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Archive for October, 2007

Imagination

I am now fostering a doggie in need. He is almost 3, a Bichon Frise. His owner has health problems and will no longer be able to keep him. He is quite cute. He has no imagination. He knows how to whine, sniff, walk on a leash, and play with other dogs. He knows how to stand up on his hind legs and beg. He knows how to eat, but has been reluctant to eat his kibble. That is about it.

This afternoon I am attempting another method for teaching sit. He will not sit on command. He will not be lured into a sit with a treat. He will not sit if you fold his back legs underneath him. He will not sit if you just hang out with him and wait and wait and wait and wait….. He did sit in order to scratch his collar and was promptly showered with treats, turkey lunch meat and lots of praise. It has not yet occurred to him to try to sit again.

He did just lie down!! Very good puppy, lots of treats for you! We are actually making good progress for just 2 days of work. While I am not a fan of Cesar Milan, I do agree that dogs are dogs, not little people. My favorite author on this subject is Jon Katz. His first book about his dogs is called A Dog Year. Little puppy is getting full, time to end this session. Back to his crate, and since he went in on his own he gets a peanut butter Kong.

On the knitting front, I finished Fetching from the Summer 2006 Knitty.

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I like them, but they are a bit too big for me. These may become a Christmas gift. They are done with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran as the pattern calls for, I had a skein and a little bit lying around. These took about 1.1 skeins. I used US 6’s, I should have gone down to 5’s for the last cable up by the knuckles and finished with the 5’s to tighten them up around the top. Also, the yarn is not at all sturdy, these will be for city use only. Perhaps I will try the men’s version of these with some Cascade 220 or something similar. They are called Dashing and are in the Spring 2007 Knitty.

I will now go back to working on the lace scarf until my KnitPicks order arrives early next week and I can start the gift knitting.

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Recovered

I have recovered from a sickness brought home to me by Mr. Baby, not much knitting was accomplished. I did finish the soaker I started last week. This is the Punk Knitters soaker pattern, available for free here. The yarn was hand-dyed by me. I think next time I will make the color repeats a bit longer so each individual color stands out more in the finished garment.

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I didn’t get gauge on the yarn, so I followed the pattern for a size medium and ended up with the measurements for a size large. The rise was too high, so I felted it a bit until it shrank in length by about an inch. The felting seemed to have softened the wool too, which is always a bonus. It is quite thick and will be a good naptime soaker or summertime outfit next year if it still fits.

A word about the felting. I have a front-loading washer, so I felted it in the sink. It took me 40 minutes of adding almost boiling water and stirring like crazy with a wooden spoon in my best impersonation of washing machine. Maybe this yarn just doesn’t easily felt. I may be a bit less gentle when washing Mr. Baby’s woolens from now on. I have not checked into this myself, but perhaps there is a more efficient way of felting by hand?

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Pepper Jelly

Today we made pepper jelly. Mr. Baby helped by taking a 3 hour nap. I used 80% jalepeno and 20% habanero peppers, and I think the mixture is perfect. It is quite spicy and delicious if I do say so myself.

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I have been working on the lace scarf every day, but I am only just getting the hang of the pattern enough to speed up a bit. I am happy with how it is turning out.

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I have started a soaker made with the first yarn I handpainted. The base yarn is Sweet Grass Wool natural Targhee and I used acid dyes. It is more of a heavy worsted, I am getting about 3.3 stitches to the inch on size 7 needles. I am using the Punk Rock knitters free pattern. The gauge is 4 stitches to the inch, so I am just following the size medium instructions and should end up with a size large with my gauge.

Here is a picture of the yarn.

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And lastly, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad. I love you guys. Safe trip home.

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Lace

I am making a dinner which involves too many carbohydrates, but I will get good at this cooking thing one day. I love my crockpot.

More rain today. Luckily, Mr. Baby is quite taken with his boots and if I say “boots” he will immediately scurry to get them. Once he learns to put them on by himself I fear no other shoes will be worn.

Yesterday, I started my first lace project. It is a scarf. The pattern is Fiber Trends “Lacy Accents” (AC-23). I am doing the Diamond Lace variation. The yarn is Brown Sheep cotton fine, color “Putty.”

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I have made an error, but I only noticed it recently so I will not attempt tedious frogging or anything drastic. No way could I pick up lace stitches after ripping back at this point in my knitting education. Look in the lower right hand corner, two of the diamonds have eyes. These are the ghosts of the scarf, Halloween is coming. I think I will like lace, but it will be good car knitting or radio listening, NOT good TV knitting. I tried that last night watching a TiVo’ed Gray’s Anatomy, and what with all the drama and meaningful looks I could not concentrate on my yo’s or ssk’s. I use a piece of scratch paper and write the row numbers down the edge:

6: III

7:III

8:II

etc.

and add a hash mark for every row I finish. There must be a more efficient way to do this? It would be good if there was some sort of bracelet or necklace that has beads and numbers and you could slide the bead over for every row. Does this exist? If anyone is reading this, please advise.

The dogs are wilting with hunger.

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Naptime Knitting

I knit all through naptime today, and finished weaving ends and sewing on buttons after dinner.  I made the body and the sleeves each about an inch longer that the pattern calls for, the recipient was born 22″ long and I wanted room for her to grow.

I block most everything I knit by submersing in water. This is the sweater before blocking:

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Recently I have been using Eucalan wool wash in the water since it makes the wool softer (it has lanolin in it) and gives a lavender scent. I rolled it up in a towel and pressed gently to remove extra water.

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This is the sweater after blocking, the edges are shaped and do not curl, and the fabric is more smooth. Sometimes I have to use pins, but not usually on smaller items. It should be dry in 24 hours. This is the first time I have used lanolin on washable wool, I am interested to see if it softens it at all.

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To mom and dad in your travels abroad, Scamp sends a hello and a lick.

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