Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snow, apparently

Snow is forecast for us tonight.

Almost the entire winter has gone by without a speck of it, and now that all the flowers are blooming, here it comes.

I suppose I could rush around tonight and cover all the hyacinths and daffodils with something, but I'm not sure that I've got anything.

Of course, the weather forecasters could be wrong, and all we'll get is more cold rain.

Oh well. Don't you hate it when you have a subject that will make good, possibly even great, blog fodder, then it slips away into the ether? Has my idea been reabsorbed by the collective unconscious to come out on another blog? Did I spend entirely too much time knitting today while at the Peachtree Handspinners Guild, thus encouraging this line of pondering? I did see a woman wearing a sweater that I've thought about knitting. Actually seeing the finished item on a real person helps so much. Now I know what tweaks to make if I get around to knitting it. In case you're wondering, it's the Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

And here is the expected cat picture:

"Rub my tummy. (If you dare.)"

Friday, February 27, 2009

Chattanooga road trip revisited

As you can see by the title, I went on the road yesterday. The story begins last week when Gale decided she wanted to get some yarn for dyeing and asked me if I wanted to ride along. Sure, why not? Thus, plans were made for yesterday.

I arrived at Gale's house bright and early-ish, but it still took us nearly an hour to hit the road as I got to see some of the goodies she had recently dyed, and I had to pay tribute to Hobbs, her wonderful dog, with some vigorous petting.
I rarely go out I-75, so I did some rubbernecking while we talked about all sorts of stuff. It was a partly sunny day, which means mostly clouds with an occasional bit of sun peeking through the grey skies. I won't bore you with details of the trip up, as it was thankfully uneventful, just a lot of traffic, including so many trucks.

Our first stop and the reason for the whole trip was R & M Yarns in Georgetown, TN. This is a small store that sells mostly mill ends. Many of the wools were a bit scratchier than I would personally like for a sweater, but they had a lot of examples of felting with these wools. Someone there crocheted, since most of the felted hats were crocheted instead of knitted. They teach classes, including weaving, and there was a really lovely felted, woven shawl. I will admit to being very spoiled by the wide selection of yarns locally available here in Atlanta, so while their yarn selection wasn't the best, I would definitely shop there if I lived nearby. The two young women who were working are both very nice and helpful. One weaves and the other knits, and we had a good time talking to them. They did have a couple of colors of Brown Sheep's Wildfoote I haven't seen, and I almost never leave a yarn shop without buying something, so I've got enough for a pair of socks (of course).

I didn't take a picture of the shop as while we were there, another customer came in, and we got to talking about the local yarn shops in Chattanooga. Before either Gale or I knew what was happening, we had agreed to let her lead us to Genuine Purl in downtown Chattanooga. (They don't have a website, so I have nothing to which to link you.) Trying to follow someone down country lanes that they know so well, and you don't know at all is one thing, but trying to do that when the person who is leading you wants to go 20 miles over the speed limit is entirely another thing. Let's just say I wish I had known before we agreed to let her lead us. I am a Southerner, and I know there's nothing better than a out of stater going really fast down those two lane roads to the local police. I kept her in sight and drove more cautiously as I truly didn't want a ticket. She didn't lose us, and she led us to Genuine Purl.

By this time, it's after 1:30, and we're starving. She points us in the direction of a couple of restaurants and sends us on our way. (Which was rather a relief as she could talk non-stop, and while we appreciated the kindness that was forced upon us, we didn't want her to join us for lunch.)

Northshore Grille was one of the places she named, and it was open, so there we went. Now, while neither Gale nor I are chubbiest women in the world, we're not slim either anymore. Gale, who is very outspoken, asked our waiter couldn't he tell that she enjoyed her food too much. He laughed and said he wasn't going to touch that one, so I said "good man" while laughing. So when Gale decided on fish and chips, he said, without missing a beat, "you know that's going straight to your ass". We both were laughing again, but Gale still wanted her fish and chips. Now it's my turn, and he puts his arm across my shoulders and asks what I'm having. I've decided on a turkey melt, but I'll be virtuous and have cole slaw as my side. He says, "it's bleu cheese cole slaw, and it's going right to your ass too". I laughed and said I'd have it anyway.

