Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sydney the Halloween Giraffe

Sydney in her giraffe costumeIf you're in Northern Idaho tonight, watch out for this scary Trick or Treater!


A few questions from the Blogiversary Contest Two need to be answered immediately. So here goes.

Sheila asked . . .
I would like to know how your mom is doing. Is she still going to rehab for her arm? I hope she continues to make an excellent and full recovery.
Nancy asked . . .
My number one question is "How is your Mom doing?" I hope her recovery is progressing well.
Mom trying her shoe laces(Read about Mom's accident here.)

Mom is doing great. She has some strength in her hand now and is excited that she can tie her shoe laces. She also can write with a pen as long as it doesn't require much pressure. It looks like she wrote during a bumpy car ride, but it's readable.

Before the week is over she hopes to be driving. She would have tried it yesterday, but her car decided it wouldn't start so it's in the repair shop today.

She is on an every other week schedule with the hand therapist now, and she does her exercises several times a day, every day. With therapy and hard work, she will eventually have a full recovery.

Dobarah who blogs at Artsy Math Teacher asked . . .
Will you drive or fly to visit Idaho?
I fly Kalamazoo to Minneapolis and then Minneapolis to Spokane. At the Spokane airport I rent a car and drive to Post Falls, Idaho, which is only about 20 miles from Spokane when I don't get lost.

Jenny Raye who blogs at Loves to Bike and Knit asked . . .
How many hours until the plane leaves for your next trip to Idaho? Cuz....I know you know.
Sydney sitting on my lap emptying a box of crayonsIf Northwest Airline is on time, the plane takes off next Wednesday morning, November 8, at 7:15 am.

This is a recent picture - two weeks ago - taken at Mom's apartment during Sydney's visit to Michigan.

Since I hadn't seen her since June, she wasn't sure she remembered me. We got reacquainted by emptying out a box of crayons, one crayon at a time.

Nannette asked . . .
Are you cheering for the Tigers???
Although I'm not an avid baseball fan, I did pay attention when the Tigers made the playoffs and I did cheer them on through their World Series loss.

Watch out baseball! There are many young players on the Tiger team who now have playoff experience. They will be back more mature and better in future years. Ready to win it all!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blogiversary Contest Winners

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

It's been a blogging fantasy come true to get so many comments on the two Blogiversary contest posts. I've had such fun reading them and getting a better feel for my invisible blogging friends.

Also, I've got dozens of potential blog topics from the questions. I'm looking forward to answering all of them.

I used my favorite random number generator to pick the two winners. According to its blurb:
The true random numbers are generated using atmospheric noise which for many purposes is better than the pseudo-random numbers typically generated by computer programs.
What could be fairer than atmospherically generated random numbers?

Winner of Stitches of Violet Blogiversary Contest One :
Kristy from Utah who blogs at Simple Elegance.

Winner of Stitches of Violet Blogiversary Contest Two :
Cynthia K, a fellow CIC knitter.
Both winners have received an email from me so they can send me their snail mail address in private. The KIP bags are ready to mail out.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday Sky and Doggy questions

Stormy Saturday Sky October 29, 2006 No, I did not take all the Saturday Sky pictures on the same stormy day at the beginning of the October and then publish them one per week!

It really is another stormy, rainy, cold, windy Saturday in SW Michigan.

Michiganders who live in town and have leaf pick-up dates to meet are starting to worry about meeting them. One conscientious, law biding lady at doggy school admitted to raking wet leaves and said it was very difficult.

Daylight Savings Time starts tonight which pretty much eliminates evening yard work. Being retired, I don't have that excuse. But I'm not raking them wet.

Pappy sleeping on the red pillowsI have two questions for my dog loving readers:

Yesterday at Pappy's annual vet appointment we learned that he is developing cataracts in both eyes. He is 7-8 years old, in excellent health, and has a life expectancy of 14 years. As his eyes get worse, we're going to look into doggy eye surgery. Any experience or advice to share on this?

On a more cheerful note, we're thinking of replacing the living room carpet with laminate but are concerned about the dogs sliding and slipping on it. Any dog experience with laminate?

Tomorrow after church I'll be picking the two WIP bag winners of the Blogiversary contest. If you haven't entered and it's not past noon on October 29, don't miss your chance to help Stitches of Violet celebrate two years of blogging.

