Ready, Set, Go!

Let's see...where was I?  Oh yeah.  We had a houseful of dogs (four...count'em, 4).  That all changed last weekend when Mr. T and I made the "mad dash" to meet up with Missy M  at the half-way point...a Subway parking lot in Charleston, WV.  We still had snow on the ground here, but we'd already put this little trip off a couple of times due to the weather...and with more snow on the way, well, we were afraid that we may not get there until the Spring thaw.  So, we loaded up the Endeavor with Ella Rae and all her stuff:  donut-shaped bed, blanket embroidered with her name, and a bag full of toys...and off we went.

Snow?  You ain't seen snow until you've been up I-77 through Fancy Gap, VA to Ghent, WV.  Mr. T asked one of the toll booth operators (yes...it's a toll road through that part of WV) how much snow they had on the ground.  She said 27 inches.  And, snow was falling at the time.  It snowed on us...well, mostly flurried on us for almost the entire trip.  But we made it just fine.

Needless to say, Missy M was thrilled to see her pup...and, oh yes, her parents, too.  We hugged, we kissed, and then it was time to go again. Ella Rae jumped out of our car...did a little business...and raced back to "her" car.  This one!  This blue Honda right here!!  Let me in, let me in, let me in!!!  She was ready to roll. 

That photo up there, left is from the Tamarack Travel Plaza on the WV Turnpike (I-77) where we stopped on our way back home to take a break and get some coffee.  It was still snowing on the return trip...a little harder, a lot colder.  We were so glad to get home again.  The Drool Gang sniffed us up and down...Elmo searched in vain for his buddy, Ella...but they finally seemed to be appeased with the ham bites I brought back from our supper stop at Cracker Barrel.   Time to write a new chapter in our lives in NC.

Elmo continues to receive the three types of eye drops, three times a day for his primary glaucoma.  Our next appointment is March 8th, and we imagine that we will hear the pressures in his right eye are still off the chart too high.  Sigh.  We are spending this in-between time helping him get used to his "new" environment, so that he won't be lost when he loses his eyesight.  So far, so good.  He seems so happy to be here, and he's made himself right at home...reestablishing himself as a member of the Drool Gang.  I'll keep you posted.

Missy M got home just in time for another huge snowstorm.  She sent this photo (right), showing her deck and backyard, looking out her back door toward the garden shed.  She used her cellphone to take the photo, but maybe you can make it out.  The little black fluffball to the right of the shed is Ella Rae, running through the fluffy white stuff; the snow-covered blob to the right of Ella is actually an Adirondack chair!  Can you say Snow Day? 

Through it all, I've been knitting.  I finished Mr. T's Shawl Collared-Sweater, which I've been working on for 18 months or more.  No, it wasn't that difficult, although I've never done a shawl collar before...or a pocket in the manner the pattern directed.  It was almost a casualty of The Big Move:  I "lost" the second sleeve I'd been working on at the time everything got packed up.  Finally found it...finished it...and dedicated 3 days to sewing it all up.  Whew!  That's a photo of it over there on the left.  To recap, I bought this scrumptious Alpaca With A Twist Highlander yarn in colorway 3016 Tartan Red in Scottsdale, AZ at Arizona Knitting and Needlework.  Yeah...went all the way to AZ to buy a yarn made in IN.  Ah well.  Glad it is finally a FO.

And did I ever show you a photo (right) of the Waikiwi "Possum" yarn socks I knit for Missy M's Valentine's Day?  Can you see what the side cable forms?  I hope you can make out the XOX.  I found this fabulous pattern for Tickled Pink socks on a blog called Island of Misfit Patterns.  It was difficult to tell from her photos what the cable pattern formed, but I think it came out better in that photo on the right.  Missy M said she wore them during that Snow Day...and that they kept her feet warm and toasty.  I'll bet...

Possum yarn, you say?  Yes.  It's a New Zealand yarn which blends NZ Merino Wool, nylon, alpaca, and possum fibers.  Paradise Fibers says:  If you aren't familiar with possum fiber, it is known for its softness, lightness, and warmth."  I guess I've never seen a cold possum, now that I think about it.

Anyway, I needed to get those projects off my needles, so that I could cast on my Ravelympics 2010 project.  For those of you not familiar, Ravelry (a social networking site dedicated to knitters and crocheters) has teams that start a project (or more than one in some cases) during the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics, and aim at completing that project by the end of the Closing Ceremonies.  I'm competing on Team Charlotte Purls (no local team was organized when I was setting up my project) in the Sweaterboard Cross and Nordic Colorwork Combined...tee hee.  I cast on my Fair Isle Collar Jacket (from a Vogue Knitting pattern) at exactly 9:00 EST (Opening Ceremonies started at 6:00 PST in Vancouver, you know).  I've got the body of the sweater completed after one week; that's a photo of it on the left, when it was nearing the bottom border color change.  I'm currently working on the collar, which is going a bit slower because of all the colorwork involved.  As this pattern is a top-down raglan cardigan, I should have few seams to finish...just a couple tiny ones under the arms...and only 3 buttons.  Much better than the pattern I chose for Ravelympics 2008...too much sewing in that one.  I was racing the clock to finish and earn my Badge!  I hope I won't be working on this come Closing Ceremonies next Sunday...that I'll be wearing it instead!  Stay tuned...

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