Friday, August 31, 2007

Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap

Here are my answers for the Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap...

1) Do you knit, or crochet, or do both? How long have you been knitting \ crocheting?
Knit only. My Mom tried to teach me when I was a young child and I learned the very basic stitches back then. About 4 years ago I decided I wanted to get in to it again and asked her for some supplies at Christmas. I would say I've truly been a knitter now for about 2 years....

2) Have you made dischloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both?
Yes, so far I have just given them as gifts, but do plan hope to make some for myself soon.

3) What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ?
For dishcloths, Sugar 'n Cream is a good 'ole go-to, but I do love lots of other cottons, including Debbie Bliss, Knit Picks and Lion Brand. I would really love to try some Blue Sky Organic Cotton and Vickie Howell Craft!

4) If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles?
It really depends on the project, as I use circular, straights and DPNs often. I love good quality wood/bamboo needles and Addi Turbos. I'd love to get my hands on some lovely luxury needles from Lantern Moon, including the sox sticks. I got a pair of Fiddlesticks (size 7's) in July and absolutely love them and would like to find more.

5) What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much?
I love purples (wine, mulberry), blues and reds ... and I love warm fall colors and jewel tones. I really love the way the button for this exchange looks - beautiful colors! I don't like neon colors or "icky" shades of anything.

6) What do you like best about Autumn?
I love all things autumn, esp. that I live in New England and get to witness the beautiful foligae season first hand! I love the crisp, cooler air and being able to take out sweaters and scarves... I love pumpkin festivals, fall fairs, caramel apples, hot apple cider, cider donuts, warm apple crisp, etc. Autumn is my favorite season if you haven't guessed... and I'm lucky that my birthday falls in there too (Oct 7th)!

7) Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks!
Pumpkin please! I do like apple as well and may have a piece of pecan from time to time, but its not usually a first choice.

8) When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day?
Couldn't wait to get started!

9) Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the timeframe of the swap)
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (going along with the fact that autumn is my favorite season and I love all things fall in New England!)

10) If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose?
Are you kidding .. only 3??? Chocolate (mostly milk, some white), peanut butter and sweedish fish. I have a super sweet tooth for chocolate covered gummy bears too!

11) Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;)
Three of the 4-legged furbaby variety, which you will see all over my blog - Zeus (6 yrs), Lola (5 yrs) and Teutul (4 yrs on Oct 25th). I also have a significant other of 12 years, Matt, who I'm still "raising" as well... :-)

12) If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why?
Well, I just took the "what kind of yarn are you" quiz and it said I was mohair! I'd like to think I'm something a little tougher like superwash wool though... tough, yet still flexible!

13) Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths?
Both - it depends on the yarn softness and prettiness of the cloth! I need to get or make myself a couple of soap socks though... I don't have any and need some.

14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays)
As noted above, I love all things autumn/fall and Thanksgiving actually used to be my most favorite holiday of the whole year... until we lost my Nana (4 years ago this coming November). She passed away just a few days before Thanksgiving and it was truly heartbreaking for me. I still love the holiday and the food can't be beat, but its a "different" time of year for me now.... and I so miss those wonderful Turkey Days at Nana's house all those years growing up.

15) Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about?
Cigarette smoke.

Mohair, huh?

I found this little quiz on someone's blog last week and finally got a second to take it...

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!

Why yes, I am stubborn... does this mean I can get that t-shirt now that says "plays well with others?" lol

Happy Friday - have a great long weekend and with any luck, I'll have some time to download photos and blog again!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

TGI-almost-Friday... DOT!

Happy Dogs on Thursday! I'm still swamped at work playing catch up this week and forgot to download photos off the camera... but am happy to report that Teutul is doing much, much better - we haven't seen any hives come back since Monday and he's already begun the ween off the prednisone!

In honor of DOT, I wanted to pass along a link to the hilarious Michael Vick graphic t-shirts from
Big Dogs (type Vick in the "find it" box on the top right) - I think the "step on #2" is my favorite so far! Gotta love Big Dogs! My kids all got a good laugh at them...

Zeus wants one of his own to wear...

Lola & Teutul asked if we could find a Vick
jersey for them play tug of war with...

And I think foster doggy Dustee was dreaming of peeing on Vick... or, um, a jersey...

Speaking of our former foster kids, please take a second to go here and vote for the awesome photo of Cotton (the beauty formerly known as Bella) that her Mom entered in to the contest!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ok, I'll Play...

I've been seeing the Pay it Forward going around on a lot of blogs lately and I finally decided to join in via Chan's blog. So, here's the scoop...

It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange, based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return... just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness continue to pass it along as well. You all know I’m already a PIF type of person. Here’s how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So who will my 3 lucky peeps to join me in PIF (if you comment among the first 3 and don't want to play, just say so... no pressure!)?

Speaking of exchanges, I received my Virtual Vacation Swap (I went to Virginia!) package on Monday and my Dog Days of Summer box yesterday... and promise to post info & photos very soon! Both of my spoilers, Robin in VVS and Nicol in DDS, were super duper treaters!!! I absolutely loved everything and both of them really got to know me, which always adds that extra little touch when you realize your spoiler actually read your blog and took the time to learn what you like! You'll see soon...

Mom is now home, resting comfortably and happily knitting away! She has a visiting nurse twice a day and will be back to see Mr. Surgeon the end of next week. She thanks everyone for their well wishes, notes, cards, thoughts and prayers! I also wanted to publicly thank
Heather for the wonderful knitting goody bag she sent for her (which I photoed but they're still on the camera), blogless Karen for the yummy See's chocolates she sent and the incredibly caring Grace for the beautiful shawl she sent. I can't wait to see my Mom wear it and will get photos when she does - but for now I tracked back a little on Grace's blog and found this and this (its the stunning Cherry Tree Hill / Mr Joe Montalpulcino shawl). Mom loves everything!

