Knitting and a Baby Bear

It has been so long since I have blogged on here that it’s almost like starting over. I am still knitting, albeit slowly. Darby does not have any new sweaters, she uses only 1 that I’ve made and I have lost many of the rest.

Currently on the needles I have a sweater inspired by Wendy Bernard‘s Favorite Cardigan. Rather than buying her book I thought I could do the sweater without using a pattern. Naturally, I was completely wrong. Upon realizing that I needed help in figuring out how to make a sweater, again, I went though the patterns that I do have and settled upon the Wicked pattern by Rachel Bishop.  I started with a smaller size than I normally would because the Plymouth 1824 wool I am using is a teensy bit thicker. Also, because I have lost some weight and have gone down a size or two. I cast on the number of stitches required and did the ribbing for the neck , turning and going back rather than connecting and knitting around. For the cables, I picked up a stitch dictionary and picked something that looked nice. I also elected to not add the cables on the arms because, well, I didn’t want the arms to be tight and look like sausages.

Here it is thus far. I am planning on doing some waist shaping at some point, maybe in the next inch or so. I’m petite, so the torso on most patterns needs to be shortened.

I have also been working on a scarf for a friend. We were out shopping and she was looking at scarves and I said something along the lines of  “I could make one of those.” Thanks to my big mouth, I am making her a scarf, but really, it’s because I love her and she is a great friend. I have so so so much yarn I didn’t want to go out and purchase more so I went through the various bits of  my stash squirreled away in various cubbies of my itty bitty apartment and found some nice smooshy yarn left over from a baby sweater. I figured a ball and a half would be nice. I started with a cabled design from my head but quickly realized the scarf would be the size of a handkerchief, so it was back to ravelry to find something quick, easy, and lacy to make a scarf as long as possible with less than 200 yards of yarn.

I chose the Diagonal Handspun Lace Scarf because it was a simple repeating pattern and could really stretch the use of the yarn. I’ve been working on it daily since Saturday and am pleased at how quickly it progresses. I worked on it at Bible Study, for which I should be ashamed but it helps me loosen up and participate more.

The yarn, Samoa, it delightfully smooshy and doesn’t seem to pill either. If this scarf turns out too short, which I suspect it might, it will be back to the stash to find something else. Sadly, the yarn shop in my town has closed so I would have to go to one of the chain stores to find yarn unless I want to go out of town to find nice yarn.

One of my coworkers brought me a bag of yarn and needles from a deceased relative, the yarn is all different acrylics, which is great for the kids, but better yet, were all the needles, a great big handful of 8’s, 9’s and 10’s. There are enough there to teach at least 10 kids to knit.

I went to Lake Tahoe with my newly wed friend Jen over the fall break. I have been to Tahoe a couple times since moving to Northern California but had never seen a bear there. Finally, on this trip I got to see a mother bear and her cub feasting on spawning salmon.

We also baited a trap to catch crawdads, which are amazing little things. I imagine them to be miniature little lobsters.

Darby came with, she stayed in her little pupsack when we were hiking and roamed the cabin and next to the lake when she could.

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Big Day

Tuesday is Darby’s birthday.  She is 3 years old.  Darby even looks like a little grown-up puppy.  I’ve not knit her another sweater yet but I was thinking maybe I would use some of the grey yarn I have to knit her one that looks like an armadillo.  Little ridges, some short rows, maybe even flat so people who don’t knit in the round can do it.  OR I will make her a Charlie Brown sweater, the yellow with black chevron pattern on it.

Here she is enjoying her personal rug in front of the fireplace.

The birthday dog!

I have finished up the baby sweater I was working on in the last post.  It’s pretty awesome, but the applique needs to be sewn on.  It’s supposed to be an iron on patch and I did that but it seems a little loose.

It's my rockabilly punk baby sweater

Currently I am still working on socks, a hat or two for charity and enjoying my week off.  have a happy Thanksgiving!

Oh yeah! Tomorrow is also my 1 year anniversary with this guy!

Bill!

We’ve been dating for a whole year.  I haven’t been in a relationship this long in a while.  I like him, he makes me laugh, makes me feel good, makes me feel pretty, and is a sweetheart.  If I could I would get every girl a guy like him for Christmas.

 

Knit Puppy Hat

This is not my design, and I wouldn’t want to pilfer someone’s pattern and use it as my own but this is seriously awesome.

Puppy Toque

Puppy Toque

This is by Debbie Storey at thegreatcanadiandog.ca. Holy heck, how adorable are these? I mean, if I had one I would break this down in a hot minute and make 20 forDarby. I might give it a shot anyway.  Someone on my blog requested a hat pattern for a dog, this must have been what she meant.

