Tag Archive | pets

All about that Fade

Somehow I have turned into a monogamous knitter. It’s the weirdest thing. But it means that I’ve been working solely on my Find Your Fade shawl and as of last night, I am in section three. Here’s how it looked at the end of section two:

img_4086Weird, right? Like a thong, or a uterus, or ram horns. But I am assured that this is how it looks for everyone and it will grow up to become a normal Find Your Fade shawl. I’ve even planned out my fade sequence, thanks to the little graphic at the end of the pattern.

I had to color it twice to get the sequence I liked best, which is the one on the left that will allow me to use as much yellow as possible. But I have a confession to make: the Fade is a little…boring? I hate to say that because it’s such a popular pattern. Maybe it’s just because it’s not a color I like that much and I’m in a big garter section. Surely it’ll perk up once I get back to lace and start fading in a new color.

And in other news, Duncan has not reached the point of not chewing things up.

img_4088In his defense, this bed already had some holes from a few months ago when I tested Duncan the first time, so he might have just expanded on his earlier work. Still, he’s back to his beach towel on the floor for now.

New projects!

It’s funny, the way grief can come back and just give you a swift kick in the ass. We’ve been having a long, cold, snowy winter, and I was joking with my husband about how living in the desert would be preferable. And bam, my mind took me back to being in Arizona with my parents after my dad retired, and he was so happy and loved it out there, and I felt the ache of missing him, sharp in a way I haven’t felt in a while. It passed, of course, but it took me by surprise. I wish he was still here, that’s all. And I wish I was in the desert right now!

But I’m not. Instead I’m home in the snowy Midwest, knitting all the time. On the last day of my 4-day weekend, I wanted to cast on something new, so I pulled out three yarns that have been calling my name to ponder, and went with the softest, fuzziest one. It’s acrylic from Joann (I bought four skeins when it was on clearance) but it’s fuchsia and fuzzy and perfect.

I chose the very simple knit COWL pattern and modified it bit, casting on more to make it a bigger, looser cowl. And I do love it, but I kind of want to use the other two skeins to make a snugger version too!

And then, because that was so fast, I went ahead and cast on with my second favorite of the three skeins, a purple Araucania Huasco Worsted. For this one I chose the Escarpment Cowl, which looks really cool. I love the idea of a shawl look with the ease of a cowl. And then I also cast on a new pair of socks, because socks. This yarn is Show Me Yarn Bootheel in the color Butterfly House, and I’m calling them the Granola Socks because I’m doing the 3×2 rib that Mildly Granola recommended.

Yesterday was a little rough because I had to adjust from knitting several hours a day to just knitting during lunch and a little at night. It wasn’t my favorite, to be honest. But hey. Gotta pay for the pups, right? Especially when they break a nail, crack another, and have to go to the vet for a bandage, nail trim, and meds. Sigh.

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He slipped out of his collar in the waiting room, but thankfully he’s a lover so he just ran back to visit the girls behind the counter. He’s also up to 104 pounds, which I recognize is too high and the vet tech told me…TWICE. So he’s on a diet now which he won’t love and I don’t blame him. BUT! He rides so nicely in the car and sits patiently when I open the door to grab the leash, and he hasn’t tried to chew off his bandage at all. Not even overnight, when he was all alone! If I could combine the good traits of all three of my dogs, I’d truly have the perfect dog. Alas, apparently dogs are like people, with good and bad and you have to accept what you can’t change and love them anyway. Or try to, anyway. I’m still working on that.

If you are anywhere that has sunshine and weather above 30 degrees, please enjoy it on my behalf today!

Inked

I closed out 2018 with a bang, by doing something I’ve been wanting to do for years: I got a tattoo on New Year’s Eve! What better time to do something that’s both scary and exciting??

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I first started thinking about one after my dad died, almost seven years ago now. I wanted a small eagle on the inside of my left wrist as a memorial to him, since he loved eagles. But I never found an image that seemed perfect, or maybe it just wasn’t the right tattoo. I kept thinking of things that I will always be passionate about, and I kept coming back to my dogs. Yet it’s still related to my dad because it’s thanks to him that I’m the dog mom I am today. When he was sick, we adopted his dog. Samson was a huge, gorgeous red husky mix, and he was pretty close to the perfect dog: he didn’t bark much, was gentle with everyone he met, he was good on walks, and he never got in trouble. I loved Sam, but mostly I loved that he was a connection to Dad, especially after Dad passed.

At least that’s what I thought. But after Samson died, just a couple years after Dad, I found that I missed his company a lot. I missed seeing his face at the door when I came home. I missed his big, warm body at my feet. I missed the comfort I got from petting him. I missed having a dog. So after six months with no pets, we brought Jack home, and I fell head over heels in love with him. His exuberance made me laugh, his heavy warmth comforted me, and his soft, thick fur absorbed many tears as I went through a long period of grief and depression. He is selfless and generous and loyal and such a damn good dog, and I love that almost all dogs are the exact same way. Grace came home ten months after Jack, and Duncan arrived about a year and a half later, and here I am with three big mutts that make my life complete. And none of that would have happened without my dad, and Samson. I look at this image on my arm, and I think of my dogs. I think of Samson, and Dad, and I smile.

