Hounds Unite

Or, part 2 of yesterday’s post…

Happy Thorsday, little friday, Thankful Thursday, 3rd day of Christmas and more.   Gretchen has a cute little post up today about some of her favorite parts of Christmas thus far…

So, today’s post is really a finished object report, but first, the hound connection.  I met Kari through blogging.  Her departed Fred, a bloodhound, had food issues too, so bonding wasn’t hard to do!   Kari  lives in Texas, so when she announced she was expecting, I knew just what I wanted to knit for her…

It had to be lightweight and easy-care, because I’m pretty sure Haylie – the beautiful chocolate lab – thinks Kari is just the incubator for HER two-legged baby.   Enter the Tofutsies Blanket.


The fur-girls had to make sure the blankie really was suitable for Mini-K.  Long-time readers might recall that baby Sissy had a SERIOUS problem with Tofutsies as a pup.  Maybe even then, she was trying to tell us she needed a fish kibble?  (If that sounds crazy, just keep reading.)  

Pattern:  Stringtown’s Tofutsies Baby Blanket.   What a FABULOUS, simple pattern!  Look out friends…  I have a ton of Tofutsies (and a friend with a yarn shop that stocks it), so more of these might be coming.   It’s a car seat/stroller sized blankie, and it’s just light and lofty.

Courtesy of Ravelry & SWTC

Courtesy of Ravelry & SWTC

My only modification was to use “scraps” as Tofutsies skeins are nice and large so I generally have enough left over to do a pair of footies or something.  I was inspired to transition between colors by the Tofu Tee, which is also knit with Tofutsies, holding two strands together.

Yarn:  Duh?  Tofutsies in assorted colors.  I love this yarn because it’s the easiest care light fingering weight yarn ever.  It has loft -gets light and fluffy – so it’s great for blankets and baby clothes yet still does great socks and shawls too.  It is splitty, but that doesn’t bother me.  I just don’t use pointy tips with this yarn.

But what you REALLY need to know is that it is a blend of superwash wool, “soysilk”, cotton and chitin – made from shrimp and crab shells.   (Hence baby Sis’s fascination with the yarn!)

Needles:  US #8 circs

DSC03244Verdict:  Well, I’ve already said it; I see more of these in my future!  It was a quick, fun knit and I know it will serve baby Mini-K well, without causing her parents any trouble with special care needs.  I just hope Haylie doesn’t love the yarn as much as baby Sissy did!

Obviously, I’m thankful for Tofutsies, but I’m also thankful for all the wee ones coming into the world right now.   Several of my friends who have had or are having babies have had a few more challenges than some on the path, so that makes the babies all the more treasured.

Thankfully, both of our local friends who had to have surgery are doing okay.  One is back home even!

I’m really thankful though for all of our doggy-bloggy friends.  It cracks me up when I think about how I started a blog just so I could participate in a swap, and now Chanknits is barely accurate, as Chan doesn’t knit much at all these days…

What are you thankful for today?

Finally a Handspun FO

DSC01391Oh, I have knitted with my own handspun, but it’s been a while, and it’s been ridiculously infrequent.   While I don’t have a photo of the fiber or the yarn in a hank, it appears I spun it in the fall of 2009 on my first wheel, the Heavenly Handspinning Bellus

It seems I never reported on the fiber to yarn process, so let me capture some of that now too.

Fiber:  Gypsyknits BFL, c/o Gypsyknits  Pure heaven.  If you haven’t spun with BFL, do.  It is a GREAT novice spinner fiber.  Its staple length (the length of each single hair from the sheepy-sheep) is long enough to not be too hard to spin, soft enough to be worn next to the face or neck, and even in a novice’s hands, it has sproing and a touch of loft.

Yarn:  Over-spun, under-spun, but roughly DK at 15 wraps per inch.    In reality, it ranges from laceweight to worsted.

