My current work in progress:

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


Archives for September 2010

Watch Cap Patterns

There were a couple of comments asking where one could find patterns for knitted caps for Shanti’s Mom’s project that I mentioned in my last post.

If you google “free watch cap patterns” you’ll find a bunch of them. I searched for “watch cap” on Ravelry and came up with 29 free patterns.

I am going to knit a traditional watch cap in a 2×2 rib in Dream in Color Classy (which is a superwash wool — wash-ability is important for this project). I wanted a nice military-looking color, but with a little omph, so I ordered a skein from The Loopy Ewe in the “Midnight Derby” colorway.

I plan to use the free pattern on the Hats for Israeli Soldiers blog. The hat pattern uses worsted weight yarn and is linked to from the left sidebar and is available in English and Hebrew, and includes both a version to knit flat and seam, or knit in the round. I should get my yarn in a couple of days, so I’ll be able to knit my hat next week.

There was a question in the comments asking for yarn recommendations. A very good cheap yarn you can use is Lion Brand Wool-Ease. Other possibilities include Plymouth Encore, Cascade 220 Superwash (not regular 220), and Lambs Pride Superwash Worsted, to name a few. There are lots of worsted weight superwash wools and wool blends out there. If you use the advanced search function in Ravelry, you’ll come up with a wide range of choices.

ETA: Wool blends will not work because acrylics will melt in the event of fire. You need to use a superwash 100% wool.

Now, if you wanted to knit a hat in a bulkier yarn, try my Transitions One-Skein Hat pattern. It is really fast and easy. My hat was knit using Noro Transitions, which is not a machine-washable yarn, but any washable bulky weight wool that knits up at a gauge of 12 stitches to 4″ on around a size 10 needle would work beautifully. For example Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Bulky, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, and Plymouth encore Chunky would all work nicely.

Meanwhile, I am still working on my sweater, just a little more slowly now because I’ve got other things eating into my spare time.

A Great Prezzie!

You know what’s inside the package is going to good when it is addressed thusly:

And this is what was inside:

This is approximately 240 yards of a heavy worsted weight wool, hand-spun for me by both The Knitgirllls, Leslie and Laura, as a thank-you for the weekend they spent with me. (If you follow the link to their blog, you will see there is a great photo-heavy recap of our visit together.) I absolutely love this yarn and the fact that it was made for me by two good friends makes it even more special. It will likely become a hat for me, and if there is enough leftover, perhaps wristwarmers as well. Thank you so much, Leslie and Laura! I can’t wait to fling a needle into this. But I’ll knit my sailor watch cap first because there’s a deadline for that.

Knitting on the Edge Winner

The Random Number Generator has chosen Rona to receive my review copy of Knitting on the Edge. Rona, I have emailed you.

Lucy would wish you all a happy weekend, but she is obviously very busy.

Help Shanti’s Mom

Some of you may read Shanti’s blog “Adventures in Paradise.” Shanti is a knitter I know in real-life who is also a U.S. Navy officer. She was recently deployed on her ship. Yesterday, her mom posted the following to Shanti’s blog (text lifted shamelessly from said blog):

I have decided to take on a major project and am enlisting the help of our fellow knitters.  Shanti will be taking command of the Decatur sometime in December.  As her mother I would like to support every sailor on the ship at Christmas.  I spoke to Shanti about this before she left and she gave me some ideas.  So, here’s my plan.

I would like to put together a gift box for every sailor who will be under her command … there are 278 on board … you can see some of them lined up on the ship as it pulls out.  Some of the ideas that Shanti gave me for these gift boxes are:

(list of items needed follows)

You can read the full post with all the details here.

The condensed version is that Shanti’s mom will be collecting hats knit from washable wool to include in the gift boxes, and she needs 278 adult-sized hats by November 1. There is more information at the link above, including contact info for Shanti’s mom. I think this is a great idea and a wonderful way to say thank you to members of our military who will be away from family and friends during the holiday season. If you don’t have time to knit a hat, you might consider donating some of the other items on the list or arranging to have your child’s class write letters. Thanks for whatever you can manage and a big thank you to Shanti’s mom for thinking of and spearheading the project.

I think I need to buy more yarn so I can knit a hat! 🙂

That segues nicely into a question from the comments. Cindy Roberts asked:

Are you stashless? It seems your yarn arrives and you cast on right away. That is so cool! I have things that have been marinating in the stash for years!

Would anyone who has seen my stash room in person like to answer that?

Vampire Knits Giveaway

It is time to choose a winner to receive my copy of Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting From Dusk Until Dawn.

The winner is Rachel, who said in her comment:

I know people are going to say “who?” when I mention Christopher Lee but to me, he is definitely Dracula. From his voice to his creepiness on film, he captures the essence of vampire. Let me just say that he gave me nightmares when I was growing up.

I remember Christopher Lee’s Dracula. Good answer! Rachel, I’ve emailed you.

I told you that when I drew a winner I’d tell you my favorite vampire. My favorite is Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He’s my favorite because he is so over-the-top with the British slang (and is amuses me that the actor who portrayed him, James Marsters, is American), and because his character is so conflicted — both evil and good elements. The fact that he is easy on the eyes doesn’t hurt either.

Tomorrow I’ll draw a winner for the Knitting on the Edge book. Til then, back to my knitting.

Lucy Sez

“Gotta keep an eye on my fuzzy rat!”


First off, just a heads up to let you know that my Transverse Shawlette pattern is now available for sale in hardcopy from The Loopy Ewe, here. (You can buy a downloadable pdf version from my Ravelry store, here.)

I did complete the back of my pullover last night — see?

And I started the front as well.

