Saturday, February 27, 2010

Clyde goes home, Abigail arrives

We had double foster pups for a few hours, as we added sweet Abigail to the family last night, and Clyde went to his forever home this afternoon.

We took Clyde to the Meet & Greet for another round of shots, and ran into his Momma, Lindy, and brothers Moose and George. It was amazing to see the clan back together, and the variations between the pups. Clyde was the only pup with upright ears. He was also the only one who had figured out potty training. Yay, Clyde!

Abigail is a pretty girl, but pretty sick with an upper respitory thing. I've never wiped a pup's nose before! She's on antibiotics, but has been coughing and snorking and just sick. Dr. Melissa prescribed Robitussin DM, which I was able to borrow from my neighbor. After just one dose, Abbie is sleeping peacefully on my lap. Poor girl - hopefully now she can rest better!

In Knitting Olympic news, I am almost done with Merino Lace sock 1 - just the toe to go. I will be able to cast on sock 2, but I will not get two pairs of socks knit during the Olympics. I did knit four socks, yes, but unraveling and reknitting Sleepy Hollow sock 1 means only 3 to show off!

Since my beloved alpaca hat and gloves have lost themselves, I will be casting on Aussie wool gloves as soon as Merino Lace 2 is done - so no taking it easy just because the Olympics are done!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Merino Lace from Favorite Socks

I have been knitting along on my Olympics project #2, the Merino Lace socks from Favorite Socks. The pattern has been quick to memorize. I appreciate the way the this-way-that-way leaning 3-st lace columns help me keep track of the 5-st lace repeats, and after a knit through the 12 st center panel, I can see what's going on there and don't have to keep checking the charts. It's also lovely to get a rest every other round. It's just such a clever pattern!

Since I have only 444 yards of Gloss yarn, not the recommended 525, I am shortening the leg by 2 repeats. I meant to weigh my Sleepy Hollow socks before the heel flap started, but I forgot. I'm thinking I should have more than half my yarn left, but I'm not sure if I should have two-thirds.

I am going to do the heel as directed, as the lace continues down the heel flap, and the st st gussets look nice.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet Sleepy Hollows

My Sleepy Hollow socks are done! The third sock was easy peasy - I'll have to keep that in mind for future sock knitting, I guess.

I am wearing the socks now, because I had to take a photo and they are so sweet on my feet, I don't want to take them off. They will definitely debut tomorrow for a full day's wear.

Since I finished darning in my ends at 7:30pm, I had time to finish a good circular swatch for my next Olympic sock. Yes, I am only committing to finishing one Merino Lace sock! After all, I've knit 3 socks already, thanks to SH sock 1's reincarnation as sock 3. Maybe I can tear through both socks, but I'm not sure if I want to do a SH heel or the heel as directed - I haven't read through the pattern past the leg.

In Clyde news, he has come through surgery well. A little stoned, but as a result more cuddly than usual. He and Harley still managed to raise a ruckus tearing up their favorite stuffed bunny. Harley loves Clyde, of course, because he is a total softy about puppies. Sometimes I feel like a baaaaad master, always bringing home new doggy siblings and then getting rid of them. When a puppy disappears to its new home, Harley gives me the stink eye and acts suspicious for a couple days. I am certain he figures his days are numbered, too.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Knitting Monday

Monday means knitting lunch, and today I brought my Sleepy Hollow sock instead of my usual Mohair Monster.

The mohair monster has been my project forever, because I have to knit eight short rows for every one row in length. I love the spirally effect, but it's not speedy.

Today, though, was all about Sleepy Hollow. Sock 2 is done, and pretty spiffy. When I started knitting at noon, I'd almost finished joining the turned heel back to the gusset, so I showed the sexy heel off to my knitting buddies.

Pamdear and TrinKnitty also took a turn with the 9" sock needle, and TrinKnitty took photos. Yes, there is a needle between my fingers! I have large hands and the needle tips are less than 2" long, but it's comfortable for me. It felt claustrophobic for T., and P. had to adjust her knitting style. I am just happy with having only one needle to worry about, even though I can not use my usual picking style . Instead, I throw my knit stitches left handed (the way I always purl). There just isn't enough needle tip to hang on to to make the picking comfortable.

