Try to Remain Calm

Ready to blast off into a fast-topic-changing Friday? Well, ready or not…

sweater2.jpg I’ve been a little nervous lately. I was nearing completion on my current knitting project, and I had no idea what to knit next.

After a few days of searching high and low for something good, my next project idea came in the mail.

Cute, right?

The shocking thing is…

img_6615.JPG …that it came from this magazine.

I know that people find nice things to knit within the pages of Cast On, but I usually flip through for a good belly laugh.

After all, it oftentimes provides us with gems like this:

pink.jpg Yeah.


img_6635.JPG I am reading the most delightful book. It is Better Than Beauty, A Guide to Charm, first published in 1938. Much of the information is timeless, while other stuff is more like this:

Hair, like any other part of your body, should be washed when it is dirty. If you live in an industrial center where coal dust rules the waves, your hair needs laundering once or twice a week.


img_6640.JPG Next socks = started.

These are the Go With the Flow Socks from Interweave’s Favorite Socks book. I’m using Araucania sock yarn.

This is also the maiden voyage for my new Knit Picks DPNs. Wow. These needles are fab.


img_6603.JPG Pfffbbffft!

Have a great weekend!

Dripping Cables

Two finished knits in one week? Crazy!

Not really. Today’s FO is a pair of socks I’ve been working on since April.


I always have a pair of socks going as a portable project, and I rarely focus all of my knitting attention on them. I knit on these during a pedicure last week and made great progress, so I decided to go ahead, finish them up, and take some photos.

img_6562.JPG First I had to get Abe to move, then brush off a few tiny black hairs from the backdrop.
img_6563.JPG There we go.

These are the Aran Braided Socks from Knit Picks, knit with Colinette Jitterbug.

I would have made them longer, but Jitterbug doesn’t really offer enough yardage for longer socks.

This photo is another total ripoff from Caro’s awesome photo styling.

img_6599.JPG I have two favorite things about this sock design.

The first thing is the way the cables appear to “drip” right down into the ribbing.

The second thing is how stretchy the finished socks are. Very well-fitting, even on my skinny feet.

img_6593.JPG This is my first pair of short socks. I can see myself probably wearing these around the house.

I can’t see myself wearing short wool socks outside during really cold weather.

I’ll get plenty of use from these, but I’m feeling a little ripped off by the yarn company. They could have given me enough yarn for a normal pair of socks. (It was an impulsive purchase where I didn’t check the yardage.)

Ah, lesson learned.

img_6583.JPG Ambassador Lou.

Yesterday I did a home visit for some potential Basenji Rescue adopters. One of the people in the couple had never met a Basenji before, so Lou came along to remedy that problem.

Lou was such a gentleman, and he totally turned on the charm. Needless to say, the couple can’t WAIT to get their own Basenji now, even after I told them some horror stories.

Here he is, being such a good boy during the car ride there.

The Yarn Spoke to Me

img_63561.JPG I had this lovely alpaca and angora souvenir yarn that I bought a few weeks ago, and since I can’t leave yarn sitting around long enough to become stash, I wanted to knit it up.

So I asked the yarn to speak to me, and this is what it said:

img_6487.JPG “I will be a hat.”

So I got to work.

This is my own design…guess what I’m calling it.

rhoda_image.jpg I’m sure it was on the tip of your tongue…”Rhoda”.
img_6515.JPG The ties are good. Besides jazzing it up a bit, I can also pretend that I have long hair by swooping it back over my shoulder.

I love pretending that I have long hair.

img_6546.JPG Modeling a hat in the summer, even in air conditioning, is really too warm.
img_6559.JPG Abe and Lou were both a little riled up the other night (when they should have been relaxing), so I gave them each a paper towel to shred.

You guys totally missed it. It was a wild party.

Mad Men Mittens

No spoilers, I promise.

Naturally, I’m KNITTING while watching Mad Men on DVD. In the episode “The Grown Ups”, the first scene opens with Peter Campbell sleeping on the sofa in his office, all bundled up in his coat.

The story is that it’s winter, and the heat is out in the office. Lindy, his secretary, reaches a mittened hand down to wake him. Mittens! Cute mittens! I paused the DVD and got sketching.

And here is the result.

New, free pattern, Mad Men Mittens. They are as absolutely accurate to the originals as possible, except for a few rows of additional color on the thumb (to make for friendlier knitting and fit). I bought the episode on iTunes and studied the mittens frame-by-frame to get them just right. The pattern is available on Ravelry.

