Monday, December 28, 2009

Mystery Quilt

I love mystery quilts. What you do is you sign up for the class, get a list of fabric to buy, and then follow the directions step by step (in class) to have the quilt revealed to you.  Choosing fabric for a mystery quilt is a bit tough, since you have no idea what the quilt will look like, but I think it is fun.  I have done quite a few mystery quilts, and I don't think that I have ever made one that I don't like. There had been one that was a HUGE pain in the butt because it had a million pieces, but when it was done (well, the top... it still needs to be quilted) it was pretty amazing. So the picture above is of the fabric for my New Year's Mystery.  It will be the first quilt class I've taken in a while. I'm pretty excited. The flower-y fabric is the border, the creme the background, and the others are ?? who knows... but I think it will be pretty amazing. It isn't what I would normally pick out, but I fell in love with the border fabric, and it was 60% off, AND it was the exact amount I needed... so it came home with me. Even W said that it was a pretty different color scheme for me, but he really likes it as well. So I will hopefully be adding another quilt to my home soon... who knows what it will look like, I will keep you posted!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Insert Title Here

Christmakah is officially over.... it was fun.  Now all that is left is to clean up! We will probably take down the tree tomorrow and possibly burn it on New Year's... it is pretty fun to watch it burn for about three seconds...

W did wind up getting me something.  He got me the special edition Mama Mia! Blu-Ray DVD. It is pretty awesome. And the best part... it comes with the soundtrack so I can sing along in my car! He is constantly surprising me at how amazing he is. I watched the movie while he was away deer hunting and kept raving about how fun it was! (for about a day... then it was done...) And he remembered... amazing.

We had Christmas with W's parents about a week ago and we got a lot of pampered chef stuff, which was great! We also got some ski passes for Aleyska and movie passes, so we will be enjoying those while we have some time off.

Yesterday we went and saw Sherlock Holmes, as the Bennett family tradition is to see a movie on Christmas. It was ok. I felt like they were trying so hard to set up for a sequel that they made this one about 25 mins too long. I would see it at Bear's Tooth, but I would not buy it. I was a bit bummed, because I had pretty high hopes for the movie... I love Robert Downy Jr. and it looked like it was going to be quite the blockbuster. Oh well!

I think that is about it. I am almost done with my Knotty but Nice hat... 9 rows to go! So maybe that will be done before I go to bed. Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ruining Christmas

Apparently I ruined Christmas by buying myself this:

It is the interchangeable needle set from Hiya Hiya and I am totally in love. I think they are amazing. I had mentioned to W that I had my eye on these and apparently he was planning on getting them for my for Christmas. I thought he would forget and I went and bought them for myself. Oops! So W said that I ruined Christmas and now I wasn't getting anything... :) Which is fine, I already got my needles!

On another ruining Christmas note, I finished two little quilts this week.  I have one more left to quilt and then I will be done with my gift sewing! So I am posting pictures here (but K, don't show your kiddos! They are wrapped and under my tree for when you feel better!) so everyone can enjoy them, and so I can brag. :)

These are of C's quilt. He loves fire trucks... I designed it as I went and I am really happy with it. My favorite fabric is the puppy one. Too cute! The back is the fabric with all of the equipment.

These are of N's quilt. He loves dogs and this fabric was just too cute to cut up! The back is a blue flannel and the binding has little paw prints. I'm also totally in love with this one! I can't wait until the kiddos get to snuggle with them.

The mascot of Christmaka!

We have to take Snickers to the vet today for his rabies shot... I'm not looking forward to it. The last time we took him to the vet he wouldn't let the vet touch him... so hopefully he does better this time. We are taking Frito and a bunch of his favorite treats. So keep your fingers crossed that he doesn't have to be held down like a WWF wrestler and things go smoothly....

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dog Sitter Extraordinaire

I don't know if I have mentioned that I don't like dog sitting. I love dogs and I love watching dogs play, but dog sitting is not my thing. I think part of it comes down to the fact that I think my dogs are so awesome, that all other dogs are pretty lame in comparison. And, the dogs and I have a routine, which is hard to maintain with another dog around.

But, alas, I have been tasked with the role of dog sitter once again.  This time with my parents' dog, Maverick.  He is a shitzu/pomeranian mix and kind of a pain.  His annoying habits include: wanting to get to the highest point in a room (yesterday I found him on my sewing table! ACK!), eating wet dog food (super gross, smells nasty, and I have to put my dogs outside while I feed him), smelling bad (because of the dog food), and being an all-around baby.  Yesterday I tried to walk all three dogs (which wasn't as much of a sh** show as I imagined it would be) and he was walking on three paws by the end of the street because it was cold.  At one point he laid down and lifted all of his paws off of the snow.  I told him to grow up and kept walking. It may be tough love, but I have always been the favorite person in the house for the dogs that I have watched... even Brewski, who I was pretty mean to at bedtime LOVED me. So maybe dogs just need discipline...

So I'm hoping to be out of the dog sitting business.  I will still do it for family, but I just hope everyone plans on staying in town for a while!! I need a break!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Christma-kah!

Christma-kah is in full force around here.  W and I have combined all the things about Christmas and Hanukkah that we like (presents, lots of days to open presents, candles, trees, etc.) into one unique holiday known as Christma-kah. This year Christma-kah got an awesome new mascot... an african santa standing in a Hanukkah candy dish.  Amazing.  We opened presents with my family last Sunday, and everything was LOVED. I knit my dad this hat from the book Hats On! by Charelene Schurch:

It fit him perfectly and looked awesome on him.  Of course, when they came to drop off the dog on Thursday, Sam was wearing it which annoyed me.... I knit Sam this hat (from the same book) :

I figured it was simple enough that a 14-year-old boy could wear it without feeling like it was "uncool" and it was in his school and hockey colors, so I figured it would get some wear.  He seemed to like it, except for the rolled brim. Oh well, I can't please everyone! And I knit my mom these slippers, out of the book Felt It! (I think...):

I needle felted snowflakes on them, and then did a small amount of beading on the sides. They turned out pretty cool and I know my mom has been wearing them pretty much non-stop since I gave them to her.

