Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge #1: Meet the Team

Kermit the Frog here, reporting live for Sesame Street News. Today we've got an exclusive interview with Norah and Anne, ready to embark on this summer's Amazing Lace challenge. But are these two, with their long and tortured relationship, ready for a whole summer of extreme lace sports? Read on and find out . . .

Kermit: Tell me how you two met.

Norah: Anne and I met well over a year ago. I confess I picked her up for a different project . . .

Anne: Yeah, that's right. Remember that Pooling Colors scarf (from IK Fall 2004)? Remember? Or maybe, like most people, you've blocked it from your memory. Everyone was starting it, but did anyone, anywhere, really manage to finish that darn scarf? Anyway, Norah here managed to finish about 6 inches before she decided to rip me out (man, that hurts).

N.: Now, don't take it personally, Anne. I just knew that the project wasn't worthy of you.

A.: Oho! So that's why I sat in the bottom of your knitting basket for, what, a year? If I recall, I was buried under some Cascade 220 and some hideous yellow acrylic. What were you trying to do to me? That stuff just doesn't breathe!

N.: I didn't forget about you--I swear. I just needed some distance, some time to forget about that scarf! Don't you remember the anguish I went through? The awful things that can happen when you mix fingering weight yarn and Wite-Out? I was scarred, I tell you, scarred!

K.: Okay, let's let bygones be bygones. Norah, what inspired you to rescue Anne from the bottom of the basket?

A.: Achoo!

N.: Very funny, Anne. I found a pretty lace shawl pattern online--it's called Ethereal Fichu.

A.: Yeah, how typical is that? She finds a pattern for me that sounds like a sneeze.

K.: Actually, our crack Sesame Street News research team has discovered that a fichu is a triangular scarf, worn over the shoulders and tied in a loose knot. It's from the French, from the past participle of the verb ficher, meaning "to fix." The fichu was exceptionally popular during the eighteenth and nineteenth . . .

A.: Whatever. All I can say is that if she really wants to look like something out of a Manet painting, that's her choice. But don't expect me to be happy about it.

K.: So, Anne, you seem to have some reservations about this contest. What made you agree to join?

A.: The million bucks, of course.

N.: I think it was actually the publicity--check out how much she hogged the camera in our official team photo!

A.: C'mon--who would they rather look at: my one-of-a-kind merino loveliness . . . or your sorry face?

N.: I'm going to ignore that. Actually, Anne, I may have exaggerated the grand prize somewhat. I needed you to get on board, and I was worried that if you knew the real prize, you might not cooperate.

A.: I get a bad feeling about this . . . if it's not a million dollars, what is it?

N.: It's a skein of . . . Helen's Lace laceweight yarn.

A.: Great, you want to win just so that you can move on to someone sleeker and silkier. Thanks a lot. Just for that, I'm going to go tangle myself up for a while.

K.: And there you have it, folks. Will Norah and Anne be able to tolerate a whole summer of enforced togetherness? Will the flouride-enriched dental floss Norah's been using as a lifeline make for a minty fresh, cavity-free fichu? Will she have enough yarn, or will the fichu be more of a fichette? Stay tuned this summer for the answers to these and other pressing questions. Until next time, this has been Kermit the Frog reporting for Sesame Street News.

Saturday, May 27, 2006


OK, before we go any farther, I need your help. Here are your choices:

Both yarns are self-striping (if you want proof, keep reading), and I realize that the pictures aren't great, but you should get the idea. Keeping in mind that my Dye-o-rama pal gave me pretty much free rein on color choices . . .

Thanks for your help!

All I can say after dyeing up these two skeins is that I now have even more respect for people who dye a lot of yarn and do such an amazing job with it. Dye-o-rama has been fun, but I'm still not convinced this is really my cup of tea (or Kool-Aid, as it were). Funnily enough, though, it's not the dyeing part that was the drag--it was just dealing with all that freaking yarn. Maybe I was foolhardy to try self-striping yarn my first time out, but let's just say that midway through my first dyeing experiment, as I was untangling my fiftieth or sixtieth knot, I finally sat down and ordered a swift and ball winder. 440 yards of fingering weight yarn leaves room for a lot of error when you're winding (and re-winding and skeining and re-skeining) it by hand.

For each of the two skeins, I used Knitpicks Color-your-own fingering weight yarn (now out of stock until the end of June!). I first figured out the (extremely simple) stripe sequence; I just wanted stripes of two colors, roughly equal in size, so the math wasn't too hard. Then I wound out my long skeins, tied them off appropriately, and gave each whole skein a base color in Kool-Aid. For the blue-green yarn, I used the immersion-dyeing method and one packet of lemon-lime, which resulted in a very pale green. For the purple-mauve yarn, I used two packages of grape and one of black cherry--the result was a darker purple than I would have imagined.

