Thursday, January 31, 2008

Musing on lace

Last night I started another Malabrigo square for the shop's afghan model. Of course I forget the number of the lace I'm currently doing, but I realized on the way home last night that it would possibly make a good lace sock. Ever since I started doing toe-up socks, I have to think about will this pattern convert? This has yet to be a problem for me, but I could see it becoming one in the future. It's good to keep those bottom to top patterns in mind for doing toe-up socks.

In other items the relative with the small cancer found out yesterday that it has spread to a few lymph nodes. I'll follow up either this evening or tomorrow to get the current scoop.

As for tonight, I find I'm not really in the mood for TV, which means I most likely won't get any knitting done either. I'm not at the point where I can do teeny tiny stockinette and read a book at the same time. I can do larger garter stitch and watch the bats fly around at dusk, so I know I can knit without looking, but I think the smaller scale freaks me out.

Weather permitting I plan to take some more photos of my stash and post them on Ravelry. It will really help me when I feel like I must buy more yarn. I can peruse all the photos and think - hmm, must knit from stash to make room beforer getting more yarn.

Sorry for the lack of deep thoughts tonight. I've been rudely awoken much earlier than I like the past 2 mornings, and I feel fairly sleepy right now. I'm off now to find a book, maybe an Agatha Christie, to read for a bit.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Workin' overtime

I'm off from work today, and I find I'm pondering work in general. You married gals and gals in relationships will know what I'm talking about as I relate some of our conversation over the last 24 hours or so.

Keith, "We need to figure out what we're going to have for dinner the next few days."

Keith, "Are you planning to do any laundry tomorrow?"

Keith, "I need a black dress shirt for that meeting tomorrow, and I don't think the one I have fits me. I guess I'll go out after work tomorrow night and get one."

Gals, we all know how these things above translate, and some aren't a bit subtle. I bring this up because with the changes going on at work, I have the opportunity to work more days if I would like. I almost immediately said that I was fine with working 4 days there. At the time, what I didn't realize is that 2 of my 3 days off are also work days. In reality, I get 1 day off a week, and sometimes Keith is mad that I just want to lay around and do nothing. That hasn't happened lately as he is finally allowing himself to laze around, and he's found that it's actually quite good for you to take a break.

So, how did I spend my day off? Let's see, laundry, grocery shopping, looking for a black dress shirt, running to Home Depot to replace an oddly shaped halogen bulb, and more in that vein. What happens on my next day off? Well, someone has to take Scooter to the vet for bloodwork. Thank goodness that won't take all day, because someone has to do some vacuuming, mopping and probably more laundry.

I think I will continue to only work those 4 days. At least when I'm here doing laundry, dishes, mopping and cooking, if I see a pile of cats snoozing in the bed, I can dive in between them all and take a quick nap. That's not something I can do at a job.

As for Scooter, Keith said last night that Scooter doesn't seem happy anymore. Poor kitty has had a rough year with losing his mom and his aunt. I know our critters can get depressed, and I think he also has some arthritis because I noticed he isn't holding his tail up high a whole lot lately. I get to take him to my favorite vet this week, and she won't look at me funny when I say he just doesn't seem happy anymore, and what can we do to cheer him up? And yes, for most of today I've left the heating pad on (only while I've been home) in the bed so his little ol' self can stay toasty warm. Keith is a sucker for Scooter too, and will often leave the heating pad on while he's at home.

Anyway, I've got more laundry to do before I get to knit tonight. As the dryer alarm is going off, I'd better get to it before I have to add ironing to my to do list.

Hmmm, socks

I finished the first of the Claudia Handpaint socks last night. This is just a basic, toe-up, PGR short row heel sock. I'll post pictures later. I did immediately cast on sock number 2 while watching the State of the Union address and the Democratic reply.

Unfortunately, we didn't switch channels as soon as we should have, and we missed much of the discussion on PBS. However, we were watching Fox, and did any of you see Shepherd Smith's make-up? He looked just awful. Why didn't anyone tell him he looked like the pancake was way too thick, and just who touched up his eyebrows? I think he's almost ready for Kabuki.

