Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Mid-week Inspiration


Isn't that the truth!!! As I get older I've learned to surround myself with people that root for each other and inspire me. I'm lucky to have many people in my life that are the goods!

I usually do these posts on Mondays to start the week but a mid-week inspiration post seemed like just the thing for today. So here goes....some things that have caught my eye over the past week...

Breeze Louise (FREE pattern!) Would be sooo pretty in my sister's hand dyed yarn.

I need to do some revamping in my kitchen and house. It's a hot mess with stuff everywhere and not a lot organized. I like these ideas so much...

Hope you're all having a good week. We're still sad over here after saying goodbye to our dog. Hardest thing I've ever had to do. Blessed for so many years with our big guy :)

Friday, February 11, 2022

Saying Goodbye to Man's Best Friend

My boys were 4 and 2. I wanted another baby. My husband wasn't thrilled with that idea. So I started begging for a puppy. He wasn't thrilled about that idea either. But I was patient and eventually he came around to the idea of a dog. I jumped on it and off we went...all 4 of us, my mom and both sisters, in a car to drive 2 hours to north/west NJ to pick up our new puppy. We walked into the woman's garage that had about 20 shiba inu puppies. Dalton (4 at the time) pointed into one of the pens and said, I want that one and his name is Derek Jeter. And that was that. We brought this little 4 month old puppy home. He didn't move. Like DID NOT MOVE. He didn't play around. I called my mom the next morning and said "we got a dud!" LOL. He wasn't a typical playful puppy that first day. But once he was comfortable, he made our home his home. That was 16 years ago. We convinced Dalton to drop the "Derek" from his name and he became our Jeter. Jeter Man. Big Guy. King of the Castle.

Rick still wasn't so sure about this puppy in the house. Guess where this is going....
Who became Jeter's favorite person in the house? Yup. Rick. And Rick loved him more than anyone in the house. Sometimes I think Rick liked Jeter more than any of us!

Jeter was a one-of-a-kind dog. A typical shiba, he loved us most and not many other people. He didn't like dogs. He was happiest sleeping in our bed or on the couch. He was smart, stubborn, loving, aloof at times, more like a cat than a dog. And he was our perfect guy. He has been healthy and great for most of his life. About two years ago he started to show some signs of dementia but overall good health.

The past year has been hard for him. His eyesight and hearing have pretty much gone. I knew the end was coming soon but I didn't know when. We questioned it so many times. Is he ok? Is it time? How will we know? Well....we have made the hardest decision of our lives. It's time to say goodbye. Our hearts are heavy and we will be a disaster! But we are 100% sure it's the right decision. 

He is our boy. I will love him forever. We will be saying goodbye soon. 
Thank goodness for our sweet little kitten to keep the animal love going in our home.

Here are some pictures of Jeter over the years (in no particular order)....


Tuesday, February 8, 2022

My New Everyday Sweater

Hi! Here is my new finished project fresh off my needles!

My friend, Seashore Sharon surprised me with the sweater pattern, DRK Everyday Sweater by Andrea Mowry. It was very thoughtful of her. I finished up a few color work projects and knew a simple, one color sweater was exactly what my brain needed. I loved every single stitch of this sweater. My yarn budget is on the small side these days, so I checked out some Lionbrand Fisherman's Wool. It's very affordable. I think it was $10 for 465 yds of wool. I am a lover of "wooly wool"...not the softest yarn. But I love it. My mom always says, how can you stand that crunchy wool? I don't know why I but I love it.

Anyway, I picked up some skeins of this at my local Joann Fabric and immediately casted on.

I knitted this up lickety split. (2 weeks to be exact). 

I love the simplicity of it but I wanted to add a little something to it to make it "my own."
I found this cute heart shaped elbow patch pattern on Pinterest and had saved it. I thought this would be the perfect addition. I went back and forth trying to figure out if I should do it in a contrast color or the sweater color. I decided on the sweater color. So I knitted up two Grown Up Hearts from the blog page and sewed them on using the same yarn as I knitted. Again...contemplated using a contrast yarn to sew it on but again...stayed with the neutral look. 

It fits perfectly and I LOVE it. I want to make a dozen more.

And just to keep it real....this is what it looks like around the perfect backdrop to photograph my sweater :)


Happy Knitting!

Monday, February 7, 2022

New to You MAL 2022!