Here’s my attempt to copy the sleeping Peter Campbell photo with Tippy. Tippy looks afraid here, but I assure you he is not. He is annoyed that I won’t let him try to pull the mitten off my hand AGAIN.

10% Korting!

I’m ready for my 10% Korting. (More on that later.) The last few days have been thrown a little off-kilter with Tropical Depression Erin, and her fondness for dumping rain at dogwalking times. I shake my fist at you, Tropical Depression Erin! And my dogs shake their tiny paws!

Buy one fast-topic-changing Friday and get the second one for half-price.

I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

korting1.JPG Let’s address the title of this post. I still subscribe to some Dutch retail store emails, because it is the only way I have to see how much of the language I can remember.

I realize that I am forgetting Dutch…but I do know that this says “10% Savings on Everything!” Not really all that useful, but a personal triumph.


img_6477.JPG I mentioned that I’ve been caught in a few rainstorms lately. I happened to get caught in one yesterday after getting a Mystic Tan….and the bronzer part of the spray melted off my body and onto my clothes.

This is my tshirt after yesterday morning’s walk. I would have been embarassed if any neighbors saw this. Ah, vanity.


img_6481.JPG On Wednesday I ordered take-out Cuban food. Chicken, rice, black beans. When I got home and started eating, Ike went NUTS. Like, really crazy. He WANTED MY FOOD.

I couldn’t understand it. Chicken? I eat chicken all the time and he doesn’t care. Black beans?

I figured out pretty quickly that it was the fried plantains. Huh? I don’t get it. This is a fussy, fussy dog who won’t even eat most dog treats. Maybe he’s Cuban.


img_6478.JPG Another result of the wet weather has been that all of the wild creatures have been seeking higher ground to avoid drowning. According to an army of ants, Lou was higher ground.

This poor little man was bit so many times! The more ants I brushed off of him, the more ants I found.

Even with a Benadryl inside him, he’s still so very itchy. Poor Louis.

Please stay out of ant hills and have a great weekend!

One last thing…
I got nominated as a Rockin’ Girl Blogger by Denise, so now I get to nominate some blogger girls I think are rockin’.

I’d like to nominate Janet, Laura, and Jeanne.

Thank you, Denise!

Badass Girlie Baby Sweater


The purple-bobbin-madness (a.k.a “Insanity”) is finally finished. Okay…I say “finally” as if it’s been going on forever, it hasn’t. It just took me a lot longer than I expected.

purple1.JPG And it’s a baby sweater!

Pattern: my own design
Intarsia motif: Arrrgyle by Julia Farwell-Clay and Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Dale of Norway Baby Ull
Size: 12 -18 months
Recipient: My niece, who still insists on not being born yet

img_6450.JPG Can you see now why I kept it a secret? To show this knitting in-progress would have made the final product pretty boring.
img_6445.JPG And, the inside. (For all of you non-knitters – this side is fairly important to us.)

Not my best finishing work, but damn…I had a lot of ends to weave in.

img_6435.JPG I had this many ends to weave in.

Dirty little secret #1:
I tie knots when I do colorwork. If tying knots is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

img_6441.JPG Dirty little secret #2:
See the white, outlined diamonds? This is how they look now that I’m finished…
img_6428.JPG …But this is how they looked before I duplicate stitched (embroidered) over the existing stitches. I suppose it was the weight of the bobbins that made these stitches almost disappear.

Next time I do argyle, I’ll probably just duplicate stitch the outline stitches, and save myself the trouble of four more bobbins hanging from the work.

img_6433.JPG I’ve been wanting to do something with the Arrrglye motif for a while now, and it was the reason I designed this sweater.

The sweater has lots of tiny stitches to clearly show a detailed color pattern, and simple dropped shoulders to keep there from being much shaping. Tiny stitches + dropped shoulders = plenty of room for a big motif.

I’ll be looking for other cool intarsia designs to use on this simple sweater pattern.

img_6455.JPG Just so you know that there were no shenanigans…Lou supervised the photo shoot.

Overdue x 2

No real emergencies, but two things are past due.

First, my current knitting project. The lavender one with the masses of bobbins. I told myself that I would be finished with it by Sunday. No real reason for the deadline…I just don’t like projects to linger on too long.

img_6425.JPG Did you know that 18-month-old babies are significantly bigger than 6-month-olds? Yeah, I should have figured that out, too. There are a LOT more stitches in this sweater than any other baby item I’ve knit. About 35,000 total, if my math is correct.