After letting the yarn dry, I then used Paas Easter Egg dyes to make the stripes. For the blue-green yarn, I overdyed with blue and green dyes on each of the sections I had previously marked out for the stripes. The result was a brighter green and a subtle blue-green, which really did knit up in stripes (I checked):

Likewise, for the purple-mauve, I overdyed in two sections, using the red and purple Paas tablets. To be honest with you, I hated the way this looked when I pulled it out of the pot. It all just looked sort of uniformly brown and drab. Although I was tempted just to throw away the dripping wet skein, I hung it up anyway, and it did grow on me as it dried. The colors lightened as the yarn dried and the color changes between the two colors are pretty subtle, but still nice.

Anyway, this was an interesting project. Like I said, I'm not entirely sold on the whole dyeing thing, and I sure as heck won't be devoting extensive amounts of my leisure time to trying something that so many other people do so much better. I still have one more skein of Knitpicks yarn left, though, so I will definitely try some more colors just for fun--and if not, I have a heck of a lot of Kool-Aid to drink!

I'm Back

Whew, that was a rough week. You know things are bad with work when I can't even blog more than once during the week. But it's over now, and there's a three-day weekend a-starting, so I figured I'd offer up a rare weekend post.

Smack in the middle of the week, when things looked most dire deadline-wise, I was pleased to find this lovely (and colorful) package in my mailbox:

It's the yarn from my Dye-0-rama pal, Stephanie, all the way from California! Stephanie did a great job of using all different jewel tones in her yarn--I hope they come across in the photograph. Her efforts are really impressive, and I can't wait to see how this yarn knits up (assuming I ever knit a pair of socks for myself, that is). Steph was also thoughtful enough to include a bar of luscious Scharffen Berger dark chocolate. I had to take the photo right after the package's arrival, because, trust me, that chocolate wasn't sticking around for long. Thanks, Stephanie!

I'll try to post again this weekend with details of my own (mis)adventures in dyeing.

Monday, May 22, 2006

That's My Bag

Many women I know have weaknesses for two things: shoes and handbags. I confess to having a fondness for handbags, as well (although I have a fair number of shoes, my collection pales in comparison with the truly shoe-mad). Unlike many of my friends, though, my handbag fixation is not for the cutest, chicest (most chic?) bag, but for the one that combines form with function. Specifically, any handbag I choose to carry needs to accommodate a) whatever book I'm reading and b) at the bare minimum, a pair of socks in the making.

Anyone who rides mass transit on a semi-regular basis realizes that a collection of diversions like these must be on their person at all times to stave off a) the unwanted attentions of lonely people, creepy guys, and other assorted eccentrics and b) that sinking feeling one gets when the Green Line lurches to a stop between, say, Kenmore and Hynes and stays there for 10 minutes. The problem is finding something that will hold both my book and my knitting project without making me look like a bag lady. I have a ridiculously large black bag I use in the winter, but with the arrival of quasi-spring in Boston, I needed something, well, springy.


How cute is this, which arrived directly from the Netherlands in record time? I'm now a confirmed Etsy junkie. This bag came from Katrina Kaye. It's a recycled army bag (so it's canvas and sturdy as heck), with its front flap covered with this cute and cheery fabric. There's a great variety of fabrics available--come fall, I may have to get another one to match my heavier coat . . . not that I have a problem or anything.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Zipper Frustration!

Am I just too picky, or is it really hard to find a semi-attractive 2-way zipper? I tried Jo-Ann Fabrics first, yesterday, and was seriously disappointed by their limited selection. Basically, I was limited to plain old dark brown, plus I really disliked the style of zipper pull (I know, I know, I'm probably being way too fussy, but, you know, if you've spent all this time on a zip-up cardigan, you really want it to look good, right?).

Then I headed to my usual go-to store in situations like this--The Fabric Place in Framingham. This place is great--not only do they have all sorts of fabrics, patterns, notions, etc., they also carry a highly eclectic yarn selection, which happens to include the yarn I'm using for my Picovoli sweater. (Note to Shireen, who is browbeating encouraging me to finish the sweater quickly: I'm somewhere in the 2"--or more like 3" for me--limbo between the waist decreases and increases. I haven't forgotten 'bout it--don't worry). Anyway, I've been worrying that I would run out of yarn for said sweater, so I managed to pick up the last ball in that dye lot (whew), grabbed some little goodies for my Secret Pal, and headed upstairs to the notions room, where I was sure I'd find a veritable smorgasbord of zipper choices.