Plying:  Navajo plied… the only way I ply unless I’m using an accent thread or something.   In plainer language, it is a 3-ply yarn.

Verdict:  For my first “real” effort with “good” fiber, it’s pretty impressive.  I’ve come a long way as a spinner, but this is nothing to be ashamed of.

Now, for the finished object report.


Paws to observe…

Project:  Handspun Tea Cozy Hat

Pattern:  Wooly Wormhead’s Tea Cozy Hat.   A great, simple pattern, designed to “vent” a high ponytail out of the top of the hat.

Yarn:  See above, but note that this photo is the most accurate on my monitor for the hues…

Needles:  Body of hat, US #8 16″ bamboo circular.  At least a size too large for most of the yarn, but I like a hat that breathes, so it suits me just fine.  #6 metal dpns used for crown decreases and i-cord. 

photo.JPGVerdict:  This hat will work for the ponytail-less too, but unless you have a long enough mane for a HIGH ponytail, this probably isn’t the design for you.  I’ll get plenty of use though because when my hair isn’t a in ponytail (generally a lower one) for dog walks, it’s in a clip of some sort, and those  don’t sit well under most hats either.

Yarn verdict?  I’ve dragged out more of my handspun still in my stash and I’m going to knit with it more often!  I do regret that I didn’t use but about half of the ball for this project, but luckily, I have a friend with two little boys who is willing to care for an extra-finicky handspun handknit hat.  If I knit it this year for the eldest boy, the two of them should get lots of wear out of it, right?

Now, to find the right projects for more of my handspun…


November 2011 004Ravelry says I started Tealsplitter in August.  Seems longer ago than that.  I hope y’all enjoy the photos, because the more I look at them, the less I like them.  The Knight was kind enough to snap them, so don’t fuss about a lack of smiles, poses, etc. 

Pattern:  Lanesplitter.  Another great, free pattern from Knitty!  It’s a rectangle, knitted on a bias, seamed, then a cotton, interior waistband is knitted in the round, tacked down, elastic pulled through, hole sewn shut, and it’s a skirt. 

The actual knitting took no time at all.  It was the waistband that slowed me down.  Some people lined theirs or used a sewing machine for the waistband, but I lack anything beyond button attachment skills…   

November 2011 005

See the seam?

I didn’t love the skirt when finished.  It did a funky bell-thing with my “athletic” thighs.  But a vigorous blocking made it better, and these photos were taken after about 9 hours of wear.  I want to try it next with either a denim shirt or vest…  And I opted to wear the seam on the side, because I didn’t like the seam up the center back as most seem to wear it!

Yarn:  Plymouth Boku, color 10.  I really like this yarn!  It does have some vegetation issues (think grass seed, evidently processed with the fleece that became the wool?), but I tend to prefer their color combinations over Noro’s, and it’s available at Dog House Yarns, which is my almost exclusive resource.

I wore it with rather non-descript tights and there was no itching.  I did tend to tug at it – especially in the very front, to lengthen it back out after sitting down for a while.

I used Lion Brand Cotton in seaspray for the waistband because it kinda’ matched and I find it to be a decent “utility” cotton.

Needles:  US #7.   Sorry… I don’t recall more!

September 2011 002

Pre-finishing, seam view

Verdict:  It was a fun knit that proved to me I can knit a skirt I’ll wear.  Now I’m a little skirt and dress obsessed and have several patterns in the wings.

My weekend plans include writing another post about this for the Dog House blog, blocking another finished object or two and finishing the capelet.  Might be a bit ambitious…

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Basically Finished Report

Okay.  I give up.  We’ll likely have a frost the next night or two, so clearly it’s nearly past time to blog my “summer cotton shawl”.  I was waiting to block it, but I’m also already a couple of FO reports behind… 

For those of you who aren’t lace knitters, the fact that it’s cotton means there will be no drastic changes.  Cotton doesn’t lend itself to the wonders of blocking… honestly, I sometimes use a steam iron to “block” cotton projects.

