Well, in that case

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I don't think I could have gotten a more positive response to good ol' Drake, if I had bribed you guys. So, I've cleaned up the pattern, fixed the typos (I hope) and posted him for sale.

People have made some great suggestions for modifications and variations. One I like in particular was to convert him to a messenger bag. While I no longer have the yarn or even the dyelot numbers to do that, I think it's worth mentioning for anyone who might be considering making one for themselves.

Curses

Next up, a possible exercise in futility. I want to knit Leo a sweater. I do this with a great deal of trepidation. Leo is not a fiber artist of any sort. He switches between calling it "sewing," "crocheting," and "knitting." When I wind, spin or knit yarn, his general thought is "Aren't there machines to do that?" I do not begrudge him this. He takes no end of joy in things that bore me to tears.

I have knit Leo a boatload of hats and I've even knit him a sweater before. He is always appreciative, but I have never knit him something he is totally satisfied with. The perfect item will always be lace weight thin and softer than silk, while still being manly in every way. Colors? Sure, as long as it's grey, brown, navy, or black.

So why do I want to knit him a sweater despite the fact that he hasn't asked and I'm pretty sure he won't be entirely content with it? Well, I want to design a few men's garments, to fill out my pattern portfolio, and I think the design is one that marginally less picky men will like, but I also can't help myself. I think he's pretty darned wonderful and knitting is about the most special thing I can do for him, so dammit, he's getting a sweater.

I started with a trip to the LYS where I got 4 skeins of yarn.

All were dubbed "a little thick." But I informed him that it would just have to do and he could wear it when it's colder out. I love him, but I'm not knitting a sweater on needles smaller than US #3.
So he began the feel test.
The top was the finest, but the superwash merino just wasn't soft enough.
The alpaca was soft enough but too thick
The Cathay was dismissed out of hand. No interest there
The last was the Baby Cashmerino. Thin enough to be acceptable, soft enough to pass the test, and if bought in a different color it would do.

So I shopped online for some good colors and prices. I know my LYS doesn't carry the quantity and color selection required. Webs had the best price once the discount was applied and I made my order.

In the mean time, I swatched.

Yup, the whole thing will be in ribbing. May the knitting gods grant me the strength to finish this baby.

Both swatches have been through the washing machine and laid flat to dry so I know the yarn will survive his general MO for washing sweaters. And yesterday, after about a week of waiting, the yarn arrived.

That's 13 skeins of grey/blue Baby Cashmerino.

Almost published

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It seems like forever ago.
The talented and wonderful, Shannon Okey, contacting me to ask if I'd design a piece for the second of her KnitGrrl books. I hadn't ever worked with her before but her enthusiasm was enough to sway me. I drafted up a proposal and sent it to her and she accepted the idea. The result is Drake the Dreaded, the Dragon Backpack:

I think he's cute. You see that tongue there? It's functional.


When you open him up, that tongue is the pull cord to cinch the bag shut.

Here's his backside.

Shannon gave me great positive feedback when I finished him and sent him off. I was excited. Unfortunately, he didn't hold nearly as much charm for the editor of the book and he was cut, last minute. It happens and it was definitely not a personal thing. I was offered the choice of having him be a free promotional pattern for the book or just getting him back to use as my own pattern. There was some problem getting any final paperwork from the editor so we decided to cut our losses and Drake is back home with me.

Since I still have my original pattern instructions and I now have my sample back, I was thinking I'd offer the pattern up on my site, for a very small fee, say $3.50. I wanted to feel it out though and see if folks thought that would be of interest to them. So leave me a comment and let me know what you think and if there's a lot of interest, I'll post a pattern this weekend.

In spinning news, I've been spinning up some of my yummy Almost Solid Series Sampler.

This is some BFL in colorway "Redwood." It's my first time spinning BFL and it's a delight. I'm spinning it on my 0.9 ounce Golding. When plied, it should be about a DK weight.

If you've been wondering about the machine knit cardi and cami, they are done, I just need to get them on me and in front of a camera when there is actual daylight.

Merigold

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I know I said I was going to knit a scarf with my sunflower colored Corriedale handspun. I know I said I wouldn't knit a hat because I don't look good in yellow.

I say a lot of things.

So yah, I knit a hat with my handspun and I'm pretty happy with it. The stitch pattern is from a Barbara Walker book and is called "Bleeding Hearts." It doesn't really look like bleeding hearts to me, unless it's some commentary on my political stance, then maybe.

Here's a little close up of the stitch pattern

Panda decided she wanted in on the photo shoot, so I picked her up and gave her a big smooch.

And then I took her picture because after the last post, I felt I needed to prove that I do not condone the humiliation of doggies except inasmuch as I find it funny and post pictures of it which means I sort of do condone it. But let's not dwell on alleged ducky slippers and robes. Instead, let's admire how cute Miss Bear is.

Awwww...

Anyway, I've submitted the hat pattern for consideration in a future edition of Spindlicity. If Janel doesn't want to run it, I'll post the pattern here, so either way, if you want yourself a similar hat, it'll be available somewhere, at sometime.

I would never do this to Panda.

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My friend Chrissy is an animal trainer. She also gets a kick out of dressing up dogs.

This is Beowulf

Her parents' Pomeranian. See what she's done to him, after the bump.

I got your pom-pom right here

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Several people have requested the pattern to this hat, so I've posted it in the pattern area of my site. You can get the pattern here.
It’s really a very easy hat to knit, and it’s made with chunky yarn so you can bang this baby out in a weekend.

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