Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A note about dogs...

I can tell it is spring. How? Well, people besides me and the lady down the street are out walking their dogs.  I'm glad that people have decided that because it is warm (40*F) they can go outside and exercise their dogs. I do feel bad that these dogs don't get to go out in the winter time though.... I wonder how these dogs don't drive their owners crazy... Frito barks in my face if I'm even 30 mins late walking him...

Another thing I find interesting about dog walks is encountering other dogs. I don't mind if people have their dogs on a leash or not, as long as their dog is under control, I don't care. I keep my dogs on a leash because they don't listen, not because they are mean. It is funny to encounter dogs off leash when my dogs are on leashes... the people seem to panic that I'm going to freak out on them. And I don't really blame them, some people are CRAZY about that stuff.

This post is not nearly as focused as it was in my mind. Anyway, my point is I think if you have a dog it is important to take care of it. Walking my dogs is one of my favorite parts of the day. When I do it alone, it is a nice workout. When I do with W it is the time of the day that we can talk and discuss different things that are going on in our lives. And, the dogs love it.

I'm going to go enjoy a bowl of cereal, the rest of the show Parenthood, and then head to bed. I hope everyone has a good week! Tomorrow is Wednesday, so you are half way to the weekend!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Imagine my surprise...

I was at Carrs today buying cereal and milk and I decided to read the ingredients of Rice Krispies. Did you know they have high fructose corn syrup in them?!? Really? Holy crap! I had no idea. Not even Marshmallow Mateys (which is the malt-o-meal version of Lucky Charms) have high fructose corn syrup in them... it was mind blowing.

I just have to seam up my reversible toy and it will be done! That will have to wait until tomorrow because I am exhausted. I didn't sleep well last night, I had weird dreams all night, and I'm actually not sure how much I slept. It was super weird. So I didn't take a nap tonight like I normally do in hopes of sleeping well tonight.

That's really all I had. I just couldn't believe the rice krispie thing... I love rice krispies... and now, now I can't eat them. So sad.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Knitting?

In my web browsing today, I came across this blog... how I did not already know about it, I don't know. BUT, it will be added to the blog roll and read from now on. I LOVE Susan Anderson's designs and I'm even going to try and knit this before Easter. It claims to only take a few hours, so it seems pretty realistic that I can get it done in a week. :)

Other than that, things are plugging along here. I had to rip back a part of the baby blanket again. I keep messing up on one of the YO rows which creates an extra stitch... and I seem to not notice until 4 rows later, which is VERY annoying. So I need to pay attention and count after I do that row every time... because at this rate the blanket will never get done!

My friend and I are throwing a baby shower for a friend tomorrow, so I have been busy cooking and baking all day. I finished all the food for tomorrow (well, to the point that I need to) and all the decorations are boxed and ready to head to the house in the morning. So now all that's left to do is wrap the presents and relax! :) I should have a pretty relaxing night as W went to his friend's cabin, so I can do as I please....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Signs of Spring

Melting snow, the nursery is open, spring is right around the corner. Of course, in AK spring is confusing. Snow might still fall, but it probably won't stick around for too long. In honor of spring, I put up my summer shower curtain. 

The pig trash can actually lives in the bathroom all year, which adds character to my other seasonal shower curtains... and I don't really have another trash can... those are too expensive to get ones for every season! I would love to have an Easter shower curtain, but I haven't found one yet...

Here are some other pictures I had to share. 

The stuffed elephant I made from 101 One Yard Wonders. I put his arms on upside down, and when I make him again, I am going to make my own legs... I wasn't happy with how these turned out. But, he is cute and goofy.

The baby blanket I'm knitting with yarn from Desert Garden Farms. The yarn is called "Thin Mints" and is super springy... I love it. 
A close up of the little hearts that are in the blanket. 

So that is what I have been up to... do you have any spring rituals??

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Birthday Bonanza!

So today I turned a whopping 26 years old. It was awesome. Last year around my birthday, I was having a life crisis and trying to figure out "what to do with my life"... it wasn't fun. BUT, I figured it out (as I often do) and this year my life is kicking butt. Just figured I would do a quick birthday round up to cover all of the events that happened this week....

A HUGE box of books from Amazon came from my dad. Apparently he went a little wish list crazy. I recieved 101 One Yard Wonders (and I have already made a stuffed elephant out of it), Itty-Bitty Toys, The Yarn Girls Guide to Kid Knits, Sew U: The Home Stretch, and The Handmade Home. And, he informed me on my birthday that he also ordered some of the books that weren't out yet, so I will be getting gifts the next couple of months too! How exciting. All of these books are amazing and I can't wait to spend even more time with them. (Pictures of the elephant soon!)