Boy, was I wrong. OK, to give them credit, they did carry more than one brand, and I was able to match colors with my Ribby Cardi, but they had almost no 2-way zippers at all! So, color number in hand, I headed back to my trusty computer, called up this website, and was able to order and pay for a single zipper using Paypal. I was disappointed that I couldn't find a local supplier, but was pleasantly surprised to be able to order zippers singly online.

My posting over the next week or so might be spotty at best, since I'm heading into probably my busiest work week since I went freelance 3 years ago. Also, I apologize for being slow to respond to comments this week--Blogger is taking forever to deliver them to my e-mail! Have a great weekend, everybody.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Finished Socks, Darkly

OK, sorry in advance about the bad picture. I had a crazy time trying to find a location to photograph the camo socks that didn't result in a) inaccurate representation of the colors or b) obscuring of the pattern. So I settled, apparently, on c) all of the above. I messed around with my photo software, and I'm not sure if it made the picture any better. But, for better or for worse, here they are.

Pattern: Alison's TechGuy socks, available here.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, colorway camouflage (purchased on my trip to the Pacific Northwest)

Started: 4/23/06

Finished: 5/15/06

Comments: This was my second completed pair of socks, and my first pair with a short-row heel and toe. I'm definitely a big fan. These look less homemade to me (in a good way) and the toe, especially, seems to be way more comfortable than the simple decreases I did on my Sockapaloooza socks. Note that the two skeins (one for each sock, with quite a bit left over) are the same dyelot, and they are indeed the same colors, but the pooling is dramatically different. Shireen noted that they're definitely fraternal, rather than identical, twins.

In other news, I'll have lots more (and, I promise, better) photos later this week and early next. The mail has finally been bringing some of the other knitting-related goodies I've been ordering lately. The Ribby Cardi is also, for all intents and purposes, finished, and I'm headed out this afternoon to buy my zipper (which I will be paying someone else to attach--I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid. I like this sweater way too much to mess it up with my questionable sewing abilities).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Sun!

Anybody remember that old Ray Bradbury short story, "All Summer in a Day"? Basically, it takes place on Venus (colonized by former Earth residents), where it rains all the time and the sun only comes out for a couple of hours every seven years. It's set in a classroom where almost none of the children can remember the sun. When the sun finally does come out (an event which the children have been anticipating for weeks), they all rush outside, soaking up every bit of sunlight they can in the brief time that it's shining.*

That's exactly how it felt here in Boston yesterday. After one last downpour during the afternoon commute, the sun finally made its appearance for the first time in seven years days. Immediately, all of us sun-starved Bostonians took to the streets and sidewalks. The playing field across from my apartment was filled once again with college students playing Frisbee while still dodging the standing water. The playgrounds were packed, even if the jungle gyms were still dripping wet. Anyway, the upshot is that I may be spending much of my afternoon outdoors, so don't expect much in the way of knitting updates for the rest of the day. I do have some pictures to share, but they'll have to wait--I don't know how long the sun will be visiting us here on rainy Venus, but I plan on soaking it up for as long as it lasts.

*Of course, the tragic part of the story is that the children have locked one poor student in a closet, forcing her to miss the entire thing--but we won't go there.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Well, I thought I'd have a picture of finished socks today . . . and I do! They're just not the ones I knitted (which are still on the toe of the second sock).

These gorgeous socks arrived on Saturday, direct from my Sockapaloooza sockpal, Becca, in London, ON. Becca, I have to tell you, your timing was perfect for the arrival of these socks. On Saturday, we were entering day 5 of the Monsoon of 2006 here in Boston, and for once I was praising the cold, wet weather because it meant that I could wear the socks right away! They fit me perfectly, and my feet were snuggly and warm even if the rest of me was sort of dampish and crabby. Who would have thought that mid-May would be the ideal time to put on a pair of wool socks? But so it was (and still is!), and I happily wore the socks all day long.

The pattern is Brainylady's Basic Cabled Sock pattern (available here)--Brainylady is also from London, ON, so these socks have a real Canadian pedigree! I hope the cable detail on the side shows up well enough in the photo--it's a really classy way to jazz up the socks without being over-the-top. Exactly what I was hoping for--well done, Becca, and thank you so much!

Many thanks, too, to Alison for organizing the swap--the weekly updates were so much fun to read. This was the first swap I've participated in, and it was so much fun.

Friday, May 12, 2006

In a Rut?