We had a bit of a scare with
Mr. Teutul this week when he came to us on Sunday night with hives all over his head and his snout swelled up to about 3 times its usually size (he looked like a Rottie!). Off we raced to the emergency vet clinic where he received 2 shots and we were told it was an allergic reaction from "something" (well yes, thank you for that insight - the vet seemed like she was quite new and funny thing was, Tut knew she was not his "doctor lady," didn't really want much to do with her and even refused to get on their scale!). So, we were sent home, told to wake him at 2am and check for hives. Nothing then, but he woke me at 4am with them so I got up and gave him Benadryl, as they said to. He woke me again around 8am with move hives (including a bunch around his eye), so I called our wonderful vet and raced him down to see her before she went in to surgery... Another shot and a prescription of Prednisone, then it was back home (and he happily got on the scale there, sat right down ... aren't they fussy children funny how they know who their doctor is and all??!!). By then he had hives all over his body, so much that he looked like a wrinkly shar-pei... another dose of Benadryl... since then we haven't seen any hives, he takes the Prednisone for the next week or so (you have to start out with 2 a day, then 1 a day, then every other ... oh how fun!). They still can't tell for sure what he got in to or what made us worry like crazy about the baby boy, but we're leaning towards either a bee sting or maybe a spider bite. He had been rubbing his face on the couch & dog bed about an hour or so before (we thought he just got his face wet and was using the "couch napkin" like his sister does) the hives appeared and since that was the only time his snout swelled, that's my uneducated guess........ so, I ended up not getting all that I had hoped to get done on my day off on Monday... then I got sick yesterday... oh the joys! But I promise to download pics from the camera and get to some prettier blogging shortly!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday Fun

Jury selection has been completed in the Michael Vick case.........


And another to add to the growing collection of wonderful photos...


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Thought for the day...

I don't have to express my great hatred towards Michael Vick in words... you all know how I feel... but I did want to share one of the best images I've seen in a long, long time! I keep saying he should be hung & then drowned - as he did to dogs, an eye for an eye - but I think this just might be the best justice possible!


Sunday Quickie...

Back from the Patriots game in Charlotte where.... (insert drum roll here)... they WON!!!!!! Yup, we kicked butt in the South! I knew it was going to be a great night when it started out by us walking over to meet our friends at the hotel behind ours (wearing our Patriots jerseys of course) and some guy opened up his hotel room window to shout out "GO PATS!" and show us his Pats tattoo! Gotta love Patriots fans - esp at away territory!

Although I expected to see a few more Pats fans, I have to admit that we were totally blown away by the number we saw!!!!!!! I would guestimate a good 25% of the people at the game, if not more were wearing Patriots jerseys, hats, tees, etc! We just kept bumping in to them... a couple here, a few there, a whole family here, another dozen there.... young, old, male, female... and all were very friendly. Some stopped to ask where we were from (we met an elderly gentlemen from Cape Cod), if we'd flown down, etc. We had to ask others how it was that they were wearing Panthers gear and their (smarter) kids were wearing Patriots gear. It was actually very cool to walk around and constantly be given the approving nods, hi-fives, big smiles, "Go Pats!," "nice shirt!," etc. I can't wait to go to another away game sometime!!!

Sadly, no knitting to report... I brought my ankle sock to work on but never even took it out of the bag. The trip was too short, and it was much too hot and sticky (icky!!!!!!). I'll play catch up with some pics from the game and stuff later on ... and I have to play lots of catch up with blog reading!

I'll leave you with an early "Save The Date"... Heather and I will be doing the 2nd Annual Holiday Shopping Extravaganza at Jenn's (click - she just opened her Etsy shop!) in Rockport, MA on December 1st! We hope some of you can make it down... there will be a great little group of unique crafters, artisans and vendors there (jewelry, hand bags, totes, baby items, wreaths, homemade dog treats, etc.)!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dogster Thursday

Why yes, our Mommy is on vacation but thru the magic ease of changing a date on a posting, we still get to participate in Dogs on Thursday!

Mom signed us up for our very own Dogster pages this week and wants to invite everyone else to come join in the fun! Sign up and then invite us to be one of your pup pals!

We are enjoying our little vacation as well... and Mom will resume her regular blogging shortly! Hopefully the Patriots win tomorrow night!!!!!!! GO PATS!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'm a Rockin' Girl

Well yes, that is true... I've always been a rock chic, but today Grace bestowed the honor of Rockin' Girl Blogger upon me. Thanks Grace! This means I put this pretty little button on my blog...


It looks like this fun, little pink award was started in June here. Now, I get to tag a few friends to pass the pinkness along to! (in no particular order and if I don't tag you, its probably because you've already been tagged or someone else that I'm tagging will no doubt tag you!)

1. Kare - I love this woman! Read her blog... you will too!

2. Gina - well, she is a rockin' girl, a great blogger with a fun podcast and because she loves pink!

3. Channon - we've recently discovered that we must be long lost twins... knitting, dogs, NASCAR... what more could you ask for in a friend?

4. Silfret - a journalist who knits... great commentary & editorials galore!

5. Mary Beth - she knits, she crochets, she writes a book about knitting terms... and oh yea, she's addicted to alpaca!

So girls... you're rockin' now too! Pass it along....

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday, Monday...

