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Must Catch Up…

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Wow. I’ve been really really busy lately! I feel like I’ve been neglecting the blog, lol…

The puppy is doing fabulous. He’s learning so much, so fast!! Really amazing. And he’s settled in nicely with the other two – has even learned some manners 🙂

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I’ve been asked to knit chain maille helmets for a theatre production which is coming up later in the year. Rehearsals start in July though so I have to get them all done by then…

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I was pretty happy — I made the pattern up and it worked out the first time! It was a happy, happy day 🙂 Now hopefully the rest of them knit up fast, and I’m praying to the wool gods that the wool stretches impossibly far.

I also have to knit sets of 3/4 length chain maille sleeves, for each.

AND!! I’ve been asked to appear in a play as a spinner, with my wheel. Coolness, I thought. It should be fun! I’m not clear on the details of when and where yet. Later this year, I understand.

I’m planning to post the pattern for the helmet, when I have a bit of time.

I’ve been working on quilting the baby ‘fishie’ quilt. That is nearing real deadlines too – the reletive it’s for should be visiting in July. I’d say I’m about 1/3 done the hand quilting and then there’s the binding to be sewn on by hand as well. I’m pretty sure I’m on track.

I was given some canadian unspun yarn – the kind they make the cowichan sweater out of and decided to use it to experiment with dying roving. The sweater needs to be frogged to claim all the yarn so I just started with half a ball of the natural/white mix.

I skeined it…
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Placed it in a pot with near boiling water mixed with almost a cup of vinegar and some wiltons ‘violet’ icing colour (dissolved in boiling water first and stirred). I didn’t soak the roving first. I want to accentuate the ‘breaking’ of the colour and allow the roving to soak the colour at an uneven rate for interesting variation in the colours.

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I soaked the roving in the dyepot, simmering without agitation, for about 20 to 25 minutes, until all the dye was exhausted and absorbed.

After cooling a little, a soak in hot, hot water with a drop or two of dishsoap, a hot rinse…

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It looked fantastic! Check out the colours! I think I maybe should have used a little more dye – see how the centre didn’t really lose the beige/natural tone. On the other hand, when spun up it might look really good so I’m reserving judgement 🙂

It’s drying and I expect the colours may fade a little.

I made my daughter a pair of ‘sockettes’ for her birthday last month and forgot to post them here…here are a few pictures. The pattern is improvised, toe up, using the free white fleece I got a little while back.

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She likes her socks low on her ankle. The best part of hand knit is the perfect fit factor 🙂

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Oh yes…almost forgot…I’ve also been knitting the grotto wrap from interweave knits with my handspun rambouillet lace yarn…I’ll post pictures when it’s done…it’s turning out soft and really nice (I think it’s my best handspun yarn ever).

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I have two skeins of sock yarn which I spun from the free white and black sheep – my son and I’ll work on dying those tomorrow….

What I Did Today :)

Yes, sidetracked, AGAIN! I made a beautiful doggie blanket style dog sweater for our shitzu, Dora…

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She loves it!

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It was a simple pattern, based on one I found on the Drops site (102-40). I used various wools and a seed stitch pattern with striping. I did not have the correct needles for the pattern so I used what I had and modified the pattern, stitch wise, while following the basic form as they had it. I depended on the dog’s measurements to decide the width and the length.

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I love how it buttons on and has no legs. And, of course!, how it knits up in one day 🙂 Now I suppose I need another two…one for the daschund and one for the basset…

Beautiful Sun!

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The sun is shining and the rain is gone…for now 🙂 I love a sunny day…it revives me.

I’m going to do a ton of laundry, I love hanging it out to dry. It began because I don’t have my dryer yet – still in ‘storage’ – I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see it again! – but I really like it. I know I’m not wasting power and I like the way the laundry feels and smells 🙂 Even the jeans and towels!

Baked some beautiful muffins yesterday…raspberry lemon…

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They are fantastic…the recipe was originally for a cranberry muffin but I had frozen raspberries and I thought the lemon and raspberry would go well together, which they DID! The icing is just a glaze of icing sugar and lemon juice.

I’m almost done spinning the yarn for my son…I am so pleased too! I am sure I’ll get at least another 350 metres out of this last bit, maybe even 400 🙂 That should give me enough to make him a nice cabled sweater…

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I’m hoping to finish spinning it while the kids are at school today. I’d like to clean up our deck and get outside for a while. It’s definitely a spin-friendly deck – covered concrete front porch that spans the front of the house, actually. An excellent place to shelter the baby plants now that I’ve moved them outside. I forgot about them last night!!! Thank goodness there wasn’t frost here like they said might happen.

