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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Two Sleeves!

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The Austin Hoodie has two sleeves now!  No hood yet, but that's the last thing it needs.  I've woven in all the ends so far, so once it has it's hoodie it's getting a really good blocking and it's all done.  This poor hoodie has been through so much.  I started it last May and piddled around on it, not really getting anywhere fast, then Max started pulling it out of it's basket, with claws, but the snags repaired easily, so it went to live in a Ziplock bag.  If I'm not knitting on it, it's stuffed in its bag, but at least it's safe from claws there.  I really can't explain why it's taken me so long to make this.  The pattern is well written, I love the yarn, and I'm really happy with the fit when I put it on, even with all the wrinkles and unblock-ed-ness it has right now.  Poor little hoodie!

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Maximus Meets The Spinning Wheel

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For the last few months, I've really wanted to spend some time spinning.  I was 100% sure that a certain kitten wasn't ready for the spinning wheel though, and while I could shut him out of the room, I didn't think I could spin with the Meows of Great Sadness right outside the door.  I like to listen to music while I spin, not drama.  So there hasn't been spinning.  Over the weekend I decided that it was possible that Maximus was ready for the spinning wheel, so I brought it downstairs where I could spin with him and Logan.  Logan got very excited when he saw the spinning wheel and did a few circles of waggy happiness himself.  Then he laid down behind me so he could be close and watch, while being out of the way of the wheel.  Good dog.

Max waited until I got it set up and then he came to check things out.  First he watched it for a few minutes, from a distance.  Then he stalked the drive wheel.  Deciding that wasn't a good place to attack, he attacked my leg.  Then he attacked my spinning stool's leg.  Then he jumped three feet straight up in the air for no reason and followed that with a bath.  Once he was clean he tried to attack my face, then the spinning stool's legs again, and then the oriface hook, which hangs off the Scotch tension knob.  Next he attacked the fiber I was spinning, which he was able to pull out of my hands, break it free from the wheel and run across the room with it.  He was so in shock that he'd gotten that far with it (so was I) that he stopped and I went and got it back, removing it carefully from his mouth and claws.  Once I started spinning again, he started his attack circuit all over, but he didn't go for the fiber again.  I'm not sure if having more spinning wheel time will help the novelty to wear off for Max and he'll chill out or if he'll just come up with new and more inventive ways to attack.  On the other hand, I can still spin while being attacked.  Good to know!

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Calliope's Odyssey

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Mommy finished her March Knit Something of the Month project and now I get to wear it.  She knit the small size, but you can see that it is still a very nice size for a large Golden Retriever.  She used Pagewood Farms Yukon yarn in Teal for the main color and Misty for the contrast color.
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Now you can see the contrast color better, in the edging.  You can also see the mosaic knitting a bit in this picture, but Mommy said to show you the detail picture of it so you can see it better.
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I'm not really in the detail very much so I'm not sure why anyone wants to see this, but here it is.  This shawl doesn't feel as lacy as some of the shawls I've gotten to wear.  I think it will be warmer for Mommy when she wears it.
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That's pretty much all the details about it.  I'm getting bored sitting here for all these pictures and there's a kitty to chase, so I hope you enjoyed seeing Mommy's latest knitting.  I'm sure she'll be back tomorrow babbling about something or other!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday is for Crochet

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Things are moving along on the Neat Ripple blanket.  I've started my 8th color.  I'm loving the way this feels - I keep stopping to squeeze it!  It helped that it's been cold this week because having this draped over my lap felt warm.

We'll probably have a quiet weekend around here with the doors locked and the window blinds closed. Why, you ask?  Yesterday I found these in our front yard.
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Yes, ducks.  And we all know how I feel about ducks.  Hope you're weekend is great and you aren't threatened by bloodthirsty predators.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

How To Train Your Humans

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The hardest part of any house kitty's life is training their humans.  Humans can be willful and stubborn and you must take a firm paw with them to keep them in line.  Once they accept that you are their superior, life becomes much easier for everyone.  My Mommy person thinks I should stay off of the kitchen counters and the kitchen table.  This is just wrong.  It's my counter, my table, and my kitchen.  When she tells me to stay down (she seems to know when I'm thinking about jumping up), I will purposely jump up and just walk across and jump down before she can grab me.  This way I am not bowing to her ridiculous human commands and by doing this repeatedly, I wear her down and she just gives up.  A lot of human training involves breaking their spirit  - wear them down enough and they just don't care that you are on the counters, or stealing their pens, or attacking the freshly folded laundry.