What I didn't do that I should have did over my weekend....

Friday night we went to the
Fisher Cats (minor league) baseball stadium to see Collective Soul and Live ... this other little band, Counting Crows were playing also and were unfortunately actually the headlining act. We only knew a few of their songs from the radio and spent much of their set screaming at trying to hold a conversation with friends we found at the show. We ended up getting there about 1 1/2 songs in to Collective Soul's set... which was wonderful, but much, much too short. I love this band and they had so many songs that I wanted to hear but sadly, not enough time alloted....

CollectiveSoul81707 CollectiveSoul81707b

I hadn't realized we could actually bring our cameras, but I did snap a couple of pics with my cell phone (I also got a couple video clips, but have yet to play them back to see if they're worth posting).

Live was next ... another great band with another too short set...


It was a great show and perfect weather! I'd definitely go back there to see more shows like this... it was nice to be able to walk around as you wanted and it wasn't overcrowded at all either. That other band I mentioned of course ended the night with their much too long headlining set (we weren't the only ones who had thought Live should've been the headlining band...). I guess they weren't bad if you liked them... the crowd seemed to enjoy it anyway.

Now for what I should have been doing the rest of the weekend... some knitting, some packing, some organizing... any of that done? Nope. Nada. Although I did write out my check list for packing (must have - otherwise I forget something essential like clean underwear or my toothbrush!). I also spent hours filled out the dogs' paperwork for their new boarding place... very in depth paperwork. I'm not complaining though! I am happy to see a place ask so many questions pertaining to your beloved child, as well as make you not only list 2 emergency contacts, but 2 alternate pick up people as well -- and they will only release your dogs to your or those you list as alternates. Yes, I like this place... Did I mention how much more they provide for not that much more money wise than where we had been going? Right down to giving them bedtime treats or a kong stuffed with peanut butter (I am now quite sure that even though I requested our dogs to get their bedtime snacks at the other place, they never did). We don't even have to bring our own food or treats because they provide Wellness brand -- um, that's an even higher end kibble than we can afford to buy without living on ramen noodles feed our dogs at home!

I'll be working on packing tonight (given that its only 3 days worth to pack for, I think I'm okay)... and hopefully some knitting...

This just came across my email in breaking news... Vick To Enter Guilty Plea. Plea? Plea usually means get off ... I hate that .. hate it. This what I can't write on a public blog without being deemed an adult content site low life, sad excuse for a human being should not be allowed to plea bargain for anything. At the minimum he deserves to rot in jail... he deserves to be treated how all of those poor dogs were treated. I also have to roll my eyes and shake my head at this statement from his lawyer:

"Mike's accepting full responsibility," Lawrence Woodward,
one of Vick's defense attorneys, told the Virginian-Pilot.
"He's going to do everything he can personally and
professionally to make this situation right."

Make the situation right??!! Hello, are you really that ignorant and stupid? You can not do anything to make the situation right! Can you give those dogs back their happiness and well being? Give them back their lives? Allow them to lead a happy, normal existance and know what its like to be a part of a loving family? Take away the torture and pain you caused them? NO, Michael Vick, you can not............. don't even go there.

Friday, August 17, 2007

SP11 contest answers

I have the pleasure of being part of Heatherly's group for Secret Pal 11 and she has given us these questions to answer, so here it goes......

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?
Beautiful handmade stitchmarkers - great jewelry for your knitting always makes me smile, even when I'm having a friggin' knitting kind of day! I'm also really loving those new ponytail holder looking thingy-ma-bobs that are out for DPNs now - I can toss my socks in my bag without worrying about stitches falling off!

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project?
Why yes, of course! Usually I bring something small, lately its been my current socks in progress. Sometimes I'll bring a hat or fingerles gloves or something else that's easily portable to work on while on the plane, in the airport, in a car, etc.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot?
Charlotte, NC - we go every year for a week in May and try to get back here and there later in the year when we can. Love it down there - great area, great people, great food, lots to see & do... and oh yea, NASCAR too! We're going next week for the Patriots pre-season game! GO PATS!

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it?
One Skein Wonders - love it and its many patterns perfect for quick gifts! I met the editor last month and can't wait for the 2nd installment to come out this fall! I'm also currently enjoying Mary Beth Temple's "The Secret Language of Knitters" (I met her the same day at TKGA).

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)?
I really should listen to more podcasts, but I just don't have the time. The only one I make it a point to always listen to is Sleepy Eyes Knitting podcast, which has been on a bit of a hiatus but I bet Gina will be bringing us a new installment very soon!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dogs on Thursday ~ dogs vs humans

You know how we get all those "fwd" emails from friends & family... some are funny, some are touching, some just clog up your email? I got this one yesterday and immediately thought it was a must post for Dogs on Thursday...

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, andthey were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for five-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience. The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat for a while after Belker's death wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who listening quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me; I'd never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The five-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."

My kids say have a very woofy, treatfilled Thursday......

TutLola_707 Zeus_71007_GOOD

Afternoon Update... This great doggy story came in my headline news noon-time email... Dog Rescues Deaf, Blind Dog (click for short, but very sweet story & video clip).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Knit 1, Tea 2 swap questionnaire

Here is my Q&A for the Knit 1, Tea 2 swap...

1) Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try?
I've always only used bags, however I would love to try some loose tea (need the tools & how-to though). I've seen some of the new travel mugs that have the device to steep the tea built in - they look pretty interesting!

