Thursday, July 26, 2007

In the blink of an eye

It's Dogs on Thursday again, just like that. And, just like that, I'm packing my bags again too. Mugsy's separation anxiety is high, and I've been apologizing to Jake, dog sitter #1, for about two weeks now, because I *KNOW* they are going to be bad boys. Jake's never sat for us before, the dogs don't really know him, so that's going to make it so much worse. The world will be a better place for all of us when LT, our neighbor-boy all grown up, takes over dog duties on Sunday. A million thanks to Eric, who is dog-sitting for LT's family until they return from their vacation on Sunday, and is going to bridge the gap and take care of our boys on Sunday morning! Evidently, it takes a village to keep the dogs out of a kennel too. All three of our sitters are members of our volunteer fire company, further proof that they really are like another family.

So, in an effort to get my mind off of this little unexpected mess, I present a favorite baby picture of Shadow II. He's two now, and he's the second sable Sheltie Mark's grandfather has named Shadow. For some crazy reason, this little boy liked to nap in boxes. We discovered that on this day, when Mark thought he was playing with the pup. Nope. Shadow II thought it made a lovely little nest, and quickly fell asleep! Two years later, he still favors tight, enclosed napping spots, like between the chair and the wall, under my desk, etc.
We leave in the morning. I am counting on the hotel having a wireless connection, so you may still hear from me - or not. Much knitting must happen, and after all, we are going down for a convention. So, have a great weekend and/or week, and I'll definitely be back again for a very real Dogs on Thursday next week, when my boys and I reunite after being apart for nearly a week!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Noro by Another Name

Not all Noro yarns are created equal. You'll recall that I am not the least bit fond of yuck yarn - aka: Noro Kureyon - and I believe I have shared that thought more than once. However, Noro makes more than yuck yarn! I had pondered Silk Garden, and my new knitting pal Crimson Purl has been more than gently urging me to give it a try (check out her nearly completed Lizard Ridge!). Now, thanks to Flowerpot, I have some SG of my own to try! What I failed to capture with my camera is that there are also some rich to vivid blues in this colorway. Here's a swatch photo I finally found at Royal Yarns. Obviously, the colors are a bit off in the swatch (at least on my monitor, the photo I took is more true-colored.) Still, the swatch shows the blues and other hues in there. Now, what to knit? It won't be a blanket or a scarf, so just don't go there! It also won't happen too soon, because I have the Sockza socks to finish (I'm ready to move into the heel on sock one; thank goodness for the LONG ride to Myrtle Beach!), and a baby blankie to start and finish post-haste. Yes, yes, I said no non-socks this summer, but my hubby insists that "Baby Ploeg" will arrive with a blankie to be wrapped in. Never mind that since Mommy P (or so we'll call her) is due on August 26th, it will most likely be so hot that a simple cotton blanket will be best. Mark rarely insists upon anything, so BP will have a blankie before he/she arrives, God willing! (Going to Myrtle Beach? I'll be easy to spot. The freak knitting a blankie on the beach...)

But wait! There's more! I also got some shea butter soap - love me some shea butter - and some minty lip balm. There's also a very lovely handmade card, which reminds me that I spent a small fortune in cardmaking and stamping supplies, mostly in the name of making my own cards. I even selected the hostess only stamps that included some yarn and knitting needles, so there's no reason for me to keep rushing to Hallmark. Sigh. Can someone tell me how to make cards without putting down my needles?
Now, you must excuse me, because there's this little white dog, pacing the length of the house with his ball in his mouth. You see, in two days, his eight weeks of no running, no fetching and no jumping (yeah, right) is complete, and we can begin to slowly reintroduce those things into his life. His wee little ACL has mended as best it can, and once again, Mugsy will be chanting, "Throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball..." as only he can.

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.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


We're finished reading book #7. Mugsy missed a few chapters late last night, but insisted that we finish reading when Mark left around 4:30am. Who am I to argue with a crup? Since I know a couple of friends are still reading or haven't even started yet, please hold off on any comments other than "I'm done too" or something of the like. ;)

There are a few little things I need to tend to, since I was away for four days, and haven't really had time for normal computer-type activities until now.

