FO: Winter’s Coming Sweater

While I’d finished the knitting nearly two weeks ago on the dog sweater teased in that June “where we’re headed” post, I hadn’t tackled all the weaving in of ends. So I packed it in the car for our trip up North for Thanksgiving, thinking it would be a good mindless task for sitting around talking with the family after all the eating and all the cleanup.

Good thing, too, as winter arrived with a vengeance on the holiday, dropping throughout the day and bringing first sleet and then snow. Friday we took my first Fair Isle project for several test walks in my parents’ yard. Every walk started like this, with my spirited Violet ready to go…

snow-walk

… only to look like this within 5 minutes. Tops. In defense of my little NM-born pup, it wasn’t that much above zero with the wind chill.

brr-outside

While winter may not be a big hit with Violet, she does seem to enjoy the sweater. The best part about knitting for dogs? Unlike Izzy, she’s yet to tell me that it itches. And, oh yeah, Fair Isle is completely addictive. I’ll be doing more of it soon!

brrr-inside
Pattern: Icelandic Beauty Sweater by Judith L. Swartz
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Peer Gynt (Mulberry)
with bits and bob from my stash

FO: Violet’s First Sweater

Pattern: Basic Knitted Dog Sweater from Dogs in Knits
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Taos (Hopi) and Nashua Handknits Julia (Velvet Moss)
Started: Nov 6, 2010
Finished: Nov 20, 2010

After making a sweater for a co-worker’s dog, how could I not make one for our little puppy? That’s the question Izzy recently posed. Then as if to drive home her point, the shaggy but not particularly furry Violet keeps shivering outside in the mornings. (Nice to see Izzy’s been sharing her dramatic skills.)

So I set about using leftover yarn in my stash, just in case Violet turned out to be sweater averse or decided it was as tasty as Izzy’s socks. I saved the leg cuffs for last, testing after I’d added one — and good thing, that band proved the tipping point for Violet’s tolerance. Off it came. Right now, Violet’s wearing her sweater without complaint. Izzy even swears she’s smiling about it.

FO: Deep Peace + New Project: Fresh Chaos

Let me begin with the knitting, for a change. After much ado (and I do mean much ado), I have survived my knitting kryptonite and completed Deep Peace. All told, I knit this wrap nearly three times. My problems had nothing to do with the pattern, which fulfills its promise of two straight-forward lace repeats, but had everything to do with being new to lace. And did I mention, irrationally afraid of lace?

deep-peace2

 

When I first started knitting Deep Peace, I flashed back to those early knitting days — the half-holding your breath when working through a pattern for fear of making a mistake with no idea of how to correct it. I went in with the low, low goal of knitting something *close* to the pattern. Hey, this was a “lace experiment.” Even then, the center section is what nearly did me in. Each unmistakable mistake meant ripping it back to the garter-stitch divider. After a half-dozen starts, I got smart and hunted down some tips … and (cue choir of angels) discovered lifelines.

deep-peace-on

 

Once I knew that sustained perfection was no longer a requirement, I exhaled. And relaxed. Started feeling that deep peace. And then frogged the whole thing to start over. Because why not aim for something close to perfection when it’s within reach? (And being the knitter my grandmother raised, really there is no other choice.)

deep-peace1

So, feeling all ridiculously “hear me roar,” I decided to tackle another aspiration.

Meet Violet, our 10-week-old puppy.

up-close

Why My Holiday Cards Were Late Didn’t Happen (part 1)

Just take a look. Is it any wonder both Izzy and I are completely nuts about my coworker’s dog, Truffles? She’s just the sweetest little thing. And after a night of dog sitting, well … let’s just say Izzy has her first big bout of puppy love.

Having spent the past five winters in Minnesota, I can safely say Albuquerque’s take on the season has yet to surpass a 2.5 on the cold & blustery scale. Not that Truffle’s owner, who’s an LA gal, would agree. You’d think hypothermia were always just a degree away, to hear her talk.

Combine that with all the doggy knitting appearing on Mason-Dixon for little Olive, and you can see where this is headed.

Just what every LA dog needs — a little black dress with pearls (hidden in this shot).

It’s lucky the house got cleaned before the family arrived for Christmas.