Without even realizing it, I've been restricting my recent yarn purchases to basically two colors: green and brown. Right now I've got (some of) my yarn on display in two baskets in my office/all purpose room. One basket is all different shades of green, the other is all different shades of brown and rust red. So when these yarns arrived yesterday from Greenwood Fiberworks, it wasn't so hard to figure out where to put them:

The colorway on the left is called New Leaves, and the other is Sequoia. Both are a cotton-lycra blend, which will be perfect for making socks for people who might be sensitive to animal fibers next to their skin. I'm intrigued to see what it will be like to knit with the lycra blend--I've never knit with something so stretchy before!

By the way, I can't say enough nice things about this company. The ordering process was easy, and the yarn arrived so fast I couldn't believe it when I saw it in my mailbox yesterday. And, of course, the yarn colors are beautiful. I can't wait to knit with it . . . but right now all my knitting time is taken up with camo sock #2. With luck, I'll have pics of the finished pair on Monday--the rainy weather this weekend should make for prime knitting conditions!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Look, there are rainbows in Boston! OK, not really--it's still raining and there's not much relief in sight (don't believe me? check with the experts:

But, thanks to my awesome sister, we can have rainbows even when the sun's not peeking through:

Tons of Koolaid colors, all the way from Minnesota, ready for dyeing. Here's hoping my dyeable yarn arrives by the weekend--I'm thinking a little hand-dyeing experimentation might be just the way for P. and me to add some color to what promises to be a soggy and dreary Mother's Day weekend.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You Know What They Say . . .

OK, men's feet are really big. I had complained about my sock pal's size ten (women's) feet, but those are still a full inch shorter (and a lot narrower) than your average guy's feet. Anyway, I persevered (and actually made this first sock even longer than it had to be--oops) to finish the first of the camo socks.

Surprisingly, this photo actually gives you a pretty clear idea of the colors and the swirly pooling stuff (weather report: it just started raining in Boston and is not forecast to stop until sometime next week, hence the lack of natural light). Sock number 2 needs to be finished by next Monday--eek!

Monday, May 08, 2006


Sadly, I was unable to rid myself of the scary acrylic yarn at yesterday's swap (what was I thinking? Clearly the Knitsmiths have way too much taste to even consider such a monstrosity), but otherwise, my unloved yarn did manage to find its way to new homes and future projects.

The highlight of the afternoon was the unveiling of Dana's completed second Jaywalker sock! Go visit her blog and congratulate her on her progress (and check out the poetry parodies while you're at it--if only we had some idea who was writing them--*wink wink*).

As for me, I picked up the self-striping fruits of Alison's latest dyeing adventures, as well as a bag of assorted Cascade 220 oddments, which will probably find their way into another Kristina bag (I've made two so far--they're great gifts). And, last but not least, two skeins of really lovely Malabrigo laceweight merino (so soft!) in light blue and light green from Colleen, who, in case you were worried, managed to score my own Malabrigo without sustaining bodily injury (or inflicting any herself)!

And, because I'm worried that someone will hunt me down if I don't provide this before next Sunday, here's the recipe for the highly addictive (Amber dubbed them "crack") cookies I brought to the swap. You've been forewarned--these things should indeed carry a warning label.

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Makes 18; Prep time: 45 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 teaspoons instant espresso
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (I used a combo of Scharffenberger 70% cacao and Ghiradelli semisweet), melted and cooled
1 tablespoon milk
Confectioners’ sugar for coating

1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, espresso, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment (or silicone liners). Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings--rolling them two times ensures that the cookies will be totally covered and you'll get the "snowcap" effect.

3. Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool on pans about a minute, and then transfer to a wire rack.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Swapping Time!

On Sunday, the Knitsmiths are having one of their periodic yarn swaps. This will be the first one I've attended, so I'm looking forward to it. At first, I didn't think I had very much to swap--my stash is at an all-time low, and everything I have is allocated to some project or another. But after much scrounging, I did come up with this:

I also found one skein of a seriously frightening acrylic yarn and some giant needles that I got for free at BEA last year, so those are going, too--but I didn't want to photograph them in case they scared people away. I guess I'm not bringing as much to the swapping party as some people are, but at least this yarn should be able to find a home with someone who will use it!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Well, with much anticipation and a little trepidation, I'm signing up for Secret Pal 8. Ergo, here are my answers to the extremely thorough required questionnaire:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love wool, as long as it's soft (merino and the like). Alpaca is wonderful, and I'm not too averse to knitting with cotton, again, as long as it's soft. I love Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton, for example. I tend to be somewhat of a yarn snob--I'd rather knit with the really good stuff and really enjoy the process.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a wonderful combination needle case from The Organized Knitter. I use a clear plastic cosmetics bag to store my stitch markers, cable needles, etc.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for a little over three years. I guess I'm probably somewhere in the intermediate knitter part of the spectrum.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes--and I'll try to update it with more knitting-related items prior to the start of the exchange. It's here.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I like freesia-scented products (I wear Crabtree & Evelyn's freesia perfume and I use the freesia line from Bath & Body Works), but other than those, I don't really care for heavily scented candles, soaps, etc. They tend to set off my allergies.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Chocolate--the darker the better.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I don't spin, but I'm just starting to experiment with yarn dyeing, so we'll see where that goes. Other than that, I dabble in some paper crafts (I love this place).

