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.