My current work in progress:

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


Archives for April 2011

Oh Baby

I have in my hot little hands a review copy of  60 Quick Baby Knits: Blankets, Booties, Sweaters & More in Cascade 220 Superwash — see?

This is the latest “Quick Knits” book in the series from Sixth & Spring Books. It contains (you guessed it) 60 patterns for baby items, all using Cascade 220 yarn (though you could of course use whatever worsted weight yarn you wanted).

The designs range in size from newborn to 24 months and there is a very nice variety of projects — sweaters (both pullovers and cardis), hats, booties and socks, leg warmers, blankets, and a pillow. There are lace, cables, texture and colorwork patterns — a little something for everyone.

Thumbing through it, I found a lot of patterns I really liked. Here are a couple:

A cute cabled pullover.

A mosaic blanket.

There are many more adorable patterns as well.

Since I very rarely knit for babies, I’ll pass this book on to one of you.

To be entered in a drawing to receive my copy of 60 Quick Baby Knits, leave a comment on this post by 4:00pm EDT Tuesday, May 3, 2011, letting me know you’d like it. At that time I’ll have the Random Number Generator draw a comment number at random to determine who gets the book.

New Patterns in my Ravelry Store

Today I added the Delightfully Simple Shawl and Reticulated Shawl patterns to my Ravelry store — and remember, they are both 25% off through the end of the month, which would be this Saturday at midnight (Eastern time, I think). So if you want either of those patterns, you still have time to get them at the sale price.

A very big thank you to Stacie B. and Angie D. who test-knit (at blinding speed, I might add) the Delightfully Simple Shawl from the line-by-line directions to ensure they were all correct.

The Shetland Border Shawl will likely be ready for sale tomorrow or Saturday (it’s being tech-edited right now), so keep an eye on my Ravelry store — I’ll try to get it up for sale so there’ll still be time to buy it before the sale ends. ETA: Shetland Border Shawl is now available in my Ravelry pattern store — thanks to my tech editor Sharon!

Also remember I am donating all proceeds from sale of my Japanese Garden Shawl to the Red Cross through the end of April as well, so if you thought about getting it to donate to the cause, you still have time to do so. We are now over $6000 in donations! Thank you all so much 🙂

Work in Progress

My current work in progress is another knit-from-the-bottom-up shawl, this one being made from Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Betty Draper’s Blues colorway, on 4mm needles.

After I complete this, I’m thinking about starting a circular (spiral construction) shawl — that’ll take me a fair bit longer to complete. 🙂

Lucy is a bit relieved. All this blocking assistance she has had to give me is tiring her out.

Under the Radar

While you weren’t looking, I sneaked in another shawl, started on Friday night and completed Monday night. Here it is in its unblocked state, measuring 50″ across the top and 23″ down the center back.

And blocked:

Blocked it measures 70″ across the top and 33″ down the center back.

This is another of my own designs, part of my Spring Frenzy of Shawls, called Shetland Border Shawl. I’m not sure why I completed this one so quickly — I think it is a combination of enjoying the pattern and loving the yarn.

The yarn is Catskill Merino Sheep Farm’s Undyed Saxon Merino Lace Weight. I really really love this yarn. While called lace weight, it looks more like a fingering weight to me — it has 260 yards per 2 ounce skein. I used about 600 yards for this design.

This is not a superwash wool, but a very very soft minimally processed merino. I can’t say enough nice things about it — soft, sproingy, and simply a joy to knit. The yarn was very uniform with no slubs or irregularities and I encountered no knots or other problems in the skeins I used.

Meanwhile, Lucy is exhausted from playing with her little plastic tear strip.

That on top of helping me block my shawl was clearly too much for her.

Reticulated Shawl

I completed my latest shawl on Friday evening. Here it is pre-blocking:

Pre-blocking it measured approximately 46″ across the top and 20″ down the center back. After blocking:

It now measures 58″ across the top and 29″ down the center back.

This was knit from Dragonfly Fibers Squishy Lace in the “Villainess” colorway — about 600 yards — on a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle. I’m calling the design “Reticulated Shawl” and the pattern will be available soon.


The winner of my giveaway of Knits that Fit, drawn at random from the comments, is Marushka. Marushka, I’ve emailed you. Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing.

In Other News . . .

What has captured Lucy’s attention?

She was watching a nature documentary that showed baby alligators being born. They were squeaking as they emerged from the eggs and Lucy was fascinated.

In Other Other News . . .

We had our Doctor Who themed dinner last night.

Fish custard rules!

The Boring Bit

I am at the boring bit of my current shawl in progress — see?

It’s almost all plain stockinette from this point forward. I did, however, place an extra yarn over and decrease at the edges and on either side of the center back to add a little interest.

