Friday, November 28, 2008

Filling In on Friday...

1. My stomach is hungry.

2. Turkey is what I ate the most of on Thursday.

3. The yard is wet and still covered in leaves.

4. Hanging out with the dogs, knitting and watching guilty pleasure tv is where I'd rather be at any given time.

5. The smell of stuffing/poultry seasoning reminds me of Nana.

6. To get rid of this cold is what I need right now!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to just hanging out at home, tomorrow my plans include possibly brunch with the family if we're up to it and Sunday, I want to finish knitting some things for the holiday fair at A Knitter's Garden!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble, Gobble!

Happy Turkey Day and Happy Dogs on Thursday! The sickies have stayed at home today, much to the delight of the kids. They don't seem to mind all the hacking & sneezing going on and are more than happy to cuddle up on the couches with Mommy & Daddy...

Zeus, the ultimate snuggly bunny... but only when he wants to be, of course...

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Lola, Sophie & Tut doing their best "Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil" impression...

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"Just-need-to-touch-you" Lola will snuggle with anyone... even Tut!

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Enjoy your Thanksgiving however it is you prefer to spend it... with furbabies or family... enjoying turkey & all the fixings or burgers & fries! Since we won't be spending Thanksgiving in CT as planned, we went with Plan B.... The turkey that was to be cooked over the weekend has been thawed and popped it in the oven!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

REVIEW: Knit Two

Knit Two
by Kate Jacobs
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult (November 25, 2008)

KnitTwo

Kate Jacobs is back with the much anticipated sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club, Knit Two. Kate brings us all back to the coziest knitting shop in Manhattan, Walker and Daughter, to catch up with the characters that many of us have come to know and love.

I will admit that I am still in the midst of reading Friday Night Knitting Club (half way through at the moment), as I tend to spend more of my free time knitting, rather than reading. However, I am hooked and ready to finish so I can move on to Knit Two! I really wanted to review Knit Two now, without having read it yet, as I had the pleasure of meeting Kate on her last book tour and despite my not reading fast, I definitely wanted to give props to this second edition to what I hope will now be a series (Kate, if you're reading this, yes that it is hint). I have known for some time now that there is a death coming in Friday Night Knitting Club, however have been good about letting people not tell me who... well, that was until I flipped the "uncorrected proof" copy of Knit Two over and immediately read the who on the back. Shocked? Yes. I was sure it was someone else. But that certainly won't spoil the rest of the book for me.

Since I can't actually read Knit Two just yet, I will rely on the official press release to give you some more information.

As previously mentioned, Knit Two returns to Walker and Daughter. It is five years later and seven women are struggling to move on to the next phase of their lives after the premature death of....... (the review copy's jacket spoiled it for me, but I won't spoil it for those of you who are still in the midst of the first book). Dakota is now a student at NYU. Peri has thrown herself into her handbag business. Darwin is attempting to balance twin infants and a teaching career...

A series of once-in-a-lifetime circumstances will bring four of our favorite knitting club's members to Italy for the summer, where they will embark on an unforgettable journey of romance, self-discovery and surprises. Each is in search of something different, while the three others remain in New York, offering support from across the ocean.

As knitters, we are not surprised at the popularity of Friday Knight Knitting Club and easily understand how women of all walks of life who would otherwise never come in contact with each other, let alone become friends, can form such an amazing bond. After all, most of us see it in our own knitting groups. Women everywhere have responded to Kate's lively and heartwarming portrayal of a group of smart, witty, down-to-earth women whose friendships transcend their differences, who support one another through good times and bad, and whose challenges real women face in their everyday lives. Its no wonder knitting has grown in popularity and why we all love our knitting groups - whether our weekly guilds who meet at the LYS or book store or our groups who spend hours chatting in forums on Ravelry (with members spanning the entire country, and world sometimes). Knitting groups are amazing.

When Kate was asked what it is about knitting that makes it so popular right now, she responded "Knitting is a lot of things all wrapped up in a ball of yarn. It's memory of good old days and sweet grandmothers. It can be an assertion of personality, of irony, of creativity. It can be a luxurious indulgence using the fanciest materials, and it can be a budget-minded holiday scarf using yarn on sale. You can knit all alone, or you can find a group and knit with them. Knitting has the flexibility to meet our needs for a creative and emotional outlet, and it has a very soothing rhythm. It nurtures, and I think that's a very good thing in times of uncertainty." Well said Kate, well said...

