Monday, November 1, 2010


Those of us who work with greyhound rescue, especially those of us with ties to Florida greyhound racing and rescue, are reeling after a weekend of horror.

The authorities know of 41 greyhounds tortured and starved to death by their trainer in Washington County, Florida. Four greyhounds are undergoing vet care but may not survive, and more victims may be found as the trainer's home is searched. Another 8 dogs made it into a rescue program last Monday, before the deaths were discovered. (It was concern voiced by the rescue group over the state of a couple of the 8 dogs that got the authorities to investigate; one of the rescued dogs had lost 15 pounds in the 30 days since his last race, and that triggered all kinds of alarms since 15 pounds is about 20 percent of a healthy greyhound's body weight.)

I'm not going to post links to the articles. You don't need to see the details...or pictures of the survivors. The trainer is in custody and is facing felony charges.

Just--hug your dogs. And if you see a dog wearing a donation jacket at a meet and greet in your area, slip a dollar or two into the pocket on the jacket.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Several years ago, when Jacey was suffering from separation anxiety, her vet prescribed Valium. I started calling Jacey "Spacey Jacey."

These days, that nickname is being resurrected.


Over many months--since last winter, I think--Jacey has demonstrated some odd behavior. The first incidents were funny. I'd be in the bathroom, changing clothes after work, and Jacey would come in and stand in the bathtub. Now some dogs that are thunderphobic will take shelter in the tub during storms, but Jacey's not thunderphobic, and the weather was fine. And she wasn't happy in the tub: she stood there with her head down and her tail tucked. One time, when she started to get in the tub, I put my hand out to block her and she made a serious effort to push past me. When I left the bathroom, she scrambled out of the tub and followed me. After maybe three or four incidents, this behavior stopped.

But sometimes I'd come back in the house with the dogs after a walk, and Jacey would immediately turn around and stand with her nose against the door as if she needed to go back out. Thinking that I might have rushed her, I'd take her back out and she'd just stand and do nothing--stand with her head down, her tail tucked, and looking miserable. This happened a few times.

Then an episode occurred at mealtime. Nothing--nothing ever comes between Jacey and her food, but on this instance... Both dogs came into the kitchen, I put food in Jacey's dish and put it down for her, put food in Sam's dish and took it into the dining room for him, came back into the kitchen and found her standing there, staring at her dish as if she had no idea what to do with it. I offered her a piece of kibble, and she didn't take it, didn't sniff it--just stood there. It was at least a couple of minutes before she figured out what to do. Even then, she picked up a mouthful of food, picked up her head, started to chew, and all the food fell out of her mouth. But she figured it out, and by the time I was getting the cheese out of the refrigerator to give her her thyroid pill, she was back to herself enough that she snapped her head up the moment she heard rustle of the cheese wrapper.

And the latest episode was a couple of weeks later. We were out in the carport. I was working at my laptop, the dogs were sleeping off the efforts of having happily chowed down on a couple of bully sticks. Jacey got up, moved toward the edge of the carport, and just stood there in the typical tail-tucked pose. When these episodes occur, she doesn't respond to her name. Happy voice, which normally gets her tail wagging furiously, has no effect. She won't look at you, and looks away like a nervous dog who has no idea where she is or what she should do next. After a few minutes, she's more-or-less "back," and a minute or so after that, she's fully returned to normal.

So we went to the vet today. The vet took blood for a lab series like the one she had in January (before her dental). He'll compare the new numbers to the old to see if anything odd shows up.

If the lab work is fine, we'll assume she might have a tick-borne disease such as Babesia or Erlichia. She raced in panhandle-Florida--aka tick heaven--and it wouldn't be at all surprising if she picked up something that's laid dormant all these years. Tick panels are fairly expensive and not always reliable, but the recommended treatment for any of the TBDs is two weeks on doxycycline. If we're sure no other problem is lurking in the lab work, we'll skip the tick panel and go straight to the doxycyline.

