Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finish Line & Check it out.

Knitting a sweater in two weeks has been a challenge, and though I made it across the finish line huffing and puffing and had I been on skis I would have fallen on my face in the snow from exhaustion, I enjoyed it. The best part was watching those long distance skiiers skate along while I was in an easy chair doing my competition. Ha!

The sweater is shown here. It is based on the every popular Owls sweater, but I've added a second design to give me a more traditional fit, which I like. I've decided not to do buttons. Instead, I might find some beads to use as eyes, maybe flattened discs of tiger's eye. Perhaps I'll find something to decorate the diamonds in the yoke. We'll see.

Thanks for visiting my blog! See you next week!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ravelympic Dreams

Can I make it? Can I knit an entire sweater during the time of the Olympics? Many of us Ravelers--thousands in fact--are doing similar challenges. We are collectively pushing our crafting skills to the limit, to meet personal challenges and goals.

We have all done our prep work: For instance, I chose a sweater made with bulky yarn. I happen to have quite a bit in my stash spun from a Corriedale fleece I purchased at Rhinebeck back in 1999 and finished spinning in 2000-20001. It qualifies as well-seasonsed stash for my team, the 5KStashdown.

But can I knit an entire sweater in two weeks? Like many of you, this is my first Ravelympics and I've given myself a pretty big challenge. As you can see above, I've made some progress. I've knit an entire skein and am onto my next one. I'm doing the Owls sweater, but I have had to redesign it a bit to fit my body and lifestyle, neither of which is fond of negative ease. It will be nice though. I may add a diamond motif after the owls. I dont' know yet, we shall see as the Ravelympics continues.

I hope all of you are going along well with your Ravelympic challenges. Best wishes and thank you for the time you've taken to visit my blog. Knit and spin merely on!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Putting on the dog

People ask me if I spin and knit with my dog’s downy undercoat. My only honest answer can be, “Yes, everyday!” Baxter is a member of the hearty, sled-pulling breed the Samoyed, so when he sheds, he does it with gusto. Sometimes it looks like there’s been a snowstorm in my house. He’s also the smiling friendly guy I use as my avatar.
Even after careful vacuuming, Baxter’s fluff can be found everywhere—on me, in the air, in my fiber supply and on my yarn. It is not unusual for me to be picking long white hairs out of my yarn as I spin it, or to find similar fluff tucked into my yarn. Baxter fluff was a special a problem while knitting the Fair Isle Rambouillet sweater shown above. This, by the way, is my first sweater of 2010. Only eleven more to go to meet the IntSweModo challenge.
As I knit the dark brown yarn, Baxter fluff was everywhere. Some, I was able to brush off, but a bit is now part of the design. This became a particular problem when I was doing the grafting after joining the sweater—I actually sewed a number of Baxter strands into my sweater. This is just one of the many delights of having a Samoyed friend.
The purple yarn shown is the result of unplying and replying the yarn to get the sort of twist I prefer to knit with. If you look carefully, you may see a Baxter hair or two spun in.
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