My mom bought me a yarn meter, so I can easily measure my handspun (no more counting and math! whoo hoo!) and a sweater stone, both of which I see getting a lot of use. And my youngest brother bought me two sets of stitch markers from Etsy, one from WeeOnes and the other from Yarn Demon. Awesome.

My wonderful husband bought me the newest Jodi Picoult novel, which I can't wait to crack into... but not before I knit some more! :) He also brought me some flowers today, which was a welcome treat!

AND, as if that wasn't enough, a student in my knitting class brought me cupcakes today! How awesome. I love my life.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Package Bonanza!

So my MIA package finally arrived today, safe and sound. I was SO happy to see it on my porch I think I did a little dance when I came back from walking the dogs. And for your viewing pleasure, here is what was inside. All of the goodies were from Desert Garden Farms, which is quickly becoming a place where most of my $$ goes... :)

Two four ounce batt sets, Gold Dust and Nougat Filled. W is really in love with the Nougat ones....

My Create-A-Pirate SAL fiber. I wrote a story for my pirate (who was actually a siren named Echo) and this fiber was based on that story... how cool!! It is alpaca and amazing.

6 skeins of worsted weight superwash wool. Love them! The colors are even more amazing in person. They are squishy and are going to be knit into something amazing soon... just have to finish a hat tonight... then I will cast on with the green yarn.... must go knit now. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Three R's

At work yesterday, a customer bought one skein of yarn. As I handed her her credit card back, I also handed her the skein of yarn.  A look crossed her face, and I then realized I had forgotten to offer her a bag... I did so, and she replied, "Yes, please. I do want to take it home." Well, yes, I assumed you weren't going to leave your yarn you just bought here... but you DO have a bag in your hand, and I figured you would just put it in there.  When I said, "Oh, I thought you would just toss it in that bag" she told me that "there is other yarn in there and the colors might rub off" Hmm... ok. Wondering what kind of crazy, bleeding yarn is in THAT bag, but fine. Here is your bag for your one skein of yarn.

I am constantly offering bags in the hope that people will turn them down. I realize they can be recycled, but that isn't the best option either. The best thing is to not have them to begin with. I always think of the recycling triangle, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Recycling is the last step... assuming that you can't get rid of the packaging to being with, and you can't reuse it, THEN you recycle. This past weekend I was digging under my sink for bags to take with me to the craft fair.  I think I found 6. The other bags that were under there were bread bags and other food type bags. I was really happy about that. And, I know that most of them actually came from one of our parents' houses, filled with things for us to take home. I have been trying my best to reduce the amount of STUFF that comes into my house, and that is most easily started with plastic bags. If I can carry it to the register, I can carry it out.

So, when you are going about your day, think about the things you throw away. Think if it is something you could have done without or said no to. OR, find out if there is a recycling facility in your area. I really would like my grandkids to have places to visit that aren't landfills....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Comment Moderation

Lance Mackey won the Iditarod! 4 times, back to back... he is amazing. I was sad that I couldn't see it, but will catch it on the news here in a bit. Congratulations to him and his pups.

I have never had to moderate comments on my blog. I've actually never thought about it. I don't think that my blog is one that is widely read, or even in a big deal. My last post, however, had a comment left that I felt needed to be addressed (it is still up for the time being, but I'm not sure how long I plan on leaving it up).

The comment was left by someone in charge of an organization based out of Florida that believes that mushing is evil and sled dogs are being tortured. There are many studies cited that "prove" that mushing is bad for dogs. Now, I don't have a TON of experience with mushers (but, I might counter that I probably have more than the organization... I do live here, and it is part of our heritage and life) but the experience I have counters most of the comments this person left.

Mushers take excellent care of their dogs. It is true that dogs get hurt and die while mushing, but that is the same in any sport. People in sports get hurt and sometimes the injuries are life threatening. If anyone has ever seen a sled dog, these dogs LIVE to run. They are bred to run, that is their life. Owning a sled dog and not running it is torture. It would be like telling me I could never do any crafts again my entire life. I would die. Mushers are incredibly concerned with the health of their dogs. When one of their dogs gets hurt, they don't make it keep running, it will get into the sled and be dropped at the next checkpoint. Because they care. When a sled dog dies, the musher is crushed. These are their friends.

