My current work in progress:

Sundew,by Martin Storey, knit from Rowan Softyak DK, using 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

Archives for March 2005

The One Where Wendy Does Something Totally Unheard-of

Unheard-of for me, that is.

Last night I had my recurring dream about qivuit.

I’m sorry — what’s that? Not everyone has recurring dreams about qivuit? Huh. Go figure.

Anyhow, I was thinking about qivuit when I woke up this morning. Ages ago (in my world, “ages” equals 15-20 years) I made a hat out of qivuit, using a tam pattern and fingering weight qivuit. Guess what? I’ve never worn it. I am so not a hat person, and the tam pattern was so not the right thing for qivuit.

Here is the “before” photo of the poor, offending hat.


And here it is “after.”


Yup. Ripped that bad boy out. Rip, rip, rip.

Now, you may not know this (nor may you care), but I never rip anything out. I would rather have a dentist drill at my teeth with only enough novocaine to barely take the edge off (oh, wait — I did that yesterday) than rip something out.

But this morning, before I left for work, while watching the CBS early early early early early early early early early early early news, I ripped out my qivuit hat.

This afternoon after coming home from work, I skeined said qivuit on my swift.

I’ll be washing and hanging it to dry shortly.

There’s 1.5 ounces of fingering weight qivuit there. Hmmmmm . . . what to knit? What to knit?

Any ideas? Send your suggestion to my official blog contest email addy by 5:00pm EST tomorrow (that’s Friday, March 11) to be entered in the drawing for this prize:


That’s two Addi Turbo circular needles, which were kindly donated by Lisa S. in Texas. Thanks Lisa! There’s a US 3 and a US 4, both 24″ long.

Small print: this contest is open to anyone on Planet Earth who has an address to which I can mail the prize. Please, one entry per person.


Mel has gotten short shrift over the past couple of days due to one thing and/or another. But here she is, in all her orgasmic organic cotton-y goodness:


The cable I am using (and why, yes, it does look like little fishies end to end, doesn’t it?) I got from the Harmony book of aran and fair isle patterns. Can’t remember the exact name of it and am too lazy to go look.

But I know I’ve seen this cable elsewhere, so no doubt it’s in other stitch dictionaries as well.

By the way, there has been a comment or two about the Blue Sky Organic Cotton shedding. Gotta say, so far it has shedded not a single speck o’ fluff whilst I knit. And today I knitted on it while wearing a black velour dress. Every Lucy hair was clearly showcased on this dress, but not one iota of Blue Sky Organic Cotton. I am impressed, because I am strangling the yarn a bit as I form cables.

How to Assuage Wounds to Your Psyche

1. Go to Knit Happens.

2. Purchase yarn and patterns.

Yesterday I bought the new Rowan Classic Cafe book and bought yarn to make this design:


This is “Deli” and I bought the new Rowan Cash Cotton (35% cotton, 25% polyamide, 18% viscose, 9% cashmere) in this color:


This is color #605, which Rowan calls Magenta. I guess, but it looks more Raspberry to me. There are at least two more designs in the book that are calling to me (Broadway and Empire) so I foresee those appearing in the line-up at some point in the future.

What else did I buy yesterday? This:


And this:


Four skeins of Fiesta La Luz in “Vanilla Bean” and four skeins of Lorna’s Laces Bullfrogs and Butterflies in “Black Purl.”

So there.

Great Moments in History

It was a year ago today that L-B and I first set foot in Knit Happens.

And In the “You Heard It Here First” Department

Alice in Richmond and I are gonna start a girl band called “Gina and the Coffee Fund.”

Though in our case in wouldn’t be so much a girl band as a middle-aged woman band.

And Lucy is contemplating little fishies end to end.


Hell and Nirvana

I spent the first part of today in dental hell.

Then, as a reward for surviving dental hell with nary a whimper, I headed over to Nirvana for Knitters.

But before achieving Nirvana, I accompanied Kristine to Bureaucratic Hell.

Just in case any of you thought that Kristine was in any way exaggerating what’s been going on (as she has documented on her blog) I am here to tell you that if anything, she’s toned it down for your reading pleasure.

And just to let you know what a good friend Kristine is, in the midsts of her bureaucratic hell (which I belief is Dante’s tenth level of hell), she was kind enough to order Pad Thai for lunch — something I could manage to gum down without chewing. Because chewing is An Issue.

Phyl-Phyl Participates in a Conference Call


“This could be ugly. I’d better clutch this orange yarn.”


