I’m finished fading away

Although I am hiding away from a global pandemic and my own depression, I am finally done fading! 🥳

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An epic journey of knitting, this was cast on April 26, 2019 on size 6 needles.

I got the yarn I used on both ends of this shawl in 2014 as a birthday gift. Through the years I made a pair of socks, a sockhead hat, and a pair of fingerless gloves for myself with it. It was wool girl yarn, but I don’t remember the colorway, and unfortunately I never took notes.

That love and affection stayed with me though, and now it’s helping keep me warm in yet another way – as part of this gorgeous shawl!

Color A: wool girl
Color B: knitpicks stroll brights (electric blue) 1 skein
Color C: knitpicks stroll fingering (Ash) 1 skein
Color D: knitpicks stroll glimmer (Fiji) 1.5 skein
Color E: knitpicks stroll glimmer (regal) 1.5 skein
Color F: knitpicks stroll fingering (black) 1.5 skein
Color G: same as color A.

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The measurements are ridiculous – I mean RIDICULOUS!  102 inches wide and 35 inches deep kind of ridiculous.

I can’t imagine looking anything less than silly in it, but it feels amazing and I’m IN LOVE WITH IT.

It took me 5 days short of a year to finish this project (of course I cheated on it and put it in time out several times) but I didn’t want it to end.

10/10 would recommend Find Your Fade by Andrea Mowry. (Ravelry)

Pupdate!

Charlie Minor has attended his kindergarten classes to completion and we gave little treat bags to his classmates. I got a little extra of his favorites and it went over really well!

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He’s growing so quickly, and changing so much. I know I’m going to look back on these days and wish I had them back again. He’s now 30lbs. and still likes snuggling before going to sleep in his own kennel.

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I’m doing so many things differently with Charlie Minor than I was able to do with Charlie Majors, because I’ve had Minor since he was less than 2 months old. When Charlie joined the family he was 9 months old and already potty trained. I’m a little sad that I’m able to cherish every first with Minor but don’t know if he’s staying with me forever or not.

The game plan hasn’t changed: I can’t afford 3 pets. Mayhem is 14 years old. Charlie Majors is my life’s blood – I don’t know if he will have to move to a new family, or if Minor will fail service dog training in a few months when regular obedience has been conquered. If Minor can’t cut it as a service dog, he can be adopted out as a fully trained good boy. If he has what it takes, I’m going to have to find a solution for Charlie. Either way there’s emotional pain ahead, but I have to do what’s best for everyone.

If you pray I would appreciate it if you can remember us occasionally. For now I’m just trying to surrender to the moment and do whatever it takes to help us all succeed.

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Kindergarten

This post was written and pre-scheduled on January 17, 2020.

We’re having a blast at puppy kindergarten – it’s all about healthy exposure to odd things so he doesn’t become fearful. Gently letting him observe the odd thing and rewarding him when he does, building up to him approaching or interacting with said thing. He’s so brave! Most of his classmates were hesitant about playing the piano or in a ball pit but he launched himself forward with enthusiasm!

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He’s been exposed to so many things already – he’s way ahead of the game if we’re comparing his youth to Charlie Majors’. Charlie had a rough life until I adopted him at 9 months old, and we’d had to work out food and cat aggression before we could do any exposure therapy so to speak.

Minor has experienced a pool noodle maze, metal/tile/gravel/grass/carpet/asphalt/cement floors, ridden a skateboard, waded in water and played in a super loud ball pit! He’s also met humans of varied ages and ethnicities, which is fantastic!

He still tries to herd cats, which is bad. I’m looking into agility training or finding a farm that will let him train to herd small animals like Border Collies are wont to do, just so he would have a safe and healthy outlet for that impulse.

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Another baby blanket done

Another baby blanket done and dusted! I got this huge skein of “Big Twist” on clearance for under $5. That’s a great price for me, meeting my need for yardage, fun colors, and tiny budget.

