Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hello Yarn & Southern Cross Fiber giveaway for Keeshond Rescue!!

I would like to tell you a little bit about a very special guy.  His name is Theo and he is a Keeshond.  We all call him "Theodorable" and I think it is pretty obvious why!

Theo is 9 years old has suffered neglect for most of his life which has caused him many long term health issues.  He was surrendered by his owner to Keeshond Rescue Ontario (the same rescue group that my Mr. Jiggs is from) and in terrible shape- about double the body weight he should have been.  He had pain when he walked, ear infections, skin infections and poor coat condition, including a 4" wide bare ring around his neck that was probably due to a collar rubbing it for so long.  His teeth were in terrible condition with lots of built up plaque, bad breath and some loose teeth too.  Even through all of this, he maintained his adorable, quintessential Keeshond personality.  I have had the honor of meeting him and he is a true sweetheart!

How can you resist that smiling face?!  (Theo is in the middle, grinning from ear to ear)
Theo 4

His wonderful foster mom has worked miracles with him and he is beginning to show signs of improvement in just over 2 months!  Through vigorous effort he has lost enough weight that the vet will consider the dental surgery he desperately needs. His total dental bill is estimated at around $2000.


The plight of rescue dogs is very near and dear to my heart.  Both of my Keeshonden are rescues who have been spared the terrible conditions that they were in before they were rescued.  Our lives are so much better having them to share it with!!

So, this is where you come in! To help encourage some donations for this important cause, I am conducting a drawing for anyone who donates on Theo's behalf.  The prize will be TWO, 4-oz. bumps of luscious fiber.  ONE vintage Hello Yarn Fiber club (Five Plum Pie on Falklands) and ONE Southern Cross Fibre club (Hunter on Southdown) both are pictured below.  One winner gets both fibers!!  If you are a non-spinner I will happily spin up these fibers into yarn for you.  I'm sure you are dying to know how you can get entered for this awesome prize, right?!?
  1. Click on this link 
  2. Click on the “Donate Now” button.
  3. Enter the amount you would like to donate.
  4. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT:  Please enter your Ravelry name into the “Optional Message for Keeshond Rescue".  This is how I will know who you are to contact you if you win the prize!  note:  Please DON'T donate anonymously unless you don't want to be entered for the prize.
  5. Click through the next steps to enter in your email address and credit card information, and that’s it! 
I will hold the drawing on November 30th.  I will contact the winner through Ravelry PM to get your address.

Thank you so much in advance for your support!

Hello Yarn - "Five Plum Pie"

Southern Cross Fibre - "Hunter"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Handspun Shetland + Sweaters = Love

I am so pleased with how my latest handspun sweater turned out!!  Wanna see? 

Golden Wheat Cardigan

Here are all of the juicy details!

Pattern: Golden Wheat Cardigan by Veera Välimäki

Fiber:  Dyed by the uber talented David of    Southern Cross Fiber.   Shetland fiber in club colorways "Timber Wolves" and " Bamboo Forest".  I also used a natural Shetland as a third ply to stretch the Southern Cross and give it all a marled cohesive look.

Yarn:  3 ply Aran weight. Approximately 920 yards spun.

Spinning:  Spun on my Lendrum DT on the fast flyer (because I am impatient) at a ratio of 12:1.  This fiber had such a nice long staple length, I was able to easily do a supported long draw. 

Gauge:  14.5 sts/4 in on size 9 needles.

Here are some pictures of the fiber before I spun them up:
(L: Timber Wolves, R: Bamboo Forest)

Southern Cross Fibre - Timber WolvesSouthern Cross Fibre - Bamboo Forest

Finished yarn:


Golden Wheat Cardigan

I really love how this yarn spun up.  I have been in love with spinning 3-ply's lately since completing the Tour de Fleece.  I finished my Sheep 2 Shoe kit and my Hello Yarn sweater spin and they were both 3-ply yarns.  I really like the way it distributes the colors.

The yarn for this sweater is soft enough for me, but still  retains a little of the rustic wooly feel that I love about Shetland.  I know that this sweater will wear really well and stand up to a lot of use.  I think it will be just chilly enough to wear it this weekend!  ♥

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Meet Mr. Jiggs!

