Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Chloe's Sweater
Well, I finished Chloe's sweater and am not at all pleased with it. I used the weight of yarn and needles called for in the pattern but when I put it on her you could see her coat ( she's red and white ) right thru the yarn!!! This is not going to keep this pup warm when it gets cold, sooooooooooo .
I decided to make her another sweater. As I was shopping in my stash - I found some super bulky weight bright red acrylic yarn with bits of orange,yellow,green,blue and white mixed in ( will definitely have to wear my sunglasses when she's outside in the sun and snow with this sweater on ). It has a nice fuzzy halo around it and is soft. Of course, Chloe had to come and help pick it out ( and I had to grab her before she took off like a shot with some of my Shetland yarn, she wanted her sweater made out of THAT - yes, she has good taste but it ain't gonna happen in her lifetime that she gets a sweater made out of Shetland wool ). She did finally, after some discussion, settle on the above mentioned red yarn and I ( of course, WITH her help ) started knitting it.
Chloe thinks whenever I sit down to knit on her sweater that SHE has to put her head in my lap on every 2 - 3 minutes poke her nose up thru the knitting to see how it's going,. And heaven forbid should I have to leave the sweater in the basket to go answer the phone or do anything else, because she has it on the floor rolling in it with her feet up in the air ( I suppose this means she likes it, but it sure is annoying ).
Her sweater should be done next week and I'll post a picture of it on the demon dog child. She does wear the original out to play in the mud ( talk about a swamp-rat ) but it's too big for her, so I made this one smaller and it should fit better. She is learning that she has to put her sweater on before she goes outside and it has reduced the amount of mud she drags in ( in fact, the sweater, after only ONE trip outside to show the ducks what she got, could stand on it's own!!! ), so that will be her " play " sweater and the new one will be worn when she goes someplace ( shopping for dog toys and sheep feed, to the vet's, or visiting ).
Well,I don't remember where I left her sweater and she's quiet so I need to see if she has found it again - talk about a busy girl.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Well, I pulled all of the stash that I could find and did an inventory and skein count and have finally regained consciousness. I counted 131,count them again, 131 skeins of acrylic ( I decided NOT to add the small amount of cotton, silk, and wool to my stash - so I'll have something to work towards next year ) in the stash. I called a friend and she asked me if I'd be willing to help out her guild ( I had visions of hauling this load to her house, but no such luck ) and, since I can knit fairly fast, would I be willing to make caps and blankies for premature babies for them. Seeing a way to get rid of the yarn and do something good at the same time, I stood up and shouted " YES, I'LL DO IT !!! " So, I also decided to make some really soft watch caps as chemo caps and give them to the medical oncologist who took care of my mom when she had breast cancer so she can give them to her patients in my mom's name ( I've been looking for something to do for her since she was fantastic with my mom and I think this will do the trick ).
So, now that all that's settled and the yarn has been cataloged and the patterns for the baby blankies have been chosen, all I have to do is knit myself silly and have ALL this done by Easter!!! Oh, well, it needs to be done, so watch the smoke fly from my needles - dogs beware, MOM's knitting tonight!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Well,I got to looking, this afternoon, at my stash of yarn and came up with the conclusion I need to do something with it, it's getting out of hand. So, while I was reading Wendy Knits' blog, I decided to do what she and a friend of hers are going to do - they are going to knit from their stash and not buy any yarn ( unless it's needed to finish an item in progress ) until Sept. 1 and then they are going to buy more yarn.
What I plan on doing is not buy any more yarn until my stash is almost gone ( hopefully by the end of 2007, if not before ) and then start to work on cleaning and spinning the bags of wool from the sheep into tons of wonderful Shetland yarns - natural and dyed colors. I may buy the occassional yarn that I don't have ( i.e., alpaca, camel, yak, silk ) but I'm going to restrict myself to the natural fibers unless someone requests something done in acrylic or fancy glitzy yarns. I have all this wool looking at me and I'm not doing anything with it but letting it sit and that's crazy.
So, as of January 1,2007, I will not be buying any more yarn until my stash is depleted. Good thing I can knit fairly fast. It should be an interesting year.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

This is what I woke up to this morning. It's about 1 - 2 inches of powdery snow out back and less out front with the wind howling through the trees as if it were March instead of December.