Friday, October 27, 2006

More on Wool of the Andes Bulky Yarn

What a thrill for this blogger to get all the comments and questions on the two Blogiverary contests. (See Recent Posts in sidebar if you haven't entered yet.) I plan to answer all the questions over a period of time, so watch for your name and link (if you left one) here in the future.

Today, though, I will answer questions on yesterday's post. It was written in a hurry so I could go hear the Tigers blow lose their World Series game. How soon we forget how horrid the team has been for years and start expecting them to win it all. End of digression and back to knitting.

Debbie B asked . . .
I wonder, does the basketweave eat yarn more than cables do?

Cables eat yarn mostly in stitches per inch and maybe a little in rows per inch. The basketweave eats yarn in rows per inch because the little squares are knit in garter stitch.

I'm not sure how that compares with cables, but there is certainly some basketweave yarn eating going on.

For CIC knitting, the yarn eating makes a nice warm, cozy sweater. Well worth using a little extra yarn for the kids.

The grape sweater only took three balls of Wool of the Andes bulky, so the basketweave isn't too hungry.

Angie asked . . .
How much of that (bulky) Wool of the Andes yarn do you estimate it takes for a CIC sweater?
The purple sweater is 26" in diameter and took three skeins with very little left over. If the sleeves were a bit fuller and longer (and I think they need to be), it would take four skeins with enough left over for at least one pair of socks.

Since the squares are in garter stitch, the Cozy in Checks sweater row gauge is denser than stockinette would be. A stockinette (or similar stitch sweater) could probably be done with three skeins.

Four knitters volunteered to be Cozy in Checks test knitters.

Wow, thanks. My brain is trying to think how that would work.

Usually there are so many corrections needed after the first draft that I like to test knit it myself. Maybe that means I need a test knitter after what I call my test knit? Which means I still need to knit the sweater two more times?

Jerods gansey in progressPattern: Jerod's Gansey from Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel

Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky

Color: Sky

Needles: Addi Turbo #7

Gauge: 4.5 stitches/inch, 6 rows/inch in stockinette

The gansey I'm knitting now has an even tighter gauge than Cozy in Checks. With Wool of the Andes bulky on #7 needles it is knitting up at 4.5 stitches per inch and 6 rows per inch in stockinette. A firm fabric, probably right on the verge of being too firm but still not what I consider too stiff. It's not hurting my hands to knit. I like knitting gansey/fisherman stitch patterns at a tight gauge like She Of the Beautiful Aran Book Who Must Not Be Named Least I Get Sued.

The gansey is taking four skeins with about half a skein left over.

I've wound six skeins of Wool of the Andes bulky and still no knots. I'm loving that.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Another CIC Sweater Done

Finished Cosy in Checks for CIC

Pattern: Cozy in Checks Toddler Sweater - making it up as I knit it

Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky

Color: Grape

Needles: Addi Turbo #9

Gauge: 4 stitches/inch, 6 rows/inch in check pattern, 5 rows/inch in stockinette

I'm still liking the Wool of the Andes Bulky yarn, which, in my opinion, is more like a heavy worsted.

Knitting this sweater on #9s, I got 4 stitches an inch. I just started a second sweater with it and I'm using #7 needles for a 4.5 stitches/inch. At that gauge it's a nice, firm fabric but not so tight that it hurts my hands to knit it.

The Wool of the Andes yarn label says #10 - #11 needles for 3 to 3.75 stitches/inch. Don't knit it at that gauge unless you want a saggy, baggy garment.

Several readers have asked that I publish this pattern. I confess I knit it without writing very much down. Plus, I'm not totally happy with the sleeves. They taper too quick and are a bit too short to be a standard size.

In order to publish the pattern, I need to knit a second Cozy in Checks sweater with some minor changes and write down the knitting details. Then, I need to knit a third sweater to test knit what I wrote.

I would like to do that, but it won't happen soon. I'm aiming for sometime before winter is over.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Another Snowy October Morning

Glory on a snowy morning dog walkThis is what we woke up to this morning. A second premature, measurable snowfall in SW Michigan. (Read about the first here.)

It was beautiful. I took the camera out on the second dog walk and enjoyed talking many pictures.

Snowy morning with leaves still on the treesIsn't this the perfect excuse not to rake leaves? It is!

But I don't need an excuse because most of the leaves are still on the trees.

Snowy bush on a cold October morningThe weather was the main topic of discussion at the grocery store this afternoon.

The doom-and-gloom people are saying this can only mean a long, cold, snowy winter.

