Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Vacation... much too short as always!

Just a quick post... back from vacation, which was definitely much too short! I will have photos to post later in the week as I sort through the piles and piles of stuff - both at work and at home. The piles are endless, esp at work. Laundry is a must. Though ahead of almost everything on the list would be to finish my hat and get my "homework" done for my class at the Granite State Knit-In this Saturday. I can't wait and am really looking forward to it! I'll be driving up with Joanne and Marlene and meeting some familiar faces there, including the wonderful Lisa (who - gasp! - almost forgot that the Knit In was this Saturday... but I can't speak too much on that because she reminded me about the hat thing when I mentioned having to do my homework... oops, almost forgot about finishing that!).

As I said, will have photos later in the week... including my small haul from
Charlotte Yarn. Not too much, as they did not really have anything local (same thing I ran in to last fall in VA ... I'm thinking we New England Knitters are a spoiled bunch with all the yummy local wools, hand dyed yarns and knitting notions we have readily available in our LYS).

On the racing front, one of my bestest friends Teri is thrilled that one of her men,
Casey Mears, won his first race thanks to a gamble on gas mileage! She got to see his first win though - which is very cool! Even cooler? Jimmie Johnson did NOT win in Charlotte again this year and we happened upon these folks on the way in to the race Sunday...

hate48

Gotta love race fans and their signs! Just wait until you see the doggy related signs I found at a hole-in-the-wall dinner we lunched at... (to come later in the week)

Even though the trip was too short, I did have something to put a smile on my face in my inbox upon my return (and of course, the big smile from seeing my own 4-legged children when we picked them up last night!)...

DusteeSmileDusteeYawn

Yup, that's "Little Man" Dustee! His Mom sent me a few new photos over the weekend and I just loved these two... the smile and the yawn, how perfectly Dustee! I also had a short update on Miss Trixie and hear that they'll be sending me some new pictures soon! It sounds like she's settling right in with her new family, being the cat-dog little princess and went for a grooming over the weekend. I hadn't heard about her since I had to drop her for the Massachusettes mandated quarantine, so it was extra nice to hear she's doing well!

Our 3 kids were more than happy to have Mommy & Daddy come pick them up from boarding last night and after a joyful ride home, promptly passed out. Guess all their 4-legged neighbors were barking a bit too much for their liking and took away some of their beauty rest for the past week!

Not sure if I'll make knitting guild tonight or not, but will see some of you at the Knit In on Saturday!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Taking a break from packing...

Yes, I am procrastinating taking a break from packing. I hate packing. I am pretty much done with clothing though, which is the big part, and wanted to get a post up before we head South!

I have to show you the absolutely fantastic package I received from my
Secret Pal 10 spoilee today! I heart my secret pal - she is truly amazing and continues to show that she really is getting to know me and what I like. Check out these fantastic goods... all about sock knitting!

SP10pt2

She sent me the Favorite Socks book from my Amazon wish list, 2 skeins of Claudia Hand Painted fingering weight in Passion Fruit (a most amazing colorway that I love!), Crystal Palace DPNs, some great little DPN size stitch markers that I believe she made, a handy, retractable tape measure (guess she read my post about the sheep who bit the dust!), a set of very helpful cards to record my favorite sock recipients info, favorite sock yarns & a sock yarn weight reference card (love them!) and something that I think is creative & wonderful - a mini-sock yarn stash for knitting mini-socks for my sock blocker keychain! Super little bundles of 4 different hand dyed sock yarns from Hello Yarn, Blue Moon Fiber, Sunshine Yarns and my secret pal's very own hand dyed yumminess! Feast your eyes...


SP10pt2b

I am a very happy camper with my package! She sent it in a great zippered tote from The Loopy Ewe ... which is doubly good because I can always use a perfect knitting-on-the-go size tote and because it introduced me to this fantastic online source for sock knitting (read: check them out!)! Thank you secret pal - you rock!