2) What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)?
I like a variety of teas, but drink mostly black and green teas. I like herbal teas, enjoy fruity flavors in the summer and "comfort" flavors in the winter. I also like chai. Brand wise, I like Tazo, Bigelow and Lipton but really enjoy trying different (esp local or smaller) brands. I also really like the tea from Pampered Chef. As for iced tea, when we go on vacation to Charlotte, I'm addicted to the "sweet tea" down there -- and there's some awesome
peach iced tea over the line in SC that I've had the pleasure of getting just a couple times.

3) Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up).
Green and white. I've tried some of the fruity white tea blends and really love them (blueberry, pomegrante, etc)!

4) Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind?
Hot water heater. I love the look and character of a tea pot (and the whistle reminds me of many afternoons at Nana's house where tea was an all day affair), but in such a busy life, its just so much faster to get the hot water from the water cooler/heater!

5) What tea accessories would you like but have never purchased for yourself?
Oh I've seen so many cute things at the local shops, but this question is kind of like when someone asks what you want for your birthday/Christmas and you know you have a list a mile long, but you can't seem to recall anything at the moment??!! I can tell you that my favorite accessory is one of those little dishes that you put your tea bag on - its in the form of a yellow lab doggy!

6) How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc).
Yummy treats! A foot massage from my honey... extra time to sleep in... a glass on wine... my honey making dinner.

7) If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why?
Alpaca... soft and fluffy, yet sturdy and long lasting!

8) If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why?
Baby booties... fun to knit, instant gratification and a great gift to give!

9) What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?)
A great date night with my honey, a can't-miss knitting guild night, a NASCAR race or a great concert...

10) What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?)
Sweet. Pastries & Scones (but only nice moist ones - no dry scones for my party... or I'll cry if I want to!). There's nothing like warm popovers & blueberry jam from
Jordan Pond House in Acadia National Park (haven't had one in way too many years though...)!

11) When buying yarn for a project how do you choose - do you buy the one called for or do you substitute?
It really depends upon the project. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. May depend upon the cost of the yarn, colorways and substitutions available.

12) What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go?

I have several knitting bags. For smaller projects I have a couple of great sock bags from
Sereknity. I have lots of larger tote bags as well, including a couple Vera Bradley and various others from vacation spots and such. I could use another sock size bag.

13) Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting?

I'm more of a television person than movie.... We watch a lot of sitcoms & dramas on week night tv. On the weekends I like to watch the Food Network (Rachael Ray, Iron Chef, Diners Drive Ins & Dives, etc), catch up on some Knitty Gritty episodes or catch up on some guilty pleasure reality tv on VHI or E. ;-)

14) Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Do you care if they match?

Mug... big mugs! No matchy-match required in my house......

15) Favorite childhood birthday party?
I don't remember too many of mine... but anything with my Nana around. I remember lots of tea parties with her at her house after school.

16) Favorite type of scone and jam?

I usually get blueberry or almond scones. I love almost all jams - blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, apple, etc.

17) If you use candles, what is your favorite scent?

Honey & Tea from Vermont Candle is wonderful! I also have some great green tea ones. I like homey scents (banana bread, Christmas cookie, Home Sweet Home, etc), fall/spicy scents (cinnamon, apple, etc) and ocean scents. Please no floral scents - they make me sneeze.

18) If you could choose 3 people to have 'tea' with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead).

First, my Nana - I miss her dearly and will forever remember her with her Lipton tea bags and tea cup! Second, Rachael Ray - I just think she'd be wonderful to sit and chat with and I really do admire her for all that she's built up for herself. Third,
Joanne from A Knitter's Garden - aka my "knitting queen" and a wonderful friend who I can sit and chat with for hours and never be bored!

19) You've been invited to a tea party, what 'props' will you wear (formal or casual)?

Casual... I'm a very casual kinda girl who doesn't get dressed up very often. Its amazing how you can "dress up" jeans these days! Plus, its much more relaxing when you're comfortable, right?

20) Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to?
No cigarette smoke and floral scents please... and I'm allergic to penicillin, so no antibiotics either... lol

21) Anything we missed that you want your pal to know?

I am also a huge coffee drinker (fully caffeinated... love medium roasts, breakfast blends and flavors)! I'm excited to be a part of this swap and am hoping you enjoy getting to know me on my blog (hopefully you like dogs too!). I've been having a lot of fun with other swaps lately, so if you dig you'll find lots more swap Q&A on my blog. I'm not a very fussy person and like loads of stuff...

The Race is On ... Go Lucky 13!

I received the Lucky 13 box for the Dish Rag Tag yesterday afternoon from the lovely Grace (notice her husband's wonderful artwork added to our team's box!).... and inside I found these goodies...

Grace sent 2 yellow skeins of Peaches & Cream (which btw, am I the only one who hadn't yet knit with this? I can only find Sugar & Cream around here...) for the tag skeins, 2 beautiful green skeins of Filatura Luxor DK cotton/acrylic blend for my gift, a knit & crochet Dishcloth pattern book (I might have to ask Mom to do some of the crochet ones for me!) and a lovely petal dishcloth!

Of course, this is a relay and the race is on, so I immediately got home and got to work on a dishcloth for the next tag in line... Ally! Thankfully I have a wonderful man who not only did the grocery shopping, but then fed the dogs and cooked dinner last night so that I could knit, knit, knit! Thank you honey! I was actually going to do the petal dishcloth for Ally as well, however the lovely yellow colors that Grace sent inspired me to do my second sunflower dishcloth and this is what Ally will be receiving...

I finished it up, weaved in my ends and got Ally's box of goodies all packaged up and ready to go just as the season finale of Hell's Kitchen was ending...

