Monday, September 29, 2008

What spinning?

O.K. I fixed the link to Sunshine Yarns.
One last word about ravelry login, and than I'll shut up. Of course I do know about the "remember me", and I've checked it, but it only remembers my user name, I still have to type in the password. It's the same with blogger, and hotmail, remember the username, type in the password. Anyhow, it's no big deal. :o)

9 x 50-70yds. of superwash merino yarn, Fall Color Collection.

Ever since I announced that I wanted to spin for a specific project (mittens), I've NOT touched my spinning wheel. Every day I feel guilty, when I pass by it, but find excuses why I don't get on with it. I've decided to forget about spinning for a specific project. I want it to be fun, and I'd rather spin with joy, and find something to do with the yarn later, than not spin at all.

colorway "Phoenix"

That's why I shopped for new fiber to get me motivated again. The above picture of mini skeins, as well as both braided roving where purchased at Sunshine Yarns .

colorway "Chocolate and Cherries"

I do have to admit, that "Phoenix" is almost too much, even for me. We'll see how this will turn out. I do LOVE the "Chocolate and Cherries" colorway.

I think I will use the mini skeins to knit the mittens I wanted to spin for.

My creation

Sam is enjoying himself in the back yard. He's doing not too bad under the circumstances. But the drug prednisone makes him do things, he normally doesn't do. This morning, after we were up and about, and we all had our breakfast, we found him in the hall upstairs, licking his chops. That meant one thing: he ate something! He's under no circumstances supposed to gain weight, it would put too much pressure on his front legs. Anyway, I knew at once, that he was in the bedroom, and helped himself to treats. I have an open box beside my bed, to give them treats, before bedtime. He never stole from it before, but I found it half empty, even though I refilled it just last night. Must be horrible to feel hungry and thirsty all the time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Finished and Frogged

The last two weeks did not bring forth the knitting which I had planned. I've never frogged so much before. That's why I'm happy that I have some finished projects to show you, which were finished in early August. First, there are Newfoundland mittens, my 6th pair!

Newfoundland mittens by Creative Whimsy
yarn: black: Patons Classic Wool Merino, and Noro Silk Garden color # 239
needles: 4.5mm
Claudia hat by Exartstudent
yarn: Peruvian Collection Highland Wool, color # 2117
needle: 4mm
This hat turned out rather small, more for a child's head.

Turn a square hat by Jared
yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino, color # 00229, Natural Mix, and Noro Silk Garden, color # 239
needles: 4mm and 4.5mm

This hat turned out too big. That's why I made a second one, knit only with 4mm needles, but there's not much of a difference. Nevertheless, this Turn a Square hat was fun to knit, and I learned how to knit stripes without the jog at the beginning of the round. I'm all for learning new things, once in a while.
And here is one of my frogged finished projects. It's the 1840 Nightcap by Franklin
It was totally my fault, that the first attempt didn't pan out. I used 2.5mm needles. Although I didn't have the same yarn brand as the pattern called for, I've got a pretty close match. It was a PIA to knit this, so many purl rows, but I wanted to knit one just the same. I think it would make a fun gift, for any bald head.
That's why I bought some 2mm circs and cast on again. The pattern called for 2.25mm needles. And I got a smaller cap (only knit it half this time, put it on a thread, and let my son try it on), but still it was way too big.
The pattern says, it's supposed to be 22" at the lace edge. I've got 25" with the first attempt, and 24" with the second one (frogged of course). Before I frogged the second one, I've measured the cap above the lace edge, where the purl rows are, and it showed 28"!!!! Not good.
Now, I wanted to knit this as a gift, but can't bring myself to cast it on a third time. Maybe later, but not right now. I'm definitely are going to make changes to this pattern, like casting on less stitches, if I ever will knit this again. It's too bad, really.
*Oh, and there's another thing. I'm a little bit short tempered right now, and I think it's very annoying, that people in blog land use ravelry links more and more. Even though I'm on ravelry, I still have to log in every time I follow a link, which takes time. I'd rather have the links follow to the original source, don't you?*

Monday, September 22, 2008

Knit Picks Harmony Straight Needles - Winners

(notice the beautiful fall flowers in the background)

I asked Biko to bark me three numbers, which she did considerably well. Of course she was heavily influenced by my son, who whispered numbers in her ears. So here are the three lucky ones, who each get a pair of Knit Picks Harmony Straight Needles:

Angelika - 4mm needles

Hege - 4mm needles

Knatolee - 5mm needles

Congratulations, Ladies! Please send me your address via e-mail, so I can send them to you asap.