In other happy news, Princess Trixie found her forever home with a wonderful retired couple in Massachusetts! However, due to the stupid, stupid, stupid MA Dept of Agriculture rules on dogs coming in to the state of Masstaxachusetts, I had to bring the little girl down to the quarantine facility on Saturday morning for the mandated 48 hours (thank you Tanya for making the trek with me!). Yes, the dogs from the rescue receive a vet check & interstate health certificate before traveling North and yes, she did live just 15 minutes from the MA border for the past 3 weeks, but we still had to leave her there ... in a cage. I truly felt as though she thought she was being abandonded once again... her cries were painful to hear as we left, but I do know that she will be going to a wonderful home this week where she will be The Princess, and center of attention, for this wonderful couple! Here are a few photos from last week...

Trixie_smiles

Trix had really begun to come out of her shell in the past week & a half, really showing her playful side... rolling around on her back for scratchies, chasing her tail and engaging in play with our dogs!

TutTrixie_smiles

"Laughing" up a storm with Teutul!

MattTrixwalk507

I'm not sure which one of them is going to miss their walks more!

NicTrixie507

Proud foster Mom with another love bug, who we will miss dearly and hope her new family will send us some updates & photos!

TutTrixie_evileye

I can't resist posting "the look" pic, she had it down pact!

This was the only picture I could get of the 4 of them... that's Zeus in the background, staring out the little window at the top of the front door (a resourceful dog he is...).

TutZeusLolaTrixie507

On that note, we are off to Charlotte for the Coca Cola 600 and quality time with friends, including eating way too much wonderful food, shopping & site seeing! I'll leave you with a quick pic of a couple WIP's... my children's hat for the Granite State Knit In donation / contest (can you guess what it'll "be"?) and my Amanda headband, which won't be finished in time for Gina's May 31 contest, but that's ok... I will have a great summer accessory and am loving how the Sereknity Lilacs in Bloom yarn is knitting up (it's perfect for Gina's great lace pattern)! See you in a week... back to packing... I. Hate. Packing.

wip52107

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tagged by a Pixie Fart!

I got tagged by a stranger... a Pixie Fart! She found me through the Dishcloth Swap...

So, this is how it works:
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag 7 others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

Here are my facts:
1. I love peanut butter.
2. My first job was at Musician Magazine, which was owned by Billboard.
3. I lack patience... greatly!
4. I love to organize things.
5. One of my biggest fears is fire.
6. I was born & raised on Cape Ann... Gloucester, MA, which is actually an island... and I don't swim!
7. I did PR work for local (and some national) bands from when I was about 18 - 21 or so... it got me in to clubs & bars before I was old enough (shhh!). I always had it in me to do public relations/marketing work... it was fun and had quite a few perks (and anyone who ever uttered the term "groupie" was promptly smacked in the face)!

Now its my turn to tag:
Heather
Kare
Gina
Joanne
Katie
Cyndi
Scout

(Manch Vegas girls... I tried to leave a lot of you "open" for others to tag!) :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Trixie Says Woof

So, Miss Trixie the Princess... As I mentioned earlier, she started showing us the "tricks" she knows, such as giving this adorable little yip (note the head tilted up as if to bark at the moon!) answer to "Who's a good girl?" or "Trixie wants to go out?"

My first experience with uploading video clips from the cell phone... don't mind the mess!

And yes, she is still in need of a forever home!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Dishcloth Swap Contest Answers

OK, here are my answers for my Summer Dishcloth Swap Contest, as part of Anne's group...

If you were going to be whisked from your home and taken to a desert island to live out a year of your life....

What one CD of music would you take?
That's a tough one, but I think I'd lean towards John Mellencamp's Words & Music Greatest Hits.

What one book?
That's a little easier, I think it might be
At Knit's End by The Yarn Harlot... I can read those pages over and over again and still laugh out loud. Something that would keep my laughing is a must.

What one hobby-related item?
Knitting needles & yarn of course - and since it says "one item" technically, that would have to be something sold as a kit to include the needles, yarn & pattern, right??? ;-)

What one person?
That's easy - my
honey.

What one food? (no, you couldn't survive on a single food, I'm just SAYING)
Pizza!!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Apple Blossoms, Princesses & FO's... not for Mom!

First off, if you are my Mother, STOP reading here until after you get your Mother's Day package!

