Saturday, February 24, 2007

Book report

I recently read "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell. The author is an animal behaviourist, a dog trainer and has a sheep farm with four working dogs. This book does not tell you how to train your dog, but to help you understand your relationship with your dog. She discusses the differences between how primates and canids communicate. McConnell does stress (which some people forget) that dogs are not wolves just as humans are not chimpanzees. There are similarities but the differences are also important.

McConnell begins by telling us that "All dogs are brilliant at perceiving the slightest movement that we make, and they assume each tiny movement has meaning" We have to learn that we are sending these sometimes conflicting signals and help our dog learn by being consistent with our body language.

When people talk we want to face each other. If we want our dog to come we face him and say "come". Dogs, being great at reading body language, want to go in the direction our feet are pointing. So facing a dog means "stop." Turning your body and telling your to dog to come can be more successful. This was a mistake she made when she was learning how to train her dogs to herd sheep. They were following her feet direction not her face. Once she changed her feet position the dogs did what she wanted to do. Before they were doing what they thought she wanted.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a dog or is thinking about getting one.

Felted Clogs - Again

Well this time they are not for me but for MV.

Yarn: Briggs & Little Regal Midnight Blue (2 skeins), Blue BW(1 skein)
Needles: 9mm
Pattern: Fibertrends Felted Clogs
Notes: I added the bumper this time and did the higher cuff.
I don't really have anything else to say. This is the third time that I knit this pattern, however it is the first time that I have used this yarn.

I started this post at the end of January. I thought I would be able to have finished clogs to show you before now. However they took forever to felt. I lost track of the number of trips through the washing machine. I had heard (when I was 3/4 done) that Briggs & Little can be difficult due to the lanolin content. Well I wans't quite prepared for the number of trips. I know I washed it 3 times in cold, then soaked in dish detergent (this hopefully got rid of the lanolin), after this there were 6-7 trips through the washing machine (3 of these were with hot water). If I wasn't going to use hot water for the cycle I soaked the clogs in hot water before hand. The clogs also got sent into the dryer twice for felting. I recently heard about this technique, putting a soaking wet item into the dryer. The first trip through the dryer I noticed a difference in size. I am not sure that the slippers felted far enough though so I may have to knit another pair using my standby of Patons Classic Merino.
I thought I had taken a photos of the finished clogs but it appears that I haven't.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

SWiSh socks

It has almost two weeks since my last post. Wow, I wasnt' expecting to be gone that long but you guys know ho real life gets in the way of blogging. That and Keeper has been doing some blog entries and he times slow - not having any fingers so he was tying up the computer.
I finished the SWiSh socks.
Yarn: SWS in denim blue - this is the 30% Soy 70% Wool yarn from Patons. It took me 2.5 skeins to knit these for Ali.
Needles: Size 3.25 mm
Gauge: All though my swatch said 5.5 sts the socks are knit at 6 sts
Pattern: Basic 56 sts generic sock with heel flap

I have also knit a dishcloth, and a scarf for Dulaan. Although I don't have photos of either of those. I pulled out the Spey Valley socks to knit on but I need to go down a needle size or two and since I cleaned my knitting area on Tuesday I can't find my tiny sock needles. So they are going to be put back on hiatus at least until I find my needles.

I am not really sure what knitting I want to start. Maybe this is a sign I should finish that Dulaan vest. I'll get it out later today and see what happens.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Clap Clap Clap Your Hands

together for a finished Clapotis!

I finished knitting the Clapotis for the second time. It went slower the second time knitting it then the first. I kept holding up the old scarf and thinking half done, 3/4 done only two more repeats before the decreases, only two more repeats before the decreases.

Well that is what I get for going against my gut and thinking I could make it almost as wide and and as long with 1/2 the yarn.

