Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eating my words

Lately I've been proudly proclaiming "I'm not knitting for anyone else right now!"

I've been careful not to use those words like "never again" as I know those instantly tempt the fates. We all know how the fates delight in making you do something you've sworn to never do again.

So I've been thinking about the things I'll knit for myself now that Keith's sweater is finished, as are the few holiday knits I've done. Then I checked my email. There are people and requests that are easier to ignore than others. Much of it, quite frankly, has to do with whether or not I actually want to knit the object. While my mom has been joking that I should knit her husband some socks, I've managed to avoid that one. He has large feet, and knitting those socks for Keith showed me I don't want to knit socks that big again, with Keith being the exception, and certainly not anytime soon. (Sometime in the future. The sort of distant future - as in maybe I'll tackle some in a couple of months.)

This email, however, was from a friend whom I've known since I was about 6 or 7, although we didn't become close until later. And she wanted one of the Noro Striped scarves I'd made for someone else.

I'll admit that I debated about sending her the finished one, then I decided this presented an opportunity for yet another color combination. Yes, I know here that I've expressed dislike for scarves, but I totally enjoy those darn Noro Striped ones. In fact, I'd already purchased yarn for one for me. Today I left work with yet another 4 balls of Silk Garden destined for the mesmerizing knitting of Noro Stripes.

At this rate, it looks like it will be Summer of Socks 2009 before I even get near a sock again.

Have a Happy and safe New Year's! We're keeping it low key by staying in tonight, trying to keep Lily out of things (such as Keith's dinner plate), and saving some of the bubbly for mimosas tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'll toss the salad for you....later

I've got to finish my nap first.


Yikes!

I've got a couple of yikes! I want to share.

(Should I explain what a "yikes" is? They are those thoughts that fall into the "have I lost my mind" category.)

1. Tomorrow is my last official day at work. While I'm burned out and need a few days (weeks) in solitude, I do worry that this is a crazy move.

2. What if I dye really ugly yarn? What if it turns out I'm a terrible dyer? What if's abound in my mind. I know that only action will shut them up. Action begins on Thursday. Besides, I do know that much of dyeing yarn is a flexible science. In other words, there are formulas and recipes to learn, and much of the time you will get the desired results (or something close to them). It's a lot like cooking, and I'm pretty good at that. However, those what if's lurk all around like pesty gnats in the summer.

Hmm, writing them down shows me that I have fewer "yikes!" than I thought. Now I can go eat breakfast and work on that darn list that woke me up at who knows when this morning. This isn't a yikes, but all these things I need to do are also floating around like gnats. Some of them wake me up in the middle of the night, but then when I'm fully awake, they've vanished like a mist. I may have to start sleeping with a pen, notepad and flashlight so I can get back to sleep instead of tossing and turning.

The sun is out for a few days. I did notice clouds and rain in the near future, so I'll try to get some pictures of knitting today. That will have to wait until after the caffeine has been ingested, and I'm off to do that now.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No pictures today

Alas, the dementor weather is still with us, rendering my favorite stone bench much too wet for pictures. I don't really have a good spot inside for taking them, at least not yet.

I have had some very good fortune. A friend has remodeled her kitchen and is giving me her old stove. Now I'll have a place for baking or steaming yarns that won't be in my own kitchen. A real dye studio can be set up!

Keith has been quizzing me about the yarn photos. I showed him some photos online to give him examples, and now he's looking for a light kit. Apparently he's been planning to help with the photography.

Now, I've got to get started. I've had some more colorways pop into my mind over the past few days. I've only got to work out how to translate them into sockyarn. I've got 3 days left at my job, so I'd better get moving on the studio set up.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dementors!

OK, I know they're not real, but lately it seems like they are. It's been chilly, foggy, misty and damp here for several weeks. Not much rain, but not much blue sky either. The lovely lights from all the Christmas trees and such are almost as good as a Patronus. However, the dementor weather is also a great excuse for chocolate. I'm really looking forward to some sun since I feel so sluggish right now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How long does it take to get a kitty to settle down

for his sub-q?

This morning it probably took a little more than an hour. At least an hour.

Scooter needed his sub-q, and sometimes it's difficult to get him at night. Like on the nights when you don't eat dinner until nearly 9 p.m. Those nights slip away before you know it.

So Scooter was on the top of the to do list this morning. However, a cat's to do list almost never synchs with the human's to do list. His included breakfast, more nibbling, a visit to the litter box, then another snack if possible, and finally getting beneath a piece of furniture to snooze near the heat vent. I tried to get him to settle down with Keith who was reading the news while lounging on the bed. That didn't work. I let him snooze under the vent for a little while, then I got out my knitting, popped a DVD in, got Scooter and tried to pet him into dozing on my lap. After all, I have to make him think everything is ok even though the humans are acting very wierd with these nighttime activities while it's light out. It took some time. Longer than I had hoped. Then there was that moment when I realized he had dozed off.

I must tell you, giving him sub-q while he's groggy from napping is sooooo much easier than when we act clinical and put him on a table. It went almost totally smoothly. He didn't get antsy until we were nearly finished, and we got nearly the whole 150 ml into him. I'm sure he's off under something to sleep off the indignity of being disturbed while napping until greed and the sound of a sandwich meat wakes him again.

Business as usual?

On Sunday night, after a lovely Hanukah dinner with friends, we came home and settled in to watch a little TV. After all, we had to let those delicious latkes digest.

A little background on what I'm about to tell you:

1. We're both fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

2. Keith has been wanting to learn Spanish. You know, the easy way. As in you wake up one morning and suddenly you can speak it.

That way is best done by immersion, and what could be better than watching The Running Man on one of the Spanish stations? Which is what we did. Yes, I haven't had Spanish since junior high, and Keith has never learned any, but we do know the plot of that movie very well. Maybe what I'll start doing is changing the language selection on movies. I know you can learn conversational Spanish by watching soap operas. Do you think it will work with action/adventure movies? I'm looking forward to finding out.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Scarf pictures

I've finished the second Noro Striped Scarf. This one is much more colorful, as you can see from the pictures. I used 2 balls each of colors 225 and 258.

This one also took about a week of knitting when I could. I would have finished sooner, but I know I didn't knit at all one of those nights. I succumbed to perusing those books of annuals and perennials while dreaming of a real garden someday.


Scooter's fluids arrived on Friday, so now I have enough for several months. The good thing is we now know that he needs the sub-q pretty regularly, so he and I won't be going to the vet quite as often as we have the past few months. Thank goodness. While I like my vets, I was kind of tired of spending most of the morning there on a such a regular basis.

As for the dyeing, I'm thinking about it a lot. I plan on starting very soon after I leave my job with the goal of having the first yarns in an etsy shop by month's end. Hopefully life will cooperate, but I know the best laid plans...

Today is the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The wheel of the year turns, and before you know it spring will be here again. I'll enjoy the wintery weather while wearing hand knit socks until then.


Hanukkah starts tonight, and Christmas is a just a few days away. Enjoy all the festivals that fill the darkness with light, knowing that tomorrow we'll have more day light that we will today.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A day stuck at home

Obviously, I'm not going anywhere today. I'm waiting for Scooter's fluids to arrive via Fedex, and who knows when that will be.

Actually, that's not so bad. While I have things like the never shrinking laundry pile, I also have a scarf to get finished and into the mail. I joined both of the second balls of Silk Garden on Wednesday night, so I've reached and passed the halfway point on it. Woo hoo!

While part of me is still terrified about quitting a job in this economy, another part of me is so excited. My yard looks like shit. I've not gotten out to do yardwork in ages. It seems I've got so much inside stuff to do that the yard is totally neglected. Instead of knitting last night, I looked through an annual and perennial guide I bought this past summer. I've got visions of borage and daisies and dahlias racing through my mind. I really hope that the weather evens out, and the drought goes away. That's the other reason my yard looks so bad. I mean, why bother when the drought will kill everything? While I do have some plants that have tolerated the lack of water, I haven't planted anything new since they do need extra watering until they're established. Maybe this year. Until then I can double dig the area where I normally plant veggies. It's on a sloped area, so I can add some stones to the lower side and level out the planting area. I can even probably plant a few snow peas with our usual schizophrenic southern weather. You know, up in the 70's today, and down in the 20's a couple of days from now.

The other good thing about leaving? I've got a couple of pattern ideas that have been floating around in my head for some time now. They're the type that I'll have to post here for free when I finally get some time to work them out. Also, a couple of dye names popped into my head, so I have to actually figure out the color blend to go with them.

