Saturday, May 30, 2009

9 gone, 3 gained

So, we are out of the Standard Poodle business. We had 1 adult, 3 6-month olds, and 5 3-month olds to place. We were asking an adoption fee (spay/neuter required), but decided that if the right person wanted them, we would let them go for nothing. Well, Thursday, I met a lady who got the adult (for her widowed mother in Louisiana) and one of the older pups for herself. She stopped by friends' houses on the way home to show them off and I met with them again Friday! We ended up placing every single available Standard! We are sooo happy and these people were so nice. The original lady's sister got one older pup and the 3 friends each got 2 puppies. The only Standard we have left is my Johnny Cash, and he isn't going anywhere. It is kind of sad not to have a million puppies running around, but our wallets are thanking us and we know the babies got excellent homes.

So, 9 dogs gone (leaving us with only 7 dogs now!). Of course, we have to replace some, right?

This is Tzip (kind of like "zip"). Her name was Misty when I got her. My long-time friend and horse buddy, AJ, graduated highschool yesterday and had a cookout at his house before the ceremony. Moma and I went (the food was sooo good!) and I came home with this little girl. He had 3 ferrets and wanted to find a home for 1 or 2. Of course, I can't say no to a cute face, so here she is. Moma is less than thrilled, but doesn't really care what I get as long as I take care of it, it doesn't live in the house, and it isn't a dog. I've had ferrets before and missed their funny personalities.



Later yesterday night, we went to the chicken sale (a small animal auction). I hadn't been in a long time and it was nice to see familiar faces and to get in on the bidding action. Here's what we came home with:

Not the pig... he's been here for a long time. The sheep! This is a young ram, who knows what the breeds make this little guy up. Don't let the collar fool you; he's not friendly. Not really mean, just a pain to catch. I'm debating on cutting him or not... do I want to eventually get a ewe and breed them? I'm leaning more toward cutting him and getting another later if I ever do want lambs one day (Who am I kidding? Of course I want lambs one day!).

I've named him Special Ed. It's perfect for him. He really gave us a run around last night when he escaped to the yard during unloading. I finally caught him and put him in with Tabasco. He loves that pig already and follows him everywhere, much to Tabasco's annoyance.







This is the last addition. I've been calling her Mama Goat, like I call every large nanny we get. I'm thinking of giving her a proper name, though. She's a total sweetie and loves people. She walks on a leash very well and ties well (we know because she jumped the fence last night and I had to leave her tied out in the yard overnight until I could find a good place to put her). She's going to be a pet and weedeater. Name suggestions? I want somthing not too cutesy, but not to formal either. She's a country goat and needs a countryish name.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wedding Knitting

This is my wedding wrap! It's the Clapotis and the beads are going to be in the dropped stitches. I started it last night and am surprised at how quickly it's going. I'll probably get kind of bored during the straight sections (all that stockinette!), but love is put into each stitch! The beads are just pearlescent white e beads purchased in New Jersey, near Shawn's hometown. The color is pretty true to real life.

I am afraid of running out of yarn. This is supposed to be a wrap, so needs to be a little longer than the pattern calls for. I only have 870 or so yards of this dk weight yarn, Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca & Silk, so we'll see. I did find several on Ravelry done in less that seem large enough, so there's hope. If I need more, I'll try to find some of the same dye lot (difficult since I purchase this yarn over a year ago).

I frogged the BSJ since I forgot where I was in the pattern and am not that motivated toward it right now. I'll be starting a really cute jacket in Wool-Ease soon for my nephew in the making. I finished the first sock of the Acorn Stash Sock and will cast on for the other tonight or tomorrow.

PICT7268

I also got my Color Swap 3 package today! It actually arrived the 22nd, but the mailman didn't leave it in the gate and didn't leave a note about it. One of the hostesses pm'd me and I went straight to the post office to pick it up!

