My current work in progress:

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


Silk, No Socks

Yupperdoodles, there are currently no socks on the needles and it feels kinda weird!

It’s all silk, all the time!

Last night I took my lovely green silk and cast on for the Branching Out scarf that appeared in Knitty a while back.

I did 4 pattern repeats on the commute this morning and when I got to the office, ripped it out. I love the Branching Out pattern, but it was not right for this yarn. The yarn is too soft and drapey — the leaves looked wilted!

So I ripped the whole thing out and started over, doing a very simple lace pattern.

Cast on 26 stitches.

Pattern: (k2, yo, p2tog) repeat until the last 2 stitches, k2

Do that on every row and this is what you get:



I’m working this on a US 8 (5mm needle) and I’m very pleased with the results. It certainly ain’t rocket science lace, but I think it suits the yarn beautifully. And as it is commuter knitting, it doesn’t need to be rocket science!

Of course, my at-home project isn’t exactly rocket science either.



But it is fun, so I’m happy. I’ve still got a healthy chunk of knitting ahead of me, but I’m really hoping I’ll have this completed by early next week.

Christine asked:

Do you have a fool-proof method for joining balls? I’ve knit with an alpaca/silk blend that I was able to splice but I’ve yet to knit with 100% silk.

What I am doing on the Handsome Triangle is holding the new yarn with the old and knitting with both strands for several stitches before dropping the old yarn. After blocking, I’ll trim the ends I’ve left hanging.



Because the yarn is fairly lightweight, this works well. This is how I usually join in new yarn for lace. I’m not a fan of splicing, particularly because I am such an aggressive blocker (grrrrrrr!) — I would trust the splice to hold through the blocking.

Office Hijinks

All this week I’ve noticed a peculiar aroma in the office. (Insert ominous music here.) When I went into work this morning, the stink was overwhelming. A coworker and I did some investigating and found it was coming from the a/c unit in my office. Charming, no? I called building maintenance and the head guy came up and agreed with me — in fact, he sorta recoiled when he approached the a/c unit. He agreed with our assessment that there was SOMETHING VERY DEAD IN THERE. He said building engineers would be coming up within the hour and taking the unit apart. Ew! Ew! Ew! Engineers had not shown up as of 12:30pm, so I left the office because I am not a fan of the huge stink and it was making me feel rather ill.

My next-door coworker phoned me a little while ago to tell me the engineers had finally arrived. Apparently there was not a decomposing body in the a/c, rather the insulation material inside the unit was completely rotted and disgusting and reeking. And we’ve been breathing in particles of that for several months. No wonder we’ve both had ongoing respiratory problems since we moved back into this office. I’m not sure that I wouldn’t prefer a dead rat — at least it’s organic. But anyway, say it with me:


Book Giveaway!

This week it’s not a mystery, but a work of Chick Lit: Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik.

L-B bought this copy, read it, and sent it on to me to read and give away when I was done. This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was great fun and lighthearted, but at the same time had some serious undertones. The characters were quite likeable and I felt pleased and satisfied with the somewhat predictable ending. War and Peace it ain’t, but it was a sweet story and heaps of fun. That adds up to perfect summer reading in my book.

Want it? Send an email to blogcontestATcomcastDOTnet before noon Eastern time on Sunday June 17, and I’ll use the random number generator to pick a recipient.

Lucy Sez



“I will not divulge the secrets of the sock yarn stash, no matter how tempting the bribe!”


  1. That yarn is beautiful. (I have a thing for green. Seriously). I like the simple lace stitch as well – easy to do, lovely to look at. What’s not to like?

  2. I can’t really be the first comment. I don’t know where to start…although, I’m thinking EEEEWWWWWWW is the best response to the whole A/C thing. As far as the silk scarf goes, I love it, I’m glad you found a pattern that works with your yarn. I’m having that issue right now, like the yarn don’t like any of my pattern choices so far…so I put it away for a while hoping for inspiration. I have a sock yarn stash but I don’t think it could compare to yours.

  3. Lucy is incorruptible. That look is saying “don’t EVEN go there!”

    Oh, I think it’s better to be a disgusting insulation problem, as that way maybe you’ll get a new AC without all the allergens, and it SHOULD take years to get disgusting again…. if it were another mouse, you’d always be wondering when the next little friend was going to take up residence and kick off. Of course, given what you’ve told us about your workplace with no fridge, no microwave, etc., you’re probably not necessarily counting on a new A/C unit.

    Sounds like it’s the early Summer of Silk before the Summer of Socks!

  4. Wendy in Cambridge says:

    Eeewwwwww is right!

    The green silk will be gorgeous. I like simple knitting sometimes–oh, maybe a lot of the time!

    Lucy is such a good kitty, protecting her Momma’s secrets!

  5. Wendy- A/C is just recycled air- and can be very unhealthy. But when it’s hot outside, what else can you do?

    What could we possibly bribe Miss Lucy with? Is there any luxury that kitty DOESN’T have?

  6. Ewwww!!! (cough, cough, choke, choke)


    Good for Lucy. Hang onto those secrets! Sink your claws into the sock yarn stash!

  8. EEEEWWWWWWWWWWW and UGH!!! Thanks for sharing. Since you shared your salad experience, I’ve not been able to look at a pre-packaged salad in the same way. The building you work in must be very old. Isn’t it odd to have an A/C unit? Nowadays buildings are built with Central Air.

    Of course Lucy isn’t going to give any stash secrets away. What’s the saying: “What’s in the family, stays in the family?” Don’t mind me, I love these types of quotes, but can never remember the right wording.

  9. Alice in Richmond says:

    Maybe you could sue the government! Can I watch?

  10. Eewww! Not good at all.

  11. Oh, Wendy,

    I was saying EWWWWWWW before you even wrote it!!!!! Yucky!!!!!!!!! Just don’t THINK about it!!!

    Lovely scarf (I have that pattern on my someday list, too!), lovely shawl!

    I have become a Loopy Groupie just yesterday all because of you!!!

    Love those packages in the mail!

  12. Jocelyn says:

    My brother once had a similar experience in his old house. Unfortunately, he did find a dead animal (inside a pillowcase on the bed, no less). That is really, really disgusting.

  13. I admit, I’ve been a lurker here for awhile, but never a commenter. But I just had to emerge to say: Eeeeew


    I love the color of the Handsome Triangle. Love it to pieces. Maybe because it is the same color as my Phlox that are popping up all over my garden. Can’t wait for them to bloom 🙂

  14. Rebecca says:

    I know this might seem like a stupid question (I only started knitting a year ago), but shouldn’t the pattern for your green scarf have two yo’s per repeat?
    Your Handsome triangle is beautiful, by the way. I love the color.

  15. That’s EXACTLY what she’s thinking! I can see it in her eyes!!!


  17. I’m sayin’ it with you, too–EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWW!

  18. I like the lace scarf and the simple yet elegant pattern.
    and ewwwww to the smell and the toxic stuff in the a/c.
    ps: I like the way your photos open now. very cool.

  19. KEY-RIMINEY !!!!!


    Major, major nasty! Well, at least it wasn’t a… BODY PART.. I suppose you should be greatful for small favors. Disgusting! Blick! I think I’ve gotten my point across.

    Well. onward. Your projects are simply beautiful. I can’t wait to see the finished Magenta (Razzzpppbeerrry) project! Too lovely! Am looking forward to the progress on your new project too! Yummy yarn!

    Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. Not only a darling kitty, but a loyal kitty! My two kitties would cave in a minute if there was TUNA involved!

    Blog and knit on! luv.m.

  20. Hey, I was going to be trying out the branching out scarf soon. It would be my first lace project, but now I am concerned. I was going to use a fingering-sport weight alpaca/silk blend that I have spun, but do you think that it would be too droopy too? I am a pretty new spinner, so it is not perfectly even, but I thought that it might work out OK for the scarf.

    Sorry about the nasty crud particles that you have been sucking in for the last little while at work. Gahh. (oops, that should be euuuhhhww, but I almost gagged thinking of it!) Here’s hoping that your lungs will make a speedy recovery!

  21. EEEWWWWWWWW! P EWE! No wonder you’ve been so sick, can we say worker’s comp? ;o
    The silk lace looks like a pleasure, and so does the shawl. Of course I jotted down the pattern. Thank you:) Hey Lucy, how about some chicks? x

  22. Robyn (Melbourne Australia) says:

    I purchased the book Knitting Under The Influence and throught enjoyed
    it. I have also read the first in the series Chicks with Sticks and Back on
    Blossom Street, and have just started reading Diva’s Don’t Knit. It is
    so good to see books that have knitting in them.

  23. ewww!

    i tried to go without a pair of socks on the needles. i tried to wait until summer of socks begins. but i can’t do it. i just can’t. i’m not saying i’m addicted or anything though. because i can stop anytime i really want to. only i don’t really want to right now. yeah. i just choose not to stop this instant. yeah. uh-huh. that’s the ticket.

  24. EWWWWWWW!!!

    Office air! Blech!

  25. I can’t seem to get the hold “silk together to join” method to work. Invariably, the stitches slip apart. In fact, I’m using Artyarns 100% silk at the moment for a mobius, and darned if joining isn’t a huge problem, because of the open stitchwork. Even Russian joins slip apart because of the lose ply and the silkiness of the fiber (lovely to handle though).

    And I had to resort to a Russian join for alpaca/silk, as my spit splice just simply let go in the midst of knitting along, and I had some repairing to do.

    What’s a mother to do? (I’m also completely envious of how speedy, and gorgeous, your lace knitting is. I’m so slow I get tired of the piece long before it is done.)

  26. I thought about a contest to see if you could hold out a week with no socks, but really I knew that you had plenty of resistance and projects up your sleeve. Now let’s see if I can do it! I have half a sock to go with nothing else on the needles except my “Yes it is Rocket Science Lace project.” Guess I’ll have to do a baby knit in the meantime.

  27. Denise in Kent, WA says:

    I seem to remember Lil’ Miss Lucy being rather fond of Greenies. Are you SURE she wouldn’t cave for a few of those? Heeeere, kitty, kitty… LOL

    Even for a commuting project, there is such a thing as TOO simple. ZZZZZZZZZZZ (I must admit, however, that this pattern suits the yarn much better than Branching Out. I can’t wait to see it all finished — which, given your track record, will be in the blink of an eye! Grin.)

  28. Having lived in government housing 3 times, I am definitely anticipating some obscure debilitating disease in mine or a family member’s life at some point. How nice of the government to redo your office and put in low bid moldy insulation! Makes you wonder if the floor and ceiling are structurally sound!

    I cannot wait to see how the shawl turns out. I love the color!

  29. I made the Branching Out scarf two years ago also with a very soft silk yarn. I don’t know what the brand was – it was a gorgeous raspberry color and only had a price tag on it and I think it said Made in Italy on the tag. I’d gotten it on sale in Vancouver the year before. Anyway…it was very drapey also. I made a double wide version of the lovely branching out scarf by inserting 4 stitches of garter in between two sets of the pattern and I added a crocheted picot-y looking edge to bind the whole think together. After a bit of blocking, the also wilty leaves really looked defined, yet still drapey nicely – I really think that the extra (basically doubled) width really helped with the deifinition. I donated the scarf to a Katrina Relief effort on another blog as one of the many prizes. Someone named Karen won it. Hmmm, I hope she enjoys it.

  30. Your images of Lucy are always fun, but today’s is truly a gorgeous piece of kitty photography. The plush, velvety texture of her nose and front paws is so perfectly rendered I almost reached out to pet the screen. Pet photos are not often so gorgeous. Congrats on creating a real work of furry art, and many thanks for sharing it!

  31. Eww! Gross! Lawsuit, anyone?! Yikes.

    No socks on the needles?! I feel faint at the thought…

  32. ICKY- POO-BAAH! Or as they say in the midwest – Gag me with a front-end loader! I don’t deal with bad smells well. I’m glad you can escape to some wonderful silk – breathe it in and all will be better.

  33. Wouldn’t it be helpful if they made silk-scented candles? I love the smell of silk, and if they can make dirt, tomato, and funeral home scented candles, they can make silk!

  34. Oops, forgot to mention, I took a photo of the lace stash here: though I’m sure it doesn’t compare to yours, I love it! =D

  35. I can’t get over how beautiful and exotic Lucy looks in some of your photos!

  36. I’m not a knitter, but I appreciate fiber of all kinds and your are beautiful. But Lucy is drop dead gorgeous! Aren’t ragdolls the best?

  37. Eeeeeeewwwwwww!

    and a hearty Blech! for rotting things in your air.

  38. Theresa in Italy says:

    EEEEWWWWWWW! No wonder you’ve had all those upper respiratory episodes lately!

    What a wonderful Lucy pic. The lace looks darn good, too.

  39. Marianne Y says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your office air conditioning problems. That can’t be good for your health!

    Your magenta triangle shawl is beautiful!

    I have a question that is somewhat off topic, but it is somewhat related to your yarn & pattern for your lace scarf. In the latest issue of Knitty, there is a pattern, Tangerine Twist, that calls for Classic Elite Provence [100% mercerized Egyptian cotton] yarn. But I really don’t want to work with 100% cotton yarn, so I was wondering if you could substitute Crystal Palace Cotton Panda yarn for it, or if you think that I would end up with similar problems to what you had with your lace scarf?

    Many thanks for your help!

  40. I tried Branching Out in green Silky Tweed earlier in the year. Same problem, too drapy.

  41. I’ve been trying to hold out on making socks for a bit until the SOS starts myself. But I just can’t deal with not having at least one plain vanilla pair on the needles, which was a good thing today since I forgot the pattern for the sweater I’m working on!

  42. Hi, Wendy. I also join in new balls of yarn like you. Knit two stitches with both yarns. The only different thing I do is that I weave in the end for a couple of inches as I knit. Here’s a good link that explains it:

    When I come back around to the 2nd loose end, I pick it up on that row and weave that one in to the same point the first one was carried to. After I’m done my project, I cut them all off.

    Voila! Fully secured ends! 😀

  43. Margaret says:

    Hi, I work for Part of my job is to search blogs to find the latest books and shops throughout the U.S.

    On we are going to add patterns and other knitting related books and would like reviews about them. I saw your blog and would like to ask permission to feature the following quote on our site.

    “This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was great fun and lighthearted, but at the same time had some serious undertones. The characters were quite likeable and I felt pleased and satisfied with the somewhat predictable ending. War and Peace it ain’t, but it was a sweet story and heaps of fun. That adds up to perfect summer reading in my book.”

    Thank You,

  44. I’m behind on my blogs, and am just reading this- wanted to say it’s also possible for rodents to LIVE in your AC for a good amount of time. We had problems with dust flying from our home unit, so we called our maintenance guy. He opened it, only to find a nest- a mother squirrel and four babies were living in there. She had chewed a hole through an aluminum grate, fan casing, the actual fan, and until she finally burrowed in the back, away from anything that could hurt her and her children. She must have done this several times before, as she was completely safe.