Friday, June 29, 2007


TGIF... and its about 75 degrees out today! NICE. Did I mention yesterday how awful the past couple days have been??? I'm psyched its supposed to be a high of 76 tomorrow and just 72 on Sunday! We're going to be up at NHIS and the cooler weather is much appreciated (I think the July race last year was around 100 degrees - argh).

Delirium was great last night! It is different than any other Cirque du Soleil shows we've been too (I've seen Quidam, Corteo and Dralion) in that this show is much more music oriented than acrobat/performance, though still a good mix. Its their "arena rock show" style show with a huge stage and 2 mega screens. There was a lot of great music - one of the female singers in particular was wonderful (almost like a Carrie Underwood who wanted to rock), the band was amazing and the drummers were spectacular! Here's a pic from before the show started...

Ok, so I really don't have much at all to say today... I just noticed that I had 13 posts for June and didn't want to end the month on an "unlucky" number... call me crazy! Although I am part of the Lucky 13 team for Dish Rag Tag... ironic? So as not to bore you too much, and for those of you who know I can't live without my daily coffee, I'll leave you with another fun little quiz thingy-ma-bob... enjoy the weekend!
You Are an Espresso
At your best, you are: straight shooting, ambitious, and energetic
At your worst, you are: anxious and high strung
You drink coffee when: anytime you're not sleeping
Your caffeine addiction level: high

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Wishing I Was in Alaska

We've bitched & moaned and barely survived our mini heatwave here in Southern NH... with the past 2 days being a sweltering 98+ degrees with high humidity and plenty of "bad air quality" warnings. Right about now I'd kill for do almost anything to take one of my dream vacations (Alaska & Hawaii top the list for those of you who missed my Virtual Vacation answers)! I just checked and get this - today's high in Anchorage is a lovely 66 degrees! Fortunately, we are now in the midst of a "cool down" - today's high's are around 88/90 (still high humidity - ick!), then we're supposed to move in to the 70's tomorrow - woo friggin' hoo!! Did I ever mention how much I love fall?! The cool down is an added relief as this is NASCAR weekend at NHIS and we will be up at the track on both Saturday & Sunday (70 degree is a dream for any NASCAR race weekend!).

So Alaska... even though I may not be able to drop everything and run there now, I did receive some wonderful Alaskan treats from my Summer Dishcloth Swap pal, the lovely Martina! I do appologize for taking so long to get this posted, as I received my package last week. Here it is...


Martina made me 2 beautiful cloths is gorgeous shades of purple and included the sampler booklet that she used the patterns from! She also sent me 2 skeins of Knit Picks Shine in the crocus colorway and a skein of Dale of Norway Stork in a lovely lilac shade (which I can not wait to knit up!!)... and for the super goodies, here's a close up...


A small jar of Alaska Tribal wild blueberry jelly, Seattle Chocolate's truffle bar (yum-o!) and the coolest soap ever... Seaside Opus "Soap in a Parka" rosemary lemongrass soap! This is so cool... the soap smells wonderfully amazing and its all wrapped up in wool. I can't wait to use it!!! Martina called it "soap in a sweater" - true! Thank you Martina... everything is absolutely wonderful and very much me!!! I'm now signed up for the 2nd round of the swap and can't wait to see who I get to spoil this time around!

It's not quite FO Friday yet, but my FO from last week is another Duduza Doll, which I dropped off in the growing basket at Joanne's last night (I meant to take a pic of all of them, but forgot... Joanne said she was going to take one to post on her blog this week though!). Here she is (yes, its a she... note the pink beaded hat!)


And as I taking the photos, Zeus decided she might be good to eat needed to be sent off with a kiss, so I let him pose with her...


Did that get you saying "awwww??!!!" If not, how's this for an "awww" moment?


That's my niece Tabitha with Miss Lola at the family cook out we had at Mom & Dad's last Saturday (special note for my friends & family who haven't figured out when something is underlined in my blog text, its a link to a photo or website the lesser experienced blog users, make sure you click all of the links to the names for more pics - I even spent an extra few minutes going thru and putting the links in blue for you this time!). I love the sweetness of the pic on the left and the one of the right was the "doggy, doggy, doggy... hi doggy, doggy" pic. Lola drew the short straw and got to go since we try to only take one at a time to events/outings, sometimes 2 when its the dog park or something, but for visiting family or friends and hoping we get invited back one works well. For those of you thinking we should take all of the children everywhere, have you ever tried taking 3 spazos who weigh in at 65, 90 & 120 pounds??? Yea, I didn't think so... Zeus had just gotten to go for an r-i-d-e earlier in the week too... see???


