Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breaking news

Lily's human slave just said, "Enough is enough. One day of sleeping in the cabinet was ok, but it won't be an ongoing option."

He's making pancakes for the Sunday Morning Pancake Jamboree, then he's cleaning out the cabinet. I'm glad the windows are open as I can't stand the smell of bleach.

Whole lotta pictures

Let's start with Lily sleeping in the cabinet. As you can see, her human slave made it possible for her to have a nice nap out of reach of other kitties. The little varmint is sleeping right where my plates and bowls go.

I think this shot is saying "Why did you wake me up?"

And yes, that is the shaved area where the abscess is near her tail where her fur looks funny.

Doesn't Scooter look good for being 18 years, 3 months old? I love this expression Keith caught on his face. There were some other pictures, but I thought this one was too funny and very cute. "Where's that liver? I want it NOW!"

Here is some charity knitting for the Atlanta Knitting Guild. This is the fourth bear item I've knitted this year. They are very quick and go to such a worthy cause.

Here are my Woolly Boully socks in progress. I love how the pattern changed when I switched from stockinette to ribbing in the cuff. That's also why the cuff looks so thin. It's 2x2 rib.

These are the Roses for You socks. Woo hoo! A finished project!

A detail of the lace panel. I think I need to get some sock blockers.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lily's newest sleeping spot.

Lily, former stray kitty that she is, has been scrapping with a feral cat that comes around to eat occasionally. Unfortunately, she had an abscess this week, and a trip to the vet today. Apparently she wasn't feeling very well after getting home from the vet (and who would be after having an abscess flushed out, followed by antibiotic shots). She decided to find a quiet place to sleep it all off. Now, I wasn't at home when this was happening, but Keith was. He heard some odd noises, the sounds of porcelain knocking together. When he went into the kitchen, he saw a tail hanging from the cabinet where we store our dishes. Lily was working her way onto the dinner plates!

You must remember that Keith is Lily's slave absolutely. The hinge on this particular cabinet is broken, and he knew there was no way to keep Lily out of it. Instead he took out the dinner plates, bowls and dessert plates, leaving almost the entire bottom shelf empty. She slept there most of the afternoon, went outside to snooze on the top of the van for a short while, and she's back sleeping in there again.

I suggested we put a box on top of the fridge, and I think we'll try that tomorrow. I need my cupboard back. I said we could get child-proof locks to keep her out until Keith replaces the hinges. I'd like someplace besides the dishwasher to store my clean plates. We'll have to clean the cabinets and wash the things she walked on.

Tomorrow - pictures and tales of the "scoop and squirt", or how we gave Lily her liquid medicine. If you see me in the next week, I've earned every bloody cut that I will have on my hands and forearms. I will have suffered growling, yowling, hissing, spitting and clawing to help Keith medicate his kitty. Hmm, I wonder if all that would warrant receiving a little blue box from Tiffany's? One that actually had something from Tiffany's inside it?

Nah, they'll just put our name on the wing we've paid for at the vet clinic.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Visions of Mad Max

As much of the Atlanta metro area and north Georgia runs dry of gasoline, I find myself thinking of The Road Warrior. Will the lack of gas lead to bikers in bondage gear roaming around the state stealing fuel and just causing mayhem? Honestly, I doubt it. They would be confronted by hordes of angry Georgia and Alabama fans upset that the football game and all associated activities had been interrupted, and who'd want to be on the receiving end of that wrath?

As for me, I'm avoiding any unnecessary driving and keeping my eyes open for a station with some fuel. It seems unlikely that any will be available until early next week. It's high time for us to end our dependency on oil and look for other alternatives. I may just have to learn how to make biodiesel and buy some old diesel Mercedes wagon from the '70's. (Hippification in progress.)

I must admit - I loved the costumes from the Road Warrior. Hippy paisley is much more comfortable, but black leather always looks good.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Need a laugh?

Please go read this. I was laughing out loud. Of course, you may need to scroll through some of the older posts to get the whole story, but to paraphrase, they originally thought Blueberry was a girl.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! Say no more!

