Hansel?…Hansel?!

Do you remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon with Hansel and Gretel and the witch? The witch had hairpins that flew out every time she ran, and Hansel and Gretel were fat little blond kids with German accents?

Every time the kids said, “We’re Hansel and Gretel!” the other character would say, “Hansel?…Hansel?!” Like they were suddenly surprised and kind of angry to hear the name.

I don’t really get it, either, but it is what I think of whenever I hear “Gretel”.

Speaking of Gretel…

img_7348.JPG I finished Gretel.

It’s very cute, and it was fun to knit. I could go on and on about how much I like this pattern.

But truthfully, this was my second try.

img_7275.JPG My first try wasn’t quite as successful.

I SWEAR I got gauge. I was surprised that I had to go up three needle sizes to get gauge, especially because I usually have to go down a size or two.

I was nearly finished knitting before I tried it on for the first time.

It made a good face warmer.

img_7318.JPG Back to the good one.

The pattern is really pretty, and the designer does such a good job with decreasing while maintaining a cable pattern.

Mine is made with one hank of Cascade 220.

Ravelry details.

img_7328.JPG On to some irritated dogs…

Sunday was Basenji Bath Day. This is a BIG DEAL around this house.

Since Basenjis clean themselves like cats, baths are only necessary every 6 months or so.

After their scrubdown, the two younger dogs believed that running round the house would dry them off…

img_7316.JPG …While the two older dogs wanted to go outside to dry in the sun.

I can practically hear them saying, “We are wet. We are mad. Let us out NOW.”

Angry, perhaps. But they smell like lavender.

Uncooperative Fashion Model

Just in time for 90 degree weather…a finished sweater.

Naturally, I have photos of it. But the model was being a total diva bitch during the photoshoot. She was whining and fussing and sweating the whole time.

Okay, that fashion model was ME.

But I can explain! You see, Gus wanted to bask in the sun outside. Since my dogs are never shut out of the house, I had to leave the back door open for him. The a/c was running, but it was still pretty warm inside the house.

Truth be told, I would have had to set the a/c to a much chillier temperature to be comfortable in a wool and alpaca sweater.

1.JPG The photoshoot started out okay, but the light wasn’t right…
21.JPG The light is a little better, but you still can’t see the sweater…
3.JPG Model is looking annoyed and sweaty…
4.JPG The light is there, but now the model is in complete diva meltdown.

Luckily, there is a much more cooperative model in the house.

6.JPG Yay for Anne Boleyn!

Pattern: Feeling Feminine from Cast On Magazine, August-October 2007
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Notes: The sizing in the pattern was confusing, and I ultimately made more of a jacket than a fitted cardi.

Ravelry details

7.JPG Love the picot edging.
8.JPG I suppose I’ll pack this sweater away for a while. I know I’ll really enjoy it in another couple of months.
img_7273.JPG Dogs don’t sweat.

Lou’s head, Ike’s head, Abe’s legs.

CAP and Me

Laurie Perry made it to Houston on her Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair book tour. Back when I was Sober, Committed, and Covered in Dog Hair I contributed a pattern to her book. Friday was the first time she and I met in person.

I was feeling pretty low that night, but I was really excited to meet her. Laurie knew that I am now Drunk, Divorcing, and Covered in Dog Hair, and she also knew just what I needed.

hug1.jpg

Laurie gives good hug. She is a sweet thing.

Thanks for the photo, Drew!

Photo-Worthy

My current knitting project: endless BLACK STOCKINETTE. It’s too dull to be remotely photo-worthy.

My current moving/divorce/future outlook: progressing, but again, no photos. (I’m not sure that images of moving boxes are very exciting.)

But – I had a pretty fun time on the floor with my boys yesterday. Here are the best shots I got of each of them, oldest to youngest – Gus, Ike, Abe, and Lou.

gus.JPG

img_7187.JPG

abe.JPG

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Have I ever mentioned that living with these dogs is like living in a cartoon? A very silly, fast-action cartoon full of fake violence. I wouldn’t have it any other way. As insane as they are, these dogs have helped me keep my sanity through the last several weeks of turmoil.

