It took just over a week


I've been bracing myself for a month or two of unrest in the home. It's been manageable, with Thea being more than happy to persist at harassing her sister and Panda being even more than happy to tell her to shove it where the sun don't shine. Panda has occasionally agreed to allow the little one to sit near her and has moments where she forgets herself and plays with Thea for a few minutes, but for the most part, it's been mostly the cold shoulder.

Then I went out of town for a couple days, for some personal business. I came home, and something clicked, suddenly, the girls were playing...together...with each other even. I don't know if it was the excitement of having me come home or if about a week was all they needed. Either way, it's a beautiful thing to see them happy together.

To celebrate, we took the little fur balls to Frog Lake up in the Mt Hood region.

Border Collies + Snow = Good old fashion fun

See all the pictures of the trip to the lake here and see all the pictures of Panda and Thea playing, by clicking here.

S-s-something from the comments*


This entry also posted at the Create Along.

So, longer ago than I'd like to admit, Kristi asked me:

So of course I'm curious why you didn't leave the underarm space -- because it messed with the lace?

I think the space is less imperative on smaller sizes -- if you were doing a conventional shaped sleeve, your initial bind off would be about (chest - crossback)/2 on each side (this is assuming you're in the round) Or even less.

Plus, the lace is going to be more flexible/less bulky than stockinette and stretch or constrict as needed.

If you're thinking of sizing up the pattern though, I think the underarm shaping will begin to make a big difference.

Instead of writing her back (eek, sorry) I thought I'd post my response up here where y'all can see my reply because, man, she is just full of damn fine information.

The original concept of the piece was to work a lace, that had vertical symmetry, up the side of the piece, then split it off for the armsceye. The sleeve would be constructed the same way giving an uninterrupted path for the lace. The idea was that the lace would never appear to break even though it obviously had to split for the sleeves.

If I wanted to do a bind off at the underarms, I would have to gradually migrate the lace inward to be just inside the bind off point. This is possible but I really wanted to avoid disrupting the pattern.

With Kristi's great insight, I see that the combination of the stretchy Calmer and the small size make this possible. It does seem to work great for me so far. I have to seriously think how I'll approach the larger sizes (yes, I'm getting persuaded to actually write the pattern.) though.

If I do decide to write the pattern, I'll probably knit a partial second piece and do a gusset on one side and migration of the lace for a bind off, on the other to see which produces a nicer effect. I won't have to work a full chest circumference, just enough to be able to visualize the end result. Again, as Kristi pointed out, the lace will give some flexibility and the yarn is stretchy so I think I would have to do a relatively small amount of binding off even for a much larger size.

Talking to my dear friend, Julia, yesterday, I feel ready to tackle the neckline, which I've put on hold for a couple days while I contemplate. She suggested just a folded hem and I like that idea very much. I'm also considering something with eyelets that can be cinched in a little, to accommodate various undergarments. Either way, I want it to be relatively unobtrusive since there's already a lot going on with the lace. In the end, I think her hem idea is going to win out.

*Nod to Ze. I miss his show, The Show.

One knit, Purl too


This entry has also been posted at the Create Along.

Knitting has nearly slowed to a screeching halt now that there's a new pup in the house, but what knitting there has been has been good.

I've worked up to where I'm starting some neckline shaping on Lily

The fit seems fine, though it's always hard to tell before the neckline is done.

I will probably work a simple 2 or 3 stitch i-cord edging for the hem and sleeves. I think that will be the least disruptive treatment and will be OK both on the busy sleeve and the simpler hem.

As for the new member of the family, I think we finally have a name that everyone can agree on. The name is now, Theano Purl, Thea for short.
Theano was believed to be the wife of Pythagoras, (he who brought us the calculation for determining the hypotenuse of a right triangle,) and likely continued his work and ran his school after his death. We wanted a name that gave a nod to the sciences but which was also a cute doggy name. We considered "Evo" short for "Evolution" and "Jane" for the one and only Ms. Goodall. Neither name really stood out as exceptional names for a dog. Theano, though, very cute. I got to keep Purl as her middle name too so she can be little Thea-Purl, if the mood strikes.

See a bunch of pictures of the two girls by clicking the photo above, or clicking here.

Much to Panda's chagrin


This phrase pretty much sums up the first 24 hours we've had with Purl.

Purl is a loving and eager little girl and she wants Panda to like her so so so much. It's really quite sweet. However, Panda is not convinced that this interloper deserves anything more than disdain. In fact, she has serious concerns about the fact that we have done nothing about the little girl; for instance, throwing her into a river. Consensus? Panda is a crotchety old woman and we never knew it.

I feel really good about Purl, though. She's exceedingly well socialized, thanks, I'm sure, to a good foster home she was in. She has already responded well to clicker training and can now sit on command. Crate training is going a little slower, but she's so food driven that giving her treats and meals in there has helped a bit. She basically cries for 10 minutes then goes right to sleep. In time, I think she will love her little house, but in the mean time, this is very manageable.

The leash and collar are a little more challenging. They are just beyond her comprehension, but I think she just needs a few days and she'll be all set. Plus, she's so tiny, it doesn't take long to tucker her out, so getting her leash trained will mean plenty of fun walks where she can play and interact with dogs who aren't snobs.

Don't you worry, though, Panda is getting as much love as ever and Purl is being expected to follow house rules. Panda is even helping with the training, albeit, unwittingly. I give Panda a command, praise her, then work it with Purl.

Don't worry, next post will have some knitting content. Lily is coming along beautifully.

Break out the cigars!


Congratulations, you are all new aunts or uncles, as the case may be. We just adopted a new pup. Her name, from the foster home is, Pearl. Miss Julia wisely pointed out that this was merely a misspelling of "Purl." She'll technically be Leo's little girl, since Panda is mine, so he will ultimately choose the name, but until he picks one, she is Purl to me.

Purl is a 16 week old Border Collie and Cattle Dog mix (same mix as Panda!) but she's been very well socialized and absolutely loves everyone and everything in this fine world. Panda is a little overwhelmed by puppy's verve and there will probably be some scuffles as they find their place together, but overall, Purl seems sweet and lovely.

I just got Purl her first collar so that's been a bit traumatic for her. We'll also be crate training her which will be new, but shouldn't pose any big problems for the bright little girl.

Having a puppy is going to be a lot of work, but who can complain with a face like this?

Panda is probably not speaking to me right now, but I think in time they will be inseparable.

So hopefully, there aren't too many of you out there who mind doggy pictures, because I now have twice the cuteness in one small house.

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