Mom, I said STOP...


Did you stop? Well, in case she's still reading, I'll start off with a picture of one thing I love about spring... and about the only time I can say I love having a friggin' apple orchard a dozen apple trees in the back yard...

Aren't apple blossoms beautiful? The other thing I love about spring is the robin's nest under our back porch (which gets renovated & used every year) and the 4 beautiful blue eggs. I saw the eggs 2 weeks ago, but am very sad to report that when I went to take a looksie at the beginning of the week, all of the eggs were gone. :( We're thinking that pesky cat that has been invading our yard and driving the dogs nuts stocking the birds at the feeders may have gotten at them. This is the first year since being in the house we won't have baby robins. Zeus has been doing a good job playing guard dog to the birdies out front, but sadly he couldn't keep the critters away from the eggs out back...

So mom did you stop reading? I hope so because I want to show off my latest FO, in time for Gina's FO Friday! I present to you, a Booga Bag which I've been knitting in "secret" since it is her Mother's Day gift and she reads my blog often (well, at least I hope she reads it often). I wasn't going to post it until next week, but anyone who knows me, knows I lack patience well, it is FO Friday, right?

Before the felting...

BagMomUNfelted


After felting and ready to use...
BoogaBagMomBoogaBagMomB

This was a fun and easy knit, which turned out a great little bag! I already have the Noro yarn ready to cast on for my own bag, and can see myself making more of these for gifts in the future (feel free to send me your 'hint' that you might like one, as knitting things for friends that they will actually use / want is always a plus!). Mom had actually requested the pattern and then had questions about where to buy the yarn several times before I had to tell her to sit tight and see what happens... lol)

Princess Trixie update... tomorrow marks 2 weeks with us and she is still in need of a forever home. She's settling in a little more and showing her personality. I'm starting to think that she may enjoy a doggy sibbling after all, but maybe one that's more her size. She's starting to play and bond a little with our dogs, though there are still "instances" - example, if a piece of food falls to the floor, she doesn't quite have the manners of a princess and doesn't understand the "first to get it" rule, but instead tries to bully with growls and snaps. Other than that, things have been a gazillion times better. She is completley housetrained... and fully understands NO. In fact, after a no or doing something bad (like a growl at our dogs), she even finds a way to appologize! I'm just hoping she finds a home before we leave for vacation...

Here are some cute pictures from this morning before I left for work...

Trixie_51107b

Hanging out on the old picnic table while Foster Mom takes pics of the apple blossoms

Trixie_51107e

Isn't life grand???

ZeusKissTrixie

Eeww... he's kissing me!



ZeusTrixie51107

Does my butt look big?

On that note, have a good weekend... and I'll leave you with a photo from Matt's first win of the season last Sunday... race & knit on!

MattWin50607c

(Mom, did you ever stop reading this or is your surprised officially spoiled?)

Monday, May 07, 2007

My Weekend Trip to the FROG pond

I spent a bit of time knitting this weekend, but I really don't have much to show for it thanks to several trips to the FROG pond...

First up were some
ankle socks that I'm using the perfect-for-summer-socks Sereknity Triple Scoop colorway for. Ah, some quick and easy ankle socks that might be ready in time for my vacation at the end of the month? Yea, not so much. These socks will be my first using a short row heel and I thought I'd take the advice of the designer and use a backward YO method. I kept either loosing or twisting stitches, ripping back, then when I finally felt I was getting it, realized I lost track of where the backward YO's were and frogged it all. I digressed to reading up on short rows in my Vogue knitting book and cast on the rib at the top again before putting it down late Saturday night. (Any tips and suggestions on this short row crapola stuff, please do feel free to share)

sockfrog

So then on Sunday, after being woken way too friggin' early at the crack of dawn to head up to Matt's racing, I figured I'd start something new and portable... but not those socks, no those were a couch project until I get the hang of the short rows. So I brought 2 projects - one is my hat for the Knit In contest and the other is the Radiance Lace Headband. After long consideration, I opted for the Jacqueline version, using another gorgeous Sereknity colorway, Lilacs in Bloom. Seemed like a fairly easy and portable project... some YO's and stuff. Yea, I don't know what it was but again... knit, ripped, knit, ripped... and finally to the FROG pond it all went. I kept loosing or gaining stitches or just thinking it didn't look right with the YO and purls. I think I wasn't really paying attention... but after the final FROG I opted to switch to the Amanda version and here's where I'm at in my 1 row of glory...

headbandfrog

Frustrated? Yes. Feel like a knitting clutz? Yes. What keeps me thinking happier thoughts? This...