Some wanted to know about the mosaic knitting. It's just a swatch. I felt like slip stitch knitting, and that's it.

Oh, and also: Welcome Autumn!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Knit Picks Harmony Straight Needles

I was lucky to be asked, if I wanted to give the new Knit Picks Harmony straight needles a try. Of course I did! Those needles are not just beautiful, but good to work with too. They make me happy just looking at them. Needles can be boring, or they can be fun like these colorful ones. I do realize it's just tools, but the better the tools, the better the work will be.
I was surprised how sharp the tips are, but not painfully so. I do have a pair of rosewood needles, but I always felt, yarn never glides well on them, especially with cotton. So I tested these Harmony needles with mercerized cotton, and they work fine. The yarn slips quite easily along.
Even my son was impressed on how they looked. He's so used to seeing all kinds of knitting material all over the place, that it must stand out for him to remark on any of it.
Now, don't feel left out. Angela, of Knit Picks, also asked me, if I would like to get some needles for giveaway. I was in a good and generous mood, so I said, yes, of course! That's why three lucky people are now getting a new pair of Knit Picks Harmony straight needles from me. All you have to do is leave a comment, letting me know which size you would prefer, if you are a winner. I have two pairs of US 6 (4mm) and one pair of US 8 (5mm) to give away. To be considered, you can leave a comment until Monday moring, when I'll announce the winners some time on Monday, September 22nd.
Now, I'd like to thank you all for your lovely comments on my Three Sisters Scarves. And also thanks for all your tips, and empathy for Sam, it's greatly appreciated.
I'm going to respond here, not individually this time. Some of you might already know those things about Sam. He's had knee surgery three times, surgery on both his elbows, he was neutered, which usually is no big deal, but with him it was. One of his testicles did not drop, so they had to cut him open and look for it, so he would not get cancer later on. Once he almost severed one of his toes, while playing, which resulted in a deformed nail (after surgery). He was born with weird front legs, they were never straight, but he always stood like a ballet dancer. It was clear from the beginning, that his front legs would give him trouble down the road, which is now, I guess.
As a puppy he fell into the pool twice, and now is deathly afraid of water. He wont even step into a puddle after the rain, if he can help it. The only way he likes water is to drink from a bowl, or when it's really, really hot, he bites the water coming out of the hose. So swimming is out of the question for him. We tried to get him into the pool, but it's just cruel, the way he acts when in it. So therapy with water is not likely going to happen.
And he's about 96lbs, he's a big dog. You just can't lug him around under your arms, like a toy dog. If he can't get in and out of the house on his own, we are in big trouble. If the problems where in his hind legs, we could see about some kind of wheels for him, but it's the front leg(s) right now.
I don't think surgery, like Biko had on her back, would help his elbows, if at all possible. I'm thinking we just have to find the right pain killer, to make him comfortable, paired with glucosamine supplements, green lipped mussel extract and what else I can find. In any case, the medication he's getting now, is not doing much for him.
Tomorrow he'll get his 4th injection for his joints, and we'll see how his anal gland is doing. He doesn't seem to be bothered much by it right now, which is good.
O.K. enough of that. I wish you all good luck! I'm going to finish my mosaic swatch now.

Monday, September 15, 2008


My creation

It's been a while, since I last posted some spinning. I haven't had time to spin lately. I finished the first skein in the middle of June, and the second skein at the beginning of August.

This is 8oz of 40% merino, 60% bamboo, dyed and sold by A Piece of Vermont. Oh how I loved this colorway, and still do.

It was hard for me in the beginning to work with this fiber. As I was starting to tear it into strips, it drifted apart in my hands, like clouds. Or did it melt like butter? It frustrated me at first, but I had to change my outlook on this one. Before I handled wool, fine, and rough ones, and it can stand rougher handling quite well, not so this fiber. Needless to say, I got used to it, but this fiber wanted to be spun very thin, unbelievable thin. That's why after I finished the first 4oz, there was some time between getting started on the second half. Spinning thin takes forever, and while I enjoy spinning, looking at the same color for such a long time, I needed to spin something else in between, before going back and finish it up.

