Monday, December 31, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A snow day

On the weekend we had some visitors – Toddler Jeneric dragged her parents over the border so she could play with Keeper and see massive amounts of snow.

The company allowed us plenty of time for knitting and game playing. (Jeneric has more pics on their site)

I finished these

(I almost didn’t get to photograph these as I had wrapped them up for Christmas before I thought of it)

Project specs:
Yarn: Opal purchased from Knitters Fair in colour 1253 - no name to the colour but I call it denim jacquard.
Needles: 2.75 mm
Pattern: ribbed sock pattern with an hourglass heel in garter stitch

I pulled out my cardigan to work on. I haven’t worked on this since I got back from my trip in November. Since I have decided to make it a bit wider across the back I wanted to compare the fronts and the back.

I was glad that I did

Remember when I had said that the front was coming out longer than I had planned. It turns out that happens when you don’t count properly. As Jenni said “that can’t be fixed by blocking” - the front will be ripped.

And old finished project that I finally got photos of

This is L in a Baby Kimono

Project Specs

Yarn: South West Trading Co bamboo in colour Tequila
Needles: 3.5mm
Pattern: Baby kimono from IK Summer '05
It fit him at one point- this was sent to him in the spring but due to a number of reasons I didn't get photos until now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bear foot socks and a favour

First I will get to the knitting content- I actually finished a pair of socks that fit Ali. I am not going to go diving into the archives to find out when that last happened. This sock knitting went very smooth until I broke one of my Brittany Birch 2.5 mm needles. Seeing this was the second one in that size that I broke (the previous one snapped about three years ago) I decided I needed replacements. Brittany needles are great about replacing the snapped needles. My only problem with it is they no longer make a 7" 2.5 mm needle - only 5" so the two replacements are shorter. C'est la vie!

On to the socks
Bearfoot socks4
I got the yarn at the Knitters Fair in September and loved knitting with it. The yarn is a pleasure on the hands, being a wool:mohair:nylon blend so I am hoping it holds up well.

I knit the socks toe up, placing the gusset increases along the sole of the foot, an idea taken from Ted, although I kept them every other row.

Bearfoot socks1

Yarn: Mountain Colours Bearfoot
Needles: Brittany Birch 2.5mm
Pattern: Basic toe up sock pattern with heel flap, gusset stitches along bottom

Now onto the favour - I am not asking for money or a large part of your time. I just want you to read the story of Talca and Sari, and write a few letters expressing your feelings to the Judge and District Attorney and Police Chief involved in the case.

Sari and Talca were two rescued racing greyhounds, they were born in Ireland, raced in Spain and brought to the US when their careers were over. It was believed they were going to have a good life after being adopted by Kevin Schneider. However this was not to be the case :

Sari and Talca were adopted from Greyhound Friends, Hopkinton. GHFs adopts out hundreds of ex-racers to responsible, loving owners every year. In the group's almost twenty-five years of placing greyhounds nothing like this travesty has ever happened. Great care is given to each match; the adopter signs a contract that emphatically stipulates that the dogs have to be returned to GHFs no matter what the circumstances.

Reportedly, Talca and Sari were not provided with adequate food or water and they were in a severely emaciated condition. On October 27, Schneider drove to Killingly, CT. where he abandoned Talca. She was picked up by Animal Control and her microchip read.....traced to Spain and then to Hopkinton.........she is safe and recovering.

Sari was in much worse shape. After being abandoned by Schneider at a location in Rhode Island, Sari was taken into care by a local greyhound placement organization. She received veterinary care but died after two days. Sari only weighed thirty pounds when she was found. When she left GHFs she weighed between sixty-five and seventy pounds. Talca was adopted in May, 2007 - Sari in June, 2007. It is crucial that the public be aware that if they see animal abuse or neglect it is imperative that they contact the humane authorities who can help the animals....who have no voice or recourse of their own. Both the MSPCA and the ARL have anonymous tip lines.
In Massachusetts, cruelty to animals carries a maximum sentence of five years.