P.S. No, it didn’t really hurt. It was uncomfortable but not painful. The dentist is worse for me than this was. The girl went with me because she’s been the most encouraging about it. And yes, I LOVE it and have no regrets whatsoever!

P.P.S. Shelter dogs are amazing! Adopt, don’t shop!

How do you wash your socks?

Okay, for those of you who may not know, I have dogs. Three dogs. Three large dogs that go outside and inside and outside many times a day.

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Grace, Duncan, Jack

I also like to knit more than I like to clean house. Those two things mean that my socks typically have quite a bit of dog hair attached after I’ve worn them, and hand washing them in Eucalan just doesn’t feel like it’s getting them clean. So now that I’m down to my last clean pair of handknit socks, I’m asking for advice: how do you care for your socks? Do you hand wash? Machine wash on delicate? Lay flat or put in the dryer? What’s been successful for you?

On my needles this weekend is a new cowl, called the Growing Leaves cowl. I spotted the yarn in my stash recently and it immediately made me think of a work friend. I could make her a gift, I thought! Well, it’s a lace cowl in fingering weight yarn and I have other projects calling my name too, so it might not get done by Christmas. But since she has no idea it exists, I think I’m okay.

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And the best news of the day?? The girl comes home tonight for winter break! That’s almost a whole month we’ll have her home! Maybe I’ll even get her to sit and knit with me one evening! I bet if I share some good yarn with her, it’ll happen, don’t you think?

Happy Friday, friends!

Two of a Kind

I have two shawl projects on my needles, one fingering weight and one sport weight. One is garter stitch and one is stockinette. But both started with a few stitches and a garter tab, and increased six stitches every two rows to just over 260 stitches. And both seemed to take FOREVER. At first it was relaxing, just la-di-da knitting along, but then it became very OMG am I there yet?? Well! After this weekend, I am there on both of them!

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Now I get to move on to the fun lace sections! The top is my test knit, so no pattern to share yet, but the yarn is Araucania Huasco. The bottom is Late Harvest in the new Manos del Uruguay Feliz yarn, color Wildflowers.

I was outside photographing a different project and took the time to snap a few photos of the dogs too. Jack may be my favorite but Duncan is so photogenic and handsome!

Grace didn’t stand still long enough for a good photo, and Jack…well, here’s Jack.

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After a couple of hours outside, we’re all happy to chill on the couches for a while. I wonder how much lace I can get done tonight?

A Year of Duncan

Today’s Duncan’s Gotcha Day! For whatever reason, last fall I decided we needed a third dog, and it was a challenge to find one to fit in with the two we already had. We had a boy and a girl, and I thought it would be better to have two girls and one boy. So we met a lot of girl dogs, and none of them were a good fit. Then one of the people at our Great Plains SPCA said we’d probably be better off with another boy dog; that two girl dogs typically don’t get along as well. With that, our search started fresh, and it wasn’t long before I spotted Duncan’s picture online. I went straight from work to meet him and loved him enough that I had the kids bring the dogs up and we all had a long meet and greet. The boy wasn’t convinced at first; he’d seen another one online that he liked the look of. But the rest of us talked him into it (or rather overruled him) and we took Duncan home!

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He’s definitely been the most challenging dog we’ve had. He destroyed more things than either of the others and we had to keep trying different solutions. Finally we got gates and the dogs stay in the kitchen when we’re not home. I don’t love it, but they’re together, it’s bigger than a crate, and he hasn’t chewed up anything since then. At night, he sleeps in the kitchen and the other two sleep in the living room, and everyone seems happy enough. I hope he’ll get to a point soon where we don’t have to lock him up, but I’m not sure I trust him just yet.

He went from 65 pounds to 100 pounds of muscle. He’s not fat, just very solid. He and Grace have a great time rough housing, and she’s totally the boss of him. He’s the most gentle of the three dogs with the sweetest little kisses, he’s a big cuddle bug that will sprawl on your lap like he only weighs 10 pounds, and he’s fantastic with the little kids in our family. He’s just pretty darn awesome. Even with the chaos and bills and dirt, I’ve only once questioned the decision to adopt Duncan, and that was shortly after we got him when he chewed up some of my books. But he’s growing into a great dog, and I’m pretty sure that even the husband is glad we have him!

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All of our dogs are rescue dogs, mixed breeds from local shelters, and they’re all fantastic dogs. Adopt, don’t shop!

 

Jungle Boogie!

These socks are practically knitting themselves, I swear. I can’t believe how fast they’re going, and it’s all because of the awesome gorgeous fabulous yarn by Show Me Yarn! I started these on Sunday, as soon as I finished my last pair of socks, and I’m already very close to the toe.

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The yarn is their Bootheel base in a color called Jungle Boogie, which I snagged at Knitting in the Heartland this year, totally drawn in by the colors. It’s not currently available on their Etsy site, but this new colorway is similar. I’m pretty sure I’ll finish this sock while watching Wimbledon this weekend, and maybe even get a start on the second sock.

And now I thought I’d share a photo that perfectly captures what life is like with dogs and teenagers.

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Grace loves to sit on the dining room chairs, and apparently the table as well. Had I been there, I would have shooed her off the table immediately. But I was not, and the boy thought it would be more fun to take photos and encourage her naughtiness.

Fine. Yes. I thought it was pretty cute too.