The glass-half-full people are saying we are still due an Indian Summer.

My opinion? I'm ready for whatever happens but please, let's not have a snowstorm while I'm trying to fly out to Idaho and back the second week in November.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Blogiversary Contest One

Second Anniverary purple yarn and two candles To celebrate the two year anniversary of Stitches of Violet, I'm having two contests, each with a chance to win a medium Knitpicks KIPer (KIP=Knitting in Public) Bag.

This is the post for Contest One. The post for the second contest is here.

Two years! Two Contests! Enter both.

Contest One Rules:
  • Leave a comment on THIS POST answering the following questions:
    • How long (approximately) have you been reading Stitches of Violet?
    • What do you like reading about most on Stitches of Violet?

  • Cutoff time for drawing is Sunday, October 29, 2006, at noon EST. (I'll do the drawing after church.)

  • The comment must have an email address so I can contact the winner.

  • Only one comment per knitter will qualify for the drawing.

  • The winning comment will be selected by a random number generator.

  • On October 29, 2006, the winner will receive an email from me and be announced on this blog. If I don't hear back with a snail mail address from the winner before Monday, November 6, 2006, I will select a new winner.

External shot of medium KIPer bagThe medium Knitpicks KIPer bag is 13 X 11. The generous 5 inch width guarantees the bag will still zip after you've stuffed in your balls of yarn.

Internal shot of medium KIPer bagA peek at the inside.

Blogiversary Contest Two

Second Anniverary purple yarn and two candles To celebrate the two year anniversary of Stitches of Violet, I'm having two contests, each with a chance to win a medium Knitpicks KIPer (KIP=Knitting in Public) Bag.

This is the post for Contest Two. The post for the first contest is here.

Help me celebrate two years by entering both contests.

Contest Two Rules:
  • Leave a comment on THIS POST asking me a family friendly question on a Stitches of Violet related topic. This includes, but is not limited to, knitting, family, dogs, SW Michigan, nature, and life in general. That about covers anything you want to ask as long as you remember the family friendly requirement.

  • Cutoff time for drawing is Sunday, October 29, 2006, at noon EST. (I'll do the drawing after church.)

  • The comment must have an email address so I can contact the winner.

  • Only one comment per knitter will qualify for the drawing.

  • The winning comment will be selected by a random number generator.

  • The winner of Contest One will not be eligible to win Contest Two.

  • On October 29, 2006, the winner will receive an email from me and be announced on this blog. If I don't hear back with a snail mail address from the winner before Monday, November 6, 2006, I will select a new winner.

External shot of medium KIPer bagThe medium Knitpicks KIPer bag is 13 X 11. The generous 5 inch width guarantees the bag will still zip after you've stuffed in your balls of yarn.

Internal shot of medium KIPer bagA peek at the inside.

Friday, October 20, 2006

48 Things

It's been a busy week without much time for blogging, so today I give you:

48 Things You Could Care Less About. . .

1. FIRST NAME? Marguerite


3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Today. I went to visit my first husband's grave with our two children.


5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Butterball turkey sausage. I slice it in two lengthwise and eat it in a hotdog bun with cheese and spicy mustard.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes! I've always wanted a friend who wasn't a better housekeeper than me.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Only my blog.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes. And my appendix, too.


10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Post Selects Maple Pecan Crunch

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Usually. And when I don't, I always untie them before I put them back on.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? No. Just stubborn.


14. SHOE SIZE? 6.

5. RED OR PINK? Red.

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I've gone lazy since I retired.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in Idaho.


19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Bluejeans with a coral sweater and very bright verigated socks (Opal Rose Hips, for those of you familiar with sock yarns).

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Chicken chimicanga at a Mexican restaurant in Battle Creek.



23. FAVORITE SMELL? Cinnamon.



26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Sure.

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Aquafina water.

28. FAVORITE SPORT? Track and field.

29. EYE COLOR? Blue

30. HAT SIZE? No idea, but my head isn't very large.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? I feel naked without my glasses.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? I have many favorite foods. This evening I'm thinking about Upjohn Pumpkin Torte.


35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. So why am I living in Michigan?


37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Crème brulee.


39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Evidently this meme started out as an email thing?

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Drowned Hopes by Donald Westlake (listening on audio while I knit) and Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? A very worn wood duck. I really need a new mouse pad.


43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My granddaughters laughing.


45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Burmuda. It is beautiful.

46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Danged if I know.


