Monday, June 20, 2016

The Work Begins

I had suspected for some time that Doggie Knits was nearing its expiration.  With the last royalty statement, I was pretty sure.  I called the publisher last week and they confirmed that Doggie Knits is out of print, and out of stock at the warehouse.  The only way to obtain it now is though a secondary market.  I should have set up individual patterns to go up immediately after the rights revert back to me, but the distraction of life set me back.  So, this summer, one of the tasks is to do some revisions and get the designs established as individual PDFs for download.
This sweater is the Madeline Basic 4.5.  I knit a smaller size for my samples, and loved the color so much, called Tomato, that I wanted one for Madeline.  I did a brief fitting yesterday in the summer heat (we were in a shaded area next to Lake Geneva) to confirm that the length was right before binding off.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

I Only Want to See You Panting in the Purple Sweater

If you've been following me for a while, you know that for the most part, I dislike, detest even, summer.  I just don't like to be hot.  I'm not as productive as I would like to be, and I can just feel the energy drained from me as the temperature starts to rise.  It doesn't help that I don't sleep as well, trying to stay cool next to the blast furnace known as the Man, and often end up on the sofa that sits directly beneath a ceiling fan.  I'm sorry that Mad and I won't be wearing much wool.  I have to come up with meals that mean not turning on an oven after a season of preparing comfort foods.  It's more difficult to travel in a hot car when there are different opinions on air conditioning.  It has not even gotten over 90 degrees here and I'm uncomfortable.   I think I'm going back to lay under the fan this evening.  Fortunately, for the most part, I can knit from a reclined position.
The sweater Madeline is wearing is the Madeline Basic 4.5, that I worked in a gradient using two strands of Brooklyn Tweed loft.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Everything Takes Longer

My sock drawer is teetering on the pathetic.  I've taken to wearing mismatched socks.  Many of my hand knit socks have holes, some with big ones.  When I'm working my safety net job, my feet need to be comfortable.  Which means wearing sneakers.  I'm so lucky that I dug a pair out of my closet that have fantastic arch support.
For the summer, I want footies instead of a substantial cuff.  I shopped my stash, and this is sport weight pattern dyed yarn that's maybe been with me for ten years. It's Opal, and I expect to wear them for a very long time.  Some of my first socks are knit with Regia or Opal, and are still in rotation.  I can get two pairs from one skein.  I didn't really use a pattern.  Just a vanilla footie with a 56 stitch cast on using size 2 needles.  Right now I'm about half way through with the mate for this sock, and expect the pair to be worn the next time I work the safety net.  Speaking of which, I'm not working it as much as I need.  So, looking for something more.  I keep hoping that my hours at this one will increase, but after six months, my expectations are low.
I'm knitting a sample for a book, and after I knit the first pattern sequence, discovered that I omitted two plain rounds.  The sample is fair isle, so dropping down and  correcting was not going to work.  I had to take down what amounted to almost a whole day's work.    I'm hoping to finish knitting tonight or tomorrow.   There are still a few odd jobs to do, and I've been putting off finishing a sweater for a friend.  The thing that's keeping me from doing it is that I really don't like the yarn.  I just have to buck up.  Because I promised.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Mad Makes Me Happy

There is something about being in the presence of Madeline.  I can just feel my blood pressure dropping, and my heart opening up.  When my schedule permits, I let her take me for a walk around the neighborhood for almost as long as she wants.  That usually means going pretty far, and I don't think she realizes that she's going to have to walk the same distance back.  I let her choose the route, for the most part.  Mad doesn't like to return the way she went.  All the smells must be smelled.    This photo is from yesterday, when it was still in the 40's.  Sweater weather continues.
It delights me to see Madeline walking with confidence.  She might bark at someone just to get their attention.  I've noticed that I'm not the only one that is happier in her presence, but she makes pretty much everyone she meets happy, too.
Madeline is a magical and powerful creature..

