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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

I wasn’t far off. I’d said the day the yarn arrived would probable reach 90 F / 32 C. The day the Buachaille yarn arrived from Scotland the temperature was 88 F / 31 C. The previous day had been 56 F / 13 C. Who knew that the way to finally bring spring/summer to the area was simply to order yarn one would normally work with in the autumn/winter? The knitting gods have such a sense of humor.

I was anxious for the package to arrive since this would be a very different yarn than Yarn Rascal  was used to mangling  handling and I wanted to see his reaction. We walked down to the mailbox and about 5 feet / 1.5 meters from it Yarn Rascal started going crazy. Yipping, jumping, walking on his back legs while his front legs did the frantic begging motion he usually saves for when he wants a treat. What with the yarn coming from Scotland and knowing how slow mail within the US can be I really doubted that his reaction was a signal the Scottish wool had arrived.

Was I surprised when I opened the mailbox. Yarn Rascal was right. The wool had arrived. He was so wound up that if he could have he would have jumped right into the mailbox. I pulled the package out. Yarn Rascal immediately knocked it out of my hands, digging to open the package all the while he whining and yipping. He had lost what little control over himself he possessed.

The only way to get back up the hill and to the house was to hold a squiggling, yipping Yarn Rascal under one arm and the package of yarn under the other. It was a struggle making it back up the hill in the heat and twice I had to stop.

When we got in the house I immediately opened the package so Yarn Rascal could get at the goodies. To say Yarn Rascal has found a new yarn he likes much more than merino is an understatement. He wiggled his whole body around in the yarn trying to transfer the sheep smell onto himself. He was in Yarn Rascal heaven. As The Skipper and I watched him enjoy the yarn, I said, “I think we need to buy him a sheep or two for his next birthday or move to Scotland where he can be near them.” The Skipper, always the diplomat, totally ignored the comment.

I have a sock for The Skipper I need to finish as the pattern is in my head and not written down before I can begin work on the sweater. In the meantime, I am deciding on the length and whether I want to do a regular swatch or work on one sleeve first and use that as a swatch. Never having worked with this yarn before I don’t know it’s characteristics after blocking.

Yarn Rascal is looking forward to the beginning of the project. I have a feeling this will be one of those projects where Yarn Rascal will be draped all over me and the yarn as I knit. The warm, furry little body combined with the wool should make for perfect summer knitting.

 

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Spinning Dilemma

It’s April 6 and it is snowing. This is the latest I ever recall having snow in this area. I am doing my best to ignore what it is doing outside but the animals, birds, squirrels, deer, chipmunks, etc. are not happy.

Mom had a slight stroke last week. It hasn’t affected her physical abilities though she seems somewhat weaker and very tired. She is sleeping a lot. Meanwhile I am running her small real estate business, getting one of the houses she owns prepared for showing and rental. Just when I think I am done and can turn it over to the real estate agent, something else pops up that needs doing.

At the moment I have a fiber related dilemma. A couple of weeks back Nothingbut2knit had a picture on her blog of a woman looking so relaxed and at peace while spinning with a supported spindle. I know nothing about spinning, but I haven’t been able to get the picture out of my head and desire to purchase all that is required and give it a go. I envision myself sitting as peacefully as that woman.

Quite a while ago now, I made myself a drop spindle with the whorl at the bottom. Bought some roving to practice on and proceeded on to disaster. At the time I had a bichon named Sport who couldn’t have cared less about yarn, knitting, or spinning. I also had a Labrador Retriever, Dakota, who loved to retrieve things including skeins of yarn. The drop spindle was to Dakota like candy is to a child, irresistible. Every time I would roll the spindle down my thigh and drop it to spin Dakota was right there to catch it. Finally I gave up and the spindle became a fetch and retrieve toy for Dakota. She was very proud of her spindle.

Back to the present day dilemma. Yarn Rascal is interested in all things to do with yarn. He recently began chewing on my knitting needles again after I had thought we’d gotten past that habit when he stopped teething. He loves things he can put in his mouth and hold, especially if they are not suppose to be in his mouth in the first place.

