Sunday, November 30, 2008

Finished Objects

It's been all about the finished objects here at Dom Dovie for the last couple of days. First up, the Latvian Mittens:
I have to say, I love how they turned out. The instructions were great, and they're just lovely. The afterthought thumb worked really well, and they're really comfortable to wear.

The Transformer's Hat just needs to be blocked to make it ready to go.

My best friend was here this week, and she obliged me as a model and we had a little photoshoot of a shawl that I made in high school. I was allergic to it and never wore it in spite of its beauty, so earlier this year I sent it to her.

Very purple, eh? It was the first real lace I ever did and I'm still quite pleased with it. It's from Meg Swanson's A Gathering of Lace.

I sent her upstairs to pick a hat out of the FO basket to wear in the photoshoot and she picked my Simon Tam - one of the many hats of this pattern that I have made. I got much better pictures of her in it than I have of myself. She apologized for the purple and gold color combination by explaining that after all, LSU is her alma mater.

We had a great time, but somehow I got away with not taking any pictures of us goofing off. We bought a foam gingerbread kit and put it together and painted a bunch of wooden ornaments and knitted and watched movies. It was a total crafty geek-out and I haven't had that much fun in ages. I'm really lucky though, because I'll be seeing her again in about three weeks at Christmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sleep Tight

I just found out yesterday that my parent's dog, Melanie, died on Thursday.

We got Mellie when I was ten. We found out we were getting her on my sister's birthday and the dog tags said that she was my sister's even though the parents explained to us that it was just nominal and she was everybody's puppy. Really though, she loved my brother the best and he was devoted to her.

Mellie used to roll in dead worms to make herself smell better. She would bark nonstop whenever she wanted a cookie. Mom used to put her in bed with us to wake us up when we were little because she was a nonstop licker. When we first got the kittens she would pick them up by the scruff of the neck ever so gently and take them out into the field and leave them there. She used to steal food out of my sister's hand at the table, and back when we had Thor, our golden retriever, she would steal food from him too.

In the picture above she is sleeping on the bed under the table at the edge of the kitchen, the life heart of my parent's house. She may appear to be sleeping but she is perfectly aware of her domain. She could hear the sound of food hitting the floor anywhere in the house, and if she didn't come charging in right away, she always heard the three sharp taps we all learned to give with our toe to call her.

Mellie was the queen and the boss of our family. Even in the last couple of years when she was getting tireder, she still supervised everything that went on.

She's been a presence in my life for the last fifteen years - even after I moved out I could hear her barking over the phone. I'm having an easier time than my folks and brother of course, because I'm used to not seeing her, but I don't know what it's going to be like when I get home and she's just . . . gone.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I think I'm allergic to my Distracto Vest.

I worked on it pretty constantly yesterday and finished the back, but the whole time I was handling it I just felt worse and worse. I could finish this whole thing in less than a week - that's how fast it's going - but now I'm afraid to touch it. I feel okay today - aside from being freezing - but I'm afraid to pick it up.

Now I'm remembering why I don't buy purple - I'm allergic to some purple dyes, I'm convinced of it. I've had bad reactions to purple acrylic, purple mohair, and now it seems, purple wool.

I'll lay off it today and work on the hat and the mittens and then pick it up tomorrow. That should give me an answer.

The only thing is - will I still be allergic after I wash/block it? Should I power through and try to finish up? or should I frog it and try to swap it on Ravelry for something I'm not allergic to?

This is awful.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Distracto Vest

On Thursday night BIL (who is usually in Pennsylvania) called and said that he would be in town the next day - out of the blue. I had to hide the hat, which has been my tv knitting (most of it knit the night of the Presidential election). I was able to sit and talk for about 20 minutes before I utterly broke down and went to cast on for this:

Excuse the photo - tweedy cables are tricky in this light.

It's Estes Vest from the Fall 2008 Interweave Knits. I have been powering through it for the last few days - such a welcome distraction from Hey, Tomato which was making my wrist hurt from the miles of seed stitch and the fact that it has to be frogged again.

I'm kind of loving it. I made the biggest size, but my gauge is a little bigger than the pattern specs. It seems like it'll fit when I hold it up to myself, but it's definitely going to be pretty fitted. I'm also modifying the pattern quite a bit - the biggest complaint on Ravelry was that it was a little short, so I have added about 4.5" to the hem and 1.5" to the waist so far. The gray line through it marks the beginning of following the pattern, after the added length.

The yarn is Glenfiddich Wool that my parents bought for me at a craft fair ages ago. I feel bad now because I really wasn't feeling it when they gave it to me, but now I am completely in love with it. It's so springy and delightful and fun to knit with.

I haven't let myself knit too much today - it's been all about the coats - but I can't wait to finish it. I'm really looking forward to being able to wear it - and having never made a big project for myself before, I'm pretty excited.

This lovely lady has been helping me sew:

My angel of a Cocker Spaniel, Kira. Hanging in her chair.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Nikon in Peril

Well, it's official. My Nikon is currently winging its way to corporate to have the good camera doctors there explain why the shutter isn't closing.

I really love this camera and I'm also really pretty broke right now. We didn't budget for camera surgery this month. I just hope that whatever is wrong with it is fixable. But, you know, easily fixable. Like, $50 fixable. I could swing that.

Pretty busy weekend. I worked both days and I need to remember when I work at the yarn store that it is absolutely necessary that I have a project in progress with me because if I don't I just daydream about all of the yarn I could buy between customers. My current daydream project is this vest from the new Classic Elite Autumn 2. It would be my first steeking project, my first Veronik Avery project, and I have promised myself I would learn to do colorwork with two hands instead of dropping, which is what I do now. See the lengths to which I'll go to convince myself this is a good idea?

I really can't say enough good about the new Classic Elite books. Alpaca Stories and Autumn 1 and 2 are just amazing. I want to knit essentially everything in both of them, but I have sewing to finish before I treat myself to more yarn.

Speaking of, the new Smooshy came in last week, in more colors than you can imagine. So beautiful. It makes me want to knit socks.

But then I won't have my lovely camera to photograph them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hooray for the Weekend

A truly great weekend. Not a lot of knitting was accomplished, but overall I give this weekend an A for productivity.

I didn't have the work this weekend, my first weekend with both days off and nothing to do for months and months. I slept quite late on Saturday and then Jorah and I went on a nice long walk through the neighborhood. We were hitting the thrift/antique stores and found several that were very cool - one kitchen store in particular where I could do all of his birthday shopping with great success.

I spent the evening working on the needlepoint stocking I'm trying to get done for him for Christmas. My mother made amazing stockings for our family when we were kids and Jorah needs one so he matches - we do Christmas morning at my family's house and the stocking is a big deal. It's just the most beautiful pattern too - I'm so pleased with it. I've had it for about two weeks, and I think I'm making good time. It doesn't photograph very well right now, but I'll post a picture once it's a little farther along.

Today we went to an antique store we visited a while ago and bought a cheap but nice secretary for my office. I haven't been getting very much done in the office, because I really need to have a movie on to get work done. I know that makes me a terrible attentionspanless person, but it is so. The flat screen monitor sits on top of the desk, flanked by my adorable speakers, and the wireless mouse and keyboard are inside. When I'm not using it, it's all closed up. Perfecto. And to prove it works - I spent about 8 hours sewing today working on the 19th century coats that have been hanging over my head for the last year.

It is a really great little office now and I think I'll spend lots of time in here in the future. Kira likes it, she's been sleeping in the red chair for the last few hours, keeping me company.

I think I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel on these coats. What will my celebratory knitting project become? I have so many ideas . . .