The box is now back in the hands of the USPS, as I dropped it off on my way to work this morning.... let's go Lucky 13!!!!!!!!!!!

I also just found out that Karen, who I got to spoil in the Dog Days of Summer dishcloth swap, received her package that I sent ... and I did good, she loves it... yea!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Updates on Mom & Bella...

Quick update on my Mom... she was moved to a nursing home for her rehab on Thursday afternoon... and boy is she much happier there! She's no longer confined to a hospital bed or hooked up to anything with wires, iv drips or annoying beeps. She can now wear her own nightgowns, get up to walk around and eat as she pleases (she even requested my cousin bring her a roast beef sandwich & root beer Thursday night for dinner). We visited with her on Saturday and I had printed out copies of everyone's comments for her on my blog posts. She was very touched and amazed to learn that so many *strangers* were thinking about her... of course I told her that when it comes to knitters in the blogging world, no one remains "strangers" for long! Thank you again to everyone who's been thinking about Mom ... it really truly means the world to myself, her and my family. Its amazing what the power of good thoughts, vibes and prayer can do. She has a follow up with her surgeon later this week and then they'll talk about a schedule for radiation to begin in about two weeks.

I also wanted to update everyone on little Cotton, also (formerly?) known as Bella! Of course I can't help but keep calling her Bella... Isabella... Bella-bell... Anywho, her Mom Nicole emailed me this week with some absolutely adorable pictures from the beach. She reports that at 3 weeks in to obedience classs, Bella Cotton knows "sit", "watch me" and "stay" - even if she doesn't perform every time just yet (hey... she is still a puppy, right?). They're working on some other commands as well, which I'm sure she'll pick up with ease. She was such a smart, willing to please - and very attentive - pup when she was here. They were headed off to go camping & canoeing in Maine this week - such the perfect active lifestyle for sweet Bella-Bell! Here's the little beach bum herself...


This one is my favorite shot...


Back to the knitting ... working on my tank top today (I'm in the midst of doing 10 more inches of P1, K3 rib... ay, yi, yi). Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'm hoping the Lucky 13 team dish rag tag box shows up at my post office tomorrow, if not certainly on Tuesday as the amazingly fast Grace received and mailed the box out from NJ on Saturday... wow!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sometimes she even knits!

...and occasionally ends up with a Finished Object! Not that this one is big, but I did finish my dish cloth for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth swap last night and got that package off to my pal this morning. I did another one of the petal dishcloths in a fun, summery colorway...


I hope my pal likes her package I put together for her! I also just got an email from my Virtual Vacation Swap spoilee and am very intrigued as to who she is now... she's been paying attention to my love of Charlotte, NC and racing! Speaking of swaps, I received my prize from my Secret Pal 10 hostess Kerry for the final contest she had for our group. She sent me 2 skeins of Catalina Chunky in a warm grey/charcoal color...60% baby alpaca, 40% merino and oh so soft! This would make a fantastic scarf for the man... if only he would wear a scarf. So instead, I think I'll make him a hat (which he will still only wear when snowblowing the driveway or maybe sitting out in the frigid temps to watch a Patriots game) and then either a hat or mittens for myself. Thank you Kerry for the wonderful prize!

So... back to the knitting and proof that I really do knit! As mentioned above, I haven't had much for finished objects lately, however I have had a severe case of startitis. I'm not sure if its been all the wonderful new patterns coming my way or stress or short attention span lately, but I've started and/or gotten ready to start quite a few projects in the past 2 weeks...

This cat bed that I saw over on Paula's blog. No, I don't have cats, but I do have friends with cats... and small dogs. I thought it would be a fun and somewhat mindless knit, plus I had some colorful Lion Brand wool in my stash and even some dreaded fun fur around to use for the trim. I haven't gotten too far on it due to the icky, sticky, nasty heat wave we had last week. The wool wasn't the most fun to work with those nights...

Another recent wool cast on ... my second Booga Bag, which although intended for myself, may wind up being a Christmas gift. I bought this Noro yarn the same time I bought the yarn for Mom's, but I think for the next Booga I'm going to use Wisdom Poems.

I'm on a bag kick and have 2 more just itching for me to cast them on ... in fact I've already put each in their own project bag! One is the amazing Bar Harbor shell bag that both Heather and Lora are knitting.... I am going to do this first one using the yarn called for (Lamb's Pride), but think I might like to try the Poems yarn for this pattern as well (Heather is using it for hers). Did you notice I even over-coordinated by using my Bark Harbor tote for my Bar Harbor project bag??!! Yes, I am a total geek...

The other bag waiting to be cast on is the Noni Adventure Bag. I'm going to do the mungo huge largest size and this will be my first ever project involving a zipper, so I'll surely be screaming and cursingcalling on some of my close knitting friends for help!

I'm also getting read to cast on the sun hat from the new Debbie Bliss Family Knits book, however I'm going to use Louisa Harding Kashmir DK from my stash instead of cotton, so it'll be more of a fall hat than a summer sun hat. I'm going to make it for a special little lady, however since her Mom sometimes reads my blog, I'll reveal who later! I also got a new Vera Bradley bag & matching change purse (perfect for small notions) and had a coupon to get a free matching card holder, which is perfect for storing my knit/fiber related business cards! Do you like? Its the new Mod Floral Print and I absolutely love it! (click on the photo to see larger - note my adorable pin from Dixie's Pet Project, whom I blogged about yesterday, on the left of the bag)

I also still have several WIP's that haven't had much progress made on them lately... my ankle sock and radiance lace headband included...
... as well as some scarves and other goodies galore... I need to get back on a serious knitting kick, esp if I have any hopes of getting holiday knitting done... did someone says its August 10th already??!! Happy Weekend Knitting!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dogs on Thursday

In honor of Dogs on Thursday, I thought I'd share some of my favorite doggy-related things with all my fellow dog Moms and Dads out there...

Rachael Hale - I absolutely love her work! Amazing and beautiful photographs, anytime I see any of her work I can't help but smile. I have a few of her notecards and a calendar, but must add more to the collection.

Pet Edge - The place for you to shop for your furbaby! The prices can't be beat, high quality, fast shipping and just all around fantastic source for everything from grooming products to toys to vitamins to treats to beds and much more! Having 3 babies, I always order in bulk and still spend way less than I ever would shopping for the same stuff at Petco or Petsmart (and often get better quality products too, esp when it comes to the jackets and such).

Modern Dog Magazine - If you haven't seen this one yet, check it out! Its a fun read and yes, most everything is over the top for my large furbabies, but so what!?! Think Glamour meets Vogue for doggies.... with lots of pampering... and always a celebrity cover.

Dixie's Pet Project - The pet promise jewelry speaks for itself. I happened upon this amazing line thru the Greater Good website and have since purchased a pin and a couple necklaces.... love them!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mom Update

Mom Update. The official news came yesterday evening... it is (was?) colon cancer. From what I can gather thusfar, the surgeon is pretty confident they got it all... they tested multiple lymph nodes and all came back negative, which is very good and encouraging news. It sounds like the next step will likely be some radiation as a pro-cautionary thing. Mom, needless to say, has gone through freaking out and is now scared and upset. I'm hoping with today comes the realization that the worst is over, we now know what we're dealing with and can move on and treat it. I'm going to bring her copies of all of your wonderful comments on the past few posts for her to read today (I was waiting for her to find them herself once she got home, but I believe they will help to boost her spirits now).... thank you again to everyone's who's been thinking about her, for all your wonderful thoughts & words to both myself & Mom, and please keep her in your thoughts & prayers.

I'll leave you with a couple quotes for the day...

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. ~ Maya Angelou

Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find that you have crossed the mountains. ~ Unknown

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New Button!

I have a new button for everyone out there to use when linking to my blog ... starring my very own furbabies (who say Woof and "won't you link our Mom's blog, please?"). What do you think?


Afterthought / Update... Thanks to Ericka for pointing out to me that my button was huge - sorry! I guess I just assumed people would size it to their preference or use the automatic settings in Flickr (if you use that to upload your stuff)... so here are two smaller versions. I'll even do custom fittings if you need me to - just let me know, ha ha ha!

LapdogButton_807bSMALL LapdogButton_807b

You can still use this one too if you'd like...


You can grab them here (however please be kind and upload them to your own server, thanks!) or from my sidebar.

While I have your attention... I also wanted to post my contest answer for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap! We've been asked to post what we like to do when the dog days of summer are wearing us down... Me? I like to grab a nice cold beverage (iced tea, iced coffee, Diet Coke with lemon or sometimes a nice cold beer), sit in front of the fan, watch tv and hang out with the doggies (preferably its a day when they don't insist on sitting in Mommy's lap!)... sometimes I knit, sometimes I catch up on magazines, sometimes I might even nap (note - the napping doesn't happen often!).

Now, I promise some knitting content soon... yes, she really does knit! but in the meantime I wanted to mention the cool MOO cards I just got (photos later)! Have you seen them?!?! OMG - how cute & cool!!! I also wanted to give huge kudos to their customer service department. They sent an email out last week appologizing for a mix up at their printer, indicating I *might* be receiving someone else's cards by mistake .... please just toss them and rest assured my *correct* cards were on the way ... and oh yea, btw also please order another set of 100 cards free of charge on us (free shipping too!)!!! Well, today I received my original 2 sets, as well as the 2 sets that were immediately shipped as replacements when they had the printer mix up ... and all of them are correct and my cards! Nope, no mix up at the printers with my cards ... and to think the company was proactive and just reprinted & mailed everyone's cards from that day instead of waiting to see who got the right cards and who didn't... now THAT is good customer service! Oh yea, and I still have the additional free set on the way too... love this company!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire

Being the super joiner that I am lately, I've signed up for Secret Pal 11 swap... here's my Q&A.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I love most all natural, soft fibers, including merino wool & alpaca. I also love hand dyed & hand spun yarn. I’m not so fond of sticky acrylics…. but I’m not totally anti-acrylic either (it has its place, right?). I do not have any need for fun fur or eyelash yarns… may they rest in peace.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have some handmade needle holders – 1 for circulars and 1 for straight & DPN. I have of my fancier needles in a wood box thing on the table in my knitting corner, though I'd love to get one of those rubber needle vases at some point (they have them at Patternworks).

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
My Mom tried to teach me many years ago as a child, when I did some very basic stitches and made a blanket for my doll. It wasn’t "cool" then though, so I didn’t stick with it… and now could kick myself in the arse for that! I got back interested probably about 4 years ago, but I’ve really started seriously knitting in the past 2 years or so. I guess I would consider myself an intermediate knitter

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, there is a button for it on my sidebar under the “participation ribbons.”

5. What's your favorite scent?
I love fresh, clean scents including french vanilla, sea/ocean, green tea, fresh cut grass, lavender, etc. When it comes to candles, I also like “homey” scents like banana bread, apple pie, basil, ginger/lime, etc. I do NOT like anything floral (makes me sneeze).

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
YES!!!! I love swedish fish, Haribo gummy bears, chocolate (milk or white), Reese’s peanut butter cups, chocolate covered gummy bears (yum-o!), chocolate covered pretzels (sense a theme here?), most gummy things, etc.
I also love Tortuga Rumcakes.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I am a beginning drop-spindle spinner (all tips & tricks of spindle spinning are appreciated). I have done almost all types of crafts throughout my life (my childhood was a very crafty one - macramé, ceramics, beading, counted cross stitch, latch hook, plastic canvas, etc), but am mainly a knitter and learning to spin now. I am about to dabble in some bead work however to make stitch markers and notions.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Yes, I can play MP3s. I like most all music except for traditional country & rap. Some of my favorites are John Mellencamp, Kelly Clarkson, Bon Jovi, Sister Hazel, Christina Aguliera, Kid Rock, AC/DC, Collective Soul, Billy Joel and Chris Daughtry. I also like some classic rock and still love my 80's rock too (Extreme, Skid Row, Slaughter, Ugly Kid Joe, Warrant, etc.)!

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I tend to lean towards lots of purples, blues, pinks and reds, as well as a lot of fall color mixes (love foliage colors in New England). Nothing I really can’t stand except maybe neons and hideous shades of any color.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my boyfriend of 12 years and our 3 “children,” 4-legged furbabies Zeus, Lola & Teutul. You will see and hear about them often on my blog.... my dogs are very spoiled, after all they are my children! We often have a furry houseguest as well, as I volunteer with a dog rescue and foster from time to time.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Are you kidding? I'm a New England girl, born and raised! I wear a scarf and gloves/mittens daily in the winter. I'd probably wear hats more often if I had more that I loved and didn’t flatten or static zap my hair. I’m not much of a poncho person (I’m only 5’2” and they tend to make me look more squat than anything), but am liking wraps and shawls more these days.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Of course we all love the quick & easy projects, right (instant gratification!)? I enjoy making anything that I know will be appreciated and worn by the recipient. I like to do socks and mitts on DPN… and have a new love for bags. I enjoy anything that brings a new skill or challenge to my knitting repertoire (example: I recently took a Double Knitting class which was a blast).

13. What are you knitting right now?
I am not a monogamous knitter, and therefore always have several projects OTN. Currently OTN: a pair of anklet socks, a lace headband, a Double Knitting head/ski band, a tank top, a cat bed, a Booga bag, a shaped scarf/wrap, a dishcloth and a few scarves… and probably some more things that are hiding in one of several project bags!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Yes indeed! They can be so much more special that what money can buy.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Circular anytime I can – I hate sewing seams! If I’m working with circulars, I love Addi Turbos and Knit Picks. For DPN, I love bamboo. For straights, I have a mix of bamboo, acrylic and metal… depends on the yarn, but I tend to lean towards the woods. I recently got a pair of Fiddlesticks Needles and absolutely adore them!

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, I own both.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Um… do I really have to say??? I would have to guess 4 years old. The first scarf I started when I got back in to knitting… it’s a basket weave pattern in a dustry rose acrylic yarn on some old fashioned metal needles … I think its time to cut the thing loose...

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas and Halloween. I like St Patrick’s Day too, as I am a wee bit Irish!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Besides yarn, UFO and needles??? I collect Willow Angels and Snow Babies. I’ve recently found myself picking up various knitting / fiber related collectibles as well. I also have a pretty big collection of dog related items (everything from welcome mats to "What Part of Woof Don't You Understand?" signs to throw pillows to art prints to kitchen towels to figurines)… oh, and knitting books, esp love signed ones!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I’d love to try some Tofutsies yarn and the Vickie Howell yarn line… For needles, I’m always looking to add some luxury ones to my collection and would love to get a set of Lantern Moon Sox Stix… I do have several books on my Amazon wish list… I subscribe to Simply Knitting (the UK magazine – it was a splurge but I LOVE it!), Creative Knitting and Knit Simple.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I’m always up for learning new techniques & tricks! I recently took a Double Knitting class which is something I’d wanted to learn for a long time… I’d like to learn to knit 2 socks at once and the magic loop.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes! I’ve never taken actual measurements of my foot, but I wear a size 8 ½ - 9 shoe (US women’s sizes), which tends to make me a Medium for most things.

23. When is your birthday?
October 7th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I am on the waiting list. As of today (Aug 6th)…
~ You signed up on July 22, 2007
~ You are #19564 on the list.
~ 11396 people are ahead of you in line.
~ 3852 people are behind you in line.
~ 33% of the list has been invited so far

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Maine Yarn Crawl!

Sorry for the delay in posting the details ... but alas, I bring you the Maine Yarn Crawl Joanne and I did just over a week ago! The main attraction? A wonderful Double Knitting class at Halcyon Yarn in Bath, Maine. The extra goodyness? 3 more yarn shops to puruse!

Our day started with iced coffee (you simply just can not start a day or leave home without it, right?) and on-the-go breakfast from McDonald's and then we headed North! First stop was
The Knitting Experience Cafe, a great little shop with lots of charm and very friendly staff. The owner wasn't in when we visited, but her lovely sister was.


There were lots of yummy yarns, great patterns and fabulous bags on hand, but alas due to my "budget" I walked away crying held back from most of the purchases I could've made and came away with a cute Anklet Sock pattern and Wick yarn (to make the socks), both from Knit One Crochet Too.


Joanne picked up a beautiful shawl pattern while we were there and we both admired the adorable mini sweaters, dresses, socks & more hanging in the store window. We also thought the big comfy couch was wonderful for sitting and looking thru patterns ... and Joanne vowed to return home to clean off the couch in the front room of her yarn shop to make room for sitting (instead of using it to display baskets of yarn)! Great idea!!

