Monday, July 28, 2008

works in progress

I thought I would update my project progress today. I feel like I haven't done much because of the pain from the flare all month but, when I started to take pics, I realized that I've done more than I thought. I've been flitting between things because I can't stick to one task for long as it hurts to be in one position for any length of time. That's caused some startitis and I have way too many socks on the go. Oh well.

For spinning projects, I'm still working on turning this superwash BFL that I dyed......into this as-fine-as-I-can-spin-it yarn. My goal for this is socks. The Woolee Winder bobbin sure holds a lot more yarn than the Ashford bobbins! I feel like I've been spinning it forever. (Notice nosy little B's head in the pic as he checked out the bobbin too. He jumped up onto the arm of the couch to have a peek.)I also realized that I haven't shown you my new Royale Hare spindle that was an anniversary present. The ball bearing makes this spindle spin forever. It also causes me to spin woolen because there's no gravity to pull the yarn as it spins. That's a good thing because I'm usually too much of a control freak to spin a nice soft woolen yarn.
Here are the various socks on the go.

Plain vanilla socks for me using STR Silkie in the Walking on the Wild Tide colorway from the 2007 Rockin' Socks Club. I really love this yarn. It is beautifully soft! I also like the handspun look of the marled yarn.

Knitty's Spring Forward socks for me; Dream In Color Smooshy yarn in the Some Summer Sky colorway.The start of the Faceted Rib socks from The Little Box of Socks. While I think that bright yarn looks cute in this pattern I'm not loving this project. All the texture in this pattern might bug my wussy feet. I haven't decided whether I want to keep knitting or frog it.

This is Opal Saphir 6-ply that I'm knitting for my cleaning woman. Margot has been faithfully cleaning my house for 16 years and the dogs love her to death. I've always appreciated her work and I'm especially glad to have her now that I can't physically clean my house any more. Knitting socks seems like the least I can do to thank her for all she does!
The knitting machine hasn't been idle. I have the body done of this summer tank. I need to sew up the side seams and crochet the edges and hem. I'm using this pattern from Elann as inspiration. The yarn is Elann Esprit that I bought when it was on sale this spring. Ignore the ugly orange acrylic waste yarn holding stitches.

Finally, I had to giggle at Aunt Kathy's comment yesterday. She wants to know what flavor of ice cream Dan is. Sorry, Kathy. I don't think I can convince him to waste five minutes to take the quiz. He hasn't got much patience for that sort of thing. I can tell you that he's a chocolate lover when he's ordering ice cream for himself though.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'm so predictable

Dan makes fun of me when we go for ice cream. I always order a vanilla shake. He can't believe that someone would order vanilla when there are so many other flavor choices. But I do.

So it didn't really come as a surprise when I took this quiz. What can I say? I really do love peace and simplicity.

eta: I just told Dan I took the quiz and asked him what flavor the quiz said that I was. He looked at me strangely for a minute and then said, "vanilla". Bentley was dancing around Dan's feet at the time so Dan asked him if he would be vanilla too. Then he looked at me and said, "Nah, he'd be Chunky Monkey."

Saturday, July 26, 2008

poking around the yard....

I was poking around the back yard today when I noticed these in the garden.
What look like bubbles blown by fairies as they frolicked are really webs with dew sparkling on them. I wish that the camera had been able to capture all of the colors glinting in the sunlight. So pretty!

Last week's storms have left the pansies looking quite bedraggled. I'm sure they will bounce back though and there could have been so much worse damage that we are thankful everything is still intact in the yard. There is a chance of more storms tomorrow. It is July on the prairies after all.
The climbing plant on the left side of the table holding the pansies has clusters of berries on it. I have no idea what the plant is but it adds a hit of color to the yard.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

stormy weather

We've had a stormy couple of days around here. Yesterday was hot and muggy which usually triggers storms and, sure enough, a doozy happened at about 5:30 p.m. The rain and wind created "whiteout" conditions for a few minutes. We lost power and some streets were flooded for a while.

Here's big branch of the elm tree out front that the wind tore down. We were lucky. There was considerably more damage to other people's yards and vehicles with large trees downed by wind and lightning.

The dogs were checking out all of the willow branches that were blown down in the backyard when we ventured out after the rain stopped.

It was still very humid and another storm happened today at lunchtime. There was a good lightning show and a lot of rain. I tried to get a picture that would show you how hard it was raining but these don't really do it justice.
There were some funnel clouds near the city but I haven't heard of any confirmed tornadoes. Things seem calmer tonight so I hope the storms have moved on.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

knitting chickens

This bag came from Mary Land Bags this week. I couldn't resist the knitting chickens pattern. It is going to be my new sock-on-the-go bag in my purse.
As you can see, this bag is very well-made. It is lined with the cute "chicken feed" print and there is interfacing in the entire upright section of the bag for sturdiness. Mary was great to work with so check her shop if you are looking for any kind of bag. Her card lists handmade totes, purses, wristlets (which is this one), project bags, back packs, beach bags, diaper bags, and shopping bags.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

the end of another lovely day

This was taken a few minutes ago. The moon is a beautiful color, like a ripe peach. If I had my way, this lovely summer weather would last all year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a lovely day

Today was a lovely day. The temperature hovered around 22 degrees C, a nice comfortable room temperature. The sun was warm and there was only the slightest breeze. We have had a lot of rain lately so everything is lush and green. I decided to record today's loveliness so I took the camera out to the backyard.

Here is the western side of the yard. Our neighbors planted some climbing plants next to the fence a couple of years ago and the pretty things have crept through and over the fence to beautify our yard too. I should have taken pictures of this bit of yard when the lilacs and peonies were in full bloom but didn't think of it. It's pretty anyway.

It looked as though Pocus knew that the freshly cut lawn provided a perfect backdrop to his fluffy white coat.Austin and Bentley had to check out the dogs passing by the back fence while being walked in the park. I like this picture of their furry little butts.

This is the perfect tree. It is a Balsam Leaf Willow which we planted just south of the house. Some of it had to be removed when we had the sunroom built a few years ago. The contractor wanted to take it all out but I fought to keep it and you can see that it grew back nicely. I love this tree! It's such a beautiful shape and size.It allows light and warmth to enter the sunroom in the winter and, in the summer, provides perfect shade for the south-facing windows.
It also has this great branch that is just meant to support some flowers in its shade, high enough for us to enjoy the flowers while we sit in the sunroom yet low enough that I can get at it to water it. I can't remember what these flowers are called but, if you look closely, you can see that the plant is climbing up the bark of the tree.
We may get long, cold winters but summers are usually lovely in this part of the world.

Monday, July 14, 2008

pretty quiet

Things have been pretty quiet around here lately. Austin and B are feeling much better after their doggy flu ran its course. Knock on wood, the others haven't had it so I'm hoping they aren't going to get sick. I am still fighting with my TMJ pain and have been going for physio and massage therapy. It has hampered my productivity so I don't have much to share.

I did get this in the mail the other day.
It's Knit Picks new Imagination sock yarn in the Looking Glass colorway. The yarn is 50% superwash merino, 25% alpaca, and 25% nylon. Very pretty!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

sweet sweater recipient

Robin just sent pics of sweet baby Dawson wearing his new sweater that I made. He is a month old and it fits him pretty well. The sleeves are too long so I won't bother adding length if I knit this again.

The pattern is free from Lion Brand. It is the Naturally Nice Baby Sweater. I used TLC Cotton Plus yarn.

I made a few modifications to the pattern. The pattern has you twist a cord out of the yarn and thread it through the neck to tie as a fastener. I didn't like the idea of a tie around a baby's neck so I crocheted a chain and threaded it through the neckline to draw it in to the right circumference and then sewed the ends in. I added a button at the top for a closure. Because I used a cotton blend yarn I knitted the sleeves and body length a little longer than the pattern in case of shrinkage. As you can see from the pic of the baby wearing it, the sleeves are way too long so I won't do that again.
I liked that the sweater was knit from the top down as that eliminated a lot of finishing. It's an easy pattern but cute and practical.


Deb Schenher sent this photo that she took while traveling to Weyburn last Saturday and I am sharing it with her permission. She was wondering if it is a sign of the future for gas prices. Somehow I don't think too many people would be driving any more at this cost for fuel.

doggy flu or something

Most of the time I think that having five dogs is just about perfect. Yeah, I know that most people gasp at that sentence but, for me, I love having my little pack at my side to cuddle or be entertained by their antics.

This week, Austin and Bentley have been having tummy problems. I don't know if it's a flu bug or what but I have spent a great deal of time cleaning up after them. So far, none of the others is sick but, if it goes through all five of them, I will be a wreck.

One tip: if you are worried that vomiting and diarrhea is causing your pet to be dehydrated, unflavored Pedialyte mixed with a little bit of baby food chicken is extremely well-received by even sick dogs. I found this tip on the internet and it works well. I remember trying to give Pedialyte to a sick dog on the vet's advice before and having the dog absolutely refuse to have anything to do with it. Not a problem with the chicken mixed in for flavor.

I also remember having a difficult time trying to get Geoff to drink Pedialyte when he was a sick toddler. Now I see that they have Pedialyte frozen pops. Why didn't anyone think of that 20 years ago? And, as a complete digression here, when Geoffrey was little I said that traveling would be SO much easier if you could pop a movie or cartoons into a TV in the vehicle. Why did I NOT patent the idea at the time??!!! Just think how wealthy I would be now!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Dream in Color Smooshy

I bought a couple of skeins of Dream In Color Smooshy. While looking for it online I found a new-to-me Canadian store, Robyn's Nest. The Smooshy was a dollar less per skein than I found anywhere else so I ordered the Into the Mystic and Deep Seaflower colorways and a tape measure. The yarn is lovely! It is truly smooshy and soft.
The package came today. It also included a magnet and an initial stitch marker. The sheep tape measure is just too cute!
Meanwhile, I have been trotting to massage and physio treatments for my neck and jaw. I sure hope the treatments start to loosen up my clenched muscles soon. I am tired of the pain and the daily headaches.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Well, the Etsy shop is sold out less than 24 hours after I let everyone know about the closing-out sale! Thank you everyone! Having the shop was a lot of fun but time-consuming and I am looking forward to having more time and energy to knit and spin.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Closing Shop

After my recent health problems with the flare of the TMJ and Fibromyalgia symptoms, I have made the difficult decision to close Dog Lover's Yarn Etsy shop.

All yarn is 30% off the listed price to reduce the stock. I will refund the money to your Pay Pal account before shipping.

Thanks to everyone for your support of this little venture of mine since it opened!

Friday, July 04, 2008

more sock yarn dyed

Happy 4th of July to all of you in the US of A!

Nothing too exciting to blog about the last few days. I'm still suffering the after-effects of the TMJ induced migraine even after massage therapy yesterday. I also booked a physiotherapy session for early next week to try to work out the pain.

I did dye some more summery sock yarn skeins so I'll show them to you.

I used Trekking XXL base yarn for all of them. They are in the Etsy shop if you're interested, except for the top one which sold within minutes of listing it.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

drying dyeing

I did some more dyeing last night. Here they are drying in the laundry room. Besides the one custom ordered skein, the rest will go into the Etsy shop as soon as they're dry.

Sock blanks: I managed to get a couple knit on the knitting machine. The one complaint that I had with the Knit Picks blanks was that both ends had live stitches so some unraveled in the dyeing process. I knit the ends of my blanks with waste yarn and bound them off. It's a bit more work because the binding off is done by hand but it eliminates the unraveling. All you have to do is untie or snip the waste yarn the get to the live stitches in the blank.
I had a custom order to try to reproduce the Antique Copper colorway that I sold. I figured I might as well do two while I was at it. I'm not sure how close I came because the skeins aren't quite dry yet but I think it's a pretty good match.

eta: The Yarn Harlot has published her annual Canada Day post on her blog and it is wonderful - go read it.