Dove Knits

Friday, June 30, 2006

Look what I got in the mail today!

It's the lovely yarn from Grumperina!

It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Irving Park. Isn't it gorgeous?

Plus she sent along a MUCH-appreciated bar of organic chocolate and a sweet note.

Seriously. Chocolate and yarn -- what could be better? Except maybe throwing cheese into the equation. Although not on the yarn. Anyway. Dove is a happy, happy girl today.


Cabled hat

It took over a week, but I finally finished the hat to match Nina's scarf.

Again, it's Paton's Classic Merino. I followed a pattern that used to be offered free from Rosie's Yarn Cellar for the Lobster Pot Cabled Hat, modifying it for my gauge.

To make it extra-warm for those cold Moscow winters, I made the hat a bit wider and longer (knitting 8 inches instead of 6.5 before decreasing), then picked up the cast-on edge and knit in a stockinette lining.

I ran out of the Paton's with just a bit more lining to go, so I jumped in with the leftover skein of KnitPicks Merino Style left over from the kimono sweater. Yeah, the color is different, but the gauge is not, and it's still merino and warm, and it's the lining. Odd, though, because Merino Style is DK weight, and Paton's is "worsted."

I also got my World of Knitted Toys book by Kath Dalmeny. The patterns are a I don't like them as much as Jean Greenhowe's, although, of course, the style is VERY different. Also, I hate that the stuffing shows through in every photo. BUT, if you want a pattern for a duck-billed platipus or a zebra, there they be. I'm sure I'll be making alot of these, although I'm a bit wary of how they'd turn out -- I've heard alot of folks had sizing issues.

Also eagerly awaiting my yarn from Grumperina. It should be coming any day!!!!

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

What the heck???

Turns out I had TWENTY comments. TWENTY. Two-Oh. 20. That Blogger just...ate. Seriously, what? I guess I had the moderation thingie turned on after getting a spam comment, but I never got any notification to go moderate, either. And here I was, thinking I was ever so unpopular! And yelling at you guys for not commenting! Bad Dove. Bad Blogger.

*Kicks self* *kicks Blogger twice*

So, thanks for all your comments. They really do mean alot. I just wish Blogger hadn't eaten cookies for Blogger.

I love my mommy

So as I've said before, I've been miserable.

First off, I haven't had a day off in over a month. I've been at work and/or church every single day, weekends included, and working longer hours at work, too. Plus I have other commitments. I have two major deadlines looming, and a minor presentation behind me now. So I'm stressed, and tired, so much so that I managed to give myself a toothache.

When I'm stressed and tired, I get depressed. I've struggled with depression the entirety of my adult life, and it was severe for most of that time. So when I'm stressed out, all of that comes out. I spend my time panicking and freaking out about every little thing (the TV is too loud! There is dust on my desk! I'm fat! I forgot to do one minor little thing, so I'm a total failure!), literally, and that, of course, lowers my productivity and that, of course, makes me more stressed.

Why am I telling you all this? I really do try to keep my personal life out of this blog; that's what my Livejournal is for.

But that's the background for explaining why what my mom said means so much to me.

I was on the phone with her (I talk to her every day, even though we live 600 miles apart and I'm almost 25), and I was telling her how I feel very unproductive and lazy. She said, "But you're always doing something! You knit, you have your garden..." I told her that's true, but I don't do things that are productive, that I need for my education, nearly as much. She said, "Oh, you never know what's really necessary. You don't know what will come in handy. You'll never be without a living, with all that you know how to do."

Seriously, that was the sweetest thing anyone's said to me in a while. My knitting, a worthwhile activity? Something I should be proud of, rather than "just a hobby"?

I love you, Mom.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nina's scarf -- now with pattern!

So I finished the scarf for my surrogate grandmother. Yes, in June. Yes, it's wool. No, I didn't like working on it :) Yes, I still have to make a matching hat!

It's a basic cabled keyhole scarf. I made it a bit longer than most keyhole scarves I've seen, because I wanted the ends to keep the chest warm. I also slipped the LAST stitch in each row, as I read Charlene Schurch does in Sensational Knitted Socks, because that way the slipped stitch is picked up and worked right away, preventing it from stretching out. I'm pretty pleased with it -- it's thick from the cables, warm and soft from the wool, nice and even, and a gorgeous color (I have a thing for green).

So here's me, wearing a T-shirt, skirt, and a THICK WOOL SCARF in the backyard, where it's like 90 degrees. My neighbors musta thought I was nuts, especially with my husband taking pictures.

All folded and benign on the picnic table:

So anyway, I made it up as I went along, and it's really self-explanatory, but I thought I'd write up the pattern for practice. Let me know if you make it, and send pictures! ...I'm sure there are mistakes.

