Saturday, June 27, 2009

Review: Namaste Zuma

I have started receiving items to review for my podcast and I also wanted to add them here on my blog as well. That way I can add pictures here and my podcast page. :) So, in the future you will see Review posts that will contain items that I am also reviewing for my podcast.The first item is the Namaste Zuma bag. I must admit this is my first Namaste item ever. I've heard a lot of great things about the company and I've seen many pictures of the bags on other sites and blogs. I must admit they are nothing compared to actually seeing the bags in person. My bag arrived about 3-4 weeks ago and I wanted to really spend some time with it before I did a proper review. The first thing that comes to mind about my Zuma bag is that I love it!! I use it as my every day purse.Since I carry knitting with me at all times, this purse is perfect. It's got a wide mouth and lots of room to carry many things. While I was reading the twilight series, which everyone knows these books are huge!! I was able to carry the book, my dad's vest I was knitting, and my purse things all in one bag!
I also like how it has 2 magnets so if I just need it to snap closed quickly they help me out. The front pocket is perfect for your keys, phone, ipod, and wallet, that is if you have a small wallet. My wallet is a bit bigger so I throw it in to the center compartment. The center has some nice pockets to keep you organizes and plenty of room as I've said. There is also a nice zipper pocket on the back of the bag.

The material used for the bag is PVC-free, animal-friendly faux leather. I think it's great because it seems to hold up to a bit of wear and tear. I just know that I have to keep it away from my leather loving Lab. :) He hasn't shown interest in eating it yet but I think it I leave a chocolate bar or something sweet in my bag...it's over. :)

The Zuma bag comes in the following colors: Charcoal, Eggplant, Hollywood Pink, Lime, Olive, Peacock, Saddle, Turquoise. My bag is Peacock.

I give this bag a thumbs WAY up! For me it's easy to carry and keeps everything organized and easy for me to find. I will be reviewing it as well in the next episode of Barknknit Podcast so feel free to listen in to hear more about this bag.

Well..I hope you have enjoyed my review of the Namaste Zuma bag. One last quick note...the owners of the company are dog people. How can you go wrong investing in a company owned by dog people. :) We love that here in the Barknknit house.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Frankie's new home.

Hello….sorry I've been silent all weekend. I do have a lot to share with you. First off to explain the title. We have decided to find Frankie a new home. Please don’t be upset with me. This was a VERY hard decision for me and one that I had to make. I felt that we did not have enough to give to Frankie with training him and doing what Frankie needs and I was feeling that Jackjack, Abigail and I were suffering because of it as well as Frankie. There are many things that contributed to this and I just feel I don't want to share them all on here. If you want, please feel free to ask me.

I never felt I was a person to let a dog go that came into my house but I have realized that I am the one in charge of all the training and dog walking and that I just can’t give enough to three dogs especially one that needs a lot from someone right now. He is a great dog and I love him to death…but I just feel it was best if I found him a new home. This decision was made between Thursday and Friday.

The good thing was that we had already been asked for Frankie by several people…so I thought about who I could see him with and I called my knitting friend and asked if she would seriously consider adopting Frankie. She spoke to her Mr. Man and asked if I would bring him over to meet their dog Arwyn, a black lab mix.

So, Friday I took him over and hung out for over an hour and watched Frankie play and play with Arwyn and also watched him learn how to use their doggie door. When I left they said that they would keep him over night and see how it goes and let me know what they decide. I left and I told her he will whine for me but if you distract him he will be ok.

She called me Saturday morning with good news. She said that he did whine but every time he did Arwyn ran over and started playing with him and kept him occupied. She said that sleepy time was interesting because Arwyn really wasn’t sure about sharing the bed with another dog but in the end they all slept in the bed and it went well. She walked the two of them that morning and was able to easily walk them. So, she said that they had decided to keep him and went out and bought him a new crate, doggie bed, and more toys.

She also brought him and Arwyn with them on Saturday to our WWKIP day event and they both did great. Here is a picture of the Fiber Fanatics group setting up our event with Frankie and Arwyn to help us. Frankie's new mommy did all the decorations. She's very crafty!

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It was sad not having him at home because he will always have my heart and be a part of my pack but I think it’s best for him to live with them. The good thing is that I will get to see him when I want and I’ll get updates about him all the time. I think he will be happy with them and I think my marriage will be better off with just the two dogs.

I know that not everyone will understand this decision as I know that I’ve not always understood when others decided this but I have to admit that it was the right choice. He’s going to be loved and taken good care of. My friend is a dog person and I know that she will give him everything he needs.

Well...I hope you understand but feel free to tell me what you feel. I've come to grips with this and I'm doing ok. I feel I was a great foster mom for him but he needed to be where he is now.

Thank you for reading this.

Natalie.

