While I Was Away…

I was cleaning up my inbox this morning and came across this photograph…

https://igcdn-photos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t51.2885-15/11273354_366240280234162_598369436_n.jpg

This is Moose on the trail somewhere in the 3-6month-old range. Really, how could I not share this with you? What with those enormous ears and feet that he somehow managed to grow into.

And this was him yesterday…

https://knittingsarah.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/5467d-11373938_1663715647182262_1475039642_n.jpg

Just holding my hand for a snuggle, as he does. I thought I’d start with some adorable Moose photos because I’m very relieved and happy to report that he’s been off his food trial and eating actual dog food for going on 3weeks now. It’s kind of fancy limited ingredient dog food, but still it’s actual dog food with complete vitamins and minerals. And just before this photo was taken I’d checked him skin over for any signs of allergic reaction and he was clear. Hooray! This was especially exciting because the kids, Moose, and I spent the long weekend up at my parents house where he laid around in the grass (a luxury for this pup who seems to break out just looking outside sometimes) and I’d forgotten his special anti-bacterial/anti-fungal spray and improvised by using a little apple cider vinegar on him before bed. Yep, he is doing great and no creature on Earth deserves it more than this guy.

In any case, we did spend the long weekend up at my parents’ house. We went up early Friday and the kids got some one-on-one grandma & grandpa time while I attended a funeral for a friend’s grandfather. When I got back the kids were racing bikes up and down the driveway and my son called out, “Grandma let us each have TWO ice cream cones!” What happens at Grandma & Grandpa’s stays at Grandma & Grandpa’s — that’s as it should be, right?

(OK, I’m kind of teasing my mom here — they were those prepackaged little drumstick cones, so it’s not as bad as it sounds)

In any case, we all visited. The kids raced around. Having just finished my Mares’ Tails project, I cast-on a new WIP…

https://igcdn-photos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/t51.2885-15/11379694_371715433037651_1287486701_n.jpg

This is Bandwagon by Jen Lucas in Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber‘s 75/25 merino/nylon in the Mr Bates colorway. It’s such a fun, easy knit & it’s going to make a fantastic little summer shawl. And I’ll have something special for you with this project in a few weeks.

I finished out Friday night by opening up lawn tractor season at my parents’ house. Whenever we visit in summer, it’s a little tradition that they save at least some of their large lawn for me to mow with their riding lawnmower. There’s a running joke about losing the keys to the mower (because once we did and then had to go buy a spare) and also the constant reminder that one time I ran into a tree with it. In case you were wondering, the tree won and the mower needed some repairs. Whoops. It’s a wonder they still let me do the mowing, but I’m guessing it’s at least partly for comedic value.

Saturday the kids and I were treated to a trip on my dad’s boat.

https://knittingsarah.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/333a0-11313717_1127072530643457_324506331_n.jpg

We just went to a little local lake where we did some bluegill catch and release. My daughter got a little tired and ornery toward the end, but all in all it was an excellent time. We love Grandpa’s boat!

While we were away, it just so happened that multiple packages arrived for me. My Cloudlover Fiber Club shipment arrived…

IMG_9466Complete with a special treat — a braid of Targhee!

And a package from Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe was in the mailbox…

IMG_9465Complete with some summer-friendly scents like Lemon Lime lip balm & a Spring Meadow lotion bar and a couple scents that prove I’ve been keeping my eating habits in check lately, a Chocolate Cupcake lip balm & Lemon Cake lotion bar. All are, of course, amazing.

A big box also showed up from the supremely awesome folks at Louet including their June Spinzilla Pack…

IMG_9470I am so wowed by this — there is SO MUCH here to spin and so many different fibers. I cannot wait to dig in!

Also in the box was this little kit, the super stylish ATX Linen Tote

IMG_9469This pattern is currently only available with purchase of the yarn, Euroflax Sport. Since I love working with linen, I absolutely can’t wait to try out the much lauded Louet Euroflax Sport.

Oh, a super fun knit from The BagSmith was waiting on the doorstep. I got going on it right away…

IMG_9443It’s so unique & fun and I finished it yesterday!

IMG_9445 I’ll have some FO photos & a special coupon just for you for this awesome project later this week.

As you can imagine, Mr Knitting Sarah was kind of… um… surprised by the small mountain of packages that arrived on our doorstep. Since I’m usually the one who gets the mail before he gets home from work, I think he’s a little worried this happens — you know — everyday. Rest assured, dear, it does not. But I am thinking that maybe I should visit my parents more often. Apparently all the best things show up while I’m away!

And the Winner is…

jingle
Photo courtesy of Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

Just a quick post today to share the winner of the fabulous Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe giveaway. First and foremost, I want to thank everyone who participated and took the time to pop over to this terrific little shop. And I’m so glad to hear that a good number of you also made a purchase — I think it’s so wonderful that small online shops provide us with so many options and I find it so important to support them. For those who made purchases, I’m sure you’ll love your lotion bars & lip balms just as I do! For those who are still considering, remembering that coupon code —  FOS10 — is good for 10% off your order from the Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe through the end of December, so you still have time to spoil yourself, something we all deserve after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

And now, the winner of the giveaway.

Congratulations to Patricia!

You, Patricia, are the lucky winner of one lotion bar is the scent of your choice. To claim your prize, please just send me your email address (you can email me at  knittingsarah[at]gmail[dot]com ) and I will get you in touch with the lovely Alicia from Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe and she will take excellent care of you!

Of course, this post would not be complete without a warm thank you to Alicia at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe for giving me the opportunity to review her wonderful lotions bars and lip balm, for offering the discount to my readers, for the giveaway, and most of all for taking such good care of me along the way!

Thank you again to everyone who participated, congratulations to the winner, and happy shopping!

snow
Photo courtesy of Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe Review & *GIVEAWAY*

We may have had days filled with nothing but clouds and fog here for as long as I can remember (at least recent memory) and it may not look a whole lot like a traditional Wisconsin winter, but my hands know it’s winter. I tend to have very dry skin and in the winter I really suffer. My hands become dry and cracked to the point that it can actually make knitting and spinning difficult because my skin is almost too tacky. Because this time of year always finds me in this predicament, I am constantly on the look out for new ways to moisturize. As you can imagine, when Alicia from Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe contacted me asking if I’d like to try out one of her lotion bars I hopped over to her shop to see what her products were all about and then got down to the serious business of picking a scent to try.

Alicia, a knitter, spinner, blogger, designer (all centrally located on her website here) and self-proclaimed ‘lotion junky’, struck out to make these bars because while she discovered she loved lotion bars, those available to her were all missing something. In her own words, this is what she was looking for:

I wanted the bar to feel softer in my hands, I wanted it to glide on more smoothly, and I wanted control over the intensity of fragrance. Most importantly, I wanted the bars to contain lanolin, the super-moisturizing compound found in sheep’s wool (because a knitter can never get enough).

This is what makes the lotion bars from the Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe special — and why I was so excited to try one — they are made with lanolin. Lanolin is produced by sheep to protect their skin & wool from the climate & environment. If you are a spinner and have ever spun with wool that hasn’t had the lanolin removed in washing, you know exactly how dramatically soft and incredibly moisturizing it is. It is a little bit like magic!

With Alicia’s very keen guidance — a skill she loves to share with customers, I navigated the scents and selected a Frosted Cranberry scented lotion bar. I will say, however, that Turkish Mocha, Kumquat, and even the Unscented Cocoa were definitely in the running! And when my package arrived I tore it open instantly to try it out…

ssbsOh, yes, and I got a Toasted Coconut lip balm, too, which I adore. It has just enough flavor and moisturizes without being sticky. I carry it with me everywhere now! I have to say, the Winter Clementine & Vanilla Mint lip balms are on my list to Santa now, too!

As you can see in the photo, each lotion bar comes in a cute little tin — just perfect to present as a gift or tuck in your own knitting bag (I’d recommend one for each purpose) and the scent is clearly labeled on the back.

Photo courtesy of Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

As soon as it was in my hand, I noticed straight-away how soft the lotion bar was. It warmed in my hands in just a few seconds and spread easily over my skin. It spends a bit more time on the skin than other lotion bars, but I didn’t find it greasy and comfortably picked my needles up while it was still fresh on my hands. After all, the lanolin on my hands will actually help condition the wool with which I’m knitting! I’ve kept it on the table next to where I normally knit in the evenings and after a week, I can definitely see a difference in my skin.

As for the scent, I appreciate that it’s a bit stronger than the really understated lotion bars, but it isn’t overpowering. I have an addiction to all things cranberry that is possibly unmatched the world over so Frosted Cranberry was an easy choice for me, especially this time of year. I love that there is such a wide range of scents available, from standards like Unscented Cocoa and Lavender to the super fun Gingersnap and Jingleberry to the more unique Fresh Snow and Down by the Bay.

Of course, as someone who doesn’t always have the easiest time choosing, I am a huge fan of the Gift Sets.

Coffeehouse Specials - Gift Set - Sample Size Lotion Bars - Natural - Lanolin - Hands, body, travel, gift
Photo courtesy of Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe

These sets come with 3 sample sized lotion bars, grouped into fun scent families like Coffeehouse Specials, Fall Favorites (which includes a sample of Frosted Cranberry!), and Winter Wonderland. Sometimes the best choice is a little collection to try!

I think it’s important to mention that all these items are handmade by Alicia in Rhode Island. As she states in her shop policies, “They contain nothing but skin-softening and nourishing ingredients–no petroleum byproducts, no fillers.” You can see from the ingredient list how very committed to keeping it simple she is — something I know I certainly appreciate in body care items!

As a very special treat to readers of this blog, Alicia, has offered to giveaway one lotion bar in the scent of the winner’s choice. To enter, simply visit the wonderful Sweet Sheep Body Shop Etsy shop to check out the different scents and then leave a comment on this blog post sharing your favorite. ‘Like’ the shop’s Facebook page here and sign-up for the e-mail newsletter here and you’ll get an extra entry in the giveaway for each, just leave a comment to let me know that you did and I will make sure you get the credit when I select a winner. Entries will be accepted through Monday, December 22nd, at 9am CDT.

Alicia is also very generously offering all of you 10% off your order through the month of December! Simply enter the coupon code  FOS10  when you checkout to receive your discount. For orders within the US, ready-made items will be shipping through the 19th and then orders placed between Dec 20th – 28th will ship out by December 29th. If you have questions regarding shipping (because it’s that time of year and these would make great gifts!), you can check the shop policies or contact the shop directly via the form in the online shop.

I hope you have as much fun perusing the lotion bars and lip balms as I did and that you treat yourself to a little something special — it is almost Christmas after all and we all deserve a little pampering!