So the questions I am debating are these: Do I spend close to $100 on acquiring the materials needed to do supported spinning knowing that: 1) the spindle may become a plaything for Yarn Rascal; 2) Yarn Rascal might go crazy when he sees roving for the first time and may render it unspinnable in his joy?

I bought Fleegles’ book in pdf form about all one needs to know about supported spinning. I haven’t had time to read through it, but some of the other questions I am debating are: How do you know how much yarn you are making when you spin? Answer: I don’t have to worry about that because I won’t be able to spin. I’ll never get the knack. What does one do with the yarn once it’s spun? (See answer above). Can you ply with a supported spindle? (See answer above. Also read the book you bought).

Last question. How do I hide explain my new playthings from to The Skipper until I am proficient at it? (See answer above).

 

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yarn bumblebee acres farm corriedale sock yarn

The Skipper’s sock yarns are on the way. In the meantime my little treats for myself have arrived.

These little darlings are from Bumble Bee Acres Fiber and are Corriedale wool.

I’ve always wanted to try Corriedale. It has a nice long staple, it’s suppose to be a bit more sturdy than merino, and it is still relatively soft—though not as soft as merino.

The Corriedale breed is the oldest. It is a cross between Lincoln and Merino breeds.

When they arrived, Yarn Rascal was bemused by them. Before they were out of the package he knew it wasn’t his merino, or merino with cashmere, or Shetland yarn. He sniffed them all over. Poked them with his nose, this is the real acid test of whether he likes a yarn or not, and then stepped back from them and looked at me as much to say “What the heck did you buy?” I explained Corriedale to him, emphasizing that merino was one of the breeds that made up the yarn. He was having none of it.

When I put them away in the Yarn Vault I put them in the bin with the straight merino wool. Yarn Rascal, who is nocturnal, plays in the Yarn Vault and the bins all night long. When I awoke the next morning I saw the three Corriedales deposited in the hallway, far away from the merino yarns he had been playing with during the night. I picked everything up, as usual, and put them all back in the same bin. At that point I didn’t realize Yarn Rascal was sending me a message about the way he felt about the Corriedales.

Next night Yarn Rascal was in the Yarn Vault again. In the morning I found the Corriedales left on the stairs going from the hallway to the living room. Still being dense, I picked everything up, put them in the same bin with the merino and back into the Vault.

The following night Yarn Rascal was clearly busy and unhappy in the Yarn Vault. There was much moving around of bins, little yips and grunts and a lot of running up and down the stairs. In the morning I found the Corriedales partially buried under the fleece blanket draped over the sofa. I got the message: he wanted the Corriedales to have their own separate bin away from his precious merino.

That night I put the Corriedales in their own bin. Yarn Rascal spent an evening of bliss in the Yarn Vault, ending with him rocking himself to sleep in the rocking chair with his merino wool around him. He never touched the Corriedale bin.

Not to worry Yarn Rascal! The Skipper’s yarns that are due to arrive are pure merino. Who knew a dog could be this fussy about yarn?

By the way, the colorways in the picture above from left to right are: Luncheon In London, Ladies Tea, and Winterberry in Coquette Sock.

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I keep meaning to write, but put it off because I haven’t taken any of the photos I want to share with you: new yarn in corriedale, one finished sock for The Skipper, and the Forever Shawl. Frankly, my life is not my own at the moment and I don’t get around to all the things I want to do in a day. Yesterday a friend looked at me and asked “Are you doing the things you need to do for yourself?” I just laughed. The answer being of course not.

To make matters worse my WordPress reader’s site has been down for weeks and I haven’t been able to keep up with all the blogs that I love. It’s miraculously back up now. But for a bit there I felt like a castaway on an island all by myself. Actually, at one point I began to question whether my need of yarn and knitting needles was indicative of some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder that I should seek therapy for. That’s how alone I felt without my favorite blogs.

