Knitting, Dogs and Life on the High Plains

Thursday, March 31, 2005
Cheater Knitting Part 2

I got more yarn.

I finished both backs.

I bound off the shoulders together and cast off around the neck.

Next.. the sleeves.

It's all been SO EASY... it really does feel like cheating.

Of course when I have to start the ribbing for around the neck it won't seem so quick and easy... miles of ribbing over 28 stitches....

I wonder if I could do a simple slip stitch pattern? If I can... then maybe that stash of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino can turn into this more quickly than I had hoped?

Babe Stuff

I got Babe's win picture from Arizona the other day. Not the greatest picture, but not the worst I've seen by far.

One, Two, Three, Four, (Maybe Five!)

Want to see a picture of Ravens' babies....pre-birth? Here you go! Visit Raven's blog for more information!

Anne at 8:39 AM        

Monday, March 28, 2005
When Is A Dog Not A Dog?

How stupid is this?

Anne at 4:25 PM        

Cheater Knitting

Sometime the middle of last year I decided I wanted to knit Obi. I bought some Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in purple and green from my LYS and got started. When I got to within an inch of finishing the first front half I realized that my gauge, despite having been *perfect* in the swatch, was way off.

Now if you have never looked at the Obi pattern you wouldn't know that the finished chest width is 93". Yes, that is ninety three inches. We are talking a LOT of (very boring) stockinette stitch.

So there I was faced with ripping several weeks worth of work. Starting over from scratch. Plus the purple and green stripes looked like a Rugby shirt.

What did I do?

What any self respecting knitter would do, I stuffed it in the very bottom of my knitting basket.

This past weekend I was cleaning up the basement and came across my Studio LK-150 Hobby Knitter. Obi immediately popped into my mind.

Since I was not thrilled with the purple and green combination I returned the untouched skeins of green and bought dark chocolatey brown instead.

Pulled out the Hobby Knitter, did a few swatches and look:

That's both fronts and half the back. The back is so wide (244 stitches) I have to do it in two pieces.

I am doing the ribbing by hand... it takes longer to knit the one inch of ribbing on the bottom than to knit the rest of the piece.

If I had not run out of yarn (Who knew that Jamieson's resized their skeins and I was working off "wrong" yardages?? Not me. Not the ladies at the LYS.) I could have finished the majority of the knitting today.

One ICK though... even though my skeins are all the same dye lot, I have a very noticeable stripe where I changed skeins in one place... at least it is in the back.

How Many Scarves Does One Person Need?

I don't know the answer to that question. I do know I have another new one...

More (and bigger) pictures on the Misty Garden page in the Gallery.

An Unsettling Trend

Did the article in the most recent INKniiters about knitting with FUR bother anyone else but me? I'm not talking about yarn made of spun animal fur (like angora) I'm talking about slaughtered, skinned animal pelts made into yarn. First that article, and now this. Yuck!

Responding to Comments...

Robyn asked how many skeins of Silky Wool the Fir Cone Square took. According to the book I was going to need 12. I ended up using just over 10.

Jessica asked how Color on Color is progressing. It's not. I have not totally abandoned it, I just get easily sidetracked.

What's The Deal With Cadbury Creme Eggs?

I have read on several blogs that people have a hard time finding these Easter goodies in some parts of the country. Jon even mentioned he went to THREE stores and could not locate any. Meanwhile here in Colorado they are on every Wal-Mart, Target and SafeWay shelf.

I don't even care for them that much (now if they were made with DARK chocolate...) but I still felt the need to buy (and eat) them...

Anne at 11:17 AM        

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
It's All About Fir Cone Square

Finished. Blocked. And already worn.

Fir Cone relaxes in the morning sun.

My favorite part, the border...

More detail and bigger pictures at the official Fir Cone Square page in the Gallery.

Unexpected Ikat

As I decide on what "big" project to tackle next, I got back to knitting Misty Garden from the Scarf Style book. Can you tell where I changed skeins?

Isn't that interesting how the green stripe is lining up almost perfectly along the center of the scarf? And the edges are coming out almost perfectly even in the darker rose color? I could not have done this so well if I had tried.

Since it is the middle of three skeins to be used, and I'm assuming the third skein will go back to the same randomness the first had so I will have some symmetry (not that symmetry is always important...) I'm going to leave it as is.

Anne at 10:55 AM        

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
It's Blocking!!

I cast off last night and blocked it this morning.


Excuse the wonky picture... it's actually 4 pictures not-so-seamlessly put together. It was just too big to fit all in one frame of the camera. And it should be bigger.

The pattern says to block to 63 inches square. I had plenty of give in the knitting to do that, but my blocking board was too small, so instead it is blocked to just under 60 inches.

Is this an excuse to buy a king sized bed?

If I really want it to be bigger I could fold it in half and block that way...

Now the question is.... what to start next? Or do I finish something already started???

Anne at 11:22 AM        

Monday, March 21, 2005
Let's Play Catch Up!!

First I was obsessed with the Iditarod (see previous post).

Then I went to Kansas. And had a flat tire on I-70 15 miles from Colby Kansas at 8:30 AM on a Saturday morning. You do know those little miniature spare tires that come on most cars these days are entirely worthless, don't you?

A big THANK YOU to the guys at J and J Oil in Colby for getting me a new tire and putting me back on the road. I made my ring time in Garden City just fine!
Then I came home and was obsessed with the Iditarod some more. Norwegian Robert Sorlie stole the show .... and the Norwegians just may be changing the face of the last Great Race for good....

Yes I Have Been Knitting

When I started work on the Fir Cone Square deep down inside I wondered if I'd EVER finish it. I was pretty certain that at some point it would get tossed aside as most of my projects do. It's resurrection and completion would be uncertain. I thought if I was really lucky I'd finish it some time next year.

Well lookee here:

That the very end of the outside border edging. Less than 5 full repeats to go. That's less than 5 of the 124 repeats totaling over 1700 rows of edging. And it WILL be 100% complete by the end of today. Depending on what time I get it blocking, there may be pictures by tomorrow.

It took me less than 6 weeks.

Wow. Sometimes I impress/surprise myself!

And In Other News...

Last month my company asked many of us to give up our desks in the office. Not a big deal as I was already working from home 4 days a weeks. But knowing this is now my "only office" made it seem important that it be more "office like".

The room that I have my work computer in does double duty as "the library" and "the nursery" when we have puppies. In addition to several hundred (mostly knitting) books in two huge bookcases, it also housed 12 years worth of dog show rosettes and trophies in a built in floor to ceiling shelf. The ribbons and trophies were all piled on (and falling off of) this shelf:

Doesn't it look nice and very "Trading Spaces" now?

The ribbons have been packed off into a box until I can figure out what to do with them.

The trophies have been packed away or put to use. The huge silverplate bowl Kachina won at the 98 National in California is now holding potatoes and onions in the kitchen. The small silver bowl that Pumpkin won in Texas in 99 is now holding knitting doodads on the living room end table. And the glass bowl that KT won in 97 at the Denver Akita Specialty is holding paper clips and "desk junk" on my office desk. And so on.

What good is all this stuff, what good is ANY stuff, if it is never used?

I still have to clear away all the files and JUNK off the floor, but within a day or so the office/library/nursery will be the cleanest and neatest it's been in about 10 years... and then I can start construction on the whelping box in readiness for puppies in a couple weeks.

This Is Spring?

As long as I don't have to go out in it, (and as long as it' sonly for a day or so) I love looking out at the cold gray days of Springtime in the Rockies.

Snow and about 35 degrees today, it was about 70 on Saturday and 60 yesterday. Gotta love it or you need to leave it.

Anne at 4:32 PM        

Friday, March 11, 2005

It's Iditarod time.

Some people wait all year for the Superbowl, some people live for the World Series. For me the Big Sports Event of the year is the Last Great Race.

As always the coverage provided by Cabelas is top notch.

This years race is full of drama, just as they always are...

Legally blind rookie musher, 19 year old Rachael Scodoris is running what appears to be a solid race so far, back in the pack but showing no signs of faltering.

4 time Iditarod champion Martin Buser, who accidentally amputated a finger just 4 days before the race started, is at the top of the pack, running neck and neck with 2003 champion Robert Sorlie.

Breast cancer survior and one of my favorite mushers Dee Dee Jonrowe is running with the top of the pack this year again, her best race since 1998.

5 time champion Rick Swenson had to scratch yesterday.

And everyone is wondering if 4 time champion Doug Swingley, back this year after having to scratch last year when he froze his corneas, can pull a rabbit out of his hat and move from his position at the back of the leader pack to the front.

And there are even TWO mushers running from Colorado!

For the latest race results, click here.

Anne at 7:10 AM        

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
We're Back and We Have News!

Babe, Ilsa and I got back into town early yesterday morning. We had planned to arrive home very late Monday night, but we did not get as early a start as we hoped and the drive just got to be too much about midnite, so we stopped for the night in Raton, New Mexico. That's only about 2.5 hours from where I live, but my friend Kris still had another couple hours to go beyond that, and it was just Too Much to consider.

We had a great time. The weather was good all but one day.... would it be Arizona in early March if we didn't get rained on??? Unfortunately the one day it rained was also the day my family came out to watch us. At least Babe placed in her class that day.

Babe is Not Round Any More - She's Pointed!

Not only did we have lots of fun seeing good friends and family, but it was also a successful show for all my friends! Kris' puppy Faith took major points towards her championship as did the dogs belonging to my friends Bobbie, Ginger, Susan and Nancy. Best of all my very own Babe took her first major as well! It's not too often (like, NEVER before!!) we all get so lucky at one show.

Really Big News!!!

Yesterday afternoon Raven had an ultrasound appointment to see if she is pregnant.

Guess what?

She is!! First pictures right here!

Just like I did last year with Aliy, I've created a blog just for Raven so if you are interested in experiencing the pregnancy and birth with us, check out That's So Raven regularly to see what's going on. Of course a few puppy pictures will end up here too :)

Did Someone Say "Knitting"?

I actually got a little tiny bit of knitting done while I was away. A very tiny bit.

About an inch on the In-The-Dark socks and about 3 rows on the Fir Cone Square.

Pictures tomorrow, I promise!

Anne at 8:08 PM        

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
And We're Off!!!

In just a few hours Babe, Ilsa and I are off to Arizona for the big 5 day Scottsdale dog show.

The weather is supposed to be beautiful this year.. FINALLY! Two years ago it was freezing cold and poured rain for five days. Five straight days of pouring rain is almost unheard of in Phoenix, but lucky me, I got to experience it! Last year was better, but it still rained a little and was certainly not warm. You don't go down to Phoenix in February fo 50 degree weather! This year the prediction is for mid to high 70s. ahhhhhh.........

Going with me will be the Fir Cone Square Shawl, the Misty Garden Scarf and a pair of socks I started just this morning. I needed some "in the dark" knitting for the long 12 hour drive tonight and neither Fir Cone nor Misty Garden were the answer but plain stockinette socks should fit the ticket.

Will I actually get any knitting done? We'll see.

Raven is a Pin-Up Girl!

Raven is the March picture on the Browntrout Samoyed calendar. That's her, third picture on the top row.

I wonder if Riggs is jealous?

The $42 Magazine Mystery

After seeing Wendy's comment to my post of the other day about the price she paid for the latest Rowan magazine (NOT $42) I checked around a bit. All the sites I found online are either charging their usual price or only a dollar or two more.

So I called my LYS and told them what I'd seen. They said they didn't know what to say as they were charged (by a distibutor? by Rowan?) almost twice their ususal price and had to price it accordingly.

Very odd.

Where Does Your Dog Sleep?

Mine sleeps in the bathtub.

Anne at 1:05 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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