They got us some pretty rockin' presents as well. I wound up with a pair of Bog Boots which I have been wearing all the time (which annoys W, and makes me happy!). They are AMAZING. Super warm (rated to -30*F!), and waterproof. I LOVE them. Sam got me a set of unbreakable wine glasses... probably the most thoughtful gift ever! I have been using them all the time and love that the dogs tail won't break them! W scored a camp saw (which apparently saved someone's life while lost in the wilderness in AK, so I am thankful he has that now!) and a set of Guinness pub glasses. It was pretty fun.

Tonight we are opening presents with W's family, so I need to go finish some things up. Only my SIL is getting something that I made... everyone else is too picky.... or wants a quilt, and I just don't have the time to make everyone quilts (or the $$ for that matter!).  I think people don't really understand how much goes into making a quilt, so in case you are thinking of asking for one from someone you know, let me give you a small ball park... for a lap/couch size quilt that has been quilted, the investment is probably somewhere between $375-$500 depending on fabric choices. Plus the time. So know you are asking for something quite expensive... and USE it!! I dread giving people quilts because I'm afraid they will wind up in a closet somewhere because they are afraid to use them... don't!! Use them... wear them out... they are made to be loved. Alright, I really should get on my chores as I have to go to work today too!! I hope everyone is having a happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree!

We put our Christmas tree up a while ago, but I am just now getting around to showing everyone.  We buy our tree at Bell's Nursery, which is literally two blocks from my house. The nursery is awesome, the people are very helpful and knowledgeable and we always get a great quality product. So, to us it is very worth the money for our awesome tree.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is sitting in the living room with the lights off and the tree lights on. It is just so pretty. And since the Christmas lights on the house didn't pan out (I don't really want to talk about that....) this is my only slice of Christmas. So here is a picture of our tree, and a picture of my favorite ornament. And, apparently I didn't take a picture of the top, but it has a star on it.  It is pretty....

Every year we get an ornament, and this is the one that I got while in grad school studying to be a teacher. (We all know how that panned out... :P) Anyway, that is Sally the Peanuts character in school and when you push the button you hear the Peanuts teacher going "whah wah whah waa waaaaa". Love it.

In other news, one of my friends is expecting a baby girl!! This is the first girl that any of my friends have had, so I am pretty excited. I am now going to be spending the day browsing ravelry for the perfect knitted gift...

Oh, and because I just found it on my phone, here is a pic of the puppy that I watched over Thanksgiving... he is cute...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Skijoring with the pups

Today we went out skijoring with the dogs again. The second time this week (we also went Monday before I went to work) and with the new snow it was actually a bit slower. I really enjoy going out with the dogs. It is a lot of fun for the whole family.

What is not fun is when you run into rude people on the trail.

In Anchorage, we have a very extensive trail system. Most (actually, I would venture to say 95% or more, which to me is almost ALL) of these trails are designated ski trails, which means you can not have your dog on them.  The park we go to has at least 10 trails and ONE of them is a multi-use trail. ONE. And it isn't even a loop, so it is sort of a pain. So that means that if you are a skier you have access to many different trails if you are at the park. Me, I have one option. It doesn't change, it's always the same, and it is where I stay.

Why do I stick so closely to this trail?? Because people are super crazy when you are not on the multi-use trail.  I'm talking YELL-at-you-in-your-face-about-how-you-are-ruining-the-trail-system-and-you-should-not-even-be-allowed-to-be-out-here type of crazy. So now that I know WHERE the multi-use trails are, I stick to them like glue.  I am not one for confrontation, especially when you are starting at a yelling level.

So, today we were out skiing and having a good time and I see a woman heading towards us on the trail.  W and I move off to the right and keep the dogs close. We both say hi to her (and because we were quite a ways apart, she had ample opportunity to return the greeting) but she says nothing. And she looked at us like we were ruining her ski adventure. For some reason this REALLY annoyed me. If she doesn't want to see dogs (and I don't know why you wouldn't want to see my dogs, because they look pretty hot in their skijoring outfits. In fact, some people had actually stopped and took pictures of us earlier before this happened.) GO TO ANOTHER TRAIL. You have SOO many options... why choose this trail?? That trail is actually pretty crappy compared to the others... It just really made me mad because there I was, obeying the rules and someone was still rude.  Granted, I didn't get yelled at, but still... it is polite to say hi or at least SMILE. Not look at me like my dogs are ruining your life... they weren't in your way. Get over it.

Anyway. Someone (actually Jess, from Ohio... I read her blog too... she seems pretty awesome) left a comment on my last post about the movie King Corn.  I have actually seen that movie too, and it is also a very interesting movie about the food industry in America. I think part of the problem is that we don't really take the time to think about where our food comes from or why it contains what it does.  King Corn talks about how most of the corn that is grown in America is actually inedible, it is mostly to make high fructose corn syrup. So if you would like to know more about the food industry in America, check out King Corn as well.

Alright, I have to go finish knitting this stupid sample hat. I'm just annoyed that it isn't done because I REALLY want to start my knot hat on my super cool new interchangeable needles... but I am being good and finishing this hat.... ugh....

Food Inc.

We watched the documentary Food Inc. the other day and whew... what a well-done movie. If you are interested in eating healthy (or want even more encouragement to do so), check it out. It is all about how the food industry is run by demand... more ground beef is purchased by McDonalds than any other consumer. Since McDonalds wants its burgers to taste the same no matter where you buy it, it leads the producers to feed all of their cows the same. Since we can't grow the same grass everywhere, they become corn-fed beef.... which despite all of the propaganda is terrible for you.  If cows were still allowed to graze and eat the way they were supposed to, there would be a significant drop in the amount of e-coli and mad cow problems. And that is just one of the many things that are covered in the movie.

Another thing that I never thought about is how you should only try to eat foods that are in season... so if you couldn't grow a tomato outside, you probably shouldn't be eating one. Foods that are not in season are picked green and then when they want them to be ripe they do something with formaldehyde... gross.

So in addition to my Full Circle Farms veggie box, we have decided to cut back on the amount of meat we eat. It's going to be harder for W than me, as he is kind of a meat freak... so it should be fun. :) The meat we do eat is going to come from Natural Pantry where I can buy free-range grass-eating beef. It's not only better for the animals, it is better for me. I will also be buying as much organic food as I can... probably mostly at Natural Pantry. Every little bit counts, and I am trying to do my part.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yet Another Reason...

To shop local...

About a month ago I bought a new pair of tennis shoes. I had a pair, but they were a bit too small and my danskos are not appropriate for winter (or basically anytime for me... they are dangerous for me to wear...) so I needed some shoes to wear outside!! I went to Fred Meyer and bought a pair. I wore them for a bit, and then realized that my hip was hurting. I mean HURTING. It was bad. I realized the only thing that had changed was my shoes. I hadn't been walking more or less, but the footwear had been changed. So I tried to take them back. Apparently, the policy is if the shoes have been worn outside they can not be returned. These shoes are perfectly fine... I just can't wear them. I bought my next pair of shoes at REI (which I realize isn't local, but it is still a store with great customer service, and I'm a member of the co-op, so I kind of own it... :) ) where I can return them for ANY reason in ANY condition at ANY time. (I think I have three or four YEARS to decide if I like these shoes.) Luckily, my hip has not been bothering me, and my new shoes are even cuter than the old ones.

Today I went to AK Mill and Feed and bought presents for the holiday parties at both my work and W's.  They already had all of their Christmas stuff marked down 40% and their pet holiday stuff marked down 50%! So I got a lot of stuff for not too much money. At a local store!! I was very pleased. And they had awesome customer service... I had asked one of the employees if they had any more penguin items and she found three things for me that I had overlooked! She was awesome.

I also treated myself to a holiday gift... since I have been trying not to buy yarn and fiber I decided to invest in a pair of Hiya-Hiya interchangeable needles. For $70 I now have a bunch of different circular needles! I'm super excited about them. I will be knitting my cabled hat from Knitty on them soon... I just have to finish the sample hat for my class so I can take it to work. I am very excited about the new issue of Knitty... I think I queued like four things, which is a high number for me.  And the shawl is amazing. We just got a new shipment of quiviet at the shop and there is a pair of skeins that are bright green and AMAZING. They were calling to me and I think they may be destined to become that shawl... we will see.

Alright, I have to get my gifts wrapped and then head off to a holiday party!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Indie Dyers and Skijoring

First off, I am constantly amazed by people and their creativity. Being a member of the PhatFiber community is amazing, and I love seeing what people do.  I boxed up my samples today, but forgot to take pictures of them... but they are amazing.  Weston said it was his favorite thing I have ever dyed. But, I did part with the fiber (a merino/bamboo blend) and it will be in the sampler boxes. ANYWAY, back to my point, people are amazing! Another PhatFiber contributor, H.A.Y. came up with mini batts of each planet. Amazing! I was so tempted by them, that I snagged a set from her Etsy shop as soon as I could.  They are even more stunning in person, and I am kicking myself for not getting two sets. So not only was I blown away by creativity, but also by customer service. I received my order today (after ordering on Monday!) and it came with a cute Christmas card and a candy cane. Very nice personal touch. All of this has cinched that I will be buying from this shop again! Any ideas for what these batts should become??

Also, today we went skijoring with the dogs, and it was a BLAST! For those who don't know, skijoring is basically cross-country skiing with your dog tied to you. I was very nervous to go with Snickers, because he is CRAZY, and I was convinced that I was going to break a bone. Surprisingly, both dogs did amazing. Frito was more motivated to keep running with Snickers there, and because Frito wanted to prove his "alpha dog" status, he didn't want Snickers to get ahead of him.  It was quite fun. We are planning on going about three times a week to keep the whole family in shape.  We live really close to the park where we go, so we can get there and back pretty quickly, which is nice.  And the trails are all really well lit, so we can even go after dinner if we need to.

Also, a picture of my owl bag, as promised. I love it.

And, because I am an enabler, this Etsy shop (a new PhatFiber contributor) has an unbelievable deal on a fiber club right now... 3 months for $36+shipping! ACK! 4 oz of fiber a month!! I have had a hard time resisting this all day....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Small Town AK

Lately, I have been quite obsessed with moving to a small town. Not that Anchorage isn't nice, but I feel like I am missing out on some things. I feel like the hustle and bustle of the "big city" is getting to me. Plus, I feel like if I lived in a small town more people would share some of my core values... mainly about how they shop.

I'm not a fan of chain stores (with the exception on Costco... I love Costco. And I shop at Target more than I should, but I digress). I feel like they undermine local stores and they encourage people to fill their lives with things they may not need. Obviously, it is hard to shop exclusively at small, local shops. I would love to buy all of my clothes at boutiques, but my budget doesn't allow me to. And we don't really have a local grocery store. But with those two exceptions, I have been trying my best to shop local. There is a book that I have been interested in buying that Barnes and Noble has in stock... but I have decided to wait until I can get my hands on it at work, or at Title Wave so that I can support a local business. I try very hard to make my money speak for me.

I feel like if I move to a small town, more people will share this value (even if it is out of necessity). Plus, I think it would be nice to live somewhere that my kids could walk from one end to the other and I wouldn't have to worry about them. There are obviously down sides to living in small towns, but to me it sounds amazing. I think something that makes it more appealing is the fact that everyone thinks I am crazy for wanting to do it.

But alas, since we refinanced our house this year, it will be a while before we get to live our small town dream... in the mean time I am going to live in my little house, shop locally, and tell anyone who will listen to do the same....

Oh, and a quick note. If you didn't know, you can hook up your Carr's card with your AK air account and earn miles for shopping! Amazing. I just did that today... I'm probably the last person to find out about it, but in case you are like me, you can go here and sign up. :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Craft Fair

I went to the UAA craft fair today, which was quite exciting! I bought myself a very cute bag with owls on it (pics later... too lazy at the moment) and bought a pretty exciting birthday present for a party I am going to tomorrow! I was going to make the little guy something, but since I subbed all week my free time was pretty much non-existent and I found this and it was PERFECT! Let's hope he loves it as much as I do!

