As the summer has gotten hotter and hotter, poor Louis has been panting and drooling with his double coat of fur. Bathing him and using the Furminator has helped, but the poor fellow has just got such a dense coat. Great in the winter, not so good in the summer. So, Mr. Louis got a summer buzz cut and he is one happy and cute dude. He head looks too big for his body now, but that just makes him look very puppy like and he’s been tearing through the house with a look of glee on his face.
Ignoring the fact that Louis is sitting in the middle of my hostas, he’s just the apple of my eye.
Green grass, flowers, bees, sunshine galore! Finally, we’ve made it out of all the cold and snow! I’ve been spending more time outdoors and less time inside, so my knitting and crocheting are waiting patiently for me to return to them.
In the meantime, a sweet dove has decided to make her nest in one of the planters just outside my backdoor and I’ve been watching she and her newborn babies with great fascination, though I won’t be able to plant flowers in that planter for a bit. The babies aren’t too cute yet as their feathers are just now beginning to come in. Just last week there were two eggs and now the chicks are so big they barely fit under their mom.
I’ve also been playing around with embroidery again. I taught myself how to embroider when I was in the 7th grade and I revisit it now and again. I drew this bird and though it might be fun to reinterrupt it in floss on linen. Hmmm, I think there’s a theme here . .
Last but not least, here’s gratuitous picture of Louis sitting not in my hostas, but on my hosta!
Yesterday was the first day of spring and we got 9 inches of snow!! Absolutely crazy! Today the snow is beginning to melt, but it’s still slushy and cold out side so I’ve spent the day inside spinning some of the 12 ounces of “Sea Dreams” Blueface Leicester (dyed by Hello Yarn) from my stash . . .
. . . and taking pictures of the dogs. My kind of day.
I’ve admired the sock pattern “Shur’tugal” by Alice Yu for sometime now and finally knit them this past January. The pattern is a free download that can be obtained on Ravelry or on Alice’s website “Socktopus” in the left sidebar. She’s a Canadian expat living in the UK and she has an online store (also called Socktopus) specializing in artisan sock yarns.
I used Dreams in Colors Smooshy sock yarn in the dark blue colorway of “Midnight Watch” using US1.5/2.5mm needles. I have friends that are constantly raving about Smooshy, so I just had to try it for myself. The dyeing is such that all the colors are semi-solids, with subtle color variations that will not overpower the knit pattern in socks, even the most delicate pattern. I have to say that since Smooshy is spun with Merino wool, they are smooshy soft on the feet.
The charted pattern is medium is difficulty and knit up very quickly — I think I set myself a new speed record and knit this pair of socks in two week flat. The diamond pattern is created by either knitting a right or left twist, but no cable needle is involved. The twist is made by knitting two stitches together but leaving them on the needle, then going between the two stitches and knitting the second stitch, then pulling both new stitches off the needle. Very nifty. It does make me cranky that my old eyes don’t see tiny print the way they did in my whipper-snapper years. You can see in the picture below that I enlarged the pattern chart up around 200%! Well, you do what you’ve got to do.
While I was knitting these in the evening, Louis would come over and lay his furry little head on my lap. **sigh** It just doesn’t get much better than that . . .
Thank you Sugaroni for taking the first two pictures!
I hope everyone has had a day full of family, friends, food and hope!
I know we have certainly enjoyed ours!
The previous afghan I crocheted took me three years to complete. I didn’t work on it everyday, every week or even every month, but still, it took three years. **sigh** I had piles of yarn left over and I thought about throwing it all in a box and dropping it of at the nearest senior center. But then I decided to make another afghan, only this time it was going to be one giant square — no sewing endless squares together and weaving in the ends because I would crochet the ends in as I went. I was on a mission to prove to myself (and anyone else that was interested) that I wasn’t a total, horrible, miserable slug of a lazy crocheter! So I took on this challenge on December 6th and finished it December 20th! Woo! Hoo! Done in two weeks!
This was a great project to eat up all the left over yarn. I resolved when I started that I would NOT buy ANY yarn for this afghan, that when I ran out of a color I would just switch to a color in the same family, I mean I had a gigantic storage tub running over with several rainbows worth of colors. Grumble, best laid plans. By the time I got to the last three rows, the rounds chewed up massive amounts of yarn and I had to buy two skeins of yarn, one gold and one dark brown. I admit it, I had to pout for a couple of hours about that one, but, when all is said and done, I had only a measley little pile of yarn left — mission accomplished!
The pattern is the basic Granny Afghan crochet pattern that has been around forever and has been published and passed down in books and memories for decades. I found that many patterns used a set of three double crochets, but after some experimentation, I liked the way four triple crochets looked. I finished the edges with four rounds of single crochet and then final fifth round of a picot edging. The finished piece measure 70″x70″.
There are so many sources for this pattern and here are just a few: Basic Granny Square, Old Granny Afghan, and How to Make a Granny Square.
Okay, so while I was taking pictures to post, I turned my back for a second and Louis decided to curl up with my newly finished afghan. He can’t claim both of my afghans! (can he?)
Hmmm, Louis seems to think that I crocheted my newly finished afghan for him! The nerve!!! I think we need to have a little talk.