I'm currently working on training my Daddy person but he's not being as cooperative as he should be.  He and the Mommy share a "closet."  It's mine too, but I allow them to put their clothes and shoes in it. The Mommy's half is very neat, everything is arranged by color and type of clothing, hanging and folded properly and there are no hiding places - very boring.  The Daddy's half is much more exciting.  There are all sorts of places to hide and sneak around and jump out at the humans when they are in there picking out something to wear.  But then the Daddy got tired of trying to find me to get me out of the closet (they are under the impression that I can't be left in the closet alone, that I am not trustworthy - hah!)  Do you know what the Daddy did?  He cleaned out some of the best hiding places on his side of the closet!  Now many kitties would despair of ever training a human who does things like this, but not me!  I brought the Logan into the closet.  He's big, strong, and has a waggy tail that knocks things over.  Also, I've taught the Logan to walk off with the bathmat while the Mommy or Daddy are in the shower - try getting out of the shower without that!

So, just to review, you must wear down your humans until they just give up and go along with your plan, or you resort to hiring outside help and making alliances with the dog.  Dogs are easier to train than humans so you can easily mold them into the henchmen they were bred to become.  Good luck with your own humans.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Again, With Calliope's Odyssey

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I got a lot done on the edging of Calliope's Odyssey yesterday.  Know what I have left?

Bind off, weaving in, and blocking!

Next time you see it, it will be blocked and worn by Logan!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Calliope's Odyssey is Zipping Right Along

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I'm through the mosaic knitting section and on to the lace edging now.  The rows are moving along much faster now and I'm only working with one color for the lower edging.  I'm hoping to get this done by the end of the week, and it should go pretty easily if Max doesn't walk off with my row marker from my chart.  It's pouring rain this morning and I think that's supposed to continue for at most of the day - perfect knitting weather!  I think I'll make a big pot of tea and settle in.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

I'm Back

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I got some knitting done over the weekend!  I'm almost through with the mosaic section of my Calliope's Odyssey.  Up close it kind of looks like I'm knitting camouflage, but when I spread it out, I can see some of the pattern.  I think it's going to make a big difference when it's blocked but it will never be a crisp, well defined color pattern.  I knew this when I chose these colors, and I like the way it looks.

As soon as I finish the mosaic knitting, I'll be working on the wide lace edging, so things should speed up a bit.  Full steam ahead!

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

I have no knitting

There hasn't been a single stitch made in this house for 48 hours!  The time change is killing me (it doesn't help that Max is coming to bed late and Logan woke up sick one hour before the alarm went off yesterday - he's fine, but once you wake up to clean everything up, you're up).  In the evening, I just flop down and do nothing.  I do feel better and more energetic this morning, so maybe soon I'll stay awake long enough to knit!  I have gotten some reading done, so it's not all wasted time.  Maybe this weekend I'll get some knitting done.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mosaic Knitting

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I've started the mosaic section.  This is my first mosaic knitting ever.  In mosaic knitting you work each row twice - first with one color, slipping the stitches to be worked in the second color, then you go back and knit the second color, slipping the stitches you've already worked.  You have to be careful not to work too tightly, and with each row being worked twice, it takes a little bit of time.  I've done two rows, so I've worked across the piece four times at this point.  My second yarn is the same as the first yarn (Pagewood Farms Yukon), but this colorway is Misty.  There are some places in the yarn where the second yarn almost matches my main color, so my mosaic will probably fade in and out some, but I'm expecting it to be a little muddy.  If I were looking for a well defined mosaic section, I'd have chosen two high contrast colors.  We'll have to see how it actually turns out.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Kind of Random and Scattered Today

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This was a good weekend, but there wasn't a whole lot of knitting.  I did get my Calliope's Odyssey to the point where I'm ready to begin the Mosaic Knitting.  I appreciate the tip last week, and I will be going up a needle size for this section (the pattern does mention it, but it mentions it in the written out directions part of the pattern and I'm knitting from the charts).

What I did get done was a bunch of organizing and clearing out.  Specifically, my workspace here in the kitchen.  Our kitchen was designed with a large work and planning area built in.  I love it and it's great for paying bills, organizing the family, and storing my cookbooks.  On the other hand, it easily becomes a landing pad for general clutter.  I also had some things there that I really don't need often enough to justify keeping them out on the workspace.  Now the clutter is gone and the only things that are out, I use regularly.  It felt good to get it under control and now I've got so much more space to work and design and plan!

Also this weekend, Max fell into the bathtub.  It was full.  He wasn't amused.  I wrapped him in a towel and cuddled him until he warmed up and dried off, but he did not enjoy his first swimming lesson.  Mickael and Logan thought it was funny.