Excuse me while I go plant a million kisses on four warm foreheads.

Let the Photos Do the Talking

I had a great weekend in Austin, but surprisingly, I didn’t take photos of all the fun things I saw. (Not even one with Meg in her new sweater!) Here are a few photos I did take, and one I didn’t.

img_7122.JPG A little knitting time with my friends…
img_7133.JPG The breathtaking Wall of Cascade 220 at The Knitting Nest
img_7136.JPG Caro…
img_7165.JPG Some self-portrait action, showing the fancy necklace I scored from a piƱata…

I was trying to get Meg in this photo, but she turned her head right as I snapped the shot.

img_0005-1.JPG The Moose Lodge…

Photo courtesy of Josh.

img_7025.JPG And back in Houston – skulls-and-crossbones are out, and hot-rod flames are in.

Brouqht to You By the Letter “Q”

Hopefully this won’t be too distractinq. A fast-topic-chanqinq Friday and a messed up keyboard? Let’s see how it qoes…

img_7121.JPG This is how my keyboard looks riqht now. BROKEN. That important letter of the alphabet that falls between “f” and “h” isn’t really there anymore.

I fiqured that the letter “Q” is a decent replacement. My spell-checker doesn’t aqree.

Next…!

img_7105.JPG Weddinq present sweater is finished and ready to be handed to the bride.

I have another Austin-tatious weekend planned, which includes a party for the enqaqed couple. Should be a really qood time.

Next…!

img_7090.JPG Crazy Aunt Purl is so nice! As a thank you for contributinq a pattern to her book, she sent me the nicest care packaqe. It included a siqned copy of her book, lovely yarn, a qift card, and a couple of mix CDs.

I LOVE mix CDs, especially when someone else makes them. These two should make my drive to Austin a breeze.

Next…!

img_7098.JPG I decided to qet a french manicure, and now my nails look fake.

They are not.

Next…!

molly.JPG The most knit-for baby on earth just turned five weeks old. This is my niece Molly Renee.

I can’t tell if she’s yawninq, yellinq, or sinqinq, but she’s cute.

Next…!

img_7119.JPG If you were me, and you were tryinq to eat beef jerky, this is what you would see.

Have a qreat weekend!

Narrowed Focus

I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’m staying positive. Unfortunately, it’s been a rough week around here, divorce-wise.

Even though I feel like I have still have a grip, it always surprises me what emotional turmoil can do to me physically. I’ve had to narrow my focus, to take care of the things that matter most:

  • me
  • my dogs
  • being sure to eat

With my focus this narrowed, I was unable to come up with my usual, silly, fast-topic-changing Friday post. I hope to get my mojo back next week.

In the meantime, I’m congratulating myself for handling my situation with grace. “Grace” is my new favorite word. I can feel grace, I can project grace, I can recall grace, and I can look forward to grace. “Grace” helps me remember who I am.

On that note, it is clear to see why I don’t post any ugly details of the break-up here. Trust me…taking the high road isn’t always easy. It would be SO FUN to sling some mud and talk about what’s really going on. But I am remembering who I am. That isn’t how I want to behave.

I’m really okay. Really. The obstacles that are keeping me from moving are melting away. I have so much to look forward to!

And now for a pretty photo. Black and White Dog in Black and White Shadows:

img_7034.JPG

Let’s all have a great weekend, okay?

A Bark? Say It Isn’t So…

Basenjis are known as the “Barkless Dog”, and it’s true, for the most part. They don’t bark. In fact, my dogs are silent most of the time.

I get a lot of questions about this “no barking” thing. Are they mute? No…they can growl, whine, and make a sound unique to the breed called a “baroo”. Baroos are reserved for really happy, excited situations.

One person even asked me this question, “When they want to bark do they do this?” (She proceeded to open and close her mouth in an impersonation of a fish.) No. They don’t do that. That wouldn’t be dignified.

So, what does a Basenji sound like?

mvi_7071_0001.jpg I’ve captured two sounds, thanks to Lou and Abe in this little movie.

Lou is barooing, but gagging at the end of it. (He is fine. I don’t know why he does this.)

