Getting there

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Boy do I love life lines. I've used this one a couple times, but by Jove, I think I've got it. Some of the mishaps may have been caused by watching an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Man, that show is funny, and distracting.

Here's a closeup of the lifeline, subsequent filler stitches and Thea's paw.

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The vertical row of locking stitch markers indicated decrease rows. I really don't want a huge amount of cinching required to hold this skirt up. When you have a 10 inch difference between hips and waist, that can be a substantial amount of extra fabric.

Here's a view of the whole skirt so far. There's only one spot in the house that gets much natural light and it's where Thea and Panda's bed resides. They seem to find it curious that the spot also becomes my photo studio, some days.

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It's really easy to tell how far I've knit since I blocked the piece.

Tomorrow, I fly down to the greater San Fransisco area for a quick meet up with the owner of Stitch Diva Studios. We're finishing up another project together. That's all I can tell you for now, but I hope there'll be a sneak preview up in the near future.

Fine tuning

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A little while back, I posted this picture and lamented that my WooLee Winder wasn't filling evenly.

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Well, June came through with a most excellent suggestion. If I twist the traveling loop so that it is angled towards the smaller end, it will shift everything in that direction, resulting in a more even feed.

It's going to take some fine tuning, but I'm definitely seeing improvement.

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The skirt is progressing. After taking this photo, I threw in a lifeline and am now deciding how I want to work the chevrons into flat stitches. The key is not only making smooth transition from the zigzag to flat, but also adjusting the gauge which changes from 8 stitches per inch in chevron to 6 stitches per inch flat.

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And look, my garden gave me another bloom. I am pleased.

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Quite a few more buds have popped up and several look ready to burst open in the next day or two.

I don't know how obvious it is to you, but I think we have two different varieties of Cosmos here. The smaller flower actually has slightly different shaped petals than the bigger one. I may be totally wrong but since we dumped several different mixes of seeds here, I think it's possible.


And finally, I'll be posting an interview with Donna Druchanus at the end of the month. I'm day 23 of her blog tour. I'm about halfway through the book now and gathering my questions.

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I've worked with Donna before and am really looking forward to the interview. Expect lots of questions about the book and her travels and maybe some little tangents into her other interests. I just hope that I'm able to come up with questions she hasn't already answered a million times.

Purdy stuff from the garden

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When we moved into this house, just over a year ago, the garden was in pretty bad shape. Take a look.

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Ugly, huh? I think the landlord may have simple removed all the dying flowers before we moved in, which is why it look so barren.

Since then, we've done some serious work. We removed the flower bed wall that had fallen down, leveled the dirt, and put in a little black fence.

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This variety of grass is always yellow, this time of year, but it'll be lush again when spring rolls around.

We also planted tons of bulbs and wildflower seeds. Unfortunately, a lot of what we planted over the past couple of months, appear to be annuals so we're not sure how many flowers we'll see before they're all gone. There are some perennials too, which should hopefully flourish after winter.

After much hand wringing our first buds have appeared.

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We now have A flower.

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Yup, one big pink flower. Just another couple dozen and it'll actually kinda pretty around these parts.

The plants obscure a little of the view out the front window, but that didn't stop Panda from seeing a trespasser. Can you see him?

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Ooh, Panda's nemisis.

The rosebush in front has produced a second round of blooms for us. And you know what looks great with pink? A little black and white.

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Now, THAT'S purdy.

Back to our old selves

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It's so nice to be back to normal. We went for our first hike since Thea's surgery and it was beautiful.

The air in Portland has gotten a nice coolness that makes exercising and hiking, a real pleasure. The leaves are just starting to turn and the skies have been partly cloudy, which suits my light sensitive eyes, just fine.

We decided to keep our adventure local and hit MacLeay park again. On our last hike there, we hit the lower trail. It's a relatively easy hike down and then a mostly flat hike to the end which is paved and handicapped accessible.

On this trip, we hit the Upper MacLeay trail which intersects a myriad of other trails. I have a feeling we could do a month of weekend hikes and never take the same route twice. The trail proved to be a nice little workout for the lot of us.

The girls were antsy to get started.

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And Leo needed to get the GPS set and grab the bear grade pepper spray

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But once we got started, we all admired the sights.

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There was one moment when Leo thought he was going to have to actually use his pepper spray.

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These two dogs came barreling at us, full speed, and growling, while we were walking around the neighborhood. Neither was on leash and both were giving our girls the hairy eyeball. The owner made a futile attempt to call them back.

I'm not sure if their intention had ever been to do more than make a little scene, but it all could have ended pretty unpleasantly if we hadn't diffused the situation. Leo and I both got between her dogs and ours and Thea eventually won everyone over with her cuteness.

The owner never did bother to come over and get her dogs, she just stood a block away and called them. I find that rather disconcerting, but perhaps I'm a touch over protective.

In the end, it all ended up fine and Thea was more worn out than we've seen her in weeks.

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If that isn't the happiest site you know, you don't have a high energy dog.

See the rest of the pictures, over in my flickr set.

Assessing the skirt progress

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It seemed about time to move the skirt to some waste yarn and see how it's coming along. I have mixed feelings

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Things I like:
  • The crochet: I think the motifs are cute and hang nicely.
  • The colors: While I don't usually buy these colors for myself, I think they are lovely and the colors compliment each other nicely.
  • The chevrons: Who doesn't like chevron? It breaks up the horizontal nature of the subtly variegated yarn.


skirt_blocking.jpg

Things I don't like:


  • Yarn choice: I feel like the main yarn should be a little drapier. I don't feel there's enough weight to the piece to pull off the effect I'm envisioning

  • Skirts: I don't wear skirts. What the hell am I thinking?

  • Shape: Would a-line instead of straight have been better?

I'll probably finish the piece, just to see how it comes out, but I'm starting to think there may have been a better project for these yarns.

On the plus side, I should have 300 or more yards of the main yarn leftover when I'm done. What will I do with it? I dunno. I'll have it nonetheless.


I've been spinning bits of the Corriedale, here and there. It's been quite relaxing and mindless.

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I'm annoyed, though, with my Woolee Winder. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it really upsets my sense of balance that it doesn't load the yarn evenly. Some of it appears to be that the whorls from Schacht aren't perfectly machined. There's an ever so slight gap, but I'm realizing that it's not enough to account for the severity of the imbalance.

Has anyone else who has a Woolee Winder seen this and if so, is there a way to fix it?

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Oh and Thea had her stitches taken out and has been taking full advantage of the ensuing belly rubs.

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She's such a little floozy.

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