Monday, February 28, 2011

Just another Monday ...

February 27-sunny Sunday morning-14

Yesterday morning we woke up to a Winter Wonderland, just the way I like it! Fresh snow, sunshine, and not too cold. The pups liked it too.

February 27-sunny Sunday morning-5

They've been busy eating ice clumps, like it's the best candy on earth.

February 27-sunny Sunday morning-13

February 27-sunny Sunday morning-12

I've spun a little this month: my February spinning:

February spinning

And Maggie says Hi too:
Jan. 30

These photos were taken January 30th, she's grown a little into her sheepish face, and bat ears by now. It's not easy to get a sharp photo of her, she's always on the move. Like here: headless Maggie:


She looks so cute in this picture, it's quite deceiving. We call her Miss Thatcher, guess why?

Jan. 30

BTW - I have not forgotten about the Reindling recipe. I'll get to it soon, I promise. I'm supposed to bake one today, but I've got a major headache, so I don't think I will.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Blooming Mystery KAL - clue 3

This clue was not giving me any problems. It just took me a little longer to finish it, because of other things going on. There will be five clues in all.

Blooming Mystery KAL-clue 3 done-1

Blooming Mystery KAL-clue 3 done-3

I can't wait to see how the flowers will look like when finished.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Handspun Friday - all about SAG fiber

I've spun this a while back, and what fun it was!

SAG fiber
I took 1. Awesome Boyfriend 2. Ode to Sunflowers and 3. Fresh Cactus.

SAG-Falkland-Ode to Sunflowers-left over-navajo plied-58yds-1.1oz

I used the rest of this fiber to make 58yds of navajo plied yarn.

SAG-Falkland-3-ply from Ode to Sunflowers and Fresh Cactus 2x-252yds-4oz-1

The main yarn is a real 3-ply yarn with one ply Ode to Sunflowers and 2 plies Fresh Cactus, and I've got 252yds.

SAG-mixed colorways-3ply-183yds-3.5oz-3

I took one ply of each colorway to make this yarn. 183yds.

SAG-3-plies-sock yarn project

Here they are altogether. I'm thinking socks. Hopefully soon.


Wishing everybody a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And there was cake too!

We are not in the habit of celebrating our pups birthdays with cake, but we've got some yesterday. Carrot cake was liked by all three of them.

Only Denny was interested, first in the sparkle:

Denny's first Birthday

and then the cake:

Denny's first birthday

They quite enjoyed it. :o)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Denny!

Feb. 19-25

Our tough guy turned one year old today! He was a hard nut to crack! The first months especially felt like years with him. We brought him home, back in April 2010. Even when he was seven weeks old, we knew, we needed help to raise him.

Feb. 19-24
(You might think he's yawning in this photo, but he's not. I was gone and he was with my son. He tried to torture DS with yodeling, so he would open the gate for him. Look at how he folds his tongue to produce the oddest sounds.)

This pup gave us a hard time growing up, but he's 100% better than he once was. He still has to outgrow some bad habits, but I'm not sure he will. It's probably his personality. We got him for my son, after Biko died, but he attached himself to me from the moment we picked him up. This must be the most intense pup we've had so far. We needed help that was clear from the very start. We've tried many different ways to make life with him enjoyable, but the most help we got was from our Bark Buster Lady. I'm still so grateful to her, to show us how to handle him, and dogs in general. Not to talk about Maggie here, but she's Denny's female counterpart in many ways, just not as destructive as he was, and still is.

With Denny it's like child birth. With time you forget how painful it was. I tried to make a list of what he's destroyed in his life so far, but it never was quite complete. He's still destroying so much, if not a dish towel, then he goes for the recycling bin and paper, which is harmless, and just messy. There was a time were it was unthinkable to leave him alone just for a second, in fact you can't even turn around, especially when we are in the kitchen, he's stealing right out from under our noses. He's a Ninja dog, can climb, jump, and lick like nobody else. The only time I leave him alone in a room and he's NOT in a crate is at night, when I take Happy out for his last pee. I leave the sliding door open just far enough, so Denny can stick his nose through and watch us. He would sit there until we come back. Other times, somebody has to be in the room with him, or he'll have to stay in his crate. Period.

It took much longer to house train him, than the other dogs before him, and not because he's stupid, quite the opposite. He revenge peed for some time, every time he didn't get what he wanted, he peed. Before we got help from Bark Buster's we did talk about giving him up, but felt way to responsible for him, to actually do it. Besides, we didn't think anybody else would have the patience, and willingness to put up with his personality. It really wasn't a serious thought, we just threatened him with it, when we were really, really mad at him.


So, I don't know how time went by so quickly, and he's suddenly one year old! As it is so often with puppies, we only realized when something was better, after a while, when we asked our selves, how, and when did the change happen?
By the way, the photos show him in a state he likes the most. He's quite a lazy dog. Sure he likes to run outside, sprints for a couple of rounds around the pool, but soon enough he either gets a twig, a ball ("breaded" in snow, that's the way he likes them best), or anything else, which then he chews into pits and pieces, eating most of it. There are not many chew toys which can withstand his vigorous chewing.


While I play fetch with Happy, Denny relaxes nearby.


He's really good in relaxing. Don't know what makes him so tired. Maybe all the play fighting with Happy, and Maggie does him in.

Feb.15-the boys-4


Sleeping under my desk, surrounded by bones. He does not want to share, at least not with Happy at all, but Maggie is allowed to chew on the things he's chewing on. It will be interesting to see if he stays top dog in this pack, or if Maggie will be the Queen. There sure are signs of that regime change already.

Jan. 20-Dennyunder my desk-2
Looking at this photo makes me realize how far he's come. He's chewed cables twice before and got lucky that nothing happened, but now he's not interested in them in the least anymore. The spot under my desk is a beloved one for all three of them.
As I said, he's very attached to me. There might even be a little separation anxiety there, or he's just pissed, whenever I leave him behind, that would also make sense to me. He's a very good watch dog, and to my utter surprise, he's the dog who listens best! From the very beginning he's had a perfect recall. He's sweet and cuddly too, he barks a lot, but mostly he yodels, and makes sounds like pigeons. While Happys whining drives me mad (German Shepherds do that a lot, and I think they don't even realize they are making that sound), Denny's sounds make me go "awe", and make me laugh. He likes when I laugh, his tail wags a lot faster then, propeller style [in circles]). He acts jealous every time I pet the others, but he's got to get over that, because I'm not going to forget my sweetheart Happy, that's for sure.

Jan. 14-3

I wish for him to calm down some more as he gets older, but I love him, and his personality, and I'm glad we got to get to have him in our lives. My little Dumpling, here's to many more years together!!!

And something for you to laugh about: I was run over by Denny yesterday! This was the second time we let all of them run around outside at once. From now on I don't think it's a problem anymore, only hazardous to MYSELF!

See what I mean? Every other dog would stop in front of me, or run by on either side, but not Denny! He mowed me down. And then I couldn't get up right away, because I was laughing so hard. :o) I didn't see it coming, because I was concentrating on the little screen. It should come with a warning, "Objects on screen are closer then they appear!" :o)


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blooming Mystery KAL - clue 2

Boy this second clue gave me a hard time!

I was so eager to continue knitting, that I did not look at the charts close enough. What tripped me up was, that the wrong side rows are not just purl rows, but with a few knit stitches strewn in, as well as, there were two parts of the chart. At first both charts looked the same, but after a few rows they had different stitches, but I missed that at first. I had to rip back three long rows, and still had to go down a couple of stitches to fix my mistakes. From now on I'll be more careful, because tinking is not much fun, takes me longer than knitting, and I dropped a stitch too. Anyway, I'm done with this clue, and will be knitting the next clue shortly.

I so love this colorway (Wandering Cat Yarns Twinkle Cat - Emerald City)! The twinkle is silver, but it would look great with gold sparkle too.

Blooming Mystery KAL - clue 2

Friday, February 18, 2011

Handspun Friday - FCK Counterpaint

This is another FatCatKnits fiber, colorway Counterpaint on Falkland, 3.7oz, 357yds, 2-ply.


I'm very happy with the way this yarn turned out. First I LOVE the colorway, it's gorgeous. Ginny said, it's for adventurous people. He!
Still, there was a hick-up during plying. I had to break the single of one bobbin twice, to remove some of it, so the colors would stay together. It's really hard to break the whole fiber into exactly equal halves, and spinning is not always totally even either, so that happens. I still got good yardage out of it. I was thinking of using some natural colored handspun with it, if I'm going to make it into yet another shawl. Ginny (of FatCatKnits) suggested to knit a scarf lengthwise, which shoule also look great.

I've set up my Minstrel spinning wheel in my studio, and have some SAG fiber to work on whenever I have time to be there. My other wheel has some merino/tencel on it, but to tell the truth I'm currently obsessed with my first blanket of this year. I can't put it down. But more about it later.


I wish you all a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

News from the pups

We've finally reached the stage in our three puppy household, where Denny does not try to kill Maggie, Maggie does not try to kill both of them, and Maggie does not pee every 5 minutes. Happy is the big goof, while Denny and Maggie are whirlwinds, and they all love each other. Phew!
Finally they can all be out and about together, playing rough, but also resting peacefully, double Phew! It's really stressful, when you have to be alert all the time, to prevent bad things from happening. We still don't leave Denny and Maggie alone, heck we don't even leave Denny alone, outside his crate.

Jan. 6

These photos were taken December 31, 2010. Yeah, I'm behind in showing, but they cracked me up, and make me smile every time I look at the photos.
Dec. 31, 2010

Dec. 31, 2010

Dec. 31, 2010

That was still, when Denny had to be in his crate, while Maggie was out. But he likes to sleep butt on butt with Happy too.

I've tried my hand on cheese nibbles. No real recipe, just thrown some things together. They were O.K. but next time I'll do it differently, or maybe even use a recipe!
I didn't see Denny there until after I looked at the photos on my computer screen. He did steal one cheese nibble from the baking sheet, BEFORE they went into the oven. But he didn't get any from the plate.

cheese nibbles with Denny

Monday, February 14, 2011

Shell & Feather Crochet Shawl

Shell & Feather crochet shawl finished-34x62inches-11

Somebody called this old fashioned, and I guess it is, but this shawl really spoke to me, the moment I saw it here for the first time. I fell in love with it, and wanted to make my own. First I had to get my hands on a copy of this book. Not easy, but I did it. I tried our Libraries first, but no luck. Somebody else called it classic, and elegant, and I agree.

Shell & Feather crochet shawl finished-34x62inches-4

In the book it was a square shawl, which I wanted to make into a triangular shawl. The top edge is a bit iffy, I made mistakes, but finally figured it out. Crochet is still not something I'm totally comfortable with. The yarn had a rather mohair like feature, and didn't want to be ripped out too often.

Shell & Feather crochet shawl finished-34x62inches-1

Throughout the main body I was looking forward to the edging. I was confident that I would have enough yarn to do the whole nine rows. Keep in mind, that for the same sized shawl, you'll need a lot more yarn if you crochet it, compared to knitting it.

Shell & Feather crochet shawl finished-34x62inches-6

Here the color is shiny, golden in sunlight. It's more true, than the one with the green background. But without the sunlight, it's between the two of them.

pattern: Shell & Feather crochet shawl by Mary Konior from her book " Crochet Lace" An Illustrated Guide To Making Crochet Lace Fabrics.

yarn: Wandering Cat Yarns Fluffy Cat fingering weight, color Winter Wheat, 2 skeins, had only 5g left over. I've used 760yds (1.9 skeins).

hook: 5.5mm (I), I think I could have used a bigger hook to make it even more lacy.

size: 33" x 60"

start-finish: January 11-19 2011

This is # 2 of 11 shawls in 2011. I loved the whole experience. I've used this shawl more then any other knit shawl I've ever made. It just sits right on my shoulders, is warm, cozy, and fluffy, as the name of the yarn suggests. I think it's because crochet of any kind, is tenser, heavier, more substantial, even with all those holes in it.
Crochet will never be my favorite craft, but I love it now and then, especially for blankets, but also for certain shawls now. It's a fine line of like or dislike for me.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blooming Mystery KAL - clue 1

Last Saturday we've got clue one to knit. This is it:

Blooming Mystery KAL - clue 1

I'm using Wandering Cat Yarns Twinkle Cat in Emerald City. Beautiful yarn!

WCY-Twinkle Cat-Emerald City-2 times

About an hour ago, I've printed out clue 2, and hope to get started on it soon. This is fun! You cast on A LOT of stitches and knit the shawl from the outside in. Every second row you've got less stitches.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Handspun Friday - FCK Mixed Blessing January 2011

I could not wait to get this fiber in the mail, after seeing photos of it from others, who already had it in their hands. I loved both colorways the moment I saw them. It's FatCatKnits Mixed Blessings Fiber Club January 2011 in Merino wool. I think Ginny is dyeing the most amazing colorways.

The red one: 5oz
FCK-MB fiber club Winter 2011 # 1 January-Merino-10oz-6

The blue one: 5oz
FCK-MB fiber club Winter 2011 # 1 January-Merino-10oz-2

There are little snow flakes on both of them. I had to go outside, even while snowing to take pictures, to get the true colors of the fiber.

Here's what I did with them: the red one: 275yds, navajo plied merino

FCK -MB Winter 2011-1-Merino-n-plied-red colorway-275yds-1

and the blue one: 236yds, navajo plied, merino (a little less, because Denny had to take a bite out of it)
FCK -MB Winter 2011-1-Merino-n-plied-blue colorway-236yds-4

I also wanted to make a 2-ply with both colorways together: 88yds, chunky
FCK -MB Winter 2011-1-Merino-2ply with each colorway-88yds-chunky-2

Here are the two colorways together: I want to use them together in a project.

FCK -MB Winter 2011-1-Merino-n-plied-blue & red colorway-1

And here's the whole family:
FCK -MB Winter 2011-1-Merino-n-plied-the whole family-1

And because I love this yarn, here's another shot:
FCK -MB Winter 2011-1-Merino-n-plied-the whole family-2

I can't wait for next FatCatKnits Mixed Blessing fiber club to arrive. It's already on its way!

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Boys & Maggie

This is a video of all three of them out on the deck. It's nothing special, except to see how they interact. Maggie does not take any crap from the boys. She also likes to dig, and eat snow/ice, which turned her into a peeing machine.

We still limit the time Denny and Maggie are together, but I'm not afraid for her anymore. Of course they still can't be left alone together, she's just too small, not that she'd know it! It's clear that she's the Boss. I'd never thought that would happen. She has spunk!
Anyway, enjoy!


Monday, February 07, 2011

January socks - done!

This weekend I had a hankering for carrot cake. I've seen this recipe on Lucy in the Attic's blog. She made it sound mouthwatering good, and it's very easy, so I gave it a try.

Feb.5-Carrot Cake with cream cheese-butter-orange icing-5

Not bad. I really liked it. I didn't wait long enough for the icing to harden, before slicing the cake, but I like room temperature food more than cold, from the fridge. Contrary to Lucy though, I love cream cheese (all kinds of cheese really), so I made a butter/cream cheese/orange/sugar icing. Yummy! Needs some tea to go with it to round it all up.

BTW- some people asked me for the recipe for my "Reindling". I'll have to translate it first, but I will put it up here.

One of my knitting goals for this year was to knit a pair of socks each month (or more if possible). Well I did finish my first pair in time.

Theme & Variations socks-done-5

pattern: Theme & Variation socks by Elizabeth Sullivan
yarn: 100% superfine merino (how long will they last? so thin, so soft) came as a kit from Sweet Paprika Design
needle: 2.25mm, 5 DP
start-finish: January 7 - 28, 2011
size: womens 11
mods: since the cuff was dark blue, I wanted the toes to be dark blue too. I shortened the leg part, because I thought I'd run out of yarn. Not so.

Theme & Variations socks-done-8

These socks turned me into a whiny being. I'm not going to knit with more than two colors in a row any time soon again. I'm so glad they are done. I like how they look though.

Theme & Variations socks-done-7

I've already picked out my next pair. I also finished shawl # 3 this weekend, and cast on shawl # 4, which is the Blooming Mystery KAL shawl. Didn't do much spinning over the weekend, oh well.