Knitting, Dogs and Life on the High Plains

Sunday, August 28, 2005
Doubled Up On Diamonds

That is what I have decided to call my Mystery Shawl.

By the way..... it's done!!

Here is is blocking:

I really like it now that it is complete.

It blocked out to about 70 inches across. If I had it to do over again I'd have done more repeats of Pattern 3, maybe 2 more, to make it a little bit larger.

I probably could have blocked it out a little bigger, but this is my first time using a singles laceweight wool and I was hesitant to pull it out too tightly. Some of the sopts in the yarn were very thin and others were very softly spun.

My favorite part?

More detail pictures on the Doubled Up on Diamonds page in the Gallery!

Now back to Kiri....

Anne at 6:21 PM        

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The Mystery Gets Bigger...

.... in fact it's big enough now that it's hard to photograph. So you get a detail shot....

That's part of Clue 4 at the top and Clue 3 at the bottom. I'm not quite done with Clue 4, but am right on schedule to finish it up for the unveiling of the final clue on Friday morning. And yes, it's looking like it will be big enough!

When I'm not knitting on my "Double Diamond Mystery Shawl" I'm working on Kiri....

Yes, Eilene, that color is Marmalade!

And of course I had to start something new... it's a sickness you know....

It's the Ostrich Plume Triangle Shawl from Mary McCall.
Some "big yarn" lace for a change. That's Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport.

Gratuitous Dog Picture

CH Krystall's Halloween Package WSX HIC HCTs aka "Pumpkin"

Anne at 4:20 PM        

Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Clue 3 Done, What Next?

So I think I like it...

I know I love the yarn. Look at those oh so subtle varigations. Lace can do variegated when it's monochrome.

Cracksilk Kidsilk Haze

Was it The Harlot who first called Kidsilk Haze by that name? I know that is where I first heard it. At the time I didn't understand. Now I do.

Since finishing Birch I have been at a loss as to what to knit. It's not like I don't have bunch of projects started and ten times that many in stash. But nothing appealed.

I wanted, no, I NEEDED, to knit with more Kidsilk Haze.

So I started on Kiri in the color Marmalade. Mmmmmmm......

And I'm swatching for Butterfly.

Brown on Brown

Max at 4 months, one week old

Want to see more mud? Click here.

Anne at 12:38 PM        

Tuesday, August 16, 2005
The Pantyhose Incident

Wendy asked about the "pantyhose incident" I referenced in a post a while back. It's the kind of thing that strikes terror in the souls of dog owners. It involved an 8 month old puppy, a pair of panty hose, perforated intestines and a really big vet bill. To make a very long story as short as possible...

Puppy eats pantyhose, puppy gets sick but no one knows puppy has eaten pantyhose.

Puppy goes to vet, is treated for a "tummy ache", put on fluids for 24 hours and sent home.

Two days later puppy begins screaming in pain, is rushed into emergency surgery Saturday afternoon where they discover and remove pantyhose from her stomach (2 incisions) and intestines and suture up 7 perforations in her intestine.

Puppy comes home 3 days later and spikes a 105 degree fever. Puppy is rushed back into emergency surgery late Wednesday night where they discover two more new perforations and that several of the original perforations have opened back up.

Puppy is transferred to a specialist Thursday morning where they discover still MORE perforations. They remove a foot of intestine as well as all the remaining original repairs which they redo. Put in an intestinal feeding tube. Give her multiple plasma transfusions. She gets round the clock care. It's touch and go for awhile.

Puppy recovers remarkably well.

Total vet bill? Let's just say I could have bought a brand new, small foreign car. Or a lifetimes worth of yarn.

Was it worth it? You bet. CH Polar Mist You've Got Mail HIC, aka "Kelly", is a joy to live with each and every day!

Kelly at almost 2 years old

What did I learn?

1) Dogs lie really well. They can be in a lot of pain and not show it.
2) IV or subcutaneous fluids mask symptoms. I now insist that any seriously ill dog be off fluids for 12 hours before they are released from the hospital into my care.
3) When a dog is really sick, see a specialist. There is a reason they are called SPECIALists. In the end it will save you money and possibly your pets life.
4) Dogs will eat ANYTHING.

