Knitting, Dogs and Life on the High Plains

Tuesday, June 29, 2004
What's New?


I was not thrilled with the way Blogger handled comments so I ditched them in favor of Haloscan. The bad news is I lost all the previous comments, including the many regarding my Poncho Ponderings.

Also ditched the TagBoard as it appeared to be attempting to transmit a virus to my PC. Anyone else experience that? Everytime I borught up the site my virus software alerted me.

Everyone's Doing It


Yup that's me... about 30 years ago...although the hair is still the same!

You too can have fun over at the Portrait Illustration Maker and the Portrait Icon Maker.


I had a question in the now deleted comments about where I got the pattern for my Koigu Toreador Jacket. It is a Koigu pattern, but it's not mentioned on their website. I bought my copy at Shower's of Flowers in Denver. You can also find it online at the Apple Laine site. It was a really fun piece to knit and I highly recommend it to those of you intersted in modular knitting.

Poncho Hell

Have you seen the absolutely wonderful patterns over at the Stitch Diva? I decided I needed to join the blogland league of poncho makers and figured the Stitch Diva Floral Mini Poncho would be the perfect start. BONUS! - it's supposed to only take a few hours to crochet. Yes, I said crochet. I should have known better. I can NEVER NEVER NEVER get gauge when I try to crochet. This was no exception. I have now spent twice as long as the poncho should take to make just trying to get anywhere in the near range of gauge. I bought several of the other Stitch Diva patterns, maybe I'll try the (knit) Art Nouveau Poncho instead.



I actually got a little bit more done on the Koigu Oriental jacket....

I had slowed down on it as I was unsure that the yarn substitution I had to make was going to be okay. But I think it's looking just fine so far...

The Gumdrop Scarf is also nearing completion. It originally only called for 2 skeins of the Lion Boucle.. but this scarf wanted to be long-long-long so I purchased a third skein. Just a few more inches to go and I'll be adding the Fun Fur tail and we'll be calling it a wrap (bad pun intended).

Baby Dogs

They just keep getting bigger and cuter every day...

Wasn't this a long post from the high plains tonight?

Anne at 9:53 PM        

Saturday, June 26, 2004
Poncho Ponderings

Ponchos are being created everwhere in blogland. But are they being WORN? I have yet to see a single poncho out and about in public. Tell me all of you who have made/are making them... do you wear them, or is this a process rather than a product activity?

Anne at 7:46 AM        

Friday, June 25, 2004
Alternate Reality

What am I doing instead of knitting?

Puppy Watching.

How can I not?

Anne at 10:18 PM        

Thursday, June 24, 2004
New and Improved

I love to start new projects. Remember the new yarns from yesterday? Here they are - started already. Starting a new project of any type always hold a certain magic....the promise of things to come, that this item will be beautiful and perfect when complete, a knitted materpiece, even if it is just a garter stitch scarf or another pair of socks.

But things are starting to get out of hand. See over there on the left sidebar where I have the projects in progress listed? It's all a lie. The truth is I have so may projects started I could give Cindy over at Knitting Park a run for her money.

Some of these projects I really am actively working on. Others I know I'll finish "someday". Some I have serious doubts about. I really need to make a list and start working my way thru some of these. Every so often the starting thing just gets carried away and I realize I have Too Many going at once. And I need to take control and get some stuff done. I think I've reached that point. I'm ready to go on a finishing binge.... stay tuned right here, same time, same station.

Aliy's puppies are an absolute joy. Such good girls... they are quiet most of the time, they usually nurse well and are growing so fast - they have each gained 6 ounces already. They did give me a scare today.... they started crying around 5 am. They SCREAMED for hours... and wouldn't nurse at all. I got scared and took them to the vet after 6 hours of SCREAMING. Of course as soon as we got there they got quiet. And started nursing. The vet thinks the problem at home was they were hot. All the books say to keep the whelping box at 90 degress. That's way too hot for a northern breed and I know that, so I've been keeping it at around 80 degrees. Apparently that is still too hot. So we are looking to stay around 72 - 75 degrees now. You'd think I'd never done this before the way I'm acting with these guys. My paranoia is all fall out from the "Pumpkin Disaster" (a story for another day) from a few years ago. I need to get over it.

Anne at 10:33 PM        

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good

Oakley is coming along nicely, see....

... which is good. BUT...I went out to the Berrocco site today and just happened to notice there is an errata for the pattern. YIKES! How can a pattern that's basically just garter stitch have an error in it?? That brings us to....

