Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Five months after we got Yarn Rascal I initiated The Golden Paw Award. The award is given for rascal behavior that goes above and beyond what is usual. This time Yarn Rascal really outdid himself and so he gets a Golden Paw.

Picture2

Yarn Rascal has a sunny personality. But his sun really shines when he is doing something he is not suppose to be doing. It goes beyond just delight, he is besides himself with ecstasy.

In February I had extensive oral surgery on the same day there was a SuperFull Moon and an evening snow storm moving in. Yarn Rascal is affected by full moons and snow storms. He gets very excited, happy beyond description, and loses all self-control. To have both happening at the same time is akin to disaster.

It was 10 hours after my oral surgery and I was still bleeding quite a bit and in a good amount of pain when Yarn Rascal just couldn’t contain himself any longer. I had decided to use the tea bag remedy to staunch the bleeding. (Wet a tea bag of black tea and put it on the bleeding area applying pressure. The tannic acid in black tea shrinks and closes the small blood vessels and stops the bleeding.) I was also in pain with my neck, shoulders and upper back so I decided to do a gentle yoga stretch to relieve the discomfort while waiting for the tea bag to work.

 I went into the bedroom where it was quiet. The Skipper was glued to the basketball games on tv in the living room and Yarn Rascal was nowhere to be seen. That last fact  should have raised alarm bells in me. I sat on the floor and eased myself into a yoga position that resembled badly tangled yarn. I was reassuring myself that my shoulders were not going to dislocate when the thundering of little feet came down the hall. Yarn Rascal, running at full tilt, tail flying behind him wagging for all it was worth, came tearing into the room with my hand knit corriedale sock clamped in his mouth, made two 360s around me and raced back out. My natural instinct to tense up kicked in and the new pain that shot up my neck and across my upper back was phenomenal.

I managed to untangle myself with maximum pain and went in search of Yarn Rascal. Yarn Rascal does not like corriedale. Merino is one of his great loves so I couldn’t quite comprehend what he was doing with this particular sock nor how he got at it.

Moving like the hunchback of Notre Dame and with the wadded tea bags in my mouth I went in search of Yarn Rascal. In the living room as still as a statue was The Skipper. It was hard to see whether he was breathing or not, but I could tell he was alive because his eyeballs were roaming over the television screen.

Trying to keep the pressure on the wad of tea bags while not letting them fall from my mouth I tried to say “Help me get the dog.”  It came out “Hef me gef fa dog.” The eyeballs didn’t even stutter as they watched the tv. Before I could get another sentence out, Yarn Rascal came rushing down the stairs with the corriedale sock and the infernal sock attached to its dpns in his mouth.  Streaming behind him was the infernal sock’s yarn.

I took up my best linebacker stance to grab the little imp, but Yarn Rascal is a stellar running back. He can fake out any NFL defensive player. Naturally, as he whizzed by I missed. However, the infernal sock’s yarn caught on The Skipper’s recliner and the next sounds I heard were thwang and snap. I can’t begin to tell you how much I hate it when I have to join in yarn and on the infernal sock there is no good place to make such a join.

I attempted a hunchback version of a run to get the dog while I remembered that on the instructions regarding post oral surgery I was to rest. I was not to run, exercise, bend over, or lift anything. I was going to die.

I finally trapped Yarn Rascal in the craft room. His tail wagged so hard his whole body followed suit. Super full moon, snow storm, knitting and yarn that mommy didn’t want him to have, what more could one dog ask for?

That’s why this Golden Paw Award is for Yarn Rascal.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

If you love a big cozy shawl then Sprig of Hope shawl is a must knit.

sprig of hope hand knit shawl

The lace pattern is bold enough to be visible and not  get lost amid a yarn with multiple colors in it. I used Madeline Tosh DK with size US 8 (5 mm) circular needles. The colorway is Firewood. I loved the knitting and the lace edging is simple to follow. It is a delightfully cozy shawl and I love wrapping myself up in it on cold nights.

I would like to say that the knitting gods left me alone during this knit but that would not be the truth. When I completely finished the shawl and laid it out for blocking I realized I’d dropped a stockinette stitch. How I managed this is a wonder. It should have been immediately recognizable while I was knitting. But the gods had other plans.

Wanting to impale myself on my knitting needles I ran through the other options I had.  First, my perfectionist self said let the shawl dry then rip it back the full two-thirds to where the mistake was and reknit from there. This thought stayed with me for quite awhile as I stared at the dropped stitch. It turned what was to be a relaxing day into one where my blood pressure pounded at my temples.