My husband is broken…well, slightly damaged – we’re going with that – he tore his main muscle in his right arm (is a construction foreman in the concrete business) and now can hardly move his arm at all. He’s gotten a sling to wear and spent yesterday sleeping because he got so little rest the night before. They say he needs to keep from using the arm for about a week…he’s going to have to actually supervise instead of jumping in and doing the work for a while.

The dogs spent yesterday comforting him 🙂 They like to keep him company…

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Have an excellent day!

Grow Babies, Grow

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My baby plants are growing really well! 🙂 I can’t wait for summer….

I’ve finished Ice Queen and I LOVE it! I used an assortment of beads — didn’t have enough of any one colour and I reclaimed them from kids bracelets so I couldn’t change plans and buy more of the same.

Check it out!

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I used 1.23 oz for this and have .49 oz left for another day!

Though I CAN wait for winter…had enough already!…I’m looking forward to wearing this when the weather turns cold again 🙂 I think the colours suit the pattern and the yarn worked out so well I have a yearning to spin some more lace…wouldn’t it be beautiful in a sweater!

Insomnia…

isn’t fun! But you do get to finish a lot of knitting that way.

hexacomb cardigan body

I started the first sleeve but with a modification. I like the hexagon pattern and so am including it in the sleeve. The pattern calls for a stocking stitch sleeve but to me that looks too plain. Plus, I think the pattern is a perfect way to feature the handspun yarn I’m using…it hides a lot of little variances that the stocking stitch just could not.

hexacomb sleeve

Last night I was exhausted by 8 pm so I went to bed early…LOL (nice try to me). I then woke up at about ten, when the kids went to bed and couldn’t get back to sleep until about 3! Now it’s seven thirty and I’m awake for the day…dogs don’t like people who sleep in, or at least our dogs don’t.

I think I need a nap!

Fantastic Day!

Spent the day outside yesterday…it was so nice out! I raked and bagged the leaves in our new yard and wow! what a job!!

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Although the prior tenants SAY they kept up with it, I got 26 lawn and leaf bags full of leaves and rotten leaves. That is so far…without getting the last bit off the lawn. It is so bad that most of the grass we could see before raking was the grass that was there…everything under them was dead. Not sure how long but grass doesn’t die that fast…I’ve killed a lot of grass in my time 😉 Quite a coincidence I’m sure but the dead sections are all under large trees…hmmmm…how odd – considering it was ‘kept up with’ as the little girl came over to offer me this info yesterday, ashamed I’m sure at the state of things.

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The good thing is…Our lawn looks GREAT now…the grass can grow and I’m about to uncover the gardens. They have great potential but have also been let go. The landlord mentioned the poor state of the lawn and gardens when we rented and told me I can do whatever I wish with the garden! I plan to place my veggies in amongst the flowers and shrubs around the house. I think the soil looks really good – unlike our house in the city where it was all back filled and not very good for growing stuff.

The kids, yesterday, suggested that I take a ‘before’ picture and now I wish I had but since I didn’t….here’s a bit of a picture of the side yard (taken from the front porch this morning lol)

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and the boys..taking out the dogs…

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Crap!

Good morning…yeah, lets go with that. 

Miss Daisy isn’t pregnant, she was having a false pregnancy after all.  We’re dissapointed but at the same time, it’ll be better to let her have babies some day when she is older 🙂  I’d like to do that sometime, maybe in a year (she’ll be two).

Ahh, and we’re looking for another house around here.  We need to rent but it’s SO HARD to find anywhere which wants pets around!  Living here is like living with the daily drama and I’m just not able to do it anymore.  (The brief story — we moved in with my parents to help us- we had a mortgage tragedy and couldn’t refinance- and to help them-financially)  It’s complicated, crazy and unbearable.  It’s just so dissapointing…we had another house lined up at the time and decided to do this because when my mom suggested it I thought it was BETTER.  I was seriously suffering from temporary insanity I think.   The only thing wrong with the other house was the size and I bet we would have made it work.

I feel like I made such a bad decision in bringing them here.  Now the kids have to adjust all over again to moving (and we’ve only been here 2.5 months so far).  Our son is absolutely fine with it (the girls say its cause he’s a boy) and the girls seem to have reached the despair point.  You know – ‘I don’t care’ when you know for sure they do!

