the size of the fight

Posted on 21 CommentsPosted in designing, home and family

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
– Dwight D Eisenhower (former president of the United States)

hello doggie fans, i’m back!
anne was telling me that some of you have been asking and asking how i’ve been doing and that you miss my posts and since she was gone to a teaching gig the last couple of days, i decided it was probably time for me to dust off my paws and type up a blog.

first—thank you so much for thinking of me these last few weeks; i have been doing really well. this is a picture from the morning that i got my fixator out; i didn’t know it was THE DAY, but anne was up extra early, telling me we were going on an adventure.

now, i don’t know about you, but i’ve come to be a bit suspicious when she starts throwing around that word—it could mean something fun, but it could also mean something i’m not quite prepared to do. i mention this because i see her using it to describe some of her “work”, so i think you know what i’m talking about.

anyway, i also found out that the “adventure” would involve a ride in the car—i love the car! so far, so good. it was very cold that day, so we bundled me into my puffy vest and cowl and brought my favorite blankie along.

next thing i knew, we were back at the hospital where i spent a few days in november.
RUH-ROH—i told you there was reason to be suspicious!

that said, the waiting room was simply filled with interesting creatures! and SO many of them were doggies; i couldn’t get enough. we walked the whole place several times to introduce myself around, even to the ones i could barely see, hidden inside their carry boxes (i love other doggies; more on that later).

pretty soon a really nice vet tech came out to see us and chat a little. she took all of us into an exam room and then she took me by myself into the back room and there was dr. collins (he’s a REALLY nice man who calls me “cutey-patooty”—a little geeky, but i might have a bit of a crush, hee-hee).

i don’t know what happened next because they put me to sleep, but while i was going under, i heard them talking about an x-ray.

anne and david waited for me long enough to start a sweater and knit the hem! to be honest, i’m not sure what happened to me for the next 45 minutes or so—i was knocked out cold, but i’m always happy to find out that somehow i helped with getting some knitting done.

the next thing i knew i was stumbling around, following dr. collins. anyway, he brought me back to exam room and everybody swooned over me. they were all very excited and i got nervous because i could only see double like; i tried to follow him back inside but i bumped into the door. then i heard anne’s voice and i went to her instead. she took some pictures and cuddled my face and that’s when i realized that the stupid fixator was gone—woo-hoo! my head felt two pounds lighter.

it must have happened while i was sleeping, because i don’t remember giving anyone permission to touch me. and also, my nails were cut and i definitely didn’t agree to that.

what happened for the next few hours was a bit of a blur; i couldn’t walk straight to save my life and my face felt funny and was puffing up like a football. i was leaking blood where the pin tracks were opened up again and i remember everyone laughing because i pooped and peed in the waiting room three times while we were leaving (SO embarrassing; i never do that at home).

and the next thing i knew, we were home and i was in my bed. and also on the sofa. anne stayed very close by the whole time, watching me; i guess i was acting pretty dopey.

man, i was so high. i did NOT feel normal. but then everything about that day was not “normal” as i had come to know it. for instance, i was not at all hungry.

anne and david had to go out for a couple of hours in the evening so i slept and slept and when they got home i surprised them by being mostly back to my old self. i jumped out of my bed and did a dance and drumrolled my feet in front of my food bowl. they were so happy they fed me a nice big meal.

by the next morning i was well enough to go to work, even though my face was very swollen. dr. collins had explained that i still had a couple of fractures showing in the x-ray which needed to heal, but that they would mend without the fixator, as long as i continued on soft food and was careful about playing with friends and toys.

my face was very puffy and tender for quite a while actually; i was starting to feel sad that i’d never be back to 100 percent again. but little by little it healed. and in a couple of weeks i was ready for the paparazzi.

here’s my “before” photo . . .

you might not notice this, but the surgery actually corrected a little overbite that i had and now my lower jaw is set a bit further forward and my teeth line up the right way. this makes eating much easier and much less messy; no problem picking up tiny bits of food now. it’s a small change but i’m glad they took care of it while they had the chance.

and here’s my “after” photo

my favorite thing about having my mouth free again? we got right back to to regular toothbrushing at night!! a lot of people who know me might assume i’d hate toothbrushing, but i actually love it and i really missed it those last couple of months; i am not proud of having stinky dog breath . . .

