment to this post by noon Eastern time on Sunday, August 30, 2009. I’ll draw a name at random then.

Lucy sez:

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“I can’t wait!”

Order to Chaos Pattern

I’ve put the Order to Chaos Shawl pattern up for sale in my Ravelry store for $5.00. Or, you can buy it directly by clicking this button:

buy now Order to Chaos Pattern

There were a couple of questions about using a heavier yarn to knit it — you could definitely knit it using a worsted weight yarn. I’d recommend a U.S. size 8 needle or thereabouts, but you could do a swatch to see how you liked the resulting fabric and adjust accordingly. And of course the shawl — well, blanket now, would be much larger. But I guess that’s the point, huh? icon smile Order to Chaos Pattern

Thanks for all your kind comments about this design! I am very happy with it. It was fun to knit, not very difficult, but entertaining enough to keep my interest, and I love the yarn — Dream in Color Smooshy. So what’s not to like?

By the way, I purchased my Smooshy for this shawl from my very favorite purveyor of yarn, Sheri at The Loopy Ewe. Note that Sheri has an anniversary sale going on right now — The Loopy Ewe has been in business for three years now! This week, through Friday, all Lorna’s Laces yarn, Knitspot patterns, and Zecca accessories are on sale — 20% off! What a deal! I might have purchased some Lorna’s Laces last night. icon wink Order to Chaos Pattern

Sheri is having two more sale weeks this month to celebrate the anniversary, so keep an eye on her blog for news and updates.

So.

I’ve moved on to a new lace project. Behold — a pink blob!

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This, as I mentioned yesterday, is some lovely Black Bunny Fibers laceweight. It’s 1300 yards of an alpaca/shetland blend. Not too fine — the 1300 yard skein weights 230 grams (a bit over 8 ounces). I particularly like slightly heavier laceweight, so this is just about perfect as far as I’m concerned. And good golly, look at that yummy colorway! It’s called “Hot Lips.”

I’m using a US 3 (3.25mm ) needle, because what I’m going for is a more solid rather than airy look.

I have embarked on a Faroese shawl, knitting it from the top down. It’s kinda hard to see what’s going on here, but here’s a pic of the center back motif.

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So far, so good!

Lucy Sez:

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“Yes, I am still lying on Momma’s shawl. But look how cute I am!”

The Attack of the Blob

The blob has taken over my desk.

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Eeeek! Run! Run!

That photo is slightly lighter than it is in reality.

Here’s a close-up that’s slightly darker than it actually is:

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So if you look at both photos and squint, you might get an idea of the actual color.

I’m knitting along, knitting along. And knitting along. I’m close to 600 stitches per round now.

Three Bags Full

Check out these adorable bags:

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A little project bag and matching accessory pouch from my friend Michele’s etsy shop, Three Bags Full. I love the fabric!

Michele’s bags are just beautifully made, and she uses the most adorable fabrics.

Check out the kitty bead on the zipper pull.

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I also love that the project bag has a pocket inside it.

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Michele also does custom work — I’ve tasked her with creating the ultimate lace knitting tote bag for me. icon smile The Attack of the Blob

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who bought a copy of my Exonumist’s Shawl pattern on it’s first day. I can’t wait to see your shawls in progress!

I did indeed make a “Patterns for Sale” page — it is linked to from a new tab up at the top of the blog.

Lucy Sez

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Well, Lucy doesn’t say anything because she is fast asleep, worn out from showing off for the blog over the past few days. I gave her the day off.

Some Answers to Some Questions

I was interested to read y’all’s comments about milk protein fiber as a component of yarn. As the Tilli Tomas Elsie is my first experience with a yarn that has milk protein as part of its makeup (it’s equal parts moo, silk, and wool) I did not have any pre-conceived ideas or opinions about it. The yarn is very pretty and feels nice, and has no unusual aroma that I can detect. When I start knitting with it I will report my experience.

There were a few Girasole questions yesterday:

Lynne E. left this comment on yesterday’s blog post:

I have a question about the Girasole pattern. You mentioned before that you were up to the maximum stitch count, but you seemed to have the entire border left to knit. How is it possible to knit a circular item from the center out, without having to increase at regular intervals as you move outward? Is the border lace pattern so stretchy that you can just block the border ferociously and get a circular piece?

This shawl pattern is based on the same principle as the famous Pi Shawl, by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Having knit a Pi Shawl in the past, I can tell you it works. However, I am no mathematician, so shall not attempt to explain the underlying principle.

Laura asked:

What kind of join do you use for a new ball when knitting lace?

When there are a few inches left on the current ball of yarn, I simply hold the “old” yarn doubled with the strand of the “new” yarn and knit a few stitches with this double strand.

Timmie asked:

My prediction was that you’d finish Girasole by weekend–are you going to make it?

Absolutely not! But barring any knitting atrocities, I will be on Chart G by the weekend.

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However, I did make some good progress on Girasole today. We had a fairly major train delay this morning that tacked 45 minute on my morning commute. Forty-five minutes of extra Girasole knitting time!

By the way, have y’all noticed that I have no socks on the needles and haven’t for a full week? Am I going through sock withdrawal? Or am I sick of socks and renouncing them as the devil’s playthings? Have I taught Lucy to knit socks in my stead?

Tune in next week for answers to these burning questions and other inanities.

Lucy sez:

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“Wait . . . did she just call me an inanity?”