Monday, June 30, 2003


Who would have thought that my time off could be busier than my days at work.

Getting Ready
Getting ready for vacation has been a little hectic and keeping me very busy. I've also got some family things going on (good things) and I'm trying to fit in various social activity before I fly off on Wednesday.

Mini Chock-a-Block
Despite all that, I've been able to finish the back of MCaB.

I would have been done a little earlier, but realized that my design was one row of blocks short of the size I was shooting for. So I had to modify the graphic, and rebalance the color and design patterning by adding the new row of blocks. Overall, I'm happy with how it's coming out.

Next Design Ideas
Thanks everyone for their ideas on a contrast color for the new design. One of the good things about the MCaB is that I am using the color Sunrise, and so I've gotten a sense about how some of the Jamieson colors work with Sunrise. Here are some of the areas where Sunrise mixes with other colors.

I will only be using a very little of contrast color. Probably on the cuff and on the collar, so I can go a little wild. I'm thinking that the Moss (#3) might be very funky, but then again the Ivy (#9) would be very handsome. I still have lots of time, so I'm open to suggestions.

Reader Comments
First of all, let me apologize to Marcus (the self-identified "kind reader who sent me the Escher graphic). This entry won't make it any better, but I should at least explain myself.

Marcus sent me the beautiful graphic a couple of weeks ago, and I kept meaning to include it in the blog. By the time I finally got around to remembering, the original e-mail was no longer in my AOL mail account. For the life of me, I couldn't remember who had sent it. The moment I read Marcuses comment, it all came back to me, but it's clear my mind is leaving.

Ann asks whose designs are the Chock-a-Block patterns. These are my own designs, which will hopefully be published in a book of men's sweaters, designed by men.

Finally, Julie gave one of the best tips I've heard yet in all my knitting years.

The Koigu Cross Stitch scarf uses a pattern stitch that calls for wrapping the yarn 4 times around the needle.

Not only does that require a very long needle when you're doing the scarf with 225 stitches, but it also makes it very difficult to move the yarn over the needle. If you've ever done this pattern stitch, you'll know what I mean. Changing to a bigger needle and only wrapping twice is a huge time saver on this scarf. I'm going to have to make another one of these using her technique. Thank you Julie.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Time Off

Time off from work allows me to do the things I enjoy most. Relax, sit on the beach, read, and of course, knit.

Knitting Progress
Since my last day at work was yesterday, I've already made some progress on the Mini Chock-a-Block pullover. We had another visit to the laser eye surgery place, so I got some work done there, and of course just sitting around home.

This picture allows you to see a little bit more of the different pattern designs. This "sampler" concept is working out very well in helping to keep my interest up in working this sweater.

Next Design Ideas
A kind reader sent the following graphic, a couple of weeks ago on Escher's birthday.

They thought it would make a great Fair Isle design, and I am in total agreement. I'm not a huge fan of Escher's work, although I do appreciate the cleverness of his interlocking designs. This one, however, I find quite beautiful. The gecko design is whimsical and interesting, and the colors are surprising and rich. I'll have to consider using this for a sweater some time in the future.

Another idea I got when I saw Nathan Lane being interviewed on television. He was wearing a very nice sweater done in an interesting rib, and had a cool neck treatment in a contrasting color of yarn. Since I had already decided that I needed to use Jamieson's color "Sunrise" for my next project, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity.

I bought the yarn last week, but I haven't yet decided what color I will use for the contrast color.

Since the main color will be dark and tweedy, here are some of the considerations I'm taking into account when deciding on the contrasting color:

1. I prefer to use another tweedy yarn to make sure the design holds together
2. I don't want the contrast yarn to be too light so that it will blend in with my skin color
3. I want the contrast color to be surprising, but still yet look perfect with the main color yarn.

Reader Question
Chris asks if I've ever seen the Ron Schweizter design, Aberlemno in person.

I can't recall if I've ever seen this sweater in person, but I can say the that pattern design looks almost identical to Donegal. The colors are quite different (at least from what I can tell in the picture), but it looks very much like Alice's Donegal that I just finished.

One of the things I liked when I first bought the kit for Donegal was the subtle contrast between the foreground and background colors. Ron's version of Aberlemno has quite a bit more contrast in the majority of the design, except for a dark stripe of lower contrast. For me, this gives the sweater a horizontal striping that I'm not quite as fond of as Donegal.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Where I Knit

No, I don't mean where in public do I knit. I mean where in my house or hotel do I knit.

