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.

DSC03246

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?

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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.

photo.JPG

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…

Belabored Argosy

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and firehouse meetings night…

October 2012 003The girls blogged about this project today too.  The photos are the same, but the story is different.   The Yellow Argosy Baby Blanket began at the very end of December, 2010.  Long-time readers might recall that was just a few days after Sissy’s double-glaucoma diagnosis, after she went blind in her left eye on Christmas Eve.  Pardon the pun, but it was a very dark time in the woods.  Sissy was in pain – because we were unable to manage the glaucoma in the left eye – and I’m not sure why I thought casting on for a baby blanket was a good idea.

Anyway, you can go to the girls’ post to read more about the history of said blanket/project.  Below is the finished object report.

Project:  Yellow Argosy.  

October 2012 004Pattern:  Argosy Baby Blanket.  This is my third Argosy.  The shawl was one of the first shawls/lace projects I did, and I really enjoyed the scarf too.   As I’ve gifted all three Argosy projects to date, I am pondering the wrap for me! 

The pattern is easy enough to memorize and keep track of, but I still made a few mistakes.  Baby E and her mom seem quite pleased with it as-is though, so shhhh…

My only modification was the twice-around, single crochet trim.  I had only intended to go around once, but the Knight announced more PANK was needed, so…

Yarn:  Plymouth Encore, for both the body and the trim.  Lovely yarn.  Great wool blend that makes it easy-care too.

October 2012 001

Needles:  US #7 extra-extra-long circular needle.  Actually, I used my Knitpick Options and sized up and down on cord length as needed.  The blanket is actually knitted from that one lone square, increased on both sides to its widest point, then decreased both sides back to one square. 

I also used a “H” crochet hook for the PANK trim.

October 2012 002Verdict:  I’m proud of it, the recipients love it, and if you can’t tell, there will be more Argosy in my future.

Thankful?  I’m thankful that my handknits find loving homes.  I’m thankful for the friends who stocked up my cupboard with baby socks and baby sweaters, so that I can knit a hat or a blanket or a toy or… just pull something out and gift it with love from all over.

I’m also thankful for friends who know that knitted with dog hair means more love too.

What are you thankful for today?

Owlee

No, not a typo or lack of proof-reading.  It’s a Channism.   I like to invent my own words, and I like my Ravelry projects to have names that make me smile.   (Ravelry is Facebook meets project notebook and a bit of Pintrest on top, for knitters and other fiber artists.)

August 2012 001

Owlee Sleep Sack has had me grinning from the moment I found the pattern on through now.   Oh, I’d seen all the neato owl cable designs before, but when a local League friend announced the baby’s room was being done in owls and I stumbled upon the Owlie pattern…  I squeed.  Right here at work. 

So in an attempt to follow my usual finished object format, I’ve already blown past project name (Owlee) and pattern (Owlie), but…

Pattern:  Owlie is a great little pattern.  I’m not sure it’s an ideal first cables project, just because the sleep sack is so VERY basic, and the whole owl theme and translation depend upon how well the owl cable pattern “pops”.  That noted, it’s a great pattern and surely an adventurous beginner could handle it.  The embroidery was a touch I “borrowed” from other Ravelry project pages.  Not only does it help the owl cable “pop” it allowed me to add some PANK to the project, because the new Mama and I both love pink…

August 2012 003

Yarn:  Good ol’ Lion Brand Pound of Love in antique white.  See, Baby’s parents went the “surprise gender” route, so…  I took a cue from the creamy, dreamy tree mural in Baby’s room, and cast on from stash in a daddy does laundry friendly yarn. 

Needles:  US #8 circs… the little shorties I use for hats.  In fact, Baby’s Mama joked that once Baby outgrows it, maybe Daddy could use it as a winter hat.   I did the last few rows on DPNs, #6s.  That’s also part of my norm for “hats”.

Verdict:  Much loved, and really, isn’t that why we knit?  It made me happy while I knitted, and as predicted, my owl-lovin’ pal also adored it.  Hopefully in 20 years, Baby won’t roll her eyes and blame me for perpetuating the owlness so early in her life.

Now, to finish a baby blanket before Ella arrives (next month, presumably), to knit another sleep sack and a matching cap in a flame pattern, and I think I’ve finally found what I want to knit for Zoe…

What are your favorite baby knits?

Hang onto your Hat!

April 2012 001Don’t get excited.  I didn’t knit it; Kathy did.  Her blog is a little quiet of late, but she’s been a busy woman, and I’m absolutely blown away by her friendship.

Don’t you love the colors?!  I’m itching to see the recipient in it.  I hope he likes it… or will at least humor me and wear it for one silly photo.    No, I won’t tell you who he is in case someone who knows him is reading, and no… you won’t ever see the photo if he does humor me, because if you haven’t noticed, I don’t put up faces of two-legged littles here.

