Woof, Ribbit and Wow

We’ll start with wow, verse 1. Y’all hear about knitterly goodness rather regularly, and you will hear some in verse 2, but first, I want to share some plain, old friendship WOW. Remember my Total Tote? Well, imagine my surprise when UPS brought one to the office this morning. Imagine my continued surprise when I read the comments section on the packing slip, and realized it was from a non-knitting friend. I am truly blessed with the best friends a gal could have. Thank you, R!

We’ll get back to the bag, but friends are much more important. I remember reading somewhere once that the average person has a single digit number of TRUE friends in a lifetime. (It was long ago, and the details and source are long gone from this mind.) This person made a distinction between acquaintances and real, see you through it all friends, and that’s a point well-taken. Maybe I’m deluded, but I’m sure I have more than single digit real friends at this very moment. I’d do a roll call, but this is a knitting blog. I just needed to take a moment to note how lucky I am to have some phenomenal women (and a couple of men) to call my dearest and best friends.

And now, back to the bag. I hope my first photo shows that it’s more than ultra suede. It’s very suedey (dollar says Blogger’s spell check hates that word!) on the outside. VERY. I don’t mind, but I mention it because I tend to think ultra suede is smoother. It’s bigger than my usual bag by a lot, but for what I want this bag to do, it’s perfect. A sock and all of its yarn could travel in one compartment, ALL of my handbag necessities in the littlest one, and I’d still have room for another project. Heck, I think my Pound of Love yarn would fit in the biggest compartment! This shot to the right hopefully shows that the two compartments in the main section are divided by that piece under my thumb, so the Pound of Love could travel, one way or another. The front, outside compartment is separate, and bigger than my current handbag, the Sidekick.

So, there’s your wow, and we’ll move right into the woof, or wow verse 2. My super-dooper Dog Days spoiler sent me an incredible package. Each item was wrapped with a little comment, and what a hoot! I love the rooster (I didn’t have that one!), and the rooster note pad’s note said “I’ll help you remember what yarns you want to buy!” Clearly, she read a lot of my blog, and she knows I’m counting on Ravlery to help me shop a little more efficiently. There were emergency knitting needles, which looked for all the world like two pencils to me, a flip-flop sugar cookie, bath treats, a cow cross stitch kit (wicked, that spoiler!), tissues, some Cotton Tots (which I can’t wait to try, as the other pattern I’m crazy about in my new book used that for the sample photos), a Ball band cloth pattern, a ball band cloth that Mark has already announced is his, and a cute little jar that I can shake and see sand and shells and remember the beach! I love it all, and I thoroughly appreciate the time and effort Linda put into getting to know me! Thank you so much, Linda! Had you not put the Dog Days button on the box, I would have assumed you were my KVVS pal!
Last, and definitely least, is the lack of knitting content. I couldn’t understand for the life of me why, on a pattern marked intermediate, I would cast on 135 and then knit in moss stitch for seven rows, add a stitch, and the get around to the main pattern a couple of rows later. I followed the book’s instructions for the increase, and made a hole. I didn’t catch it until several rows later, and figured I’d pull it shut when I wove in the ends and such. Well, on row 15, I still don’t know what happened, but suddenly, there was a huge, unravelling hole and stitches slipping away by the second. When I looked at it to try to figure out how to fix it, I undid another five or six stitches, on different rows. With that, I moan, groaned, and frogged. The dear Knight finally took hold of what had been the start of the ding-dang baby blanket he insists must be ready before said tot is born, and I continued to unravel and rewind.
You’ll have to wait another day for the details on which book and which pattern, because I just got a phone call saying I’m late for dinner and there’s a meeting to follow…

Dog Days Contest

So, we’re supposed to post our favorite homemade item. As I wore my bamboo vest yesterday and received the ultimate compliment – “But it doesn’t LOOK handmade!” – that’s currently my favorite. This photo doesn’t do it justice, but alas, it’s all I have to offer.

As for something I’ve seen on another blog I’d like to make, I want to make the socks Devon made her Sockza pal. (That’s not the best photo of them, but you can always visit Devon’s blog for more!)
Folks, I am alive, but life is still crazy. My Green Yarn Junkies package did arrive yesterday, but this is the truth; I had to have Mark open it for me while I was preparing a new brownie recipe to take to our Pampered Chef meeting. I will post pictures and details this evening. Thanks to Flowerpot for sending out a great package.

