My current work in progress:

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


No outfit is complete without cat hair

Several of you asked where I got the little pillow pictured in yesterday’s post. Mine was a gift, but by googling the phrase “no outfit is complete without cat hair” I found this. Looks like there is only one in stock as I write this.

I am woefully short on knitting progress today. I’m working on something unbloggable as my commuter project, and I did very little work on my Aestlight Shawl last night.

I did do the first row of the lace, though.

Because I have little knitting progress to report, allow me to distract you with a birthday gift I received, from the very thoughtful and generous Anne Marie in Philly:

This is a lovely quilted knitting bag that Anne Marie had made especially for me for my birthday! (Anne Marie sure knows what my favorite color is :-D)

The bag is from My Sister’s Bags, and I love it. Thank you, Anne Marie!

Knitting Tips and Tricks

I received a review copy of the soon to be released book Lily Chin’s Knitting Tips & Tricks: Shortcuts and Techniques Every Knitter Should Know by (you guessed it) Lily Chin.


Psst! There’s a companion book of crochet tips & tricks by Lily Chin that releases on the same day — October 13. But as I’m not a crocheter, I’m not reviewing it.

This is a smallish size (7.5 x 5.5″) hardcover book and is 208 pages long — a good size to slip into a knitting bag.

In the introduction, Lily Chin talks about a very popular class she teaches — Knitting Tips & Techniques — that always sells out quickly. She envisions this book as this class in book form. The book contains solutions that Ms. Chin has come up with over the years to solve her own knitting problems.

The book is set up chronologically to mirror the knitting process: it starts with discussions of needles and yarn, then knitting basics, followed by chapters entitled “Getting Started,” “As You Work,” and “Finishing.”

The book is illustrated with nice clear line drawings:


This one depicts the differences between garter stitch, stockinette, and reverse stockinette.

There are also step-by-step “how-tos” for a lot of techniques:


Sure, there are other books out there that detail different cast-ons and bind-offs and other techniques, and more of them than this little book. Why would you want this one?

For me, it’s the “tricks” portion. (The “trick” for a coded swatch is, in my opinion, genius!) Also, the tricks in the cast-on section of the book are great. (If you’ve ever run out of yarn on stitch 280 of a 290-stitch longtail cast-on, for example, you will agree with me.)

Bottom line — this is a great little reference book for new knitters, as it outlines most everything you need to get started. Experienced knitters will appreciate all the little extras — the tips & tricks that Ms. Chin has gleaned from her many years of knitting.

Something for everyone. What’s not to like?

Off to Florida!

Tomorrow I head south — to Maitland Florida to Sip n’ Knit to hang out with knitters, sign books, and teach classes. Info specifically about the weekend is on the Sip n’ Knit here. I hope to see some of you Florida knitters there. But could you please arrange for a cold snap this weekend? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I won’t get home til late on Sunday, so no blog post til Monday. See you then!

Meanwhile, Lucy is doing her stretching exercises:


Isn’t she fabulous? Just look at that perfect form:


Bag It

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for a nice bag, be it a knitting bag or a purse.

In the knitting bag department I am suffering an embarrassment of riches. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I was lucky enough acquire three new knitting bags last weekend.

Check out this baby:


This is the Emily Lace Bag, a new bag from Keri’s 3AM Enchantments (Etsy shop). This bag is made from a heavy fabric with a flat bottom so it stands up nicely by itself. It has a grommet on each side so you can thread your needle tips out through them when you stuff your lace project in the back, thus ensuring you don’t drop stitches off the ends of your needles when your WIP is in the bag.

(This past weekend in Richmond, Frances had her Girasole in her Emily Bag and said she really likes that feature!)

A little bird (okay, it was Keri) told me that she would be updating her Etsy shop very soon with these bags. If you are a member of the 3AM Enchantments Group on Ravelry, you can stay in the know. ๐Ÿ™‚

My bag is in the Dala Horse fabric, which I love. I’ve got a KIP bag and an accessory pouch in this fabric as well.

Now check out this cutie:


This is a box bag custom made for me by Aimee. When I was in Charlotte, NC earlier this month, I picked out the fabric and Aimee very generously said she’d make the bag for me. I wanted a box bag that was slightly smaller than usual, so Aimee sized up a pattern for a much smaller bag. Didn’t she do a great job? And I love the ribbon she used (she picked that out, not me.)

Pictured with my new little sock bag are some sachets Aimee made for me and some lavender wands L-B gave me over the weekend. The lavender wands match the bag very nicely, don’t they?

This brings us to this adorable bag:


This one was made for my by Issy, who also made the ultrasuede mouse that Lucy was playing with in yesterday’s blog post. (Issy, Lucy slept with her new mouse last night.) I love, love, love the kitty and pawprint fabrics Issy used on this bag.

So, I am surrounded by knitting bag love! Thank you, Keri, Aimee, and Issy!

Oh, in addition to the lavender wands above, L-B thoughtfully gave me a One-Year-Aniversary-on-Plurk gift:


Bananagrams! Woo-hoo!

Lucy is not terribly impressed. She just wants her dinner.