I can’t believe that spring is here. I know you can’t either. Of course, the fact that you still have massive piles of snow probably affects your view of things, but down here we have robins, daffodils and lots of mud. The tree buds are swelling and some of the cherry trees are actually blooming. The think I hate about spring being here is the loss of an hour this weekend. I was tired enough without trying to manage the day without that hour. And I had to drag myself out of bed before I was ready in hopes of going to be on EST vice DST. If I don’t 4:45 AM will feel like 3:45 AM House tomorrow and that would not be a good way to start the work week.
I’m pleased to report that we will now be able to tell the direction of the wind at Fair Winds. Our weathervane went on the turret this week. Only problem is you have to subtract about 65 degrees or so from the heading as they failed to correctly align the directionals. Oh well! This one is easily fixed…and can actually be used as a learning point for when our inlaid wood medallion goes into our floor — something that cannot be easily fixed! With this error, I think they’ll be extra careful to have the compass out when they put the medallion in! We now also have interior trim through much of the house and garage doors…it all adds to a more complete looking house. I am so eager to see it when the rest of the window trim goes on and the landscaping gets started!
I have finished a bit on knitting this week…not really that much volume, but hats do go quickly. Yes, I’m working on another hat for Warm Hats Not Hot Heads, but the ones I finished this week were for an charity effort for Haiti where it is surprisingly cold at night. These three will head off to join others to make the journey to help those still trying to recover form the earthquake last year…makes my concern for those in New Zealand and Japan even more acute when I realize how far from recovery Haiti still is. I’ll be watching for an opportunity to help the kiwis and Japanese too.
The more complex project I’ve been working on is my Primula Shawl. (Sorry, still no project page…in fact, I’m about 10 project pages behind at this point!) I’ve added some extra rows of patterning to the project to use up the yarn and I’m pretty darned pleased with it for a first complex shawlette pattern. I do have some real tweaking to do. I want the ends to wrap more to the front like a faroese shawl, so just a bit of adjustment. I love the color — the color for ovarian cancer awareness. You may remember that Ann’s Hat was designed and knit for a friend with ovarian cancer. (That pattern is up to 54 projects and is in 67 queues!) This shawl is for her as she continues the fight. All that’s left is the bind off and blocking.
Here’s a picture of the Blue Spiral Cowl that I knit from stash yarn using the pattern Spiraluscious. Glad I had listened to The Knit Wits podcast where Princess Carin the Knit had problems with that one extra stitch. I have to admit that if I hadn’t been watching for the problem spot, I probably would have done the same thing. The way the pattern is written, it’s easy to misinterpret it so that you think you are to increase a stitch each time you do row 16. Reading it very deliberately you realize you are only supposed to do that the LAST TIME you knit row 16. Technically, it’s written correctly, but I do think it warrants a bit more clarity for those of us who have exhausted a few too many brain cells.
I still think of my cabled socks and the Sweater from Down Under as WIPs, but they are rapidly heading towards UFO status if I don’t get back to them soon. I have the sweater ready to join me downstairs so I can match cabling down the sleeves while I work on them. The socks come and go to PA with us in their nice little project bag. At least they know I’m thinking of them.
I want to close with a book review. When I saw a dog that looked so much like Ruby on the cover, I couldn’t resist buying a copy of Knit Your Own Dog: Easy to Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. It is such a great little book! I want to start taking pictures of all the dogs I know so I can recreate them in yarn. The book doesn’t walk you through the process of “matching” your actual dog’s coloration to their patterns, but really, it’s just a matter of modifying the color patterns, the actual body patterns don’t have to change. The author’s have their own knitwear business in London and they export completed garments as well as writing some great patterns. They have two earlier books centered on pet accessories. These gals obviously both love their pets and they know them very, very well. I love that the patterns are extremely realistic and as the authors point out, the patterns include “details specific to each breed.” They look to be clearly written, achievable for an intermediate knitter (there is fair isle, intarsia and shaping at a very fine gauge) who also knows how to manipulate fabric with a sewing needle. I love them! There are patterns for terriers, working dogs, sporting dogs, hounds and non-sporting. I can’t decide which is my favorite, but I’m partial to the terriers of course, and the corgi and the westie crack me up. I’m dying to cast on — but it will require some planning as I’ll need to break my yarn diet to do it. (Though there is that clause about buying yarn for gift knitting!) The introduction ends with the encouragement to “Stitch your bitch.” When I first skimmed it, I thought it said, “Stitch, you bitch.” And I wondered, how did they know?