“Okay. This isn’t too bad.”


“Aw crap! Dropped call!”


“Look at me! I’m multi-tasking!”


“Must . . . comfort . . . self . . . with . . . orange . . . yarn . . . ”


“I wonder if I can get gauge whilst conference-calling?”

What would we do without Phyl-Phyl?


True to my word, I seamed Vince last night. (That’s right Becky, it was a seaming par-tay!)


Please ignore the fact that I’m wearing Vince over my jammies.

Lucy doesn’t seem to care.



Yesterday it was 68 degrees. Today it snowed. I had to scrape huge chunks of ice off the windshield before driving home. Go figure.

Susan had a coupla questions.
(1) Why do you favor the three-needle bind-off?

I think it makes a stronger join than grafting, and it looks much better than backstitching (which also makes a strong join). Clarification: it looks much better than my backstitching.

(2) How do you store your circ needles?

I store all my needles (circs and dpns) in the handy dandy thingy described and pictured in this blog entry.

Melody Update

A question from Martha:
Have you anticipated where the loops are going to loop when they get to your, as my Grandmother would say, bosom? I’m sure you’ve probably thought this out already but as soon as I saw it I thought there might an ensuing situation.

Heh. It would help to visualize, I think, if I showed you the whole width of the design, rather than just the section pictured in yesterday’s blog entry.


I am pleased to report that the cables do not fall over the boobage.

I’m Just a Big Ol’ Cheater

Because I removed Vince from my WIP list. But I did so because I plan on sewing poor ol’ Vince up tonight.

Better Late Than Never

I’m always late to the party! But lookie here:


This is my welcome gift from the Debbie Bliss Club. Oh, I do so love me some Alpaca Silk, and this is in a lovely color. The included pattern is for an extremely cute beret and cravat, which I’m betting I’ll knit next autumn. Or before then!

Knitting From the Stash

I think we should issue a proclamation that knitting something from stash yarn that’s been marinating for 90 days or more is comepletely guilt-free knitting — no matter how much the yarn cost to begin with.

And as such, said stash-knitter is entitled to buy yarn of comparable value.

Lucy agrees.


10 Things I’ve Done That You Probably Haven’t

I read Gidget’s totally awesome list on her blog today, and was inspired to attempt my own. Here goes:

(Note to Mom: Do not ask me for clarification on any of these items. I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.)

1. Told a major league pitcher that his pitching sucked when he tried to hit on me whilst drunk in a bar.

2. Got thrown out of the Belvedere Hotel bar in Baltimore, MD for being drunk and disorderly (see #1, above).

3. Spent the evening in the company of a pub full of dock workers and drank them all under the table.

4. Got a black eye in a bar brawl and the guy who gave it to me was so upset (he was aiming for someone else) he cried.

5. Made and drank broccoli daiquiris.

Ahem. Those all seem to be alcohol related. Gee. Wonder why?

6. At the end of a joyride, ended up upside-down in a car, hanging by a seatbelt (actually not alcohol-related).

7. Ended up at the bottom of a pile of bodies after the escalator at Camden Yards collapsed.

8. Carved Halloween jack-o-lanterns with the Chevrolet bow-tie and the Ford logo.

9. Rode up front with the driver of a London Transport train.

10. Was awarded then-Vice President Al Gore’s “No Gobbledegook Award” for work on writing government regulations in plain language.

Yup, lame.

Hey Alice in Richmond — I bet you can remember at least one more, can’t you? And I’m not talking about being able to write mirror-image.

Please do not leave it in the comments. Unless you can do so in an oh-so-cryptic manner.

Lucy’s You-Know-What

I’m not allowed to say out loud what I’m knitting for Lucy — L-B’s cat Lucky will be peeved, because he hasn’t had one knitted for him yet.

I’ll whisper it:

It’s a kitty bed.


I am knitting this on US 15 needles, using two strands of Manos (color #110 – Stellar) held with one strand of Colinette mohair (color Velvet Damson). The edging will be some Crystal Palace Splash in a coordinating blue. When I run out of the Manos, I’ll switch to Colinette wool DK and Graffiti held together (both Velvet Damson) with the mohair.

Why yes, that does add up to quite a pricey kitty bed, doesn’t it? But I’m using stash yarn, so I maintain that it does not count. No one will persuade me otherwise.