April 2012 003That’s for Kathy and her mom.  I think those two get more joy out of Sissy’s silly fascination with headwear than the rest of us combined.   If the purple flower staring into the lens shot wasn’t so friggin’ awesome, this one would be a new favorite.  Instead, it’s just cute, silly Sissy.

The girl can rock a hat though, can’t she?  I truly don’t stage these photos or do more than crop or adjust the exposure.  This nut KNEW when I walked onto the deck with the hat in hand that it was going to be all about her.  She just hopped up on the little storage cube and waited for her photo shoot.

April 2012 005Sorry.  She’s just so much fun.  Talk about having too much personality in one body… that’s our Sissymonster.

Thanks again, Kathy.  I hope these photos tickled you and your mom… and that the rest of your family will be patient as you force them to look and laugh.

But wait!  Hold onto YOUR hats, because Chanknits. 

April 2012 002Why yes, Chirp is a finished.

Pattern:  Chubby Chirps is a cute, fun pattern.  Keep in mind that I announce regularly that I hate seams, don’t knit toys because of the assembly mess, etc.   All of that aside, I loved making this little guy and would consider knitting more!

Yarn:  Leftover Plymouth Sockotta.  Not my favorite to knit with, but the colors went so well with the hat…

Needles:  #1 Clover short dpns.  I was worried I was going to snap one a few times as I dug for “knit front and back”…

Verdict:  Just knit one yourself.  Or ten.  If I do another one though, I’m gonna’ find some bronze or black brads for the eyes.

Happy Knit Year?

Happy New Year!  The one look back I am comfortable doing is to look at my knitting from 2011.  I can’t even tally up the books read, because I never did settle on how to track what I read.  I was using something on Facebook, but it doesn’t make data sorts easy, so…  Maybe this year, I’ll join basically blogless Susan and use a spreadsheet?  I’m guessing I read about 20 books in ’11, but I truly don’t have a clue.

August 2011 002

So.  Knitting.  I completed 16 projects, in the following categories:

  • 3 hats
  • 4 scarves
  • 5 shawl(ette)s
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 headband
  • 1 capelet
  • 1 shrug

Started, but not completed:

  • Mohair cardi (new goal – complete by Valentines Day)
  • scarf – current project focus
  • a second double-knit headband

UFOs started before 2011 but not completed:

  • Argosy baby blanket – too close not to finish, but need a baby to finish it for and there’s just not one on the way right now
  • Pink cardi – needs to be frogged and yarn will either be repurposed or I’ll reknit seamlessly in a smaller size
  • Cotty socks – a pattern I really want to complete, and I have some yarn more suited to being Christmas socks.  I’ll repurpose that yarn for a shawlette or something.
  • Whisper – when I find the project (HEM), frog and reknit in a smaller size
  • Dash – definitely want to finish sooner rather than later!

Other loose ends:  I owe finished object reports on the shrug and the final scarf of the year.   There’s also yarn to be plied and fiber to finish spinning.  Both handspuns have projects waiting for them.

Plan.  Despite being a planner by nature, I do NOT seem to do well when I plan my hobbies.  It sucks the joy right out of them.  Knowing that, I still can’t help myself and I do have a very flexible agenda.

  1. Cast on for a sock KAL.  I’m not part of the SKA KAL, but it inspired the pattern I’m knitting with gMarie and another friend or two.  I love green, and I’m thinking these can be St. Patrick’s Day socks…
  2. Finish the scarf in progress.
  3. Finish the red mohair cardi.
  4. Finish Dash.
  5. Knit whatever inspires me, because the world won’t end if I don’t finish any of those projects by a certain date.

2012 is going to be a really, REALLY  busy year for me.  Still, I plan to read more, which might mean knitting less.  I’m pondering adding Audible.com to my book efforts.   I’m not sure how well an audio book while walking will work – think lots of “Leave it, Sis” and “Sissy I SAID NO!!” – but I’m going to give it a try.  I don’t spend enough time in the car to really do much with audio books there, so the only other option is playing them while I knit… which could work.

I’m not doing the resolutions or goals thing this year.   I do intend to keep making fitness & health a priority, but Sissy isn’t going to let me slack off there.  I still need to declutter my home, something that is always painfully evident this time of year when I have to find homes for those blessed gifts received.   I also WANT to start cooking again, and I think the Crock Pot will be my friend there, even though I’m not comfortable leaving it plugged in while we’re at work all day.  I’ll let you know how I work around that, and if you have suggestions, let me know.

Wishing you … ENOUGH.  That’s my focus for this year.  I am generally content by nature, and yet… I never feel I’ve done enough.  I saw this on Facebook, and am going to keep it in mind:

I need to check with my mom though…  I think the only reason I wasn’t born in tights and a poncho (I was born as the Sixties wrapped up!) is because it was SUMMER…

Is enough an issue for you?

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!