I gave the options of red, orange, or turquoise and, obviously, my pal chose red. I got Animal Crackers (gone, by the way, they didn't last long between me, the dogs, and the rats (oh, come on, I have to give the babies something!)), Twizzlers, a wonderful handmade project back (perfect for keeping my Clapotis safe), handmade stitch markers (again, perfect for the Clap), a nice card, KP Cotlin, and Classic Elite Alaska. A great package!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Woven Cloths

Here are the finished cloths! I seamed them with the sewing machine (after washing/drying them) and I love them! I was able to get three hand/kitchen towels and three washcloths.

I finished my career socks last night! YAY. They are finally done and just in time for starting work on June 1. I also got through the heel on the first Acorn Stash Sock. I'm afraid of running out of yarn, so we'll see.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Will the rain ever stop?

It has been the rainiest spring! I keep wanting to go outside and get stuff done, but it rains all morning, leaving a little bit of "dry" (but muggy) afternoon, the starts back up with the rain in the evening. Today was no different and a storm's just come in.

Today started off a little eventful. I was woke up by the door bell at 0800... the neighbor girl came by to tell me Yankee was in their front yard. Up I was and, fortunately, he ran right too me when I went out there. I put him up and investigated; he had jumped the fence. He kept acting like he wanted to jump it again, so I moved him to the larger pasture (with a taller fence) to be with Acorn and moved Rowdy to where Yankee was. Acorn and Yankee still have some getting used to each other to do, but it's all good now.

I was able to add more holes to Yankee's new bridle with my soldering iron and I actually rode him around the yard some. He saddled beautifully and was no problem when I mounted (I did have my mom hold the rope loosely just in case). We went around the yard no problem for a minute or so before I decided to call it a day (always end on a good note!). I think he'll break very easily; he just doesn't know a whole lot right now, like leg, verbal, or even rein cues. But he's willing and uses his brain, which is good.

I also managed to get some spinning done today. I finished up the 4 ounces of Corriedale I got from Carolina Handspun. It's a heavy fingering/light DK weight 2-ply, about 280 yards. Very pretty.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Better Pictures


Pretty boy, huh? He needs some groceries, but I've already started that and he should be fattened up soon enough.

Yankee & A Cloth


It's raining out and these pics are the best I could do for now. I'll get some good ones that really show him off when the sun comes out again. He's somewhat spirited and hasn't been exposed to much, so he's a little nervous of Tabasco (my pig that's in the same pasture as him). He'll get used to him soon enough. I went shopping for him today and got a halter, headstall, reins, and a new bit. We're all set for training!

Here's the Little Starbursts Dishcloth I finished yesterday for a K/CAL. Really easy and I love the FO. Sorry the pics are kind of out of focus.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Yarn & A New Surprise

I had to go up to Gainesville today for allergy shots and to meet Shawn's family to drop him off. On the way back home, I just had to stop in at Cast-on Cottage to use my 10% off birthday coupon (it's the store's gift to its customers).


Inside pics are so bad. I got 4 skeins of Araucania Ranco Solids (2 each in a lettuce color and a brick color). I bought these with weaving in mind, but the needles might be calling out to it... We'll see what happens. The bottom pic is a skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton in a pretty orange color. I think I'll be pairing this with a skein of olive green I have for something for my little nephew who's coming along in September...

Ok, now for the surprise part... I'm getting a new horse tomorrow! Actually, it's Shawn's horse, but he's staying with me, I'm feeding him, I'm breaking him, etc. I don't have to go far to pick him up... he's across the street at my friend's pasture. She's giving him to me since he was given to her and she doesn't have room in the pasture for more thatn two head. He's a 2 yo bay Morgan gelding named Yankee. I've been doing some searching for a nice gelding for Shawn and Yankee is perfect. Shawn has always been interested in Morgans (and they are hard to come by around here) and the boy's name was Yankee before we got him (Shawn's from New Jersey). He's a very friendly guy and we'll start training immediately. Pictures to come tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weaving

I finally got the loom out again today. I ordered the other size heddles for it and am glad to have something other than a 5 dpi now!

The true color is between the top pic and the others. The solid navy yarn is Knit Picks Cotlin and the variegated red/white/blue is 100% cotton from Newton Yarn Co. (the yarn is called Softball Handprint).

