Note: Pattern updated

I have put in a number of last-minute updates to the Lamb’s Pride Sweater for Female Dog Designed by Julie Greene.

The latest update is a correction to the braid panel.  Ms. Pawlowski made some serious errors when she wrote out the braid pattern.  In her pattern, in order to correspond with the photo, Row 8 should have read: p4, BC, p4, FC, p4; not p4, FC, p4,  BC, p4.  Row 20, in turn, was incorrect.  However, I have already done Row 8 as she has instructed, so I must adapt Row 20 accordingly.   So in the Lamb’s Pride Dog Sweater, please do Row 20 as follows: P4, FC, p4, BC, p4.  Please keep Row 8 as p4, FC, p4, BC, p4.  I have made the correction in the post.

I have to go back

I have to go back to the ED hospital.  My therapist is making me go.

My “eating phase” that began at the end of January lasted about five days.  Then, I admit, I went back to starvation.

The starvation has been very bad.  I cannot concentrate.  I cannot think straight.  Today I went into a store and the cashier might as well have given me back the wrong change.  I was completely unable to count it.  I nearly got lost in Boston.  I had trouble on the stairs.  I was scared.  I had a bad cold.  After two weeks had passed and it hadn’t gotten any better, I feared that I had pneumonia and would die, because I do not take care of myself.  But the cold went away.  I took NyQuil every night.  I still take NyQuil every night, even though I don’t have a cold anymore.  I don’t know why.  Maybe just because it makes me feel good and it’s comforting.

I don’t want to go to the hospital.  No way.  But my therapist was on the verge of pink-papering me.  “Pink paper” means she sends an ambulance to force me to go.  I’m going on Monday, two days from today.

I feel totally empty.  Like there’s nothing.  Like everyone else has a life and all I have is this fucking ED.  I feel that it has been forced upon me.  I was worthless before the ED came.  Maybe that was why the ED was such a temptation.  I am worthless now.  The ED is making me worthless.  I have no future.

At least I can bring my knitting with me to the hospital.  I am progressing with the sweater, and I have made further changes to the pattern.  I think these are all the changes I’m going to make for a while.  I will finish the sweater in the hospital and either start another, or make a matching hat.  It is one of my few comforts.

Well, I am sort of packed, and getting ready, preparing myself.  I wish I could call the whole thing off, but I guess that would probably tick off my therapist and a few other people.  I’m due over there at 11.  I’m dropping Puzzle off at 8:15.  Jeez.

Beginnings of chest panel and braid panel details

Lamb’s Pride Dog Sweater, top view:

Lamb’s Pride Dog Sweater, bottom view:

Beginning of chest panel–detail:

Braid detail:

Today I made some changes to the chest panel part of the pattern.  Keep checking back for changes.

Knitters, Support Our Troops: Operation Helmetliner

What does “Support Our Troops” mean?  It doesn’t mean having a certain political viewpoint or supporting a certain political candidate, or even having a certain opinion about war.

If you really want to support the troops, do something in your own way to directly help them.

Operation Helmetliner is one of these ways to directly help the troops.  There is a need: Soldiers need to stay warm.  It is a well-known fact that one loses a great deal of heat through one’s head.  Wool is an excellent insulator.  A helmet is not.  To stay warm, a wool liner under a helmet seems like an excellent idea.  So–you guessed it–a bunch of knitters have gotten together, written up a pattern, and have been knitting helmetliners for the soldiers.

Go to this URL: http://www.citizensam.org/ and click on operation helmetliner to find out more.

Unfortunately, due to regulations, you can’t put decorations on these, or use funky colors, stripes, etc, just regulation colors, black preferably.  If you do something wrong–make it out of synthetic instead of wool, for instance–they won’t give it to the troops, they will donate it to charity.  It’s very interesting how it all works.

Here is a photograph of a soldier wearing a helmetliner, under his helmet:

I am wondering if the helmetliner would also be useful under a bicycle helmet.  However, it may not be, as a bicycle helmet must be firmly seated on one’s head, and not able to slide at all.  I will have to ask a cyclist about this.  Maybe my brother would know.

Go, knitters!

Second sweater fitting

Here I have backtracked, and made the opening larger, and it is to my satisfaction now.  I am about to begin the 4-strand braid cable panel.  I have made no changes to the pattern today.

In case you have just tuned in, the pattern I’m referring to can be found by clicking on this link:

New knitted dog sweater pattern — free!

Note: Check back frequently, as this is a pattern in progress; that is, I am developing the pattern as I knit along, and making changes to it as I see necessary.  Thankfully, there haven’t been too many changes from the original pattern.  I’ll keep you posted!

First “fitting” of Lamb’s Pride dog sweater

I have made some important changes to the pattern, including enlarging the chest panel opening, and changing the chest panel stitch to ribbing.

Here’s the photo of Puzzle “trying on” what I have so far of the sweater:

Once I finish enlarging the chest panel opening, the sweater won’t bunch behind the collar, the way you see it in the photo.

Thoughts on Size Zero Needles and Other Musings on Knitting

2/18/2010

Thoughts on Size Zero Needles and Other Musings on Knitting

As you may recall, I always knit something when I travel by airplane.  Well, I just traveled to Washington State to my school reunion.  I had an adventure with knitting needles right before I left on my trip, which was as follows:

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, use size zero needles.  You will age faster.  Your hair will turn very gray.  Your kids will start taking drugs.  Your cats will run away from home.  Your husbands will have ejaculations so premature that you will both be very, very sorry you ever even looked at size zero needles.  Now, aren’t you glad there are no negative one needles?

Size one needles are a joy by comparison.  They actually have tips that don’t happen to slice you up every time you look at them.  I dig size one.  Ditto size two.  I actually bought some “spare” size zero needles in case my other size zero needles got lost on the plane.  Then I had lotsa toothpicks for my trip.  I changed my mind and switched needle size after I knitted about two inches, disgusted with the toothpicks.  It actually made no difference cuz my stitching was tighter on the size ones, at least twice as fast, and neater, too.  Plus, I could SEE.

Now, it took approximately 2-1/2 minutes to do a row, and there were four rows to a round.  But if there was a difficult or stubborn stitch, the row took 2:45.  This included moving the hair elastic from one needle to the other.  I used those to keep the stitches on the needles and not somewhere else.  Then I found some wonderful Clover brand caps for the needles.  You will need eight for a double-pointed needle project.  These are silicone and they do stay on.

Six rounds will make a half inch of sock.  That means it takes ten+ minutes  to do a round, 120+ minutes to do an inch, which is two to four hours, not including breaks.  Including breaks, it takes at maybe eight hours to do an inch of sock.  I have done four and a half inches or so now.  On four plane rides, I did only about an inch to an inch and a half.  The pattern recommends six inches of sock before turning the heel.  Arrgghh!!!  And this is only sock #1!

Do you know just how hard it is to knit socks with tiny needles on a plane?  First of all, you have to keep your overhead light turned on.  Undoubtedly, you’ll be stuck sitting next to some arsehole who wants to sleep for the entire ride and is gravely offended by the light, and bothered by your periodic elbow jabbings (from dealing with runaway yarn) and swearing at stitches you nearly drop.  Secondly, the light does no good, because your head forms a shadow over your knitting.  This is remedied by leaning the seat back, but not without offending the person behind you and knocking over his coffee, spilling it all over his business suit.  Then there is the well-meaning looker-on, who wants to tell you you are knitting all wrong, that you are too slow, too sloppy, that you don’t know what you are doing, and really, you don’t, do you?  YOU’RE KNITTING SOCKS, AFTER ALL!  THIS ISN’T SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!

So what did I do?  When I got home, I decided to quit cursing, and put the project aside in favor of yet another hat, this one from Merino wool, bulky.  I dig size 9 needles.  Besides, when I bought the spare size zero and spare size 1 and 2 needles, I purchased more wool bulky yarn (couldn’t resist) for a new dog sweater, this from the Windsor Button Shop in Boston.

If you haven’t been to the Windsor Button Shop, I’d suggest going there.  It is magnificent.  What a gold mine.  You are guaranteed to go home with something you love, but with a few dollars missing from your wallet.  It’s worth the sweater you’ll make.  Go there.

If you love knitting as much as I do, you will put up with the eyestrain, the dropped stitches, the frustration, the expense, the tangled yarn, the lost needles, the yarn that runs out at the last minute.  You will put up with the fact that you’ve got three or four projects going at once.  You know something?  Knitting makes sense.  And eventually, our projects–dog sweaters, hats, socks, mittens, scarves–do indeed get finished.

Another change made to dog sweater pattern–please read

NOTE: the shoulder increase panel should be six inches long, not three!!!!  So when you increase, do it only on the K rows, not the K and P rows both.  We want Puzzle’s front leg area to fit into this sweater!  Otherwise, she won’t be able to go for walks very easily!  I fixed the pattern post (see post) to reflect this change.

I have a bit of ripping out to do now.  No harm done.

I have had to make adjustments, because my gauge is slightly off.  I have not changed the pattern as I have written it, but when I make it, I’ll use 62 stitches around, not 56, to make a 17-inch chest, which was what was planned in the first place, but for some reason that wasn’t what I was getting.

Puzzle has grown a tiny bit in the past year  (she’s 3) and now weighs 17.4 pounds.