My current work in progress:

Stornoway, designed by Alice Starmore from her book Fishermen’s Sweaters, knit in Frangipani 5-ply guernsey wool in the Aran colorway, on a 3.0mm needle.

Archives for October 2003

It’s Friday and . . .

I’m not going to work! Yay!

Took the day off, and rightly so, I think, after several weeks of nonstop work at an insane pace.

Today I shall be making a cake and a gourmet dinner for someone who is having a birthday this weekend.

Lucy is primping for the birthday party.


Holding Yarns for Fair Isle

Some discussion of this in yesterday’s comments. And requests for photos of how I hold my yarn.

I’d rather not, because I don’t really think my method is a good one for anyone to emulate. Yes, I hold both colors in my left hand and throw with my left hand. And I consistently do the background color on top and the foreground color on the bottom. But sometimes I thrown the bottom color with my middle finger and sometimes I drop both colors and pick them up. I’m the poster child for how not to hold your colors. But it does seem to work for me, my tension is fine, and doesn’t slow me down, so there you have it.

My colors never get tangled because I float — never strand.

More Q&A

Priscilla asked:

I am wondering what kind of knitting bags you recommended, for taking with you during a long commute (I go from Philadelphia to NYC every day).

I always tend to lean toward more compact and portable than large and all-encompassing. I have a lot of different knitting bags, and which one I take depends on the size of my project.

Right now my commuter knitting — my Booga Bag — is in a small paper shopping bag (about 8 x 10″). That’s perfect for it!

Sammi asked (and others of you have asked in the past):

This is completely the wrong season for the project, but I was wondering if you ever completed the Watercolor Camisole I saw you started a while back? I remember you commenting that the cotton was a pain on the hands to work with, but I didn’t know if you finished it up anyhow ๐Ÿ™‚

Nope. didn’t finish it. It’s not worth hurting my hands and wrists for it. As far as I’m concerned. ๐Ÿ™‚

And to close, a photo of my latest Booga Bag in progress.


Have a good weekend, all!

Business as Usual

The Big Pow Wow at work was concluded yesterday, and successfully, according to all involved. Lucy was very happy to have Mommy home from work on time yesterday.


And I was very happy to get back to knitting.


Here’s the first PiS sleeve, in all it’s barely started glory.


In answer to a comments question the other day, I am doing floats rather than weaving, and it seems to work just fine.

And another thing . . .

Beth asked:

What do you do with all the leftovers from your fair isle and dale sweaters?

And Geane responded:

I know what I do with my FI leftovers! Label them with the name of the sweater knit and put them away for when your friends need a ball or two!!

Geane’s absolutely correct! She’s sent me shetland wool from her leftovers stash. So has Veronique is Switzerland.

I do the same thing — hang onto extras for future reference. I sent my leftover Gedifra Wellness fro Smooch to Geane, who had bought the same color. And I always hang onto extra shetland and Dale of Norway — never know when I or one of my friends might need a bit.

Leftovers make great catnip mice, and leftover sock yarn makes baby or child socks.


I was pleased to find out that Araucania felts well — thanks, Jenanne!

I got a KnitPicks catalog yesterday and saw in it a bunch of pictures of felted stuff. “Cool,” thought I. On closer inspection I determined that the patterns for these were all in the Bev Galeskas’ book Felted Knits, which is already on my Amazon wishlist for Christmas.

Lookie here!

Jen updated the mousemaps! Thanks Jen!

It’s All Over Except for the Squeaking

The Mouse-a-thon, that is.

We’re still bagging mice and hauling them over for Capital Animal Care, though. Which brings me to a question in yesterday’s comments — if you have mice to send and still want to donate them, please feel free to send them along. All mousie contributions will be gratefully received.


Not a whole heckuva lot yesterday. An 11+ hour day at work followed by an after-work cocktail party meant I got home about an hour before my weekday bedtime. I did tell Lucy that Mommy would be late coming home, but she of course forgot that, and demanded an explanation when I finally showed up.

She was appeased by the appearance of her Fancy Feast.

I left my Booga Bag in progress at the office, so I wouldn’t have to schlep it over to the cocktail party, which was held at a hotel a few blocks from the office. So no commuter knitting this morning.