i had to continue eating a soft diet for quite a while though after, i was able to eat it on my own. i didn’t mind—anne makes some pretty yummy combinations with all the new foods i now enjoy. she promised to continue those delicious soft snacks and also my soft food mix along with the crunchy food when the time came.

we never stopped our long walks, even when it snowed a lot. but they sure felt lots better without that freezing metal brace weighting down my head! and that week after the removal surgery, we had some spectacular weather for february.

that made me feel well in a jiffy and soon i wanted to begin visiting friends. we started with the gentlest and smallest ones . . .

here i am with my friend zippy, who is a cairn terrier. can you believe how warm and sunny it was that day? 73 degrees!

zippy’s mom, linda, is one of my favorite humans. she can pet me any time, because she knows not to go over my head and to start along my back. her real talent lies in ear scratches though—she’s got something special there.

plus, she is SO entertaining! her house is a treasure trove of doggie delights; all sorts of bones and toys that zippy knows how to play with. i’d be jealous but i honestly don’t get the toy thing; i just love watching zippy go crazy with that stuff. the games involving treats though, are definitely interesting—zippy tries to teach me how to use them, but i always end up retrieving the rewards she forgets about and being happy with that.

sigh, i wish it would get that warm again, but actually it’s snowing like december right now. it’s hard to get around on my short legs in the snow, but we always go out anyway.

there’s plenty to sniff and i don’t want to miss any of it.

having my nose and mouth completely available again is like heaven.

which reminds me—i have finally figured out that treats are highly desirable and that a great way to get some is to work on my new year’s resolutions, which are challenging.

as i mentioned, i just love other doggies and especially my neighbors, like booker here and emily, his human. that said, for some reason i had developed an over-excited reaction to seeing them. i am fine indoors, but once we leave the house, i become a wild, unrecognizable creature upon seeing a dog or person from blocks away. it was making the walks not so much fun for anne, with all the pulling and barking.

she would try to take me someplace nice and i would be unbearable! plus, i still wasn’t really down with being petted, even by friends i see all the time. so we started working a lot harder on that, which is where the treats come in.

now, when i see booker and emily from down the block, i still get excited, but anne tells me to look at her and holds a treat up and if i can walk all the way to them without going berserk, i can have it!

of course i ham happy to share.

this has led to meeting SO many more doggie friends. this is macy; she is actually even crazier than i am, but lots of fun. and we have coordinating jackets, which i find completely cool. she lives at the end of a road near a lake and doesn’t get to play with many other kids so our visits are much appreciated.

my best friend casey still likes me too, but lately, he’s been acting somewhat aloof and i’m wondering if he’s jealous when he smells macy or booker or zippy on me. i know i can win him back when the weather warms up and we get to see each other more often.

when i’ve had an especially good walk, i get a big treat like a trip to the dog park, where we can walk in the woods which are fragrantly sniffalicious.

of course i didn’t just magically take a turn for the better; we actually started working with a new friend named jerry, who is a dog trainer that barb knows. we’ve only seen him a couple of times and already his method is helping us a lot.

at first he came to our house to get to know me, because he heard i was so shy. after two times, he invited us to his place, which is in the country. i didn’t know it, but he has a kennel and when we arrived, there were about TEN dogs there, including a wolf dog!!

oh my, it was like being at the dog park, but in a house. the other doggies were so friendly and we had the best time running around and playing chase, which is just about the only game i know well.

then we went to a dog park that’s not our usual one and it was amazing.

our park isn’t open in the snow season, so this was loads of fun; it had been months since i was off-leash to run around with the other guys. i always chuckle a bit when the big dogs realize how fast i can go; i sure can give them a run for their money—except of course, the one that got me that time, but he came from behind which was no fair and he wasn’t playing around.

after the park, we went to the hardware store to walk around and see how i reacted to the people and carts and displays. we opened and closed cabinets, talked to the store workers, and went up and down stairs. i helped pick out seed potatoes.

some of the people wanted to pet me and i let them. i’ve been enjoying that more and more at home and at work—lillian, ellen, and megan are all very patient and generous about it and i love to go over there for a visit. doug is rooting for me too, though he prefers not to pet me if possible (hee-hee!). i completely understand—it’s not personal.