And if that doesn't fix the problem, we may be left with the possibility that she has epilepsy and is having petit mal seizures. The normal treatment for seizures in dogs is phenobarbitol, but in Jacey's case that would be going overboard. I'm probably not seeing all the incidents that may be occurring--law of averages says they can't all take place while I'm home and watching her--but the episodes she's having aren't that severe or that frequent. The vet would prescribe some Valium for me to keep on hand in case she started having cluster-seizures.

These episodes aren't severe, aren't frequent (as far as I know), and they don't have any of the usual seizure aftermath--she's not exhausted and doesn't seem to feel bad. It's just that during the episode she looks so miserable, and I don't want to ignore the events and blow them off if there's something we can do to help. Happily, Sam isn't reacting to the episodes; it's not uncommon for dogs to attack other dogs that are having seizures, but Sam hasn't seemed to pay the slightest attention--and both dogs are muzzled when I'm not home.

So I'll hear something from the vet on Wednesday, and we'll see where we go from there.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Happy Gotcha Day, Sam!

My lovely, silly boy came home with me 8 years ago today.


Sam's a lover--he leans against you to get petted, he sleeps next to me on the sofa or in my bed, spreading over on top of his sister whenever he can.

And Sam trumps Jacey with his tail

He's a serious eater. He sits next to me as I eat, watching each mouthful, hoping for a nibble or for a dish to lick. It doesn't matter that he rarely gets people food. Despite eight years of experience, hope still spring eternal.


He has cheerfully put up with two bossy bitches in his life here. (Three, if you count me.)

Sam_By Amy

He has lovely wonky ears. Both ears go up, then the left one folds over backwards.


He's the love of my life, and I'm looking forward to more years with him.


Love you, BooBoo.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The knitting mojo is back!

After a couple of disappointing results on knitting projects, it was very nice to have a project come out right.


That's Springtime Bandit in Cascade 220 Heathers (#2433 Pacific Heather).

(Modeled by a volunteer at Knit Night.)

I worked one extra repeat in the center section. Without that repeat, I'd have completed the shawl in two balls of yarn; with the extra repeat, I needed a little bit of the third ball.


The final measured 58" x 31". This will be a lovely pattern to use for a shawl going as a gift to someone not skilled in blocking. Just soak the shawl, then lay it out flat to dry. No points to pin out, or other awkward bits. It pretty much blocks itself.


(Knitting mojo's back. But photography mojo? Not so much. The color is a much richer, darker teal.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot August

I finally got a little knitting done this week--for the first time in three weeks. It's been nice to have a couple of clear evenings to work on the latest shawl.

I had knitted all but the last four rows of a shawl in Malabrigo. Malabrigo is a lovely, super-soft wool made in South America. I love the stuff, and it comes in some terrific colors. But those folks really, really can't get two skeins to come out the same color, even when the skeins are dyed in the same dyelot.


I let that shawl sit in a time-out for several days while I decided whether I was going to be able to live with the color change. On a different pattern, where the design changed in a nice straight line, I might have tolerated it. But this pattern has all these zigzags, and the color change cuts across the peaks and valleys of the pattern. I decided I really couldn't stand it and ripped it all out. I'll reuse the two skeins of yarn--for different projects that don't have to match each other (say, a hat and some gloves). Sometimes you can disguise mismatched skeins by knitting two rows from one skein, two rows from the other. That's okay for a sweater, where the unused yarn would be hidden in the seams, but that's not very practical for a shawl.

Meanwhile, I've started the shawl again in a lovely solid color from a yarn company that gets its colors right:


This is Cascade 220 (Pacific Heather). It's going well. Of course, the shawl was going to be a birthday present for a family friend whose birthday was 17 August. Oops.

