My current work in progress:

1. "T-Rex," designed by Rebecca Danger, knit from Blue moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in the "Lucky" colorway on U.S. size 3 needles.
2. 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:

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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

Stick a fork in it, for it is done.

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I finished the Order to Chaos Shawl last night at approximately 7:30 pm.

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I used approximately 1500 yards of fingering weight yarn and a US 5 (3.75mm) needle. Specifically, I used Dream in Color Smooshy, in the “Shiny Moss” colorway.

ChaosCenter080309 240x160 Order to Chaos

As is my wont, I blocked this baby by steaming the living daylights out of it with my steam iron. Apologies to those of you who requested a YouTube video of said steaming process. I was by myself when I did this so was unable to film it.

Well, Lucy was with me, but her lack of opposable thumbs makes her a lousy camera operator. That and the fact that she is easily distracted.

Anyhow, unblocked, this was about 48″ in diameter. Lightly blocked it measures 60″ in diameter.

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I worked up an edging that was more orderly than chaotic, and I’m liking the results.

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The pattern will be available for sale in the near future.

From time to time y’all comment on how brave I am to allow Lucy to lounge around on my knits. No bravery involved — Lucy is very much disinclined to do damage to knits.

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For starters, she has no front claws. (She was declawed before she came to live with me). And she is a very dainty girl. She has many knitted toys, most of them filled with catnip, and she does not hurt those, either. Rather, she plays with them rather carefully and carries them around as if they were her dolls.

I did start a new lace project, using the yummy pink yarn I pictured in yesterday’s post. That’s the alpaca/shetland blend laceweight that Carol of Black Bunny Fibers gave me when I was in Philadelphia.

But I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Lucy sez:

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“I want to know which among you were implying that I would harm Momma’s knitting.”

Now Available

Warning: Shameless self-promotion ahead.

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The Exonumist’s Shawl is now available for sale via download from my new Ravelry pattern shop. It costs $5.00, payable via Paypal and is delivered to you as a pdf download. If you are not on Ravelry, you can purchase it here:

buy now Now Available

I’ve put the link to the “Buy Now” button over in the left sidebar for now. If I add more patterns to the Ravelry shop, I’ll need to add a “patterns for sale” page, methinks.

To recap, this shawl is knit from a light fingering weight yarn (Ella Rae Lace Merino) on a US 4 (3.5mm) needle, at an unblocked gauge of 5 st/inch. I used just under 3 skeins at 460 yards per skein. I’m estimating 1380 – 1400 yards for the pattern.

Unblocked it is 45″ in diameter. You can block it out to at least 60″. To make it a bit larger, you can knit more rounds of the last body pattern (adjusting of course your yarn amounts.)

It is knit in the round, starting from a longtail cast-on in the center of the shawl.

On to the Shawl at Hand

Last night I transferred the Order to Chaos shawl from my 32″ needle to a 40″ needle, and took this photo mid-transfer.

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Ah, roomier!

I am hauling this bad boy to work with me every day to work on during the commute and during my lunch break. Bow down and worship the mighty air-conditioning, for without it my knitting progress would be almost non-existent.

So.

Last night I was ensconced on the couch, knitting along, and happened to glance down. This is what I saw:

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It just cracks me up when she lies like that.

Lucy sez:

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“Hey! What’s so funny?”

The Exonumist’s Shawl

Last night I knit the rest of the edging on The Exonumist’s Shawl. Today I steam-blocked it with my iron. (Click on the photos to see the enlarged versions — much better detail in those shots!)

Shawl072309 160x240 The Exonumists Shawl

And may I just say that prednisone rocks? I’ve been taking pretty high doses of it this week (for the Viral Respiratory Crud That Would Not Die, Not Even With Masses of Antibiotics) and while I haven’t slept more than 2 hours/night for the past three nights, I did power-knit through what I consider the most arduous part of knitting a circular shawl . . . the edging.

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(It’s interesting to me that while these meds make me very loopy and unable to walk in a straight line, they only enhance my knitting ability. Go figure.)

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I will write up the pattern for this baby and offer it for sale. I may do so through the Ravelry Pattern Store, just to try it out. Stay tuned.

Shawl072309A 160x240 The Exonumists Shawl

I knit the shawl on a US 4 (3.5mm needle) using 3 skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino (more of a light fingering than a laceweight). My unblocked gauge was 5 st/inch. I used just under 1380 yards, but am conservatively estimating 1400 yards to knit the pattern.

The unblocked size is 45″ is diameter. Very lightly blocked (just using a steam iron) it is now 56″ in diameter.

So now I get to knit “full-time” on the Order to Chaos Shawl. icon biggrin The Exonumists Shawl

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I’m using Dream in Color Smooshy for this, a fingering weight yarn, on US 5 (3.75mm) needles. If I am pleased with the results, I may sell this pattern as well.

Weekend Fun!

Tomorrow I am heading up to Philadelphia for a quick overnight trip. I’ll be at the lovely lovely yarn shop Loop for their Stitch Party tomorrow (July 24) from 5 – 8pm, then teach a couple of sock classes on Saturday. I visited Loop a few years ago when my first book came out and had a great time there, so I’m delighted to be going back.

Reminder — all scheduled events are listed on my Travel and Teaching page. Just this week, by the way, we added a trip to Knitty City in NYC in September. Knitty City is another great shop  I’ve visited in the past, so I’m delighted to have the opportunity to return.

I think there’s one tentative event in late November that hasn’t been finalized yet, but other than that, I think my schedule is full for the rest of the year.

Lucy Sez

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“I must plan my catnip party since Momma’s gonna be away. This will be my party rug!”

The Long and Winding Edging

After posting to the blog yesterday I did a few chore-type things, and then settled down for a couple-three hours of edging knitting. Here is how far I got:

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I believe that is less than one-fourth of the total edging, possibly as little as one-fifth or one-sixth. I don’t want to look too closely and depress myself with how little I’ve done. What I really need to complete it is a weekend dedicated to nothing but edging knitting. Since today is Monday, and I’ll be away this upcoming weekend, that’s not going to happen. So I’ll just do a bit each evening.

The good news is that I winkled up a very simple edging so I quickly memorized it, thus speeding up the knitting.

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I’m not taking it on my commute because it has gone beyond the point where I deem a project portable. So I cast on something for commuter knitting.

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It’s another shawl, also my own design. While it is a circular shawl, the construction differs from that of my other shawl.

The blue one is constructed like a pi shawl — based on the mathematical principal of “pi.” The circle doubles its circumference on one round and doubles the distance between the increase rounds: 3, 6, 12, 24, 48 round, etc.

This new shawl is constructed in a spiral. It is divided into sections and you increase one stitch in each section on every other round. By doing the increases on one side of each section only, it forms a spiral. Cool, huh?

I am using Dream in Color Smooshy, which is a fingering weight yarn, in the “Shiny Moss” colorway. I’m using a US size 5 needle to make a lacy but not too lacy fabric.

This is a design I have dreamed up in my own little fevered brain, so I’m sort of working out the kinks as I go along. So far, so good!

Here, just for fun, is a video of Lucy

Lucy Sez

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“How embarrassing!”