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Archive for April, 2008

Hooray Hooray!! As if everyone didn’t already know – it’s Spring!!! Everything is finally getting green again, the weather is not too hot or cold (except, of course, when we have our famous April snow storms), and the days are longer!

I’m very lucky that the complex I live in is very nicely landscaped and maintained. It’s almost like living in a park. Boomie loves to run around in the grass, and while he occupies himself with some weird smell or other, I always have lovely things to look at.

Case in point, just outside my front door is this lovely tree!

It’s branches hang over my entry way, framing it in Springtime goodness. The flowers will eventually fall off and turn into leaves (which is also nice), but it’s so pretty right now.

The colors of my tree have influenced my latest yarn acquisition and project. I have decided to start the Mitered Square Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting. It’ll probably take a couple of years to finish, but I figured that it would be nice to have little mitered squares to work on now and again as a portable project. Standing in my LYS, I immediately gravitated towards the more “springy” colors, and decided upon these two to start my squares out with.

What you are looking at is 2 skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic (yummy yummy yarn), one in Grass Green, the other in Cream. I’m almost hesitant to start knitting with them – I really enjoy just looking at them – all bright and cheerful, wound into their little center-pull balls…

Simple pleasures for a simple mind!

**John Denver rocks!!!

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As I continue to try to add to my arsenal of Mad Knitting Skillz, I decided to take a class on how to knit Continental style, which is also referred to as “picking”. Currently, I knit English style (which can be referred to as throwing). The main reason I want to learn to knit Continental is because it generally is a much faster way of knitting, and as I’ve mentioned before: I am a very slow knitter!!!

I had tried to teach myself the Continental way of knitting, just as I had the English method – with books from the library and from different sites online, but I just couldn’t get it. So off to the LYS for an actual instructor lesson.

The lesson was great, as was the instructor, but I really need some practice. Knitting this way almost feels completely backwards from how I learned to knit in the first place – the yarn is now held in the left hand, the tension is all sorts of crazy, and there’s a lot less wrapping and moving the yarn around (which makes it faster), so it feels like I’m missing steps. But I got the hang of it after a few rows, so I was definitely pleased. However, my tension is waaaayyy too tight, and my stitches are still getting twisted now and then and coming out kinda wonky, but I keep reminding myself how crapalicious my knitting looked when I first started a year ago.

The sample on the left is my practice swatch in Continental, the right is my usual way of knitting. As you can see, the one on the left looks as though it may have been done while I was a little drunk.

I just need to practice practice, and resist all urges to go back to the old English style, and before long, I’ll be knitting like the wind!! Woo-hoo!!

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Out, Damn Spot!

As we all know, life is full of mysteries, and the Universe is full of random weirdness. Case in point: Boomer has a spot. Yes, a spot.

I noticed it yesterday afternoon – a dark, black, stainy type of spot in the fur on his side. I got out a wet wipe (that I usually use for his muddy feet after a walk), and tried to clean the spot off. I only made it worse. It was like some sort of inky gunk had gotten into his fur. So out came the whitening shampoo. No luck. The spot was just more smudgy and had spread out even further.

Now you may wonder why this is so odd, but, for the life of me, I cannot figure out where the spot came from (or really what it even is). I know he got it somewhere inside, but where?? I’ve searched high and low for anything that could have produced his mystery spot, and have yet to come up with anything.

So, I decided to go to the source, and ask Boomer where the spot came from, and so far, have gotten a couple of different answers. First he explained that he was catching up on some correspondence, got sleepy and fell asleep on his Sharpie marker. Then he explained that he was thinking of going Brunette, and the hair coloring box said to try the dye out on a small spot first. But, I think I finally got the true answer out of him this evening (after trying, again unsuccessfully, to shampoo the spot clean) – it was just a tattoo gone bad. He’s been trying to toughen up him image, you see. I guess he thought all the scrubbing and shampooing were some type of doggie water torture, and he’s better just fess up – d’oh!

At least it’s just on his fur, so we’ll just have to wait till it grows out, or wears off, or maybe I’ll just clip the fur there.

Ahh, doggies – never a dull moment!! At least is hasn’t effected his appetite!

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I recently came across a great pattern for a new quickie type of project for a friend’s baby. Rather than go out and spend way too much on some new yarn, I hit my stash. I was actually surprised to find a bright Spring-y color hiding in there. I usually tend to veer towards darker colors, but peeking out, in the middle of all my dark blues, greens and purples, were two balls of pink goodness. Too perfect for a Springtime baby garment (if that baby is a girl, of course).

So, I cast on with my always dependable Sugar N’ Cream cotton yarn in Hot Pink, and off I went.
This will eventually be a wee little sundress, but right now, it’s two panels of a smocked stitch for the front and back. This was a very fumbly stitch to figure out and work, but I really like how it turned out. All that’s left for this sassy little ensemble is to join the 2 pieces together on a circular and then knit about 8 inches in Stockinette, some cute little eyelet details at the bottom, then voila!

As I was taking these pictures of my smocked panels, Boomer was sitting within inches, supervising the photo shoot. I thought he may like to pose with a piece of the yarn-goodness. But alas, he was quick to remind me that boys don’t do pink – much less pink sundresses. I had to remind him that he was very manly, so manly, in fact, that while not many Maltese boys could pull off posing with girlie stuff, he most definitely could!

He didn’t completely buy it, but at least he put his snarly face away. Just wait till he finds out I’m making him a smocked sundress in yellow! Tee-hee!

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Off Topic Tuesday

Growing up, our family didn’t have a ton of traditions, but rather just a few kind of special and sort of weird ones. One of the more silly ones came from my Nana. Now, I know she didn’t make this one up, but I’m really not sure where it originates. I’ve heard other variations of it, but here’s ours:
On the first day of each month, we would wake up, and before we set foot on the ground, we would jump off the end of our bed and yell “Rabbit Rabbit” while in the air, before we landed. If we were successful in doing so, good luck would be with us for the rest of the month!
Obviously giving us any kind of permission to jump off a bed when we were kids was awesome, so I pretty much loved the first of every month.
As a kid, I almost never missed a month, but as I got older, I forgot more often. Now, that I’m an adult, I almost never remember.

Usually, Boomer wakes me up nice and early for his morning business, so early sometimes, that I’m lucky to remember to put my glasses on much less what date it is. But, for some reason, I remembered this morning. I thought to myself “Hey Self, we sure could use some good luck, and what do you know? It’s the first!” So I crawled to the end of my bed, glanced over at Boomer who was looking at me with the most puzzled look on his face, and jumped!
In my most happy-to-be-awake voice, I yelled out “Rabbit Rabbit”, which scared the beejezus out of poor little Boomer, and he ran towards me – or should I say towards where I was about to land. Eeeek! I tried to readjust myself midair so as not to squish the little fluff ball, and, needless to say, did not nail my landing. It was, at best, a 1.2- and that’s only if the Russian judge is being nice!
Oh well, I have ensured myself a whole month of good luck, despite the fact that it started off with a freaked out doggie and a sore bottom.

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