The Bad

The "error" is that the pattern in the book calls for 5 balls of Suede. But it should say 6. So I am short one ball. Off I go to my LYS. They had several balls the last time I was there... OF COURSE they will still have it! Nope. Sold it all this morning. They will order me another ball, I doubt the dye lots will match but I imagine most of it will be used for fringe. Oh Well. And now for...

The Ugly

Can I enter a yarn store without buying something? No. That's ugly.

The lovely purple Suede (this yarn is really growing on me!) will be used to make this cute little cellphone bag. The Opulent and Quest will be used to make this glitzy scarf. Cheers to Berrocco for all their great free patterns!

And you know, Lion Brand is doing a pretty good job with pattern support these days as well. While in Wal-Mart I happened across a pattern for a really nice scarf in Lion Brand Boucle and Fun Fur so I had to get this...

Yes, I am weak.

My Hero

My friend Mary is my hero. Really. Read her blog and you'll understand why.

Anne at 8:19 PM        

Monday, June 21, 2004
Introducing the newest little WhiteStars....

Born between 6 am and 10 am this morning....

l-r Mama Aliy, Red Girl, Black Girl, Purple Girl, Yellow Girl

4 beautiful girls, it just doesn't get any better :) :) To see more, visit Aliy's World.

Anne at 5:48 PM        

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Still. No. Puppies.

I have spent the last 24 hours watching Aliy not have puppies. So far no temperature drop. She's still eating. She's acting completely normal. Obviously *SHE* is not ready even though *I* am. So what have I been doing while I watch her not have puppies?

Mindless Knitting

What could be more mindless than straight garter stitch row after row. Even more mindless than Oakley wich requires you to remember to add a stitch each row.

I earned my keep in the Acrylics Anonymous Web Ring with this project as well. It's made of Lion Brand Boucle which is mostly acrylic with 20% Mohair. See the Gallery Page for a link to the free pattern on the Lion brand site.

Just What I Need. More Yarn.

I did go out briefly today... Aliy needed more Gumdrops. While I was out I stopped by one of my LYS, Green Valley Weavers, and picked up 6 balls of Phoenix Soy Silk Yarn and a Jill Vosburg pattern for the Crystal Cove Pullover. I know, I know, I'm not supposed to buy yarn just any old time.... but I have no willpower.

Also picked up 4 skeins of Filatura di Crosa Baby Kid Extra. Instead of ripping out my Enchanted Lace Jacket, (see sidebar on left), I'm going to just start over with New Yarn. Who wants to rip out 1000 yards of laceweight mohair anyway???

Just Because

I leave you with a picture of Ilsa telling secrets to her best friend Kelly. See, I'm earning my keep in the Purling Puppies Web Ring today too!

Anne at 7:10 PM        

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Questions, Questions, Questions....

Halfway done!!!! Or not????

Progress since last picture!

I finished up the second front of the Oriental Coat. Full picture right here. At least, according to the pattern I'm halfway finished. But I'm not sure I like the length of the sleeves. I am making the size small and the finished sleeve length from center back to end of sleeve is 26 inches. The sleeves on my Toreador Jacket are 25 inches and they are 3/4 sleeves. I think 26 inches will be too long for an attractive 3/4 sleeve and too short for me to like. So I'm thinking about continuing on and following the sleeve diagram for the size large. That would make them 30 inches. I need to go do some measuring. Based on yarn requirements for the large I SHOULD have enough yarn. Except.....

What to do, What to do....

When I made my Toreador Jacket I had a LOT of yarn left over. 3 full skeins of one color, 2 skeins of another color, a full skein of the third color and most of the fourth color. So when I saw the yarn requirements for the Oriental Jacket I figured I could fudge a little. See that bright green color in the little squares in the picture above? Well I had most of one skein and I was able to buy one more skein inthat color. The pattern called for 3 but I figured almost two would be enough. Well, I'm out. I have maybe 4 yards left. Do I know the color number so I can order more from somewhere? No. Does the store I got it from know the color number? No. I have purchsed two other skeins which contain the same greens and am wondering if i can slip them in on the back and have it not be too noticeable. Of course the store did not have two skeins the same, so if I run out of the one on the left I'd have to start on the one on the right. What do you think? Will it look okay or really bad? Could be interesting, could be tacky.

The yarn in the middle is what I have left of my original color. On the left we have added some pinks. On the right, more pinks.

