Shawls Update: Good Dog and Bad Cats

Two shawls got finished last week. Check this out:

Shawl #1: Putting on the Dog

My friend Deb had a dog named Jake who was really special. She saved his fur for years when she brushed him, and earlier this year I spun some of the dog down into yarn. I blogged about Jake and the spinning here and this post showed the final yarn.

Oh. It's pretty comfy. Maybe dogs aren't that bad after all...
MacKenzie really liked the finished yarn (which Deb named PuppyPaca)
Shawl in Tree
Look! Here is the finished shawl made with the PuppyPaca. Didn’t it turn out great?
Deb Modeling her Shawl
Here is Deb modeling the finished product. I think that the green really complements the homespun.

Deb has begun her own blog recently where she writes about greyhounds, gardening, and, what else, knitting!! You can visit her site, The Greyt Knitting Frenzy, and see her post about the shawl here.

Shawl #2: Bad Cats

I finished knitting my Random Act of Color shawl late last week and wet blocked it Saturday morning. I really liked how it turn out. Here’s some pics of the final product.

Look at how great the colors turned out together. I love the lace, the texture, the colors; a great addition to my cool weather wardrobe.
Edging and Beads
The beads and the edging are nice details, don’t you think?

What I’m not showing in the pictures is the fact that one of my bad, bad, cats got a claw stuck in the shawl (it was safe on the table at the time…), dragged it through the house and managed to pull a TEN FOOT snag of yarn out. Really. I’m not exaggerating. I found it in a crumpled heap at the bottom of the stairs. The cats were hiding.

Damaged Shawl
Proof of cat badness. This is the yarn that I haven’t been able to work back into the shawl.

The pull goes across almost the entire width of the shawl in the final purple lace section. The yarn didn’t get cut, but I’m not too sure how to repair this. I dreamed last night about cutting off the lower section of the shawl, picking up the stitches at the start of the purple section and then re-knitting the last sections. This morning I work up and thought, “Kitchener stitch!” I’m not quite sure how I’m going to deal with this. There may be a way to gradually work the yarn back into the shawl, but I have to balance time vs. frustration. For now I’ve packed it away (to keep it safe from cats and scissors) and moved on to other knitting projects.

You know, knit through all crisis…

MacKenzie Speaks: Knitting is Hard Work

Hi. I’m MacKenzie.

The Mother of Cats and I have been hanging out in the yard every morning reading and eating breakfast. It is my favorite time of day.
Startled Cat
I love chasing stuff in the garden while she reads. I was hot on the tail of a garter snake when… Wait, what was that?!
Dogs at the Fence
Dogs! What does it always have to be dogs? I lost the snake, too.

Ugh. The Mother of Cats loves the dogs that live next door, but I’m not a fan. How can she expect me to put up with this? Thankfully it was getting hot and she decided to move inside to knit.

Cat and Beads
She’s been putting beads on her Random Act of Color shawl. This looks like it could be fun.
Putting Bead onto Shawl
That does look like fun. She hooks the beads onto the stitches one at a time and then knits them in. Hey, I bet she could use a little help…
There. I’ll just massage the shawl a little while she puts those beads on. I’m not in the way at all. Oops. Did those beads just spill…
…sometimes the Mother of Cats can to be lacking in empathy. Really, it is a flaw in her character, don’t you think? I was just helping. How can she expect me to just exist at the foot of the bed soooo far away from the yarn?

She was so cranky that she shifted knitting operations to the family room where she binge watched this show called Nurse Jackie and knitted the binding onto the shawl. I helped her as much as I could; I must have stopped by at least a dozen times to check on her progress. Hey, yarn chomping is helping, right?

After six hours of beading and knitting she finally finished, only to discover that she had made a spacing error in her bind-off. She went to bed with a bag of Cheetos. Let me tell you, it was not pretty! She finished the whole bag and there were sad little sighs along with the Cheetos crunches…

The next morning she ripped out the binding, watched more Nurse Jackie and put the edging back onto the shawl correctly. I was out with the dogs and snakes so it was over before I knew what had happened. Funny, she was much faster this time.

Cat on Shawl
Finally! It is done and pinned to block. I just love the smell of wet yarn, don’t you?

Note from the Mother of Cats: If I’m lucky MacKenzie won’t throw up on this shawl and I’ll have the final picture next week. Happy knitting weekend everyone!


A Trip to the Yarn Store

You know, no matter how your week is going, things will get better if you head on over to visit your local yarn store. I met up with my knitting peeps last Wednesday, and here’s what happened.

Antarktis Shawl
You know I wore my new Antarktis Shawl. My friend Deb took a picture of me showing it off.
There were sheep cookies!! You know these went home with me.
I found some beads to use with the Random Act of Color that I am knitting. I plan on adding these babies to the purple edging at the bottom of the shawl. I’m still knitting like crazy on this shawl, but I don’t think I will get it done before the end of the Olympics tonight.
And of course I found some yarn that I had to have. This will be a new cowl someday. 🙂 The yarn is Universal Yarns Bamboo Blooms Handpaint.

There was laughing, knitting, shopping and snacking. Projects were shown off and fellow knitters struck with envy and creative inspiration. Patterns were shared, yarn was bought and ordered. Plans were made to run wild during the upcoming Yarn Along the Rockies yarn crawl, and a good time was had by all.

It is good to have a local yarn store and knitting peeps.

Have a good week everyone.


Rio Continues: Shawl Updates

Oh, I am totally locked into Olympic viewing with knitting on the side. Last week was swimming, beach volleyball, woman’s gymnastics, and my fabulous tropical colored Antarktis shawl.  I cast off Friday night and here she is:

Cat and Yarn
You know, it is challenging to knit with so much cat help. Once MacKenzie joins the party my knitting speed goes way down. Actually it is a reverse relationship with the amount of yarn chomping; MacKenzie loves to chomp yarn. 
But in spite of cat help it is finished. Check this out!! My Ravlery notes are here.

Well, as soon as I was done with this shawl I cast on and started the next. I had put 7 new shawls into my Ravelry queue a couple of weeks ago, so I headed on over to check out the list. I fussed around with Rainbow Warrior for a while, but decided that the two colors that I had selected really didn’t go together as well as I thought they did. Fine. Back to the stash!! In the meantime, I did have the perfect colors to start a Random Act of Color, so that is what happened.

I’m making this shawl in the colors that are linked to my autoimmune conditions: bright teal (scleroderma) and purple (Sjogren’s Syndrome). How lucky that those two colors go well together. 🙂

So, I am still binge watching and knitting like crazy. The cats stayed out most of the day so there was a lot of progress. Hey, I might be able to knock this one off too before Rio ends on me.

Think I should put some beads on this baby?


Seven Happy Shawls

Okay, July was a month that I am glad to see go out the door. I did have some great moments in the month; my sister and niece came to visit, I worked at the summer camp at Alta Vida Alpacas, and I spun my friend Deb’s beloved Jake dog into yarn. Good highlights!

Collage of July
Highlights of July. In the group photo of my family we are (clockwise from the top left) me, my cousin Ruth Ann, my sister Selma, and my niece Melissa.

On the flip side, I lost a war with an invasive weed in one of my gardens and my autoimmune conditions went into high gear. For the first time ever I was unable to sleep due to pain (what is up with my joints and muscles?!), gastritis returned after being good for two years, my Sjogren’s flared (!!) and my lips turned blue. Ugh. I blame the heat and the sun.

Now it is August, I’m on oxygen full time, meds have been changed, and I’m in need of a little cheer. Shawls, I need shawls!! The way things are going right now I want to be wrapped in color. Shawls will give me color, texture, lots of mindless knitting, and defiance in the face of medical adversity. I hit the stash, printed patterns from Ravelry, made my shopping list and when I went on the knitting road trip with my peeps last week I scored everything I needed. May I present to you, Seven Happy Shawls…

Shawls and Yarn
Shawl patterns matched with my yarn. Top row: Antkarkis Shawl (photo credit to Janina Kallio)  Middle row: Rainbow Warrior (photo credit to Casapinka) Bottom Row: A Random Act of Color (photo credit to Mina Phillip)

How is this for cheerful defiance! I was really torn about which one to start on, but I’m leaning towards Antarktis.

Shawls and Yarn
Shawls and yarn match by column from left to right. Far left column: Exploration Station (photo credit to westknits). Left middle column: Jujuy (photo credit to Rafael Delceggio) Middle right column: Tamdou (photo credit to Melanie Berg). Right column: The Miller’s Daughter (photo credit to Melanie Berg).

More defiance. This should keep me going in good cheer until the end of the year. I’m torn about the order to knit them; they are all just too yummy for words.

Shawl Kits
Here they are: seven shawls all kitted up waiting to go. I put the pattern into the box with each yarn, and I’ve already wound the yarn for the top three shawl contenders.

All right August, I am ready for you. Let’s go!!


  • My Ravelry queue can be located here if you would like more information about these patterns and the yarns that I have selected.
  • I downloaded Fotor for Windows to make some photo collages instead of posting a million pictures. What do you think? I think that you can also make stuff online. It was free, free, free!!