Hi friends! My sister and I are getting ready to wrap up our annual New to You MAL for 2022. One week to go!!!! For the past few years we have been running this fun make-along to encourage people to learn new things in the fiber-art realm. Every year we have generous friends and fellow makers, podcasters, and small business owners join in the fun to donate lots of prizes. I am grateful to every single one of them. It's a win-win for us and them. We get to encourage people with prizes (I mean come on...who doesn't love winning prizes?) and they get to promote their business or just spread kindness. Win, win right?!

This year I was hoping to do a few things but so far only had time to do two. But I'm very happy about the two things I tried.

First up....BRIOCHE!!!! Funny, turns out I think I have done a few different forms of brioche and just didn't realize it. I made this "First Brioche Hat" by Jared Flood. I used some left over bulky yarn. The colors are very Halloween! I'm so glad I tried it. I enjoyed making it and I want to make some more garter stitch projects. In the past I was turned off to a pattern when I knew brioche would be involved. Now I won't be! I'll be ready to jump in and cast-on.

Next up:

I have a weird love for elbow pads. When my boys were babies and I could dress them however I wanted, I loved old man cardigans with elbow pads! Garrett had this little blue corduroy blazer that had tan leather elbow pads when he was 4 years old. I loved that little jacket!!! Anyway...I knitted the DRK Everyday Sweater by Andrea Mowry over the past two weeks and I wanted to add a little something to it to make it "my own." I came across these cute heart shaped elbow pads and I knew they would be perfect! I was going to make them in a contrast color like most elbow pads, but decided to make them in the same yarn as the sweater. Just a little "something" to catch your eye but not stand out too much.

I followed the pattern for the "Grown Up Hearts" found on Tin Can Knit's blog from February 2015. Very easy and quick. I just did them this morning so they are blocking right now. I'm going to try to sew them on over my lunch hour today. I'm really excited about these!

I will add them to the back of the sleeve. Hopefully that process is easy and I can get them to line up! That might be the trickiest part of this whole project.

So.....if you haven't yet, you still have time to enter our make-along! Just use the #newtoyoumal2022 on instagram with a picture of your project. You don't have to finish it! Just trying it will enter you!!! If you are not on Instagram, you can hop on over to our Ravelry page and enter it there.

The New to You MAL will close on Monday, February 14, 2022.

I might try to squeeze one more thing in before next week....we'll see!


Wednesday, February 2, 2022

This and That....


Winter is in full-gear here in NJ. I enjoy this season for so many reasons. I'm a homebody and happy to hang out, cook, bake, knit, and create. We had a big snow storm over the weekend and I used the time to clean out my clothes dresser (not fun but had to happen), knit on this sweater, and I created a cowl from my sister's hat pattern: Gone to the Mountains Hat. I also read this book: Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead. It was a very easy read and I enjoyed it.

We also attended my youngest son's band concert. It was the first time he performed live in a proper concert since Covid has hit. Actually, it was his very first concert of his life! He plays the trumpet. I wish he loved it, but he doesn't seem to have the music love gene like his mom....Sadly, this will probably be his last year of music. I'm leaving it up to him if he wants to continue. Music should be something you love and enjoy and not forced. I do force all of my kids to TRY it. Because you would never know if you like it if you don't try it. I loved every second of the concert. Every squeak of the clarinet to missed beats by the bass drum. It's all perfect and to hear learning happening makes me so happy.

I have been cooking some yummy foods. I made this meal (a Trader Joe's hack meal). Rick and I love it. Also made a simple quesadilla for lunch with arugula, rosemary olive oil, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto. Easy and quick for lunch!

And have I mentioned that we LOVE LOVE LOVE our new kitten? He's been with us since November and we're all in love with him. He's the coolest little cat EVER. I mean it!!!!!!! He had his big appointment at the vet to get snipped and it took forever for them to bring him back out to me at the end of the day because they all wanted to snuggle him and say goodbye. They told me he's the best cat ever and they want to steal him. We really lucked out with him. He came into our family at the exact perfect moment and has brought us so much happiness. 

We will be hosting our monthly live knit/crochet night on Thursday through our Patreon page. If you want to join us or need more information, you can click on our page and check it out! It's so much fun getting to connect with like-minded crafty people from around the world!! Here's how you can find out more: Cocktail Hour at the Coop Patreon Page