[from a press release put out by Greyhound Friends]

Schneider is scheduled for his next appearance in court on December 27. Your letters will help make sure that he is not allowed to plea to lesser charges.

Edward P. Deveau
Chief of Police
34 John "Sonny" Whooley Way
Watertown, MA 02472

Gerard T. Leone Jr.
Middlesex County District Attorney
40 Thorndike St
Cambridge, MA 02141

Hon. Gregory C. Flynn
First Justice
Waltham District Court
38 Linden Street
Waltham, MA 02452

For more information on this story please check out the site set up discuss the case.

Monday, November 19, 2007


or I guess I shouldn't have dropped that stitch back in June.

I have been wearing my entrelac socks, on a weekly basis since it has gotten cold (I only have 8 pairs of knit socks so they get worn often in the rotation), without a problem. They are KPPPM and have been through the washing machine 3 -4 times (I also handwash my socks). Monday morning however, I went to put them on.

My finger went through the fabric right below the cuff.



Careful analysis has revealed that I had dropped a purl stitch half way up the ribbing, and not noticing it, the stitch has slowly run down and is now releasing all the stitches in the dark blue square. I feel that I have a major repair project in my hands - Claudia's quick fix - which I have used often will not help me know. It would have helped in June, but alas I must reknit the cuff. I'll have to figure out if more drastic work needs to be done when I rip back that far.

I am just glad that I noticed it when I was putting the sock on and not part way through the day. The dark blue square would unravel completely if left to its own devices in the present state. I have already started unravelling the cast off edge of the cuff.

Progress in knitting has been slow anyway. The back of the cardigan is 2/3 done - and I have a sock for Christmas 1/2 done. Exciting.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Keeper's Christmas List

Ali's posted a Christmas list on his blog and it was mentioned that Keeper needed a Christmas list. Since I have very little blog fodder of late. I thought I might take this time to discuss his hobbies and what Keeper would like to get for Christmas (or any other day for that matter).

Keeper is a wonderful dog and has 6 things that he loves to do. Actually I really think this is all he does. So in the order of what I think his preferences are here are Keeper's hobbies:
  1. Eat - I have never seen him turn down food (Whoops, he did once when he was sick but that was for 1/2 day). He will taste treats and deem them to be too healthy/not close enough to meat to be worth eating. However, no matter how tired, sore or other feeling he doesn't like to miss a meal.
  2. Sleep - He may be more active than other greyhounds but that isn't saying much. Keeper doesn't like his sleep disturbed (unless it is for food).
  3. Going for walks: He has been known (rarely but has happened) to give up walks in favour of sleeping or to chew on bone. I do think though one of the the favourite things about walks is the fact that he gets a treat at the end.
  4. Getting pets - Keeper does not display his love of this (Keeper rarely wags his tail) and in the beginning it was difficult to tell if he actually liked getting pets. He especially wasn't sure about belly rubs, but now when you stop he gives you a look that can only be interpretated to mean "I didn't tell you to stop so start petting me again".
  5. Running - I think a lot of people thought this was going to be his number one activity. However many times we have gone outside to play and he has not been interested in wanting to run. However if another grey is running he will generally join in (unless he is sleeping or getting tummy rubs)
  6. Playing with stuffed animals- This involves running 1/2 the time and he is particular about what stuffies he will play with.
So this brings us back to his Christmas list
  1. Smoked trout, sardines or any other fish. Fish is his favourite meat, despite the fact that he can't run after them. (although he did like to swim...)
  2. Turkey necks - this is really a gift but leftovers - what else do you do with those giblets. They have the added bonus of cleaning his teeth. His teeth do get brushed, but that is tolerated since he gets a treat afterwards.
  3. Any treat that contains a significant amount of meat (I will request low chicken content and no rawhides as they upset his tummy although he loves them anyway) I could really make an entire list of just his favourite treats but I think we have covered his number one pastime sufficiently.
  4. A nice soft fluffy bed for outside. The ground is hard - so quite often in the summer I would be outside in the garden and he would be inside sleeping on a comfy bed. He is not stupid. Keeper has a couple of beds inside but this is never enough for a greyhound.
  5. Some more blankets to sleep under - or to fluff up if the bed isn't quite soft enough. He does like used blankets.
  6. A new stuffed animal, it has to talk not squeak. Keeper is very particular and doesn't play with any of the toys that squeak - only the ones that make other sounds "I'm Tessa Owl Hoo Hoo Hoo" or "Ribbit Ribbit". He wears the sounds out on these toys. The frog that he has that squeaks he won't even pick it up.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"What are you doing?"

