More Cowl Photos

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Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and anything else you’re celebrating.  Here are a couple more photos of the cowl, in honor of Dogs on Thursday.  I’m also quite thankful for knitting, pretty yarn and good bloggy pals!

UntitledAnd yes, I’m wearing the cowl today (Thursday).  It’s cold outside, my office at work is being painted and I’m a little restless when I don’t have a spot to call my own.  It’s going to be spiffy when it’s all done, but transition is painful.

Any transition or change in your world?

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FO #1 of 2014

UntitledDon’t look now, but for the first time since May, I’ve finished knitting something other than a cotton dish cloth.  At least, that’s what Ravelry says.  It’s not as lush as my cashmere scarf for my now far-away friend, but it’s pretty, it’s for me, and it’s complete.

UntitledI’m not at all sure the two yarn companies in question would be thrilled with my cross-pollination, but I am.  Meet the Kudo Cascade Cowl.

Pattern:  Cascade’s Tangier Cowl is a very basic, happy pattern.  It’s beginner-friendly, but it has enough of a pattern to stave off boredom.  Six simple rows make a repeat, eight repeats make a cowl.  I’m not a fan of “baby cables” and these are especially lame up close, but from the distance, it’s just great.

Yarn: Plymouth’s Kudo is a fabulous mix of cotton and rayon with a splash of silk to make it feel luxurious, but at 198 yards, I cut it too close to recommend anyone else trying it, unless she’s willing to play chicken and risk tinking back almost 150 stitches to bind off.  It doesn’t have much “sproing” so once I stretched the cowl to slide over my shoulders, it wasn’t excited about slimming back down, but I’m sure a little mist and a scrunch would restore it.Untitled

Needles:  Bryspun (acrylic) #7 circs.

Verdict:  I have more Kudo and could easily go wind and cast on for another one, but I have babies to knit for.  One is due in April, so time is wasting!

Have you finished anything exciting lately?

What’s your favorite baby knit to make, give or receive?

My Dogs Walk All Over Me to Infinity

You might remember that the very talented gMarie designed and knitted a very special cowl for both Sissy and me.   Well, that same pattern has an infinity version, and I originally cast on for Wondervet, for Christmas.  I’d failed to realize she’d still be on maternity leave, and now, I don’t know which of the fabulous vet care professionals deserves it most!

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At any rate, here’s 2010’s last FO report.

Project:  Walks All Over Infinity

Pattern: My Dogs Walk All Over Me, by gMarie.   I did make one glaring change.  In part because I was loving the pattern and not paying attention, I charged on past the infinity chart instructions and knitted the entire chart.  I decided to carry on when I realized what I’d done, for two reasons.  Firstly, because I have two dogs, and the full repeat does two pairs of paw prints, and secondly, because Wondervet is long and lean and might need more depth to keep her thin neck warm!

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Yarn:  Cascade 220 Superwash.  I like this yarn a lot, but I seriously doubt it’s a true worsted weight.  It’s at best a very light worsted, but it is nice and soft, and won’t felt when machine washed.  I used just over one ball, and I’m pretty sure that if I’d followed the instructions, I could have squeaked by with just the one ball.

Needles:  Addi Clicks, #6 tips.  I guess I’m lucky, but I find my Addi Clicks very smooth at the joins, and I adore them. 

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Verdict:  I’ll definitely knit this one – in either version – again and again.

Do tell me about your weekend plans, or anything else beautiful and sweet in your world.  We’ll be prepping for surgery and a potential significant snowfall…

My Dogs Walk All Over Me

I have so much to share from the weekend, but I can’t wait to share gMarie‘s special project!  She designed My Dogs Walk All Over Me with the very yummy Creatively Dyed Woodbrook in the colorway Dianne named after me!

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I have to thank my lovely Ann for the photo, snapped with my Blackberry (see Jessi?!  I *DO* always have a camera with me!) yesterday afternoon on the quaint downtown mall.  Minus the ragged eyebrow, it’s my new favorite photo of me. 

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Aren’t these lace pawprints PERFECT?!  I just slipped a pretty yellow leaf behind it so you could see it clearly.  I love that the prints don’t SCREAM at anyone unless you’re VERY close.  No need to shout from the mountain tops that my dogs walk all over me, eh?

