Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sundays are For Socks

I try to be disciplined about my knitting.  Since I do it for work and pleasure, I try to keep the personal stuff to evenings and weekends.  I have one more deadline piece to finish, and today had to take back a sleeve because it was turning out too puffy.  There should be a fitting early next week, but I have used the Man as my mannequin for it.  Then, there's an enormous dog sweater that I'm knitting for a trade of service.  I am still working on writing the pattern for the workshop in two weeks.  I absolutely have to upload something to Revelry next week.
I am in two knitalongs at the moment, and lagging behind on both.   One is with my friend who moved back to Boston last year, the Woodfords Cardigan from Wool People 8, and the other being the Bang Out a Sweater at Mason-Dixon Knitting.  If you stumbled upon this blog from there, hello.  There's a photo of me up on the blog, of me wearing my Strokkur.  I hate photos of me, and that one is not an exception, but how do you say no to Kay?  I didn't want to be a jerk.   I cast on for Stopover last October, then lost one of the balls of contrast color.  I still haven't found it.  I was undecided on how to move forward with the color arrangement,  and because I was still undecided, cast on with the main color.  I don't need all that color around my hips, I think.  I have enough problems in that area.
Then there is my sock drawer, which is pathetic.  I have lots of sock yarn, but few hand knit socks these days.  The only way I am going to replenish is for dedicating some time to really get some knit. Sundays for socks.  I purchased the Pet Socks kit from Blackberry Ridge at the last Wisconsin Sheep and Wool.  It was a complete impulse purchase.  The dog chart is from Scandinavian motif book by Mary Jane Mucklestone.  I am now well into the foot, and hopefully will have one finished sock this weekend.  The other modification I made was a tubular cast on at the cuff.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

I Don't Get Out Much

I had finished this sweater weeks before I got around to purchasing and attaching buttons.  This is the Truss cardigan from Wool People 9.  Knit in Briggs and Little Heritage, with Bakelite buttons purchased at Soutache.  The yarn was purchased at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last September.  I had some other yarn in mind, like Cumbria and Blackberry Ridge, but Heritage won due to cost factor.  That's okay, because I love Heritage.  The color is Grey Heather, which does not describe the many heathery colors that are blended in the yarn.  Including purple, which is why the buttons are so perfect.
I had to pick up the sleeves and knit them top down because knit flat, they didn't fit the armseye, and the cuffs were grafted to the sleeves.  I modified the buttonholes to use a method that I learned at one of Catherine Lowe's classes at Vogue Knitting Live.
I mostly prefer pullovers to cardigans, but I just love this.  I've been keeping it near to pop on over anything whenever the apartment feels a little chilly.  I wore it out to a work site earlier this week, and my colleagues commented on how perfect the color was for me.  I've known for some time that blue-greens are my power color.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Measuring Your Dog for a Custom Sweater

For anyone who wants to participate in the Custom Fitted Dog Sweater workshop at Windy Knitty, February 28 and March 6,  here is a little tutorial on measuring your dog.  This is from Doggie Knits, Sweaters and Accessories for Your Best Friend.
1.  Neck:  Around where your dog's collar hangs.
2.  Chest:  Widest part behind the front legs.
3.  Length:  From back of neck to base of the tail.  The class project is knit top down, so the fit can be adjusted as you progress.
4.  Chest depth:  From the base of next front to the top of the front legs.
5.  Distance between front legs
Some optional measurements:
6.  Harness Opening:  Measure from the back of the neck to where the d-ring falls on your dog's back.
7.  For Boys:  Measure from the base of the neck, past the chest, ending where you would like the front of the sweater to stop to clear the male anatomy.

I will be releasing a pattern soon--a simple design with lots of detail and technique.  We're going to cover a tubular cast on, binding off and casting on the the middle of a round, and a really attractive and sturdy buttonhole in the workshop.  Skills that can be used in other projects!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Re-do, Re-purpose

Hello and happy 2016.  I am in the middle of a deadline crush here at Lucky Penny HQ, so all personal knitting has been put on hold for the last few weeks.  This is a garment I started before all that happened.  I had knit another, the Macallan vest, a few years ago, and the yarn pilled so badly that I rarely wear it out.  It pills immediately after I give it a Gleener treatment.  I loved the design so much, that I wanted to knit another with some yarn that had a little more tooth to it.  This is some Briggs and Little Regal that I gifted to myself a few birthdays ago.  I had started another design with it, but found the chart a little too cumbersome to manage.  More updates in the next week or so when I can come up for air.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Get the Hell Out of Here

Just when I thought 2014 was full of chaos, 2015 came along and kicked its ass.  One of the things that I learned this year was how vulnerable we are.  Me and Madeline.  The Summer of Misery ended with me leaving a situation that I never was going to prevail in.  I was involved professionally with a person who lacked respect for me, whose attitude had changed towards me, I think because of something that happened to her,  that actually had nothing to do with me.  I get bothered when people say that knitters are so nice.  They are a community like any other.  There are toxic people capable of treachery,  betrayal, and hypocrisy  who knit.
Madeline ended the summer with disc disease.  Just when all my shit hit the fan.  One of the constants in my life these days is a feeling of neither of us being safe.  We still live in the apartment building that we share with unstable landlords.  There was a second that we had an opportunity to move, and that quickly disappeared.
The last few months have had some sweet spots.  One was having weekends free to resume road trips with the Man.  The other was all the time that I now get to spend with Madeline.  Left to my own devices, I could get to a point that I might never leave the house.  I've had fun with the friends that remain, and I still teach private students.
Some professional relationships that I've started over that past few years are starting to flourish.  The next few weeks are going to be busy, and hopefully just the beginning of a recovery.

The photos are my 2015 best nine on Instagram.  Madeline and dog sweaters mostly.  I hope 2016 has more of the same.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


It's my birthday, and another challenging and mostly difficult year is coming to a much anticipated end.  What remains constant is my love for Madeline and being grateful to have knitting to soothe me in all crisis.  I just love this little illustration.  It sums me up so perfectly.  I would love to modify it to have  a more modern spin to use for my Lucky Penny media.  This week I'm coming to a close on some projects and anticipating what I'm knitting in the New Year.

Friday, December 04, 2015

There's Always One More Dish to Wash

I have been giving some thought to how much I use my hands during the day.  As I type this, I've freshly applied lotion to the backs of my hands.  We make a lot of dirty dishes at Lucky Penny HQ, as I cook for our little family and the Man applies heat to food (meaning:  my food tastes good, his not so much).  How I long for a dishwasher.  My hands can get pretty chapped, and I need them to knit!
I'm starting a new enterprise/chapter this week.  I hope that doors will be opening, and we can start to rebuild the safety net that eroded these past few years.
This is a photo I did of Mad in October when I was recording all of her sweaters on Periscope and Instagram.  Speaking of which, I found some new ones to follow, that provide delight.  how_dull_is_beige is the housekeeper for Wolfgang2242 and posts cute little dogs, pumpkintheraccoon is a little rescued raccoon that lives with some cute dogs, and megillicutti is a vintage and antiques dealer that shares my passion for McCoy pottery.