In other news, my stash has suddenly become a Ravelry shopping stop. Just tonight I've had the second person in a week ask if they could buy something from it. I said yes to the first as she wanted 3 balls of Knit Picks yarn I had bought on a whim. I had the dye lot she needed, and who knows when I would have used it.

As for this second one, she's wanting a single ball of my silk yarn. It's been in my stash waiting for the perfect pattern to come along. Since I got it on sale, I may have too much of it, but I'd rather have too much than have to desperately search for it. While I can sympathize with the situation, I probably won't sell it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oops! I forgot how

to do my stretchy bind off for the second sock.

It's been a long day of grocery shopping, food prep and laundry. At this point I'm going to bed and binding off tomorrow night. Other than that, the second Roses for You sock is finished. I need a new knit night project, and I'll do this.
I bought this pattern probably 2 years ago, most likely because I liked the green tweed yarn of the sample. I kept looking for the yarn, and one day I realized the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool was the right weight and tweedy texture. I bought enough of it in spring 2007, but I just haven't gotten around to doing it. I think it will be easy enough to work while talking in a group, unlike Keith's sweater with the intarsia.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Left out yarn

The Silk Garden sock yarn picture was accidentally deleted from yesterday's yarn post. Here it is!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Roses for You socks are nearly finished.

I've got to go to bed soon, so I won't finish them tonight, but I should be able to finish them up tomorrow. I've got one repeat of the lace pattern left, then the ribbing and bind off. After that, back to Keith's sweater. It's really wonderful to get some of these UFO's completed, and I can't wait to get started on the next projects.

Sunday yarny goodness

First of all, a disclaimer. This is not a wild shopping spree. This is several months worth of yarn finally being catalogued in Ravelry, so I thought I would share them here too. First of all, on the right, you see an offering from the Nefarious Yarn Club, Lizzie Borden. Next is another offering from the same place, Sweeney Todd. Carrie really knows how to get a red that looks like blood. Of course, she says that this one is the red of the bricks in the town. Yeah, right.

As you can see, Sweeney Todd is a lovely blue with real sterling silver thread running through. I don't have the yarn label in front of me, but I think she said the blue is the murkiness of London.

Next, we have Casbah Sock yarn from Handmaiden. This is for the Loopy Ewe's second anniversary. I'm not wild about black and red blends, but this is quite nice. I think I'll probably use it for something for Keith. I'll admit that the main reason I ordered their second anniversary kit was for the too cute coffee cup.

I had some extraordinary luck in that I caught the Wollmeise's shop when she was having updates, and I was able to obtain all of the colors on my wishlist.

The green and yellow is Lowenzahn.


Flower Power

Maria's Deepest Purple. For one of the updates, I called Melissa and let her know it was happening. I ordered some of her colors, and she ordered some, as well as some different ones, and in the madness, there were duplicates. We worked it all out, and I ended up with 2 skeins of this one. I wasn't as thrilled with it, but when I showed Keith, he liked it. So this will eventually be socks for him. When I mentioned it to him today, he was not impressed. He said he needs to see some finished items. True. So far I've not made much for him.

Red Hot Chili

Soxie in Kiwi Kenny, 2 skeins. I bought this from another knitter who had purchased it for a shawl, but it wasn't working out. I'll find a good use for it.

Noro Kureyon Sock yarn.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shop Hop pictures

First we have Saucy by numma numma, purchased at Needle Nook. The color is minty fresh.
This is Cherry Tree Hill in the colorway Fall Foliage. It was purchased at Main Street Yarns and Fibers.

We went to Strings and Strands after Main Street, where I purchased an older Rowan Magazine. I didn't take a picture of it.

