Thursday, May 25, 2006  

So it IS Possible...

Abby the 3-Legged Wonder Dog has a tremendous amount of energy. 3 hours of puppy-walks a day? No problem! (What? We're going home now? We just got out here!) But this weekend, we discovered the secret to wearing her out - go camping!

We chose the always-lovely Big Meadows Campground in Shenandoah National Park. The weather was amazing, the new tent worked great, and I brought knitting. Abby took it easy on the first day because something was wrong with one of her back feet - we think she must have stepped on a nettle or something, because we couldn't see anything wrong. But apparently, the minimum number of legs she needs is 3, because she was so extra-pathetic hopping around on 2 legs. So she got carries back to the tent, and we just took it easy. Luckily, later on in the evening, she seemed to be fine, and we went on to take many walks in the woods, where we chased those gigantic brown squirrels - the ones with antlers and those little white tails.

I also got to test my "build a wind shelter out of common camping items" skills as the persistent wind kept blowing out the grill (on which we made super yummy potato slices and marinated chicken breasts. We're all about roughing it!)

And later, after dinner, I knit made shadow puppets.

That night, Abby discovered that S had to actually GO OUTSIDE to use the bathroom, so she wanted to make every bathroom trip into a puppy-walk.

The next morning, we went on a nice, long before-breakfast walk sprint. It was a VERY exciting walk - Abby caught (and killed) a vole.

Is this the face of a killer? Oh yeah - 5 birds, 3 mice, 2 voles, 1 squirrel, 1 possum.

So after Killer Abby got another few runs in the woods and did her best "mountain doggy" impression, we headed out of the park - with just one more pitstop for a last bathroom break, an hour of puppy walks, and a good, long roll in the grass.

Once we finally got on the road, this is what happened - she didn't even really wake up when we got home. S had to carry her upstairs, where she fell asleep for the rest of the day.

Notice the grass stain on her front leg.

But yes, there has been occassional knitting. Remember how ages ago I bought some cashmere turtlenecks on crazy-sale and proceeded to cannibalize them?

I finally found a use for the yarn.

I'm spot-on with gauge - 27 sts and 40 rows over 4 inches. ON FREAKING US2's. What could possibly make me even contemplate knitting an ENTIRE FREAKING SWEATER on FREAKING US2's?

Elizabeth I. I think I'm in love with this sweater. And to make it out of 100% cashmere yarn that I got for under $50? I think it was meant to be.

But first, several other things must get crossed off the list. First up - Mom's Lily of the Valley wrap. I'm probably about halfway there lengthwise, but I'm not really sure. I figure I'll keep going until it's done, and then add the border.

Also, I would like to finish the second Eleanora sock before I die a peaceful death of old age. Notice how crimped that yarn is? That's because this is the THIRD FREAKING TIME I've knit the heel. All due to mind-bogglingly stupid mistakes on my part. Sigh.

But it needs to get finished, because waiting in the wings...

Yes, I DID need more sock yarn. LOTS more sock yarn. Every 2 months sock yarn. But look! The mini-skein is too cute to resist!

And speaking of too cute - I just bought a thumb drive. That, my friends, is 1 GB for $30. I'm under 30, and I found myself saying things like "wow, I remember when memory cost hundreds of dollars..."

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006  


Last night, I cast off on the Silk Shrug, and decided to block it overnight in preparation for the dreaded "pick up and knit" edging extravaganza.

So out came the blocking board. And, apparently, my lovely assistant, who can't help but wonder why it's been so long since she got to sit on my knitting help.

I soaked the pieces in cold water, squeezed them "dry" in a towel, and attempted to follow the schematics. Of course, since Debbie only gives 3 measurements, it was a bit of a guess, but at least it's kinda in the right shape, and the fronts seem to match the back, so that's a relief.

My lovely assistant pointed out that I still haven't dealt with weaving in the ends, and then asked if I was aware that this particular knitting was WET. Apparently, she would prefer DRY knitting to sit on, thank you very much!

So with the prospect of one sweater reaching the finish line, I swatched with some cotton yarn Knitterary Girl gifted me... I've washed the swatch vigorously in the sink, and looked to see if there's any measurement change... nothing so far. But it's not tremendously soft yet, so I think I'll machine wash/dry the swatch next to see what happens. But that'll have to wait until laundry day. I don't know what this'll be when it grows up, but I'm thinking a basic pullover or cardi. I like the stockinette best, and I don't think the cotton yarn would be happy with cables or a lot of texture. Sometimes basic is best...

Oh, and I'm occassionally knitting on the Eleanora Sock.

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Monday, May 15, 2006  

Must Take Pictures!

But since I haven't, here are some older pics I haven't posted yet. In my defense, the pink Astrakan Cardi just got a bath, so it's drying. But it's finished, and I've already worn it to work, so after the photo shoot, I can cross another FO off the list!

Seaming this sweater was a pain in the @$$... there's no way to mattress stitch this, and there's no way to use the same yarn. So out came a couple of yarns from stash, and my trusty backstitching skills...

