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 2008

My Nemesis: Corrugated Ribbing

I started knitting Lismore over the weekend. And we all know what that means:

Corrugated ribbing.

Longtime readers of this blog will note that my distaste for and hatred of corrugated ribbing is well-documented in these here electronic pages. Not the results, mind you, the execution.

Usually I just suck it up and knit it: k2 with one color, p2 with another color, all the way around. But this time I decided to work it by working all the knit stitches and slipping the purl stitches all the way around, and then working all the purl stitches and slipping the knit stitches. So each round is accomplished by working around twice.

Just in case there were any questions, we filmed it.

(Blogline readers, there is a video embedded here.)

It takes me just about the same amount of time to work the ribbing this way as to work it the first way I mentioned. But it gave me a psychological boost to do it this way. 🙂

And I did complete the ribbing.



And I’ve made some progress beyond the ribbing:



Kay’s Diamonds and Purls Shawl

Thank you for all the nice comments on the shawl. I will try to get a photo of it on a human, but that might not be until the weekend. Here it is on Gwendolyn, over my Agatha shawl:



There were a bunch of questions about the shawl.

I will make the pattern available for sale, but it needs to be test-knit first. Which brings me to another point. If you are interested in test-knitting it (particularly in a smaller size and/or heavier yarn) do let me know, via the “contact me” link over in the sidebar. (I’ve got my test-knitters, thanks!) The very large shawl that I made took about 1100 yards of laceweight yarn and was knit on a 3.75mm needle. I think I have a test knitter for fingering weight yarn. So if you are interested and have some experience knitting lace, let me know.

Yes, I blocked it by pining it to the carpet. No I did not use the foam blocks. Why? Because the shawl was too large for the blocks I have. If you don’t know what I’m talking about in reference to foam blocks, see this blog entry, which has a link back to an entry where I discussed ordering the blocks.

I soaked the shawl in warm water with Soak woolwash, and then rinsed it in warm water until I was sure there’d be no color running off. (The water was tinted slightly during the woolwash bath). Then using T-pins, I pinned it out on the carpet.

Lucy might lie on a shawl while it is blocking, but she doesn’t otherwise mess with it.

Oh, and I think that the photos of the shawl blocking are more true to color than the unblocked photo.

Peace Socks

My new sock pattern has been dubbed “Peace Socks” because I think the design looks like stylized dove wings. I asked yesterday if the pattern looked somehow familiar to you — it was the Embossed Leaves pattern that I was thinking of. I looked it up and while it does remind me of my socks, the pattern is indeed quite different.



However, the pattern is quite similar to the Baudelaire Socks, which some of you mentioned. Not identical, but very close. So I won’t be writing up this.

Lucy Fur

A number of you asked if I save Lucy’s fur for spinning. I don’t, but I used to. Check this blog entry for some Lucy fur yarn, spun by L-B.

I did knit Lucy a catnip mouse from that yarn, and she still has it. It’s pretty bedraggled now, because she used to carry it around with her everywhere, like a favorite doll.



Coming Tomorrow!

Tune in tomorrow for a special blogiversary contest!!


Heh. None of you got #8 in my list of movies. It is:

Home at Seven (1952)

Here’s the plot summary, courtesy of IMDb:

David Preston, a bank official goes missing for 24 hours and has no memory of the lost time, but when he learns that the steward of his local club has implicated him in a robbery, and has been found murdered, Preston finds he has no alibi, and the police want him to account for the lost hours.

Directed by and starring the incomparable Ralph Richardson, it is known as “Murder on Monday” in the U.S. Not available on video here but I have a copy, obtained by nefarious means.

But we’ll speak no more of that.

Several of you asked about the sock yarn pictured in last Thursday’s blog entry. It is Chameleon Colorworks Evolution sportweight sock yarn, in the “Mourning Dove” colorway, a recent gift from L-B. Here’s the description from The Loopy Ewe:

“Evolution is 100% merino that has been mechanically stretched to enhance the softness, shine and drape. Evolution is lofty and warm like wool, yet sleek and buttery soft.”

It is indeed very very soft and quite a pleasure to knit. Here’s the sock I’m knitting from it:



Because the colorway is called “Mourning Dove” I thought a pattern that looked like wings was in order. Because there was a request in the comments, Teddy agreed to model the sock in progress.



The pattern looks familiar to me, like I’ve seen a sock pattern out there that is the same or similar – anyone know? I drew this one up myself, but that doesn’t mean that someone else had a similar idea.

But That’s Not All!

I finished the shawl. Here is the pre-blocking photo:



And blocked.



As I expected, it is large: 100 inches across the top and 42 inches down the center back. Just about what I wanted — and I am not blocking it too severely either. A close-up:



And another:



Yes, I started my Kauni Lismore. No, you have to wait until tomorrow to see pictures. Gotta stretch out my blog fodder, ya know?

Lucy knows it is spring — here’s how much fur her Daddy got out of her in one brushing!



And yet she still looks pretty darn furry.



The Movie Meme

I’m not a huge fan of memes, but I’ve seen this one on a couple of my favorite blogs, and it definitely speaks to me. The rules:

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

Okay, I’ll tell you up front that one of these movies had no quotes listed in IMDb, although the movie itself is listed there. So I picked a quote myself from the movie. In fact, I watched the movie to make sure I got it verbatim.

And I’ll be incredibly impressed if y’all guess them all without Googling because a couple of them are somewhat obscure. But they are among my favorites. Here goes:

1. Be happy in your work MaryO

Wendy adds:
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957): Be happy in your work. – Colonel Saito, the prison camp commandant
A David Lean classic! The head of our agency at work always says “Be happy in your work” at the close of the managers’ meeting and it never fails to crack me up, because I know he’s a classic movie buff and get the reference. No one else ever seems to get it.

2. Oh it’s no trouble at all. Besides I haven’t heard any intelligent female nonsense for months. Ghislaine

Wendy adds:
I Know Where I’m Going! (1945): Oh it’s no trouble at all. Besides I haven’t heard any intelligent female nonsense for months. — Catriona Potts
An early Micheal Powell/Emeric Pressberger collaboration. Most of the action takes place in the Outer Hebrides! It stars Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey! What’s not to like??!!

3. It’s awfully easy to lie when you know that you’re trusted implicitly. So very easy, and so very degrading. AnnH

Wendy adds:
Brief Encounter (1945): It’s awfully easy to lie when you know that you’re trusted implicitly. So very easy, and so very degrading. — Laura Jesson
My absolute favorite movie of all times. Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard are perfection. The score, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 sets the mood for this doomed love affair. Piano played by Eileen Joyce.

4. Important decisions have to be made quickly. Diann

Wendy adds:
The Uninvited (1944): Important decisions have to be made quickly. — Pamela Fitzgerald
The piece “Stella By Starlight” was composed by Victor Young for this movie. It’s a fabulous ghost story, starring the dreamy Ray Milland

5. It’s money and adventure and fame. It’s the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage that starts at six o’clock tomorrow morning. MaryO

Wendy adds:
King Kong (1933): It’s money and adventure and fame. It’s the thrill of a lifetime and a long sea voyage that starts at six o’clock tomorrow morning. — Carl Denham
The original and best version, one I never get tired of seeing.

6. Do you really believe in the perfect murder? Bronwyn

Wendy adds:
Dial M For Murder (1954): Do you really believe in the perfect murder? — Margot
My favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie, starring the impossibly beautiful Grace Kelly and Ray Milland, at his creepy best.

7. She didn’t pass on, pass over, or pass out! She died! AnnH

Wendy adds:
This Happy Breed (1944): She didn’t pass on, pass over, or pass out! She died! — Frank Gibbons
Another David Lean classic! Fabulous cast, another movie I never tire of watching.

8. The inspector asked for some chrysanthemums. Could you go out and pick them for him, please?

9. What goes to make a rose, ma’am, is breeding… and budding… and horse-manure, if you’ll pardon the expression. MaryO

Wendy adds:
Mrs. Miniver (1942): What goes to make a rose, ma’am, is breeding… and budding… and horse-manure, if you’ll pardon the expression. — Mr. Ballard, the station master
My favorite World War II film. It may be dated, but I watched it shortly after 911 and cried, because the pastor’s speech at the end of the movie was so incredibly (and heartbreakingly) relevant.

10. I’m proposing marriage, Miss Hansen. Or… should I call it a merger? You know I’m good at mergers. MaryO

Wendy adds:
Random Harvest (1942):I’m proposing marriage, Miss Hansen. Or… should I call it a merger? You know I’m good at mergers. — Smithy
I’m a sucker for a good love story and this one has it all: War! Amnesia! English countryside! Stars the always fabulous Greer Garson and Ronald Colman.

Have at it, and leave your guesses in the comments. 🙂

Because the Anonymous Alana-Sock Lover frightened me half to death with her threats in the comments yesterday, here they are: the Alana Socks.



