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Monday, January 26, 2015

Please Don't Yell...

I doubt there's any readers still around to yell with such a long break between posts. But I do come bearing gifts! Yay!

What kind of gifts? First, lots and lots of pictures. I promise. Did I mention for Christmas I got a new camera? I have taken it out and played with it a few times.

It's funny how different a new camera can be from the old one of the same make and slightly different model, isn't it? I have got a lot of playing to do but it's so nice to have a camera that focus's again!

Well, sorta... Okay, so maybe there's a learning curve here.

As you can see, we got snow! Not much, but snow it is.

Most of it is gone already from our couple of warm days this last week, but there's supposedly more on the way, so fingers crossed. Still, not enough to get the skis out in the park, but I have high hopes.

Ever wonder what dog hair is good for? Especially long shaggy coats?

As it turns out, it's nice for snapping pictures of snowflakes.

Who knew?

Tucker helped me out the other day as we were coming in from a walk. His coat was already cold so the flakes didn't melt as they hit him and I snapped a few with my phone.

Then I had to get busy making The Guy his dinner.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie!

Sorry, no recipe for this yet. I once again added a bit too much celery seed to my mix so I need to tinker with this one before sharing it, but I will. I promise.

Speaking of recipes to tinker share... Find this one here at the Brown Eyed Baker. She's wonderful. they take a bit of time so either get up REALLY early like I did, or make them up before hand and pop them in the fridge.

With all the new snowfall and then sunny days, we've seen the Michigan wildlife, or proof of their existence around the house. I found these tracks looking like they were hunting up squirrels in our pine trees along the drive. Lets pray it's not skunk...

And speaking of squirrels. We have a silly one I've seen doing a lap of our back yard a few times. He runs in here from the West, across the deck, over the wood pile, to the east fence line, through it an up the far side to the north. I guess it's his daily territory boundary run. He's always fast and on the move when I see him doing it, but I've seen him run it several times always in the same manner and direction. The Guy thinks he's using the fence as cover from swooping birds of prey, which he may very well be. Makes sense to me limiting the way then can attack from either straight down or in from two sides instead of four.

And then there's the birds... Caught this Red Bellied Woodpecker at the suet the other day. Ran up to get the camera when I saw him and the Downey Woodpecker on the feeder together but missed my chance at the smaller one never came back.

Then there's the numerous Tufted Titmice. Let's face it, that's just fun to say...

I think these are Dark-Eyed Junco's. See them from time to time, though not daily and I need to look them up.

Also, one of our many resident nut hatches. These guys are warming up to our presence though still quite shy when we move about or make much noise.

I finally got a good picture of one of these guys!

I've been trying to get a jay as long as I've been working on getting a cardinal picture. At last, there were no cardinals at the feeders on the day I got these, but I have high hopes with the new camera I can get a shot of them finally.

And what else have I been doing in my absence? Well, there's been a bit of knitting. Okay, a lot of knitting, it is the cold months after all, no?

I shared a peek at this item before I believe the last time I posted. Lets not discuss how long ago that was, shall we?

I saw a woman wearing a similar scarf that just kind of sang to me. She thought she bought it somplace like Marshal's or TJ Max. I came home and I looked through some things to see if I could find a pattern for such a thing. I found a lot of things similar, but not quite what I wanted.

The one item I found' was a bit pricey for the pattern and I thought, "screw it, you're going to change the pattern to suit your needs anyway, so you might as well just make your own up."

So I did. 

And I actually wrote it down! To share!

Holy Smokes Batman! I am not charging for this, because, well I'm not a designer. There are probably issues, so feel free to share them with me. As you notice, there's no picture of this piece actually being worn. Betsy, congratulations, it's yours and I'll be mailing it soon, but I need someone to model it, just for one shot. I'd be willing to do some face editing... Just saying. Why is it Betsy's? Because from the point of casting it on, the pattern and the yarn screamed her name to me. Don't be jealous.

