Waddle and WIPs

Basset Alert!

That got their attention!

This past weekend was the 10th Annual Basset Hound Waddle, held in conjunction with the Heritage Days Festival in Dwight, IL. Between 80-1000 Bassets and their People attended. To see what in the world a Waddle is all about, follow this link to a slideshow that the local paper near Dwight, IL, put together : //www.morrisdailyherald.com/media/070924hounds/index.html

We had so much fun there in 2003 (that's a photo of Thomas, carrying the Missouri State Standard, waddling with D & G, left) and had hoped to return for the 10th with all three (Duchess, Elmo, and Gus, in the photo above/left). Unfortunately, Duchess has a nasty cyst on the back of her leg and would have found walking the 20 blocks (10 in the parade, 10 back to the staging area) nearly impossible. And, since she's now up to 71 pounds, she's way past the "carry me" stage. On Monday, we took her to our vet (who no longer does surgeries), who recommended us to another local doctor...who checked Missy D out on Wednesday. She's now scheduled for surgery next Wed., barring any problems detected in the bloodwork she had done at her appointment. She has been so prissy as she gets to go for a ride without the Boys, but since both of these only-dog experiences have been to the Vet...well, she just may be on to us for the next ride. Stay tuned for updates on her progress.

Well, I didn't get to go to the Waddle, but I did finish one of my Works-in-Progress...ta-da! My socks (photo, right) in Green Mix turned out nicely, and I've already enjoyed wearing them! I've never used the Sockina Cotton 0003 yarn before, but I'm a believer! It worked up so nicely on US3's using two circular Addi-Turbos and was so soft to knit with (one of my problems with using wool or wool-blend sock yarns...if they are scratchy when you knit them, how are they going to feel when you put them on your feet???). Anyway, as I've said before, I got the basic idea from the "Footlets" sock pattern in the "Favorite Socks" book from Interweave...just tweaked it a bit, as I usually do.

Another WIP is in a bag...being punished, I guess you could say. Remember, I told you about the Entrelac Scarf I was knitting from the Noro Silk Garden yarn...started in my class when I was in GA? Well, I decided that entrelac is definitely not for anything that has two visible sides, like a scarf. The joins that make the entrelac technique possible don't look very neat on the "back" of the scarf, so I decided to use Crazy Aunt Purl's "Magic Scarf" technique (a basketweave pattern of 5k's, 5p's... over 25 stitches on US10.5's for 10 rows, alternating with 5p's, 5k's... for 10 rows...etc.) to make the most of this expensive yarn. Well. I now know that Silk Garden is a B*TCH to frog. Remember I said one (of the many) thing(s) that I didn't like about this yarn is its inconsistency of thickness (first hair-like thread, followed by fat, fluffiness)? Yeah. Try to frog it, and you know what happened...over and over. I truly, truly will never actually buy any of this stuff (these 3 balls were included in the price of the class). Anyway, since I couldn't return them, and since my Scottish conscience was screaming "waste not...," I decided to knit the other two balls into the Basketweave pattern. Now, I find that the remaining two balls will make a rather short scarf, and I can't salvage enough of the colors I need from the mangled mass of once-was-entrelac...so, what do I do? Hence, the reason that the Noro and the new scarf are being punished.

Which brings me to my latest cast on...yippee! I started my "Design Your Own Sweater" class at Knit n Caboodle in St. Charles this past week. We talked about the yarn we would use, learning the properties of several different types. As we only have 7 weeks to learn the techniques and make our sweater, we will be using an aran-weight, with a gauge of 4 stitches to the inch. We took our measurements, and learned not to fear the future: M-A-T-H (oh yes, part of our homework assignment was "bring a calculator"). And, before leaving the shop, I selected a cobalt blue yarn from Cascade Yarns called Cash Vero: a blend which includes merino wool and cashmere. Can you say S-O-F-T?

The other part of our homework was to make our swatch, in the round, as we will be knitting on circs from the top down (no seams!). I actually couldn't wait to start knitting with this super-soft pettable yarn, even though I usually hate to swatch because I hate to spend so much time without a discernable product. No problem as our (excellent) instructor, Debbie, suggested that we could knit a hat on circs for our swatch...so that's what I am doing. First though, I swatched the typical 6x6 (a 4x4 square of stockinette, surrounded by a 1" garter stitch border) to get a good idea of the size needles it would take to get gauge (for once, the yarn wrapper was spot-on: US10.5's); I'll use this flat swatch to test the washing properties of the yarn. And now, I'm making a Tam for the in-the-round "swatch." Of course, I had to return to the LYS to get the last two balls of cobalt blue in order to do all of this extracurricular knitting, and still have enough yarn left to create my sweater...but who cares? I could work with this yarn for a long, long time and not get tired of it!

Time to stop blogging and start swatching!


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