FO: Thankful for Dogs

In 2013, the day before Thanksgiving I drove out to Virginia and picked up my very first dog, Cher. A timid and shy chihuahua pug mix who didn’t realize I was probably just as terrified of her and what to expect as she was of me. This was the first picture I ever took of her and sent to my husband.
Cher
I sewed her a blanket, bought her a chew toy (she never touched it)and tried to make her crate a cushy environment. The harnesses and collars I picked up were either too big or too small and she wouldn’t come out of her crate! Oh I was worried she’d hate me. By the end of the week I knew it was going to be okay and about 3 months later I realized she knew she was home when I found her snoring heavily on the back of the couch curled up in blankets. Fast forward 4 years (her gotcha day is actually Monday) and Cher’s got a little sister, Jellybean and a pretty cushy life. So I was thinking about making the girls sweaters that coordinated for the holidays and I realized the collars my friend Salina made them last year, would match my favorite yarn, madelinetosh in neon peach. I had just enough of that yarn and the turquoise shade called Canton from this sweater to make my girls sweaters to coordinate with their collars.
Sister sweaters
These two are getting to be posing pros! LOL The sweater pattern I loosely followed was the Waldo pattern from the Seamless Knits for Posh Pups book – a favorite of mine. It essentially gives you the basics to create a simple top down raglan sweater for a dog and is easy to modify. I changed up the stripes and added a bit of ease to the sleeves and shortened the length. But I whipped these both up in a 24 hour period.
Sister sweaters
I made Jellybean’s sweater first. I knew I wanted to make a colorblocked sweater for Cher with the blue but which I had done Jelly’s collar in blue because you lose the ribbon since it matches almost perfectly! But it’s still super cute.
Sister sweaters
I just did a few stripes on the lower half of her sweater and the stripes get gradually larger as they go down. Jellybean also realized if she did like Cher, sat and took pictures calmly then she’d get treats. I took this last pic after I was finished taking pictures but she went back to the mat to wait for a treat for being good. Of course I rewarded her. Although the sleeves are long in these pics after putting it on her and having her wear it all day I decided to cut back the ribbing and make the sleeves shorter to make it easier to put it on her. It was a smart choice but the longer sleeves do look really adorable.
Sister sweaters
Cher’s sweater is the same pattern but I went with shorter sleeves from the beginning. I don’t really put Cher in sweaters unless we’re going to be around people and I want her to be festive or if it’s really, really cold outside and I add it as a layer to her coat.
Sister sweaters
I love the big blocks of color on this sweater. But I also love that Beanie’s sweater is so bright and fun like she is. I think they match their personalities and they match the collars so well. I’m going to have to put on my Cracked Pepper sweater and take pics with them in their sweaters at some point.
Sister sweaters
I’m taking off from the blog the rest of the week for the Thanksgiving holiday but I really am thankful for these two little dogs. I get teased a lot because I treat them like family but to me they really are a part of my family. And their love is insanely pure. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving you guys! I hope you get in some quality knitting time in between time spent with family and friends.

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FO: Freestyle Fade

I have to start this post off by saying, despite it being fall it was 86 degrees in the late afternoon when I finally took photos of this sweater. I waited forever because it was just too hot to put on a sweater. Global warming, ya’ll. But I braved the warmth and put on sweater weather clothes to show you my latest FO.
Faded freestyle
On Ravelry I’ve got this listed as my Neutral to Neon Raglan but in reality I’ve been calling it my Faded Freestyle sweater. This really was a make it up as I go along sweater to just see what I felt like it should become and in the end I love the results.
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I decided to make this sweater because I put Madelinetosh dk in Snowcone Shack next to Neon Peach and thought this could be a nice pairing. I added in my leftover Miss Babs Yowza in Oyster to help stretch out the yardage but as I knit I realized my Neighborhood Fiber Co yarn I dyed in mint would be another pretty addition. It just kind of came together organically. I used my notes from when I made my last improvised top down tee in the spring and new I wanted to work on making a better scoop neck.
Faded freestyle
This was is still a bit deep (I have yet to perfect my scoop neck) but I made up for it with a considerable amount of ribbing along the neckline. And when I finished the body I decided why not pick up the little dark flecks in the Snowcone Shack and I used the last of the Druid Hill colorway I had in my stash – I like! Since I loved the i-cord edging and the sleeves from my Angelina I thought I’d bring those elements to this too, I really wanted it to be a more relaxed tunic style. And I love a loser bell sleeve, so I added a few increases to give the sleeves more flare. I love the end results and it’s so soft and has a nice drape to the fabric. These are all dk/light worsted weight yarns that work together as seen in other projects, so I knew what I was going to get.
Faded freestyle
Whenever I post sweaters like this that don’t have a pattern I’m inevitably asked to write patterns – but I’m just not there yet. Sweaters like this are me learning and growing as a knitter. I like to experiment, build on my skills and play around with what I make for myself – before I turn my work into a pattern. There’s still a lot I don’t know and I can’t even begin think about making a pattern in multiple sizes. Right now I just selfishly knit for me. So I won’t say never to pattern writing but I will say not right now. I’ve still got a lot of work I want to do before I share that with others. Now if only the temps would go down so I could wear my knits I’d be much happier.

Stitching Status: Quiet Weekends

Between errands and brunch with friends, I spent a nice chunk of time knitting in the evenings and binge watching The Good Fight on TV. If you ever watched The Good Wife and miss it, all 10 episodes of the spin-off The Good Fight are on CBS all access and you can subscribe for free for a week. I’m already up to episode 8 – it’s so good.
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And the girls have been happily tangled up in my knitting. We are getting a new couch this week so we took the old one out and put in a bench for the girls to look out the window in the meantime. That means I haven’t had the best seating options (sitting in a chair with two dogs is not comfortable and they don’t like to share my lap and I don’t love sitting in the husband’s man cave in the basement). For the most part I’ve been sitting on a pile of pillows on the floor with blankets and have been playing fetch with Jellybean while Cher goes between the bench and a blanket next to me.
Mischief
On occasion they’ll play nice and share the bench together and stare out the window occasionally barking at dogs and their owners walking by. And then occasionally they bark at nothing at all and scare the crap out of me.
Sisters 😊
But despite the barking and sitting on the floor I’ve made great progress on my improvised sweater. I finished the body and decided to do an i-cord bind off for the end instead of ribbing. The scoop neck is pretty deep so I added about 2 inches of ribbing to the neckline to bring it up a bit – I’ll still need to wear a tank top with it but that’s how I typically wear my v necks. I decided to use the leftover darker yarn I paired with the lighter top color on my Colorblocked Boyfriend Cardigan. It picks up the dark flecks in the other yarn. I kind of love that this is all bits and pieces of leftover projects coming together. I love it when you can use every last drop of yarn on the skein.
Sunday night progress
I’ve been kind of just making this up as I go along and making decisions on the fly. Adding in a new color and just having fun as I go along. It’s kind of nice to not follow any pattern. I’m down to the sleeves and I’m thinking since it’s a deep scoop neck and it hits me at the hips, with not do a bell sleeve? I just feel like a fitted sleeve wouldn’t look right but who knows, I may not like it and can always rip it back but that’s also part of the fun of creating this with colors I just love. Here’s hoping I finish up this week!