and a couple of weeks ago, our friends from pittsburgh came to visit and when they arrived, i braced myself and ran right up to the man to say hi and then to the lady; OMG, i was scared, but i did it!! and without treats, too! we didn’t get photos, but it was a red letter day, nevertheless.

even at home, where i feel the safest of all, it has been a process. while i’ve been enjoying lots of scratching and petting and face cuddling with anne at arm’s length, i was still pretty skittish about hugging real close. that, however, has changed.

now we have several times each day when i go in for the hug and each night before tooth brushing, we have a few minutes of close embraces. and i actually like it; when i get pulled in, my body relaxes and i can see what the attraction is. it feels warm and soft and loving.

well, i’m afraid i have to stop now—we are going to visit a new vet today and i have to get ready. i hope you enjoyed my update story; i’ll be back in a few weeks with more; spring is coming and i’m sure there will be plenty to report.

anne says to tell you that she finished her sweater and will be back tomorrow with an update; i gotta tell you that i really like this one, so don’t miss it.




Posted on 11 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, designing, home and family

oh these little breaks that tell us spring is planning to come for a stay! we had the most beautiful skies this past weekend—blue, blue and clear. we don’t get many of these during any season in ohio, so a short string of them feels like a big treat. the temperatures are still low, but it was excellent water for long walks and we took advantage of it.

back lit tips of emerging bulbs are glowing (hyacinth, i think? if not, then tulips).

and thick clumps of daffodils, growing slowly because it’s still very cold, most days.

and then there’s today—nature trying furiously to make a blizzard and throwing one last winter tantrum to do it.

we just have to ignore these kinds of days and think about blue skies. fortunately we have knitting to curl up with and if we’re lucky, a warm cuddly doggie.

for all who have asked, we are so warmed by your kind, thoughtful wishes—cardigan got her fixator out at the end of january with a bit more mending to do, but has progressed remarkably well. i have an update planned for the next blog, maybe even cajoling her to write along with me.

back in december i started a sweater for david, a very simple design tailored to his specifications. i think i had the sleeves nearly complete when i last wrote a post (i know; i’ve been horribly negligent, ugh), but much progress was made after that point.

i’m knitting with festivus 4.0 sport—a soft, springy, 2-ply merino that is spun from several natural shades, light to dark. festivus 4.0 is overdyed in the cranberry crush colorway by julie asselin and knits into a soft, flannely fabric with lots of squish factor. the random arrangement of the underlying shades creates a softly shifting gradient pattern—this is the same yarn that we sell undyed as our patchwork fingering (more on that later).

the day we went in for cardigan’s x-ray and surgery to remove her fixator, i cast on the for sweater body in the waiting room and worked on the hem ribbing. we had quite a wait so i was able to complete all of that by the time the doctor came out with an update.

afterward though, it appears that the knitting on this moved forward at a turtle’s pace, because i had only completed a few repeats of the body pattern by the time the olympics began.

i did take a timeout to complete some terrifically fun colorwork projects for our february pairings club installment. i love knitting colorwork and i kind of fell down a rabbit hole with these, knitting more samples than i really needed. in fact, i still have one till cowl on the needles and another one planned.

i just can’t get enough of this project—the yarn, the pattern (super easy to memorize), and the speed with which it can be knit are all enticing. it made me want to pair the gradient colorway with several different shades of kent DK, some subtle and some more contrast-y. so fun! i do like the tide pool shade best with the feederbrook entropy yarn (custom dyed in the sweet corn colorway for our club), but the rest are close runners up for  me and here i have it paired with mussel shell for maximum contrast.

anyway, by the time i took a bit of a breather, the olympics were about to begin and ellen started a KAL in our rav group. i was ready to switch gears and knit something simple and soothing—binging on colorwork in DK weight yarn was making my hands a little sore.

i didn’t reach far to pick a project—for me it was getting ahead on the red sweater and with any luck, finishing it (because my original goal was to complete it by valentine’s day but that would be a real stretch). no worries about sore hands here—this yarn couldn’t be cushier; it’s so soft and easy on my hands, yum. and the design is partly mindless; an intuitive knit/purl pattern for the body, egging me on to finish another eight row repeat. it really goes fast!

