Sunday, August 29, 2010


Today was a hot, wonderful summer day. We had a lot of fun with the pups. They each got a shampoo bath, the first one this summer, very much needed. Denny has such an interesting coat. It's like a sponge, keeps the water in for a long time, even with vigorous toweling off several times, with every shake he's all wet again. But today it's more about Happy, and his fun with the water hose!
This is my favorite photo, and if you can, look at it the largest size possible. I love how the camera got the water drops all around him, and in front of his chest.
August 5-Happy loves the hose-16-2

Every time he sees us going to turn on the hose, he runs to look for the end of it, waiting for the water to come out. If we are not fast enough, he'll garb it and off he goes splish-splashing all over the lawn, and eventually digging in the mud he produced with the help of the hose. So we have to be quick, and send him flying around the lawn, chasing the falling water drops.

This is another one of my favorites:
August 5-Happy loves the hose-4-2

And here he just looks like an idiot:
August 5-Happy loves the hose-14-2

He's always getting quite a work out, while Denny is standing between my legs, the perfect place to NOT get wet, but watching the whole thing:
August 5-Happy loves the hose-3-2

August 5-Happy loves the hose-11-2

August 5-Happy loves the hose-15-2

August 5-Happy loves the hose-2-2

August 5-Happy loves the hose-1-2

I'd appreciate if I could get some advice on how to cut the nails if the one who's nails are long, and in need of cutting, but does not cooperate = Denny! We tried a lot of things, and even got Valium form the Vet, but that made just his butt wiggle waggle a little, but the rest of the dog did not slow down, or let us clip a single nail. I don't know what to do now. If WE can't cut the nails, surely I can't go to a groomer with him? Any suggestions? So far we've always cut the nails of our dogs, but this little bugger wont let us.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Handspun Friday - Tiger Stripes

This is some fiber dyed by Shelby of Spinning Awesome Good. I'm especially excited about this colorway. Shelby asked for inspiration, and I told her of the color combination, which was on my mind for some time now. She dyed this wonderful fiber flower for me.

This is BFL/Tussah fiber blend. I must admit, I'm no fan of Tussah. I don't like the slubs, which come with it. I DO love the shiny yarn though, but I've discovered that BFL does have a little luster on its own. It was a pleasure to spin. I wanted to preserve the colors, so I navajo plied it. I've got ~ 238yds out of the 4oz.

SAG Tiber Stripes-BFL/Tussah
It would have been impossible for me to spin, with Denny so close by, some time ago. He's really been good about it, even though he was VERY interested in the fiber as you can see.

