Cone-free Doggie

My husband and I took off Sputnik’s cone, ZenTube, and bandages off yesterday.  He was nekked for  little bit, but we did put his regular collar back on him, of course.  Cone-free doggie, at last!  Since the cone has come off, he’s once again curious about yarn, but there’s improvement.

I inadvertently used natural fibers around him, a soft merino superwash .  It was from a Zauberball actually.  He had no problem with it.  Then I took out an alpaca blend that I am knitting a simple shawl with, and we were a little curious about that.  After a firm correction and praise, I was able to knit.

I know there are still going to be times when he thinks yarn is a toy.  He’s young, and will be seven months old tomorrow.  Still, knitting around Sputnik is getting better.


Dog v. Yarn and Something Cool

The battle of Dog v. Yarn is getting better.  Sputnik is still curious about what I’m doing with string, but has learned, with the back up with a spray bottle, that yarn is a not a toy.  I’ve also been sticking to synthetic fibers as not to entice his nose with natural ones.  That’s another battle for another time.

I got a few quick projects off, like this cool hat I crocheted (yes, crocheted).  I also managed to knit a scarf for the Wrap Up! Project, too.

Me in my newly crocheted hat.

I apologize for the glare of the fluorescent lights on the hat.  Ugh, office lighting.

Now, for the cool thing.  Familiar with the Craftys Awards?  I nominated myself in the craft blogger category, and they featured me on social mediaHow cool IS that?!

I hope that you had a fantastic New Year!


Christmas Memory Lane

I’m still working on that Mara Penny Taste of Home Color! adult coloring book, and came across a page that stirred a lot of good memories.  Let’s take a walk down Christmas memory lane, shall we?

Colored Christmas Ornaments from TOH Color! book drawn by Mara Penny.

These ornaments remind me of my grandmother. Every year on Christmas Eve the entire family would meet at her home.  We’d pile presents around the tree.  Next, we’d have a nice dinner that my grandmother would have made.  I remember looking up at the chandelier right above the dining room table, and she would have hung ornaments similar to these on it.  Here’s were shiny blue, silver, gold, and other bright colors.  You could see your reflection in them.  I found them fascinating.

That’s why I had to color in this page.  It stirred fantastic childhood memories.

My aunt and uncle live in that same house now with the the same chandelier, and my aunt hangs the same ornaments from it.  She told me that her mother, my grandmother, bought them for the reason that they would fascinate her children, my two aunts and my father.  Next, the fascinated her grandchildren.  Now, they fascinate her great-grandchildren, too.

Aunt Ellen hangs those ornaments in memory of her mother, and I’m glad she does!

Oh, to finish up telling you about the Christmas Eve traditions.  After dinner, it was time to get dressed and go to church for the service that night.  It was always a lovely service, complete with a singing of “Silent Night” with everyone holding candles.

Funny, I’d look up at the candelabras in the sanctuary and see the reflections of hundreds points of light in their polished bronze.

After church, we’d open that massive pile of presents.  My grandfather would always put the wrapping paper in the lit fireplace to burn it up.

Next, my tired sisters and myself would pile into the family van, and go home and sleep to get ready for Christmas Day.  Still, Christmas Eve always had a magical touch to it.

I want to wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas!

Sputnik, Destroyer of Yarn

I would like to introduce everyone to a our new dog, Sputnik!  He’s a Great Pyrenees/Labrador mix, hence a “pyrador,” and is six months old.  Sputnik is going to be a BIG boy.

My husband and I got him from LaMancha Animal Rescue in Unionville, Pennsylvania, USA, not far from Coatesville.

LaMancha is a beautiful rescue facility!  They are a working farm with chickens, cows, horses, and, of course, dogs in clean kennels and cats in a special house to adopt.

Sputnik’s story is that he came from Alabama, USA, where he was a stray.  LaMancha transported him here, called him Zeus, and he was barely there a week until Sam and I snatched him up.

We were going to LaMancha to see two other dogs and didnt’ know about Sputnik until we got there.  When we arrived, we were told that the one had been adopted, and the other one we walked for a little bit, and he seemed frightened.  Not a match.  We asked about the other dogs there, and were told about Zeus.  We walked him on a trail on the farm (all the dogs get walks there), and were treated to kissed, hugs, and was known as the Pyr Lean.  Great Pyrenees will lean into you really hard you pet them.

We had our dog.

Sputnik was put into the back seat of my car, and I was treated to hugs and kisses on the way home as I was sitting back there with him.  Here’s a video of me introducing him.

Sputnik is going to pose a challenge when it comes to knitting.  I’ve knit in the room with him just fine, but one time he got a good grip on luckily some cheap yarn, and ripped it one space.  Granted, he’s a puppy.  Everything is a toy right now.  We will work on this.

How to do your dogs react to your knitting?  Any advice for a knitter with a large puppy who’s very interested in stuff in general?

When Coloring Meets Knitting

I love adult coloring books.  I really do.  To be honest, I’ve been working on that more than knitting right now.  I’m still knitting, of course, but I need to give my hands something else to do at the moment, so coloring it is!

