My current work in progress:

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


Archives for March 2012

A Little R and R

Here is my completed Ruffles and Ridges.

I knit this from Kauni Effektgarn 8/2 (purchased from The Loopy Ewe).

I lightly steam-blocked it and it measures 68 inches long, and 11.5 inches wide. I used approximately 600 yards and a US3 needle.

Cat included for scale.

Here is Sharon’s completed Ruffles and Ridges:

Sharon knit hers from Lola Doodles Posh Sock (purchased from The Loopy Ewe). Her scarf is 58 inches long and 7.5 inches wide, unblocked. She used approximately 400 yards and a US5 needle.

I’m working on completing the pattern, which will have mods for creating a triangular shawlette, tips for using your entire skein of yarn by knitting by the weight of the skein, tips for blocking, and a tutorial for short rows in garter stitch.

The pattern will not be available until next week because I’ve made arrangements to do a photo-shoot for the pattern mid-week, so you’ll get photos of it being worn by a cute model instead of Gwendolyn.

No offense, Gwendolyn.

Laid-Back Knitters Take Note

The winner of a copy of 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza is Donna, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who entered.

Don’t forget — you have until this Sunday at noon to enter to win a free copy of Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers. Enter by leaving a comment telling me your favorite flower on this blog post.

Lucy is patiently waiting for her next blocking gig.

Noni Flowers!

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Nora J. Bellows’ upcoming book Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers. It is due to be published by Potter Craft on April 10.

Remember when Nora Bellows came out with her patterns for Noni bags? Knit felted bags, some embellished with knitted flowers. I was entranced with them and made a couple back in the summer of 2006.

I made the “Skinny Baguette” for my sister-in-law:

And “In the Sculpture Garden” for my mom:

Both bags (and flowers) knit from Cascade 220 and felted. They were such fun to make.

Well, Nora Bellows now has a book with instructions for 40 different knitted and felted flowers!

Apart from the patterns for the flowers, there is a lot of great how-to information — everything you need to know to be able to knit your own garden. I love this spread about the importance of gauge:

Different weights of yarn and different needle sizes do make a difference, don’t they? 🙂

One of the things I love about these flowers is how beautifully detailed, realistic, and accurate they are.  The instructions are well-written and very well photographed:

Here is one of my favorite flowers:

In addition to the detailed instructions for the 40 different flowers, there are 6 patterns for some items that incorporate flowers. Here’s my favorite, a sweet little bag:

The Knitgirllls did a great review of this book in this week’s video podcast, so if you want to see more, hop on over there.

Potter Craft very handsomely offered to send a free copy of Noni Flowers: 40 Exquisite Knitted Flowers to one of my readers. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy, please leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favorite flower is (doesn’t have to be one in the book)by noon Eastern time Sunday, April 1, 2012. A winner will be chosen at random then.

Thanks, Potter Craft! 😀

Ruffles and Ridges Wrap

My Ruffles and Ridges Wrap is close to done. Here, Lucy checks my workmanship:

Sharon is done with her version of the wrap. She knit hers using 400 yards of a heavy fingering weight yarn. Mine is done with 600 yards of what I think is a true fingering weight yarn (even though in Ravelry Kauni 8/2 is listed as sportweight). When mine is complete I’ll post photos and all the details for both versions.

The pattern for the wrap will be available for sale next week. It will include tips for using different amounts and weights of yarn and changing the shape of the wrap to a triangular shawlette. And a step-by-step illustrated tutorial for short rows in garter stitch.

Lucy is exhausted after her knitting inspection:

This and That. And Possibly the Other Thing as Well.

Here is my progress on my ruffled scarf:

I’m a bit past the halfway mark. I’m calling this design “Ruffles and Ridges.” A friend (hi Sharon!) is knitting it along with me as I design it, which makes it extra fun.

Lee asked in the comments “Is it better to wind the yarn before you use it just in case of something like this or is winding it harder on the yarn?”

Yes, that would be an excellent idea. That way there would be no ugly surprises. Note, however, that I did not do that with my new skein of Kauni. I am lazy, and I like to live on the edge. 😉

I do have two more skeins in this colorway, though, so if I encountered something horrific mid-skein, I have more to fall back on.

fibre space Fibre Explorers Club

Heads up! Have you heard about fibre space’s Fibre Explorers Club?

fibre space is my local LYS and it is a wonderful shop. Danielle (the owner) is always on the look out for the best of the best so there are fabulous things in the shop, both yarn-wise and knitting doodad wise. I always bring visiting knitters to hang out at the shop and I encourage you to stop by there if you are in the Washington DC area. (It’s in Alexandria, VA.)

You can read about the club at the link above. Basically, it is a club where they score stuff that most folks can’t get their hands on (to quote Danielle). Each month’s offering is themed around the origin of the yarn or yarn company and there are always fun extras. And, you can personalize the club to a certain extent — let them know which colors you absolutely do not want and which colors you love. Having been in a fibre space club in the past, I can tell you that the packages are always wonderful!