"Ah, now I'm comfy"

"What are you laughing at?"

Friday, October 05, 2007

As promised some socks

I finished these socks a couple of weeks ago and realized that I never posted a picutre of them.
I started with a 16 st garter st cuff, that I made long enough to go around my calves, picked up stitches along the edge and knit the socks down. I needed to decrease the stitch number down at the back of the socks.
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks Krazy Stripes
Needles: 2.75 mm bamboo
Heel: Patridge Heel flap with garter strips on the sides
I like the garter edging to the heel flap but not perfer the slip stich heel as opposed the Eye of Partridge flap.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

September , where did you go?

Wow, it seems like just yesterday that I was at the knitters fair purchasing my fall's supply of yarn and know despite the weather October is almost here. For people who didn't hear we hit 40C with the humidex factored in (31.5 without) on Tuesday. It still is a beautiful day to be outside today.
I didn't start this blog post to talk about the weather - I had something else to share. Oh yeah some WIP photos.
First my yet to be named Cardigan. I am happy at how far I got with the first ball, and I am enjoying this project.
I may be tempted at some point to reknit this front. Still deciding - why you might ask? The order of the stripes. I have the warm rust at my side (under the armscye) and cooler blues at the front. It would be great if they were reversed (and I will pay more attention now).
Why should they be reversed? Cooler colours recede, warm colours come forward. So putting the cooler colours to the side you get a slimmer look, the opposite you add width to yourself. I am not someone who obsesses with my weight by I also don't want to look huge.
Although Keeper doesn't seem to have that problem.

Next work in project is the Chocolate Mountain Socks. The yarn is Mountain Bearfoot a wool, mohair, nylon blend - perfect for socks for Ali (who should get off of facebook and post to his blog). Seeing as he missed the last pair for him and Jenni tried to start an argument

I am knitting these socks toe up and using the heel in the diamond waffle socks. This heel puts the increases (or decreases) at the bottom of the gusset. I am loving this yarn.
Just another day left in September.

ETA: I just realized that I never posted my finished Krazy Stripes socks. They have been done for a couple of weeks. I am a bad bad blogger. I guess that will be in the next post.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Noro Cardigan

-I'll need a better name for this cardi

I have cast on for the cardigan,- I decided against the mitered corner and decided to knit from side to side. The right front was cast on last night and by the end of knit and chat I had a portion done, but I am concerned. My gauge on my swatch was 17 sts/10cm before washing after washing 16.25 sts/10 cm. (Noro Silk Garden blooms a lot). Why I am concerned - the front is currently 5 cm longer then I have designed. Now this in itself is not a fatal flaw but I am concerned for three reasons:
  1. Will I have enough yarn - an extra 5 cm along the entire bottom is a lot of extra fabric and this is a discontinued colour
  2. How far out is the rest of my design shaping - my calculations are not out - just that I thin the gauge swatch has lied
  3. Is this going to stretch more and be even longer
To combat these insecurities I have decided to take the practical approach and continue to knit. I want to at least finish this ball of yarn -
  1. since that will give me a good idea if I will have enough (I should have 2/3 of the right front done - if not I will have to rip)
  2. I will be able to see if the shaping is somewhat correct when I hold it up to myself.
  3. I can hang it from the shoulders for a few days and then measure it with the entire weight of the front. This is one place where gauge swatches lie, there is not enough mass to fully give the information on how the weight is going to affect the garment.

On a further design note, I am doing a seed stitch border as I knit along the bottom of the cardigan. I am thinking of doing all the edgings in seed stitch and was wondering about the front "button" bands (I will probably not be adding any fasteners - I like the open look). How does the stitch gauge change with seed stitch compared to stockinette? I know they both have the same row gauge (why I am knitting the bottom as I go along). But the stitch gauge is different - can I get away with switching to 1 needle size smaller - or will it be more complicated. I am not sure if I just want to knit and see do to the blooming issue.

Just a side note - I love The Twisted Sisters Knit Sweaters - A Knit to Fit Workshop

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Knitters Fair

Spent a good chunk of time and money at the Knitters Fair on Saturday. I met up with Sarah and Vick saw them go into fibre overload as newbies at these types of events do. I haven't taken pictures of my purchases today (it actually rained !!!!), however I will let you in on one of the major purchases.

I got enough of Noro Silk Garden (col 239) for a cardigan. Different then the tweedy grey that I was thinking for the cardigan, however I had decided to find the yarn then choose the pattern from my narrowed down list.
Since this is very different then what I was envisioning I need to switch gears with the pattern, since I don't want horizontal stripes. I have decided on using mitered corners in the cardigan to get vertical stripes. Similar to the Blueberry/Marmalade cardigan by Maureen Mason Jamieson (without the slip stitches).

My gauge swatch is drying and then I have a bunch of measurements to do before starting a ton of calculations.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Some finished objects ...

I can't find my little case that keeps all my darning needles in so these will have to wait to be truly finished objects
This is the Oriel top. This tank has gone through several iterations to get to this stage.

I started off with the W pattern from Knitty. However I realized when I was almost through one ball of yarn that I was not going to have enough yarn. So it visited the frog pond. I then decided to knit a top down tank but couldn't find a pattern that I liked for this yarn so I thought I would make one myself. This also had to visit the frog pond as I was having massive problems with the neck shaping and the realization that I don't have a 40" bust (maybe that was more gauge issues).
I liked the Lotus blossom tank in the summers IK, but wasn't sure I had enough yarn. What to do I didn't want to skip on length then end up with yarn left over.
Provisional cast on to the rescue. I knit the top of the tank (twice - gauge issues) following some of the shaping of the Shapely tank. The cast on was then taken out and I started the lace pattern working down. After a couple of different patterns Oriel was chosen. A picot bindoff along the neckline and hem was used.

Yarn: Darling by Filati Yarns in colour 347 50% cotton 50% acrylic 375 m
Needles : 3.75 mm (3.5 mm for edges)
Pattern: A little bit of several patterns

This yarn being a cotton acrylic blend was pleasant to knit with and I would use it again.

The second almost finished object
The Spey Valley socks

These socks are knit out of Trekking XXL and has reaffirmed that I am not a fan of this yarn. I don't think it gives a firm fabric for wear unless it is knit on tiny 1.75 mm needles.

These socks were meant to be for Ali but unfortunately when I was trying them on to judge their length they felt nice and tight to my feet. There is no way they would fit Ali's feet. I guess I just got another pair of socks for my drawer.

I do need something to knit

I still haven't decided on a sweater, I have added a few more to the potential list (I would like a basic grey cardigan that I could wear almost everyday) since I think Jenni was right about some of the other selections. I haven't found the yarn that I want for the cardigan so that will be part of the mission this Saturday at the Knitters Fair.

Raverly update
  • You signed up on July 3, 2007
  • You are #12938 on the list.
  • 1907 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 17478 people are behind you in line.
  • 36% of the list has been invited so far
ETA: I found my case and needles (top of a book shelf by the cook books if any wants to know)
So here are some real FO's

Monday, August 20, 2007


I have been thinking on what my next major project is going to be. Seeing as my knitting has drastically slowed down lately - I need to get the materials for a major project - makes sense doesn't it. I have been thinking about a cardigan and am torn between three different ones.

