One Name

I knew today was going to have to be a double post day!

July 2010 002

The Grace gnome I got for my birthday

Before I get carried away though, I need to wish a very happy birthday to Grace.  She has such a giving heart that for HER birthday, she’s just asking that we all stop by and wish her a happy one on her blog, on Facebook, etc. and we’re entered in a contest to win one of her fabulous shawls.  Feel free to tell her I sent you!

Yesterday, Gmarie and I had a discussion on one name etiquette.  I’ll be honest…  I usually have to be prompted to give my last name in a conversation, because… well…  There just aren’t that many Chans, and even fewer Channons.

What do I mean?  Well, let’s visit a scene from You’ve Got Mail

Kathleen Kelly: I thought all that Fox stuff was so charming. F-O-X.
Joe Fox: Well, I didn’t lie about it.
Kathleen Kelly: “Joe”? “Just call me Joe”? As if you were one of those stupid 22-year old girls with no last name? “Hi, I’m Kimberly!” “Hi, I’m Janice!” Don’t they know you’re supposed to have a last name? It’s like they’re an entire generation of cocktail waitresses.

As you might guess, I’m no cocktail waitress.  In fact, I’m generally a stickler for protocol and good manners, so do weigh in and let me know how YOU feel about someone using just one name. 

I mean… I’m not Cher or Madonna, but I rarely hear anyone use my last name, so clearly, I’m not just being presumptuous… am I?

Gretchen has a little lamb…


September 2010 027

Happy Dogs on Thursday, little friday, thankful Thursday and almost Montpelier time!

Today’s post is all about the most awesome Good Shepherd Lamb Coat I purchased for Gretchen last weekend.  I am tee-totally blown away by this coat.  Firstly, it’s so well made I’m at a loss for words. 

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Just look at those seams!  I don’t sew as you all know, but I do recognize quality when I see it.   These coats are machine wash/dry, and are made to last for years.  Their originated as little lamb jackets, to be work in barns, outdoors, etc., so you know they’ll hold up to Gretchen prancing around the yard.

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Sissy & the bulky coat

You can visit their website for all the details, but these coats are made from salvaged wool blankets and are hand stitched.  You can also arrange for a custom order, and after the last few days of rain with poor Sis wearing her all-weather coat, the Knight has agreed that Gretchen needs one more, and Sis needs one of her own too.  

September 2010 024They’re lightweight and yet, being thoroughly felted wool, you know they’re plenty warm too.  I think Sissy might not hate a coat that’s easier to move in.  (I’m also hoping the Knight will work his online shopping magic and find Sis a big, long girl rain slicker too.)

I can’t say enough about the woman working their booth last weekend, whom I assume is the owner of the company.  She knew right away that Gretchen needed a small, despite the quick weight/size chart posted suggesting otherwise.  It was clear from talking with her that when the website/brochure says they measured lots of dogs before settling on sizes, they really did.   She happily stripped the little stuffed lamb of the size small pink coat I wanted, but they also had quite a diverse offering of colors in every size, including extra small for most cats!

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Gretchen's serious about how well this coat moves with her...

And the prices…  I don’t often mention cost, but I paid $21, tax included on Saturday.   That’s a STEAL.  The online prices are higher, but even at $35 plus shipping, I honestly feel it’s a bargain.  I do anticipate paying more for Sissy’s big, custom order, but for a coat that will flex and move with her and will likely last her lifetime, it’s still an exceptional deal.  Heck, I’d honestly pay double or triple the price for the same product and not think twice about it.  Just in case they’re at Montpelier this weekend, I’m taking Sis’s measurements with me…

Thankful Thursday is a quick link.  For each of you who knitted for, prayed for, sent good vibes out to “Hope” and her family, I’m delighted to share a newslink.  If you watch CBS evening news, you saw her last night and might not have known it.   She and her young parents and younger sister have been through so much the last 18 months or so, but this chapter of her story has a VERY happy ending.

I’d also get in trouble if I failed to link to the girls’ blog.  It’s just a quick update on Gretchen’s food quest, but I do need some input from small dog owners…


September 2010 027This is post three of a 4-part series on my weekend, mostly about the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.   Please come back tomorrow for details on what I consider the find of the festival, Gretchen’s little pink, boiled wool coat.  It really is worthy of a post of its own, whether you adore wee doggies and their clothes or just admire FINE handcrafted goods.

Before we launch into that, let me mention that Nichole has  another great give-away on her blog.  It sounds like a great book, so if you haven’t entered already, tell her I sent you, okay? 

Now, for the rest of the story.

Before we look at the loot, let’s talk about the people.  Kathy has FAR better photos (read: we repositioned so the wind was blowing into our faces rather than across ’em), so if you want to see her and her friends and family, pop over to her post about Saturday.   It was great to see her, her dear hubby, meet her parents, etc.  I love when formerly bloggy friends become “real” and I think given that I “farm” (Farmville on Facebook) with Kathy’s mom and chat now and again with Shelly, that makes us as real as it gets!


Beth, me, Anita, Aimee, Magan, Beth's DD

That’s the Blue Mountain crew, minus the young man who was such a good sport about the whole day.  All of the adults are members of the Blue Mountain group on Ravelry.  Blue Mountain Handcrafts is Beth’s enterprise.  You can find her on Etsy or on her website.   I’m still admiring her husband’s fiber tools.   They’re pretty enough to make me think I’d like to blend some of my own fiber… maybe…

Beth, Anita, Aimee and Magan are all members of the FIX co-op I mentioned yesterday.  Here’s a link to Magan‘s shop, which has some pretty roving and cute earrings!

I don’t have a photo of dear Dianne of Creatively Dyed, but I’ll get one this weekend when we do dinner.  She has the best smile in the world, a reflection of her incredible heart!  Doesn’t hurt any that she also has a rather unique approach to dyeing that I can’t resist either.

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That’s the merino/silk/cashmere roving I couldn’t leave behind.  I mean, I know I’ll see her again in just a couple of days, but Gretchen wouldn’t have forgiven me if I’d left this up for grabs.  (And yes, for those of you who don’t really know Gretchen, the wee one does have a passion for cashmere and fine merino!)  And talk about names, since you know I love my yarns and rovings to have real names, not numbers…   Goat!!  That’s also one of Sissy’s nicknames, so this was truly destined to come home with me.

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This is a milk fiber and something blend.  Sorry…  it intrigued me enough to have to come home, but I failed to photograph the tag, so…  I don’t recall the name either, but Dianne wisely names all of her goodies, so rest assured, it has one.  (Cow, maybe?  Bovine?)

I also snagged two of her yarns, but they’re gifts and I want them to be surprises, so… tough luck to the rest of you.

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That’s a button I snagged in the Foothills Spinners & Weavers Guild booth.  I don’t know that it’s practical, but I’ll use it eventually because it’s too cute not to be called to action!

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This bow came from their booth too, for Sis.  She didn’t mind having it clipped on her collar at all.

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I couldn’t get the photo I wanted of Sis and the bow, but she’s just so photogenic…  sight hunting with her new accessory. 

Now you’ve seen it all, save the details on Gretchie’s coat.  Friday, I have a finished object report for you too.  Be sitting down when you read this – and Friday’s post – because I finished a pair of socks!

Follow Me to Etsy!

Now, where were we?  Oh yeah.  I was going to share more of my weekend with you. 

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Anita came bearing gifts.  She made that lovely batt just for me.  No, I don’t have a clue what’s in there, but there’s a bit of sparkle, lots of soft, and it reminds me of a calm sea day at the beach.

September 2010 009She also gave each of us a pretty button.  I’m hoping they’ll become regular features in her Etsy shop, but time isn’t on our side.  Anita has a job that requires long hours in the tourist season (which is all but year ’round) and leaves her too tired to craft when she gets home.   Maybe if enough of you admire this button and beg for more…

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Anita also gave me this rich silk hankie from Zoo Creations.   Zoo Creations is Aimee’s (in the pink handknit sweater in the group shot I shared yesterday) Etsy shop.  I am blessed to know SO many talented women!

September 2010 008Here.  You need to see the whole of this hankie.  Talk about semi-solid color, no?!  I’ve not spun silk yet, except in a blended roving and/or batt.  Hankies intimidate me a bit, but there are tutorials out there, so I’m going to give it a try.  Anyone have any great purls  pearls of wisdom to share? 

September 2010 014Aimee also handed out pigtails of her delightful Who Peed in the Pool roving.  (Link is to the more vivid version “Who ELSE…” currently in her shop.)  Several commercial yarn and fiber companies should take note; we appreciate a snappy name for our colors!