Gotta run. I'm actually planning to start going to yoga again regularly. Must eat breakfast in plenty of time before I go.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rock 100.5 (not a darn bit of knitting content and some colorful language)

or how my radio got its balls back.

Radio here in Atlanta has been beyond dreadful these past few years. Any slightly decent station lately has been castrated by corporate interests ($$$). And yes, I mean castrated. We've been awash in a sea of soft rock and other crap, and since I'd rather spend money on yarn, I've been listening to CD's when the CD player is behaving.

I just found out a few days ago (told you I barely listen to radio) that yet another station that I used to love was going away. In fact, it had already gone. Bye bye to 99X. You were so wonderful back in the early 90's. You couldn't help the fact that music just got worse, and you were sold to another mega-media conglomerate.

One thing this media monster has done is to bring back a classic rock station of the type that plays Pink Floyd and not constant Hotel California. They've also brought back the Regular Guys with Southside Steve. I know a lot of people don't like them, and I'll admit that I can't always listen to them myself. However, they sure as hell beat the soft rock stations, and I do get awfully tired of listening to various war commentaries on NPR.

So I'm looking forward to being able to hear Led Zeppelin on the way to work in the mornings again. Sure, they'll probably play Stairway to Heaven until I want to scream, but at least it's rock. The real kind. No watered down, re-recorded by imbeciles or muzaked, but belted out by long-haired guitar wielding legends. You know who I'm talking about. Page, Petty, Nugent, Townsend and Richards.

Wait, there is a smidge of yarn news. I ordered the February custom color of Lorna's Laces from Jimmy Beans Wool. The color is S.W.A.K. (Sealed With A Kiss.) It's a scrumptious combination of brown, red and fuschia. I can't wait to knit it up. I'll do photos later. And yes, I am running out of room for sock yarn. Why do you ask?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More science news and other ramblings

An asteroid will pass very close to Earth next Tuesday. You can read about it here.

When will the writers quit striking? I think I've seen all the new episodes of Nova at least twice now.

In other news, I worked on the afghan square for the shop model today while at work. It's a braided cable. It's looking quite nice, if I do say so myself. However, it is one where you have either cables or twists on every right side row. That makes it yet another project where I have to pay attention. I haven't done a single stitch of knitting tonight. I'm heading off to bed with a book pretty soon instead.

I know there's not a damn thing I can do to speed it up, but I'm almost impatiently - no, that's not the right word, but neither is anxiously - well, I'm waiting for a Malabrigo order to get in. I've got another gift to get knitted up pronto. I want to use the Emerald Blue which is a fabulous green/blue variegated color. Every day I have to wait on that yarn is another whole day of lost knitting. That can be maddening.

Of course, the window over my computer looks out to the east, and I've been watching the full moon rise the past few nights. I'll chalk up my impatience to full moon lunacy and just go climb into bed with a cat.

A quick thought about cats. Scooter is supposed to get liver every other day, and today was liver day. Keith and I were both busy, what with work, grocery shopping, etc, and forgot to cook up any liver! Scooter was just fussing in the kitchen, and I do wonder if he's keeping a calendar somewhere. That yowling of his definitely sounded like "where's my organic chicken liver, my temporarily worthless humans?" I have got to get him back to the vet for more bloodwork, but part of me dreads it if she says he doesn't need his liver anymore. Then will I be cooking organic boneless chicken thighs for him when he starts meowing? He's gotten such bad table manners as he's gotten older (and I spoil him). He starts pawing my leg the minute I sit to eat, and he's decided in addition to his usual fish, deli meat and baked chicken that he will now eat ground beef, egg yolk leftover on a plate or if he's really desparate, oatmeal remnants if it has real butter in it. I found out recently that Keith has been paying the cream or milk toll when he goes into the kitchen. We do keep an eye on the type and amount of food he eats off our plates. I think when a cat reaches 17 1/2, he's entitled to have some treats besides the holistic catfood he gets.

Princess Plumy has just come in to get me off the computer. She's ready for pre-sleep petting and light snoozing. To paraphrase Cat from Red Dwarf, if a cat doesn't get 9 or 10 naps a day, he's too tired to sleep all night.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Walking man on Mars?

