My current work in progress:

1. Strandwanderer, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Wollmeise Merino "Pure" in the "Zenzi" colorway on a 3.25 mm (U.S. size 3) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Unpinned and Ready for Action

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

Talisman122209 166x240 Unpinned and Ready for Action

A couple of you asked when the pattern would be available. I’m working on it as we speak. icon smile Unpinned and Ready for Action

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

WIP122209 240x160 Unpinned and Ready for Action

Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague.

Yeah, I don’t knit a lot of things by other designers, but this is my Christmas break knitting. icon wink Unpinned and Ready for Action I’m not designing, just happily following a pattern.

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

Yarn122209 240x100 Unpinned and Ready for Action

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.

Closeup122209 240x160 Unpinned and Ready for Action

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.

Chair122209 240x160 Unpinned and Ready for Action

Or is it?

A Free Day

I was pretty much gobsmacked yesterday afternoon when OPM announced that the federal government in the D.C. area would be closed today but hey! I’ll take it!

Here’s the view from this morning:

Morning122109 240x160 A Free Day

The sun was coming out. Yay!

Street122109 240x160 A Free Day

Things are looking good down on the street. I went out and ran some errands. The streets were fine. The parking lots, not so much. Very icy.

I also finished this:

before122109 240x160 A Free Day

My Talisman Shawl. It sure doesn’t look like much in that photo, does it? The pre-blocked dimensions are 48″ by 24″.

Blocking achieved this miracle:

Talismanblocked122109 240x134 A Free Day

After blocking, it’s 64″ wide by 34″ down the center back. Knit from one skein of Wollmeise, with just 14 grams leftover.

Here’s a close-up of the lace pattern:

TalismanCloseup122109 240x160 A Free Day

Here’s what I started today:

WIP122109 240x160 A Free Day

Care to hazard a guess as to what it is?

Miss Lucy slept through the blocking of the Talisman Shawl today. I’m sure she’s kicking herself that she missed out on helping me. But I turned the heat on this past weekend and she’s been happily sleeping through the most exciting events.

Lucy122109 240x160 A Free Day

One Skein

In the comments to yesterday’s post, Angela asked if my Talisman Shawl will take more than one skein. I’m planning for it to take only one (since that’s all I’ve got).

The Wollmeise is a lovely big skein — 575 yards. For this shawl, after you work the set-up chart, you can repeat the body chart as many times as you like (it is a 24-row repeat), and then work the edging chart. So I can sort of eyeball how much yarn I’ve got left as I work and decide when I need to stop doing repeats and work the edging.

I’m confident that my one skein will make a lovely good-sized shawl.

That is assuming I actually have time to knit on it. I’ve knit on the train the past two mornings, but was not able to get any lunchtime knitting in for one reason or another. And the trains have been too crowded for me to knit on the way home. I got an hour or so of knitting time in last night and expect to get about the same tonight.

It’s funny, the more I want to get something done, it seems like the less time I have to actually work on it.

And I won’t be knitting tonight — a botched blood donation (thank you, Red Cross) has left one arm bruised and throbbing.

So don’t expect much tomorrow. icon wink One Skein

To make up for the lack of photos and knitting progress tonight, Lucy gives you this:

Lucy121609 240x160 One Skein

Paw floof!

Talisman Shawl

Anyone remember this?

Talisman121509 240x120 Talisman Shawl

This is the Talisman Shawl, which I designed and knit in 2008. I would have been highly impressed indeed if anyone had identified this as that pattern:

Here’s a close-up on the pattern stitch in the original version:

TalismanCloseup121509 240x160 Talisman Shawl

And here’s a close-up in my current version:

pat121509 240x160 Talisman Shawl

The original was knit from a laceweight handspun merino/tencel on a U.S. size 5 needle. I’m currently knitting it in fingering weight on a U.S. size 5 needle. Interesting to see how it looks, eh?

(I agree that it does resemble the Fountain Pen Shawl, but I designed and knit the original a good six months before that shawl pattern was published in IK so I wasn’t influenced by it!)

I never did anything with the pattern, apart from knitting it up. I came across the pattern a few days ago and thought it would be fun to knit it up in in fingering weight. So there you have it!

It may just be me . . .

But I think the nutcracker in this office party invitation looks rather shifty-eyed and sinister. He probably is, given who is hosting the party.

invite121509 240x186 Talisman Shawl

(Click photo to enlarge and make readable . . . and spot the punctuation issue!)

To change the subject . . .

Check out this perfect little profile:

Lucy121509 240x160 Talisman Shawl

All Blocked and Ready for Action

I’ve released the Two-Thirds Shawl from its bondage. Here is Gwendolyn modeling her new shawl.

TwoThirdsShawl110209a 160x240 All Blocked and Ready for Action

She’s stylin’.

TwoThirdsShawl110209 160x240 All Blocked and Ready for Action

Thanks for all your lovely comments about this shawl. It was great fun to knit, and not particularly difficult. The only arduous bit was that by the time I bound off there were 605 stitches on my needles. I confess to having a few hateful thoughts at that point.

But off the needles it is, and I am very happy with it. I love the way it stays on the shoulders!

And I’m down to one bloggable project (though that will change in the near future). This:

sip110209 240x160 All Blocked and Ready for Action

Wheeeeee! A sock! It’s a sock knit from one of the yummiest sock yarns around: Alchemy Juniper. The colorway is called “Tea Party” and I think it is just lovely.

I’m calling this pattern “Cloisters Socks.” If you do a google image search for cloisters, you may agree that it is a good name. Well, you’ll be able to tell better when you see a more up-to-date photo. That pic is from yesterday.

Lucy seems to have taken sleep to an art form:

Lucy110209 240x160 All Blocked and Ready for Action