Did I mention I filled out the first online survey in the Interweave Knits Advisory Panel a few weeks ago? It was all about their advertisers alas. I fear this whole "reader advisory panel" concept is a way to help their advertisers and has nothing to do with improving the magazine itself. Oh well...

I ordered a bunch of new patterns from Naked Sheep. I ordered some cute baby patterns for no particular reason and then the same day I found out my good friend Lisa was pregnant again. I guess it was meant to be. I really want to make this Dale of Norway gardening/bunny theme toddler sweater HERE. I like the combo of black and pastels and of course the matching hat is necessary also.

Am I the last person on the planet to know that Herrschners has yarn sales every week? The sales are pretty decent and they always have some of my favorite "basic" yarns on sale. Two weeks ago I bought one skein in all the sale colors they had of Nature Spun sport weight (I think they were $1.99 each) and today I bought enough Nature Spun Worsted (on sale for $3.29 a skein) for Na Craga for DH. Or perhaps a nice afghan for Jack the cat.

It is so brown here - I hope we get lots of rain soon.

I spoke too soon about the chart for the Paradoxical Mittens being finicky. It is actually quite easy knitting that you can memorize - you just have to figure out when the diamonds start but otherwise the knitting will just fly off the needles. So the chart is indeed non-repetive but not complicated as I originally thought. I'm sure I will need more yarn to finish them though so I will order that today. 2 skeins of Jamieson & Smith jumperweight will not do it.

I doubt I'll keep these mittens for myself. They will go in the knitting box - my solution for knitting for others. I put various items in a container and let friends and family choose what they want. That way I don't end up knitting items on demand or knitting things I don't like. The only item currently in the knitting box is the Bea Ellis Telemark headband.

The Bunnies & Carrots hats are from by Barb Telford at Woodsmoke Woolworks. She was kind enough to give me permission to knit them for sale by the House Rabbit Society's Colorado shelter. These hats are just one of many adorable designs she has for sale through Naked Sheep. Check out the Blue Jays & Cherries hat, the Lady Bug hat and the Sheep hat.

The Bunnies & Carrots hat is done in worsted weight and can be done in any size from baby to adult large, with or without ear flaps. If you decide to knit this particular hat, I have a recommendation. Start the ear flaps with your I-cord, then directly go from there to the bottom of the ear flap and then knit the ear flaps on the rim of the hat as specified. I made this hat for a four year old who managed to lose the cords to the ear flaps the first day he wore the hat so this method may help counteract that problem. In the photo above, the green hat was done in this method but the brown one simply had the I-cord cords attached to the ear flaps.

Also, don't strand the yarn between the bunnies because you will get puckering. This will result in some long floats but will look a lot better. You can tack down the long floats later if the hat will be for a child. If you hate bobbles (the bunny's tails are bobbles) you can double or triple your yarn and just do French knots instead. (Scroll down to yesterday's photo and look at the teal hat - I did the French knot tails instead of bobbles for that one only.)

I had some difficulty finding orange worsted weight wool yarn for the carrots - Nature Spun worsted from Patternworks is the yarn I finally used for the carrots. Cascade 220 also sells about three different shades of orange which would work for carrots.

I stuffed the carrots with plain old cotton balls and I only used one for each of these particular hats to speed up the knitting. The pattern actually has three carrots on top of the hat and one each at the bottom of the cords. Woodsmoke Woolworks also sells an absolutely adorable Bunnies & Carrots Hooded Baby Jacket pattern which I want to make also for the HRS to sell or auction off.

Knitting Bunnies

I just lost today's entry for my blog but it was really boring so you all lucked out.

Do you ever have one of those days where you wake up and you have Bride of Frankenstein hair and you feel like you have a hangover even though you weren't drinking the previous night? Or perhaps you have wild mood swings every 15 seconds and you can't find any dark chocolate? There is an answer. Try sitting down and beginning to work on the Paradoxical Mittens in purple and orange J&S jumperweight with a nice finicky chart. It completely fixed me up. I even think my hair looks better.

It is sad that the new hip knitters who concentrate on instant gratification projects like garter stitch scarves on size 17 needles will never know the pure and complete joy of concentrating on a lovely non-repetive knitting chart. Thank you Lucy Neatby.