This is Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Pride colorway. C'mon, who wouldn't love rainbow socks? I got this at Knitch.
This is 7 skeins of Rowan Summer Tweed. I purchased 4 at Cast On Cottage and the other 3 at The Whole Nine Yarns.
Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy purchased from Only Ewe and Cotton Too. I'll admit that I had a devil of a time finding anything I wanted to get there. It was probably shopping fatigue. I'll may donate this to a giveaway that I'm participating in on Ravelry, or I may make a couple of shopping bags.
Misti Alpaca Chunky. Not an especially inspired purchase as I can get Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande from work in almost the same color, but shopping fatigue, as well as a desire not to spend a bundle when we got to Knitting Emporeum, the last shop on our wild shop hop dash.
I'll update my stash on Ravelry soon too. I think I have other yarns that I haven't shown here either. I have miserably ignored one of my new years resolutions to knit from stash. Just ain't been happening. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Barely surfing.

It's rare for me to not be surfing much online, but after the Shop Hop, I was just too tired. Gotta admit that I watched TV last night and wasn't online much either.

We did hear our regular owl last night, so maybe the odd noises the other night were another owl passing through, or an odd call our owl was making for some unknown reason.

Anyway, you will see yarn pictures tomorrow.

Cooler weather is finally here!

Last night when I got home I opened up all the windows in the house. I closed most of them before we went to bed except the ones in the bedroom. We both love sleeping with fresh air.

I woke up to a really creepy sound. It woke Keith up too. It must have been an owl, because we don't know how a human could have made that noise. I'll have to research owl calls to see if I can identify what kind it was.

Or, the zombies are rising from the grave.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hopped out!

I'm feeling rather tired now after a full day of hopping. I had no idea how many we were planning to visit, but when the opportunity came to decide, I went with "let's go to all of 'em!"

And we did.

8 knit shops with some random stops for a speeding ticket (the driver, who wasn't me, was let off with a warning) and snacks took us from about 9:15 a.m. to around 7 something this evening. All I know is that it was nearly 8 when I got home tonight, and I'd left the house around 8:30 this morning.

I probably won't take pictures and post them until later this week. Let's see, as we went through the list, it got more difficult to buy something. I'm really quite surprised by how many of the same yarns the different shops have. I did buy some more Rowan Summer Tweed in a color I already have. I got a couple of socks yarns. There was Hempathy from one shop where I was having a real struggle to find anything. An older Rowan magazine from another, and lastly some Misti Alpaca Chunky to make a hat for Keith. The Misti Alpaca came from the last shop, and by this time I wanted something as close to the $10 minimum as possible. I didn't think it was possible, but I was having shopping burnout by then. Just show me some damn yarn, stamp my passport and let me outa here!

Must go now as I can barely keep my eyes open, and there's a kitty demanding attention. Kitteh must be obeyed, or my ankles will be attacked.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My apologies to the Ramones

There's no stoppin' the knitters from hoppin'! (sung to the tune of Cretin Hop.)

I'm hoppin' tomorrow with Gale and Nancy.

I've already been told by a kindred spirit knitter that I need to update my stash on Ravelry which I haven't done in awhile. The impending update will include the past couple of months plus whatever I get into tomorrow. However, I do have a plan, so hopefully there won't be too much impulse yarn purchasing.

Did you know you can export your stash from Ravelry into Excel? From there you can edit it like an other spreadsheet, leaving you with a list of yarns you already have, color number, dye lot and quantities. Is that not the coolest thing to have before you go shop hopping? Especially if you need 2 more balls of one certain yarn, or you already have 5 colors of Bearfoot and 4 of CTH?

Quick knitting update

I've decided to knock out all my works in progress before starting anything new. Remember these?
I'm about this far along on the second sock although this is a picture of sock #1 from last year. Yes, I started these over a year ago. It's high time I got them finished up and off that wips list. After this, I'm starting back on Keith's sweater with it's intarsia.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Finished Urban Fever Monkeys

See? I've been knitting.

I'm blaming this one on Kay from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Last year I heard a little about this campaign by an English drink company to raise money for Age Concern in order to help keep elderly people warm this winter. I would imagine that England gets pretty damn chilly. Everyone always looks so bundled up on the Britcoms. Oops, I've rambled on and not explained anything. Innocent Drinks is selling bottles with little knitted hats to raise the money.

