Friday, February 26, 2010

Handspun Friday - Shetland Humbug

Friday was here faster than I wanted it. I had plans to finish and show you my 24oz Bluefaced Leicester project, but I didn't quite make it. I finished spinning and plying late last night. So I still have to get it off the bobbin and into its bubbly bath. Then it takes about 2 days to dry, before I can take pictures. Now that's what you can look forward to for next week's Handspun Friday! And of course it's all the dogs fault!

This would be the right position for Happy to join me as I spin, but usually he's turned the other way around, with his head on my lap, which makes it impossible to spin. This week both dogs did everything in their whiny power to get me away from my wheel.

Happy Feb.25 Happy Feb.25 Happy Feb.25

In the meantime I still had this ugly duck in my 2009 picture folder. I dyed this Shetland Humbug back last April or May. I liked it well enough as dyed fiber, but am not impressed with my yarn.
~ 5oz Shetland Humbug dyed by me

This is 5oz of Shetland Humbug. I spun it up as 2-ply laceweight yarn, 880yds.

Shetland Humbug, 146g, ~ 880yds
I think I'm going to knit a shawl with it, and after that, if I don't like how it looks, I'm going to over dye it.

And on another Happy note, I taught our dogs to ring the bell hanging on the doorknob when they have to go outside to pee. Happy figured it out pretty quickly, but instead of using it, he would sit at the door and whine, or go in and out of the downstairs bathroom until I notice and take him outside. This last week however, he figured out, that I'll jump up for joy, whenever he rings the bell, but instead of having to go to pee, he just uses it to go outside to play. Now the bell is off the doorknob, because it was getting on my nerves. Of course he learned that from Biko!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fun in the snow!

Biko Feb.24

Oh cool! As long as we are role playing, I'd be the bat, and you'd be the earthworm! (Biko)

Happy Feb.24
And I'd be the one who gives a ... oooh, shiny! (Happy)

(These photos are not upside down. I was lying on the ground looking up.)


Monday, February 22, 2010


Last weekend was a sunny one, and we spent a lot of time outside. Saturday was actually really warm, but Sunday was sunny and cold. Today we've finally got a real nice snowfall, it's still coming down. We've spent a lot of time outside again, no pictures though, because we were busy playing in the fresh snow

I might have mentioned that Happy is obsessed with Frisbees. He likes many toys, but for outside Frisbee it is (and if I don't give him his Frisbee, he'll take away Biko's ball).
Feb. 11-26
I love this photo! Happy will do anything to get you to throw the Frisbee. Look how nicely he's come to sit in front of my son. Only after a nice eye contact the Frisbee will be thrown. O.K. here it goes:
Feb. 11-30-a
Happy with his bunny impression.

Feb. 11-23-a

Feb. 11-22

The next picture is another favorite of mine. Happy has only one paw on the ground. Sometimes he looks like a flying squirrel from behind. Biko is in her own world, totally ignoring him, chewing her tennis ball.

Feb. 11-28-a

Feb. 11-29-a

And I like this photo, because the sun shines on Biko.

Last night I finished reading a book at around 1:30AM, I was tired all day. Am I getting too old for staying up after midnight? I'm a morning person and like to go to bed early, and have no trouble getting up early too. Besides the usual things to do, I decided to finally give in and cast on for another shawl today. It's Hamamelis designed by Kirsten Kapur. Love the shawl! Did only get to row ten, before I felt guilty, because I wanted to finish my BFL spinning project this week, and it might not work out as I thought. I'm on the last 4oz of 24oz and it's getting a little bit boring.
We got Happy a new soft bed. The old one was getting too small for him. He likes it so much, that he went in there with a chew bone during the day and didn't come downstairs for a while.
Now I'll stick my nose outside for a while, to check on the new snow. I might have to wake my son in the morning to do some shoveling. :o)


Friday, February 19, 2010

Handspun Friday - Copenhagen

CJ Kopec Creations-Copenhagen Merino 8oz

When I saw this wonderful colorway on Ravelry, I asked CJ Kopec Creations if she had any of it left. I did not know it was a repeatable colorway, but hurray, it is! I also didn't understand right away, that these are batts, but really wonderful prepared. I still had some difficulties spinning it, but I could deal with it. At first I thought I'd like to spin back and forth across all the colors of the batt, but that proofed too difficult for me. So I decided to divide the colors in teal/gray for one single, and black, burned orange and yellow for the second single. There was a lot more fiber for the second single, so I found some teal colored fiber in my stash for the second skein. I still had some leftover singles from the black, which I navajo plied. All 8oz of this wonderful fiber is spun up!
Copenhagen -1.skein-merino-~ 523yds-2-ply-152g or 5.25oz-15 -17WPI-4


fiber: CJ Kopec Creations, 100% merino, colorway: Copenhagen

yarn: 2-ply, 2 skeins; 1. skein = 523yds, 2. skein = 308yds, both are around 15-17 WPI; had some leftover singles which I navajo plied.

Copenhagen, all 8oz of it-total of 832yds without left over-2


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My dogs are a rare breed, might even be related to fainting goats!

There was a hint of how special they are very early on.

As soon as I sit down at my desk, my dogs behave like fainting goats, falling down on their pillow beds (or under my desk), snoring away.
The same thing can not be said when I sit down to spin. Why is that? They think spinning time is excellent time for having to pee, poop, play with toys, which for sure roll under the sofa, and find other ways to annoy me.
Happy sleeping under the desk-2

Well, since they wont let me spin in peace, I'll write a blog post. I've still not picked up my knitting needles. They've become quite cold. I should say, even with interference of the puppers, my spinning wheels are starting to smoke now!

My hand(s) are not hurting much, unless I've just spun for, well, a long time, but that's not unusual. I kind of lost my knitting mojo with this forced break. Might be that I don't want to knit on my two WIP's (socks and mittens). It might come back, if I allow myself to cast on something new - probably. Right now I'm all nuts about a spinning project I've started April 2009. I'd like to finish this first, then we'll see where we go from there. The result of this spinning project will be ready Friday in a week. For this week I've already finished a new yarn. :o)

But I've withheld this scarf I made last year. I can't believe I started it at the beginning of July, and finished it in October!!!
I'm talking about the Lily of the Valley scarf by Nancy Bush:

Lily of the Valley scarf-11.5 inches by 47 inches-7

I've dyed the yarn myself. I was trying to find the right shade of grey, none of the three skeins I dyed came close though, but that was O.K.

Lily of the Valley scarf-11.5 inches by 47 inches-1
I don't know why it took me so long to finish it. Must be that something shiny was distracting me, or simply other projects, but I'm thinking shiny. I have to admit I like knitting nubbs.
Lily of the Valley scarf-11.5 inches by 47 inches-2
pattern: Lily of the Valley Scarf by Nancy Bush, from her book "Knitted Lace of Estonia" (must be my fourth project from this book)
yarn: Knit Picks Bare, Merino Silk, 100g, 440yds, 1 skein
needle: 3.25mm
size after blocking: 11.5" x 47" - I wish I had had a second skein, because even blocked this is a small one, but still larger than in the book as I recall. It's just about right to wear it under a coat, crossed in front. Oh well, the stitch pattern did get a bit tedious.
start-finish: July 5th - October 23, 2009

Lily of the Valley scarf-11.5 inches by 47 inches-4

Boy, I wish you could SMELL just how relaxed the pups are right now. Must be the cooked celery root, they had as a treat today.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Handspun Friday - Chimera

Oh, wow, it's Friday again. I know what most of you will be doing today. Casting on for Ravalympics? I'm not participating. I probably could knit again, but I'm giving it another week maybe, because I've so much fun spinning.
Sometimes though, I regret my decisions on how to spin a certain fiber. This Chimera would be one of those times. With all that orange and green(ish) colors going on, I felt like making some cabled yarn. Unfortunately the colors got all muddled up.


I spun fine singles, made two 2-ply yarns, and cabled those together for a kind of 4-ply yarn. The color in the finished skein of the last picture (on the right) is pretty accurate, the other one was taking early morning, before the sun (which I didn't think I'd see that day) came out.
With all the spinning and plying there's a tiny bit too much twist in the yarn, even after washing.
I'm not very fond of this yarn, but it might surprise with knitting, who knows.

fiber: FatCatKnits, Chimera, 8 oz BFL (I had BFL spun before, and this was not as soft as I thought it should be), ~ 550yds, 14-15 WPI
The actual skein weighs 202g or 7 1/8 oz before I washed it. I had some left over singles, and some left over 2-ply which makes up the difference to the 8oz.
Right now I have no idea what this yarn will be used for, so off it goes into the handspun bin.

Feb. 11 - Happy

When I saw Happy concentrating so hard on his electric slide, I was thinking of signing him up for line dancing lessons. The only problem I see is, how will he keep his cowboy hat on?


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday, February 08, 2010


Monday is usually not my favorite day of the week, but I'm quite happy today. I just received a phone call from Hannah! She's still alive despite big spiders in the house. It's quite overwhelming for her to be in Australia right now. She feels a little like an outcast, even though she has friends there. What a great adventure for her, I'm a little jealous.

Meanwhile, thanks to all your well wishes my left hand is MUCH better. I'm still giving it some more rest, and try to do the same for my right hand, since it's the one picking up the slack from my left hand. I've tried a little spinning over the weekend, with many breaks, but didn't even think of picking up the sticks. Hook and granny square are packed away for whenever. So sad.

Well, as promised I've still some FO's to show you. This is Hattie's Rose Garden scarf, made in October/November 2009! Oy!

Erdbeerfeld by Bea's Farben, 60% wool 20% silk 20% bamboo, 420m
I've received this lovely yarn from Bea as a gift for test knitting some socks for her. She's got a new and wonderful sock design coming up soon, but I'm not going to be able to test knit this time. Another sad.

Hattie's Rose Garden Scarf-12inch. x 72inch.-6

Scarves dent to get boring, just because they are so long! This one kept me going because I was looking forward to dropping stitches on purpose. :o) In the end I had to fight each and every stitch down the ladder, but I showed them who's boss! Very satisfying to do so.