Anyway, off to breakfast and sorting this past week's laundry. Housework sucks, but someone has to do it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poor sad kitty

One thing I did notice while at the vet's yesterday was that Scooter really is deaf. I wonder sometimes if his hearing is selective (how does he always know a can is being opened?). However, while waiting for the vet to finish with an emergency, I heard bloodcurdling yowls coming from the back. Some other cat was not happy at all, and Scooter didn't even seem to notice.

At night when he's in the kitchen by himself, he sits and yowls. I feel so bad that he can't hear me call his name anymore. I had never thought before about how being deaf can really isolate a person or animal.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good news from the vet

Today Scooter and I spent a couple of hours at the vets. He needed bloodwork and another test to see if the bacterial infection he had was finally controlled by the antibiotics. Yes! No more bad bacteria, so no more antibiotics for him. They also got the results back from the lab late this afternoon, and his anemia is almost non-existent. However, the vet said keep giving him his liver and add his supplements back to his diet over the next few weeks. I had gotten slack about giving him the pet mobility and the glucosamine since we were having to dose him with pills twice a day and give him eardrops.

I knew today's trip would not be a quick one, so I was prepared with knitting. I'm still working on my second sock of Woolly Boully's Meanie sock yarn in Luna Moth. This poor sock has been sitting in my car for weeks, maybe even months. Lately I just haven't been knitting while in traffic, so I worked on it today while I waited and waited. Being prepared and knowing that I would be there for at least 1 1/2 hours or more made it - well, not exactly easier since my morning seemed to be slipping away, but bearable.

I'm knitting away on the second Noro Striped Scarf. It's interesting and surprising and definitely not always what I expect working on these scarves. There are parts on this one I don't like at all, but overall I think I like it. More importantly, I hope the recipient likes it. I did mention these weren't my colors, so that may be part of my less than enthusiastic response to it.

My day's not over yet. I've got to go tackle the mountain of pots and pans in the kitchen. I made vegetable curry, a separate curried chicken dish and brown rice for dinner. While it was delicious, it leaves quite a mess. The sooner I wash up, the sooner I'm knitting.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Computer help

I forgot to include these pictures that I took of my computer assistant. She hears me sit down, then appears out of nowhere to settle into my lap. These aren't that great as I had to take them left handed. Some of her expressions are really funny.

Why did you wake me up?
Give me that camera!
Darn human!
Fine, I'm ignoring you and going back to sleep.

That's right! It's Sunday!

And that means some pictures.

First, here is the latest scarf, started just last night. As you can see by the pinks, that's not one of the normal colors that I wear. I was justified in having to do some gift yarn shopping. It is Noro Silk Garden in colorways 225 (discontinued) and 258.






Next is the completed hat made from Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande Handpaint. This is the skein without a wrapper that begged me to buy it and knit a gift from it.










Here is the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole. I'm finding Noro yarns really are like crack for knitters. I have a difficult time putting Noro projects down. I'll work on them until I'm exhausted and can't keep my eyes open any longer.





Now, to express my severe disappointment upon learning that some of the abs in 300 were digitally added. Honestly, I'm not really surprised. While watching last night I even mentioned to Keith that I wondered just how much those actors had to work out to get those amazing bodies. (I didn't say it quite like that, but I was curious. Those men really are amazing.) I'd best mention too that if you decide to watch it, it's based on a graphic novel (comic book), and there is much stylized spurting blood and detached, flying limbs. If you want to learn more about the Spartans, let me go into public service announcement mode and suggest this. There are many books out there as well.


And to Teresa, I know you're a sock knitter too, and as I have copious amounts of sock yarn, I'm just as glad now you can't look at my stash. ;-)

And finally, I think the yarn for my Jayne Hat will work. Look out for it sometime early in 2009.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New eye candy movie

Wow! We just finished watching 300. What a movie! I must once more admit that I like to watch the action movies with the shirtless, muscly men in them.



It did have some historical accuracy to go along with all the hot guys. PBS ran a documentary about the Spartans last year that I watched as I knew very little about them. Most of what I knew about ancient Greece was definitely Athens-centric, and that's been at least since college.



Guess what? There was knitting involved. I've been trying like mad to come up with one last knitted gift, and I found I was more than reluctant to part with any of my stash. The other difficulty is that the person I need to knit for doesn't wear the same sorts of colors that I do, so I didn't really have anything that worked. (How's that for justification and rationalization? Would Freud find me a textbook case?) Thus, more Silk Garden was purchased today, and another Noro Striped Scarf was started tonight. Scooter has been mega-pesky. While I'm glad he's feeling well enough to act that way, he really cut into the knitting time with all the climbing in and out of the lap, trying to get into my ice cream while I was eating it and scratching while using his claws to hold onto my leg. I think he's asleep now, so I may be able to get a few more rows completed tonight.

The Thing

There was nothing I wanted to watch on TV last night, so I searched through the small stack of deep discount DVD's I just got from Amazon. Amongst them was a classic movie. A movie that I enjoy the remake of as much as the original. Yes, it is The Thing From Another World. It's great fun and not scary at all. If you want a few chills and thrills, watch the remake - John Carpenter's The Thing. Keep the barf bag nearby if you're easily grossed out. Here's the wiki if you want to read more.

What I have discovered is that if I'm watching a classic sci fi movie that I haven't seen in 20 or so years, I don't get much knitting done. I'm much too busy watching the movie.

So, what's on for tonight? If the DVD player is working (which is iffy), we're watching Snakes on a Plane. After reading all about it on Ravelry, I've got to see it. I've heard that it's a B movie which knows it's B movie and has a lot of fun with it. I do love Amazon's year end DVD sale. I also got some Benny Hill and 300 with their deep discount sale.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hissy fit

In a fit of pique today, I deleted part of my stash from Ravelry. I'll probably get around to deleting the rest of it later.

I input much of my stash into Ravelry as a tool for me. It is so useful to see what yarns I have, the quantity, and the colors. It was eye-opening to see all the same colors in different yarns. Yes, I have olive green.

However, what finally set me off is that other people see my stash and want to buy my yarns. Would I be willing to sell them 1 or 2 from that bag I have? Would I sell this one I just bought to them because they want to try it? Well, I wouldn't have bought it if I wanted to turn around and sell it. I buy yarn by the bag because I'm no longer a size 4, and I unfortunately need all that yarn if I want to make a sweater. I'm sorry that they don't have enough for their project, but I'm not running short for their convenience.

Whew! Thanks for letting me rant. Anyway, if you're looking at my stuff on Ravelry and wonder just what happened to the yarn, now you know. There's still some sock stuff there, but only because I ran out of time this morning.

There has been knitting. I finished the gift cable hat last night. Weather cooperating, I'll take a picture of it tomorrow. I've been knitting away on Lady Eleanor and completed 1 1/2 to 2 rows last night! Entrelac gets easier the more you do it. I do have one last gift to knit up, and I've been letting ideas percolate. I think I'm going to break down and do a multi-directional scarf. It should be really quick to knit up, then I can get back to my shawl.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The moment of realization

It's that moment that comes out of the blue and hits you like a ton of bricks. I've ordered the wrong size yarn for my Jayne Hat experiment! Oh well, I'll have some interesting colors for bear clothes next year. The good news is that I'll be able to use a yarn I can get at work instead of having to order something online.

I worked on Lady Eleanor some last night. I've found that I usually have time to knit across one whole row of squares in the couple of hours of primetime TV watching. If I must watch Alfred Hitchcock Presents, that gives me most of another hour and couple of more squares.

I had Keith try on the cabled hat I'm making for a gift. I thought that in the past few years he may have actually seen me try on a hat in progress. Boy, was I wrong! He's much more glued to his news and video games that I ever knew. He tried it on upside down, complaining that he didn't know what he was supposed to do. (Upside down means he had the circular needle part around his ears! Thank goodness I am using magic loop, or I shudder to think how many stitches would have been pulled off!) The outcome is that I need another pattern round before I start decreasing for the top. It was a mini ordeal to figure this out, so I'll definitely keep a note about it. I'd hate to torture him like that again. I must be the worst wife in the world.

