Friday, October 31, 2008

A little knitting math

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

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

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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slogging away

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


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

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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oh, the tales I could tell.

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

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

I'm there!

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

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

Friday, October 24, 2008

Whew, not nearly as bad as...

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

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I want my Cat TV!

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

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

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

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


Today is a transitional day.

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Finally finished with the colorwork

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

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

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

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

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taking the easy way out.

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

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

Second sleeve of Keith's sweater

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

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I think it's "go time"

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

Where's that crystal ball when I need it?

This bed ain't big enough!

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

Friday, October 17, 2008

Not much going on here

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Billy bookcase installation

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

Here you see Lily inspecting them for nap worthiness.

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

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

Keep scrolling...

Keep scrolling...

Mmmmmm... Billy

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sleeve one

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

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

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

Friday, October 10, 2008


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

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

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Quite funny, and a little inappropriate.

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Half a happy dance!

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Restless night

Keith had to wake up at 5:30 am this morning. I don't know why so many of us are like this, but if we have to get up early we tend to sleep lightly that night. Is it fear of oversleeping that keeps us awake?

Note that I didn't have to get up so early, but Keith is noisy. He can't help it, so I knew whether I liked it or not, I'd at least be awake at 5:30.

So what does my brain do? At 3:40 I'm wide awake, thinking of knitting projects that I could be knitting from stash. Why am I thinking about a multidirectional scarf when I could be sleeping? Mr. Chubby wonders the same thing as I'm disturbing part of his 20 hours a day of kitty sleep. This morning Chubbers is wild and rowdy while I'm wondering how long I have to stay awake before I can go nap. I'm also wondering just where those 2 balls of Silk Garden are that I can use for the scarf.

Monday, October 6, 2008

More sleeve knitting

I was able to work on the sleeve some more last night. I haven't had time to take a picture yet, and I will have finished with all the colorwork on this sleeve before I get around to it.

I forgot to mention that I've finished turning the heel on the second Meanie sock, so it's going back into the car so I'll have something to work on while sitting at long traffic lights.

I'm unsure about getting any knitting done tonight as hopefully we'll be setting up an aquarium. Keep your fingers crossed for Fishy getting into his new digs soon. He's been a wild outside fish for so long that I don't know how he'll like becoming a house fish. No more tasty mosquito larvae to snack on while between meals.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I thought icanhascheezburger was funny, but take a look at punditkitchen!

My Ravatar and a sleeve picture

To the left you see Rhys Ifans as Adrian from Little Nicky. I must admit, I'd never been an Adam Sandler fan, but one night a movie started with Jon Lovitz (who I really like) as a peeping tom who ends up in Hell. I was intrigued and kept watching. Little Nicky is a fun, campy film that I really enjoy. You should know by now I like bad movies. Anyway, I've thought for a long time Adrian would make a fun avatar, especially eating pizza and drinking peppermint schnapps.

Also, I've got a thing for Welsh, Scottish and English guys with that kind of hair. Other examples are Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood.

On to other things -

Here's a picture of the left sleeve for Keith's sweater. I was able to knit about 20 rows last night, and I switched from intarsia to fair isle near the top of the flame. I can tell the difference where I switched, and as it's the first time I've tried fair isle, I'm not surprised. Everything improves with practice, and I've heard blocking can do miracles to knitting. Thank goodness it's not so noticeable that I feel the need to rip it out and start that part again. I will say I think next time I may knit a sweater with texture instead of colorwork. I'm not loving doing the colorwork.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Go eat here!

You know how it is. You don't have a chance to talk to someone for a couple of months, and when you catch up, you find out that she and her husband have bought a pub! Check out the Manchester Arms next time you're near Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

What debate?

I found I just couldn't deal with politics last night. Honestly, I don't much like any of the candidates for president or vice president. No, I'm not enamoured with Obama at all, nor am I a big fan of McCain's. How I long for a normal person, someone who is fiscally responsible, has a social conscience (let's take care of things like poverty, unemployment, homelessness, feral cats and other unwanted animals in humane and caring ways), believes the environment and earth are worth preserving, and can do it all without leaning towards socialism or embracing the religious right. "People say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" to quote John Lennon. Let's face it, I think the type of people I want to run have enough sense not to.