the olympic KAL (officially known as the ravellenics) must’ve been just the kick in the pants i needed. suddenly i was making grand progress. there were snowy days when i’d make huge leaps in the length of the body, sometime neglecting other duties. but a guy sweater really demands a certain commitment, being at least one-third larger than the size i’m used to knitting for myself, hehe.

another thing that kept me knitting steadily was watching the gradual color changes in the fabric—they are so subtle and ethereal, more like washes than stripes or banding. you almost can’t see them most of the time in the skeins that david chose. of course there ARE skeins with more contrast and activity, but he’s attracted to quieter patterns.

and look what cardigan and i found on valentine’s day, right in the middle of sweater construction—the perfect natural expression of what i was knitting! she wasn’t as excited about our find as i was, but she pretended to be, sniffing deeply when i pointed them out.

i’m kind of kicking myself because i can’t remember exactly where we saw these and now i’m wondering if they would produce a nice dye. i think i know where to look for them again; i’ll let you know i find them.

cardigan was still mending some last fractures that showed up in her jaw x-ray and waiting for the swelling to go down, so between excursions out of doors, she slept a lot and enjoyed having me nearby, knitting and listening to books. within the first week of the olympics, i had the body knit to the underarms and was able to take some photos with the sleeves arranged next to it.

this was my first chance to see how my color shading was working out; i wanted to make sure that when i got to the sleeve/body join, i would be knitting with yarn that was approximately the same shading all around. i’d left the yarn attached to each sleeve so i could decide later which ball would join the sweater pieces.

finally it was long enough to join—but that’s when the real challenge begins because the rounds were SO long—around 400 stitches at the start of the underarm. i remember that i started the yoke during a wednesday knit night at the shop. suddenly progress slowed to a snail’s pace and at the same time, i had to take care of some other work that i’d been procrastinating on. by the next tuesday, i was only a few inches past the underarm with only five days to go til the end of the olympics.

but my deadline had been met, so my knitting time was freed up to finish.

by saturday night, the yoke was complete and i grabbed a quick photo of the finished body on sunday morning, once i had some light. i still had to knit the neckband though and got busy right away.

this is always such a nail biter for me; while i can make pretty good estimates about how many sts to pick up, i never know until the band is complete and off the needles whether it’s just the right fit—and so much depends on it being correct. the band is the final and most visible finishing detail; if it’s loose and crinkly, it won’t just look bad, it won’t maintain a nice tension around the neck either and the sweater could slip around. the added structure of a firm-fitting neckband is especially important on a seamless raglan like this one. but if it’s too tight, it will pinch the fabric unattractively and possibly not fit over the head.

it’s not uncommon at all for me to reknit bands—even a couple of times if i’m not happy. but man bands? the thought of it exhausted me.

fortunately, i got lucky and the band worked out perfectly and i had a finished sweater by early afternoon on sunday. AND david says he likes it (i know that might mean he doesn’t really like it, but i prefer to live under the illusion that it’s true). he tried it on and it fits really well. we washed it and it barely changed size, growing just a little in length; similar to the results with my swatches. he hasn’t worn it yet, but i’m hoping i’ll see it on him soon.

i think he’s afraid i’ll stalk hime with the camera if he puts it on, haha.

david’s red version is really a prototype for a final design that will be slightly different—he wanted his sweater completely free of details, but i like the idea of a narrow cable defining the body and raglan lines.

so i’m in the process of knitting a second sample in the “real” design, this time using the undyed patchwork fingering yarn (i selected the light print option). i’ve got my sample nearly done and i’m SO in love with it. the pattern will be forthcoming as part of a small spring collection i’ve been working on—more on that in upcoming posts.

well, the skies have brightened a bit but the snow is still drifting down and it’s windy and COLD—just 24 degrees, brr. i’m not sure spring is in the air just yet (but just a few days to go before it’s supposed to show up so . . .).

i have to stop writing now, because cardigan and i have an adventure planned. we’ve been working with a trainer a bit and today we are going to his place to meet his dogs and do some socializing. it’s been quite a while since she had an outing with other dogs and i think it’ll be a lot of fun; we’ll be back in a couple of days to share all of her latest news.