Anne at 11:02 PM        

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Birch is done!

Now the really fun part.. BLOCKING. Blocking lace is like performing magic. It makes all the knitting so worth it.

Here we have Birch relaxing before being blocked. Notice how anemic it looks...

And not very big....

Taking a warm bath.

Being blocked....

See how much bigger!

And after blocking....

I am very pleased with Birch.

I did end up going down two needles sizes from an 8 to a 6. If I had not, Bitch would have been HUGE, over 9 feet across.

The pattern calls for it be blocked to 80 x 40 inches, my Birch did not stretch quite that big, but it's still plenty big enough at 75 x 35 inches. I think if I had used size 7 needles instead of the size 6 I'd have gotten more than 80 inches out of a blocked Birch.

I really ENJOY knitting the Kidsilk Haze on size 6. The swatching I'm doing in size 7 for Butterly is not nearly as easy to knit. And using the size 8, when I first started Birch, was just plain miserable.

More pictures on the Birch Page in the Gallery.

What Next?

I'm thinking about trying to finish up the Sampler Stole from Folk Shawls. Or maybe the Silk Corset. For now, I'm only swatching Butterfly - I WILL NOT START AYTHING NEW! I WILL not.. I will not.... We'll see....

Anne at 8:09 AM        

Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Birch Obsession

I've seen it before but I didn't think it would happen to me.

Knitters working on Birch become more and more obsessed the shorter and shorter the rows get.

I understand completely now.

Here is Birch with all the stitches finally able to be spread out on the needle. Birch has 30 vertical repeats of the pattern. I have completed 21, still have 9 to go. Because of the mathematics of triangular shawls, this means I am more than 90% done with Birch. Hopefully it will be blocking by Thursday morning.

And what will the next KidSilk Haze project be? Have you seen Eilene's GORGEOUS Butterfly? I am very very tempted....

The Mystery Continues

After seeing several pictures of the Mystery Shawl with Clue 2 completed, I decided to go for it. It's not like I have never ripped out almost completed projects if I don't like them.

So far I think it looks pretty good.

"Indestuctible Dog Toys"

This one is for Kathy:

That's a Combat Dog Toy, less than 24 hours after it's purchase.

Ever since the "pantyhose incident" which occurred two years ago this week, stuffed or fiber dog toys have been outlawed in my house. But when Kathy blogged about these toys last week I decided I needed to try them. She said her three BIG dogs couldn't destroy them, I figured the little WhiteStar Sammies had met their match.

Wrong again.

In all fairness, 3 of the 4 toys I bought are still surviving. Of course they have not received nearly the attention the little bear did.... I pulled the stuffing out and gave it back to the dogs. In the last half hour it has been passed around from Kira, to Max, to Kelly to Babe.

White on White

Max at Four Months

Anne at 10:42 AM        

Friday, August 05, 2005

Here we see the Mystery Shawl with part of Clue 2 completed. Notice anything distressing?

That's right, the patterns do not line up. No it's not a mistake, that is how it was written.

And this perfectly points out why I was leary of knitting something without a picture. To me this looks like someone just slapped a few lace patterns together and called it a design.

But I'm willing to give it a chance. It kind of looks like a heart surrounded diamonds.. so maybe it's okay.... but what happens at the next Clue when the pattern changes again????

I'm going to wait and let a few other people get farther along and view their pictures before I make any decisions on whether or not to continue.

They yarn is so nice I want to make sure I really like whatever is made out of it.

Birch was at 50% complete yesterday. See how I said "was"? I dropped a stitch on the edge and had to rip back. If the dropped stitch had been anywhere but the edge I might have tried to fix it without ripping, but no matter what I did the repair broke the line of the edging so out it came. Only about 10 rows, but still....

Anne at 11:07 AM        

Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Special Things

Recently I was reading on someone's blog about how we should not keep things that that are special to us hidden away only to be used, worn or enjoyed on special occasions. I came to that same conclusion earlier this year and so I use a crystal bowl that one of the dogs won as trophy to hold my knitting doodads on the table next to me. And I wear my lace shawls just because I want to. And I use the "good china" whenever I feel like it.