Abe lets loose one solitary “arf”. He has broken Basenji Law.

img_7060.JPG Some weekend knitting…

Knitting two sleeves at a time is a great idea, unless you are totally SCREWING IT UP.

Memo to myself: I am unable to watch Parole Board on the Biography Channel and follow a knitting pattern.

Rrrrrrrrrrriiiiip.

At least I caught it early.

dumbdogs.JPG Here’s something interesting…Basenjis are considered the second least-intelligent dog breed, based on ability (willingness!) to obey commands.

In my opinion, the smarter dog doesn’t always obey. The smarter dog thinks for himself, wouldn’t you agree?

Basenjis are so freakin’ smart. The fact that they are on this list is just funny.

It Was a Hairy Bear, It Was a Scary Bear

Excited!

I’ve kept my lip buttoned for four months, but I can finally talk about it now that I’ve seen it with my own two laser-corrected eyes.

It’s Friday, so the topics are fast and furious.

img_7038.JPG If you’re familiar with Laurie Perry, a.k.a. Crazy Aunt Purl, then you know that her new book was just released.

Laurie is a very funny young woman who is gifted at putting her humor into writing. I’ve enjoyed her blog for years.

I’ve also gotten to know her a bit, and she is as enthusiastic and charming in real life as she comes across in her writing.

At the time of publishing this post, this book is #1 in THREE Amazon categories: Divorce, Knitting, and Needlecrafts. I am so happy for her!

img_7042.JPG Imagine my glee, when back in May, she asked me to write a pattern for this book!

Lookit! Here I am!

Page 245!

img_7047.JPG Here’s the photo of the shawl from the book.

It’s made using the same lace as the Renee Baby Blanket, all sexified into a shawl, with a drapey silky yarn.

I’m excited for Laurie, I’m excited about the book, and I’m so happy that I could be a part of it.

Next…!

img_7050.JPG The latest on the Wedding Gift Sweater…the back is finished. I should be able to finish it well before October 6th.

Whew.

It is a cropped sweater, after all.

Next…!

mother.JPG I have recently rediscovered my love for Schoolhouse Rock thanks to YouTube.

After all these years, I was shocked by how non-PC some of them are! Especially the ones that have to do with the American Revolution. King George III and Napoleon are totally dissed.

Not to miss: Mother Necessity, and We Unpacked our Adjectives.

Next…!

img_7057.JPG Abe has the whole big chair to himself…
img_7052.JPG ‘Cuz there’s a Red Dog Nap Party on the sofa.

I’m not sure where I’m supposed to sit.

Have a great weekend!

Now I Just Need to Knit It.

Yay! Boo! Yay! Boo! Yay!

Opportunity blossoms from disappointment, doesn’t it?

wrap1.JPG My friend Meg emailed me last week about this sweater that I knit last year. Like a lot of other people she asked how to get the pattern.

This used to be a free pattern on the Knit Picks site, but it is no longer available. Poof. Gone.

I offered Meg my copy, but she decided that she wouldn’t have time to knit it before the wedding, anyway. (She’s getting married next month, and she wanted to wear it on her wedding/honeymoon trip.)

482656367_4dfc58e027.jpg “Wait!”, I said. “I gave the yellow one to my sister, but I made a pink one that you can borrow!”

Wardrobe problem solved!

img_7017.JPG Right after I hit “send” on that email, I did this.

I had totally forgotten that I gave that pink sweater to my other sister, on my trip to Alaska in June.

No sweater for Meg. I hated the idea of messing up the bride’s wardrobe plans when the wedding is so close.

img_7004.JPG “Wait!”, I thought. “I have time to make Meg her own sweater, in any color she wants! As a wedding gift!”

Meg was very touched with this news (she’s a knitter, too), and she did all of the appropriate thanking and gushing. Aww.

See? Disappointment! Opportunity!

img_7022.JPG The yarn arrived last night. So far I’ve knit up a curly strip of stockinette. Knit Picks Shine is such a lovely yarn.

I have two weeks to turn this into a cute sweater.

It WILL happen.

img_7012.JPG Disappointment: the refrigerator spewed ice cubes all over the floor.

Opportunity: free and plentiful low-cal treats!