I really liked the Northshore Grille. I was describing it to Keith, and I told him it reminded me a little of Manual's Tavern and a little of Virginia's while it was still on Virginia Avenue. (That was before they moved to Krog Street and ultimately closed. I thought Virginia's in the old place was just wonderful.) Classic rock played in the background. One of the walls was painted with an advertisement, and since part of it was covered up, I wondered if the wall had originally been an exterior one. There is a very large bar area and a good sized restaurant. If you are a fan of classic rock radio stations, you'll like Northshore Grille.

As for the food, my turkey melt was pretty wonderful, except that I don't like pepper encrusted turkey. I had to take my sandwich apart and scrape off some of the pepper. I don't remember if the menu specified the turkey that way as I would have chosen another dish if I had known. Gale's fish and chips looked phenomenal. She did offer me some chips, but I declined in an attempt at self control. As for the bleu cheese slaw... I loved it, but I really like bleu cheese. Gale doesn't, so she didn't like the slaw.

This was when I realized that the camera was still safely stowed in the bottom of my knit bag. Sorry for lack of pictures. We got directions to Ruby Falls from one of the guys working there and headed back to check out Genuine Purl.

I thought it was a very nice shop with a very good selection of yarn. Right inside the door to the left is a small table were 3 or 4 ladies were knitting and chatting. They all stopped to look at us, so I said hello first. I then told them that I had worked at a shop in Atlanta, had heard about Genuine Purl and wanted to visit. I took the initiative as no one had even said hello when we walked in. Maybe we weren't who they were expecting. We wandered around the shop, which has 3 rooms devoted to knitting and a 4th with needlepoint supplies. They have Koigu, which I don't often run across, so I bought two skeins.
I will say, I do wish that R&M had the yarn selection of Genuine Purl. R&M would be my hands down go to yarn shop if I lived in that area except for the yarn selection.
After that, it was back to Kermit, Gale's Honda Element, and off towards Lookout Mountain. I had really wanted to take Gale to see Rock City as she had never been, but that's part of the Lookout Mountain tour. It was probably a bit after 3 when we arrived at Lookout Mountain, and the tour is $15.95. That's not bad if you have time for it, but it was a cloudy, winter day after 3 p.m., and at best we'd have to hustle.

Instead, I took a picture or two, and we went here. Yes, there is a Starbucks right across the street from the entrance to Lookout Mountain/Rock City. We refueled and headed over to Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls is a waterfall at the end of a pretty uninteresting cave. The whole point of going is the waterfall. I've been in other caves that have better formations, but none that have this type of water feature. It is a very easy cave walk, less than 1/2 mile roundtrip, so even the novice cave visitor can enjoy it. It was here that I finally noticed that the camera was still set for taking pictures of yarn, so my pictures are not that great. (Yes, technology is great, but the human using it has to have a clue. Isn't that what led to the rise of the machines?)
The last picture is looking straight up into the cave. Over the millenia Ruby Falls has shifted position, but it happened so slowly the stone around it eroded forming a cathedral like chamber. Sorry that my poor photography skills can't even begin to show the wonders of caving.
After that, I got into the driver's seat and took us home.
The worst part of the day? When I stopped to put gas into Kermit and could hardly move. Some parts of aging totally suck, and I had gotten really stiff driving Kermit. It amazes me that the angle change of a centimeter or 2 will put so much stress on muscles.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Peer Pressure

Let's just say Gale is a bad influence. We're stalking yarn today. More tomorrow, with pictures.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This guy makes me look normal.

Knitting conundrum

Ok, all you knitters out there. I know you've all been in the spot I'm about to describe.

I'm almost finished knitting a gift. It's the first time I've tried this pattern, and I slavishly followed it (well, mostly). I've been looking at it, and I see things I would do differently if I were to do it again. Just some tweaking, but those tweaks will make a much better looking project. I don't plan to frog this one. I think I'll donate it to charity. Anyway, I don't even want to finish this one, but get the yarn and start immediately on the next one.

I will finish this one before the next one, just in case there are other things I'll want to tweak. I just don't know how I'll stand working on it. I am a perfectionist knitter. I can't help being what I am. Normally I would rip out and start over, but I'd like to use this one as a visual aid as to what not to do again.

I've been re-reading some of my blog entries, and I've got to get out of the house some. While it's been great being unemployed and doing a poor imitation of a good housewife, my blog has gotten pretty dull. Apparently I need the stimulation of being around my fellow knitters to keep my brain sharp. However, can we all blame the fact that it's winter here, and that's the traditional time for things and brains to lay fallow, resting for the next burst of growth? That's my story.

