Thursday, August 31, 2006

I had not tried dying my mohair roving, so this week I gave that a go. It was also an experiment in hand painted oven dyed roving. The last time I had dyed mohair it was in the locks which I then worked with combs. This time I wound up felting the mess of it. I don't know how that happened- but mohair likes to gob together just sitting around on a shelf, so I'm not at all surprised by the long colored strips of felt I produced. At least I was only doing a small trial run. It was slighty spinnable, but made my fingers tired. I do like the way that the pink, plum, grey, blue and white all meshed together in this marled 2 ply. I think I am going to have to stick with dying finished yarn.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shaving An Australian Shepherd

With a crawling baby on the floor I just could not take it anymore- the dog hair had to go! Since 90% of the hair appeared to originate from the 33% of our dog pack which is Dodi- out came the clippers. With a little extra courage thanks to Cesar Milan- I bypassed her snappish bluffy protests and kept on with it- and what do you know- she got over the panic and settled into a relaxed (alright begrudging) frame of mind. The clip was very close to the skin which despite her overall blackness, is white- she wound up looking like a mearle whippet mix- now a week later the black hair is really filling in over the skin and she just looks like a slick black tailless mutt. And I am very pleased to report that the dog hair situation in the house is much improved.

Dodi is a very soft dog and I have to say that taking photographs of her is almost as traumatizing as clipping her. It looks as if she may heve been recently beaten with a tri-pod, but I assure you that it's nothing but camera-shy and only lovey words were spoken.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Well the festival is over, does that mean it's time to relax or get busy now? I love this picture of the kids- every year the heirloom lederhosen get smaller in proportion to my son-there is still a lot of room in the pants- but I think I may need to get a supplemental pair of suspenders for next year- this kid is growing fast!

I saw a sweater for sale at the festival that I really liked. I could have bought the sweater for less than the yarn would be- but that would be too practical wouldn't it? I think this would be really cute on my daughter.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lederhosen socks in action!

This is my made up ear flap hat for a baby. It's just a basic round cap with a ribbed brim. It was decreased in 6 sections and then finished off with a little I cord loop. Stitches were picked up around the bottom edge and worked even for several rows- then gradually stitches were bound off as each ear flap was worked individually. Finally near the bottom of the flap the edges taper from both sides and then resolve as I cord. This is the basic structure I turn to when I need to make something up in whatever gauge. The blue stitching is purely decorative.

I recieved a wonderful gift from a friend today- an old pair of overalls which were knit by "an old Italian lady" (I'll see if I can find out more about who she was)

The pants themselves don't really thrill me, they are in need of some repairs and the legs are very ample- just huge- with ribbed lower legs (think "Hammertime") but it was this detail of the front that I thought made these pants such a find- I love how the trapazoid is worked with the little edges and the garter stitch straps (they are reinforced with hand sewn grossgrain ribbon) The design is just a little duplicate stitch, and in three colors of blue. I have to do more examining yet- but it appears that the upper edge of the waist ribbing is a bound off edge- so these were knit from the bottom up. I think this little design would be beautiful worked into a jumper dress or a slightly slimmer fitted pair of pants. These have an elastic sewn in waistband and I'm not sure why- I think it would work fine without elastic- heck- it's overalls!

A clean goat!

The goat wash went fairly well, I used Dawn dishsoap to start, the worked into woolite mixed with a bluing horse shampoo, and then finished with a horse conditioner. Sadly the bluing still left some yellow stains and other spots of course turned blue- so the goat went from dingy grey to a bright pastel blue and yellow. He smells great and is so soft to touch. He looks super shiny and fancy at night. His coat is still a bit wet- 7 hours after we washed him!

I got to try out my new tool last night. I can't say what it is just yet because I don't want to spoil any surprises. But I had a really fun time using it and I was very happy with the results.

I finished the second lederhosen sock yesterday. I can't believe that I fell for second sock syndrome as hard as I did. I thought that I had finished both socks months ago - today is the first performance at the Wine Festival and I was pulling their costumes together on Tuesday and discovered that I only had 1.5 socks. knit knit knit knit

Before the festival tonight we have to go out and work with the goat hitched to the cart a little, and then give Nibus another bath (it takes more than one to wash out 6 months of barnyard) so he looks gleaming white for the parade. I wish I had a goat shaped vat I could stand him in up to his neck for an hour. Don't think I haven't considered the horse water trough!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

After finishing Crumpets- (and forgetting to take a picture of it with the straps on) I decided to try to use up the remaining pink yarn before starting off on something else. My idea was just to have a pink sweater on hand the next time someone has a baby girl.

This sweater was knit with almost no seaming from a design in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's almanac. The lace pattern is called "Gull Wing" and the sweater is knit from the neck down. Increases in the garter stitch shape the yoke and the only seams are from the armpits to wrist.

This was the first time I made this sweater, and I was not visualizing the arms correctly until it was too late. I overshot the point where I should have begun the sleeves. I am not happy with the arm connecting into the body a little too low- but oddly this fitting problem is not apparent when the sweater is on a baby. My nine month old son was so kind to model the sweater for me- looking decidedly masculine in pink. Also- I try to keep the arm length on baby sweaters short to help keep the cuffs dry and clean.

The original pattern called for evenly spaced buttons down the front- but I opted to group them all at the yoke. I did not make buttonholes as I did the knitting- but added them later by wedging a pen into the garter stitch and then stitching the hole open with a needle.

I am pretty sure that this will be a pattern which I will do again and again. It was a very fun knit.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


I was knitting Crumpets just as happy as a lark until I found out that the pattern I had purchased, the very first pattern I had ever purchased online... was totally off in stating the number of beads needed for the bodice- like- by half- I know- Don't say you didn't try to warn me- all over the internet there is info about how many beads a person really does need- it's just that you don't know to look until you run out of beads only two inches into it... and living an hour away from the craft store and since they were sold out of the beads I needed- I was going to be held up for a few days... days I really can't spare because the baby's birthday is next week.

So I figured I would knit the skirt from the bottom up and graft after I had finished the bodice. So I did the mind numbing stockinette skirt then finished the last four fun repeats of the bodice pattern- and then I bit the bullet and grafted all 132 stitches of the bodice to the 132 stitches of the decreased skirt. My solace in the whole ordeal is that rather than having the skirt full of increases at the waist- I have very tidy K2tog all around.

I didn't want to do the tie at the top of the shoulder straps indicated in the pattern. I wanted to have "bump free" cardigan options- so I wanted to make the shoulder straps ribbonlike flat straps. How to do it- and how to do it with a few beads ta-boot? I tried several things but I could not cast on and bind off and get the two edges to match- I really like the look of that doubled bind off- the one over two bind off... looks like a herringbone... so how did I do it?

I used the provisional cast on (for the first time ever- what a cool trick!) As I figure 8ed my way along I added my beads where I wanted them- then I knit one row. (I only added beads on a small portion of the strap)

After knitting one row I bound off that side using the one over two bind off then I kind of fudged my way around the end because it's going to be hidden by seaming anyway... then I removed the spare yarn and knit a row on the other side- then I bound off the other edge and viola- I have two matching edges on a strap that won't stretch, roll, spiral or curl! Another bonus about the way this strap is made is that if you leave yourself a tail when you do the provisional cast on- when you finish- you will have a tail at the other end as well- so you can sew on your straps without any extra ends to weave.

This yarn is Sinfonia, the beads are Czech Glass.