Knitting in Beds
I do the majority of my knitting in a bed.

When I'm in the hotel, I usually sit up in bed watching television and knitting. When I'm home, I prop myself up on multiple pillows, and knit while Thaddeus plays on the computer which is in the little alcove in our master bedroom. I also knit on the couch in my living room and in my big, soft, leather chair in my t.v. room.

Knitting Progress
All that being said, I haven't done a lot of knitting the last two nights in the hotel. Work has been frantic, and kept me in the office pretty late. I've also been getting up early to run, since vacation is scheduled for next week and the week after. I have to look good in a bathing suit.

So all-in-all, I get in a row or two each night and morning, but it's not progressing as fast as when I'm home.

Yes, you read right. I'll be on vacation for two weeks. The time off from work is sorely needed, and I'm looking forward to it with much joy. I'll be spending 8 days in Martha's Vineyard (Edgartown, for those of you familiar with the island). Thaddeus' sister and brother-in-law have a house up there that is just perfect. We'll fly up there on Wednesday, and fly home the following Thursday. I can't wait.

Don't worry, we have a very responsible teenager come in to take care of Gage and water the plants while we're away.

As for knitting, I usually get the opportunity to knit while I'm there, but not as obsessively as I do at home. Fortunately, I'm home for a few days before and after Martha's Vineyard, so I should make pretty good progress on the current design and hopefully even start the next one.

Vacation Knitting
I'm debating on whether I will bring the Mini Chock-a-Block with me. Since I'm using around 20 different colors, I'm not sure I want to schlep all that yarn with me. I'm thinking I need to bring one of my other projects, or buy some more patterned sock yarn before I go and just work on socks.

Vacation Blogging
I don't think that I will have much access (if any) to the internet while I'm away, so the blog will also go on vacation. But don't worry, that won't be until next Wednesday.

Knitting In Public
As I've mentioned before, I often knit in public and I will probably be knitting in the Philadelphia airport and on the plane up to Massachusetts. If we had decided to drive and take the ferry, I would also have been knitting on the ferry. Associated with that thought, I leave you with a funny cartoon that Nicky, one of the blog readers sent me.

It wouldn't be outside of the scope of my twisted reality to do something just like this.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


The dichotomy of completion in knitting for me is feeling the emptiness of no longer having a project around, but also the satisfaction of coming to an ending point.

Multiple Projects
With all my bouncing around over this past weekend, I got a lot accomplished.

I finished the third novelty yarn scarf. I still have a couple of skeins of Pep left, so eventually I'll do two more scarfs. I figure even if I don't go back to the crafts sale, my friend who sells jewelry could easily sell these at one of her booth sales. I was going to post a picture of the latest scarf, but realized it looked exactly like the last one. I figured I'd help the dial-up crowd by slimming down the bandwidth a little.

I also finished the second sock with the Opal-like pattern sock yarn from Lana Grossa. They came out well, and I'd gladly knit these socks anytime. Next time I use a self patterning sock yarn, I'll do the striping pattern, but I honestly wish I could determine the stripe colors myself. One of these days when I'm spinning and dyeing my own wool, I might consider it.

I figured you might want to see me modeling these lovely socks as well. It's so easy to fit socks using the toe-up method.

Mini Chock-a-Block
Finally, I got a lot of work done on the new sweater. I'm about halfway done with the back now, and I'm liking the color composition more and more. It's difficult to get a decent picture that shows both the color and the patterning, especially when I haven't blocked it yet, but this will give you an idea of the colors at least.

I will have to say that some of the pattern stitch designs (which you can't see very well), aren't knitting up as well as I had hoped. But it does make the sweater interesting to knit with doing a different pattern stitch in each block. I also think the patterns will emerge a little more clearly after blocking.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Bouncing Around

Doing mindless knitting can make it hard to get back to a more complex project.

Multiple Projects
With my mindless scarf knitting this past week, I was bouncing all over between multiple projects, but not making much progress on any of them.

I did some work on the kid aplaca bed spread/coffin cover. I worked on the second patterned sock. I did some additional work on the third novelty yarn scarf.

I did not do any work on vacation cone yarn sock, nor the double ruffle crochet scarf, nor the hemp side-to-side pullover.

New Design
I did also start the new Mini-Chock-a-Block pullover. It will be very similar to the original Chock-a-Block cardigan, except the squares will be smaller, there will be more colors and each block will have different pattern designs.

