Monday, February 28, 2011

REVIEW: Fearless Fair Isle Knitting

Fearless Fair Isle Knitting
30 Gorgeous Original Sweaters, Socks, Mittens, and More
by Kathleen Taylor
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: The Taunton Press (February 15, 2011)

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Fearless Fair Isle Knitting takes the fear out and puts the fun in your Fair Isle knitting!  If you're new to Fair Isle, this is the book for you.  Author Kathleen Taylor walks you through the very basics, including what is Fair Isle, yarn selection, swatching, tension and the nightmare of all nightmares, steeking.  

Newbies can start their fancy color work with such easy patterns as the Floppy Hat, Fingerless Mittens, Reversible Scarf and Drawstring Gift Bag.  More advanced Fair Isle knitters will get their color work on for the Dragon Ride Shawl, Dakota Dreams Women's Cardigan and Nordic Snowflake Sweater Dress.  

Patterns are broken up into chapters by style: Geometric Dazzle, Stripes Checks and Curlicues, Holiday Fun, Dakota Dreams, Nordic Snowflake, Genevieve's Graduation, Prairie Earth and Sky, In the Flower Garden and The Dragon Ride.  The best part is that the patterns in each category have not only been written to coordinate with each other design wise, but some have been written for stashbusting reasons, allowing you to use the the pile of leftover yarn from the larger projects.  Knit the Dakota Dreams Women's Cardigan and then use your leftover yarn for a pair of matching Women's Mittens.  Complete a Reindeer Romp Christmas Stocking, then knit a pair of beautiful Drawstring Gift Bags.  Make a pair of Prairie Earth and Sky socks after you've completed the Women's Vest. 

As far as that nightmare of most knitters, you no longer need to hide your scissors!  As intimidating as steeking may seem, Kathleen teaches us that the process is actually not something to worry about.

In Fearless Fair Isle Knitting, you will learn how to enjoy color work and stranded knitting.  Kathleen’s simple patterns, vibrant photos and large, easy-to-follow charts, will have you eagerly wanting to cast on a new project.  The results are stunning. The 30 beautiful designs represent her updates on classic Fair Isle motifs and include sweaters, socks, dresses, vests, mittens, hats, and bags.

About the Author: Few understand the nuances of Fair Isle knitting the way Kathleen Taylor does.  A polific author with over 30 years of knitwear design experience, Kathleen is responsible for the best-selling books The Big Book of Socks, I ♥ Felt, and Knit One, Felt Too, as well as more than 500 articles on knitting and needlework.. She has designed many knitwear projects exclusively for the Knit Picks yarn company and has appeared on HGTV’s Smart Solutions. Kathleen lives, writes and designs in South Dakota.  Check out her blog, Kathleen Taylor's DakotaDreams

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Video Book of Mimi

For all my fellow foster and rescue Moms, you'll really appreciate this (I'm sure any dog person will).  A friend of mine received this video book from her boyfriend as a birthday gift.  How creative and cool is this!?!?  "The Video Book of Mimi."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday, Friday, Friday......

It's Friday and guess what?

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Not sure if Zeus' look to the sky is a "yay" or "what the??"
Yup, it's snowing.  We were only supposed to get 1 - 3" before it turned to rain, but that appears to have changed overnight (what a surprise).  We're officially in the 3 - 6" now, but the 6 - 12" line isn't too far North.  The drive in this morning was the worst all winter ... talk about white-knuckle driving! 

 We're sending out wonderful birthday wishes to two very special ladies today.  First up, Happy Birthday to Mom-Sue... hope she has a fabulous day knitting, reading and enjoying the SC sunshine!  Here she is with Diego and Mohan at Tiger World this past October.

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It's a little difficult to believe, but today is also little Miss Emma's 2nd Birthday!  Here she is with little sister Gabby.  They're growing up so fast!

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The 25th sure is popular... it's also my oldest cousin, Jimmy's birthday!  Anyone else out there celebrating today?  If so, have a happy one!  I'm going to finish up today's post with some Friday Fill-Ins...

1. Ooooh, I am so over snow.

2. However, heat and humidity, I can't stand it!

3. How the heck did I end up with so many UFO's... I'll never be a monogamous knitter, but I really need to work on that stack of WIPs.

4. Charlotte is one of my favorite places to visit.

5. I'm not a doggy Mom who over-spoils her kids, I'm not!

6. If it has peanut butter in it, it has to be good.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to another new episode of Fringe, tomorrow my plans include the racer's expo and Sunday, I want to knit, relax and watch the race!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Zippy Snow Dogs

Hey look, it's Thursday again... although for some reason, it really seems like it should be Friday.  Even though it was a short work week, it's been a long one!

Ever wonder what happens when a 116 pound goofball is happy about finding some fluffy white snow outside?  Why, it's time to zip, of course!

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Can you see that SMILE on his face?  Love...
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Tut loves to zip too.  Sometimes he comes zipping in so fast, that he doesn't make that corner so well...

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No matter how much snow is on the ground, Sophie always manages to come in with a white nose. 

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Princess loves the snow, but the big wet flakes hitting her in the face? Not so much.
When Lola isn't prancing or calling out to all the neighborhood dogs barking at something, she enjoys a good 'ole zip too...

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No, this isn't the end of the January snow photos... but it's enough for today.  Enjoy the rest of your Little Friday....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scenes of a Snowstorm

Happy Wordless Wednesday... which means we're one step closer to the weekend!  Bring it on!
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Got Shovel?
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No Birds Here...
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... or here
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Snowy Paws

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Snowy Flashback

Happy Tuesday!  I hear some of my friends are getting a little snow today, so I figured it was a good time to share some more January blizzard photos.

Just another snowy morning drive to work (don't worry, I was at a red light when I took the mirror shot!)...

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Matt snowblowing the driveway one night... did I mention how much I love him and how much I loathe clearing snow?  He thinks these shots are pretty cool because it looks like the snowblower is throwing flames... boys 'n their toys!

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These were some major icicles hanging off of the post office...

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Some birds, on a rather sunny day at the beginning of January (note the mountains on the ground weren't too big yet)...

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If you still haven't gotten your snow fix yet, don't worry... I've got plenty more photos to come!  I think I just realized I still need to share the dogs' Christmas photos as well.  Hmm... guess I'm a little behind? 

Sending out lots of good vibes to everyone in New Zealand today.  We have a friend who lives in Christchurch and so far, reports coming from a mutual friend are that he and his family are safe.  I also have a cousin traveling over there who has been reporting in regularly on Facebook.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mr. Bunny for President?

Wishing everyone a Happy Presidents Day - and hoping you are able to be spending a lazy day at home like I am.  We woke up to a some fresh snow, which has since melted... but no worries, we still have those mountains from the past month in the yard! 

Our resident bunny has been having a fun time zipping around out there this week.  It seems he is a night owl bunny, so it's hard to get good photos.  I had to go out the other night and scare him back into his hole when Lola alerted the entire neighborhood me to a big 'ole fox slinking around out there.  Don't get me wrong, we love Mr. Fox too, but must protect those cute fuzzy bunnies.  These photos are from one morning last month when Lola found Mr. Bunny basking in the morning snow...

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Sending out congrats to Trevor Bayne, who made history becoming the youngest Daytona 500 champion yesterday... just a day after his 20th birthday.  It was great to see such an exciting race yesterday too...

Trevor Bayne in Victory Lane, courtesy of Miss Sprint Cup's Facebook page

Just a friendly reminder about my Tiger World Fundraiser Contest... we have some great prizes to give to you... but you have to enter!  Help a wonderful organization thru a tax-deductible donation and you'll have the chance to win several knitting, craft and dog related items, as well as season passes to Tiger World!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Wishing my Dad a very Happy Birthday...

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King of The Grill (*when Mom lets him be)

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Christmas Day 2010, playing with Emma

Friday, February 18, 2011

Apparently, we're stylish!

Happy FRIDAY everyone!  Bring on the long weekend!

We received the "Stylish Blogger Award" yesterday from Leroy and Sherman... what an honor!  A big thank you to you furbabies... and your Mom too!  We now need to share 7 things about us that you may not know, as well as award 7 other blogs that we think are stylish.  So here it goes...

1. Zeus is going to hit the double digits in a couple weeks... he'll be 10 on March 7.

Lola2. Lola greets us at the door with a toy in her mouth every time we come home.

Teutul_babyFootball 3. Teutul is named after The Teutul family from "American Chopper" / OCC.  I originally wanted to call him Brady (after Tom, we got him on Superbowl Sunday), but that was vetoed.  Then I wanted to call him Mikey and Matt said "how about Mikey Teutul?"  Teutul stuck, Tut for short... and King Tut for his nickname.  He's the only dog we actually named.  Zeus came from friends already named, Lola from the local Humane Society already named and Sophie was originally "Scuff" when she came to us for fostering.  I immediately suggested changing her name to Maggie, but there was already a Maggie on the rescue site, so they picked Sophie.

SophieBall4. Sophie has quite the overbite... a birth defect we assume (she was born a stray on the streets).

5. Tut was our first ever foster - and we "failed." Sophie was our last "failed foster" - she decided she was staying with us.  We fostered many in between who are now in their loving forever homes.

6. Zeus weighed a mere 16 pounds when we first brought him home, at 7 weeks.  At his annual vet visit yesterday, he weighed in at 116 pounds.  At his heaviest, he was 145 pounds.... we're all quite happy with his slimmer figure. 

babyZeus7. Zeus, Lola and Tut are pretty good actors.  They can all "die" on command ("bang") for a treat.  After Zeus' TPLO surgery, he learned that limping got him lots of attention and will sometimes show that acting skill off.  Sophie's best trick is looking at you with those big eyes and whacking you with her paw when she wants attention (and I do mean whack!). 

And now, we pass this award on to 7 friends.... in no particular order and in now way did I mean to leave anyone out.  I'm passing this along to several friends who are all within the same blog circle and will need others to pass it along to as well...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yup, That's Snow...

Happy Dogs on Thursday / Little Friday... which means we're one step closer to the long weekend!  Even if the weather isn't going to be perfect, it will sure be better than what we've had for the past month!  I finally got around to organizing my "January 2011 Blizzards" (yes, that's plural) photos.  It's going to take a few posts to share them all, but let's start with some from the January 12 storm...

Time for morning potty and look what we found...

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Lola heading out, Teutul heading in...

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Zeus was up next... there wasn't much of a path yet.

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Just call him "Zeus, the Snowplow"

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"OKayz, Iz done now..."

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Lola & Tut keeping an eye on Daddy while he clears some paths...

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"Can wez helpz?"
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Sophie waited until the next day to have her fun... she loves to zip around in the snow, but prefers a clear path.   She'd like you to notice that wall of snow behind her...

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"MOM... you jus gona stand der takin pichures or you gonna letz me in already?"

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Zeus was happy to see that Daddy cleared those mountains out of his area...

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Teutul and Lola were too...

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So, do you like our snow pictures?  We hope so... because we've got plenty more where these came from.... stay tuned!