Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Handsome Dogs, More Yarn and Socks Done

An interesting morning with lots to share...hopefully the blogger picture uploader and I can be friends as I type this so I can get everything up.  I have a lot of problems arranging the pictures exactly where I want them before the auto save clicks on and then the pictures end up somewhere in the page like a scavenger hunt.

Handsome Kato ready for St. Patty's Day
First and foremost, a couple friends of mine have launched their Etsy shop as of last night, BullFits.  It's catered to your pets, or "fur-babies".  Right now they are featuring some adorable neckties for medium sized dogs.  Their model (and their personal fur-baby Frenchie), Kato, is a doll!  How could you resist those looks and cheeks?  What a ham!  Some of you may have seen accessories or other attire for your pet but these are a much better quality than you might find elsewhere.  Unlike most other pet attire BullFits designed their line to accommodate pets in a practical way.  The ties are designed not to drag and to hug the body more so they don't interfere with activities like running, playing or drinking water.  The ties are made to slip right over your dogs existing collar.  The St. Patty's day prints are available now and are adorable but there are other clever designs that will be listed soon.  If you get a chance, you have to check them out!

The socks I was working on are finally finished!  If you've been following my blog, you know that I've never attempted socks.  Baby booties, yes, but not socks.  I decided I wanted to use a worsted yarn for a thicker house sock, plus, I figured it would be easier to work with for attempting my first pair.  So I grabbed some basic Read Heart stash yarn I keep around because it's cheap and versatile.  I found on Ravelry (yarn artists, if you are not using Ravelry you are missing out!) a very cute pattern that incorporates cables but still had a great foundation pattern.  It's St. Brigid's Carnamoyle Stockings by Lahoma Jayne Nally-Kaye (if you are looking for it).  They came out pretty thick which is what I wanted for a house sock.  I love working with cable patterns too.  Every time I work on cable patterns I think of my younger sister, Sarah, and her plethora of J.Crew sweaters when we were younger.  I was jealous of her sweaters and would try to steal them when I could but she knew I would not take as much caution with them as she did.  I don't blame her, she bought them with her hard earned money.

I have a couple little lazy slip ups here and there but it's hard to find them and they are for myself anyway.  My 11 year old son, Zeke, tried one on last night and loved them.  He asked if I could make him a pair that he didn't have to wear to school because he thought the cable pattern would get him picked on.  I told him I can either make these or let him scour for a pattern he liked.  I loved them so much I slept in them last night.  Yep, I think they just may be a permanent fixture on me feet. 

See?  Dreaded knot!

Other than that I got a couple small shipments of some yarn.  Where I live, we have no LYS within an hour drive - one way (Yikes!  This is also why I learned to spin though).  The closest we have is a Wal-Mart which offers the basics like Red Heart, Lion Brand, Caron, Bernet, etc.  The second closest is a Ben Franklin craft store (every time I go there I seem to lose a Ben Franklin too) where they offer the same as Wal-Mart with a couple extras like Paton's, etc.  So not the largest variety.  I like to buy Red Heart for my prototypes because it's inexpensive.  When I am looking for a little extra texture (or something other than acrylic) I will buy Lion Brand or Patons for prototypes and friend/family gifts.  I love the variety, textures and colorway among the two latter.  The only problem lately is whenever I buy Lion Brand, I get a few yards into a project and here pops out a sneaky knot.  I've tried working it into my projects but it's very visible.  So, I end up ripping it back apart and just cutting it out and not using that part.  Sometimes it's required taking a whole project apart.  It's been happening in one out of three skeins of yarn I've been purchasing anymore.  I thought it might be because I purchased it from Wal-Mart (this seems common for a lot of Wal-Mart yarns despite what brand) but I found the same issue when purchased from two other craft stores.  It's only been as of late but I hope it's something they're looking into.  Maybe it's just my luck too, who knows.  I'm sorry Lion Brand, I love you.  You were the first yarn I ever fell in love with but I think we need to take a break.  At least for a month or two.

Alright, back to what I was saying, my shipment of yarns.  I was looking for something different as far as commercial yarns.  My one purchase was KIM made by Filtes S.A.S. in Italy.  It's 55% cotton and 45% acrylic.  What drew me to it is the way it is made it is very lightweight and seems to have some great drape.  It's wound like a loose, airy rope (hope my picture can convey this).  I have so many ideas of what to use this for!  I purchased an off-white/beige color and I see it being offered in many others.  If all goes well I will have to get some in other colorways.

The second I bought was Lily Chin's signature collection Harlem.  I liked the colors and this, too, is very lightweight.  This one is made almost like the KIM but it's more of a flat ribbon.  It's 52% cotton and 45% acrylic.  I've never used any of Lily Chin's products (although I would love to get my hands on her book Power Cables: The Ultimate Guide to Knitting Inventive Cables soon!).  I remember the first time I ever heard of her is when I was watching David Letterman and she crocheted a sweater on air for him, however long ago that was.  I giggled thinking, "That wasn't so tough, anyone can do that!" not thinking about how much the on-air pressure would add.  To be honest, maybe they can't.  I've not ever tried and I don't exactly know if I'm up for that challenge.  I'll probably get my ass burned.  Anyway, I liked her and thought she was great.  I loved how she helps bring knitting and crocheting into into mainstream fashion and designs exciting new projects that keep younger kids wanting to learn how to knit and crochet.  Back to my original statement (I'm rambling now and all over the place), I bought her yarn.  I will let you know what I think of it when I'm finished!

Anywhooo, now that I am over my sock determination I need to get things taken care of around the house that have fallen by the wayside.  The kids are getting stir-crazy and the weather looks like it will be nice for Northeaster Pennsylvania!  Maybe some grilling will be in order tonight?  Even better, grilling and spinning at the same time on the porch!?  (Yeah, I'm addicted)  We shall see....

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