Next came the small voice of sanity. Fix the mistake by using a crochet needle to weave the dropped stitch up and then securely sew the free loop to the back of the shawl. It took me all of 15 minutes to do this and the mistake is not visible from the front nor is the sewing obvious in the back. Even better, it is not a weak point in the knitting. I’ve been wearing the shawl often and it is still holding strong.

The next picture has nothing to do with the shawl. It is Yarn Rascal in his holiday bow-tie.

yarn rascal in holiday bow tie

What he is staring at is The Skipper who came in to the room holding a skein of merino yarn that Yarn Rascal hadn’t molested seen yet. It was to be one of his holiday presents. Let’s just say he got that particular present early.

Read Full Post »

Spin the Tail of the Dog

It was bound to happen. Only a matter of time really until I caught up Yarn Rascal’s tail in my spinning fiber.

yarn rascal tail and unspun fiber

Can you tell which is the tail and which is the fiber? Yes his tail (on the right) has very nearly the same consistency as unspun merino fiber. In fact his nickname is Woolly Bear because his hair all over his body is like sheep wool in consistency. He must be brushed and combed out every day between full grooming sessions (much to his dismay).

Yarn Rascal sits right next to me hip-to-hip when I am spinning. He has earned the title of Spinning Manager. After all, everything I’ve spun so far has gone to him, so he thinks it’s his from start to finish.

While I try to keep the fiber wrapped around my wrist when spinning I don’t always succeed because I become quite hot and the hand holding the fiber starts to sweat. (If you are ever cold just wrap fiber around your wrists and neck–don’t even ask about how I know the neck thing– and you will heat up very quickly.) When my hand becomes over heated I unwrap the fiber from my wrist and let it lay by my side on top of Yarn Rascal and his tail.

Yarn Rascal is a sunny personality guy. If his eyes are open there’s a good chance his tail is wagging. Because the consistency of the fiber and his tail are so similar the fiber grabs onto it and becomes one with the tail. The first few times I didn’t catch the melding of the two quickly enough and Yarn Rascal was beside himself with delight (excessive, over-the-top tail wagging) as both the fiber and his tail raised together toward my hand to be spun. I was not over the edge with delight over this. It meant spinning was finished until I detached fiber and tail, then brushed his tail to make sure I had gotten all the fiber out of it.

In addition to spinning, I’ve just completed a large shawl that I want to rave about in my next post. I have also been knitting a cowl that I have now ripped back twice. It includes short rows in its design and I’ve gotten myself lost twice now. I think I’ve worked out how not to mess up this next time but it is starting to feel like one of my masochistic knitting projects.

Tomorrow is oral surgery so I should be out of things for the entire day.

Read Full Post »

I don’t mean to grouse but I am going to do just a little of that. I’m knitting the neck of the Carbeth sweater when all of a sudden a hole appears to the right of the final two decreases. A whopper of a hole. I try everything to get the decrease to play nice with the stitch before it. I even drop the stitch before it down and crochet it back up to tighten it a bit. No go. To make it even worse, I was following the instructions to remove the markers as the final decreases are made. Now I am faced with ripping back two rows to below where the yarn is making a hole while I try to get the now unmarked decreases in the right places. Why is it that even the simple things don’t go right?

Since this project is coming to an end I am in need of a new one. To that end, I put aside the Carbeth and decided to have a peek in the bins and boxes that hold WIPS. Naturally, the Security Guard of All Yarn knit up or not was right by my side. Yarn Rascal loves going through the bins and boxes because we never know what we’ll find.

This time I came up with a sock and a sweater that I started five years ago at the time of my breast cancer.  I started the sweater just after my mastectomy. Not a good time to start that kind of project because my brain was not fully working what with learning to accept the mastectomy, the cancer medications and the radiation treatment I had what they call brain fog. Because of the mastectomy I thought that everything I wore from then on had to be extremely oversized. Don’t get me wrong, I love loose fitting clothing. But there is loose fit and then there is wow that’s kind of big. Well the sweater fell into the latter category. The body is knit and unfortunately it is so large that I can’t see ever wearing it. The yarn is good yarn and I’d hate to waste it even though it is black. I never knit with black yarn so you can tell what kind of mindset I was in when I got this project going.