So, I have been pretty busy for the past 8 months or so and it is all due to this little guy.  Please say "Hi" to Mr. Jiggs!

Mr. Jiggs

He looks like a pretty happy guy, huh?  He is now, but his life didn't start out so great.  Not much of his first year is known.  In August 2011 he was found listed on Kijiji (online classifieds) in Quebec by Keeshond Rescue of Ontario and quickly brought into rescue.  Before we adopted him, I recieved the following information about his past from the rescue group:

"The only history we have is, he was tied up most of his life and has suffered some physical abuse. He did not receive the proper socialization when he was a puppy and has great difficulty with strangers. His fear of being hit was very evident by his behaviour with hands coming towards him. He would cower and flattened himself on the ground and look away from us." Louise Foster - KRO

Jiggs remained in rescue for 5 months for rehabilitation and training.  In loving hands, he finally learned to trust people and other dogs.

We learned about Mr. Jiggs in December of 2011.  We had recently lost our first Keeshond to a type of vascular cancer and I had reached out to my local rescue contact about the possibility of adopting in the future.  She told me that KRO (Keeshond Rescue Ontario) had just taken in EIGHT Keeshonden, 4 adults and 4 puppies, when authorities shut down a cruel puppy mill in Quebec and that they might need fosters or forever homes.  I promptly filled out my application and was contacted about Mr. Jiggs.  His foster Mom wrote me and we had many conversations about his behavior, challenges and special needs.  On January 15th we found out that we were selected to be Jiggs' forever home!!  WooHoo!!  We were absolutely beside ourselves with excitement and immediately begun figuring out the logistics of driving to Canada in January with one dog and coming back across the border with TWO!  Turns out it isn't such a big deal.  You just need their license and shot records.

We arrived to pick up our new baby on January 27th and planned to stay one night and come back the next day so that we could get him acclimated with us before we had to go back to work.  He and Tanuki were fast friends.  This is their first meeting at Jiggs's foster Mom & Dad's house:



He has settled in with us really well and become a great running buddy!  Jiggs is still a little wary around strangers, but he is such a good, brave boy and is even working past that too.  I can't hardly remember a day that he wasn't in our lives.  He is such a lively and joyous dog, it is hard not to smile when you are around him.  ♥


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Handspun Shaking Leaves

Shaking Leaves Cardigan

Hello Yarn Club fiber Finn "Shaking Leaves". This prep was so absolutely wonderful, it practically spun its self! I really love the squishyness of the garter stitch with the Finn wool.

Spinning notes:
20oz Finn wool spun semi worsted. I like to spin long draw, but I smooth the singles as I let them wind on. This is possibly not technically correct, but it works for me!

Singles spun 18-20 wpi
Plied yarn 9-10 wpi
Grist-Approx 1000 ypp Worsted-Aran weight

Knitting notes:
Gauge: 20sts, 33 rows/4in with size 7 needles
Yarn required ~1100 yards Worsted-Aran weight

Finished measurements:
Collar 18"
Bust 39"
Yoke depth 8.5"
Upper arm 14"
Waist 34"
Length (from underarm) 16"
Sleeve 15.5"
If you need this bigger or smaller, you can simply knit more or fewer increase rows. Ah, the beauty of Top down sweaters!