About The Author: Kate Jacobs is a former magazine writer and editor who lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of The Friday Night Knitting Club and Comfort Food. The movie rights to Friday Night Knitting Club have been optioned by Julia Roberts. Kate reports that she is happily working on a new book already and that, good for us, there are a lot of stories she wants to tell!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 Years Ago Today...

I lost one of the most important people in my life.... my Nana.

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I miss her every day... and wish more than ever she were still here. This is one of my favorite pictures of us, from Christmas Eve 1999 (you'll notice she wouldn't look at the camera... that was Nana)...

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I hope I've made you proud and hope you're smiling down on us...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ask and you shall receive!

Ever have one of those moments when you've spent what seems like days weeks ions searching for something, only to realize you should've just went to the source to start? My recent moment was searching for the perfect colorway to make a friend's Christmas gift from. I searched all the way from ABC to XYZ handdyed yarn companies and nothing was quite right. Then the ah-ha moment struck: custom colorway! I went straight to Heather of Sereknity Yarn & Fiber, where quite frankly, I should've just begun my search.

Ask and you shall receive... in only a week! Thanks Heather!

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The one on the left is for the Mountaineer loving friend's item (who may or may not read my blog, so I'm not going in to too much detail right now) and the one on the right is my Go Pats colorway! You see, since I was having Miss Heather dye me one custom football colorway, why not ask for the one I would adore too, right? I'd seen plenty of red, white and blue... but hadn't yet found my red, silver and blue Patriots colorway. Now, insert a bit of happy squeal here, as both are perfect! Now to get knitting... just how many days left until Chrismtas??

I'll leave you with some Friday Fill-Ins...

1. The last band I saw live was AC/DC.

2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is time with family and leftover Turkey sandwiches!

3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is in progress, although cut back a lot this year.

4. Thoughts of the gazillion knitting projects I want to do fill my head.

5. I wish I could wear stilettos.

6. Bagpipes can be soothing to listen too.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching Ghost Whisperer, tomorrow my plans include trying to get rest and kick this cold I've caught and Sunday, I want to felt, felt, felt (see post earlier this week - I've got several bags ready to felt) -- and I'll be thinking about my Nana........alot!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

REVIEW: LL Bean Naughty and Nice Gift Tote for Dogs

LL Bean's Naughty & Nice Gift Tote for Dogs
Where to Find:
LL Bean

LLBeanPlanetDog

Maine based companies LL Bean and Planet Dog have once again joined forces for the holidays, offering the LL Bean Naughty and Nice Tote for Dogs. They have stuffed a mini version of LL Bean's famous red handled canvas tote with three of Planet Dog's best selling holiday items - a green Orbee-Tuff Bulb with Treat Spot, a set of Squeaky Naughty and Nice Lil Buds and a Paw Print euro sticker. LL Bean finished off the special gift pack by embroidering a red paw on the tote and tossing in a bag of all natural Peanut Butter Treats.

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As you might have guessed, the anticipatoin on reviewing the LL Bean Naughty and Nice Tote for Dogs was quite high in our household. Not only was the human reviewer excited to see this collaboration from two amazing New England companies, the four lapdogs were even more excited! They instantly knew that box was for them...

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The LL Bean Naughty and Nice Tote for Dogs did not disappoint, but instead received several Paws Up! Our kids have always enjoyed Planet Dog's toys and these holiday themed ones were no exception. The Orbee-Tuff Bulb with Treat Spot (made in the USA!) is rated 3 out of 5 chompers and has Planet Dog's famous minty smell/taste, as well as a cool Treat Spot for stuffing! The Squeaky Naughty and Nice Lil Buds are rated a Chew Level 1, not intended for chewing, but rather cuddling on a cold winter's night - and are machine washable! The all-natural Peanut Butter Treats are a good size cookie that will leave your peanut-butter-loving pooches drooling for more! After the doggies have drooled all over the treats & toys, the humans still have gifts left to enjoy - the sticker and tote! I've found the tote is the perfect size for a small knitting project - take it on the go or use it to secure a working ball of yarn while knitting at home. Its also the perfect size for your wallet, keys, cell phone and a few necessities while out and about.

You simply can't go wrong with giving the LL Bean Naughty and Nice Tote for Dogs this holiday season! At just $29.95, it makes an excellent gift for your doggy friends, pet sitter, groomer, etc. You'll be pleasing both the canine and humans with this gift!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

worldess wednesday

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Can you say wow??!! I actually got it even cheaper... $1.57 per gallon, thanks to 2 coupons from Shaw's!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Weekend Catch Up...

... in pictures.

All in all, the Patriots vs Jets game on Thursday night was a good game, despite the fact that my Pats lost in OT.

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I can now saw that I've seen Brett Favre play in person.

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And I had the pleasure of attending Troy Brown Night.

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Saturday night was Matt's racing banquet, which is always fun. Here's his class picture (no grade school jokes required)...

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A motley looking bunch you say? At least he's not the oldest of the bunch! :-)

These ones might be more recognizable to most of you...

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That second one is still one of my most favorite racing pics... unlike this one, but I guess I'll share it anyway...

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Congrats to the whole Box Stock Heavy class for a great season!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Whole Lotta Knitting...

I had a 4 day weekend (mostly due to my whirlwind week with a concert, football game, hockey game and racing banquet) and boy was there a whole lotta knitting going on! I even have some almost FO's!

I knit my second Mini Felted Bag and can't decide if I'll keep #2 for me or give it as a gift (it was intended for a gift, but I'm really loving the colorway and had wanted to make one for myself, so we'll see).

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Yarn is Patons SWS in the Natural Violet colorway. It just needs to be felted this week. As soon as it came off the needles, I cast on #3 using Patons Classic Wool Merino in the Rosewood colorway. Its about 90% done, but I forgot to photo it yesterday. I really love this pattern - its an excellent instant gratification knit. I'll be making more for sure...

Chan may be pleased to hear that I finally finished off my 2nd Booga Bag! This thing has been on my needles since January, intended to be for me... and cast aside over & over again, then eventually wound up buried in a pile of UFO's...

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I was in a finish-it-up mode yesterday and finally decided to dig her out and do just that (she just needs to be felted). Yarn is Noro Kureyon in #178 colorway. This will most likely now become a Christmas gift for someone...

Back to the instant gratification theme, I cast on for a basic scarf with the Be Sweet Magic Ball that I had won in a friend's blog contest a bit over a year ago.

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I cast on 140 stitches, size 13 needles and knit until I ran out of yarn (quite literally... I had about an inch and a half left after binding off). Knitting in this method gave it a neat curved shape, which is actually pretty cool. I'm not sure I know anyone on my list who would love these colors however, so this scarf will probably end up at the A Knitter's Garden holiday fair on December 6 & 7. The colors do seem quite fitting for a houndy, little red head...

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I also cast on for one of the Polar Knit Elf Hats in the child's size for a special little girl.

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I'm not too far along just yet, but it should be a quick knit. My only complaint with the yarn so far is the amount of shedding! Boy does it make a mess.

So I'll be doing some felting this week... and more knitting, of course! The Christmas countdown has begun...

Yesterday was my lazy day at home... knitting and watching the final Nextel Cup race of the year. I'll finish catching up with blogging and pics later this week... until then...

Congratulations to Johnny Benson, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson on their championships... it was great to see all 3 series come down to the last race this year!!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Fill In


1. Please feel free to talk amongst yourself... its a busy weekend, so not a lot of blogging happening.

2. When I pour a nice fresh cup of coffee I can't help sniffing it occasionally.

3. My favorite thing to cook is lasanga or a big pot of chicken soup.

4. Knitting is something I can't get enough of.

5. Kids today always makes me think to myself, what the heck?

6. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to the Manchester Monarchs game, tomorrow my plans include Matt's racing banquet and Sunday, I want to catch up on sleep and down time!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Chilly Doggy Thursday

It seems the chill is moving in to New England and we're expecting some rain / possible freezing mix later this evening. Even though it was 60 degrees all last week... but of course, the cold has moved in just in time for me to go freeze my behind off at tonight's Patriots game! (yes, I've already dug out my long undies...)

Enough of my complaining though... on with Dogs on Thursday! Be sure to hop on over and sign up for the 2nd Annual Ornament Swap if you haven't already!

Mr. Sheepie is still quite popular around here! Lola's [click linked names for more pics] been caught cuddling with him...


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Sophie's been rastling him to the ground... and I just loved this "I can't see you!" shot...

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She's also been caught snuggling with her Daddy on cooler nights lately...

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Tut's already moody about the cold weather...

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Zeus must be getting a little cold too, as he's become my 120 pound cuddling monster lapdog once again..

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Foster Update... Earlier this week I received some new pictures of Dustee from his Mom and you all know how happy pictures of my old fosters make me. Looks like Mr. Dustee created his own little doggy door... oopsie! Its a good thing he's so damn cute!!!

