Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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
(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
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
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Why did you wake me up?
Give me that camera!
Fine, I'm ignoring you and going back to sleep.
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
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.
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
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
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'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
Friday, December 5, 2008
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.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Friday, November 21, 2008
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.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
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.
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
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
It was ruffly.
I tried pressing it with my fingers, wondering if blocking would take care of it.
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sunday, November 2, 2008
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Well, maybe it's not so good. I could try another angle. Yeah, that's the ticket.
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
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
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.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Where's that crystal ball when I need it?
Friday, October 17, 2008
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
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".
Sunday, October 12, 2008
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
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
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
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.