Anyway, I present Quake-icane… thus named because it was a work in progress for an earthquake, lots of aftershocks and a hurricane!

August 2011 003

Pattern:  Miami Beach Shawl, from Cascade.  It was the first of Dog House Yarns’ KALs.  Most of the KAL-ers are part of their knit night, but I’m doing what I can “remotely”. 

It’s a nice, quick, easy pattern.   Per the pattern’s suggestion, I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

Yarn:  Cascade’s Ultra Pima.  Wow.  Soft stuff.  Didn’t make my hands hurt, and hasn’t gotten fuzzy either…  not that it would get too fuzzy being moved from one spot to another on the back of the loveseat.  Hem.

Needles:  US #7 circulars, Addi Clicks.

Verdict:  Some of the ladies have made multiples of this shawl.  If I was a fan of weighty, cotton wraps, I could see that happening. 

Anything fun on your weekend agenda?   Celebration week begins for me tomorrow, with gMarie‘s birthday…  but I’ll share more about all the other celebrations later!

Knitter’s ADD

I had a great weekend with wonderful girlfriends, but no photos to show for it, so we’ll move right along to my stream of consciousness approach to knitting.  I do have one project on the needles that really speaks to me, so I’m trying to knit fast before I get distracted!

Currently, I’m working on the Cascade Kid Seta Cardigan, in Kid Seta in crimson.  It really is a great, rich, cool red, so don’t let your monitor fool you! 

I like the pattern so well I’m tackling this even though there are seams everywhere.  I love the yarn, the color… everything, so much so that facing all those seams in the end isn’t even upsetting (yet).  I’m already dreaming of wearing it with my green dress for the holidays.  That’s not too much draping, is it?  (For those who didn’t click over, the dress has a draped neckline.)

October 2011 007Oh yeah – and the color… 

It really is deeper/richer/bluer than that.  I’m also about double that deep, and that’s the back unfolding.  The Knight’s crew at the firehouse doubts that I’ll have it done for Christmas.  Hrmph.  Maybe if mojo fails me, that challenge won’t?

Capelet by BabyCocktails

Also on my radar is this darling capelet.  I’m still a little worried about the turtleneck aspect – because I suddenly can’t stand to have anything around my neck – but that neck also gets cold quickly, as do my shoulders.  I’m also liking several other BabyCocktail patterns.  Any of you have any experience with her patterns?

What color should I do the capelet in… you know, on the off chance I actually finish the cardigan and cast on?  I’m seeing it in a heather grey for some reason…

I’m mad for sweater dresses this season too.  We’ll see if that holds as the temperature drops, but I’m sure lusting after lots of them.  The latest is this red number from DressBarn.  Why yes, I do seem to be seeing red.  Ironically, the only red in my wardrobe at this very second is a bright red mock turtleneck…

I also seem to have a thing for cowls.  Yeah, I have several of the knitted neck warmers called cowls, but at the moment, I’m meaning cowl necked tops.  They provide warmth for the back of my neck without that choking feeling.

What’s on your October radar, knitting, fashion or otherwise??

Moonlight Sonata

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Hem.  Don’t let the fact that it took two years and a few months to finish this project dissuade you.  This is one of my favorite projects EVER.

July 2011 002

Project:  MooSon  I’ve known since before I cast on that this item was destined for a friend.  The yarn was even dyed by a mutual friend, just for this project.

July 2011 003Pattern:  Moonlight Sonata Shawl   It’s certainly not the pattern’s fault that I kept putting this down.  It’s a well-written, easy to read (meaning the lace itself) pattern.   Life just kept getting in the way and I kept shuffling this project aside.

Yarn:  Gypsyknits Merino Superwash in a custom color.   I simply told Kathy what pattern I had selected and she blended the hues with Jessi in mind.  I know Jessi loves it, but I’m thinking I’m going to have to make myself footies or a narrow scarf out of the leftovers.   Unfortunately, Kathy isn’t dyeing yarns right now, but hopefully one of these days, life will cooperate and we’ll all have the pleasure of seeing more of her fabulous colors play out in yarn!