48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Swiped it from Bonne Marie

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

CIC Gansey Finished

Unblocked toddler gansey for CIC

Pattern: Chelsea's Heart Gansey from Knitting Ganseys by Beth Brown-Reinsel. Chest size 24 inches.

Yarn: Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool

Color: Antique Rose

Needles: US #4

Gauge: 6 stitches, 8 rows per inch in stockinette

I hesitated to show it in this unblocked condition, but it's either that or no knitting to blog about. So, here you have it - a finished, unblocked toddler gansey for the CIC sweater challenge. It is designed with gussets and shaping to fit a human body and not to lay flat and look pretty in a picture.

It was knit bottom up in one piece without a single seam to sew up when finished. I totally enjoyed that. There is a three needle bind off at the shoulders.

The pattern called for a sport weight yarn knit at six stitches an inch. Although I'm a fairly loose knitter, I had no trouble knitting worsted weight Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool at that gauge with #4 needles.

Close up of underarm gussetThe book shows many different ways to knit an underarm gusset. This method has the shaping along the center gusset stitch.

The purl stitch that looks like a side seam but isn't splits to go along both edges of the gusset. On the sleeve side of the gusset it joins back into one purl stitch to run down the underside of the sleeve.

Close up of neck gussetThe neckline is unshaped except for the triangular neckline gusset in the ribbing at both shoulder seams.

I used up my leftover FLAK yarn for this sweater with not an inch left over. In fact if you must know the truth, I had to rip out the toe of a recently knit pair of CIC socks to finish the second cuff. (It won't take long to give the socks a new toe in a pretty color other than antique rose.)

Although I used the measurements in the pattern, if I were to knit this pattern again and had enough yarn, I would make it longer for the CIC kids. They are using these sweaters to stay warm in very cold conditions, and some extra length helps.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Saturday Sky and Smiling Sydney

Saturday Sky for October 14, 2006The sky peeking through the rain clouds was blue. It never did rain - or snow.

The forecast for next week is for the temperatures to warm up to the 60s, just in time for John, Anne, and Sydney to visit from Idaho.

Sydney posed with hands over her head and legs crossedAnd here she is! Miss Sydney Anne! 18 months old and full of fun.

I'm looking forward to seeing her in person next week. Even more, I'm looking forward to a trip to Idaho in three weeks. I haven't been since June and feel like it's way overdue.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Log Cabin CIC Sweater

Front and back of Lopi Log Cabin Sweater for CICLooks better, doesn't it?

It's not perfect, but it does look much better than my first attempt.

Last Tuesday, after showing you the beginning of a scaggy looking Log Cabin kids sweater I wrote:
Since this is a kids sweater for CIC, I'm not going to let my perfectionism result in frogging. It will block out into a colorful and very very warm sweater.
I took another look at it and frogged it.

I could see I was knitting one too many rows in each block - ending after a right side row instead of after a wrong side row. Once I knew that, I didn't want to continue on with the mistake, so I started over.

Finished Lopi Log Cabin Sweater

Pattern: Log Cabin Child's Pullover

Yarn: Lopi leftovers

Needles: US #9

Gauge: 3.5 stitches/inch and 7 rows/inch in garter stitch

I had two goals in knitting this sweater:
  1. Create a warm sweater for CIC.
  2. Use up left over partial skeins of Lopi.
This sweater has to be the ultimate in warm sweaters. Bulky weight Lopi knit firmly with a #9 needle in super condensed garter stitch. Some child is going to be warm indeed wearing this one.

As for using up the Lopi, it became obvious after knitting the front and back (top picture) that I needed to introduce a fourth color to have enough yarn for sleeves.

I had fun planning how to use up as much Lopi as possible and still have the sweater look like it was designed and not knit with random blobs of color.

Notice that the bottom ribbing in the top picture is gray and the bottom ribbing in the final product is turquoise? It didn't take very long to reknit the ribbing and I think it looks more attractive to have all four colors in the body as well as the sleeves.

The pattern calls for a stand up collar in the back. Without it, the sweater is reversible. I omitted the collar without regret.

Leftover Lopi from Log Cabin SweaterOnce I was done sewing up the side seams, these are the only pieces of Lopi I had left that were over six inches long.

I like the Log Cabin idea for using up yarn and will no doubt use it again for help in emptying out my Lopi bin.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Premature Snow

Snowy October autumn day with leaves on the treesThe weather report has been talking about a snowy Thursday all week, but I admit to being skeptical. Maybe a few flakes in the air, but surely no more than that.