I got Taste of Home’s Color! Winter 2017 coloring book by Mara Penny at a grocery store check out line.  It was a total impulse purchase, of course, due to the strategic placing of said book.  I paged through it.  They had a page devoted to yarn and knitting notions.  Yup, totally bought it.

The picture above is a section of the page, but here is my completed page below.

Yarn page from Taste of Home Winter 2017 adult coloring book

This was a fun page to color, mostly because of the subject matter for me.  Still, it was fun to get creative and to get my thought processes churning on how I was going to fill out each skein, color each button, where to place colors, etc.  I love stuff like that.

Here’s another page I did of birds from the same book

Birds page from the Winter 2017 Taste of Home coloring book

I love songbirds, and have feeders up for them in my yard, so they had to get some coloring love, too.

Do you color?  If so, awesome!  Show me your work!  If not, and if you’d like to, it’s not hard to get started.  Here are the supplies I use.

Otherwise, here are some of my tips and tricks into making adult coloring easier.

  • Use GOOD colored pencils.  Don’t use the Crayola ones, and don’t use the Prismacolor Scholar once, too.  Staedtler Noris Color pencils are great pencils, too.  They erase ok.  As a rule of thumb, don’t skimp on your pencils; get artist quality.
  • Get a GOOD sharpener.  A simple metal sharpener is great.  Sometimes they have a small bore for general sharpening and a larger bore for fine tuning your point.  A sharp pencil is a happy and good pencil for coloring.
  • Get a GOOD eraser.  There are tons of artist pencil erasers to choose from.  This is one case where Prismacolor’s Scholar line is ok.
  • There are so many themed adult coloring books out there.  Pick one, pick a few!

Good tools are key to less frustration when it comes to coloring in your pages.  Seriously.

I hope that a few fellow adult coloring book artists are out there, and maybe I inspired more of you out there to join our ranks.  It really is a lovely and relaxing activity!


My First Sweater: A Look Back

See that person up there?  Yup, that’s me, modeling the first sweater that I ever knit.  I wore it yesterday, actually, on the recommendation of someone said that I should. So, here’s a look back at my first sweater.  It’s Pattern 13 in the Noro: Catwalk 2 book by Jenny Watson.

I am often afraid to wear my sweaters because I’m worried I’ll damage or ruin them.  On the other hand, I should wear them because I’m proud of the work I do!

I knit this sweater during a class at Kitnit Fine Yarns, which is now The Speckled Sheep, in Lancaster, PA, USA.  I didn’t want to tackle shaping and picking up stitches alone, so I enrolled in this class which, in the description, said it would be a good project for the first time sweater knitter.  I took the plunge.

I’m proud of my work!  It’s a little big for me, but I don’t care.  It’s warm, it has pockets, it’s mine.  Here are some of the statistics for the sweater.

  • Knit from 11 skeins of Noro Kuryeon wool yarn
  • It took me well over a month.
  • The pattern had the dreaded p2tog through the back loop decrease.  It was horrible.  I looked on the Internet for advice on how to accomplish this, and found that if you p2tog stitches together, pull the stitch of the left needle and turn it counterclockwise once, you get the same result.  Here’s a video of how to do this technique properly, without cheating.

Back in the Ludicraft days, I did a week by week saga of how the sweater progressed.  You can wander down memory lane in the list below.

So, that’s basically the story of my first sweater.  As a note, it’s also featured in the pattern page on Ravelry.

What was the first sweater you every knit?  I’d love to see your project.  If you haven’t knit your first sweater yet, don’t be discouraged!  Take the plunge.  Find a teacher or research stuff on the Internet.  Knitting your first sweater is a very rewarding experience.  It was for me!


LaMancha Animal Rescue Holiday Fundraiser

Yowza!  Every have a tidal wave of stuff just happen to you and then you get behind on blogging?  Yup.  That’s me.

Still, my fingers have been busy, especially for the LaMancha Animal Rescue Holiday Fundraiser coming up on Saturday, December 3, 2016 in Coatesville, PA.  I will have the fundraiser’s flyer at the bottom of the post for more information.

LaMancha Animal Rescue is a great no-kill shelter/farm that takes in all sorts of animals for adoption.  They are on my list of “ones to watch” when it comes time for me and Sam to adopt a dog.  In the meantime, I decided to support them with my handiwork.

My friend Janet works closely with LaMancha, so I got in touch with her after I saw her call on Facebook for vendors for the holiday fundraiser.  I have a whole bunch of lovely goodies ready for her.   And, considering what she’s been showing off from other crafters, it’s going to a great craft show in of itself!  Lots of talent!

The mitts above are some of the projects I will be donating.  I have washcloths, fun hats, and more mitts to sell there.

As promised, here’s more info about the fundraiser and the needs list of the rescue, too.

LaMancha Holiday Fundraiser Info


Please, come on out and support the animals, other crafters, and a great organization!