Lucky Dog?

Well lookee here!

Evidently, several of us are livin’ right as the saying goes, because I can blog! 

Oh.  Wait.  Never mind.  I’m at home with my trusty laptop, where Flickr works and Comcast and its new commercial modem are removed from the equation.

This is the happy little Post-It Gmarie included in her package.   Silly little things like that make me ridiculously happy.  The dog, which jiblets aside could be a Sissy profile, is cute, but the colors really work for my inner preppy.  (Cue a Barbara Mandrell impostor singing “I was preppy, when preppy wasn’t cool.”)

photo by MJ, 11-2007

So, MJ did come in, after taking Nick to the groomer’s.   That means packages went in the mail, so hopefully in a couple of days, several of you will have your prizes in hand. 

Where were we?!  I honestly have no idea.  This thing with Flickr at work has really thrown my blogging mojo out of whack.   I still owe you a post about my spinning wheel, but that will come one day when I can blog at work and the mojo is back. 

I know yesterday, you missed the Lucky Dog photo I showed earlier, and this lovely pair of earrings from the awesome Ann.   They’re actually a cool, coralesque pink, that looks good with all sorts of shades of pink and red.  I know, because I have a very similar pair, without the rosette.

I have to pause here to again thank all of the very generous vendors who made the Blessed Big Bash possible.   I know not everyone had her donations featured here, but I do believe I mentioned everyone, and if not, correct me and I’ll make it so!

I failed to get a photo of Felicia‘s BEAUTIFUL wooden needle case, so we’ll have to wait for it to arrive at its destination.  I also sent along the business card Felicia sent, so I can’t even send you to look at the beauties.  With a bit of luck, she’ll help me out, because these are TRULY little works of art.  (And think sewing needle case, not knitting needle, okay?)

Last, but hardly least, I need to share the yummy braid Ann brought me from Rhinebeck.  That’s Gnomespun, and it’s my first Polwarth (breed of sheep).  I’m really enjoying spinning with different fibers.  I think it’s going to be next on my bobbins.  Thanks so very much, Ann!

Tomorrow, so I don’t have to rely on Flickr, I’m going to tell you about the new series of books I’m hooked on.   How goes your week?  Any of you work for Yahoo and/or Flickr?

Friend for Faith

It was a great weekend, but the high point was definitely handing over the latest Hope & Faith care packages in person.

Poppet, handmade by Gmarie

Gmarie, Hope thought Poppet was “funny” and the mom assured me that young Faith is very much like her father was at that age, so I am quite sure that if Faith doesn’t like Poppet, she’ll say so. 

Gretchen isn’t really smaller than Poppet, but nearly so.

Poppet didn’t travel east alone.  Gmarie also sent a bag and needle roll as a prize for the Blessed Big Bash, and she knew I’d need a set of my own.  The dog stitchery is mine… have you seen anything so dear in stitches?

Then, Gmarie needs to choose a pair of earrings, as Ann donated two lovely pairs.  I’ll send the other pair off to someone else too, as I owe everyone for their patience.  Prizes will ship out this week, finally!  Truly, I do apologize for the delays, but life does happen…  It is because of my wonderful friends that I can continue to roll with the punches, and the worst thing that happens is that you good people are left waiting too long for your prizes!

In honor of Sissy

So, there is the only pair of earrings I can share with you at the moment.   (G, you and anyone else who follows me on Flickr, please go look at the other pair please?) On my ancient monitor, the photo is a little larger than life, but that just gives Gaylen  you a better look.  (Should I have entitled this post “Hey Gmarie!”?)


And here is my new logo for me.  (Post-its from Gmarie.)  I am a lucky girl, with two lucky dogs and a lucky Knight too.

You see, Flickr played well for THAT long this morning.  I’d loaded two other photos last night, and they were here earlier, but won’t load now.  So, we’ll end this post here, and I’ll try again tonight, tomorrow or something.  

As for my weekend, it was nice.  I rested, I knitted, I read, I spun, I walked the girls, and we had three adventures.  Saturday night, we had a rather large family dinner for MJ’s birthday.  There were more than 20 of us there, but MJ is/was one of 13 children, so…  Then, we had breakfast with the Knight’s brother and his family yesterday morning. 

Watching Hope patter through the firehouse, handing out candy from her silver with pink beads basket was definitely the highlight though.  Many, many thanks to those of you who’ve sent gifts, cards, hats, etc. 

If you’re local, tonight is the charity bingo in Hope’s honor.  I also have a Pampered Chef fundraiser going on, but you’ll have to leave a comment if you want more information on that, as I can’t link from here, per company regulations.




What’s in a name?

Nothing ever goes as planned around here, so we – me, the spreadsheet and random number generator –  had to draw another name for the earrings (which I hear are awesome), because the original winner doesn’t wear “fish hook” style earrings. 

So the new winner for those is Gaylen!   If by chance anyone else has won a prize they won’t use, please let me know.  I assure you it won’t hurt my feelings to find these wonderful prizes the right home.

Now, let’s talk about Saturday, which will make the title to this post clear…


Me, Kathy - photo by the Knight

Note my weather-beaten hair, and that the Knight and Kathy‘s husband were both taking photos at the same time, so we didn’t know where to look and we were all laughing like crazy.

We journeyed to the Shenandoah Fiber Festival to meet Kathy and her husband.  It was the Knight’s first fiber festival, and after the food treats I’d brought home from Montpelier, we were both a little disappointed in the food offerings, but otherwise, it was a great festival.  The vendors are mostly in three “real” buildings, with walls, concrete floors and everything, so even though it poured a time or two, it wasn’t miserable. 


This beauty made me want bunnies again!!

To compare and contrast the two fall festivals, I’d say that Montpelier offers more “festival foods” and more yarn, while Shenandoah offers more animals and fiber, plus those buildings to keep the weather off of the shoppers, the sellers and those beautiful products.

While I didn’t buy much, it was exceptionally educational to walk through with Kathy and her friend Shelly, both of whom know a LOT more about spinning and fiber than I do.  I learned that BFL is my friend (long, strong, soft locks make for easy spinning for a novice), and that I don’t have much of an eye for color.  Specifically, I have to take a bit of fiber in my hands and pre-draft it a bit to get an idea of how the yarn might look, while Kathy can just glance at a massive bag/bucket/whatever of fiber and KNOW which color will dominate the finished handspun product.


Even with my inability to interpret what the fiber I buy will look like as yarn, I knew this Grudy Neopolitan needed to come home with me.  (Yes, the truly observant might have noticed that I bought the 1.5 pounds left!  It’s my first “massive” fiber purchase.)  Personally, I’m already calling it the Gretchen colorway, for very obvious reasons.  I think it will be a shawl or vest for me one of these days. 

In a nice touch of irony, Shelly had purchased some of the very same fiber earlier in the day.  (Kathy might have too, but I can’t recall…)  Shelly was calling the colorway “Bacon” which if not for the PANK mixed with the colors of Gretchen’s own hair, I might be inclined to agree that name is spot-on!  It’s also a mohair blend.


Because I showed such great restraint she’s just cool like that, Kathy brought me some of her Gypsyknits BFL roving.   She had no way of knowing that Anita had gifted me several sample-sized roving/fleece/fiber bits from different sources, and that just Friday night, I’d grabbed the Gypsyknits BFL and fallen in love…  (Note to my other novice spinner-friends out there… Falkland wool is a dream to spin too.)


We saw some beautiful leaves/trees on Saturday, but these are from Haddon Wood.   It really was a most wonderful day!


Check your tickets…

No?  You don’t have raffle tickets?  Oh well.  I have winners, just the same!   But first, thank you to everyone who participated, both contestants and donors.  I wish I had a prize for everyone, but as it was, I had 13 prizes for about 30 of you.

Please be patient if you won.  I’m not sure when I’ll get all of this boxed up and on its way to you, and in some cases, the donor will be shipping to you directly.  If you won, be sure to leave a comment, and I’ll reply to that comment and get your mailing address.

Some of the gang...

Some of the gang...

But first, we have to wish our friends at The Portuguese Water Blog a very happy birthday!  Today, the pups are three, which means there are proud parents and relations celebrating along with them!

Ready?  (Please forgive the lack of photos and links.   This took forever as it was AND our modem here at work is dying.)

Purple Grand Prize:  SpringValley Yarn donated by Jessi.  Purple Piddleloop notions bag, donated by Jen.  Purple tape measure, donated by Anita.  Purple stitch markers, donated by Nichole.

Winner:  KM

Pink Grand Prize:  Gypsyknits yarn and Sock it Bag, donated by Kathy.  Pink tape measure, Anita.  Pink stitch markers, Nichole.

Winner:  Sandy

Jewelry set, donated by Christina. 

Winner:  Kathy/Gypsyknits

Earrings, donated by Ann. 

Winner:  Jen/Piddleloop

Shawlette, donated by Grace.

Winner:  Darcy

Whale bag, by Jen.

Winner:  Miss Me

Horse bag, by Jen.

Winner:  Dianne/Brit Knitter

Pank bag, by Jen.

Winner:  Ruth

Needle roll, donated by Gaylen.

Winner:  Ann “local”

Needle case, donated by Felicia.

Winner:  Claudia

Pizza kit, donated by Haddon Woods.

Winner:  Krystle

Little Pampered Chef prize pack #1, by HW.

Winner:  Yvonne

Little PC prize pack #2, by HW.

Winner:  Grace

Homemade bread, donated by Barbara.

Winner:  Robin in VA


A big THANK YOU again to all my vendor/donors.  This really has turned into quite a BIG, blessed bash. 

My greatest blessings

My greatest blessings

Of course, I can’t forget my greatest blessings.  I wish I had a better photo of the three of them, because they are the lights of my life, along with all of my friends and family.  I hope you enjoy your prizes, and if you didn’t win, there’s always next time!

Homecoming Queen!

I mentioned it yesterday, but one year ago today, we brought home our sweet Gretchen Greer. 

There’s so much to love in that tiny package, but if I had to pick just one thing, it would be her courage.  She’s not fearless, as most Jack Russells are, but my heart swells when I watch her suck it up and “just do it.”  I’m sure that and her deep love for and her tremendous devotion to her pack sustained her on that dark, long night when she was separated from us.

My beautiful fur-girls

My beautiful fur-girls

I could spend all day talking about Gretchen, but there’s more ground to cover!  Felicia has donated another prize to the pool, but you’ll just have to wait to see what it is.  Please do enter as many different ways as you can, because there are a host of great prizes.  This really is a big blessed bash!


Grace bestowed this award on me, and I am truly honored.  Now, to set forth the rules of said award, and follow them…

The Neno’s Award Rules and Regulations:

1. As a dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.

2. To seek the reasons why we all love


3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.

4. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.

5. Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.

6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people

as you like.

7. Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

Here we go!  Why do I love blogging?  Well, I’ve kept a journal almost since I learned to write.  Seriously…  I think my first diary dates back to age six or so.   Blogging has replaced my journal-keeping, mainly due to time constraints.  They’re not the same thing, by any means.  When I scribbled in my journal, I was generally trying to sort things out on paper that I couldn’t work through in my heart and/or mind.  Here, I just share rather randomly, although I do try to protect a few details, just because the web casts a wide net.

Me & Wendy, 2-2008

Me & Wendy, 2-2008

I’ve been lucky enough to meet several of you, and honestly, I count a few of my blogging pals as “best friends.”  I don’t go to a knit night, but I don’t feel I’m missing out too much, because I have a great community of knitting friends right here in whichever computer I’m using.

I’m going to tag Gaylen and Marjie (yesterday’s birthday girl and tomorrow’s), because through them, I’ve met several new friends this year.  They also blog regularly and always have nice photos too! 

I had more planned for today’s post, but that’s long enough.  I don’t want your eyes to glaze over.  I’m very excited about my rainy weekend, which I’ve already covered ad nausem, so just skip right ahead and tell me about your weekend plans!

Happy Everything

Today’s your birthday… Gmarie!  Have a very happy one, my friend. 

The DIVA wishes Gmarie a happy birthday

The DIVA wishes Gmarie a happy birthday

Of course, it’s always Happy Dogs on Thursday and a joyous little friday, just because tomorrow’s Friday.

Sissy, Gretchen.  Gretchen... the DIVA.

Sissy, Gretchen. Gretchen... the DIVA.

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of Gretchen’s homecoming.   There just aren’t words to cover how thoroughly we lucked out with our wee one.  She’s truly the best Jack Russell EVER, and I’ve known an awful lot of JRTs. 

Baby Sissy 12-2007

Baby Sissy 12-2007

Saturday is the day of days.  This year, the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival which will provide for the meet-up with Kathy and her husband, is the highlight, but it’s also Sissy’s second birthday, Marjie‘s birthday, Tut‘s birthday and Anne‘s birthday.  (If I’ve left anyone out, I’m sorry!)

A rare photo of both of us 12-2005 (and no, hes not ours!)

A rare photo of both of us 12-2005 (and no, he's not ours!)