The finished piece is about 10 feet long. I plan on sewing hems and cutting it up into handcloths, facecloths, etc. None of this will ever touch a dirty dish! It's very soft and will only get better with use. The design is kind of random, though some was planned and will be better seen when it's cut up.







Still working away on my career socks (almost there!) and have started a crocheted dishcloth for a K/CAL on the Georgia Dishcloth Swappers group on Ravelry. It's a quick and easy pattern.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WIP Check

I'm dealing with a case of startitis. I haven't really cast on for that much, but I'm definitely feeling the pull! I've resisted so far, but have several patterns printed out to be cast on for at any time.

Here's what I do have going on right now:

These are cloths for the RAK Back To School set going to Portugal (hopefully soon). I have Friday's cloth knit (waiting for weaving in and the chain stitch word) and am working on Saturday's cloth.

Here's the BSJ. Haven't touched it in a while, but I'll get to it soon.

Cast on for this yesterday. It's Anne Hanson's Acorn Stash Sock in Neighborhood Yarn Co. Watershed (Cooper Circle colorway). My mom and I both started this yesterday (hers is in Knit Picks Essentials in the Pumpkin colorway). The pattern is a bit fiddly, but very fun and addictive. I'll have to get better pics soon that really show off the pattern.

I'm also working on my career socks, which is almost finished. I'm working on the heel of the second one. Can't wait to be finished with these. Hibernating are the wedding afghan and scrappy rug.

To be started soon: my wedding wrap (Clapotis in BSA Alpaca Silk), the wedding hand binding scarf (Waves of Grain in 100% silk laceweight), a chevron scarf (2 colors of Tofutsies), and maybe a few other little things

Here's a cute pic of the dogs napping on the couch (which is hideous... it was really cheap and we haven't reupholstered it yet!). Left to right: Josie, Gabby, Gideon, and Eunny

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Smithsonian and Home Again

Friday was Washington, D.C.

We went to the Holocaust Museum... amazing! I have been wanting to go since I was in the 3rd grade. I loved it and am so sad that pictures aren't allowed in the permanent exhibit. To actually have been able to touch an actual boxcar people were transported in, actual bunks from Auschwitz... Really amazing.

We also went to 2 Smithsonian museums, the Air and Space one and the Natural History one.

Shawn standing in the snake exhibit. Don't you love the small Anaconda on the wall?

A very interesting critter here. It's some sort of Chinese swamp deer. Look at the tusks!

This was so cute. I didn't even realize I got the kid in the pic. His parents were taking a picture of him and he was acting like the Triceratops was biting his hand. He had the painful look on his face and everything. Too cute.

This is from the Air and Space museum. All the movie equipment is from the filming of Night At The Museum. Pretty cool to get to see everything.

Shawn standing under some aircraft. I can't remember what it is. He's the plane/helicopter expert, so I would have to ask him.

The Jefferson Memorial.

We drove through the night to get in Marietta right before Shawn had to be on base for first formation. He has drill this weekend. A rough weekend for him, sleep-wise. While he was drilling yesterday, I went to Cast-on Cottage for their 2-year anniversary sale. Everything in the store was 10% off, with many items being more (a lot even 50% off!).

I got 2 skeins of Araucania Ranco solids in black (some gray) for Shawn's wedding socks (yay!) and 3 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere... a yummy blend of, you guessed it, silk and cashmere. This is going to be a cowl for me. I'm really loving the gold/bronze/mustardy colors right now and think they are going to be a big part of my winter knits wardrobe this year.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Today

Shawn and I decided to go off on our own today. We went to northern New Jersey to drive around the area he lived for a while. Afterward, we ate at the Spinning Wheel Diner:



It was delicious and the name was so fitting for me!

After lunch we went to Main Street in Clinton. It was such a nice area... so cute and what I think of when I think of the ideal Main Street anywhere. This is a view of part of it:


This is Shawn after we left a really cute bead shop (I got the beads for my wedding wrap and the hand-binding scarf!