So, where can you get this? Here, of course! It's in PDF format so hopefully it's usable on all kinds of devices. I even hope to throw it up on Ravelry soon too.

Oh, I also have something else. What else? Another pattern...

This pic isn't on the pattern, I just liked the sun effect that was present in it and saved it for the blog.
I know! I went kind of crazy lately, feeling a little stuck I guess so the creative mental diarrhea started up... Luckily for everyone else, I wrote it down.

I've been needing a more neutral hat to go with all my jackets. And this is what I came up with. Who needs a pattern for a hat?!? A lot of people I guess because people always ask me for them when I throw one together.

This is just a nice simple masculine hat with a simple wedge stitch pattern and a gradient color change. Most guys I hope wouldn't balk at wearing such a hat. If they do, then they don't deserve little piece of hand knit love. Screw's.

And who get's this one? Me! Sorry guys, this was an item that was all about me. See how I play? But you can go here and knit yourself or that fella in your life one too...

Again, it's in a pdf format and I hope to add it to Ravelry later.

All right, that's enough and I'm getting hungry. Talk to you all later! Promise I'll try harder in February.

Oh no, almost forgot!

I've been spinning a bit too! I needed something a little summery with how brown it was all looking as our snow melted. It's a beautiful Super Fine Merino/Silk/Bamboo 50%/25%/25% mix that almost looks like it was colored with crayons.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Beginning as you wish to end

Obviously Emmitt here has high hopes for the new year. As do I for the poor kid, it's hell getting old and he seems to be moving quite slowly and with a constant gimp. He'll be getting checked out soon, but alas, the kid is 9! It's so hard to believe as he still has the energy of a young pup some days. He is still at his older age the highest energy of our remaining crew.

You can see that Tucker too, is just hoping to have more long walks and lazy post walk naps this year. We're finally looking a bit wintry around here with snow, but he has been enjoying the cold wind it seems. Takes him back to his puppyhood Wyoming possibly? Cold winds often make me think of Casper.

As for this guy, he's had a rough week. Seems to have gotten a stomach bug. I had to leave him at the vet yesterday as both The Guy and I worked and he had stopped eating and drinking, but he seems to be rebounding now and feeling better. Couldn't be that he seems to think he's either a beaver or a squirrel could it? Hoe many times have I had to tell him to stop eating acorns or gnawing on trees? Maybe I need to find him a fiber supplement? The other day on our walk, I found a squirrels stash by accident as I was picking up some poo.

As for us, we had my families traditional New Years Day feast. As for New Years Eve, we stayed home and off the roads. In fact, I was the last one up last night and in bed by 1030. I believe in leaving the roads to the drunks on major holidays, because there's always going to be idiots on the roads but the percentage of drunk idiots on nights like new years in increased and I prefer to stay away from them. They seem to always manage to survive the crash, unlike the rest of us.

What exactly is my feast? Well, A good solid pork roast, cooked al day with a beer and sauerkraut to clean out the gut of last year, and black eyed peas to bring you luck in the new one. And of course some garlic mashed potatoes with gravy for it all! Mmmmmhmmm. But I realized I was kind of short on green vegetables now that I look at it. I'll need to remedy that tomorrow.

The color isn't quite right, much more mellow than what showed up here under the ott light
As for personally starting out the new year right, I may not have my sweater on the needles... Another yarn didn't work out quite right and now I need to do some math work to assure that it all comes together properly despite the fact that I think the designer was smoking more yarn that knitting with it when she wrote her own numbers down, so the sweater is on hold to I make myself sit down and do it. Just the gauge numbers are easy, it's those darn sleeve and shoulder decreases I have to work hard on. Instead, I have another creation on the needles, and perhaps I'll share this pattern with you all since I am actually writing it down as I go. We'll see.

Happy New year to you all on this first eve of twenty-fifteen. I hope you all are as safe and warm as us tonight.