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 January 2005

Fingerless Mitts Pattern

As promised last week, I’ve posted the pattern for the Fingerless Mitts I made — here. It’s linked to from my main knitting page, so you can always find it there.

Thank you for all your kind words about the Grape Arbor Shawl. I really appreciate all the positive feedback! In answer to a question, it took about 850 yards of the 100% silk yarn from Spirit Trail — this is about a dk weight yarn.

In answer to many questions, I’m not sure when (or if) I’ll be offering a pattern for the shawl. In its current state, the pattern consists of lots of hieroglyphics scribbled down. It’ll take quite a bit of work to transform that into a pattern that anyone who isn’t me could follow. And I’m not sure I have the energy for doing said translation. I know for a fact that I don’t have the time right now. But perhaps I will at some point.

But then again perhaps I’ll have a burst of energy (or a fit of insomnia) and write the whole blessed mess down in one sitting. After all, the shawl was conceived and born in a fit of insomnia.

But then again, again, hell might freeze over. Oh, wait. I think it already did.

Here’s what the pattern looks like right now:


About the shawl, Leigh commented:
I have not had much experience with blocking. You don’t mean you actually put the iron on the shawl, right?

Why, yes, I did, and steamed the heck out of it. Full steam ahead, as it were. 😉

Lucy Pullover

I did finally suck it up and put together the Lucy pullover that I recently knit from Rowan Calmer — here it is:


It’s a good thing it was so cold on Sunday that I did not want to venture outside. I was forced to stay indoors and work on fiberly pursuits.

Speaking of Fiberly Pursuits . . .







Three hundred yards of this wool. It was great fun to spin!

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

With the recent spell of very cold weather we’ve had, I’ve noticed that none of my gloves really cut it when it comes to keeping my fingers warm. After only a short time outdoors, my poor little fingers turn into popsicles. I figured perhaps some big thick mittens would be a good idea.

I spun up some soft black wool into a bulky weight yarn.


It looks grey, but that’s from the flash. It’s black in real life, and quite soft. I’m going to make a pair of plain mittens from this.

This one of those rare occasions when I have spun something with the finished product in mind. Most of my spinning has been done simply for the joy of spinning. I think that’s why I give so much of my handspun away. I’ve got no plans for it.

Mistakes in Spinning?

Ann asked:
Do you ever make mistakes in your spinning?

That’s an interesting question! What constitutes a mistake?

I’ve had singles break while spinning, so I guess that’s a mistake. But it’s one that’s easily fixed (even though it’s a pain to have to stop and pull the broken end back out through the orifice and get it started again). I’ve got uneven bits in my spinning and the occasional slub. But those are design elements, right?

I Still Hate Crystal Palace Needles


And this happened after one row when I pulled the commuter knitting out at lunch. So no knitting on the train ride home. Grrrrrrr.

At least it’s just a matter of glueing the wood part back in the metal bit. I’m pretty sure I’ve got some glue here that will do the trick. But still.




We lucked out with the snow — only got about 4 inches yesterday. It was very pretty when it started, too.


But today it is terminally cold. The sun is shining brightly but there is a high wind making the wind chill more than chilly.

Still, we know how to stay warm. Ian has his Wendy-knit socks.


And Lucy has her AbFab afghan!


I kept busy.

Here’s the Autumn Afternoon mohair yarn:


And here’s some merino:


I did some more spinning, but I’ll show you that later in the week.

Lately I’ve been spinning singles on Lenny and plying on Katarina. Lenny is great with the singles (hubba hubba!) and Katarina plies like a dream. So they are a team.

Lucy pays pretty much no attention whatsoever to the roving and spinning. She did attempt to sit in my lap while I was spinning this weekend, but I think she was just wanting to be in a warm place. She . . . uh . . . got a little bit of tail fur yanked out and spun into the mohair when she was standing in my lap deciding whether or not to lie down. That decided her. She’s been glommed on to the AbFab afghan.

But Wait! There’s More!

Look what I finished!


It’s the Grape Arbor Shawl! I am beyond delighted with this!


And one more, for good measure.


I did not wet block this — just went over it carefully with the steam iron, and it blocked out very nicely.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go snuggle with Lucy.

Not-So-Still Life, With Cat


This was the scene in my living room this morning.

The roving hanging on Katarina? That’s 100% mohair, hand dyed in a colorway called “Autumn Afternoon.”

Here’s what the singles look like spun:


Yum! The roving was a birthday gift to me from L-B. She got it from Holly Spring Homespun. I’ve got 8 ounces of it, and today I spun 4 ounces.

But that’s not all I did today. I went to Knit Happens to hang out with the gang.

I made the second fingerless mitt last night, and I wore them out today. Holly very kindly modeled them for the official blog portrait:


Doesn’t she look cute?

I’ll post the pattern for these next week — most likely Monday evening.