Wait - I've managed to find a way to bore you anyway by showing yet another photo of the many Bunnies & Carrots hats I sent off.

Bunnies and Carrots Hat

Elann has Norwegian Sport Wool back in stock again. I briefly considered swatching and ordering some to make Fulmar and/or Maidenhair but then I came to my senses. I think it would take so long to knit that it would be hard to keep my interest up. Plus I really prefer Arans in heavier weight yarn.

I can't seem to decide whether to start Lucy Neatby's Paradoxical Mittens or some Sanquhar gloves. I definitely need a new project to jump-start my knitting as my current three projects are in the dull stage (Trondheim, Malin, and yet another bunnies & carrots hat). And yes, here's a photo of another one. You can kind of tell that by not catching in the unused yarn between the bunnies that the fabric is smoother. You can also tell that the cotton balls I used to stuff the carrot are showing through. Oh well...

I hope to see the famous teen-knitter wunderkind Jeanette this weekend to talk fiber and see what projects she's working on.

My Starmore Book Collection

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' Knitting in the Old Way and Sheila McGregor's Fair Isle book are available for pre-ordering from NeedleArts Bookshop. If you pre-order you save on shipping and both of these books have been out of print (and were going for stupendous prices on Ebay). Knitting in the Old Way has been re-published by Schoolhouse Press but I don't understand why all their books are over $40. Also, Knitter's has a new Aran book coming out. Oh the temptations for a bookaholic like me. I did buy a copy of Threads Knitting Around the World at a local used bookstore last weekend for $7. It was the only Threads series book I didn't have and has not one but two articles by Alice Starmore.

Speaking of books and Alice Starmore, are you jealous yet? From the top left to right we have Fishermen's Sweaters, Celtic Collection, In the Hebrides, Aran Knitting, The Children's Collection, Stillwater, Tudor Roses & Fair Isle Knitting. The only one I'm missing is Pacific Coast Highway which I doubt I'll ever find. I thought I'd photograph these in case my house ever burns down and I need to explain to the insurance company why I need a million dollars to replace a couple of knitting books.

Persian Cat Fur Scarf


This scarf is made from handspun yarn from Bosco the white flame-point Himalayan and Pumpkin the black Persian. I used a dog comb to retrieve the fur from the donors and my cotton carders to blend the fur (although I tried not to blend it too much so the resulting yarn would have lots of color differences).

I used my purpleheart Bosworth spindle to spin and ply the yarn. Then I used a size 11 needle to knit a stockinette stitch scarf until it was the desired length. It is quite soft, similar to angora.

Here's another Bunnies & Carrots Hat in the child's size before I added the carrot to the top. In this hat I made the bobble tails the same color as the actual rabbit. The sun-dappled photography reminds me of that recent Interweave Knits issue where everything was inexplicably photographed in dappled sun.

I received some Cascade 220 in bright colors from One Fine Yarn - I wanted extremely bright colors for some rabbit-themed knits and they have the full line of colors. Also, I received my order from Four Seasons Knitting - some Jamieson & Smith laceweight in black and white, some jumperweight in black and white (both for Sanquhar gloves), and some wild colors for Lucy Neatby's Paradoxical Mittens. I decided to do them in kind of a cantaloupe and a purple color. After perusing the pattern photo I think I will have to make sure to work on these when I'm relaxed. I think otherwise I'll knit too tightly in the sections that are just vertical stripes and get a less-than-even fabric.

I hope to get more work done on Malin this week. I think the monsoons have finally arrived here in the desert so I may not be baking in the triple digit heat much longer.

Snickerdoodle the lop rabbit is trying desperately to open a container of raisins for an impromptu bunny treat. Kind of like me and chocolate...

Not much to report here today so I'm including links to some wonderful work by knitters I've noticed the past two days.

First of all, Mare has a serious case of entrelac sock fever. Check out her gorgeous work at her blog Knitted Wings.

Also, don't miss Sandrine's beautiful Azeri Jacket. Her knitting skills are just awesome so check out the "Galerie" of photos on her web site (in French).

May's cardigan version of Glenesk is spectacular. This is a kit from Virtual Yarns and although I've seen Wendy's pretty version I wasn't aware it came in a cardigan. Wow!

Lisa's beautiful Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan is wonderful also along with her great enthusiasm and joy as she works her way through the pattern. I'm waiting impatiently until Lisa finishes the sweater so I can see it in all its glory.

