Saturday, December 30, 2006

Goodbye 2006, and hello 2007!

The Wool Peddler Shawl from Cheryl Oberle's book "Folk Shawls" will bring me from the year 2006 into the next year. Right now though, and for I don't know how long, there will be not much knitting going on in this house. I, once again, realized how important family and good health is. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and successful year 2007!

Sam says, "Hi! And take it easy!"

He had his first walk today, still limping and taking pain killers, but he's doing much, much better. Thanks for all your well wishes concerning his health.

Take care, until next year!


Thursday, December 28, 2006

~Vertigo~ continued

I couldn't upload all the pics yesterday, so I've tried again today. I love these pictures and wanted to share them as well. And besides, did you notice that we've got SNOW? Yeah, snow! I just had an idea. I could have made the scarf wider and shorter and it would have been a lovely stole. Oh, well, too late now.
Later! ;o)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

~ Vertigo ~

Some time ago, I saw mosaic knitting in Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, but never gave it a try. It was stuck in the back of my mind though. When I saw her book "Mosaic Knitting" I had to have it of course and I started the Magic Mosaic Blanket, which will be made of 63 squares with all different design patterns. I haven't been able to knit my two squares a week quota, but it always was a long term project anyway. Later, Roxana Bartlett's book "Slip-Stitch Knitting Color Pattern The Easy Way" crossed my path and by then I was in love with slip-stitch knitting. Although I adore Fair Isle knitted items, I find it tedious to knit with all the strands tangled and my knitted fabric was never smooth and even. I find it very hard to do. So imagine my joy of still being able to do multi - color knitting, but the easy way! Always the easy way out for me! Na, that's not true!

Because - I DARE YOU-
to make this scarf! It will bring you on the edge of sanity. You will learn a lot about yourself, your strength and your weakness, and all this because of this incredible trying "monster" scarf. Yes, with it's 112" length, it's a monster, a beast, and it almost defeated me! Almost, I say, as you can see, I brought it down and managed to finish it! It started out innocently enough, as you could see in an earlier post, posing nicely for the pre-Christmas foto shoot. Red and white, how Christmasy! Oh, hi Pat! You were wondering what I meant, with the scarf not staying that way. Well, what are you thinking now? Like a cameleon it changed it's colors several times (just not as clever to camouflage).

This one was getting really on my nerves. It took way longer than I expected, although it turned out the way I thought it would, just longer. Once, as I was sitting down to knit another few rows, I had a severe case of vertigo just looking at it (hence the name). Secretly I called it the monster and the beast as well. My husband asked if I was knitting for an elephant, since no human could/would wear such a large scarf. Well, only an elephant would probably wear it anyway, since it's kind of really scratchy, with the 100% wool content, at least my delicate and sensitive skin could not handle it for more than a few seconds. Does it matter? Not to me! This project was something I had to do for myself. Will it ever be used? Maybe. I did this just for knitting sake. Does one do that? I don't know, but I sure felt like it.


basically two contrasting colors of yarn with the same weight; in this case I've used Evilla 100% wool in the color "Rainbow", 6/2, one 185 g skein and 5 ½ balls 50 g/125 meter each of Schoeller & Stahl Fortissima 6-fach Socka, sock yarn in natural white. There was no yardage on the Evilla yarn label. The sock yarn was slightly heavier yarn than the Evilla, but the closest I could get.

A pair of straight 3 ¾ mm needles(or whatever you are comfortable with)

Gauge is not important, since it's a scarf.

Finished size: 10" x 112"

Slip - stitch pattern:

The two pattern designs I've used are from Roxana Bartlett's book "Slip-Stitch Knitting".
The first column of the charts tells you which color to use. The dark boxes are the main color (dark) and the white boxes are the light color. You'll always knit with only one color for two rows (right side and back side). The other color will wait on the right side to be used later. Depending on the color you work with, you will knit the boxes in the color you are using and slip the stitches from the other color. On the right side you'll slip the sts with the yarn in the back. On the wrong side you will slip the sts with the yarn in front of you.

This scarf is worked in garter stitch throughout.

