Thursday, December 24, 2009

Snowy Dogs on Thursday

Happy Dogs on Thursday everyone! Today's DOT is all about the dogs enjoying the massive amounts of snow we got last weekend. How much snow did we get? The National Weather Service recorded 23.5 inches here. That's 3 inches more than our average annual snowfall. Yikes.

I hate the stuff, but the dogs love it. I took several (dozen) pictures and quite a few videos of them enjoying the dreaded white stuff. I'll only bore you with two videos.

The babes say "Thanks for watching, and Merry Christmas, or whatever you happen to celebrate."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Making a list...checking things off.

It is now you know where your day went? Ever notice how quickly a day goes by when you're off, and how sloooooowly it goes by when you're at work? Why is that? I had big plans for getting lots of stuff done today, but haven't even made it through half of my list.

One thing on my list was to upload snow pictures from the camera. Here is a shot of the back deck last Sunday morning.
This is my sister using the snow thrower. See that big lump of snow in the left of the picture? That's my car. Completely covered with snow. It's a Big Ol' Snowman of a Prius!

There hasn't been much melting, since the temps have been quite chilly all week. It is supposed to be in the 40s this weekend, so here's hoping for lots of melting!

Another thing on my to-do list was to finish up the Brown Bag Sock Yarn choices. I never did November or December, so I tried to talk Emma into choosing which yarn should go with which month.
Emma says "Who cares? There are only two to choose from, and you're going to knit both of them, so what does it matter?" I have to admit there is a certain amount of logic in her argument, but it would still have been nice of her to play along. I finally gave up and unwrapped both skeins, and look at the colors!!!

Red and green, I kid you not! How funny that the last two skeins of sock yarn are Christmas colors! I'll have to think of something special to knit with them, seeing as I am so full of Christmas spirit this year, thanks to Sue. Notice the tree? Yes, I did put up a tree this year. No ornaments, yet, but I think the sock yarn looks pretty good on it. Maybe I'll just decorate it with sock yarn!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow? What Snow?

Everyone who knows me knows how much I hate snow. Hate it. With a white-hot-hatred. When the white stuff is falling, I tell myself it's not's volcanic ash. Oddly enough, the thought that a modern day Mount Vesuvius is about to turn my world into Pompeii, The Sequel is more comforting to me than snow.

So, when calls for "crippling snow from Mid-Atlantic to Northeast" and "rates of 1 to 3 inches an hour" and "snowfall is expected to be 18 to 24 inches" and "the highest amounts are expected in parts of southern New Jersey" I would normally be curled up in the fetal position, sucking my thumb, praying for a comet to hit the Earth and put me out of my misery.

Not today! In between taking the dogs out to pee...

...and telling them not to eat the snow and then coaxing them back in the house...
...and then letting them out again because they ate so much show that, you guessed it, they have to pee...
...I've been knitting, eating cream cheese and olive sandwiches on little tiny slices of pumpernickel bread, and watching The Holiday. Do you see all that snow? Totally unheard of here in southern New Jersey. But, at least the worst is over. Oh no...that's right. The heaviest part of the storm is going to hit between 3:00 and 9:00pm. What time is it now? 2:45pm.

Who cares, though, because the dogs are happy and healthy, I still have a job (which might change any day now but I can't think about that today...I'll think about that tomorrow) and I have wonderful friends. Friends who are kind and thoughtful and can brighten your day even though you have never met them in person. Yesterday, one of those friends totally blew me away. Sue, dear, sweet Sue sent me this:
It is unbelievable! Sue made me a counted-cross-stitch pillow...of a BRITTANY! It is absolutely beautiful! So thoughtful! She even included some treats for the babes. Emma, Tara and Cooper say "We Love Auntie Sue!"

So today, even with the snow, not only am I NOT in a catatonic state, but I think that my shriveled up, Christmas-hating Grinch heart is beginning to grow, and I might, just might be getting into the Christmas spirit!