Odd rows RS, Even rows WS

With size 4, 32" circular needle CO 85 sts and k 4 rows plain
Row 5- Knit Increase row - *k3 kfb* k1 (throughout pattern repeat sts between *'s)- 21 sts increased - 106 sts
Row 6- Switch to size 7 32" circular needles, k 1 row even - knit button hole on this row and every 7 garter ridges, or to your own taste. I did a 3 stitch 2 row buttonhole.
Row 7- Knit Short row - k 80% of sts, w&t, knit back to the same point on the other side, w&t, k to end of row. (Example: If you have 100 sts on needle, k 80sts(20 sts from the end), w&t, k 60sts(20 sts from the end), w&t k to end. No need to pick up wraps when knitting short rows in garter stitch)
Row 8- k 1 row even
Row 9- Knit Increase row - k5 *kfb, k2* k5 - 32 sts increased - 138 sts
Row 10- knit 1 row even
Row 11- Knit Short row as stated above except only k 70% of your stitches before your, w&t
Row 12- k 1 row even
Row 13- Knit Increase row - k7 *kfb, k3* k7 - 31 sts increased - 169 sts
Row 14-28 knit even (don't forget your button hole!)
Row 29- Knit Increase row - k6 *kfb, k5* k7 - 26 sts increased - 195 sts
Row 30- knit 1 row even
Row 31- Prepare to begin raglan increases(RS)- k31, pm, k1, pm, k38, pm, k1, pm, k53, pm, k1, pm, k38, pm, k1, pm, k31
Row 32- k7, p to last 7 sts, k7 (continue 7 st garter button band throughout)
Row 33- 1st raglan increase round - k to first marker, *M1R, k1, M1L, knit to next marker* repeat across - 8 sts increased. 203 sts.
Repeat last 2 rows 10 more times. 88 sts increased. 283 sts.
Repeat row 32
Split sleeves from body(RS) removing markers and knitting raglan sts as you come to them- k43, slip next 60 sts to scrap yarn, CO 6 under arm sts, pm, CO 6 more sts, k77 sts, slip next 60 sts to scrap yarn, CO 6 under arm sts, pm, CO 6 more sts, k43.
Knit body sts in stockinette stitch back and forth, keeping the 7 st garter button band, until sweater measures 3 in from underarm. Decrease 2 sts at each side every 8th row, 4 times.
Knit straight for 3-4 inches
Increase 2 sts at each side of side markers every 7th row, 3 times. Knit to 1.5" less than desired body length.
Knit 12 rows of garter stitch and bind off.

Slip sleeve sts back onto size 7 circular or DPN. PU 6 sts pm, PU 6 sts, join and begin to knit in the round.
Decrease 2 sts each side of marker each round for 3 rounds and then once more after knitting a few rounds plain.
Knit 5 inches even.
Decrease 2 sts each side of marker every 12th row, 5 times.

Knit sleeve 1.5" less than desired length (in my case 14 inches) and knit 12 rows of garter stitch and bind off.
Repeat for second sleeve.
Sew on buttons and enjoy!!

- I do not own or have ever looked at the pattern "Garter Yoke Cardigan by Melissa LeBarre" I was inspired by this design, but wanted to incorporate some additional features such as a higher neckline and additional waist shaping. This pattern is not really "mods" per se, but my own interpretation of that pattern. I did my best to double check the math, so please let me know if you find a mistake.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!!

Yarn Ball Wreath
Originally uploaded by Orchid22

So, I can't believe that is has been this long since I have actually posted on my blog!!!
I have been so busy since last fall. Work has been crazy, and then I got a spinning wheel for Christmas last year and have been spinning up a storm ever since.

This is a little wreath that I put together using styrofoam balls and some yarn that I picked up on the cheap at JoAnn's. Oh, yeah, and 2 of the balls are covered in yarn that I spun from my puppers!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Natalie Dee rocks!

Seriously! This girl is hard core funny...

natalie dee


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fabulous Fiddleheads

It may seem strange to be so excited about knitting mittens at the beginning of Summer, but I saw this pattern on Ravelry and I just had to cast on IMMEDIATELY!! These mittens were designed by Adrian Bizilia of Hello Yarn fame.

I have never felt compelled to do any Fair Isle knitting before. I always thought it looked too folksy or something, but this pattern combines a beautiful design with uber-functionality. I don't think these look too bad for my first attempt at stranded knitting.

I have learned a few new tricks with this pattern as well. You begin the mittens with an I-cord cast on. I can see this being a really useful tool in many other situations. I also learned the aforementioned stranded knitting. I followed Adrian's suggestion of using the colored yarn as the color you "carry under" and I tried to knit continental with my left hand and english with my right, but I am not very proficient in continental yet and my hands were cramped something terrible!!

I knit these in the small size with Lamb's Pride Worsted as the main color and Noro Kureyon as the contrast color on size US3 needles. This produced a firm windproof fabric. I am still trying to decide what to line these with. I have some Lana Grossa Babykid in Teal that is a possibility and also some Blue Sky Alpaca sport weight in a lucious turquoise color.

The lining is up next...Stay tuned!!!