So here's my hat being modeled by a water bottle. Sorry for the picture quality, but I was having a devil of a time taking a clear picture. I need to learn how to use the timer so that I don't move the camera when using the macro lens.
Hat details - leftover yarn from a baby blanket. Used pattern from Innocents site, but instead of knitting it flat, I knit it in the round in order to avoid seams. I see my pompom looks a bit lopsided in the picture, but I imagine it will look worse after it gets mailed to England.
I plan to be finished with my second Urban Fever Monkey sock tonight with pictures posted in the near future.
Now, on to discuss some herd mentality. Many gas stations here in Atlanta are out of gas. Somehow yesterday the population here got the idea that we would run out of gas because of Ike. In a rush of self fulfilling prophecy, they rushed the gas stations. Some owners, being overcome by gas fumes, raised their prices to levels that caused the governor to have to remind them that price gouging is illegal. Stations did run out of gas. Prices are over $4.00 for regular. And to what end? Fattening the wallets of station owners? Of course, I may be eating my words in a few days if prices don't drop like I'm thinking they will. I might also be taking public transportation if I can't fill up my vehicle in a few days. (I had been planning to fill it up as it is actually low, but it was at the shop getting some brakework yesterday.) The good thing about public transportation is knitting time. However, I'm hoping I don't have to use it as it takes sooooo long to get anywhere.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh, the Horror of it!

MTV has decided to remake The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rocky Horror is a cult classic, and in my not so humble opinion, doesn't need to be remade. No one else is going to be able to carry off the Doctor like Tim Curry.

So go here and sign the petition to stop the remake. There is some potentially offensive language on there for some, but go and sign anyway. WTF is totally appropriate when describing the jackasses at MTV.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The sucky part of aging

is when systems start to get a bit off-kilter. I had to start a new medication yesterday, and I was still feeling headachy from the day before when I had to ward off a migraine. I felt totally crappy all day yesterday. The good thing is that I was taking some time off work this week for vacation, which is also the bad part. I was so very glad not to be suffering while at work, but it sucks to be suffering on time off. Today (so far) I feel much better. No lingering from the migraine, and hopefully the new med won't affect me too much either except to do what it's supposed to do.

There's an episode of Family Guy where Peter has had a stroke. He goes into the stem cell research lab and comes out 5 minutes later totally cured. Right now I'd love a dose of stem cells. Fix the thyroid, fix the blood pressure and make me feel like I'm a teenager again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Learning to scan

Here are some practice pictures of my first scanning attempts:

They look a little smaller than I planned, but I must learn by doing. These are both pictures of Pixel and Scooter when they were young. Scooter looks like he's just about fully grown. He's the one sleeping, and Pixel is the annoyed looking one with the paw in her face. Keith and I can't believe just how orange he used to be. Poor little guy is all faded now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thank you sub q!

Scooter is perkier today. It's amazing how getting rehydrated can make him even more of the fuzzy orange landshark. You know how it is. You're in the kitchen. There may be food involved. Here comes the paw, followed by a meow. The other day I had to show him a piece of steamed broccoli. I held it so he could sniff it, thinking that I'd be able to eat it myself after letting him see what it was. No, he had to paw it. He didn't really want it, but Sassy was more than happy to take care of his leftovers.

He's been sharking around, looking for cold cuts, bits of cheese or his liver. I haven't cooked his liver up yet today, but I did save the cooking liquid - liver broth - from the other day, and he's had some of that.

We have to go wrangle him and give him sub q number 2. I think we'll do that, then cook his liver. Bribery helps so much with gaining kitty forgiveness.

And yes, I have been knitting some. I'm almost halfway finished with the instep of my second Monkey sock in the Claudia's Hand Paint. I wish I could remember the color name, but it's something like Urban Fever.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sub Q for Scooter again

He's gotten a little dehydrated, which the vet said might/would probably happen. He's still very perky for a cat his age and not at all happy for us to force some fluids into him. I think he'd much rather do it the old fashioned way, but he just isn't drinking enough liver broth.