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G has already seen these photos, so I’m only slightly embarrassed to note that my dogs walk all over me AND the lovely handknits.   Somehow, she managed to knit, block and ship from her three-dog house to mine without a SINGLE dog hair, but needless to say, it’s now salted with white and rusty colored hairs!

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And yes, there are two cowls in the photos.  There’s a short version that G keeps suggesting I should keep for Sissy, and the longer version I’m sporting in the top photo.  It’s the perfect size; it covers that gap in my shirt and it scrunches up with enough to pull up over my mouth and nose if it is REALLY cold outside!   There’s also an “infinity” version in the works…  I might need to knit that for Wondervet.  She’s a tall Texan, so I’m sure our winters are a bit cool for her neck!

More on my weekend, specifically Mistletoe Market, tomorrow.  I might have to break the goodness up into a couple of posts!

How was your weekend?

Up to my neck…

… in knitted neckwear.

That’s the finally blocked Argosy scarf.  (FO report HERE.)  The only things I can add to the verdict are that it’s even more stunning blocked, but even Noro Silk Garden is still a little rough.   I’ll probably keep this for myself, but it is a bit scratchy on the neck, and since I don’t like turtlenecks much, don’t be surprised if it winds up as a gift.  I love this colorway though!

Then, there’s the moebius I knitted from Jessi‘s handspun.  (FO report HERE.)  Now THAT I’ve already worn next to my sensitive neck skin, even though I will confess I STILL haven’t woven in the ends.  The afternoon I took these photos, it was chilly, so when I went out to move the tractor, I doubled it up around my neck in a fashion something like this:

I’m a little disappointed in the way the cowl seems to want to show its wrong side, but such is the nature of a moebius, I suppose.

Gretchen continues to be possessive of any yarn from Jessi’s house, strangely enough, even after a nice long soak…  (And clearly, she doesn’t think you want to see the “right side” pattern either.)

Have a great weekend!  We’re going to be busy, but I’ll report back on what actually comes to pass after the fact.  I can assure you that the beautiful weather today and tomorrow will be enjoyed to the best of our abilities.

Any big plans on your weekend radar?  Please do stop by Sissy’s blog and help her help Sunny!

Dog Medley

This post is just rather random stuff, related to dogs in one fashion or another. 

We’ll start with a quick review of Doggie Day Care Murder by Laurien Berenson.   Without giving away plot details, this was the final book in the 15-book series.  Frankly, it was my least favorite for a host of reasons.  Just to touch on one, I missed salty old Aunt Peg.  No, she’s very much alive and is in the book, but she just wasn’t as involved, and that’s a shame.

I’ve had a run of lastbookintheseries blues.  I didn’t care for Twilight’s Midnight Sun either.  I’m not a rabid Twilight fan, so maybe it’s just me, but I’m talking about a trend in my reading.  I also can’t avoid mentioning Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the formerly beloved by me Harry Potter series.  I’m thinking I’m just not a series girl, but then how do you explain that I enjoyed the other books in these series?

Sissy, either admiring the sunset or counting cows

Next up, Sissy will indeed have her own blog, to chronical her food issues.   I need to (want to?) document the signs and symptoms as they change, so I may as well blog.  Perhaps it will help someone else at some point too…  I’d love to save even one pet owner the headaches we’ve had thus far!

And yes, the girls will still be featured here regularly.  Sissy’s blog will just record the details of our adventure to digestive health for her.  I don’t know how many photos it will include, or how often I’ll post. 

In the interest of pet health, I want to direct you to Ice Pony Trekking’s comprehensive list of no-eats for dogs.  What’s great about the list is she also explains – in plain English – why each particular food isn’t good (or is toxic) for your dog.  Carrots were a shocker for us, but Gretchen won’t eat them, so we rarely offer them to the girls.

Lastly, Nichole asked for a photo of me wearing the cowl.    Pardon the loud tee and the rosy-red cheeks, but it was rather nippy out.  Instead, admire my little sidekick, who wasn’t at all sure what I was up to last night.

I’m Pining…

Okay, it’s not on a bobbin yet, but it will be the next thing I spin.  That’s 4 ounces of Merino in “Pine” from Smoky Mountain Spinnery.  Isn’t it great when your family appreciates and supports your hobbies?  My sister used to knit, so it’s not totally foreign territory, but it really means a lot that she spent a few minutes on her vacation shopping for something special for me.  She also chatted with the shop owner, who is more than willing to support phone orders, just so you know…  Thanks, sis!!!