Chloe and Stylle went out and Chloe proceeded to slide off the deck - I don't think she likes the snow because she was trying to walk without it touching her feet ( nothing like some comic relief in the morning ).

The sheep aren't real happy about the snow but they can get out and graze some.

It's supposed to be in the mid to upper 40's by Saturday so this should be gone. I haven't seen or heard from the kennel dogs today - knowing Maggie and Rosie they've threatened Vinnie and Catcher NOT to move from the doghouses so they ( the girls ) don't get cold. At least I have the dog houses facing with the back of the houses to the wind. If I remember right, the girls get in the back of the doghouses and make the boys sleep across the doorway to keep the cold out. Whoever said labs aren't smart haven't talked to my girls lately. Want to guess WHO runs the doghouses?

This is the start of Chloe's sweater she asked for. It's made out of 100% acrylic ( there is NO way I'm gonna make a sweater for this girl out of wool with as dirty and muddy as she gets ). It's knit on size US 10 needles at about 3.7 sts / inch ( whatever 0.7 stitch is ) in a 3-to-1 knit rib for the bottom and the collar of the sweater and then size US 11 for the main part in stockinette. The pattern calls for sleeves all the way down to her ankles but will end up being midway between her elbow and knee ( again considering the mud factor with her ). It's a bulky weight yarn and should keep her warm and knit up fast. Now to convince Chloe to leave me alone long enough to finish the darn thing ( she thinks that she has to " help " me knit her sweater - but HER idea of helping and mine are not the same ).

This hat was knit as a surprize Christmas present for a friend of mine and , as soon as I get the pattern written, will be for sale as a kit. So watch the side bar for the kit.

She was definitely not expecting it as I did it at the last minute and mailed it last Thursday. It took about 3 hours to knit and came out pretty well, even if I do say so myself.

The picture isn't the greatest but it was dark the day I took this and had to improvise a way to light it so it could be seen.

It's made out of acrylic and can be machine washed. It has a soft fuzzy hand and is very comfortable to wear. The colorway is called " diamond " and is a very pale bluish white with flecks of red/green/yellow and blue scattered through it, so it can be worn with any color of coat and not clash ( which was a good thing since I didn't know what color her coat was and I really didn't want to ask and start an avalanch of questions ).

I designed it myself from another hat I made for me a couple years ago when I was playing around with some left over yarn I had in my stash. Actually, I needed a new hat to wear out to feed the sheep because my original wool hat was starting to look a little ratty ( yes , I do still wear it ) and had the extra yarn and found my needles and whipped up the original hat. The yarn I used for it was Lion Brand Thick and Quick in the wheat colorway on size 10.5 needles. Talk about a warm hat - it's so warm that you break out into a sweat wearing it on a cold day. May have to write up that pattern too.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Dear MOM

I have been a good girl ( WELL, for the most part ) and I haven't chewed up anything ( unless you consider the Wal-Mart knock offs that I took the strap off for you because it looked uncomfortable ) and I was wondering if you , with ALL your knitting talent, could you please make me a sweater to wear when I go outside to play???

I went out with Stylle yesterday and came back in soooo cold that you couldn't see my beautiful spots!!! It took quite a while to warm up and then I found out Stylle ( who NEVER gets cold - she has a real nice heavy winter coat she grows every year ) was lying next to you on the sofa under the quilt, and I was freezing my spots off. Is that fair???

Please, MOM, make me a nice warn snuggly sweater to wear. I promise I'll be good and not tear up things while you sleep on the weekends. I'M SOOOOO COLD. Love, Chloe."

Now, how could anyone refuse a request like that? OK, Chloe, I'll see what I can find and make you a sweater. - MOM.