Yesterday I had to take Dad to an appointment with a doctor. As I was driving to pick him up I see this lost dog roaming the road and into the woods around the area I live. I am an animal lover to the nth degree. I couldn’t just leave the dog there. Long story short, I needed to find the dog’s home and get my father to his appointment all at the same time. It was stressful. I walked the woods with the dog, knocked on the doors of homes we came to asking if he was theirs. In the meanwhile the time for taking dad is getting closer. I managed to somehow lose my footing and fall, landing on a rock on the knee I recently hurt. The pain was bad. The dog thought I was playing and came over to romp beside me. I told him he had the sensitivity of concrete, but I wasn’t going to leave him in the woods alone.

Once I managed to stand up and hobble a little I decided I would take the dog in the car, pick up my father and sit in the car with the dog until the appointment was over. Then I would go back and try to find his owners. There was one last house I hadn’t noticed as we walked. I went up to the door and knocked, and yes, thankfully they were the owners of the dog. They couldn’t imagine how he got out. I hobbled my way out of the woods, only losing my bearings one time. Dad made it to the appointed albeit 10 minutes late.

Today my mother has an appointment with a doctor. So I am going to have to cut this writing short. But I swear I am going to try and get those pictures done this week.

 

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What I Am Knitting

First, it’s wonderfully cold here. 19 F / -7 C. With the wind chill it is 6 F / -14 C. I love the way it makes my bare skin sting. I am probably alone in this appreciation, but it is so much better than hot and humid. I’m sure I was a penguin in another life.

The other day The Skipper came out of his man cave to show me a pair of socks I had knit for him a few years ago. He was shy at first. Holding the pair up and looking like a six year old boy who did something really bad. At first I didn’t recognize what he was holding. Then I looked closer and realized it was socks.

“What did you do to them”, I asked. They were so misshapen and large, too large even for the Jolly Green Giant.

“They were always a bit large”, he said. To which I pulled out my laptop, booted it up, and showed him the pictures of the perfect fitting socks when they were first made and on his feet. “No they weren’t”, I said.

He looked chastened.

“I’ll have to look in the stash for some yarn,” I said, remembering all the complaints he had about the size of my stash. “Maybe Yarn Rascal and I can find something.”

It was at that moment I realized that I now thought of the stash as “ours”: mine and Yarn Rascal’s. It felt right. After all, Yarn Rascal is in the stash every night, making sure everything gets rotated.

Yarn Rascal came up with a dark, dark blue partially used skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. Of the various sock yarns I’ve tried with The Skipper, Shepherd Sock holds up the best to the beating he gives them. The Skipper’s feet are rather large. I only used about 100 yards of the skein for a hat project which roughly leaves me with 300 yards. I wonder if it will be enough to make a pair of sock for him.

So I have interrupted knitting the scarf I was so enjoying to play yarn chicken while knitting a pair of socks. If my luck goes as it usually does, I’ll get one complete sock and two-thirds of the second done then run out of yarn. The yarn was bought years ago. I think the colorway was Peacock. I don’t know if they still produce the colorway or not. If they do the chances of it matching unobtrusively are minimal. I have that feeling this is a doomed project, which makes knitting on it less than enjoyable. Additionally, I like working toe-up socks, but The Skipper’s need to be worked cuff down because he needs the heel flap and gusset for it to fit him properly. Yes, I can knit a toe-up sock with gusset and heel flap, but for some reason it doesn’t fit as well as the cuff down.

If this works I hope The Skipper will show the proper appreciating for the stash in the future. I don’t ask him to love it the way Yarn Rascal and I do, but I would like him to realize it’s importance. Especially now that so much yarn is on sale everywhere and there will be packages and packages of yarn arriving in the mail for the New Year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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Dad is out of the hospital but not doing well. He sees a kidney doctor on Friday. It seems the one kidney he has left is not functioning at an acceptable level. I feel we are at the beginning of the end. As I see it we are in the eye of the hurricane and the back side of the storm has yet to hit.

I was going to show you a picture of the short-row shawl. I had knit up a whole ball of yarn and was starting on the second ball. I felt I had enough of the shawl made to give you an idea of how it looks. Well…that shawl ended up being ripped back to the beginning yet again. On Monday evening there was a small health crisis with Dad and I put the shawl down in a hurry, not marking where I was in the short-row work. When I came back to it later that evening not only could I not discern what specific short-row I was on, but a number of the stitches had slid from the needles and were unraveled.

