Monday, January 21, 2008

Back in Black

It's been quite a week here. Our 10 year old Flat Coated Retriever Echo had a very large lump removed from her mammary gland. Luckily, it was a cyst but the process made me realize that time does march on. Since I learned that some people do spin dog hair, I've always thought I'd love to take some of her hair and blend it with some roving. This breed is not for folks who thrive on a spotless carpet. Long black locks adorn our house constantly. I vacuum daily. I'd love to spin some yarn with a touch of Echo in it and perhaps make a hat or scarf for my husband since she's really his girl. Since I've not actually taken steps to collect her hair, I began to brush her this week keeping the hair I gathered in a bag. This breed apparently has ideal hair for spinning. They also have quite unusual personalities. They are the Peter Pans of the dog world - goofy describes them best. If Echo were a TV character, she'd be Phoebe on Friends. As I brushed her fur and carefully placed it in a bag Echo shot me a look as if to say "Puhleeeze, how Silence of the Lambs of you".

I also completed the Devin toque for my DH this week. This is the perfect guy hat. Solid black with 2 x 2 ribbing. Easy Peasy (except for seeing the black yarn with my aging eyes but that's another story). The kicker is it's made out of 100% cashmere by Hand Maiden. I will admit it was so wonderful to work with. I can't wait to work with it again. The pattern was written for back and forth - sewn up but I converted it to in the round. I'm very pleased with the results. So is the recipient and with the current cold snap he's worn it several times already.

We took Echo for a walk in our local conservation area so she posed for a couple of shots with her daddy. As usual, she managed to sit still for the first picture and then got...well...goofy (or a cold butt from sitting). I guess we'll take that as a good sign.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Secret Life of Walter Knitty

My knitting projects literally leap from the pages of magazines and websites onto my needles via my very rich inner fantasy life. I tend to fall in love with a project because I fall in love with the story it's telling. Of course certain companies (Rowan for example) tend to execute this "life-style marketing" rather well and I get sucked in every time. Here are a few of the stories my projects told me once upon a time.


Hi there - I'm Cromarty from RYC Classic Winter. If you make me your life will be filled with leisurely days and you'll have loads of time to bond with your inner child. See, here you are making a snow man. In fact, you even had time to knit a scarf and hat for the snow man...out of Patons.

Reality: Ironically, I've not found time to cast on for this one but the Soft Tweed I got on sale sits on my dresser...because I haven't found time to put it away.


Hey, I'm Cobblestone from the amazing Fall 2007 issue of IK. I'm glad you're home. I've just finished chopping wood for the fire. Dinner is ready and the kids are in bed. I'd love to hear ALL about your day.

Reality: Well, turns out that Cobblestone had a few issues he didn't reveal until about 3 weeks into the relationship. Warning: If you make this, use a smaller needle on the bottom garter stitch band otherwise it will flare out like a little dress. Cobblestone has been frogged back to square one and started again. Shout out of thanks to Hope and Vanessa for the intervention between me and Cobblestone.

If you make me you'll look so hot that you too can wear a bowler hat, woolly socks and stand knock-kneed holding a bunch of balloons and still look great (and dammit, she does look great). Hey wait a minute - is that Stacy and Clinton headed this way?

Reality: Actually, Evie's not giving me too much grief and the RYC soft is divine. The pattern is one of those "do what you did on the other side but in reverse" sort of formats so it's been a slower start. We're ready to put the pockets in. I do love Kim Hargreaves' designs.

Indian Summer:

Ah, I can give you endless sunny days wandering along the beach. If you make me, I'll put you in touch with your inner artist. The colour, the style, the fingering yarn on tiny needles! Actually, I'm standing like this because, well, you know Rowan patterns. If I hold my arms at my side, the cuffs will scrape along the sand.

Reality: Meet my oldest UFO. I did the first sleeve and had to rip back because the two rows of red are very close in colour and I had switched them by mistake. Are bat-winged sleeves even remotely in style now?