Finally, this morning on my run I saw a bluebird!  First one I've seen this Spring and he was sitting high in a tree, checking things out, doing bluebird business.  I love them and seeing one this morning was a nice surprise.

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Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday is for Crochet

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I'm moving right along on the Neat Ripple blanket!  I haven't measured it, but it's probably just over a foot wide at this point.  I can tell I'll have to keep it folded to work on it when it warms up around here, because when this gets bigger, it's going to keep my lap warm while I work on it.  Fortunately, today is cold and windy, and really cold, and did I mention how cold it got all of a sudden?  I love the heated seats in my car.

Also, I'm having fun with the colors.  I'm not through all the colors yet, in fact I don't think I'm halfway through the colors.  Nope, I just counted and I'm on color 6 and I have 14 colors, but technically I have 15 because I have two of Tart (the red at the bottom), and I plan to use it twice for each full repeat.  The blue I'm working on now is the first row of what will be the double stripe for that color.  If I can remember, I'm going to weigh my next color before I start it, to see how much yarn it takes for a single repeat of each color (one single row, one double row, and one single row).  Then I'll know how many total repeats I can do.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Calliope's Back

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I've gotten more done on Calliope's Odyssey.  This section is pretty easy to memorize, so it works up quickly.  (Sorry about the bad picture, it's overcast here and the flash is making the bamboo all shiny.)  I've got a little bit more of this section to go before I start the mosaic knitting section.  I've never done mosaic knitting so I'm kind of excited to try it.

I've also been thinking about designs lately.  I want to start designing more often, like I was in Virginia.  I had a design in progress almost constantly.  I took some time off from designing while we moved and have done only a little bit of designing since we got here, but I need to make it a regular thing again.  I need to write down ideas and sketch things that speak to me.  At this point, I'm wanting to design, but I feel like I'm going in circles.  I think I'm going to spend some time later today with some graph paper, a sketch pad, and a big cup of tea and see where that leads me...

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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Austin Hoodie and Max

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This morning when I went to take the picture of the Austin Hoodie's sleeve, Max and Logan decided to have a game of chase.  Max ended up very close to me, fully puffed, so I grabbed the camera to get some pictures (because puffy is funny).  As soon as he saw the camera, he started de-puffing, but you can see that the end of his tail hasn't gotten the message yet.  He's very funny about pictures.  Logan will ham it up for the camera and gets very excited about it.  Max will quit doing whatever we're trying to get a picture of and walk off or attack the camera.  It makes getting good pictures of him difficult.  We had another flash of kitty maturity yesterday (the first being when he figured out that if you stop attacking the blind cords in the window and sit still, you can watch birds).  He and Logan were playing (there's a lot of that around here) and he was bouncing off of stuff randomly, taunting Logan.  All of a sudden he jumped into a basket of laundry - clean laundry, warm and fluffy from the dryer.  He froze and I could see his brain working as he figured out that he was in an entire basket of warm.  He forgot about Logan and laid down in the basket and just kind of melted into it.  The basket of warm laundry was so powerful, he let me change the sheets BY MYSELF!  I'm hoping that he's learning that if you aren't spastic 24/7, you can find interesting things like birds and warm laundry to hang out with.
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Oh, and I also got some more done on the second sleeve of the Austin Hoodie.

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Monday, March 05, 2012

March Knit Something of the Month

Let's try again with the regular blogging this week, shall we?  I think (fingers crossed) things should be a bit more normal around here this week than last week.  For one thing, Caleb's Science Fair project went to school this morning.  It always feels good to get that done.  Max is sitting quietly in the window watching birds at the feeder (he finally figured out that if he sits quietly, he can watch the birds, which is more interesting than watching the birds fly away.  Logan is curled up in his cave with one of his toys as a pillow - I think it's his Kong which is not a soft pillow at all.  So, on to the knitting!
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I've started my March Knit Something of the Month project which is Calliope's Odyssey (which is a hard word to spell by the way).  This is actually the second time I've started it.  My first start was with Fleece Artist Kidazzle which is a great yarn, but there was too much twist for it to work in this shawl.  I think it would make amazing socks and plan to use if for that soon.  Fortunately, there was a yarn store run on Friday and I went to The Knitting Fairy (very nice little knitting store, great owner and customer service) for the first time and found some replacement yarn:  Pagewood Farms Yukon.  This is Teal and I'm pairing it with Misty.  This yarn has a softer twist and it's working much better in this design than the original yarn.  I'm glad they had it because I didn't have anything in my stash to pair for this two color design.

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