I was at the shop when Kristine signed the lease for the warehouse for her online store. In fact, I witnessed her signature on the contracts! It’s getting closer, guys!

More Coolness!

A little while ago, I signed off from an audio web chat with Marie. This was so much fun! Marie, I had a lovely time talking with you. Right after we said goodbye, Lucy came strolling out of the bedroom, yawning, and asking what she missed. She promises to be ready next time!

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

But you knew that, right?

As I mentioned yesterday, it’s freakin’ cold in my office. My poor widdle hands are cold and this makes me Not Happy.

I’ve been wearing the gorgeous pulse warmers that Johanne sent me for Christmas (see photo in this entry) but I don’t want to wear them out before their time by wearing them all the time, know what I mean?

And yesterday my handspun merino was screaming at me all day to knit fingerless mitts from it. To shut it up, I wound it into a ball and cast on for some fingerless mitts, making up the pattern as I went along.

My first attempt was less than stellar. Two-thirds the way through the first mitt I realized that I could probably put both my hands in the one mitt. Well, duh. So I ripped everything out and started over.

Well, one half-hour lunch break and a (cough, cough — don’t tell my boss, ‘kay?) one-hour conference call later, I had this:


A completed fingerless mitt that fits! Whee!

And my imitation of . . . The Claw!


I’m happy with this. It fits, and it’s nice and warm. Now I just have to knit the second one. On the off-chance that anyone is remotely interested, I’ll post the pattern in the next day or so.

From the Comments

Timothy suggested:
How about adding a bobble or two near some of the vine bits near the shoulders (so they don’t press in to your back at the back when you lean back) – as another grape-y looking thing?

That’s a cool idea! However, not for this yarn. I’m using 100% silk that is soft and somewhat fragile. I think bobbles in this yarn would show a lot of wear quickly.

Susie asked (speaking of my Sonata gloves):
Those gloves look so nice and warm. Are they very thick?

They are knitted with Koigu on size 0 needles, so they are not extremely thick. However, all the garter ridges in them do make them thicker than a plain stockinette stitch and, I imagine, adds to the warmth. They are fairly warm, but I still feel the cold seeping in after being outside a few minutes. Of course, that’s true of all my gloves .

Beth asked:
Was wondering if you could share how to knit vine lace??

The vine lace pattern is widely available. (Aw, crap — I typed vince lace again.) If you type “vine lace” into Google, you’ll get several online patterns that use it.

Cool Contest!

If you haven’t already been there, run, don’t walk, over to Allana’s blog. She’s running a contest that’s all about charity. And she’s offering some fabulous prizes!

Because I Know You Wanna Know (yeah right)

I can now put my hair in a ponytail.


Lucy doesn’t wanna know about it.


Well guess what? It actually snowed today. I had to clean two inches of the stuff off Xena before driving home. I am off from work for the rest of the week. Wheeeeee! Time for a second margarita!

Still Life With Gloves



Last week it was freakishly warm. This week it is mercilessly cold. If we all don’t sicken and die from the fickle weather changes it’ll be a miracle.

I brought my recent handspun to work, so that I could enjoy the colors. And the merino screamed at me all day “Fingerless gloves! Make fingerless gloves from me!”

Smart yarn, to know that my hands are freezing in my office. I’ve got one wall that’s entirely plate glass window. While it’s nice to have a view, it’s danged cold in the winter.

I have 100 yards of the merino, and it will knit 4.5 to 5 stitches/inch I believe. That oughta be enough, if I don’t make the cuffs too long.

But think of the longer, elegant pair I could make from the rainbow mohair . . . I’ve got 200 yards of that.

I bought the rainbow mohair roving on eBay, by the way. Sorry, don’t remember who the seller was. And it’s simply 2-ply. I’ve not tried Navajo plying.

Vines! We Have Vines!


I have entered into the vine portion of the Grape Arbor Shawl. Whee!!!

Of course, the rows are getting longer and longer and longer. So the shawl is now growing slooooooowly . . .

But growing it is. And it’s still great fun to knit. I’m thinking about the lace edging I’ll put on the bottom — something that looks a bit like leaves, I think.

Speaking of Vine Lace

When I had my Grape Arbor Shawl vision early Saturday, I cast aside the poor Corriedale sweater. But I picked it up and did a couple of rows on it before leaving for work this morning. Here is some vine lace in a larger gauge!


I keep typing “vince lace” instead of “vine lace.” Who the hell is Vince and why does he think I want to use his lace pattern?

Kitty Bed Gallery

I’ve added a bunch of kitties to the kitty bed gallery over the past few weeks, most recently, three kitties today. If you haven’t visited in a while, check it out! The link is in the sidebar, over on the right.

Lucy sez:

Hoo yah! It’s kitty bed weather, fer shure!


Another Way to Beat the Winter Doldrums?


Yarn from France in your mailbox. Glitzy raspberry sorbet yarn! Thanks Becky!