Here's what it's looking like so far:

I'm doing it in intarsia, using butterflies to track new yarns. Here's a picture of the back with butterflies in progress. Unfortunately Gage finds these little dangling yarns irresistable, so I have to be very careful to keep this sweater put away, otherwise he'll chew off each dangling butterfly.

Overall, I like the ribbing color very much, but I haven't decided how I feel about the blocks of color. I'm hopeful it turns out as well as the first Chock-a-Block.

Antonio In Lambertville
If anyone is interested, Antonio is scheduled to come to Lambertville tomorrow (Sunday) at around 3:00. We'll be meeting at Simply Knit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Browser Issues

It's sad when the technology of writing a blog takes longer than the activity about which the blog is written.

Donegal Revisited
For those of you who are having trouble viewing the quasi-corrected Donegal Gallery, first of all I apologize that I'm such a techno-idiot. Second, here are links to the pictures shown on the gallery so you can look at them individually.

Donegal 1

Donegal 2

Donegal 3

Donegal 4

Thanks everyone for the feedback. One of these days I'll purchase a web page developing tool, or have Thaddeus nick one for me from Kazaa. Fortunately, my day-to-day blogging doesn't require much HTML knowledge.

Mindless Knitting
I finished the first scarf using the Pep pattern yarn. It was fun and easy, and yes, mindless.

Have you ever seen a link to a "Free Scarf Pattern" on someone's post to a knitting list, and clicked on it only to find an advertisement for novelty yarn, and instructions to cast on 20 sts, knit each row until yarn is used up? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for surreptitious advertising on the knitting lists, but that one just galls me. Here's my new and improved Free Scarf Pattern.

Buy one ball of Pep yarn by Lana Grossa. I recommend Pep because it retails for a dollar cheaper than most fur novelty yarns and has about 30 more yards in a ball.

With a US11 needle, cast on 22 stitches. Knit two rows, purl two rows, and continue that way until you have about one yard of yarn remaining. Cast off loosely and weave in ends.

I say to Knit two rows and purl two rows because garter stitch doesn't allow for quite as much length to the scarf as double rows of knit and purl.

Pet Peeve
This is another vent, so if you're already irritated by my first one, don't read any further.

Someone on the big KnitList sent a post that notified listers of a pattern for an intarsia scarf pattern to make a piano keyboard (White and black keys). I went to check it out, and realized that the pattern could be made as instructed, but it would have been very difficult, and would have LOTS of ends woven into the "back" of the scarf (does a scarf have a back?).

With minor modifications, it could have been done a little more neatly (for instance, making the black keys four rows instead of three so the white yarn wouldn't be left stranded in the middle of the scarf when you needed it at the beginning of the next row.

Anyway, it appeared to be another way of surreptitiously advertising a web page under the guise of a "free pattern". The author was not overly pleased when I criticized the pattern either.


For lack of any other pictures of merit, I leave you with one of Gage. He was on my lap while I knit Donegal for this lovely pose. He was behaving himself and not eating yarn, so I let him sit there (did I already publish this picture?...oh well, I like it even if I did).

Tuesday, June 17, 2003


When you know how nice it is when someone is grateful to you, doesn't it make sense to express gratitude

as often as you can?

Blog Readers
I kept meaning to publicly thank guttergrrl for providing me with an extensive list of yarn resources in the Albany area. She went out of her way to let me know about all the local fiber store options, where they were located and a brief description of what they had.

That's just one example of how great the folks that read this blog are. I could name dozens, of them, so if you're one of those folks, and I haven't personally thanked you, I have no excuse, and you should yell at me for it. I wish I could publicly thank everyone who contrinbuted in any way to this blog being a useful resource.

Antonio Is Coming... town. He'll possibly be in Lambertville this Sunday with his friend Will. Nothing formal is planned. I just wanted to finally get to meet this poor hapless knitter to whom I've provided sound knitting advice, a shoulder to cry on and countless hours of informal psychological counseling. I'm sure he will be exceedingly grateful for me taking time out of my busy schedule to meet with him.

As promised, I took some pictures of me wearing Donegal. As you can see, the sweater is a little small, but I'm sure that I can block it to a more appropriate size for me.

Donegal Gallery

Mindless Knitting
This week, all I want to do is knit and purl on big needles and finish items quickly. So, I wouldn't have considered bringing mini Chock-a-Block this week. I brought along four balls of the Lana Grossa Pep yarn. Soft, warm and furry, and knits up on US11's. I'm doing simple scarfs to sell at any future craft shows I do

I'm planning on selling these for $28, which would allow me to make about $6 and hour after commission and cost of materials. Pathetic, huh?

A friend asked me to post a picture of me as a child (which I don't have), so I post this picture of me as a 17 year old for your enjoyment and laughter.

The woman is a good friend of mine from High School (she was 18 in this picture). I was (and still am) an incredible geek...but I liked/like that about myself.

Monday, June 16, 2003


When I'm inspired, the best I can do is to inspire others.

First of all, I finished Donegal.

This sweater was started around five years ago. I picked it up a number of times, promising myself I would finish it each time, and each time something more interesting came up, and I put down Donegal.

After seeing the magnificent Fair Isles that Wendy knits, I felt compelled and definitely inspired to pick this masterpiece back up and finish it once and for all. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that it's finally done.

I know that many folks have been inspired by Wendy and her blog. I was equally thrilled when Gina wrote me after reading my blog to let me know that she has decided to "go to the next step" in her knitting and take on a Fair Isle pattern. She's doing Norway, by Alice Starmore, and I couldn't be more pleased to have inspired her to try something new.

This is a blanket thank you to all who help to inspire. Folks like Marilyn who provide a good stiff kick in the ass. Folks like Peter who lend their expertise to identifying plants and folks like Velma and Antonio who bring a level of energy, enthusiasm and funkiness to the knitting blog world.

I have to say that knitting this sweater required the most perseverance of any other sweater I have made. I consistently had to push myself to work on it. It is also probably one of the finest sweaters I've ever knit.

I'll put up a few pictures of me wearing it tomorrow.

Blog Entries
I'm sorry for ignoring my blog for the last few days, but I just couldn't face writing a blog entry that didn't start with the announcement of Donegal being completed. It took me up until the last minute before I went to bed last night to finish it, so unfortunately the blog suffered all weekend.

Flea Market Purchase
Thaddeus has been really keen on going to flea markets lately, so we went to two this past weekend. We always have a set group of items we look for, including any kind of ceramic or glass mushroom, buttons, yarn, needles and knitting books. I found the following package of books on crocheting lace doilies yesterday.

Click here for picture of Flea Market Purchase

It had a price of $10 on it. I looked through the booklets, and they had some nice patterns. Most of
them were Coats & Clark booklets from the 1940's, which made it more enticing, but I wasn't going to pay $10 for the package. I was just about to leave when she offered it for $5. I couldn't resist.

New Knitting
I have a number of project ideas that are either in the design stages, or I've actually started to knit. I also have a few "pattern projects" that I've started which are projects where I'm knitting from someone else's pattern. Since I had to pack quickly last night, I just threw the simplest knitting in my bag so I can recuperate from the complexity of Donegal. I brought a few balls of the new novelty yarn. I plan on making a couple of scarves in preparation for the next craft show I decide to do.

Completely mindless knitting this week.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Conflicts of Interest

Of course I get personal gain from my blog. Why else would I write one?

Full Disclosure
I get an enormous amount of personal pleasure from writing my blog. That is the reason I write it. I have written to a number of folks in individual e-mails, that even if no one read my blog, I would still be writing one for my own personal satisfaction and to document my knitting progress and projects.

However, I do also have some indirect financial gain from writing this blog, and I didn't want anyone to be surprised or shocked to find this information out.

I am friends with the owners of Simply Knit in Lambertville, NJ. I have known Carol Lapin (one of the owners) since her days at the now defunct Tomato Factory, when I worked there briefly on a part-time basis. As a courtesy to them, I also maintain their web site (as awful as it is) at no charge to them. In exchange, I get a discount on the yarn and knitting supplies that I get from Simply Knit. It's usually about 20% off.

I also have a vested interest in having Simply Knit survive as a store so that when I retire from consulting in 8 or 9 years, I can be a partner in the store.

So in case possible conflicts of interest or financial gains from blogging or advertising are issues that concern you in blogs you read, I have just listed all possible conflicts.

More Reader Questions
Peter, our resident botanist expert was trying to identify what we think is a picture of Mexican Heather from a bad picture that provides very little perspective. Here's a picture that more closely shows the size of the plant.

And here's a closeup of the flowers and leaves.

Denise asks about a book with African pattern motifs.

I mentioned one book in a previous blog entry by Marianne Isager called Afrika (with whom I have no conflict of interest). The book is in Danish and has some lovely African motifs. I'm not sure if you'd be able to find it very easily.

I got very little opportunity to work on Donegal this week because of long hours at the office, and project team dinners after work.