Sue, you are a miracle worker!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

Funny thing happened this week... The sun, moon and stars must have all been aligned "just so". I "met" another Brittany mom on Ravelry, and she just so happened to have rescued a brit from American Brittany Rescue, and her brit just so happened to have come from Arkansas, and her brit just so happened to have been fostered by the same person who fostered my sweet little Tara! Tara and I call her Momma Judy. What are the chances??? It must be a Christmas Miracle!
Tara the week we brought her home.

I've tried over the years to contact Momma Judy and send her photos of little Tara, but the emails have always been returned, so I asked the brittany mom I met online if she had any contact information for Judy. The next day I got an email with Judy's phone number!

Tara modeling knitwear.

As soon as I got home from work, I dialed Judy's number, not really knowing what I was going to say. I started babbling about "my name is Dianne" and "I have a Brittany" and "Is this Judy? I hope this is Judy?" Fortunately Judy gave this crazy woman on the phone a chance and didn't hang up on me, and I explained how I got her number from another brittany mom and that I have one of her fosters and have been trying to contact her. Turns out, Judy's computer died and she hasn't replaced it, which is why my emails have been returned!
Tara modeling more knitwear.

After a nice long chat, and I thanked her repeatedly for saving my sweet Tara's life by taking her out of a shelter five years ago. Most of all, though, I thanked her for selflessly giving up Tara and allowing her to come and live with me. I can't think of any greater act of love than that.

Tara saying "Give me Judy's number...maybe she will take me back..."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hijacked Dogs on Thursday

For this week's Dogs on Thursday post, Cooper decided to strike an artistic pose.

Speaking of artistic, New Jersey's arts organizations need your help. (How do you like that segue? Pretty smooth, eh?)

I don't talk much about work, but I work for an arts organization in southern New Jersey, and we depend on state grants for a large portion of our operating budget. Since New Jersey's state budget is in the red, today they announced a freeze on payments to the state's arts organizations. Back in July, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts announced grants of $14.4 million for more than 160 groups (something like less than 10% of those groups are in the southern portion of the state...I'm just saying...) but only $2 million has been dispersed so far. Basically, we have been operating on the hope of the promised money being distributed for 5 months now.

For more information, you can go to this article from the today's Courier Post newspaper. If you are a New Jersey resident, I would really appreciate it if you could please go to this link and tell your legislators that the arts in New Jersey are important to you. That is, if they are important to you.

Emma, Tara and Cooper say "Please support the arts. That's what buys our dog food and treats and cookies and snacks and pays our Vee-Eee-Tee bills, though we could certainly sacrifice and cut back on the visits to the vet."
Nice try, babes! As long as I have breath in my body, you three are getting regular check-ups!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I have come to a realization that I will never find the perfect handbag. After years of looking, and many months of unsuccessful handbag shopping, it's just not going to happen. Or at least, I will never find the perfect handbag, again. I already found the perfect, and I mean PERFECT handbag. When I say it was perfect, it really, really was. Is. Would be, if only I had bought it. No leather, not too big, not too small, not too old-lady-ish. It was simple, tapestry-ish fabric, top kind of flopped over, and there were these clippy type things on the inside on each side to kind of keep it all neat and tidy, but you could unclip it to search for those darn keys that always dive the the bottom of your bag when you need them. In the words of Goldilocks, it was juuuuust right. Except for the price.

My solution? Make it myself! I know my way around a sewing machine. I'll just buy some fabric, slap it together, add some clippy things, and Bob's Yer Uncle! Handbag!

Part 1, fabric. It took some looking, but I found the perfect fabric. Maybe not exactly perfect...not as nice as "The Perfect Handbag" but not too bad. Kind of pricey, but I'm making it myself, so that's a savings, right?

Pattern? Who needs a pattern? I know what I want so just point me towards the clippy things and I'll be on my way. Only I can't quite remember what the clippy things looked like, or how they worked. Never mind. I'll figure that out later.