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Happy Little Friday... stay tuned for the LL Bean / Planet Dog holiday gift review for all the lucky pooches on your gift giving list!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

wordless wednesday

This one came in an email of "exceptional photos" awhile back and I thought it was fitting for today, given that yesterday was Veteran's Day...


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And this one, well... believe it or not, the season is upon us. I picked this up at Hallmark yesterday...


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

REVIEW: The Prayer Shawl Companion

The Prayer Shawl Companion
by Janet Bristow & Victoria A. Cole-Galo

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Taunton (September 23, 2008)

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When I was asked to review The Prayer Shawl Companion, I said sure and figured just another shawl book.... but no, this is not just another book.

Packed with stories, photos and 38 patterns, The Prayer Shawl Companion is a book to add to any knitter's collection. Not all knitting books are meant to be read in the manner that this one is and no matter what religion your practice - or none at all - I think you will enjoy reading these encouraging pages.

Ten years ago, the authors Jean and Victoria began knitting shawls for those in need of comfort. Shawl by shawl, the word spread about this heartwarming gesture and The Prayer Shawl Ministry was born. In the past ten years, over 2,000 groups of knitters have joined in and brought comfort and hope to those suffering - including Iraq war veterans and Hurricane Katrina survivors.

The Prayer Shawl Companion is Jean and Victoria's first book, released to mark the 10th Anniversary of The Prayer Shawl Ministry. They share with us the personal stories, prayers and patterns that members of this popular charity knitting movement have contributed to help grow the cause.

Apart from being knit with love and good vibes for comfort in suffering, prayer shawls can also mark joyous occasions. Among the 38 designs, there is a Baptism Shawl, a Wedding Capelet, a Nursing Shawl and baby wraps.

The patterns are clearly written, each with a description from the designer and great photography. The typical techniques and knitting instructions are included, but what sets this book apart from others is the Color & Symbology section which I find very interesting. In the back you will find a color chat and symbolism of numbers & shapes, as well as religious symbols. For instance, Aqua signifies courage, balance, harmony, stability; a Triangle signifies trinity, woman, creative intellect; the Claddagh sympolizes loyalty, friendship, romantic love.

Whether you're simply looking for some new shawl ideas or if you're looking for some inspirational stories, pick up a copy of The Prayer Shawl Companion for your book stash. Some of my personal favorites are the Calming Shawl, Lacy Linen Stole, Tumbling Block Stole and Wedding Capelet.

Happy Knitting...... Happy Comforting... and Happy Healing!

Monday, November 10, 2008

FO for a Manic Monday

What a busy weekend... and now we're right into yet another manic Monday!

The AC/DC show was fun, but man did I realize just how old (and unattractive, although that's always been the case) those boys have gotten.... and I think many of their fans haven't been out in public since the last time they toured! I also think beer should only be sold in sippy cups at concerts... why is it that I'm always the one it lands on?

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New to this tour was the "runaway train" which blasted in to the set (center in the pic above). Other than that, much of the show was the same as when I last saw them several years ago (I'm thinking it must've been about 10?).

I have a FO from over the weekend... my second Market Bag (and I've already cast on a 3rd - these are quick & easy gifts, especially in the ever growing "Go Green" nation of ours).

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For this one I used Sugar'n Cream Confectionary Colors in the very pretty Maple Sugar colorway. I bought one of those super-duper big skeins, so I have enough for at least 3 or 4 more bags from it (including one for me... eventually).

On Friday I received my swap box from the Holiday Theme Swap over on Ravelry...

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My pal is from Maine and she raises her own sheep, so I got 2 skeins of her very own "kids" wool, an Oat Couture bag pattern, some candles, Bath & Body works stuff and some holiday trinkets.

On Saturday I we received a very special Thank You note from the Oncology Clinic at Addison Gilbert Hospital...

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This card is meant for all of you who knit / crochet chemo hats and sent them for the donation in honor of my Mom & Dad (you can click on the pics above for a larger view)! I am told this was the very first ever donation of chemo caps they received and they were thrilled to have them. Thank you again from Mom, Dad and myself for all your help! Dad went for his swallow test last week, which went very well, and for his PET scan on Saturday. We're now awaiting the results...

Stay tuned for some exciting reviews coming up this and next week... including some new books: Knit Two (sequel to Friday Night Knitting Club) by Kate Jacobs; Bliss to You: Trixie's Guide to a Happy Life by Trixie & Dean Koontz and the Prayer Shawl Companion. My kids I also can't wait to tell you all about the new LL Bean & Planet Dog holiday collaboration gift that all the it doggies are going to be wishing for this Christmas!