Friday, August 30, 2013

REVIEW: Knit Your Socks on Straight

Knit Your Socks on Straight

A New and Inventive Technique with Just Two Needles

by Alice Curtis
Spiral-bound: 144 Pages
Publisher:  Storey Publishing, LLC (June 18, 2013)


Most sock knitters have a go-to method to their madness that they swear by.  Maybe it's a trusty set of DPNs?  Perhaps two circular needles?  Or maybe, there's just nothing that gets between you and your magic loop?  Well, what about the straight lovers?  I bet we all know someone who has sworn off socks completely, either because they hate DPNs or they think it "looks complicated."  Am I right? 

Enter the book for those loyal to their straights and the new knitters who aren't quite comfortable knitting in the round just yet... Knit Your Socks on Straight: A New and Inventive Technique with Just Two Needles

Author Alice Curtis was teaching beginning knitters who expressed an interest in making socks, but weren't quite ready to knit in the round.  Realizing that her students were not alone and there were many knitters who preferred two straight needles, Alice took it upon herself to design her own sock patterns.  Sure, there were some patterns out there already for socks knit on two straights, but we all know they were unattractive - not to mention uncomfortable with bulky seams going down the back of the leg, heel and under the foot.  Nobody wants uncomfortable, ugly socks!  Alice's groundbreaking technique features a seam carefully integrated into the design of each sock.  The secret lies in knitting beautiful edges that are later connected with a crochet hook.

Knit Your Socks on Straight features step-by-step written and visual instructions.  A genius spiral-bound format makes the book especially easy to follow along with while you're knitting - you don't have to find heavy things to prop the book open, which I truly appreciate!  The photography throughout the book is gorgeous and clearly captures the techniques.  Feet never looked so pretty as they do in handknit socks!

Now that you know the technique, let's talk patterns!  There are 20 flat-knit sock patterns in all, ranging from beginner to advanced knitter skill level and including such techniques as cables, lace and argyle.  There's a sock for everyone in the family too - baby, toddler, child, woman and man.  One of the things I love most is the patterns cover a variety of yarn weights.  After all, sometimes we just really want a pair of bulky house socks that we can knit up fast, don't we? 

While I have not yet cast on socks on two straights, I definitely plan to do so later this fall/winter.  A mountain of UFO's (including several pairs of socks on DPNs, my go-to method of madness) have got me quite busy at the moment and I just can't justify casting on another item until one some of these projects are complete.  With that said, some of the patterns calling my name are:
  • Green Leaves of Summer - this basic fingering weight sock is sized for both children and adults... and I feel it would be a great starter for learning the method
  • Livin' in Blue Jeans - not only does the name fit, but hopefully the socks will too... these DK weight socks feature a picked-up cuff and button down "fly"
  • Moccasocks - these house boots, knit in chunky and worsted weight yarn, are designed to fit over leggings to keep your feet cozy in the winter... and yes, they look like moccasins!
  • Vroom-Vroom - the cutest little racing stripe socks with a checkered flag heel... Matt's lucky this pattern is written in children's sizes only (and now to find a child...)
  • Maple Seed Whirlies - I can't resist the cute name or pattern!  The small allover pattern looks like tiny maple seeds...

If you're a beginner knitter who isn't into knitting in the round yet, or if you simply just prefer your needles straight, check out Knit Your Socks on Straight today!  The book is lovely, the patterns even lovelier... and the book would make a great holiday gift for the knitters on your list too!

About the Author: Alice Curtis teaches classes and develops patterns from her design studio, the Pincushion Patch, in Herkimer, NY.  She created these special-technique sock patterns for knitting on two straight needles in response to student demand.  You can find more about Alice and her patterns on Ravelry

Disclaimer: Storey Publishing, LLC sent a complimentary copy of Knit Your Socks on Straight to Lapdog Creations for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed in the review are my own.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

GIVEAWAY WINNER! Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Functional Treats

Thank you to everyone who entered to win 2 bags of Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Functional Treats!

The winner has been drawn by Random Number Generator...

Congrats to Jenna from CorgiPants!  Please get us your snail mail addy so that we can pass it along to the awesome folks over at Cloud Star! 

Stay tuned for more reviews  coming soon, including Halo Healthsome treats, Knit Your Socks on Straight (book), a pawsome painter who does dog portraits, Dog Songs (book), Planet Dog holiday items and more!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

You Either Do, or You Don't - Enjoy Life!

Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Zeus #bigdog #love #dogstagram



Beautiful sky at #SeekonkSpeedway tonight #racetrack #sunset


Flat #peaches from #MannOrchards #sodelicious #amazing #flatpeaches #delish

Rest in Peace Sweet Wallace

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: C.E.T. Dental Chews for Dogs

C.E.T. Dental Chews for Dogs

Where to Find: Entirely Pets


Have you ever tried to brush your pet's teeth with one of those finger brushes or even a full size brush made for pets? It's not an easy task, even with several "tasty" flavors of pet toothpaste on the market these days.  I find using healthy dental chews and treats is a much easier way to go! 

Virbac_TutSophieLola82613_CROPWe recently received some C.E.T. Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs. The natural abrasion of these beefhide chews is combined with an added enzyme to help stop plaque from forming on your dog's teeth.  They are available in two sizes - small/medium and large. 

Unfortunately, we received the medium size chews which are for dogs 11 - 25 lbs and therefore, not suitable for any of the Lapdogs.  They've been showing a lot of interest in them however, so we'll have to look into getting some more appropriate sized chews soon.  In the meantime, we will gladly share these C.E.T. chews with a couple of our former foster babies who will surely love them!

EntirelyPets,com is a one-stop shopping superstore for pet supplies and non-prescription pet meds.  The vet operated site provides a massive selection of products, great prices and amazing customer service.  You can click away from the comfort of your couch and have everything delivered to your doorstep within a few days.  They even have a flat rate shipping of just $4.95 (or free for orders of $85 or more).
"As your one-stop pet shop, provides affordable solutions to give your pet the healthiest and happiest life possible while saving you money. Basically, we aim to keep tails wagging!  Our "pet friendly" site features the most popular brands on the market and various in-house product lines. We have been consistently delivering value and convenience to pet owners around the world since 1999."
Check out for all your pet needs!  You can also find them on various social media sites including: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest

Disclosure: This sponsored post was written on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and I received product for review, as well as monetary compensation for my time.  As with all reviews on this site, all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The BEST Day Ever!

Why is today THE best day ever, you ask?  Well, because it's National Dog Day, of course!


National Dog Day was founded in 2004 by pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige and is celebrated each year on August 26th.  This day not only honors our family dogs and the working dogs who put our lives ahead of theirs on a daily basis, it also serves as a reminder to the public of the large number of dogs that need to be rescued each year. 

Anyone who has ever loved a dog knows they love unconditionally and their loyalty is unwavering.  Whether the family pet who is always by your side and wags his tail uncontrollably when you return home, or the working dog who is out their with law enforcement removing drugs from our streets, detecting bombs, or searching for victims in the middle of devastation, dogs put their lives on the line for us every single day.  Today is a day of deep appreciation and admiration. 

Animal shelter

National Dog Day encourages "dog ownership of all breeds, mixed and pure - and embraces the opportunity for all dogs to live a happy, safe and abuse-free life."  Additionally, the movement is against any kind of breed restriction legislation (BSL), and discourages people from purchasing dogs from pet stores, backyard breeders and puppy mills.  Adopt, Don't Shop!  There are millions of wonderful, loving dogs euthanized every year simply because they are unwanted.  Please consider adopting on National Dog Day!

Three of the four Lapdogs are officially rescues (Zeus came from friends, and in a sense was a "rescue" as well when his original owners decided they couldn't keep him at just 7 weeks of age). 

Zeus_81913 Untitled

Untitled Sophie_81913

Aren't they just the happiest bunch of misfits "shelter dogs" you've ever seen (okay sure, I may be a little biased on this one)?  

We hope you'll help us spread the word about National Dog Day today... and hug, scratch and show some love to every single dog you see today, and everyday!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Black & White Sunday

Happy Sunday!  We have a few things to add to your check list today before we get to the black & white shots...
  1. Don't forget to enter our Cloud Star Dynamo dog treat giveaway
  2. Wag on over to Facebook and "Like" our new page!
  3. Enjoy some good 'ole fashioned R'nR today...

#dogstagram #love


Nosey hound girl #dogstagram

Friday, August 23, 2013

Find Us on Facebook

As many of my fellow bloggers began creating Facebook fan pages for their blogs, I had been too lazy determined to just keep using my own personal page over there.  However, as my circle of friends continues to grow in both the pet & knitting communities, and I continue to grow Lapdog Creations, I thought it was finally time. 

I needed a catch-all page for this blog, my etsy shop, my product reviews & giveaways, etc.  Plus, I really needed a page to help promote my new gig as an Independent Representative for Pop's Pet Organics (don't forget to use COUPON CODE lapdog at check out for 10% off your entire order). 

I hope to grow my new page and share lots of useful information, links and tips with you.  So... won't you please give us a "Like?"  (thank you in advance)

Lapdog Creations

Promote Your Page Too

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lola's Latest

It's a busy Thursday here, but I wanted to give everyone a quick Lola update...

Waiting for Daddy at the vet #dogstagram #dobermanmix

We headed off to see Dr C, our awesome vet, on Tuesday evening.  Lola had been on the 10mg every other day dosage of prednisone for 8 weeks and it was time to get checked out and decide what the next step was. 

I've been watching her like a hawk for any new lumps or changes and hadn't noticed anything... and neither did Dr C.  Her weight was up a little more to almost 85 pounds (vet approved), and Lola was her happy-go-lucky self until it came to have blood drawn.  At that point, my dramatic girl pretended she was dying.  It's a good thing Dr C has recommended we forego any annual vaccinations going forward (with the exception of rabies, however she's not due for her booster for a couple years).  My girl might have taken home the Emmy if she saw more needles come out.

Now for the drumroll... We have made the decision to take Lola off of prednisone completely! ( :::knock on wood::: ) Doesn't she look happy (ignore Tut's I-Didn't-Get-To-Go-For-A-Freaking-Ride look)?


Now if you will all keep the paws crossed over the next few weeks that she stays looking this happy and Mama does not  find any new lumps!  Dr C says if the autoimmune disease is to flare up again, it would probably be in 2 - 4 weeks after stopping the prednisone.  However, she really doesn't think this will be the case, as she says "the dosage of prednisone Lola has been on for the past 8 weeks is like a drop in the ocean for a dog her size."  Fortunately for us, our vet has first hand experience with going through this same issue with one of her own dogs who has been prednisone and issue free for 4 years!

Side Note: Don't forget to enter our giveaway of 2 bags of Cloud Star Dynamo treats if you have not already done so!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Functional Treats

Cloud Star Dynamo Dog Functional Treats

Where to Find: Cloud Star


For over a decade, Cloud Star has been making all natural, wholesome products for dogs.  It all started in 1999 with their iconic Buddy Biscuits, which are quite popular in the Lapdog household.  The line has expanded over the years to include several types of treats, grooming products and "Wag More, Bark Less" merchandise (of which I own several pieces).  What I love most is that all of their dog treats continue to be Made in the USA with only first-quality ingredients - my #1 priority when looking for treats for my kids!

CloudStar_LolaTutSophie_81913I was very excited - probably more so than the Lapdogs themselves - when we got the chance to review Cloud Star's new Dynamo Dog Functional Treats!  Designed for daily support of important issues our dogs deal with, these aren't just any 'ole treats... they're little doses of health, in a delicious bite!

Dynamo Dog Functional Treats are currently available in 3 varieties:
  • Skin & Coat - with Salmon for daily support of healthy skin & shiny coat
  • Tummy - with Pumpkin & Ginger for daily support of digestive health
  • Hip & Joint - with Chicken or Bacon for daily support of healthy joint function
CloudStar_Tut_81913bIn addition to being Made in the USA, all Dynamo treats are grain free, gluten free, all natural, and free from artificial flavors and byproducts.  All flavors are available in 5 oz and 14 oz bags.

We received the Skin & Coat and Tummy formulas to try.

With senior dogs in our pack, digestive issues pop up more than some would like.  Having a Tummy formula treat available is wonderful... and having one with pumpkin and ginger in it (two things all of the Lapdogs love) is even better!  In addition to the pumpkin and ginger, Dynamo Tummy also contains probiotics and specially selected fruits, vegetables and herbs to ease digestion. 

The Skin & Coat formula is an excellent treat for my two skin-issue prone hounds!  Made with salmon oil and Vitamin E, plus specially selected fruits, vegetables and herbs, these treats are designed to be extra tasty while providing the nutrients needed for a healthy coat. 

It's safe to say that all of the Lapdogs loved both flavors!  Zeus and Sophie were especially interested in the Tummy variety -- which of course includes one of their most favorite foods ever, pumpkin! 

We are giving Dynamo Dog Functional Treats our Official 16 Paws Up Seal of Approval!  Combined with the humans 2 thumbs up, these are treats we definitely want your pack to try as well!  You can get some of your very own through the Amazon link at the top of the page, or you can try to win 2 bags below! 

CloudStar_4dogs_81913In addition to making awesome treats for our furry kids, Cloud Star is also committed to helping others!  As part of their commitment to giving back, the company pledges to donate to non-profit organizations benefiting animals, women, children, and the environment. Wonderful, tasty treats and a responsible company -- what more could you ask for? 

GIVEAWAY! Thanks to the wonderful folks at Cloud Star, we get to give away 2 bags of Dynamo Dog Functional Treats to one lucky reader!  To enter:

1)  Follow Lapdog Creations publicly through Google+ Followers or Google Friend Connect (see "Followers" on the side bar)  

2)  Leave a comment below telling us why you want to try Dynamo Dog Functional Treats and which varieties you would like if you win (winner gets 2 bags of their choice).   

To be eligible to win, you must be a resident of the USA and you must complete both steps above. Please be sure your entry includes a way to contact you (i.e. link to your blog or include your email address).

Winner will be selected by random number generator. Deadline for entries is Monday, August 26th at 11:59pm EST (midnight) 

Disclosure: Cloud Star sent 2 packages of Dynamo Dog treats to Lapdog Creations, free of charge for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Mischief

Yawn... it's Monday again already!  The humans created a lot of mischief once again by taking off for not one, not two, but three races over the weekend.  The Lapdogs were beside themselves about being "ignored," but were very happy to have Mommy & Daddy home for a very lazy Sunday yesterday.


Doesn't Sophie look like she's just LOL-ing in that picture?  I think it's one of my favorite shots I've gotten in a long time. 

There's not a whole lot of mischief going on today.  We're working on a few reviews and just enjoying a lovely day at home.  Zeus thinks I should be ashamed show you the  mischief his humans created.

Maine on Thursday... it was autograph night which meant we had to hang around all night and I actually got some knitting done.

#knitting and #racing #uslegends #raceday

Massachusetts on Friday... which started with a muffler flying off the #8 in practice.  Thanks to a nice man with a welder on hand, we were good to go racing and the Lapdogs' Daddy took home a 9th place finish.  Oh, and we hung out with former foster baby Belle...

Not the best way to start the night off... #8 #uslegends #raceday #mufflerissues

Miss Belle hanging out at the track last night #love #rescue #adoptdontshop #dogstagram

New Hampshire on Saturday... at the track closest to home.  We had a wonderful night with our racing family, complete with a big tailgate dinner and getting to watch some pro stock racing after we were done.  He finished 8th is a crazy caution and red flag filled race.

Love this shot from Star by @bhayden20 #8 #uslegends #racecar #nelcar

Another great shot at #starspeedway from @bhayden20 #8 #nelcar #uslegends #racecar

Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Black & White Sunday

As always, we hope you are enjoying some good 'ole fashioned R 'n R today... whether just chilling out at home, spending time with family, or doing whatever it is that you enjoy most.

#blackandwhite #dogstagram


Today would have been my Nana's 92nd Birthday.  I still miss her every day...

Happy Birthday Nana

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Age is Just a Number

August has been designated "Senior Pets Month" by BlogPaws. With three senior dogs in my pack, I can tell you this is truly a subject near and dear to my heart. While age truly is just a number, it can also be very worrisome at times...


Before I go any further, I must point out the pawsome button/graphic above.  Seriously, could there be anything more appropriate for me and this blog?  It's as if they knew... 

It's sometimes tough for me to admit remember that I have three senior members of the Lapdog pack.  Up until last year, I really only considered Zeus a senior and that was in part due to the arthritis and joint issues he's had for several years.  After all, just looking at the picture below, do these three babies look like seniors to you?  Sure, there's some grey around the muzzles, but Teutul has been grey since he was 3 or 4 (yet he still has perpetual puppy face)... 


What you can't see in that photos is all of the health issues going on.  The lumps and bumps, the aches and stiffness, the underlying medial issues...    

Zeus is nearing 12 1/2 years old.  As mentioned above, he's had arthritis in his knees for several years.  But even before that, he was diagnosed with "growing pains" (there's actually a technical term, which I forget) as a pup.  Zeus had TPLO surgery in August, 2006 at just 5 years old.  We were supposed to have the second knee done, but I could never bring myself to put him through that ordeal again.  He hobbles around an awful lot now, is on Cosequin DS Plus (after years of various glucosamine / chondroitin / msm supplements) and more recently, I started giving him Tramadol on especially stiff days.  We've been monitoring his liver levels since February, 2012 when they first showed up elevated during a regular check-up.  After several tests to rule out the obvious causes (with no positive results), we continue with daily doses of samE and milk thistle, as well as regular blood checks.  We also manage his "old man cough" with Pepcid.  He's a rather happy, old, lumpy boy! 

Zeus_baby Good Sunday Morning from Zeus  #dogs #sleepy #bigdog #adoptdontshop #dogstagram

Lola hit 11 last month.  I never really looked at my Baby Girl as a "senior" before we were hit out of the blue with her autoimmune issue last December.  We went through not one, but two biopsies that were probably harder on Mommy than her.  Then, she went on a high dose of prednisone that really took everything out of all of us.  Lola became very weak, lost almost all of her muscle mass, and was no where near her happy-go-lucky self.  It was a long road on the prednisone, but we're now weaned down to an every-other-day low dose (and we have a check up next week to see if we can go even lower!).  I can not even begin to express how amazing it was to see her come back to life - literally - as we decreased the dosage.  I am so thankful to have my bouncy, playful, lovable old baby girl back, however I can't help but keep those images of such a weak dog in my mind.  Old age may be slowing her down, but I'm thankful that we seem to have fought the autoimmune issue and got it under control! 

Lola_babyDig My baby girl Lola #dobermanmix #rescue #adoptdontshop #dogstagram #love #dobiemix #beautiful

Teutul will be 10 in October.  My perpetual puppy-faced boy started going grey really early, so it's still hard for me to even consider him a senior... and never mind his obnoxiousness overabundance of energy!  Other than a tooth extraction back in December of 2011 -- :::knock on wood::: -- my younger boy has not had any major health issues.  Paws crossed that we keep it that way.  I still can't believe he's hitting double digits in two months!

Teutul_babybed Cuddly, Smiley LapHound... #dogstagram #adoptdontshop #rescue #hound #lapdog #happydog #love

Do you have senior members of your pack?  If so, make sure you check out all of the tips, articles and excitement going on over at BlogPaws this month! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...