jaw dropping progress

Posted on 22 CommentsPosted in food and garden, home and family

jaw dropping—get it?? haha, little joke there . . . because my jaw actually did fall off! HAHAHA, i just crack myself up sometimes . . . ok, maybe not that funny, now that i think about it.

i’m just popping in to tell you that i’m feeling much, much better and hard at work on my 2018 goals already—i KNOW! how are you doing on yours?

well, i know you met ONE big goal, huzzah! i have to tell you how inspiring that is for me; if you can do it, then i can apply myself just a little more, too. and i have big plans.

first though i have to get this confounded thing removed from my mouth.

this is my fixator, which is pinning my jaw in place while the bones knit together—isn’t it cool that knitting is involved? i though you’d appreciate that . . . it looks a lot worse than it is; after a couple of weeks i got used to it being there. most people who see me on the street just think i’m carrying a chew toy, which is hilarious, since i don’t do toys.

after our trip to the doctor for my two-week followup, i was allowed to go on long walks again, which has been great.

i helped anne scout out all sorts of interesting light displays for our twelve nights of christmas lights on instagram. i even found a couple that she didn’t notice at first!

i’ve been to visit my friend casey a few times too, which is the best thing of all—he was wondering where the heck i’d gotten to. and he was very, very respectful of my fixator; we won’t resume our wrestling matches or serious horseplay until i’m completely cleared for activities like those.

instead he just bugs me constantly, cleaning my ears and nuzzling the back of my neck, haha. but i mostly let him because he means well and is very gentle. also, he doesn’t laugh at all about the clothes i need to wear because all my neck and chest fur was shaved off for my surgery. i actually like my puffy vest a lot, but i’m not a fan of the purple cowl.

this week anne remembered another cowl she had in her running gear and dug it out; this one suits me much better and sometimes i even keep it on in the house. don’t you think this is much more “me”? i mean, slate blue is SO my color . . .

speaking of christmas, i was stunned to learn about this holiday! a day (actually a month, it seemed like) totally devoted to sparkly lights and presents?? what’s not to love? and i got several really great gifts from friends, some of whom i wasn’t all that trusting of and one i’ve never even met, but who love me back anyway.

a huge stocking full of toys from my aunt helen, who has an adorable doggie named pepper; i can’t wait to meet them next time we visit our family in NY state.

and aunt katharine sent me these cheesy biscuits which i cannot WAIT to get my teeth on (when it’s alright to have crunchy foods again). i’m sorry i wasn’t so nice to her when she was visiting; i was a bit overwhelmed by having a houseguest . . .

and aunt kimkimkim sent me this coolio leash, which is made from wool and alpaca that is spun into a super durable rope. she knows how much i like my walks. i need to ask anne to help me organize some goodies for her birthday.

actually, it’s gotten really REALLY cold here since christmas and i’ve been cutting our walks short for the time being—my feet just can’t take the cold after a couple of miles. i’d rather stay in and snuggle up on the sofa, going out several times a day only for shorter walks right now (but i think that’s kind of stressful for anne and david; they are pretty busy). it’s supposed to be warmer this week coming up and hopefully we can get back to our regular walking schedule.

i do love the snuggling; it’s really growing on me. i was not to keen about being touched up til now, even by anne, who gets to touch me the most. but lately i can even let her hold my hands and clean my feet which she thinks is a HUGE step in the right direction (it’s the least i can do, right?). and most days, i also enjoy being gathered up for hugging, which used to make me panic because it felt like i was being smothered. now though, i can relax and enjoy sinking into the warmth.

i even find it quite nice to squish up against her when she’s knitting and lay my head in her lap. sometimes i do a lap takeover, too. that’s where i inch my way over and creep up onto her lap, a little at a time until there’s no more room for knitting junk. she doesn’t mind—she just lays her yarn on top of ME and we’re good.

last week we had a party! anne spent several days in the kitchen preparing all sorts of foods that human people find yummy to eat—lasagne, antipastos, and cheesecake.

now, you might not know this about me but, well, anything involving cheese is of supreme interest to me. i was raptly attentive as not one, not two, but FIVE different cheeses were scooped, cubed, or grated into the party dishes. and naturally i offered my services for taste-testing each one and cleaning up any scraps or bits that were not of use . . .