Sunday is our 12th anniversary, and the last chance to enter the BBB.   We’ll also be celebrating Sissy’s birthday that day.  Which reminds me…  I need to find some purple frocks for the party…

There are several posts that relate to the contest, so for maximum entries, you’ll have to scroll and read.  If you’re donating something, you’ll need to let me know before 10-25, 11:59 PM Eastern Time, which is the deadline for ALL entries.

Also, Grace is donating her Fennelivore.  (Thanks again, to ALL the donors!)  That gives you some kind of link to just about all of the  awesome prizes.

Lace ‘n Loot

Anitas Grace Shawl

Anita's Grace Shawl

Actually, we’ll start with the loot.  Grace, the  sweet, speedy, wonder lace knitter, has added one of her glorious shawlettes to the prize pool.  (NOT the shawl pictured above – that’s just so you can see her lovely lace!) Thank you, Grace for your continued generosity! 

Glass jewels by TG Designs

Glass jewels by TG Designs

But wait!  There’s more!  Christina donated another special prize.   T G Designs is another pair of talented sisters cranking out beautiful, functional art.  In fact, I have my earrings in at the moment…  The pendant will feature a gold bail, so add your own gold necklace, and you’ll have a snazzy fall look!

I think that covers all of the prizes now.  You’ll have to peruse a few posts to find everything, but wowza!   I really do have some talented, generous friends.  And in the spirit of full disclosure, the vendor/donors are also eligible to win prizes other than their own.    There’s plenty here for non-knitters, so rest assured, I’ll assign prizes according to your interests, with a lot of help from Excel and the random  number generator.

Now, how ’bout that finished object report?

This is the shawl I made for Hope and her parents.   No, it’s not pink, as I’m sure Hope will note, but the Knight lobbied hard for a not too light (for easier care) and not too girly (out of respect for the dad, who would hunker down under a baby pink wrap to make his daughter happy) wrap, so… 

Pattern:  Homespun Shawl is a VERY simple feather and fan stole/rectangle.  It’s just four simple rows, and while I don’t memorize patterns as quickly as some, truly, one look was all it took for this one.  It’s as straight-forward as they come, and I think it would be a great first lace project, as long as you have the will to slog through miles of the same four rows. 

My final measurements, without any real blocking, were 19″ x 53″, right in line with what’s listed on the pattern.

Yarn:  Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky.  My only complaint is that the yarn doesn’t have a colorway name on it.  (Don’t bother telling me if there’s a website that lists the numbers and gives an actual name; it’s one of my hang-ups.  I’d like my yarn to have a colorway name, not a number, right there on the band.)  It’s a shame it’s so pricey, because it’s a great machine wash, dry flat yarn.  Thank goodness for Little Knits and their sales, because that’s where all of my Debbie Bliss yarn has come from. 

I’m calling the colorway Mermaid, because Hope likes mermaids.  Take that DB and your nameless ball bands!  I used 8 balls, with just enough of the last one left over to save for repairs.

Needles:  Knitpicks Options, US #11, 24″ cord, metal tips.  No failure here, I’m happy to say.  I don’t want to jinx myself, but maybe I’ve finally gotten all of the early edition cords that come apart out of my kit.

Crab stitch border

Crab stitch border

Hook:  “What?!” you say?  Yep.  Lookie!  I successfully crab stitched on both short ends.  I might go back and do that on Fredfoot too, since the bottom edge rolls just the tiniest bit…

Anyway, if you don’t know by now, I use nothing but Boye hooks, and this was size J.

The crab stitch is also called reverse single crochet.   While I learned it at a Guild meeting this summer, I did find a nice You Tube video to refresh my memory.  I think that if you can single crochet, you can do this lovely, twistedropelooking edge.

Verdict:  Oh yeah.  I’ll be cranking out more of these, especially if I can find more of this Cashmerino Chunky on sale.   It’s a great prayer shawl, because I don’t think I swore once while I was knitting it, or even while I was crab stitchin’.  There’s nothing but love, hope and prayers in there, aside from the ever-present dog hair that is my signature touch to everything that comes from my hands, heart and home.

Bread and Bars

… of soap, that is.

Wolfe Farms - Herbal Soaps and More!

Dawn has some incredible soaps and is having a give-away.  Be sure to check out her Etsy shop too.  She sent me some of her strawberry herbal soap a while back, and truly, it smells good enough to eat, and feels even better!