From there we went to Lyndhurst to go to the Medieval Times dinner show. I had gone to the Arabian Nights one a few times and to the Dixie Stampede (Dolly Parton's Civil War show) and really wanted to go to this one. There is one in Georgia, but we are cheap and have never put out the cash for it. Since we're on vacation right now, why not splurge a little? Some people think this kind of thing is corny, but we love it. Shawn and I had a really good time. Some of the pics aren't the best because of the movement, but you get the idea. I also got some great video.
All the plates were pewter (which I love) and you got no silverware. You had to eat everything with your hands. We had tomato bisque soup (YUM), garlic bread, the best roasted chicken I've ever had, a spare rib, a baked potato, and an apple turnover.

This is the main announcer guy (the "chancellor to the court").

We were sitting the the Red Knight's section and this is the guy we rooted for.

The Andalusian studs (and they really were studs like they said, which I was impressed with). They did some amazing dressage moves.

The Red Knight and the Blue Knight getting ready to sword fight.
Here's a pic of the loot of the day:

A hand-sculpted mouse figurine from a dog shop on Main Street and a Standard Poodle sticker for my truck from the same place, a souvenir cup from Medieval Times, an Excalibur letter opener from Medieval Times for Arthur (he thinks he's King Arthur), and the beads. The gold ones are going on the hand-binding scarf (I have white 100% silk laceweight for it) and the white beads are going on the wedding wrap (Clapotis in garnet red Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Things I've Learned About Up North So Far

This is my first time up North (other than the one time I've been to Virginia... and, yes, Virginia is North because it certainly isn't South. I've learned a few things...

1. The water here isn't as good as it is at home. It seems softer or something.

2. "Water Ice" is actually a slushy of some sort. I saw a sign for "Homemade Water Ice" and thought it was kind of silly because isn't all ice homemade from water? Now I realize it's a sno-cone or something like that.

3. The people here can be a little rude. But not all of them are, like I thought they would be.

4. There isn't sweet tea anywhere.

5. Hot tea is drank up like water. I love hot tea, but it isn't a normal drink that people go for everyday. It seems to be a staple for every meal up here (with milk in it. Yuck).

6. I think everyone is a devout Christian/Catholic. And they call the South the Bible Belt?

7. You have to pay for everything... the toll roads are 4.00 or more (it's 50 cents in Ga!), you have to pay to park (I've never used or really seen a parking meter in real life before today), you have to pay to go on the beach. It's kind of ridiculous.

8. Everything is more expensive up here. In Pennsylvania, the Taco Bell was at least a full dollar more for each item than it is at home. The Walmart was outrageously expensive.

9. They do talk with a different accent. I'm the only one everywhere we go that speaks "the right way" (I think, at least!). Shawn doesn't have a Southern accent at all (but it's not quite Northern either).

10. The Amish do live in Lancaster, Pa, and aren't quite like I thought they would be. There are a lot of Hassidic Jews in New Jersey.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Philly!

I had a great time in Philadelphia. I could spend weeks there, taking it all in.

The yarn, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, and buttons are from our stop at Loop (the buttons are so cute... dinosaurs and hippos). The book is from Barnes & Noble.


We went to the Eastern Pennsylvania Penitentary. It was really great. Shawn and I are both Criminal Justice minors and have studied the Pennsylvania Model, so it was neat to be able to actually see it.

This is a view down cell block one:

The prison was designed like a wheel so that the guards were central and could see down all the cell blocks. It was a system of solitary confinement, work, and silence.


Al Capone was here for a while. His cell was a lot nicer than most.

This is an outside alley, leading toward the synagogue.

The star on the left was found in the rubble (the prison was in shambles before being renovated). Two were on the door, which still has the marks from them.

This dog was a prisoner. "Pep" the black Lab killed the governor's wife's cat, so he sent him to be a prisoner.

The outside of the prison. It was designed to look like a castle to invoke fear (it was built when people still remembered the English monarchy and castles symbolized power).


Now, the Liberty Bell:

And Independence Hall (we didn't go in, though... next time!):

I love the history! I could just drink it up.