My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for March 2005

Oh No I Di’n’t

Contrary to what most of you who voted in the poll believe, I have not yet started my next knitting project.

(Though I gotta say, it’s heartwarming to see that the majority of those who voted believe I am a lying sack of sh*t. I must put that on my resume. It should help me with career advancement. *snicker*)

The correct answer will probably be that I will start my next project after I’ve finished Deli completely. I will likely finish knitting the edging at some point tomorrow, Friday, so I’ll have plenty of non-commuting time to sew lace. The only reason I would start the tennis sweater early would be if I needed it for commuter knitting, but I won’t need that ’til Monday.


Last night I set in the sleeves on Deli and this evening I sewed the side seams.


So far, so good. There were a couple of questions in the comments asking how I was attaching the lace edging to the sweater. Just plain ol’ mattress stitch, using the yarn. I’m very pleased with the results. And it looks even better after a gentle steaming with the ol’ iron. The photo I posted yesterday was apres steam iron.

Stephanie in NZ (nice to hear from you again, btw!), I didn’t do anything to the lace before seaming — just pinned it to the edge, being careful not to stretch it.

If I remember, I’ll try to get some “action shots” over the weekend of lace sewing in progress, but it’s really nothing special. Just mattress stitch.

By the way, I bought this dress to hopefully wear Deli with:


On sale at Ann Taylor.

Oh, and in answer to Andrea about who designed Deli, I checked the pattern book and it says “12 designs in Cashsoft and Cashcotton DK by Martin Storey.”

Vogue Knitting

In the comments, Susan mentioned the bolero in the new Vogue Knitting. That pattern is the reason I decided to buy the magazine. I have four skeins of La Luz in “Vanilla Bean” that will be perfect for that pattern.

But I do have to point out that I was busily picking out four more skeins of La Luz at Knit Happens before I remembered that — duh — I already had a bunch.


Tomorrow (April 1) is my blog’s three-year anniversary. I think I need to break out the dark chocolate and margaritas in celebration.


I Can Knit for Miles and Miles and Miles . . .

Correction: I’m going to have to knit for miles and miles and miles to finish the friggin’ lace edging for Deli.

I’ve knitted the two pieces of lace to edge the sleeves. And am currently working on the huge honking piece of lace that will edge the body of the sweater.


I did sew the lace to the sleeves to see how it will look. Not bad — I like it.


I’ve joined the shoulder seams on the body, so perhaps I’ll take some time out from the interminable lace knitting tonight to do some more sewing.

I gotta say — I sort of have my doubts about this sweater. The body of it right now is a soft, floppy mess. Hopefully after setting in the sleeves and sewing up the side seams it will take on some semblance of structure. I imagine it will. The knitted fabric is quite soft and the whole thing is looking shapeless at this point. We shall see.


Although I am doing some whining about the amount of lace I have to knit, it’s really quite fun and easy. The lace has a 4-row pattern repeat and is dead-simple. Easy to memorize. But the lace gauge is about 7 rows/inch and I need well over 100 inches of it, so that’s a heck of a lot of lace. Still, if I work on it exclusively, I’ll have it done in a couple of days.

Speaking of exclusively . . .

At the moment, Deli is the only project I have on the needles. I can’t remember the last time I had only one project going. So naturally, I’m thinking ahead to my next project. I think I’m going to knit the Debbie Bliss tennis sweater from the new Vogue Knitting next. (I blogged about it last week and posted a photo of the pattern, as well as the yarn I will be using.)

So. How long do you think it will be until I cave and start it?


I talked about my wee mini Aero needles yesterday. Ann, in the comments, mentioned that she has a set of the full-size ones. I do too — I bought mine in London circa 1985. They came in a red zippered vinyl case and had included a couple of cable needles, row counters and stitch holders. I think.

I haven’t used any of these needles in years (though I do use the accoutrements that came with them, which is why they are no longer with the needles) but I used to use them exclusively. I can’t remember when I switched over to circulars almost exclusively. Early 1990s, I guess.

But I do love my mini Aeros. They come in handy a lot!

Speaking of Handy

Yesterday I made a comment about having swollen aching hands. This week they have been. Swollen and aching, that is. Monday and Tuesday my fingers felt like fat little sausages when I was jamming my rings on them in the morning. But today they are back to normal, so go figure. It could have had something to do with the incredibly wet nasty weather we have been having. But we can’t complain about the weather today — it’s beautiful!

You can see how happy Lucy is about it!


Let’s Get Snappy, Slappy!

(Sorry, Becky. I couldn’t resist the “Slappy” bit.)

Ricki asked:
I just read a post from the owner of Knit Happens on the knitting review forums that the Rowan Cottoncash DK is snapping for people. Are you having any problems with it? I ordered some but am thinking of returning it if it isn’t very sturdy.