And, yes, when they aren't running they are kept on chains. BUT, I know people who leave their dogs tied up ALL day EVERY day and never exercise them. THAT is far worse, in my mind, than running your dogs and lovingly caring for them.  I have never heard of a musher killing dogs they do not want... clearly, the mushers I have met, do have dogs that aren't the best sled dogs, but they are often adopted as pets (like I was going to, but found my Snickers instead).

The musher the person cites as beating their dogs (Ramey Brooks) was shunned by the mushing community and fined. It was a HUGE deal, and the state of AK was upset and embarrassed. Things like that do happen, sadly, but they are not the norm and these people are not accepted by the mushing community.

The comment made me incredibly upset and irate, which I am sure this is how that person feels about the Iditarod. People always protest the sled dog race, but I don't believe they have all of the information. I could call myself an alligator activist and read a ton about alligators and make all sorts of claims based on what I read. But, I have never lived in a place with alligators. I have no idea what really happens with alligators. If anyone has seen any dog sledding in person, they see the love and care that is put in to the dogs. They are cared for better than most people's pets. They also would see the love the dogs have for mushing.

So, in conclusion, I don't think dog mushing is evil. And, I don't think my blog is a place for other people to post propaganda. If anyone is going to do that, it's me. :) And, I'm sorry if you don't like what I have to say, but there are plenty of other blogs to read....

Enjoy your win Lance, I hope to see you again at the fair!

Iditarod Fever

I love the Iditarod. I think it is an amazing feat for both the dogs and the mushers to make it from 
Anchorage to Nome. Seriously amazing. Anyone who completes the race in my mind is an athlete. And if you win, you apparently are pretty awesome. This past summer at the fair I met Lance Mackey, who is an AMAZING musher. He has won the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod back to back at least 2 years in a row. He is the three-year reigning champion of the Iditarod, and today he is on track to win his 4th race in a row. That is a record. And, I am SO excited for him! He was the nicest guy ever when I met him. 
He didn't try to rush people through his line and was genuinely excited to chat with people. Then, I 
decided to go back and say hi to him again and he remembered me. He offered to give me one of his sled dogs, and even left me with his phone number and email so that I could come pick one out. Needless to say, I went a different direction and got Snickers instead, but it was still exciting.

So, anyway, I'm a huge Lance Mackey fan. He is a cancer survivor and just an all around amazing 
athlete. One thing that made me mad about the Iditarod this year is they decided to start drug testing the mushers. I understand making sure the dogs are safe, and aren't taking anything that could harm them.  
But, even the Iditarod committee had come out and said that it was because of Lance Mackey's 
admission of smoking pot on the trail that had lead to this drug testing. Really?? Pot? Anyone who can 
smoke pot and still WIN the Iditarod is even more amazing! I actually don't care at all that he smokes pot. It's not like the pot is making his dogs run faster. He has a medical license for it (because of his cancer 
therapy) (which I actually still wouldn't care about it even if he didn't have that...). Basically, I think the 
other mushers are kind of mad that he keeps winning. So, Mackey, being the exciting, stand-up guy he is, said he wouldn't fight it. He wouldn't use his medical license as an excuse. He would run the race clean. And he is still kicking butt.

So, Lance, mush on! I wish I could be at home to see you pull into Nome. I am rooting for you!

Edited: For some reason the formatting on this post is weird. I can't figure out how to fix it. Sorry for the weird breaks even in the middle of words... hopefully next time it won't be weird.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend Wrap up

So, I had a busy weekend working at the Fiber Festival! It was very fun to get to talk with people and be around such inspiration. I didn't make a ton of money, but I did sell a few things (enough to pay for my booth and then some) which was fun! I came home with a lot of yarn and fiber, which will be listed in my shop this week. Some of it will only be for sale for a short period, as I REALLY want to knit something with it, but I have SO much yarn, it is a bit out of control... so I should try to sell it and let someone else love it.... But I do know that when the time comes, if it is still in the shop, it will become something for me! :)

My room is a bit of a mess from all of the craziness of getting ready over the past week. I did rotary cut my finger while trying to finish up some project bags. It wasn't too bad, but it was the first quilting injury I had encountered. Which is quite impressive since I have been quilting for almost 6 years. That may be a safety record for me!! Maybe I need one of those signs in my room "X number of days since last injury"... it seems to be the only safe thing I do! My goal for the evening is to get everything in the house cleaned up and some resemblance of calm brought back to the house.