We haven't had a killing frost yet. The leaves have hardly started to fall off the trees. The hostas are still standing. It's way to early in the season to have snow.

These are snow date statistics (sorry to mention statistics, Dorothy) for Southwest Michigan:
  • October 22 - average first fluffy flakes seen in air. We beat the average this year.

  • November 6 - average first measurable snowfall. I'm sure today is measurable, so beat this average by over three weeks.

  • Months with measurable snow: November, December, January, February, March, April. Putting it this way, it's obvious to understand why Michiganders are more than ready for the first warm, spring day.

  • April 10 - average date for the last measurable snow. This is when we take our snowy daffodil pictures. In 1976 we had two feet of snow during spring break.

  • April 18 - average date for last flakes in the air. But we're ignoring them.

  • Elapsed time from the very first flake to the last is 5 months and 28 days.

It's only a tiny wee bit of exaggeration to say SW Michigan has snow six months of the year.

Snowy path in the field on first dog walk of the day.Sunny took one look at the snow this morning and decided to do a quick outing up by the house with Bob.

Pappy, Glory and I went for a walk. They thought the snow was grand - all the better for chasing those pesky rabbits.

Bluebird nest box with snow on the lidGood-by summer.

Good-by bluebirds.

See you next year.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Castle Mouser Misses the Mouse

Pappy the Papillon pouting because he missed catching the mouseA few days ago I spend several hours cleaning out a cubby hole off the living room. It houses a door to the outdoors, Sunny's Wee-Wee pad, bins of keepsakes, and a 50 pound bag of black oil sunflower seeds. It's the kind of catch-all area found in small houses without enough storage where the housekeeping is a bit casual.

I emptied the area out, evicted the spiders, washed the walls and noticed they need painting. I washed the floor, the woodwork, the door.

Tuesday night Bob and Pappy noticed a mouse running around the living room. Papillons were "castle mousers" centuries ago, and Pappy has a strong mouser instinct. In the rodent regard, he acts like a cat.

Pappy didn't sleep all night, bouncing in and out the bed (yes, he sleeps with us), but mostly out as he watched for a chance to catch the mouse.

Need I tell you where the mouse set up headquarters? Pooping little mouse turds all over my clean cubby hole?

Next day I found Mr. Mouse behind the storage bins. He was cute. I hated to kill him but really wanted him GONE.

Bob had an idea. Open the door to the outside and let him leave. Since there's a door between the cubby hole and the living room, it should be quick and easy.

So, I moved some of the things out of the cubby hole in order to have room to move the bins. Then I shut the door between the cubby hole and the living room in order to a) keep the mouse in b) keep Pappy out.

Pappy took up his station outside the closed door. I opened the door to the outside and moved the bins to get Mr. Mouse in motion. Mr. Mouse did not want to be cold and wet. He ran out of his hiding place, under the door to the living room, and down the radiator pipe to the basement.

Pappy missed him. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of Pappy's life. He spent the rest of the day patrolling the area and even took a nap with his nose pointed toward the radiator. Mr. Mouse didn't show.

I'm sure Pappy blames me for this. If only I had warned him Mr. Mouse was coming through. But I didn't know. I thought I was chasing him outdoors.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Sky and Comment Commentary

Clear blue Saturday Sky for October 7, 2006Saturday Sky
A beautiful, crisp, sunny day a SW Michigan.

Although there are many beautiful autumn colors now, most of our trees are oaks and just stay boring green until it's way too cold out to want to rake. Then, their leaves turn ugly and drop off. Usually they don't fall until after the first snow and I end up raking them in the spring.

Sister Doris sent an email saying . . .
Your post (T is for Three Dogs) was touching but you lost a chance to herald spay/neuter and the programs that do spay/neuter.
Thanks Doris.

Yes, please spay and neuter and support organizations that help pet owners afford the surgery. There are already way too many wonderful animals who can't find a good home.

Marianne asks . . .
Little 15 pound Harry rules the roost and melts Remy into a panting little (50 pound) puppy! She gently paws at him asking him to play, and he growls back, and they tumble and roll all over the house and yard all their waking hours! He's wonderful, loves us clearly, a good buddy to Remy, but is having trouble being potty trained. Any suggestions??
This is a common problem with rescue dogs and often the reason their original owners got rid of them.

