Category Archives: puppies

Knitting With Pets (aka Making the Cropped Thumbhole Sweater)

For some reason, a lot of people in my family (including me) like sleeves with thumbholes. When Sadie was a puppy, her razor-sharp puppy teeth ripped holes into the sleeves of a couple of my tops, but instead of turning them into dust rags or quilt fodder I stretched the tiny holes into thumbholes.

But no one loves thumbhole sleeves as much as my sister does. When she found this pattern for Camexia Design’s Cropped Thumbhole Sweater, she asked if I could make it for her. The pattern looked fairly simple, and I love working dropped stitches, so she ordered the same King Cole Big Value Chunky yarn mentioned in the pattern and had it sent to me. She chose the color “Caramel”—ostensibly to match her dog, Stanley.

My furry nephew (and frequent guest dog), Stanley.

The yarn happened to arrive on the first day of Stanley’s latest doggie vacation here with Sadie. I wanted to read through the pattern before casting on, so I put the yarn into a project bag and set it beside my knitting chair. The next morning I found this spread across the living room floor:

Someone had a party with two skeins of yarn. Luckily my sister bought five skeins, just in case I needed to make a different size.

While I didn’t witness the mayhem, Sadie is used to yarn and knitting projects—finished and in progress—so she’s pretty blasé about it all. When I get new yarn, Sadie takes one look and is like, “More yarn? Boring!” Stanley, on the other hand, happily sniffed the yarn after it arrived, and an hour or so later I caught him on the chair curled up with an intact skein of yarn. In the middle of the night he ran into the living room to bark at things several times. Given the evidence and Sadie’s total disinterest in yarn, I think it’s clear who the culprit was.

The good news is I only needed three skeins to make my sister’s cropped thumbhole sweater, so I didn’t have to detangle the massive pile of yarn to finish the project. (That said, when I finally did untangle it, it took a couple hours.)

This sweater is designed to have the bumpier purl side of the stockinette stitches showing, but my sister preferred  it with the smoother knit side showing. Either way, it was a fun knit and looks really cute on her. In fact, she loved it so much she asked me to make a second one in a heathery charcoal grey.

The first finished sweater

I only came across two stumbling blocks when making the first sweater. One I didn’t notice until I’d finished it:

  • I think there should be yarn overs BEFORE purling the first stitch of the yarn over rounds or you won’t have loops to drop on the first stitch of what I call the “purl drop” rounds; knitted as written, there’s a vertical column of tighter-looking stitches running down the middle of the back (or front, since it works either way; see photo above) of the sweater. My sister has long hair, so if her hair is down she can put that side in the back, but if she wears her hair up she can throw on a couple of longer necklaces to divert attention.
  • Try as I might I couldn’t figure out the special cast-off method described in the pattern. I contacted the creator via Instagram and Ravelry, and she gave me a link to a video that shows a similar technique. She said it was included with the pattern, but I didn’t see a URL for it on the printout I was using. Once I saw a few seconds of the video it made perfect sense. You’ve got to love a responsive designer who answers your questions!

Now that the second sweater is on the needles (isn’t the heather gray gorgeous?), here are a couple photos of those super fun double purl drop rows.

With a double yarn over before each stitch, you effectively triple the number of stitches on your working needle

Ignore the needle in back—I was holding it up to show that the yarn overs are slightly slanted; purling into the front of the first stitch and letting the two yarn overs drop is what forms the open dropped stitches

Like magic, those dropped yarn overs become long, airy stitches

If you have a big gap under the arms when you finish, just thread a little leftover yarn through a wide-eye darning needle and close it with a few quick stitches. Simple.

I hope my sister likes the charcoal version as much as the caramel one!

A Little Progress….

It’s a miracle! I managed to finish one sock by squeezing in some knitting time during Sadie’s late night naps.

IMG_1228

She did wake up one night and express interest in the yarn—or perhaps the double pointed needles—so I’ll need to proceed carefully in getting her used to her human’s knitting obsession.

IMG_1197

With any luck I’ll finish my brother-in-law’s second sock by his birthday. It’s in December.

 

 

Best Excuse for A Project Slump

It’s been too long since I’ve posted anything here. There are two reasons (or excuses, depending on your point of view).

  1. Work has been keeping me busy, so busy that I only made a few gifts this Christmas – and forgot to get photos of most of them.
  2. I recently adopted this little critter, and it’s kind of hard to knit or crochet when she’s in her puppy play phase, which always coincides with prime crafting time.

IMG_1105

Meet Sadie, shown here with one of her three toy lambs. (Every knitter’s puppy needs toy lambs!) Don’t worry, she has plenty of other toys, too.

On her second or third day at home, Sadie found a small piece of yarn on the floor. Yarn and puppies are not a good combination. She must have liked the yarn, since she soon turned one of my knitted throw pillows into a would-be chew toy. She pulled a few strands of yarn loose, but thankfully didn’t swallow any yarn. (Don’t tell her this, but because that pillow cover was made with scrap yarn, and I can re-make it once she outgrows her chewy stage.)

Sadie is a mystery mutt. I spotted her on Petfinder.com. She literally was the first puppy—out of hundreds—whose photo made me stop and say: This is my dog. It was around 1:00 a.m. when I sent in the online adoption form and requested a meet and greet. I was awake another hour or more thinking up possible names. I later learned the rescue organization received a record-breaking number of adoption applications for her. But I was the lucky one!

The people at the rescue group admitted they guessed about the puppy’s age and mix. All they knew for certain is she was found December 21 wandering alone in a rural area in Southern Illinois and was taken to the county animal shelter. The vet at that (kill) shelter listed her as a 6 to 9-week old Beagle mix. She weighed 5.25 pounds. On January 2, the rescue group took her in and placed her with a great foster family. Much discussion ensued as to her age and mix. She has large, webbed paws, and they guessed she might be a slightly younger Bernese Mountain Dog mix.

The vet she saw earlier this week estimated Sadie, now just over 15 pounds, to be 12 weeks old, but said once she starts losing her puppy teeth we might be able to narrow it down.  She agreed with the first vet that Sadie could part Beagle—something about her front legs, while most people say her tail screams Beagle—then added that it will be interesting to see what she grows into. I agree.

I don’t really care what mix Sadie is as long as she’s healthy. She’s sweet, happy, and super smart. She learned “sit” in one day. (It didn’t hurt that I had her sit before getting her food!) But I still sent in a doggie DNA test since there were no siblings or parents to offer clues as to her genetic history. They’re not 100% accurate tests, but random guesses aren’t very accurate either. The information could be helpful since larger breed dogs have different dietary needs than smaller dogs, and some breeds are prone to certain health issues she might need to be screened for.

Every day I look at Sadie and see a different blend of dogs. Today she’s looking like a combination of Border Collie and Beagle, but the other day I swear I saw a little Rottweiler in her face. And every so often I think she’s part Panda. You can see why…

IMG_0135

So please forgive me if I set crafty projects aside a while to focus on this gorgeous little fur ball who has taken over my life. I’m sure once she settles in she’ll be a good little helper….and maybe then I can finish my brother-in-law’s already much-belated Christmas socks. (I almost have one sock done, but it’s slow going when you can only sneak in a couple rounds here and there.)

 

Save

Dawson Dinners

A family of four sharing the planning, execution and enjoyment of the family dinner

Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions

A Place for Plans, Dreams, and Commitment

Mika Doyle

Writer & Poet

Roving Crafters

a place to share knitting, crocheting, and spinning adventures

Mika Doyle

A Personal Guide to Professional Career Goals

Permacooking

Delicious ways to reduce food waste

alifemoment

Colourful Good Food & Positive Lifestyle

Lattes & Llamas

Home of the Geek-A-Long

WGN Radio 720 - Chicago's Very Own

Live and Local News, Talk, Sports, Traffic, Weather, Business, Blackhawks, White Sox, Northwestern

In Print Writers

Maintaining connections among writing friends

Genevieve Knits

A Blog for Vampire Knits and Once Upon A Knit

The Tommy Westphall Universe

The little boy, the snowglobe and all of television

theflexifoodie.wordpress.com/

Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!

All Night Knits

Sleep All Day. Knit All Night.

UK Crochet Patterns

We seriously heart crochet and love to promote patterns in UK terms!

Funky Air Bear

Traditional & Modern Knits

Recording "Guitarrista!"

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Agujas

The Art of Knitting

Simply Flagstaff

A Blog About Getting Back to Basics

Cook Up a Story

Inspiration and Recipes for Growing Families

The Daily Varnish

The daily musings of two nail polish addicts.

Fika and more

Baking, living and all the rest

my sister's pantry

Eat food... real food

made by mike

Just another WordPress.com site

Chilli Marmalade

Adventures inside and outside my kitchen

In search of flavor

enriching the everyday

maggiesonebuttkitchen

Passionate about cooking and baking and love to share.

Doris Chan Crochet

Musings from Doris Chan, crochet designer, author, space cadet

Happiness Stan Lives Here

Notes from Nowhere Near the Edge

Just another WordPress.com site

Black Bear Journal

Just another WordPress.com site

Words on the Page

Just another WordPress.com site

Patons Blog - We've moved!

Patons Fans with Patons Yarns and Patons Patterns

%d bloggers like this: