Knitting Without Dog Hair Is Not an Option

Hi there - My name is Claudia. I live with my hubby and our two furry kids in Georgia, USA. Originally I am from Germany - southern belle from Bavaria replanted to the Southern US. I am very addicted to knitting - 4-5 projects going at the same time... What can I say...

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Location: Peckerwood, Georgia, United States

Thursday, January 25, 2007


It was nice to be here. I started blogging in January 2006 and I learned at lot during the last year of hosting my little knitting blog. It is time to move on and you can find me now at my own little castle:


And hopefully there won't be any glitches, down times, problems with commenting, etc.

See ya at the new place!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Confessions of a Sloppy Knitter

OK - this is what a messy crafts room looks like. Beware, don't let your children see these pictures - they might get ideas... Hey - maybe next year I'll win another JenLa award for this...

Craft Room Mess
Craft Room Mess
Craft Room Mess
Craft Room Mess

SO THERE - I have hardly room to spin and the dogs just barely fit on the futon. I thought if I take pictures and out myself, I might get some motivation to clean up and organize the room. There's nothing gross - just paper messy, knitting project messy, etc. No rotting garbage or anything like that... thankfully...

I am hoping to have this started and finished soon. Send motivating vibes! Of course, the bigger the mess gets the less I want to deal with it...

SOOOOOOOO - what's happening knitting-wise? A LOT!

I finished two socks - not matching - look for yourself:

Popsicle Socks - Close-up

I will call these Popsicle Cables. The pattern is inspired by Sensational Knitted Socks, and I dyed the Knitpicks Bare with lemon and strawberry Great Value™ Drink Mix.

Chevron Stripes

See, I told you they were different. ;-) These socks I call Snaky Chevons. The way the colors stripe around the sock reminds me of snakes. The pattern, again, is inspired by Sensational Knitted Socks. This time it is a toe-up with short rows and a short row heel.

And I finished some spinning - a 3-day weekend is definitely helpful:

Alpaca Tussan Silk

300 yards of single ply Alpaca/Tussan Silk (19 wpi)

Alpaca Tussan Silk

I am eyeing a nice lace shawl pattern with this. I think I should have enough. I thought about plying it but then it came very evenly twisted from the bobbin and I thought - oh no baby, you will be single. More yardage for me!

I also tested some Merino/Bombyx Silk mix which I got from the owner of Knitch last week. And it turned into a nice 2-ply:

Merino Bombyx Silk
Merino Bombyx Silk

Very soft and yummy - I love the colors. Don't they remind you of somebody?

Have a great Wednesday - I am headed to a SNB meeting.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Remember Me???

Hello there - I am still alive and ready for a weekend. And it will be a long one because I was given this Monday off for all the extra hours I put in lately. YAY!

I can't believe that my last post here was last Friday - this week sure zoomed by.

The last 3 weeks have been extremely stressful at work, and I actually missed a bunch of knitting meetings. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT??? Work got between me and knitting with friends! GEEZ... Here are some fun postcards a friend emailed me that kinda express some thoughts I had this week, when I was getting to work at 7am and leaving at 7pm... And my thoughts were kinda in this order...


Well, at least I am still knitting, right? Even tho' I missed out on some gatherings, I knit at home and on the bus.

Last weekend at the SNB meeting in Gainesville, Ms. Jen made me feel really guilty because she was working on her fourth red scarf for the Red Scarf Project and I hadn't done squat... So, I casted on for a red scarf on Saturday and finished it Sunday evening. Here are some pix:

Red Scarf Project

Yarn: 2 balls of Caron Simply Soft Shadows
Pattern: Slip Stitch pattern from one of Sally Melville's books
Needles: US #8

And here is her highness, Hermione, who never, ever likes to be photographed:

Red Scarf Project

I have no clue how I managed to get this shot... Maybe because the scarf was still on the needles and I held on to the scarf (thus the dog) while taking the picture?

The scarf went in the mail this week. Last year I did better and knitted more scarves. Somehow, time just flew by and suddenly January is almost over. Boy-oh-boy...

And here are some doggies snuggling while I was knitting, sitting on the floor in hubby's crammed office while he edited some of my writings. Because some of my English excursions tend to be mystifying, I hung out to answer his questions.

Cuddling with Noah
Knitting with Mommie

See the boxes? That is part of his evergrowing stash of jigsaw puzzles.

It seems like I have been knitting a lot of scarves lately... Last weekend I also finished another scarf - this will go into a box for knitted gifts (you never know when you need something):

SP9 Scarf

I have to look for the label, but I think it was a GGH yarn (100% acrylic and unbelievably soft). I had four balls and used them all (the balls did not have a lot of yardage) - on needle size 17. (That was the project on the wooden doggie needles from last week.) The pattern is a mistake rib and it's very airy - I guess knitting on needle size #17 helps. :-)

The outlook for this weekend: a yarn crawl with the gals from SNB-NEGA to The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock, GA. And Monday off - hooray for that! Have a good weekend! Expect yarn crawl pictures in this theatre soon...

Friday, January 12, 2007


Today is a good day because - THANK GOODNESS IT IS FRIDAY, and payday, and I am looking forward to a nice SNB group tonight and two days of doing nothing but hanging out with hubby and the fiber dogs - and, OK, with my knitting gals tomorrow afternoon.

Here is the first proof that I am a strong woman who sticks to her New Year's resolution:

I went knitting last night with my friend Jacquie, and we visited Katey and her girlfriends at Purly Gates. AND... I did not buy any yarn. Whoopdidoo-o-o! Believe me, there was a ton of yarn I could have bought, but I held strong! Jacquie, tho', bought some beautiful Mission Falls to knit a poncho for her MIL for Christmas 2007. She is way ahead of the curve - I am not thinking about this now. I'm still delighted I got done with last Christmas...

So instead (of looking for fiber), I wandered elsewhere and browsed for books and needles. Like I don't already have plenty enough books and needles. But that's another story altogether. So, here is what I found:

New books & needles from Purly Gates

Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting, by Marianne Kinzel, and Cool Socks Warm Feet, by Lucy Neatby, plus some very cool wooden needles (size US 17) with doggie toppers:

Size 17 Knitting Needles with Doggies

Aren't the dogs just too cute? I usually am not a big fan of straight needles but these I had to have. And actually, I use straight needles to make scarves, so there... I will use them. In fact, I already started a project with them last night when I got home from the knit-in - using yarn from the Scarf Box. I am making a scarf from my stash - YAY. :-)

With this - have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Lion's Kiss

Now that is one big ol' kiss...

Cali, Colombia - Through the bars of his cage, an African lion named Jupiter stretches his giant paws around the neck of Ana Julia Torres and plants a kiss on her puckered lips. It could be a kiss of gratitude: Since Jupiter was rescued six years ago from a life of abuse and malnutrition in a traveling circus, Torres has fed and nursed him back to health at her Villa Lorena shelter for injured and mistreated animals. Read the complete article here.

I am such a sucker for animals and always feel very gratified when I read things like this. That sure brightened my Tuesday morning.

And you know what brightened my Monday evening - besides coming home to hubby and the fiber dogs? The mailman brought me a package with yarn. And even better, I don't feel guilty because I ordered it in 2006. Ha-ha-ha-ha...

And it's not even my fault that I ordered it. I just had to because my dear enabler friend Jen spread the word that Yarn4Socks had a sale going on and I thought (not knowing at the time that I have sock yarn to knit socks for a small nation) I should buy some. Here is what I got:

Order from Yarn4Socks

Trekking XXL, Fleece Artist Merino, Artyarns Merino Superwash and two more colors of the Noro Kureyon, which I will add to the vest from Knitting with Balls that I am knitting.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Back to Spinning!

Finally! I have to admit that I haven't touched my wheel since last year. Sounds very dra-mah-tic, if you disregard the fact that today is only the 8th day of January. But seriously, I wanted to spin over the holidays but didn't feel like it at all. Moody woman...

So, it took a Distaff Day at the Peachtree Handspinners Guild to get me all excited again and hot-to-trot uhhhh -spin...

Thankfully I had a brain in the morning before Nicole, Shari and Jen showed up around 9:15 last Saturday and I packed three different rovings in case I would get totally frustrated with one of them. And indeed - I did. I had some Merino/Silk mix on the bobbin and I wanted to continue with it. No way José - it was not my day for that roving. Off went the bobbin and on came a new and empty one, and I started spinning with the roving that my Sneaky Snarky Pal Laurie - who is called Blogless Laurie - gave to me. She is one of Katey's friends, and she outed herself on Saturday. Noooo - not what you think, only that she was my Sneaky Snarky Pal! Laurie gave me 4oz of Dragon's Fire by Three Bags Full. Dragon's Fire consists of purebred American romeldale wool, Tencel®, and silk noil, a very luscious blend. Here is a picture of my handspun:

Distaff Day 2007

It spun up very thin. I like the colors but of course I had to hear some teasing from my spinning gals - they were wondering if I emptied the dryer filter and added some extra fiber. Har-har... Just because the tencel looks a little like lint. I am about 1/3 through the 4oz ball and I will probably ply it.

AND while we're at it - Laurie also made a very cute little purse for me. I love the handles. Very funky! Dorky me hadn't blogged about my gift - SORRY! Here it is, with the roving in the bag and chocolate, which went straight to the office to share with my co-workers:

Sneaky Snarky Pal gift

And here are some pictures of the circle of spinner/knitter/bloggers at the spin-in on Saturday - and it's not my fault that most of them are blurry. These women move too fast!

Distaff Day 2007
Laurie, Stephanie, Janice, Jane & Nicole

Distaff Day 2007
Katey, Amy & Laurie

Distaff Day 2007
Melissa, Jen , Allsion & Kerry

At the time - when I took these pictures - two of our friends where still missing in action - Sandy and Mouse got there later and somehow escaped my camera. Oddly, tho', I got a picture of Sandy's goregous handspun alpaca blend:

Distaff Day 2007

After a while my back started killing me and I carded some of the Cotswald fleece from Vermont and spun that up, too. No pictures yet - sorry!

And some of us went to a local pub after all this exhausting spinning for some food & beer and knitting. And since it was our second time at the pub, the waiter remembered us knitters. Too funny.

Distaff Day 2007
Shari, Melissa, Allsion & Jane

We decided that Shari really needs her own blog because she has the funniest stories. Everytime we meet she has new ones that just make you laugh out loud. But that lady is very busy and I can understand that she would have a hard time finding time to write her stories down.

Distaff Day 2007
Nicole, Jen, Shari & Melissa

We had a great time! Why can't there be a week of Saturdays like this???

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Free Pattern - Lace Scarf

OK - this is one of the little patterns I was making up over the holidays. Actually I saw a similar pattern in Simply Knitting but it was written in purl only, and that is not really my favorite stitch. Especially when you can create exact the same design with all knit stitches. Here are pictures of the finished scarf - project no. 2 for 2007 - YAY!

Malabrigo Scarf

Yarn: Malabrigo 100% Merino wool
Color: Little Lovely
Needles: US #13
Yardage: 215

I had 14 inches left when I finished the scarf (see the little string on the left side?).

Here are close-ups from both sides:

Malabrigo Scarf

Malabrigo Scarf

I just love the colors - the variegation reminds me of a bowl of raspberries and blackberries. And here is the pattern:

Cast on 21 stitches.
Row 1: Knit all sts.
Row 2: *K2tog, rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 3: K1, *knit through the bar between the st just worked and the next st, k1, rep from * to end of the row.
Row 4: K1, *yo, k2tog, rep from * to the end of the row.
repeat these 4 rows until you get close to the end of the ball.
Bind off on the next knit row.

Tip: I cut the fringe while I was knitting the scarf, so I wouldn't have to worry if I had enough at the end to make a fringe. The scarf is 68 inches long and 7 inches wide with a 4-inch fringe on each side. I am still debating if I should block it or not...

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


A little late - I know - but just as heart-felt. Wishing you all the best for 2007, good health and all the things you need and want plus a load of fiber fun.

Last year was a good one for one main reason - I met a lot of great knitters and spinners. I got inspired last January through a bunch of crazy bloggers to start my own blog, and here I am almost a year later and still lovin' it. I would never have dreamed that one day I would actually write about my knitting and people would read it, too.

So, what happened over the holidays at Casa Claudia? As I've said before, not much, but finally I kicked my lazy butt off the sofa and organized my stash. So now I am so-o-o-o-o with La:

I will work with my stash yarn for at least the next six months - you can find all the rules in La's post. If you see me buying yarn somewhere, grab my credit card and buy yourself some fiber! I had no freakin' idea how much yarn was stuffed in my closet. It finally came out of the closet last weekend, and I spent many long and grueling hours making a detailed list of it. Hubby, bless his heart, built an Excel spreadsheet and will enter the data for me. I also took pictures of each different yarn, and the spreadsheet will include links to the pictures.

So there! I can be organized if I REALLY want to. And the shocking news - I have enough yarn to make at least 15 sweaters or cardigans. I swear, I can knit socks all year - I have a drawer full of sock yarn. How could I have accumulated so much yarn??? - it is really scary. A ton of cotton for dishcloths for years to come - not only 2007. Spider-poop-weight yarn for a bunch of lace projects. Yarn for at least two big afghans. And a box full of yarn for scarves. You know how it is... You walk into your favorite LYS and you see a new yarn. You buy two balls to try it out - just enough to make a scarf. Before long you end up with a box...

I have to admit I did not go through my felting yarn stash, and I have two plastic bins of odds and ends that I will probably give to my friend Shari, who is a teacher and started a knitting circle for her students.

And while I was sorting, I also found several UFOs, which I ripped, and now that yarn awaits a new purpose as well. I already have a mental project list for 2007. We'll see what transpires. I'll keep you posted.

And have you noticed, I have not mentioned a word about my roving stash.... Whee-e-e-e....

But now for something completely different...

What does a knitter do on New Year's Day? She goes to a New Year Knitting Party. My friend Jacquie hosted another little party and here are some pics for you:

Princess Pixie - so cute in a purple tiara to match her jacket - knitting a hat for her nephew

I am glad she's back from her cool trip to Europe - missed ya girl! She brought me back nice gifts from London:

Pixie's Gifts from London
Hot off the press, the latest issue of Simply Knitting and some gorgeous Jaeger Trinity Yarn. THANK YOU!

And here are more party animals:

Jackie, Jessica & Erica
Three very talented and enthusiastic newbie knitters - Jackie, Jessica & Erica

Katey & Jacquie
Katey (yay, she finally made it to one of our outings) & our gracious host Jacquie

Sally & Debbie
Sally & Debbie

Tammy & Daye
Tammy & Daye

Tammy and Claudia
Tammy & me - working hard on a fringe for a scarf.

BTW - see the red fluffy top I am wearing? My first FO for 2007. I finished it that morning for the party - it was in the closet (yes, that closet) for 2 years. Originally it was supposed to become a sweater, but the yarn is so warm that I decided I'd have more chances to wear the thing without sleeves. I guess you could call it a tank top or a slipover. Strangely, in German it's called a pullunder. Wonder where that word comes from... Because you have to pull something under and you can't wear it by itself?


Zimba, the main attraction of the party - at least in his doggie mind. He is a cute little Shih Tzu with quite a bit of punk attitude. He reminds me very much of an Ewok. Remember those little guys from Star Wars?

Katey whipped out a dog sweater for one of her knitting classes, and since Zimba is a small dog, he was turned into a hoodie model:

"Katey, please take this off - NOW!!! Or else..."

It was a nice relaxed start to the New Year. And it's already payback time for me at work (my biggest excuse for not blogging earlier, HAH...) because our office is already super-busy, my co-worker is vacationing in Germany, and I am trying to juggle 4 attorneys, the office and the clients, and hoping that I don't drop any balls. :-) But I truly like my new job. That was another good thing that happened in 2006.

Did you know about the knitting tradition that you have to start a new project on the first day of a new year? No? Well, now you know... I started a long vest with Noro Kuroyon, based on a pattern from Knitting with Balls. That is a really cool book full of patterns for men - although nothing says you can't adapt them for a gal.

Noro Kureyon Cabled Vest

And last but not least, I have a pretty short list of UFOs for you. Six projects slipped over into 2007. We'll see when they get finished:

Toe Up Sock with Chevron Pattern
A pair of toe-up socks, based on a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks

Fingerless Cashmere Mitts
Fingerless Cashmere Mitts, from Interweave Knits

Knitting Tote Before Felting
A big ol' tote - to be felted later

Top Down Poncho with Chunky Cable
A top-down poncho with a chunky cable running down the center in front and back

Kiri Shawl
The Kiri Shawl

White Cable Sweater
And yes - the white cable sweater is still not finished!

OK, that's all folks for tonight. Oh no - wait... I have to brag!!! I won two Jen/La awards:

5. The Jaws, aka Fresh Blood Award, and
67. Head Troublemaker Award (which is extra cool because I was born in '67 and guess what's coming in July...)

YAY-YAY-YAY... I didn't know that those gals host a yearly award ceremony - I am still a newbie blogger! On January 1, 2007, was the Third Annual JenLa Knit Blog Awards. I especially love the my new title, "Lone Arranger". Ha-ha-ha-ha - you have to go read their blog. This award list is the best! Way better than the Oscars and not just because I was mentioned twice. ;o)

With this I am going to rest my spinning head for today (which reminds me that I haven't touched my wheel in weeks...) - after all I've been up since 5am... Snoozzzzzzzzzz...