August 16-Denny & fiber
He moved around the fiber bowl, looking at it from all angles.
August 16-Denny & fiber
He wanted to get a really good sniff of it, but with a little warning from me, he left it alone.
August 16-Denny & fiber
But, a couple of hours later, he came back and grabbed a mouth full of it, and took off. It's always been in his nature, to go back to places, and things he was shooed away, to do what he wanted to do in the first place. His memory is excellent, and it astonishes me every time.
While I was spinning that day, we heard a small airplane flying over our house. When we are outside, both dogs look up, and follow it as long as they can see it. But that day, we were inside. Denny heard it, and looked up, expecting to see it fly over our heads. He connected the sound with an airplane, that was very cool.
The tilers have been at work since Wednesday, and they think they'll be done by tomorrow. The kitchen and hall are almost finished, and I like it very much, even though the tiles have more different shades of colors, then I had expected. They still have to do the powder room and the laundry room, plus all the cutting along the walls. Slowly it's coming together.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Today I woke up grumpy. I had to deal with the garbage, let the dogs out, and clean up after them. It suddenly rained, just a misty, fine rain, which tickled on my skin. I looked up and saw this beautiful rainbow. Actually, it was a double rainbow, but you can't see it in this picture very well.
August 26-7AM
It was much prettier in real, and I thought to myself, "now stop being grumpy!". Every time I see a rainbow, I feel all exited, and privileged that I could see it. It was gone after a few minutes.
Denny burried his first bone in the chew toy basket of all places! He was walking around with it, outside, inside, and finally thought that was the right place to hide it. He made a big heap over his bone, with other toys, and when he was done, he sat in front of me, and whined.
Happy was not feeling well for a couple of days, not eating etc. Denny was harassing him, and he did not discipline him at all. This morning though, Happy wolfed down his breakfast, and after playing with Denny nicely, they got into a fight. Nobody got hurt, but it sure sounded awful. After that Denny left him alone, and kept his distance, at least for a few hours.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So here is my finished test knit shawl Larix by Alexandra Wiedmayer. I really liked her original shawl very much, the yarn she used is just so beautiful, well orange and green are just MY colors, so they speak to me.
Larix shawl finished
I'm very happy how my handspun turned out in this shawl. It's Rusty I showed you before. Two skeins of the Rusty colorway, and part of one skein of oatmeal BFL.
Larix shawl finished
I'm not so happy with the way I blocked this shawl. I don't have space for a good blocking right now. No more carpet floorings, which is probably the only negative thing about getting rid of them. I only had four foam pads, and I struggled to keep it within it's foaminess. But I think I'll just block it better the next time I'll wash this shawl, which will be a while anyway.
Larix shawl finished
I liked this design right away, and am glad that I got a chance to test knit it. It looks simple, but even though Alexandra says in the pattern, that once you get the repeats, you can remove the place markers, I never did. I never fully memorized the whole reapeat, and was thankful for the place markers, especially since you have to move them in certain rows. But the relaxing part is the stockinett part of the shawl. Mine is smaller, I didn't get a chance to measure it, but it's easy to make it as large as one wants it to be.
It was a pleasure to knit with my handspun. I especially like how the yarn was stripey to the end. It's no surprise, I wanted it that way, but still, you never exactly know how your handspun will turn out when knit up.


Monday, August 23, 2010


This is a text book puppy: Denny the Delinquent
August 5

I've finished the pair of mittens I was working on. Did I tell you about them?
It's the Della mittens by Holly Terrel. They are fingerless mittens, but I wanted to make them full mittens. I really like them. Here's the beginning of one.
Della mittens for mom
... and that's one of them...
Denny's work
I've finished them today, washed them, blocked them, and then Denny got hold of one. Until I realized it, it was too late. I hope I've got enough yarn left to make another one! And I was so looking forward to knit something else. :o(

I ask you, is this not just a dog, but a beaver too?
August 5
He's stripped bark from the young tree, like it's his job. I think there's some Terrier in him too, because he loves to dig holes, and he finds grubs, and eats them!!! Well actually, I don't think it's grubs, when they are in beetle stage, and sound crunchy when eaten.

Today we went to the Vet's with Denny to weigh him (21 kg) for his flea medication. He made such a ruckus! It was embarrassing. He wanted to say Hello to everybody, and wiggled his butt off, and he got belly scratches, but as soon as the belly scratches stopped, he protested very loudly. Only a handful of treats from the cookie jar settled him down.

Next time I'll show you some other accomplishment of Happy's! :o) Way less destructive. The creepy crawler has no chance to stay in the pool, when he's out, that we know now.
Want to know how renos are going? Well, the first coat of paint is on the walls. It's totally done upstairs, but downstairs it's just the first coat, and that's just as well, because seeing the chosen color on the walls, I had to change my mind. What would you have done, when the first reaction of seeing the color is a shriek, and a shudder? Even if you are in the room for a while, and get used to it, I can do without the first reaction. So we'll go with the next shade on the sample card. Hopefully this will be IT!
On Wednesday the tiler will start working on the floors. It's going to take longer as anticipated, because it turns out, the way I want them on the floor (45degree angle) takes longer to do, and also needs more tiles, which they didn't plan for. It just didn't come up before, they just assumed, and so did I.
As many of you already warned, it's getting more expensive, and will take longer altogether, but there's nothing we can do now.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Handspun Friday - Tapestry

I don't think I've shown this yarn here before, but I've shown it on FatCatKnits ravelry group, I think. Anyway, this is FatCatKnits variegated BFL - Tapestry:
FCK-BFL Humbug-Tapestry-8oz

I made this navajo plied yarn with it:
FCK-BFL variegated-Tapestry-4oz-267yds-navajo plied

and once more:
FCK-BFL variegated-Tapestry-4oz-267yds-navajo plied
It's 4oz, navajo plied, ~ 267yds. I'm going to add it to my finished Humbug box, where I am collection my variegated dyed, and finished handspun yarn, until I know what I'll want to make with it.

On Wednesday, my DD Hannah came home with a friend for a swim, and sun bathing. This friend scared Denny, who so far has only had friendly encounters with strangers. It rattled him. She ran after him, arms stretched out. At first he stood his ground, and barked at her, but since she persisted, he thought he'd better run. For the rest of the afternoon, both hid either under my desk, or when we were outside, they ran up the hill beside the house, and watched us from behind the corner, just their heads popping out.
August 18-hiding under my desk
By the time they left, Denny let her scratch his belly though. He must have realized, that she's not THAT scary after all.

Happy had an encounter with the painter, and it puzzles me even more now, that he's afraid of Hannah, but is brave enough to go up to a stranger, smelling of paint, to sniff his outstreched hand. I was playing Frisbee with him, while Denny was off on a car ride with DS David, when suddenly the balcony door opened, and the painter came downstairs into the backyard. I wondered what he wanted, but learned that soon enough. He just thought Happy was such a beautiful dog, that he had to meet him.
He crouched down, and held out his hand, while calling Happy. The scardy cat just woofed with his deepest voice, a few times, and since the guy didn't go away, he finally went to him, and sniffed his hand. After that everybody was happy, and returned to what we were doing. :o)

The upstairs bedrooms are painted, and look wonderful. I think they will finish painting today, and I can't wait to see some color on the walls!
I still haven't cast on for something new. I can't decide. So I've spun some more, which is fun anyway, but in the evenings, I don't like to have idle hands. There must be a decision soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The day Happy tackled the sea monster ...

Yesterday something funny happened.
I had put the suction cleaner into the pool the evening before (for the first time this season). In the morning, next day, first time outside, the dogs noticed this thing in the pool, and it made this weird sound - tock-tock-tock, which puzzled them a little.
August 17-10
After circling the pool several times, and watching the monster in the water for a while, Happy let out a whiny squeak, and jumped into the pool. He grabbed the hose of the cleaner and dragged it out of the pool! :o) Awe, my brave little guy!
August 16-6
He was very proud of himself afterwards.

There was also a wonderful sky.
August 17-1
The humid weather was broken by a thunder storm the day before, and we had a nice summer breeze going, it was just a lovely day.
I haven't cast on for something new to knit, but I did get some spinning done. I can't decide what to do next, so I dug out my Surrounded blanket, but have not knit a stitch on it. I left out a lot of sock yarn, thinking socks would be the best thing to knit while waiting for the renos to get done, but I don't feel like knitting socks at all right now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Lattice socks finally done!

It's been over a month ago since I cast on for this pair. I don't know why it took me so long; I loved both, the yarn and the pattern.
Lattice socks done-1

yarn: Wandering Cat Yarns in the colorway "Campfire".
pattern: Beaded Lattice Socks by Terry Morris from the book Sock Club. I did not use beads for my socks.
needles: 2.5mm DP

Lattice socks done-3

In reno news, they guys have worked hard last week, but it still looks awful upstairs. They prepared the walls, and ceilings for painting. In the kitchen they put up dry wall ceiling, as well as in the dining room. They found a bad wall going up the staircase and had to replace part of it. The floors are nailed down, and I guess ready for putting down the new wood panels, but that will come later. The electrician was here, and passed first inspection. The plumper was here too. He had to do something about the old plumping, which stood out too far from the wall (from upstairs coming down to the kitchen). One door has been shut with dry wall, another one has been opened.
Last week was a little bit depressing, with all the noise, and the smells. We tried to get out of the house as much as possible, but still, I had a little bit of a cabin fever feeling.

The pups are keeping me busy too. Friday, Denny joined me in the swimming pool and did his best, trying to drown me! He wanted to climb on me, while swimming, that was no fun at all. He was very persistent, the little bugger!
August 6
It seems there was a shift between Happy and Denny. Happy is putting Denny down more often, and it is not always nice to hear. Denny has more respect for him now. The cute cuddling while sleeping is becoming more rare.
On the plus side, Denny is finally house broken, since we moved downstairs, he has had no accidents, which can not be said from before. It might have had to do with the old carpet flooring as well, since there was Biko, and Sam, as well as Happy before Denny, who were raised on them. Even the best efforts of cleaning up the accidents must not have been enough for a good puppy nose.
Yesterday, for probably the first time in a month, I took the spinning wheel for a ride, and I plied some finished singles, which have been sitting on the bobbins for all that time. I still have to wind it, and give it a good bath, before I can see how it turned out.


Friday, August 06, 2010

Handspun Friday - Rusty

As promised here's another handspun yarn. I really like this one myself, and you already saw it cast on for the shawl Larix. I've just finished the first ball of yarn.

This is FatCatKnits fiber, in the colorway "Rustica" short Rusty. It's 8oz of lovely BFL.

FCK Rustica 8oz-BFL
It's turned into 2 skeins of 2-ply yarn, a total of ~ 595yds.
Here's a photo of the shawl from yesterday afternoon. Not the best picture, but there were clouds (no rain, and the wind blew them away), but I like it, because there's my Sam on it too!
Larix shawl 30%
I'm a little further along now. It's slow going, because I've not memorized the repeat yet, so I have to stick to the chart, but I'm getting better, and once I don't have to have the chart with me, it'll go faster. It's not hard to knit, but the increases are placed differently than usually. This shawl needs a good blocking once it's done. I like it very much.
But those two skeins will not be enough to make this shawl big enough, so I had to spin some other fiber to add to the shawl. I choose 4oz of BFL in oatmeal, since I had it on hand. It's 2-ply of course, roughly 292yds. That should do it.
-FCK-8oz- BFL- Rustica- 2-ply-total of 595yds-4oz oatmeal BFL-2ply-292yds

News from the construction site:
My kitchen is getting stripped to the bare bones:
August 5 -reno-2
There's not much of it left. There's just one other room, the future dining room, where the ceiling was also removed. All the others were only stripped of their floors.
Our ventilation hood over the old stove hasn't been working for years. Somehow we never got around to fixing it. Look what they found in the ventilation pipe:
August 5 -reno-3
Was it a birds nest? There's a birds feather in there, and many different grasses, and stuff. I'm afraid to pull it out. I'll leave it to the construction crew to deal with it. Such nice surprises! ;o)
The boys had a nice day of swimming, and sleeping. I took tons of outside photos, but more about them next time.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Another hot day ahead ...

They just said in the radio, that at 7:30AM we have 22C feeling like 30C already! Help! It's just too hot! Yesterday it felt like 40C and it will feel even more today. Puh! (wipes sweat of her forehead).

Well, we've survived the first reno day. Wanna see?
underneath the kitchen floor was an even uglier floor once
The guys are doing a fine job, and at the end of their work day, we can see what they did. We discovered that under the ugly tile floor, there was once an even uglier floor. Our ugly kitchen must have been an improvement already!
At times we didn't have water, or electricity, and it was very noisy, when they removed part of the tiles. We went outside with the pups during that time, but it was very uncomfortable hot out.

They did more than that of course.

Denny had his own demolition going on:
popped screen door- thanks, Denny
About a week ago, when the pups ran through the house, chasing each other, they also ran out on the deck. What they didn't know, and I didn't think, was that I closed the screen door, and Denny ran full tilt into it, pushing it out of its place. I'm hoping my son can put it back in.
Funny thing though, the next few times Denny wanted to go out on the deck, he stopped short at the door, and pawed the air in front of him, making sure, there's nothing there! Too sweet!

June 27

Here's a photo of the boys, which I like very much. Denny always wins a star down.

test knit - Larix shawl

So here's the beginning of my test knit Larix shawl by Alexandra Wiedmayer. I'm a little further along now, and I'm liking it very much. I'm using some hand spun yarn of mine, which I'll show you on Friday.

I'm still not back to spinning yet. It's a bit complicated, with Denny always trying to run off with my fiber. We still have to get used to living in this cramped space, getting into a new routine. But I hope I'll be back at the wheel soon.


Sunday, August 01, 2010

New living quaters!

It's Sunday evening, and I've finally moved into my new living quarters in our basement!!!

I'm totally pooped, and my feet, and legs have cramped up. If I have to lift one more thing, I'll cry. Everything took longer than we thought, because we had to take breaks. It was too much for two people, but we did it. I could not have done it without my son, and Hannah helped the last couple of days too.

If everything goes as planned, I'll be living here, with the pups for the next two month. I took the photos in the evening, it's nice and sunny during the day down here, and we can go outside and jump right into the pool if we want to.

August 1 -finally moved into the basement today -1
Since we replaced the windows, and doors in the basement too, we have no new blinds yet. So I hung an old pillow case in front of one small window, and some black fabric over the big window, in my bedroom area. Off to the left of my bed, there's the washroom. The dogs have their crates, but also their dog beds. I'm so glad we could fit it all in. I'm still going to get the small bedside table from the garage. I didn't know if it would fit, and I really need it. I'm also happy that we could leave the brown leather sofa there, it's very comfy, as Denny could tell you, since he's been sleeping on it already.
The kitchen table made it downstairs two, as well as two of the dining room chairs.

August 1 -finally moved into the basement today -2
Here's the view at my desk. I love this little space. My son David set it up so nicely, and the internet works too. Denny's crate has no pillow in it, since it was wet, and I had to put it outside to dry.
We let him outside into the backyard for the first time since he was neutered, and the first thing he did was run to the pool and jump in. He swam around, got out, shook himself off, and jumped right back in for another round. I didn't know he liked swimming SO much! After that he chased Happy around, and swam again. Little water rat! No photos, because I was stressed enough, had to give them some exercise time, but should have done something else at the same time. Anyway, it's over now, and I can start relaxing.

August 1 -finally moved into the basement today -3
And this is the "kitchen" area. The big bonus, which you can't see here is, that we could get the big fridge form the kitchen downstairs! That makes life much easier. The TV is not working, because we needed the cable for the internet, but I've not watched TV in month, so why would I want to now?
Happy is not very happy in this photo. He's scared of Hannah, very nervous around her. Even when she's not here, and only her things are parked someplace, he makes a big loop around and watches the stuff carefully (it could jump at him at any moment). It's a mystery to me, why he's so nervous around her. When she was here in February for a week, he didn't even stay at the same floor as she did, only at the end of the week, before she left, he did stay in the same room with her, but she could not look at him, or talk to him.
This time he's staying in the same room ,but no lying down comfortably. She once tried to give him a treat, but that made him leave the room again.
No problem with Denny though. He's all over her.

Happy's also having a bad hair day on his bum. When he's in the water much, his hair gets like that. I can't find the brush, or I would do something about it.
We fenced off the area, so they can be outside the crate, but not go off on me, while I'm not looking. They have to get used to all this, and come Tuesday they'll have to put up with all the banging, and noise coming from upstairs as well. Well, we all do.

Anyway, I'm stone tired today, and I wont be doing anything much anymore. Oh, I did finish my test knitting, that does not mean I finished the shawl, but I checked the instructions, written and the chart, and now I just have to repeat the second chart until I run out of yarn. I'm talking about the shawl Larix, which you'll find on ravelry. Sorry now link today, when I'm done with it, I'll add the link....

By now it's pitch black outside. It's a little creepy, and I still have to let the dogs out for their last pee.
Talk to you soon!