I made some slight progress, and I still hope to finish this sweater this weekend. I've started using Wendy's tip of kn

Who Put the "Queer" in QueerJoe?
I took this little "Am I Gay?" quiz and thought it was cute

The result said:

We think you are Gay
and we are 63.26% confident with our answer

I leave you with a moving collage of some of my favorite T.V. characters (lest there be ANY doubt in my sexuality).

Tuesday, June 10, 2003


No surprise that Wendy has vaulted to the lead in Roscalie compared to my progress on Donegal.

Knitting Pace
Actually, I am somewhat relieve that I don't have to try and maintain a frantic pace to keep up with Wendy. As a result of focusing on Donegal for a significant period of time this weekend, I was able to finish the first sleeve and do a full pattern repeat on the second sleeve.

As with the first sleeve, I think I should be able to finish Donegal by this weekend if work doesnt' keep me to busy at night here in Albany.

Reader Questions
Someone asked if I was doing the colorway using the original Rowan yarns, or the Alice Starmore yarns from "In The Hebrides" (the pattern was published twice with two different lines of yarn).

I'm doing most of the Alice Starmore colors from "In The Hebrides". When I bought the yarns, the one called Wood Green was not available any longer. Yarns International was recommending a similar color from the Rowan Donegal Lambswool Tweed collection (#477). Everyone that has seen the sweater in person says the colors are beautiful on the web site, but most amazing in person.

Another reader asked how I secure my steeks after cutting.

I don't do anything to secure the steeks. I don't machine sew them, I don't hand sew them, and I don't crochet them. They never seem to unravel when I use the Shetland wool (it's like Velcro).

Finally, a reader asks "What is your method of keeping track of the pattern whilst decreasing for the sleeves on Donegal? Do you use the magnetic board a la Wendy?"

I am a much more "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" type of knitter than Wendy. I keep count in my head, and when I lose track I count stitches. I will also sometimes forget to do a decrease, so I fudge a little.

This is my second Fair Isle (the first one being Square Dance, a child's pullover), and I'm not overly fond of how the decreases look. After blocking, they're fine, but I'm going to experiment on sleeve shaping the next time I do one of these monsters.

Web Issues
This weekend, and the beginning of this week sucked when it comes to two of the softwares I use for this blog., who hosts my blog was having major issues with their service providers, and the blog was down for quite a while on the weekend. When they finally got their act together, Haloscan, which does my comments was down for almost a day.

I apologize to anyone who was trying to get here and couldn't. At some point towards the end of the year, I'm hoping to migrate my site to a more reliable provider. Moveable Type seems to be the top contender at this point. But that migration won't happen for a number of months. Hopefully Blogspot and Haloscan can keep it together for a while longer.

The weather in the Northeast has been dreadful over the last month, unless you're a fan of cold, gray skies and rain. I'm not. Today is bright and sunny in Albany, so I leave you with a picture of the view from my back deck at home, since I can't be there to see it at the moment.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I am SUCH a Hypocrite

All that talk about not needing validation flew right out the window today.

I'm a REAL Designer
I just had my first validation as a designer, and I can't tell you how tickled I was by the event.

I was at Simply Knit looking for yarn for my next design idea (which is going to be great, I think). The owner, Carol and my friend Janis were sitting, knitting and chatting while I searched for the perfect accent color to the main color I had already chosen (a vibrant rusty red tweed). The phone rang, and since I was closest to the phone, I answered it.

The woman on the other end started to tell me that she had been in last week and had purchased fourteen balls of the Jo Sharp DK cotton in cream (dye lot 32) and she was into the first sleeve of her project, and thought she might not have enough. Did we have any more? I checked, and sure enough, there were five more of that dye lot on the shelf.

I asked her what she was making with this yarn, and she said that she was making a "Joe Wilcox design sweater". I contained my excitement long enough to ask which one. She was making the high v-neck, patterned pullover (the same one I made for my sister). She started telling me how much she was enjoying the pattern, and that Joe Wilcox designs fit her son perfectly.

At that point, I had to tell her she was speaking to the designer, and she was so excited to be able to thank me for such a great design.

Suffice it to say, I certainly don't need validation of my knitting, but the ego boost provided by this conversation had my head so large, it was hard to fit it into my car on the way home.

New Design Color
My newest design idea (which won't be knit until after Donegal and Chock-a-Block II are both done) is going to be mostly in one color with an accent color around the neck. Here's what I've chosen as the main color, and the initial swatch of rib I'm thinking about using.

After selecting a number of different colors as the accent color, I realized I didn't have to choose that color at this very moment, since I didn't have to do that part until I did the neck (unless I decide to add a stripe in the ribbing at the bottom as well). So I didn't buy any accent color yet.

After Wendy mentioned that I was "ahead" of her on the sleeve (I can't wait to see how far along she is on Monday), I worked like a dog and finished the first sleeve of Donegal.

At one point, I got incredibly bored of knitting on the sleeve, and I was tempted to work on one of my other projects. Instead, I picked up the stitches for the second sleeve. It provided just the relief I needed so that I could proceed to finish the first sleeve.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Knit Whining

Whining about knitting is like whining about your spouse. You know you're in love, and the whining is just one way of demonstrating that love.

Knitting With Passion
Anything that I'm passionate about is worthy of as much attention as I can focus on it. Even if that focus might be complaining about it sometimes. Knitting is like that for me. My complaining about how long Donegal is taking is just another way for me to express how much this sweater means to me.

I don't personally believe that angry or hateful thoughts you have while knitting are somehow inbued in the finished garment. Physical aspects of my knitting are also not affected by my mood. So, for instance, my tension is not tighter when I'm tense/angry/stressed, nor is it looser when I'm relaxed/happy/loving.

In the 18 or so years that I've been knitting, there have definitely been times where I started to hate a garment I was in the process of making. I hated the color, I hated the stitch and/or I hated the yarn.

A perfect example of that was the first Aran sweater I ever made.

It was a raglan-sleeve, cable sweater from a book called Knitting Today's Classics.

It was my first attempt at any cabling (which took me forever). It was done in a deep forest green this point, I don't even know what yarn it was...Bainin maybe? Anyway, by the time I was finishing the first sleeve, I would have been happy to have never seen this yarn or sweater again.

Thank dog I have a stubborn persistence, and I finished it.

I put the sweater away for a few months, and when I discovered it in my armoir a number of months later, I was thrilled to have this great looking handknit classic. To this day, I love the labor that went into that garment.

Anyway, I'm glad Peter brought up this point, so I can say what Marilyn said much more succinctly. I'm a whiner, but it doesn't mean I love knitting or the resulting garments any less.

This sleeve is FLYING now that the number of stitches keeps reducing every third row. Changing yarns and weaving in ends is the hardest part. I don't even have a chance to memorize the pattern repeat before it changes to the next row.

Here's how it looks.

I will definitely have this sleeve done this week and I'm going to push to finish Donegal by the end of next week. I'm already getting excited at the prospect of checking this one off my to-do list.

All I can think is that if I'm so ready to finish Donegal, you folks will probably be twice as happy to see me working on something else.

Monday, June 02, 2003

My People

Sometimes when I'm joking with friends, I will discuss the gay, lesbian and transgendered population as "my people".

Knit Meet Up
This weekend, it took on a different meaning. I got to meet up with Marilyn and Kathy, two of my favorite knitters in the area. We started off at Simply Knit and showed off our current projects. Marilyn's Aran sweater in Cashmerino for Achim is stunning. The color is rich and beautiful and the softness it just sublime. She took a picture of me wearing it (which I hope she posts to her blog). She's lucky she got the sweater back.

Here's a picture of "my people" in Lambertville:

You'll notice that Kathy is wearing a great multi-colored sweater. She made this amazing crochet raglan pullover that looks great. We also got to see another of her crochet designs in more pastel shades.

Both Marilyn and I agreed that Kathy gives crochet a good name.

And another one of me and Marilyn.

Missing Yarn - No More
Thanks to Jillian, I was able to get the remaining yarn I needed to finish an Aran cardigan started years ago. I continue to say that the internet is an amazing place. I got this yarn on Friday with a nice little postcard from Jillian. My part of the trade will be sent out tomorrow, Jillian, sorry for the delay.

I should have the first sleeve of Donegal done this week. Not only did I finish the second pattern repeat, I'm almost done with the third one now. It's zipping right along.

I tried Donegal on for Kathy and Marilyn and asked their opinion on whether they thought I could block Donegal so that it would fit me, and they both thought I absolutely could. I thought so too, so it seems all this work will not have to end up as a gift.

As to Peter's comment about not enjoying wearing a sweater that I don't knit with pride and joy, I don't really subscribe to that belief. I have an armoire full of handknit sweaters, some of which ended up being a pain to knit as I neared the finish. But I love each and every one of them.

If everyone believed that a painful process begets an unwanted finished product, then there would be a lot of unloved newborns. While the mothers who read this would probably disagree, some of my sweaters felt like childbirth.