Needles: 5 mm Addi Turbos
Yarn: Brooks Farm Four Ply 1 skein
Pattern: Clapotis
Finished dimensions: 28 cm x 192 cm (11" x 75.5")

Pattern modifications: Since I was using a heavier weight of yarn (and since only having one skein) I increased to 46 sts on the needle then knit till I was almost out of yarn before starting the decreases.

This was an enjoyable knit however having just knit it twice in a row, I don't think I will be knitting it again soon.
Stashed with: ,

Friday, February 02, 2007

100 miles and a swatch

I walked 100 miles! Keeper and I completed this feat on Friday morning but with posting the poem I forgot to mention it. I still have 82 miles to go since my goal is 300 km by April 1.

I started the Spey Valley socks for Ali a couple of weeks ago. There has not been much progress so I haven't blogged about them. I just added them to the side bar where they started to languish. Ali then mentioned that he wants his next pair of socks to be a thick "Like the sockwars socks." I was not fully honest when I received the killer socks as I never divulged here that they don't fit me - they fit Ali. I figure if someone knits size 11 mens socks instead of womens 7.5 then that is fine and I shouldn't complain. It is just a game.

Knitting thick socks is not a problem, however I needed appropriate yarn. I dove through my stash - it didn't take very long and I soon realized I had nothing suitable. I went to look at yarn. I came across Patons SWS (soy wool stripes). This loosely spun yarn is 70% wool and 30% soy fiber is seemed to be a good weight. I swatched and I washed the swatch

The upper portion is knit with 3.25mm, the bottom 3.5 mm. Very little difference in gauge 5.75 sts/inch and 5.5 sts/inch. I then threw this swatch in the washing machine. This is the first time that I ever washed a swatched that I wasn't going to felt the finished item. The ball band says to hand wash, however with the recent success with machine washing koigu and that these were socks for the husband and not for me* I wanted to see if they were machine washable. The swatch after washing was not discernibly different than before the trip through the washer.

I am hoping the soy fiber will help these sock hold up. I'll let you know.

*I can keep track of my handwash socks knowing when they are in the laundry and remembering that they need to be washed by hand but I would prefer it if all of Ali's socks were machine washable.

From Comments:
Thanks Julie for your comment on Pagan Brigid and St. Brigid

Knitting Bandit thought greyhounds were serious. They would like you to think that they are serious (when they are not sleeping) but they can be quite the goofballs when they are playing. In many ways they are like cats - they pretend that they are serious but give them a new stuffed animal and watch them prance around.

(Silent) Poetry Reading*

Doin’ it Greyhound Style
by Lisa

I bet you never realized
What loving life can be
To wake each morning with a smile
With a lovable greyt like me
One moment
I’m a baby hound
So grateful for the
life I’ve found
The next moment
A comedian I’ll be
I’ll make you laugh so hard
Just watch and you will see
I’ve got class
And I’ve got style
All my antics
Will make you smile
I really am the best of breed
Despite my former life
Of money and peoples greed
I love to prance and
Make you smile
While I’m doing it all-
Greyhound style

When I steal your spot
From the couch -
When you get up
Possession is still
nine tenths of the law
But I will still come to you
when you call
I was just "saving" your spot for you
It’s just a small thanks
To say I love you too
I know you get mad
When I pee on the floor
But you missed the potty dance
I just did by the back door.

I am a greyhound
A man about town
Some may even call me
A real big clown
In the morning
I throw my whole body into
That nudge against your bed
"come on mom it’s me"
And I need to be fed!
Food is still my favorite thing
I still shake and I quiver
When my dish is set down
You tell people I’m not a grey
But really a "Foodhound"
I always know that in my dish
You’ll add a tasty treat
And no longer will I have to have
That nasty 4-D grade meat.
I often hear you say
How much I make you smile
But that’s just me
Being myself
And doin’ it greyhound style!

* This is suppose to be in honour of St Brigid, however Feb 1 is St. Brigids Day and I haven't seen any references to why there is poetry in honour of her.