My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Books

Yesterday was a very-little-knitting day, but it was a good book day!

Exhibit A:

Haapsalu030910 160x240 Books

I received a copy of Haapsalu Shawl, A Knitted Lace Tradition from Estonia. I purchased my copy from The Needle Arts Book Shop (here’s the link to the book for sale there). They are lovely to deal with — wonderful customer service and fast shipping.

The book is magnificent. Yeah, it’s expensive, but if you are into lace, I think it is worth every penny. It’s about the history of Estonian lace knitting. There are many many great photographs and illustrations. While there are no patterns for knitting shawls, there is a lot of explanation of how the traditional shawls are constructed and a huge stitch dictionary of the lace stitches used. Wow. Just . . . wow.

Exhibit B:

lovesong030910 160x240 Books

Speaking of wow, you probably know that our own dear Rachael has published her first novel, How to Knit a Love Song.

I call her “our” Rachael because she is a member of the knit-blog family. I’ve been reading her blog forever (I remember when it was called “My Glass House”). She is one of the “old-school” knit-bloggers from way back when there were only a handful of us.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her a couple of times and can assure you that Rachael is as delightful and genuine in person as she is on her blog.

So you’ll excuse me, I hope, for being a little misty on the occasion of her first book coming out. I remember back when she was an aspiring writer and I’m so proud of her and so freaking happy to see her well-deserved success.

Rachael very kindly signed a copy for me and sent it to me (and I’ll confess to you that I also bought the Kindle edition so I can read it on the go as well). I’ve started reading it and I’m loving it.

Rachael has offered a second copy to one of my readers. And I’m betting if we ask nice, she’ll sign it, too. If you’d like to be entered into the drawing for How to Knit a Love Song, leave a comment to this entry by 4:00pm Eastern time this Thursday, March 11. The Random Number Generator will select a lucky recipient.

Lucy sez:

Lucy030910 240x160 Books

“Hey, Digit’s momma wrote this book!”

Ready for Prime Time

The Printemps Shawlette pattern is complete and available for sale on Ravelry, here.

Printemps022310 240x205 Ready for Prime Time

Like Miss Woodhouse, it’s a “more than a triangle shawl.” You work double the increases on the outer edges as you do on the inner edges to get this shape.

PrintempsModeled022310 197x240 Ready for Prime Time

To make it a more open and airy design, the lace motif for the body of this shawl features a double yarnover – you wrap your yarn around the needle twice in a row. As you work back on the wrong side over these two yarnovers on the wrong side, you will purl the first yarnover and knit the second yarnover.

PrintempsCloseup022310 240x160 Ready for Prime Time

The unblocked shawl measured 44” across the top and 16” down the center back.

PrintempsTied022310 240x207 Ready for Prime Time

Blocked it measures 56” across and 25” down the center back. These measurements are approximate, of course, because they depend on how severely you block your piece.

Yarn requirements — approximately 400 or less yards of fingering weight. The shawl pictured was knit with 1 114-gram 390-yard skein of Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock yarn, with 14 grams left over.

The shawlette at hand:

WIP022410 240x160 Ready for Prime Time

It has the somewhat uninspired working name of “Chevron Shawlette” due to the fact that the body pattern features a chevron motif. This one is a triangle shawl, just for a change.

The yarn is MadelineTosh Tosh Sock in the “Clover” colorway — such a soft pretty green, don’t you think? And it’s a dream to knit — so soft and springy.

I’m nearing completion on this, but the pattern won’t be available immediately. I have an idea for another shawl using the same pattern, but in a different shape. I’ll start on that when I complete this baby, and then offer both in one pattern.

Everyone loves a two-fer, right?

Lucy sez:

Lucy022410 240x160 Ready for Prime Time

“If it is a two-fer of salmon treats, then the answer is yes.”

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!”

Busy Day

Although today was a federal holiday, we’ve had a busy day.

This morning Miss Lucy had her annual check-up and shots (ouchies!) — the vet said she is in great health.

And this afternoon I spent a few hours over at fibre space hanging out with a lot of fun knitters. There might have been some stash enhancement too.

My three shawlettes, Argus, Seaside, and Miss Woodhouse, had so much fun that they are going to stay in the shop for a while. So if you didn’t have a chance to stop by and see them today, they’ll be in the shop for a while. And you can purchase the patterns there as well.

patterns021510 240x180 Busy Day

Here is an Argus knit by Beth, in a heavier yarn on a larger needle.

Argus021510 240x180 Busy Day

It makes a nice larger shawl, I think!

How if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go relax.

Lucy sez:

Lucy021510 240x202 Busy Day

“I was a good girl at the vet’s today!.”

Meet Miss Woodhouse

Unblocked, the Miss Woodhouse Shawl was 50″ across the top, 16″ down the center back.

WoodhouseBefore024010 240x171 Meet Miss Woodhouse

Blocked she is 66″ across the top, 25″ down the center back.

WoodhouseBlocked020410 240x160 Meet Miss Woodhouse

I used a size 6 (4mm) needle and one skein of MadelineTosh Tosh Sock in the “Oak B” colorway with 24 grams left over.

WoodhouseCloseup020410 240x160 Meet Miss Woodhouse

Expect a pattern presently.

Lucy is beside herself with excitement.

Lucy020410 240x160 Meet Miss Woodhouse