It is almost never the dogs fault. His original owners are to blame.

Dog trainer Gail says that new dogs in the home have to earn their run of the house. At first they should be kept in the room with you. When that's not possible they need to be crated or gated into a room with a washable floor.

When the dog pottys in the house, even if you don't catch it right away, put the dog outside immediately and tell it "NO POTTY IN THE HOUSE!"

It's not uncommon for it to take up to six months to correct poor potty training. It's an unpleasant and difficult part of the rescue adoption process, but well worth the effort.

My ultimate recommendation: Take him to a beginner obedience class with a trainer who works with companion dogs, not show dogs. A good trainer will help with the potty training and you'll learn lots of other cool doggy things, too.

Kerry asked about my big fish picture. . .
My first thought was that it looks like a catfish. Might he be?
Looking back at the picture, I see how you might think that. But no, it has no whiskers.

It is a member of the Salmonidae Family which includes many species of Salmon and Trout. That much I can tell for sure.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Early Morning Big Fish Sighting

Wake in the creek casued by large salmon approachingIf it's autumn - and it certainly is that - then it's time for the salmon to swim upstream and spawn.

I'm standing on the bridge and there is a big one headed my way.

This morning as the dogs and I crossed the bridge to the back three acres, there was noticeable salmon action in the creek. At least three of the big fish were swimming around with their upper fins above the water surface.

After our walk, I went back into the house and traded the dogs for my camera.

30 inch salmon stops at the bridge for a breatherI'm not sure where the salmon originate, but I do know they've come a long way. By the time they get to our property they are ragged looking and tired.

This fisherperson's dream is on the other side of the bridge taking a rest. It's about thirty inches long.

As much as I love nature and like to identify wildlife, there's a gap in my fish identification skills. I'm not sure what species of salmon this is. It might even be a closely related trout species. If you know more about it than I do, I'd love to hear what you know.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

T is for Three Dogs

ABC Along Button

If you're an animal lover, don't go to Petfinder unless you want to end up with another pet and/or get depressed.

I try to stay away, but over the weekend I was there for a few minutes to find an email address for Sunny's foster mom. What sad stories. So many dogs (and other animals, but I didn't look at them) needing a good home with someone willing to spend the time and money to make their life better.

I'd like to share the stories of our three dogs today. Apologies to the few long time readers who have heard these stories before.

Glory, a big black lab mixGlory is a 10 year old, 70 pound lab mix.

When she was a cute little puppy, some young man without a clue adopted her to live with him in his apartment. By the time she was a large six month old energetic puppy, she was taking up way too much room in the apartment and demanding too much of the young man's attention.

DH was in town one day and overheard the young man say he had a dog that was too big and he was going to drop her off in the country. DH said he lived in the country and he would take the dog. And he did.

That day while I was peacefully working at home, DH drove up the drive with a big, bouncy, black puppy in the front seat. He opened the car door and Glory jumped out to inspect her new property. She ran and ran and ran, seeming to know where the property boundaries are. When she was tired, she came in the house, met me, and has been part of the family ever since.

Sunny, a small mixed breedSunny is a five year old small dog mix. There are many different opinions on what that mix is. She is unique and wonderful.

We found her on Petfinder in a foster home about 100 miles north of us. She was a two pound puppy who had been dumped alongside the road with her mother and two siblings. Her adult weight is sixteen pounds.

Her blurb on Petfinder said she was Terrier/Papillon, but they were just guessing. She did look like a Papillon puppy with curly hair. One of her sisters looked like a Jack Russell and the other looked like a white poodle. Her mother looked very similar to Sunny.

Pappy, a PapillonPappy, an eight year old Papillon, also came from Petfinder. We got him four years ago when he was four years old.

We had no intention of getting a third dog. We had never heard of Papillons before getting Sunny and becoming interested in the breed.

I emailed Pappy's Petfinder link to DH for the purpose of showing him what a Papillon looked like. Then I promptly forgot about sending it.

Later, I was sitting on the sofa and heard DH say, "We need to get that poor boy."


Turns out DH was right. Pappy was a total physical and emotional basket case when we adopted him. It was obvious that he'd been abused and his health issues ignored.

The first month we nursed him back to health and let him adjust to his new home as much as possible. The second month he started doggy school. One of his first exercises was to be fed pieces of turkey dog while being held so he would learn that being held was a good thing.

After two years, he trusted us enough to sleep tummy up. After four years, he is healthy, normal, loving, and loves running the agility course at doggy school.