Firstly, Paula and Mary both nominated me for the Rockin' Girl Blogger. Thanks, ladies! I can't remember the last time I was nominated for something, and I surely didn't expect anything from blogland!

Next, and also from Paula is the new Dogs on Thursdays logo!

Maybe later today you'll get some knitting photos, and/or a knitting book review. Right now though, I'm going to find some breakfast and being on the mountain of laundry I have to tackle.

But wait! There's more! We all love contests, right?! Well, pop over and check out this one. I found it via another blogging friend, so I hope you'll visit them both too. It's a point well-taken; if we don't leave comments, most bloggers don't know we're reading.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Please Hold While...

... the blog you are trying to read is being processed. Keep those dreams coming. After all, one single mom made this whole Pottermania possible only because she soldiered through several rejection letters. (How stupid do those publishers feel?)

Didn't Amazon do a great job with the box holding my precious cargo? I love it! Had I know they went to all that trouble, I would have pre-ordered at least books 5 & 6! Way cool. A great treat after driving to town after the baby shower, only to find that Giant's pharmacy closed THREE minutes before I arrived. Sigh. Maybe Mark will pick it up tomorrow for me, because Mugsy and I are going to be busy reading all 759 pages before work on Monday.

There will be no knitting, no blogging, and probably not even much eating or sleeping until we finish. No spoilers here either, not without warnings galore anyway. Can you believe one of my friends bothered to go get the book early this morning but announced, "I have about 30 pages of this other book to finish first." WHAT?! Mind you, she's really more of a friend of a friend...
So, pardon me, but Mugsy and I are going to read. He has this odd notion that crups will be important in this book, and get more than one measley sentence of mention. No self-esteem problems in that one!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Goals and More

Anne issued a challenge on Fitter Knitters, and you know I love a challenge - and a contest! You know, I discovered while in Chicago on business earlier this week, that it's not so hard to be fit while traveling. I drank lots of water, ate a salad with every meal (even with the deep dish pie at Giordano's!), and picked up a piece of fresh fruit every time it was offered. We walked a lot, and I unabashedly packed nothing but my favorite "thong" style Birkenstocks, so hoofing it around the McCormick Center and downtown was almost painless, even at Val's brisk pace. (She's not a blogger, folks. She's my dear friend, who's just moved back to Jersey after becoming a single mom to two BEAUTIFUL little girls...) Lorraine (a local friend!) and I shared a whole wheat turkey sub one day for lunch, partially because it was a whopping $8.50, but mostly because we knew we didn't need or want a whole one. A little self-awareness, healthy friends, and it's a breeze to feel you're making progress on fitness while traveling!

Some of you know I was in Chicago with four of my best friends for Pampered Chef's annual conference. They talked a lot about dreams and goals too. I'm still working on that, but it's interesting that the same words show up in different phases of my life. Do you have dreams? You do know that if you take a deep breath, develop an action plan, and set goals along the way, virtual any dream is achievable, right?! I know that for me, as I've aged, I've forgotten to dream. Oh, I have goals, but right now, I lack any kind of big carrot out there to motivate me. (Cables though, for my knitting goals, but that's another post for another day!) Working in a family business, there's no need to strive for another step on the ladder. When my inlaws retire, Mark and I will step up. No assessments or competition, just the natural life cycle within a family business. I am complacent, and I need to change!

So, how 'bout it? Will you share your dreams with me and help me find something about which I can truly be passionate again? (So much for knitting content, but I did mention cables, right?) I know many of my friends have big, beautiful dreams, and I love to hear about them. They inspire me to reach higher and to continue to work on my personal growth. (I took my shoes off in the airport and cooled my feet on the concrete! I let Missy sit on my bed pillows without freaking out!)

And if you haven't tried Pampered Chef products, swing by my website and check them out!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

There's No Place Like Home.

Let me assure you that after thinking you will have to spend the night in O'Hare with three of your best friends, while a fourth dear-heart sits on another plane on the runway for THREE HOURS, there's no place like home. Having my darling boys rush out the front door as I pulled in at nearly 7am - awake virtually 25 hours straight - was all the balm I needed to soothe this weary traveler. So, here's how my boys rest, for this week's Dogs on Thursday. Mugsy is indeed the little prince of the castle. Here, he reclines amid several pillows and a handmade throw (just beneath his belly), on the sofa.

Fred isn't inclined to perch up high. He likes his beds big and fluffy, and on the floor. (Pardon the dirt and drool; the cover is washed weekly, but that's not always enough for a true hound.) Yes, he generally is partially off the bed, despite the fact that it is indeed plenty large. That's just how he likes it, I guess.
So, since I've only had three hours of sleep in the last 35 hours, I hope this canine eye candy will do for a while. There's a wedding you need to hear about, a trip to Chicago with tear-rolling, side-splitting laughter, and so much more. There's even a box of books from Knitpicks you need to hear about, and a the beginnings of a Wick yoga sock, which enjoyed the flight into Chicago, but "slept" through the flight home, such as it was. I have a busy couple of days ahead, and then there's that book Mugsy and I will have to read Saturday and try to finish on Sunday...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Postmistress Always...

...makes the dogs bark more than twice.

This could also be titled, why one should always get dressed, even on Saturdays. Luckily, it was the postmistress herself, and not the young man substitute. I, in my nightie and dogs in the yard... You don't want to hear much more of THOSE details, but the postmistress left my package by a tree, as the dogs refused to come in, I couldn't go out, and she wouldn't believe they wouldn't bite.

That's the first thing I saw when I ripped open the box. I was just getting ready to paint my toes, but I can always wear something with a closed toe to the wedding, right?! A *GORGEOUS* bag, from my incredibly generous felted bag pal, whom I now know as Lia. I've enjoyed her blog for a while, but I was hardly sure she was my pal. Hooray! I continue to be spoiled. (Bamboo handles! Rich brown and vivid blue on the bag. Bliss!)

This is what I saw when I unzipped the bag. Yep folks, I said UNZIPPED. I can't sew much at all, so I can only dream of such grand construction. There's a better picture of the lining and the goodies coming, so just enjoy the show. I was so blown away by the awesome bag that I surely wasn't expecting anything within. I just unzipped it to appreciate its largeness, and to ponder taking it instead of my Healthy Back Bag as my "purse" for the flight tomorrow, and wow! More spoiled goodness!

Here's a peek at the lining, and more of the bag. Wonderful, yes? Between the above shot and this one, you can see that it's a great, coordinating brown and blue paisley. I am positive I never mentioned how much I love paisley, but there it is. Squee!

The goodies. The Vogue On the Go Felting, Gloves in a Bottle moisturizer, some Tehku Pacific Jade Green Tea, hand-tied into rosettes (what a beautiful luxury!), my beloved Tofutsies yarn in a great pink colorway, and the cutest honey spoon (more on that in a bit.) I can't wait to get home from Chicago already, so I can make some tea and take photos, so my tea swap blog readers can share the incredible beauty of ornamental teas. Again, WHAT A TREAT!

As excited as I am about the tea, you have to see a close-up of the spoon. See the bend in the middle? That's so the spoon can perch happily and ungooily (oh, how Blogger will hate that word!) on the edge of my cup or mug! It really is a very practical, pretty honey spoon, and interestingly enough, it coordinates nicely with my favorite teapot, but that's a post for another day, and even another blog, honestly.

Thank you, Lia. That is a most impressive swap package. You went so far above and beyond, and can serve as a model spoiler! Sure, the package was a tad late, but she stayed in touch, and I had the very distinct impression that it would be worth the wait. (Was it ever!) What truly makes Lia a great swapper is her attention to detail. She obviously read not only my questionnaire, but my blog, and not only took a stab at producing packages I would love, but went out of her way to send things she *KNEW* would delight me. (By no means am I snubbing or overlooking my other spoilers. I have had some AWESOME pals, and have received wonderful swap boxes. It's just as I co-host more swaps, I can't resist taking the opportunity to point out what's so perfect about a good swapper!)

Pardon me, but I must hit publish, eat the lunch my dear hubby picked up in town, when he picked up the wedding card I forgot, and see about these toes that need some paint!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Gone to the Dogs

Paula has created an institution. Fred and Mugsy are pretty excited about it. My evening was very full last night - worked all day, drove to DC and back home - so I missed my first opportunity, but humor me, okay? My boys knew I was worn out when I got home, and just smothered me with puppy love. They deserve their moment, even if it is belated!

So, some dog shots you haven't seen before:

That's Fred and Shadow II. Shadow is the second sable sheltie Mark's grandfather has owned, and so, Pop used the same name. This picture was taken two years ago, but Fred doesn't come to the shop with me much anymore, because Shadow *STILL* insists upson licking Fred *IN* the mouth. My patient old man just walks away and counts on me to make the brat stop. That's why he's my hooey hound!

This is Farmer Mugsy. (And "Dadaw" as the dogs call him, but he's not a willing subject.) Yep. He likes to ride the tractor. He won't approach a running vehicle of any sort, but if Mark cuts the tractor off and reaches down, Mugsy climbs the steps and up he goes! The black box is his collar for the invisible fence, and it comes off once Mugsy is safely in Mark's lap. They're both very content and happy, in case you can't tell.
Fred likes to be photographed, but Mugsy isn't always a willing subject. (Gets that from his father, I suppose.) I suspect you'll also see the other dogs in our lives too, as the weeks go on. We're all about dogs, kind of like Pedigree.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Check this out

Y'all know I love Carodan Farm. Their newsletter had a bit in there about a new project they're doing, in conjunction with Socks for Soldiers. I thought some of you might be interested. I also want to stress that one needn't knit socks to participate! There are other, non-sock options, including washcloths and beanies, but read the guidelines, because they're very specific.

I remain in awe of the knitterly kind karma out there.

PS - Blogger? Knitterly *IS* too a word. So there! (I'd stomp my foot, but Blogger wouldn't hear me.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What a Wonderful World

It really is a wonderful world, full of fantastic people. Yes, yes, I do keep saying I won't have time to blog again until after all of the madness that is the next week of my life, but I knew you guys *NEEDED* to see this! I went straight to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix from work (no comments at all, until Anne and Amy have seen it, and I won't comment without warnings first), so imagine my delight when I got home and had TWO packages waiting for me. One was from my semi-local Carodan Farm, but I can't show that just yet, although some of it was actually for me.

The other was a birthday box from dear Devon! See!? That's why I celebrate birth MONTH. Why limit yourself to one day of presents and cake? It was all wrapped up so nicely, in pink and red (two of my favorite colors, you know), but I was too excited to snap a pre-unwrapping photo, so just take my word for it. That's the "group photo" of everything. The book, Knit Fix, is such an appropriate selection, because as Devon noted, our first real chat was because Anne referred me to Devon (Anne's SP10 pal), because Devon had knitted socks before. The rest is history. Who knew!? A friendship was formed in that heel I couldn't turn without Devon's patience and row by row counting. There's imported chocolate there too, on the far left and that brown square on the left of the yarn. Dark chocolate with nuts. My hubby doesn't like dark chocolate, but has eyed them just the same. Now that's friendship, folks. Devon either brought TONS of chocolate home from her trip abroad, or she's cool enough to share!

The tea is some of Devon's favorite. While I'm a loose tea girl, bag tea does go to work with me, and that Earl Grey is going in the morning. I've never had Taoz Earl Grey, so it's time to try it, no? Nor have I had Trader Joe's White Pomegranate, but that will get tried soon too. I love fruity, white teas, but that will happen at home where my precision tea water pot lives. (Long story. Maybe on K1, T2 one day...) Now THAT is how you have a cuppa' cyber style, without losing the spirit of tea.

The card is just darling too. I am trying to learn to make cards, but I'm very much the newbie, so this one gives me all kinds of ideas! Of course, it will also get saved for future scrapbooking, because I am, as Anne calls me, a gooblette. Flip flops, a cool tote, a towel, and a little journal. What more could a girl want for a trip to the beach? When are we going? Oh yeah, not until the end of the month. Shoot.

You want to know about the yarn though, don't you? Well, Devon said she though of me when she saw it, and she should have. It is Jojoland Melody. 100% wool, and 220 yards per ball. I will have to make longer socks than I normally wear, because this yarn is just something else. (Hmm... Devon, do you think it would be nice for those baby cables I covet so?) I'll have to get more photos in natural light at some point, because that hardly does justice to this wonderful rainbow of Chan's favorite colors!

Sock it to Me Contest

Why and how I started to knit:

Which time? You see, my dear auntie tried to teach me to knit at least two different summers when I was around 12. I'd get excited, but frustrated, and would come home, where my great aunt would re-explain "left-handed" knitting, and then school would start...

Then, last November, while Anne was visiting, I got infected. I watched her knit. I helped her wind yarn and even wandered into a yarn shop with her. At the time, my inner knitter merely stirred, and went back to sleep. However, when Anne and her sticks and string went back south, suddenly, I was overcome with the NEED to knit. So, I bought some bamboo straights and some cheap yarn, and I tried. Oh, how I tried. It was torture, just as I remembered, until I found this site, where I immediately realized I had found the "left-handed" Continental style much more sensible. Everything clicked, and I have only reluctantly set my needles down to eat, sleep and work since then.

Why? Because I've always liked hand-crafts. I did my first needlepoint at six, I think it was. I am still in awe of how two (or more!) sticks and some string can produce almost anything imaginable. Plus, there's just something soothing and magical about the serenity of knitting.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I'm just checking in to let you know that I'm beginning twelve days of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I'll be checking email except from the 15th-18th, but I don't know that blogging will happen much.

Why do I swap, and crazier still, co-host swaps? So I can meet people like Paula! I do believe that particular photo she's using as her logo is of my Fred's uncle, who was the Hush Puppy model about 10 years ago. I love it! (And why didn't I think of that? Mugsy's literally got his back to me. Guess I should have been Crup Knitter instead of KnitTea, huh?)

In sock news, I have begun Sockza sock #1! (aka: SoS pair #2!) I won't be showing photos, just in case, because I do want to surprise my pal. I can proudly announce that the yarn was wound with my birthday swift and ball winder, by - get this, Anne! - my husband! He finds it all very interesting. It appeals to his inner mechanical nerd, I guess? I then had to weigh it, so - wise man, that one - I can confirm that this yarn I've not used before will indeed make two socks for my pal. I got lucky and got a pal with little feet, so I'm sure it won't be a problem, but... he's thinking like a knitter, yes?

Now, back to that crup thing. I hear some of you asking, "What's a crup?" Well, in honor of the cinematic event, the debut of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I'm tempted to have a contest, but as it would be a month or so before you got a prize, I won't. I'll just tell you.

Are there HP fans out there who don't know? Giggles... Don't be embarassed. Even folks on my HP forums often ask. This, my friends, is a crup:

See the forked tail? That's the only way you can tell a crup from a Muggle Jack Russell Terrier. Those of you who own crups know that sometimes, wizards dock the crups' tails short so you can't see the fork, but trust me, you *KNOW* if you own a crup.

Still unsure? Well, let me see if Mugsy - a pure-bred crup - can help. Is your JRT just, well, not as compliant as others you know? Do you brag that his disobedience is actually a sign of his superior intelligence? Does he train YOU? If so, you too probably have a crup. Please refer to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for more information.

Yep. That's our crup, preparing to launch himself into HIS hot tub. Don't worry animal lovers; we changed chemicals three times until hubby found one that is safe for human and animal consumption; the sales rep drank a big ol' glass right from the display for him, and he was sold. That's the other test; crups won't allowed themselves to be owned by ordinary folks. They seek out those owners with just enough magical ability to appreciate them, which in Muggle talk means spoil them rotten.

PS - Cass, the photos are for you, and anyone else who loves photo-rich posts!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Three down...

...and who knows how many to go. My third pair of socks, done on two circs. I like that method. I'm not sure I'm crazy about this pattern, but that's okay. The loose leg will never get too tight during a long day. My trusty, beloved sock blockers just didn't do this pattern justice. I can say that I'm learning to graft, and I enjoyed knitting with a blend, rather than 100% merino.
Pictures might be slim for a while. I'm casting on for my Sockza socks next. I also want to cast on my Tofutsies June Sock of the Month, but I need #2 circs, and those are on order from Knitpicks, along with several books, all courtesy of my mother inlaw's birthday money to be used on knitterly goodness.
This was also my first pair for the Summer of Socks. Clearly, I'm not entered in the most socks in a summer contest.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Wanna Swap?

And in other swap news, Cass is wondering if you're interested in a vegan swap. You don't have to be vegan or allergic to animal fibers/products to sign up, just willing to participate in a vegan swap. Swing by and check it out. I love playing with new fibers and discovering new products, and I'm betting a lot of you do too!

Also, swing by K1, T2 and let us - Devon in particular - know how you like your tea. It's a contest, open until July 20th. As for me, I like mine straight up. Hot, cold, tepid, it's all good. I do like a bit of Splenda and cream in hot, black teas though.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Tea Swap Announcement

It's about the right time of day, the right time of year...
When I was VERY little, our neighbor across the road first introduced me to the art of tea. She was a school teacher, and I believe it started the summer I was three or four. It became our little tradition, and I couldn't wait for 4:30, when I would be taken across the road to their farm, and I would let myself in the front door and walk through the dining room, into their big, farmhouse kitchen (which is still the perfect kitchen in my mind's eye today), to the table in front of the window, where a perfectly brewed pot of tea awaited me.
I could go on forever, but instead, I'll just invite you to pop in, grab a cup, and help yourself to your favorite scone or treat. Details about the swap will unfold over the next few weeks, and I hope you'll join us!

Sock It To Me Questionnaire

What are your foot measurements? (Please give shoe size, length and circumference.)

I wear a 6.5 or 7 in American sizes. My left foot is bigger, and it is 8.75 inches long. Circumference is 8 inches.

How long have you been knitting? How would you rate your experience? (Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced.)

I've only been knitting for about seven months, but I'd say I'm an intermediate knitter.

What is your favorite color? Your least favorite color?

My favorite color changes, but I always like red, pinks, blues, greens, and browns. I'm not crazy about purple, orange or road sign yellow by themselves.

Do you have a favorite fiber? What type?

I'm still trying them all out, but I love bamboo and anything soy.

Do you have any allergies to certain fibers?


Do you have an Amazon, or other type of, wishlist? (If so, provide the link.)

Oh boy. I managed to produce it earlier this week...

My Wish List

What techniques, if any, would you like to learn?

Cable. MUST. LEARN.TO.CABLE! And lace.

Do you have a sweet tooth? What are your favorite snacks?

I have a rotten sweet tooth. My current favorite is dark chocolate covered cranberries. I also like popcorn though, and nuts...

What is your family situation? (Children, Husband, Pets...etc.)

I'm married, and we live to serve our two very rotten dogs.

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Metal, plastic or wood?

For what? All in all, my Knitpicks Options are the needles I can't live without, but I like Bryspun for discloths, and the Addis my pal in another swap sent are lovely too. OH! Sorry, we're talking socks, right? I like my two, SHORT Addis and dpns. I like Sox Stix and the Knitpicks dpns.

Besides socks, what are your favorite items to knit?

Bags. Dishcloths. I enjoyed making my first vest last month...

Is there a pattern, (sock or otherwise), that you are dying to try?

Several. Basically, anything I haven't already done!

Do you like to read? What are you reading currently?

I love to read. I tend to favor non-fiction. I read cookbooks, knitting pattern books, etc. Right now though, I'm reading Eldest as in the second book in the Eragon series.

Do you collect music? (On an iPod or MP3 player.)

Not really. I'm all about XM Radio.

What kind of music do you listen to?

All of it. Country. Musicals. Pop. Rock. Classical.

Is there anything you collect?

Roosters. Yarn. Books. Regional cookbooks.

What are your hobbies, aside from knitting?

Yoga, reading, walking, cooking, baking, scrapbooking, stamping...

Are you participating in any other swaps or knit alongs?

Yes. The easiest thing to do is look at the side of my blog. There are actually a couple of buttons missing... I'll see about correcting that.

Do you have a favorite scent?

Soft florals. Green tea.

When is your birthday? (You don't have to add the year if you don't want to, LOL.)

July 1

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Belated 4th

I was too busy knitting and celebrating yesterday to blog, but I wanted to pause for a moment and note how much the day means to me. Literally living in the shadow of Monticello, it's hard not to get caught up in the spirit of the day, which we of course, celebrate for several days. It's also the birthday of one of my husband's many aunts, so there was a multipurpose family picnic, and then we headed off for what has become Mark's celebration of the day. He has helped a pyrotechnician friend set up for fireworks for several years, and announced this morning that he wants to become certified too. (GAH!)

It's a great event. Sure, the actually display is probably shorter and less impressive than some of the big fireworks displays done in your cities, but this one is funded by the development where many of our friends and family live. The beach is closed at five pm, and the local fire department (not ours, but a neighboring one, where we have many friends) has a family picnic while Mark and the rest of the fireworks crew set up. There's something truly magical about stretching out in a beach lounger only a few yards away from where the fireworks are being set off, feeling the ground tremble, and remembering to say a little prayer for those setting them off with every "oooh and ahhhh!" It's also hard not to have at least one smug moment when the crowd claps and screams, knowing that my husband and his friends made it all possible.

I hope your Independence Day celebrations were special, no matter how you like to wish America a happy birthday. Just once though, I think the USA and Canada should celebrate for about a week, together, and invite the whole world to our party. Remember the commercial, "I'd like to buy the world a Coke?" That would be a nice start. A diet with Lime for me, okay?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Color Swap Questionnaire

Being the swap-aholic that I am, and loving red, here's my latest:

Color Swap Survey

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I am not a yarn snob, not so much anyway. Lion Brand has some yarns I like - Cotton Ease, Wool Ease - but I do tend to buy natural fibers.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
'Fraid not. I want to learn to crochet, but can't put my knitting down long enough to learn.
3. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Rubber stamping, scrapbooking, cooking, baking... that's about it.
4. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Today? Bamboo! But check my blog, because that's sure to change as I broaden my horizons.
5. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Novelty yarns. They're more trouble than they're worth for me. I'm not much on acrylics either, but they are good for baby items, which I need to do more of, and soon!
6. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Socks. Bags. Learning to cable.
7. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks. More socks.
8. What are you knitting right now?
A sock. With another sock waiting in the wings. And a secret.
9. Are you a sock knitter?
Oh yes. Can't you tell?!
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Are there any colors you hate?
Today, it's red. I like greens, blues, pinks, teals too. Even browns. I dislike peach, orange and highway department yellow.
11. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have a separate knitting wish list on Amazon, but it might be private... dunno.
12. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Not really.
13. Do you have any religious prohibitions or restrictions?
14. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Gardenia. Lily of the Valley. Rose. Soft florals. Green tea.
15. Do you burn candles?
16. Do you have a sweet or salt tooth?
17. Do you drink coffee, tea or cocoa?
Yes, but I'd say tea, tea, coffee, cocoa.
18. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my wonderful husband and our two precious pups.
19. What are some of your favorite things?
Aside from knitting, tea and my dogs? Yoga, walking, reading...
20. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn. Roosters. My husband collects those smashed pennies imprinted with local sites or whatnot.
21. What is your favorite holiday?
Good question. I'm not feeling very festive at the moment though.
22. What is your birthday? (You don't have to tell the year)
July 1.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Something to Crow About

I just had to show you the little decanter my mother inlaw gave me for my birthday. I collect roosters (not chickens, not hens, not chicks, just ROOSTERS), and I finally agreed with my husband that I am about maxed out. However, my mother inlaw couldn't resist this guy, and I'm glad. He's stuffed with oil, assorted peppers and garlic cloves. Isn't he beautiful? I couldn't find a spot to photograph him with justice, so... forgive me. He's just so colorful and fun, and he makes me smile. And no, I won't use the contents within, for two reasons. Firstly, because I am a woman who believes sell by dates really mean use by, and use by dates are gospel, so there's no way I'm using questionably cured peppers and such. Secondly, how could I disturb the beauty? In time, they'll fade and I'll be so glad Anne talked me into blogging, because I'll come back to this post and see what colors he had originally, and the pick my own, with something blue in there, and a greener green, and that strong yellow I don't like in anything else, because that's what Mack and Jackie looked like. (Yep. I'm a farm girl and I had pet roosters.)
My husband is still waiting on the toneau cover for his truck, so UPS, please let it come tomorrow, okay? He was very disappointed when UPS brought me another birthday present, but while I'm very excited about my pewter water pitcher, he wasn't nor did he think you would be. (He didn't think you'd care about the rooster either, but I already know Devon cares, so he's wrong. So there!) He actually tossed the padded envelope at me that must be from my No Sheep Swap upstream pal at me, but the Love inside didn't seem to mind. Seriously folks, I know you're tired of my bamboo fetish, but this stuff (with 30% silk!) is something beyond soft. It's the Peter & MaryJane colorway, and you know how I like my cutsie colorway names! I can't wait to knit with it, so just as soon as I find a pattern, look out!
The grumpy yarn mail tosser did give me a swift and a ball winder for my birthday, and last night, when I mentioned that I needed scales to figure out how much of my Royal Bamboo I had left, Mr. eBay as we call him let his mouse do the clicking, and I'll soon be annoying you with my precise reports on how much yarn it takes to do each sock in a pair. So, he is a good man, even if he misjudges your lack of interest in pewter and decorative pickled stuff in a funky jar.
And congrats to Sharon, winner of the 100th post contest. I'll be getting a prize in the mail soon! She's also one of the hostesses for the very clever Virtual Vacation Swap. If you missed out on this one, bookmark it and stay tuned. I won't miss the next one (I'm sure this is just the first of many!), and I'll make sure you don't either.

Cyber Shower!

Whooohoooo! Y'all are in for another multi-post day, I can feel it.

Everyone rush over to Amy's blog and congratulate her on her engagement! It's been in the works, but John still surprised her (I think), and it was certainly a special evening. While I can only tell you that my own engagement happened in August, I bet I will always remember that Amy and John made it official on my birthday! (And John gets serious brownie points for presenting her with the ring of her dreams. Good start to a great forever!)

And seriously, someone more savvy than I am needs to help me figure out how to cyber shower Amy. I'm close enough to visit in person, but I realize most of you aren't. She'll know we're planning something, but the details will still surprise her, right?! So, email me at if you have ideas and/or want to participate.

Being happily married to my third-grade sweetheart, the son of my father's best friend, there's little that makes me happier than seeing my friends make their own perfectly-suited matches. Amy, I'm so very happy for you, and for John. I look forward to hearing all about all of the plans... (Now, where did I see the pattern for the knitted garter belt??)

Hello, Milo!

Many of us correctly guessed that Sue's big news was a new dog. Please join me in welcoming Milo to their household! He's a big, beautiful boy, and I know they're all going to be very happy together. Sue adopted Milo from a rescue, and I have to give a shout out to all the rescues out there. Most breeds have at least a regional rescue, covering a few states. Yes, puppies are cute, but these more mature boys and girls need good homes and are often easier to welcome into a household than a needy little puppy (with a tiny bladder, short attention span, etc.) I hope if/when you're in the market for another pet, you'll consider adopting from a rescue. They do sometimes have puppies and/or young adult dogs too!
I'd also like to thank those of you participating in my little contest. I'll have the random number generator pick a winner this evening. I'd also like to thank everyone for the birthday wishes. Anne spread the word, and all of the good wishes are heartily appreciated.