April 2008 Archives

On Saturday we mowed the back lawn, and by "we" I mean Leo and by "back lawn" I mean an this...


Um, yah, we're way overdue. And while the dandelions have a certain sweetness about them, I doubt our neighbors appreciated their contribution to their immaculate landscapes.

Thea loves it when Leo mows the lawn. The sound makes her all frisky and silly. Though she does miss the salad bar, when it's no longer so long and luxurious.


After hours of backbreaking work, Thea was nowhere to be seen, but a wee little leprechaun had made her way into our yard.


We thought it best to ply the lass with an appropriate libation.


Panda is not so much a fan of the mowing. It didn't help that I was vacuuming inside. She was feeling pretty sad for herself.

To make it up to her and to get the green off the demon, we decided to go to the beach on Sunday.

Saturday had been gorgeous and sunshiny, while Sunday was a little more overcast with bits of rain, which was perfect, because the beaches were nearly empty.


This picture feels like the opening to some sort of action/adventure movie.


Thea, she's got crazy eyes.


Panda finds her sister so exasperating, sometimes.


Happiness is a romp in the water.


And who can resist a sleepy dog face covered in sand?

Sinuate Pattern Available


Sinuate in front of weedy lawn

The free pattern download for Sinuate is now available. If you are on Ravelry, you can see all the details here.

The pattern is two full pages of instructions plus a cover.

sinuatep1.jpg sinuatep2.jpg sinuatep3.jpg

The piece uses about 270 yards of fiber that's 15wpi (somewhere between a DK and Worsted) and requires US #6/4mm needles and a size F/3.75mm crochet hook.

If you have any trouble downloading the pattern, please let me know.

Brightening an overcast day


It's one of those Mondays that feel like it needs brightening up. I'm a bit tired, the sky is overcast, work is crazy and I'm trying to sort out an issue with my taxes (don't ask.) So what's my remedy?

How about knitting a little handspun into a vivid scarf.

BFL scarf closeup

I'm about halfway through the scarf, and thought I'd give it a little bit of blocking to see how I like it.

BFL scarf progress 1

Simple but effective.

I used the Spinning for Speed and Softness method on this yarn. My technique is still a little rough so the finished two ply has a lot of personality. I wanted a stitch pattern that had a bit of an organic feel to it to highlight those thick and thin areas and I think this one fit the bill.

From the looks of it, this stitch pattern is a half sibling to one used in a really gorgeous piece you may have noticed in my knitting neighborhood. The version I'm using is in one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries under the leaf heading, but blocked out it's really pretty abstracted.

The yarn is some of Amy's BFL in the colorway Poppies. I have enough yardage that I'll be able to knit an entire scarf and a hat to match with plenty leftover.

This is just a brief little break from the knitting deadlines I have and after I crank this little project out, I'll be back to the grind, but I do think I'll work you up a quick freebie pattern for this, as a thanks for all the support for both Astoria and Crime of Fashion.

Out of curiosity, could you guys let me know your preference. What do you like; PDF downloads of patterns or HTML pages that are printable?

I have my opinion, but I'd like to see what other think.

And for those of you who wonder what a dog does on a day when it's too cloudy to go out and play, I have your answer right here.


Thea takes a nap.

And enjoy treats

Panda enjoys a treat 1

It's real torture.

Astoria Pattern


When I finished knitting Astoria, late last year, and decided I'd write a pattern, I thought it'd be a piece of cake. Well, after 4 months, innumerable hours and much conversing with my tech editor and beta reviewers, I think I've come up with a pattern I feel comfortable selling.

This 7 page pattern, filled with diagrams, charts, and tons of modification suggestions, comes with 10 sizes from 31"/79cm – 58"/147cm.

Additionally, you can download an Excel document, for free, with the motif, set up so that you can play around with different color combinations.

The pattern is available for download for $9.99. You can check out all the supplies, sizes and other specifications for this pattern here.

Thanks to everyone who expressed interest in the pattern. I hope that people will enjoy knitting this piece.

Crime of Fashion Reissued


Well, as many of you might now know, MagKnits is no more. It was such a great site, and I'm sad to see it go, but it sounds like it was the right choice for Kerrie, and ultimately, that's what matters.