Next stop was the super cool, Purl Diva! Her logo alone was enough for us to say "a must stop," but the selection of yarns, patterns and notions was a pleasant surprise! Wonderful!


Once again, I am proud to say I exhibited much restraint in my purchases. I figured I'd limit myself to only things Matt wouldn't notice as being "new" in the house things I couldn't readily get at one of my LYS or things I absolutely could not live without (again... I'm learning that whole budget thing, not to mention space/storage issues!). Joanne once again walked away with just 1 pattern (the lovely Tulip sweater), while I wound up with just 2 skeins of yarn (after picking up and returning about 20 to their respective bins)...


I feel in love with the softness of Smooshy sock yarn from Dream in Color - omg, this stuff is delicious!!! With no pun intended, I opted for the delicious sounding colorway of Chinatown Apple. I also grabbed a skein of Donegal Tweed in a purple/wine colorway, which will is slated to become a felted clutch from the One Skein book. Joanne and I both thought Purl Diva's logo was wicked awesome ... don't you? They have the infamous hat on display inside... on a water cooler of all things!

PurlDiva Hat

Now of course, I couldn't leave without having my Knitting Queen pose with the Purl Diva...

PurlDiva Joanne

As we were leaving, the lady at Purl Diva asked if we'd made it over to Ewe & Me yet... we hadn't had it on our list, but decided to give up the idea of a sit down lunch in favor of stopping at another yarn shop (and instead unintentionally made our 2nd visit to McDonald's for the day for some more driving food - oh, the sacraficies we make for yarn stores!!!)...


Ewe & Me is a quaint little shop (who shares a buildling with a bank) with a different selection of yarns and patterns - a lot of older stuff. We were promptly greeted by 2 tiny doggies (Japanese Chins I believe) and then realized we recognized the owners from the Knit In at Loon Mountain! We both walked away with only patterns this time - I got "The Heirloom Knitter Presents Heavenly Cotton Face Cloths Vol. 2" and Joanne picked up Vol. 1... it'll be fun to make some fancy-spanchy face cloths!


After that we got our Mickey D's and headed to Halcyon so we wouldn't be late for class! The class... Double Knitting ... wonderful! The only "complaint" would've been that it could've easily been a 4 hour class (it was 3) and/or we had wished we were given the cast on instructions prior to class, so as not to take away from the actual class time. But regardless, we both walked away having learned a lot and were quite pleased! Our instructor was the lovely Ruth...


She brought some wonderful samples of headbands she had knitted and you can sort of see them in front of her in that picture. We worked on a basic headband for the class and she gave us an instruction booklet for some more intricate designs to try later on. It is a very time consuming technique, especially as you're first learning. It was even more so for myself, as instead of holding both yarns in my right hand, I opted to try to learn to hold on in each hand ... so I was essentially trying to learn to knit continental and double knit at the same time. Here's my work in progress during class...


After class, we went downstairs to shop til we dropped ... or rather, shop til we got kicked out by the absolutely rude cashier! She was the only one left at 1 minute til 6 - they closed at 6 and she made it quite clear with comments and eye rolls that she really didn't want to ring us up and just wanted to leave. However, I won't let her poor customer service reflect on the store, as everyone else we encountered during our class & shopping was wonderful, and after an overcharging incident for which the rude woman refused to fix, I left my name & number and received a prompt call at 9am on Monday morning to appologize profusely and let me know they were crediting me the overcharged amount)!

So the goods... I did pick up a few more things here than originally planned, however they armed us with 10% off your entire purchase coupons, so what do you expect??? After all - did you notice the great restraint I had at the 3 previous yarn stores??? My Halcyon haul...


On the left, 2 skeins of Misti Alpaca 100% baby alpaca, hand dyed in the fall-ish colorway IND2 (I tried to link this from Misti Alpaca's site and for some reason this yarn isn't on there - I am unsure if they no longer produce it or what??). This is super soft and is destined for a long scarf... I think. On the right, 2 skeins of Misti Alpaca worsted in peony.... for a pair of fingerless mitts or maybe regular gloves. In the middle, 1 hank of Noro Cash Iroha in color 22 (that was on clearance!) and 1 hank of Malabrigo Col China 100% angora that is to die for... ooooh... so very soft. My plan is to combine these 2 together for something... probably a scarf because I can't think of what else would make sense. Ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Well, there you have it folks... one of the best days ever with a wonderful friend (and knitting queen!), great weather, scenic drive (um, which accidentally included Massachusetts on the way home... however that was a "design modification," right Joanne?), good stash enhancement and a wonderful class! Can't wait to do it again!

Now as I was photoing all the yummy yarns for this post, I spotted this guy on the other side of the porch. Feeling the need to play with the super zoom on the digital camera (and maybe secretly hoping the camera would shoot some death ray at him?!?!), I snapped this...


That is super zoom folks... anyone who knows me knows I do NOT do bees, hornets, spiders or snakes... so super zoom. Pretty cool, huh? I'm impressed with the camera if I do say so myself. I took a few scenic shots that'll I'll share as well...

Spotted this plane "sky writing" while photoing the yarn...


View of the willow tree from the deck out back...


Enjoy the rest of your weekend! I wanted to mention that sign ups are beginning Aug. 15th for the next Felted Bag Exchange. This one looks like fun and I'm planning to participate. Also, it looks as though my Mom will get to go home tomorrow and then have a visiting nurse. No official results yet, but they said we'd get them on Tueday.

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