My current work in progress:

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


Archives for June 2011

Gone Camping

Having finished my un-bloggable project, I embarked on my Camp Loopy project yesterday:

This is “Daybreak,” a two-color scarf/shawl designed by Stephen West. I am using The Sanguine Gryphon’s Skinny Bugga! in the “Cuban Cockroach” (brown) and “Question Mark Butterfly” (green) colorways on a U.S. size 4 (3.5mm) needle. I took the photo in the middle of transferring it from a 24″ to 32″-long needle so I could spread it out as much as possible.

The pattern is written in three sizes and I pondered a bit about which size to make. I didn’t want a Daybreak that was too big, as I want to use it as a scarf with a coat next winter. The sizes available are a 52-. 60-, and 72-inch wingspan. While the smallest size would probably have sufficed, I wanted the knitting of it to last a bit longer, so I went for the medium size. So I’ll wrap it one more time, right?

This is, I think, my first time knitting with Skinny Bugga! and it is quite a pleasant yarn to knit. I am in the minority in that I don’t care for Bugga! — the sportweight version of this yarn. I think part of my problem with Bugga! is that I was knitting it at a fingering weight gauge. But Skinny Bugga! is very nice. And I love the colors. This doesn’t surprise me, as I usually love The Sanguine Gryphon’s colorways.

Daybreak is a very easy knit and quite fun. The pattern is easy to follow and it is keeping me entertained, what with the changing of colors and slipping of stitches that goes on.

It looks like I’ve gotten a lot done, but each row is getting longer, so the more I knit, the longer each row takes.

But, hey, I’m at Camp Loopy! Time is not important, right? Having fun is what counts.

Lucy sez:

“Will there be campfire songs later?”

Crochet Accessories

I was recently sent a review copy of a crochet magazine that is part of the Go Crafty! series from Soho Publishing. It’s called Crochet Accessories.

Those of you who know me know that my crocheting is pretty much limited to chain stitches for provisional cast-ons and the occasional simple edgings.

The magazine has 14 crochet patterns, as shown in the Table of Contents:

They look really cute, but as I said, crochet is not my bag. (Do people still say “not my bag” or am I dating myself really badly?)

Would one of you multi-craftual peeps who can crochet more than a chain stitch like my copy?

If you would like to be entered in the drawing to receive this magazine, please leave a comment to this post telling me so, by 4pm EDT on Tuesday, June 21. The Random Number Generator will pick a winner at that time.

In other news . . .

I am finishing up a stealth design, so I have not yet started my Camp Loopy project, but I plan to do so this weekend.

Speaking of designs, over in my Ravelry Group, in a thread for Tracy’s Shawl, there was a suggestion of an “unofficial knit-along.” So if you were thinking of starting your own, there’s a place to hang out with other Tracy’s Shawl knitters.

And look what I got in the mail yesterday . . .

An advance copy of my new book! I might have made the condo manager look through it with me when I collected it from the condo office, where all packages are delivered. 😉

Lucy is hoping that part of the “finishing up a stealth design” involves blocking.

She is in position and ready to help!


Pattern Ready

Thanks for all your nice comments about Tracy’s Shawl. I am happy to report that I have finished the pattern, my tech-editor has had a go at it and fixed my boo-boos, and it is now available, in pdf format, here. It is also linked to from my Free Patterns Page.

As you can see, Lucy was still enamored with it when I did the “official” photo shoot.

I am working on a non-bloggable project right now, but I’ll be back on Thursday with a report on the start of my Camp Loopy project.

The Great Condo Clear Out Update

It has been close to three weeks since I embarked on the Great Condo Clear-Out of 2011 and I am pleased to say that so far I have not lapsed back into my old slovenly ways.

I have made a point to deal with the mail when I get it, shredding the shreddables, tossing the tossables, and filing the filables instead of dropping the stack of mail on my poor little writing desk.

When I pull a knitting book out of the bookcase to look at, I put it back in the bookcase when I am done. Stunning, no?

When I finish doing laundry, I immediately put everything away.

Et cetera.

These are not difficult concepts to master, yet I have always had trouble with them. I think the main issue is that I am inherently lazy. 😉

But I’ve heard that if you do something for a month, that is what it takes to make it a routine. So I’m more than halfway there.

I still have some work to do, but I am saving it for the next holiday weekend. Independence Day is a Monday and I have leave scheduled for Thursday and Friday of the preceding week, so I’ll have a 5-day weekend. That should be more than enough time to deal with what is left. I estimate that I’ve done 75% of the work. So maybe I’ll have time to put some yarn stash up for sale on Ravelry then.