After this, I'm going to make a shawl for my sister's birthday (or something--her birthday is 20 August, so this will be late). Iris is a redhead, and I got a very nice warm brown (Chocolate Heather--no photos yet). It'll be a small shawl--a "shawlette" (I hate that word, but it conveys the idea--triangular, bigger than a scarf, smaller than a big shawl). You know how stylish folks in movies used to tie the arms of a sweater around their neck and let the sweater hang over their shoulders--leaving the impression the weather was too warm to wear the sweater, but too cool to go with nothing on their shoulders? A shawlette provides about as much coverage as that tied sweater, but isn't intended to be worn in any other way than just wrapped around the shoulders or neck, often secured with a decorative pin.

The dogs and I are fine. There's some sort of bug going around, and I'd like to get just enough of it to justify staying home sick. I've got more than 150 hours of sick leave saved up, and I'd probably get paid more for a sick day than I'm earning by working. But I hate to call at the last minute and make them juggle schedules when I'm not really ill, and I can't very well schedule a sick day a week or so in advance.

And the weather? We won't even discuss it. I just scheduled my vacation days for October, when the weather should be nicer.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Third Time's a Charm

I took another urine sample to Sam's vet. This time, Sam's water bowl was empty for nearly 12 hours before I collected the sample.

The verdict?


Perfect. Perfect concentration--exactly in the midrange, neither too concentrated nor too dilute. And no protein. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

The boy is peeing like a champ...and I'm breathing much easier.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sam confuses his vet

In our last episode, Sam was suffering from protein in his urine and the vet wanted a stress-free sample in three weeks. Fast forward three weeks, to today.

I took a sample in this morning, and the vet just called. No protein in Sam's urine, and every sign that Sam is a hydroholic (my expression for a dog that drinks like the proverbial fish). Mind you, Sam drank his "normal" bedtime drink (that means, he emptied the water dish), went to bed and slept for 8+ hours, got up, went outside and peed an entire lake (which I grabbed some of for the vet), and came in to eat a hearty breakfast. All of this is perfectly normal Sam-behavior; this has been the routine for seven and a half years.

Anyway, Sam's urine is very dilute, and the vet wants to try again in three weeks. He's going to take best-two-out-of-three.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sam goes to the vet

I'd been trying to come up with the money for two things: new tires for the back end of my car, and a vet visit for Sam. I'd get enough money for one, but I was afraid that the minute I committed to one thing, the other would immediately become an emergency. But I finally got enough freelance money to do both, so I got Sam to the vet ($127) on Tuesday, and got the tires ($165) today.

Sam and Jacey, waiting for the vet.

But Sam's vet visit didn't go perfectly. The vet thought he looked good, proper weight, no signs of arthritis, etc. But the lab work showed protein in his urine, which is not a good thing and could be an early sign of kidney failure.

Sam. Still waiting.

Stress--whether bad or good--can contribute to protein in his urine. For Sam, visiting the vet and vet tech he adores is good stress; the car ride that gets him there is the bad stuff. So in three weeks, I'll be snagging a urine sample from Sam here at home ("Sam, pee in this cup for mom...") and dropping the sample at the vet's. If the results of Tuesday's test are duplicated in that test, we'll see where we go. The vet says there are some very good meds available, so we'll see.

Sam, apparently hoping the vet will crawl under the door.

Meanwhile, Sam feels fine. He's figured out where to lie to get the best flow of air from the air conditioner and the ceiling fan, and he's sprawled in the floor there right now, unconcerned that this puts him right where Jacey and I need to walk to get to the kitchen...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

An auction for the hounds

An auction is being held to benefit the hounds rescued from the Jefferson County Kennel Club by the hard-working Tallahassee arm of Greyhound Pets of America. This GPA-Tallahassee/SEGA group brought me Sam (from heaven knows where) and Jacey-Kasey, who raced (badly) at JCKC.


There are items for dog-lovers (and their dogs). There also are non-pet items: a couple of knitted baby sweaters, a baby afghan, jewelry, etc. Lots of lovely goodies...

The auction ends Monday, 21 June 2010 at 10pm Eastern (or 15 minutes after the last bid).

Edited to add: The auction made $7,410 for the hounds at JCKC!

Yes. And no.

I've finished the Traveling Woman shawl knitted in Treisur Infatuation.