And then there is this:

Looks like a plain old dog bowl doesn't it? Well it is and it isn't.

We keep a bowl of dog biscuits on the counter at all times so we can grab some quickly when needed. The bowl that they are in used to sit on my trophy shelf, covered with dust. Now I see and use it every day. And I remember how it was won.

It wasn't one my dogs who won it or even me handling someone else's dog. It was won by a dog named Puckett and his handler Barbara. Barbara had Samoyeds for almost 30 years but had never had a champion until Puckett. Barbara was 73 when she got Puckett. She put every point on him and finished his championship all by herself.

When Puckett was three and had been doing a little bit of Group winning a big time judge told Barbara she needed to send Puckett out on the road with a professional handler because she was holding him back. With a really good handler he could be a top ten dog, maybe even a Best in Show winner.

Puckett is Barbara's best friend. The thought of sending him off with someone else was something she couldn't bear. She also knew he deserved to be seen at his best. So at the age of 76 Barbara decided to learn to be the best handler she could possibly be. And Puckett began to win. A lot. At the end of the year he was ranked number 3 in the country.

One year to the day after the judge had pulled her aside to give the well meant advice, when Pucket was 4 and Barbara was 77 she put two back to back Best In Show wins on him People used to laugh when they'd see the "little old lady" come in the ring with her beautiful white dog. And then'd she'd beat the pants off of them.

The weekend that Puckett and Barbara won the two Best in Shows, they won two of these bowls. It was actually a four day show and in addition to the two Best in Shows, Puckett won the Workign Group all four days. And I was there to see it all, to cheer them on and I even got to carry the 4 foot long ribbons back to Barbara's grooming set up for her.

About a month after those wins I was at another dog show, Barbara walked up to me and said she wanted to give something to me for having been such a big supporter of Puckett's over the past year. And she handed me one of Puckett's Best In Show trophies. I was speechless. It may just look like a dog bowl, but it represents an achievement that most of us in the dog show world will never attain. An All Breed Best In Show.

For 6 years that bowl sat gathering dust on a shelf. Then I finally pulled it down, dusted it off and filled it with dog cookies. I see it and use it every day. And EVERY time I reach my hand in to grab a biscuit, I think of Barbara and Puckett and their glorious weekend that I got to be a very small part of.

Puckett has long since retired and Barbara, now in her 80's has slowed down a bit, but she is still my hero.. I want to be just like her when I grow up.

Anne at 3:45 PM        

It's A Mystery To Me!

subtitled: Like a Lemming

Yes, I have been sucked in by the Mystery Shawl just like over 300 other knitters. I was hesitiant about doing this as I am very particular about the lace I knit, but figured it might be fun. Clue Number One was given out yesterday and I finished it up this morning.

I think I like it so far.

I'm using a laceweight yarn that I bought from Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool at the Estes Park Wool Market in June. VERY soft and lovely to work with.

More Lemming Activity

Birch is reborn.

I like it way better on Size 6 needles instead of the size 8 I used before. It also seems to knit up faster now that I am not fumbling with such big needles and such tiny yarn.

I need to hurry up and finish it before next Monday (Yeah RIGHT, that will happen.) because I need the size 6 Addi Turbos that Birch is on for the Mystery Sahwl. So far Mystery is on a size 6 Rosewood Suzanne needle but the join stinks. Once I have more stitches and actually need to go over the join it will be painful. Need that Addi Turbo!! No I am NOT going to buy another one, I aready have, like FOUR, and I just can't find them...

Have you seen Jenna's Eris? If not, click here for a treat. Still new, but I'm sure it will reach lemming status shortly. I've got the pattern already and yarn picked out... and I only saw it for the first time this morning courtesy of a link from Maus.

Oh Yeah Right, Mom's Birthday Present

Let's hear it again for the USPS who took 4 business days to deliver a Priority Mail package!

At least it got there.

It's the Seraphina's Shawl pattern which can be found here. An easy pattern which works up quickly and is quite lovely. More pictures in the gallery.

Explain This To Me, PLEASE!

It is HOT. It is about ninety million degrees in the SHADE. This dog is wearing a FUR COAT.

It's just not right.

Anne at 3:17 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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