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It is the color “peachy”, and is super vibrant in person. I also scored a bright purple and a green. I figured a total of 4 baby blankets would be generous enough.

This diagonal garter stitch pattern is free and fast but if you ever feel like fueling this tired gimp girl please feel free to toss some coin in my coffee cup. 🥰

 

Solving car clutter

I’m obsessed with making sure items in the car are secured and not loose. I have been ever since driver’s education in highschool, when I watched crash test dummies being pummeled with loose change and other random items, increasing damage sustained in a crash.

That being said, I’ve been on the go since before Christmas and haven’t shown my center console much care or attention. It’s become a free-for-all and hardly functional.

Behold the “shameful” before:

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It and I deserve better. Look at that mess! Hair stuff touching napkins, jammed up under my mini vacuum, and you can’t even see there’s a container of salt or one of quarters for the laundromat beneath it all. Time for a solution!

I have a habit of keeping sturdy pasteboard boxes in a Rubbermaid box, so I seldom need to buy a small organizer for my own projects. This handy box is the one my cellphone was delivered in!

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Now that it’s been altered to my desired proportions, it’s ready for a new life in my car console, keeping the salt and quarter containers (I put quarters in a M&Ms minis bottle) upright. There’s enough room for the hard candy and my “omg must get hair off my neck now!” tools. I put my receipts in an envelope along the wall of the console so I can do my budgeting check-in at the end of the month. The duster and mini vacuum are now nestled along the perimeter, and the clean napkins/tissues are in their intended holder.

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Ta-da! Solution for zero pennies spent! It’s so nice to open the console now, and I know I can keep my eyes on the road and still get a tissue if I need one! The peace of mind is so worth the few minutes it took to measure the space and alter the box!

 

Charlie Majors is now retired!

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It was a beautiful day, filled with love, gentle generosity and bittersweet memories in the making.

Charlie didn’t like his headband very much, but it cracked us all up! I made it by tracing the cup lid’s edge on several bits of white felt, then cutting the circles out and sewing them. I finished it off by hot gluing a straw and elastic headband, since it was just for the party and I wanted to be able to recycle the plastic after.

I made the silhouette by taking a profile photo of Charlie and printing it on office paper, then cutting it out and tracing it on heavy cardstock, then etching it out with an exacto knife. It ended up looking like a Starbucks Gold Card 😂!

We all had “crappy” cupcakes, but Charlie Majors had his very own dog cake made with peanut butter and yogurt that his Aunt, A, made for him.

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This was the last time he wore his gear, and everybody joined in a round of “for he’s a jolly good fellow”, and we literally hung his saddle up and switched it out for a new leash and collar set, with a new name tag attached that says “retired service dog”. I didn’t get a photo of this part because I did the switching out and was crying.

Charlie had such an amazing time, getting to roam between his favorite people at whim and be loved on and fed by them all! It really wore us both out, a(the complex emotions and fun) so we slept hard for two days.

We had the honor and privilege of collecting and delivering animal care items to the local humane society and were able to give back in a very tangible way because we all pooled together.

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Charlie Majors, thank you for six wonderful years of partnership. Your love and protection gave me my independence back. You helped in so many ways I can’t even articulate it. I’m sad that our time has ended and I’m trying not to worry about what’s to come for us because it’s such a huge unknown. Just know I am so proud of you and I love you.

Good dog.

Yardage matters.

It aggravates the snot out of me when a paid for pattern says “Use 4 skeins of Patons classic worsted”, or the like!

Now, you’re probably asking yourself “Why is this crazy white girl bent out of shape over yarn?”

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I’ll tell you why, dear reader: because it’s lazy pattern writing! It shows that the artist responsible for making the pattern didn’t take the time to have pattern testers, and didn’t weigh the yarn or rip it out to calculate the yardage.

If you look on Ravelry, (using Patons classic worsted as our example) the yardage per skein is marked at 100 grams and 212 yards, as well as 100 grams at 210 yards. That’s only a difference of 2 yards per skein, so it doesn’t seem like much of a trespass, right?