With the main color (in this case the rainbow colored yarn) cast on 66 sts. Work 5 rows in garter stitch.
Next row: with light yarn K1, slip one stitch, knit to the second last stitch, slip one stitch, K last stitch.
Next row: K knitted stitches and slip the slipped stitches as they appear.

Now start with chart one. Knit chart one for 24 rows.
Start chart 2. Knit as long as you feel like you can stand it.
Don't forget to mirror the end with the beginning and knit chart 1 for 24 rows again.
Knit 2 rows with the light colored yarn. Knit 5 rows with main color.
Bind off.

The edges are three sts in the beginning and in the end. They are knit always in the same manner. The first sts of the three are like a checker board, dark, light, dark, light and so on. The second sts. are knit in the dark (main color), the third sts. is knit with the lighter color, after that the pattern from the charts begins.

My beastly roll.

Here you can see the one fault this yarn had. One color change was too sudden, all the others went very smoothly from one color to the next.

I started the scarf on December 8th and finished it on December 25th.

Sam, a very reluctant model this time. He was much more interested in his tail, contemplating "Why does it move on its own???"

Friday, December 22, 2006

I leave you with this knitting content over the holidays!

DH has surprised me with this wonderful center piece! If you only could smell it! This is the smell of Christmas and I love it!

That's what Sam's doing these days. He started out like above and ended up like in the next picture. He's being a very good dog. His recovery is still very slow. The first excitement of the last visit to the vet was dampened, as we discovered first, that he still needs both pain medications, and second he's got a broken tooth, which needs to be monitored. Otherwise he's quite happy.

Now for the knitting content: This is my beloved Noro blanket. I haven't knit on it for days, because I've been knitting exclusively on the slip stitch scarf, which is turning the corner for the final sprint. Thank god, is all I can say to that!

I've only done four and a half rows so far. I'm using two different colorways for it. Noro Kureyon is 100% wool, but it still is very soft, ideal for a blanket, this is going to be all mine, mine, mine! ;o) I made the center decrease to form a little ridge. I like the extra texture it forms. Even though I've got many more rows to go, in the back of my head I'm already thinking of the border. Which one will it be? I'm sure I'm not going to have enough yarn for the border, will have to buy more Kureyon, oh well. This is such a fun project. I've learned the method to add the squares so you don't have to sew them later from Vivian Hoxbro and her book "Domino Knitting", a fine little book! And there are only 4 ends to weave in for each row!

So, that's it for now. I'll be back after the holidays. Wish you peaceful and stress free days ahead!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Dulaan Project 2007

As you may remember, last year, I've knit a box full of hats, scarves and blankets for this project. This year, I've decided to give a donation to this non-profit organization for a couple of reasons. Although I'd love to knit something for those cute little ones, I've decided against it for just one reason - Canada Post! Last years package cost so much on postage, that it was ridiculous! This time I thought, I'd rather give the money directly to the Dulaan project, since they not only distribute knitted items, but medical supplies and educational supplies as well. If you are interested you can read all about it here .

And I've decided to give a larger sum than usual, instead of giving little gifts to relatives and friends, this year. Once again, thank the Post office for it. One's loss is someone's gain. ;o) But really, friends and family, think about it for a minute! These Mongolian people need the help so much more, than you would need (not) a little something from me.

I do love to give gifts and will do so all over the year for birthdays and I especially like to give as a surprise for no good reason at all, just to make someone smile (well, that's the reason I'm doing it in the first place). ;o)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just a few more pictures...

I know this is a knitting blog, but because some of you would have liked to see some carved figures, I'm showing you a few more pictures. Above is Saint Florian. This one's in my house. He's the protector of the home and firemen.

Excuse the poor quality of the following pictures. I think my dad's digi is not the best on the market. ;o) This one is Virgin Mary with child, rather modern, but I like it.

The one to the left is a "Red hat" gnome, from a story, can't remember where I've seen that fellow, but pretty scary! Next is a drunken innkeeper, a monk, Virgin Mary and another monk.
Virgin Mary with child and a Rhino.