It came out as lace weight yarn, both skeins together ~ 1,407yds, which will make a lovely shawl someday.

Sam update: Sorry about the blurry picture. If I had a better one, I would have chosen that. That's typical of Sam right now. Holding up his leg, trying not to put pressure on it. It's the one he has this darn arthritis in. He's limping everyday, always, nothing seems to help him. Just yesterday I was thinking, that I'm getting used to seeing him limping, that it seems normal.

I guess because of the prednisone, he's got an anal gland infection as well. (as I understand it, taking this medication makes it easier for infections to take hold) The left anal gland was full of blood, last week at the vet's. He's on antibiotics now as well. After the treatment last Thursday, Sam was fine until Saturday, when his bum started to bother him again.

I'm so tired of it all. I want a healthy puppy, with which I can go for walks etc. It's unbelievable how fast he adapts to his life, how he enjoys going outside (of course he did always enjoy that), playing in the backyard, which for him means, limping outside, finding his ball, taking a pee or two, and lay down to chew on his red ball, listening, and looking around, sniffing the air.

Poor guy, why has he got the short end of the stick? One of the Vet's said:"He's got all the personality, none of the legs." And that's true. He's the best dog we've ever had.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Three Sisters Scarves # Three

Knitted socks are out again, and worn with pleasure. I'm happy summer is over, even if it wasn't a bad summer at all. It's so much more fun to knit warm things like mittens and hats again. After knitting three scarves with Handmaiden Sea Silk, I've discovered that I like working with wool and wool blend yarn the best. I love the feeling of it in my hands, and sometimes when the yarn still smells a little bit of sheep, I'm in heaven. Silk yarn, and silk blend yarns are fine sometimes, but I'm not that kind of girl. That's why I have no trouble giving away those scarves. There you have them! All three in their glory! Puh, am I glad it's done! I need a break from this yarn for a while. It's wonderful to the touch, so luxurious. I hope my SIL's will appreciate them.
This last of the three scarves drowned in its own juices. I finished it late evening, and put it to soak, wanting to block it before I turned in later. I totally forgot about it, and it soaked until next morning. It felt a little stiff, from the water, which turned cold over night of course. But now that it's dry, it's as nice and soft as the other two. The water was dark green though.

pattern: my own
yarn: 1 skein Handmaiden Sea Silk, as the two others before, just a little left over
needle: 3.5mm this time, since I started this before I finished # 2 and didn't have a second 3.25mm
size after (careful) blocking: 10" x 66"
start-finish: August 30 - September 05

That's it! Have fun!
Please let me know if you find errors in the pattern! Thanks.
There was a mistake in Scarf #1 and 2, I put errata on the post with the download, as well as on ravelry. Please check before you start knittind it.
chant with me: I will never release a pattern without somebody test knitting it again!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Three Sisters Scarves # Two

Sharon V: I'd love to send you the pattern for scarf # 1, but I need to know your e-mail address first! :o)
This is promised scarf number two. People on ravelry might have seen all three patterns already. This stitch pattern was driving me crazy. It took me forever to memorize it, because of the decreases which go in both directions. I was glad when it was over, but I like the look of it. And I've already cut off the end, which is visible in the above picture. ;o)

pattern: my own

yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk, 70% silk, 30% sea cell, 1 skein

needle: 3.25mm

size after blocking: 9" x 68", (I had just a little left over)

start-finish: August 25-30

Have fun!

rows 12 and 14 of chart should read : knit all stitches
Please let me know if you find other errors in the patterns! Thanks.

(This cartoon is Teresa's. You'll find it on her blog for download. I recognized myself in it. How did she know? :o))

And while we are at it, I'd like to turn your attention to a young desinger Teresa, who has a new lace scarf up for sale called Flora, which I just purchased. It's a wonderful piece. I've already knit another scarf desing of hers, the La Dentelle Belle scarf, which is a free design. I think she's very talented.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Three Sisters Scarves # One

In preparation of my upcoming trip I'm knitting some gifts. This week I'll share with you the "Three Sisters Scarves" and as it must be, I start with # One. All three of them are easy lace pattern, made with one skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk. I had several single skeins in my stash and thought now's the time to use them. The first one is knit with a simple, but elegant triangle lace pattern. The color (which is not quite right in the above photo) reminds me of old gold jewelry. And if you know Handmaiden Sea Silk, you know what I mean. It has a wonderful sheen to it. (this picture shows the color better)

