Monday, July 23, 2007

Well, Sam’s finished. The sun is shining this morning – although it hasn’t got around to the front of the house yet – so I took him out to the step for his photo shoot.

My husband continues to have some serious complaints, including most recently the colour of the horns. They should be dark grey, or brown. He’s right, of course. This is what we’re aiming for:

But, as I’ve said before, the judging is not going to be based on ovine verisimilitude. I think he’ll do. I’ve left the yarn with which I attached the horns unsecured, however (and he still has a little hole in his bottom), so late adjustments are not impossible.

The other knitting category this year – far too similar; what were they thinking of? – is called Teddies for Tragedies. A teddy bear pattern is provided, and you have to donate the result to a charity which distributes teddy bears to tragic children. Studies Have Shewn that they recover faster from whatever trauma has afflicted them, if they have their own teddy bear.

I am sure I would do badly in a straight competition like that, but it might be interesting to try, and it would use up a bit of the new bag of stuffing. I’ll have another look at the pattern when we next get to Strathardle – next week, I hope. And it would consume a bit of stash, of course.

So, what next?

The luxury of choice was delicious last night. Both Sam and the melon scarf were in a sense prescribed – Sam by this year’s competition categories, the scarf by Natalie’s flattering request that I try out the Yarn Yard's delicious new merino lace. Now I was free.

What I did, was cast on (as recommended) 16 stitches and attempt a swatch of the insertion pattern which comes next in the Princess shawl.

A good thing, too.

An odd manoeuvre is involved. “slip 1, knit 2 tog, p.s.s.o. – but before slipping the slipped stitch off the needle, make 1 by bringing the yarn forward, then knit 1 into the slipped stitch”.

My problem on the first attempt was not knowing where the slipped stitch was supposed to be, when the yarn came forward. I messed things up by trying to keep it on the right hand needle. I solved the problem by ratiocination, while not knitting at all. The yarn must come forward while the slipped stitch is temporarily back on the left-hand needle. So that’s all right.

The next few rows are either YO k2tog or k2tog YO and it behoves one to pay attention and resist the temptation to throw in an extra YO at one end or the other.

I’m about to start a third attempt.


My sister's blog has a delightful account of Alistair’s American holiday. Now we need to hear from Joe and Theo in DC. Rachel forwarded a first email from Joe yesterday. He’s having a great time. Tomorrow, he says he's going to hear Hillary speak and subsequently debate with Obama and other Democrats. It’ll be very interesting to hear how they impress a sharp young observer. Joe, like Theo, is keen on politics.


  1. Sam looks quite handsome--dapper, dashing, and debonair (if one can be all of those at the same time). He is definitely a prizewinner. Are you still contemplating giving him eyes?

  2. I think Sam is adorable! All he needs now is one of those horrid cow bells hanging from his neck and maybe a bit more stuffing up his butt, he looks a little square in the pics, rather than nicely rotund.
    Okay let's face it, I just think the idea of you poking stuffing up his bum is funny...I can't help having the mentality of a two year old.

  3. Anonymous8:33 PM

    I love Sam. If his body has a sweater, why not his horns?

  4. Sam is absolutely gorgeous.
    It might be amusing if other Strathardle knitters have lurked around your blog, gaining inspiration. A whole flock of Sams would certainly be an eye-opener for the judges.

  5. Anonymous9:05 PM

    I think he's wonderful. Grey horns would be confusing since the ears are grey. I'm ambivalent about eyes but think an ear tag would be a wonderful touch.
    Teddy bears look even less like bears than Sam looks like a ram--much of his charm is being like the real thing but not too much like.

  6. I am watching the Democratic debate as I write this. The candidates answering questions from real people on YouTube--what a concept! No ducking around here. A wonderful experience, to be in that audience.

    Sam looks great--I also have the kit in my stash but for lo these many years, I've avoided him. You may have inspired my lazy butt.

  7. Anonymous10:09 AM

    Am enjoying following the adventures of your Sam the Ram project - will await with baited breath for the judges' decision. I was reading the webpage about the Highland Show - reminded me of Monarch of the Glen. Any similarities??