So, maybe Darby needs a hat for winter?  Raise your hand if you think she would put up with it?….I didn’t think so either.

The Last Day

…of Spring Break, that is.

I didn’t accomplish everything I had hoped to do over the break.  I had wanted to go to the gym every day, instead I went to Lake Tahoe and crashed down the stairs.  The gym, along with sitting and standing, was not to be thought about again for at least a week.

Knitting, however, was not off the list.  So I knit a lot.  I started a sweater, first while up in Tahoe, then I ripped it out and started again here after finding a better pattern.  I’m following the top-down raglan pattern found here (called Pioneer), but I’m not making it so tight, I’m using a different gauge, I’m making it a long sleeve cardigan, and I’m taking out the cables.  So really I’m making a different sweater entirely but I am using the basic sweater recipe she wrote, with modifications for my petite (read: short, not slender) frame.

Oh yeah, and more booties (again, following Saartje’s pattern).

ladybug booties!

ladybug booties!

I don’t know what to do with these booties.  Bill suggested I start selling them but I was worried that would be a bad idea since I didn’t write the pattern.  I checked on Etsy and other people are making and selling these for between 16 and 22 dollars, so I am considering it.

They really are adorable, aren't they?

They really are adorable, aren't they?

I also made a pair for Bill’s nephew, Jack.  I did try to give him one of the pairs I had made earlier but they were too small.  So I made a larger pair and was hoping to get them to him this weekend.  It doesn’t look like I will be able to get these to him but I do want those booties on his feet before he outgrows them.  These are made out of double knit baby alpaca yarn in gray and a heathered gray blue.

Jack's botties

Jack's booties

I also started planting for spring.  My bell pepper plants from Verna are doing well and I got a cherry tomato plant, as well as a strawberry and squash plant.  I picked up some basil and mint seeds that I might grow in the kitchen so that I have some fresh herbs.

My adorable little bell pepper.

My adorable little bell pepper.


Darby likes the little patio.

Darby likes the little patio.


Darby is tired from investigating all the new plants.

Darby is tired from investigating all the new plants.

Saturday I am off to the zoo with my cousin which is absolutely fun and exciting.  In the morning I’m going to do day 2 of my “Couch to 5k” program.  I’m hoping one day to be able to run a 5k, preferably before I turn 30 in September.

March of the Booties

I’ve discovered the joy of knitting baby booties and set out to make a slew of them to send to my sister, so that she can find pregnant people to give them to.  I don’t think her cats would be so interested in wearing them…

All lined up for inspection...

All lined up for inspection...

I’ve made seven pairs so far and have sent six of those pairs off to my sister.  The materials used varied, left over bits from other skeins I’ve long lost the label to, fancy alpaca yarn, silk, and baby acrylic.

My favorite booties were the teeny-tiny alpaca ones I made.  Having seen a baby or two since those were made I suspect that those booties would fit only newborn babies or preemies.  I wanted very much to keep them for myself, but since I have plenty of yarn left and have found some super-cute buttons I know there will be more to make.

If only you knew just how small my hands are.

If only you knew just how small my hands are.

For comparison, these pink booties are about the same size.  Here is one on top of a standard size post-it note.

tiny-pink-bootie

Teeny-tiny bootie on a post-it.

There was one pair I didn’t send to my sister.  They are the light purple pnes and somehow one of stitches on the wrong-side row was purled instead of knit.  That and I think they look a little poorly constructed, so I’ll find someone here to pawn them off on.

I made all the alpaca booties while on the way to and while at Lake Tahoe.  That was meant to be a vacation…anyway, that did not go well at all.  I’m not going to air it all out here but I can tell you that I still have a wonderful, patient, sweet boyfriend who will run and check on me after I fall down a flight of carpeted stairs and can’t sit down for the next three days.  He, however, is related to a person who would shout “Is there something wrong with the stairs?”   I will never do a vacation like that again…and I don’t mean the stairs.

Darby stayed with Bill’s mom while we were away.  I know Bill’s mom is an awesome person and I don’t even worry when I leave Darby with her, but she was still happy to see me when we got back.  Darby slept in my lap the next day, happy to be home.

Darby enjoying the sunlight

Darby enjoying the sunlight

Speaking of that trip down the stairs.  That happened a week ago and it still hurts to sit and stand and move about.  I visited with a Nurse Practitioner yesterday (for a previously scheduled engagement) and she was very blase about it “Well, if you broke it there isn’t anything they can do for it anyway.”  Wow, thanks for that info….  Kaiser is being really helpful… and as an aside, they must have gotten rid of their cleaning crew to save money because it was pretty gross in there, especially when it’s supposed to be a medical facility.