Hopefully this will preclude me getting emailed photos of scary clowns.



I hope.






The next socks will be knit from this:



Lucy sez:



“I love to watch movies with my Momma!”

Once Again, It’s Random Wednesday!

1. Clowns

Do Clowns Creep You Out?

  • Yes! Totally creepy. (64%, 1,133 Votes)
  • No! They are cute and funny. (18%, 325 Votes)
  • What, are you nuts? (17%, 303 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,761

Loading ... Loading ...

2. Socks

Getting there on the second Alana Sock! I should be able to give these to Alana soon. No pic today, but I should have an FO pic tomorrow.

3. Shawl



I’m still plodding along on my shawl and knitting the edging. My knitting time was curtailed last night because of unbloggable (but extremely cool) stuff, but I will finish this shawl this weekend. By hook or by crook.

4. Kauni Yarn

There were some questions about the Kauni yarn and its intended use.

Technikat asked in a comment how itchy the Kauni yarn is. And Susan left a comment in response reporting that her sweater knit from Kauni yarn softened up like a dream when she wet blocked it. Good to know. Thanks, Susan!

COgirl commented:

I love the Lismore sweater. Are you going to make it that long? And what are you using as the background color? Can’t wait to see it.

I will likely make it as long as the original in the pattern. I’m 5’6″ tall and I like long sweaters. The background color will be the same colorway as the foreground color! 🙂 Confusing? Remember, I’ll be starting the two balls of yarn in different places in the color sequence, so there will always be contrast.

It has crossed my mind that there may come a time when the two colors attempt to converge, but in that event, I’ll just break one of the colors and start again in a different part of the skein. That’s one reason why I want to have plenty of yarn — in case I need to do some skein-butchering.

Seanna Lea asked:

I’ve been looking at fairisle mitten patterns lately with an idea of using one solid and one striping color. Do you think that would be reasonable with the Kauni?

I’m thinking no — I think the repeats of color on the Kauni are too long for something like a mitten that has such a small diameter. You’d be happier with a striping sock yarn, I think.

Marianne commented:

I just looked at the chart for Lismore. How do you translate the chart to just the 2 yarns?

I was wondering if anyone would notice that. 😉 Not an easy task translating that to two colors, is it? I made a photocopy of the chart and with a pencil, shaded in all the squares of the grid that were foreground color, while referring to the photos of the completed Lismore in the book to help me figure out which symbols were foreground and which were background. Then in Excel I created a new chart with blank squares for the background color and black blocks in the squares for the foreground color.

5. Kitty

Lucy is, not surprisingly, as adorable as ever.



In all honesty, I’d find her a lot more adorable if she wasn’t curled up on my knitting.



Yup, the Circus is in Town

As evidenced by the elephants I photographed outside my office window yesterday. I think since I’ve had this window office, I’ve managed to glance out the window at just the right time to see the animal parade every single year.

Shanti has photos in her Monday blog entry of stuff being unpacked for the circus.

Will I be going to the circus? No. Clowns seriously creep me out.

Lots of fun guesses in the comments about what my Kauni yarn is to become. But no one guessed correctly.



For the uninitiated, this is a shetland-type wool that has color changes, sorta like Noro Kureyon. All of the skeins pictured in yesterday’s blog entry are the same colorway, which is the rainbow colorway — they look different because they start in different places on each skein. I am planning on knitting a fair-isle type sweater by using 2 skeins and starting in different places in the color sequence.



There are a ga-jillion sweater knit this way out on blogs and in Ravelry, but so far, I haven’t seen any pictures of the design I plan to knit: Alice Starmore’s Lismore, from her book The Celtic Collection. If anyone reading this has knit Lismore in Kauni yarn and has a photo, please let me know — I’d love to see it!

I bought my rainbow Kauni yarn from Astrid’s Dutch Obsession which is, as the name suggests, in the Netherlands. Yeah, the shipping was expensive, but the yarn itself is so inexpensive that my total cost wasn’t too high. It’s very easy to order from her website as it is in English, and you can pay using Paypal. The yarn arrived very quickly — great service!

I ordered four 140 gram skeins and then decided to order two more, just for insurance. So I’ll have a total of six skeins, which should be way more than I need. I figure the leftovers would make a very cool rainbow shawl. I saw a few of those on Ravelry. 🙂

In the meantime, I’m working on the second Alana sock.



And the shawl.



Lucy is on Bird Watch.