Book Review

I was recently sent a copy of 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza.

It’ a book of patterns and more. The chapters are themed by the 10 secrets and in each chapter there is discussion of the philosophy of the theme of the chapter, some back and forth dialog between the authors, tips and extras, and of course patterns.

You get biographies, interviews, tips, factoids, advice, and lists, and of course patterns by a variety of designers, some of whom you already know.

You can read about the designers, see pictures of the designs, and more at the book’s website.

Actually, Vicki arranged for me to be sent two copies so I could give one away. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life, please leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern time Thursday, March 29, 2012. A winner will be chosen at random then.

Lucy Sez

Thank you, Spindlecat, for sending me my new favorite mousie!

Have you seen Spindlecat Studio on Etsy? She sells the most awesome handcrafted stitch markers and stitch holders, shawl pins and other doodads. I’m using one of her copper ring stitch markers in my Ruffles and Ridges:

As well as a copper locking removable stitch marker to mark the center point of my piece:

It’s fun having pretty tools!

Testing My Love

Kauni Effektgarn 8/2 is really testing my love.

This week I have been in the process of knitting a wrap with a ruffled bottom edge, my own design, that I winkled together last weekend after much trial and error.

In the middle of the medium rust portion of the colorway, I encountered a knot. No biggie — I untied it and reattached the yarn, then wove the ends in. After doing this, it did not show at all.

But I was knitting along yesterday and encountered another knot. This knot tied the deep rust color to a brown color and the difference in the colors was noticeable. I repeated the same procedure and knit on a bit in hopes that all would be okay.

It was not.

There is a very obvious line of demarcation where the manufacturer knotted the two colors together. And I can’t live with it.

And the new color is much thinner than the previous color.

So rather than continue with this skein, I restarted my project in another colorway.

I will admit that I had decided that I wanted to make some adjustments to this piece, so this is an opportunity to rework a bit of the pattern. That’s the silver lining.

But Kauni? I have used and loved your yarn many times in the past. But with that last skein you have sorely tried my patience.

This new skein had better be considerably more well-behaved. So far, it is the Kauni I know and love.

Now I have to break it to Lucy that she does not get to keep her new favorite perch.

It is all drama here Chez WendyKnits.

Caveat Emptor

I have started yet another project using Kauni Effektgarn 8/2.

Here is the label from the skein of yarn:

The label states 140 grams. (And I paid for 140 grams.) I slipped the label off to weigh the skein. I’m doing a project with a sideways construction and I want to know when I’m at the halfway point by weight. Therefore I need to know the total weight. Here is the total weight.

Note that the actual weight of the skein is 10 grams lighter than the weight marked on the label.

Then while fondling the skein, I noticed what appeared to be an unseemly wad of yarn in the center of the skein. I easily plucked this out, as it was completely separate from the skein:

I weighed the skein again:

So what was advertised on the label as a 140-gram skein, is actually 120 grams, after removing the glob of yarn from the center that was in no way attached to the rest of the skein.

Don’t get me wrong — I still adore Kauni Effektgarn and find it immensely entertaining to knit. However, I have noticed that the skeins are consistently lower in weight than marked on the label. And occasionally has a wad of yarn pushed into the center of the skein that is not attached to the rest of the skein.

I went and weighed all the Kauni Effektgarn 8/2 in my stash. And all my Aade Lõng 8/2 as well. Every last skein weighed in 7 — 10 grams underweight.

I do know for a fact that The Loopy Ewe weighs the skeins they sell and sell them according to the actual weight, not the weight written on the label. Sheri mentioned this on her blog yesterday. (It most likely goes without saying that the Kauni I am using for my new work in progress was not purchased at The Loopy Ewe.)

Caveat emptor. To avoid knitting heartache, be sure that you have enough Kauni to complete your project.

As I said, I still love Kauni and Aade Lõng yarns — the subtle shifts in color are so much fun to knit. You just need to know what you have before you start.

Anyhow, my current work in progress is being knit from the “EP” colorway. And here is a wee sneak peak:

Ooh, a ruffle!

Book Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be entered in the drawing for my copy of Knitting Never Felt Better.

The winner is Word Lily, chosen at random from the comments. Word Lily has been emailed.

Lucy’s Photo-Shoot

The photo of me taking photos of Lucy in my last blog post was snapped by the KOARC. (Longtime readers may recall that KOARC stands for King of All Remote Controls.) Thanks to those of you who left kind comments about my hair, but I confess to being a bit mortified. I didn’t know I was being photographed at the time — I had just washed my hair and it was wet and looking particularly untidy. The things we do for art.

Here is one of the best photos I got of my Little Princess during that photo-shoot.