See the scale there? I’ve been weighing each piece and crossing my fingers. I’m so close to being finished, and so close to being out of yarn…

drape2.JPG The second “thing” that is overdue is my sister. As of today, she is TEN days past her due-date with Molly Renee.

When I talk to her on the phone, she’ll say, “Hello (pant, pant), how’s it going? (pant, pant)”. I’ll say, “How are you? In labor? Why are you panting?” So far, her answer every time has been something like, “Oh, I was just walking to the kitchen.” She isn’t very comfortable.

Once Molly Renee is born, I have decided to celebrate by releasing the Renee baby blanket pattern. Hopefully, for my sister’s sake, this will be soon.

img_6423.JPG Lou, all stretched out after a very warm morning walk. (He was panting as much as my sister.)

Keep a Secret, Tell a Secret

Is it Friday again already? Wasn’t it just Friday, like, a couple of days ago?


We now return to your regularly scheduled fast-topic-changing-Friday, already in progress.

img_6415.JPG I cannot WAIT to show you what I’m knitting. I could show you what I have so far, but it would make the final product a little anti-climatic.

I’ve arranged it in this photo to hide the good parts.

I should have something to show you on Monday. And it’s FUNNY.


austin3.JPG I’m ready to go public with one of the big changes I have coming up.

I’m moving to Austin, and I’m so excited.

I thought that I should wait until I actually have things set up there, but then I thought again. Wouldn’t it be better to open up the possibility of making more Austin connections before I even leave Houston? Yes, indeed.

Details as they happen.


weather.JPG Now that I’ve decided, on my own, that Texas will be my new home – I need to make a big change.

This former Alaskan needs to cowgirl-up. I need to acclimate to Texas weather. I need to make friends with it.

I promise to do my best, right after this godforsaken heat wave passes.


img_6412.JPG Apparently something happened outside that only red dogs could hear.

Have a great weekend!

Life’s Little Barometers

So how am I doing? Pretty well. I have a lot to say about all of the big changes that are happening, but I’ll wait until I have photos to show for these changes – in true verypink fashion.

A good barometer for assessing how I’m feeling is for me to take a look at the things I’m able to do again. A few weeks ago, my work with Basenji Rescue came to a halt. But I’m back at it now! I couldn’t manage to put a meal together back then, either…but I’m actually able to cook and eat a few bites now! (The Divorce Diet works AMAZINGLY well, but I don’t really recommend it.)

And my knitting…

img_6405.JPG I know I must be feeling more emotionally stable if I can handle this much chaos in my knitting.


img_6406.JPG From barometers to thermometers…

The heat index here in Houston is probably 106 degrees (41 degrees Celsius), and where is Lou? Basking in the direct sun – on a black rug, no less.

He could burst into flames at any moment.

He seems okay with that.

Bobbi Bear is Prey

img_6360.JPG Baby Bobbi Bear is complete! After the sad realization that I was out of yarn while he was still earless and missing an arm, he’s all fixed up now, and cute as can be.

I have a problem, however. My dogs LOVE him. And not in a good way.

He must smell like a real animal (alpaca, perhaps?), and my dogs are mighty African hunters. They want to tear his new little arms right off his body.

img_6384.JPG Here’s Bobbi, chillin’ on the sofa. Watching a little National Geographic Channel – something about polar bears, I’m sure.
img_6385.JPG But not for long! Abe wants to disembowel him.
img_6382.JPG Bobbi was on his way to the kitchen for another beer when Ike tried to chew his face.
img_6389.JPG I believe that I will keep Bobbi up on a shelf for his own safekeeping. I will bring him any beer he wants, and make sure he gets enough National Geographic Channel.

Thanks again, Drew. The Bobbi Bear kit was a great gift. He was really fun to make. I promise to keep him away from the bad dogs.

img_6378.JPG Up next…my own design, still kind of a secret. I can tell you that it is lavender, and will involve a lot of bobbins.

The whole bobbin thing is new territory for me, so, fingers crossed.

Shouldn’t this photo be named Knitting in Outer Space or something?

mvi_6399_0001.jpg I gots a little movie for you.

It is called A Symphony of Croutons. Turn up the volume for maximum enjoyment.

Abe was there, just not in the video frame.