Archive for the ‘dogs’ Category

I Aten’t Dead

April 3, 2008

(props to anyone who gets the above reference)

No, I’m not dead – just considerably negligent in posting of late. Last weekend I was out of town (went to my Grandmother’s in Illinois with hubby and the dogs – you haven’t lived til you’ve seen a 110 lb dog and a 50 lb dog try to co-exist in the backseat of a Camry for 300 miles – Ruby pretty much just perched on top of Petey) and the weekend before, just busy. Plus work has been supernuts lately, so there you have it.

I have been knitting – I don’t have much photographic proof, however. But here’s what’s been on my needles of late:

1. The Shetland Triangle – I really am enjoying knitting this. I got through the requisite number of rows required for the body, and decided I had enough yarn for another repeat. I told hubby I was playing chicken with my yarn – I’m pretty confident I will have enough, but I’ll be ripping back otherwise. If you want to see a really pretty version of this shawl, check out StitchyWitch’s – it is gorgeous. I’ve got to save up my pennies and get some Handmaiden yarn – I’ve been itching to try Seasilk. Maybe a birthday present?

2. Veronik Avery’s Lace Ribbon Scarf in the spring Knitty – pretty much me and everyone on Ravelry cast on for this right after Knitty came out. The pattern calls for sock yarn, which would be nice and light, but I had a random skein of Silky Wool in navy that I thought would be pretty, and Magpie just happened to have a second skein in the same dye lot (even though I bought the first one months ago – how often does that happen?), so I thought it might be fate. I eliminated two repeats, after casting on and knitting for a foot just eliminating one. I think it was just too wide with 44 stitches. I don’t have a picture yet – hopefully next time. I think it’s very pretty in the Silky Wool, though – slightly more rustic looking than the original.

3. And, just today, I got the hankering to knit some socks. I really wanted to cast on for a pair of these – the Super Simple Short Sock from Radiant Twist, with some Knit Picks Palette I have lying around, but considering I have three single socks either finished or on the needles, I decided to make myself work on one of those. I don’t think I’m ever going to finish my second Jaywalker – the socks are adorable, but just not very stretchy and kind of big on me. I love the Waving Lace socks, but that was more complicated than I wanted to get into, so I went back to my London socks:

As I’m calling them, since I took them with me to London. It’s kind of a made up pattern – I’m just using a basic sock recipe with Baby Cable Rib from the first Barbara Walker Treasury. That photo, by the way, is totally craptacular – I tried to Photoshop it into submission, but it’s not much of an improvement.

Some random knitbits…

I recently bought two skeins of Cascade Sierra at ReBelle – this is a lovely nice light cotton/wool blend. I got a gorgeous rich periwinkle color – I’m thinking a nice spring scarf but can’t decide. Any suggestions?

I also caved and bought five back issues from Interweave Knits that I didn’t have. I ended up purchasing Spring 2006 (why I didn’t have this one I can’t imagine), Fall 2005, Summer 2005, Spring 2005 and Winter 2004. If you buy four you get one free, which essentially means free shipping, so I thought, why not? If I got them on E-Bay, I wouldn’t get free shipping, plus I would rather my money go directly to Interweave. I ordered them yesterday – I can’t wait for them to get here!

And a couple of other random bits…

I started reading a new blog after finding out the author was coming to my store for a signing – Half of Me by the PastaQueen.  It is amazing – girl has lost almost 200 pounds the old-fashioned way – through eating better and exercising.  Check out her progress photos – you will be knocked out.   Plus they do a super-cool rotate-y thing when you click and drag on them!  Her blog is just flat-out fun, and so is the book – I totally recommend them both.

I also started using bloglines this week – I had been using My Yahoo since I have yahoo email, but it was just too doggone slow – plus it didn’t even load all the blogs half the time.  Weak.  So far I’m pretty pleased.

Jeez, I have lots more stuff I want to talk about, but I have got to run.  On the plate for next time – season finale of Lost, good books I have read recently, and more!


Snowed in!

March 8, 2008

Well, not really – but when I got up this morning, it looked like this:

Kind of ironic, since my last post was all about it maybe being spring! I knew, however, that it wouldn’t last – we ALWAYS get a few super-warm days then a real cold stretch in March. Last year, it actually came later – more like April, right after our dogwood (the tree in the foreground of the picture above) started to bloom. And of course, the freeze killed every single bud. I was so sad – I love that dogwood – it’s a pink one, and just gorgeous when it is in bloom:

So you can see why I missed it!

It’s not like the snow was a surprise this morning – the weather folks had been telling us for days that we might get dumped on. It was actually kind of funny, because they couldn’t say with any certainty whether we were going to get snow or just rain – and they were so frustrated! But by last night, we knew it was going to hit – they were predicting 6-10 inches of snow – which, let me tell you, is unheard of around these parts. We haven’t had that much snow in 10 years. I don’t think we have 6 inches yet, but it’s still snowing.

I spent the morning playing with the dogs in the snow – I don’t know if all dogs love snow, but mine sure do –

I took dozens of pictures, but most looked more like this:

…because they wouldn’t stay put! Apparently while chasing each other around the yard is always fun, chasing each other in the snow is waaaaaay fun. They are too much fun to watch – one of the true joys of snowfall!

The snow last night made me itchy to cast on a new project – not like I don’t have enough already. My first attempt were some Mitered Mittens (Ravelry link) – the may pattern from EZ’s Knitters Almanac. Not so good – I didn’t swatch – just cast on with some Wool-Ease I had laying around the house, then started the stripes with some random Wool of the Andes. Not only were they huuuuuge (they totally would have fit Sasquatch), the WotA is evidently a bit lighter than Wool-Ease. Who knew? So I frogged those, and started a lace hat (Ravelry link) from the Holiday 07 Knit Simple in the Wool-Ease.

Not much to look at so far, but I’ve actually worked a little beyond this now. I’m really enjoying this pattern – the lace pattern is totally simple – I had it memorized before I got to the end of the first round, and out of four rows, only one is patterned. Plus, the ribbing is twisted rib, which I’ve never used before, and I’m now totally in love with. My 1×1 ribbing always looks a little wonky and sloppy for some reason – but this twisted rib looks nice and crisp. I may sub it for 1×1 from here on out!

I guess I should have known I wasn’t done with hats – hopefully I can get this one finished while it’s still cold!

We are supposed to go to a birthday party tonight, but don’t know if we will make it out – depends on how the road conditions are. While I really want to go to the party, I have to say sitting home and knitting and maybe watching a movie doesn’t sound too awful, either!

Speaking of movies, I caught part of Grease 2 on Bravo today. I have no idea why, but I LOVED this movie when I was a kid. Way better than the first Grease. And I had a monstrous crush on Maxwell Caulfield. Anyway, I hadn’t seen it in years, so I decided to watch a bit. I checked in on it occasionally, between checking email, letting the dogs out, etc. And let me tell you, this movie is bad. I knew it wasn’t a good movie, but jeez. Memory is way kinder than reality! But, I have to say, it’s that good kind of bad – I totally enjoyed it and kind of revelled in its badness. The cheesy songs, the bad acting, the terrible dialogue – you just have to give over to it and enjoy the ride.

One more thing – I’m so glad daylight savings time ends this weekend! I hate it getting dark so early – I don’t usually get home before six, and in the winter, it’s already dark by then. I’d much rather walk the dogs in the light, thank you very much! But this weekend, with the time change, we’ll have til about 7:30 – yay! Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead!


March 3, 2008

I have no new knitting to report on – no new projects, no new FOs – all is (unsurprisingly) the same as it was when I posted yesterday


It was 64 degrees and sunny today!!! I may have not communicated this thus far, but I HATE winter. A lot. Despite my love for wearing handknit items – which can primarily only be worn in the winter – I despise the cold weather. I think it’s because in the winter, I’m pretty much never warm. Until I get in bed at night and turn the electric blanket on high (seriously, every night) I am cold from the minute I wake up until I get back in bed.

There are multiple factors at work here – one, our house is not super warm – we keep the thermostat set fairly low to save energy and to help lower our gas bill (our budget payment is already almost $100 a month) and the room we spend most of our time in, the den, is in an unheated addition. We have an open floor plan and use space heaters, so it’s not too bad, but it never gets much above about 67 degrees in there. My work is kind of cold, too – I use a space heater there as well, but it’s still sweater-and-Fetching type environment.

Plus, here is my own, totally non-scientific, medically based theory about why I’m so damn cold all the time. I think my internal thermostat is off. Here’s the thing – normal body temperature is what, 98.6? Mine is more like 96.8. So I’m already at a two degree disadvantage in the whole thing. Plus, I always have to convince doctors that when the thermometer reads what they thing is “normal,” I actually have a fever. I don’t know if this really has anything to do with why I’m cold all the time or not – but it kind of makes sense to me!

Anyway, temperature related rant to the side, it was a GORGEOUS day here – I thought it was going to rain all day, but it cleared up in the afternoon, and Bobby and I took the doggies for a walk in the arboretum. Apparently everyone in town had that idea because it was PACKED – but still lots of fun. The dogs loved it – I have no pics from today, but here’s a completely gratuitous adorable dog shot:

That’s the only shot I have on my computer of Petey and Ruby together! It’s from when Ruby tore her toenail off and had to wear a bandage for a few days. It’s funny, in this picture they look about the same size, but Petey is over twice Ruby’s size.

Wow, this was an awfully rambling, random post!

Beret redux, still questioning the Chevron Scarf, and a knitting book recommendation

January 26, 2008

Ruby, when I told her I was thinking about making a doggie shrug for her to wear:

Really?  A doggie shrug?  Well, if I have to…

I finished my Last Minute Purled Beret from Knit & Tonic – I hadn’t even blogged about this, it was such a quick knit.  Just as well, because the thing was frickin’ huge.  I swatched on the size needles the pattern called for, and didn’t get gauge, so I went up a needles size without swatching again – big mistake.  I guess I was in denial the whole time I was knitting it, because it was pretty painfully obvious when I started doing the decreases that it was not going to work.  I was so disgusted, I frogged the thing before taking any pictures – which is too bad, because it looked pretty funny on.

But I have restarted:

And will hopefully have better luck this time.

And a picture of the Chevron Scarf I am all ambivalent about:

I just don’t know about this one.  I’m going to several more rows at some point and make up my mind.

I got a few knitting galleys a while back at work – pretty cool on the one hand, because hey, free knitting books, but really they are just a big tease, because all the photos are black and white (galleys are basically just a xerox copy of a manuscript) and grainy and you totally can’t tell anything about the projects in them.  But they are nice to take home and look through to help decided which books you might want to buy.  One that is definitely in that category is The Knitter’s Book of Yarn.  If you haven’t seen this one yet, pick it up.  It tells all about different kinds of yarn – where they come from, how they are spun and plied, what projects they are good for – plus there are like 40 different patterns in the books.  By some seriously cool folks, like Norah Gaughan (designer of the Tilted Duster) sock designer extraordinaire Cat Bordhi (although her pattern is a bag), Teva Durham of Loop-d-Loop,  Adrian Bizilia of Hello Yarn (designer of the Irish Hiking Scarf, We Call Them Pirates, Squirrel and Oak Mittens and lots of other way cool and way ubiquitous patterns), and lots others.  Seriously, it’s like an all-star cast.  Checking out the patterns on Ravelry, what jumps out first are the Princess Mitts by Jennifer Hagan (you know how I love those fingerless mittens), Amy King’s Gurnsey socks, and the Cabled Swing Cardi by the aforementioned Nora Gaughan – I’m sure there would be more, but there aren’t pics of all the projects on Ravelry yet, and I don’t have the book in front of me – plus, as I said, you can’t tell a whole lot from the pictures!

Between the great patterns and the fact that it is chock full of info about yarn, I would totally recommend buying this book, as I will be!

Dogs in clothes – bad thing or good thing? Plus, cabling without a cable needle is totally not all that hard.

January 24, 2008

So I don’t generally approve of people clothing their pets.  Yes, some dogs need a little extra warmth, and that’s fine, but putting bulldogs in party dresses a la Tori Spelling is a little much, I think.  But whatever, you know – to each his own.  If your dog doesn’t mind wearing clothes, and you get a kick out of it, then have at it, I say.

And then I saw Cables & Bits by Sarah Wilson in the Winter Knitty (do yourself a favor – click on the link, because the pics are just adorable).  It is sooooo cute – a doggy shrug!  It just makes me want to squee.  Part of it is the little ball of puppy fluff they’ve got modeling it – she just looks so happy!  I have no idea if Ruby would wear clothes or not – but I think we may find out!

Also, I got the new Knitpicks catalog yesterday – I LOVE it when the new catalog comes in – I save it up to linger over it.  This is a really good one, too – no new yarn, but a couple of free projects – including a really cute cabled hat that I am totally going to make, as well as a really excellent tutorial on cabling without a cable needle.  I had been wanting to learn to do this for a while, and had been trying another method that has a whole extra step beyond what is in the Knitpicks tutorial.  Nervous knitters beware – this process does involve just letting stitches hang in the air after pulling them off your needle – this made me pretty jumpy at first, but I’m using a pretty fuzzy wool in this project, and those stitches aren’t going anywhere.  Now that I can do this, I’m totally going back to Koolhaas, which I completely abandoned after one row of picking up that cable needle every other stitch:

…as you can see.

Finally, I read a fabulous book this week – The Sister by Poppy Adams – it doesn’t come out until April (part of the advantage of working in bookstore – pre-pub galleys!), but check it out when it does.  I would describe it as a combination of two books with Castle in the title – We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (two books I also highly recommend).  Two sisters, one crumbling Victorian castle, family drama and major creepiness.  I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. to finish it because I could not put it down.  Plus, you will learn more than you thought possible about moths.  Trust me on this one – it’s a gooder, as my husband says.


August 15, 2007

It’s feast or famine, people. No posts for two weeks, then two in as many days.

As promised, a shot of the Waving Lace sock:

I apologize for the craptacular pic – we don’t have a lot of light in our house, and it’s night, so dark and semi-blurry is what we got. I just finished the heel, next step is to turn it. That’s not my strongest suit at this point, so we will see how it goes. I was hoping to finish at least one of these by tomorrow night for a gift; obviously that is not going to happen. I figured if I got one done, I could wrap it up and let her know the other was on the way!

I like this pattern a lot – it’s lace without being overly complex and it has been a quick knit – I think I started them Sunday night.

I finished a wonderful book this weekend – I have to share. It is The Girls by Lori Lansens – recommended to me by my friend Meredith. She doesn’t usually steer me wrong, and this was no exception. Just a lovely, lovely book. It’s an autobiographical novel of two conjoined twins – and if that sounds odd or exploitative sounding, it is not. The writing is lovely, and the structure of the book is compelling – each sister takes turns telling their story, sometimes with completely different takes on events. One of my favorites so far this year.

Hey, how about a gratuitous adorable dog photo?

And another!

That’s the little terror that ate my knitting. But look at that face – how could I stay mad?

Stay tuned – if I can overcome the embarrassment, I’ll post a photo of my incredibly disorganized stash next time!

Shed a tear…

August 14, 2007

…for the death of two projects. My pretty lace curtain and my summertime tunic…both dead. Why, you ask? Ruby. Our foster dog – she killed them both. It was my fault, really – I knew she had a tendency to get into my yarn – fortunately, up til this weekend she only got into stash. So I bagged up my two projects in ziplocs and left them on the coffee table.

My mistake.

When I got up Sunday morning, she had chewed through the bags, reduced one set of Brittany birch needles to splinters, and chewed up a pair of circs. Sigh. And of course both projects have to be frogged.

Ah, well. Good thing I like to knit (since I’ll be reknitting both) and that neither were too far along – just about three inches on the lace curtain and four or five on the summertime tunic.

I, of course, have already moved on, and cast on for the Waving Lace socks from Favorite Socks. Almost ready to turn the heel on the first! No picks yet, but I’ll post as soon as I can get around to taking them.

In which we discuss dogfighting, Harry Potter, and bridesmaid’s dresses

July 19, 2007

So while I’m playing with my dogs today, I can’t stop thinking about this Michael Vick dog fighting situation.  I understand he is innocent until proven guilty (although the deck does not seem to be stacked in his favor), but whether he is involved or not, SOMEONE tortured and killed those dogs, and they deserve to be locked away for a long, long time.  I have a such a hard time believing anyone would do such terrible things to another living creature – but someone did.  It literally makes me ill -I get nauseated when I think about it.  I look at my own sweet pups, and it just makes me want to cry.  How could anyone participate in such activities, or even know about them, and live with themselves?  I really think there is a special circle of hell for these individuals.

I have to change the subject, because I’m upsetting myself all over again.  Anyone else totally excited about the new Harry Potter?  I certainly am.  I’m reserving all day Saturday to read it.  That is, after I sleep incredibly late, since I’ll be working at my bookstore’s HP release party until probably about 2 a.m.  We were making plans for crowd control today, and it struck me again how awesome this all is – we have to make plans for crowd control for a book release – how cool is that???

And finally, I brought my very first bridesmaid’s dress today!  My girlfriend is getting married in December, and for the first time ever, I get to be in a wedding!  I used to joke with my friends I was always a bride, never a bridesmaid.  It’s a very pretty dress – cranberry satin, strapless, and tea length.  So no ugly bridesmaid dress jokes for me.  And to top it all off, I had to go down a size from last time I tried it on!  Goodness all around!

Well, now.

July 14, 2007

A blog. How ’bout that. We’ll see how this goes. This will be bare bones for a while, at least until I learn how to do some stuff. And figure out what I want to write about.

How about some dog pictures?

This is Petey. He’s a hundred pound Rottweiler- German Shepherd mix. He is the best dog ever in the history of ever.

And this is Ruby. Also a Rottie-GSD mix, with perhaps a little chow thrown in for good measure. My husband and I are fostering her for one of our local humane societies. She’s about half Petey’s size.

Now some knitting?

Here’s what I’m currently working on:

A sock! A Jaywalker (designed by Grumperina , to be precise). This is probably my fifth attempt at knitting socks, and for some reason, this one clicked. I had a lot of trouble with the dpns before, but that’s going better (the wooden needles help a lot), plus the pattern is great. Very clear and easy to follow, and great for a novice sock knitter. Thanks, Grumperina!


A Chocolate Creme Top, from Knitting Lingerie Style, by Joan McGowan-Michael. It’s thisclose to being done – I just have to finish the straps on the back and then seam and pick up and knit around the neck and armholes. But I’ve been seduced away by sock knitting…(see above).

And, what I’m reading – currently The Shadow in the North, the second in the Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman. Sparked by seeing a preview for The Golden Compass, one of my favorite books. Normally, I’m not too excited about film adaptations of my favorite books, but this one looks. freaking. awesome. Inspired casting – Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter? Perfect. Sam Elliot as Lee Scoresby? Even better. So let’s cross our fingers and hope it’s a good one and not another Chronicles of Narnia – yech.

All right, I think that may be enough for now. My first blog entry – woot!