The blocked shawl measures about 56" by 18" (that's three repeats of Chart A, one of Chart B):


The ends haven't been woven, and they won't be. Yes, it's done. But no--I'm not keeping it. I'm frogging this--for a few reasons.

I'm a better knitter than this. (I hope.) My tension is a bit goofy in several places and is a lot goofy in a couple of places. Often, tension problems correct themselves in blocking; the problems got less noticeable, but they didn't completely vanish (and a solid-colored laceweight yarn used for a lot of loose stockinette stitches only emphasizes the problem). I also had to fudge a couple of places where my stitch count got off (and it was me, not the pattern). And I actually dropped a stitch once. It didn't ravel (thanks to the lifeline), but when I pulled out the lifelines, there that stitch was, just sitting there, doing nothing, when it should have been anchoring the stitch in the next row (where I probably fudged a stitch to compensate). None of the fudging or dropped stitches would have been deal-breakers under other circumstances, but on this shawl it's just too much.

You see, I like the pattern. And I like the yarn. And I want to like each of them in a finished project--and this project isn't filling the bill.

When the yarn arrived, I was thinking of it as a sock yarn, which usually is a fingering weight. In fact, this yarn is billed as laceweight. The Traveling Woman pattern, though, calls for fingering weight. Although several Ravelers have knitted the shawl in laceweight, those weren't the shawls I liked the most. The ones I really liked were the ones where the solid areas of the pattern looked more dense. (The shawl pictured on the pattern's web site is a perfect example.) If I'd been paying proper attention to the yarn, I'd have realized that Traveling Woman was not the pattern to show a laceweight yarn off well. (And using solid-colored laceweight yarn just made my stitches look worse than necessary in the denser areas of the shawl.)

So I made a bad choice in combining this yarn with this pattern, and they both deserve a better result.

I'll try the Traveling Woman shawl again. I've got a Knit Picks Stroll Multi that I think will work well. It's fingering weight.


And I'll find a pattern suitable for a laceweight yarn--perhaps the Branching Out scarf.

I like knitting, I like this yarn, and I like this pattern. I just want to like them all when I'm finished.

For now, I'll conduct an experiment on this new yarn that SWTC sent to me to try out: let's see how responsive it is to frogging. Will it ravel easily? Will it show "damage" or will it look good?

Stay tuned...

Edited to add: The shawl is being spared. A friend wants it, flaws and all. I'll reblock it (the points on the lower edge didn't hold on the first blocking) and send it off to Ali in Ireland.

And I'm going to knit some laceweight bookmarks with the remaining Infatuation.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Traveling Woman

So, in recent blog posts I mentioned free yarn from SWTC, the value of running lifelines, and the idea of using sock yarn for a shawlette--which I don't actually need, but would be fun to knit.

So concatenate those topics:


In the photos, I was nearly through the first pass on Chart A. Now, I've nearly finished the second repeat of A (of course I ran a lifeline after the first pass through A, as well as the one you can see here--placed before I started A). I'm planning three repeats of A (maybe 4, depending on how much yarn I have left after the third repeat), then one pass through B (which is the edging).


The pattern is called Traveling Woman. (The photos on the web site show two repeats of Chart A, one of Chart B.) The yarn is Treisur's Infatuation. The pattern--and the yarn--are working up like a dream. This is a pattern I think I'll want to make again.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I really like knitted socks. I like the way they look--especially the ones with tight little geometric designs. I like the way they fit. (My feet are US 5-1/2. Regular women's socks are too big and kids' socks aren't any fun.)

I even like knitting socks myself...up to a point. That point is when the socks stop getting bigger.


I started these socks in January. It's an easy little pattern. Rows 1, 3, and 5 are "knit"; Rows 2 and 4 are "P1, K4"; Row 6 is "purl." That's it.

But that's "it"--for-friggin'-ever. I've been working on both socks at the same time (to eliminate second-sock-syndrome, where finishing the first sock leaves the knitter with no desire to start a second one). One sock is a bit further along than the other: 90 rows vs. 84 rows. Times 70 stitches per row. That's 12,180 stitches. And they aren't socks yet. They aren't even close to being socks yet.


Now, I've made socks before. My first knitted pair was these plain-vanilla socks: simple ribbing, plain foot. It was a heavier-than-usual sock yarn, so they knitted up pretty fast.

First Knitted Socks

Last year, I made two pairs of socks for my sister:



The purple socks didn't take very long--or at least it didn't feel like very long. The pattern moved along quickly. The striped ones took--well, they took for-friggin'-ever. (They were Christmas socks. I had one sock done by Christmas. Frantic knitting every available minute for a week produced the second sock by New Year's.)

So I'm thinking that those lovely tiny geometric designs that I like to look at so much are exactly the kinds of sock designs I need to stop knitting.

Now I've got lots of sock yarn--variegated, solid, and striping. My family asked what I wanted for Christmas, I told them, and they obligingly gave me sock pattern books and sock yarn. And I already had quite a bit of sock yarn. Sock yarn can be used for socks. It also can be used for small "shawlettes"--little lacy scarf-cum-shawl constructions (most shawlette patterns take about the same amount of yarn as a pair of socks), although there's a limit to how many shawlettes any woman needs in her wardrobe (especially a woman like me, who wears a uniform to work every day). Beyond shawlettes, the uses of sock yarn are a bit limited. You can make baby things--as long as you want to make baby things with lots of very tiny tan, khaki, and green stripes or some other non-infant-like colors. Most purchases of sock yarn are made in quantities that don't give you a whole lot of choices in patterns...beyond socks.

But there are lots of sock patterns out there. Lots of free-online sock patterns, too. There are patterned socks. There are lacy socks. There are cabled socks. (Okay, forget about the cabled socks. I've done cables and I'm not crazy about them. Doing cables around and around a sock is a more appalling idea than knitting endless geometric designs on socks. No cables for me...but take a look at those socks!) But there are socks with complicated patterns that require charts with keys and lots of concentration. The value of that kind of sock is that once you get through the repeat once time, you can really feel like you've done something, made some progress. Once you've done the pattern repeat half a dozen times--not enough times to be bored with it--you're down the leg and ready to start the heel.

I'm not going to frog my poor, boring Ridged Squares socks. Sometimes you need some mindless knitting while you're killing time waiting for your car to be repaired. Having a pattern you can pick up, look at for a minute, and resume, then put away for a week (or month) or more is very useful. Sometimes I'll work on these at work, during my 30-minute lunch break.

But I'm going to find another pattern I like, pick some yarn from my stash, and start a new pair--very soon. I've resisted having lots of projects in the works at one time, but I'm going to stop worrying about that. Having one pair of socks that is moving along like sludge shouldn't interfere with my desire to knit something more fun.

Even if the "more fun" is another pair of socks.

Shown above: The plain vanilla socks were knitted in Elann Esprit. The purple, gold and green socks (the pattern is called Sunday Swing Socks) are knitted in Patons Stretch Socks yarn. The striped socks were knitted in Lane Cervinia Forever.

Lifeline to the rescue


There's an old song I've heard of, and the last verse goes like this:

This is the lifeline, oh, grasp it today!
See, you are recklessly drifting away;
Voices in warning, shout over the wave,
O grasp the strong lifeline, for Jesus can save.

(Refrain) Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is sinking today.

I remembered that song today as a lifeline rescued my knitting.

I had started the grapevine shawl (Ravelry link) early in May and successfully completed one pattern repeat (12 rows). I picked it up Sunday to do a little knitting and promptly screwed up the 3rd line in the next repeat. I tried to tink back, but it didn't work. I wound up ripping the whole thing back and started over, resolving to run a lifeline after each pattern repeat from then on. (A lifeline is a length of yarn or thread that a knitter runs through the stitches of a completed row. If there's a problem later on, the knitter can rip back to the lifeline and recover all the stitches, all facing the right direction. In the photo, you can see white lifelines. If you look closely, you can see some pink ones, too.)

