21 September 2006


I had a really great yarn exchange with Tesoro from the Knitty Coffeeshop. She graciously took the 10 skeins of hemp/cotton, and in exchange I got these wonderful goodies:

The Takhi Yarns fall/winter 2003 collection, two cakes of a black/burgundy Cascade 220, Lamb's Pride Bulky in Almond Blosson, and in Aubergine. (Sorry the yarns are dark so the color isn't very good but trust me these are great colors.) As a bonus, Tesoro threw in 3 stitch markers using my favorite color, sage green.

My friends, I am a happy camper. This won't come as a surprise to you, but yarn can make just about anything better.

Because I can be a space cadet, I apparently forgot to show you the cool gift I got from my One Skein Secret Pal last month. She sent me the cutest clutch:

Now, these are not my usual colors *but* how cute is it? A little pocket that matches the strap, and a personalized tag are all part of the allure of this clutch. Not to mention, it is perfect for my wallet, keys, and cell phone. It has inspired me to think about making my own clutch using a mosaic pattern using the Lamb's Pride yarn, or perhaps some double-knitting a la Twig's hat. I like that cream and aubergine combination and it would make a perfect fall bag.

Because I can't resist, here are the doggies:

My MIL (who loves her grandpuppies) brought them each their own Steelers neckerchief. Yes, "neckerchief" not to be confused with a handkerchief or bandana. My hubby grew up in the Pittsburgh area so they are "Stillers" fans. Personally, I think they look as cute as heck in their matching neckerchiefs.

For those of you interested in doggie daycare, it can be really great. It is extremely physical work, which can be tiring. The owner boards dogs at her home so they are constantly with her. Now, I need some down time, down time that is quiet and allows for some serious vegging on the couch so I don't think I'm cut out to have my own doggie daycare. (You may want to forgo the boarding but it is my understanding that this is a significant source of income.) However, unlike your human co-workers, the dogs are always happy to see you. They can be very sweet and can immediately boost your energy. The tough part is when they get competitive and maybe a little too rough.

Exhibit A:

(Please ignore the unattractive stretch marks. I grew quickly when I was about 10, and then apparently stopped.)
This is what happens when you pull two dogs apart who are quickly escalating past playing. I grabbed one dog by the collar and before my co-worker could grab the other dog, the loose dog nipped the dog I had by the collar, and when that dog whipped his head around to retaliate, he got my knee instead. Luckily, I did have him by the collar so he couldn't get his head all the way around and I was wearing long pants so his teeth didn't nick me. Two seconds later, the dog who got me was trying to lick me. The beauty of living in the moment, the dog was back to his usual happy self. What can I say, you can't stay mad at them when they look at you with all that devotion.

18 September 2006

Ups and downs

So much has been going on. First, the week before last I actually worked almost full-time at the doggie daycare. (They were short a person for the week.) On a good day, I'm coherent after a very strong cup of coffee and a few hours to ease into the day. Showing up at 8:30am to attend to 15+ rambunctious dogs is a little tough for me. I have grown to really enjoy working with the dogs but a full day (well, until 3:30pm or 4pm) is a bit much. Lots of physical labor (picking up after the dogs, keeping them from getting too out of hand, and no fighting) is....well, frankly, hard. At the end of the week, it was also demoralizing to see my paycheck. Seriously, I made more money at my afterschool job in high school.

Last week I was motivated to up the ante with the job hunting. Applied to many jobs, haven't heard from any of them. On Wed. there was a city-wide job fair. Good, right? Well, after making the rounds, even the staffing agencies said that they didn't really know what they could do for me. Forget my five years work experience, the fact that I was in line for a manager position, and have a master's degree--nope, they cared about how many words per minute I could type. Apparently, the employment market around here consists of opportunities for engineers and customer service (lots of call centers). Let's just say I came home and wanted to wallow in self-pity, preferrably with a very strong drink.

So the last two weeks, I have felt rundown and depressed--I haven't even wanted to knit. Like I wasn't already on edge, my inlaws were coming for the weekend. I actually really like my inlaws but it inspires a frenzied need to get my house in some semblence of order before they arrived. My poor husband, I don't think he really knew what to do with the fact that I kept breaking down in tears and then ordering him around to help me pick up the house. (Um, yes, I was also pre-menstrual and I really do have terrible mood swings some months. Of course, he is not allowed to point that out.)

Well, today, some of the angst is gone and I'm trying to focus on the good. I get to play with my own doggies, I am home when my hubby comes home, and I have time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Now that I'm not feeling so down, I can spend time on knitting.

Without further ado, here is the box-lace shawl pattern from Folk Shawls as a throw in Caron's One Pound of Love yarn in Peach

You can just see the box-lace coming together. It is getting to the point where the pattern is becoming more intuitive.

I also maybe bought some yarn...WEBS was having a sale, what could I do? Technically, I wanted the soft pink color and a blue color so I could make shrugs for my nieces. However, I apparently made a mistake and ordered the green color. I was switching between the color card on Yarndex and the WEBS order site.

I maybe also took advantage of the sale at Busy Hands Yarn, and bought some Estelle 100% silk yarn. Isn't it yummy? I'm hoping to turn this into a Simple Knitted Bodice by Stefanie Japel. I even joined the knitalong to motivate me to finish it in a timely fashion.

The crimson color doesn't come across well on the computer. Its actually more pink than I thought it would be based on the website photos. However, I think it will still work for me. Because, of course, this is going to be for me, me, me. heh, heh,heh.... I just need to start finishing some stuff. (Famous last words.)

11 September 2006

So much...

I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted. First, I bought more Denise needles at Busy Hands Yarn.

The needle set was on sale, so how could I resist getting a second set? I also got the longer cords--the blanket I was working on has used up all the extra cords from my original Denise set.

Over the holiday weekend I worked on the Andi cardigan from Rowan's Linen Print collection.

(Sorry about the poor lighting, the flash washed out the pattern completely.)

I am using the Sandy print, color 343. This is for a friend of mine who is getting married next month. (Yikes! I just realized that doesn't leave me much time to finish.) When I offered to make her something, I thought she would ask for a shawl or maybe even a purse but she wanted a "holey" wrap. I am enjoying the pattern, it was going smoothly until the armhole shaping. After some assistance from the wonderful people at the Knitty Coffeeshop, I am back on track. The yarn is actually pretty cool, I like the color changes. The only down side is the fact that I have to join new yarn at the end of a row. The yarn is a bulky weight and chain construction so none of the other joining methods I usually use would work. This means that I have some very long ends to deal with later.

The Leo sweater continues to come along. I am almost finished with the front. Who knows, it may actually be done in time for hubby to wear once it cools down around here.

For those of you who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11th tragedies, you have my utmost sympathies.