I should be able to finish Sock 3 tomorrow, and then I will start my second pair of socks (without really hoping to finish them before the Olympics end). While I'm longing to use my Signature needles for the Merino Lace socks, I have only size 2.25mm and 2.5mm, and I should really use 2mm to get the gauge correct. I've got a circular swatch going on the 2.25mm Signatures; I'm going to knit another inch and measure it. While I expect it will be off by a half stitch at minimum, it may work fine for my large feet! The Signatures are so sleek and pointy - it would be a joy to knit a pair of socks on them!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Trisockalon news with unrelated but very cute puppy photo

I've been knitting like a fiend on Sleepy Hollow sock #2, since sock #1 will become sock #3 and I'm feeling some pressure. I've swatched for a second pair of socks, but I don't think I will get two pair done - although I may have knit 4 socks by the end of the Olympics!

The yarn for pair 2 is also from Knitpicks, lovely Gloss Sock with wool and silk. It's squooshy and lovely to knit!

Clyde has been a wonderful foster pup. He's a funny doggy dog, with lots of energy and an ability to be michievous without being too naughty. Last night, I woke from a deep sleep because of a strange ringing thump in the bathroom where Clyde was supposed to be sleeping. I went to check on him, and he had somehow managed to knock a metal trash can off the bathroom counter into his kennel. I had taken the top of the kennel, because he was using it to climb on the counter to look for new toys.

Clyde pretended he knew nothing about the trash can. As it would seemly nearly impossible for a 6lb pup to reach an 18" pop-top trashcan on a 36" counter, I couldn't scold him. He would have given me that "Are you crazy, nice lady?" look, and I would have had to agree it seemed highly improbable. He was completely ready to play, which was a problem because we'd been up until 1am and it was only 5:33am. We went to the toy basket and found some new toys, and I put him back in the bathroom, hoping he would amuse himself.

Clyde, soon to be Scoutmaster Clyde Hale, has his surgery Tuesday and goes to his new home Wednesday. My whole family will miss him. He's a keeper. I'm glad we know the Hales and can get Scout updates - I expect there will be many good stories!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I did it

I had to.

I unraveled Sleepy Hollow sock #1. I finished leg #2, and it fit so nice, and the ribbing was so pretty... sock #1 was embarrassed. It wanted to be unraveled, rewound, and reknit. Really.

Who am I to argue with a sock?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I may be crazy, but at least I'm only armed with pointy sticks

Now that I've put it out there, unraveling sock #1 to redo the cast on doesn't sound that bad. I want a pair of socks that fit, after all. As a Knitting Olympic challenge, I would have time to reknit. It just seems crazy.

After all, I am no longer a perfectionist. When I was about 12, I was working on a project and couldn't get some little thing right. I was near tears, when my mom came in and laughed at me. Laughed long and hard, as I recall. I was shocked, but its was a kind of revelation. Why was I getting all knotted up about such a little thing?

My mom gave me my foundations in crafting, and her mantra was "no one will ever notice." As a reformed perfectionist, I ask the important corollary: "Will I notice?" It's very freeing to be able to make a choice - without compulsion.

I may choose to reknit sock #1, but I have two balls of lovely blue wool, and an assortment of wonderful sock patterns to choose from - so will I notice one sloppy ribbing, or not?

As for the photo above, Mom was obviously a newlywed in this photo. I don't remember her totin' guns after Bro and I were around. The most dangerous thing I ever saw her brandish was a sewing needle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

#2 begun, photo of sexy sole

I cast on Sleepy Hollow #2 during the women's snow cross tonight. I was not 100% happy with the stretchy long-tail cast on I used on sock #1, and actually considered using a different cast on. Instead, I cast on to a 0 dpn, and then slid the stitches on to my 9" circular 0.

Note to self: Do not cast on to your 9" circular! The needle tips are just too short to get an consistent row of stitches.

Now that I've figured that out, all I have to do is unravel sock #1 and fix the cast on... heh, no I'm not that crazy. I will just have show off my socks from mid ankle, and make sure my pants cover the mismatched cast-ons. Or wave my sexy heels and soles at everyone... "pay no attention to the sloppy cast on!"

I am going to flip through my sock pattern stash (yes, I have a pattern stash) and find a pattern for socks #2. It may take a while, because I have a few years of magazines plus my binderful of Knitty and other free downloads to browse through.

I visited the Vogue Knitting site the other day, because Khi gave me a VK subscription for Xmas. They have a 3D viewer for the last year or so's patterns, and it's very cool! Sometimes photos just don't do the knitted item justice - sometimes the photos are just too Vogue. I will have to go back to find the sock pattern that completely wowed me on the website - I know I barely glanced at in the magazine, so it might be hard to spot.

Back to Men's Short Program!

Monday, February 15, 2010

1 down, 1 to go plus bonus photo!

Sleepy Hollow sock #1 is done! Kitchnered the toe while watching the pair skating. I kitchnered it twice, actually, after getting distracted by the awesome skating and ending up with three stitches on my back needle and only one on the front. Oops. I should have found my fave Kitcher instructions, but I just went with what I had handy.

