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December 29, 2007

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter XI: Doggie Hoodie

Date Begun: 11/17/2007
Date Completed: 11/18/2007
Yarn: Moda Dea Tweedle Dee in Surf & Turf
Needles: US11 Circular (metal)
Source: Hoodie Sweater from Stylish Knits for Dogs
The Story:
Go ahead. Get it out of your system. Laugh at me endlessly for knitting sweaters for my dog. I'll wait....
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You done?
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Good.
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Now. This sweater for Lulu was knitted because she's a very small dog - 15 lbs. - and she gets C-O-L-D!! (You would, too, if you only weighed 15 lbs. and ran around naked all the time) So I've made a couple of sweaters for her, including this one. I got a little tired of everyone saying how she looked "ready for the holidays" in her other sweater, and I wanted something that might keep her a little warmer as the other sweater is made from an acrylic yarn (not known for their warmth). So this one has a bit of wool thrown in and the style of the sweater is such that it'll keep her tummy as warm as her back.

The trick with dachshunds is that they're just not shaped like "normal" dogs. Assuming you've avoided creating a Spherical Dachshund they will have tiny little waists with enormous, barrel chests. Most dog sweaters are designed for dogs that are basically the same diameter from stem to stern with very little space between their front legs. This.... is not so helpful to me.

So I've been on the lookout for patterns that I could easily modify to fit my little dachshund - thus the "holiday" sweater. This pattern, though, for the hoodie, was not so easily modified. It was just too cute for me to pass up, though. The pattern calls for the chest piece to be knitted in a rough triangle, with the base of the triangle around the dog's waist and the top point at the dog's neck.

So I pretty much flipped the triangle over. :-) Base at neck, point at waist. And that worked really, really well. Of course, that meant that the neck line, instead of being this little-bitty hole around which the collar/hood would lie flat, became an enormous (and really funny-looking) gap that I had to cinch up around the front. Thank goodness there was supposed to be a hood. In the first few rows of the hood, I decreased a total of... something like 18 stitches, which means that it looks almost like I meant it to be like that. And it fits her nicely.

Best of all, it's something that Schondy isn't completely embarrassed for her to wear as they're waiting outside the coffee shop for me. He actually picked that sweater out from several.
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Oh, now, wait. Don't you laugh at him. He only picked because he knew it was going to happen with or without him.
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Fine. But when your dog starts shivering and giving you those sad eyes, we'll see who you call.

The Knitwit Papers, Chapter X: Knitted Police Tape

Date Begun: 11/20/2007
Date Completed: 12/02/2007
Yarn: Red Heart Sport in Yellow and Black
Needles: US9 DPN (bamboo)
Source: Knitted police tape from robotclothes
The Story:
Okay, if you know me, you know I tend to gravitate towards funny, quirky things. I've never been known for coloring inside the lines, so much. So when I saw this pattern for a police tape scarf, I thought it was awesome. Just knew I'd be working on it at some point. Little did I realize that it would become a project sooner, rather than later.

So, back in the beginning of November, I started getting serious about taking care of my Christmas shopping/knitting/etc. and realized that this would be absolutely perfect for my brother-in-law. And it met with extremely enthusiastic support from Schondy, who (for better or worse) gets final veto on all presents destined for his brother. Given that we were going home for Thanksgiving, I knew I was going to need something small to work on (i.e. NOT an afghan) and I've been itching to try knitting something that's more than one color and isn't just simple stripes.

Basically, what I'm saying is that it fit the bill in a lot of ways. I wasn't so thrilled about the idea of another scarf, but if that's what needed to be done, I wasn't going to turn my nose up at it.

ANYwho. From the start and end dates, you can tell that this was a quick knit and it turned out really nice, I thought. Lulu and Miles approved, too. If I ever do another one of these, there are a few things I'll change - like knitting it on the round instead of flat - and I'll probably choose a different yarn, mostly because this one turned out to be a bit thinner than what I ultimately wanted.

But I do think that since this represented a lot of "first"s for me, the result was great. And best of all, it was made it there in time for Christmas and was well-received. Yay me!

December 13, 2007

Failed!

Ok. So I had this great plan for Christmas, that I was going to hand-make some of my gifts for my family, primarily in the form of knitted thingies. And I started working on these things around the first of November, and I did manage to finish one of the two items.

But as of yesterday, following a positively INSANE day at work, I gave up. I called my mommy, hoping she could kiss the booboos and make them go away. That was not to be, but she did say something that helped, which was "you can't do it all." And in the spirit of owning up to the fact that, No, I can't do it all, I decided to cut bait. So I'm currently in the process of taking care of the things I can, and admitting defeat on some others. Sadly, I'm admitting defeat on my spectacular holiday planning, which pains me because I've been working on that since... oh... July? maybe? If you know me, you know I'm something of a classic overachiever, but even overachievers have to grudgingly admit defeat sometimes. I can't do it all.

Normally, I ship all the gifts by Schondy's birthday, which was on the 9th (happy birthday, hon!!), but this year.... not so much. I was hanging on to them in the hopes that I'd get his mother's knitted gift finished, and try as I might, it just wasn't going to happen. So everything has shipped today, which you'll notice is... decidedly after Schondy's birthday. If they get to you late, I apologize. UPS won't guarantee anything shipped this close to Christmas unless you give them even more exorbitant amounts of money than what I already gave them, so, well, they just might make it. And right now, I'm okay with that. I can't do it all.

This Friday is our group's holiday party at work, and I'm wondering just how little I can be there without offending someone. I'm wiped out. Last night I went completely ballistic on the poor dog because she thought packing peanuts looked tasty. This is a clear sign I should not be allowed in public. So Schondy and I will go and we will have no drinks stronger than a fuzzy navel and we will scoot on home to crash as soon as politeness will allow. I can't do it all.

I did feel bad about how long it's been since I've posted. I have a couple new Knitwit Papers to put up - one of which has already been photographed, the other still needs pictures. And hopefully, I'll be able to put up the Knitwit Paper about the failed Christmas present soon, complete with weekly progress photos to show it as it went together.

Until then, I'll be madly scrambling to get what I can done and I'll be trying to let the things I can't quite finish go. So if I show up at work in my pajamas, it's all because: I can't do it all.

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