PS..I have tons more pictures of the WWKIP day to share but will post them later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Skien her Ways' 2009 Summer Knitting Goals Contest

I found a cool contest through Knit with KT's blog for Skein her way's Summer Knitting Goals Contest. I thought it was pretty cute. You post your goals for the summer and she enters you to win prizes. You have to love that. And since I could use more lists and goals I figured I'd jump in.

Here are my goals for the summer months:
  1. Complete the knitted gifts that I have on my needles and for those who's birthdays are in the summer or at least close to summer.
  2. Knit myself a Lace Shawl.
  3. Learn to weave on a loom.
  4. Complete home processing the first fleece and the majority of the 2nd fleece.
  5. Walk all of my dogs together at least once a day around the lake in my neighborhood.
  6. Teach Abby to run next to a bike.
  7. Summer Clean my craft room...get rid of the things that are no longer needed.
  8. Save money!!
  9. ok...this may be a long shot but try to trade/sell some of my stash I do not think I will be using.
I think that's all I got for now. :) I'm sure other things will come up. Go over and join the contest there are some cute prizes!

Dogs on Thursday! and current Spinning WIP.

Happy Dogs on Thursday!! Since I was playing with the camera yesterday(today actually), I figured that I had to get some new pictures of the pups! I think this one is the best one of Abigail! She looks so cute and sweet. :)And then there is stoic Jackjack, guarding the fence!
and then what can you do but laugh at/with the silly Frankie. He just looks like he's silly in this picture!
Well..Hope you have a great DOT and don't forget to check out all the other great posters and the post on the DOT site!

Also while playing with camera, I used my wheel with my current spinning project which is a single for my 3 ply superwash merino sock yarn! I love this fiber. It's from Manda.
My wheel is so pretty!

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Playing with Camera! Fiber and More of Fiber fun Day!!

I pulled out my friends camera that I've been borrowing forever and I can't seem to get to work and decided that I have to learn! It's a Nikon D70 and it's awesome but for some reason refuses to work properly for me most the time!! UGH! But it takes beautiful pictures when it does work.

First thing first! I took some better pictures of the locks that I dyed up last week! I'm thinking of selling dyed locks in my barknknit.com store so I wanted to see if I could get good pictures of these! And yes I can!
Cotton Candy Pink
Deeply Blue
Tipping Redand last but not least Patiently purple :)
I think they came out great! If I sold them I will have to tell people that there is some vm or vegetable matter still in them but I think this fiber is great to work with so we will see. I know I want to get my store back up and running because I would like to buy a drum carder but I just need to figure out what all I want to put up. I'll post when I do!

So...here are more pictures from Saturday! Here is the beloved drum carder! It's a Strauch Finest I believe.
Here is me working on the fiber to put in. :)
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And since I just had to...here is the only picture of Monica that I have. :)
Well...I hoped you liked more pictures of fibery goodness and the carder! I have some cute pictures of the pups and my current spinning to post up for tomorrow!

Sunday Fiber Fun day at Manda's!

This past weekend was great!! Saturday, I went fishing with Kenny, his dad, and his step-mom. We had a great time. The weather was nice and hot but with a nice breeze. We were fishing for tarpon but we mostly caught small sand sharks. We did get to see the tarpon rolling and it was AWESOME! I must admit I got a little too excited when we finally saw them. They are huge! I wish we had caught one but no one seemed to be catching any near us either so that made us feel better.

Sunday was Fiber Fun Day at Manda's! I love those days! I think we've pretty much decided that they need to be done often! It was just four of us, Manda, Monica, Krisha, and me. We pretty much sat around for 7 hours and talked, spun, and knit. I used Manda's drum carder for the first couple hours, processing the fleece that I had dyed. This first picture is my set up. I would first flick out the ends to get the ends opened up and then ran it through the drum carder. Notice the yummy daquiri near me. hehehe :) They were SOO good!!
Check out how they came out!! SOOO pretty!! This first dark pink one is going to be on it's way to Jasmin from the Knitmore Girls podcast this afternoon. It's a thank you for sending me the fiber taster, which I really need to share with you guys by the way!! UGH! (mental note to post this soon)
This one may be off to another podcaster soon. :) Her co-podcaster received fiber when she got her wheel so I owe her some. I think she will like this one!And then the purples, which came out so great! Both are slightly different, which I'm not sure you can tell by these pictures but they are so awesome!!
Well...after carding up these four I just needed a break. I LOVE drum carding but it does take a lot out of you. I'm hoping to go over and take over her drum carder again and make more batts! I'm thinking I might sell some to see if I can raise money to get my own drum carder. We'll see. ;)

So...I took a break and spun for a while. Here's a pic of Manda and I spinning on our Majacraft wheels. She's got the Rose I believe and I have the Pioneer.
The day was lots of fun! I couldn't believe we spent over 7 hours there...at least I know I did!

