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 November 2008

News You Can Use

You no doubt already know this, but I’ll say it anyway. It has recently been brought to my attention that Jean of the Scottish Lamb is spearheading a hat drive. She is collecting hats to be delivered to Coalition for the Homeless in New York City. Details are on her blog, here. I understand there are prizes to be had. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lookie Here

The preview of the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Knit.1 magazine is supposed to go live tomorrow on their website. Why do I tell you this? Oh, no particular reason (she said, whistling in an effort to seem nonchalant).

One of the features in this issue is a piece with “Projects From Our Favorite Bloggers.” I was very flattered to be asked to contribute a project for this piece. Betcha can’t guess what my project is . . .

Yeah, of course it is socks. These:

If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you’ll see that there is a fun little cable-y thingie running down the sides of these socks. These socks are knit toe-up, and are made from Socks That Rock Heavyweight, so they’d be a really quick holiday gift, should you find yourself in need of such a thing. While the magazine doesn’t officially go on sale until December 16, you will likely be able to find it available sooner. And if you are a subscriber, you’ll have your copy sooner than Dec. 16.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ll be finishing my Midnight Lace Stole today.

I’m halfway done with the edging on the second side, so I ought to be able to finish this while watching a movie or two this afternoon.

I’ve got another stole to knit after this one, but I’m going to put that off for a little while to knit something quick that I discovered I could use.

Lucy is all a-twitter, wondering what it is.

Be Prepared, Part Two

Several of you commented on and/or asked for details about my purse, pictured in yesterday’s blog post. This:

It’s a new one — I bought it a few weeks ago when The Loopy Ewe had a 20% off sale. It’s an Offhand Designs bag and it is the Tonya bag, in the “Hip to Be Square” fabric.

As I write this, The Loopy Ewe has only one Tonya bag in stock — in the “Ebony and Ivory” fabric, pictured here. I almost purchased that bag instead of the one I got — I was torn between the two fabrics as I love them both.

I love this bag and have been carrying it since acquiring it. It’s a mid-size bag — the dimensions are 14″H x 15.5″W x 5 “D — and it holds quite a lot of stuff.

Here are the details of the bag, shamelessly lifted from The Loopy Ewe website:

  • 24″ double velvet straps
  • Circular frame closure
  • 2 outside side pockets for keys, phone, or notions
  • 2 inside pockets
  • 2 inside pouches
  • Inside zipper pocket
  • 4 protective feet
  • Faille lining
  • Handmade in the San Francisco Bay Area

I love Offhand Designs bags and have several of them. They are extremely well-made and all (at least all of mine) are a wonderful cut velvet fabric. They all have lots of inside pockets, making organizing one’s stuff a breeze.

Anyhow, I’m pleased that so many of you got some good ideas for an emergency kit based on my post yesterday. Even if you live in an area with a lower likelihood of terrorist attack or dangerous weather, it never hurts to be prepared.

At the risk of really flogging this topic, here is a complete list of the essentials I have in my purse.

Keyring — on this keyring are house keys, office keys, computer anti-theft lock keys, and a tiny flashlight with a very powerful beam.

Wallet — I have an all-in-one checkbook wallet combo that I mentioned a while back in my blog. It is made by Lodis and has a surprisingly slim profile considering everything I pack into it: checkbook, cash, driver’s license, credit cards, insurance cards, postage stamps and a whole lot of other bits of paper with important information.

Cellphone — I have a web-enabled cellphone (LG Voyager) that works on the Verizon network — I can get and send email and text messages, browse the web, use a GPS function, take photos. Oh yeah, it also works as a phone. ๐Ÿ˜‰

iPod Touch — this connects to the internet wherever there is available wifi. It also is loaded with a number of useful applications — some that were preloaded, some that I acquired and loaded on it.

iPod — my everyday commuting iPod with earphones.

Digicam — a Canon Powershot SD 7700 with an 8 GB SD card. A small camera that takes great photos.

Prescription medications.


Subway farecard.

A sock-in-progress in a small bag.

I also have three little pouches acquired from Splityarn. In them are the following:

  • An SD card reader for easy transfer of photos without the need for a camera cable.
  • Two flash drives loaded with important documents.
  • Extra cellphone and camera batteries. I always carry charged extra batteries with me. You never know when you are going to be in an emergency that involves long conversations on your phone.
  • Moo cards
  • A few doses of Sudafed and Claritin D
  • Ponytail holder
  • Lip balm and lip gloss
  • Chibi w/ tapestry needles
  • Tape measure

There you have it. The WendyKnits list of essentials. This is what I carry on a day-to-day basis to and from the office. Fully loaded, my purse weighs 5 pounds, so that is not too bad. I need to pay attention to the weight of what I schlep everyday, so I have the smallest most compact version of everything I need.

Here is Lucy’s carrier:

It has a picture ID of Lucy on it, and on the back end there is a zippered pocket, where I’ve put copies of Lucy’s rabies certificate, pet license, etc.

And here is Lucy:

I’ll go back to knitting talk in the next post. Honest.

Be Prepared

Thank you to one and all for your good wishes. Lucy and I are doing fine and I finally have my condo as cold as I want it. ๐Ÿ™‚ As long as the common areas of my condo building reek of smoke, I won’t be turning my heat on and risk sucking that smoke into my condo through the heating vents. The condo management team is doing a great job of getting rid of the smoke, but it’s still pretty stinky out there!