July 2011 001

Needles:  Ravelry says I used a US #5 circular.  That’s all I can tell you.  That’s what happens when you drag a project out forever.

Verdict:  I’d definitely consider this pattern again.  Maybe one day when it’s not 104 with a heat index far above that, Jessi will model it for all of us, but she’s in the deep south, so don’t look for that photo before oh… late November?

Because of the soft green in there, I also considered this a green project spectrum project. 

I’m looking forward to my cloudy with a chance of drizzle weekend.   I plan on doing a lot of knitting, some League work, some shopping because fewer and fewer of my clothes fit, and I still have hopes for a movie with the Knight whether he likes it or not.   What’s on your weekend agenda?

Wrapped up in the Outer Banks

Look!   Another finished object report!  I actually finished this about a month ago, but evidently, it takes me a while to block and get more photos.

July 2011 006

Blocked... loooong and lean

Outer Banks Aragante

Pattern:  Aragante, my first short-row, side to side shawl.  I can honestly say I’d knit this one again.  It was a pleasant, quick knit, and I’m delighted with the results.  Is it a scarf or a shawlette?  Dunno, but I like it.



Yarn:  Pout.  No, the yarn’s not called Pout, but that’s what I do every time I think about Springvalley aka: Alabama Fiber Dreams not really existing anymore.  Jessi has a great eye for color and really chose good bases for her yarns.  She dyed this Outer Banks light fingering with me – and our vacation spot – in mind, and I couldn’t love it more.

Needles:  US #7 Addi Clicks circs.  I love my Addi Clicks.  I have found some sizes have smoother joins than others, but…

July 2011 007

Lace edge

Verdict:  I’ll get a lot of use out of this one.  It’s long enough to be a scarf, definitely hugs my shoulders without need of a shawl pin, and did I mention the colors are fabulous?

How ’bout that weekend?  I’m looking forward to some time with a friend or two, and I’m trying to figure out how to get to see the last Harry Potter movie.  The Knight probably won’t want to go, and honestly, I do enjoy watching them with Gretchen, who definitely is at least part Crup and really is cute with all the head tilting, attentive watching/listening! 


First ’11 FO


Being virtual show dogs is STILL exhausting!

Before I share the first finished object of the year, I have been remiss in telling you that the fur-girls’ Mango Minster entries are up.   As seasoned bloggers and readers, you know that Sissy’s was done first – that’s important to her, so I’m just sayin’…  I’ll announce voting here, but it is time-sensitive and has a rather narrow window, so if you’d like a personal email notification at the appropriate time, let me know.

January 2011 016Also, DIVA aka: Queen, Sissy, etc. reports that her recovery is complete.   Her staff is holding off on such a proclamation until the esteemed surgeon says so, but at any rate, she’s galloping, leaping and stealing things off counters again, so all is right in the Woods. 

She has also requested that we only call her DIVA or Queen, but the staff isn’t cooperating.  We have ceased with “Queenie” after learning that despite its use as by an esteemed matriarch related to me by marriage, it does have rather mean connotations in literature.  Since Sis, while rambunctious and curious, is no troublemaker, we wanted no parts of that!

So… ’bout that FO…

It took me a week to knit Dae’s birthday hat

January 2011 001

Pattern:  Rib-a-roni is a great pattern.  This is actually my second time using it, so that should tell you something.  It’s rare that I go back to a pattern, but this makes the perfect man’s hat.  Don’t let my week confuse you; it’s a quick knit when the yarn is truly worsted weight (more on that in a bit) and when life isn’t unravelling at the seams. 

I knitted the largest size.

