Knitting, Dogs and Life on the High Plains

Friday, February 25, 2005
Shapeless Bag

The Fir Cone Square Shawl is progressing nicely but I'm not sure how many more progress pictures I'll post between now and it's completion. Since picking up stitches on all 4 edges to knit the wide outer borders, it looks like nothing other than a shapeless bag. See:

Maybe I will stick to stitch detail shots...

What Difference a Needle Makes!

As you know if you've been reading since I started the Fir Cone Square, I've been raving about how wonderful it's been to knit with the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. I started the shawl on a 24 inch Addi Turbo and the stitches just FLEW off the needles.

But the 24 inch length was too short (irregardless of what the pattern directions say) when it came time to pick up stitches on all 4 edges so I dug up a 40 soemthing inch Addi bamboo.

UGH!!! It was awful.

Now this is a nice needle but NOT for this yarn. After doing a little over an inch on the border my hands and fingers ached from pushing the stitches around. So off to my LYS I went in search of a longer Addi Turbo. Unfortunately all I could find was 32 inches... which I bought and am using but I will search this weekend for something even longer. It's is still WAY BETTER than the sticky bamboo was.

$42? For a MAGAZINE?

While at the LYS I paged thru the latest Rowan "magazine". I buy this rather infrequently given their usual $25 price tag and my already huge collection of Patterns I Will Never Knit. If there is something in it that I really really REALLY think I might make, I buy a copy. Otherwise I don't, knowing they will always be available to back order should I feel the desparate need to acquire one.

In the latest issue I fell in love with the Sharon Miller Kid Silk Haze cardigan. Since I have a huge stach of Douceur et Soie I decided that I could splurge the $25 for a copy of the magazine... there would be no yarn purchase involved.

Imagine my horror whan I checked the price and discovered this issue is $42. Yes Forty Two Dollars for what Rowan self-proclaims on the cover to be a "magazine".

I put it back on the shelf and instead purchased the Rowan Treasury which at $45 for 80 classic Rowan patterns in a hard covered book suddenly seemed to be a great deal.

The Old One.

This is Dakota the Pseudo Siberian Husky

She is a dog we rescued from the shelter over 11 years ago. She was 12 last July, she has been blind for the last several years and just may be The Best Dog Ever. I'm not sure how much longer she will be with us, and that makes me so sad to think about.

Anne at 7:22 AM        

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Where I've Been

At a dog show of course!

This past Friday thru Monday was the kick off of the show year for the WhiteStar Sammies. Babe, Ilsa, Kelly and I went up to the big (2800+ dogs) shows in Denver where Babe made her show ring debut in style winning Best of Opposite in Puppy Sweepstakes at the specialty show, going undefeated in the Bred-By-Exhibitor class all 4 days and finishing up the weekend with Reserve Winners Bitch to a major. Not too bad for a puppy who just turned 8 months old yesterday!

Kelly had a nice weekend too. On Sunday she took Best of Opposite Sex over a field of other girls that included two Best in Show dogs!

It was a really fun weekend, and I especially enjoyed watching some of the winners from last weeks Westminster Show as they made a stop in Denver. That Great Pyrenees is really something up close and personal.

Did I Do Any Knitting?

I knit while watching other breeds show. I knit while watching group judging. Here is the progress so far on the Fir Cone Square Shawl...

I am way farther along then I thought I'd be in such a short time. 10 of the 12.5 required repeats for the center square are already done! When I began this project I expected that finishing the center square would take me several months given how I tend to flit from project to project. But the Silky Wool is so nice to knit I just can't seem to stop.

Here's some (unblocked) stitch detail:

I'd really like to get the center square completed and the stitches for the outer edges picked up before I leave for my Arizona trip. I have exactly one week from just about an hour ago.

One More Thing

Last week in the comments, Jon asked when we'd know if Raven is pregnant.