Another thing that was a bit interesting at the craft fair was running into my bosses. They are fun ladies. They joked about how I should buy them a stained glass piece for Christmas and teased me for buying a bag I could have easily made myself. I explained to them that I COULD make the bag, but I never would. So it was worth it to me to buy something hand made and enjoy every bit of it! Plus, since I didn't make it, I won't be overly critical of it, as I often am of my own work.

There was also a booth of hand knit and crocheted items run by people that I recognized from the shop... we tend to have to follow them around so they don't put things in their bags... if you catch my drift.  Now I realize why they are so motivated... if you can cut your investment down to zero, your profits sure do skyrocket! People are always surprised when I talk about shoplifting at the quilt shop.  Everyone is always stunned that it happens. And, until I worked there, I probably wouldn't have believed it either... but it is AMAZING how much stuff walks away. Sometimes we will find empty bolts in the stacks, which means someone just took all of the fabric off of it and walked out. We have even had whole quilts stolen.

But, we just got a phone call that the in-laws are on the way over, so I need to frantically pick up!! AHH!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm Dan Sullivan...

Our city is having a hard time financially. So what did they decide to do?? Hire a special lawyer and investigate if our former mayor knew this was going to happen.  This lead to a 60+ page report being put together and the assembly spending time reviewing this report.


We are POOR, we shouldn't spend money on things that DON'T MATTER. It doesn't matter if Mark Begich knew we were going to be in a budget crisis... are we going to drag him out of DC and convict him of something? No, because he didn't commit a crime. So all this money, time, and energy is a waste....

And we wonder why we are in a budget crisis....

Seriously... sometimes I just want to move to the middle of nowhere and live in the woods....

Monday, November 30, 2009

November Wrap Up!

I looked out the window into the backyard the other day and found this:

Oh, my crazy Frito. He misses the summer hammock and has decided that the wheelbarrow is a good substitute.

In other dog news, today is my LAST day puppy sitting and I could not be happier!!! While he sure is cute, he is a pain in the butt. His refusal to sleep has really disrupted my schedule, and I don't deal well with having my sleep interrupted.

As far as knitting goes, I have started and finished a hat out of the book Hat Heads.

It turned out a bit smaller than I like my hats, so I will be knitting myself another hat with larger needles. This hat is a sample for a class I'm going to be teaching at the shop, so it wasn't a huge deal that it didn't fit. The class is going to be for beginning knitters who want to learn how to knit in the round and do simple color work. Considering this hat took me three days to finish, I think it is a very do-able beginning project.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend! We got a fair amount of snow, so I am hoping to get Snickers his skijoring gear this week so we can go out this weekend... here's to hoping I don't break anything! :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

First off, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have somewhere to enjoy this holiday, and people to share it with. I will be spending it with my parents and my in-laws... sadly W is still out hunting and won't return until tomorrow night... let's hope he returns with a deer in tow!

The other night I was watching the Biggest Loser (because it is too hard to knit, spin, or sew with the puppy.  He is obsessed with yarn and has stepped on my sewing machine pedal a few too many times to make it fun anymore.) and one of the ladies on there had something pretty interesting to say. She was talking about how a mother/wife is supposed to be the caregiver of the family and how she has given so much of herself to everyone else that she lost who she was. She didn't know who she was or where she was going anymore. While at the ranch, she had realized that you have to take care of yourself to take care of other people.  You need to put yourself first... because when you take care of yourself, you have so much more to give.

This really spoke to me. Last year, when I was teaching, I felt like I was losing myself. I spent so much time working, worrying about work, and being upset about work that I didn't have a lot of time to do the things that I loved. Once I made the decision to not go back to teaching, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. I started to realize that I was in charge of the direction my life was going to go, and I wanted it to go differently. I started sewing, knitting, and picked up spinning. I found myself again. I have been struggling with the idea of having a family, as I don't want to lose myself again. I know what it is like to be unhappy with your life and how it feels to not have time to do the things that you love. I can  not have that happen, as I don't want to be that person.

I'm very lucky that I have a very supportive husband who always stands by my side and helps me make good decisions. He has told me that he will make sure that I will always have time for myself and will help me out when I need it. My husband is so supportive, he is out trying to kill a deer to feed me through the summer! :)

Again, Happy Thanksgiving. And count your blessings, because I am counting mine.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Color plays a pretty big aspect in my life. Between working in a quilt shop, quilting, knitting, spinning, dyeing, etc... I think about color a lot. I think about what colors work together, what colors I like, what colors I want in my room... it's a lot of thinking.

One place that I never expected to think about color was eating...

This summer W and I started to change our diet. We knew that we should eat better, and since we were thinking about starting a family, we wanted to get ourselves healthy to set a good example.  We started eating at home almost exclusively and we joined Full Circle Farms, which is Community Supported Agriculture.  What that means is that every other week we get a box full of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.

W is much better at meals than I am, so he does most of the cooking. There are a few things that I cook... tacos, enchiladas, and spaghetti are my "things". Everything else, I rely on him for. I may help him do the cooking, but he decides what to have and I am thankful for that. It is amazing how different our plates started to look when we changed our diet.  They were so full of color!

Plates that were typically full of browns and whites, were now speckled with green, orange, and sometimes even purple! And I loved every second of it.  I can tell when my meals aren't as healthy as they should be, because they look monochromatic and dull.  Like when I have pancakes and sausage for breakfast, I can tell that I better have orange juice and walk the dogs a few extra blocks!

I am glad that my plates are more colorful now... they are not only more interesting to look at, but healthier and delicious!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday

So how many of you brave the retail world for Black Friday?? I always do... I'm crazy. I get up at 4am, wait in line, etc. etc.  I normally have one "big" item that I need to get on Black Friday.  This year, I don't really have too much on my "need" list, as I actually already have most of my holiday shopping done. So I will just be on the lookout for great deals on things that I might want, such as some new clothes and DVDs. W teases me that Black Friday is my favorite holiday, next to my birthday....

