Archive for November, 2013

Where to begin? Most, if not all of it, has nothing to do with knitting, but I hope you all will indulge me please.

Three weeks ago tomorrow, we lost our beloved German Shepherd, Chewi. We lost her to gastric volvulus, which in layman’s terms means that her stomach flipped
on itself and cut off her blood supply to both her heart and the rest of her body. She died within hours of this happening. We have been very heart broken over our loss, and we are trying to get past it. It isn’t easy, as anyone with a pet can tell you. Just in case any of my readers have a large dog, let me tell you what my vet told me about how to avoid having this happen to your dog. If you have a large dog, something like a German Shepherd, Lab, Retriever, border collie, etc. Any dog that will grow to be over 50 pounds… Think about having this done when you spay or neuter them. I say then because they already have them on the table to spay them, and it is just a very simple fix to their stomach and causes no additional pain while they are healing from being spayed or neutered. Have your vet tack their stomach to their abdominal wall. This will prevent their stomach from flipping like Chewi’s did when they get older. Chewi was in a lot of pain according to our vet, and when we get our next puppy spayed in December, we will be doing this procedure to avoid this for her. I don’t think that I can go through this with another dog. I don’t know why it happens with the larger dogs and not the smaller ones either. The vet did a necropsy on her, which means that they determined the cause of death after she died. They told us it was gastric volvulus, and that Chewi was in a tremendous amount of pain. They told us that they could not have saved her without surgery to flip the stomach back, and even then there was a very good chance that she would not make it anyway. That is when she told me about the procedure above to prevent it from happening with the next GSD that we get. I will be doing that for sure.


Here is a picture of Chewi when she was a puppy. This was taken the night we brought her home from the rescue organization that we got her from:


She was 8 ½ years old when she died, and IMHO that was too soon. She still had a lot of life in her. She was just starting to get a tiny bit of gray in her muzzle. I will miss her for the rest of my life I believe. My husband, Arno, took her death extremely hard. I told him that we had to get another pup and sooner rather than later. I was surprised to hear him say okay to that. I thought he would not want that to happen for a good long time, and I wanted him to know that I wasn’t willing to wait a long time. It so happened that I was surfing around that same day and I saw that a shelter in Sparta, NC had just received a litter of German Shepherd mix dogs that were about 6 weeks old. I called the shelter to verify that they were still there, and we took off to Sparta the following Saturday. When we got there, they had 2 of the litter of 10 left. Both of them were little girls, and we decided to adopt both of them that day. We gave one of them to my friend, Therese, who had lost her GSD to hydrocephalus just a few weeks earlier. Here are the pictures of both of them. Our pup is named Sasha, and she is the first dog you see in the pictures. The 2nd picture is of both of them, with Sasha on the right and Cinda on the left.




Are they not the cutest pups you have ever seen? Yeah, I am a little bit biased over here. Sasha is very smart, and she is quite the loving little puppy. She has bought a lot of joy to our lives and started the healing process for us. Nikki, our Shih Tzu, is not a fan of hers yet. I believe that Nikki and Kiddle, our cat, are still grieving over the loss of Chewi. They both keep looking for her to show up around the corner or down the driveway. It is heart breaking to see Nikki go down the driveway looking for her friend only to find that her friend isn’t there.

The second thing that has happened in my life is that I got a new job! I am working for a company that makes me happy to go to work each day. I am working full time for the first time since 1998, and I am once again loving my career! YIPPEE!!

I hope that the feeling continues and that they don’t decide to sell to one of the multi-conglomerates that are gobbling up all of the smaller MTSOs in the nation as fast as they can manage to do it. I think that I will get out of the industry should that happen to this company. I am doing psychiatric transcription, and that is my passion. I love every single word that I type, and I love it every day. I have yet to get bored with working on these accounts. The work is fresh every time a new report comes on the screen. YES! I am a happy camper!

That is my news today. I will get back to writing about my knitting as soon as I can. I have a couple of projects in the works for Christmas presents, and I have to tell you about my new Jordana Paige bag that my husband bought me for our anniversary, too! It is a beautiful bag! Until then, take care and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends! Happy Holidays to everyone!


Good Afternoon!