I'm taking a few days off work as Keith is on vacation this week. I am so burned out. I really need the break. I'm sure it won't be long enough, but hopefully it will help recharge my batteries. We have plans for working in the basement again. I don't think we've done anything down there since the push to clear it out for waterproofing. The plan is to sort more items into ebay, Goodwill and keep piles. Goodwill items are going there this week.

We won't work all vacation. There is the field trip to Ikea, as well as a movie matinee. The weather forecast is cloudy with some rain. I think it rains almost every time Keith has vacation. This time we've planned things that don't need nice weather to do, but I still don't have that half day at the spa scheduled.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

One awful truth about dyeing

Yikes! Why didn't this occur to me before?

A lot of the dyeing process needs to be done in a child free (no problem), pet free (major problem) area. A prefab building in the back yard is looking better, although this still needs to be cleared with the feline overlords (and the hubby).

Reality check. I'll probably have to work at the kitchen table either when everyone is napping outside, or when everyone is napping inside. I can set up the dyepot outside, and I'll get all my stock solutions made up when Keith is around to herd the helpers.

I have almost everything I need to get started. I'll go through the supply lists today in order to purchase the last few items I need. Hopefully you can see some experimentation here soon.

Kitty's new game

Mr. Chubbikins, most recently a sad stray now turned extremely happy housecat, has a new game he likes to play. Cat tossing.

Truly this is not nearly as bad as it sounds. He won't get up on the bed, or any furniture for that matter, except one sofa. What he does is meow at me until I pick him up and put him on the bed. One day I dropped him on the bed, maybe about 6 or 8 inches, and now it has evolved into tossing him on the bed. Not very far at all, maybe as much as a foot, but he loves it. He immediately rolls over for a belly rub, purring like mad. I think that he won't get up on the bed by himself so that I can toss him up there.

Well, we know who rules the house here, and it ain't us hairless apes.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Where's the plot?

Gale and I went to see Babylon A.D. today at the local Movie Tavern. Unlike the Mummy movie, we were not the only people in the theatre this time. That was really too bad as we had to be quiet the entire time, and this movie had us aching to talk. Mostly, what's it all supposed to mean? I won't go into spoilers, such as they are, just in case you were thinking of seeing it. Go see the matinee and don't spend full price to go. However, be prepared to be both puzzled and perhaps disappointed. I personally wasn't disappointed as I knew it wasn't going to be a good movie going into it, but I am puzzled. I'm not sure why so many writers don't understand the function of a plot. Ok, there is one. Smuggle the girl from Mongolia into the US and hand her over to her "mother".

Now, I don't mind a bad movie. In fact, I rather enjoy them. Would I watch this again? Only if nothing else was on TV, and I needed some background distraction.

If you do go, look for the Terminator reference. There is almost a direct quote from Terminator (the first one). Now that I think about it, there are also an idea lifted from Star Wars mythology. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, sometimes it is highly misused.

What did I take away from this movie? Just one important thought. Does Vin Diesel really have all those tattoos?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Top Model is back!

America's Next Top Model started Cycle 11 last night, and it was cheesier than ever before. The theme (for lack of a better term) was looking towards the future. It started off with some very bad special effects that were supposed to be the Jays beaming down, as in Star Trek. The model wannabes put on skin tight suits and did a runway walk. Boy, were some of them bad. I told Keith one of them looked like a gorilla in heels clomping down the runway. However, a good runway walk can be learned. It's much more difficult to change the bad attitude that some of these self styled divas have.

Tyra made her initial appearance as the "Tyrabot". Told you it was cheesy.

The Jays and Tyra met with the girls and made the first cut.