My stash is fine — there is no smoke smell at all in my condo, and 90% of the stash is encased in plastic.

I smiled at some of your comments — some expressing sorrow at my lack of knitting project when evacuating the building, and some expressing amusement at my having a camera at the ready.

While I was never a Girl Scout as a child, I do believe in being prepared. Lucy’s carrier is in my stash room, and easily accessible, so I can get it out and use it quickly. Well, as quickly as is possible when you have to stuff an angry wriggling cat in a carrier. My tip for expediting that process is to stand the carrier on end (if your carrier is configured thusly) and lower the cat in — that way it is harder for the cat to get out while you secure the carrier.

Lucy has a Sherpa bag that zips opens on the top as well as on one end. I’ve used these carriers for years and highly recommend them.

So anyhow, I can stuff Lucy in her carrier relatively quickly in an emergency. The only other item I grabbed was my purse.

My purse contains (among other things) the following items:

  • Wallet with checkbook, cash, and credit cards
  • Compact digital camera with extra battery and extra media card
  • Media card reader
  • Sock in progress
  • Cellphone with extra battery
  • iTouch
  • iPod (yes, I realize this is overkill)
  • Flash drives loaded with important data
  • Prescription NSAIDs

So as you can see, I did have my camera at the ready, and I did have a knitting project with me (which I did not pull out of my bag).

If you can stand on the sidewalk with a cat carrier in one hand (no way would I set a carrier containing my precious Lucy on the ground) and a purse over the other arm, watching fireman break out windows to fight a raging fire as it starts to sleet, and pull out your knitting to work on, well, you are a better person than I. (I can however mindlessly snap photos, apparently.)

But I have made some progress on my sock because I returned to work today and worked on it a bit on my commute — see?

And I was very happy to come home to this:

Why I Did Not Knit Last Night

It’s never good when the fire alarm goes off, as it did in my condo building late yesterday afternoon shortly after I got home. The fire engines showed up.

When I opened my front door and saw smoke, I immediately bundled Lucy into her carrier and left the building. It was tricky, because the stairwell closest to my condo was too filled with smoke to use, so I ran to the end of the building and found a less smoky stairwell and got out through the garage (which is above-ground and connected to the end of the building via three walkways at different floors).

It quickly got dark. Here’s the scene outside:

There were 8 – 10 fire engines plus other assorted emergency vehicles. A condo on the 2nd floor was on fire (I live on the 10th floor) — the fire department put a ladder up to it and broke out the windows to get in. All very dramatic!

They very quickly put out the fire, but of course were here for hours, ensuring that all was safe.

They blocked off my street completely, so I couldn’t leave, so I popped Miss Lucy, in her carrier, in my car, because it was getting pretty cold outside.

All’s well that ends well. The condo was empty, so no one was injured or killed. But I wonder how the fire started in an empty condo — that’s a cause for concern, I think. The fire inspectors are supposed to come today to investigate, so we should have some answers soon.

Here’s what the burned out condo looks like this morning:

And outside, you can see where they boarded up the windows they broke out.

The building is a mess. Soot tracked over carpet and water damage, etc. All the common areas reek of smoke, but fortunately I have no smoke smell in my condo. I, of course, had not turned on the heat, so no recirculated air from within the building. I had the windows open and fans going all night and got up this morning to a nice clean smoke-free condo. Oh, and I got the temperature in here below 71 degrees! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Miss Lucy is perfectly fine. She was upset when I stuffed her in her carrier, but as soon as she figured out that she wasn’t going to the vet, she just snuggled down on her little shearling mat in the carrier and waited. When I came back in and let her out, she went into the kitchen, ate some food, and threw herself down on the floor to wash her paws. No smell of smoke in her fur at all, but I reeked of it. I guess the carrier protected her while we were going through the smoke.

Lucy sez:

“I’m fine. What’s the big deal?”

She’s a little trooper. But I stayed home from work today, partly to keep an eye on her and partly because I’m dealing with some minor smoke inhalation. But I’m perfectly fine too!

Chilly Monday

It’s been a lovely chilly Monday with a beautiful clear sky. Here’s proof (of the clear sky, anyhow):

Photo taken from my office window at 9:00 this morning. Looking at the 10-day weather forecast, I see that the high temperature doesn’t make it out of the 40s, and that makes me very happy indeed.

I did get a fair bit done on my Midnight Lace Stole last night, as I kind of found myself in a zone.

And here, by special request, a close-up of the beads.

I’m about halfway through the “body” of this side of the stole, before the short row shaping at the end. At this point, I’m thinking ahead to my next project.

A while back I bought a pile of Tilli Tomas Demi Plie silk — it was being closed out somewhere (can’t quite remember where, though). I have 4 skeins of it in a lovely shade of ecru:

It is 290 yards per skeins so that’s is a total of 1160 yards, and it is going to become Sivia Harding’s Hanging Garden Stole.

The Hanging Garden Stole calls for 1200 yards of laceweight, so I’m good there. My yarn is a bit heavier than the yarn used for the model (Helen’s Laces) so I may do fewer repeats. The model has leaf drop beads on the ends of the stole. I’m going to use gemstone chips:

These are Picture Jasper, and I love how they look against the silk.

I might have developed a bead problem . . .

In other news, someone looks comfy, doesn’t she?