Yesterday's knitting went well...from cast-on through four repeats without the ghost of a problem. The pattern itself is easy--all K2TOGs, SSKs, and YOs, with not a single P2TOG, K3TOG, nupp, or other tricky stitch. And half the rows are purl-even rows, so really there are only six pay-close-attention rows in each repeat.

Now some people remove previous lifelines once they've run a new one. If you've just run a lifeline to protect the 6th repeat, you don't actually need one protecting the 5th repeat, right?

Well, maybe... It depends on how closely you inspected the 6th repeat before you moved on to the 7th one. Because if you belatedly spot an error in the 9th row of the 6th repeat, you're going to want that lifeline between repeats 5 and 6.

And here's the nice thing about lifelines: they make you braver about fixing problems. I needed to rip back about 6 rows to fix the error. With luck, I'd be able to recover my stitches there--even though the lifeline was further back--I could recover my stitches, fix the problem, and start moving forward again.

But sometimes picking up doesn't go as smoothly as you like, especially when you've been increasing and decreasing stitches in rows (all those K2TOGs, SSKs, and YOs). It can be hard to tell what's a legitimate YO and what's a loose loop between stitches. And when that happens--which is exactly what happened to me on the 2nd repeat on Sunday--then you have to keep ripping back either to the nearest lifeline, or to the beginning. If you don't have any lifelines in your work, your only option might be to ignore the error, keep working, and squint a lot when you look at your finished piece. And that might be the choice you have to make if you've been removing previous lifelines as you run new ones.

But a lifeline securely in place makes you brave enough to attempt the fix. If all goes well, you get all your stitches back and just reknit those 6 rows. In the worst case scenario, you reknit 15 rows: the whole pattern repeat and the three rows you'd worked in the newest section. Either way, you're in no danger of losing all your work back to the beginning.

So my project was rescued--and I only reknit six rows. Now I've got six and a half good repeats, with a lifeline in place after every one.

The pattern is downloadable (free) from Cascade Yarns. The yarn used is Cascade Sierra (80% cotton, 20% wool).

P.S. And sometimes it helps to leave the lifelines in place while you block. It helps you keep each repeat section straight, and measuring from lifeline to lifeline is a good way to ensure that you block the whole piece evenly, without stretching the length at one end or the other.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More knitting, more doggie birthdays

I finished two more helmet liners. (No pictures, this time. If you've seen one helmet liner, you've seen 'em all--especially since the new ones are the same color as the previous one.) I think I'm finished with that pattern for a while. Three times in one month...

I made a hat with the Intriguing yarn.


I invented the pattern as I went along, and the resulting product fits me nicely. Of course, the pattern is nothing but ribbing, which is nice and stretchy and hard to screw up.

With US8/5.0mm needles, I cast on 80 stitches, knitted 1 inch in 2x2 rib, increased to 90 and a mixed 3x2 x 2x2 rib.

I had 20 knit ribs, 20 purl valleys. At 5 inches, I started decreasing: decreased 10 stitches (all the 3K ribs reduced to 2K); knitted even; decreased 5 stitches (every 4th rib); knitted even; decreased 10 stitches; knitted even; decreased 5 stitches (the last 2K ribs reduced to 1K); knitted even; decreased 10 stitches (knit 1K+1P together for each decrease--much easier than P2tog for the decrease, and it looks good); knitted even; decreased 5 stitches…, etc.

The hat took less than half the ball of yarn. I'm using the other half to make a neck-warmer. (I'm making up that pattern, too.) The neck-warmer is my lunchtime-at-work knitting. Pictures and details later.