Here are some more pics from Saturday...

My nephew, the little heartbreaker Jacob (please ignore the evil empire outfit... his parents thought it would be funny...)


Tabby & Jake are 2 of my brother's youngest (youngest Benji was home with pain from those darn pieces of white bone pushing thru his gumsas he is teething and not the happiest little camper). This is a picture of the 3 from last Halloween. Tabitha is turning 4 next week and Aunty bought her this beautiful dress, which she promptly had to model...


My brother's oldest/my oldest nephew Matt just turned 20 - and boy does that make Aunty feel old!!! I've got to go and dig up the great pic I have of he & Lola from when she was about a year old and put it up so everyone can compare it to this one...


Speaking of Lola, my little girl is turning 5 next week (that links to last year's birthday pic)! I just can't believe how fast time is going by (I swear after 30, life goes into instant warp speed...)! She spent most of the day keeping an eye out for dropped food (and yes, she got enough for all 3 dogs plenty!)...


Back to knitting... I do have several WIP's but nothing that was worthy of a photo. I cast on this tank top Tuesday night and got a couple of rounds worked. I've picked up my alpaca shaped scarf and worked some more rounds on it (no hurry for it, esp when its 98 friggin' degrees!). I did finish the first of my ankle socks, but forgot to photo it... and need to cast on the second one. They've been a slow knit because they're kind of boring, but I will finish the pair. I wound up some yarn the other knit to start my shawl and another pair of socks...

I have done a little bit of stash enhancement this past week, but since a couple of packages just arrived I don't have photos yet. I will say this... to all sock knitters who haven't checked out The Loopy Ewe yet, click below!!!

The Loopy Ewe

This place is wonderful and I have my secret pal (who has yet to reveal herself) to thank for introducing me to them! Loopy is run by some wonderful people and they have a great selection of hand dyed sock yarns. They also run "The Loopy Club" where you get all sorts of fun stuff... with each of your first 5 orders they'll send you a free gift, then you are an official Loopy Groupie which gets you a whole new set of gifts & perks! Also, they keep track of your spending and for every $250 you rack up, they'll give you a $25 credit - nice!

I wanted to thank everyone who's contributed to my ASPCA fundraising efforts thus far (see the banner/link at the top of my blog), including Lisa, Karen, Christy and Dad C. & Sue ... however unless you tell me that you contibuted, I don't know who you are and can't thank you personally (since my counter only shows total $ raised, not who donated)! So far I have $65 in donations that are unaccounted for... was it you? Please do remember that every little bit turns in to something big and I do hope you can contribute if you have not already.

Well, back to wishing it were Friday work for me ... my lunch hour is over! We're heading up to ManchVegas tonight to see Cirque du Soleil Delirium. I love Cirque du Soleil shows - this will be my 4th different one (I think... or is it 5th?). Happy knitting & racing to anyone heading out to NHIS this weekend!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thought for the day...

As my dear Nana always said, "You Can't Please Everyone All of the Time, so Stop Worrying and Make Yourself Happy." Nana was a wise woman ... I miss her dearly. I found the following blogthings quiz and thought it was quite appropriate for today...

You Are 48% Cynical

Yes, you are cynical, but more than anything, you're a realist.
You see what's screwed up in the world, but you also take time to remember what's right.

Who would've guessed that I'd only score 48% on this one... I would have thought I'd be more like a 98% (how's that for cynical??!!)...

Here's my bonus thought for the day (I'm borrowing this one from one of my best friends, blogless Teri - she's a wise woman too!) ... "You can not reason with unreasonable people."

Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

Here are my answers for the Dog Days of Summer 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 knit dishcloths or dishtowels before? Yes!

3) What are your favorite cotton yarns? Is there a cotton or linen you’ve been dying to try but have not? For dishcloths, Sugar 'n Cream is a good 'ole go-to, but I do love trying out other cottons, including Debbie Bliss, Knit Picks and Lion Brand. I just got a skein of Dale of Norway Stork that I can't wait to work up ... I would really love to try some Blue Sky Organic Cotton and Vickie Howell Craft!

4) Are there any cotton yarns you don’t enjoy knitting with? So far I haven't really found any that I didn't enjoy.

5) What type of needle do you prefer using? (Metal / Wood / Plastic) I love good quality wood needles and Addi Turbos. I'd love to get my hands on some lovely luxury needles from Lantern Moon, including the coconut palm straights and sox sticks.