Hattie's Rose Garden Scarf-12inch. x 72inch.-4

pattern: Hattie's Rose Garden (rav link) by Cynthia Joseph, it's a FREE pattern, you'll just have to send an e-mail to get it
yarn: Bea's Farben, color Erdbeerfeld, 60% wool, 20% silk, 20% bamboo, 100g/420m (I used all of it, just a few inches left)
needles: 3.25mm
size after blocking: 12" x 72"
start-finish: Oct. 24-Nov. 21, 2009
I cast on 51 stitches.

Hattie's Rose Garden Scarf-12inch. x 72inch.-1
I like how the dark color zig-zagged throughout the scarf. It's a lovely scarf, and a fun knit.

I'll be back soon!


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Biko update

I promised myself, if there's no improvement until Monday, I'll go see a doctor.
Meanwhile I bought a creme, which supposedely works for this kind of pain. I promptly got an allergic reaction, which almost freaked me out. Where I rubbed the creme in, it turned red and blue, and it hurt more. I washed it off as much as I could. Hand back to normal after a while.

I'm (stupid) brave, and bought another creme to rub in. This time no bad reaction, but no improvement either. I know it's too early to say. I've been resting the hand as much as one can (I just did a little spinning last night, under the influence of Advil). My right hand does most of the work anyways.

I should be doing nothing at all to give it proper rest, but that's not likely to happen.

my poor hurt hand in  a shrink wrapped fingerless mitten

I know I should use a proper splint, but I thought I'd wash my fingerless mitten with the washing machine, which would shrink them (Angelika, don't hate me! I love them!), which it did. Now it's snug and tight and supports the wrist, and is warm at the same time. I noticed that cold really, really hurts more, so I'd rather keep it warm.
I'm slowly but surely going out of my mind! One can only count ones stashed yarn for so long, and rearrange - well everything! I should be packing, and sorting stuff, so we have space for our upcoming renovations, but all the lifting does no good.

With nothing else I could do, I went outside to play with Happy, while Biko and my son went to see the Vet.
Oh by the way, Happy is totally freaked out about my daughter who's here for a few days, before she'll take off to Australia. He's totally spooked by her, even after three days of her being in the house. In the first picture you see him watching her from the distance. Hannah was playing with Biko (last picture), after she came home from the Vet.

Feb. 04

According to the Vet Biko seems fine. She scared us last Saturday, when she suddenly walked funny, like she had no feeling in her two hind legs. She tried to walk but could not, as if they had fallen asleep or something. It lasted a few minutes, and after that she was fine again, and ran around. During that day it came back several times, inside the house as well. It was scary to look at. She was not in pain, but looked confused.
She had a very short seizure on Jan. 5th, which I only noticed because she was lying at my feet at the time. So within the last 8 month she had 2 seizures.

The Vet checked her over, and said, that her back legs were very strong, and he could find nothing wrong. He said he'd like to talk about her symptoms with a neurologist. Since Saturday we've been watching her like a hawk, and she was fine. I'm still worried though.

O.K. now I'm back twiddling my thumbs, ouch - not even that I can do!


PS Thank's everyone for all your tips, and advice! I really appreciate it!


Monday, February 01, 2010

Frustration and Pain!

Well, I never thought it would happen to me, others, sure, but not me. I'm in a forced time-out with crafting, at least spinning, knitting, crocheting is out. Maybe I can still sew something.
Crochet is evil, I tell you, especially if you are on a crochet marathon, like I was. I know I told you it would be a long term project, I'm talking about my Giant Granny Square blanket, but it was so much fun, I could not put it aside. Around, and around I went, feverish like, until my fingers in the left hand felt numb and tingly. I ignored it, just shook out my hand several times, until the tingling was gone. A week later, my hand thought to step it up a notch, since this crafter ignores warning signs. So there was pain. Pain I've never felt before, or so I though. After a few days, I remembered feeling that pain many years ago, don't even know what I did then, but I remembered the pain.
Of course it was not obvious to me right away, what the cause was, but it dawned on me after some pondering that it must have been the crocheting, combined with a lot of spinning, that did me in.


It's not even the wrist that hurts, it's the thumb, and the index finger mainly. Did I mention this sucks?

I was doing the wise thing and decided to give them a rest for the weekend, and I did no crafting until 9PM last night. Then I could not take it anymore, and grabbed my Chevron Love mittens and knit away happily for about 15 minutes! After that I had to stop at once. Well ....

I will give my fingers some more rest, but threaten with a visit to the doctor if they wont heal fast!

I still have my sewing machine. Just have to dust it off ....
.... but I don't want to sew .... I want to knit .... I want to spin .... AND I WANT TO FINISH MY GIANT GRANNY SQUARE ....


Good thing I still have some FO's from 2009 up my sleeve, otherwise this blog could get even more boring. And so this will not be a post without any pictures, I'll leave you with some doggy pictures, from snowier times (Jan.20 to be exact)
Jan. 20-11

Happy in January!

Happy in January!

PS I banged my hand while vacuuming this morning, the pain brought tears to my eyes. I've taken pain killers now.

PPS Biko has a Vet appointment on Thursday. She gave us a scare on Saturday. Will tell more as soon as I know more.