Knitting, Dogs and Life on the High Plains

Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Tuesday Morning Afternoon Round-Up

It's that time again!

First up we have a finished Pineapple Jacket.

I hate it. I wove in all the ends, sewed on the buttons, tried it on and then promptly stuffed it in a bag to go to Goodwill. I don't like the yarn, I don't like the color, I don't like the way it fits. Even if I lose 10 15 pounds I don't think I'll like the way it fits.

Then I decided to pull it out of the Goodwill bag so I could get a picture. I think it's very photogenic. Then I put it away and will let it "age" for awhile. Meanwhile I'll work on those 15 pounds.

Oh Oh Look! It's a FLAK Back!

REALLY loving this so far. It looks way small but I am trusting in my blocked gauge swatch. Janet says it will all work out.

What's this? Yes I actually started the second fingerless mitt:

These have a pretty interesting construction... they are knit flat and then seamed up the side. At first I thought.. "WHY???"... but then I decided to do it the way the pattern was written instead of converting to circular knitting which was my first instinct. I'm not sorry, it's actually kind of a nice way to do these. I think messing with two circs or DPNs would have been tough on such fine slippery yarn.

Pi @ Sunrise is a joy to knit. The Crazy Monkey Creations yarn is like buttah... and look at the interesting pooling I'm getting where I increased from 144 to 288 stitches:

Speaking of Christy's Crazy Monkey yarn, the Smokin' Blueberry Socks are coming along nicely. I only ripped the heels out once. You can't see them 'cause they are on the back side in this picture, but trust me they are there.

It's tough to get good pics of socks in progress. At least the colors look good.

And what about the other projects in progress?

I took a picture of the Victorian Shawl to illustrate what I'm not liking about it. But the picture was even worse than the shawl itself. I haven't ripped it out... yet.

I sort of forgot about Violets by the River. I MEANT to work on know how it goes....

And we're not even going to discuss Am Kamin.

More eBay Goodness

Yes they REALLY are that RED and that SHINY!


What's Icer doing in this picture?

Freaking Mom out.

Anne at 3:06 PM        

Saturday, January 28, 2006
Not Loving It

That would be the Aran Weight Victorian Lace Shawl from Elann that I'm referring to.

I am thru the English Mesh Lace and have one complete repeat of the Horseshoe Lace done and I have to say I'm not loving it.

I am now trying to decide if I'm going to keep going or not.

Felicia made a good choice in making hers out of only the Horseshoe Lace. Why do I say that (aside from the fact that the finished shawl is gorgeous)?

Basically, this is three lace patterns pulled out of a stitch dictionary and slapped together with little to no regard to the transition between them. The English Mesh Lace has several strong vertical lines which appear every 6 stitches. The Horseshoe Lace also has strong vertical lines which appear every 10 stitches. Do you see where this is going?

Because of the difference in the pattern repeats they don't line up. Then throw in the Vine lace and you have another pattern that just does it's own thing without regard to the pattern preceding it.

There are so may beautiful, well thought out patterns that incorporate multiple lace designs that transition beautifully from one to another, why do I want to spend so much time knitting one that doesn't have those lovely transitions? I could just have easily have opened any one of the 7 or so stitch dictionaries I have, and slapped together three lace patterns I like. Which is what I may just do, nly with a little more thought so that they "go better" together.

Don't get me wrong, the finished shawl is still very pretty and most people are not going to be as judgmental as I'm being. But I've knit enough lace at this point and have collected so many truly well thought out patterns that I'm not sure *I* will be satisfied with the final product.

Oh My. Four posts in one week. That's gotta be a record!

Anne at 7:06 AM        

Thursday, January 26, 2006
A Landscape Littered With Toes.

Sock Toes that is.

I am a fairly accomplished sock knitter as I think the recent picture of my sock drawer proves. I use a wide range of yarns and do all kinds of interesting things to the body of the sock. But when it comes to heels, I do either a standard gusset heel, or I use Priscilla Gibson Roberts Dream Sock heel. And the only toe for me is usually her Dream Sock toe (which is actually identical to the heel).

When I started my Smokin' Blueberry socks I decided I needed to branch out and try a new toe.

Pictured above you see the carnage that ensued. There is a Queen Kahuna Aloha toe. There is a Queen Kahuna short row toe. A toe that was started using Meg Swansen's turkish toe cast on. A Sherman toe.

Not pictured (but somewhere in the house) is the short row toe that Wendy uses. It's actually constructed very similarly to PGR's toe but Wendy's version is harder to execute. Just my opinion of course.

In the end I realized you don't mess with success and, after 4 days of sock toe failures, I cast on for a PGR toe. It's just about perfect.

Pretty from the top.