Still puppy sitting.  The second night went well.  I think he was so tired from not sleeping the previous night that he went right to sleep.  Last night, he whined for about 45 mins before finally conking out. He gets up earlier than my other dogs, which is a pain. I don't like being up at 7am if I don't need to be.

I'm working on a new quilt (surprise!) with a teacher friend from school. We are making a few different quilts, all using the same fabric.  We spent all day Sunday ironing and cutting the fabric.  So far I have 12/75 blocks done for the first two quilts. The blocks are buggy barn stars, so they go together really quickly (no seams to match...) but because the blocks aren't just two colors (like normal) I have to lay each one out before I sew it so it is taking longer than normal. They look pretty amazing though.

I also still have a few sewing projects to complete for Christmas. I would post about them, but I have a sneaking suspicion that would ruin the surprise for the recipients. :)

Having the house to myself for the past few days has been kind of nice... I am allowed to leave fabric, ironing boards, yarn, etc, all over the house.  One BIG downside is I have to do all of my own cooking.  That is tough.  W is very good at coming up with meals. Me, I'm good at cooking mac and cheese. And, as much as I love mac and cheese, I can not wait for W to come home Friday night!!

Alright, back to doing more productive things.  Sorry for the random post.... I will try to be more coherent later. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Puppy Sitting

W and some of his friends have headed off to Hoona (a small island by our state's capital) to go deer hunting for Thanksgiving.  I have been charged with the task of puppy sitting a 12 week old husky mix named Bruschi (pronounced brewski, he is named after a football player) which I thought would be a fun task. Unfortunately, he and I have very different views on things... such as sleeping.  I believe it should be done at night, and he thinks that is for whining and carrying on.

I was really unhappy last night when he would not go to sleep.  And me telling him to be quiet was sending my dogs into fits, as they thought they were in trouble.  Frito got over it pretty quickly, but Snickers insisted on trying to lay right on top of me all night.  Finally, at 4:30, I gave up and slept on the couch.  I then got up for the day at 6, with a total of about 4.5 hours of sleep.

He sure is cute though when he isn't keeping me up....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Twilight Zone

Does anyone else ever have days that are just weird?? You don't know what made it weird... maybe it was the shirt you wore, or the way you tied your shoes... but the day was just off. Today was kind of a weird day.  I went to work at 10 (which I was almost late because my car did not want to unplug... it was so cold it was practically frozen... when I left my house it was -1*F) and it was super quiet.  Not much going on at work.  Helped a few people, cut some fabric, dreamed of making quilts... the usual. Then a lady came in and said she had received a message that her knitting class was cancelled. What class? Beginning Knitting. Why? The teacher was sick. Well, I'm standing there, dumbfounded because I am the teacher, and I'm clearly not sick... so she thinks that her husband took the message wrong and it was a class at another shop... but it was still weird.

Then later a lady checking out said to me, "You're Sally Henderson"... well, yes, I am (was, maiden name).  She was the mom of a friend I had in 6th grade.  I am very awkward in these situations.  I don't really know what the other person "wants" out of the talk... so I said how I stayed in AK and never left... married, have a house, never leaving.  Apparently her daughter is married and lives in TX now.  I guess I wasn't as awkward as I could have been.  I am just so bad at small talk. I'm the worst person to have at a party (unless I've had a glass or two of wine) that I don't know people at. I'm so socially weird.

Good thing I knit... I will always have something to talk about!

Speaking of knitting, my cowl is coming along quite nicely.  I'm almost to the second cable cross. I will then measure it and see how much further I have to knit. I really like it and I'm hoping that blocking will hide some of my problems (the edges of where I move from seed stitch to rib are a bit wonky)...

My dad's hat is almost done. I'm on the crown decreases and moving right along. If I didn't have to teach class tonight, I would definitely be finishing that up.  I still have some socks that I am hoping to finish by XMas and a few smaller quilts as well. I still have 5 weeks.  Never mind that some of these projects aren't even started.....

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Frito's Three!

Our first dog, Frito, turned three today.  He is a big goofball.  He celebrated first by having a bully stick, and new squeaker balls. Then he enjoyed some bacon for breakfast. He also enjoyed a trip to the dog park, some dog ice cream, and having my SIL's dog, Harley, come over and play with him.  Overall, it was a great puppy day for him. I can't believe he is already three... I still remember potty training him and him being so smart that he would just squat and pretend to pee because then he would get a treat... now he uses his smarts to pretend he needs to go outside so he can steal out spot in bed. Oh, fun times. I enjoy the time I get to spend with my dogs, and I'm glad Frito had a good day.  Happy Birthday Frito!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I should hope for things more often on my blog... because IT SNOWED!! Not too much (only about 2-3 inches) but enough to make everything white! I was SOO excited when I left work on Sunday to snow. It was a great end to a long, work-filled weekend.

Not too much else is going on.  I joined my first KAL (Knit-A-Long).  It is with DaniDo Crafty and it is her Brisk Cowl (rav link).  I am into the pattern and LOVING it. I'm not a huge fan of seed stitch, but this has enough to look nice without being too annoying. I'm using some yarn dyed by my friend over at Northern Lights Fiber Co and I am really happy with how it is turning out. I hope to be done with the cowl by the end of the month... (setting my end date far out, as I am working on gift knitting at the same time)

I am knitting a hat for my dad out of the Hats On! book and it is amazing. I love colorwork! It is simple, but has very dramatic results!! I also just ordered the book Hat Heads and can not wait to knit myself a hat.

Alright, off to find some food before I have to teach knitting class.  Happy (early) Veterans Day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

At the Risk of Revolt...


This is CRAZY town. I live in ALASKA. I like love snow. (Like my new use of strike-thru text...I'm fancy) And I thought that all of this climate change was going to work in my favor... bringing me more snow.... but here it is. November 7th, and not a flake on the ground.