Have you seen this? Hell yeah, it looks like Bigfoot is out for a stroll on the Martian surface. Just how did a couple of backwoods pranksters fix up this hoax? (I want to hand it to the guy in the gorilla suit who pulled this one off.)

How about the UFOs seen in Texas? Apparently now the military says they did have fighter jets in the area. If Kolchak the Nightstalker & the X-Files have taught us anything, we know they really did have those jets there, chasing the UFOs.

You have to excuse me - I really enjoy wierd science. As for knitting, I worked on that intarsia sleeve for about an hour last night. I made some progress, but it does require a lot of attention, and it seems I can concentrate on all those bobbins and loose yarn bits for about an hour. After that, I started on a bear skirt, decided it was too big, and frogged it. To me frogging and reknitting are not wasted time. Every time I do it, I definitely learn something.

No more knitting tonight. I started another Malabrigo Afghan square for a shop model, then started that bear skirt over. It's been a long day, and I feel beat. I hear Keith bellowing (yawning loudly), so I know he's sleepy too.

Have a good night. Don't let the bedbugs bite. Don't be surprised when you wake up cheek to cheek with the kitty (with the rest of the kitty sleeping on your pillow.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Monday pictures

I needed something to do after I let loose my inner klutziness and fell up the stairs out front, so I took pictures of my knitting. (And I'm fine. I just startled poor Mr. Chubbikins, that most friendly of feral kitties, when I shouted out a quick curse. I think I will have a goose egg on my leg later, and I'll make sure to cover it up for yoga tomorrow.)

Without further ado:

These are for the bears the Atlanta Knitting Guild collects, as I mentioned in a previous post. They are supposed to be for the same size, but even though I followed the directions, the top seems much smaller than the skirt. Don't let the pictures fool you. The top is quite a bit smaller. I'm planning to used the pink yarn and make a smaller skirt, then I'll figure out another pattern for the sweater to go with the white skirt. The top is the exact same color, but I used the flash with the skirt photo. I didn't want to wash out the details on the top.

These are the 2 socks I'm working on for myself. The bright one is my "car" sock since it's an easy pattern that I can work on during traffic lights. The other is the lace pattern from Spinning Bunny. The lace itself is easy to work, but not exactly traffic light easy.

Finally, these fingerless gloves are a gift, and I plan to deliver them, quite belatedly for a Christmas present, tomorrow.

As change is the only constant in the universe, I'll be staying at my job. My co-worker was offered a fulltime job much closer to home, and I didn't feel comfortable leaving Arlene with a major staff deficit to fill. I'll just plan to take more time off in order to visit my family.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Quick poll

When you have a minute, visit and give her some feedback on a sample she's crocheting for her Etsy shop.

I finished the bear outfit last night with a lot of single crochet edging just to smooth out the look of the edges and tie in the hiding the hole bit. I decided just to add a crochet stripe over the hole, and now it looks pretty great.

We're waiting for snow here. I'm not really sure what to do about a class I'm teaching this afternoon. I hate to cancel, and have the snow be a no-show, but if I don't cancel, I wonder how many people will show up anyway. I plan to get ready for work, then call the boss at home and see what the plans are. The National Weather Service is predicting 2 - 4" for the Atlanta area. We haven't seen that much snow is several years, and I would love to see it. We're ready for it with canned soup, bread, beer and long matches to light the gas stove top if the power goes out. Alas, we forgot the fixin's for nachos, but there's still time before the snow starts. I also have lots and lots of knitting to do. I may even see if I can get Keith to sit still and give it a try.

Well, I've got to at least act like I'm going to work today. More later.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Yes, I'll be doing a little crochet tonight. I've got to get the bear top finished, then I need to whip up some flowers to sew onto the skirt to cover my little boo-boo (a short row that I didn't turn correctly. This is a don't ask, don't tell situation, and it's honestly not very interesting. Sheer laziness on my part of not wanting to purl in the round, since you must know.)

I've been perusing Ravelry in order to find flower that is simple, but nice looking. I found the Pretty Pretty Flower Scarf and the 100 Flower Scarf Pattern. They both look like they will work for what I'm envisioning. Probably no photos tonight after all.

We did have a brush of winter weather last night. It snowed here in Georgia, but it didn't last long. It changed over to sleet, then to rain. I woke up this morning hoping against logic that it may have switched back over to snow in the night, but instead I saw the crusty, icy remnants of snow in my now very sad looking yard. Snow seems to make the dead plants and grass look even worse. There is potential for snow again tomorrow night, and in the meantime we're having more normal, typical Southern winter weather. It's cold and wet outside. Not cold enough for it to be a nice dry cold, but the clothes and bone penetrating damp cold. The other night there were 5 of us in the bed - me, hubby and 3 kitties all snuggled up to stay warm. Hubby is not thrilled with being hemmed in with cats who seem to increase their weight threefold when totally relaxed and leaning on him. As for me, I'm getting to the point where I don't notice, not even when Scooter decides that he's going to sleep on my stomach. I woke up the other morning, quite surprised to find him there. Apparently I slept through his coming up and getting comfortable while K didn't. Scooter and I have napped like that for years now, and I guess it's just totally normal for me to sleep with a cat on top of me. Much like a furry and purring heating pad.

Oh well, enough babbling. Nothing on the telly I want to watch tonight, so off to watch a few more episodes of Futurama, season 4. I'll get the bear clothing finished tonight!

Monday, January 14, 2008

First bear skirt finished

Well, I do have to sew in the yarn ends, but I finished while watching part 2 of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Now, on to the sweater to go with the skirt. Pictures later.

Sleeves undone

Last night I sat down and frogged both sleeves to the row before the intarsia started. They are both on their own circular needle waiting for me to start over.

I just couldn't do it last night, nor will I be able to do it tonight. Fox's new series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, started last night. If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I'm an Arnold fan, and the previews for the new show really piqued my interest. The first Terminator movie is so dark, and you just wonder how Sarah is going to raise the leader who can save mankind from the machines. Summer Glau, who was River in Serenity, actually makes a pretty good machine. And the guy they have for the evil terminator, check David Kilde out and see for yourself. Hmmmm, stunt men...

Anyway, we started a new group on Ravelry yesterday in hopes of more bear outfits for the AKG this year. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here, but the Atlanta Knitting Guild donates bears to the Georgia Center for Children. This past year we were down from the year before in bears that we donated. I'll admit that I'm guilty. I didn't knit any teddy bear clothes at all. Needing something easy and mindless to knit last night (especially since all of my projects currently have charts to follow), I started a teddy bear skirt. I have some leftover yarn from other projects, but the book I bought uses dk weight in all of its patterns, and what I have are sock weights and worsted. I found a pattern online that uses the worsted, and I'll probably be finished with this skirt by tonight. Then to see if I have the yarn to make the matching sweater.

That's all for today. I can knit a bear skirt around the rotating cats in lap and while watching an action packed tv show. Enjoy it now. I've noticed if it's a new Fox series, and I like it, it will be cancelled. I remember such shows as Action, Firefly, and Futurama. (I will mention that 2 of those 3 had such fan reactions that movies have been made - Serenity and Bender's Big Score.)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

OMG! What was I thinking?

Last night I started on the sleeves for Keith's sweater. In my brilliance, I decided to do both sleeves at once on one long circular. I also decided that I don't like the way duplicate stitch looks on the sleeve, so I would do that color in intarsia also.

For the record, this is not my first time to tackle intarsia, but since I learned to purl correctly, I figured it would work out this time and be a piece of cake.

I have always thought that the Supreme Entity had a great, but warped sense of humor, and that I provide him or her with endless entertainment.

To be honest, the intarsia itself is not that difficult. None of it is really difficult, but it is a bloody mess. Hence, the what was I thinking part. Let's take a look at the things I thought would work.

2 intarsia sleeves at once on one long circular needle.

Pulling from both ends of the ball at the same time.

All those bobbins hanging from the work.

A cat sleeping in my lap.

Same cat now sleeping on my book with the chart while her shadow sleeps on the other book I'm using to make the sleeves actually fit the sweater. (Remember, I'm tweaking a helluva lot.)

Watching TV while all of the above is going on.

Hmm. No wonder the Supreme Deity uses the hubris button on me from time to time.

What I'm going to do now.

Undo the intarsia part of one sleeve for sure since my yarn is not carried properly in the back.

Make copious notes and knit one sleeve at a time.

Rewind the ball into 2 small balls so that it's easier to work with - or just use 2 balls.

Try not to start breakfast with a shot of something before I get a ripping. A Mudslide or 2 is probably not a good idea, but it would make the ripping a little less painful.
Or, maybe I'll just knit on something else today!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Addendum to yarn purchasing moratorium

I will follow in the footsteps of others before me and amend this to yarn purchasing is allowed for a specific project if the project is a gift.

I mention this since I now have 2 gifts to knit up. One is a shawl that a family member saw and would like me to knit another one just like it as a gift. The other is something that came to me that same night, and there's a deadline on it. More on it later.

I have to admit as great as it was to see family this past week, it was so incredibly lovely to come home last night and be able to watch tv while knitting with a cat in the lap. The kitties and Sassy have been feeling deprived. My lap was a revolving cat bed with 3 different kitties in it at different times, and Sassy requiring petting every time you looked in her direction. (Not that she always got it.)

I started working on Keith's sweater again last night. As usual, I find I'm changing things as I go along. It doesn't look different enough yet for pictures, but by next weekend I may have some shots of the intarsia sleeves.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


It's been a busy week so far.

We went to the visitation for Frank on Tuesday night. Family had started coming in from around the country, so we briefly got to see some folks that we hadn't seen in awhile.

One of the things about Frank is that he was a larger than life, totally fun person. When Gina picked out his clothes for his burial, she picked one of his favorite outfits - almost lime green pants and a tangerine shirt. I know, it sounds outrageous, but he was the sort who would wear those clothes that we think of when we think of preppy golfers.

The funniest (as in coincidence, not haha) thing about all this is that the colorway for the basic socks I'm knitting contains that same green and orange, along with a bright red, pink and yellow. I'm now calling these socks Frank in his memory. Yes, I'll post a picture of the progress so far in a day or two. I'm almost finished with the first one.

Yesterday was the funeral and internment, followed by for lack of a better word, a reception. We were there for hours since by then everyone had come in, and we got a chance to visit and see people we don't get to see very often. Of course we had stories about Frank to share with each other.

And it didn't end there. We had no sooner walked into the house when we got a phone call to go meet up with some of the aunts and cousins for dinner. I'm so sorry for the reason we all got together, but it was so good to see everyone. Of course we went, and we didn't get home until after 11:00 last night.

Today my work week finally starts. I must say I'm not very rested up for it, but with coffee I can manage.

One very good thing to mention is that I have finished 2 of the projects that were on my resolutions list. I've finished the wrap, mailed it and gotten a very lovely note from the recipient. I've finished the pair of handwarmers, and I've got to get them delivered. Unfortunately most of the things left on my list involve charts. They are either lace or intarsia. Eek! I've got to pick one and go for it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Some clarification

Oops. In my last post I wrote that I'd sold my first book. I would love to have written a book and be selling it, but what I'm actually selling are used books that I no longer want or need. My first used book sold on Amazon yesterday, and I'm thrilled to be cleaning out and getting credit at Amazon at the same time. As I've pre-ordered season 2 of Banacek for Keith, it's almost like I'm getting it for free.

Woohoo! Pictures finally!

I've got pictures today, so get ready for some eye candy. This one really is the Night before Christmas. Not a creature was stirring, not even a super-active wild kitty.

Here are pictures of the Mystery Stole 3 which has been in hibernation, but I did want to get a picture of it on Ravelry. Princess was not a cooperative model today. Models can be so moody.

This is Honi's finished stole. I still think it's a wee bit short, but it will work. It's worked in Malabrigo Amorosa. You can't see the cables here, but I love the way the colors show up.

I got notice from Amazon that my first book sold! I've got to get it packed up today, so Honi, I'll be posting your stole tomorrow too.

As for my resolutions, I am almost finished with the fingerless gloves that I'm making for Janice. (Sorry Janice in Ga, it's a different Janice). I'll post a picture of them after I fool around with getting the photo edited. (It needs to be rotated, as does my sock photo.)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Thank you

I want to thank you for your kind words and thoughts at this time. It seems everything does come at once.

Frank passed away on Thursday night. Thank goodness he is no longer suffering. We'll miss him so much. He's the guy who's always the life of the party with a big smile on his face, telling outrageous stories and teasing all the ladies. Holiday get togethers with Frank were always very fun. That's how Keith and I will remember him. We both have regrets of not visiting him more while he was alive, especially before he got ill. That's why I've been urging everyone to spend time with the people who mean something to you.

As for me, since I work parttime, I decided to take a break from working in order to be able to spend some time with my grandmother's before they both pass away. We (speaking generally about humans) don't have any idea of what the future will bring (unless we have ESP). Neither grandmother is on the brink, but they both have some health issues. This time I spend will hopefully give them both some enjoyment, and I'll have some more happy memories for the future.

I promise, knitting content later. I have to enlist the hubby to take a few photos, then I'll be both horrifying and delighting you with knitting projects.

Take care.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Good news and bad news

First the good. The relative with the new cancer found out that it's between stage 1 and stage 2. Now it's just a matter of how to go about treating it. An MRI, a visit to the next doctor, and treatment should be underway.

The bad is that the cousin with the liver cancer - well, we'll probably be attending a funeral next week. I have felt like an awful relative because we haven't visited since the diagnosis. While talking to Keith's sister, I found out that she too had been gently discouraged from visiting. Whenever we would call, we would get a response such as maybe in a few weeks. Gina would get the same answer too. From what I can tell, very few relatives were allowed to visit. I'm left with some very mixed feelings. I really like this person, and I would have liked to have seen him again, but now I'm left with only memories of when he was healthy and happy. I am relieved not to have the memories of his being a husk of who he once was.

Well, I've got to run. More later, and finally some knitting content again.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Small start and deep thoughts

I've done it. I've gotten 12 books listed for sale on Amazon. It's a start to decluttering the house. I've also gotten a bag of scrubs to go to Goodwill since I won't be needing them for skincare anymore.

The past few days have brought news that no one ever wants to hear. Keith's cousin who has liver cancer will be leaving hospice to go home for his remaining days. It's been rough for everyone. I like him a lot. He's always been great fun, a bit of a scoundrel. We haven't seen him for a little over 2 years. They continued to travel after his diagnosis, when his health allowed. As the prognosis was not good, he and his wife did what they could to cram lots of life into his remaining time. I must admit to dreading seeing him after all this time. I remember how both Keith's mom and uncle looked days before their death. It's a hard thing to see.

Another relative has just been diagnosed with cancer, and we found out about it yesterday. It's early days yet, so we'll find out as they do what the prognosis is.

It does make one stop and think. I'm sorry to be a downer, and right now I'm not sad, just thoughtful. The time we have here is so short, so we should try to squeeze all we can out of it. How we live should be meaningful to each of us, and we mustn't let others tell us how we should do it. I see other people striving away to amass material goods, and their happiness is based upon obtaining whatever that thing is. I won't lie. I've done a bit of amassing myself. Remember, I mentioned packrat and lots of junk the other day. We absolutely won't talk about my yarn stash.

To get back to the point, while there are things we need to survive, such as food and shelter, there are the other things we need that feed our souls. I'll admit that there are times when my family drives me to utter madness. There are other times when I feel so lucky to have them around. I still have 2 grandmothers, both of whom turned 88 this year. I know I need to make the time to see them while I still can. Truthfully, one doesn't even know me now, but I need to visit her for my own peace of mind. And it was shocking to me when I visited the other just a few weeks ago to hear her say she wouldn't have recognized me on the street! (All because my hair is longer than last time I saw her.) Time speeds by, and I hadn't realized that it had been 6 months between visits. To me that is not acceptable.

Make time for those you love. Unfortunately we won't have them around for forever.

I'll eventually get back to knitting content. I've taken a knitting break too. I did watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night. Keith, who hadn't read the book, thought it was too disjointed and didn't flow well. I, having read the book numerous times, thought it was okay. It's a very long book to try to compress into a movie, and I think they made an admirable go of it.

As for other movies, we did watch both the Simpsons Movie and Bender's Big Score last week. The Simpsons Movie was just kind of odd, but we really enjoyed Bender's Big Score.