At least I'm not stuck in the past. I've been a bit of a voyeur on Facebook with some of my old friends. They seem so happy to be reliving all sorts of old memories. I don't fancy the past that way. The past is done, it's over, and a lot of it wasn't very enjoyable for me. The future holds possibilities. I'll admit that the present is pretty good too. The present lets me work on those possibilities that the future imagines. (Not to mention that I've got a great hubby here in the present. You can't beat that.)
Gratuitous cat picture. My pillow didn't get covered up, and since it's down, it makes the perfect sleep spot, as Mr. Chubbers demonstrates.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The further misadventures of Lily

Here we see Lily on top of the curio cabinet. Yes, I saw her leaping up there. Yes, I yelled at her. I've noticed that cats, like men, have selective hearing. (Sorry guys, but I've been married a long time. I also have a younger brother, as well as a couple of brother-in-laws, so I've noticed this phenomenom multiple times.)

Next, we have Lily sleeping in Sassy's crate. I didn't know Lily was in there until I saw Sassy looking funny. I think she wanted to take a nap, but that darn cat wouldn't let her. (The crate, like the dog, is impossible to keep clean. She's dug out a wallow in the backyard, so she's always got a layer of Georgia clay dust on her. I think she stays clean for only as long as she's inside after a bath.)

Up next is knitting. I haven't only worked on the gift, but on our socks as well. The one that still looks a bit like a willie warmer is knit from Bearfoot by Mountain Colors. It's for me, and I have no idea what the colorway is as the label if floating around somewhere far away from the yarn. I wound it into a ball probably 2 years ago and just started knitting it when I needed another car sock. It's just my usual toe-up sock. Stockinette foot, ribbed cuff.

Next up is Keith's Wollmeise sock. As you can see, there's not much left on this first sock. Another few inches of cuff, then I'm ready to bind off and start on the second one.

I had a thought concerning Stash Knit Down 2009. I've decided that I will knit up all the sock yarns that I've wound into balls, then popped back into the bins. Most have the labels nearby, or I can at least remember which brand they are. I can think of 3 more off the top of my head that are wound into balls, so I'll stay busy with socks.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How do I keep up with all this?

Easy, it just takes more time.

I'm having more fun with Facebook as I find people I've not seen in years, but I find I'm spending more time "goofing off" at the computer. I also signed up for twitter last night as one of the LYS uses it to announce sales and new yarns. Now I've got 2 more sites to check after I check email and Ravelry.

Other than that, nothing to see here. How about a random cat picture? "Get that camera outta my face! Can't you see I'm trying to sleep here?"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Lily's fat lip

Now it appears there may be a little infection involved in her lip. We get the thrill of medicating her twice daily. Sometimes I wish she were a little less active, but she and Chubbs are like furry tornadoes tearing around the house. Injuries do occur, especially when very sharp claws and teeth are involved, but I still wonder just how in the world her lip ended up like this.

Maybe it is revenge of the bird.

I'll be glad to talk about knitting again. I didn't work on the gift knitting last night, but on Keith's sock instead. I may post a picture depending on what's going on later today. We've run out of lettuce, which is a staple food in our house, so I'm off for restocking.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Should I just move in?

I felt that way about my vet last year when it seemed I was going there a lot. One month I was there every week.

I was enjoying not spending all my free mornings there. However, Lily's lip is still swollen, and that makes me think it is more than a bump from rough-housing with Mr. Chubbikins. We're all going back tomorrow, including Keith since she's his cat, to see what's next. I'm hoping it's nothing serious, but a fat lip should have gone down by now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Real world vs. the other real world

I've been immersed in the real world of knitting for the past several years. I worked in a knit shop, I read knit blogs, I go to knit groups, and there's Ravelry. Shop news, blogger gossip, meeting famous knit teachers by taking their classes and going to the Atlanta Knitting Guild have filled my time.

And let's not forget that many knitters are so much more than that. I've discovered so many of my compatriots in knitting do things like volunteer at animal shelters or provide TNR for feral and strays in their neighborhood. Right now Ravelers have put together an etsy shop for the victims of burn ravaged Australia.

I love the knitting world.

Well, I mentioned last week that I joined Facebook. First of all, it has nothing on Ravelry. Of course, I can spend hours on Ravelry gazing at a pattern I want to make and checking out the 1100+ that others have done. I spend time on boards where we discuss knitting and cats, Pern, Red Dwarf, knitting for charity, Nefarious Yarn Club - the list goes on and on.

What Facebook does offer is a chance to see the other real world. There I've found people I've known for most of my life and with whom I've lost touch. Others I've met more recently, but never see them since they don't spend their waking hours in a fiber related lifestyle. I like knowing how they are doing and what's going on in their lives. It makes the distances, even if it's only 6 miles, seem not so far.

However, I sometimes feel like George Costanza, "Worlds are colliding!" although I know my knitting world and non-knitting world won't explode like matter meeting antimatter.

The difference between the 2 is that the knitting world is the one where I feel more comfortable. I've always been a hands-on sort of person, and here is a world dedicated to craft. I'm a simple sort of person (in a Zen sense), and while there's art to be found in the knitting world, I find it so wonderful that a basic knitted hat can bring joy to a woman undergoing chemotherapy. A bear with a handknitted sweater helps a child traumatized by abuse know that not all people are horrible.

I find it interesting that the knitting world has changed my views of the other real world. I want to teach all my non-knitting friends how to knit. They don't have to be seduced by a fine handpainted tight twist merino sock yarn (leaves more for me), but there is a peace and joy to be found when you've got knitting on hand. (Unless you are trying a new technique, and you've had to rip out your stitches 4 times, but we'll talk about that when you get there. Put your knitting down, take a deep breath, a shot of Tequila and pick up that piece of mindless knitting for a little bit.)

I know some of these ideas are not expressed as well as I would like. Shall we call this a first draft of thoughts that have been percolating in my brain for a few days?

There has been knitting, but on the gift project. See how my knitmeter is racking up the yards a little more quickly now?

Finally, please remind me to check the weather forecast. Had I done so, I would have known not to mop a white kitchen floor yesterday or to put Sassy in the backyard before heading out to knit this evening. Sassy doesn't like to be left outside, so apparently she stood in the backyard barking at the door and continued to stand there once it started monsooning. I left knit night as soon as the traffic thinned out to come home to a soaking wet dog who proceeded to shake herself multiple times in the kitchen while leaving muddy paw prints all over. Oh well, back deck comes before new kitchen floor.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday stuff

This afternoon is the second try at homemade catfood. This time, it's going into the food processor and getting pureed. I think that will help make it more palatable to Monster, and Scooter won't be able to pick out the chunks of meat.

Sometime in the next few days, I'm doing a small destash. As lovely as lace is, at this point in my life it's not a knitting option. I have some lace yarns to destash, as well as some Rowan Damask in a color that did not appear in real life as it did on my monitor. I'll post them here and in my stash on Ravelry.

And that's my exciting life for today. Woohoo.

There has been knitting, but I can't post it as it's a gift. How about another random picture?

That's Chubbers sitting in the planter watching while Monster approaches. On second thought, she may be hunting while he watches. Who really knows with cats?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nothing like the CSI cat

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

This is why all of my yarn is contained in bins or sealed knit bags.

Socks and KnitMeter

One thing I've noticed as I've been knitting socks these past few weeks is that my KnitMeter and stash reduction seem to be moving at a snail's pace. Of course, each stitch on a US size 1 or 1.5 needle only uses maybe 5mm of yarn, so knitting 19 yards is pretty darn good. However, after racing through that Kureyon and Silk Garden, I just feel sooooo slow.

So last night I started on a gift project. Sorry, no pictures until after it's delivered. I was worried (not much) about the Hanukah gifts I whipped up as my family might occasionally read my blog. I just decided not to show any pictures until the gift is given, that way I won't be wondering at night was that a good idea to post that pic.

I could show a picture of Keith's sock in progress, but it looks remarkably like the last picture with the exception the cuff is longer, so it's not that fascinating. How about a random cat picture instead?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Silly me! I forgot to blog about this.

The thrill of cooking for your pets.

This morning I got up and put together food for Scooter and Monster. After chopping and mixing and heating it up for them, I presented them with their food.

Monster took one look and left the kitchen. Scooter gobbled his for a minute, then went to try Monster's. I had to take him back to his food, and while doing so, Chubby decided to eat Monster's food. I let him as it couldn't hurt him to lose a few ounces also.

In the meantime, Dr. Alicia called, and she said that each cat is different. I don't think I'll have any problems with Scooter other than I think I need to puree it. Monster, though, will be difficult. I'll puree hers too, but I've got to figure out how to get her to eat it.

The knitting lesson went pretty well. I'm pleased with both of their progress. Learning new techniques can be a challenge, and some techniques are more challenging than others.

Quick early morning post

Last night we watched An American Werewolf in London. The year after it came out, I watched it on cable umpteen million times. I really loved that movie.

Watching it last night, I remembered why I enjoyed it so much. David Naughton and Griffin Dunne are just perfect young American guys touring Europe for the first time, seeing the sights and looking for some action. Things get wierd when they stop in the Pub, the Slaughtered Lamb, which is not a very welcoming place. So off they go into the night. Why David's character decided they need to start their trip in northern England makes for a bit of jovial ribbing as they wander the moors in the rain, singing and talking until a very strange howl rips through the air. As for the rest, I'll leave it to you to watch the film.

At the time, the special effects were very amazing. David's transformation into a werewolf had us both still glued to the screen last night (I stopped knitting to watch it). And what can I say about Jack's (Griffin) later appearances in the movie? Let's just say if I need to hang around with a corpse in speed decay, he'd be it. He may be dead, but he still has his sense of humor.

Oh wait! This is where I probably need to say Happy Valentine's Day! Ah yes, a day of rampant commercialism in which we are subjected to a plethora of shiny red foil hearts and oversized stuffed bears. I'm not sure when we quit observing it, but Keith and I have ignored it for years. What comes to mind when I think about Valentine's Day? If memory serves, it is the beginning of the episode where Homer becomes Sanitation Commisioner after he insults the guys who pick up the trash. Who can forget Rod and Todd climbing Diaper Mountain?

Please forgive my cynicism and enjoy Valentine's Day if it pleases you to do so. I've got sock knitting students awaiting me shortly, so I'm off for now.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Well, I've done it again.

I joined Facebook today. I've had 3 friends and relatives invite me, but I honestly thought it would be pretty useless. I dunno, it made me think of Comic Book Guy in front of his computer when he isn't at the shop harassing his customers.

I called one of the three who invited me and asked what the hell is up with this? She said she had thought basically the same thing, but now she's found that it gives her an easier way to keep up with someone whom she rarely gets to see. Since she's someone who's opinion I trust, I signed up.

I'm already in instant messaging conversations over there. Not like I don't spend enough time on the computer...

On to the wierd world of animals here. On Monday, Lily went a bit mad, went outside and then brought in a chickadee. Poor little bird. We got the bird away from Lily, but that left a loose bird in my office. Past experience made me hope that I would be able to find the bird after it expired, but in the meantime we trapped it, gave it some seeds and water and shut the office door. On Tuesday morning I discovered the cat carrier holes are large enough for a chickadee to escape, and I had a loose bird in my office. By Tuesday afternoon, I convinced Keith to buy a birdcage from Petsmart. No luck catching the bird, but I kept fresh water and seeds out for it. I would come into my office and find it sitting on the cable going from the CPU to the router. It would sit and watch me. I was getting used to its cuteness, but I didn't really like having a teeny tiny loose bird hopping around. I finally caught it Thursday morning before I left for work (I'm filling in for someone). I was so relieved to have it in the birdcage. When I got home last night it was fussing about being locked up, but it was still eating away. I left it alone for a couple of hours, and when I came back in, it had died! I was surprisingly upset about it. I mean, I had just finally caught it, it seemed to be eating and drinking well, so I was stunned to find it had died. I had planned to take it to a rehabilitation center, but instead I had to bury it today.

As for Lily, she and I spent some quality time at the vet. She has a swollen lip, and while it would be poetic justice if it were from the bird, Dr. Alicia thinks she hit it. It looks much like a fat lip you might get if you were punched in the face. She got an injection of a kitty non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, and we get the thrill of giving her another medication for the next week. She did provide some amusement while we tried to figure out if she got the fat lip from running too fast and sliding across the wood floor on her furry little feet. (She doesn't have much toe floof, but sometimes a little is all it takes.) As active as Lily is, and you can ask any chipmunk, bird or squirrel about this, and she can be surprisingly ungraceful, I should be wondering why she hasn't done this before. I find that by the time I go investigate crashes that I hear from the basement or the closet, the perpetrators have already disappeared, but 99.9% of the time, Lily is involved.

A pictorial review of Lily's exploits. They include hiding in the shredder (we always keep in unplugged), sleeping in a small bowl on the kitchen table, sitting on top of the paper towels on top of the fridge, sleeping in the kitchen cabinet (Keith removed the dishes after he caught her climbing on top of them), on top of the fish tank, lounging in the bird bath, and finally, helping Keith pack for the gym. As sweet as she is, there's a reason her last name is Damnit!

And yes, there is knitting. Blogger wouldn't let me load my pictures yesterday, so here is Keith's first Wollmeise sock in progress. I'm on the heel!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hey, that used to be me!

Yeah, I used to be that cat. Sleeping under a bush, drinking out of a puddle, until I found the perfect patsy.

Yes, I mean our human. After all, spending my day sleeping on her pillow is much nicer than dozing under a bush with one eye open. Except for the neutering, the Advantage drops and the worm pills, I'd much rather be inside.

(Feral or someone's pet who likes the food? I don't know. What I do know is that there is some trapping, neuter/spaying and a rabies vaccine in someone's very near future.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Only 1 left

Thank goodness I have only 1 Amelia Peabody book left to read. I really need to get back into the land of the living, but these books have been darn addictive.

Keith asked me what exactly I was escaping from since I was doing all this reading, and I said nothing. I just can't put them down! (After ragging me about all the reading I've been doing, he comes in with another book that he read and said that I might like it! It's now in the stack by the bed. Go figure!)

Anyway, I'll spend some time today in front of the computer. I've been working on Needle Nook's website. Much of what I've done is data entry. I've entered the yarns and taken all the pictures you see on the black backgrounds. Don't be too harsh as this is the first time I've done this sort of thing, and I'm learning as I go. I've got more yarns to enter today. I've had lots of data entry jobs over the years, so it's not too bad. At least I'm at home and not having to log off the computer every time I go to the bathroom. This way, too, I can take a break and finish pruning the butterfly bushes in the front yard. I only got 3 of them done yesterday, along with some pruning on 2 or 3 of the roses.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Guess who's coming to town?

C'mon, you know it's not an actor or musician, although I do wax poetic on muscly men from time to time.

No, it's not my first science crush, since Carl died long ago.

It's Dr. Zahi Hawass! He'll be here as part of the Tut exhibit. I don't know how many National Geographic and PBS shows I've watched him on. It's very exciting to be able to see him in person.

Anyway, there is knitting, with photos to be added later.

I finished my Lady Eleanor stole last night. I ended with about 2 yards of yarn left. Phew! I was sweating those last rows and furiously wondering what I might have in stash in case I ran out just before the end. Thank goodness there was enough to finish.

It was a gorgeous, warm, dry day here yesterday. It was the kind of day we actually don't get here in the South too often because it's usually much more humid. It will be much the same today, which is good as I need to get outside and prune the roses and butterfly bushes. I'm looking forward to having all the windows opened wide again and letting fresh air flow through the house. I must now go to take that picture for the blog, make the coffee, and get ready to run buy some catfood before they realize their breakfast was shorted. Later today I'll get my grocery list together to start cooking for the little menaces. Speaking of menaces, last night I woke up at some point because something didn't feel quite right. Lily and Chubby were both sleeping between me and Keith, and I was sleeping on my side. At some point, Scooter had come in and was trying to figure out how to sleep comfortably balanced on my side. He was partially hunched up, but some how holding on with all 4 feet. I guess I'll need to sleep flat on my back so the ancient kitty has a nice soft surface for snoozing.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Only 2 more to go

Amelia Peabody books, that is.

Of course, after reading these, I've spent some time on the interwebs looking for something like this:

Theban Mapping Project - an interactive map to the Valley of the Kings.

I've been interested in Egyptian things for a very long time. I've always loved natural history museums, and one of the places we used to go when I was a child was a very small one in Anniston, Alabama. It had a mummy in a glass case near all the taxidermied animals.

You also have to remember I grew up in the 70's. Chariots of the Gods, UFO scares, all sorts of looniness, and The King Tut Exhibit. We had tickets, stood for hours, then were able to go inside. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing.

To get back on track, after reading the AP books, I felt I needed to see exactly where some of the tombs the Emersons investigated really were, and the Theban Mapping Project is amazing. It has aerials, photos, maps, drawings and videos. When you have some time to spend, go take a look. Especially at this one.

