Monthly Archives: December 2014

Following Dorset Down the Old Sheep Trail

I’ve been working in a semi-devoted sort of way on spinning up the Dorset Down sent by the good folks at Louet. Its lovely roving but it has had to share me with a rather large knitting project that I dug out of mothballs shortly before Christmas (more on that later). I have about half of the Dorset spun up and plied. Here is how its looking:

Its coming out to be mostly sport weight and that’s in a 2-ply. But this isn’t going to be a post on how I’m getting the spinning done. Its a post on all the things I’ve learned about Dorset Downs.

Continue reading Following Dorset Down the Old Sheep Trail

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Its Good to Be a Knitter

Justa  quick post for now but I hope to have more up later. Its a cold, miserable, windy day and its good to be a knitter.

I’m at Mom’s and the temperatures has dropped quite a bit. Its in the thirties I think. The winds have picked up, also in the 30’s (miles per hours that is). Even so, the Great Beast Barbarian Princess Dog must be walked. She has to be walked even on yucky weather days. No scratch that. On yucky days is when she needs her walk the most.

So for today’s three-mile trek there will be lots a warm woolies on heads, hands and feet.

 

Hope you’re staying warm! Stay in and drink an extra cup of coffee and think of me.

 

The Gentle Art of Dressing a Furry Loved One

Mom has two animals that allow themselves to be stuffed into silly outfits. I try to take advantage of that every year.

Dandy is his Name… and His Attitude

If you are a regular reader of this blog, than you know that I am thoroughly cowed by my Feline Overlord. I won’t ask her to wear a hat. I know better than that. For the record, I did try once, years ago. It went about as well as you would expect and I was punished with revenge kitty-puking for a few days. Also, for that record, I attempted to stuff Cowardly Boy Cat into a witch hat for one Halloween. Poor baby was traumatized and had to live under the bed for a while.

But mom has a cat that you can dress up as much as you like. Blog, meet Dandy, a very  laid back kitty.

Continue reading The Gentle Art of Dressing a Furry Loved One

I’m Safely Ensconced at Mom’s

It was a long and miserable road trip but that’s mostly because Feline Overlord objects to traveling. She expresses her objections by howling, quite loudly, the entire way. Nothing can make her stop not even drugs professionally administered by vets. She just shakes off those pesky narcotics and makes with the howling. Yelling back, spritzing her in the face with water, and begging for mercy have no affect on her. So I just let her howl.

(Btw, Cowardly Boy Cat simply cowers quietly. He is the perfect traveling companion.)

Fortunately mom had aspirin ready. She also had coffee. Also six different kinds of home made cookies. Two different kinds of homemade fudge. There was chicken and dumplings simmering on the stove. One of the neighbors had dropped off a dozen tamales before my arrival. (I said one time, four years ago that tamales at Christmas was the best tradition ever and there have been tamales ever since.) Another neighbor dropped off a pecan pie as I was unloading my stuff.

There would probably be all of these goodies waiting for me even if I didn’t have to endure hours of kitty temper tantrums. But I gotta say they do make it easier to face the trip here. The trip back is just as hard and there are no goodies at the end of it. But that’s ok because I usually gain 14.7 pounds while I’m with mom. After this trip I’ll need to be on a diet of water and air.

In other news that might make you smile, Gentleman J liked his scarf very much. He called the next day to say thank you. He emailed today to say thank-you a second time. He says handmade gifts are so very special and that he’ll be wearing his scarf on Christmas Eve.

So we all know what that means…I be making him more in the future. When we find someone who values what we can make we bury them in yarn-y goodness. Right? I’ll have to ask Granny Ravelry what to make him next.

Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Season. Hope Santa brings you everything you asked for.

 

P.S. No, I’m not sharing my tamales. Or my cookies. Or the fudge. You think those 14.7 pounds are just going to put themselves on my thighs?

P.S.S. No pictures in this post because I haven’t unpacked the camera yet. What can I say except that I’m a baddie. Pictures will be coming. I promise!

 

What the Crafter in Your Life Needs for Christmas

Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are the crafter. But maybe you’ll send it on to a loved one who doesn’t know what to buy you. Or maybe you’ll take it as the push you need and tell said loved what you’d actually like to see under your Christmas tree. Or maybe  you’ll just go buy it for yourself. Psst…. I’d go with that last option!

Crafters need bags

You thought I was going to say yarn didn’t ya? Well, yes we do need the yarn. But I’ve known plenty of knitters and crocheters who complain about the size of their stash. they worry that they probably have too much yarn already. (It does not stop them from buying more. Oh no! And why should it?) But I have never, ever, in all my years of crafting ever heard one say they had too many bags.