Option #1 Jenna's Eris
A mostly stockinette cardigan with some cabling around the top and the bottom moves this from basic to elegant.

Option #2 Bonne Marie's Twist
Two panels of cabling going up the fronts with some side shaping. I am not sure about such a large collar though.

Option #3 Kate's Cinnabar Pullover
Okay not a cardigan but something is drawing me to this sweater. I like the linen stitch touches for the collar and the hems.

So what do you think? I have no yarn for any of these sweaters currently, purchases will have to be made. There are some sales on, and the Knitters Fair is coming up so lots of opportunities to purchase the require yarn.

I have also not been able to get on Raverly yet - still in the queue, which I don't think has moved at all in the past week.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Keeper's Scarf

I finished Keeper's scarf

This was a fun project, my first attempt at shadow knitting and enjoyed watching the pattern slowly emerge.
Project Specs:
Needles: 5mm Boye straights
Yarn: Diamond Tempo yarn (75% acrylic: 25% wool) 100g/200m in one ball
Little more than one ball each of black (col 217) and tan (col 1203)
Pattern : My own with help from Vivian Høxbro's book Shadow Knitting

Did you notice a brindle dog in the above photos. Keeper hasn't changed colours or markings but we are having a house guest for a couple of weeks. His name is Tomax and his owners went on vacation so we are looking after him.

This is what the two of them do most of the day. They are currently sleeping now (but inside on their beds).

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Here in Ontario we celebrate Civic Holiday, a day to celebrate the summer (most of the other provinces celebrate it with different names). How did I spend this weekend:
Friends from Philly came up

We went to the cottage

Keeper went for his first swim. It was hot on Saturday, and he had spent a chunk of time in the car before we got to the beach (not locked in the car but we didn't go straight to the cottage). I decided to take him down to the water and see if he wanted to swim. My plan was to walk out until he stopped and wasn't comfortable.

We walked out

We hit the sand bar

After that it wss deep enough for him to swim

He just wanted to keep going.

Keeper loves the beach and the water. I let him swim around for a little while and then would take him back to the sandbar where he could stand. Then back out for a swim.

Monday morning, Ali had him and allowed me to get these shots. Keeper just wanted to jump all over the place in the water and run through the waves. I guess I have a beach bum/couch potato for a dog.


At the end of the day though, he wants to sleep.

(Apparently we only took pictures at the beach during the weekend.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Magical weekend

A few magical events this weekend

Chromo mudança

Okay it wasn't quite that easy.
Last fall I collected the berries (sloes) from my blackthorn tree (Prunus spinosa) and have kept them in the freezer.
Last weekend I made a dye bath -using 230 g sloe and left to cool overnight before filtering

Yarn was mordanted (Copper Sulfate)

Yarn was dyed.

I premordanted 2x 114g skeins with 28 g CuSO4, and only dyed one skein so I can use another type of dye with the other skein. I am not overly enamored with this colour, while I was preparing the dye bath I thought I would end up with a more greenish colour. When I removed the skein from the heat I thought it was going to be a walnut brown.

However, after all the rinsing and the yarn is now mostly dry it is more of a khaki colour. I'll have to think carefully what I am going to make with it since it is not a colour I normally wear.
A question to throw out there. Before the yarn went into the water, the strands seemed balanced (not sure if that is the correct word or not). After all the dyeing the yarn seems to have to much twist to it and is twisted back on itself. You can see the difference between the two skeins above. Is this a normal process? Is it just going to be a pain in the ass to knit with or can I correct it somehow. Can I prevent this from occurring in the future? Is this just because I used magic improperly.

The other part of the magical weekend...

Ali and I both finished reading it this weekend. Ali picked it up Friday night and finished early Sunday morning - I finished it at about 2pm this afternoon. Ali blogged about some of his thoughts while reading it (starts here). I won't discuss it anymore as I realize that most people didn't read the entire book this weekend.