I am very happy with the fit. The leaf pattern opens up for just a little laciness, but it's still very cozy. The heel is very comfy and just looks cool.

Now I have just realized that it's very, very difficult to take pictures of your own feet - at least in an attractive way that shows of the sole of your new sock. The boys are in bed; I will have one of them photograph my single sock tomorrow. I'm not sure what's on the Olympics for tomorrow, but I will probably be casting on sock #2.

If I can finish this sock in a timely manner, I will cast on another pair of socks -- it's not like I lack yarn, patterns, or skinny needles!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sleepy Hollow heel with inadequate photo of completely awesome knit-in gusset

I just finished the Sleepy Hollow heel, and it was every bit as exciting as I hoped. It's a beautiful thing, not difficult but requiring some attention. Most of all, it's neat and tidy. I love this heel!

I have not tried the sock on; I want to work a instep pattern or two so I can really see how it fits.

At this pace, I will easily finish my socks before the end of the Olympics. I may have to do do two pair!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Opening Ceremony: Knitting Olympics

I decided to knit socks for the Yarn Olympics, as finishing socks is usually difficult for me. I'm using Knit Picks kettle dyed Essential, and actually bought a sock pattern, Sleepy Hollow, because Yarn Harlot lured me into it. A heel with no stitches to pick up? I am all over that. I love the leaf patterned leg, too. I get to use my circular sock needle for the first time, a HiyaHiya bamboo beauty, size 2mm. It's a trifecta of fun with stash usage, tool usage, and pattern! Yeeha!

I made it through the ribbing and one pattern repeat on sock one while watching the opening ceremonies.

I might have knit faster if Khi and I hadn't decided to play a drinking game. We took a drink every time Bob Costas said something smarmy, stupid, or obvious. I had finished a bottle before the athletes' entrance was 1/3 over... I was taking small sips; Khi was on his second drink. I think I finished 3 drinks before Bob starting pausing to watch the drama. It was a good opening ceremony!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chemo hats, ahoy!

Last year, I heard about group looking for hand knit items for breast cancer patient care baskets. I ended up knitting at least half a dozen hats for them.

Today I received an e-mail from a PharmD student who is coordinating breast cancer care baskets this year. She wrote to ask if I would knit more hats, and included the recommendation from last year's coordinator: "...there's a COP staff person who knitted most of the hats last year...she just pounded them out!!"

Heheh. OK, so after submitting a couple hats, I agreed to take their bag of leftover balls and knit a bunch of hats in about a week. I really enjoyed it!

I used the super easy, super flexible Pi Topper chemo cap by Corey Laflamme ( It's a great pattern, using just one ball of nubby cotton Elann Esprit. I knit the cap as written, then in seed and other stitch variations, and rounded out my litter by knitting a black cap with stripes from the leftover yards from the other caps.

I offered to do a half-dozen caps this year - quick, satisfying breaks from Percy and my flock of shawls. I think I did a WW prayer shawl last year, but the caps are quicker and I think maybe more useful to more people - and there's no way I'm giving Percy up to anyone.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dog vs. Percy (with cute puppy photo)

The Percy shawl is my primary project right now. I have tried casting on a sock, or something easy, but Percy calls to me.

Today, however, Percy called to me from a heap in the middle of my living room. I found my ball of Harmony first. "Hmmm... I didn't leave that ball of yarn there OH-MY-GOD-WHERE'S-PERCY!?"

Percy was, thankfully, still attached to the ball, and mostly still on the needles. Mostly.

There was no question as to who snatched Percy from my knitting basket. I currently have three dogs in my house, but only new foster puppy Clyde has not heard the shriek that comes from seeing a ball of cashmere in a slobbery puppy mouth (that of O'Malley or Calloway, I think it was).

Clyde is one of four "toolbox pups" from Harlan County. He was found stuffed in a plastic toolbox with three siblings and his mother in front of the shelter. One pup didn't survive, but Clyde, George, Moose and their momma made it to Minnesota. Momma is a spaniel of some sort, red & white with a sprinkling of spots, but much too thin. Moose was the runt, with her coloring and a wide white blaze down his nose with a red spot in the middle - too cute! Clyde and George have the build and markings of Bernese Mountain dogs, according to Khi. I suppose they could be beagles, but we've seen big furries from Harlan before, so there is some large fluffy daddy making it with the ladies.