My life line was in and so I ripped back to that only to realize that I could not tell where I was in those short-rows as I had the life line in the whole shawl. What became clear to me was the life line needs to be inserted only on the wave just finished, not run through the whole shawl. That way if I need to rip back I know I am at the beginning of the wave. I almost cried when I had to undo the whole thing. I was so happy having gotten through one whole ball of yarn. But I didn’t cry. I just took away the new knowledge about the life line.

In the meanwhile, Yarn Rascal has been busy. The craft room clean up so new windows can be installed continued on without me while Dad was in the hospital. Every dog we’ve ever had gets a trip to the pet store to personally select the “house” he wants to call his own. We take down various crates and allow the pet to chose the one he/she feels most comfortable in. After all, this is a place in the home where the pet can go to relax, de-stress, or hang out with selected toys. Along with the crate we also buy an orthopedic foam mattress to fit the crate so that things are comfortable. The crate Yarn Rascal chose was a small mansion made for a bigger dog but it was what he wanted. He uses it to store bones and toys he doesn’t want anyone to touch.

While I was busy at the hospital and at Mom’s Yarn Rascal continued with the yarn clean up of the craft room. He moved every ball of left over yarn that was a merino and cashmere blend to his “house”. When I finish making socks or a shawl I keep the remaining yarn in a ball. Usually it ends up in a whicker basket and there it remains until I put it in a Rubbermaid bin. I keep the yarn with the dream that some day I am going to make a blanket out of all the different colors. In fact I had chosen the Bee Keeper’s Quilt as a possible project.

bee keepers quilt

bkq

As you can see it is made up of small hexagons that are two-sided and individually stuffed and then sewn shut. They are then sewn together one at a time. While I love the look of this quilt and think it would work quite well with the yarns I have I also think that it might drive me nuts construction-wise.

Anyway, Yarn Rascal is now the keeper of the merino-cashmere extra balls of yarn, while I am left to pack up the plain merinos.  The dog knows his yarn.

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Catch Up

I don’t know where the time is flying to lately, but I am running full out to try and catch up. It is almost 2 weeks now since I met up with fellow blogger and friend, Salpal of What I’m Up To Today blog. It was wonderful to meet her in person and I really enjoyed the time with her. She is exactly the same nice, caring, sincere person she is on her blog. Naturally we hit a yarn store. Such a treat for me, since I don’t have any near me. To be able to see and feel the yarn before purchasing was so nice. Salpal is such a nice person I found myself wishing we lived nearer one another. I really had a wonderful time.

When I came through the door carrying the yarn in a bag, Yarn Rascal raced over to me and I thought I was going to receive a nice big cuddly welcome home. But no. Yarn Rascal ran towards me and actually dove into the bag and came up with the yarn I had bought. With yarn in mouth, he proceeded to dance around the living room like a horse performing dressage. He didn’t let the yarn get out of his sight all night long. In fact, he slept with it in his bed.

Lately, Yarn Rascal has been in an archeological mode. He’s been taking out long forgotten wips and draping them along the floor in the hallway where I can’t help but see them. All my wips are in their own canvas bags which he also leaves in the hallway. Honestly, I didn’t know I had that many canvas bags nor that many wips.

The picture below shows one of the wips Yarn Rascal dug out finally finished.

scarf knit

I started this scarf 6 years ago when my mother and father were in separate ICUs in separate hospitals. The pattern is by Anne Hanson and is called Rivolo. I remember selecting the pattern because it looked like the rain that incessantly ran down the windows of each ICU. The yarn I used was Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Navy Pier colorway.

It was hard to believe we had moved on to 6 years. The trauma still seems near.

Right now I am knitting socks. It’s very obsessive compulsive knitting. I finished one pair and immediately began on a second pair. I am working from patterns of my own making. Pictures are on their way. Like I said, everything seems to be moving faster than me and I am playing catch up.

 

 

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