Sarah's beautiful lace cardigan at her blog Handknitter already has me convinced to get the pattern. If I had such a beautiful sweater I'd wear it all the time. It is so elegant.

And last, Wendy's inspiring Frogner-in-progress. I just love the beautiful green color she is using for it and can't wait to see her modeling the finished sweater.

Finally, my heart goes out to fellow knitter Catherine at Bossy Little Dog who suffered an enormous loss today. I've found reading about her fearless philosophy of life and her ability to prevail through such an incredible nightmare very inspiring.

I'm very grateful to be a part of this knitting blog community and to read the blogs of all you creative men and women knitters out there.

Malin by Alice Starmore

Just so you don't think I have forgotten my two sweaters in progress, here is where I am with Malin (from Alice Starmore's In the Hebrides). Both sleeves done and I'm doing the front and back simultaneously on one needle. The color is solid, not heathered like it looks in this photo.

I ended up ripping out the Magnificent Mittens as well. I just didn't like the colors. This heat (Monday it was 104 degrees) is getting to my knitting I guess. But I did get a few rows done on Malin which I am really enjoying knitting. If I had to knit only one designer's work for the rest of my life, I'd choose Alice Starmore.
I learned many lessons today.

1. Intarsia takes a lot more yarn than fair isle.

2.When doing intarsia, make sure you keep track of where you are in the pattern.

3. Intarsia is a royal pain to rip out.

4. When in doubt, start a new pair of mittens in a dozen colors.

5. Dark chocolate improves any bad knitting situation.

Yes, I did start the intarsia landscape socks but they are now history due to lack of yarn and a huge mistake. I am so used to knitting in the round that I actually managed to do an entire row backwards. Duh.

I started my second pair of mittens from Anna Zilboorg's Magnificent Mittens. They are fun fingertip-down designs with a gauntlet cuff. I have a lot of different colors of Classic Elite Tapestry - not a huge amount of each color - but there should be enough if I use as many colors as possible in each mitten. Do I need mittens? Not at all, I have about a million pairs. Should I be finishing Malin & Trondheim? Most definitely.

Here's a bunnies and carrots hat (pattern by Woolsmoke Woolworks, sold at Naked Sheep). This one is the baby size in various worsted weight stash yarn.

Knitted Lizard

Well after almost a week when I was no longer able to publish my blog, Blogger has resolved it. I have no clue what was wrong but every time I tried to post, I got an error code that said Login Incorrect.

I am posting the two blog posts I didn't get to publish from last week along with today's post so scroll down to read them.

Eek - a lizard! Here is my own creation, a catnip lizard. Did my cats like it? Not at all. But I do think it turned out pretty cute. I was also thinking of designing a catnip rat with a long pink tail but since the poor lizard is so unappreciated, I may forget it. I used Nature Spun yarn and gave him an open mouth and orange beady eyes and the underside is done in a lighter color, just like some real lizards.

The intarsia landscape socks patterns have arrived - they are really nicely done with large color photos and large print. I also received the Shirl the Purl Sanquhar-style glove pattern from NeedleArts Bookshop and it is quite long. No sign of the yarn to make the gloves yet.
I am also getting back to Malin after long last.

And finally, what did I do when I wasn't able to blog for almost a week? Started another blog of course. It is Cooking in Color and I'm going to use it to keep notes of some of my cooking attempts. For this blog I'm using Blog-City which seems pretty easy and it is free.

The Ott-lite arrived Wednesday. Considering we'd ordered it Friday evening, we thought that was pretty good service. It was also on sale for $99 instead of $169 - we got the gray 18 watt, Vision Saver, floor lamp. DH growled a bit while putting it together and said the usual things about the instructions not being written in English. I think he was just hot as it has been over 100 here all week and we only have one tiny little room air conditioner.

I was surprised that it was not taller being a floor lamp. Fortunately I knit on our futon which is relatively low to the ground. I could see if you had a really high couch or chair that the actual lamp part might be too close to your hands. It is slightly adjustable but it feels like if you adjust it too often, it will break. It is kind of a strange flexible plastic. The lamp itself looks kind of space-age with a green transparent strip above the light. DH took a pretty long time to figure out how to turn it on. He's really not usually this dense - did I mention it was over 100 degrees?