I did make one change, and instead of casting on over waste yarn or using a crochet chain to start, I used Queen Kahuna's tip and cast on over the cable of the second circular needle. No stitches to pick up later, they are already sitting on the needle and waiting to close the toe! Kudos to Queen Kahuna for that nifty idea!

Pretty from the side.

Why I Love eBay

Mmmmm.... Dansko Goodness!!

Babe-y Dog Says:

You woke me up from a great nap just to take a stupid picture????

Anne at 12:22 PM        

Wednesday, January 25, 2006
What's More Annoying Than Spam on a Knitting List?

The people who "reply" to it.

This morning a spammer sent garbage to several knitting related lists that I'm on. I assume they were links to dirty pictures. I don't know, I didn't check, that's what the delete key is for.

I could not believe all the "Oh my I am SO shocked!!", "Can someone please remove this person from the list?" and "I'm leaving if this doesn't stop!!!" messages that were generated. Don't people realize that turning 3 annoying messages into 30, DOES NOT HELP THE SITUATION!

It leaves me wondering if these people have got a clue. If you get a message titled "School girl fantasies gone bad" or "Kama Sutra" anything and you are not into that kind of thing, DON'T OPEN THE LINK. If you are stupid enough to open it anyway, and are then offended, I don't need to hear about it!

Trust me, the list moderator will deal with the problem when they see it without you adding to the problem

Just venting.....

Anne at 12:43 PM        

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Love Monkey

So if I am a good little stash shopper, don't buy any new yarn* and only use what is in my stash, why can't I start as many projects as I want, without guilt?

You know where this is going, right?

I just couldn't resist casting on a new pair of socks out of Christy's beautiful Crazy Monkey Creations yarn.

And I cast on for a basic Pi shawl which I'm calling Pi @ Sunrise because of the color. At least that's the color of sunrises around here.

That's more of Christy's Crazy Monkey yarn. Sooooooo preeettttyyyyy.

Christy is a master of color. I don't usually buy orange yarn. But I've bought orange yarn from Christy. I don't usually buy green yarn, but I've bought green yarn from Christy. Christy makes even colors you don't like irresistible. It's a very very dangerous situation.

And I Joined Another Knitalong

I'll be knitting Mermaid in the exact color shown in the button above.

I almost killed two birds with one stone and joined the Olympic Knitalong being hosted by Stephanie and was going to make Mermaid my challenge project. But then I came to my senses and realized the Olympics only lasts for 16 days and I'll be at the great big Plum Creek/CKC dog show for 6 of those days and no knitting will be completed.

Even Wendy couldn't finish her mermaid in 10 days start to finish, although she came close!

Tuesday Morning Round-Up

Maybe I'll make this a regular feature. You know, so I can make sure I know about all the projects I haven't touched in the past week.

The Pineapple Jacket is done except for buttons and me losing 10 pounds.

We just got the next installment of the FLAK this morning, I'll be working on that tonight!

I still haven't started the second fingerless mitt.

I rescued Violets by the River and added ONE ROW!

The first completely finished object of 2006, Standing in the Shadow of Love:

I've done a lot of thinking about the Victorian Lace Shawl but not a lot of knitting.

Am Kamin? It non-existence is multiplying as I consider another yarn possibility.

Fellow KWAer Phoebe presented me with that pretty pink ball of Harris at Rowan Dk weight yarn. I think it may be too thin, but I'm going to swatch anyway.


* There are two exceptions to the rule. I can buy New Yarn at the Estes Park Wool Market in June if I want. And if Christy has some yarn I really really love, I can buy it because it's all one of a kind, gorgeous and I'll never be able to get the exact color again. So there.

Anne at 12:31 PM        

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
A Few People Asked.....

Edited to add: In case you couldn't guess, this is the Barbara Walker version of the lace, not the Elann mistake version.

I had charted out the English Mesh lace the other day when I started my shawl so I could see the rate of increase to pattern repeats.

I don't have any fancy charting software (although after this exercise I am SO tempted to buy Stitch and Motif maker!) and I HATE trying to use fonts in a word processor or spread sheet, so it's scratched out by hand on a piece of graph paper.

Its ugly, but it works for me. It's the first (right) half of the shawl, the first 40 rows.

Keep in mind that there are other ways of placing the lace in the chart. I chose to cast on 22 stitches and have 11 sts in each half at the start instead of the 24/12 Elann specified. Someone wrote yesterday on the AWVLS knitalong list that they cast on 26/13. They modified their stitch count for the same reason I did, so that the plain knit stitches on either side of the pattern would be symmetrical.

The way I did it, I only have one pattern repeat for the first few rows, I think the other way, with 26 sts, you'd get in two repeats. Either way is just as good as the other.