6) What other projects do you enjoy knitting or crocheting? I love knitting small projects (near instant gratification) ... socks, hats, mittens, scarves, bags... I adore the One Skein Wonders book ... and I do have several sweater projects lined up to do also.

7) Do you have other hobbies or enjoy other kinds of crafting? I am a beginning drop spindle spinner and I hope to soon find time to start some beading (stich markers and such). I like to read, spend time with my dogs, try out new Rachael Ray recipes (not that I have any time for cooking lately), traveling, touring wineries when on vacation, etc...

8) What kind of treats do you like? Chocolate? Candies? Nuts? Yes, Yes and Yes... I love chocolate (milk & white), sweedish fish, Haribo gummy raspberries, chocolate covered gummy bears, chocolate covered pretzels, macadamia nuts, almonds, peanut butter cups.... do I need to go on?

9) What colors are your kitchen and bath decorated in, if any? My kitchen is a sage green color with icky brown cabinets... Bathroom is a light purple lilac color with butterfly & dragonfly accents.

10) What are your favorite colors and what colors do you dislike? I love all shades of purple (lilac, wine, mulberry, etc), blues, reds, sagey greens and autumn colors. I dislike neon shades and large quantities of bright orange & yellow.

11) Do you drink coffee? Tea? Other beverages? Yes and Yes. I can not exist without daily coffee am a big coffee drinker and love light to medium roasts and flavored coffees. I do enjoy teas as well. I drink a lot of Diet Coke, Pomegrante juices/teas, Vitamin Water and other flavored waters. Also love the drink mix packets that you can dump into a bottle of water! And you can never go wrong with a glass of wine!

12) Do you have any kids (human or pet variety!)? Three of the 4-legged variety, which you will see all over my blog - Zeus (6 yrs), Lola (5 yrs on July 4th!) and Teutul (3 1/2 yrs).

13) Do you have any allergies? Cigarette smoke.

14) Please share 3 tidbits about yourself that you think your pal and other swappers might find odd or interesting.
a) I am a big NASCAR fan. I love Tony Stewart, Scott Wimmer, Ryan Newman and JJ Yeley.

b) I'd love to open my own business someday that would combine my love of dogs and knitting/fiber arts! Since a doggy day care/yarn store combo wouldn't be every knitter's dream (can you believe that some people are not knitting dog hairs in to their projects constantly brushing dog hair off of their knitting??!!), I'm thinking along the lines of a Friends Central Perk type of coffee shop where you bring your doggies and knitting along to hang out with good friends, drink java, knit, gossip, share doggy tips, share patterns, etc (and yes there would be knitting, doggy & coffee related merchandise - my perfect one stop shopping spot!). {Note to anyone thinking of stealing my idea... I will hunt you down ... I will... really... but hey if you're in New England and want to be a financial backer, look me up!}

c) see this post

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dog Days of Summer... and a FO too!

This post is going to be a little photo catch up from the past week... and I even have a FO for your viewing pleasure (though it was really finished last Saturday)! Here is the petal dishcloth I made for my pal, blogless Cheryl in Texas, for the Summer Dishcloth Exchange...


This was a fun knit and I do plan to make more of them. They would make a great trivet or doily for your table as well! I just got an email from Cheryl and am happy to report that she loves it & the package of goodies I sent. She even nominated me as a Terrific Treater! Cool! Its just so awesome knowing she loves the things I picked out for her. I had fun with this swap (even though I've yet to receive my package, though my spoiler says it is on the way - yea!) and have already signed up for the Round 2 "Dog Days of Summer" dishcloth swap... have you (hint: click on the link in the above paragraph!)?

I thought I had taken a photo of the Duduza Doll that I finished on Sunday, but it wasn't on the camera... next post. For now I have some "getting organized" pics. One of the anniversary presents Matt got for me was this gorgeous jewelry box from Bombay Company. He got it thinking I might be able to organize some things in my "knitting corner" (and it actually matches the wood of the bigger Bombay Co jewelry box I have so if I ever wanted to put it near that one it works too)... He was right and had a great idea! Look...


The top has a nice metal "dish" that is always open (the top closes on each side around it - great catch-all for little things like stitch markers & darning needles) ... then each side of the top opens for more storage, as well as a drawer. I've now got all my notions and gadgets tucked away and - get this - they're a heck of a lot easier to find when I need them now!


Doggie update... I've heard from Dottie's new family a couple of times this week and it sounds like she's settling in quite nicely, which is wonderful news! Here's a little photo journey of her last couple of days with us as she was really starting to show her personality and settle in...

Hanging out with Teutul...


I'm damn cute ... and you know it!


Trying to get Lola to play...


She got Lola to play... and wrestle!


Exploring the great outdooors...


Proud foster Mommy (now Aunty

Nichole?) with another success...


Getting her measurements taken (you just never known

when someone will make a custom fit gift)...


And yes, that is my new sheep tape measure she is "exploring"... but at least she didn't eat it like the one Dustee enjoyed! :)

We're taking a couple weeks off from the furry houseguests now, since we have a couple of busy weeks and weekends coming up. So our kids will get some down time as well, though they do seem to be missing Dottie almost as much as Lola missed Dustee!

In knit/fiber related news, I received my registration packet from The Knit & Crochet Show and am looking forward to a fun filled day of spending way too much money browsing & shopping with Mom-Sue that weekend. Sadly Joanne realized she has a family event to attend and won't be joining us, however she and I did sign up for a Double Knitting class next month that I'm very excited about!

We're off to Gloucester for a family cook-out tomorrow and I hope to get some knitting done while there! Have a wonderful weekend and I'll leave you with some recent photos of the kids...

Lola wanted to show off her very own "Lapdog

Creations" logo pillow that just arrived...


Zeus just wanted to look cute...


And Tut, well he was just happy to

once again be the baby of the house...


Happy Summer... Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Happy 1st Day of Summer!

You Should Spend Your Summer in Europe
You're in to almost all forms of culture - art, music, architecture, food...And spending a summer at the beach sounds pretty darn boring to you.So head off to Europe, where you can have your tiramisu (and even eat it on the beach!)
Anyone volunteering to send me to Europe for the summer??? Yea, I didn't think so... but maybe I'll get a European spoiler in the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap??

Note to all doggy parents, rescuers and lovers... please take a second to check out my sidebar for the Dog Detective website. A fellow dog Mom forwarded this to me -- great source for lost / stolen / found dogs across the country. Help spread the word about the site!

And a special thank you to those of you who've already donated and helped me in my goal of raising $1000 for ASPCA (see the fundraising banner at the top of my blog)! Unfortunately they don't tell me who donated, so unless you send me a note I don't know who you are... so far I do know of Lisa, Karen and Christy. Thank you ladies - you are awesome!

I promise some actual knitting content coming soon!!! I finished another Duduza doll over the weekend and already cast on another, plus have several other WIP's - my ankle socks, lace headband, shaped scarf... and am about to cast on a shawl, tank top and felted bag. :-)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Calling all dirty doggies...

If you live around the Lowell, MA area and are in need of a wonderful grooming experience, please check The Grooming Emporium!


The Groomin Emporium was just opened by my good friend Tanya, who is a wonderful, dog loving person ... and just also happens to be an experienced groomer and new business owner! I am proud that she has asked me to help her out with her marketing efforts and I will be doing a lot of her flyers, advertisements and other collateral materials (how do you like her flyer above... hint, hint). And yes, you can use the coupon on that flyer above... its good thru 8/31!

I don't have any knitting news today, except that I mailed off my final goody box to my Secret Pal 10 person and also the box to my Summer Dishcloth Swap gal. I'm not sure when or how we were supposed to "reveal" ourselves, but I did so inside both of these boxes. I hope they both enjoy their goods!

I also forgot to download more photos of cutie Dottie off the camera, but did snap this cute one on the camera phone of my honey & the little girl from Saturday (when we had to bring her down to Mass for the quarantine). Her new family will be picking her up this evening and I'm looking forward to hearing from them!


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Don't give me the middle finger!

Some mindless weekend fun that I found over over on Lora's blog and thought I'd try it out... surprised I didn't get the "weird" comment like she did, but it says she & I get along well! And hey, if I don't answer right away, please remember... "I am off in my own perfect little inner world...."

You Are a Ring Finger

You are romantic, expressive, and hopeful. You see the best in everything.
You are very artistic, and you see the world as your canvas. You are also drawn to the written word.
Inventive and unique, you are often away in your own inner world.

You get along well with: The Pinky

Stay away from: The Index Finger

Friday, June 15, 2007

Spotted Girl ... Found a New Home!

Dottie has found her forever home! I'm both sad & happy at the same time. She's only been with us 1 short week, but has been such a love and we are sure going to miss her lots! She was extra special due to her shyness and the way we had to get really involved with helping her settle in, letting her know that we care & love her and that she was in a safe home. It was great to teach her as much as we could in the past week and to help her gain confidence in so many new things. We started out with the scared little doggy who wouldn't go outside for 2 days, to the still-a-bit-shy little doggy who's been chasing around our big dogs to play in the morning, enjoying her chewies at night and - yes! - going outside to brave the big, open world on a leash and doing her business! I've even got her to the point where she'll walk out the door with me on her leash (Matt still carries her all the way to the back yard).

This pic is from one of those "let me back in the safe house" days where she didn't want to come off the front steps... as you can see,
Zeus helped her and let her know he was there to protect her....


Dottie is going to be living only about 20 minutes away, so we do hope to be able to see her again. Her family promised to keep in touch and send pictures (always the added "Nichole Clause" for my adopters - ha ha!). We took her to meet them last night and they were wonderful! I walked away truly feeling that they will be very patient & understanding with her and give her lots of love, which was really important. They have 2 young boys who both adored her, as well as a 2 year old Jack Russell (appropriately named Jack!) who was in love with his new little sister! The special moment of the night was when Jack brought over his ball and dropped it at Dottie's feet ... then a little later, after she had taken over his bed, he brought her another toy and gave it to her. It was such an oooohhhhhh, aaahhhhh cute moment! Dottie's new Mom even said Jack cried as we were leaving with Dottie... poor guy! But he will soon have his new little sister home on Monday afternoon (since they live in Mass, poor baby Dottie has to go to the facility for the mandated 48 hours of quarantine tomorrow... and you all know how I feel about that!).

Here she is on the car ride over last night... she was very hesitant and a little scared, but she rides very well in the car! (sorry for the dark pic - cell phone cameras!)


I got some more pics that I'll post later... need to get them off the camera.

On the knitting front, I don't have any FO's to report today... I didn't get much knitting done this week at all, except for working some rows on my lace headband at knitting guild Wednesday night. I need to finish up my dishcloth for the summer swap and get that package in the mail on Monday, as well as my final package to my Secret Pal 10 person.

Before I end this post, I wanted to mention the ASPCA fundraising button/banner at the top of my blog. Please take a moment to click on it and considering helping me in my fundraising efforts for the ASPCA and homeless animals everywhere. I set my goal for $1,000 - if you can, please join in! Every little bit counts and adds up to something big, so whether you can give $5 or $50, it all counts and helps a great cause!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stray's Prayer

I came across this today and just had to post it. Please take a moment to read and think about the thousands of animals in shelters & on the streets...

Stray's Prayer

Dear God, please send me somebody who'll care! I'm tired of running, I'm sick with despair. My body is aching, it's so racked with pain,and dear God I pray, as I run in the rain. That someone will love me and give me a home,a warm cozy bed and a big juicy bone.

My last owner tied me all day in the yard. Sometimes with no water, and God that was hard. So I chewed my leash, and God I ran away. To rummage in garbage and live as a stray. But now God, I'm tired and hungry and cold, and I'm so afraid that I'll never grow old.

They've chased me with sticks and hit me with stones, while I run the streets just looking for bones! I'm not really bad, God, please help if you can, or I have become just a "Victim of Man!" I'm wormy dear God and I'm ridden with fleas, and all that I want is an Owner to please!

If you find one for me God, I'll try to be good, and I won't chew their shoes, and I'll do as I should. I'll love them, protect them and try to obey....when they tell me to sit, to lie down or to stay! I don't think I'll make it too long on my own, cause I'm getting so weak and I'm so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry, cause I'm so afraid God, that I'm gonna die. And I've got so much love and devotion to give, that I should be given a new chance to Live! So dear God, please answer my prayer, and send me someone who will REALLY care..

That is, Dear God, if YOU'RE REALLY there!

Author Unknown

Even if you're not looking to adopt or foster, maybe you can donate just a little to your local shelter or rescue (its sometimes as simple as dropping off a box of dog cookies or sending a check for $5 or donating your old blankets & towels or giving an hour or two to help out at the shelter ... or even just paying attention to your surroundings and not turning a blind eye if you see a stray or lost animal on the side of the road ... every tiny bit counts!). Speaking of which, I just wanted to publicly commend Sonya on her wonderful rescue of "Black Dog." I don't think she was ever even intending to foster, but it looks like she's gained a 4-legged family member! We need more Sonya's in the world... Through knitting & blogging, I'm meeting many, many wonderful ladies friends who are involved in dog rescue... scroll through my list of favorite blogs on the sidebar and you'll find many of them. It's amazing how many knitters are also involved in dog rescue!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Spotted... Little Girl, Knitting in Public?

Ok no, so I didn't spot a little girl knitting in public this weekend, but did you Knit In Public on Saturday? The Manch Vegas group set up shop at a park in Manchester, but sadly we got rain all day and it sounds like they didn't get any outside response due to the weather... I'm not sure how Cyndi's event at Yarn & Fiber went, but I'm guessing they opted to knit in the hallway near the store instead of the park in Windham. I hadn't planned to participate in either, as Saturday was my 12 year anniversary (un-wedded bliss!) and we were also running around trying to get 20 things done in half a daypicking up a Spotted Little Girl, our new houseguest Dottie (click for her Petfinder page).

So, does my usual Sunday KIP count? I worked on my lace headband (
Gina's lovely lace pattern, Heather's beautiful yarn) at Matt's racing... and was even asked the obnoxious question if I had or would knit willie warmers. Um, yea no... didn't The Yarn Harlot already explain this most un-useful idea??!!

My view while sitting to knit under the sunshade...


The wonderful and always looking for leftover food Stratton (mentioned in a previous post, the track mascot of sorts) came over to visit and soak up my shade... note to self, must remember to bring Strat some cookies next week... he's used to me always having a few and I keep forgetting!


Can you see the lovely lace pattern being formed? This is the Amanda version of Gina's pattern and I love that its a pretty easy to remember, 4 row repeat. Once you get going, it really goes quick!

Now for the spotted little girl... ever wonder what a miniature dalmatian might look like? Meet Dottie...


Dottie is our newest houseguest and such a beautiful little girl...



She had to have a bath as soon as we got her home, since the poor baby had managed to poop all over herself in the transport on the way up (and no, they didn't even offer a paper towel when they handed her to us...). She really didn't seem to mind at all, almost had a "thank you" look on her face as Matt was washing her... she didn't care much for being wrapped in a towel however!



Dottie is certainly part dalmatian, but I'm dying to know her overall make-up. We're starting to think she has pointer in her, as she holds one of her front paws up and kinda points her tail out when she's standing "on guard" outside.... well, when she's not shaking like a leaf... You see, little miss dottie is a very, very shy and scared little girl. Her profile says she lived most of her young life in an outside pen with other dogs. I'm beginning to think that pen was all this poor baby ever knew and that she didn't have much human interaction or much of a life outside the pen. Everything is brand new and somewhat scary to her and she is taking her time warming up to things. When we first brought her in the house, she seemed thrilled to find other doggies, esp Zeus (its funny how all the little dogs love him - I'm thinking its because he moves slower than the spazzoids, Lola & Tut!). With some time, she has started to warm up quite nicely to Matt & I, esp inside the house. We've even gotten a few kisses (which is big for a dog so shy - she's showing that she is starting to trust us). She still has her moments where she needs to escape back to one of her "safe caves" (she seems to like to have walls of sorts around her - whether it be the back of the couch, a blanket to hide under or the crate to peer out of), but does enjoy snuggling up to watch tv with you. Going outside is a different story... poor baby shakes and wants to bolt back inside where its safe. I don't think she understands the wonderful open space or the bright sunshine (she squints when its extra bright), but we're working on it with her and getting her to trust that its a good thing. I know she's going to make a wonderful little companion to someone, she just needs a forever family who is understanding of her shyness... someone who will be both patient and kind, and show her how much love she deserves....

You can see her tiny, petite size next to our kids...

Hangin' with Lola...


Teutul trying really hard to get her to play...


Scoping the yard with Zeus... (I absolutely adore this picture...there's several in the "series" from this morning's photo shoot actually... lol)


Dottie already has an approved application and we're looking at going to meet her possible new family late in the week. If you're interested though, definitely let me know... you just never know if when a person meets a foster face to face, they sometimes do decide its not the right dog for them...

Addendum posted Tuesday 6/12 ~ What a difference a day makes! Dottie is really coming around and warming up very nicely as she learns that our home is safe and full of love. We were thrilled when she braved the big world outside to pee last night and even more excited when she peed AND pooed outside this morning. She's even started to ask to go out (at least we believe that's what she's doing) and has shown us all her little voice. This morning she started to engage our dogs in play. She's always going to have shyness in her when it comes to strangers and new surroundings, but with lots of love & patience, she's going to be a wonderful companion. We're so happy to get to be a part of teaching her about being a part of a loving home & family! More pics to come later...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap questionnaire

I've joined the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap and need to have my questionnaire posted by June 30th. This one sounds like a lot of fun and I can't wait to get matched up and start shopping for my pal. There's still about a week left to sign up, but only as of this morning, only 20 spots were open so act fast if you're interested!

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?
Hawaii and Alaska. They are 2 places that I really do want to visit and explore because they are both so unique and beautiful.

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?
I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland (I’m part Irish). I’d also love to see and explore my way through Iceland, Scotland, Portugal and Italy. Touching down someplace in Africa would be a dream as well!

Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?
The furthest I’ve driven was from New England to Virginia. I’ve driven to New Jersey several times, also New York and Pennsylvania and once to Canada many, many years ago. I’d love to have enough vacation time to do a real road trip sometime though!

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?
No, no place I would consider exotic. The closest might’ve been when we went to Miami and spent a day going through some of the Everglades outskirts.

5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why?
Every May we head to Charlotte, NC for a week … its our annual trip to meet up with friends for the NASCAR race and I really look forward to it. Lots of things to see & do, lots of yummy food to eat and time to spend with friends that we only get to see once or twice a year. The area & locals are wonderful too – great place to visit.

Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state? Explain.
A little bit. I was born & raised in Gloucester, MA and moved to Southern NH about 6 ½ years ago. Before moving to NH, we vacationed in the White Mountains once per year and did all the touristy things. When we first moved here, we started to explore some of the local places but still have many “tourist spots” close to us that we’ve yet to visit.

Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker?
A little of all rolled in to one! I love to visit the touristy things in a new area, check out the sites & local food. Not much of a lay-out-on-the-beach person, but love to stroll the beaches later in the day. What about LYS seeker?!?!? I love finding the LYS when we visit other cities and states now.

What's your favorite type of yarn?
Alpaca … merino wool … superwash wool … handspun & hand painted … and of course, who doesn't love cashmere!

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn?
Cheap acrylic… acrylic has its place, but the real cheap stuff just does not.

10. What items do you like to knit?
Small projects are always wonderful because they are nearly instant gratification… Socks, fingerless mitts, hats, washcloths, bags…

What do you pack, knit wise when you go on vacation?
Usually 1 small project that is easily portable. For my last trip to Charlotte last month, I took a sock project bag with my current ankle sock project inside.

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit?
I’m just starting to dabble a little in beading… I want to learn to knit with beads and also to make some of my own stitch markers. I'm learning to spin on a drop spindle. I used to do almost every crafty thing when I was a kid though (ceramics, plastic canvas, macramé, etc.)

Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)
I am very sensitive to cigarette smoke. I don't do well with floral smelling candles or soaps (i.e. rose, lilac).

14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?
Favorite colors are shades of purples, blues, reds… fall colors.
Least favorite colors are anything neon or too bright/gaudy.

Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?
Ooh… I love some of each. Love sweedish fish, chocolate covered gummy bears, peanut butter cups, really good milk or white chocolate, macadamia nuts. Beverage wise - coffee (not too strong – love flavors & breakfast blends), Vitamin Water… and of course, good wine!

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?
I’m pretty much an open book if you read my blog... as you can see, I love dogs! :-) I'm a Boston girl at heart (sports fan too - love my Bruins & Patriots). I also like Rachael Ray, some reality tv (Amazing Race, Big Brother, Hell's Kitchen), traveling, reading, NASCAR, touring wineries & LYS while on vacation......

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Day of Knitting & Stash Enhancement!

Saturday was my first time attending the annual Granite State Knit In and it was a day filled with knitting, fiber and friends -- and some yummy food too! I was elected to drive and headed up to Loon Mountain (a pretty drive, though much more interesting in the fall) with Joanne, Marlene and Marlana at the crack of dawn. We met up with Lisa and a few other familiar faces there... signed in and it was immediately off to classes (after grabbing the must have cup of coffee... did I mention we left at the crack of dawn!!??).

Marlene and I took a 2 hour "Finishing With a Difference" class which was interesting, then I had my "Knitted Beaded Earrings" class. It wasn't really a class per say, but more of buying a kit and following along with the very simple and quick pattern. The instructor was there if you had questions, but that was about it. They were fun and very easy to make though. Here is the pair I made in class...


Cute (despite being difficult to photograph well)? They'll make quick and easy gifts if I can figure out some friends & family that would wear them (hint: if you like them, speak up!)...

After classes, it was time for lunch and I was impressed! Joanne had said the lunch was yummy, but I wasn't expecting things like baked fish, spinach & strawberry salad, perfectly steamed broccoli & carrots and delicious rolls (and more!). It was good! After lunch it was time to SHOP! I was quite impressed with my self control frugal and walked around the vendor area a couple of times before deciding on my purchases, which were very few.

I got a kit to make a 2nd pair of the earrings (this one has the beading needle included which my one from class did not) and also a kit for a knit beaded Christmas ornament.


My only other vendor purchase was a bit of a treat however. I scored a skein of Mountain Colors sock yarn in a gorgeous, deep, dark colorway (which the name is escaping me at the moment) that I had eyed since my first visit to that table.... and the real splurge/treat, an absolutely beautiful skein of Great Adirondack Yarn's Sireno, 675 yards of a super soft 50% silk/50% wool (again I forgot to write down the colorway name). I was going back and forth on this one and which colorway to get, but both Joanne & Lisa though the colors were perfect for me and my plan is a nice fall shawl (for which I am now searching for the perfect pattern - any suggestions are much appreciated!). I also grabbed 2 pairs of Brittany needles in sizes I needed...


I did pretty good with the self control, no? I did purchase one of the huge tote bags that I understand was last year's goody bag/gift - and I'm glad I grabbed mine before lunch because there were only a handful out and I guess that was all that was left because I ran in to about a dozen people after with the "I wish I got one in the morning before they were gone." This bag is big enough to run away from home with bigger than any other knitting or tote bag I own - I actually put the knitting tote I brought inside, along with both of my purchase bags and my goody/gift bag they gave this year ... and still had room! Here's the bag along with the contents of this year's gift bag, which included a GSKI bookmark, a skein of yarn, a nifty needle sizer that looks like a jewler's ring sizer, and more ...


I also spent $5 on raffle tickets... and got 15 free from the 2 hats I donated. This is the carousel hat that I donated and entered in to the hat contest...



After days of trashing all of the button sections of AC Moore, Michael's and Joanne's Fabric searching for carousel horse buttons and coming up empty handed, I used some farm ponies, lambs and cows. Sadly, my hat did not finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd.... part of me wants to complain because it appears they put out the ballot box before all of the hats were on the table to judge (including mine!). I had at least 3 people tell me that they had already voted (1 vote per person) and that my hat was not out at the time they voted. Darn it. I also did not win anything from the wonderful raffle prizes either. Actually, none of us won anything and Joanne was even helping draw the numbers. Some girls won multiple raffle items... one girl must've walked away with 5 or 6! Guess now I know why people were buying miles and miles of those little tickets...

I might not have won anything, but at least I know my hats are going to a good cause and I especially hope the carousel hat brings joy to a needy little one (I forgot to photo my second donation hat, but it was just a simple blue infant hat)! My kids despised were reluctant models Friday night after I finished it up...


That's Lola on the left and Zeus on the right... Teutul was too macho to wear the baby hat (or maybe still embarrased by that bib photo)!

The low point of the day - get this! - I forgot to bring a WIP to the knit in to work on during the speaker/raffle and down time. Oopsie! It would've been nice to have something to work on while Lisa worked her felted grapes, Marlene worked on her baby sweater and ... the woman next to Lisa kept dozing off! I hate to laugh, but it was pretty funny. She was even knitting and would doze off, jump when her head started to fall and then doze again. Talk about entertainment! I also forgot to bring the digital camera, but instead had the dinosaur old fashioned film camera. Which means I'll have photos to post in time for next year's Knit In I can't post pictures until I finish the roll, get it developed, pick up the photos....

I made up for the lost knitting time yesterday by casting on a dishcloth (my first "round" one) for the lovely lady I get to spoil in the Summer Dishcloth Swap and making a new mini sock for my sock blocker keychain (I figured it was time for some springy colors and since my wonderful secret pal spoilee sent me a great mini sock stash, I had to get knitting). Here's the dishcloth in progress, as well as my ankle sock (in Sereknity Triple Scoops) which I worked on just a bit over vacation...


And here's the new mini sock, done in the springy colorway Foofaraw from Blue Moon Fiber (hey, does that mean that my mini sock blocker now rocks??)... and the "out with the old, in with the new pic..."


Question for my fellow mini sock knitters... what do you do with your old socks when you remove them for a new one? I'm trying to think of something more creative than just tossing them all in a basket... ideas?

I also wanted to share my little stash enhancement from just before I left for vacation. Joanne had a great sale over at A Knitter's Garden and I brought home 3 skeins of Wool in The Woods and a beautiful, luxurious hank of baby pink alpaca. I'm not totally sure what I'm going to do with the wool yet, but am thinking about making a lace dog paw print scarf with the alpaca. Isn't it gorgeous ~ if only they had touch-o-vision for blogs!


Joanne also had a fun and brain-jerking word scramble contest as part of her sale and guess what? I won! Yes, I did win something! I got my lovely prize on Saturday... a yummy strawberry shortcake bath set, complete with 2 of the softest hand towels ever. Thanks Joanne!

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