Jimbo Beach 2004 – 2017

It’s been a couple of weeks and we are still very sad and missing our Ava.  I will share what I posted on the Facebook greyhound group:

Our sweet old lady greyhound Ava (Jimbo Beach) left us on Monday morning (June 19) to meet Sabrina and Apollo over the bridge. Rufus and Chopper are missing her sorely.

When our first greyhound, Sabrina (tall, lean and lanky Supermodel) left us, Apollo was bereft. It wasn’t long before we brought Ava home. Her kennel name was Peanut, but we felt she needed something a little more refined. So Ava it was. She took over the role that Sabrina left vacant and Apollo was happy to let her lead.

When Apollo passed, Ava was very lost without him, so a week later Rufus came home to be bossed around by her. Rufus isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and he looked to Ava for direction and approval. They had a great relationship, but as Ava aged, she couldn’t go for long walks any more, and her romps in the yard were shortened.
So along came Chopper. He was an impulse adoption, as we never intended to have a three dog pack. He fit right in and became a great companion to Rufie, but also was devoted to Ava, making her love him. Ha ha!

Ava had some various “little” medical issues over the past several months, but in the past two weeks, she had become lame on one front leg, and last week began having nose bleeds. She deteriorated quite quickly over the weekend. Sunday night she slept motionless with Chopper by her side. She called out in the night a few times when she shifted and was in pain.

Monday morning she was unable to get up, and when we tried to assist her, she cried out in pain. She was trembling and her eyes were defeated. So we carefully bundled her up in her favourite blanket, drove to the vets and they were able to come to the van and help her on her way. It was very calm, quiet and peaceful. We had both the van doors open, the sun was shining on her beautiful grey/brindle face and there was a warm breeze.

RIP, our little girl. 2 February 2004 to 19 June 2017.

Here is the very first photo I took of her:

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with her brother Apollo on that first night.

and the last:

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that sweet, ghost-faced roacher

Sock Catch Up

I had purchased some lovely Biscotte and Cie sock yarn when I was on one of my trips to Vancouver.  After making some socks for other people, I decided to make a pair for me.  I used my usual sock stitch count/pattern, but after I had done the heel flaps, I ripped them back because I wanted to try a different heel treatment.

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Watermelon Socks!

Ravelry project page is here. I liked the after-thought heel and will use it again.  There are a few refinements I would make to it, and next time I’d make the foot just a little shorter before beginning the toe decreases.  Cute!

A friend recently had her 40th birthday and I made her a pair of socks using another colourway of Biscotte & Cie.

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Ladybug colourway

The Ravelry project page is here.

The Biscotte yarns are very nice; while they say superwash, I wouldn’t put them in the dryer unless you wanted to felt/full them to make them smaller.  Great colourways!

Long time …

no post!

For two retired people, we are always busy with something.  I’ve been working since February, I think, on this First Watch Pea Coat sweater.  It was a bit of a gong show with starts and stops.  It took three tries to get a yarn that could meet gauge without being too drapey.

The yarn I ended up using was Cascade Cloud; it does seem to be a true Aran weight yarn.  The others I tried were labeled/marketed as Aran, but were really just worsted.  This yarn is a 70% Wool – Merino/30% Camelid – Alpaca blend and is a “chain” yarn, or cabled.  Not spun.  I found it really annoying to work with because it was really splitty.  Also the only colour that my LYS had enough of, was navy.  So it was a challenge all around.  Very dark and hard to work on at night.

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Obligatory awkward photo; the navy is really deeper than shown here

The pattern itself is really straight forward.  Top down, raglan sleeve construction and the button band (wide) is knitted as you work the body.  I liked it.

I did some modifications; I had to add length to the sleeves and torso, as usual.  I also added in front and back waist shaping.  I really like the body shape when I do that.  It’s the same as I did on my Flax and Lush sweaters.

I got the buttons when I was in Vancouver in February at Button Button, a fantastic little store downtown.  I ended up being two buttons short due to the added length (and I probably could have spaced the button holes a few more rows apart, in retrospect) so I emailed them and they were able to send some out to me.

I think I need to do a bit more blocking and maybe put an invisible snap on the bottom of the button band so it doesn’t flare out.  Or it just could be the shorts I was wearing; the waist has a chunky drawstring …

The Ravelry project page is here.

I made a few pairs of socks here and there for birthdays, and squeezed one pair in for myself.  I don’t know where the photos are of the other ones.  Let me go look.

 

Tea Party Socks

I made a quick, simple pair of socks using Sweet Georgia Yarn’s Tough Love Sock Yarn in colourway “tea party” for my dear friend, Ande.  I was heading out for a long weekend visiting her in Vancouver.

1×1 ribbed cuff, 3×1 ribbed leg and instep

Always pleased with the way Sweet Georgia yarns knit up. So soft and such great colours.

I (of course) picked up some yarn when I was in Vancouver; mostly sock yarn.  SGY and also some Biscotte yarns.  Another line that has great colourways and self striping designs.

There is aran weight yarn waiting in the wings to turn into a First Watch cardigan.  I picked up the buttons when I was in Vancouver at Button Button.  Great store.  I’ll get that sweater underway soon.

 

Sparkle Socks Done!