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

He's Got a Story to Tell

Every once in a while, I get moved and inspired by a little dog that I find though the internet peke community.  A few years ago, it was Beasley, the little one eyed rescued by Muttville and adopted by Dogster's Community Manager.  A few months ago, I found iGGi via an account I follow on Instagram, Caspernstitch.  He was in a shelter in Korea, after being found as a stray.  His former owners had his vocal cords removed, and his ears, paws and tail were dyed brown.  His cheeks had pink spots like he was a doll.  This little darling was alone, defenseless, and unable to bark.  Removing vocal cords is a cruel practice that can lead to health complications.  It is hard to grasp how terrifying his situation was.  A fundraising page was set up to facilitate his way out of Korea and to the United States.  After a few failed attempts, he made it to New York City.  He was going to be put up for adoption, but in the end, his mom, who had invested so much of her heart in getting him to safety, couldn't bear to give him up.  I wouldn't have been able to.   This is such a good story, and has a happy ending.  If it were a movie, I would want to see it, and probably would need tissue.
He was here, safe, and happy.  I wanted to do something.  So, I knit him a sweater, of course.  Just because.
It's a version of my basic Madeline sweater, knit in Dream in Color Groovy.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


In the last year or so, I've been posting about three times per month. In April I had lots of distractions.    Work, health maintenance, and taxes.  I just did my own return for the first time in years.  I guess one advantage of austerity is that I got to use TurboTax for free, and filed on line.  Whoosh!  
I just sent some packages off today.  One was the sample that I re-knit a number of times.  The other was a sweater that I knit for a special little dog that I fell in love with on Instagram.  More on him later.   I was expecting a call about a new costume project on Friday, but got stood up.  
My own knitting has been a Woodfords sweater in Loft.  I'm knitting the sleeves before I return to finishing the body.  I think I'm going to really like wearing that sweater.  The Wake sweater, also knit in Loft, that I finished a few months ago gets very frequent wear.  I used my earnings from the dog sweater workshop to purchase a sweater's worth of Shelter, and I just knit the swatch for the sweater I have planned.  I just adore Brooklyn Tweed yarns.
I still long to leave this apartment.  It feels more like a storage locker than a home.  The Man keeps bringing things in that we have no storage for, and fills boxes that I collected in anticipation of a move, then gets angry when I ask him to take things out.   It's pathological.
This photo of Madeline is from a few weeks ago.  Her groomers have been on vacation, and we are way, way overdue for a grooming.  Me, too.  Both of us are getting the treatment in a few days.   The jardinieres in the (decorative) fireplace are vintage McCoy.  I purchased the harvest basket at an antique shop that I worked at part time about fifteen years ago.  It was two doors down from the shop that I recently spent five years at.  I had it set up as a pet bed for Piccolo, and she never chose to use it.  Madeline spends a lot of time in it.  That makes me happy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Stopped Over X 2

It's my Stopover!  I cast on in October of 2015, knit a few rounds, then lost one of the colors I planned on using.  When the Mason-Dixon Bang Out a Sweater knit along started up this year, I cast on again.  Because I still couldn't find the color I wanted to use for contrast, a brilliant blue that was found long enough to make it into Madeline's Stopped Over, I cast on in the main color, so I could defer the decision of what contrast colors to use until I got to the sleeves.  I wanted my sweater to not be an exact copy of the sample on the pattern.  The Lagoon main color is very much a power color for me, and the Spring Green and Glacier Blue are perfection with it.  I reversed the color order for the yoke and cuffs.  The other modification that I did was to add short rows to the back yoke.  I love the sweater and the yarn, and would like to go deeper into Icelandic knitting, both for myself, and some design.
I try to be disciplined about personal vs. professional knitting.  I just finished a project that was a collaboration with a costume designer I've worked with before.  She contacted me directly this time, instead of a costume shop.  I consider that to be a step forward!  Theatrical knitting is something that I really want to do.  The other thing I've been working on which I really can't ever show until the patterns are released are samples for a yarn company.  The one I'm doing right now is really kicking me in the, you know.  I don't know if something's wrong with the pattern, or if it's me.  I've set one piece aside to work on the other side to maybe get a better sense, that is, if the error really is the pattern.  I'm one of the first to knit it, so I think it's entirely possible that there are some issues.  The big concern that I have for this is the possibility of not making the deadline.  This is making me think more seriously about the tech editing course I was wanting to take.
It's been a happy and difficult adjustment to my new working life.  I've longed to work at home, although I wish it were a different home, that's for sure.  I love all the time I get with Madeline, even if she's sleeping in another room for most of my working day.  The times I do leave are for errands, and the part time job that I have that's not become the safety net that I've hoped for.