Scooter is doing well. He's just finished another round of antibiotics, and my trip to the vet should be pretty short today. He needs fluids weekly, and I haven't heard yet from the online supplier the vet recommended. I'll just run by there while I'm running errands today and see if the doc thinks I need to go on and pick up a bag. In the meantime, last night he was very grumpy to see Princess Plumeria sleeping in my lap, so he nipped her ears! I thought he would just sit on top of her; after all, that's what she would do to him. Instead, he ran off after the nipping. Don't worry and think he's deprived. I think I'm starting to have some real knee problems after sitting cross legged for hours on end with a sleeping geriatric cat in my lap.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I do remember

While talking to Teresa at work one day, I mentioned something about "best leather moment" in a movie. Teresa, I haven't forgotten about it. I'm more amazed that I haven't found the movie still online. I guess that the guys who usually pull stills and post them don't have the same appreciation for this movie moment that women do. I'm still looking for it. Worst case scenario - I have to get a computer that plays DVD's (mine's an older model and doesn't), and learn for myself how to capture a still. I may also be able to find it on youtube when I have some time to look for it.

I've been watching Firefly again, and I find myself thinking about making the Jayne Hat. Many of the ones I've seen on Ravelry are close, but there's something off about many of them. I may have solved that problem to my satisfaction in theory, but I'll have to work on the application. It's a puzzle for 2009 as any knitting I do now is for a few more quick gifts.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Time for Sunday Pictures

Here are the long awaited pictures of a certain husband sweater. First is a side view to show the flames on the sleeve.
Next is shot of the front of the sweater. To remind you of details, if you are a knitter, here they are. The sweater is based on Jesse's Flames from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation. I used Galway Wool by Plymouth instead of the Lion Brand called for in the pattern. This changed the gauge, so I used my Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns to find a bottom up, raglan sweater that could be adapted to look like the Jesse's Flames Sweater. The JFS is knit in pieces while this one was knit in the round. I did have to work the sleeves flat in order to do the intarsia. There was definitely some math involved in doing this one, but nothing very difficult for a knitter who has the confidence to alter patterns. I love the way it turned out. Of course I know of some things I would do differently next time, such as the red stripe is too high and gets partially used in the underarm seams. That is only visible if Keith is running around with his arms in the air, but I know about it, and I would lower the stripe by a few rounds next time.

Next, we have another cabled hat. This one is just freshly started. The yarn is Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande Hand Painted. A kind of odd thing happened. Someone bought several hanks of this yarn, and when I was straightening up the bin, I came upon this one with no label. I looked for the label, but it was hiding from me. I left the yarn on the side table near the register, thinking the label would reappear. In the meantime, I've been knitting up some stash yarns for a gift, and so far I was not pleased with the way the yarns were working for the recipient. As this bare, naked yarn sat there all day, the thought occured that this might work quite nicely for the person in mind. Thus, I purchased it, and there it is. I'd be further along with it, but Lady Eleanor and the Kureyon have enchanted me. It's mostly what I've worked on this past week. Granted, I have done a fair amount of ripping. For one whole row of squares, I picked up as knits when it should have been purls, so I had to rip that entire row out! If not for that, I'd be further along. As you may remember, you can click on any picture to enlarge it and drool over stitch details. And I apologize for Princess Plumy not being included in my photos. It is cold outside, and she's a sissy cat.




Friday, December 5, 2008

I <3 Stephen Colbert

Who else would bring you this kind of groundbreaking coverage? I must add that I saw this over at Mason Dixon Knitting, but I had to share it with you here.

http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/212027/december-03-2008/nailed--em---radical-knitting

Please take a minute to watch this. Don't drink anything while watching. You'd hate to do a classic spit take all over your computer.

Bears, bears everywhere

Last night was the night when the Atlanta Knitting Guild donates the bears we have collected all year to the Georgia Center for Children. Unfortunately, we were unable to donate as many bears this year as we did last year. I had done my part by knitting 5 items of bear clothing, but we need more people knitting even just one item.
Of course, many knitters do make things for charities, and that's the problem. You can't possibly knit for every worthy cause. This year I made the 5 bear items (actually 6, but I forgot to take one with me, so it counts towards next year). I also made some chemo caps, both for charity, but unfortunately more for people I actually know with cancer. I knitted the hat for Innocent Drinks in the U.K., spurred on since it was a charity one of my favorite knit blogs had chosen to help.

The Atlanta Knitting Guild itself has many charities that we work with in the metro Atlanta area, not to mention all the helmet liners guild members have knitted over the years.
If you decide you want to knit something for a bear, take a look at the guild's website. There are free patterns available, and some are very quick knits. I made 2 bear skirts this year since they are just like hats without having to do all the decreasing at the top.
All the bear clothes here are made from the same pattern that is available from the guild. I made two of the sunsuits, and they are very fast knits.

You can make items as simple or complicated as you would like.

Or, you can donate a bear, like the Halloween bear I found at Starbucks for 1/2 off. He's got such a cute face, and he's already dressed like a pumpkin.
In other knitting items, I still have to get a minute when we're both here to take a picture of the finished Flame sweater. This has been a busy week for us both. The Lady Eleanor is moving right along. Entrelac is amazingly easy to do, as well as amazingly easy to royally screw up. I think I've unknit about 50% of what I've knit. Honestly, it's so easy that I've been lulled into complacency, and I'm not proficient enough yet to do it on auto-pilot. I must admit that it's very strange to think that entrelac could be as mindless as basic cable knitting is for me, but I think it will be so in the not too distant future.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Project pictures

Ah, a few pictures for your perusal. First up is the very beginning of the Lady Eleanor Stole. It's for me, and I'm using the Noro Kureyon from last spring's disastrous Knit Around Scarf. I think this will be much better. I'd tell you what needle size I'm using, if I could remember. I believe it's size 8.




Next up is the Noro Striped Scarf in Silk Garden. Normally I would give you a bit more information, such as colors used, but Princess Plumeria is in my lap, quite exhausted from kneading my flesh until it almost bleeds. (She definitely looks at me as Mama cat, but sometimes I suffer from this affection.) This is such an easy pattern,yet I couldn't put it down since the yarn is almost magical as it changes from color to color. Go buy some Silk Garden and knit this scarf for yourself. This one? It's a gift.






Another day at the vet

Both Scooter and I had appointments for bloodwork this morning. My new doctor is within walking distance of the vet, which makes it easy to schedule both of us for nearly the same time. I thought this might be quicker. Hah! I was proven to be quite wrong.

We both have to wait for results from our tests. I seem to be doing well with this new dosage of Synthroid. As for Scooter, he gets another round of antibiotics, and we'll know tomorrow if he needs to get sub q again. They had to give him fluids this morning, so I'm thinking I'll be picking more up later this week.

I finished the Noro Striped Scarf on Saturday night. The weather has been uncooperative for picture taking, but I'm thinking I can get some today. Hopefully you will see the wonders of Silk Garden for yourself later today.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Thanksgiving

Yesterday was a little busy, so here's my Thanksgiving post.

I'm very thankful for having such a great husband, even though he can be prickly and irritable at times. He's been a rock over all the years. He's put up with pet barf, crying jags, more than one wierd obsession that will consume me for a time and disappear, and the fact that I am a terrible housekeeper.

I'm thankful for all my friends and family. I'm not rich enough to be considered eccentric yet, so they put up with the strangeness and like me anyway.

I'm thankful for veterinary medicine. Scooter is still with us and pretty happy most of the time, and there are things we are able to do to keep him alive and comfortable. Like I've said before, as long as he's greedy for food, I know he's still wanting to live and enjoy it as much as possible.

I'm thankful for my job at the LYS for the past few years. I have learned so much, and I had a lot of fun.

I'm thankful for TNR. I've always wanted to help the feral and stray cats that wander through my neighborhood, and now I have the tools and resources available to do it. I can't save every one of them, but I can make a difference for a few.

And I know this one sounds a little strange, but I'm thankful for Ravelry. To have such an incredible resource available at any time, and for free, is amazing. When people come into the shop with questions about a pattern, such as do I think it's wrong, the first thing I ask is have you checked with Ravelry. Of course, there are times when I get a blank stare, but other times they think for a minute and say "no, why didn't I think of that?"

I'm sure I could think of more, but these are the important ones that popped right up when I started to think. Have a happy shopping day, for those of you crazed enough to go out in it. As for me, I've got a turkey carcass and giblets, so I'm off to make soup stock and do some of that rare extreme housecleaning. I might actually do a little dusting today. I have to give Keith some reasons to be thankful for me, don't I?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Halfway point!

Tonight while at knit night, I spit spliced the second ball of the first color onto the Noro Striped Scarf. A little later, here at home, I spit spliced the second ball of the second color onto the scarf. That means I'm officially 50% finished with it! It is so much fun to knit. I keep knitting and knitting just to watch the color changes. I should get a lot of knitting done tomorrow if I play my cards right, then onto a hat which is another gift.