Here you can see a close-up of the side seam - I used the darker pink sock yarn on the less visible seams, and the better-color-match-but-thicker wool ease on the more visible seams (collar, shoulders).

The backstitching looks great from the outside though...

I'll save the official project wrap-up for when I actually have photos of the finished object...

I hope my next FO will be the silk shrug. I'm almost done with the last piece - and then I get to add in all of the edgings. I think I'll block before I pick up and knit, though - I have a feeling the silk will relax quite a bit and make the whole edging process much easier. Shut up - I know I should have swatched. Blah blah blah. I like to live dangerously...

I'm also plugging along on the second Eleanora Sock. It's gotten quite the attention at my new job... yep - I started at my summer associate position on Monday (hence the lack of pictures!) So far, I'm really loving it... I think I picked the right firm. First clue? The librarians in the law library knit. How do I know? I was working on the sock while I waited for the training to start, and it was like moths to a flame. I'm working on setting up a lunchtime knitting club, but we'll see. I'm only there for 12 weeks, so it might be tough. But still - KNITTERS!

But since I don't really have any pictures or progress or anything else, here are some distracting dog pictures. But look! Yarn! So it's KINDA like knitting, right?

That's the pork bone we pulled out of the crock-pot pork roast. We froze it, and apparently it was the YUMMIEST THING EVER.

But all of that chewing is really hard work...

REALLY REALLY hard work!

No, seriously - couldn't even wake up for snuggles hard work.

"Can't you people see I'm sleepy?"

So tired.....

See? You've totally forgotten that this was one of the suckiest posts ever. Ah, the power of the cute animals...

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Thursday, May 11, 2006  

Sheep and Wool, Day 2

"Mommy, I loves him!"

Don't get any ideas, Abby - we're not getting you a sheep!

Sheep porn.

This guy was SO not happy that his little buddy (see above) wasn't hanging out in the pen anymore. He kept trying to climb the fence to go rescue his buddy...

"Hold on, I'm coming!!"

Before and After...

This guy liked to be scratched behind the ears. If you stopped, he head-butted you to let you know that you weren't rubbing anymore.

The original mutton-chops.



Saturday, May 06, 2006  

Sheep and Wool, Day 1

I spent the day at MDS&W with the fabulous Erin, and it was a blast - partly because we got to spend Ann's money - apparently she thought that getting married was more important than Sheep and Wool. So we were armed with a list, and, before she left, she handed over the cash. Drug deal? Nope - WOOL deal.

So after meeting up at a local *$s, we headed north. All was smooth sailing until we exited Hwy 70 - this may be one of the only traffic jams ever to be caused entirely by wool.

And despite arriving just seconds after the doors opened, the parking lot was far from empty...

Once inside, we lost no time in finding the most relaxed animal in the entire fairgrounds. Look at that bunny-face!!!

Speaking of pure happiness, someone bought a wheel... isn't it beautiful?

Thanks to the wheel (and a teeny accident with the cormo booth), we had to stop by the car before lunch...

... but the brief detour didn't seem to slow us down too much. Here's what happens when you go to a booth, describe what you want to use a fleece for, and have the owner/farmer say "you need sheep PR44". How freaking cool is that - you tell her what you need, she tells you which sheep will be best. It definitely took a large measure of self restraint to NOT jump straight into the fleece and roll in it - it was really that soft.

After lunch, we met up with a few good friends at the en masse blogger meetup. It was fabulous, even though I mostly took the opportunity to catch up with Phyl-Phyl and Wendy, who are local, but who I don't manage to see nearly enough.

And the stash? It wasn't too bad. The slippers were for S... the back 4 skeins are sock yarn from Ellen's Half Pint Farm. The colors are fabulous, and I love the feel of this yarn! Plus, sock yarn doesn't count, right?

Ummm... and all of those skeins in the front? Well, the Cormo booth got a first-thing visit from a few of the KH irregulars, and by 9:30 we had cleaned them out of their worsted. I now own 1730 yards of new cream cormo happiness, and I have 410 yards or so leftover from my last batch. But just when I was going to check out, I noticed the brown/black "Black Cormo Cross" yarn. Wow. I love this color! It's not quite as soft as the cormo, but the color is AMAZING. So I bought, um, 1375 yards of it. I was a bit nervous when I got home that I hadn't bought enough, but then I did a few calculations. Apparently, the Ireland Cardi only took a bit over 1300 yards of the cream cormo - so if I do a similar sweater design, it should be fine. I'm actually thinking I might do a guernsey. Or, just to be safe, I may stop by the Cormo booth tomorrow and see if they have 1 more skein of the brown...

tomorrow - sheep, sheep dogs, and the cutest baby goat ever!



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Alpine Lace
Astrakan Cardigan
Baby Gifts
Dad's Vest
Denim Skirt
Elizabeth I
Gathering Intentions
Grandma's Blanket
Henry VIII
Ireland Cardigan
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