Friday, September 30, 2011

September round up

This month I've spun more than in August, which always makes me feel good.

September 2011 spinning

I haven't shown you all of the finished yarns yet though. There are not enough Friday's in one week!
I didn't mean for this pair of socks to be my September socks (for my personal sock club), but I didn't get to knit a second pair, so they'll have to do. They are mens socks for my DD's boyfriend.
I started out with stripes changing each row, and got bored, so I changed it for the foot part. I was really glad when they were done.
The reason for so many pictures is Maggie's curiosity. See her nose growing?

September socks

September socks

September socks

September socks

I've already picked out the pattern, and the yarn for my October socks. Just have to find the right size needles, and I'm good to go.


And in chorus with the gang, I wish you all a wonderful weekend!!!

Sept. 22

Sept. 22


Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I have three works in progress at the moment. I'd like to work on all of them at once.

It' s been ages since I've knit something out of Knitty. Not that there was nothing I liked, but somehow I never got to anything, until I saw Apis Dorsata I had to cast on right away, and it's so much fun, that I put it away, because I want to savor the fun of knitting it. Does that make sense?
Apis Dorsata
I don't have an updated photo, that's just the beginning, but I'm further along now. I'm using Wollmeise!!! here, in the colorway Fratello, which came as a sock kit from Yarnissima.

At the same time I was waiting for the book Contemporary Irish Knits by Carol Feller to arrive, because I saw this shawl/blanket called Dangan (scroll down a bit until you see that golden shawl/blanket on stone) in it, and I really wanted to knit that one as well.

Dangan beginniing
I'm using Fishermen's Wool, I've had in my stash (bought for another blanket, which I never made). It's not exactly my favorite yarn though. It's low twist, easy split, and it smells sheepy.

I was knitting mostly Dangan the last few days, when yesterday, I got the message that I've won a prize in Through The Loops Summer shawl KAL. I could choose two of Kirsten's beautiful patterns, boy was that a hard choice!
In the end I choose Andrea's mitts, and Huarez hats. So, last night I've cast on Andrea's mitts, and finished one. That's a fast knit!

And here are some photos of the pups. Another of Denny's nick names is Q-Tip, because he's licking the others ears clean, whenever he feels like it.
July 17-3

July 17-2

July 17-4

July 17-5

July 17-6

Friday, September 23, 2011

Handspun Friday - Farmer Phil BFL & Special Blue BFL

This fiber/color was a little hard to photograph, but it's blue, that much is obvious. It's Blue Faced Leicester, which I like to work with.

FCK-Blue special-4oz-BFL-2
It turned into two of those skeins. One I used for mittens. The second one is still in my stash. I wanted to start the mittens, so did only half of the fiber, and the other half later.

special blue on BFL
1. skein, chain plied, 195yds. 2. skein, chain plied 174yds.

I wanted to pair it with some Farmer Phil yarn I made earlier. Also BFL fiber, and chain plied.

FCK-8oz BFL-Farmer Phil

TdF - day 22-Farmer Phil- chain plied-304yds
I spun this one during Tour de Fleece this year. Chain plied, 304yds. Lots of left over after the mittens were finished.

FCK-special blue BFL-2oz-chain plied-195yds

I took the stitch pattern from the book "The Mitten Book" page 62. I didn't have a pattern, just put it together as I went. I should have taken notes. Because after the first mitt was done, I did some test knitting, and later, when I continued knitting the second mitt, I couldn't quite remember what I did the first time around.
So, stop laughing, because, yes, the second mitt is a bit larger. I find it very hard to rip out color work, and knits with cables. It's not that it's hard to do, just imagining doing it, after I'd slaved over it, makes me overlook some minor errors.

I still like them though. In my mind I didn't see the blue as dominant color, and was really surprised when they came out like this.

rose pattern mittens

Even with being not perfect mittens, I like them, especially when looking at the details.

cuff detail

I was proud of myself, when I did the braid right from memory, and the first time around as well! I like the leaf pattern on the cuff, and how the yarn made it multicolored.

thumb detail

The thumb is a little tight. Next time I'll add more stitches, but I like the ribbing.

close up stitch pattern

The rose stitch pattern is easy, but lovely. It didn't pop as much as I wanted it, but there's always room for improvement. When I squint at it, I can see the blue grid, or just the rose pattern. I have yet to knit something without an error somewhere in my projects.

The other day, Maggie was under my desk, sleeping, when Denny came, and pushed her over, and made himself comfortable. I don't think she approved.

Help me!

It doesn't look like it, but it was too dark in the room for the camera to focus. I still love this photo, because it's not often that the boys sleep so close together. They must have been quite tired.

the boys, snoozing

I'm happy to say that Denny continues to run like a little locomotive after the balls I throw. But there are rules, and he made them up. First he looks at my hands. When I have only one ball I throw it once, and he will not give that up, until I can show him a second ball in my left hand (that's somehow important to him). Only then I can throw the ball, and he will run after that one.