I've done about 3 more inches on Oakley, makes for boring pictures though... just bigger triangles.

I'm trying to set up a Gallery of items I've recently completed, it will grow slowly as I take pictures. Eventually I'd like to have a Gallery of my beadwork as well.

Aliy's termperature is still holding steady, no puppies today...

Anne at 12:20 PM        

Sunday, June 13, 2004
Estes Park Wool Market 2004

Lucky me, I spent yesterday in the beautiful Colorado mountains at the Estes Park Wool Market. And what did I get at the Estes Park Wool Market? Since I had designated early in the year that it would be one of the "special events" at which I would allow myself to buy yarn, I could have gone crazy purchasing some of the gorgeous and exotic yarns that many of the vendors had. Instead I chose to use almost all my money on **new spindles**!.

My first purchase was at the Woolly Designs booth. Tracy Eichheim is once again making spindles and what wonderful spindles they are. I'd heard good things about them, and the pictures on his web site show them to be quite beautiful... but I'm not one to buy before trying. I'm pleased to report they spin as wonderful as they look. I could not decide on one, so I ended up with two.

left: Sun Moon and Star's low whorl. right: Kokopelli high whorl.

My next purchase was at the Handspun by Stefania booth. I was quite taken by a polymer spindle by Michelle Fox of Fox Den Fiber Arts. The other spindle that immediately caught my eye was one by Steven Kundert. I had been considering one exactly like it that has been on The Bellwethersite for quite some time.

left: Fox Den Fiber Arts Polymer, right: Steven Kundert Zig-Zag in Wenge, Pau Amarillo, Cherry, Maple, Walnut w/Walnut shaft

I was happy with my two purchases when who should arrive at the booth other than Gabe Jaramillo, the maker of Cascabeles Spindles. I have one of the first Cascables that I bought years ago, it is beautiful but not the greatest spinner. But after reading Staisia's recent post about how much she liked her new Cascables, I decided I should take closer look at what Gabe was bringing to the market. Stasia was right, I ended up with two. :)

left: Wormy Alabama Apple on Wormy Alabama Apple w/ freshwater pearls, Mahogany shaft. right:Ebony on Wormy Spalted Maple w/hematite beads and turquoise chips, Maple shaft.

Next stop was the Bountiful booth. As usual, Lois and Bud had dozens of gorgeous Greensleeves Spindles. I have a lot of spindles I really like, but for sheer beauty, variety of size and weight, shape and wood, nothing compares to what is produced by Bart and Elizabeth of Greensleeves. And they spin well too! I found three that had to go home with me. I also brought home a pound of Lois' lovely Alpine Meadow Fiber in Black Lake VI colorway.

left to right: Bountiful Rose in Pau Amarillo, Paduak, Tulipwood and ??? w/Paduak shaft, Fox in Birds Eye Maple and Bolivian Rosewood w/Ebony shaft, Katharines Cup in two kinds of Mahogany w/ Mahogany shaft

Non-spindle related purchases included a Spalted Enlgish Beech lucet from Susan at Susan's Fiber Shop. I also purchased Eileen Hallman's *excellent* charka video. I watched it this morning and I already believe I may someday be able to use that charka I bought on sale last year!

The final purchase was a pattern for a shawl. The designer is Rita O'Connell of Earth Heart Designs presently residing in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, soon to relocate to somehwhere in the northlands. The pattern is called "Eyelet Ridge Shawl Variations" and it's really a bunch of different shawls based on one simple garter/eyelet ridge stitch. The one that really caught my eye was one that had a beaded, twisted fringe knit on to the edge as you go. I've never seen this technique used or described anywhere else.

So that's the story - I bought no yarn at all but lots of other goodies instead.

Next thing on the agenda here at WhiteStar is PUPPIES!!!! Aliy is due anytime after today... my guess is it will be around Wednesday. She was x-rayed on Friday and we saw four puppies in there ready and waiting to come out. If you want to keep up to date on what's happening with her, checkout her blog for all the up to to the date information.

That's all from the high plains today!

Anne at 12:01 PM        

Thursday, June 10, 2004
Koigu Confessions

I love Koigu. I mean I really love it. If I were stranded on a desert island and could only have one yarn, it would be Koigu Painters Palette Premium Merino.

So far I have used it to make a pair of socks. The Charlotte's Web shawl. The Gypsy shawl. The Toreador Jacket. The Rock Star scarf from Knitty.

