Archive | April 2018

National Pet Day

Today is National Pet Day, and I have some of those! Three, to be exact, as most of you know. Jack, Grace, and Duncan are my best furry friends.

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They make life hectic and crazy. It’s hard to travel, they cost a lot of money, and they track a ton of dirt inside. I’ve given up on ever having clean floors for longer than an hour, and the dog hair on my couches is a permanent fixture.

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But they’re so happy to see me in the morning, and when I come home from work, they’re bouncing and barking with excitement. They cuddle with me on the couch when it’s cold, and they know when I’m upset and try to comfort me, Jack especially.

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Grace is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had, always giving kisses and wanting to lay in your lap, whether you want her there or not!

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And Duncan is like the clumsy little toddler brother, awkwardly getting his 90-pound body onto the couch and just flopping against you. He’s a jealous thing and demands attention with a paw, but he also gives the gentlest, tiniest kisses.

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There are so many times I’ve looked around at all the dogs surrounding me, and I just have to laugh. Yes, sometimes it’s a pain in the butt having three dogs. But most of the time, they’re three times the fun!

***If you’re looking for a new furry friend, please check your local animal shelters first! There are a lot of amazing animals there, and if you’re patient, you can usually find a specific breed!***

A little gift

My husband is very clever, and handy with tools. He recently made a little pen holder for my desk and today it was ready to be put in place.

Isn’t it cute? It’s so little and simple, but it has this subtle slant on the front. He even said he’d be willing to make more! This one originally had five holes, but then Duncan got a hold of it so one end had to be removed. Maybe my next one should actually have five holes!

New Purple Ink

So I was at my new job, talking with my new boss and taking notes with my beautiful purple Visconti Rembrandt fountain pen. In the middle of our conversation, she stopped with an excited, “Oh! I have to show you something!” She opens a drawer and pulls out a purple Parker fountain pen, I think an Urban. It was a gift, she said, and she could never get used to writing with it. She had trouble with ink splotches as she wrote. “But wait, look at this!” she said, and pulled out a bottle of fountain pen ink. A full, seemingly brand-new bottle of purple Pilot ink. I agreed it was lovely.

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“Here, take it, use it, ” she said. I protested but feebly; I did want the ink. She insisted she would never use it and of course I agreed to take it off her hands. It was as shame to let it live in a drawer and not be used an appreciated, right? Now I have two bottles of ink, both purple, and it was fun to get them both out and play around. I’m so happy that they’re slightly different shades of purple, and I actually like this new one a little better.

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I didn’t think I’d ever get into bottled ink for my fountain pens, but it is rather addictive. The pretty glass bottles, the beautiful colors…I think I have something else to collect, I’m afraid!

FO Friday: Arya Shawl

This shawl actually got done last weekend, when I got to stay home and knit all Sunday. (It was marvelous. I highly recommend it.) But I haven’t had the time, light, or energy to get good photos until last night. We got a rare 60-degree day, and I slipped outside after dinner to sneak a few shots. The light was absolutely perfect.

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This is the Arya Shawl and it was wonderful to knit. The repetition never got boring, maybe because it alternated between lace and garter, maybe because the stripes kept it interesting. I loved the way it shifted from one color to the next, too, with slipped stitches similar to the ones in the Rainbow Warrior shawl.

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I reached the end of the increase section quickly, and was concerned that the shawl would be too short. Several of the projects on Ravelry also mentioned that their shawl was a little shorter than they’d expected. Yes, I could have tried to figure out a good way to add length, but instead I measured the width, and it was as wide as it was supposed to be, so I decided to trust the pattern and just keep knitting. I’m glad I did, because it came out a perfect length.

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The yarn is Universal Yarn Bamboo Pop, a 50/50 cotton/bamboo blend, and I love it. I wore it yesterday to work and it was lightweight and very breathable. The only time I got too warm was when I was rushing around, running up and down stairs. It was soft in my hands to knit with, maybe a tiny bit splitty but not annoyingly so, and blocked wonderfully. I think this is going to be a staple in my knit wardrobe!

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The only hard part is deciding which colors to use for my next one!

WIP no more

After two and a half months, which is a ridiculous amount of time, I have finally finished a pair of socks begun in January. These are the Mapleridge socks, a pattern chosen from Kate Atherley’s sock book, which I got for Christmas. I chose the cuff down option, and altered the toe to do my usual Kitchener toe.

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I love the stitch pattern; it has such lovely squishy depth. And I think the yarn is a tiny bit thicker than some of the other sock yarn I’ve used, so on the size one needles, it works up into a dense, snuggly fabric.

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I’ve tried them on but haven’t worn them so I can’t comment on fit, but I am interested to see how they wear. The heel and gusset are different than the others I’ve made, and the bottom edge of the heel hits a different spot on my foot. Plus there’s that little ridge from knitting into the back loop, and I don’t know how I’ll like that.

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The yarn is Madtosh Sock, which is so soft but doesn’t have nylon, and I hope they wear well without getting holes too quickly. Still, I’m in love with the color, the style, the feel, so they’d have to be pretty uncomfortable for me to not want to wear them a lot!

img_0036Maybe it’s lucky that we’re having this endless winter? At least it gives me more time to wear my cozy handknit socks!