Instead of simply throwing my Crime of Fashion pattern up onto my site in its original form, I decided to spend a few days redoing all the charts to be cleaner and easier to read and print. Additionally, instead of the 32 custom character charts I offered in the original pattern, I'm now offering 48 letters, numbers and graphics and I've made actual size graph paper and included that in the download, so people can make their own designs.

I've decided to charge $2 for the new improved version. I know this is going to be controversial for some folks. Another person who did this got some terse comments from people who don't feel a once free pattern should be sold at a later date. For my part, reformatting, and retooling the pattern took quite a few hours and the cost is low enough, that I hope most people will agree that it's a fair price. I did contact people on Ravelry who were working on the pattern, and offered to send them the old charts at no cost if they needed them.

If you are interested in making this pattern, you can click the button below.


Thanks so much.

Day trip to Washington State


Sunday, we decided to head north on I-5, up to Washington state and pop over to the coast and see what we could find.

There was a bit of driving before we found a beach but our patience paid off.

IMG_0003.JPG IMG_0005.JPG

It had no name, but this was a beach you just drove onto. The dogs (and let's be honest, Leo) were drooling at the sight. We parked, and ran the girls to the shoreline for some fetch.

Thea nearly twists her own head off, playing tug.


The girls lay on the cute, to get Leo to throw the squirrel.


Then Leo chased Thea around while Panda played with her toy.


Can you see our car in the distance?

We got back in the car and headed to Long Beach, WA, where we hoped to find some dinner. Dinner we found and it had it all; high prices, slow service, and abysmal food. After all was said and done, we'd spent more on two appetizers, two entrees and some iced tea, than we normally spend on a fancy dinner and a bottle of wine, and it was so bad we left hungry. But I'm not bitter.

After that we had to wash down the shame and disappointment with another romp on the beach. What do you know? You can drive onto this beach too. Is this a Washington thing?

The girls didn't care, they were just glad to be able to run around some more.


And Panda had a proper shake-n-bake, leaving with her with a thick crispy crust. Don't worry, she managed to shed most of it before we got home and shook off the rest on the way into the house.


For the rest of the way home, we listened to an audio book, and watched as the sun set and a the light sprinkle formed a most lovely rainbow.


Not even a horrible and overpriced meal could ruin such a great day.

My cowl quotes Tobias Fünke


My mom did an amazing job overdyeing my Cowl.

IMG_0008.JPG IMG_0006.JPG

"I’m afraid I just blue myself"

She used two dips in a muted blue dye which allowed just a little of the warmth of the original beige to shine through. The result still looks blue to me but teeters on the edge of a sage green. It's really striking in person. Of course, pictures never do it justice.

The girls are just there to draw attention away from how much we need to prune the shrubbery.


One of my friends recently started a site about the misuse of American tax dollars to bail out greedy banks and their CEOs.

Well, guess what, he is on NPR. They edited him down to a single sound bite, which is a bummer, but you can check out his site for tons more info.

Obviously, this is a sensitive issue, especially for people who may face losing their house, and those of us opposed to the bailout, certainly aren't happy about the predatory practices that some banks employed, to get unsuspecting consumers to sign up for unreasonable Adjustable Rate Mortgages. But housing prices certainly did get bloated and banks surely did get rich off these practices. There have to be better ways to deal with this problem than trying to maintain a formerly insane status quo.

I'll leave you with one last fun link and then we'll return to our regularly scheduled doggy pictures and general crafty goodness.

The Subprime Primer explained by stick figures.


Spin Off



A couple of my online friends have already sent me congrats on my shawl write up in Spin Off. In fact, Deb saw it before I even got my copy.

When Interweave contacted me about including my shawl in a "gallery of shawls," I imagined a couple of page of a dozen or more baseball card sized boxes with a photo and a short description. Even after filling out the questionnaire, I simply assumed they wanted enough material to be able to cherry pick what they printed. When I saw that I got a whole 2-page spread I was floored...and pleased.


One thing I discovered, while filling in the details, is that I am still a real neophyte at this spinning thing. How many twists per inch in the singles? I dunno. What drafting method do I use while spindling? Anything that keep the spindle from going plummeting to the floor, I'd say.

But still, it was fun to revisit this piece and I'm still proud, of the fact that I produced so much yardage on a little hand spindle.

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