Hedgehogs

Isn't is gorgeous? That is my new skein of Hedgehog (60% superwash merion ~ 30% bamboo ~ 10% nylon and to die for!) from the lovely Jamie of Scout's Swag! This stuff is simply delectable and I can't wait to make some killer socks!

So just where is all of this knitting taking place, you probably are not asking yourself... but, following in Lora and Jackie's footsteps, I will show you anyway! Lora's Secret Pal 10 hostess had a contest for everyone to show where they knit. Fun, huh? Well, here's where I do the majority of my knitting... my "knitting corner" in the living room.

KnitCorner

As you can see, its quite cluttered with books, yarn, notions, project bags, magazines... and oh yea, a dog! Which is much the case while I'm knitting too... but hey, at least Zeus is on "his" side of the couch and not mine!

And this is where I sit and knit on Sunday's at Matt's racing ...

KnitRacing

and the view from where I sit...

KnitView

You might notice there is no dog here but that's because we left them all home yesterday and Straton, mascot dog of the track, must've been hanging out somewhere else because as you can clearly see, Matt forgot the rug that goes down on the ground in our pit area and Straton would much prefer laying on it than those darn rocks... But anyway, Teutul is usually the one who gets to come racing and steals that nice green chair you see there. I can put out one of the crappy red ones or the blue double chair, but he'll still steal Mommy's green one. Dogs.

I didn't take a picture of the car, but that's the other place I knit... and at Knitting Guild on Wednesdays at A Knitter's Garden... and wherever else I can.

About the racing... Matt won the season's first points race yesterday! Yeah honey! Unfortunately, he took all the photos to work to show off, but I'll scan them for later.

In other news, Princess Trixie is still with us and still looking for a forever home. Are you interested??? She is starting to show her personality a little more, now that she's been a houseguest for just over a week. She is completely housetrained (woo hoo!), still showing no interest in toys, does enjoy rawhide and would do anything for freeze dried liver treats, but is a very fussy eater (we did finally find a kibble she'll eat - Bil Jac!), but must have some wet food or some other yummy (cottage cheese, yogurt) mixed in. She ideally is looking to be the only doggy in a home, has loads of love & affection to share with her new humans, and would like nothing more than a loving home with lots of walks & car rides. Here are a few pictures (please don't laugh too much at my poor sunburned forehead, it'll hurt when I have to give you the wrinkle face for laughing at me!)...

ZeusTrix50707b LolaTrix50707NicTrixie_50607

And here's a cute one that sums up what happens when anyone or anything is heard outside...

LolaTrixTutC

With the wet basement, we had to bring a lot of boxes and things upstairs, including this old wood trunk that works like a great booster bench in front of the window (don't mind the molding - its 6 years worth of dog nails constantly at the window ... we've debated repainting it, but realize it'll look the same shortly after... thinking of other ideas to pretty it up and also need to patch the sheetrock where Zeus took out the couch in to the wall awhile ago ... hence why we no longer have a couch in front of the winow...). Anyway, Trix is learning how to get up and see out (and bark!) too...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Check out the new Sister Hazel!

Please click on the photo link below for info on pre-ordering the great new album ... and if you continue to click once per day until June 4th, I'll have a shot at some nice prizes! Thank you in advance! And I hope some of you will order the album too!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Duduza Dolls Charity Project

I wanted to post about the latest charity project that Joanne of A Knitter's Garden is supporting, Duduza (comfort) Dolls for CHABHA. Joanne is recruiting her customers and guild members to help in knitting these adorable little dolls - can you help too?