A few practical reasons I would like snow:
* I can not see in the dark. I have terrible vision, and the night only makes it worse.  When there is snow, I can see because all of the light is reflecting... I actually rarely think it is "dark" in the winter...
*It is much prettier.  (Ok, that may not be practical... but it is)
*Ok, I really only had the first reason.

I want snow. I want to take the dogs out skiing. I want to wake up to a winter wonderland. My dogs love snow... they are hot... please... SNOW.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Moose have been very fond of my porch lately.  Earlier this month, I had some moose come eat the leftovers of my garden, and a few days ago we had a HUGE bull moose come and eat both of our Halloween pumpkins.  It was quite exciting.  After eating all of the pumpkins, he laid down and took a nap in the yard.  Eventually he wandered off into the night.  Luckily, we didn't have anywhere to go as he was literally two feet from my front door....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Wrap Up.

It is November... Halloween is officially over. So I figured I should post a few pictures of the party we had.   I am only posting pictures of the food, as there aren't very many (or any...) good pictures of the people there. Apparently the person in charge of the camera was a bit tipsy...

This is a picture of the food that I made.  There was taco dip, cinnamon crisps, pigs in a blanket (not pictured), and the highlight of the party, the sea monster sandwich.

It wound up being a pretty fun party. We hung out at the house and gave out candy to the few trick-or-treaters that came by and then walked to go neon bowling.  W and I didn't stay at the bowling alley too long, as he decided that he was going to walk home because he didn't feel well.  He was convinced that he could do it alone, but I went with him.  On the way home, W called our good buddy J probably 3 different times, telling him how scared he was and that he didn't know where he was.... J thought it was funny to tell W that Snickers turned into a zombie... it was quite a walk. Luckily, we all made it home safely, and there were no dog zombies waiting for us.

Poor Snickers though... he hurt one of the nails on his right paw pretty badly (not really too sure what happened, we trimmed his nails, and accidently clipped one too far, but it wasn't this one...) and now is hobbling around on 3 legs. Yesterday he was just limping, and I thought he was being a baby about the claw we trimmed too closely (which was his dew claw, so not really too relevant to his walking)... then this morning I saw he had another injured nail and I felt bad for calling him a baby. I tried to take him walking today and he made it to the corner before he laid down and couldn't go any further.  Luckily, I was able to coax him home and now he is laying on the couch... I made him some beef rice for lunch. I feel bad for him. He can't do anything like he is used to doing. I hope he heals soon!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dog Food

I have two big dogs. They eat a lot of dog food.  I am constantly looking for ways to save money on things I have to buy consistently.  I buy my bread at a discount store, I clip coupons, I search sales fliers... I am a saving freak.  I stock up on things when they are on sale (like when Carrs had a buy two pasta sauces, get two boxes of pasta free, I went pasta crazy....) and dog food is a major expense.  The dog food we buy is $1/lb and I am always on the look out for a sale.  Sunday morning we went to Target to stock up on candy (50% off!) and I wanted to run and check the price on dog food, as I do every time I am there.  Much to my surprise, it wasn't on sale, it was on CLEARANCE! The dog food we buy was 75% off! Why? Well, probably because they are discontinuing the size bag (20lb, which is silly... with large breed dog food, that disappears in a day!) or they are changing the packaging. So that is how I ended up with a truck that looked like this.

After a trip to both Target stores, we wound up with 19 bags of dog food of various sizes (6 of them were about 8 lbs, the rest were 20 lb bags).  The bags that were typically $25 were $6. Amazing. I'm hoping this lasts through the winter...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Apple TV

We have been wanting to invest in Apple TV for a while now.  It is the perfect set up for us to be able to listen to our music on our rockin' surround sound system and subscribe to a few of our favorite TV shows without having to pay for cable. We decided today was going to be the day we took the plunge.  So off we went to MacHaus to purchase our Apple TV.

Then we tried to hook it up. And because our TV is not designed by Apple (WHY?!? I wish everything were designed by Apple!) it decided to be stupid and not recognize the signal.  We have had this problem a little bit with the XBox, but wrongly assumed that it was the XBox (it is, after all, a Microsoft product)... so we tried to fix the TV.  Apparently the company who made our TV is now out of business, so it was a no go on being able to figure out how to fix it.

Weston was bound and determined to have this Apple TV set up tonight. So we headed to Costco and bought a new TV. Now we have a Vizio 37" super fancy TV and an Olevia 37" regular TV sitting in the middle of my living room. The Apple TV works on the new Vizio TV and the picture is crazy good (it is almost 3D... which is a bit weird to watch at first... but now I can't wait for the next episode of The Office.)

We are still trying to figure out all of the ins and outs to the new addition, but I have a feeling the Apple TV and I are going to be good friends. :)

Almost Halloween!!

So tomorrow is Halloween!! Which means it is time for our 2nd Annual Jager Halloween Party! We do shots when trick-or-treaters come and then walk to go neon bowling.  A good time is had by all. I am busily getting ready for the party... cleaning the house, cooking the food, etc. I love Halloween.

Anyway, the real reason for this post is a bit of bragging.  I did some spinning the other night and plied one of my yarns with beads!

I wanted it to look like Christmas lights in the night, and I am very happy with the way it turned out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pictures, as promised

My handspun baby sweater. I love it! Plus, it actually fits on a little kid.

My "mustard scarf"... out of Kelsey's handspun yarn. It is merino and silk and amazing... I have been wearing it dog walking and it is very warm!!

A close-up of the button.  I think it is the perfect accent...

My black, white, and red quilt.  Probably my favorite quilt EVER.

This fabric cracks me up... it has knitting abbreviations on it. :)

My Halloween quilt. The quilting on it is amazing. There are teeth in the jack-o-lanterns!

My fall quilt. I thought it was a nice quilt... then I put on the border and it was amazing.

The new shelves in my living room. I'm going to get some flowers to go in the vases... they are the vases from our wedding.

