Tag Archive | Black Labs

Shoes, Shawls, and Cowls

Do you know that old song, Three Coins in the Fountain? For some reason I thought of that this morning, only my version would be Two Shoes in the Trashcan. (I really hope you sang that in your head.) Yes, Grace is feeling some serious spring fever or something, and has returned to shoe theft with a vengeance. She got one of mine yesterday (my fault: I left them downstairs, went to put them on, and only found one. The second? Outside in the backyard.) This morning the girl came down with a destroyed black flat. For the record, this is the THIRD black flat the dog has eaten, and this one was actually MINE. The girl and I wear the same size shoes and she loved these flats too and borrowed them often. She kept them under her bed, and it worked for quite a while. But apparently Grace figured it out. Oy. This dog. I’d let her run away but she’s chipped and they’d find us. (KIDDING. I wouldn’t really do that, as tempting as it is on some days.) Maybe she needs a new toy to distract her for a while.

Let’s move on to more fun stuff, shall we? After finishing the Hitchhiker, I needed a new project. Not content with just one, I decided to cast on two new projects yesterday. One is a shawl that’s been in my Ravelry queue for ages, the Citron. I saw one on Instagram the other day and it reminded me of it, and the grass green yarn I have is perfect for spring. It’s going pretty quickly so far. IMG_5747I’m using DK weight instead of lace, so it’s definitely going to be a full shawl rather than a shawlette. The yarn is Lachiwa by Mirasol Yarn, a 60/40 cotton linen blend. I think it will become a fabulous spring shawl. So far the pattern is fun, with just the right mix of plain stockinette and increase/decrease rows. I don’t think this one will take long to finish.

Second is the Kerr Diamond Cowl with some of my yarn from Knitting in the Heartland. The yarn is from Show Me Yarn, the booth that talked me into three skeins, and it’s the Cyclone base in a gorgeous purple called All Dressed Up. I got the pattern, which is a paid pattern, free with the purchase of the yarn. It was written specifically for this yarn; I don’t think I’ve ever made a pattern with the original yarn! I have to confess, I was a tiny bit disappointed when I opened the pattern and saw that it was knit flat and seamed. One of my favorite things about cowls is that I get to knit in the round. BUT. I love the look of the pattern, and it’s got a neat ribbed section that intrigues me, so I’m giving it a go. IMG_5746The turquoise is for the provisional cast on, not part of the finished piece. I guess it’s good I got to practice that. It’ll give me good practice on my Kitchener stitch too. I mean, it’s fine. I’m not afraid of it. I guess I’m just a lazy knitter who would rather knit in the round than seam things!

One more knitting thing: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee posted a blog entry about her time at Knitting in the Heartland, and at the top she included two photos of the audience at her keynote. Well, if you look at the first photo, in the second row on the left, right next to the wall, you’ll see me! I couldn’t figure out how to share her photo, and honestly I didn’t think it was a good idea anyway, so here’s a link to the post. There you have it, I made it to the Yarn Harlot’s blog.

And with that, I’m off to enjoy a second cup of tea, last night’s Grey’s Anatomy, some knitting, and a couple of puppies that aren’t really puppies anymore but will always be puppies. IMG_5742Happy Friday, friends!

Sunshine after Clouds

This is the hole Grace made in the couch cushion. Last night we came home from a choir concert and found stuffing scattered across the couch. ARGH. We can’t afford a new couch at this point. Any suggestions on patching or sewing it closed? I have some bitter spray that I guess I need to apply more frequently. And I’m also considering our options for containing her while we’re gone. IMG_5712Here’s the current state of the Hitchhiker. I knit on it all day long I think, including at the concert, and it still seems rather short. I have 31 teeth. We’ll see how far I get with this skein. But this is my first Hitchhiker with fingering weight, and I think it will be my last. It takes FOREVER. This, my friends, is why I like worsted and bulky weight yarns!IMG_5713Now let’s move on to happier things, shall we? Here’s the blocked Take the Crown Cowl. IMG_5714IMG_5715IMG_5716IMG_5717Yep, the pattern kind of gets lost when it’s worn, but I don’t care. I know it’s there, and I love the look regardless.

Finally, I have to share a story on why knitters are so fantastic: last week I got an email from a knitter who’d found one of my felted bags on Ravelry and then she found this blog, and she took the time to email me and tell me how much she liked them both. That’s always a boost, right? Well, then, she ordered the bag! That’s right, a knitter bought one of my knitted bags. How cool is that? When someone could have easily said, “Oh, I could make that myself” but instead thinks your piece is good enough to buy, well, I can’t tell you how good it made me feel. And when she got the bag, she emailed me again to tell me how much she loves it, and now we’ve got this lovely conversation going and I feel like I have a new friend. It’s a lovely reminder to me that compliments are free and easy to give, and often mean so much to the recipient. If you think something is beautiful, say it out loud!