There’s still stuff from the holidays I wanted to share, but time is passing us by, and I’m really delighted with my latest finished object.

Redwood Whip

Pattern:  Fresco Basket Whip Cowl is free in Classic Elite’s newsletter.  It’s a lovely little pattern, but it does require some counting, whether you read the chart or use the written directions.  (Kudos to designer and Classic Elite.  I can read charts, but prefer to start with written directions and then switch to the charts once I have the hang of it, so I’m always delighted when I see both options.)  I actually followed the pattern as written, aside from using a different weight of yarn and a larger needle.

Yarn:  It was a swap gift from Darcy.  Depending on the light, the yarn is browner than that.  I hope the subtle shifts in the color shows up on your monitor, regardless of how accurate the hue is.  Anyhoo, the yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino, in the redwood bark colorway.  (More kudos to the folks at Malabrigo.  You know I like a named colorway.)

I can’t stop writing about this yarn.  Must.Have.More.   It didn’t pill/fuzz/shed the way the other Malabrigos have while knitting, so I’m hoping that it will wear well too. 

That’s unblocked, by the way.  The pattern page on Ravelry shows a gentle “point” on the edges, but I was too eager to wear this baby for blocking, even steam blocking.  I just gave it a tug or ten to make it long and lean, and then wore it yesterday morning for several hours.

Needles:  Susan Bates #8 circs, 29 inches.   While the pattern called for sport weight and #7s, I went with this luscious DK weight and #8s.  I couldn’t be happier.  No, these aren’t my favorite needles, but with the color of yarn, I didn’t want to use my Knitpick Options, especially not with the Harmony tips, which were the #8s I had ready for use.  (The color of KP’s cord is too similar, as are the Harmony wood tips.)

Verdict:   Yeah, the edges roll a bit since I didn’t block it, but who cares?!  It feels like warm silk (duh?) on, and it doesn’t seem to make my hair all fly-away.  What else matters?!  I can see myself making more of these, but the drawback is that my stash is lacking in both sport and/or DK weight yarns, AND in semi-solids, which I think this pattern likes best.  It is my first wimple-style cowl, and it was a huge success in that respect.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention there’s a KAL for this project on Ravelry.  Some have noted that the pattern as written – no yarn or needle substitutions – leaves the neck exposed in the back if one pulls it up as a wimple, but an extra repeat or making the last repeat a full repeat (rather than the half as written) should fix that problem.

Aren’t they beautiful girls?!  Sissy is such a great model too, with that long, lean neck of hers.  I spent much of the weekend on the sofa with those sweeties.  We also went out to celebrate a trio of birthdays Saturday night, and that was about it.  (If I was just a smidge more immature, I could point out that my sister has set a dangerous precident of giving ME a gift at someone else’s party.  Of course, I also FINALLY got to give her husband the last of his Christmas presents from us, as the USPS finally saw fit to deliver said item…)

I also finished a book and started another.  While I enjoy your Goodreads that show up in my inbox, I’ve switched to I’m Reading on Facebook.  It’s not as fancy, but it’s easier for me to remember to use it.  Feel free to add me if you’re using the same application.

What’s ahead for your week?  We’ll skim right over the frozen tundra woes and I’ll note that I hope to have that book review for you, a spinning FO, and a Sissy food report.  Here’s what I need from you…  I know I have a diverse group of readers, and I love that!  I’m contemplating tracking Sissy’s serious food allergies via her own blog (I know, right?!), and I need to know if anyone will bother to read my blog if I do that  how many of you care about her digestive woes?

I already bore some of you with my spinning chatter, but I do realize there are some of you who do care and are curious about Sissy’s journey to true health.  Selfishly, I do want to record our process, for a variety of reasons, but mostly, just because it is going to be a very long process.

Sis hates to leave the farm as much as the rest of us

Just to clarify a bit, we’ve FINALLY found a vet who specializes in nutrition and she shares my conviction that Sissy’s underlying problem is a series of food allergies.   Until I know who/how many want(s) what information, I won’t toss out details, some of which aren’t really fit for reading while you eat or sip, unless you have a cast-iron stomach.  In case you can’t tell, I’m leaning towards giving the DIVA her own blog.

Whew!  Lunch is here and if your eyes haven’t glazed over yet, bless you!