My current spinning. It is superfine merino in pinks and oranges. I really like it and I am getting close to being done with it. I have one bobbin done and this will be the second one that I will ply with. I like spinning large amounts (this was 7 oz total) but it seems to take forever! I think I have spinning ADD!

Alright, so that should tide everyone over for a while. It may be a bit before I get this much done again! Now off to dye some fiber.....


When I am home, I typically watch Regis and Kelly while eating breakfast.  Today, I was wondering if anyone would notice if Regis actually went crazy. Today, he was talking with Patrick Dempsey of Grey's Anatomy... he kept asking him questions like, "Do doctors actually talk like that about patients?" and "Can you save me if something were to happen to me right now?"... I realize that he PLAYS a doctor on TV. But, really?!? Why would he know what actual doctors talk about when at a hospital?? It just seemed really strange. I was concerned that Regis actually believed that Patrick was a doctor... he might be going insane and no one will notice....

And Kelly was wearing a snuggie.

That is all....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fiber Notebook!

So now that I have been spinning for a while (actually, only 4 months... but who's counting) I have started to acquire a decent amount of stash fiber and handspun yarn.  And since I have actually been KNITTING with my handspun yarn (ok, only one project so far, but again, who's counting) I have been dreaming of starting a fiber notebook.  I really like handspun yarn (duh!), but I found when I knit the baby sweater, that some of what I loved about it was lost in the knitting. Not that the sweater isn't awesome... because, it is!... it's just that I felt you couldn't see how the two plys of the yarn played together. So I knew I wanted to start a fiber notebook that had samples of the yarns I spun, and pictures of what they became.

Today I stumbled upon this article, and it is my dream notebook!! I am SO inspired, I might start mine tonight! I love the eclectic look of the notebook! I actually even have some blanks notebooks in my house right now that I think will work.  They aren't hard back or even leather bound, but they are very "me" (100% recycled and even green in color). So that is going to be starting soon.  Maybe I will even take pictures and share them on here.  Who knows. And speaking of pictures, I really have been slacking lately. So, here is a list of things that I PROMISE to post pictures of sometime tomorrow.
*My finished scarf
*My finished baby sweater
*The finished pumpkin quilt
*The finished fall quilt
*The finished black and white quilt
*The new shelves in the house

I think that is really all that is going on here.  I have to teach knitting tonight, which is always fun! This group of ladies cracks me up.  A lot of them caught on very quickly, which is always a nice surprise... one of the ladies has been telling everyone she is going to knit them one sock.  Not a pair, just one... because she doesn't think she can make two that match! :) Too funny. Anyway, off to get ready for that... and to start my fiber notebook!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Energy Star

Yesterday our mayor, Dan Sullivan, asked the city to conserve energy for two hours to see how much we could save as a city in case of a problem during the winter. So between the hours of 6-8 PM we were supposed to turn the heat down (to 65*F I believe), not do dishes or laundry, and use the least amount of energy you could.  Most of these things we already do on a daily basis. Our thermostat is set for 58* at night, 60* during the day when we aren't home, 65* when we are home at night. Our hot water heater is set a bit lower than normal, as we don't use it that often and it is 1/3 of our electric bill.... I don't like paying bills.... We probably do laundry once a week and dishes every other day. I realize this is lower than most people, as we only have two people living in the house, but we make a point to only do full loads of both so that we can get the most of our energy usage.

I was at work, so I couldn't actively participate in the energy challenge, but apparently W took it very seriously.  He turned the heat off. And all the power. He wore his head lamp around the house so he could see. And ate a cold sandwich for dinner so he didn't cook.  He is an energy star.

This morning, Frito is super crazy.  He keeps barking at me for apparently no reason.  I'm pretty sure he just wants a treat, but I'm not giving in.  I will, however, walk him. So I am off to do that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holy Productivity, Batman!

I have been kicking ass and taking names at my house.  W has even asked me what is going on as he has noticed that I "have been cooking a lot, and not only that, cleaning up after myself".  Oh, and I have finished three quilts in three days... sure, they just needed binding, but still that is a HUGE deal in my house. I also finished quilting a baby quilt (I'm going to pick out the binding tomorrow) and just need to put the borders on another small baby quilt (picking that out tomorrow as well). I just suddenly realized, if I don't start finishing some of these projects, I am going to be buried in WIPs. Plus, having so many WIP means that I don't really get credit for the crafting that I do. It's hard for people to believe that I knit and quilt when there are just piles of yarn and fabric lying around the house... anyone can buy things. :)

So now, I am trying to finish the roving I am spinning while enjoying some Office DVDs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Success! (well, almost)

Of all of the goals that I posted, I have completed all but one of them.

* I have put the binding on my pumpkin quilt. It is amazing and I love it. Everyone else will have the chance to ogle it tonight at our weekly "Office" get together.
* I have finished my baby sweater. (minus sewing on the buttons, but I did FIND buttons for it, so I'm still counting this as done) I love it and it actually FITS a 12 month old child like it is supposed to.
*I have finished my Saturday Sampler block... and everybody note this on your calendar because I believe this is the FIRST time all year that it is done before Friday night (sometimes Sat morning)!!! I'm very pleased with myself.

I haven't finished spinning my current roving, but I am getting there. I am hoping to get about an hour in tonight while my pizza dough is rising... I am very impressed with my productivity.

Oh, and I also won the "Wife of the Day" award yesterday... I made all three meals for my husband. Eggs and sausage for breakfast, bean burrito for lunch, and chili for dinner. And the kitchen was clean. Oh, and I baked brownies for his potluck. I amaze myself sometimes.

Alright, I have to run some errands (another quilt is just a binding away!!) and then bake pizza. Yum! I hope everyone enjoys their Thursday evening... my favorite day! And the return of 30 Rock! Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


NBC Lineup

This fall, NBC underwent a major line up change... not very interesting to most people. I only watch NBC, and I typically only WATCH TV on Thursday night. It may be on other times, but it is just noise. The one major thing that changed in AK is now the night time line up is Jay Leno, the news, Conan, and then Jimmy Kimmel. No more Seinfield. Very weird. As long as I can remember Seinfield came on after the news. Now it comes on at noon. Annoying.