Ahh - the light. It really is amazing, it gives things kind of a bluish cast. At first it was like my eyes needed to adjust to it, it felt different, not really excessively bright, just different. I kept looking at knitted items in incandescent light then under the Ott-lite. You can really tell the difference in the colors. I also examined the light for glare. I took a glossy magazine and checked it out under the Ott-lite. There is still some glare but there is less glare. The light itself is also refreshingly cool. You can stick your hand right near the bulb.

As it turns out I had a project to do that was perfecting for testing out the Ott-Lite. I had to sew some ear flaps to a hat in a dark color. Wow! I never have to put off something until daylight again. I told DH I'm now ready to knit him a black Aran if he so desires.

I do notice an occasional minimal flickering with the Ott-Lite. Annoying but not really important I guess. I'm just grateful I can now knit at night.
As you remember about a month ago I ordered the intarsia sock patterns from Borealis Sweaterscapes. I have been having this intarsia craving and have been quite excited to get started on some socks. I hadn't received the patterns yet although I received an email confirming the order. So I wrote them back a few days ago asking about my order and forwarded the confirmation email. Today I heard back that they looked and looked and couldn't find my order anywhere and that they've never lost an order before. They said they were sorry and were sending my order to me tomorrow free of charge. Isn't that nice?

I have to figure out a way to continue to knit stuff for the House Rabbit Society while at the same time doing my other knitting. I may just limit my HRS knitting to the weekend. That time is typically less optimal for any kind of knitting requiring concentration because DH is home so it may work out. I'm not quite sure I'm that organized though. I have knit four hats and two pairs of mittens for them so far and will send them out tomorrow.

I'm also waiting on an order from the Joy of Handspinning. The week before Flip died I ordered some black wool and silk roving. I was thinking I could blend that with the fur I've collected from him over the years but now I've changed my mind. I experimented and spun some of Snickerdoodle's fur (also a short-hair rabbit) on a spindle and I can spin up enough to make a small bell or Christmas stocking. I will do that will all the pets to have something to touch to remember them by long after they've got to that big food dish in the sky. Here is some angora handspun on the spindle which looks similar to what I'm getting with the various pet furs I'm trying. It isn't a great yarn and sheds but should work just fine for my purposes.

Like many other knitters this time of year, I am suffering from a severe case of

startitis. Last week I seriously considered joining Stasia's Creatures of the Reef

Shawl knitalong. Fortunately I came to my senses and realized I hate to knit lace.

I like the finished product but I don't like doing it. Several times I've been at the

brink of the keyboard ready to order some yarn for Na Craga. And yesterday

I ordered supplies to make not one but two pairs of Sanquhar gloves. Along with

the yarn to make Lucy Neatby's Paradoxical mittens. And I had to restrain myself from ordering the Koigu to make Lucy's Fiesta Feet socks. It has been like that on an almost daily basis for a week or so.

How do the rest of you combat startitis? My current method is to keep a file folder

with some future project wannabes in it. And in my knitting journal I keep a list of

future projects as well. That way when I feel the need for a new project I'll add it

to the line-up but hold off on actually starting it. When I finish a project I look through my folder and journal and see what I want to start next.

So this method sounds really good, right? I still manage to talk myself into starting too many new projects and I'm getting close to giving in and starting the mitered mittens from a recent Cast On in some hand-dyed yarn. I did finish two projects - the cat fur scarf and another bunnies and carrots hat but both Trondheim and Malin languish in the knitting basket, untouched and unloved.

Snickerdoodle and Bosco are completely unconcerned with all this knitting angst.


I've been busy researching Sanquhar gloves. I had a few patterns that I wanted to try already and Michelle's blog entry about the Scotland exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival spurred me to get started. Mari's comments on my tag-board that she has already knit two pairs and her yarn recommendations have also inspired me.

The first pattern I will probably use is from an old Cast On. I'm sorry I don't have the date but I cut out patterns from old magazines instead of keeping the entire magazine and the date isn't listed anywhere. It is the Sanquhar Gloves by T. Dale Long, and was the 1990 Competition Winner, Honorable Mention, Unique Design Other. This pattern uses Jamieson & Smith Ltd. 2 ply Jumper Weight Shetland yarn and size 1 dpns. The gauge is 8 sts and 9 rows to 1" and each diamond on the chart uses 10 stitches. I know this is a bit thicker than traditional Sanquhar gloves and the other problem is that the tips of the fingers don't use the traditional salt and pepper design - I'll change that though. It does have the traditional salt and pepper gusset under the thumb but it doesn't have gussets between all the other fingers.