Some Selfish Knitting

Thanks to a doctor’s appointment and a grocery story trip, I didn’t have much knitting time yesterday. But with the time I did have, I worked on two projects for ME! They’re both ones that have been hanging around for a while, and I’m getting eager to wear them. One is my black and white chevron infinity scarf. I met a fellow crafter for coffee on Monday night, and took this with me. I thought it would be easy enough to knit while talking, but I didn’t do well. Last night I had to frog back about 10 rows to get rid of stupid mistakes. I was going to try to live with it…but, no. So now it’s back where it was and I’ve got the pattern set in my head again. IMG_2084I should have taken this super simple mesh scarf I’m making with some Pima cotton. It’s just a YO, k2tog repeat. Hard to mess up, though of course I have. It doesn’t look like much here, but blocking will work wonders, I think. This was my waiting room knitting.IMG_2086I worked a little bit on a bag commission too. This was my “sit outside with the puppies in the afternoon” knitting. This is the one that will mostly be a secret, but since this is just the bottom of the bag and it doesn’t look like much, I don’t think I’m giving anything away.IMG_2085I’m getting to the good part now, where I can start working the nifty pattern and where I’m working in the round. Maybe it’ll go quickly!

And the puppies. Oh, the puppies. Bit of backstory: we have a large patch of dirt in our backyard. We’re in the process of getting it prepped to lay sod, but until then, we have a lot of dust and dirt being tracked in the house. It’s a mess. Add that to two puppies who like to get on the kitchen table, and I’m washing a table every day. Plus the dirt and puppy paws are hard on the table. Easy solution, I thought. I went to Big Lots, bought a cheap vinyl tablecloth, problem solved. Right. Here’s my tablecloth after the doctor appointment. IMG_2076Jack says it’s not HIS fault.IMG_2075And I tend to believe him. It’s this one who’s the troublemaker, and she was on a roll yesterday. Ate the plastic pulls off the kitchen window blinds, ate a long plastic straw out of the dish drainer, tried to eat the hose and sprinklers in the back yard (multiple times), dig dig dig in the peat moss and dirt, ate the hostas…sigh. IMG_2078Alex and I finally took them for a long walk after dinner and it was a good thing, because only then could I remember why I wanted puppies. They’re so much nicer when they’re calm and cuddly. So fine. I’ll try to walk some silly puppies today.

Puppy Time

We got our new puppy yesterday! I got tired of waiting to hear from the volunteer-run rescue shelter place, so we drove out to the Great Plains SPCA just to see if anyone caught our eye. We made it all the way through before this little black Lab looked up at us. All the other dogs were barking and she was just watching us. She had this pretty white streak on her chest and little white socks on her back paws. She was a little over nine months old, young like we were looking for, and seemed friendly enough. We arranged for a meeting and she was bouncy and playful and affectionate, and it didn’t take long for us to decide we needed to bring Jack up to meet her. The meeting went well, though they didn’t play immediately like I was expecting. She was a little more aggressive than he was, and he didn’t appreciate her nose going where it went. But they didn’t dislike each other, little growling, no hackles raised, so we figured what the heck, and brought her home.IMG_1458Her name is Grace, and she’s 59 pounds of sweet sass. She’s not quite 10 months old yet so they expect her to get a little bigger. Right now she’s about as tall and long as Jack is, but he’s much stockier. She seems lean and streamlined compared to him.IMG_1461As soon as we got them in the backyard together, they started wrestling, and pretty much haven’t stopped. They’ll take a five-minute break and then they’re back at it. I love that they’re getting along so well, but I had no idea how much space two crazy puppies would take up! Three dogs? Fuhgeddaboudit! But these two seem to be having a ball, so I can handle it. I kind of wish they’d chill out a little bit now and then, but it’ll happen eventually.The best news for me was that they did fine overnight together. Jack has a bed in the kitchen, so we put another bed in there for Gracie, and after a few thumps, it was quiet all night. I woke up to two very bouncy, happy puppies. And a puddle too, but hopefully that won’t last long. She grasps the concept; I think Jack just needs to leave her alone long enough to let her pee when they’re outside.

Really, it’s going better than I expected. I know there’ll be some tension over toys and sticks, but they had breakfast in the same room without too much trouble. The only sad part is that I seem to have lost my cuddle puppy. He won’t lie on the couch with me and when I got up, he didn’t even roll over and ask for his ten-minute belly rub. That’ll come back, right? I sure hope so!IMG_1459

IMG_1472And they do wear each other out, that’s for sure! This is Jack last night after three hours of almost non-stop wrestling:IMG_1466It’s been an adventure already, and I think we’re in for a lot more. I’ve got more dirt and noise than I had before, but I’ve also got a lot of sweet moments. IMG_1467

If you’re thinking about a new furry friend, please check out your local animal shelters first. There are a lot of wonderful dogs out there, and mixed-breeds can be just as fantastic (if not more so) than a pure-bred with papers. In the Kansas City Metro Area we have three big ones: Wayside Waifs, Great Plains SPCA and the KC Pet Project.