One thing (among the many) I find so funny about Top Model is the sheer ignorance of some of the girls. OK, I'm no model, but I can name 5 models. I can also name 5 designers. Sure, some of them may not be current, but I do know a bit about fashion. If I were going to try something like this, and I had probably watched the show before, I would do a little homework. At least look at Vogue or Elle. But no, why actually learn anything about the industry that you think you'd like to work in?

You know who knew the most about these things? The transgender model, Isis. Isis will need to work on her runway walk, but she actually looks like a model.

Keith watches Top Model with me a lot of weeks (and he's quite good at knowing who will be kicked off each week). One thing I've had to explain to him that models aren't pretty in the same way an actress is. Models can look much more unique and interesting than actresses. A great model may not be that attractive without all the accoutrements of a photoshoot. That said, I think it will be great to see just how far Isis gets.

Two episodes aired last night with the first real photoshoot and the elimination. It was, as always, quite amusing. Next week, accusations of racism and probably prejudices arising from having a transgender person in the house. Oh, and there's a vegan lesbian too. I think we have all the makings of a tempest in a teapot. Enjoy. I know we will.

Finally, I'm off to see another not-highly-rated action film tomorrow, Babylon A.D. Should be fun.

Hooray for Amazon!

I can home yesterday to a stack of books on dyeing from Amazon and Pro Chemical. I'm still waiting on one more that is out of print, but of course I was able to get it from an Amazon Seller. Lots of technical information about the dyeing process and how to actually paint the patterns you want onto the yarn. Let the experimenting begin!

I'm going to need some real space. I'm already wondering about getting a prefab shed from Home Depot as a stand alone studio. Keith said "not yet".

Monday, September 1, 2008

Seasonal favorite food

Yum yum, it's time for muscadines!

Now, the best way to eat them is right off the vine, but if you don't any growing in your yard, you have to buy them. They are delicious. I know the skin is edible, but I never eat it. I love the insides, especially after you eat the pulpy middle with the seeds, then squeeze the inside of the skin for the rest of the fruit. They are a fruit native to North America, and they will grow anywhere. Don't throw out the seeds for the birds unless you want them growing there.

Now, on to socks. The first one is a Monkey sock in Claudia Hand Paint. The really interesting thing about this is that I accidentally changed the pattern on the foot, leaving out one of the knit only rows. It turned out this was a serendipitous mistake as I barely had enough yarn to finish the sock. Once I was finished with grafting the toe, I had about 1 yard of yarn left, not including the tails I had left to sew in. I'll know next time to only knit toe up socks with this yarn. Or maybe this particular skein was shorted. Who knows? Yes, I know I can weigh the sock and see if it's around what the label says, and I may do that to satisfy my curiosity. This is the second time I've used Claudia Hand Paint, but the other pair is a plain vanilla toe up sock.

Here on the right is the Spring Forward sock in Socks That Rock lightweight. I'll admit I'm still not in love with this particular sock. Part of me feels I've come too far to frog it, but on the other hand the sock feels stiff. I've already gone up a needle size once on this. It may need marinate in stash for awhile, or the fabric may soften up once it's been washed. I don't think the gauge is too tight. In fact, I think I'm actually larger than what the pattern calls for. As I have plenty of other things to work on, this can sit for awhile and give me time to decide what to do.

I have not forgotten about posting pictures from my trip to India, Nepal and Tibet. I spent part of the afternoon digging through boxes of old pictures to find them. Now I get to learn how to scan pictures and all the things that goes along with that. It was fun looking at all the old pictures when we were young and skinny. I found pictures of when Brownie and Pixel (RIP both kitties) were just kittens. I found pictures of April and Ripper wrestling in the yard and running amok at Mount Arabia (both dogs crossed the Rainbow Bridge years ago). I've been the caretaker for some great animals, and I'm glad that they all were able to live to ripe old ages. Seeing all of them young and vibrant is both wonderful and sad. I realize how much I miss them, and my life is richer for having had them in it.

To end on a more cheerful note, did you go look at the bigfoot website? Have you seen how many sightings there have been where you live? Isn't it odd that Florida is a hotbed of both UFO and Bigfoot activity? Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them?