Today was definitely a Monday. When I got to work (in the nick of time even though I didn't have to be there until 12) the heat was out and it was chilly. 61* inside. Brrr. So they brought us a portable heater and we were all huddled around it unless we were working. Then because the heat guy was up in the ducts, dust kept falling on the counter. So, we got up and tried to vacuum the vent, which resulted in us blowing the fuse on the power strip and shutting off all of the computers.  Then the credit card machine decided it didn't want to work. Awesome. Luckily, we weren't overly busy and everyone was very nice about all of our mishaps, which isn't always the case.

Also, if anyone has any pull with the post office, specifically the one in Federal Way, WA (which I'm sure there is more than one, but I can't be more specific) if you could ask them to PLEASE mail my package to AK, I would greatly appreciate it.  For some reason it has been hanging out there since the 4th. And it is stuffed full of fiber-y goodness, including my Pirate SAL fiber, which I don't even know what it looks like... it is killing me that I don't have my hands on it yet! SO, if you see my package, send it my way.... at this point I might be offering a reward!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I really shouldn't...

* Talk about my immune system.  The day before I got sick, I was telling my SIL that I have an awesome immune system and I very rarely get sick. Yeah, thanks for the kick in the pants... I now know that I am not invincible.

*Think I'm getting better. Monday night (after my post about probably being better) I was a WRECK. I slept for an hour, then my body thought it was time to get up. Apparently it was nap time, not night time. I think I slept a total of 3 hrs that night. I felt sick and miserable... but mostly I was so MAD that I wasn't asleep.

*Put things off. I have a few long days ahead of me because of my lack of preparation. My friend, Kelsey, and I have a booth at the fiber festival this weekend (if you are in Anchorage, it is at the Conaco Phillips Bldg from 10-5 both Sat and Sun) which is very exciting... but I need to get A LOT done between now and Sat. It's my own fault, I haven't been keeping up with things like I should have been. BUT, I have decided that what I get done will be what is done, I'm not going to beat myself up about it. It's all a learning experience.

Still no pictures today. Too busy. And, sadly, I have really fallen behind on my 365 project. It has just been really hard to keep up with. Oh, and it's spring break here, and it has been snowing every day. Which is cracking me up. Today it is actually pretty cold (7*F right now) so I might try to get out of walking the pups. And the funny part about the snow... the day before it started falling, they did snow removal on our street. Which means we are at the very bottom of the plow list... I'm not expecting our road to be plowed for at least another week. They might just wait for it to melt....

Monday, March 8, 2010

On the upswing

I walked the dogs this morning for the first time in a while. (W has been walking them alone since I haven't been feeling well) It felt good to be outside, back in my normal routine. I'm hoping that I am on the upswing of my illness. Last night I slept (!) in my own bed for the first time in 3 nights. It was nice to actually sleep and to be in my bed and not on the couch. The couch is great for napping, but not so great for days at a time. I did have to get up at 4am and eat some cereal because I was STARVING. That is not really too unusual though. :)

In yarn news, I finished spinning my burlesque SAL batt from bohoknitterchic.  I even added the add-ins so there is some fun yarn and sequins mixed into it. It wound up being 82 yds of aran/bulky weight yarn. Pictures later, as it is in the sink right now.

I also received my first shipment of the 2010 Loopy Ewe Sock Club, and it did not disappoint. This year the club is including a pattern for a pair of socks and something else, in case you don't want to knit any more socks. I think this is great, as I love socks... but since there are two of them, they don't always get done. The pattern that came this month was a fun scarf/shawl thing and they also included two fun shawl pins to wear with the scarf. LOVE it. And the sock pattern was designed by Wendy of Wendy Knits fame, and is actually spectacular... I'm going to have a hard time deciding what to do with my yarn. I wish I could have gotten two skeins and knit each project!

Alright, enough blabbing. Sorry if this wasn't as coherent as normal... I'm still very stuffy. I have to go get some work done as I have a booth at the fiber festival this weekend... probably should have some stuff to sell. :)

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I haven't been posting. I know. I have been pretty busy... I have a lot of deadlines looming, and then this past week I got sick. It is kind of kicking my butt. It's just a cold, and I'm hoping to be over it by Monday, but until then I'm hunkering down on the couch and being miserable. Well, I do have to work today and tomorrow, but if I'm not at work, I will be on the couch. Lame. I hope everyone has a great weekend!