I shall probably post pictures of the gifts here as I don't think the gift recipients read my blog. In the meantime, I'll keep thinking about that cable pattern I want to reverse engineer (and change). A mindreader might be really confused and believe I'm thinking in a strange form of binary - ppccccppkk...Must go now - my leg is getting clawed. I think it's time for some corporal cuddling.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sweet things

First sweet thing. Keith is planning to wear the sweater I made for him on Thanksgiving. Nothing says thanks more than flames on your arms.

Second sweet thing. I've got the casserole all assembled and ready for the final baking. It's actually pretty good. Some brown sugar, citrus flavors and traditional spices make it very tasty.

As for Scooter nomming me, I don't think it was saying thanks. I think he was saying, "Get this *#%@!! needle out of me! Quit giving me sub-q and go make me some liver broth." Luckily my kitty puncture wounds are nearly healed, and I did wash them immediately after the bite occurred. When I spoke to the vet today, she said some kitties just don't like cooperating with the sub-q, and that we should do what we needed to in order to make sure he stays hydrated. We may have to do lesser amounts of fluid more frequently. This may be time to buy stock in 3M as I may be buying many more bandages.

Yes, there has been knitting. I've been working away on my Noro Striped Scarf. I did briefly toy with the idea of pictures today, but instead opted for knitting on it instead. I'm nearing the halfway point of the scarf, and it is so fascinating to watch how the colors change. Some Noro yarns may be as comfortable as straw, but the colors are amazing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How'd I get into this?

Keith and I had been counting on not having a Thanksgiving with family this year. Yeah, his family is in town, but usually they want to eat dinner, and for those of us in retail, dinner doesn't work very well. After all, the day after Thanksgiving can be a living hell for those who work in retail or retail support, and we need a good night's sleep beforehand. Thus, we were secretly planning on hibernating at home and maybe grilling something that wasn't turkey or ham. Or even better, eating Chinese takeaway. Yeah, that's the ticket, Chinese takeaway with sushi appetizers. Mmm, mmm good.

Anyway, it now looks like we will be attending a Thanksgiving meal, and somehow I've gotten assigned the traditional dish of sweet potato casserole. Mega ewww! I think it's a vile dish with all the sugar and marshmallows. In my mind, a sweet potato begs for curry. The sweetness of the potato, the kick of the cayenne, the mellowness of the cinnamon...OK, so I can list curry spices. I love 'em, and I love 'em on sweet potatoes. Anyone know a good recipe for curried sweet potatoes? I have found one not so offensive casserole recipe on www.epicurious.com. It will be a serviceable back up if I can't find something with curry in it before tomorrow morning when I have to go grocery shopping.

Maybe we can eat Chinese food for Christmas. Here's to hoping.

As for Scooter, he bit my thumb quite soundly last night. I have 2 holes in it to prove his displeasure with his sub-q treatment. I've got a call into the vet about it as he's becoming quite difficult to treat. I think that means he's feeling a lot better.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Scooter update

In case you were wondering, while he doesn't like getting sub-q at all, Scooter is looking perkier. He only has a few doses of antibiotices left, so he must have been feeling a little poorly when I took him in last week. He's back to demanding lap time, wanting a bite of whatever we're eating and in general being a nuisance. It's been worse since because of the possible beginning of kidney failure, I haven't been giving him anything off my plate to eat. I'm worried those tidbits of chicken, fish and medium rare beef may not be good for him now. This change in routine has led to much meowing. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Keith's sweater is finished!

I was determined to finish his sweater last night. He had mentioned that it had gotten quite cold recently, and he would need it. Yes, I can take a hint when I want to.

You may remember the debacle of the ruffly collar. I made some changes to avoid the ruffling. I was concerned about holes which is why I picked up too many stitches the first time. This time I picked up less, but I was careful of where I skipped them to ensure few, if any, holes along the pick up line. I went to a size smaller needle, a size 6. I switched from 1x1 ribbing to the 2x2 ribbing that the pattern used. (The first time I didn't consult the pattern and just did the 1x1 rib.) I knitted, added the contrast color, and bound off. It looks great. I turned that sweater inside out right then, wove in the last few ends, sewed the underarm seams, wove in those ends and looked with pride at the completed sweater.

I asked Keith to try it on. (A little explanation here. Saturday nights I hold as sacred knitting and Britcom watching nights. I sit on the bed and knit. Some nights Keith stays away, but other nights he comes in to join me and complain about them as he doesn't like them. Last night he got beneath the top cover of the bed to play video games on his phone and fuss just a little. Lily came to sleep snuggled up to him.) Thus, when I asked him to try it on, he said, "I'll do it tomorrow." I must admit that I was a little disappointed at that response. So I tried it on, then folded it up carefully and put it back into my knit bag. That's why there are no pictures yet.

I still had a couple of more shows to watch, so I decided to start a scarf. Yes, a scarf. All week long people have been coming to the store to buy Silk Garden. Apparently Yarn Harlot is knitting the Noro Striped Scarf, and that usually induces hordes of people to knit whatever she is knitting.

I've actually been thinking about knitting Noro Striped Socks, but this is the time of year to think about gift knitting. I know it's late to start doing that, but I only have a few to do. I went and looked at Yarn Harlot's blog, then at all the examples on Ravelry. Yesterday, I too jumped on that bandwagon and bought 4 balls of Silk Garden in good, manly colors. I started knitting on it last night, but I didn't make sure of the color contrast at my starting point. Although it is so lovely, it's not enough contrast. I'm pulling it out, cutting one of the balls to start at a different point, and starting over.

I'll post pictures later. I'm waiting for it to warm up a bit. It's 30 F outside right now, and I don't much feel like standing out there styling knitwear.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Amoroso Sunflower Tam


Here's a not that great picture of the Sunflower Tam. I'm giving it away today, and I just had to get a picture of it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lady Eleanor

I succumbed to the siren call of entrelac and Noro Kureyon. I cast on for Lady Eleanor last night and even managed to teach myself knitting back backwards while watching Life on Mars.

The bad news is that Life on Mars won't be back on with new episodes until the end of January. The good news is that knitting back backwards is so easy!

I'd show pictures, but Keith took the digital camera today, and I really like taking my pix outside on the stone bench. Hopefully, pix tomorrow.

mmmm, Terminator

Obama Pictures and McCain
see Sarah Palin pictures

I had to post this one. I lmao when I saw it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Finished the Sunflower Tam

Oy vey, the tam. On Tuesday, between Lily sitting on my lap and my book and the doings on House, I totally screwed up the tam. I ended up tinking every round I had knit that night, save one. Last night I picked it up again, determined to finish. What I think happened on Tuesday is that my place marker in the pattern was moved, or I turned my row counter an extra row, so I was extra careful last night. I kept Lily confined to my lap as much as possible while I was knitting and checked every completed round. It's now finished, but I really don't want to take pictures until it warms up later. You'll have to wait for photos until tomorrow.

As for me, I've got to go pill Scooter now. Since I don't have time for meal prep for humans right now, much less for kitties, he started on his special diet today, and I started Monster back on her diabetic formula. I learned this morning if you don't leave kitties a pile of food as a midnight feeding free for all, you can give them each a plate in the morning, and they will finish it off without trying to see if someone else got something better. That makes being the meal sheriff a much easier task. However, a human still has to put together medicine and pill pockets, and somehow I have to get him to eat some probiotics too. I will admit I prefer the work to the alternative of a Scooter-less life. Not to be morbid, but I know that's coming, and he's been my baby cat for so long. Tomorrow it will be 18 years and 5 months to the day since he came into the world and into my life. I remember when Pixel had her kittens as clear as can be. Oh well, I won't drag you down memory lane right now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Scooter's vet visit

When we got to the vet yesterday, I asked about should we do bloodwork before Scooter got any fluids. After all, when we had to make the decision about Pixel last year, she was dehydrated with some other issues too. That was fresh in my mind, as she had looked fine just 24 hours earlier, and I didn't want any awful surprises with Scooter. I was scheduled for a tech visit only, so they went and asked the vet. The decision was made to do some bloodwork. The results of that led to another couple of tests, and the results are that it was very fortuitous that I took him in yesterday. He is probably at the very start of kidney failure, so he's to start a special food and get sub-q fluids more regularly. The vet also found bacteria in his bladder. She said we've caught that too before it became a bad infection. Luckily, (so far), he's still greedy enough to eat pill pockets, and the antibiotics fit into a cat sized one just perfectly. All in all, I was at the vet for nearly 2 hours and spent much more than I had planned. It's stuff like this that makes me wonder about keeping my job. I hate to second guess myself, but when I'm at work lately I can't wait to get the hell out of there. Then I'm at home, and stuff like this happens, and I wonder.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Groomer done, now the vet

The old boy is dehydrated again, so off to the vet for fluids. I wasn't planning to spend my day off this way, but we all know about the best laid plans.