I also chose to add in new pattern repeats any time I had six stitches available AND was getting ready to do pattern row 2 or 6. You could choose to add in a new pattern repeat on any pattern row, or only on pattern row 2. The choice is yours!

Click on the ugly little image below to get the full (ugly) chart.

Anne at 12:39 PM        

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Tuesday Morning Round-Up

So have I been making any progress on all those projects listed in the side bar? You betcha!

First up is the Pineapple Jacket from Rebecca #27. Also known as Apricot Jacket and Le Fleur de Fluffa. I'm on the homestretch now, and if I actually liked the color better I'd be more anxious to wear it and it would be done. As it is, I'm seaming the sleeves in:

Project number two in the round-up is the Follow the Leader Aran. I'm as far along on that as I can be, both saddles are complete and that's all the instruction Janet has given us so far. A big Thank You to Icer for helping model them.

Next up is one Louisa Harding Angora fingerless mitt. It took me about three hours to make it, so how come I haven't made the second one?

Uh-oh! What happened to Violets by the River? I don't think it's damaged but I haven't had the heart to look too closely after finding Babe and Max "playing with it" the other day.

Standing in the Shadow of Love. How cool a name is that for a really spectacular pair of socks from the Six 6 knitalong? I started them a week and half ago and I WILL be done by the end of the month!

Am Kamin. Crossed in Translation. I think the picture speaks for itself. sigh....

Rounding out the party is our newest entry, Elann's Aran Weight Victorian Lace Shawl. It's a lovely pattern and it is free, but it's not for those who need their instructions spoon fed to them. Right off the bat there may or may not be mistake in the pattern.

The pattern (originally) said that the first lace pattern was Barbara Walker's English Mesh Lace from her first Treasury (page 193) But when Felicia and I started knitting, it didn't look right. A quick comparison between the two sets of instructions showed that Elann's was indeed wrong slightly different.

Felicia wrote to Elann, pointing it out and Elann's response was that the pattern was only an "interpretation" of Walker's Engish Mesh Lace. They even added to the pattern, the words "based on". Well to my eyes the interpretation looks like mistake.

Here is Elann's version. Notice how the motifs vary from line to line with the offset ones not "closing" properly at the top:

Here is Walker's version with everything looking as it should. Well.... as *I* think it should:

You be the judge.

Anne at 11:46 AM        

Thursday, January 12, 2006
Too Pretty Not to Knit

Felicia started a knitalong....

Anne at 5:41 PM        

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Have You Seen This Sweater?

If you are a regular around knitting blog land, you probably have.

It's from a Japanese book called New Styles of Heirloom Knitting and it's one of the hottest knits around these days. Cara started a knitalong and almost against my will I've joined.

What do I mean by that?

Well, almost a month ago, on the Montreal Knits blog, I came across mention of the book along with pictures of some of the other projects in it. While I liked The Sweater, I LOVED some of the other stuff in it, especially the white lace shawl. So I ordered the book from

It came last week. It is a GORGEOUS book. If someone forced me to knit every single thing in it I wouldn't be upset :) And as I said earlier I was really taken with some of the other projects in the book, more so than The Sweater. The folks at XRX and Interweave should go study with a Japanese knit publication for awhile. Really.

And the white lace shawl, along with a a white guernsey style sweater were still my favorites.

But then it happened. I started dreaming about The Sweater. I'd wake up shaking it out of my head. Why is The Sweater obsessing me? Why is my subconcious compelling me to knit it??

I have no idea, but I've given in to it's siren song.

I asked Cara to let me join her knitalong and I'm swatching some Rowan Magpie Aran that was in my stash. Since I can't buy any new yarn because of my self imposed yarn restriction, I sure hope I get gauge or I'm afraid there will be a lot of sleepless nights ahead!


The knitting is complete on the Pineapple Jacket and seaming has begun.

One cuff is complete on the Standing in the Shadow of Love socks.

And I have started and ripped out and restarted the border on Violets by the River.

Anne at 3:47 PM        

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sit back while I tell you a story....

Once upon I time when I lived outside of Washington DC, I used to knit obsessively. I had a two to three hour commute every day and I whipped out sweater after sweater with Wendy-like speed.

Then we moved to Paradise Colorado and I focused on other things. Except for the occasional item, knitting took a backseat to showing the dogs and I started doing beadwork.

Then one day as I cruised the internet, I came across a mention of something called "self patterning sock yarn". Oh. My. And knitting socks on two circular needles. Oh my again.

I was hooked immediately and soon I had a drawer full of socks:

But how many pairs of socks can one person have? So I got sidetracked:

No socks were knit for a very long time. I bragged to my friends how my hand knit socks lasted forever. After all, most of them were 4 years old and were worn on a daily basis all Fall, Winter and Spring and even occasionally in the summer, and none had worn out!