I’m crossing my fingers that the very best will happen and we will find the right house for us SOON.  We’re in the Alliston area, country area really, so I’d think there must be someone willing to rent to a dog owner! 

Visit To The Vet!

Ok, because we are SICK of waiting and getting worried about the wait – we took Miss Daisy to the vet yesterday. 

LOL

He thinks she is pregnant (to think I paid money to hear ‘I think’ lol)– cannot tell for sure by feeling her belly as she is a daschund and so we’ve gotten her a pregnancy blood test and I should hear back today.

I don’t feel so bad knowing even the vet cannot tell more than I can!   He seems quite sure that the symptoms are pregnancy but (strange) he thinks she is LESS far along than we think.   I can’t see how but Mother Nature does whatever she likes…

He suggested that if she comes back positive today we can do an x-ray to see how many and if she will be able to give birth herself.  He didn’t bat an eye about the father being a basset hound so I’m guessing stranger things have happened! 🙂  He suggested the x-ray in a week or so…lol…I really think the puppies will be born before we go to the appointment ASSUMING she is pregnant.  The only alternative is false pregnancy and if this is false it’s incredibly persistant.

I’ll be the lady waiting by the phone!

Puppy News Or Lack Thereof!

Ok, here is our girl…stubbornly looking more and more pregnant.  This has gone on FOREVER.  Really though…doesn’t this picture read ‘PREGNANT’???

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I spun on the new spinning wheel yesterday and made a nice little skein of yarn with some of the mystery roving.  I didn’t mix it like I had in the drop spindle yarn, just used the heathery green/blue without the royal.  It’s about 65 metres.

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This gave me some nerve to try spinning the beautiful roving I got for my birthday so I started with the BFL. 

It’s so soft and slippery, apparently NOT what they recommend to learn with but I love going against them……..

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Isn’t it just too pretty roving!  I’m really enjoying it after all the blue/green I’ve seen lately.

 Oh, and I think I know why spinners sell their yarn – because they can’t tear themselves away from spinning long enough to knit it!

Here’s a picture of the beautiful flowers/planter my kids gave me for my birthday…my middle daughter made sure she went out without me to surprise me with it 🙂

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Well, well, well…

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Um hmm…we’re still waiting!

She even seems tired of it…

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I spun last night and finished up the second single.  I started plying it and it’s a nice thin weight!  I may be able to use it in something 🙂  I’m thinking it would look awesome in the Selbuvotter stuff.

Here’s a picture (I promised) of my ‘homemade kate’.   I used a basket, some 5.5 mm knitting needles and two point protectors to keep the ‘bobbins’ (knitting needles) from slipping out.  I was able to slide the singles directly from the spindle onto the knitting needles.

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Works well and when I want a break I can just place the spindle inside and close it up and put it on a shelf.  I realize it’s probably not like a ‘real’ kate but I think it’s an awesome solution!  LOL, plus I had all this stuff on hand!

Have a great day 🙂

Still Waiting…

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After a CAREFUL check of the dates, I’ve realized that the 69th day will be this friday the 22nd.  Sooo…she’s taking her time!

We told her family day was a perfect day to have basschunds but she didn’t agree 🙂

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We did a lot of relaxing yesterday.  A nice February holiday!

I spun some finer singles than I had the first time…hoping as a two ply it’s fingering/sport weight.  I’d like to try it for some of the ‘Selbuvotter’ gloves.

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I just slide the completed singles onto an extra larger knitting needle and cap off the end with a point protecter….voila!  A great homemade bobbin 🙂  LOL, when I’m done the second ply I’ll show you my nifty homemade lazy kate!  It involves a shoebox and some knitting needles 🙂

I hope I have at least 150 yards…we’ll see when it’s time to skein it 🙂

I Made Wool!

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Not perfectly, lol, or evenly…but it’s wool 🙂  I only ended up with about 30 yards…I cut the second ply when the first finally broke after 30 yards.  I will ply the rest of it yet and I should have another 15 yards there I think.

I like how the blues and greens have mixed…no planning involved – I’m not that organized so I just went one handfull of blue, one handfull of green as I spun it. 

I love spinning! 

I’m working to finish up the ‘Think Spring’ crocheted rug and waiting (impatiently) for these basschunds to arrive!