I also got to witness the feeding frenzy over the Phatfiber boxes. Manda and Monica tried to both get them and I swear they were all sold out in less than a minute!! It was crazy! Manda got one but Monica didn't. It was just insane!! We decided that we need an idea like this! It's so genius!!

Have a great Hump day and hope you all have a fibery week!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fun with Dye Night!

Last night after work, I swung by home and let the pups out, fed them and then went over to my sister house. She is having surgery this summer and she wanted us all over for her only to tell us all once. We have a big family so sometimes when big things happen in our lives we end up having to tell the story like a hundred times. I'm with her on this decision to tell us all at once. :) So, we went over and she told us what they are planning to do. She's not sure when the surgery will be but it will hopefully be within the next month.

After her announcement, she decided to make spaghetti and meatballs for the family. My nephew just had his braces tightened so I took him, my niece and cousin's son to Tropical Smoothie to get them a smoothie. We then all ate together sans a couple brother in laws and I headed home.

When I got home I decided I wanted to dye some of the fiber that I cleaned last weekend. Sunday, I'll be heading over to my friend Manda's house and taking over her drum carder for the afternoon. :) I wanted to dye the fiber before I carded this time...so last night I figured was a good night since the fiber would be able to dry before Sunday.

So I first separated the 1.5lbs of fiber into four batches of about 6 oz each.
I then soaked the batches in warm water for a bit while the pots were warming up and I was adding the dyes.
Next I drained the water and rung them out and dropped a batch into each pot. I only have two pots designated for dyeing so I did two batches at a time. My first round I tried to do a purple but put too much blue.I did a red but it came out more pink than red. I like it though.
The second batch I tried two more purples but for some reason the tips of the fiber was dying more reddish and other ends more purple-blue. Here is one sample of the batch. I actually carded this bit even though it was damp and it came out awesome! I'm excited actually!Here are the four batches drying so I can card them up on Sunday!! The first two are on the right and then the purples are on the left. I'll take better pictures on Sunday of them.
I'm so excited to play with them. I can't wait to test out different ways of carding them. I'll probably start with batts of just one color each and then start blending! So much fun! Hope no one else expects to use Manda's drum carder sunday because I'll be using it all afternoon! heheeh :)

Tomorrow I was supposed to be going to the WWKIP day in Tampa but my FIL asked if I wanted to go fishing and since I haven't gone in a really long time...I changed my plans. I hate canceling on people but sometimes it happens.

Happy Friday!!!

edit:I just linked this post to Fiber Arts Blog Carnival. Go check out other posts!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dogs on Thursday....more videos!

Ok...since I posted bad lighting video yesterday...I figured I'd take some better ones last night and I got some of Jackjack being Jackjack. :)

Abby and Frankie playing....a little too rough but I let them be for now.
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And they continued....
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What Jackjack does while they play.
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And how cute is he?
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Hope you enjoyed all the video. They are so cute and funny! When the playing gets out of hand I try to step in but mostly I let it be until it does.

Happy DOT and don't forget to go check out the article that Nichole posted. It's very informative!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm still trying to get back up! Frankie is better!

Ok...so yes you can blame the twilight series for my lack of posts. :) At least this time....I started the first book last monday and I am already reading the last book Breaking Dawn and really I think it's my favorite. A lot of people bashed it but I loved it!! I thought the twists were great and am loving reading them again!

Ok..enough about Edward and Bella! Back to knitting and dogs. We will first do dogs. :) OK...here's my DOT post a day early.

I thought I'd share video of Frankie and Abigail playing. He is back to his normal crazy self. He is also back to sitting for me. With the bandages on, he wouldn't sit not matter what I did. Now he's sitting along with the rest of them. He is a good boy!

Also I'm sorry about the bad video lighting. It was an impromptu video taping. I'll work on getting better video of them playing it's hilarious!! Especially when Jackjack gets involved. :) He was too busy sleeping to play at this point.
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after the water break...they started back up! :)
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Ok.....knitting. I have been knitting a bit during training calls at work and some over the weekend but honestly all I've done is read! :) hehehe I'm almost done with my dad's vest and I'm TERRIFIED of running out of yarn. I hope I don't but if I do I guess I'll have to do another knitpicks order. ugh... :) hehehe I'll be knitting at knit night tonight so hopefully I'll get some progress done.