Let's look at something much more fun. I have today off, so I am militantly staying home to get some things done around here. I'm plan to finish clearing out some space in my office (I'm a very cluttered sort of person) to install my new Billy bookcases from Ikea. I have the perfect small table for an aquarium, so I may venture out late this afternoon to buy Fishy a new home. Keith went to Wal-Mart yesterday, and they no longer had any fish supplies in their pet department. What I really thought was cool was the BiOrb from PetSmart. However, it looks extremely unstable when taking Lily into consideration. I think I'll do best with an old fashioned sort of tank with a nice stable, large base. Lily loves to watch Fishy eat every day outside, so I can only imagine how many hours she'll spend by the aquarium. FishTV is what someone said to me yesterday. I imagine that's what it will be when she's not watching the birds at the 3 - 4 feeders we have by the front windows.

Off to breakfast and some cleaning.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just a quick thought

What do you do when you discover Noro is discontinuing a color of Kureyon that you have bought over and over again?

You find the last skeins in the shop and buy them immediately. Who knows if you really need them, but you'd better get them just in case.

An early morning phone call

I'm not one to get upset by early morning phone calls. I've been known to make them to my friends who I know are awake and moving around. So when my phone rang this morning at 9:15, I did run to it, figuring it might be something about work or one of my friends who also make early morning calls.

It was my brother, on his way to Atlanta. He sounded surprised I was getting ready for work. (huh?) I would have enjoyed skipping work and hanging out with him, but it was really short notice to do something like that. Besides, we got in a LOT of yarn yesterday, and there was a corresponding amount of work waiting for us.

I did skip going to knitting guild, and we took him to dinner at our close by Mexican restaurant. Yes, it's a little run down looking, and so is the neighborhood where it is, but I've been going to it since I was in college 20+ years ago. He enjoyed it, then off to Wuxtry to see if they still had an absurd LP he'd seen there this afternoon. It was "I'm in Love with a Rent Boy" by Nonnie and the Onnies. Who knows what it sounds like, but the cover is quite funny. Don't we all need something ridiculous in our lives?

My brother was in town to pick up an artist flying in from New Zealand. They're back off to Birmingham, then the artist is tooling around Greensboro, AL for a few days. I'm glad he had some time to visit since he and his wife usually just dash over to Atlanta for the day (Ikea), and I never know they've been here. That is one of the better things about aging. You and your sibs mellow out, and you can enjoy visiting without ending up at each other's throats like a couple of rabid pitbulls. (A family of redheads isn't all fun. We're not all Weasleys.)

Well, off to watch a few minutes of the debates. We'll see just how long I can stomach the bullshit.

Antibiotics for kids

don't taste good to kitties. Chubbs let me know that in no uncertain terms last night, and I have the scratches to prove it.

After I posted last night, I looked at some of the info on goldfish, and I think Fishy might eat the tetras. Fishy is probably 4" long from snout to tail tip, maybe even a little longer. Tetras might just look like delicious snacks. I think I'll have to get another goldfish or 2 once we get the aquarium set up. Possibly some photos for this weekend.

With all sorts of stuff going on in the economy, I think I'll get a winter food garden going. My garden is on a sloped area, so I'm thinking I'll get some of those landscaping stones from Home Depot to make a small wall and level it out. I can still plant some things like sugar snap peas and lettuce. See, more possible blog fodder.

As for me, I must be heading out to work and to hopefully get some gas. Once I hit half a tank, it seems the gas just disappears.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lack of fodder leads to...

lack of blogging.

Yep, I'm still here. There's not much blog worthy going on. Chubby went to the vet on Tuesday to get treated for an abscess. He and Lily have been fighting with a feral kitty, so everyone's in lockdown. No more going outside for them. At least the weather is lovely enough to open up windows. I'm tired of spending my days off, and all my money, at the vet's office.

I think Keith is buying an aquarium tomorrow. Fishy can't live outside much longer since it's starting to get cool at night. I'd thought about seeing if he could go live in the pond at the vet's, but I've gotten quite used to having Fishy around. Lily loves to watch Fishy, so maybe having the aquarium inside will make up for the fact that she won't be out marauding anymore. I must admit I've always wanted some neon tetras. I do wonder if Fishy will look at the tetras as a snack.

See, told you there was a lack of blog fodder.