January 2011 010Yarn:  Cascade 220 Superwash, not quite a whole ball.  While I love the “touch” of this yarn, meaning that it’s soft and very easy to care for, I am not at all convinced it really is even a light worsted.  A little poking around Ravelry finds that plenty of people agree with me about 220 in general being VERY lean for a worsted.

Needles:  I used my favorite #6 bamboo circ, and then switched to the cramp-making 9″ #6 Hiya Hiya bamboo circ.   There’s just no way.   I know some people are switching to 9″ circs for socks, and the only way it would work for me is if I used two of ’em in the “two circs” style.  I already know that’s not my favorite method just because I tend to have stitches sliding off needles when I careless set a project down to let the dogs in and out or whatever, so if someone else wants to try this arthritis-maker, speak up and I’ll drop it in the mail to you.

Little sidenote here for the non-knitters.  THAT is the beauty of knitting.  If one method or type of needle doesn’t work for you, you have options, and lots of them. 


The first RaR hat, shown on a flower pot

Verdict:  I doubt this will be my last Rib-a-Roni, and 220 Superwash is too soft to hold the gauge problem against it forever.  Dae likes his hat, so all is well.

Be sure to check in on Thursday.  DIVA has granted permission for me to share some photos of her in her mostly healed state.  I’ll also share a special Vera Bradley purchase on this blog, and yes, it does relate to Dogs on Thursday!

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!

January 2011 014

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!

December 2010 018

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. 

December 2010 017

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…

Feet and Flora

Quick, while Flickr is functional… 

While we were at the beach, I knitted the Knight some belated birthday house socks.  Actually, I cast on at home while I was waiting for him to finish his fire training so we could leave, but…

Project:  Knight’s House Socks

December 2010 001

Photo taken on the front porch at OBX

Pattern:  Basic Dude Socks.  Umm…  I had a few modifications and will cobble together my own pattern before I do the next pair.  He’s delighted with them and barely allowed me to weave in the ends before he put them on.  I used Judy’s Magic Cast-on, but 14 stitches to start made the toe too square, in my opinion.  The Knight just shrugged, but the toe bunched up when he did shove them in his shoes for dog walking duties. 

The heel is its own little nightmare.  I had to darn holes all over the place in both socks, because this particular short-row method didn’t match my knitting style one bit.  I thought I’d compensated after frogging once and trying again, but when the Knight pull the socks on, the holes were too much for me.   He loves the way a short-row heel fits though, so I’m going to try another version next time.

December 2010 006

As good as it gets with a reluctant foot model

Yarn:  Kraemer Yarns Perfection in Sky, purchased at Dog House Yarns & More.   I really liked this yarn.  It’s similar to Wool Ease, but it’s softer to the hand and seems to wear just as well.  Sadly, Kraemer doesn’t seem to have much of a following in these parts.  Shame, because it’s a solid company with good prices!

Needles:  US #5 Addi circs.  Yes, plural.   I think I’ve discovered the right methodology for sock knitting for me.  Magic Loop, one sock per needle, but start both at the same time and finish both within a few hours of each other.   A couple of my RCK pals have been doing this for years (but I think at least one of them uses double points)…  You just always pick up the sock further behind. 

Verdict:  I think I need worsted weight house socks too. 

Because I need to catch up on all the stuff I wanted to share, here are some photos of the cactus thing that attacks the girls and me at the beach.  Sis had one stick in her bottom lip, Gretchen had one poke in her sweet little belly, and I had one draw blood from a finger or two while I was cleaning up pooooo before we left.

December 2010 008

Here’s a singlet, the sort that gets stuck on living, breathing folk.

Here’s a more mature plant…

December 2010 007

And here’s I assume the same plant in a different state…  I don’t know if it winters red, or if that’s what it looks like when it’s dying, or what.

December 2010 010

If anyone knows what this pest is, I’d like to know.  We thought we’d rid the property of ALL vestiges of it last spring, but obviously not.  Only the red-purple photo was taken on the neighbor’s property.

How are your holiday preparations going?