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Monday, December 09, 2013

LAST MINUTE GIFTS FOR YOUR FAVORITE FURBALL

I love making my little dog, Tuffy, toys.  The Hubby thinks he has way too many but Tuffy loves them all, everyone!  Here are 2 I found today that I think will be in his Christmas Stocking Christmas morning.
The FETCH bone above comes from the KrisKnits blog
This talented person can also be found on Raverly.



 Click for pattern
How about this cutie?  It is another great pattern from Lion Brand.  Click on the picture to find the pattern.



Sometime during the last year I made Tuffy a bone from an embossed felt square (you can see more of Tuffy by scrolling down the right side of this page and clicking on his picture).  I just drew a bone shape on some paper and used it as the pattern.  I cut 2 pieces, back and front, and sewed them together leaving enough room to turn and stuff with a squeaker and some pollyfil.  Then after stuffing it I sewed up the stuffing hole.  I was surprised that it didn't tear up but it is still in pretty good shape.  



I also made several amigurumi toys of various different animals from this pattern book above.  Just click on it to find where to get it (it wasn't a freebie).  I find they make the perfect size toy for a smallish dog and are usually easy to put a squeaker in.  Tuffy has to have squeakers!  There a lots and lots of free patterns for amigurumi out there,  Just try Binging or Googling for them and also check out what Raverly has.  When making any toy for dog or child, always remember to keep them safe and not use things that could become a chocking hazard or that might be toxic.

Oh and if you love to bake try making your little fur-buddy some cookies or baked bones.  I use a recipe I found online that has pumpkin in it.  Pumpkin is very good for there digestive system.  Tuffy loved them also.  I like it that I can make them just the right size for him.   I divide the dough into 3 portions and freeze it.  That way I can bake a couple dozen at a time and they won't get stale.
This is the recipe I use:
        
Cleo’s Pumpkin Dog Biscuits

2 eggs
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour *
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin to smooth. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (if using, optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with spatula or hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface (can use the brown rice flour) and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.

Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending on your dog’s chew preferences, ask first – and use biscuit or other shape cutter to punch shapes, gathering and re-rolling scraps as you go. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on rack before feeding to dog.

* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people I know, tolerate wheat.

Makes up to 75 small (1″) biscuits or 50 medium biscuits

Please note: This is not professional medical advice. These biscuits are a healthy everyday treat, and useful for a dog with a sensitive stomach, or minor digestion issues. If your dog is showing any signs of serious distress, remove all food and contact your veterinarian immediately.- See more at: http://simmertilldone.com/2009/10/07/retriever-retriever-pumpkin-eater/#sthash.MzWWyVqJ.dpuf

There are so many things that we can do for our wonderful pets and they do so appreciate it.  Anytime they get attention it is a gift to them.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

TIME and KNITTING NEEDLES FLYING

 Hmmmmm it's been over a year since I was last on here.  It sure doesn't seem that long but time really does fly, whether you are having fun or not!

My biggest reason for not posting for so long is my eyesight.  One of those things you really take for granted until it starts to leave you.  I have diabetic retinopathy and am visually impaired.  I do not drive anymore and really didn't think I would be able to do much knitting anymore.  However I now realize that as driving with my impaired vision would be dangerous to all, knitting wouldn't be dangerous to anyone!  So yes I am knitting again.  Most likely I will not be using small weight yarns or making a lot of complicated patterns anymore but I still enjoy the wonderful relaxing feeling of knitting with a little crochet on the side.

This week I have completed two sets of gifts, a cowl and hat set, and a scarf and hat set.

I was pleased that they worked up so fast.

The cowl and hat set (the one on the left) was from 2 different patterns.  Both were free patterns I had found online.
The cowl was from a book of free e-patterns from Knitting Daily5 Free Knitted Cowl Patterns for Women.  It is the pattern Rainbow Cowl by Lisa Shroyer.  It worked up quickly in LB Homespun #404 Lagoon.  Using the same yarn for the hat and this Yarnspirations pattern I had the set complete in 2 days.

The Cotton Lace Scarf  on the right is a Lion Brand free pattern.  The hat for the scarf set was made up by combining the scarf pattern and a hat pattern.  I would have used the scarf and hat pattern by Brooke Nelson but I had already made the scarf from the Lion Brand pattern so I just used the band part from the LB pattern and then picked up the stitches (read the pattern for full understanding) and made the crown from the Brooke Nelson pattern.  It really worked out great without any major problems at all.  I used Caron Simply Soft  in soft green #9739 for both hat and scarf.  The hat worked up in about 6 hours give or take (remember my eyesight is bad so it takes me a lot longer than it used to if there is any pattern involved) and the scarf was about 8 hours give or take.  

Now I want to try some of those fingerless mitts....hmmmm what pattern should I use......maybe this one FLIP-TOP MITTENS....or maybe one of these.....

There are SO MANY FREE patterns out there and so little time to knit them all ♥

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hello,
I finally remembered that I had a blog that I had abandoned for way too long.  It is funny how our lives change and evolve and sometimes in the chaos, good things get left behind and forgotten.  Suddenly life throws things at you that get you all revved up again and so here I am.  Now that is said, I am ready to share a great way to get FREE patterns and info on knitting.

Do you have an E-reader?  A NookColor is my reader of choice but Kindles are great too.  Kindle e-books are sold on Amazon.com.  I have recently found some great FREE knitting books that you can download (yes you can download them for free).  

You say you don't have a Kindle?  Neither do I and my NookColor is not compatible with the Amazon e-files (bummer).  But that hasn't stopped me from taking advantage of getting free e-books.  You can download for FREE (I love that word),  the Kindle reader for PC and other devices>  Free Kindle Reading Apps
Download and read Kindle books on your favorite device--no Kindle required.
Kindle Reading Apps: Kindle Cloud Reader | PC | Mac | Android | iPhone | BlackBerry | iPad |Windows Phone 7

I have the reading app for PC, but if I had a smart phone or iPad I would definitely download the reader onto them too.  I take my knitting and knitting patterns every where with me.  With my laptop and the PC Kindle reader, I can read off line when ever I don't have WiFi (yes I actually go places and spend time away from my WiFi, it isn't easy but if I plan ahead, I don't miss it too much).  That is the reason that I stick with the PC reader and don't go to the Kindle Cloud Reader.  But they are all good and you can choose the one that works best for you.  Now what you've been waiting for....the rest of the FREE STUFF!

Start your search at Amazon.com and in the search box at the top of their page choose the Kindle store from the little drop down box, then plug in the word knitting.  Another drop box will come down with lots of choices so click on the one you are most interested in.  I just left the word knitting in the search box and clicked go...that brought up a lot of choices.  The next thing you want to do to find the free stuff is look to the right of the page and find the "Sort by" drop down box.  Click it and choose the filter "Price: Low to High".  This brings up all the things that are FREE first.

Prepare to be amazed!  There are quite a few patterns that are absolutely free.  If you love very old patterns you will really LOVE LOVE LOVE this because there are a lot of them for free.  Be aware though that the method that they use to change the printed book to the e-book form has a few little quirks that you have to look past or figure out.  Also the really old patterns have language and abbreviations that you might find hard to understand...but hey, it's FREE and could be a great learning experience (it is for me, I enjoy the challenge).  If you don't find something you like for free, there are also some for very low prices.  Also you might enjoy some mysteries written by and about knitters, I enjoy them too.

You can also go to Barns and Noble.com and start the process all over again and see what they have for free.  They are the one that sells the NookColor reader.  I don't think they have the free reader app downloads like Amazon but if you have a reader that you can download PDF or EPUB files you should be able to download the free books.  That is why my NookColor was my choice over buying a Kindle,  because you can download any PDF or EPUB files and read them on your Nook.   With a Kindle I think you can only download books from Amazon.  The way technology changes so fast, that might not still be true so always do your research.

Your local public library is also a good source of free patterns.  Have you checked out (no pun intended) your library's electronic books?  My library has books that download for Kindles and also books that are PDF and EPUB files that I can download to my NookColor.  

There are lots of great ways to find FREE patterns...just "google" for free knitting patterns online or go "yard sale-ing" for hard coppies and pick up a box of magazines for a dollar (that's almost free).  If you want to read them on your e-reader, you can scan them and save the file as a PDF then download to your e-reader.  

Life is a challenge sometimes to be able to have things that I love without spending money that I don't have.  The electronic age is making this a lot easier now with all the things you can find on-line.  Also the lack of space used to be a problem for me but now I can store soooooooooo many patterns on a flash drive and be able to find them with an easy file system.  Boy is that a life saver!

Oh I almost forgot to mention a new craze out there on the web... PINTEREST.
If you would like to follow me on Pinterest you can find me as Sue Solana.