In other, more interesting news, I finished the baby sweater I was working on. I LOVE it. I bought the buttons for it yesterday and hopefully will be able to sew them on soon. I am getting ready to bind my Halloween quilt. I still have quite a bit of spinning to do.... but it is coming along.  I also started a fancy scarf with some of my friends handspun yarn. I'm half way done with it, and I'm hoping to finish it up today.  I want to be able to block it and wear it to the Eagle River Brewfest on Friday.

Oh, and I have another rant about the stupid speed humps.  The purpose of these humps is to make sure people don't SPEED in the neighborhood.  So, if the speed limit is 25 MPH, I should be able to go over the speed humps at about that speed without trouble. I have to slow down to 15 to go comfortable over the humps.... incredibly annoying, since there are three on my way out of the neighborhood.

I guess nothing too interesting is going on, as I haven't been blogging that much. Friday is the Brewfest, which should prove to be an interesting event. We are taking an old school limo, owned by a friend's dad, and that is always a good time. Maybe, maybe.... I will post some pictures. Either way, I will try to get some pictures up of my knitting soon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just a quick post to write down a few things that I hope to get finished up this week. (Which is until next Friday... the next seven days)

*My Halloween quilt. Just got it back from the quilter on Wed and it is AMAZING. She even put teeth in the mouth of the pumpkins...
*My baby sweater. I am down to the button band and the collar. In fact, when I am done writing this, I am hoping to do that.
*The wool that is on my wheel. I have about 2/3 of a bobbin left before it is ready to ply.
*Saturday Sampler block.  Need to get this done before next Saturday so I don't have to pay $10.

Maybe that is enough goals for the next 7 days.  Especially since I am working on 6 of them. :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Yesterday was a weird day. Josh (our best friend, who has been staying with us for the past 6 months) moved to Colorado. He will be back, as he has a seasonal job at a ski resort down there... but it was very hard and weird. Before it actually happened, I was excited for him to leave. I knew he was going to have fun on his new adventure, and I was excited to have my house back. Having to close the door to the bathroom and get dressed to let the dogs out was getting old. I love being alone, and with J living here, it wasn't too often that I was alone in my house. So, I was looking forward to just being in my house with just W and the dogs. Then I had to take him to the airport. I guess that made me realize that he was really going to be gone for six months. I wasn't going to be able to joke around with him, or give him grief about things, or have him tease me for watching TV all the time for six months. I asked him what I was going to do when he was gone... his response, "Probably watch Regis and Kelly without anyone making fun of you." Too bad him making fun of me was half of the fun....

So, I miss Josh... and I can tell the dogs do too.  Last night, Frito woke me up and walked to the couch where J normally sleeps to show me that he wasn't here. Crazy dog.

On a happier note, I am almost done with my baby sweater. I have been crazy busy with work, so I haven't been able to work on it too much.  It has half of a sleeve and the button band left to do. While at work yesterday, I checked out the new Louisa Harding pattern book and it is pretty amazing.  It will be coming home with me today, and I plan on digging in my closet to see if I have the yarn to make many of the projects in the book. More on that later.

Also, in dork news... tomorrow is The Office wedding!! Jim and Pam are getting hitched. I'm pretty excited. In fact, I have to go bake a cake in celebration!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Baby knitting!

They are putting the speed hump up right now. I want to lay in the road to protest, but it is below freezing and I would probably be run over. So here I sit, in my warm house, fuming about the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

On a happier note, I cast on for my first "real" knitting project with my handspun yarn!! It is a baby sweater called the mossy jacket (rav link).  I am using my breaking clouds yarn, which was spun with fiber from Northern Lights Fiber Co. I am very happy with the way it is turning out, and I am already ready to divide for the sleeves.

And what is that green thing poking into the corner? Oh, just an awesome baby sock that is done! At first I had used a three needle bind off, but decided that looked too square. So I did something that I have never done, and is very out of character... I undid the bind off and redid it! Now the sock is much cuter. I decreased until there were 7 stitches left and then I pulled the tail through the stitches and cinched the end shut. Not the most professional toe, but I think it is perfect for my baby sock.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Speed Humps

Ok, obviously I have failed at Wordless Wednesday. I just don't know what to take pictures of... so that will be on the back burner for now.

They put up signs on our street that inform drivers that there will be "Speed Humps" ahead. (Speed humps are like speed bumps but they are wider so that you can still go a reasonable speed over them) However, there are no speed humps. I'm wondering if these are a scare tactic to try and slow down drivers. Really, they should just put an "S" on the sign in front of my house because you will only speed in front of my house once. I typically drive on the wrong side of the road in front of my house because to drive on the right side you have to go about 2mph. It is SOO bumpy and messed up that you will destroy your car or give yourself a concussion going the speed limit.

Basically, all this boils down to is that I will be upset if they put a speed hump in front of my house as then I will have no safe way to get to my house.... it will all be so bumpy.

On a random knitting note, I am knitting a pair of baby socks with the leftover yarn from my baby hats. I have turned the heel on one and will hopefully have the pair done by Sat.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What a Weekend!

I had such a fun weekend. Saturday my mom and I went to a fabric sale at a church up the road from my house. A few of the ladies from the shop and some of their friends were selling off some of their stash, and I scored big time! I will have to take pictures to show you, but for now you will have to take my word that I got some awesome deals (like 6.5 yds for a quilt back for $28!). I have already used some of the fabric to make a present for a young one that I know who is turning one in two days! I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

Saturday afternoon I taught another beginning knitting class.  This was a smaller group, but they are still just as fun.  Somehow, the hardest part is the darn slip knot. I need to figure out a better way to explain it, because it seems everyone has a very hard time with that first step.

Sunday I had breakfast with some of the ladies at the shop, as one of them is moving to Washington next week. Then that night I played Settlers of Catan with some friends (lost poorly... lame) and enjoyed corn beef that W had cooked in the crock pot. Overall, a wonderful weekend.  And now I have to get ready to go to work.... I hope everyone has a good week!