Both Anita and Aimee are part of a new, hot and happening FIX – Fiber Indie eXperience Co-op.   (Ravelry link)  It’s a cooperative of talented fiber industry crafters supporting each other in business, and they’re having a great prize incentive through October 9th.  Check it out!

Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up with a few more photos and details about the weekend.

** blink **


Photo from Friday night - Aimee, Anita, Me, Rosanne

I was right there, but somehow, I feel as though the weekend was just a big blur.  The fur-girls have a really brief glimpse of their gifties from the fiber festival on their blog, and I’m going to attempt to reconstruct a blog recap from Thursday night forward.

No, there’s no cute “back to school” outfit to share from Thursday night, even though I did learn that I’m hardly the only one who feels our first League meeting of the year is like the first day of school.  It was just too darned HOT for anything special, even for the outfit I’d planned to wear.  Nevertheless, after the meeting, Anita had arrived, so I met her and the Knight for a late dinner.

September 2010 005Friday, I had to work, so Anita and Ravelry friend Aimee met at Dog House Yarns and More.  I eventually caught up with them there.  I’ve resisted the Poems sock yarn since it arrived at the store, but Friday night, I threw up my hands and took some home.

September 2010 027Saturday, we ventured north to the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival.   We saw Kathy and her family and friends as soon as we walked in, and eventually caught up with many more.    Honestly, I wasn’t as impressed this year with the vendors.  There wasn’t as much roving/fiber to be had, but I did snag some from Creatively Dyed, whom I’ll see again this weekend at Montpelier.  Can’t wait!  I’ll blog in great detail on Thursday about what I consider the find of the day, a wool coat for Gretchen Greer.

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Kathy gave us a wonderfully thoughtful package.  Of course, Sis is rather focused on HER part of the parcel…  Again, I really do appreciate the effort my friends go to, finding treats my allergy queen can eat!  There’s also a special fall Peanuts Scok It bag there, and some sweet little hanks of her yarn as well.  (You can visit her Etsy shop HERE.)   The Knight claimed the sugar cookies in the front, in case anyone was wondering.  Thank you so VERY much, Kathy!

With my next post, we’ll look at more of my goodies from the weekend.  I know my eyes glaze over after a while, and I don’t want to send you into a fiber coma!

How was your weekend?

Too much…

Let’s get in the not-so way-back machine.


Namaste Monroe January 2010

Remember Monroe?  I was over the moon.  Pre-ordered it even.  Then, it sat for over 8 months, still with its tissue wraps in place, until last night.  Hem.  I’m sorry I bothered.  I unwrapped and switched my handbag contents over last night.  I carried it for all of two hours, and then I ditched it in the car for dinner, only to gripe all the way from the car to the shopping cart where I deposited it while I grabbed groceries.

It’s just too big.  All of my necessities fit in the first interior pocket.  All of my emergency stuff fits in the matching third compartment, but that zippered pocket has a broken zipper.  It arrived all spread apart, and it just doesn’t work.  The massive center hole would be great for a medium knitting project, but by then, the heavy when empty bag would weigh as much as Sissy.

I guess I’ll contact Namaste about the broken zipper, but I really don’t want them to replace this bag.  I have buyer’s remorse, in a big, heavy way.

Good thing Vera has some appealing options.  Hope Anita likes the idea of spending some time in a Vera shop this afternoon or tomorrow…

So.  What’s on your weekend agenda?  Anyone else going to her local Vera retailer?  My beloved Stephanie really is a bit large, so I’ll be shopping for a new shape and color!

Anyone else going to be in Berryville tomorrow?

Vera Knows!

(That’s said with a saucy attitude, to the same cadence as Mama knows…)

Good ol’ Vera Bradley!   After several seasons of liking only one or two of their new colors, this season, I’d take any of them. 

We’ll start with Twirly Birds Navy, since I alluded to it in the title of the post.   See?!  I’m not crazy…  I’m trendy.  It’s not wrong to love navy.  I might have to buy a bag in this pattern just because it makes a navy statement.

On that note, there’s also Twirly Birds PANK – er, Pink.  You know I’ll get some of that too, for two reasons.  Firstly, TBP is the new Breast Cancer Awareness color.  Obviously, they might call it raspberry, but in our world, it’s PANK, and Gretchie and I are both all about some PANK.

Then, there’s Baroque.  I love the colors.  I wouldn’t normally think of citrine in a winter pattern, but there’s enough black and grey… and I could easily carry this (or the TBN) year ’round.