The yarn knits up nicely. It's not particularly splitty (which some wrapped yarns are). It's a bit fuzzy (the mohair), but I think it probably would frog with less trouble than one normally encounters when frogging mohair--although that's an experiment I didn't have to make. :) There's some acrylic in the yarn (77% Wool, 15% Acrylic, 8% Mohair), but I blocked the hat anyway--wanted to see if the yarn changed much. There wasn't a noticeable change (the yarn didn't "bloom," if you know what I mean), but the yarn behaved well and didn't fade or tighten up, or do anything unexpected. (Having recently seen a Cascade 220 Superwash project--not a helmet liner, but another item--gain a ridiculous 20% in size when blocked, having the hat hold its dimensions was very nice.)

With the Granny Smith-colored yarn, I've started the Traveling Woman shawl. I'm still very much in the early stages:


Jacey turned seven Wednesday (the 19th). She and Sam got to have the last of the doggie birthday biscuit (with icing) that my sister bought for Sam's birthday the week before. (We parcel treats out sparingly around here to avoid stomach troubles.) And a friend's dog, Katie (MACH Never Had Braces UD),* turned a dignified twelve years old on Monday.

*MACH = Master Agility Champion, the highest AKC agility title (Katie was the first greyhound to win that title); UD = Utility Dog, a very high AKC obedience title.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recent and Current Knitting

I recently knitted a helmet liner. A blogger was asking for knitted helmet liners for a Marine unit that will be shipping out to Afghanistan. I decided to knit a liner, and it knitted up quickly.


And then a coworker asked for one for her friend, a soldier already in Afghanistan. So I gave her the one I knitted (she'll repay me for the yarn), and I bought a new ball of yarn today and have started the second helmet liner. It's nice yarn (has to be wool--no acrylics, and there's a limited range of acceptable colors), and the pattern is easy. I'm already an inch into the second liner. But let's not tell the Marines they're wearing a color called Doeskin Heather; Bambi-colored yarn doesn't quite sound right for the Corps.


Sam has turned 10 years old. Both dogs have coats I made for them (Jacey inherited Oreo's coats), but only Jacey has a hand-knitted sweater. Every time I've started to make a sweater for Sam, Christmas knitting has intervened, and Sam's sweater has been pushed to the back burner.

But the boy turned 10 on the 10th of this month, and I wanted him to have a sweater for the fall, so I knitted one that I finished the day before his birthday.


The turtleneck can be unrolled to stretch up his neck and give his ears some coverage when necessary.

I have yarn to knit a matching sweater for Jacey in forest green. There are changes I want to make to the pattern (I made notes in Ravelry), and I'll probably make her sweater soon, while the changes (and my notes) still make sense to me.



At the recent Stitches South convention here in Atlanta, I won a prize: a kit to make a shawl. The pattern is for Cascade's lacy Grapevine Shawl, and the yarn is a bright fuchsia cotton (Cascade Sierra). I've started the shawl and made it through one pattern repeat. The one repeat measures about two inches; just 26 repeats to go. ;) I have a high school reunion coming up in October, and a bright shawl might be just the thing for a fall evening.



The folks at SWTC are now carrying a line of yarn called Treisur. They're looking for knitting bloggers to try the yarn and blog about it. (See here for information.)

I didn't hesitate to sign up, and Monday I received a package.

In the package was one 169-yard ball of Treisur Intrigue:


It's a worsted-weight wool/acrylic/mohair blend (4 stitches/inch on US9s). This colorway shades from teal to green to gold to burgundy to purple to blue, all wrapped with an orange thread. I'm not sure, yet, but I think this yarn really wants to be a hat. I'm going hunting for patterns.

Also in the package were two 250-yard balls of Treisur Infatuation:


It's a fingering-weight bamboo/wool/nylon blend (8 stitches/inch on US2s). The yarn comes in multicolor put-ups, but this colorway is a lovely Granny Smith apple green, and has a thin shiny thread wrap. (The wrap reminds me of the shiny filament wrapped around baby pompadour yarns, only much finer and tighter, and the yarn isn't fuzzy at all.) The yarn would be suitable for socks, but I'm not sure... It's such a lovely yarn (ooh! shiny!), and it might want to be something showy--something that doesn't get tucked into shoes. I'll be hunting on Ravelry for patterns...