Because the gauge of this shawl is finer than the last few I’ve done, it’s taking me longer to knit. This shawl is being knit to a pre-blocked gauge of about 6.5 stitches to the inch (my fingering weight shawls are 5 stitches to the inch).

Still, because the colorway of this yarn is so pretty, I’m not minding so much knitting the boring bit.


Since the knitting is boring right now, I thought I’d answer a few questions.

Georg asked: “Do you ever bead your shawls?”

I have knit beaded shawls in the past, but I have never added beads to one of my own designs. I’m not fond of beaded knits, so have not been particularly moved to do so.

PomMom21 said: I esp like the shawl you completed Friday–how do we get the pattern?

Thanks! That would be the Delightfully Simple Shawl. 🙂

The pattern will be available in a couple of weeks in my Ravelry store. This one is taking longer than most, because I have two knitters test-knitting it from the written-out line-by-line instructions. (The pattern will be both charted and written out line-by-line to encourage chart and lace newbies to give it a try.) Because it is so easy to let errors creep into line-by-line instructions, I’m taking an extra step in the pattern testing process to try to make the pattern as error and frustration free as possible. But I’ll let y’all know when it is ready.

Phyllis asked: Will you be doings a KAL again on Raverly again any time soon?

I hadn’t thought about it — anyone have any fun ideas for a KAL?

And a question I get over and over — what do I do with all the shawls that I knit?

A bunch of things. I always keep 2 or 3 shawls at my office because the temperature there fluctuates wildly, no matter the time of year. I also keep family and friends outfitted in shawls. One recent shawl (the Island Time Shawl) I designed specifically for someone with a serious illness who is facing a long stay in hospital and rehab facility.

So there you have it. 🙂

Speaking of Patterns

As of this morning, the total donated from sale of the Japanese Garden Shawl is $5678.40! Remember, all proceeds from the sale of this pattern through April 30, 2011 will be donated to the Red Cross, so you still have a bit over a week to purchase it and make a donation.

Also remember my Blog-i-versary sale (all patterns in my Ravelry store with the exception of the Japanese Garden Shawl) are 25%) is going on through the end of April, so you’ve got a bit over a week to buy patterns on sale.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering . . .

Yes, I will be having fish sticks and custard for dinner Saturday night. 😉

Lucy Sez:

I’m exhausted after reading this long-winded blog post.”

Knits That Fit

I have here a review copy of Knits that Fit: Instructions, Patterns, and Tips for Getting the Right Fit edited by Potter Craft. This 144-page book is due to be released a week from today, on April 26.

This is a combination of a collection of tips and tutorials for fitting hand knits as well as 23 patterns from such designers as Lily Chin, Annie Modesitt, Berta Karapetyan, and Sally Melville.

The first chapter is all about fit and includes a lot of great information on customizing patterns, measuring for a perfect fit, the different sweater shapes, and other tips for achieving a good fit. These sections are written by Sally Melville, Amy R. Singer, and Jillian Moreno. Chapters Two, Three, and Four contain patterns — for pullovers, cardigans and cover-ups, and short-sleeve and sleeveless sweaters, respectively. All of these designs have lovely details that help ensure a great fit. A few of my favorites:

The “Corded Sweater” by Berta Karapetyan has lovely waist shaping and cable detailing.

And the ” Sea Shell Cardi,” also by Berta Karapetyan, is a masterpiece of shaping.

Mary Weaver’s “Audrey Pullover” has a classic shape achieved with darts.

In the back of the book it states that portions of the work were originally published in other books — Big Girl Knits and More Big Girl Knits both by Jillian Moreno and Amy R. Singer, Knits Three Ways by Melissa Matthay, Mother-Daughter Knits by Sally Melville and Caddy Melville Ledbetter, Romantic Hand Knits by Annie Modesitt, and Runway Knits by Berta Karapetyan. This is a great compilation of the best of those volumes.

I have most of these other books, so I am giving away this copy of Knits that Fit. Who would like it?

To be entered in the drawing to receive this book, leave a comment to this blog post by 11:00am Eastern Time this Sunday, April 24, 2011. At that time I’ll draw a name at random from the comments posted.

My Current WIP

My current work in progress is, shockingly, another shawl knit from the bottom up, but this one is a little different from the last few I’ve done.

I am using laceweight instead of fingering weight, and using a smaller needle — a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm). Here it is:

This is Dragonfly Fibers Squishy Lace (100% merino wool, 870 yards per 4 ounce skein) in the Villainess colorway. Love the name of the colorway!

Lucy is resting up because she knows at some point in the near future more shawl-blocking will ensue!