Versailles, I’ll have to see in person, but I really like the contrast blue, and the black background aside, it reminds me of my own living room, or at least the plan I haven’t fully implemented some 15 years later…

Last, but not least is Buttercup.   I love the warm brown in the background, and it too could be a 4-season bag.  However, the first thought I had upon seeing this one was “Gmarie.”  IT’s almost like Vera had her in mind…

Any of them speak to you??  I think our weekend plans are going to have to include a trip to Vera land…

Pawed, Sealed and…

Happy Dogs on Thursday!  Be sure to check out the post on the fur-girls’ blog today; they’re sporting more snazzy pet charms that make me want to rush to the beach. 

Before I launch into my post, I do want to mention that the AKC has proclaimed this Saturday Responsible Dog Ownership Day.   You can follow the link for more information and maybe there’s an event near you?

I’ve gone back and forth on whether to share this adoggable gift or just let some of you discover it the next time I send you a little something.  In the end, it’s just too cute to keep to myself!

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See?!  Does it get any cuter than dog-themed tape?!

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A friend “imported” this for me from Florida.   I thought maybe the label would help you track some down, if you so desire.  I see it showing up in scrapbooks too…  Wouldn’t it make a great border on maybe some red or creamy paper?  Thank you so VERY much, Barbara.  I love it!!

It’s most certainly little friday here.  We’re all geared up for Anita‘s arrival later today, the Shenandoah Fiber Festival and many friends there… But first, I have to get through the first general membership meeting of the Junior League year tonight.  It’s as big of a deal as the first day of school ever was.  I’ll get to catch up with friends I haven’t seen since May in some cases, and I’ll get to meet more of our new members. 


Me, Anita - Fall 2008

Thankful Thursday?  Absolutely.  I’m insanely thankful for friends who spoil me.  It means the world to me that for the third year in a row, Anita has used her precious time off to trek to podunk.  Last year, we just hung around town, but I’m over the moon about sharing one of Virginia’s fiber festivals with her this year!

Now, back to my preparations…

Kinda’ unplugged

Just  a quick note…  I am without my computer at work for an undetermined amount of time.  I am stealing moments at another desk, but normal blogging won’t return until my CPU does!


Finally, the finished object report for my latest sweater. 

I apologize in advance for the pasty photos.  That’s what you get  late on a Sunday night.  Better photos will come this weekend when I have a photographer available at the same time I have on make-up and have decent hair!

September 2010 011Project:  Grass-ercup

Pattern:  Buttercup.  Great pattern, but if you’re going to make this, measure right up under your arm pits to determine your size.  I made a medium, increasing to a large through the chest, if that helps those of you who know me well enough to get an idea?

I also picked up fewer stitches around the non-lace portions of the neck when I finished, to draw it in a bit more.  I only did three rows – as written – because I intend to wear a cami underneath (or a long-sleeved shirt…), but some knitters did several more rows to fill in the sides a bit more there where my collar bones are showing.

August 2010 012Yarn:  Plymouth Grass, a lovely cotton-hemp blend.  I really, REALLY like this yarn, and if Dog House Yarns & More still has some in sweater quantities in other colors, I might snag it.  Compared to a fine merino, it’s a bit rough to the touch while knitting, but after a good bath, it softens up nicely.  I am assuming hemp responds like linen, and the more I wear/wash, the softer it will get.

Needles:  The bulk of the pattern was done with #6 bamboo circs – 24″ in length.  Where the patten calls for the smaller needles, I switched to the Bryspun #5 circs.

September 2010 013Verdict:  It was a perfect, mindless pattern.  I do think some knowledge of the feather & fan lace pattern helps; I knew I wanted to REALLY tighten my gauge on the row or two after the yarn-overs to assure the lace wouldn’t be too open.

(Faux double chin, squinty-eyes and all…  Really, better photos of ME will follow!)

Would I do it again?  Probably not, through no fault of the pattern.  There just are tons of similar top-down, no-seam raglans out there, so why knit one twice?

I’m looking for the next sweater in waiting for my queue.  I’m eager to start on the pink cardigan, and I might opt to finish (frog and re-start?) Whisper, a laceweight, almost unstructured cardigan after that.  Any suggestions?  For the non-knitters, you can always tell me about your favorite sweater.  Is it a cardi?  Is it bulky or lightweight?  What makes it your fave?