I finished off these great looking socks:

 

Sweet Georgia Yarns "Cashluxe Spark" sock yarn

Sweet Georgia Yarns “Cashluxe Spark” sock yarn

I didn’t think I’d have enough to do the entire sock with the yardage I had, so for the toes/heels I used some Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love sock yarn I had left over.

Ravelry page here.  The Cashluxe was part of a Sock of the Month offering in 2015.  Very nice yarn to work with.

I’m still debating yarn for my next sweater; I need to do a gauge swatch of some Cascade Cloud that I got.  But I’m making another pair of socks right now.

 

Gauge problems

I saw a great pattern on Instagram and was waiting for it to be released.  It called for aran weight yarn, but I thought I could probably do it with worsted – my favourite Cascade 220, as I have some of that in my stash.  It’s called “First Watch” and is a pea coat styled cardigan.  It is by Olive Knits.  I swatched with Cascade 220, and while I was able to get that gauge of 18 st per 4″, the fabric was way too drapey for this sort of garment.

I was at my (not so) local yarn store a week or so ago, and picked up some Berocco Vintage which is labeled as an aran weight.  I did a gauge swatch and it, too, was far to flimsy for this type of structure.  So I ended up ordering some Cascade Longwood, which is a true aran weight.  I did a quick swatch of it last night and my gauge was bang on.

Cascade Longwood

Cascade Longwood

The colour is a little off.  It’s sort of a paprika/brick red orange.  I’ll pick up some awesome buttons when I’m in Vancouver in a couple of weeks at Button Button!

In the meantime, I decided to start a pair of socks, because who doesn’t love knitting socks?!

Cashluxe Spark

Cashluxe Spark

This is some Sweet Georgia Yarns sock yarn club from 2015.  It’s more purple/red.  I have some purple left over from another pair of socks that I will use for the heels and toes.  Such great yarn!

We have been diligent in getting our lane swimming in at least once a week.  We have gone a few times to a really nice complex in Saskatoon and had some great swims there.  I am seeing progress in my technique, but it’s slow.

next stop, the Olympics!

next stop, the Olympics!

 

It’s done! It’s done!

The Octodude (Knitter’s Dude sweater) is finished!  I had to wait a day to get some buttons because the ones I bought at the yarn store were 1.25″ and I needed 1″.  I didn’t think to check when I was making the buttonholes on the band, so I had to see what I could get locally.

The Knitter's Dude sweater, modified

The Knitter’s Dude sweater, modified

My Ravelry project page is here.  I made several modifications which I have listed in my project notes.  I wanted a different colourwork motif than the pattern had, so I found an octopus graph and incorporated that.  I also wanted to keep the “oceanic” theme and changed the other colourwork sections to waves instead of Greek key.

the back

the back

I added length to the body/torso (before the yoke) and the sleeves because most patterns are too short for me in those areas.  The sleeves ended up being a bit long, so I have folded back the ribbed cuffs and am happy with that.  I can fold them down if my hands get cold!

The sweater is knit in the round, then steeked to make a cardigan.  I’ve done steeks before (for armholes on Dale of Norway sweaters) but it has been more than a few years.  I did some googling and got my sewing machine out.

eeeek!  Cutting the steek.

eeeek! Cutting the steek.

After picking up and knitting the button bands and collar, I was able to find some really cool grosgrain ribbon to use to cover the steek ends.

hand sewing the steek facing

hand sewing the steek facing

I spent a lot of time doing the detailed finishing work.  I trimmed the steeks down close to the stitching to reduce bulk, then sewed the ribbon on top.

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isn’t the ribbon awesome? I love skulls as much as I love octopus!

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I sewed on small clear buttons on the inside of the button band to reinforce the buttons.

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the buttons I found locally. I might swap them out for some to match the burnt orange stripes, if I find the right ones.

I used Cascade 220 Heathers for this project.  It’s a great “workhorse” worsted weight yarn.  I have enough left over to make a hat.  For now, I’ve cast on a quick hat using Vanna’s Choice that will go into my donation box.

Getting close!

I’ve been working diligently on my “Knitter’s Dude” sweater.  I had to do some modifications (adding length, changing the colour work motifs, etc.) so it’s taken a while.

ready to begin the steek process

ready to begin the steek process

I gave the front a light steaming so it was nice and smooth for sewing the reinforcing lines of the steek.  I have cut the steek and am working on the button band/collar.  It’s almost done!  Super pleased with the colours and the motifs I chose.

Some knitting

I got a bee in my bonnet to make a Cowichan-inspired sweater.  I didn’t necessarily want to make a bulky weight sweater, and I found a great alternative on Ravelry.  The “Knitter’s Dude Sweater” (so named because it was a replication of the sweater in “The Big Lebowski”).  It’s a worsted weight version, so much more to my liking for both knitting and wearing.

two sleeves done

I wanted to change the pattern’s motif/colourwork charts to suit me, so I found an octopus graph and am incorporating that into the sweater.

Octopus!

I have to add length to the body and sleeves, so I’m keeping good notes and hopefully it won’t end up too long.  The sweater is knit completely in the round, then the front is steeked to turn it into a cardigan.  The collar is added last.

Ravelry project page is here.