Crafters need bags and a lot of them. We need bags in every size and shape.

Continue reading What the Crafter in Your Life Needs for Christmas

Saturday Night Round Up

Would you like a post full of odds and bits and stuff I’ve managed to accomplish all mashed together? I hope so. Its all I seem to have time for.

With Christmas barreling down, I’m running out of time for the stuff I have to (but probably won’t) get done. I think someone is stealing time out of my days. They have to be. I just looked up and realized its 8:30 at night. I would swear that five minutes ago it was 6:15.

Time thief is the only explanation.

So here is what I’ve manged to finish off this week.

Gentleman’s Scarf undergoing inspection by Feline Overlord

Yep. I finished a scarf. A whole scarf. Which I actually started sometime last week. Still, a FO is better than no FO. I’m just happy its done before Christmas.

 

After that I started a bookmark. I figured why go looking for trouble? So I gave myself an easy-peasy brainless crochet bookmark to do. It will be the wrap-over-the-front-cover kind. With a button. If you look close, there is a button hole down near the pointy end.

Btw, this is the project whose skein had a knot it it. The (knotted yarn) went from purpley-brown direct to blue. So after I threw my little fit, I pulled out yarn and fussed with it and did my best to fake a proper gradient into the purple. I can still see the join though. Good thing I’m giving this baby away! I’ll gift it and then I won’t have to look at it anymore, lol.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve managed to squeeze in some spinning. Just a bit here and there. I’m working on the Dorest Down sent to me by Louet. Its super crimpy wool, more crimpy than anything I’ve spun before.

I have approximately 2 out of 8 ounces spun so far. I did some test spinning and plying and generally played around with it before settling on technique I thought would do it justice. I’ll save all that for a later post because

a) I’m dog-ass tired, and

b) this stuff deserves a post of it own.

But here is how its coming along.

I will say this though: Feline Overlord really likes the Dorset Down. Really. Likes. Since everything she really likes she feels compelled to destroy, I’ve been playing a lot of keep away with the roving.  I keep it in a sealed plastic bag (which is kinda bad for roving and you shouldn’t store it in plastic for any length of time) which is stuffed into a closed project bag. Somehow… she knows its in it there.

Hope everyone’s holiday plans are going smooth and I hope you get everything done that you need to get done. Then maybe you can come over and get my stuff done too. If you want. Just putting it out there.

Thursday Poll – Knots in My Skeins Make Me Crazy

Last night I found a knot in my skein. You know what I mean. Unfortunately I think every knitter and crocheter in the world knows what I mean. The yarn-making people tied the end of one length of yarn to another and kept going.

A knot. In. My. Skein.

This time it was particular crazy-making because I’m working with some long color way, gradient yarn and the break / knot happened between two very different colors. So there was a lot of pulling out of yarn and trying to visually match up colors so I could fake a smooth gradient change. There was also a whole lot of cussing and stomping around like a 500 pound gorilla.

So the poll for today is:

Just know that no matter how you vote, it won’t change my mind. Except that “off with their heads one”. I might could be talked into that.

 

I Have the Power to Make it Rain

All I have to do to bring the rains is set something outside to block. Like I did today. That will make the rain come. Like it did today.

I finished up that black and brown slip-stitch scarf and set it out on the porch this morning. The evil, master plan was to get pictures of it this afternoon and show them off here tonight or maybe tomorrow. Sadly the weather gods always seem to know when I have a FO out because they dump all over them more often than not. I swear I could cure a drought if I could just finish things regularly.

Continue reading I Have the Power to Make it Rain

A Gentleman’s Scarf

I Ripped Back and I’m not Even Sorry

Scarf is not done… but almost. It should have been finished last week and probably would have been. But I ripped it out and started over. I can do that. I kind of love to do that. It makes me feel powerful! I can rip back whenever I like and there is no one to tell me no or look disappointed.

Except for possible the Feline Overlord but she is always looks disappointed in me. She doesn’t count.

Continue reading A Gentleman’s Scarf

How to Pick a Sweater Pattern

Learn to Spot the Tricks Photographers Use to Hide Bad Designs

Making a sweater is a big commitment. It takes quite a bit of yarn and lots of your time. Sweater making is not something to be taken lightly and you really should invest the effort to pick out a good pattern.

My Central Park Hoodie. See notes at the end.

Continue reading How to Pick a Sweater Pattern