Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Okay, it's too small. We were pretty sure our boy needed a large, but there were none to be found in the costumes we liked. The extra large looked huge. (Note to self: Mugsy ain't skin 'n bones.) So, it wasn't comfortable, and the head piece fit not at all, really. That didn't stop my mother inlaw (let's call her MJ since everyone else has some sort of name) and Pop from TRYING to cram Mugsy's thick neck and swelled head into the bit o' fabric.
It COULD have been a cute costume. See the potential?!
We did have one "treater." It's hard to even threaten a trick or treat when you're about a pound and move from one human's hands to another. Abby's sweater fits perfectly! I'm tickled pink, as I had to really fudge the pattern to attempt to make it small enough for the bitty gal. The fact that she moves comfortably in this sweater makes me happier than you can imagine. There's room for a bit of growth, but a slightly larger wool version in self-striping sock yarn is in my queue.
Pattern - Dandy Dog Sweaters, Mocked Cable by Fiber Trends
Needles - size 6 straights, size 5 dpns
Yarn - TLC Baby in White Sparkle
Modifications - Too many to list. Everything was shorter.
An exceptionally quick knit, and truly, probably the most gratifying yet. Abby is content, her owners are stupid-happy, enough so that they brought her up to our house (gee, a whopping 1/2 mile away!) for me to see.
Now, back to packing. The laptops are going, as is the never-ending Tofutsie sock (I love this yarn and pattern, and I hate that it keeps getting shuffled aside!), Fred's Yarn for the Knight's sock, and a certain blue alpaca lace. MJ's birthday socks might go too, because I plan on lots of down time, which means lots of knitting. Transit to and from alone will afford me 8 hours of knitting!
PS - If I settle on a yarn for the cabled headband, that's going too.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
So, since I'm finally realizing November is RIGHT HERE and that means Thanksgiving and a confirmed visit from Anne (coming for two Thanksgivings in a row makes it a sustainable tradition, right?), I'll share some of my favorite photos from my favorite holiday.
That's my all-time favorite photo of Pop. It captures his best personality. There's also a very cranky, demanding old man personae, but you don't care to meet that one.
My apologies to my vegan pals, but that's about the only way I like turkey. The Knight and Dae (aka: my father inlaw) can deep-fry a turkey with the best of 'em. The Knight is the resident carver, but here, one of the ladies preps it for the carving.
I'm really excited about the stack of pumpkin recipes Gaylen sent me too. Pumpkin is a food group in our house, for the next few months anyway. They'll be going to the beach with us. I'm really hoping the Knight will adore my version of the beach. We've always done the beach his way, which is to say, Myrtle Beach. Myrtle's okay, but when I think beach, I think Outer Banks, and I'm looking forward to having a house to call our own, and having Mugsy with us. Cutting the travel time almost in half won't hurt either.
I'm thinking it's about contest time again too. Keep your eyes open; Thanksgiving will mark my one-year of knitting anniversary, and I'm certainly thankful for all that knitting has brought to my life, especially my friendships with so many of you.
Now that I've bored you too, we'll call this post done.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Yarn: Ella Rae Amity. I liked it well enough for this project, but it doesn't drape well enough for anything other than blankies and snuggles. It felt good enough sliding through my fingers, but it's got that acrylic "fuzz" thing going on. There were knotted joins in both skeins, which again, for a snuggle Mugsy is going to dig and scratch in is fine, but I definitely wouldn't be pleased if I was using it for a sweater for me, which was the reason I wanted to try this yarn.
Needles: The trust KP Options with the metal tips this time, because Anne warned that I'd need to scratch and dig a bit on those P3 combos. I don't think I split more than a couple of stitches, and they were easily fixed.
Then, I cast on several times, with three different yarns, for little neighbor Abby's first coat. It's a Fiber Trends pattern, done with a sport weight yarn instead of worsted, so it should be small enough to fit the wee lass. Of course, the great thing about knitting for little ones is be they human or canine, I'm about halfway on the back portion now. (Not in this photo, but we had a brief DSL not working episode.) It's very girly, and I wouldn't want to wear this stuff next to my skin - the flecks of color are rather coarse - but I think Abby will enjoy it.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Firstly, I must apologize to my friend. The bag did look better when it left here, but the photo on Anne's blog just turns my stomach. Pout. I hope she knows I honestly wouldn't have sent her such a train wreck of a bag, and I hope her Bag Lady skills will allow her to restore it to something more akin to what left here. Obviously, my concerns about it still being damp within somewhere were well-founded.
We'll start at the end and work our way back. There's the finished product, which pleases me more than I thought it would. This is the Plymouth blah blah pattern, and let me be clear; I CANNOT recommend this pattern to anyone. Awful ain't the word. There are errors in the chart and no errata to be found, although I think I was able to figure out how to make the assorted cables mirror each other, within the rows and top to bottom.
The little pop of green at the top? Yeah, well, pictured on the pattern photo, but NOT written into the pattern, so I kinda' guessed, and made the green wider than I really wanted it, but it's all good. The straps? Um, yeah. I made them THREE times as long as the pattern called for. Who on earth does a 35 row strap on a felted bag?! Also, a bag this size really should be done in a bulky yarn or two strands of worsted, and I'll know better in the future, not that I'll do this pattern again. No way. I hope Anne finds it acceptable and can use it to store yarn in or something, but it's not even worth trying to modify for future use.
Yarn: Patons Wool. Six balls of dark grey, and two balls of bottle green, with the last ball of each barely getting used. I did have to buy an extra ball of the grey, as the pattern called for five, and I have this annoying habit of knitting VERY loosely for felted projects. Loved the way this felted up, with more heft than I would have predicted, but DANG this stuff sheds. In desperation, I did run it through the dryer on no heat for a few minutes, which helped tremendously. I also ran one of those shaver muh-bobs over it.
Needles: Knitpicks Options, in both metal and the sweet Harmonys. My knitting did tighten up some with the Harmonys, and I'm liking those very much. Size #10.5, 32 inch circs.
Pattern: Plymouth Celtic Felted Tote, #P635
New skills: You can't see it in the final product, but I will likely take the time (and it is laborious) to do an i-cord bind-off on all my felted bags in the future. Great little trick, that.
This is also my first cabled project, and I enjoyed cables, but not the way this pattern was written. The bottoms and tops of the diamonds were sloppy, and I don't know that I did anything wrong. (Really don't like this pattern, just in case you missed that.) I'm looking forward to doing a cabled headband and other cables very soon.
I also had to do an infinite amount of seaming. Each corner and each cable, inside and out, had to be drawn together to give it that little bit of texture. I like it, and had the bag not felted from 34"x 24" to 17" x 13" , I think it would have shown up a bit better.
The handles were a neat trick. Each one is two straps, with different yarn-over patterns, so that they easily weave together. The end result is beautiful, I think, and it makes a solid, double-thick handle for this still very large tote.
This monster was truly a labor of love, and I'm sorry to tell any future felted bag pals that I don't think you should count on a tote. I enjoy smaller bags a lot more. Mugsy was kinda' hoping it would be his new bed, and had it not felted better than expected, that was a serious possibility. Some orthopedic foam shoved in there with the top stitched shut, and he would have had labor-intensive dog bed.
Also, can anyone tell me why most of my bags have such a floppy, stretched-out top? We didn't tug on this one much at all, except to widen it at the center, where the cable drew in so much, but all of my felted bags have this ruffly top, to some degree.
The promised how big is it really shot. Folks, I'm 5'3" if that helps you wrap your mind around how big this was prior to felting.
Anners, I wish it had turned out more like the photo on the pattern, and I hope again you can restore it to what it looked like when it left here. Pout.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Also, if you're like me (forgetful), you need a reminder that the Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap is open for registration. Get that questionnaire posted though!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
When he's got a good buzz going, he'll even dance with me, and smile for the camera. (Thanks Mona!!)
A great big raspberry to the doubters who said we'd never last. We're still together, still going strong. Here's to many more, my darling Knight!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
One more shot of all of the yarn, because it's just so lovely. Oh, and it's as soft as Fred after a bath too, or those velvet ears, which remained softer than the finest velvet through the years. I will be very motivated to finish up what I'm now calling Anne's sleeping bag of a felted bag, so that I can Ravelry my way through some man sock patterns and some shawls. (It's DK weight, in case anyone has any brilliant ideas. Nothing too lacy though; Fred was a no-frills, don't mind the slobber kind of dog.) I also would be remiss if I didn't send you to Alabama Fiber Dreams at Etsy. Jessi does incredible work on her yarn and the stitch markers. I know I say that about all of my Etsy-selling friends, but it's true. I just happen to be well-connected.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I remember Anne's birthday, because it is the day before my own anniversary. Easy. However, this month alone, I have barely remembered Sharon's birthday, and have zoomed past Wendy's and Nichole's, despite knowing in advance they were coming. Sigh. If I can't even remember that I forgot yours, I truly am sorry. I used to be good at this stuff. And crapola! I just realized that one week ago to the day, I failed to note my mother's anniversary. Dang. A call will be in order once day breaks.
In other words, Anne's bag will be finished this weekend, by cracky! That means that within a week, you'll get your after the fact blog post on this sleeping bag. Unreal. I'm probably going to have to either drive for more yarn in a few hours(what?! no LYSs open at 5 am?!). For some reason, when my mind (see first paragraph) knows we're knitting for felting, I am the loosest knitter in the world, so that's the whole problem. It sill felts to about the right size with ease, but this is just silly. I think I'll go crank out a couple more rows before I go back to bed, instead of updating my Google Reader. Maybe. If I can remember...