That's it folks. As I've said before, he made many more things, but I couldn't get pictures of some of the beautiful work he did. Thanks for all your responses to my fathers post. He was very touched as he heard about it. He'll be sitting on his desk now, with his dictionary in hand, trying to translate my posts. ;o)

Monday, December 18, 2006

A new week - new pictures!

Magic Mosaic blanket square # 5

square # 6

These two are from last week. After I've finished them, I've knit exclusively on my slip stitch scarf and it is driving me crazy! But I'm like a dog with a bone, can't give it up now. Knit, knit, knit ....... where was I, oh, yeah, knit, knit, knit .... sigh .....

Sam's like a bulldozer, sticking his head out through the screen. That's as close to nature as he gets right now, unless you count pee breaks. We went to the vet's today and he was very pleased and impressed, of his recovery. Dr. Doug took out the stitches, while David and I were keeping Sam still. All the while Sam was "singing" a ballad of his never ending ordeal. After we came home Sam fell asleep with his tongue sticking out. He was totally exhausted. It will be another couple of weeks until Sam's allowed to go for walks, but that's okay now. He's resigned himself to the fact, that that's his life right now. He's calmed down, snoozes and dozes, all day long. At least we are back to our normal sleeping routine! Yeah! We've devised a two towel transportation device, with David at the rear and me in front. The first two times, Sam was struggling and wiggling so hard, that he banged his head into the wall. Now we've learned to deal with this wiggle monster and we have to get him down the stairs only once a day. So, no broken necks so far.

That's how a good dog behaves in front of an open window! Biko is showing off here. Although she's looking quite calm, she was barking her head off. A pity the pictures don't come with sound effects! Or should I say "Thank God!" ;o)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Because I'm so proud ...

... I'm going to show you a few pictures of my dad (68) and some of his paintings and wood carvings. I don't know why, but I don't have that many of his art or even good pictures, because I never thought to take pictures of it, since it was always there.
Today was the last day of his show, which lasted over the last two weeks. My dad is a retired police officer. Before his retirement he was the Chief of Police in my home town. He was always very creative and only had to choose a profession other than being an artist, because, you know, artists, unless very well known, don't live that well. But he never stopped painting or wood carving, it was always a passion of his and still is. Although working with the wood working tools is not as easy as it used to be, since his fingers on both hands have arthritis and gout.

This summer he bought himself this moped, another life long wish was fulfilled, just for joy rides to places, which are too far to walk. I think he's smart and realized that one lives only once and it could all be over so quickly! ;o)

This carved birds were a great hit at the show, he sold them all and could have sold many more. (This is just a picture of a few, he had many more.) In the picture above you can see him standing next to his bird tree, full of all kinds of different birds, they all looked like the real ones.

For a long time he carved religious figures like the virgin Mary with child and Jesus C. on the cross, and Saint Barbara and so on. He made so many different things, it's impossible to recount them all. And now, that I think about it, I start to remember things he made, that I had forgotten. For example he made wonderful wood inlay work as well, a table top, small objects like boxes and very impressive the ceiling for one room. I don't know if you can imagine that. He also painted on furniture, like it was the custom in Austria with the peasantry, very rustic, flowers and all. He of course had to restore many pieces before he could paint on them.

I'm real sorry, that I don't have more and better pictures to show. I love his oil paintings and have one over the mantle piece. It was made the year I was born, in 1964. I would have liked to upload it, but blogger will not allow it. He gave away most of his paintings, some he sold.

He worked a long time in preparation for this show, and I'm so glad that people liked it. It was certainly a great and rewarding experience for my dad.

I'm proud of you, dad!

Friday, December 15, 2006

I need to know it isn't so!

Remember the Celtic Waves scarf I made with sea silk, which was a dream to knit with? I've worn it twice now and it's all sloppy and rolling together like a hose. Is this the fate of all knitted and blocked lace things??? Yes, it's soft and has a nice feel to the skin, it still smells, but only the one wearing it, can smell it. I like the colors, I like the stitch pattern, but I don't like it, that I've got a hose around my neck. Please tell me, that it's not always like that! Different yarn can still be nice after being used?!