Also, in Big Blessed Bash news, CoffeeYarn has offered some of her incredible homemade bread as a prize.  I’d like to show you photos, but flickr and my desktop aren’t talking to each other at the moment…

Since I can’t post photos, please settle for this slim post today, and tomorrow – flickr and everything else cooperating – I’ll give that FO report I owe.

Pink, Pizza

Okay.  If you haven’t read the previous post, it will probably make more sense to go back and do that now. 

download_nbcam_pink_ribbonEveryone knows (I hope, I hope!) that October is  National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   I think that if you live long enough, this disease will touch your life, in some way or another.  Breast Cancer is one of the more treatable forms of cancer, so ladies… check the girls regularly.

I had my first smasho’gram this summer, and I have to say that it’s not the big, hairy deal it gets made out to be.  I do think the technician makes a difference, but I don’t know how to work around THAT obstacle.

Most of you know I am a Pampered Chef consultant.   I’m rather restricted on how I can advertise, so if you’re interested in any of the pink specials this month, leave a comment and I’ll tell you how you can see/buy them.  I am proud to be associated with a company that supports two great causes – the American Cancer Society through their Help Whip Cancer campaign and Round Up from the Heart which supports Feeding America.

So, there will be a few little pink “door prizes” from my stock for anyone who entered the contest…

Now, for the pizza part.  Because of Pampered Chef, I met Louise.  She runs the Months of Edible Creations blog.   Because of her blog, I’ve learned that October is National Pizza Month.  Today is National Seafood Bisque Day, and if you want to check out the other foods you can celebrate this week, you’ll have to toddle on over to Louise’s blog yourself.


I’ve donated a pizza party set to the prize pool.   There are two ways to win this particular prize.  If you’ve had a pizza party, you’re automatically entered.  If you have a pizza party this week, that counts too.  You may also submit your favorite homemade pizza recipe to me via a comment to this post.  You’ll get ONE bonus entry for a homemade pizza sauce recipe and/or pizza dough.

Now… don’t expect me to ship prizes on the 26th.   I’ll draw names via the random number generator when I can on the 26th, and prizes will ship as soon after that as I can get my act together.

Only one week left…

… to enter the Big Blessed Bash.   All entries must be received by October 25th 11:59 PM Eastern Time, since that’s my time zone, and at midnight, it ceases to be our anniversary.

I want to thank everyone who has shared their blessings with me.  It seems just about all of you make giving a routine part of your lives, and I guess that’s why I love y’all so much.   I’ve been moved beyond words by your generosity, especially those of you who have knitted shawls, toys, and hats for Hope’s family.

Piddleloop PANK notions bag

Piddleloop PANK notions bag

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the rest of my talented friends who have donated prizes for this contest. 

Mr. Whale

Mr. Whale

Mr. Horse

Mr. Horse

My friend Jen and her sister are Piddleloop.   I love their bags!  They use the cutest fabrics, create their own designs, and are always donating to assorted causes and charities.   I can’t thank them enough for donating so liberally!

Not THESE tape measures, but a pink and purple one...

Not THESE tape measures, but a pink and purple one...

Anita donated tape measures, because, well… Sissymonster rules in Anita’s heart, and Sissy loves ‘Nita’s tape measures so dearly.  Click on the photo to go to her Etsy shop, which also have her adorable stitch markers.  Thank you Anita, for always donating a prize for whatever I’m doing!

These are MJs, but you could win something of the sort...

These are MJ's, but you could win something of the sort...

Ann is making earrings.  MJ is still getting credit for that venture, I believe, as she saw the first stitch markers Ann made me and begged for earrings…  Those are slightly larger than in life so you can see the details.  Thank you Ann, for all the earrings MJ and I already have and for the great pair someone will win!

Some of Nichole's work...

Some of Nichole's work...

Nichole has stitch markers on their way to me.   Again, you won’t win THESE markers, but it’s eye candy just the same.  I fully appreciate my friends’ donations, and I told them that as long as I have the items by the 26th, that’s all that matters…  Thanks, Nic!!

A couple of prizes will be shipped directly from said vendor/donor.  Gmarie has donated a needle roll which I’m most eager to see, and if I’ve left anyone out, it’s only because I have no mid-range memory anymore.  Thank you again, ladies.   Your friendships sustain me and your talents inspire me.  It’s truly my pleasure to share their talents with the rest of you, and if you’re so inclined to support their businesses, all the better.

There’s one more prize category to discuss, but it is going to have a separate post, so either come back in a bit or scroll up or down (depending on how you read blogs)…