Along with Yarn Rascal, I decided if we locate the pattern I was using (another example of how my mind was not working. I usually keep all patterns attached to their wips) I will attempt to undo the whole sweater and start again. Unfortunately it is not a pattern I bought through Ravelry so it is not in my library there. I am looking in all the places the pattern might be without any luck so far. Again, I need to remind myself my brain wasn’t really functioning at the time.

As for the sock we uncovered it was just that: a sock that was three-quarters done. I recognized the pattern as one I have in a book on knitted socks, but as for the yarn…well we can’t find it. I have no idea why I snipped the unfinished sock off the ball of yarn or where I would have put the ball of yarn after doing so. Usually an unfinished sock goes in a see-through project bag with the pattern and with needles and yarn attached. Believe me, Yarn Rascal did a thorough search of all yarn balls and couldn’t find it. So I ordered the yarn and will start the sock all over again.

Of course first I have to finish Carbeth. If the knitting gods don’t throw me another curve it is possible that I could block the sweater this weekend. I can only hope.

Read Full Post »

Yarn Stash

Over dinner about two years ago The Skipper was gently discussing the extent of my yarn stash. He ended the topic with the comment, “Soon you’ll have yarn hanging from the ceiling.” I laughed at the idea and said, “When I have yarn hanging from the ceiling then I’ll know I have a problem.”

Fast forward to yesterday. Yarn Rascal and I were walking by the craft room and I briefly glanced in then stopped. I abruptly entered the room, Yarn Rascal by my side, and slowly closed the door behind me and leaned against it. A bit of the stash had escaped its confines and was collecting in the large wicker basket I had by the side of the love seat. Hanging from the tops of tall bookshelves was yarn that I had spun and set to dry. Okay, yarn hanging from the top of bookshelves is not yarn hanging from the ceiling, I thought. Get a grip here. And that’s when I saw it. I had two small spun “skeins” (I use the word in its loosest sense) hanging from two separate small brass hooks stationed in the ceiling. The brass hooks once held hanging plants. They now held yarn. I had yarn hanging from the ceiling.

My heart beat wildly. This couldn’t mean…I mean it just couldn’t be, I thought. I have two skeins of yarn working their way via the mail to me as well as another large bundle of unspun yarn. I don’t have a problem. I just have to think about this for the moment.

One: Bookshelves don’t count. They are absolutely not the ceiling. Two: I grabbed the small step ladder and immediately removed the two skeins hanging from the ceiling. Thankfully they were dry. See? No yarn hanging from the ceiling. But…my mind said, they were there. My eyes swept the room as I thought. No this is wrong. It’s not what it looks like. Then I got it. The spun “yarn” ( I use the word in the loosest sense) is really not yarn, it’s not like true yarn. I wasn’t, technically, hanging yarn from the ceiling. It was an experiment with wool that I was undertaking and I had run out of hanging space so I hung the wool, not yarn, from the ceiling. My heart began to beat normally.

I took a deep breath and decided to tidy away the escaped stash. I opened the closet door and there hanging from the ceiling like a piñata was an unopened package of yarn that I was keeping away from Yarn Rascal. No, No. I thought. This doesn’t qualify as yarn hanging from the ceiling. It’s a package. A package that inconsequentially happens to contain yarn. I can explain. I can explain it all and immediately closed the closet door.

Slowly I opened the door to the craft room and peered out to make sure The Skipper wasn’t about. Then Yarn Rascal and I slipped from the room and I quietly closed the door to the craft room.

Today, all the drying “yarn” is down and stored away in Yarn Rascal’s favorite bin. Except for the stash that is sitting in the wicker basket, all looks normal. False alarm. I really don’t have a problem.

Read Full Post »

Going Nuts

Yarn Rascal is way too interested in the supported spindle spinning process. He thinks if he holds the unspun wool with his two front paws while I am trying to spin this is helping me. I would wind the unspun wool around my wrist to get it away from him, but it’s 90 F / 32 C here with humidity and I don’t feel like having wool wrapped around any part of my body. So the spindle is put aside for now. I wasn’t happy with how the spinning was turning out anyway. I am doing something wrong in the drafting process because the resulting mess “yarn” is way too thick and no matter what I try I can’t seem to make it thinner. How many videos can one human being watch on spinning before loosing one’s sanity? They all look the same and I think I am replicating their movements but what they create as opposed to what I create are two different products. Frustration.

