Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Punkin's Patch Knitting Group

I finished the Crazy Esther cowl last night. As always I learned some new things, got better at some things, over-thought some things, didn't measure some things (cut me some slack, I did knit a swatch...sort of), had to improvise some things...the usual.

Here is the picot edging that got my attention when I was perusing patterns on Ravelry. I probably should have blocked each point and might next time I wash it. This pattern is Zigzag Cowl by Mandy Roberts, a free download.

You'll notice that it's not the same pattern I sampled...sort of. First of all I decided I wanted a slightly bigger yarn than the first sample. No problem - that's the beauty of spinning your own. Then, even though I thought I'd compensated for the extra thickness, after the first 6 rows, I realized it was ending up too big. Probably not really, but I hate sloppy cowls and wanted it tighter on my neck.

I stewed about it for a day, didn't want to rip out the picot edging that I liked, decided to decrease 8 stitches, change to a pattern that fit that number of stitches - you real knitters out there are cringing. I can see it. Anyway, knit on with confidence... It worked out.

My only complaint was, of course, again my own fault. The pattern called for knitting 4 repeats of the pattern or until you reached 7 3/4 inches or something like that. I didn't really measure, thought it looked like it was going on a bit long, but decided that was okay. A scrunchy cowl would be warmer. Didn't realize that scrunchy would trump pattern the way color always trumps pattern.

Again, stewed on it for a bit. Thought about ripping back a couple inches and then decided to leave it. It will be warm (the main purpose) and I can pull it up over my mouth when it's super cold.

Moving on to part two - or maybe this should have been part one.

We are in the middle of Indian Summer. Beautiful, warm, but not too hot, sunny fall weather. I decided to sit and knit with Esther yesterday morning. As we sat together I thought, boy, I sure wish Iris could learn to take pictures (rather than get into Saint Tim's fishing stuff and eat some gross salt infused plastic fishing thingies, luckily without hooks).

I remembered that I'd gotten a remote control for the D40x that I'd never tried. This would be a perfect reason to learn something else - the fun way, rather than the hard way, as my knitting lessons tend to be learned. I got the camera, set it on an upside down water bucket, focused, sat down with Esther and punched the remote for a test picture.

It blinked, clicked and took the picture. I love it when a plan comes together!

That D40x is a great little camera, by the way, in case anyone is interested. It takes nice pictures, has some great features, is lightweight and you probably wouldn't throw up if Graham Lamb got ahold of it like you would if he tried to use the big girl camera.

"Hey Esther, that was pretty cool. Let's see if it will take another or if I have to reset it each time."



Doesn't it look the two of us are sitting there talking about knitting? I think I was explaining to her what I was trying to do with the camera and what I was holding and why. And I can see the extra length of that cowl coming in handy, covering up that double chin. Yeesh.

"Really, you use a size 4 needle when you are knitting worsted weight?!?"

"Yeah, see?"

"Well, you're right, it does work. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I guess if you're a sloppy loose knitter..."

Seriously, I wonder if she somehow knew that was her wool.

You'd think that was the end of Monday morning knit group, but she and I both started to get too warm so I helped her up and into the shed and then went over and sat in the shaded barn overlooking the rest of the flock in the front field.

Petunia, Woolliam, Boudreaux, Keebler and Buddy wandered over to see what I was doing and were fascinated. Standing on top of me, looking over my shoulder, sniffing the yarn, trying to eat the needles fascinated. The boys lost interested pretty quickly, but Petunia stayed for a long time. It was super neat knitting with a sheep. I tried to take some pictures with my cell phone.

Where is Iris when you need her...


Tiggeriffic said...

Oh I love that Cowl.. and guess I'll look up the pattern and make one for Christmas presents.
On Sunday on your blog I asked you if you sold any of Keeblers wool to make a scarf for my sister who lives in S.C. But now I've decided this Cowl would be better..
I think it would be so cool if it's possible to sell me some wool from Keebler to make this for her.. If not, that's O.K...
I hadn't heard from you so I'm leaving you with my e-mail address. My netins account is not working, that is what is on my blog page... soo my e-mail is:
ta Ta For Now...from Iowa it's a grand 62 degrees right now and very very nice. I'm going outside.. Not going to let a day like this go by and not be outside. Winter is coming and cold weather..Be prepared is what I alwasy say... Have a great and blessed day~! I love your blog and all your sheep.. they are so cool.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful set of pictures of you and Crazy Esther! Inky is not that frail yet, but I can see doing that with her. Unfortunately, I have yet to get my hands on her roving to make yarn! The processor lost her fleece, then emailed me that she found it, but hasn't answered subsequent emails to let me know what's up now.

Gayle said...

I think this is one of my favorite posts. So much interesting and fun stuff. I do believe you are a "real" knitter. I didn't know what a cowl was, but I guess it is what we call a gator (but a lot more pretty). What a different farming life in milder temperatures. Gives you more time to enjoy the animals, I think.

Heather said...

Is there anything better for one's soul than sitting in the sun with your sheep? I love that you love your sheep.
I've got an old girl right now that I'm letting retire with me instead of sending her on. They have a quieter way about them that I love. I want to give her own space with extra food and attention, but I haven't worked it out yet. The other sheep are just too greedy and would just steal from her. As it is right now she hangs out with them that I think if I separated her she'd be unhappy. So it must not be time yet. I'm not fully confident - I hate wondering if I'm not doing enough for her though.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I tried to separate Esther and another old ewe out into that little lot with the miniature shed. Both wanted back in with the rest of the sheep. SO, I throw hay out to the rest of the hoodlums, shut the gate and that gives Esther a chance to eat in peace - morning and night.

Alice said...

The cowl looks like a perfect addition to your winter wardrobe! I especially like the smile on Esthers face in the picture above the size 4 needle comment. You have such a dry sense of humor. Enjoy your new creation! You did Esther proud! I just know she senses that the wool is hers. ;-)

Jody said...

Lovely cowl in that rich chocolately brown colour. I think Esther appreciates her wool being knit into something useful :-)))

Christine said...

Awww, I love Crazy Esther. I'm so glad the two of you had a nice visit captured on film. But I just have to say...um, who is the nut this time dearie? Hmmm? ;-)

Nancy K. said...

What a delightful post!
I was busy all day and didn't get much time to sit with my sheep. Maybe 10 minutes. :-( But, tomorrow is supposed to be nice as well. One last beautiful day before November reminds us what's coming...

cyndy said...

Can I join your knitting group? I really like where you meet, and I think the lighting is perfect for the size 1's I'm using for socks.

Terrific photos...your cowl is lovely..and I think you are a real knitter..you know....all those modifications you threw in - only real knitters do that ;-)

flowerweaver said...

I think Crazy Esther knew you were working with her wool! I'm just not sure if shew knows the why!

bj said...

The pattern shows up beautifully in Esther's wool. Good Job!

Oh, I think Esther is being encouraging, saying, "Yes, dearie, you will appreciate that my lovely wool you've stitched so lovingly will reach up over your chin -- keeps the chill from going down your shirt, you know!"
That was fun .. and the running dialogue is precious craziness.

Peacecat said...

I love your posts. I love them! Your photos are great as usual and I am sure I am not alone in my joy at seeing YOU in some of your photos.

The cowl looks perfect for our weather here. You could come for a visit...

Eleanor P said...

Ok, I'll stop crying now. Yep, nothing better than sitting with your sheep in the warm winter sun. I sit and read a book with mine, keeping an eye out for Peanut who will steal my book any chance he gets.
She's a lovely old sheep and I am so glad that she's still here.

small farm girl said...

Those were some really nice pictures. It looked like you were enjoying yourself. I love setting outside with my animals.

Mylyne said...

The cowl turned out really pretty. You're not alone, I also do "impromptu editing" on my projects. I love the shots with your sheep. I'm a city girl who long for such lifestyle in the future.


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