Oh, and copyright stuff -- the design is mine, don't steak it to pass off as your own. If you make it, give me credit. Feel free to sell a couple of the FINISHED scarves for "pin money" or for charity auctions, just don't make a business out of mass-producing and selling them, and be sure to give me credit. Feel free to make as many scarves as you want for yourself and as gifts. Feel free to photocopy this pattern for your own convenience, but if someone else wants a copy, send them to my site -- it is, after all, free.

Nina's Scarf

Materials: Paton's Classic Merino Wool, 3 skeins (although I barely used the 3rd skein). Shown in Leaf
Needles: US size 8 (5mm)
Notions: Cable needle
Tapestry needle

Dimensions: 7.5 inches wide, 48 inches long

Gauge: Not terribly important, but 32st and 27 rows = n in cable-and-rib pattern, completely unstretched (16st/4in stretched)

Cable-and-Rib pattern: (multiples of 10 + 4sts)

Row 1 (right side): k1, (k2, p2, k4, p2) to last 3 stitches, k2, sl1 as if to purl
Row 2: p1, (p2, k2, p4, k2) to last 3 stitches, p2, sl1
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: k1, (k2, p2, slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in FRONT of work, knit next 2 sts, then knit 2 st from cable needle, p2)
Row 6: Repeat Row 2

Repeat rows 1-6 to desired length


CO 64 sts

Work 14 repeats of Cable-and-Rib pattern, ending with Row 6 (scarf measures about 12 inches from CO edge)

Work right side of keyhole:

Row 1 (right side): K1, (k2, p2, k4, p2) 3 times, sl1, TURN leaving the rest of the stitches unworked (you can place them on a holder)
You now have 32 stitches on a needle, and 32 unworked stitches on a holder
Row 2: p1, (p2, k2, p4, k2) 3 times, k2, sl1
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: k1, (k2, p2, slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in FRONT of work, knit next 2 sts, then knit 2 st from cable needle, p2) 3 times, sl1
Row 6: Repeat Row 4

Repeat rows 1-6 on the 32 sts of the right side of keyhole 4 times, then rows 1-5 once more (scarf measures approximately 17 in from CO edge)

Place stitches on holder and break off yarn.

Work left side of keyhole:

Starting from the center of the scarf, join yarn and work the left 32 sts of the scarf as follows:

Row 1 (right side): k1, (p2, k4, p2, k2) 3 times, sl1
Row 2: p1, (p2, k2, p4, k2) 3 times, sl1
Row 3: Repeat Row 1
Row 4: Repeat Row 2
Row 5: k1, (p2, slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in FRONT of work, knit next 2 sts, then knit 2 st from cable needle, p2, k2) 3 times, sl1
Row 6: Repeat Row 2

Continue working left side of keyhole pattern as described, repeating rows 1-6 4 times, and then rows 1-5 once more (left side is same length as right side of keyhole)

Join the two sides of the keyhole:

Work Row 6 of the Cable-and-Rib pattern across the 32 sts of the left side of keyhole, then work across the 32 sts of the right side from the holder. 64 sts.

Repeat Rows 1-6 of Cable-and-Rib pattern 33 times more, ending on Row 4 (scarf measures 48 in).

Bind off in pattern.

Weave in ends and block if desired.

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

No way!

So, the generous Grumperina (a fellow countrywoman, no less!) decided to have a little raffle, if you will. She invited folks to contribute pictures of their Jaywalkers or other Grumperina FOs to her gallery, with promises of fabulous prizes for every 50th pair of Jaywalkers and every several of the other things.

And guess who submitted the 250th pair of Jaywalkers? Yes, me! Needless to say, I'm thrilled. My humble little Jaywalkers. Who'd'a thunk. Fortunately for me, she was going by numbers only and not pattern execution or, God forbid, picture quality.

And she even gave a huuuuge choice of prizes, including sock yarn, needles, or books! Needless to say, I'm still bouncing around the house.

This was exactly what I needed to get me out of my knitting-and-otherwise slump...But don't think y'all are off the hook for not commenting. I'm still not feeling the love.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Doves don't just knit!

I haven't done much knitting lately. I've had alot of work to do, and, frankly, knitting has been stressing me out. No, I don't consider knitting relaxing! The circle cardi kind of sprang me back into knitting action, but, of course, I had alot of other things that I needed to do.

But don't think, dear reader, that I have been idle! Oh no, not so!

First, my plants needed some TLC, so, two trips to Ace Hardware and 80lb (not a hyperbole)of potting soil later, they are happier, neater, and adjusting to their new homes.

I had this lovely jade, which was my favorite plant, that I've had for three years and that was very sickly when I got it. I nursed it back to health, but recently and out of the blue, it got sick with some sort of root rot or something. So I snipped off the parts that were still ok and repotted them. Here are two of the three jade ICU pots:

I also repotted my other, healthy, 4-year-old jade into a bigger pot, and trimmed and repotted one of my two money trees. My geranium (actually, I'm not sure it IS a geranium, but I call it that; you can see it in this picture and in the jade picture above, so let me know otherwise) was way too big for its pot, so I took snippings and potted them. Altogether, one geranium made four pots...if they all root, I'll have to give them away, because I have absolutely NO MORE ROOM on my windowsills, at least none that gets sunlight.

I also decided to try my hand at growing vegetables. Our backyard is pathetically small and has bunnies, so I chose to plant my veggies indoors, on our sunny, glassed-in porch. Altogether, I planted peas, carrots, cukes, and dill, seen in the window boxes below (also note the aloe-type thing, which had gotten so big it distorted the pot it was in, and has doubled in size since being repotted):

I planted and watered the seeds gently every other day, keeping them in the bright sunshine. And yesterday I was rewarded for my cares with a baby pea sprout!

Isn't it the cutest thing ever?

Yesterday, I also potted two big pots of tomatoes, and three little pots with basil, oregano, and cilantro. Of course, I didn't label the pots, so I'll just have to wait and be surprised as to what's where. Plus, I have 14 more pots of houseplants that either got repotted or seriously worked on. Notable among them are the big palm I got from church at last year's Palm Sunday, and which has continued to grow since, so I got it the biggest pot I could find (you wondered why I needed 80lb of potting soil). Also, I got a poinsettia from church after Christmas, but that's not doing too well. See, I thought it had died for a while, until I saw new leaves coming up. But apparently it had been sitting in water, so it wasn't happy. I'm hoping its new home resuscitates it.

Finally, I've been busy pouring soaps! They're just the melt-and-pour kinds, but they have pure essential oils, so they're nice and smelly:

The lavender ones are, well, lavender. The green are peppermint, and the yellow are a lovely lemon. I also have 3 bars of peppermint-lemon scrubby soap, containing poppy seeds and ground apricot kernels, drying in the fridge, not pictured. Finally, the pinkish-orangish things are bath bombs, made completely from scratch. They're so easy, safe, and fun! Love. These are very soothing, yet invigorating, scented with tea tree and rosemary oils. I threw a half-dried nugget made out of the leftovers into my own bath last night, and it fizzed for a good minute.

My house is now all green and happy and smells so nice.

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Monday, June 12, 2006


Work really sucked last week. Well, actually, it was good, and I was very into it, but I was there alot. I normally do the 8-9 hour work day, go in for an hour or so on the weekends to get myself set up for the week. Which isn't alot for a grad student. Last week, though...

My laptop's monitor died Saturday, with my presentation for today on it. Thankfully, we saved it, and all was fine, but it all fell into the Unnecessary Stress category.

So today, the day of my First Truly Professional Presentation, I wasn't going to hurry. I opted for getting as much sleep as I could, waking up at 8. I took my time getting ready. And while I was doing that, I was struck by the sunshine and the colors in my work basket...

They're just such rich colors. The deep purple of the shawl, the bright electric blue of the circle cardigan, and the calm, soft green of the cabled scarf.

Right above the work basket, I have the stack of sweaters for my niece and her little brother or sister, and the sun was lighting them so prettily:


My presentation was stellar.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Looking forward

Oh, man, the preview of the fall collection from Garnstudio is up.

So I'm going to go into great detail on each model :) Ready? Ok:

A-156: Eh, it's ok. Not something I'd spend on yarn for, but not God-awful, either.
A-157: Cute, but what's the point? Throw on sleeves, and I'd wear it, but it's something I can get at the store.
A-158: Intriguing, but wayyyyy too baggy. Maybe a fitted version?
A-159: See above.
A-160: I like it, but I'd want it less boxy.
DD-002: Not in those colors, but I'd wear it. Maybe won't knit it, though.
DD-003: I like it, but it would be awful on me.
DD-004: Rainbow Vomit!
EE-057: Eh
EE-084: Ugh
EE-085: Ugh!
EE-086: Why, why all the damn vests???
EE-087: What did the perfectly good afghan ever do to them to deserve such butchering???
EE-088: What's with the variegated sleeves? Whu?
EE-089: For a vest, it's less hideous than some others. But that's not saying much.
EE-090: I like the cables, but, seriously, why the variegated sleeves? WHY???
EE-091: I like it. If I didn't know that it would look horrible on me, I'd wear it.
EE-093: Now THAT I'd actually make and wear.
EE-094: On the to-make list, definitely.
EE-095: Potential future project. In fact, a very likely project.
EE-096: Interesting, but there was another one similar in the previous issue.
EE-097: Like the cables, not so much the sweater.
HH-047: No. Not AWFUL, but no.
HH-048: I like the circle cardi I'm making better.
HH-049: You already know my opinion of vests.
HH-050: No, please, no!
M-053: Wouldn't make it.
M-054: UGH!
O-236: I like shrugs, and I like this one, but I wouldn't make it -- too similar to the Paris shrug.
O-271: Ugh
O-272: What's the point? I like the lines of it, though.
OO-054: Not bad, and a possible candidate for using up my mohair.
OO-057: How very Star Wars. I like it, oddly enough. (And, no, I'm not a Star Wars fan.)
U-509: If it were a little less bozy, I'd make it.
U-510: I like it. I'd prefer it with sleeves. However, it is a bit too plain and store-bought looking.
U-511: See above, except not quite as plain and store-bought looking. Might make it, with sleeves.
U-512: Might make it.
U-513: Might make it, without the cuff and collar ruffles (oddly, the front ruffle doesn't bother me!).
U-514: Eh.
U-516: I like it. I liked it in Happy Hooker, though, too.
U-517: No...
V-024: No!
V-032: What the hell IS that?
V-033, V-034: UGH!
V-035: Oddly, I like it. Wouldn't make it, but it doesn't make me reach for the bleach, either.
V-036: Seriously, people. Enough with the ugly.
WW-016: Blech.
WW-017: Why so long?
X-308: I like it, but not a definite to-make thing.
X-309: Cute, but too boxy.
X-310: Eh, too boxy.
X-311: Um, yeah, no.
Z-222: I'm intrigued! I might have to make it...
Z-221: I like it. Clean, simple, classic. I might need to make it, despite the store-bought look.
Z-223: A vest even I'd consider.
Z-224: Not bad, but I'm a sucker for a nice cable. Maybe.
Z-225: Not bad, but I'd rather make EE-094.
Z-226: Not bad, might make it, even as a vest.
Z-227: The length ruins it.
Z-229: Cute.
Z-230: Cute, but wouldn't look good on me.
Z-249: Eh.

REgarding the rest of the patterns -- what's with all the identical crocheted slippers? I like some of the scarves (the scarf in Z-231 and E-101) and none of the hats, and the shoulder capelets (EE-099) are nice, too, even though I hate ponchos. I like the bags, and the shawl (Z-232) is lovely. I like the neckwarmers, especially Z-240, Z-238, and X-312. I like the socks, too, but it's hard to screw up socks...

And there you have it -- Dove's view on the new Garnstudio catalog!


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Law and order

I've developed these slight, but noticeable, calluses on my left hand where the yarn passes over. There's a diagonal callus right above the middle joint on my index finger, right on the underside of the joint of my middle finger, and right above my wedding band on the ring finger. There's also a callus on the side of my left index finger where the needle pokes, and on the pad of my right index finger where I push down on the needles.

I watch alot of TV while I knit. My favorite is Law and Order, especially CI. Although I like all of them.

Anyway, so I keep imagining that if I were to end up dead and found by an insightful detective, and all they'd know about me is that I was a knitter from the calluses on my hands. Hee. Morbid much? Yeah...

On a different note, I joined toe Knitting World Cup, having missed the Knitting Olympics. I'm making the circle cardi from Garnstudio.

Here it is so far:

The yarn is double-stranded Knitpicks Merino Style in Frost, so the color is way off. It's alot more of an electric blue. Very bright.

It's a quick knit so far, and I have a month. What's the challenge? Well, for one, I'll probably be working 60-80 hours per week for the next month. Secondly, I have to finish that scarf, which is SO BORING and slow. And make a matching hat. And make a shrug for my coworker. So, alot to do.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I'm burnt out on knitting. I think I'll make soap tonight, instead...

Friday, June 02, 2006

When we say it, we mean it

See, I finished Short'n'Sweet, and it really was short and sweet. Easy pattern, NO seams, and took a weekend and a few hours to finish.

Here it is, all sunlit and stuff. I didn't block it, so it's a touch lumpy, especially thrown onto a chair.

Here's a nice look at the stitch itself. The color here is also very true to life -- so nice and rich and brown, mmm. I think it's also the only item of brown clothing that I own that isn't pants/skirt.

This is the most accurate shot I could get of it being worn. Of course, I was trying to take the pic of myself while wearing it (Husband was sleeping, and I was impatient), so it's still not great.

As always, the specs:

Pattern: Short'n'Sweet, by Angela "Lavonne" Best, from The Happy Hooker.
Yarn: KnitPicks Main Line, 80% cotton, 20% wool. About 7 skeins.
Size: Medium.
Modifications: Almost none. I made it a touch longer (half a pattern repeat).

By the way, I loved working with Main Line. Very soft and smooth and easy on the hands. Which i good, because I have another shrug to make with it.

Still no progress on anything else. I ripped out and restarted the scarf. But otherwise, I've been too tired and depressed to knit much...and if you know me, that's probably a cause for concern! Nah, not really.

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