I also have THIS online pattern from a Japanese web site that uses lace weight yarn and size 000 needles. I like this pattern more and will have to find some lace weight yarn to use with it. Check out the photo of the unique GUSSET between the fingers.
The Dumfries and Galloway Museum has THIS page of interesting info about the Sanquhar pattern.

I also ordered the Sanquhar-style gloves pattern from the NeedleArts Book Shop and have contacted the Scottish Women's Rural Institutes about ordering all their Sanquhar glove patterns. It wasn't the easiest experience finding plain old black and white wool yarn in fingering and lace weight (Don't get me started!) but after looking at about 100 different online stores I ordered some Jamieson & Smith's 2 ply laceweight and J&S 2 ply jumper weight from Four Seasons Knitting. I also finally purchased the pattern for Lucy Neatby's Paradoxical Mittens.

Speaking of gloves, here are the Landra's gloves from Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia done in Stahl baby merino. And the first glove I ever made out of Nylamb many moons ago. I only made one and can't bear to throw it out for some reason. I keep thinking I'll make another one but I'd probably make it at a much tighter gauge anyway.

Please check out Jeanette's photo album at http://www.picturetrail.com/jeanettem especially the Latvian fringed mittens and the Whiteface Mountain sweater. I can't wait for the gorgeous Norwegian stockings which she's making for me, me, me. She really has to be the most talented teenaged knitter ever.

My birthday present has been ordered. DH got me the Ott-Lite 18 watt "Vision Saver" floor lamp and I definitely need it. I've been up late at night knitting on more than one occasion with blurry eyes. I'll report back after I try it out.

Here's a fanciful NM sunset at our previous home. I do miss all the sunflowers there.

Check out Michelle's photolog of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the gorgeous Sanquhar glove display. I hope to make some Sanquhar gloves very soon.

Here's my list of finished knitting items for the first half of 2003:

Mittens (4 pairs):

1 pair child's mittens in Lamb's Pride from the stash, my own design for a 4 year old

Meida's mittens from Nancy Bush's Folk Knitting in Estonia in Richesse et Soie & Nylamb for a friend

Harald Mittens from Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Patterns for Knitting in Tahki Sable for a friend

2 pair children's bunny mittens in Country Garden DK, my design, for CO HRS

Sweaters (3):

Dale of Norway Sirdal Cardigan in Brown Sheep Nature Spun for me

Vest in Galway for DH

Alice Starmore St. Enda Aran sweater in Gaelic Aran for DH

Socks & Slippers

1 pair Fuzzy Feet in stash wool for DH

Spin-Off Entrelac Socks in handspun hand-dyed Kool Aid Shetland for me

Hats (3):

Baby's Bunnies & Carrots Hat from Woodsmoke Woolworks in stash yarn for CO HRS

Child's Bunnies & Carrots Hat from Woodsmoke Woolworks in stash yarn for CO HRS

Bea Ellis Telemark headband in Peer Gynt for ???

Scarves (3):

Red Spontaneous Scarf for a friend

Green Spontaneous Scarf for a friend

Brown Spontaneous Scarf for myself

Lizard (1):

Self-designed stuffed catnip lizard for the cats - photo coming soon

Rabbit (1):

Heartstring FiberArt's easy bunny from a knitted square for CO HRS

Happy Fourth of July! I'll be back on Monday.
I think I've successfully come up with some children's bunny mittens. I found an old Patons pattern book that had a mitten design with ears and I changed it to work in the round and did a peasant thumb and sock toe decreases and they turned out quite well. So far I have 1 1/2 pair of mittens and two hats finished for this project. I also have an idea for a little leaping bunny Christmas ornament but I don't think I'll get to work on that until next week.

The cat fur scarf is almost done and I'll get some photos this week before blocking. In the meantime here is an old diagonal garter stitch scarf in some weird exotic yarn from Elann. The only notable thing about it is that the scarf had this interesting fringe that twisted onto itself. I really have to find the directions for that fringe.