(least likeness of actual color)

pattern: my own

yarn: Handmaiden sea silk, 70% silk, 30% sea cell

needles: 3.25mm

size after blocking: 9" x 56" + fringes (I had some left over yarn, I might have gotten another repeat out of it)

For your pleasure, I've written down the pattern. I hope you'll enjoy it!


the first 2 stitches and the last 2 stitches of this pattern ARE charted
row 2 of chart should read: Knit all stitches.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Well, it's settled. I'm booked to fly to Austria at the end of October. I'm going to visit my parents. Haven't been there in three years! Unbelievable how time flies. I'm getting really excited about it. :o)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Crochet Star Blanket

I've been blog hopping, reading as many as I could. I'm visiting the ladies of Mason - Dixon frequently, and saw this picture from their upcoming, new book. I'm telling you, it will be a big hit! You can see a preview here, so far I'm liking everything I've seen. Just saying. :o)

At the beginning of the year I said to myself, this year I'd like to make at least ONE crochet project. Well I made more than that, but this star blanket will be the last one this year. Too much knitting needs to get done, but I've got the crochet bug satisfied for now.

yarn: Butterfly super 10 multi color # 804,"Lipstick", mercerized cotton, 5 balls each 100g ` 1,090yds used
size: tip to tip = 39"; ditch to ditch = 32"
hook: 4mm (G)

start-finish: June 15 - July 20

My all time favorite, and inspiration is Mariella's star blanket. It's just wonderful in those colors.

I made a tiny modification. I did only 2 dc in the corners, instead of 3dc, and it worked out very well. The piece is not flaring, but lying flat as it should.

I don't like mercerized cotton, and yet, I have so much in my stash. I'll use it up by and by, but will not buy more of it. I know it works well for some projects, and it will hold up wear and tear quite well, but - of course there's a but, it's me, not the yarn. Anyway, I still have to finish my one and only UFO - the bliss blanket. I've put it aside for now. It's entrelac, which is O.K. but I WISH I'd worked this blanket with some other yarn, not mercerized cotton. But I'm too far into it, to rip it all out again.

Sam update: He had his left front leg x-rayed. The shoulder is fine, and the elbow has severe arthritis, which we suspected anyway. We stopped giving him Metacam, since it didn't do him any good. Last Sunday we started giving him Prednisone and Tramadol, and we started to see some improvement, or I should say he seemed in less pain. From today on, he'll only get Prednisone. But we also give him glucose supplements. A dear friend mentioned Mandragora D4, and green lipped mussel extract/tablets, and she sent us some. As soon as we'll get it, we'll start giving Sam these as well. Although with atrocities, he will not get better, I hope we can manage the pain, so that he can at least go for short walks, and enjoy being outside in the backyard.

Thank you for all your well wishes!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gifted sock yarn socks # 5

This is the yarn Christiane sent me from Germany. I choose the colorway myself, wanting to get away (a little) from my orange phase. It's merino/linen blend, and let me tell you, it was wonderful to work with. The only negative thing I can say about it is, that it splits easily, but I forgave that immediately, because the knit fabric has a wonderful feel to it. I thought yarn with linen in it, must be a bit coarse, but it's not. Probably because it's a 80% merino 20% linen blend. They could use a higher % of linen and I would not mind. Can only make the yarn stronger. I always liked cotton blend yarns for my socks, and now I'm looking forward to wear these babies as soon as it gets cold enough to do so.
I cast on for socks three times before I was satisfied with the result. The yarn stood up bravely to this abuse. It's hard to find a stitch pattern for handpainted yarn, that will pool no matter what, other than good old stockinett stitch. I found two ways to make it a little bit more interesting, and one way you can see here for yourself. I like the result. I made the leg 7" long, and the foot is for size 10 1/4", and I still had left over yarn. I could have added 1" to each leg easily.

Well, there you have it! Another pair of socks, contesting to become favorite socks.
pattern: my own
needles: for cuff and 3" of the leg - 2.5mm, for the rest of the socks 2.25mm 5 DP
size: 10 1/4"
Cast on: 64 stitches
start-finish: August 23 - 25
Thank you, Christiane, for giving me the opportunity to experience this lovely yarn. I would love to try this for a scarf, even as heavier weight yarn, or for a sweater, this would be so great, with a nice drape I'm sure.