Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pictures! We Got Pictures!!

I still have to clean off the 2 memory cards, one of which is full (which is really weird because it's a big honkin' memory card). But here are some pictures.

Baby afghans are done. D.O.N.E.  It'll be a while, I hope, before I have to knit another one. I have one ball each of the yarns left, so I can make hats with the remainder when I give K her sweaters around Christmas -- or more likely, we'll give them to her at Thanksgiving so that she can have them for the kiddies.

Here's the both of them - the afghans, I mean, though the babies are apparently ready any time now:  As you can see, the blankets are very different in texture, but about the same size. I don't know which kid will get which one, but since I made Kid #1's larger blanket in yellow, I'm thinking his little brother will get orange and his little sister will get the yellow one.

I have to say, I tried a new soap: Indigo Wild's ZumBaby soap. And it didn't work out so well. I mean, it got them nice and fresh, but we ended up washing them THREE times, finally using All Free 'N Clear to get some of the soap scum off. I wonder whether it's because the blankets are 75% wool and we did them in cold water? Because we did some silk stuff with the same soap and those came out fine.

Anyway, this is Encore Worsted, 2 strands held together for both, so they're plenty warm.  Here's a closer shot so you can see the patterns. It's not my greatest shot, but I'm short!! The pattern on the orange one is actually a 'pinwheel' and the other is what Encore's 8-Hour Afghan book calls 'Textured.' That one almost looks like a broken rib or a variation on baskeweave. I like both of them. But I would NEVER have been able to do either one in "8 hours."

Now...........FINALLY. I can do something different. So my mom and I are taking a bus trip (God help me) -- I will need knitting. But something mindless. So I am doing the "Before And After Bias Scarf" from Churchmouse Classics. Find it on Ravelry or here. My colorways are Silky Alpaca Lace 2481 and 2446. You can find those here. Nuts. I don't have the beads with me. However, they're a "peacock" color and a "peridot" color. I left them at home.

So, the yarn: It's 70% baby alpaca and 30% silk. This is a gorgeous, GORGEOUS yarn. I'm using Addis to knit it because the birch needles I started with (a) were straights; and (b) had too much "stick" and the yarn wasn't moving nicely. The Addi needles, a circular, are much speedier than I would normally like, but hey - you use what you've got!

The pattern says "'s so ugly (truly!) before it's blocked and so beautiful after." Well, they're right. Here's the peacock colorway. It's lovely and it's knitting up with a nice yellow-green "swirl" thing happening. But it's really one of those "Is this going to HAPPEN?" kind of projects. You can't really see the bias till you've knitted a ways. And you have to knit 97" of this. NINETY SEVEN INCHES. Make one at the beginning and K2tog at the end...the provisional cast on is because you'll be able to bind off with beads, which I wasn't going to do but after thinking about it, the beads (size 6) will add a little "drape" to this already drapey scarf. 

I am doing 2 of them - the pattern shows the model wearing a variegated one and a solid; my freezer -- oops, OFFICE -- is cold most of the summer, so I thought that I would at least have the option of wearing 2 of them if I wanted to. I thought that starting with the variegated one would keep me happy on the bus. That, and a fully-charged Kindle! So far, I have about 7" done (yay - only 90 to go!) and it is finally starting to "look like something." You can see the bias and while Hubby thought it was socks, it's clearly not. It's somewhat fiddly on the Addi needles, but that's ok. This picture is obviously not a 7" chunk of fabric, but it gives you an idea of the lacy feel of this project.

Now I get to decide what to do with the Five Dog Yarn, and perhaps that will be my next project. Or better, maybe, restarting the washcloth stuff or a cotton tee. I have lots of "passed over" yarn from my friend Doris, who's "cleaning house." She's got great taste. I also bought the "Shawls from Sock Yarns" book (that's so not the title, but I don't have the book handy....). Doris gave me some TOTALLY SCRUMPTIOUS Madelaine Tosh yarn in forest green color tones. That is the perfect weight for one of those shawls. I also have some silk/merino in a pretty lavender which I could use for a cardigan since it's DK weight.

While I truly do enjoy knitting for the family, it's nice to have "me knitting" instead of "obligation knitting" to do.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Before and After...

For your info, I'm typing this with Quinn squidged under my desk between me in my chair and my hands on the laptop. She's freaked out about something, and I can't figure it out.

So. "Before and After." (insert drumroll here....) The dog yarn is DONE. Well, it's spun. This is what it looked like when I dropped it off: 5 grocery bags in the  back of my truck. I have to find the picture; it's somewhere - either on my phone or one of 2 cameras...

This is what it looks like now:

You can see the tans, a bit of red and the grey more than you can see any black. Though one husky was black/silver (my Topaz) and the Elkhounds have black on their guard hairs. This is lots and LOTS of undercoat, which is mainly tan and white.  And while River was red, as she grew older and as Cushing's took away almost 100% of her guard hair, the undercoat got more tan.

I'm going to make this into a shawl at least; perhaps a scarf or cowl, too. There's over 1,000 yards of this. And yes, it's the most expensive yarn I've ever purchased. It's a "rare" fiber - nobody's likely to have this mix! It's a little rough, but I have a paper that says it'll "halo" after I wash it. I love the colors.

This is 100% dog hair. No wool mixed in, which does concern me a bit,  because I'm not sure that this is something I'd make up into say an afghan. There's a question in my mind about durability, particularly since my friend Diana over in England has done a coat in Elkhound + wool. She suggested adding the wool, because it's a long-staple fiber, where dog hair is pretty short in length. We'll see, though. If it's a shawl, at least it's more likely to be something that, while  I use it, I'm not slinging it over the couch on a daily basis.

"This smells like MEEEEEEEEE!"
This is Tippi, going NUTS as she's sniffing and snorting her way through one of the hanks. It was as if she couldn't figure out why "this stuff smells like ME!!!"...

And yep, this is now "off my life list." I wish I would have had more of the husky hair, but for some reason, particularly with Topaz, since I had had her from a pup, I always thought there was "more time."

And as any dog person will tell you - Nope, there is NEVER more time. You want it, but it never quite works out that way.

My friends all want to pet the yarn, and one of them suggested that I go to the LYS (which is currently on a tear about "don't talk about yarn you didn't buy here") and tell them, "No, I didn't buy this here.  I grew it at home!"

So, wet husky doesn't really smell, but wet Elkhound does. Does that mean I'll smell MORE like a dog if this gets wet??