On the zoo front, we have three wild turkeys living with us. One male and two females. The babies just hatched recently. We stay inside between 1pm and 3 pm because that is when the females like to take the babies on a long walk around the place. So cute. They drive Yarn Rascal round the bend, but what he really gets nuts over are the rabbits and their babies. He positively quivers when he sees them. If summer doesn’t end soon either Yarn Rascal will have a nervous breakdown over the rabbits or I will over the spinning. With all this going on The Skipper has resorted to his Man Cave, which is the basement. Smart man.

Read Full Post »

The number of ways I can find to annoy myself is amazing. This is the latest way.

spindle spinningYes, that is a Tibetan spindle, its bowl, and a whole lot of unspun merino wool. I’ve managed to have a whole 4 seconds of proper spinning where everything was clicking just right. It made my soul sing. However, I’ve not repeated those seconds.

I am teaching myself by reading and watching spinning videos how to do this. I’ve made progress too. It now takes me only one hour to get an empty spindle started as opposed to a half a day.  Once I get some “spun” wool (I use the word spun very loosely) I try to make a temporary cop. Then I try to slide that down the spindle to make a permanent cop. Almost everything will slide down to the permanent cop area near the whorl. Everything but the wool I used to start the spinning. It’s wound so tight it needs some serious tranquilizer prescribed for it. So I am making little cops near the top of the spindle until I can relax my starting style. I figure that might take a year or so.

When I went to purchase the unspun wool I didn’t know how much I’d need, but I figured it to be a lot since I have no faith in my ability to learn this craft. The online retailer offered wool in ounces, pounds and a whole sheep or two. My cursor really hoovered over the whole sheep choice. I mean, once I bought them and they were delivered what could The Skipper really say. Instead I went with something close to a pound of unspun wool. I know me and I know I need a ton of practice at this.

The rubber met the road, so to speak, on my spinning journey when the unspun yarn arrived and had to be introduced to Yarn Rascal. He knew something was wonderful and different the minute I hefted the bag in. Thank the spinning gods the package was Yarn Rascal proof because he went bananas. When I told The Skipper what I bought he said a number of things, but eventually he said it was going to take the two of us together to introduce Yarn Rascal to unspun yarn.

I decided to open the yarn package on the dining room table while The Skipper held Yarn Rascal so he could see but not touch the yarn. Remember in the 1960s when women wore kerchiefs on their heads and when they’d take them off their whole head of hair would pouf out into a large aura around their heads? Well, breaking open the package of yarn was much the same experience. Unshackled it was a lot bigger and a lot more yarn than I had imagined. Yarn Rascal went ballistic, jumped out of The Skipper’s arms and ran right on top of the table at the beach ball size thing of yarn.

Now unspun yarn needs to be handled gently in order not to felt or stick together or otherwise become unspinnable. A salivating, tongue hanging to his little ankles, wild eyed, screeching Yarn Rascal in no way bodes gentle handling. So I did the first thing that came to mind. I threw my body over the table and on top of the nice big beach ball pouf of yarn flattening it to within an inch of its life. This quick action has exacted its toll. Every time I go to spin some “yarn” (I use yarn in the loosest sense of the word) I have to predraft the fluff and air back into it.

Yarn Rascal was introduced to a small piece of unspun wool once we calmed him down. He is very interested in it and whenever he hears the spindle and bowl click together he comes running from whatever he’s doing to watch.

At some point I am going to put the “spinning” ( I use the word spinning in its loosest sense) down and finish the second sleeve of the Carbeth sweater, but right now I can’t  seem to keep my hands off the spindle.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

String Geekery

knitting, crochet, other string tricks, and forays into other creative endeavors

kindfibers

In All You Do, Craft No Harm

knittingsarah

I knit. I spin. I live. I write about it.

The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home

Fringe Association

Knitting ideas, inspiration and free patterns, plus crochet, weaving, and more

Josefin Waltin spinner

For the love of spinning

knit/lab

making things up

Wool n' Spinning

the place where fibre becomes yarn.

Dartmoor Yarns

Tales about a creative life on Dartmoor

notewords

handwork, writing, life, music, books

Compassionknit

Welcome to my little knit corner, where anything goes!

NothingButKnit

yeah right.

Knitting Nuances

A 2015 - 2018 Top 100 Knitting Blog!

Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

The Contented Crafter

A blog containing random thoughts, bits of life, creations from my art room and tales of a cat named Orlando and a puppy named Siddy

%d bloggers like this: