Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Things to look at when you should be doing other things.

Dear Mom,
You know how it is. You start reading a blog and then you click on a link to another blog, which ends up taking you to another. And before you know it you can't remember how you got there or even how to find your way back.
I know None of Us has time for this right now, with pies to be baked and turkeys waiting for the stuffing, but maybe a little daydreaming, inspiration sparking blog reading is just what our overworked-stretched-too-thin selves need right about now.
So here are few fun, crafty, creative, inspiring blogs I've stumbled across in the last day or so: (set a timer. don't burn the bread. don't say I didn't warn you!)

One Pearl Button

Say Yes to Hoboken

Take a nostalgic trip HERE

I found Lines of Beauty,a blog about embracing our ages, through Getting Stitched on the Farm.


Friday, November 19, 2010

In my Rear View Mirror

Dear Mom,

One of the things the trainer suggested to help Patsy act like a lady while riding in the car (instead of the attack dog wanna-be she is every time we pass a walker, jogger, bicyclist or motorcycle- which is to say just about all the time) was to put Patsy on her dog bed in the hatch of my car. Until now she rode in the back seat, tethered to a clip attached in the hatch that gave her a little range but would not allow her to jump into my lap or out of the car while it was moving.
This morning we tried out the new arrangement on our way to doggie daycare. Obviously, she is still tethered, but the hope is that as she masters her 'on your rug- down- stay' command, it will transfer to the car as well. Also, perhaps, the presence of the dog bed along with the command will make her feel secure enough not to be in Code Red High Alert Defense Mode while we travel. We hope.
It was pretty early and cold out and there weren't any walkers, bikers, joggers, or motorcycles on the road. The fact that our first run with the new arrangement transpired without incident may be a fluke. But still, it set a good precedent.

For obvious reasons this photo of my view in the rear view mirror is not all that good ( I did have to watch the road.), but can you see the chin resting on the back seat and the resigned expression in her eyes? Sharp contrast to the sassy "don't leave me back here" barking that I expected!

I'll be picking Patsy up soon and we will try it all again. Until then, I've had a most productive day- dining room carpet cleaned, a little spinning, Bumper furminated and 2 1/2 hours of uninterrupted knitting while I waited on an oil change, a new tire and new front brakes for my car. I was almost disappointed when they told me the car was ready.


Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Here!

Dear Mom,
The Winter 2011 issue of Kiki Magazine arrived in our mailbox this afternoon, and I put this sign on the frontdoor to great the Young Lady when she gets off the bus.I am trying to wait for her to get home before I devour the magazine, but after taking a quick peak on the inside I am thankful that the editors sent us an extra copy. There is a lot of stuff in there that I am interested in reading.

Here is a link to stores that carry the magazine.


Saturday, November 13, 2010


Dear Mom,

I hoped it would happen, but NEVER thought it would happen so soon.

Last night I was able to spin this while Patsy lay not more than 3 feet away. She didn't even glance at the roving laying on the floor nearby.

It's just..... WOW.


Friday, November 12, 2010


Dear Mom,
Let me just state for the record that although I have gone 19 (yes that is NINETEEN. One Nine. N.I.N.E.T.E.EN.) Days with no soft drinks, no sweets, no cookies, and no candy, I am NOT RESPONSIBLE for the tragic fire that destroyed a local Dunkin Donuts Thursday morning.
When My Hero came home for lunch yesterday, this is what he was wearing.

My sister-in-law pointed out that the bigger tragedy was the loss of the wine store next door.


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Dear Mom,
Patsy is being de-programmed re-programmed re-finished re-trained.

So are we.

There is so much to say on the subject and the subject itself is so exhausting that I am not going to write about it too much. It has been just over 24 hours and I already see a different dog. I see the possibility of spinning yarn in my own house with my dog present. As I write this, Patsy is perfecting her "on the rug,down, stay" and so far she gets an A+. I could weep.

To be honest, I felt on the lunatic fringe of an anxiety attack after the meeting with the trainer on Monday night. So many new rules and new behaviors. FOR ME. Well, not just me- for all the humans living in the house. Now that I think about it, the only one getting off scott free is Bumper.

I was so stirred up Monday night that I had to cast on a new project that is in no way tied to any sort of Christmas knitting.
I have no business doing that, but nevertheless, I did. It was therapeutic. And it is one of those things that I have no idea what I will do with when it is finished and probably has no place in my wardrobe, but I love knitting it, love how it is turning out and that is enough.
It is Stephen West's Daybreak, and here it is modeled by the Young Man's leftover bowl of Cheerio's.
And a close up.

I am using two different skeins of Claudia's Hand Painted fingering weight yarn from the stash. So even though I have failed on my Sock a Week resolution, I am still using up sock yarn.
This is not my first Stephen West design. My Handspun Shawl was knit following his Boneyard Shawl pattern. And then after reading Melissa's blog I had the itch to start another. Along with Daybreak, I downloaded the patterns for Urbana, Chadwick and Flagstone. I am hoping to use some of my handspun and my abundance of sock yarn for these scarves.

In a further knitting update, I see my pattern for "Grandpa's Socks" will be in the January 2011 issue of Creative Knitting magazine-if you scroll down on that page you will see them.
And! I've added a new pattern to Warm Thoughts. The North Porch Hat is one of my best selling designs and the Husky, Hasty North Porch Hat was designed as a companion to the Cowl Catcher and as something that can be knitted up quickly if a last minute Christmas knit is needed.

I think that about covers it. Looks like we are going to be gifted with a couple more days of perfect weather. Maybe I'll give the windows a shine today!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Family Intervention or Finishing School

Dear Mom,
Patsy has an appointment this afternoon with a dog trainer. A private appointment. I would call this "Finishing School" or Graduate School, but we all know better. Plus the trainer insisted that the WHOLE FAMILY be there. I am grateful. But why did it take someone else insisting that the entire family participate to make it happen? Things may have been easier if I had insisted on this from the start.I just hope this lady is a whole lot nicer than that OTHER one.
I think Patsy may have heard me scheduling the appointment or talking with the family about it at dinner, because she has been nearly well-behaved, almost DOG-like, the past few days. She is not fooling me, though. I am keeping the appointment.
It is Patsy's size and strength as much as her behavior that prompted me to make the call.
Plus, she is just getting a little too comfortable around here.

Gosh. Remember this?

I finished a few of the smaller Christmas knits, and worked up a new version of my North Porch Hat, this one using a bulky yarn. I am putting the finishing touches on the pattern and a friend has volunteered to test knit it for me.
This is a very quick knit- maybe a 2 hour hat, and I am hoping to get the pattern on ravelry and over on Warm Thoughts within the next week. It would be a nice last minute Christmas knit. It could also be made with the same yarn as my Cowl Catcher for a very nice gift.

I am taking advantage of these Indian summer days to wash rugs, comforters, and blankets and hang them out on the clothesline, giving everything some fresh air before the cold weather decides to stay. We were blessed with a beautiful warm sunny day yesterday, have another forecast for today and still another tomorrow and I am going to soak up as much of it as I can!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Absence Explained

Dear Mom,
I am still here. And these are the reasons why blogging has been put off. It is not, as Michelle feared, because I "dispatched myself with a knitting needle" after the disappointing Project Runway finale.

1) If I tell you I haven't had one single dessert, piece of candy, cookie or sweet in 10 days AND I gave up drinking soft drinks, will that be explanation enough? It should be. And no, I have not lost my will to live.

Actually, giving up on all that turned out to be mind over matter and the motivation of rather high triglycerides. Other than a wicked bad headache on  Day 4 it has been much easier that I thought it would be. I took the alcoholic's approach of One Day At A Time, especially with the Dr. Pepper (and boyoboy do I love my Dr. Pepper- ever since David Naughton danced around in those commercials singing I'm a Pepper wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?!), but I feel freed of my sugar addiction. I am not even tempted by the kid's Halloween candy.Yes, you can be alarmed and wonder who this is and what has she done with Kim.

I am saving myself for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

2) The knitting I am doing is all Christmas knitting, and just in case, I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone so I don't want to share too much of what I am doing.
Here is a peak though....
I spun and plied that yarn yesterday after taking Patsy to doggie daycare, giving myself a little piece of quiet.

3) P.A.T.S.Y.     Probably don't need to say much  more, except that I think she is still growing, is definitely stronger, and I can barely turn my back on her because she is finding some very inventive ways to be Naughty. More yarn has been sacrificed. Along with a toothbrush a can of cocktail nuts and godknowswhatelse. She can clean the plates in the bottom of the sink, but won't hang around long enough for me to teach her how to wash them. I believe our only safety zones have dwindled down to the insides of the microwave, oven and fridge. When she figures out how to open those, I probably will have to dispatch myself with a knitting needle. I would laugh if it weren't so frustrating. It would be easier to cry than laugh, but that won't help either. I've actually said the following OUT LOUD to her:

"Stop looking at me. I don't even like you right now."
"Don't you KNOW how lucky you are to be here?"
But Mostly I say leave it....leeeeeavvvve it. DROP. Off. Down. LLLLEEEEAVE IT. PatsyPATSY!!!

As if any of that is going to make her behave. My sanity is suffering. Obviously.

And as a side note- last weekend the Humane Society was offering free microchips. As I was filling out the paperwork for Patsy's chip, I was having an internal debate about the wisdom of this action- why would I want this beast returned to me if she were lost vs. because this is the responsible thing to do. And it was free. Anyway, she got her microchip and I didn't lie on the paperwork. If she were to get herself lost, her microchip will bring her home to us...... Yes. My sanity suffers.

And there in the midst of Humane Society Halloween Microchip-ing was this cat, wearing the best cat costume ever, and acting like a DOG. A well behaved dog.)

Puss in Boots

 I didn't witness it, but the word traveling like wildfire from human to human was that this cat did tricks and could High Five. I got outta there before Patsy got comfortable enough to be Patsy, and before she could figure out that all those little things in costumes were other dogs and cats.

So that is it in a nutshell. I am here, adjusting to life without Dr. Pepper and dessert, chasing a dog with something in her mouth that shouldn't be around my dining room table but still knitting as much as possible.