On the needles I have a second pair of socks. A second Rock Star scarf. And the Oriental Jacket.

But that's not all. I recently purchased more Koigu from the boys at ThreadBear to make another Charlotte.

If that were all I had, that would be enough, right? But the truth is that when a local store decided they were going to discontinue Koigu (they said no one bought it but me - what's WRONG with these people??!??)I bought out their entire stock at HALF PRICE. At the time that was $4.40 a skein. For Koigu. How could I not? Add that to the stash I already had and I have about 50 skeins. Maybe 60. Maybe more.

Anne at 10:16 PM        

Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Except for the buttons.....

.... Fiona is done!

And yes I said buttons - as in 2 buttons for 2 pockets instead of just one. I needed one for my cell phone and one for my PDA.

Fiona is cute but as I feared a bit floppy and shapeless. I may line it, that would probably give it some additional stability. And I may make a second drawstring for it so it can be pulled from both sides

Have about 6 inches done on Oakley...

Not sure how I feel about this one either. The color is great and it does look like suede. But the fabric is much lighter in weight than I expected and does not yet have the drape I had hoped. I am enjoying the knitting. Plain old garter stitch is great for when attention cannnot be given to the project but you *need* to be working on something to keep your hands busy. I can't believe I used to be a garter stitch snob.... if it was in garter *I* was certainly not going to knit it! When executed well, with even stitches, it is rapidly becoming my favorite for many things.

Blog note: Someone finally left me a note in my tagborad. THANKS SHARE! It's hard to know if anyone is even looking at the blog... I know it's new.... and it's mostly just for me, but it's nice to know that someone is seeing it!

Signing out from the high plains...

Anne at 9:49 AM        

Monday, June 07, 2004
Bits and Pieces

Apparently some people believe blogs should be one dimensional. That a blog must be a "knitting blog" or a "book blog" or a "dog blog" and that the subject matter should not overlap. I just don't think life is like that, especially not my life. I do have my Aliy's World blog up right now, which is devoted to Aliy and her upcoming litter, but that is meant to be specialized, written specifically for the people interested in her litter of puppies. But this blog, this is about the rest of my life. And my life is about more than just knitting.

Plus I find the blogs that interest me the most contain multiple facets of a person's life. I love Share's blog because it describes her life.. which is very very different from mine, yet we have a common bond thru the knitting we both do.

I feel sorry for people who are so mean spirited (insecure? unhappy?) they feel they must criticize and tear apart that which they don't agree with. Intelligent disagreement and discussion, as well as constructive criticism I understand, but destructive commentary meant to do nothing but denigrate the lives of others is something I can't fathom and have little use for in my life.

With that all being said I bring you to my non-knitting updates.... Ilsa came close to finishing her championship this weekend... she took reserve winners AGAIN.. this means she still needs 3 more points to finish. With puppies on the way, I'm not sure when we will be at another dog show.

Speaking of puppies, Aliy is getting bigger and bigger by the day. It's somewhere around 2 weeks to Puppy Day!

As for knitting news... I went on a Fiona binge and am just about to complete the body of the bag. I am a little disappointed at how "floppy" it's going to be. It is a cutely shaped bag but I think when completed and filled items, it will be pretty shapeless. We'll see.

I also spent some time this weekend working on a special project for a special person. One of my dearest friends in the world, Mary, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin's disease. She had her first chemo treatment last Thursday, the doctors tell her she will lose her hair before the next treatment. So I, who has never had the slightest interest in making a hat EVER, am making chemo caps for Mary. I'm not going to post pictures on the off chance Mary is reading this. She knows I'm making them, but I want the colors and yarns to be a surprise for her. Suffice it to say that they are not "ordinary" since Mary is no ordinary person. :)

I did a little bit on Oakley, maybe about 2 inches, and nothing at all on the Oriental Jacket. Definitely nothing picture worthy. Oh yeah, I did start Mezza Luna... finished one crescent, again not picture worthy.

I think that about does it for dogs, knitting and life on the high plains today.

Anne at 10:36 PM        

Thursday, June 03, 2004
Resistance is Futile

I have no willpower

It is just too hard to walk in a yarn store and NOT buy yarn. I had a New Years resolution to only buy yarn at "special places" this year, or for "special" things. Special places included my stop at LaLana Wools back in March, the Estes Park Wool festival next weekend and the HWGA Convergence in July. Specail things included the yarn for my Koigu Oriental Jacket.