Unbearable kitty chorus

I'm waiting for the quarterly visit from the mobile groomer today. Keith is leaving soon, so I had to crate kitties earlier than I wanted. Crated kitties make the most horrible noises, don't they? Keeping my fingers crossed that she gets here sooner rather than later (she gave me a two hour window of when to expect her). In the meantime, I'm looking for my earplugs.

Yes, long haired kitties need regular visits to the groomer for something called a sanitary clip. This translates into butt shaving so the poop doesn't stick in their fur. Believe me, it's much easier to pay someone to do this. I've tried cutting "dingleberries" out before, but they get really upset when I lift their tail while holding a pair of scissors. Go figure.

Night of the Living Cows?

There has been an attack of the cows over at The Omnigraphic Blogopticon the past few days. One of the commenters mentioned a cow with a cape, and that triggered one of those teenage memories of Bessie the Hellcow. Yes, I do own an entire collection of Howard the Duck comics from the '70's, including a couple of the specials where he shows up for the first time. Imbedded in my memory was Bessie, a vampire cow stalking the streets of Cleveland. Howard does his best Carl Kolchak impression to rid Cleveland of this bloodsucking menace of the dark. Why no, I haven't had my medication yet today. Why do you ask?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Not another post today!

Yes, I know what you're thinking, but I'm not sorry I'm feeling talkative today.

For some reason, I don't really like knitting scarves. Not sure why, but they don't thrill me. However, I do like knitting stoles. Let's face it, a stole is just a giant scarf. Why do I find scarves boring and stoles perfectly acceptable? It's a very odd thing.

I have been absolutely aching to start on Lady Eleanor. I've got the Kureyon to do it, leftover from the debacle that was the little poncho-like thing from last spring. (Then I bought more, learned the color was discontinued, and bought the rest.) Is it because I'm almost finished with Keith's sweater, and I want another sort of mindless long term project? Or is it the allure of entrelac, something I've not tackled yet? The chance to learn to knit back backwards?

I could sit here and bore you to bits with my pondering, but I hear Keith in the other room, sounding exasperated as he says, "Lily, get down". I'm not sure if I should hide out here in my office, or go offer to help him. I'm just not in the mood to be conscripted into vacuuming.

Soup kitchen for pets

If you are in Georgia, please pass this along. This is a soup kitchen for pets to help people in difficult financial situations keep their pets.

Only one picture today



Here's the hat I finished last weekend. It's made from Alpaca with a Twist Highlander. I used Stitch Cafe's Cable Beanie Pattern. I did modify the pattern (which is no longer available for free - the link isn't working anymore).

However, if you have the pattern already, what I did was add 2 more pattern repeats and knit it long enough to cover my ears. I kept trying it on until it was as long as I liked, then I did the decreases for the crown. It is a very easy pattern.

I'm about halfway through with the Sunflower Tam. Since it's a tam, the picture for it would look very odd right now. Hmmm, maybe I should take a picture so you can see what a tan in progress looks like. Perhaps a little later today.

In other subjects, let me mention Project Cat needs a hand right now. One of her feral cats needs some medical treatment. From what she's described, well, let's just say none of the possibilities are that great. If you'd like to get some handspun yarn to help a gal out, here is her etsy shop. Or, if you are feeling more generous, you can donate to her on her blog. I've linked to the most current post about the kitty Gandolf.

I must admit that I admire her greatly. If you read from the start of her blog, the apartment complex where she lives had planned to exterminate the feral colony. She talked them into letting her try TNR to get them under control. She has found homes for several kittens and had a very large trap and neuter weekend, managing to catch 13 of the adults. Now the people in her complex call her directly about the cats. She still has some others to trap and neuter/spay, but she's made some amazing progress, both for spreading the word about TNR and giving a real, working example of it. She does lament about what real jerks some people can be, abandoning their pets when they move. Unfortunately, with the current economic situation, every shelter you talk to will tell you tales of woe about this same thing. If you don't feel like you can help Project Cat, at least make a small donation to one of your local shelters. I personally know someone who is in dire straits and actively looking for a home for her pet which she can no longer support. (I've helped her out a bit with some groceries, but she's having to leave her home and may not be able to take her dog to her new rented home.) Ok, stepping down from my soapbox.

It's a beautiful day here in Georgia. The fog and rain has been blown out by a cold front that has dropped our temperatures down to real winter temps. The air is dry and crystalline, a rare treat for those of us more accustomed to high humidity. I'm waiting for the ground to dry out a little more, then I think I'm outside for a bit of yard work. I love this kind of weather, and I know it's fleeting. I will refrain from more philosophical musings about how much of life is fleeting. I'll end here with enjoy the day and to quote Jerry Springer "be good to each other".

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Random things

Thank you for your kind comments about my leaving the yarn shop. I plan to still go to knit nights. I also plan to join the spinning guild in order to start actually using my wheel and learn how to do it better. This will give me time to get my dye studio set up and tackle the fun task of cooking my own petfood. Sassy is still looking itchy, and I've got to find something that will work for that poor critter.

Keith's sweater is in time out for a couple of days while I work on a hat for someone else I know who has cancer. I'll post pictures tomorrow when I have more to show of it than 1 inch of ribbing. I started it pretty late last night. Keith suggested Chinese food for dinner last night, and as I spent the afternoon doing laundry, going through several days worth of mail for the paper recycling, and all we had was frozen chicken, I jumped at the dinner idea. Anyway, the hat is the Sunflower Tam by Norah Gaughan, and I'm using Malabrigo Worsted in Amoroso. Yes, I love, love, love that color.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Try, try again

Last night I finished the collar on Keith's sweater. I was so happy. I was very close to being finished with the whole sweater. Then I noticed something as I was binding off. The collar looked a little ruffly. Not the look you want for a man's sweater. Was I binding off much too loosely? I decided to continue and take a closer look when the collar was complete.

It was ruffly.

I tried pressing it with my fingers, wondering if blocking would take care of it.

No.

It was more than blocking could cure. I had two glaring issues. The first was that I had probably picked up too many stitches for working the collar. The second was that I thought the stitches looked sloppy. I had followed the directions (yeah, you can pick yourself up off the floor now) and used a size smaller needle. I decided I needed to rework it with an even smaller needle and redo the pick up row. I calmly sat there and pulled out a whole evening's worth of work.

I know some knitters are terrified of doing anything wrong. I see them at work every day, worrying to death about how many stitches to cast on for a scarf. (Yes, we have answers for that.) Maybe they see ripping out as a personal failure - I really don't know. I've done crafty things from a very young age. To me, ripping out, whether it is seams in a quilt top, the actual handquilting (yeah, I've done that), or a sock that I've already worked past the heel, is a part of the learning process. If I take chances with my crafting, I'm gonna screw up. Other times, I do it mostly right, and it's still wrong. What I do find is that every time I do something that I don't like, whether it's technically wrong or not, I learn. I may learn not to ever do that to a sweater again. I may notice something that gets stored in the recesses of my grey matter, and I'll use it in a different way later. I'll admit, I do get pissed off occasionally that I have to rip out, but I do it. Sometimes it does involve some cussin' and teeth grindin', and I rip anyway.

Speaking of work, I turned in my notice yesterday. I've been so burned out that I'm downright crispy. This is not a light, quickly made decision. If you remember, I had turned in my notice last January, then my co-worker did too. That would have left no employees at work, and since I wasn't going to another job at the time, I decided to stay. However, I was feeling burn out then, and I've stayed longer than I was planning.

I know, perhaps not the best time to leave a job, but I'm a part timer, and I think I can earn my income dyeing yarn. In the meantime, I'll spend some time with my grandmothers, which is something I need to do for me. We still have work to do in the basement, and remember, I know how to do drywall. I'll have plenty to do. Keith said the other day that we'd get the house all straigtened up if it killed me (Eve) to do it. I laughed and laughed when he said it, telling him in no uncertain terms (I believe I used bastard and/or MF) that he'd be scrubbing and mopping with me. Let's remember who couldn't even scoop a couple of litter boxes over the weekend. However, he scrubs a toilet like a treat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dexter

I can't put this book down! It's a fast read. I'm already about halfway through it.

I looked on Ravelry briefly this morning and saw I only have 4 works in progress! Yay! I can almost cast on something new! OK, maybe I'll start to tackle some of that lace again, but I have a couple of ideas for holiday gifts that I can knock out quickly.

Off to breakfast and more Dexter.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A little light reading

I got Darkly Dreaming Dexter today while I was out running errands with Gale. I've had a difficult time putting this book down. Yes, I even read it while I was eating dinner. I did, however, put it down in time to watch House and Fringe while working on Keith's sweater. I have finished with the raglan, and all that's left it to pick up stitches for a collar and sew up 2 tiny, little seams. Alright, I do have to weave in a few ends also. He tried it on and it fits! I'm so happy to see the end in sight, just in time for the cooler weather.

Post relaxation update

I'm starting to feel myself again today. Over the weekend I did indulge a little too much with the wine and cheese, but Chauteau Elan did have those nice, spa sized servings which are probably the correct portion size. I will also admit that I don't think I had the best sleep as the bed was much firmer than mine here at home is. However, I had a great time. Getting back to reality was like a hard kick in the ass.

Yesterday at work I had customers 3 deep who all needed help with their knitting projects. I ran my ass off, and when I got home last night, I decided that I was too tired to watch tv and knit, much less go to the yoga class at 8:00. Instead, at 8:00, I was in bed with a book, waiting for sleep to overtake me. All of which prevented me from blogging, as it does take a little brainpower.

Back to the weekend. Lauren, the cousin who put this all together, chose a villa for us. With enough of us, the cost becomes quite reasonable. Chauteau Elan has 2 and 3 bedroom villas on the golf course, and there were 6 of us in a 3 bedroom. It had a full kitchen, which was great since we brought enough food to last us at least a week or 2 (but only enough wine to have lasted 1 more night!). On Friday night we drank wine, snacked on our reserves of munchies, and ordered room service. Saturday saw us heading off to the spa for our various treatments. Wow! The spa is so lovely. There is a whirlpool that is sanitized with salt instead of chlorine. There's a steam room, sauna, absolutely wonderful locker room, and swimming pool. Gina and I hit the whirlpool before our spa appointments. Let me tell you, sitting in a whirlpool before a massage is pretty darn decadent. The spa treatments went on all afternoon as by now there were 8 of us, and the spa was full from the wedding parties and such. At the spa there is a restaurant where you can go in your robe and eat your lunch. I wandered up, groggy after my massage, to find lunch brought to me almost as soon as I sat down. You know, a gal can used to that kind of pampering.

We all went out to dinner that night at the Cafe Elan. The resort has a shuttle that will pick you up from your villa and deliver you to the spa or restaurant. That was good for us (remember the wine). The Cafe Elan serves Mediterranean style cuisine. On the menu was lobster and grilled scallops. I think 5 or 6 of us ended up with that.

Anyway, the weekend was a real treat. After rain on the way up on Friday, the weather was just incredible. The leaves are changing, and it wasn't humid at all, which is rare for the South. Having the time to visit and catch up at a leisurely pace was great.

As for me, gotta go. I'm meeting indie dyer Gale for lunch and the never ending errand running. You know, that refill bottle of handsoap I forgot to buy last week, another box of kitty litter, etc.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Normal blogging to resume soon

I must admit that a weekend of relaxation can take its toll. I had a great time visiting with all the gals, and Chauteau Elan's spa - well, what can I say? It was so wonderful.

As for me, the reality of being home is being quickly manifest in the laundry and litterboxes. I've got laundry going already, and boy! do the litterboxes need to be scooped. At least Keith and the critters all seem to be in good condition.

I did get some knitting done, but I forgot to bring the all important next ball of yarn for Keith's sweater. I am so close to being finished, but I'm not sure it will happen tonight. (See above about laundry and litterboxes. The trash all has to get out for tomorrow morning too.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

No blogging for a few days.

I won't be available to blog. I expect to be in a state of extreme relaxation this weekend with lots of knitting, a massage, a sauna and hot tub at my disposal.

In the meantime, do any of you watch Life On Mars? I've got to admit, out of all the new tv shows this fall, this one is hands down my favorite. Ok, I did grow up in the 70's, so there is some nostalgia there. However, have you ever noticed how so many new shows seem stiff? Just go look at the first season of Star Trek, the Next Generation. They are so bad. This cast seems to fit into their roles without all that first season awkwardness. We will probably look back at this season later and think, hmmm, they weren't quite as good as I remember. Go watch this show, and thank the BBC for developing something good that our tv execs could borrow.

I will mention that if you ever watched Quantum Leap, you're going to have some deja vu moments. I keep expecting someone to say "putting right what once went wrong and hoping the next leap will take him home" when I watch Life on Mars.

Two more weeks of Top Model. Keith heard somewhere that it's jumped the shark. All I can say is that this one has been pretty boring. I'm not sure I can watch another season of it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yeah, more deletions

I did go off a bit this morning about the election. And yes, I did delete the post. I don't think I was that offensive, but the South Park reference may have been a bit much for some of my readers. I do try to keep this a more lighthearted blog.

I've been thinking about the Law of Unintended Consequences, the Murphy's Law part. We've seen this over and over again in different instances, as you can read about when you follow the link above. When you get a majority that is able to legislate their vision, what you get are unintended consequences. Sure, some of them may be good, but let's face it, the universe has a twisted sense of humor. That's why I said I prefer a Congress where there is no clear majority. I said I liked a deadlocked Congress. Someone else said "why would I like that? They wouldn't be able to do anything." Hmm, exactly my point. It's called damage control. (Nah, I'm not a bit cynical.)

As for the earlier namecalling, upon further reflection, I think Douchebag and Shit Sandwich really apply much more to the 2004 election. I mean, John Kerry and W? My going off this morning had to do with the fact that I'm a moderate with Libertarian leanings, and I'm not looking forward to the great social experiments of which we'll be the guinea pigs. I do want us out of Iraq. I will be doing a big happy dance when W & Cheney aren't in charge. I think health care needs to be addressed, but I don't want to end up with the government equivalent of an HMO. (Ever try to see the doctor you want or need to see while in one of those?)

I do wish I could say this will be my last rant, but I can't guarantee that. However, the knitting will resume, with pictures too. I was unable to work on Keith's sweater the other night. I had no sooner taken it out than Scooter appeared from nowhere wanting to get in my lap. I will not deny a cat who is currently 18 years, 4 months old, as I don't know how much longer he'll be with us. The sweater was put back into the knit bag, and out came a hat. As usual, I tinkered with a pattern, using it to knit a hat with a smaller gauge yarn. I'm not sure I cast on enough stitches, and it may be getting ripped out and reknit soon. Don't ask me if I like knitting! Yes, I like it, and I know when I start mucking around with patterns and gauge that I may be ripping all that work out. That's the chance I take when I change stuff around. It keeps it all much more interesting.

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's in New York!

I was reading Mason Dixon Knitting tonight, and Kay has posted a picture of the tiny hats for Innocent's charity campaign. Lo and Behold! I can see my hat! If you go to the bottom of the picture, count 9 rows and and 1 in, you can see my hat there. It's the second from the left. You can't see much of it, but I can tell by the swirl of color that it's mine. Most exciting to see it there. Ok, I admit that I'm easily amused.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Autumnal hibernation

Yes, I've been hibernating today.

On Friday Keith called me to let me know his boss's boss had hooked him up with concert tickets for last night. To be honest, I was happy for him as the boss was recognizing Keith's work, but I knew I didn't want to go anywhere on a Saturday night. Gang, I work retail, and I'm tired on Saturdays. It's usually pretty busy, and I run my feet off. Put that together with the fact that I've just been staying up too late as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery run from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. each weeknight, and I'm sure you can draw your own conclusion about why I wanted to stay home last night.

However, Keith is sick to death of staying home on Saturday nights. He can't stand most of the Britcoms, and sometimes he can't stand my knitting instead of snuggling with him. So we went out to dinner (he had a Chili's gift card) and to the concert.

It was the Kicks Country Jam, and by the time we got there we had missed 2 of the acts, much of the third act, but we were in time to see the headliner, Gary Allen.

I will admit that even though I was tired, the show was good, and he's a rocking country guy. The fallout was getting home very late last night and being a total slug today except for running a couple of errands. (I had run out Synthroid, and when I got to the pharmacy, I saw the woman who can NEVER get my name right was working. I was sitting, knitting and waiting when the man who had taken my prescription asked me why I was there. She had gotten my name so wrong that she hadn't looked under the right letter. Augh.)

Gotta go, it's dinner time.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A little knitting math

I've been working on the sweater yoke, and I'm now halfway there in the decreases. I have 30 decrease rows to work every other row (meaning 60 rows total), and I'm now on row 30. 30 more to go.

Anyway, I was thinking about the math. When I joined the sleeves to the body of the sweater, I had 354 stitches on that round. So far I have worked 2 decrease rows before the set of the 30, and 15 of those rows. Thus, a total of 17 decrease rows with 8 stitches each row. I have decreased the yoke by 136 stitches, leaving me a total right now of 218. Admittedly, I would have to work up a quick Excel spreadsheet to actually calculate how many stitches I've been working each evening, but seeing the numbers helps me reconcile why this is taking so long!

The really sick part? I think I'm starting on another sweater when I get finished with this one. I have a LOT of sweater yarn, and I'm thinking I need another one for me.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slogging away

I'm still working on Keith's sweater. I'm 1/3 of the way through the yoke now. I am working decreases, and without doing any math, I'm probably still working around 300 stitches per round. I think I started with around 350 per round.

I've got to decide what to take with me for voting next week. There have been outrageously long lines for the people doing early voting. What I really think is that next Tuesday I'll be in and out very quickly since all the polling places will be open, and a lot of people have voted early. (why? Probably just for the "convenience" of it.) In the meantime, I plan on taking a sock with me since they are portable and easy to work. I'm working on the cuff of the second Meanie sock, and right now that one's the planned election knitting. However, I am toying with the idea of starting a sock for Keith and working on it. That would take much longer, and if I'm wrong about the wait time, I'll have plenty to keep me occupied.

As for next Tuesday, I keep thinking that in a country this size, these two are the best we can do? I'm not thrilled with either one, but as Robert Heinlein once said (paraphrasing), "There's always someone you want to vote against." A pretty yucky reason to go vote, but very true. Let's face it, the ones we'd probably want to run the country are making the big bucks running a company instead.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Editing

I will mention if Sunday's post doesn't make any sense, it's because I went back and edited it. It had been about work, but upon second thought, I decided I needed to delete it. Was I surprised to see 3 comments when I came back to delete! Instead I just edited out the work bit, which is why it seems so odd now.

On to knitting. Working on Keith's sweater is back in one of those black holes of knitting. Some of you will understand quite well what I mean. I knitted for several hours last night, but the sweater seemed to stay the same. I've got over 350 stitches for each round, so I should be happy I was able to complete as many rounds as I did (6 or 7 - that's over 2100 stitches!). Yikes! Sometimes I'm much happier not doing the knitting math. No wonder it felt as if nothing was happening on the sweater. Nonetheless, the end is in sight. I was reading ahead about neckline decreases so that I'll be ready when it's time. Hopefully it will be time by the weekend.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oh, the tales I could tell.

I worked today, and it was one of those days when I really needed a working crystal ball.

I may be hitting those new age and crystal shops soon to find that crystal ball. Or maybe I just need a scrying mirror. Maybe a Magic 8 Ball? Let me know if you have a way to read minds and the future.

I'm there!

Yes! The sleeves are attached, and now I'm knitting on the yoke of the sweater. I am so happy to see the end is really in sight. Very soon Keith will have a fantastic sweater to wear. As for me, I'm looking forward to knitting one for myself. That Silky Wool is calling me.

No pictures as right now it's all squished on a circular needle, and you can't see it very well. Patience, gentle readers. My crystal ball shows pictures of the completed sweater are in the near future.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Whew, not nearly as bad as...

I had imagined. First sleeve is completely finished. I got all the ends woven in and mattress stitched that sucker together last night. That bodes well as I also had to finish knitting the second sleeve before starting on it. I'll be able to get the second sleeve totally finished tonight, and I may even have time to join the sleeves to the body. Either way, I know what tomorrow night's knitting while watching the Britcoms will be.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I want my Cat TV!


So, this is what this is for. I was wondering. It's been making a noise the past day or two. It kind of sounded like a quiet stream.
Hey, does this mean I don't have to go outside to look at that thing that's been teasing me all summer.

I thought I could see it better from here. Yeah, that's good.

Well, maybe it's not so good. I could try another angle. Yeah, that's the ticket.






Wait, when it was outside, I could stick my paws in the water and really watch it move. How do I get my paws through this thing?
(Right after the picture) HEY! Put me down, you stupid human. I wasn't hurting anything. What do you mean I weigh too much to sit up there?
In other news, Chubby has a brand new litterbox. Let's see what he's thinking.
Does she really this will keep me from kicking litter all over the place? I like a challenge.

Transitions

Today is a transitional day.

Fishy will be moving into his new aquarium. It's been set up and running for a couple of days, so now it's ready for him to move.

I'm transitioning from knitting to finishing on the sleeves. I do have 3 more rows to knit on sleeve number 2, then onto the not quite so fun part.

The weather has been transitioning (rather quickly) from summer to fall. Within a week we've gone from running the a/c to using a space heater. For some reason we're always a little reluctant to turn on the heat. I think it's because all summer long I dream of cooler weather. I yearn for an autumn with nights in the 50's and highs in the 70's. However, this rarely happens. It's more usual for us to have highs in the 80's one day, then the temps plummet to lows around 40. Perhaps if I refrain from turning on the heat I can squeeze some temperate weather out of my surroundings. It hasn't happened yet, but I still dream. I do worry about Scooter. He's such a skinny old boy, so we turn on the space heater in the bedroom, close the door down to a cat's width, and make sure he checks it out. Several days this week he's been sleeping on the heating pad (on low), under the top cover of the bed, venturing out for meals, but blissfully snoozing the rest of the time. I need to figure out what to do with him at night since he's not the best bedmate, and I worry that he gets too chilled.

As for me, my insomnia that I suffer all summer is gone. I don't sleep well when it's warm in the house, and I'm both too environmental and too cheap to run the a/c as cool as I need it for a good night's sleep. (I don't want to think about a power bill for keeping the bedroom at 60F!) Now the air is nice and cool, the blankets are piled one, and I sleep like a log. Pure bliss.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finally finished with the colorwork

I'm past all the color work on Keith's second sleeve. Big sigh of relief here as now I can just knit the lovely heathery charcoal gray until this one's finished. I'm not looking forward to weaving in all those ends, but it must be done.

The critters all seem very happy to be eating canned food. Sassy was inhaling her Wellness, so I've been mixing some of her old formula kibble in it to help her transition and to slow her down some. The kibble makes her stop and chew instead of swallowing it whole. We did give her a bath the other day, and the inflamed area looks much better now. I'm really hoping that more of the inflamation reduction is from the food change and not just the bath. As for Scooter, I think he's gained a tiny bit of weight from eating more moist.

I think making homemade pet food, once there's a routine, won't be quite so daunting. I emailed Lizardsmells (who I've mentioned here before in connection with her etsy shop) since I'd been told she feeds her kitties raw food. She had some good information too.

Gotta go. Keith is cooking breakfast and yelling for me to get into the kitchen to eat.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taking the easy way out.

After spending several hours in front of computer and looking in the holistic pet care books that I have, I make the decision to do what other lab owners have done and try a limited ingredient petfood. I chose Wellness and went to petstore to get some. Oh my. Sassy will need 5 cans of moist food a day! And these aren't small cans. Make decision to buy Wellness limited ingredient kibble also. I'll transition her over the next few days, as well as making sure she can't get to any of the cat food (which I'm sure is one of her allergy triggers, but she's a sneaky dog when it comes to eating catfood and the occasional kitty crunchy).

And after we got home, I realized I hadn't gotten any more moist catfood! At least we have several days left of that, so I've got some time to figure out exactly which one they're getting until I get my act together enough to cook for the critters.

Second sleeve of Keith's sweater

Here are a couple of pictures:
This is Keith's second sleeve in progress. I should be finished with the knitting early this week, maybe by Wednesday. Then I have to weave in all the ends and sew up the seams. After that is done they will be ready to be attached to the sweater body, and I can knit the yoke. Keith will be wearing this possibly in time for Halloween.
This is my Malabrigo cable wrap. It's 2 different dye lots of Verdes that I received as a gift.
I have been alternating the 2 dye lots by knitting 2 rows from one, then the other. I was afraid it might look stripy, but I think it looks ok. Besides, it is gifted Malabrigo in a color I love, so you know I was going to find a way to use it. I've made 2 of these wraps for other people, and it was time for me to knit one for me.
That's all the knitting pictures. As for us, I had recently done research on goldfish, as I think I mentioned here. Goldfish actually like cooler water temperatures, but we will be having unseasonable cold weather here. They can tolerate water temps down to 40 F, but tonight the air temp here will be around that! Possibly into the upper 30's! Yesterday Keith set up the aquarium stand, and today we will clean and set up the aquarium. I've told him that we probably need to use as much of Fishy's outside water as possible in the aquarium since I don't want Fishy to suffer from being moved inside. I really dread killing my 29 cent goldfish by doing what I think is the right thing to do. (And yes, I do realize the irony of the amount of money we've spent to get an aquarium and stand for a feeder fish.) However, Fishy is our pet, and we all like him very much, especially Lily. If Fishy should meet an untimely demise, and I'm praying he won't, I'll get some other fish for it. When I was young I had one of the pink goldfish, and I've been wondering where I could find one of those.
Ok, I'm sure you've had enough ramblings on about my lone fish. So, what are we doing today? I've been reading www.catnutrition.org and www.catinfo.org. I'm buying some new litterboxes and setting them up. I'm making homemade dogfood for Sassy (several days' worth). I'll probably research a more local source for whole, ground rabbit (sorry to my vegetarian readers, but kitties can't live on tofu). In the meantime I'll look for a local source of the canned catfoods I've been reading about. I've been feeding them Eagle Pack kibble for several years now, but I'm convinced that Monster needs to eat moist food instead. That will help her lose the weight that the even the special diet kibble hasn't helped her lose. And she really loves a good moist food anyway.
I think that's it. Have a great day. It's so lovely here. I treasure these fall days when we get them as they are all too fleeting.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I think it's "go time"

I think I've finally been pushed to the limit. I've been wondering what to do for some time about Monster's weight (she's horribly obese) and Sassy's skin (she must have all sorts of allergies), and I'm just about to the point of cooking for my pets. All that I read is how cats don't need much, if any carbs as they are obligate carnivores. As for Sassy, apparently Shar Peis and labs have all types of allergies and skin problems. The poor girl may have the worst of both breeds. I've been researching things online, and while I'm not comfortable (yet) feeding them a raw diet, I'm thinking that's in the future. The near future. Hmm, do I see an electric meatgrinder in my future too?

Where's that crystal ball when I need it?

This bed ain't big enough!

Let's face it, a queen sized bed is just not big enough for 2 adult humans and 3 cats! It doesn't give the cats (like bad children) enough space to not be touching each other. Mom! His paw is nearly on my tail! Make him get on his side! MOM! Now he's messed up my fur, and I've just spent 20 minutes licking it into place!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Not much going on here

I've been knitting some, and I've gotten to the point on the second sleeve where I have switched from intarsia to fair isle. That makes the knitting go a bit more quickly.

On knit night I worked on my Malabrigo cable wrap since it's such an easy pattern. I had also taken it with me when we went to Juvenile Court on Monday, so I've added at least 12" to the overall length this week.

I don't think I blogged about going to court. I had received a subpoena awhile back concerning our car that had been stolen from in front of the house. Apparently when the police found it several hours later, the person driving it was under 18. Anyway, we went to court on Monday and only had to wait a little while before an investigator from the D.A.'s office came to talk to us. The juvenile had requested an attorney, so the court date was rescheduled. We don't have to go to next one. We're "on call" if they need us. The woman sitting next to me had something very similar to her happen. Her car disappeared from right in front of her front door one night.

I've got to go. Clearing out my office has opened up a lot of space, and Lily is going crazy right now. I'm in fear for my curtains, my printer (she keeps wanting to leap onto it) and my still partially empty bookshelves. She's currently on my dresser, peering down towards where Chubby has hidden himself beneath it. I've got move any remaining breakables.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Billy bookcase installation

I wanted to share some pictures of my new Billy Bookcases. Yes, only one set so far has doors. The doors were expensive compared to the shelving, and I wanted to make sure they would fit where I wanted the bookcases to go.


Here you see Lily inspecting them for nap worthiness.



Here's a larger photo showing where they are in my very cluttered office.




Here you see what pops instantly into my head every time I hear the name "Billy".








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Mmmmmm... Billy

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sleeve one

Here is a picture of the completed first sleeve. When I held it up to Keith's arm, I thought it looked a little tiny bit short. I unpicked the bound off stitches and knitted a few more rows. Then, I looked at some pictures of sweaters knitted in the round like this one and saw the sleeves attach lower than I expected them to. I am now wondering if it is too long. Oh well, there's only one way to find out.

Next, you will see a picture of the second baby bear sunsuit that I've made for the AKG. I've made 5 pieces of teddy bear clothing this year, so I feel much better than I did last year. I think this variegated yarn makes a really cute sunsuit.

I'm not blogging too much tonight. Keith put together my Billy Bookcases today, and while he still needs to anchor them to the wall, I can probably move a few books back to the bottom shelf. I've taken over the living room with all my stuff, and he's getting antsy about it.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Synchronicity

A while back I blogged about wanting to go to Chateau Elan for a weekend vacation. While that's a lovely thought and quite enticing, I go look at their pricing and think again. While it may seem that I'm a wild spender, my wild spending is in 3 areas only - books, yarn, and pets. I'm actually kind of miserly in other areas of my life.

Back to Chateau Elan. I received an email from my SIL a few days ago about a girls' weekend that was being put together for the women in the family to go away and visit for a few days. The spot they chose? Chateau Elan. A villa was being rented for the weekend, and with enough of us the pricing seems much more reasonable. (Which helps make up for the outrageousness of the spa pricing.) Yes, I am getting a spa treatment. I'd love to get more than one, but this weekend will be seriously cutting into my yarn money. Besides, I know of places where I can get a really excellent pedicure for $30. They may not provide champagne, but I'd rather sip the home brewed mead I recently received anyway.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Quite funny, and a little inappropriate.

I've been trying for several days now to figure out how to blog about something that really falls into the "too much information" category, but it's terribly funny. Here's my attempt.

Many nights lately Mr. Chubbs sleeps with us. He sleeps by my shins between me and the edge of the bed. He is such a wonderful, sound sleeper, never waking up at 3 a.m. for petting or roaming around on my pillow meowing or chewing on my hair. Chubbs sleeps like a log until the alarm goes off.

The other night hubby was feeling a little amorous, and when he made his move, he woke up Chubbers. Chubbers was not terribly happy to be woken up, much less with Keith's knee near his face, so he bit and/or clawed Keith to get him to go back to his side of the bed! Chubbs was eventually driven from the bed, but not by me as I was laughing too hard. Keith did end up with several very small wounds on his knee from the unhappy cat. After all, kitties need their 20 hours of sleep a day, and rowdy humans can be quite disturbing. Must make humans behave and obey their feline masters.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Half a happy dance!

I have finished the first sleeve of the flame sweater! Woohoo! {dancing wildly on one foot here!}

The other foot is fully grounded for several reasons.
1. I have the whole other sleeve to knit. I've discovered I'm not that wild about color work, but probably because I'm not very good at it yet.
2. I thought I took better notes than I did in reality. I have to sit down and figure out just what in the world I did with the first sleeve. Like why did I end up with 4 extra stitches when I followed the pattern I had marked in my notes? Ok, 2 I can explain as I need them for seaming before continuing on with the sweater yoke, but the other 2? Where does that extra increase come in? Why is it there? Why do I delude myself into thinking I had actually left decent notes?

I know some of this is Martian to you non-knitters. I'm knitting this sweater in the round which means that the body is in one tube. I knit the sleeves separately (2 more tubes), connect them all together and knit the yoke to the neckline as a tube. It's pretty cool and will eventually work out. However, (you knew there was one, didn't you?) However, I had to make changes to make it all work. One change is that since I was knitting the flames into the sleeves, I have to knit them flat and then sew them up before attaching them to the body. In order to do this and have them fit, I have to add extra stitches to make up for the ones the seam will eat up. Somehow I've gotten even more extra stitches than were needed.

Oh well, I've had more difficult puzzles to unravel. I'll get this figured out, and even then I'll delude myself into thinking next time I'll take better notes. **Wink, wink** (we all know better, don't we?)

Off to watch what's left of a documentary about pre-Columbian pyramids discovered in Peru.