We brought Clyde home Friday night. He is a sturdy pup, with lovely grey-green eyes. He is sweet, lusciously soft, and awfully endearing (except for his sleep habits - he doesn't like to sleep alone at night and isn't afraid to say so).

After two days with us, he has decided he is at home. Comfortable enough to tease Harley (who has 25 pounds on him but is too soft-hearted to snap), to chew crayons, books, and the doggy bed basket (typical toddler), and to eat the big dog food and completely ignore his special puppy food. He may already know his name, or just the baby voice we all use when we talk to him.

He will learn the rules - like leaving my yarn alone. I will learn to put my projects in a safe place. In the meantime, I was able to tink less than half a row of Percy and get my stitches back in order, and added a dozen more rows. All is well!

Friday, February 5, 2010


Percy is a bit of a brat. Just when I think I have him figured out, he pulls the wool over my eyes. Last night, despite preparedness, focus, and confidence, I could not for the life of me make row 0 follow row 31.

I puzzled and puzzed 'til my puzzler was sore, and finally ended up pulling my life line out (eek!), tinking back to row 27, and trying to start row 0 from there. Nope. I reread the pattern. No help. I counted squares and symbols. Nothin'.

After much knitting, tinking, gnashing of teeth and so on, I took a pen and drew the row 0 symbols above row 31. Even this took a few attempts - I had apparently lost my ability to count in the struggle - but finally, I had scribbled, inky proof that row 0 would flow from row 31...

At 11:45pm. Doubledagnabit.

I had to reknit the 4 rows I tinked, and knit row 0. Had to. It would have been wrong to drop beautiful (if tinky) Percy in the middle of a row, with yards of rewound cobweb on my lovely ball of Harmony yarn. I wanted, needed a fresh start when I came back today.

Shortly before 1am, row 0 had been knit onto row 31. I believe somewhere an angel got her wings, or at least kicked some imp's ass for me. Maybe I should take her lead, and dump Percy in the basket of unknittables 'til he improves his attitude.

Or maybe just keep knitting. Aha! That'll show 'im.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I finished the first repeat of Chart B last night. After a day of no shawl knitting. I made a couple mistakes right away, and found I'd knit less than two rows forward when I had to tink two rows back to found a mislaid stitch. I found it, and two missed (or slippery) YOs.


After getting past that point, though, the rows flew by. I rethreaded my lifeline on row 31. Tonight I start rows 0-27, which I will probably need to repeat at least 3 times. The inches accumulate slowly when knitting with cobweb yarn on 0s!

I'm less needy for yarn, with many yards of Harmony left to knit, but I may cast on an easy project - perhaps a pair of gloves, since my cabled sangria Knit Picks Andean Silk gloves are starting to show some wear. I keep finding silky bats in the ends of the fingertips. Much nicer than wooly pills, I guess, but after a while I find myself getting too fidgety and I have to pull them out. Maybe if I kept all a' them, I could spin them into something new! Heheh. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pictures: Silk on Wires and more Percy

I finally took photos tonight.
My recycled silk Dandy neckerchief is on my Fleet Farm blocking wires. I don't have a spray bottle, so I haven't really blocked it, but it is being stretched. The garter edge is not wired, only the sides, and I haven't figured out how to hold my blocking wires down. Maybe on my old cutting board? The wires, 4 feet of 1/8" stainless steel, are a bit thick but seem to be working well.

The Percy shawl is a really rewarding knit.
It's so light and lovely. The Harmony yarn color changes are subtle and slow - it's like knitting a sunrise, the color change is so gradual. Didn't make much progress tonight, but look forward to getting through the first repeat (of several, no doubt) of chart B.

Mercy, Percy!

I have been knitting like a fiend on the Percy shawl. Made it through chart A eight times, threaded a lifeline through the last row of purls, took a deep breath, and started chart B...

And had to tink row 2. I forgot the even rows were patterned, not just purled, and had made it happily 3/4 through row 2 before I realized what I was doing. Then I read the chart backwards on row 2, because on chart A it didn't really matter. After thinking about what I was trying to do, I figured it out and made a cheat sheet for the k2tog/ssk and p2tog/ssp, depending on if I'm on the right or left center of the shawl. I highlighted every 2dec either orange or yellow to make the chart even easier to read.

I've had a few scares, when I ran out of stitches or had too many and couldn't see why. I had to tink a couple rows more than once because I lost a stitch among the k2tog, YO bit, and wasn't far along enough to see the pattern. It's gotten a bit easier/quicker, but I still refer to my cheat sheet and make sure I'm thinking and watching what's happening.

I'm on row 24 of Chart B; with the fine, fine yarn and teeny, tiny needles I'm using, I will get to do several repeats!