The problem with dogs is that after a girl goes in season, her hormones do exactly the same thing whether she is pregnant or not, so it can be really difficult to tell until it's OBVIOUS. There is no EPT for dogs.

There is a blood test, which can be done at about 30 days post breeding, which looks for something called Relaxin in the blood. Veterinarians have no idea why pregnant dogs have Relaxin in their blood or what it is for and some people don't believe the test is very accurate.

Some people have the dog's abdomen palpated when they are about 28 days post breeding. A good vet can often tell if there are puppies, but again it's not 100% accurate and sometimes if there are only one or two pups they can't be felt.

The other option, and what I will probably do with Raven, is have her ultrasounded, again at about 28 days post breeding. Still not 100% accurate but it really is pretty cool to actually see the little guys before they are born. Here is the result of Aliy's ultrasound last summer.

In Raven's case, I'll be taking her in after I get back from Arizona, probably about 2 weeks from today.

Anne at 4:03 PM        

Monday, February 14, 2005
Second Finished Project of the Year!!

Surprise! It's a shawl!

Unfortunately I am totally unable to get a decent picture of the whole thing. I really think I need a mannequin.

This was a really fast and fun knit, I highly recommend it to anyone craving a toasty warm shawl.

Bigger pictures on the Wool Peddler's Shawl page!

I finished one shawl and started another. Yes, definitely hooked on shawls right now.

This is the beginnings (with provisional cast on in pink) of the Fir Cone Square Shawl, also from Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls book. I'm using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool for this one and it is just as wonderful to knit with as the Elsebeth Lavold Angora was.

Lookee What I Got....

... for Valentines Day! I LOVE IT!!!

Why do I have an overwhelming urge to call it Irving???

Raven, the Mama Dog??

Since being bred recently, Raven seems to be very contemplative to me. Does this mean she is pregnant??

Dead On Correct Quiz.

Usually I think these quiz things are dumb. But this one was so right it was scary.

You scored as Intrapersonal. You prefer your own inner world, you like to be alone, and you are aware of your own strengths, weaknesses, and feelings. You learn best by engaging in independent study projects rather than working on group projects. People like you include entrepreneurs, philosophers and psychologists.

The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

Anne at 8:08 AM        

Monday, February 07, 2005
Angora Yumminess

It is a real shame that this picture can't convey the softness and weight of this fabric.

Since starting this shawl early last week I have been obsessed with it. I want to be holding it and petting it and knitting it constantly. I can already feel it wrapped around me after it is completed. Yummmmmmm.......

Like a Lemming

Despite my obsession with the Angora Prairie Shawl, that does not mean I have forsaken all other projects.

On Saturday evening I felt the need to start something new. I planned to spend Sunday at a puppy match with Babe. I was meeting friends there and after the match one of my friends had an opthamalogist appointment to have her to 14 week old puppies CERF'd. And after that we were planning to head back to her house to try for a third breeding between my girl Raven and her boy Riggs.

Trying to get these two bred has been a story unto itself.

I knew the day would be filled with a lot of watching and waiting and I needed something to fill the time. Ruffles is an easy knit, good for TV watching and waiting room knitting. But I have discovered with all it's short rows, it is not conducive to conversation. And it's a bitch to rip out if you make a mistake.

Both the Total Maze cardigan and the Prairie Shwal, while easy knitting, have just gotten too big to haul around.

So I started on another project from Scarf Style.

Misty Garden, which is supposed to be knit in Jo Sharp Illusion Mohair. Mine is being knit with Queensland Collection Rare Comfort Mohair. It is my understanding they are the EXACT SAME YARNS!!! Only the Queensland Collection is usally about 50 cents a ball cheaper... Even the color codes are the same. How odd.

The Very Beautiful (and Very Frosty) Ilsa

Anne at 4:49 PM        

Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Any 24 Fans Out There?

Was I the only one who let out a huge cheer when Tony came thru the door?

Rabbit-Rabbit everyone.

Anne at 6:53 AM        

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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