Lady Bug Buttons!!!

Lady Bug Buttons!!!

Okey, so on to something positive.  I found these little ladybug buttons and am going to make some more (surprise!) Saartje’s booties in red and black with these little buttons.  They should be the most adorable things ever.

Christmas Chihuahua Sweater

Merry Christmas

Someone recently asked for a chihuahua sweater for a male dog.  As requested, here it is.  It’s cut up away from the belly on the bottom so that the boys can do their business without soiling the hem of the sweater.

I will not be including instructions for the color work, only because I’ve had enough pattern writing today.

oh yeah, all the important stuff:

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Red Sprinkle (I’m going to guess 60 yards or 1/3 of a skein), size 6 double pointed needles, needle to sew in ends, smooth waste yarn (for 2nd version, a small amount of contrasting yarn)

gauge: about 5 stitches to the inch

I’m writing the same pattern twice and leaving out the color work.  The first version is row by row.  If you don’t need all that, the short and simple version is at the bottom.

Disclaimer: I am not a professional pattern writer.  I just have a small dog who is cold.  Please don’t be rude about correcting my work or asking me to rewrite it for your 100lb dog (no offense to 100lb dogs, but I don’t buy that much yarn at a time).

darby-red-sweater-1

The long version:

Cast on 40 stitches, distribute over 3 needles

Knit 1×1  ribbing for 3 ”

Knit 2, kfb, k34, kfb, k2 (now you have 42 stitches on the needles)

knit 3, kfb, k34, kfb, k3

knit 4, kfb, k34, kfb, k4

knit 5, kfb, k34, kfb, k5

knit 6, kfb, k34, kfb, k6

knit 7, kfb, k34, kfb, k7

knit 8, kfb, k34, kfb, k8

knit 9, kfb, k34, kfb, k9

knit 10, kfb, k34, kfb, k10

knit 11, kfb, k34, kfb, k11

knit 12, kfb, k34, kfb, k12 (62 stitches total)

Arm holes

on next row knit 7, knit 7 on waste yarn, knit around to last 14 stitches, knit 7 on waste yarn, knit 7 with regular yarn.

Knit in stockinette (knit around) until body is 3″ long from arm holes

cast off last 10 stitches of next row

cast of 1st 10 stitches of the new row, k1, k2 tog, knit 36, k2 tog, k1

purl next row (sweater is now being worked flat)

knit 1, k2 tog, k34, k2tog, k1

purl next row

k1, k2tog, k32, k2tog, k1

purl

k1, k2tog, k30, k2tog, k1

purl

k1, k2tog, k28, k2tog, k1

purl

k1, k2tog, k26, k2tog, k1

purl

k1, k2tog, k24, k2tog, k1, don’t purl back! Pick up 20 stitches evenly around the cast off edge so you have 48 stitches.

do k1p1 ribbing for 1 inch and cast off.

Sleeves; remove the waste yarn and pick up the stitches.  In between the 2 rows grab a loop and twist it so that you don’t have a gap in the sleeves.  Do 1×1 ribbing around for 1 inch.

Sew in your ends and admire your work.

darby-red-sweater-2

The short version, without all the row-by-row stuff.

cast on 40 sts, divide onto needles as follows, 10 on 1st needle, 20 on 2nd needles, 10 on 3rd needle. Join and knit in k1p1 ribbing for 3″ for turtleneck or 1.5 inches for crew neck, on last row place marker after 3rd stitch and before last 3 stitches.

Increasing for the body

Knit first 2 stitches, knit front and back of stitch before marker, knit around, knit front and back of stitch right after the last marker (you will have 42 stitches now).  repeat 10 more times for 62 stitches.

Leg holes and body

On next row, knit 7 sts with red, knit 7 stitches with waste yarn (that should take you to the stitch marker), knit around to the next stitch marker, knit 7 in waste yarn and then 7 in red.  Knit until body measures 3″ long from armholes.  On next row knit around and cast off last 10 stitches and 1st 10 stitches of next row.  Finish that row by knitting 1, k2tog, knit across to last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.  Purl the next row.  Continue decreasing by knitting 1, k2tog at the beginning and k2tog, k1 at the end and purling back (so you have stockinette) 7 times total.  at the end of the last knit row, continue by picking up 20 stitches around the body and knit 1″ of 1×1 ribbing.

Finishing up (sleeves)

Pull out the waste yarn and pick up 14 stitches plus 2 extra loops on each side so you don’t get a big gap. k1p1 ribbing for 1″

Sew in all ends and admire your work.

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