I have to thank Crazy Aunt Purl for giving me the shove I needed to de-clutter my life. Laurie has discussed de-cluttering and simplifying on her blog a number of times, and I am following her very good example.

Seeing my place all tidy and clean makes me very very happy. And I am even remembering where I put everything. 😉

Lucy Sez

“This shawl has been given the Ragdoll Seal of Approval!”

Sunday Blocking

I finished my shawl late Saturday afternoon, so today blocked it.

First I laid it out to take a pre-blocking photo. Lucy helped.

She helped a lot.

Pre-blocked, the shawl measures 54″ along the top edge and 26″ down the center back.

I grabbed my trusty bottle of Soak.

And I let the shawl sit in a bath of warm water and Soak for 15 minutes or so.

Because the Aade Lõng yarn is not terribly soft (it’s like Shetland wool), I added a good slug of hair conditioner to the rinse water. After gently squeezing out as much water as possible, I put it down on the floor to start blocking. Lucy helped.

In spite of Lucy’s help, I got the shawl pinned out.

I even managed to get a photo when Her Highness consented to move out of the way.

Lightly blocked, this measures 62″ along the top edge and 33″ down the center back. I used approximately 600 yards of Aade Lõng Artistic 8/2 wool, and knit it on 4mm needles. Free pattern coming soon!

I am now working on an un-bloggable project, but will start my Camp Loopy proect on Wednesday, using this yarn:

Skinny Bugga!

Lucy sez:

“I don’t know how Momma would manage without my help!”

Aade Long

The lovely skein of yarn pictured in my last blog post is Aade Lõng “Artistic 8/2” wool yarn. I posted a photo of it pre-winding a while back. I am told that this is the same yarn as Kauni, but put up and sold by a different company. I purchased mine from a lovely eBay seller in Latvia. I may have ordered some more in different colorways from her . . .

I started a shawl knit from the bottom up (surprise, surprise) with this yarn, starting with a lace cast-on.

This cast-on is documented in the techniques section of my upcoming lace book. 😉

I love love love the long color changes of this yarn. I’m doing a relatively simple design that will show off the yarn. Here is a not-great phone photo that really doesn’t show the color changes too well (but shows the pattern nicely):

This is my commuter project, and I showed it to one of my co-workers the other day. She told me that those are her favorite colors, so I’ll give her the shawl when I’m done. Therefore, the pattern will be called “Tracy’s Shawl.” (Tracy is a work buddy and a beginner knitter, and we share joint custody of a mini Keurig coffeemaker!)

I just finished one stealth project and am starting another one, so this shawl should be completed right on time for me to start my Camp Loopy project next week! I got my yarn for my Camp Loopy project in the mail yesterday — I’ll show it to you on Sunday.

Wollmeise Winner!

The winner of my leftover Wollmeise Lacegarn, which I used to knit my Estonian Pi, drawn at random from the comments, is Holly. Holly, I’ve emailed you.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment!

Speaking of my Estonian Pi, do check out this awesome blocking video from my friends the Knitgirllls. Leslie and Laura review InSpinKnitty blocking wires and use them to block Laura’s Shetland Pi — knit from my free pattern. (This was my mystery shawl knitalong last summer. The pattern is available from my Free Patterns Page.)

Patterns Free on Ravelry?

I was a bit disturbed to see this comment left on my blog today:

Wendy, your patterns are fantastic. I have learned so much from your books – which I actually purchase. This brings me to my next thought. I also belong to Ravelry and find countless patterns there that have been wonderful as well. But it is really disheartening to scroll along and find your sock patterns available for free from the very books I have paid out hard earned money for. Why do you do this? Just please shed some light on this for me and possibly others.

I emailed the commenter the following response:

The only patterns from my books that are also available from me [on my website. not Ravelry] free are the three “generic” sock patterns with the three different heels. Those were included in the [first sock] book as a courtesy so that people who might not have web access could have those three basic “templates.” If there are other patterns from my book that you have found available free, please let me know — they are not offered by me and are being done so illegally.

So if you saw that comment and wondered what the answer is, there you have it. I am not posting patterns from any of my books free on Ravelry.

ETA: I’ve heard back from the commenter — apparently she was mistaken in how Ravelry works, in that all my patterns are listed there, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all patterns are free.

In Closing . . .

Lucy says that sometimes a girl has just gotta roll!