Archive for July, 2009

30th Jul 2009

Pattern: Thatched

(Note: a PDF version of this pattern is also available.)


Finished Size

To fit a woman’s medium foot


v 1 skein Knit One Crochet Too Soxx Appeal, 50g/190m (See note!)

v Set of 5 US 1/2.25mm double-pointed needles

v Set of US 2/2.75mm double-pointed needles

v Tapestry needle


16 stitches and 23 rows = 2 inches in thatched bamboo stitch before blocking


v I highly recommend trying these socks on as you go, especially if you are not used to knitting with elasticized yarn. It took me several goes at the pattern before feeling comfortable with my tension.

v Stitches should be increased in increments of 4 if adjustments are needed in order to get a well-fitting sock.

v After finishing the pair, I had about five yards of yarn left over. If you think your foot or ankle is larger than a woman’s size 8-8.5 with a medium width, you might like to buy two skeins of yarn. As they say, better safe than sorry!


CO cast on
K knit
k2tog knit two stitches together as one
P purl

RHN right-hand needle
Sl slip stitch
SSK slip 1 stitch knit-wise, slip next stitch purl-wise, knit the two stitches together through the back loop
YO yarn over
* starting point of repeat

Stitch Guide

Thatched Bamboo

Row 1 K1, *yo, k2, pick up yarn over, draw it over the two knit stitches, and drop it from the RHN,* k1

Row 2 Knit

Row 3 k2, *yo, k2, pick up yarn over, draw it over the two knit stitches, and drop it from the RHN,* k2

Row 4 Knit

Eye of Partridge Stitch

Row 1 Sl 1, p to end

Row 2 Sl 1, *k1, sl 1,* repeat from * to end, knit remaining stitch

Row 3 Sl 1, p to end

Row 4 Sl 1, k1, *k1, sl 1,* repeat from * to end, knit remaining stitch

Gusset Decrease

Row 1 K to last two st on ndl 1, k2tog; k across ndl 2 (instep ndl) in pattern; ssk at beg of ndl 3, k to end

Row 2 K across ndl 1; k across ndl 2 in pattern; k across ndl 3

Toe Decrease

Ndl 1 Knit until 3 st rem, k2tog, k1

Ndl 2 K1, ssk, k to end

Ndl 3 As ndl 1

Ndl 4 As ndl 2


Using larger needles, CO 48 stitches and join in round, being careful not to twist. Distribute stitches evenly between needles.


Switch to smaller needles as you begin cuff stitches. Work in k1-p1 rib for 1 inch.


There is no leg! But you will need to divide for the heel flap by placing 24 stitches on each of two needles.

Heel Flap

Work in Eye of Partridge stitch for 24 rows.

Turn Heel

Row 1 Sl1, p12, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 2 Sl1, k4, k2tog, k1, turn.
Row 3 Purl to first st before gap formed on previous row, p2tog, p1, turn. Row 4 Knit to first st before gap formed on previous row, k2tog, k1, turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all stitches have been worked. Fourteen stitches remain on your needle.


Using a new needle, pick up and knit stitches along edge of gusset. Knit across instep needle in pattern. Using another new needle, pick up and knit stitches along other edge of gusset. Knit across half of the remaining heel stitches. Transfer remaining stitches to the first gusset needle; you now have three needles.

Begin your gusset decrease rounds; continue to decrease until 48 st remain (24 on instep needle and 12 each on needles 1 & 3).


Ndl 1: knit in stocking stitch; Ndl 2: knit in pattern; Ndl 3: knit in stocking stitch. Continue in this manner until you reach your desired foot length less 1 inch, ending with Row 4 of the Thatched Bamboo stitch pattern. (Note: this is where you’ll want to try on the sock for size; elasticized yarn can be very stretchy!)


Divide instep stitches onto two needles.

Knit two rounds even. Work one toe dec round every other row until 32 st remain.

Work toe dec rnd every row for three more rounds (20 st rem).

Knit across Ndl 1 with Ndl 4. Combine stitches on Ndls 2 & 3 onto a single ndl (10 st on each of two needles).


Graft st together using Kitchener stitch. (Tip: Knitting Daily’s Sandi Wisehart has a fantastic blog post for those who hate the Kitchener stitch!)

Weave in ends and block.

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23rd Jul 2009

The Invisible Dog

Every now and again, Rogie does something that utterly cracks me up. Okay, he often does things that crack me up but, every now and again, he outdoes even himself. Most recently was him picking apricots by standing on his hind legs and jumping up to pull them off the branch with his teeth but one Rogie incident that remains in my memory occurred on the big road trip.

Yes, Rogie became invisible.

The Great Invisible Rogie

While we were still in Atlanta, we had an email from a friend in Texas, wondering if we would be passing near her home on our return journey and, if so, if we’d like to stop in for the night. We had originally planned on taking I-10 across Texas, through El Paso, Las Cruces, etc., but the thought of a good visit with friends (and the chance to avoid SoCal traffic) had us revising our travel plans.

And so we found ourselves in Poetry, Texas, visiting with Marilyn. The dogs had a great time running around her property, swimming in the pond, and making new friends. We spent the day just hanging out relaxing and, as evening approached, decided we’d head to Trevino’s for some TexMex food. All we had to do was gather up the dogs, put them in their crates in the van, and load ourselves into Marilyn’s car.

I guess Rogie thought he was going to have leave his newfound Nirvana and was desperate to do anything to avoid this…he took off down the driveway. Even from a distance, I could hear the tiny little cogs and wheels in his brain turning, searching for a solution to his predicament.

Hang out with the Texas longhorn? No, too big and she had scary looking horns.

Hide out with the mule? No way…she bites!

The gate? Closed. No escape there.

Finally, the little doggy lightbulb went on in his little doggy brain. He’d turn himself invisible.

To achieve this feat, he paused for the appropriate amount of time behind a shrubbery. (It might have just been a tall bit of grass.) After what must have been two, or maybe even three, seconds, Rogie emerged from behind the greenery like a superhero emerges from his phonebooth, utterly confident in his invisibility.

Knowing his presence was now imperceptible, Rogie moved swiftly to put his plan into action. Keeping his head down nonetheless, he trotted across the open space between his shrubbery and the house, edged along the side of the house to the stairwell, and zoomed up it to the door.


(Alas, there was still the pesky problem of the door handle and a woeful lack of opposable thumbs and poor Rogie suffered the humiliation of scooped up like a bag of groceries, tucked under my arm, and unceremoniously deposited in his crate.)

Wondering where the incredible invisible dog is in the picture? Click here.

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18th Jul 2009

It’s a Hard Knock Life (when you’re a knitwear model)

I’ve been on a “yarn diet” for quite some time now and, as a result, have been using up a fair amount of my stash. Part of that stash includes some very cheap (and some might say “nasty”) yarn I bought because I was convinced I was going to knit a whole bunch of dog sweaters. Some of the sweaters I’d hoped would replace the sweaters and jackets the dogs were wearing for the great Skunk Wars of 2009. (Six months on and they still reek of skunk.) I’d hoped the others might help finance a trip next spring.

Of course, I hadn’t done a thing about making the damn things. Finally, I picked up some of the yarn and cast on for a sweater. It didn’t get too far when I decided that it wasn’t going to work and so I ripped it out. I cast on again, this time using a real pattern for a greyhound sweater. Work on that sweater was motoring along nicely until I looked at the project page for the pattern on Ravelry. None of the completed projects looked at all flattering on the greyhounds modelling them. Sweater #2 ripped out.

Finally, I came up with something I thought might work and work progressed relatively smoothly on it. It’s much bigger than what I had planned and so, instead of a sweater for Streaka, I’ve got a sweater for Tighe. That’s okay…he has the biggest need for new winter clothing as he tore a hole in his jacket last year.

There are a few changes I want to make to the pattern and to the method by which it was knit but, on the whole, I’m quite pleased with the result:

Tighe's new sweater

So why is it a hard-knock life when you’re a knitwear model? Because you have to wear a fur coat AND a knit sweater in this:


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17th Jul 2009

Streaka’s Stroke

It started with a loud and clumsy-sounding thud from the patio where the dogs’ kennels are located. I could see the boys from where I sat but no Streaka. Kathleen got up to investigate and worriedly called out to me: There’s something wrong with Streaka!

Out we went…

Streaka stumbled across the patio unsteadily, one of her rear legs giving out on her. Kathleen scooped her up and brought her inside, where she immediately collapsed onto her bed. Of course, given her age, my first thought was that she had had a stroke.

Being Streaka, she didn’t want me fussing over her and really just wanted to lie down. I did give her a quick exam before letting her rest. Her rear end was hunched under, her left rear leg did not hold her weight, and she walked with a distinct lean to the left.

Streaka's recovery

So, I let her be and went to write her breeder an email, asking for advice. Just before hitting the send button, I decided to give Streaka another once-over, evaluating her gait and also checking the neurological response in her hind limbs.

Hmmm. When she gaited out, she wasn’t limping any more. What could possibly cause her leg to be completely unresponsive one minute and completely normal the next?


Yes, her leg had fallen asleep.

(I hope she doesn’t start faking strokes just so she can come in and nap away from the boys. I don’t think my heart could handle it!)

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01st Jul 2009

As Canadian as possible, under the circumstances

This day, more than any other in the year, is the day on which I most deeply feel a sense of “otherness”. It is a day on which I remember friends and family and, above all, my beloved homeland…a nation so similar on the surface to the one in which I now live and yet so very, very different.

As has become my habit, I will spend today enjoying as much Canadiana as I can.

I’ve already watched the National Film Board’s short, The Log Driver’s Waltz and, pretty soon, I’ll put Great Big Sea in the CD player. I’ll think about Kraft Dinner, stubbies, the DEW Line, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, parkades, Pierre Trudeau, high school rugby, Kids in the Hall, Cowichan sweaters, Tommy Douglas, Hockey Night in Canada, MacLean & MacLean, and yes, I will drink beer.

Happy Birthday, Canada. I love you…

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