Puppy Parade!

photo courtesy of DHY

photo courtesy of DHY

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday!   The girls have their own thoughts on the day, but I thought I’d share Dog House Yarn’s knitted puppy contest post

You can read more about the contest (pattern, rules, etc.) if you follow the link, but since this is my blog, I picked my favorites.   They were all awesome, and I truly went back and forth for days before I voted, but in the end, this girl’s dress won me over.

Yes, I intended to participate, but my knitting has been neglected this summer with everything else going on.   Plus, I couldn’t decide on a color scheme…  I thought maybe I’d do a brown and white dog with a PANK and purple outfit, but then I thought I’d use one of my PANK and purple yarns for the body of the dog… and time ran out.

photo courtesy of DHY

photo courtesy of DHY

Obviously, I like this one because it reminds me of the fur-girls and of Fred, and it has a purple-ish collar, and a real dog tag.  I would have been out-classed even if I had gotten my act together.  I’m just not that clever and creative.

On wild and crazy weeks like this one, it’s very grounding for me to take a moment to count my blessings. 

  • I’m so very lucky to have some phenomenal women in leadership in the League.  They’re inspiring, innovative and committed to our mission. 
  • I’m fortunate to have a very supportive spouse.   I’ve forgotten my breakfast bars every morning this week, and when I got to the back door this morning, the bag was hanging on the doorknob. 
  • I have the best friends in the world and we manage to stay connected despite hectic live and very different zip codes.
  • I have absolutely no appointments this weekend!

What’s making you smile today?

Dogs and Knits

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday, knitting 101 day and everything else.   I had a happy little purchase at the knitting retreat I saved to share today.

41yKLM-XEhL__SX355_Thankfully, there’s the internet.  I haven’t had time to get a photo, but it turns out that Amazon carries the very same item.  I purchased mine from Dog House Yarns, and last I knew, they have one more in stock.

It’s Sissy, right?  Close enough for me, anyway…

Gretchen has a good post about what lives in my car for them.  I’m not sure whether she’s mocking me or sincerely appreciates my efforts though…

photo.JPGI’m so thankful for everyone supporting me through this wild ride I’m on right now.  I want to be very clear that it’s a very happy, exciting time to be both incoming and out-going president of the JLC.  I’m grateful that I have cyber-pals who check in on me and read my sporadic posts.  I’m blessed to have low-maintenance friends who are still ever-present even when life doesn’t really allow for regular communication.  And yes Sissy, I’m glad you are a rude, relentless trainer, who only allows me to have a day off when I simply don’t come home during daylight hours, or when – as was the case yesterday – she just looked in my eyes and knew I didn’t have it in me.  

And I’m really lucky to have had the strongest board and leadership team ever this past year.   They made one tough decision after another, and their vision and passion is carrying us smoothly into the upcoming year.   But I’m also looking forward to getting to know the incoming board and leadership team and getting a handle on our group dynamic. 

What brings you joy today?

Pause…

JLC_LogoDon’t expect regular posts until oh…  after Memorial Day.  All is well, but it’s a hectic time to be incoming and out-going president of the JLC.  

I had a great time at the Dog House Yarns knitting retreat at Graves Mountain Lodge Saturday.   I learned a lot about the different varieties of sheep, saw some knitting friends and met some more wonderful knitters. 

Anything exciting happen over your weekend?

Hounds Unite

Or, part 2 of yesterday’s post…

Happy Thorsday, little friday, Thankful Thursday, 3rd day of Christmas and more.   Gretchen has a cute little post up today about some of her favorite parts of Christmas thus far…

So, today’s post is really a finished object report, but first, the hound connection.  I met Kari through blogging.  Her departed Fred, a bloodhound, had food issues too, so bonding wasn’t hard to do!   Kari  lives in Texas, so when she announced she was expecting, I knew just what I wanted to knit for her…

It had to be lightweight and easy-care, because I’m pretty sure Haylie – the beautiful chocolate lab – thinks Kari is just the incubator for HER two-legged baby.   Enter the Tofutsies Blanket.

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The fur-girls had to make sure the blankie really was suitable for Mini-K.  Long-time readers might recall that baby Sissy had a SERIOUS problem with Tofutsies as a pup.  Maybe even then, she was trying to tell us she needed a fish kibble?  (If that sounds crazy, just keep reading.)  

Pattern:  Stringtown’s Tofutsies Baby Blanket.   What a FABULOUS, simple pattern!  Look out friends…  I have a ton of Tofutsies (and a friend with a yarn shop that stocks it), so more of these might be coming.   It’s a car seat/stroller sized blankie, and it’s just light and lofty.

Courtesy of Ravelry & SWTC

Courtesy of Ravelry & SWTC

My only modification was to use “scraps” as Tofutsies skeins are nice and large so I generally have enough left over to do a pair of footies or something.  I was inspired to transition between colors by the Tofu Tee, which is also knit with Tofutsies, holding two strands together.

Yarn:  Duh?  Tofutsies in assorted colors.  I love this yarn because it’s the easiest care light fingering weight yarn ever.  It has loft -gets light and fluffy – so it’s great for blankets and baby clothes yet still does great socks and shawls too.  It is splitty, but that doesn’t bother me.  I just don’t use pointy tips with this yarn.

But what you REALLY need to know is that it is a blend of superwash wool, “soysilk”, cotton and chitin – made from shrimp and crab shells.   (Hence baby Sis’s fascination with the yarn!)

Needles:  US #8 circs

DSC03244Verdict:  Well, I’ve already said it; I see more of these in my future!  It was a quick, fun knit and I know it will serve baby Mini-K well, without causing her parents any trouble with special care needs.  I just hope Haylie doesn’t love the yarn as much as baby Sissy did!

Obviously, I’m thankful for Tofutsies, but I’m also thankful for all the wee ones coming into the world right now.   Several of my friends who have had or are having babies have had a few more challenges than some on the path, so that makes the babies all the more treasured.

Thankfully, both of our local friends who had to have surgery are doing okay.  One is back home even!

I’m really thankful though for all of our doggy-bloggy friends.  It cracks me up when I think about how I started a blog just so I could participate in a swap, and now Chanknits is barely accurate, as Chan doesn’t knit much at all these days…

What are you thankful for today?

Wave Infinity

DSC03235Oh look!  Chan does still knit.  Isn’t that special?!  Actually, I have at least three other FOs I haven’t shared for a variety of reasons, but I really love everything about this one.

Project:  Wave Infinity 

Pattern:  Wave Cowl by Plymouth, available at Dog House Yarns & More.   It’s rare that I buy a pattern, much less use the yarn called for in the pattern, but there you go.  Who knew?!  They work perfectly together.  This was my first dropped stitch pattern in a very long time, and it sure was fun.  I obviously did the infinity version.

Yarn:  Plymouth Kudo.  Can’t tell you which colorway, because I took one for the team and purchased the skein without a tag.  It’s a beauty though, with a wine base and then lots of browns, greens and a shot of turquoise even.  I *LOVE* this yarn.  If like Noro, give it a try!

Needles:  US #8 circs.  I used the Susan Bates 26″ or whatever, in part because the tips were the same color as the blue in the yarn and that made me happy.

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My attempt at a “full length” photo for you. Clearly, it gets the DIVA stamp of approval.

Verdict:  Beautiful, quick, easy, and super-nice to wear.  I wore it all day last Thursday, a long day that had me dressed up for something like 14 hours.  I would love to make a skirt with this colorway too…

How was your weekend?  Do anything exciting?

Spinning Retreat

Roughly 10 days ago, I went to the Dog House Yarns spinning retreat at Graves Mountain Lodge.   I really enjoyed the speaker, the scenery, the camaraderie, the food and just spinning for hours on end!

DSC03240Rosanne and Dog House Yarns always have great goody bags and door prizes.  Here’s a glimpse of the contents: two mini-braids of fiber from Greenwood Fiberworks, a wraps per inch tool complete with an attached list of gauges, and some Mary Kay lotion.  Sissy and Gretchen supplied the dog hair on the fleece throw.   Hem. 

The WPI tool was hand-crafted by Fritz of Dog House Yarns.  It’s a handy little thing and will live happily in the end table with my other fiber-like tools.

I also managed to score a door prize of even more Greenwood Fiberworks “pigtails”. 

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Aren’t they pretty?  Pigtails – the small, sampler-sized braids – really appeal to me as I can spin them in one sitting.  I’ve done one cowl with some of my first handspun bits, so I’m already pondering what I might do with these beauties.

I brought home some other goodies as well, including some “faux” cashmere for Gg.  While it is synthetic and thus, doesn’t smell like cashmere, oddly that’s what the girl went for as I spread everything out to admire my haul.  No, I don’t have a photo, because I was too busy rescuing the fiber from Gg.  Since it was bagged and she couldn’t rub all over on it, she clamped the bit sticking out of the bag in her mouth and was about to trot off with it!  

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I’m spinning a rather non-descript, long-staple processed wool right now, and she couldn’t care less about that, even with the PANK in there.   I’m almost done, and I’m eager to finish it up and get it plied so I can see what the girl thinks of the faux cashmere when I spin it.

To the spinners out there… what’s on your wheel or spindle? 

 

Pickin’ and Choosin’

I suppose today kicks of the commercial side of Christmas, or depending on where you live and such, it might have started sometime yesterday, whenever the pre-Black Friday sales began.

In case you can’t tell, I’m no fan of Black Friday, crowds, or full parking lots.  However, I am proud to support the 3rd annual Small Business Saturday tomorrow.  (Forgive last year’s graphic…  my old relic computer at work isn’t playing well with the site this year.)

Now, I do shop online and at big box stores.  Frankly, little makes me happier than to let my fingers do the typing/clicking, but as I am employed by a small business, married to a small business owner, was the daughter of a small business owner, etc., I am well aware that small businesses and their suppliers need my business, so when I can put on my public face and go shopping, I try to frequent small businesses.

The definition of a small business is open for interpretation.  Certainly, the Etsy crafters and other owner/sole employee businesses fit the bill, but Wikipedia suggests that businesses with up to 500 employees fall in there too.  Franchises are also up for debate, so keep all of that in mind as you scan my list of favorite small businesses.

  • Dog House Yarns  –  Closed today (Friday)
  • The Pink Palm  –  While part of the Lilly Pulitzer brand, it is independently owned and part of a small (4) chain
  • Bevello  –  Another growing-chain boutique
  • Sammy Snacks – A local pet food company gone “global”, but since I can still walk in and chat with the owner, it’s small!
  • Rock Paper Scissors – For people who still like paper
  • Horton Vineyards
  • Darling – I might become a thrift-shopper yet!
  • Piddleloop – Project bags marketed for knitters but they’re cute enough for anyone!

(While I haven’t been compensated for mentioning any of these businesses today, I do have a personal relationship with most of them.  It’s why I’m comfortable telling you about them; because I know you won’t be disappointed!)

Pretty sure you can’t pull that together in a couple of hours…

As for the title of this post… well, I’m pickin’ and choosin’ the parts of the tradiational holiday stuff I’m doing this year.  Life is hectic, and I’ve wanted to host a gingerbread house decorating party for years, so guess what the JLC Board meeting/party is going to feature?!  I’m sure there will be some disappointed people and perhaps even a hurt feeling or two, but I’m going to do what I need to do to find and hold onto the joy of the season. 

Let the Christmas season begin. 

What holiday tradtions do you hold dear?