Miss Daisy is getting closer and closer to giving birth…my doubts are gone as now when she sits on me I can feel the babies moving around sometimes.  She’s just taking her time!  Since we don’t know exactly when she was bred we’re wondering if it was maybe in the week AFTER we arrived here.  I know that the basset hound was howling like a maniac that week so he was definitely still interested.  Here’s hoping it’s TODAY!

Unplanned Pregnancy

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We think Miss Daisy is pregnant! 

She was in heat when we were moving and must have bred with our basset hound.  I’m a little worried! 

 Having done a  little research, the cross breed is ‘so called’ recognized as basschund???  I’m almost certain that it should be the basset female, daschund male — not the way it is for ours.  Of course they don’t really say.  The babies tend to look like sturdy daschunds.

She has all the symptoms – according to the day I believe she may have become pregnant (moving day itself is the only day I think), she should be expecting in about two weeks.  I haven’t taken her to the vet yet, not sure if we will or wait to see if there are complications.  I know daschunds tend to have difficulty sometimes no matter what.  I’m so nervous for her. 

Thankfully I have done this before with a rottweiller we used to have and her litter.  I had to help her throughout the birth but ALL her babies lived and there were 9 — one was born on the lawn and not breathing and I roughed him up until he breathed and then made the mom take him.  It took a bit but that mom got the idea.  I hope Daisy does as well!

We’re setting her up a ‘cave’ soon…a large cave like dog crate we have that I think she will really like to keep her babies in.  The top comes off in case we need to look in. 

I wish wish wish that I could find more information on the net but I’ve spent days looking and there isn’t much specific.

I’m on pins and needles.  Wish us luck!

What Would You Do…

If someone gave this to you?

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It’s beautiful hand-spun…I’m not sure how much of each. 

My mom found it at her second hand store..(Loving that store!)

I want to use it for something special…it’s unique and begging to be something special. 

I have a pattern in mind for my next sweater.  It’s the modern lace henley by Pam Allen.  It calls for a sport weight yarn but I’m craving some beautiful fingering weight yarn.  I wonder if I could get away with using a heavier fingering weight and a slightly larger needle?  The lace would end up looser but I wonder if it might work?  I’m planning to make it longer in the body with long sleeves and a more delicate ribbing.  Shall have to see how it goes 🙂  I can always adjust the pattern for my yarn/gauge if need be.

Some ever cute dog pictures;

Miss Daisy warming up by the fire…

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Daisy and Dora…

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Simple Things…

Good morning 🙂

I’ve been missing a day here and there in the blog but I don’t always have anything to say!   We have a pretty simple life around here 🙂  Kids, dogs, cooking, knitting…

Mr. Luke has had his operation and is doing really well.  He’s much calmer already.  His little friend in the picture is Daisy the Daschund.

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The Hedgrow Coat is coming along…I’ve just started the first sleeve and hope to finish and be starting the second sleeve by tomorrow.  I did an ‘oops’ and – get this – bound off BOTH front sides a whole cable repeat early.  LOL…it looked SO wrong right away that I saw it as soon as I laid out the pieces.  That’s all fixed up now.  The Malabrigo is excellent for pulling out and picking up the stitches again.  I usually hate it but with this wool it’s easy to do.  Small Blessings.

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Have a great day!

Pathetic Hound

Don’t get me wrong…we love him.  Our female is in heat and he has been whining for days and days!  That’s when he’s not all out howling.  Basset hounds are NOT quiet dogs when they are in distress, lol.

Sitting on the blanket in this picture is a major feat for him these days.  Sitting still is a real challenge. 

He’s three and we don’t plan to breed him — though he would be an excellent dog for it — so there are only 5 more sleeps and then he’s having the operation.  I feel bad for him but I’m sure he’ll be much happier once it’s done.

As a bonus gift for me, it means he won’t be howling me awake at 5 am anymore!  (I know heats pass fairly quickly but we have three females – a farm – and this could really go on forever-ish)

Here’s the sad boy himself…you can’t see the shake but he’s all shakey these days…

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Dora Dora The Beautiful Dog

This is our newest family member, Miss Dora Dora (named after the word aDORAble). I have a major puppy/dog/pet/living thing weakness! She is very well behaved and fitting in with the other two really well so far. She was very well socialized and is almost house trained though she is only 8 weeks old right now. I found her a puppy salon last week! We got her her first hair cut (around the eyes – other than that I’m good with the ‘mini sheepdog’ look ) and she was good there too 🙂

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