I was looking for a particular picture last night and stumbled across this one. This is Sam about a year ago, some time between Christmas and New Year. It was about 9 AM, the rest of the family was still asleep and Sam, Biko and I were enjoying the fresh fallen snow!!! He was happy like a bug, we all were. There was no surface left untouched after we went inside. We were having so much fun.

This morning I walked Biko. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing, but not too cold. Is it April already? We went into the bushes behind our house to get all the tennis balls we lost over the fence. Biko turned out to be the perfect go fetch the ball dog. The ones I couldn't reach unless I was crawling on all fours, which I would not do, she went in like after a rabbit. We totally annoyed the neighbors dog, who got railed at by her owner for making such a hubbub. After that we went to the tennis court, were I can let her run free, in an enclosed environment. Nice for her. I threw the ball several times, but as "luck " would have it, she fell and now she's sporting a couple of abrasions on one front leg, thank god no vet was needed. It was just wet and slippery there.

Now we are back home and the sky turned all grey and it's raining lightly. Where's my snow???

On a different note: Holiday spirit! - We just found out, that last night somebody broke into my sons car. He did not have much in there, except for his school bag with the Sony recorder and the memory stick in it. They made quite a mess in the car, but took only his bag in the end. We found it in the ditch, all dirty and wet, with his parking pass and his notes and everything still in it, only the recorder was missing. I even found the batteries of the recorder in the ditch and some other loose stuff. They ripped the bag's lining as well. They were looking for money I guess. That's so sad! He needs this recorder to record the lectures. With the memory stick it's another $ 500 or more down the drain.

What about our dogs in all this mess? They sleep more soundly than we do!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I've got mail!

First of, what to do, if you are condemned to be a couch potato, living in the living room and can't sleep one more minute? Well, kill your favorite plush - chew - toy, of course. First goes the ear, and after the stuffing was flying through the air, I had to take it away from him. So sad. Bad boy!

Look what I've got. Some more Cherry Tree Hill Super Glitz sock yarn in four different colors! I might even make a pair of socks with it! ;o)

And this was a total surprise, but a nice one! Connie of Pick Up Sticks sent me these lovely stitch markers. Aren't they cute? I LOVE the little mitten and the ball of yarn with the needles in it! Thanks so much, Connie!

Although I did a lot of knitting, there are no pictures to show you this time. I don't like WIP pictures very much. So please be patient!

Monday, December 11, 2006

"Sam and Biko howling at the stars" Hat

Well, there you go. I've promised you a hat! At first I thought it would be "Sam's hat", but seeing that there are two howling "dogs" facing each other, I had to think about that for a minute.

It did take me one day to make it and it was so much fun. For those of you who would like to make a similar hat, you should go and get yourself the "Slip-Stitch Knitting" Color Pattern The Easy Way book by Roxana Bartlett. I've got it used on There is a hat in there, which is called "Reindeer in the snow hat" and it's just too cute. After seeing it, I slept on it and was thinking of making something like it, but not quite the same. They use an invisible cast-on and sew the hem up after, which is one thing I'd like to avoid, as you all know! ;o) I made the "LatvianTwist". I found a tutorial for this on Carolyn's blog. Thank god for pictures! She used it for a pair of socks, but it works here as well.

Oh, and I made my first Pom-Pom. It's rather ratty looking, but it's O.K. The hat fits my head, just. Because of the slip-stitch it holds together well, but it gives more warmth too.

For yarn I've used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (100% Peruvian Wool) in the colors cranberry - fog - mist and it's knit on 4.5mm needles.

click pictures to get a closer look

David couldn't see the howling dogs at first, but here they are. I could have made any other design, but I didn't want to. I like dogs, why should I put a Reindeer on it? Or flowers? Or cats? You know what I mean.
Heike wanted to see what the Magic Mosaic squares looked like on the back side.

Sam is doing well. He's alert and even playful from time to time. He's chewing on the nylabone, because he's bored out of his mind. Recovery is slow, but steady.