Wrap Cardi Notes

Thanks for all your kind words about my Rebecca Wrap Cardi. (But in the interests of full disclosure, y’all do know that there is a reason I cropped the photo at my waist, right?) Wrap Cardi is now residing on its own page linked from my knitting gallery.

Stinkerbell asked which size I made, if I made any modifications, and how much yarn it took.

(Aside: I love it when Stinkerbell leaves questions in the comments so I can say: “Stinkerbell asked . . .”)

I made the larger size, and the only modification I made to the pattern was to pick up stitches and knit the ties directly from the front edges rather than knit them separately and sew them on. The sweater took approximatelly 4.5 skeins of the yarn.

I plan to wear the cardi over sleeveless summer dresses.

New Project! New Project!


This is going to be a short boxy pullover, and it’s knitted from the Blue Sky Organic Cotton. I’m calling it “Melody” — it’s my own design.

Why melody? Because I was knitting along on it, thinking about the cables looking something like chains, which got Unchained Melody running through my head, and well . . . one thing led to another.

The Organic Cotton is quite nice to knit — it doesn’t hurt my hands like many cottons do. Even doing the cables. I know at least one of you ::cough::Johanne::cough:: thinks I’m nuts to do cables in cotton and usually I would agree with that anonymous person. But cabling this cotton is a pleasant experience.

But ask me again in a week.

The Naming of Sweaters is a Difficult Matter*

*with apologies to T.S. Eliot

While I was knitting the sleevage for my Corriedale sweater, it occurred to me that I need to name the design “Vince.” After all, it is edged in Vince Lace.

In answer to a comments question, the gauge is 3.5″ to the inch. Which is why it is such a quick knit!


In answer to a question in the comments the other day about what I’ve been spinning lately: nothing. I haven’t spun anything for two or three weeks, due to flare-up of back pain. I’ll get back to it soon, though.


Like All Swedish Knitters

I was reading one of the email lists to which I subscribe the other day and someone mentioned this website: One of Susanna’s.

I clicked on the link and had a look round the site (Susanna is a designer and knitting teacher, and a native Swede). On her “about” page she states that she learned to knit in Sweden and that she she holds the yarn in her left hand with her fingertips close to the needles. Like all Swedish knitters, she said.

Hello. That’s exactly how I knit.

I am half Swedish, and while I was not taught to knit by a Swede, clearly the Swedish knitting technique is hard-coded into my genetic make-up.

Why do I mention this? No reason, except that it made me smile.

Rebecca Wrap Cardi

I finished her Friday night. Stick a fork in her, she’s done!


Rebecca Wrap Cardi, how do I love thee? A whole heckuva lot!

I did indeed pick up stitches and knit the ties on and am pleased that I did. I’m pleased with the sweater in general (can you tell?) — I think it’s way cute!

I brought her to Knit Happens on Saturday:


She’s going to stay at the shop for a while . . . until it’s warm enough for me to wear her.

WIP Resurrection

There’s been a WIP lurking on my sidebar for a long time — the sweater being knitting from my handspun Corriedale.

I knit the front and the back and half a sleeve. Then I abandoned it. The half-completed sleeve has been lying on . . . um . . . the floor next to my bed, glaring at me balefully. So I’ve been avoiding making eye contact with it.

But finally, project guilt got the best of me, and I picked it up again. I knitted the second half of the first sleeve and all of the second sleeve on Saturday.

All that remains is to put the sweater together — see?


But instead of doing that, I started something else.


You can probably guess what it is, if I show you who it is for:


I started something else, too, but I’ll talk about it tomorrow.

About Blue Sky Organic Cotton

Susan asked:
I’m wondering if you can possibly compare the Blue Sky Organic Cotton to any other fiber (e.g., cashmere, angora, hey, a girl can dream, n’est-ce pas?, alpaca, etc).

And Mary commented:
I’m curious to hear your reactions to knitting with the Blue Sky Organic Cotton. It has a great “hand” I agree but I was disappointed though at the way the cotton shed – all over everything, in grand little puffs and fluffs. I stopped knitting with it ’cause the shedding was extremely aggravating. Perhaps it would be better after a washing?

Susan M. (above) asks about any other fiber to compare… perhaps a Rowan all seasons cotton?

I wouldn’t compare it to another fiber. It feels like cotton (duh, that’s really helpful, ain’t it?). But really soft cotton!

Softer than All Seasons Cotton I think.

I can imagine that it might do some shedding because it’s so soft, but as Mary said, washing it might help.

I guess I’ll find out.