Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tired Bee

I've been crazy busy the past week or so, and that meant that today needed to be a day of nothingness. It took me all day to get some fabric loosely cut for a project, and it was a pretty darn small quantity for all the drama. I didn't want to knit, I didn't want to spin, I wanted to sleep. So I did a good bit of that, too. Feeling better now, so hopefully I'll be up for working again tomorrow.

A week ago I took a finishing class with Lucy Neatby. I knit a lot in the round, and so don't get as much finishing practice as I'd need to be truly happy with my work. Plus, I've tried lots of different ways to set in sleeves, and never really been happy. Thanks to this little beauty, that problem is solved - found a new way to seam stitch tops to stitch sides that had me giddy and Lucy blushing (this may have also been caused by my saying to her "I know you're otherwise involved, and I am too, but I'm a little bit in love with you right now.")

On that little blob there's a steek (which I've done - no qualms about hacking into knit fabric here), the heavenly sleeve set-in, the self-reinforcing buttonhole (new to me, but I might use again) and... uh... something else... oh - a different way of explaining grafting.

I've been continuing work on the fun green sock that Emily dyed for me, and also working on this - my first (and quite probably last) top-down raglan. It feels like it's going SO much slower than bottoms up. But I'm only 8907675 rows from the fun part of the pattern. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration. But the pattern will get fun soon (my own design) and I'm hoping it works out to be as cool as it is in my head. I really like that tweedy oatmeal kinda yarn - it reminds me of aged parchment scrolls. Not that it looks even a little bit impressive here.

But maybe you can help me out? I got the yarn in a swap last year sometime, and have stuck in my head that she said it was "Maggie" yarn, but none of the balls have labels anymore. And Google is bringing up lots of lovely knitters named Maggie, but no yarn by that name. Anyone have any idea why I think that's its name?

In other news, Oscar got a new harness to try for walks, and I am blown-away impressed with it. If he's focussed, he's not too bad with me, but he's strong enough that if something exciting runs by he can pull me over (and drag me several feet, if he's really motivated). That hurts. We tried the Halt-ee head collar, and he can get out of it in under ten seconds. Hates it (and frankly, I'm not crazy about the look, since it looks like a muzzle and that implies dangerous dog, which he's not, and I don't want to encourage others' belief that he is). So I tried this Gentle Leader Easy Walk Harness and LOVE it.

I was a bit skeptical - having the leash attach to the front didn't make sense to me, and it looks odd on, since it fits lower on the shoulders than I'm used to. But the explanation they give is that when the leash attaches to the back (as is the norm) it encourages the dog's pull instinct - what makes sled dogs do what they do. When you attach the leash to the front, when he goes off track, the harness redirects him, rather than causing him to pull harder. For the first time ever, I walked Oscar with only two small tugs to my arm, which were immediately and easily redirected, and the rest of the walk the leash was so loose it was dragging on the ground between us. He wasn't upset or frustrated, and wore the harness around the house perfectly happy - absolutely no signs of discomfort or anything that would make me think he was bothered by the new method. So this was just our first walk, and it was short, but I just might be a full convert to this method.

(hmmm... I bought mine at Petsmart for the same price listed there, but it wasn't reflective and didn't come with the leash... I may return mine and buy the one I linked to!)


Blogger Sue said...

Maybe your yarn is Rowan Magpie Tweed? (Sadly, discontinued...)

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Love the leash.
Going to run out and get one to curb the squirrel killing urge!!

Also, when I see you next, perhaps we can chat a bit more about that sleeve setting technique...mine SUCKS. :)

6:12 AM  
Anonymous CarolineF said...

That designer Maggie that did the knits in Ireland book had a yarn line I think, I've seen it on eBay. I don't know if it still exists. Maggie Jackson, was it?? Maggie Aran??

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is Maggi's Tweed Fleck Aran. More info on yarndex if you need it. Enjoy


1:42 PM  
Blogger Kim in Oregon said...

Gentle leaders are great. I couldn't walk our two (when we had two) without them. Squirrels.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Sled Dog Action Coalition said...

Dogs have an "oppositional reflex," so, yes, traditional harnesses make sled dogs want to pull.

Iditarod sled dogs wear traditional harnesses, which utilize their natural instinct pull, so effectively, that they often keep pulling even when sick or injured.

For more facts about the barbaric Iditarod:

3:10 PM  

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