Not What You Expected

Some of you were expecting photos of two knitters from blogland meeting. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. POUT. I was doing payroll while Michelle and I finalized plans, and I didn’t write down the time. I got it wrong, and by the time we talked, she was 15 minutes from our meeting spot, while I was still over an hour away. Big sigh. Guess it just wasn’t meant to be right now. Sorry Michelle!

In other news, my Green Yarn Junkies pal’s box mailed out this morning, along with my first No Sheep Swap package. (Yes, mailed on the last possible day to be considered timely…) But more interestingly, I finished my vest. The arm holes are bigger than I like, but otherwise, it fits well, which for my first garment is good enough. I loved knitting with the Plymouth Royal Bamboo, and since I have nearly 250 yards left over, I can make another little project. My sweet husband suggested socks, but I don’t think that’s anywhere near a good choice for that yarn. It is a fairly heavy vest, as summer clothing goes, but on, it doesn’t feel heavy at all. I will likely wash and block it later today, and wear it very soon. Maybe then, I’ll be able to get a better photo. If you haven’t tried bamboo, I highly recommend it. It just glides through your fingers and off the needles. I also mastered the three-needle bind-off on the shoulders. Piece of cake! I’d done seaming before, first just a bit on Mugsy’s sweater, and then, on the Mitered Squares bag. There really was very little on this – just the shoulders to the back with the three-needle bind-off, and then, each side to the VAST arm holes. Oat Couture patterns are great!

That’s about it for knitting content. I’ll likely finish the first two circs. sock later this afternoon, and then I’ll have to decide what to cast on next. Probably a dpn sock, but I do have non-sock projects I could and should consider.

Don’t forget to get your bingo card in for the second round of Virtual Vacation bingo. And sign-ups for the second round of the dishcloth swap end at midnight tonight.

In non-knitting news, I have to give props to my incredible sister and her husband. We had an early birthday dinner for me last night, as they’ve headed off on vacation. My sister gave me FOUR charms, including the one Anne spotted on our Richmond yarn crawl. The picture could be better, so that’s a grater on the far left, a colander on top, a whisk on the right, and the needles and yarn in the center. My sterling charm bracelet will be much heavier once those are added!

However, my always funny, kind brother inlaw gets the bow. Because botching dates and times is what I seem to be doing this summer, I somehow flopped Anne and Ingrid‘s arrival date around, thinking I could go with my sister and other friends to Williamsburg, for the big Longaberger event there. So, my other brother inlaw’s girlfriend signed us up to weave our own baskets, something we’ve done before, but these were special, designed just for the Williamsburg crowd. Long story short, my sister said she’d found a friend to go with her to take my spot, and I stayed at home and greeted my guests. I thought nothing more of it. No one shared any details, which I thought was a bit rude, but I decided they didn’t want to make me pout – which you know I am apt to do – and let it go.

Wrong! They were all in on it. My brother inlaw, disdainer of all things baskety, set aside his eye-rolling urges and instead, rolled up his sleeves and made me a basket. I can honestly say, prince that he is, my own hubby wouldn’t have done that for me. Now, I have known my brother inlaw most of my life, as he’s also a volunteer firefighter, and first dated my sister when I was just a little girl. My inlaws are his son’s godparents, so even before he and my sister reconnected and eventually wed, he was still a significant family friend. My other brother inlaw’s girlfriend was sworn to secrecy, so now I know why she didn’t email with details of the trip either. I love it! There’s the close-up of the Colonial Williamsbur signature pineapple (a symbol of hospitality) and the special nearly Williamsburg Blue trim. Note the splint commemorating the event, and the beautiful tie-on. He also initialled the bottom, in Longaberger tradition, got the weaver (the guy who talked him through it and helped out as needed) to sign it, and then stood in line to turn it into a certified collectible with a signature from one of the Longabergers. Thank you!!! I am truly spoiled.

PS – I love spell check, but it doesn’t love me back. “Baskety” isn’t a word. “Blogland” isn’t either, if you can imagine…

Healing Drool

Fred here. I’m the beautiful basset hound she mentions once in a while. Before the Harry Potter forum, which was before the knitting obsession, she had the basset hound forum. When one of the other bassets or their people had a problem, we sent healing drool. So, that’s what our house is sending to Michelle, Chewy and their household – boxes and all. Please stop in and offer them support, prayers, good karma, hugs, kisses, or whatever nice thing you are into.

While I’m at it, Mommy failed to make a deadline for her little 100th contest. So, let’s say you have until midnight EDT on July 1 to leave a comment, okay? Then, she can pick a winner on Monday, and I bet she won’t let me drool on the prize.

And Auntie Anne? Thanks for naming the dishcloth swap after us. Ahroooo!!

Dog Days Questionnaire

1. Do you knit, or crochet, or do both? How long have you been knitting\crocheting?

I knit, and I’m trying to learn to crochet. I’ve been actively knitting about seven months now.

2. Have you knit dishcloths or dishtowels before?

Yes on the cloths, and not yet on the towels.

3. What are your favorite cotton yarns? Is there a cotton or linen you’ve been dying to try but have not?

So far, Peaches & Cream is my favorite. I’d like to try Knitpicks’ CotLin and/or Shine. I really just enjoy trying new yarns, so send me your favorite, especially if it isn’t something I’ve used before.

4. Are there any cotton yarns you don’t enjoy knitting with?

Chenille of any sort.

5. What type of needle do you prefer using? (Metal/Wood/Plastic)

Metal, although I am enjoying my Bryspuns. (I only have #8s in those.)

6. What other projects do you enjoy knitting or crocheting?

Socks, socks and more socks. I also like felting and have a host of different projects for Christmas.

7. Do you have other hobbies or enjoy other kinds of crafting?

My hobbies include yoga, tea, walking, spoiling my dogs and cooking. I also am into rubber stamping, scrapbooking, and have done needlepoint, cross stitch, and other needle arts.

8. What kind of treats do you like? Chocolate? Candies? Nuts?

Dark chocolate. Nuts of all kinds. I’m not much on other candies, except for breath mints, and with those, the more intense, the better.

9. What colors are your kitchen and bath decorated in, if any?

Good question. (What did I put last time, I wonder?) My kitchen is trying to work around the very ugly burnt orange/rust colored countertops. Anything will work. My bath is done in white, blue and green.

10. What are your favorite colors and what colors do you dislike?

My favorite colors are constantly changing. My dislikes seem to be too. I dislike golds or road sign yellows, and orange is definitely out. (However, there are exceptions to every rule. Shannon’s multicolored cotton is awesome, even with orange in it!) I’m not crazy about purple either.

11. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Other beverages?

I do. Tea, especially green or black, is my favorite. Coffee? Not so much, but Anne is slowly converting me. Chai is good too. This time of year, a sugar-free lemonade is refreshing as well.

12. Do you have any kids (human or pet variety!)?

Yes. We have two dogs, Mugsy the Jack Russell and Fred the Basset Hound.

13. Do you have any allergies?

Not that matter with yarn.

14. Please share 3 tidbits about yourself that you think your pal and other swappers might find odd or interesting.

Oh gosh. That’s open-ended, huh? Let’s see… I hate cows. I’m a country girl, but for whatever reason, I have no tolerance for cows. I’m not afraid of them or anything, but they’re gross and stupid. I went through a phase in high school where I took the flowers off the table at every restaurant I ate in, including McDonald’s. (I carried a big purse then.) One more? Summer makes me think wicker and white and blue toile…

Sockin’ Along

And the first Sock of Summer marches on! I love two circs, although there is still some moving of stitches, but that must be the norm, regardless of what kind and how many sticks you use to make said sock. However, the sock would likely be done if I hadn’t decided I really want to finish that vest before it’s too hot to enjoy it. So, the sock will become my portable project and the project I grab when my hands want a bit of a break from the somewhat tedious stockinette and garter stitches of the vest, and/or from the weight of the vest. Bamboo is a light, fun yarn, but in vest proportions, it still weighs a lot!
I also have a bit of housekeeping to do here on the blog. Anne has opened sign-ups for round two of the dishcloth exchange, which is aptly called Dog Days of Summer. Of course, the boys think Auntie Anne must have named it just for them, and they’re thinking up some fun contests and prizes based on that theme! (Mugsy is *SURE* the wet, white dog is an artistic rendering of him.) Please sign up before midnight on June 30th and join us in this bit of summer fun.

Next, being the joiner that I am in the online knitting world, I had to join Michelle’s Christmas KAL. I haven’t even started thinking about Christmas knitting yet, so it’s good to have a friend and a KAL to smack me into reality. Tune in here for an upcoming list, although I suspect there will be a few mystery items, as my friends and family have started to check in here too. The more the merrier, and Christmas is all about being merry, so do join me there too.

We now return to the knitting already in progress…


So, question #3 has come around. Three folks in the exchange I have something in common with, knitting aside!

  1. Lia and I both evidently like Harry Potter.
  2. Laurie C and I both hate Barney, that big purple menace. We disagree on Pooh though.
  3. Jenny M seems just as into fresh tomatoes as I am. We have six little plants in the flower bed in front of the office (but alas, the camera is at home)!

I must also report that I have finally purchased the sock yarn and pattern for my HSKS pal last night. I hope she’ll like it. I’ve also decided what yarn I’m using for Sockza, and I need to get it ordered. I was going to ship out packages for my SFBE pal and the prize for Mary from my first contest for the dishcloth swap, but I forgot one little thing… Mugsy. We’re going to the vet today for his annual stuff, and a dog and packages with FOOD inside don’t mix, aside from the fact that it’s warm enough I don’t want to leave him in the car while I ship things. So, maybe tomorrow, folks!

Contest Entries

See, now that I’ve joined all these swaps, there are the contests. So, for Anne’s dishcloth exchange, I’m supposed to note here what I am most looking forward to about summertime. That’s easy. Toes! While my husband would insist otherwise, I hate shoes. I live for the warmer days when I can ditch the shoes and socks and get pedicures more often than hubby thinks I should. I have a girlfriend with whom we update our “toes showing” status in the spring and fall. A good day is one where we both have toes showing, especially if the toes aren’t too cold.

I’m also working on the Felted Bag Exchange contest questions. I feel I’m kinda’ cheating; I printed the questions to help me track the participants I’m matching up for Anne. I do hope to get through all of the blogs before the deadline for the contest, but we’ll see. I have socks to knit, and that last dishcloth for my mother inlaw, and I do have a life away from the computer and the knitting needles ya’ know.

On a happy note, my secret pal of KTE now knows who her spoiler is, and Sue was pleased with her treats. So, half of my first exchange was a success, and I’m still trying to figure out who my spoiler is. Of course, when the package arrives, I’ll know, but I’m trying to guess before then!!

"Spring Into Summer" Dishcloth Exchange Questionnaire

When did you learn to knit? Who taught you?

I learned as a child, from my aunt and great aunt, but just picked it up again after a Thanksgiving visit from The Bag Lady.

What was your very first completed object? Your most recent?

The very first was a scarf. The most recent, the chenille face cloth for my husband.

What was the very first thing you sent to the frog pond? (pulled out and started over) Your most recent?

Knock on wood, I’ve yet to really frog anything.

What is currently on the needles for you?

Nothing but a very little felted bag for my mother inlaw. My first pair of sock will hopefully join it tomorrow.

What types of needles do you enjoy working with? What have you tried and hated?

Knitpicks Options are hands down my favorites. Next comes anything metal with a sharper point. Bamboo and plastic make me crazy, because I tend to knit tightly and can’t pick up stitches!

Have you knit dishcloths before?

One so far, and a face cloth, but I have several patterns I plan to do before Mothers Day!

What was your favorite one?

Of the two, I liked the butterflies and lace one best.

Least favorite?

Easily, the garter stitch chenille face cloth. I do not like chenille, not at all.

Do you use homemade dishcloths or face cloths yourself, or give them as gifts, or both?

Both. I actually will be able to set my knitting aunt free now that I can knit my own. Both that I’ve knit so far were gifts. All the patterns on hand will be gifts.

What are your favorite and least favorite scents? (For your body, such as soap/lotion/etc)

Favorites – Gardenia, any soft floral or citrus. I also like green tea stuff.
Leasts – Heavy florals and musks.

What are your favorite colors?

Today? Greens, pinks, reds… Anything but purple and mauve. (Yes, mauve and pinks are different!)

What colors (if any) are your bathroom and kitchen decorated in?

Kitchen – brights – yellows, reds, greens, blues
Bathroom – teal, sky blue

What other hobbies and crafts do you enjoy?

Stamping, card making, scrapbooking, baking, cooking, yoga, walking, reading, my dogs…

Chocolate: Dark? White? Milk? Ew?

Dark chocolate is a food group. Milk will do if it has nuts or caramel. My husband loves white chocolate.

Do you like salty treats? What kinds?

Popcorn. That’s about it.

If you could go anywhere in the world for one day and spend the day any way you wanted, where would you go and what would you do?

Oh my. This answer too will vary from day to day. At this moment in time, I would want to go hang out with The Bag Lady and hit all the LYSs, have a great, long, slow meal in a cozy restaurant where we could knit and laugh as long as we pleased.

Do you have any allergies? (Yarns, foods, etc. that might impact what your pal can send)

Not really. I’m allergic to scallops, but I kinda’ doubt anyone will send those.