Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Knitwear, Poodle Love and Babs Walker's Page 18.

How is it that summer, generally a time to relax for teachers, is always so damn busy?  Oh, that's right, I take on way to much.  Why the hell do I do this to myself every summer?  I have a list of a ton of projects that I want to accomplish yet I never get to them because I do so much other stuff for other people.  Now, here I am, less than two weeks away from going back to work and I finally have time for me.

My biggest issue this summer was designing a garment for a certain, yet to be named, yarn company.  Of course, this is totally James Bond land and I can't say who, what, or when.  However, I can say that this project drove me a bit nuts and the only thing that would make it better is if Adel would sing a theme song about it like she did for Skyfall (yes, I love Adel).

The other great task I took on was flying to Houston and driving my mother to a family function in New Orleans.  More on that fun fest in a later post.  What I can say now is that I survived and mother is very, very happy.

The nice thing about traveling is coming home to your dogs.  As you may recall, my partner and I have six standard poodles.  Currently, we have five at home.  Libby, our youngest is  being shown by a professional handler in California.  We call it "Doggy Boarding School."  The girls go away for a few months, get their degrees (championships) and then they come home to get married and raise children (have puppies).  Anyway, my girls have been super clingy since I got  back from Texas.  It's so wonderful to be so appreciated by another creature.  Dogs are such a gift.

Ack!  When did I get so mushy.  I can't believe that I just let emotion get in this post.  Next thing I'll be doing is hugging people, God forbid. 

Okay, back to poodle love, sans emotional rhetoric and touchy feelly stuff. 

We have one girl, Goldie, who has never been to boarding school.  Jeff decided that he needed to show our own dogs af few years back and he did so with Gracie and Libby but they ended up being a bit of a handful; so, off to school they went.  However, Goldie's temperament in the show ring has been just right (pun intended).  It's rather interesting having a standard poodle in show cut around the house.  Actually, it's not interesting at all, it's a pain in the ass.  I'm sure you can guess why but if you can't let me tell you in one word, hair.  Yup, it's all about that damn hair.

Most of the world is familiar with the poodle show cut; you know, giant hair, teased up so that it touches the heavens and may even come in contact with God.  Well, we have that in our house.  I blame the French for my woes.  That poodle cut, 200 years ago was about two inches long; after all poodles are bird dogs.  You can't have all that hair when your fetching dead birds.  Next thing you know, the French are on the scene and that hair got really big really fast.  I'm sure the French would blame Texans but big hair in Texas was just few years down the road.  (By the way, having just been in Texas two days ago, I can affirm that big hair is still very much alive and well in that state.)

Well, our girl Goldie got all teased up this last weekend and here is the result.

Check out the size of that do.  I almost feel that my dog should bark with a Texan accent because that hair is so damn big. 
Now, what's good about all this, is that she won last Sunday, and, like her hair, it was big win.  In the show world, they call that a "Major Win."  In this case, she was selected as the best poodle out of all the girls and all the boys.  Jeff was thrilled, as he should be because he showed her.  The other nice thing about all of this is that when Jeff is thrilled, life around the house is so much nicer. 

Okay, enough poodle love.  Let's talk about Ms. Walker.

About a year ago, I set out on a mission to knit each of the samples from Barbara Walker's first book.  I'm still all about that mission even if I took time off to do a bit of design work.

This sample comes from page 18 (yes, I know that I'm not far along but I'm working on it), Double Basket Pattern and Elongated Rib Check.

So, here you have it and here you could probably leave it.  I'm not thrilled with this particular set of stitches.  On top is the Double Basket.  It is pretty elastic and might make an interesting rib and Ms. Walker is much more complimentary of the pattern than I am.  This sample is unblocked; so, you can see what she describes as "a series oh highly embossed waves." 

On the bottom is the Elongated Rib Check and its variation at the very bottom.  This is a pretty   straight forward pattern.  The variation adds a garter stitch row between rows of ribbing.  While this pattern was not all that interesting to knit, I can see where this would look nice on a gansey.

There is one benefit to all of this knitting, both patterns are reversible.  Here is the backside.  In my opinion, the backside of the Double Basket resembles basket weave more than the front.

Well, that's about it for today.  I'm almost done with page 19; so, expect a Walker update soon.

Peace Out and Poodle Love.

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