Saturday, January 5, 2008

Winning the DUCK Prediction Contest

I can't believe that I actually won a contest... Becka over at The Knitting Wounded had a contest for guessing the date she'd finish DUCK - Deep Under Cover Knitting.   I came quite close to guessing the actual date -- I hadn't considered the possibility of her getting sick. 

The prize came last week -- and it was a doozy!!  Waaay more than I expected.  

Its a pretty big box...I forgot to include a puppy for scale. 


There was a really cute sheepie note care -- of which I did take a picture and now I can't find the picture -- and things were wrapped with an adorable ribbon:



What's this?  It looks like a standard tupperware-type container..


until you turn it over:


See that hole, with a nice smooth grommet - it's a yarn container!  How cool is that.  I have some friends who are allergic to dogs and I always worry about how to keep the dog hair out of the yarn -- now I have my solution. :D

Then there was post-it notes in a cute little cover -- totally matches the hat kick I've been on


And there was more:

A kit for a whimsical knitted cuff:


An adorable sock blocker key chain -- I don't knit socks, but I've been wanted one of these because they are too cute. 


Some lovely stitch markers from Dragonlady Designs. 


And sock yarn -- Knit Picks Sock Memories in Gladiolus.  Now, I don't knit socks, but I did say that I received some "incentive" yarn.  I think these will be my first pair of socks.  (The yarn is telling me it has to be socks. I will listen to the yarn.)


And last, but certainly not least, this gorgeous skein of golden yarn.  There's no tag so it is now my Mystery Gold Yarn.  I should at least figure out the WPI because it wants to be a scarf, something worn close to the skin.  It is so soft -- I think it feels and looks like silk -- Becka said that it smelled like silk to her.  (I know people say that there's a smell to silk, but honestly, I can't smell it.)


Thanks Becka!  These items are amazing and have even inspired me to try socks!!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

etsy Friday

It's FRIDAY!!! Time  for etsy Friday...

These purchases were made before Christmas -- sorry for the delay.

First up, from Knitterella,  lovely knitting gift tags.  These came just in time to attach to few last minute gifts.  There's enough room to add care instruction as well as the names.  You can get yours here. Or if your thing is crochet, you can get crochet gift tags, too.


Special holiday feasts deserve special desserts.  (Okay so it was just me and the Husband, but still we ate good.)  I got the Custom YOU PICK 4 - ANY Cupcake Flavors from Fat Daddy Bake Shop.  (Looks like the they're out of the 4 packs, here's the link for the 6 pack.)  Here's a picture of two of the flavors (Banana Butterscotch Bad Boys and Captain Carrot Cake.)


They were super yummy! Here's what they looked like after dinner:


More recent purchases include a post card from halfempty -- it is too cute, but as it is part of a gift for a pictures.  Sorry.

I do have yarn pr0n though:

From Keegan Lane Yarns:


Nicely wrapped, with a cute note, and yummy, yummy chocolates. (and there was a stitch marker attached to both skeins, but once again, I was too wrapped up to notice right away.  I'm using one now, so no pics.)


Lux Worsted in Black Magic Woman and Prairie Storm

 112008PICS031_edited    112008PICS033_edited 

Bruce was also very interested in the yarn...


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

I forgot where I heard this, but it has stuck with me for years:

Whatever you do New Years Day is what you will be doing all year.

I try to make sure that I don't do anything crazy and try to avoid as much stress as possible on New Years Day. This year was no different.

I started with a lazy morning in bed, hanging out with the husband and the dogs and watching some TV. Then after a quick shower, enjoyed a snowy romp with the dogs (sorry no pictures). Then I settled down to work on my first goal of the new year.

I try not to have resolutions, because I inevitably don't keep them and always feel annoyed and guilty at the end of the year. I've come up with a few personal goals:

  1. Show Bruce in conformation. This is HUGE for me because Bruce is rather shy and had some bad experience going out in public; I didn't think that we'd ever end up back in the show ring. We spent the last 18 months working on building our confidence and working through his issues. And there's been some great successes. Bruce now has is Rally Novice title from AKC and his Rally Level 1 title from APDT. We're going to continue competing in Rally and get a couple of conformation shows for practice. The big thing is showing him at the National Mastiff Specialty in May of this year.

  2. Move forward on moving plans. It is pretty obvious from the title of this blog that there should be some sort of acreage in our lives, but there isn't. We live in suburbia outside of Chicago. Our plan was to be in the house for 2-3 years, updating it and then selling it and moving west onto a couple of acres. Somewhere along the line a lot of our projects stalled. I had hoped to breed Lizzie this spring, but I don't want to do that while we live here. Nor do I want to move while she's pregnant or if there are puppies on the ground. So, The Husband and I need to come up with some sort of plan to try and get us out of here in time for the spring of 2009, or even better fall of 2008.

I think that's plenty, don't you? Because I also have knitting fiber goals:

  1. Finish my Autumn Mystery Shawl (Ravelry)

  2. Learn the basics of crochet - several patterns that I'd like to do require a provisional cast-on -- using a crochet chain.

  3. Knit a pair of socks - see if I can figure out why they are so addictive. (And I received some incentive yarn...)

  4. Use my drop-spindle kit - I picked up a beginners kit at a fiber fair and some roving at Stitches and I still haven't used it.

  5. Finish needle felted penguin - I got a kit at a fiber fair and started working on it, but right now he's only a body. I should just finish it.

  6. Finish felted ball for puppies - I got a kit off of etsy (blogged here) and haven't actually used it yet. I think felted toys might actually survive the dogs, and this will be the test subject.

  7. Stop joining KALs and Mystery projects that I can't keep up with. Seriously, I'm still not finished with the first mystery project (see #1 above) I joined, have not knit a stitch for Mystic Waters, and then Spring Fling started today. I may join to get the patterns, but I am not holding myself to any obligation to keep up with the KAL.

  8. Keep up with the Year Long Gift-Along and A Loose Knit Group -- I've got so many ideas for gifts and things I want to knit but I get a little overwhelmed. This way, I keep things manageable and don't make things that won't get used.

Seems doable doesn't it? What are your plans for 2008?

The Husband and I finishing up the day watching a Dirty Jobs marathon and cuddling puppies. I did work on finishing the Autumn Mystery Shawl and the results don't bode well for the rest of 2008. I went to sleep last night with about 8 rows left to knit and then bind off. I ran out of yarn today with 3/4 of row left to knit and then bind off. My mind raced through all the possible options and finally decided to just order more yarn. I really like the color way and I'm sure I'll be able to find something else to make with the rest of the skein. But what does it mean for the rest of 2008? I don't want to think too much about it. So, instead I'm going to go back to cuddling and play on our favorite Christmas gift -- a PlayStation 3. I hear Ratchet & Clank calling our names.

I hope you spent your New Years Day with people (and animals) you love, doing something to love. We here wish you good health, much happiness and uninteresting times* for 2008.

* Wikipedia on "May you live in interesting times."