I want to go to Egypt now. I've done a bit of travelling in my time, and was pretty much ok with not doing it, especially with Scooter being so ancient, but now I'm ready to book a trip and head on over to Egypt. Why haven't I won the lottery yet?

In the meantime, I'll be perusing the Theban Mapping Project and comparing it to the Amelia Peabody series. This series has reminded me how much I enjoy historical fiction.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday night pictures

Now, I know these aren't the most exciting pictures. A cookbook and a partially done sock. Especially, at this stage, the sock looks a little obscene.

The book was suggested by the vet, and as I have pets with special dietary needs, it seemed like in the long run it will be less expensive to cook for them. I haven't started cooking for them yet as the book just arrived yesterday. I've got to get my grocery list and get better organized.

As for the sock, yesterday was the first time I've knitted since Monday, I think. It's those darn Amelia Peabody books. Have I mentioned that I've read 15 of them in 1 month's time?

In other news, a friend asked me to teach her how to knit socks on two circulars. I'm a Magic Looper myself, but it's really almost the same thing. I agreed as I'm always looking to bring people over to sock knitting. She mentioned this to one of her friends, whom I've met a couple of times, and they decided I needed to teach them both to knit socks, and to accept payment for it. I'll admit that I feel funny taking money from friends, especially for something that I don't mind doing, but she talked me into it. So I'll be teaching a sock class for 2, possibly more, at a location to be determined. Toe up, and I haven't decided which heel to use yet. Part of that depends on what sock books everyone already has. Grocery money is always good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The most amazing thing just happened!

The birds have been emptying out the small birdfeeder daily, so I was outside filling it up when a nuthatch came and landed on the pole to watch me. This bird was about 12" away from me! It landed, cocked its head from side to side as I hung the feeder back up, and chirped at me!

Of course, I got out of the way as quickly as I could before the rest of the resident birds landed. I've got a bunch of regulars who hang around and fuss at me when the feeders get low/empty.

I just saw we've got Carolina bluebirds today. They come and go, but their coloring is so amazing. I love to see them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Yarny goodness

This came in today by UPS.
If you renew your Rowan International membership, then basically forget about it, you get a nice surprise when it shows up at your door. It's complete with the renewal gift of 6 balls of Denim yarn and a purse pattern I would actually think about knitting. Very fun.

I also took a quick picture of the Bearfoot basic sock I'm knitting so I've always got something
easy on which to work. As you can see, I have an assistant who insisted on helping with the photo. That's why it's blurry. I don't encourage you to enlarge it.

Lately I feel like

all I've done is scoop kitty litter.

I know that's an exaggeration, but that's how I feel. With the cold or rainy weather, the kitties haven't been able to go outside to use the garden facilities. Also, I don't think Keith is helping with it at all. I have no real proof of that other than it seems like I'm the only one scooping.

I broke down and cast on another sock on Sunday night. I need a "car sock", something to knit on while sitting in traffic. I'll post a picture of it later.

Anyway, I'm just taking a quick break. Laundry is going with nothing to fold at the moment. I've cooked up some pasta for dinner, and I'm letting it cool off. I should be mopping, but it looks like rain, and I hate mopping just in time to get more muddy pawprints on the floor. Maybe I'll mop tomorrow. I do have more laundry and food prep to do today. I'm also planning to start cleaning out closets and see what can go onto ebay and what just needs to go to charity. It's just already been a long day with errands this morning and being on my feet this afternoon. I'd really rather nap.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Picture time

Let me first show you Lady Eleanor. Once again none of my models volunteered to help, so I put it on the bench give you an idea of scale. It's at least 5 feet long now. I can't remember if it's taller than I am or not.

Next is Keith's Wollmeise sock. I have to play around with the settings on the camera as it's really much more blue than it shows here. Maybe next time I'll stand outside in the cold and adjust the settings more. (It was in the upper 30's-upper 40's while I was taking these, and I wasn't going to dawdle.)
Next is my next project. Maybe you remember this from my blog from 2007?

It's Basil, knitted from Rowan's Summer Tweed. While I love the yarn, I don't quite love the sweater. The body's too short. The sleeves are longer than I like. I don't like the way the edges roll. Yes, I plan several changes. I'm thinking a seed stitch edging. 4" added to the length of the body and shortening the sleeves to elbow length. As soon as Lady E is finished, I'm starting on a new, modified Basil in this color of Summer Tweed: