Friday, February 19, 2016

Single Tasking Day and Pink Heart Dog Sweater

Single Tasking Day

No one talks about single tasking -- it's all about multi-tasking these days and has been for quite some time.  I admit that I am a strong multi-tasker.  Right now, I'm watching Chicago Med (on demand), writing this post during commercial breaks, and working on an afghan square for the groovyghan CAL.  My computer alerts me whenever an email comes in, so that's a temptation.  I have several tabs open on my web browser, so I can pop over to different sites quickly and easily.  I recently posted some pics on the Occasions by sonjabegonia Facebook page, so if someone likes or comments, a little "1" will appear on the Facebook tab, alerting me to go check out the activity.

One of the few places that I don't multi-task is at the movie theater.  It's very relaxing to sit in the dark and not have any screens competing for time.  I don't understand the people who go to the movies and can't turn off their phone.  Don't they know this is a time when it's accepted and encouraged to focus on a single task?

When I find a really good book, I am very good at single-tasking.  If it's not a page-turner, I'm content with reading during commercials and setting it down when a show picks up again.  Pager-turners are a different story.  With those, it's best to find a quiet spot, some hot tea, a warm sleepy dog, and uninterrupted time until the end of the book.  

Playing the piano is another single task that is totally consuming and really can't be done when doing anything else (except singing if appropriate).  I need to get back into the practice of playing regularly and enjoying the focus of a single, beautiful task.  

Pink Heart Dog Sweater

This morning and early afternoon, my main project was knitting an extra small pink dog sweater for a little Maltese in Missouri.  This custom order was for a pale pink sweater with a white heart motif on the back and white edging.  I documented the process is a few pictures to share with those who are interested in the knitting process.  

The entire sweater - including weaving in ends - took about 5 hours.  

Gathering materials:  For this dog sweater, I needed my standard dog pattern adjusted for size based on the dog's measurements, a graphed heart motif, small amount of white yarn, pale pink yarn divided into three parts, straight needles in sizes 9 and 10, three circular needles size 9, scissors, and a yarn needle.

Making leg openings:  One of the more involved steps in the process.  In this row, four balls of yarn are in play because the pink yarn needs to be used in three separate areas to create the leg holes and the white heart is starting in the center of the sweater.  For an extra small sweater, this craziness only lasts for 5 rows.

Measuring for fit: The leg openings have been completed, good progress has been made on the heart, and it's time to measure the sweater.  I'm at the point where it's time to start decreasing for the back of the sweater.  After two significant decreases that signify the end of the body, the decreases are slight and steady until the end of the back.

Body is finished:  The body has been knitted flat, making it easier to create the leg holes and make the decreases even and in the correct spot for a dog sweater.  The last row of back stitches are on a holding yarn because they will be used in the edging.  Now it's time to sew up the body and start the edging.

Edging the sweater:  Three circular needles and white yarn are used to make the back edging.  Stitches are evenly picked up on each side of the sweater and the live end row of back stitches is in the middle.  A knit one, purl one ribbing is used to match the neck.  The same process, on a smaller scale, will be used for the legs.  

Completed sweater:  The edging is finished and all yarn ends have been woven in and tied off.  The pale pink and white is a subtle combination that will look great on a little Maltese.  It was fun to knit something in pink.  Archie doesn't act like a pink kind of dog, so this is the first pink dog sweater I've made.

Heart:  A close-up look at the heart motif.  On Archie's heart sweater, the heart really pops because it's a white sweater with a bright red heart.

Side view:  Here's a view that shows all of the edging and the overall shape of the dog sweater.  This is an easy sweater to put on dogs and holds up well.  It's made with yarn that stands up to the washing machine and dryer.  

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