Oh sure there was the pair I lost. And the pair someone chewed up. But I still had 20 gazillion pair.

Then it happened, my two favorite pair got holes in the heels THE SAME WEEK! What's a knitter to do?

I bought this....

.... and spent a lot of time looking at it. And googling sites that would teach me how to use it.

Yesterday I had two long, boring phone meetings for work, so I finally bit the bullet and did it:

And I also even took the sock with the mysterious hole:

(It's not worn out at all, it just has a hole)

And knit a new toe!

And because I just know that all the rest of my socks are just waiting to self destruct, I joined this:

Responding to Comments

Marguerite says she thinks she heard the FLAK is going to take a year to complete! Yikes! I am going to have t "break" the yarn diet and pick up one more ball of Nature Spun Worsted as I'm right on the edge of having enough. If it were finished in a month I wouldn't worry abut matching the dyelot, my LYS has a TON this color, but a year from now? Better but some insurance. But this doesn't really count as a "new" yarn purchase, right?

Maus asked if the Interlacement socks stayed the same color even though they bleed so badly. Mine have, but most were very dark colors anyway. The load I machine washed had several pairs of white or light based socks in them (Opal, Regia and Lorna's Laces) and they were the victims of getting very muddy looking from the bleeding Toasty Toes.

JennyRaye asked if I am near the Hampton Roads area. Once upon a time I lived in the same state as Hampton Roads, but now I'm halfway across the country on the high plains of Colorado, at the foot of Pikes Peak! Why do you ask?

Anne at 12:42 PM        

Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Jumping on the Band Wagon

Like a lemming I joined the Follow the Leader Aran Knit-along. I tried very hard to resist but at the last minute* on New Year's Eve I headed out to to one of my local yarn stores and snapped up 7 balls of a gorgeous blue yarn.

It's Butterfly Blue Brown Sheep Nature's Spun Worsted and the picture above is my gauge swatch and my cable swatch, made as directed in the first two "installments" of the project. I was lucky, I got perfect gauge the very first time I tried. Considering how some people are really suffering (at least thats how it sounds) I feel quite fortunate.

I've knit cables before, but I've always wanted to do a "real aran" not just a "sweater with cables" and this seemed like a good opportunity. So far I'm thinking the project is going to move rather slowly, so there will be plenty of time for other knitting as well.

And in Other Lemming Activity

The first time I ever saw the infamous Apricot Jacket from Rebecca #27 on someone's blog I fell in love. For the past year and half I have looked in every yarn store I've been in, across multiple states, and have not been able to locate the pattern. I didn't think I wanted to spend the money to mail order it.. what if that was the only pattern in the whole thing that I liked??

Then a couple weeks ago I decided it didn't matter, that one pattern was worth the $20.

It so is. Look at that lovely detail.

I was a little worried before I actually had the pattern in hand. I'd found the knit-along on crafster and so many people complained about how poorly written (or translated) the pattern is. I found it to be VERY straightforward and surprisingly simple. The knitting on this is cruising along at the speed of light....

I started on it last Thursday and have only spent part of one day and two evenings and I'm well over half way done already.

I just hope I like wearing YELLOW. I am not a YELLOW kind of person*. But I had the yarn and it got the right gauge....

Finishing off 2005

The last two completed projects of 2005...

Chevron scarf made in Prism's Wild Stuff. I can't get a decent picture to save my life. Trust me it's gorgeous and I now understand why people spend the money on this frou-frou yarn.

Socks in Interlacement Toasty Toes.

Speaking of Interlacement Toasty Toes...

I've used both Toasty Toes and Little Toes for multiple pairs of socks. And I really like they way they knit up and they way they feel when worn. But there is one problem with them....

What's this? A glass of Chardonnay? Rose' perhaps?

No, it's the rinse water after washing a pair of my Interlacements socks in Eucalan. Not the 1st time they were washed. Not the second or even the 5th. About the 25th time. I've tried vinegar, I've tried Synthrapol and NOTHING will get the dye to stay in the yarn.

After turning two loads of laundry PINK, I now hand wash ALL my Interlacements socks, every time. What good is having superwash wool socks if you still have to wash them by hand?!?!?

*What's this "last minute" stuff? And why am I (the queen of purple, pink and blue) knitting something YELLOW? I've gone on a yarn diet. A SERIOUS yarn diet. Maybe one of these days I'll take pictures of my stash. I tell people about it and they don't believe me. Trust me when I say I have more yarn in my stash then at least two of the local yarn stores here in town have on their shelves. So when I bought my yarn for the FLAK it was truly a last minute thing, if I hadn't purchased it by the 1st (my self imposed diet start date) I'd have been out of luck....because.... OF COURSE.... I had nothing in my stash I could have used!

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

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whitestarsams (at) hpi (dot) net

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