Here is the vest prior to the frogging it went through.
I forgot I had these pictures to share with you but here is post frogging yarn. That is a lot of knitting that got ripped back but it's for my dad so it's got to be as close to perfect as possible. The reason it was frogged is because I was knitting a size too small. I'm already back to where I was and more so I'm good. I can't wait to finish but again...fear the running out of yarn!
The yarn was washed before I started re-knitting. I'm not a fan of knitting with kinky yarn. heheh

Spinning...I've been spinning even though I'm not knitting. I spun at my guild's meet up this weekend. We had 20 people there and 5 new members joined! It was AWESOME! I also found a place to stay for SAFF in North Carolina in October so I have officially decided to go to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair! YEAH!! I'm so excited. I've already started working on getting a meet n greet set up and also get goodie bags! FUN!! As soon as I iron out the details I'll let you all know if you are going where to meet me! :) Not that I'm a celebrity or anything but I would love to meet my listeners or readers!
I also took a break from reading on Monday and spun. :) I'm working on the blue superwash merino batt. It is spinning up SOOO nicely! I love batts now!!

I also cleaned another pound and a half of the fleece! It's coming along nicely and I can't wait to card more and figure out what I'd like to spin up! I'm thinking a shawl. First though I am going to play with dying it!Ok...well..hope everyone is doing well! Miss you all and sorry about being such a bad blogger and blog reader lately. I'll work on it. I should have a podcast up by Saturday or Sunday! So keep your ear out for that!

Happy Spinning, Knitting, and DOGGIES!! :)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fibery fun! Still trying to catch up. Twilight...again!!

Ok...so I'm trying to get better about posting more! From June 1st on...I'm going to work on getting at least something small up every day or every other day. :) Hope you guys enjoy it! :)

First off...Frankie update.
He is doing better!!! He now only has 2 paws covered and still has his cone. :) We may be able to get all of them off tomorrow! YEAH!! I can't wait for him the cone off because it just makes him so uncomfortable sometimes. I'll take some pictures of him and my other babies to share with you on friday. ;)

Ok...so fiber fun day! For the day after my birthday I went to Manda's for our own personal Fibery Fun day! We had a blast. She let me play with her drum carder and I fell in love!!

So...first off I spread out the fleece I got from the WI sheep farmer and found some really nice part of it. Yes its' still dirty but that's ok...there isn't a lot of VM(Vegetable Matter) in it.
Then I separated out other parts too so I could do a couple different samples and scour them in my sink. Look at the diry fleece getting clean. YUMMY!! The left is the stuff that had a lot of VM in it and wasn't that clean so I just threw it in the HOT HOT water with some dawn. The right is some of the cleaner parts that I put in a lingerie bag and then washed once with Dawn and once with Kookaburra's Scour. (I still have my review of their product coming.)

Both came out pretty clean but the right stuff was so pretty and clean! The roots still had a bit of junk in it but...
Check out how clean it came out in the end!! After I let it dry, I took it over to Manda's with me and I used her flicker and drum carder to card a bunch of it up. Took me a little bit to get the hang of it but I love it! I have not started spinning it up yet but I can't wait!
Manda for my birthday let me dive into her fiber stash and use her drum carder to make myself some pretty superwash merino batts! They are so pretty too! Again..haven't spun it up yet but I can't wait! I'm almost too excited to spin it up!
So, have I mentioned that I LOVED the drum carder! I really want one now. With all the fiber I have that needs processing..it would really help to have one. I think I might try to save up for one and get one used at a good price. There...I put it out there. :)

Well...other than Frankie, Fiber, knitting, and spinning...I've fallen again...into Twilight! This past Saturday after taking Frankie to the vet, than getting my allergy shots, and then cleaning my house...I headed over to Manda's again for an afternoon of Twilight and knitting. We watched the move and most the extras! It was fun! But it sparked my love of Twilight...again! I should say my love of Edward!! Well, when I got home I jumped online and downloaded the potential next book of the series that Stephanie started but hasn't completed because some one leaked it...anyway I read it and it's Twilight in Edwards perspective...and I must admit I love him now more than I did before. :) heheehehhehe Ok..yes, I'm a teenager at heart.

Ok...so after reading all evening until midnight Saturday, getting up and reading until I had to get ready to the Rays baseball game..and then getting home from the game, grocery shopping, eating dinner and reading all evening....I am done with it. It wasn't the whole book but enough to make me want more and more. So...now I want/have to go back and re-read the series. I keep going back and forth on whether I want to start with the first again or jump to the second but we'll see. I feel I need to start with Twilight but New Moon is calling my name too! Especially after the new trailer came out!!

Check it out!


Ok...ok...it's a knitting blog...not a twilight fan blog. :) Can't help myself. It looks awesome and so much better than the first one. Not that the first movie was bad.

Well...I will be back! I will try not to fall off the face of the earth into Twilight land. :) I have been thinking of trying to listen to it so I can still knit or spin...but I LOVE books. heheh

Happy Spinning, Knitting, Dog Training/loving/walking, and Twilight Reading!!