i was wondering what all the activity was about and she did try to explain it to me ahead of time, but boy oh boy, was i surprised when all of a sudden on tuesday night, there were FIVE TIMES the usual number of people at our house—plus another dog!

good thing i have been working hard, as promised, on letting my friends at “work” touch me and pet me. because the party was full of my work friends (and the dog, thor). and our friend ramona who is safe and a do-gooder, which is why i created a fundraiser for her on facebook.

i was ok with most of it until thor tried to take my “chew toy” out of my mouth. that was it for me—i found a safe spot sitting with my friends ellen and joe, where i could also keep anne in my sights at all times. ellen is just lovely and i almost always let her pet me now; we are working on that together.

in fact, i really hate it when she’s not there. i still check every day when we’re out for a walk, pulling over at the shop door to stop in and say hello. i just love it at “work”, but sometimes when we arrive, the place is empty.

i will admit up front that yes, i do need a bit of a crutch when it comes to the petting; treats make it much easier to overcome my fears. but i am slowly, slowly able to do it without them once in a while too. it’s just that the treats are so yummy, i completely forget myself and before i know it, lillian or ellen or megan are rubbing my ears and i realize it feels good. who knew?

yeah, so for a while after my surgery, we were a little flummoxed about treats—i needed them as badly as ever but my favorites were too crunchy for my jaw situation. we tried a variety of workarounds, mostly involving soaking or microwaving my biscuits, but that proved really messy and took WAY too much time.

then once the christmas rush was over, anne finally got “online” to see if she could figure out an alternative. she has this thing about making my treats, because i usually won’t eat the ones from a package (sorry, but they have absolutely no flavor, FYI).

and it turns out that she can make even more AMAZING ones than the ones she was making before!! plus these ones are soft so i can chew them without hurting myself. ok, i just asked her and she said the recipe is based on the one she found on the sheknows blog.

she put some of my favorite foods (and a couple i didn’t know i liked) into the noisy food-making machine and added some other stuff, including my favorite—CHEESE.

she let me taste the batter and i was like, eh.
but she spooned it out anyway and sprinkled the tops with CHEESE and put them in the hot box.

i’m not really sure what happens in there, but O.M.G., when they came out they were utterly transformed and SO yummy. yummy, yummy, YUMMY!!

i know it’s ridiculous, but i cannot control myself when these treats are mentioned. i will do just about anything to get one. i even let the newest person at work pet me right away because she offered me one (sorry ellen, no reflection on you at ALL; you’re still my fave).

anyway, the upshot of all this is that, seeing how much i love, love, love the new treats, anne went looking for ideas about changing my regular food so it would be equally yummy—and also better for me. i mean, she buys really good food and adds lots of my favorite vegetables, but you know what happens when a mom gets reading—suddenly they go on a kick to make everything “better”.

i already love cooked green beans, which are like a doggie superfood (and good thing we have a lot because i eat a ton of those).

and roasted sweet potatoes—these are so good you guys! steamed carrots are also a fave, along with mashed peas, but i had to stop eating that last one; peas and pumpkin don’t agree with me so much.

don’t get me wrong, anne and david tried all summer long to get me to eat raw blueberries, leafy greens, apples, and other stuff on lists such as this one, but i wouldn’t do it; they just didn’t smell like anything and i like smelly food. i much preferred cooked vegetables.

then when i had to switch to my current soft diet and spoon feeding, she seized the opportunity to get me to try new ingredients. she had the great idea to simply defrost raw, frozen fruits and veggies and presto-change-o, we hit a sweet spot. first i like the softer texture and secondly, once they are stirred into my pureed food, their smells and flavors really stand out.

now, along with my well-soaked kibble, canned soft food, and whipped canned salmon, we are trying all sorts of yummy stir-ins. meals have never been more exciting!

i let her know in every when i can think of how much i love my meals—when i hear my personal dishes clinking and containers coming out of the fridge, i race into the kitchen, run around the island twice and skid to a stop on the rug, then wiggle my butt for good measure (and because it never fails to make her laugh). i park right in front of the fridge where she can’t forget that i’m there, waiting ever so patiently. for at least a minute anyway before poking her leg to hurry up please . . .