For anyone thinking of adopting from Petfinder, there are some wonderful dogs there - BUT be prepared. Most of the dogs have "issues". Some are basic personality issues, and some are issues acquired from having a bad experience in their previous home. All "issues" require time, patience, love, and effort to resolve. It's not as simple as the Dog Whisperer leads you believe.

And please remember that cute little lab puppies quickly grow into large dogs that need room to run and play. Especially if you live in an apartment.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Second Cozy in Cables Done, Log Cabin Started

Blue Cozy in Cables CIC Sweater and a pair of socksPattern: Cozy in Cables Toddler Sweater for CIC

Yarn: Lopi

Needles: Addi Turbo 10.5

Gauge: 12 stitches/4 inches in SS

It really didn't take that long to knit the sleeves once I picked up the sweater and got started. Some Sunday evening knitting and they are done, the sweater is done, and I can cross this unfinished project off my list.

The little CIC socks have been my hand therapy waiting room knitting for the past few weeks.

Start of Log Cabin Sweater in red, gray, blue for CICPattern: Log Cabin Child's Pullover

Yarn: Lopi leftovers

Needles: US #9

Gauge: 3.5 stitches/inch and 7 rows/inch in garter stitch

If I finish two things, it's only fair I get to start one thing. Right?

I've been wanting to see how log cabin knitting works and this pattern seems perfect for knitting up my leftover Lopi. The pattern is basically two squares, the front and the back, with ribbing on the bottom and some easy drop sleeves.

There may be a trick to the log cabin knitting that I don't know. The rectangles where I have stitches on the holder to pick up are a bit longer than the rectangles where I'm picking up stitches from an edge.

Looking at the picture, it's easy to see the stitches that were on the holder bulging out a bit. Also, the bottom of the picture shows how I don't have a straight line between the bound stitches and the stitches on the holder.

Since this is a kids sweater for CIC, I'm not going to let my perfectionism result in frogging. It will block out into a colorful and very very warm sweater.

I won't knit log cabin again until I find some better instructions and learn how to do it better.

Grasshopper is screaming at me to sew up the last seam and get blocked. This is a very busy week and I really do not want to spend the little knitting time I have sewing seams. I'm ignoring it. Garter stitch Lopi suits my current mood for now.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Knitting Log for October 1, 2006

A review of what is on the needles, off the needles, and waiting to hop on the needles.

Finished neck on Peerie Brocade sweaterPeerie Brocade
Status? Happily knitting away on it almost every day. The body and the neckband are done. All that is left are the endless sleeves.

Estimated completion date? Hopefully by mid-October.

Inspiration? I'm looking forward to wearing this in the cool autumn weather. It needs to be done NOW.

Status? One more side to sew together, cuff to bottom ribbing.

Estimated completion date? Very soon. I'd like to wear it to church next Sunday if the weather is cool.

Excuse? I wish I had a good one. Where is my self-discipline when it comes to sewing up knitting projects? Once they're knit, I think of them as done. How can they be done when they're still in pieces?

The Real Excuse? I refuse to do a sloppy job so it takes me forever to sew and I'd rather be knitting. I spent one whole evening's knitting time sewing up the first side and haven't wanted to spend another evening on the second.

Blue Cozy in Cables Sweater
Status? This was my test sweater for the pattern. Since I used the second sleeve on the original as the test knit sleeve, I didn't feel I had to knit the sleeves on the test sweater before publishing. The sweater has been sitting in a knitting bag waiting for sleeves for almost a month.

Excuse? None.

Motivation to finish it? The CIC_Knit List is having a vest and sweater challenge in October/November. There are three other toddler sweaters I want to knit for CIC before the end of November.

  1. A child's gansey from my new book, Knitted Ganseys, using up the remainder of the Antique Rose Peruvian Highland Wool from my FLAK.

  2. A Log Cabin Child's Pullover using up leftover colors of Lopi.

  3. An original sweater using Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky. I have grape and sky in my CIC stash just waiting to hop on the needles. I'd love to write a pattern for the CIC_Knit List to use, but I don't think it's going to get done for this challenge.

Blanket for Project Linus
Status? Waiting for addition yarn to arrive to see if dye lots match. Trying to forget how silly it was to start a project without enough yarn.

CIC Socks
Status? Ready to start toe decreases on both socks. These have been my waiting room knitting when Mom has a hand therapy session.