So this project is moving along nicely.

And I got something very timely in the mail yesterday:

This is my order of 2-ply Hebridean from Virtual Yarns that I plan to use to knit Eala Bhan. So that will be my next project after I complete this sweater. I’m thinking I’ll be ready to start Eala Bhan by the end of next week. This yarn is just fabulous — I’ve used it a number of times in the past and it never fails to make me happy while knitting it.

At the time I start working on Eala Bhan, I’ll also be immersed in a non-bloggable project cough::book edits::cough that will be taking a lot of my spare time that otherwise would be devoted to knitting. So expect my progress on this project to be slower than usual. Still, I’m very excited about it and eager to get started. There’s nothing like a big ol’ pile of cabley goodness to get Autumn started off properly, don’t you think?

And a bonus — I get to shop for buttons for this baby.

Lucy sez:

“It’s non-stop thrills around here.”

Feeling Edgy

Because I finished my cardi on Friday night, I of course needed a new project. You may remember that I posted a photo of another pile of Tempted Lovely Grrl yarn last week. This:

The colorway is called “Three-of-a-Kind Jacks” and it is a variegated blend of blues and purples. Because it is a variegated colorway, I wanted to use it for a relatively plain project. So I sketched out a plain stockinette pullover with a bit of waist shaping, round neck, and three-quarter length sleeves.

I did want something to add a bit of interest, so I opted for a fun edging at the bottom hem:

This edging is worked by first knitting 6 rows of seed stitch. On the 7th row, you work 6 stitches, then rotate the left-hand needle (with all the unworked stitches on it) 360 degrees counter-clockwise, work 6 more, then rotate the left-hand needle again, et cetera, until you have worked your way across all the stitches. It makes a very fun little edging, doesn’t it?

I am knitting this sweater with a U.S. size 6 (4mm) needle, but because I figured the edging would pull things in a bit, I worked the 6 rows of seed stitch with a U.S. size 7 (4.5mm) needle, and then on the twist row worked from the size 7 to size 6 needle. That seems to have worked very nicely and I have the bottom edge I wanted.

I am nearing completion of the back of the sweater.

I found the edging in Nicky Epstein’s Knitting on the Edge, which was just released in paperback last month. This is a great reference book, with 350 patterns for edgings — some ribs, some lace, some texture, some fringed, some picot. And more!

The photos in this book are great, and there are many patterns that will inspire your creativity. Using one of these edgings is a great way to jazz up a plain piece of knitting.

I already owned the hardcover edition of this book, so I don’t really need two copies. Who’d like my new paperback copy?

To be entered in a random drawing to receive this book, leave a comment to this post by 4:00pm eastern time on Thursday, September 30, at which time a winner will be chosen from among the comments.

Two drawings to win books in one week. It’s crazyland here, I tell you.

Lucy sez:

“Let me know when teh crazee passes.”

Lace Edge Cardi and a Giveaway

I finished up the knitting on my Lace Edge Cardi on Thursday, and my Friday night knitting in fron of the tv project consisted of the seaming and neckband. Ta-da!

I used just under 4 skeins of Tempted Lovely Grrl yarn in a colorway that Stacy dyed to my specifications — a lovely milk chocolate. I knit this cardi with a US size 5 needle at a gauge of 6 stitches and 7.5 rows to the inch. I ave written up the pattern to fit 5 sizes — finished chest circumferences of 36, 40, 44, 48, and 52 inches. The pattern will be available very soon.

I am extremely pleased with how this cardi turned out. It is soft and drapey, just the way I wanted it. I was originally going to do i-cord ties at the beginning of the v-neck, but changed my mind. I made the size 44″ for myself because I wanted it a bit oversized. If I want to fasten in closed, I will use a shawl pin. But if/when you make the pattern you cold do the i-cord ties or button loops if you want.

I of course started a new project, but I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Vampire Knits

On Friday I received a review copy of the new book Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting From Dusk Until Dawn by Genevieve Miller from my publisher, Potter Craft.

Gotta tell you , I approached this book with a fair amount of skepticism. But I was very pleasantly surprised. The projects, all vampire-themed, are very cute and clever, and are in a wide range of experience levels. Both beginner and more experienced knitters will find things they can knit in here. And there is a great variety of things, ranging from very functional, like a lovely hoodie, to fun and quirky — bottle cozies for your vampire (and other) beverages.

There are 28 projects in all, including a very nice sweater suitable for a man, a child’s pullover, a gorgeous lace shrug, sexy lace mitts and cabled mittens, a hoodie, a cape, a pillow, bags, and more.

Here’s a few of my favorite projects. A cute hoodie:

A sweet feminine capelet:

A tote bag:

And bottle cozies!

The book is beautifully designed and has a Victorian feel to it. There are cute little side notes throughout that impart vampire lore, as well as a couple of quizzes and some very useful information on getting blood out of your clothing and yarn.

I was very tempted to keep the review copy to myself, but decided it would be much nicer to share.

Who wants my review copy? Here’s what you gotta do:

Leave a comment to this blog entry and tell me who your favorite movie or tv vampire is and tell me why. Leave a comment by 4:00pm eastern time Wednesday, September 29, and I will draw a winner at random from those who followed the directions properly. I’ll post the winning entry in my Wednesday blog post, ad at that time will tell you my favorite tv or movie vampire.

This has nothing to do with anything, but here is my 2004 Honda Civic’s odometer reading as of this morning:

I bought this car new in February 2004. Proof that I don’t drive very much! 😉

And here is what Lucy has planned for today:

It’s a dark rainy day, so that looks good to me. There is a Buffy marathon on tv, so I’m good to go!