My current work in progress:

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

Archives for October 2010

Holiday Weekend

We are in the middle of a long weekend in the U.S. — that is, those of us who get Monday off from work for Columbus Day.

I’ve been productive. I finished my sweater.

And started some socks. Teddy very handsomely offered to model.

This is Opal 6-ply (sport/dk weight) from the “Best of Rainforest” series. It’s the Demian colorway, and I made some very good progress as you can see here.

These are very large socks, destined to be a holiday gift for someone with very large feet. That’s one of the things I love about Opal 6-ply — very high yardage so there’s plenty when you need to knit socks for big giant clown feet and be able to match the striping sequence.

A couple of you asked about the hat in my last blog post. It was published in Knitscene earlier this year. The Ravelry link is here.

Okay, I need to get back to my edits/re-writes. And Miss Lucy is busy as well. She is in full holiday-weekend mode.

The End is Nigh

Because the second sleeve is done.

Sewing will commence almost immediately.

And that can mean only one thing — it is almost time to cast on Eala Bhan!

But I won’t do that right away — I plan to wait until next week. In the interim I will cast on some boring plain vanilla socks. Why? Because I have a project to complete that has to be done by next Friday. If I start Eala Bhan now I’ll be tempted to work on it instead of said project. So it’s best to wait and use it as a reward.

It has just occurred to me that instead of casting on some boring plain vanilla socks at this juncture, I could cast on a hat using the lovely handspun yarn that was spun and sent to me by the Knitgirllls. The yarn is an ootch heavier than the yarn I used for my watch cap, but I can easily adjust the needle size and stitch number. Hmmmmmm . . . what to do? What to do?

Tune in on Sunday to see which path I took: plain vanilla socks for someone else or pretty hat for me!

Speaking of hats, a deal is a deal. This photo is for Judi.

I’ll not be making any rash dares in the future, but I have to say, it is sort of growing on me!

Lucy sez:

Thank you for my new mousie, Judi!

Hat Trick

Today, I finished a hat.

I completed this in three days of commuting — a nice fast knit.

The pattern is a basic 2×2 ribbed watch cap. I used the free pattern on the Hats for Israeli Soldiers blog. It’s made from worsted weight yarn. I used Dream in Color Classy in the “Midnight Derby” colorway and a U.S. size 6 (4mm) needle. My hat used a bit more than half the 4-ounce skein of yarn.

Now it’s back to my sleeve full time.

Lucy is probably deciding what time she will wake me up tonight.

Mega Busy

I’ve got a lot going on this week and next, so blog posts will be, by necessity, brief.

I am making nice progress on my hat:

I have about 2.5 inches to go before I start the decreases for the top.

And I am plugging along on my second sleeve:

But actual knitting is taking a backseat to other obligations, so the sleeve may progress slowly from this point on.

I am making sure to take time out for the important things in life:

Why she feels the need to wake me up at 2:00am is beyond me though. It’s a good thing she is adorable.

A Bunch of Stuff

But first . . .

A book review.

This is The Knitter’s Guide to Hand-Dyed and Variegated Yarn by Lorna Miser, the founder of Lorna’s Laces yarn. Publication date is November 16, 2010.

The book starts out with a look at different types of multicolor yarn, with a lot of detailed information on the different types of variegated and handpainted yarns out there.

There’s a whole chapter on how to knit with hand-dyed yarns so that there is no obvious difference between the skeins, a common problem when using handpaints.

There’s a chapter on incorporating texture, complete with a set of stitch patterns (illustrated in full color) along with a couple of patterns, including this one for a pair of fun mittens.

There’s also chapters on slipped stitches, tucked stitches, using the wrong-side of your work, et cetera, all with stitch dictionaries and patterns to knit.

I particularly like this sweater:

Here’s an example of one of the stitch dictionary sections:

And a pattern for a very pretty set of fingerless mitts.

There are sections on working with stripes, fair isle, lace, and mixing weights and textures, plus a set of great resources at the back of the book. Each of these ten chapters has its own stitch dictionary and two patterns that use the techniques explained in the chapter.

Even if you never knit the patterns (but they are very attractive and knittable, so you will more than likely find several you want to make) this book is a gold mine. If you are anything like me, you have lots of variegated and handpainted yarns. With this book you can figure out lots of things to use your handpaints for if you are sick of socks. There’s actually only one sock pattern in the book. The rest are sweaters, wraps, vests, throws, a set of placemats, a hat, a laptop case, and more.

Second . . .

My hat in progress!

That’s the state of my hat after one day’s commuter knitting.

Yesterday I knit a quick swatch. My goal was to get 6 stitches to the inch over a 2×2 rib and I achieved that on a 4.0 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.

I cast on 96 stitches, joined, and started knitting in the round. I was able to use a 24″ needle because this hat is nice and stretchy. I find a 24″ needle much easier to maneuver than a 16-incher, so that makes me happy.

Third . . .

My sweater has one sleeve.

I sucked it up and went ahead and sewed the one sleeve completed to the body and did up the side seam. But since I do have two arms, I did start the second sleeve.

Fourth . . .

My Lace Edge Cardigan pattern is available for sale in my Ravelry store.

Finally . . .

Lucy is showing off her profile.