But yesterday was a good day — the first of two days of training for our field offices on revisions we have made to the law we enforce. The training presentations I’ve been madly writing for the past two weeks were very well-received and will require only minor revisions. And the Secretary of Labor herself stopped by in the afternoon to speak to us and stayed for the break and chatted with everyone there.

I’ll be doing a presentation this morning and I’m more or less prepared. I think.

So . . .

In lieu of actual knitting content today, here’s a photo of my latest addition to my stash:


This is Araucania Nature Wool, purchased from Elann, purchased at their low low price. It’s 100% wool worsted weight and each 100 gram skein has 242 yards. I bought ten of them, in color “Allspice.” There are subtle variations in the color and it’s just gorgeous.

It even got the Lucy seal of approval!


Now . . . what to use it for? It might felt nicely . . .

Mouse-a-thon Raffle Winners!

Yes, we finally have drawn the wining raffle tickets!

And the winners are . . .

Prize Number One — Dale of Norway Norge 2000 Kit (dark teal colorway)
Janine R. in Greenfield, TN

Prize Number Two — Poetry in Stitches Cardi Kit (page 118 of the book)
Wanda R. in Bangor ME

Prize Number Three — Poetry in Stitches Cardi Kit (page 160 of the book)
Suzanne B. in Meriden CT

Prize Number Four — Dale of Norway St. Moritz 2003 Kit (in purple Norwegian sport wool from Elann)
Beth L. in Boston, MA

Prize Number Five — Dale of Norway’s Kongsberg kit (blue/black colorway)
Roi W, in Prescott, AZ

Prize Number Six — Times Cable Swingcoat kit
Katrina C. in Issaquah, WA

Prize Number Seven — Zauberflote Kit
Jean G. in the UK

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone from me, from Lucy, and from many many happy kitties.


You can view photos and descriptions of the prizes on the Mouse-a-thon Prize page

That said, you can guess that I received what I believe are the last of the entries, from mousestuffer Jen — some from Jen herself, and others from Beate in Franfurt, Germany, Pat H. in Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada, Jean G. in Norwich, UK, Stephannie in Toronto, Ont, Canada, Lizz in Nanaimo, BC, Canada, Sophia in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Josee in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Catherine in Brussels, Belgium, and Anna in Lund, Sweden.

Thank you all so much, and thanks again to all mouse knitters!

I’ve emailed all winners at the email addresses written on the raffle tickets. If you are listed as a winner and didn’t get an email from me it means I had a typo in your email address. Please email me (using the “Contact Me” link in my sidebar) and confirm your snail mail address. Prizes six and seven are being mailed directly from Melissa and Veronique, so I’ll pass your addresses along to them.

PiS Question

Caroline asked yesterday if the pattern for my PiS sweater directed me to steek the neck. The pattern has you simply knit a tube, then cut out the neck and edge it with velvet ribbon. Instead, I steeked the neck, using the photo as a guide, and will finish the neck in i-cord using the burgundy, as I don’t particularly care for the ribbon finish.

Booga Bags!

Here’s my new Booga Bag in progress:


Ain’t those purty colors?

About felting, Latifa asked:

When you felt with a towel, do you ever have trouble with lint on the finished felt? I was going to use jeans or something else to avoid that.

As Julie recommended in the pattern, I put the bag in a zippered pillowcase to felt, so there was no lint anywhere — except yarn lint inside the pillowcase. I highly recommend it!

In answer to another comment question yesterday, I’ve not had any trouble with Kureyon colors running. Yet.

October Contest Winner

Drawn at random from the entries received, the winner of the Sock Contest is Marga in Japan. The complete list of URLs for free sock patterns is here, and will be linked to from my Knitting Page.

Thanks as usual to everyone who sent me an entry.

Felting Fun

Here is my second Booga Bag before felting.


This photo demonstrates that vodka and knitting do not mix.

Here it is after being felted.


The bag went through two cycles in the washer and felted down more than the last one I made, most likely because the washer was emptier — I only put one towel in with it. I thought I was going to have to send the bag through three cycles, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Lucy is more interested in her dinner, though.


I’ve started yet another bag in color 89 — I’ll show you what it looks like tomorrow.

PiS News

I finished the body! I finished the body!

Here’s a close-up of the front neck steek:


And the back neck steek:


And I’ve just barely started a sleeve.


I think I’ll be able to announce raffle winners tomorrow! Stay tuned!