i think i’m going to be really sad when my soft diet days are behind me and i’m hoping anne will think of a creative way to continue making fruits and vegetables taste good for me.

one thing that’s still a big challenge—and kind of a fight— is water. i’m afraid to go near my water dish because navigating it with the fixator might hurt, so anne has been syringing water into my mouth whenever she can get me to open it, then rewarding me with dabs of peanut butter. sadly, i am such a sucker that this mostly works, though she says not enough and often i make a big mess by flinging water all over the place.

and since i eat my meals in my bed where i can relax and be touched without worry, that just makes for a soggy mess sometimes. i mean, i would go without it altogether, but i guess that’s not good for me. i’m supposed to drink a lot more, but by the end of each day, we are too tired to fight about it and we settle for what we can get down.

well, we all go back to the hospital in sixteen days to see how my jaw is healing. they’ll put me to sleep again and i’ll get an x-ray and if everything looks good, they will remove the pins and the fixator and we will move on to the next stages of recovery (tho i’m not exactly sure yet what that involves). i’ll be sure to let you know as soon as i know more.

also, i’m sorry this post is going up so late—i know i promised it for sunday but wow, typing is SO hard.

tidings of comfort and joy

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in Bare Naked Wools, book reviews/events, home and family, patterns

happy holidays to all! we have much good news to share today and many, many things to be grateful for.

first, all of us at knitspot HQ are completely psyched to tell you this:

we are SO exploding this fundraiser with a bang!! (and cardigan is much happier about it than she looks—her fixator just gets in the way of her smile, haha)

we couldn’t be more excited, especially because we’re pretty sure we tipped that number over the lucky 7K since tuesday; thank you one and all.
and we still have one week to go . . . who knows, maybe we can make it to the magic 8!!

we had a lovely holiday note from foster care to success this past week and while it came to our house, it’s really for all of you. it’s true that what we give to this wonderful cause will expand and multiply beyond our imaginations; every seed dollar becomes so much more when planted in the future lives of these kids.

i also heard from our current scholarship recipient jelissa a few times this fall and she especially wanted to share her latest news during the fundraiser:

Hello Anne!
I am doing great! Sorry I wasn’t able to get back to you right away; the 1st [of december] was actually my birthday and I’m recovering from a cold.  Anyway, it’s looking as though I could possible get all As and maybe a B+ the lowest. Also, I am excited to hear  that  the fundraiser got off to a good start! I have attached a few presentations that I’ve worked on throughout this semester and included photos. Once again, thank you and the Knitspot community for everything!

This is the computer lab in the lower level of the school, I spent most of my days here doing work for my classes. One of the ways I was able to keep my grades up was to come here right after class and work on assignments in advance just to give myself a heads up for the week; by the end of the week I’m so exhausted. However, the bulk of my classes are on Mondays; I have three classes and I am here from 9am-9pm.

We experienced some snow over the weekend; it looked amazing in the park! It’s a huge change from the 60 degree weather we had experienced days before.

My best friend had a baby on October 4th and now I’m a Godmother! His name is Kaden Francis Drayton, I helped her find his first name- means fighter, and his middle name is her grandmother’s first name! This is him recently at one of his checkups, he’s now two months old.

Thank you again for everything, I will periodically set reminders to send more photos and maybe even videos for you guys to see. Since most of my classes require PowerPoint presentations; I’ve become quite good at them, maybe I can do a recap of the year/semester towards the end of December; I think that’d be fun!  I look forward to hearing from you and be on the look out for more updates!

jelissa also let me know that she’ll be spending the holidays in new jersey with a former foster family that she stays in close touch with; i was really glad to hear that she’d be surrounded with loved ones through this season. i hope she does have time now that school is out to send a few more photos and a followup note to share with you; i know it’s very heartwarming to hear news from our scholarship student from time to time.

i don’t know yet how many patterns and yarn we’ve sold during the fundraiser, but it has to be a lot—and each one was a building block that got us here. so please continue to spread the word and encourage your friends, knitting buddies, ravelry groups, knitting teachers and fellow students to participate—our goal is now unlimited!

if you are fired up and feel passionate after reading the fundraiser details, here are some small things you can do to help:

  1. purchase any of our 2017 red scarf fundraiser patterns herehere, here, here, and here, and/or add an extra donation on our website—use the pulldown menu to increase your gift and we will donate the entire pattern price PLUS that extra amount. we are happy to add the pattern to your rav library if you let us know!! (but we have to do it manually, so please tell us)
  2. purchase a pattern on ravelry hereherehere, here, here, and here—the entire retail pattern price will go into the scholarship fund.
  3. purchase a 2017 festivus kit which includes the pattern PLUS enough special edition festivus 4.0, to knit a scarf or cowl. we will add 5% of your yarn purchase price to the fund.
  4. buy one or more skeins of festivus 4.0 for any project and we will add 5% of your purchase price to the fund.
  5. please, please, PLEASE tell everyone you know about the fundraiser—they don’t need to be a knitter to throw $7 (or more!!) at this wonderful cause. please mention it with a link in your favorite ravelry groups, a link and hashtag on your Instagram, Facebook page (and link it), tweet it (with a link!), pin it (yes, with link) and finally just drag your friends over to look at the blog, haha. we’ll even give them a “knit naked sticker badge” if it helps them to help out.
  6. join us for a fun red scarf KAL in our ravelry mothership—we promise a rollicking good time, plenty of support, and of course, neat-o prizes.


i am so very grateful to our partner designers who joined me in creating designs to our scholarship effort this year; BIG hugs to kate atherley, mary o’shea, and kerri blumer for their contributions.

and speaking of our partner designers, here are a few other options for holiday gift knitting that are designed especially for using our festivus 4.0 yarns. you can find kits for all of these designs in the FESTIVUS section of our online shop. and while you’re there, take a moment to browse past festivus designs for more quick knit gift ideas.

kate atherley’s mayberry cap is a super quick, last-minute project to knit in festivus 4.0 worsted or any of our worsted weight yarns (it’d be extra yummy in chebris worsted, wow!). ellen knit one up in no time and it’s SO darn cute! kate has many, many clever, fun to knit designs in her pattern shop; you should take a peek.

keri blumer started the rollout of our 2017 pattern train with her andiron cowl and andiron scarf designs available for the ENTIRE fundraising period (we only asked for a month of sales, but she’s extending it!); she’s just awesome and she has lots of beautiful designs to share—be sure to check out her ravelry shop.

in november, we featured our festivus 4.0 sport weight in a delicious trio of colorwork accessories by designer mary o’shea of tullymongan designs.

mary has created many delightful items using bare naked wools yarns—check out her designer page for alternatives that will also work well with festivus 4.0 sport or worsted.

first up, if you live in a very cold climate and need to be outside frequently, these gorgeous cranberry trellis mittens might be right up your alley.

and if you like your accessories to coordinate mary’s got your back here too, with an awesome little cap and fingerless mitts.

the cranberry lattice cap is a match for the cranberry lattice mitts, but also coordinates perfectly with the cranberry trellis mittens—note the pattern in the thumb which matches the hat.

and finally, my bottoms up booties design, which one knitter described as “the coziest pair of slippers she’s ever knit”—which really warmed my heart. this pattern includes instructions for a variety of finishing options and we’ve got bootie kits to go with each of them!

the yarn has been so lovely to knit with that it inspired a new sweater design, which i’ve begun to knit in spare moments between finishing up other projects.

so far it’s just a sleeve on the way, but i promise, this will be an easy knit; i’m working in the round all the way up so as to take advantage of the subtle gradient shifts in the yarn. more on this as it progresses, but let me just share that i am totally in love with the feel of this fabric—it is soft, lush, and squishy beyond belief. it will make the ultimate sweatshirt-type pullover that mister knitspot loves to wear. my only regret is that i didn’t think of it or start it sooner so he’d be wearing it tomorrow . . .

if you are interested in a sweater quantity of this beautiful limited-run yarn, we can help you put a set together—choose a more varied gradient or a subtle one; we can pick them and send photos for approval before you purchase! email operationsATknitspotDOTcom for more info.

and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all that you do to make this happen each year!

ps: i’m offering a parade of christmas lights on our instagram account throughout the season—follow @knitspot to see the amazing displays that cardigan and i have discovered on our evening walks (use #twelvenightsofchristmaslights to add your own); trust me, the best is yet to come!