Meanwhile I pick up the ball he brought back. If I throw the ball he just brought back, and pick it up right in front of him, he wont run after it, bark at me until I throw the ball in my left hand.
That's just how picky he is. He loves it, when I have more than two balls in my hands, somehow that makes it more fun for him. I don't care as long as he keeps running.

Yesterday, I threw the Frisbee for Happy, one ball for Maggie, and the rest of the balls as described above for Denny. At one point near the end, Happy was bringing back a ball too, so everybody got balls thrown, I was quite busy, as they kept coming back one after the other. I have no idea where the Frisbee vanished to. Everybody was happy, including me, and once their tongues hit the ground, we called it a night.


Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Good News and Bad News

I thought I'd finally found a use for my handspun left over yarns. I was going to crochet squares like the one below, but bigger, and crochet them together for a blanket - very long term project.

But after working on this little square for a couple of hours, over two evenings, my right hand and wrist hurt just too much. I think I can seriously forget about crochet. That's too bad, because there are a few crochet projects I would have really liked to do.

Funny thing is, I can knit for hours every day, and I don't feel a thing. So now I think I'll have to come up with something else to do with my left over yarns.

crochet square made with left over handspun yarn

Good news is, that I've baked a delicious banana bread. I used this recipe loosely. I added chopped walnuts, Belgium chocolate shavings, and some Allspice, as well as two eggs instead of one, some brown sugar, a little bit more flour, and a splash of milk. Anyway, here it is fresh out of the oven. It smelled heavenly!

Banana Bread with Walnuts & Belgium chocolate shavings

I was going to spin some today, but my wrist still hurts. Maybe later I can get some knitting done, or just take it easy today. I'll rip out the crochet square, and think about what else I could do with the yarn. It's mostly fingering weight, maybe I'll knit some log cabin squares?


Monday, September 19, 2011

Deliriously ...

... deliriously happy that is!

When back in February the Vet told us, that Denny had to loose some weight, I knew it would not be easy, because this is the laziest dog ever. Sure, he likes to chase birds (fat chance of succeeding), he likes to be chased by the others, but they don't indulge him in this too often. While the others fetch whatever I throw them, until their tongues hit the ground, he'd rather ly in the shade, chewing on the thing I threw for him, watching the planes fly by.

Sure, he likes to swim, but only to cool off, no full length swim for him, just a little loop around the shallow part of the pool. So I don't think he's lost a single gram so far (he likes to eat, and is good in finagling extra treats).

So, what I'm so happy about then?

Three days ago, somebody, somehow, somewhere threw a switch. The thing is, when we are not all outside together, I take them outside one by one, to play with them individually. I do a little bit of training in the process. It's easy to do this with Happy and Maggie, since they die for a thrown Frisbee, or tennis ball. They do just about anything for it.
With Denny however, I could throw whatever, and he might have run after it once, but never brought it back. How to get him motivated, or moving? So I walked all over the backyard, and he followed me around, chewing on a ball , or whatever he could find.

So, three days ago, he watched me playing with the others, through the glass door (as many times before). When it was his turn, he came charging outside, sitting in front of me, barking his little head off. I had a couple of balls in my hands, since I knew he would just take of with the first one I threw. But to my amazement he came back with it, and in a straight line, no detours, just a straight forward fetch and retrieve. Wow!

But would he give the ball up? He sat in front of me, tennis ball in his mouth, chewing. I showed him the other ball, and he spit his one out so fast, that it bounced past me. I asked him in a very excited voice, "Do you want it?", and he barked shrilly, so I threw it, picked the other one up, and as soon as he was back, we did it all over again.

Now, I thought he might do it maybe five time, after ten times, it was incredulous, and when he still had not enough, I could just not believe it!

I told him finished (that's how we stop our games, with an accompanying hand signal), while he was still hot for our game, and we went inside. A fluke, I thought.

Of course I wanted to know if he would do it again, and to my surprise each time the last few days, he played fetch with me, like never before.

So, what changed? Any ideas?

Here's my little dumpling. Proud to have conquered the chair once again, since the dog bed was occupied (not that he would not get Happy to leave, if he felt like it).




But then, I'm not always so proud of him. He's still "Denny the Destroyer" around here. He likes to steal things from my desk, mostly the pattern pages I'm working with at the moment. Here's another test knit in the works.

test knit

Friday, September 16, 2011

Handspun Friday - Lithos

The night of September 14th, 2011, was the night where I dug out a pair of knit socks, and wore them throughout the night, it was THAT cold! The days before were humid, and hot, and then the temperatures dropped. I'm not complaining!