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
You can get a pretty good sense of my music preferences from looking at my Amazon wish list, but here are a few of my other favorites: Nickel Creek, Vienna Teng, Sarah Harmer, Sufjan Stevens, Dave Matthews, Zero 7, Radiohead, Bright Eyes, The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie. You get the picture--I'm all over the map, but my tastes run toward the indie rock/folky end of things.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
My color palette changes with the seasons (doesn't everyone's), so for summer items, I tend to wear quite a bit of blue, pink, and light green. In the winter, I wear lots of brown, burgundy, dark green, jewel tones. Oh, and black--but I don't really like knitting with black for some reason. My winter coats are bright orange and dark green. As far as color combinations, I prefer subtle combinations--nothing really loud or shocking.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have one three-year-old son--I knit for him a lot. I don't have any pets, and in fact I'm allergic to all cats and some dogs.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Well, I live in Boston, so scarves, hats, and mittens are pretty much a must. I don't really care for the look of ponchos, though.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I like knitting sweaters for myself and small items for other people for gifts. Baby sweaters are always fun, and I am really enjoying knitting socks (I'm a new sock knitter).

13. What are you knitting right now?
Picovoli, a pair of socks, and a lace shawl. This is actually pretty light for me--I usually have 4 or 5 projects on the go at once, but I am under a deadline, so I'm limiting my projects right now.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I have a complete set of Denise circular needles, and I use those for most of my sweater projects. For smaller items I like straight needles, usually bamboo.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

17. How did you learn to knit?
I first learned how to knit at summer camp in Minnesota, but I picked it up again much later from reading Melanie Falick's Kids Knitting (don't laugh--it has some of the clearest explanations and diagrams I've seen).

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
Not too old--only about 5 months.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

20. Is there anything that you collect?

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I'd love to get more Socks that Rock sock yarn, and I'm eager to try Addi Turbo needles. I'm also on a quest to get some Regia Canadian self-striping sock yarn, but it's not easily available in the United States. Ditto for baby pattern books by Bouton d'Or, which are usually available here. I used to have an Interweave Knits subscription, but I've let it lapse (although I still buy most issues from the newsstand). As far as books, I'd like to get a copy of Knitting on the Road--all the socks I've seen from that book are beautiful! I also really enjoy Lucinda Guy's Handknits for Kids (although I don't own a copy) and am eager to see her new one that comes out the end of May.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I'm working on my first big lace project right now, so I'm definitely learning as I go. I'd also like to learn more about Fairisle techniques.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

24. When is your birthday?
October 20.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bon Voyage!

My sock pal's socks are packed up and ready to go.

She said her favorite color was pink, so that's the theme of the package. There's a postcard from the socks' original hometown (Brookline, Mass.) and one from the socks' trip to Portland, Oregon. There's also the original yarn label (with Sunshine Yarn info as well as washing instructions). In addition, I slipped in a set of mini notecards and envelopes, all in shades of pink, just like the socks!

I really hope my sockpal enjoys these socks! Off to the post office . . .

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Different Kind of Casting

Safely recovered from my allergy woes, I headed to Pennsylvania for a short weekend trip. While there I didn't do much knitting but I did do plenty of a different kind of casting--of a fishing line, that is!

I was, however, able to knit most of the way down and back, and the result is this:

Told ya I was past the hump. Actually, this Picovoli pattern is starting to grow on me. Once I got past the armholes, I started to get really excited--it actually looks like a real sweater, instead of just random increases with a hole in the middle, which is how I thought it looked initially. Right now it looks really tiny to me, but I was a good knitter and actually swatched (and washed and blocked and measured) for this one, so I remain optimistic that this will actually fit me!

In other news, I joined the Amazing Lace knitalong. My teammate will be this shawl (Ethereal Fichu from HeartStrings), which I started some time ago but is now languishing, unloved, in the bottom of the basket. The knitalong runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and it has a really neat contest, so if you've been eager to start a lace project (or if you have one that's stalled out, like I do), this is your big chance!