I was doing really well until this past month.

So here I present yesterdays newly purchased items....

First we have 5 skeins of Berrocco Suede to make a lovely large scarf/small shawl called Oakley. Already (barely) started...

Then we have the yarn for the lovely Mezza Luna felted bag from Janet Scanlon at The yarns I chose were Reynolds Donegal Tweed in wine for the strap and a combination of a varigated wool from Plymouth (lost the tag - don't know what it is!) and Reynolds Turnberry Tweed in pink for the body of the bag...

Then I simply could not resist buying 7 skeins of this gorgeous Turnberry Tweed in what looks to me like Monet Watercolor Blues. I think this will become the Cottage Pullover from Sally Melville's Purl Stitch.

Koigu Oriental Jacket Progress

Got a lot done the last few days!

I also updated the progress picture on the sidebar to the can see the whole jacket layed out all at once.

Lunch is over - back to work!

Anne at 12:49 PM        

getting a dog?
Read this first!!

on the needles
30. Fletcher
Noro Transitions

29. Rosedale
Patons SWS

28. Forecast
Cascade Quatro

27. Lady Eleanor (again)
Patons SWS

26. Marble Shawl Collar Sweater
Karabella Marble

25. Serrano
Dale Baby Ull

24. Tamarah
Artyarns Regal Silk, Silk Mohair

23. Apricot(Plum) Jacket
DB Cashmerino Chunky

22. Rusted Root
BS Cotton Fleece

21. Not So Shrunken Cardigan
Lavold Sily Wool

20. Sizzle
Nashua Kim

19. Hanging Garden Stole
KP Alpaca Cloud

18. Log Cabin Blanket
Cascade Pima Tencel

17. Mystery Stole 2
Crazy Monkey Lace

16. Petticoat Sallops
Opal Petticoat

15. CeCe
Lambspun Silk

14. Hyrna Herborgar
Silk for Life

13. Sea Foam Shawl
LaLana Phat Silk

12. Diamond Fantasy Shawl
CTH Possum Lace

11. Evergreen Cardi

10. Mystery Shawl 3

9. Jaywalkers
LL Shepherd Sock

8. Pi @ Sunrise Shawl
Crazy Monkey Lace

7. Follow the Leader Aran
BS Naturespun Worsted

6. Peacock Feathers lace

5. Kiri Shawl
Rowan Kidsilk Haze

4. Sampler Shawl
Starmore Campion

3. Highland Triangle Shawl
America's Alpaca

2. Leaf Lace Shawl
Misti Alpaca Lace

1. Total Maze Cardigan
Araucania Nature Wool


finished in 2006
1/21 - Shadow of Love Socks
1/31 - Pineapple Jacket
2/5 - Smokin' Blueberry Socks
2/7 - Angora Fingerless Mitts
3/9 - Neopolitan Socks
3/18 - Summer Scallop Socks
3/30 - Spectrum: Red & Pink
4/2 - Felted Clogs
4/15 - Violets by the River
5/3 - Felted Hedgehog
5/6 - Felted B-4 Bag
6/15 - Pomatomus Socks
7/1 - Snapdragon Socks
9/11 - Simple Knitted Bodice
9/13 - White,Biscuit,Cream Shawl
9/14 - Something Lilac
10/4 - Cabbage Rose Socks
10/29 - Neck Warmer
11/15 - Lady Eleanor


finished in 2005
1/21 - Seascape Shawl
2/12 - Wool Peddler's Shawl
3/21 - Fir Cone Square Shawl
3/25 - Misty Garden Scarf
4/7 - Obi
4/30 - Truly Tasha's Shawl
5/19 - Ivy
6/19 - Tasha II Shawl
7/13 - Cherry Blossom Shawl
7/26 - Mom's Birthday Shawl
8/9 - Birch Shawl
8/28 - Mystery Shawl
10/4 - Herbal Remedy
10/5 - Rosy Fingered Dawn
11/18 - Mystery Shawl 2
12/6 - Ostrich Plumes Triangle
12/26 - In The Dark Socks
12/29 - Red, Red, RED! Scarf


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My Noro Philosophy:
ALWAYS have something Noro
on the needles!
  WIP: Twice as Nice

I live in Colorado.
I raise and show Samoyeds.
I knit.
I spin.
I do beadwork.
I have too many beads.
I have too much yarn.
I love to start new projects.

talk to me
whitestarsams (at) hpi (dot) net

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