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But then you can go look at the (2020) new label on a skein at any local big box store and compare it to the older skein of the same color and the weight is still set at 100 grams, but the yardage astonishingly 194 yards.

That’s a difference of up to 18 yards per skein. 

This is why it annoys me: Inexperienced Makers will spend time making a gauge swatch, stitching slowly and carefully,  only to finish the set number of skeins a pattern required and end up believing they are somehow the one at fault for not having purchased enough yardage, and they may even give up out of frustration. They did everything right but they were set up to fail.

I firmly believe tools like Ravelry are important – because you can see what other Makers actually used yardage wise per project. I know last June a whole host of people stopped using Ravelry because of their anti-Donald Trump stance, but it is still a very powerful tool for managing your stash and looking at projects made with varying fibers/yardage.

This problem of yardage is also the reason I believe so firmly in The Knitting Guild Association! Not only do they make their advanced students write patterns in a specific way to encourage uniformity and accuracy, but they can be a fantastic resource for you in finding support of experienced Makers in your area in a guild.

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Minimalist Miniskein yarn bowl!

My friend J amazes me. I want to be more like her – she is so thoughtful about the things she adds and deletes from her life, and doesn’t give into emotional shopping like I do!

She has been working on a lot of miniskeins lately, and solved the problem of the wandering ball by reusing a Feista Ware enamel wine “glass” that she loved very much, but can’t use for drinking now that the enamel has chipped.

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Isn’t it just the cutest? It has such a cheerful shade of yellow, and now has that shabby chic vibe to it that a lot of Mexican restaurants try to force, but on this it’s natural and charming! It’s an awesome shape for the mini to roll around in, and the cup is sturdy enough not to tip either.

My challenge for you this week is to look at the things you own with a lens of creativity. There may be something perfectly good that you can save from the landfill by giving it a new assignment, and renewing your love relationship to it!

The best dog products I’ve discovered!

Today I wanted to share some of the best – dare I say “must have” dog products I’ve discovered.

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This is the Siensync slow feeder puzzle bowl – available on Amazon for less than $12.  Right now Minor is eating only half a cup at a time, but it can hold up to 2 cups of kibble, so the boys can share it. It is nonskid, which is ideal for the tiny dragon.IMG_20200111_071327028

All of Minor’s toys and chews are on a three day rotation so he doesn’t get bored. He’s been loving these Himalayan yak cheese sticks.IMG_20191226_171850_137Not only is it hours and hours of chewing, but even the last bit that’s too small to safely gnaw on can be given to him by soaking it for 5 minutes and then microwaving it to make a cheese puff! You can see the very tiny flecks he didn’t swallow on the crate liner. As an added bonus, profits benefit women in Nepal!IMG_20200126_114107172His pack mates also love them – so I’m pretty confident your dog will too.

Finally, I discovered Minor has a taste for wood.

Bearpaw brand will send a free replacement button for the one Minor ate (I can’t tell you how much I love Bearpaw!), but sadly the cat’s toy basket is now kaput. To give him a healthy alternative, the trainer suggested Gorilla Wood! This wood is actually coffee trees that no longer produce, so it’s sustainably sourced!IMG_20200126_104710946

(I bought the large size.)

I am not affiliated with anyone, so know that my opinion is unsullied and completely my own. I do hope you can check these items out for your own furry family member, and that they bring your dog as much happiness as my own experience.

 

Finish or frog it #2

…or FLING IT IN THE GARBAGE!

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I have tried over and over to make myself finish this hat. I have so little time to create anymore that I am calling it quits. I don’t care that I’m on the decreases. I don’t care that it’s “a lot of yarn”. I hate it and I’ve knit so many bad feelings into it that I don’t want to curse anyone else with it!

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Done!

Oh my gosh that feels like an elephant stopped sitting on me!!!! Yay!