This month is looking good where spinning is concerned. Here's some finished yarn, which was a joy from start to finish. I loved looking at the fiber, and it was nice to spin too. It's by no means soft as butter, but soft enough. I only regret not having had more of it.

Wildhare-Lithos-4oz sw wool top

I LOVE this yarn!

Wildhare-Lithos-4oz sw wool top-318yds-chain plied
Dyed by:

Wild Hare Fiber Studio : superwash 58s wool top (it’s a blend of breeds from sheep in the Midwest, from a US mill) colorway: Lithos

Wildhare-Lithos-4oz sw wool top-318yds-chain plied

This yarn is chain plied, 318yds.

Wildhare-Lithos-4oz sw wool top-318yds-chain plied

I want to use it for a shawl, but it's not enough on it's own, so I'm going to spin several other yarns, and find out which one will go with it best. I'd like to spin some natural fiber as well. I have lots of it, for instance, some lovely white Cormo (which at this point I have no idea where it is), some variegated brown BFL, some grey Gotland, dark brown Alpaca, and many more. It's fun to dig into my fiber stash. :o)

Wildhare-Lithos-4oz sw wool top-318yds-chain plied
I've been knitting too, but not as much. It comes in waves.
I've also done some "Spring cleaning" in my Ravelry queue. I had 30 pages full of projects, and I was going through them one by one, to find out if it's likely for me to knit them, or unlikely (delete). At the moment I feel once again a little overwhelmed with the constant input of new patterns, when I have so many projects lined up already, I really want to do. I really hate it, when I can't decide what to do next, because there's too much choice.
It's a pleasure to eat soup again, now that it's gotten colder. Here's on of my favorites, garlic soup with soup pearls, which we have only now and then. (the soup pearls that is).

garlic soup with soup pearls

And do you think the boys like their occasional bull winkle treat?

bullwinkle treat

It's so special, that Denny only chewed it a little, before he started to hide it.

bullwinkle treat

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Merope Cowl

Merope cowl was an extra pattern of Romi Hill's ebook 7 small shawls to knit: Year One. I've made it a while ago. It's made with Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport. The red is not THAT searing at all. It's more like the last photo, actually more like blood red. It's a little tight for my neck. I can't stand turtle necks, or other tight things, so I'm hoping that DD Hannah will like it, and wear it. This was a quick, and fun knit. I might make it with worsted weight yarn again, to fit a little bit more relaxed around my throat.

Merope's cowl

pattern: Merope cowl by Romi Hill

Merope's cowl

Merope's cowl

pumpkin pie pan cakes

I'm the worst pancake flipper of all times! But that didn't mess with the taste at all. I've read about pumpkin pancakes here at TobyKnits, and had to give them a try. I did use a real egg though, and just butter and Maple syrup. I added a dash of cinnamon as well. I've made it three!!! times since I first tried it (probably because now I've got an open can of pp filling to use up too), and I'm still not tired of it.

Wandering Cat Yarns Jungle Cat

Last week I've finished another test knit for Stephen West. That's the left over yarn. It's Wandering Cat Yarns Jungle Cat, a Bamboo blend yarn. There would have been nothing left over at all, but I decided to do the bind off with a contrasting color. I think the pattern will be released at the end of this month, so no other pictures until then.

I took these pictures back in February! The sofa is long gone by now. There was always something else to show you.
Feb. 20

Nom, nom, nom!

Feb. 20

Happy was there first, enjoying his bone, when Denny parked himself right beside him, and started chewing a bone of his own. Sadly that never happens anymore.


Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Denny, Denny ....

I'm spending more time in my studio lately, and when I do, the boys are with me of course. It's not the same for them as in the basement, where they can run and play on the carpet flooring.


The floor here is wood flooring, and they can do some awesome sliding action, which they enjoy doing also. Most of the time however, they just sleep in various places, or watch the world go by through the window.

Denny, of course, gets bored after a while.
He tries out different places to sleep, but nothing seems to be comfortable for long.

So he starts emptying the bin full of chew toys.

But that looses it's fascination quickly, maybe he has ADD? Then he decides to make his very own nest...


... and chews a little. Oh, I just have to tell you about the coffee table. You've seen Denny ON it some time ago. A few days ago, I was looking for a particular bag of fiber, which I knew was in there.

Denny was the only one with me, when I opened first the one hatch, then the other, rummaging through it. He was watching me. Later I told my son, that I've had made a mistake in doing so in front of Denny. The next day I found him trying to get it open, first he nuzzled the rusty metal thing, which I used, but since that didn't work for him, he tried to open the lid with his teeth, like he does with the food container, grabbing it by the corner. It didn't work either, but I knew he would give it a try, since he knows now that it's possible.


When he does those things, Happy gets upset and hides, or is very uncomfortable, while watching his goofy brother being a brat.


Because, after he had done all those things, he started to get himself some books out of the shelves. I think he has good taste, OR is he trying to tell me something?