This is my first little creation (which sort of looks like a weeble-wooble).

duduza doll

And here's my little guy hanging out with a couple of buddies at knitting guild last night (note that Joanne's first doll was a little on the large size, but I believe that all sizes are welcome!).

3dolls

Please click through all the links above to find the pattern, background on the project and more! If you live nearby, you can drop off your donations at A Knitter's Garden, as Joanne will be putting together a large box of dolls to send. You can also mail your dolls to Joanne or to the organization directly. These dolls are a fun knit - and quick too! I made my first one in just a couple hours on Sunday while watching the NASCAR race and I'm looking forward to making some more!

Also, I wanted to throw out a quick little announcement for the new album by one of my favorite bands, Sister Hazel (remember "All For You"?). They don't receive a lot of the commercial marketing anymore, but are still making great music. Would you please take a second and click on the picture below? I'll earn a nice autographed poster if I get 25 click thrus! All you have to do is click, but of course I highly recommend purchasing the new CD for some good tunes this summer!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Spring Into Summer Dishcloth Exchange

Here's my questionnaire for the Summer Dishcloth Exchange (signs up are open until May 5th for those of you interested!).

1) When did you learn to knit? Who taught you? My Mom tried to teach me when I was a young child. I learned basic stitches and made a blanket for my dolly, but never stuck with it. I decided to get back in to it about 4 years ago and have been seriously knitting now for about 2 years.

2) What was your very first completed object? Your most recent? That blanket for my dolly… I’m guessing I was probably 7 or so. When I got back in to knitting it was a dishcloth. My most recent finished objects were a dishcloth for my Secret Pal and a DUDUZA Comfort Doll .

3) What was the very first thing you sent to the frog pond? (pulled out and started over) Your most recent? I don’t remember the first thing, but recently I frogged a capelet about 4 times before continuing on and finishing it up (and it still resulted in being too small!).

4) What is currently on the needles for you? A shaped scarf (100% native alpaca), a Booga bag (Noro), a second Duduza doll, a dishcloth (cotton), a couple of scarves… I always tend to have lots of UFO’s or WIP’s.

5) What types of needles do you enjoy working with? What have you tried and hated? I love Addi Turbo circs and bamboo DPNs. There’s nothing I really hate except maybe the old fashion metal needles that go clickity-clack, although the have their place with some yarns. I’d LOVE to get some Lantern Moon sox sticks to try!

6) Have you knit dishcloths before? Yes!
A) What was your favorite one? I made some face cloths for friends for Valentine’s Day that had a heart in the middle and used a gorgeous hand dyed chenille yarn.


B) Least favorite? Never really had a least favorite… all are fun!


7) Do you use homemade dishcloths or face cloths yourself, or give them as gifts, or both? Both, of course!

8) What are your favorite and least favorite scents? (For your body, such as soap/lotion/etc)
Favorites: Vanilla, Lavender, Pumpkin, Pomegranate, Green Tea, Ericka's Mow The Lawn soap (actually, I've yet to smell one of Ericka's soaps that I don't like!)

Least Favorites: Lilac, Rose, Clove, Grapefruit

9) What are your favorite colors? I love all shades of purple (light, deep, in between), blues, pinks and autumn colors

10) What colors (if any) are your bathroom and kitchen decorated in? My kitchen is a sage green color and my bathroom is lilac.

11) What other hobbies and crafts do you enjoy? I’m a beginning drop spindle spinner. I want to do some beading (stitch markers) soon.

12) Chocolate: Dark? White? Milk? Ew? YES!!!!! Milk and white.

13) Do you like salty treats? What kinds? Not a big salty treat fan, but I do love macadamia nuts, almonds & cashews (prefer lightly or no salted kinds). Also love chocolate covered pretzels and peanut butter stuffed pretzels!

14) If you could go anywhere in the world for one day and spend the day any way you wanted, where would you go and what would you do? I’d love to visit Hawaii, Australia, Ireland and Alaska. While I’m day dreaming, a nice realistic day would be hanging out without any housework to do, knitting, chatting & hanging with friends/family and good food and wine. Oh yea, and chocolate too!

15) Do you have any allergies? (Yarns, foods, etc. that might impact what your pal can send) Things from a non-smoking household please.