Okay, I’ve had absolutely no problems with this yarn snapping. But inquiring minds want to know, so I conducted an experiment. I cut a piece of Cashcotton approximately 16 inches long. With my hands about 4 inches apart, I pulled on it. I could not break it. (Remember, however, that I am an old lady with swollen aching hands.) I slowly moved my hands further apart, and when they were about 8 inches apart on the yarn, I could pull it apart, with some effort.

It didn’t “snap,” it just pulled apart.


Given the composition of this yarn, it doesn’t really surprise me that you can pull it apart with some effort. I’ve had absolutely no problems knitting it. BUT. . .

I have been knitting plain stockinette and doing simple increases and decreases. No cables, no ripping out and re-knitting. Nothing that would put undue stress on the yarn. Also, I’m a pretty relaxed knitter — I don’t do a lot of pulling on yarn as I knit.

So . . . your mileage may vary!


Alrighty then. Deli’s body parts are done and it’s on to the lace! The neverending lace. The lace that would not die. The lace from the Black Lagoon. The lace that ate Tokyo.


But, check out these cute little needles:


They are Aero brand needles, metal, made in the U.K., and they are about 6.75″ long. I have a set of these, in sizes 2.75mm through 4.5mm. I bought them ages ago from someone at a TKGA convention. They have their own little needle roll.


I love them to distraction. They are great for knitting small stuff like lace edgings and catnip mice.

Lucy’s Kitty Bed

I promise I’ll post a photo of Lucy in her new bed that shows her blue eyes when I can get her to pose nicely, looking at the camera. That might take some treats and coaxing though. Stay tuned.


Sleeve Island?

Gotta say, this is my speediest visit to Sleeve Island in a while. I’m coming down the home stretch on Deli’s second sleeve.


I’m not sure why these sleeves have zipped by so quickly. Usually, mind-numbingly boring stockinette takes forever. Maybe it’s the weather. The cabana boy on my Sleeve Island is wearing a raincoat and slogging through the pounding rain. Not so much fun, you know? Makes you want to knit fast and get off the island.

What’s up next for this sweater is the endless lace edging. I’ve been thinking all along that I would knit the lace directly on to the sweater, but I’m having a change of heart, and I plan now to do it according to the pattern: knit the edging separately and sew it on. Why?

The lace goes on the bottoms of the sleeves, and the bottom of the sweater, up one side front, around the neck, and down the other side front. So the ratio of one row of knitted lace to the edge of the sweater will change. You have a certain number for the stitch gauge (along the bottom edges and the back neck) and a different number for the row gauge (along the side fronts) so the ratio of rows of lace edging per edge stitches will change. And you know what? I am so not into figuring it out. This is, I think, a case of making things harder for myself. So I shall knit the frigging edging separately and sew it on. The end.

My Last Kitty Bed

Wasn’t that a poem by Robert Browning? No, that was My Last Duchess. Okay, here’s my version.

That’s my last kittybed standing on the form,
Looking as if it were felted. I call
That piece a wonder, now: my hands
Worked busily a day, and there she stands.
Will’t please you sit and look at her?
For I feel as though she’s not near felted.
The size of that pictured countenance,
The depth and breadth of its earnest fuzziness,
But to myself it seems to be,
Still a mite too large.
And seemed as if it needed,
Another cycle in the hot water wash.

Okay, so I’m not a poet. I finished the kitty bed last Tuesday, and ran it through three cycles to felt it, then popped it on top of a large cylindrical object (in this particular case my Tupperware pie carrier with a beach towel wrapped around it).

On Friday I took it off its felting form and plopped it on the table to scrutinize it critically. It still seemed a tad large to me. I turned away for a moment, and when I turned back, this is what I saw.


Clearly, the expert pronounces it usable. But just out of spite, I ran it through another wash cycle.

A Picture

. . . is worth a thousand words.


We’re having a lazy weekend. Lucy roused herself for just a minute.


But it’s grey and rainy outside. Great sleeping weather!


I’ve got both the side fronts of Deli done at this point. And one sleeve.


I just this minute cast on for the second sleeve. If I don’t drop off asleep, I’ll do some knitting on it this afternoon.

Remember Carly?

Do you guys remember Carly, who made a guest appearance here last fall, wearing her dogasaurus sweater?

Carly would like to know if she can come to Lucy’s tea party.


And a Question

Lynn S. asked:
Going back to Still Life w/ Tote Bag: 1) Which earphones are you using with your iPod; and 2)What’s become of his sweater?

Second question first. Irving only wears his sweater when it’s cold outside. I was told that keeping the battery warm prolongs battery life. When it’s warm outside, I don’t think the sweater is necessary.

I got a pair of Bose headphones for use with Irving. They are not the noise cancelling headphones, but are the Triport model. Why didn’t I get the noise cancelling ones? I listen to Irving on my commute. If someone along the way yells “Oh my god, everyone get down! He’s got a gun!” or something like that, I want to hear it.

You may think I’m making light of this, but I’m serious. Stuff you don’t want to have to think about, but really need to. Sad, ain’t it?

I’ll think about it later. Right now, time for a nap!