I am finally getting around to writing about Sock Innovation by Cookie A! I chose this book to review because of all the beautiful sock patterns in it. I thought that it would be a nice book with pretty patterns and some instruction but not a lot. However, that could not be further from the truth. Cookie A goes into a LOT of detail on how a sock is constructed, how heels are done, stretchy bind offs and how to accomplish that, the different types of textures that she uses in this book and how to create them, and THEN you get to the patterns themselves. The socks are beautiful! They are all done top down, and I prefer to do toe up because of how big my feet are. I like being able to try the sock on for fit as I go. I am not sure that I will do any of these patterns due to the fact that they are all top down, but being that I have yet to try a top down I may try it just to see if I like it as well. I have knitting friends who swear by doing socks from the top down, one at a time. I aspire to do 2 socks at a time, toe up, on one circular needle so that I don’t suffer from second sock syndrome. I get bored very easily, and I believe that if I have to do 2 socks on DPNs or a small circular needle that I may not ever get to the 2nd sock. How many of you suffer from this syndrome? Is it easy or difficult to get past?

I know that the sock patterns in this book seem complicated when I first looked at them, but as I looked again and again they are just like all the rest of the knitting patterns I see. Knitting and purling in ways to create the texture that the author is going for with the design of a particular pattern. If you know how to knit and how to purl you can do anything, right? LOLOL! That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

Can you see the texture in these socks? The picture didn’t import very well, and I have a lot of these types of pictures from the book. As I said above, she discusses basic sock construction, biases, designing, gussets, heel flaps, how to avoid the pesky holes in the gusset, and she has a lot of the stitches explained with pictures at the back of the book. I think this book will please sock enthusiasts as well as teach newbie sock knitters how to knit their first pair of socks. I believe it was well worth the money that I spent to buy this book, and I think it would be a good book to have in anyone’s knitterly library!


Good Afternoon!

I have my fingers in a lot of pots right now, and I am currently working on another shawl/shawlette for my niece, Katie. I tend to make a few things for her each year, but only because she is so cute wearing what I make for her. She is 5 years old, and she is a total fashionista! She loves hot pink and just about any variation of it. So, when I was looking in my stash for the perfect  yarn to make this shawlette for her, I came across some Cascade 220 Superwash in hot pink. I knew that was the yarn that I was going to use to make this shawlette for her. I will post a few pictures of it soon. I have had to frog it completely because I didn’t follow the chart correctly. I knew that the shawlette wasn’t showing the lace correctly. I just didn’t know why and I could not seem to figure it out.

Off to the yarn store I went. Where else would you get help from when you can’t figure out something in a pattern, right? I talked to the resident knitting/weaving/spinning guru, Rachel, at my favorite yarn store, Yarn Tree Studio in Raleigh, NC. Let me give a shout out to Lynn and Rachel over there!

Rachel showed me how to read a lace pattern correctly. See, I thought that you would work across the row from right to left and then return to the right and work the pattern repeat box until you got through with the yarn on your needles. WRONG!

She explained that you work through the row from right to left; however, when you get to the center stitch, you would simply go back across the row from left to right because you want the shawl to mirror what you did on the right side of the shawl! Talk about a light bulb moment for me! DUH!

So, I took it all out last night and started it over so that this time the stitch counts would be right, and everything would mirror each other and look like the pictures here. These pictures are from and they belong to the the original designer. I am only posting them here as a reference point so that when I post my pics of my shawl for Katie, my readers will be able to see how it should look vs. how it really looks. I hope that it turns out okay. It is a fairly quick knit, at least it is right now because I don’t have that many stitches to work across. By the time I am finished, there will be approximately 139 stitches on my needles and that may take a minute or 2 to work across.

I am making this for Katie so that she can wear it like a shawl now while she is little, and as she grows up into a young woman, she will be able to wear it as the designer intended, like a shawlette, so that means that she can wear this for most of her life if she wants to. Originally, I was going to use Malabrigo yarn to make the shawl and I had this beautiful hank of pinks that I was working with, BUT there wasn’t any hot pink in this hank so I frogged it and I went with the Cascade 220 Superwash that was all hot pink instead. Let’s see, that makes 3 times I have frogged this pattern to start over. By the time I am done, I will know this pattern inside out and all around!

I think it is a beautiful pattern, and if you are interested in doing this pattern  yourself, (it is free on Ravelry) here is the direct link to it:



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