Three weeks later: I'm tired of staring at the pile of fabric, scissors in hand, too chicken to actually cut into it without a pattern. Back to the fabric store. Purchase pattern, thread, 16 skeins of cord to braid Kumihimo-style into the strap, rectangle things to attach the strap to the bag, bias tape, fusible web stuff, and a zipper. Look around for the elusive clippy things, but nothing looks like it will do the trick. No problem. I'll figure that out later, right? I leave the store with the realization that I have now spent very close to what "The Perfect Handbag" costs, and still have no clippy things, and still have to make the freakin' thing.

Obvious solution? Give up. Return what I can to the store (they don't take back fabric, especially pricey fabric) and go and buy "The Perfect Handbag". Great, except that I found it at the Festival of Fine Craft we have at work every October. There are something like 200 vendors there, and I have no idea what the name of the artist who made "The Perfect Handbag" is, or how to contact her.

So, this morning, I sat down to make my own handbag, and it's going to kick "The Perfect Handbag's" butt. Except for the fact that I screwed up the cutting and won't be able to add a zipper. And I ran out of bias tape. Oh, and in Step 2, can anybody tell me what the hell is an Epinglez?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dogs on Thursday

For this week's Dogs On Thursday, I'm bringing back this photo of Tara from a few months ago:
She is modeling some knitting-in-progress. Anyone remember what it is? Here is some more knitting-in-progress:
Any ideas what it might be? Here's a hint, it's not a skanky bikini for a doll! It's light bulbs!

My friend Pat and I made a string of knitted Christmas bulbs for one of the trees at work. The theme for the museum's display this year is "A Handmade Christmas" so we've been working on all kinds of handmade ornaments, and of course we did a tree of knitted ornaments! Thanks to Ravelry, we had no shortage of patterns. Take a look at these teeny tiny sweaters.
Here is the completed knitted star that Tara was modeling.

And here is the tree of knitted ornaments in all its glory:
Working on this tree is the most fun I've had at work in a long, long time!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Knitting Report

Since the name of this blog is Brit Knitter, and there have been way more Brits than Knits lately, I figured I should share some recent projects. First is a project I started a while back for my new niece Sophia. The fact that she came three weeks early, and then had to be re-admitted to the hospital on Thanksgiving Day and spend 2 nights in the NICU had everyone in a tizzy, but thankfully all is well with Sophie and her mommy. Sophie's daddy and two brothers and one sister (yep, that's four kids, FOUR! Plus three Brittanys. Yikes!) are all happy to have Sophie home and everyone is being a big help with the new baby.

Anyway, what does every new baby need? A baby blanket! A while ago I found the Woolly Thoughts' Basketweave pattern on Ravelry, and knew I had to make it. Here is it in all it's finished glory:
It turned out to be a skooch larger than I had planned. Truth be told, I didn't really plan all that much. I just bought the yarn, cast on, and kept knitting and knitting and knitting. And knitting. Before it knew it, the "baby" blanket was big enough to cover Rhode Island. Well, maybe not quite that big, but here is a picture of it with a recent copy of Spin Off magazine for perspective.

Yes, indeed, that is one big baby blanket!

While the sun was shining, I also took some pictures of Sophie's big sister's Christmas present. I bought the book "Itty Bitty Toys" by Susan B. Anderson for an adorable puppy pattern, but when I saw this little Baby Doll, I knew I had to make one right away.

She was so much fun to make! Braids attached to her hat, ruffled panties, even a belly button! You know you want to see her in her birthday suit, so here she is in all her nekkid glory:

Fortunately, I had some helpers for this photo shoot. Daughter of Ducky was wandering around...
...while Joseph supervised from the back of my car.
Yes, the hatch was up so he helped himself to a comfy spot. No sense in walking on those driveway stones, plus being higher up, he had a better vantage point.