Saturday, November 22, 2008
Meanwhile (always stay away from recipes that use the word "meanwhile"--these are words to live by!) I made a felted cat bed, the Kitty Pi bed by Wendy Johnson, with Nora in mind. All the kitties like it, but Nora seems to have claimed it for herself. There are probably three more Kitty Pi's in my future...
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So here is what I received. A lovely felted bag in the assigned pattern, some luscious sock yarn, cookies, candy, tea, a teleidoscope, a mug with a sheep, hand creme, Eucalan soap (for knitwear), a scratch pad in the shape of the letter "P" and some trail mix. I have to put off eating the goodies (except the tea) until I've finished my treatment for diverticulitis. One more day to go!
Penny, the lovely knitter who sent me these things, is from Winnipeg. I sent a similar package to Jen in California.
Here's the bag I made. I didn't photograph the goodies, but they included a soft sculpture elephant for Jen's 2-year-old son, chocolate jack-o'-lanterns, a tape measure, Soak soap, some tea, a wooden bookmark, a knitting project bag, a toy mouse for Jen's cat (gotta include the whole family!) and a toy sheep (ever knitter needs one!)
This was fun!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
There were lots of Ravelry buttons. I couldn't make the events since Saturday is a workday for me and the big party was Saturday night. But it was good to see a lot of Ravelers in attendance. My favorite political button of the day read, "A llama for Obama". I would wear one of those if I could find one.
The sheep apparently have to primp as much as some of the people. As Frieda from "Peanuts" would say, "People just expect more of you when you have naturally curly hair."
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
That's Tortellini on the left, Nora on the right and the huge derriere of Abigail in the middle. She is one fat cat. Considering how skinny she was in May when I adopted her, this is not good. But she eats up everything the other two leave behind. She doesn't seem to understand that she doesn't have a tapeworm anymore. And there is no cat on Earth who is less inclined to move. Anyone know of a kitty gym?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Apparently a lightning bolt hit this tree at the top and stripped away a 6" wide piece of wood straight down to the ground. Wood pieces were all around the base of the tree and across the road. The neighbors had been away and knew nothing of what had happened. Lightning is powerful, and I'll bet this event was very loud. The kitties would have been freaked out. So would I. Now we know why "when it thunders, don't run under a tree."
I'll be interested to see whether this tree thrives during the next few years. I'm betting it will. (I think it's an aspen or at least it is aspen-like.)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I really want to write about knitting, but I don't have the photos to show right now. I finished the Windowpane socks, and I am pleased with them. This is not to imply they are mistake-free. Somehow there are some subtle errors in them. The Persian rugmakers always had errors in their rugs because "only God is perfect." Lord knows perfection eludes me! I have a whole ball of the pink yarn left over so perhaps I will make a second pair and make different errors.
Tomorrow I should hear about a knitalong and swap of the Big Bag pattern that I have been knitting of late. We'll have 6 weeks to knit it and ship it to the designated recipient. Shipping is easy for me since I have a UPS account at the store. Selecting the goodies to go with the bag should be fun. The knitting doesn't take long--less time than the political conventions--but it takes about three days for the felted bag to dry so I have to figure that into my calculations.
Meanwhile, I am trying valiently to finish Cleopatra's Stockings, the June/July offering from the Rockin' Sock Club. I hate the pattern so I am having a serious bout of "second sock syndrome." Today I started the second one, weeks after I completed the nasty first one. Talk about errors in my knitting! There are far too many charts in this pattern. No sock pattern should be 11 pages long! Especially when the finished product is so ho-hum. Oh well, they can't hit one out of the park every time.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Saw lots of birds in Maryland. We traveled to Blackwater National Wildlife Reserve. There were eagles everywhere and osprey too. Lots of great blue herons, great egrets, snowy egrets and Carolina wrens. We saw about 38 species from red-headed woodpeckers to red-eyed vireos. We did not see the endangered Delmarva fox squirrel although we did see a sign that said "Caution-Endangered Squirrels".
The weather co-operated. It was hot and sunny, but there was a light breeze which kept it bearable. The insects weren't too bad. Some of our colleagues didn't want to come for fear of mosquitoes and other biting insects so they missed out on some great birding. There was the occasional deer fly, but no worse than the ones we get on our summer walks in NJ.
We saw this spider making a web by an informational sign. I'm told it is called a black-and-yellow spider (surprise!). It's not something we get in the northeast (thank you!), but it is apparently not that unusual south of where I hang out. I was glad it was making a web and not jumping out from a tree or shrub. Its body is about an inch-and-a-half long. This specimen seems to be missing a leg.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
I'm amazed at how different the three kitties are, and how different they all are from the late Nicholas. Nora is a climber and loves to visit any high place she can get to. She likes to hide in closets and the back of shelves. Abigail wants to spend time with people and will even nap right out in the open because she doesn't want to miss the action. She's a huge eater.
Tortellini is affectionate and likes to play with other kitties--although my other girls haven't reconciled to her yet. It's only been three days. Nora is totally pissed, but Abigail shows signs of relenting.
Nicholas was dignified and he could tell time--sort of. He would start to ask for dinner about an hour and a half before dinnertime. It never hurts to ask! Nick did the meet-and-greet with customers until naptime. He'd nap in the chair at the register so that he could keep an eye on things. He warmed his paws on the credit card machine because, well, it's important to have warm paws. He always deferred to Nora at the food bowl because he was a lover and not a fighter.
Three cats seems like a lot. Especially when they all want to be next to you. I can't stand up without attracting a crowd. It will be interesting to see how sleeping arrangements evolve. On her first night with me Tortellini slept between two felted slippers at the side of the bed, and Abigail slept at the foot of the bed. (Nora spent the night in the closet.) The next night she slept in the crook of my arm and Abigail was elsewhere in the room.
We also have to resolve who is going to work each day. For now Tortellini needs to go to work every day because she's a kitten and needs attention. Abigail likes to go to work in spite of not liking the car very much. Nora resists coming down from the top shelf in the closet, but she should come to the store occasionally. We'll work it out, I'm sure.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I made this felted bag from a pattern on Ravelry. A friend had made it with reds. Her young son quickly dubbed it the "Elmo bag" because one of the colors matched his hero. I went a different route, but I do love the pattern which is very easy but produces a lovely finished product. I haven't decided if perhaps I should felt it a bit more, but the density of the fabric is very nice as it is.
And don't we all need more bags to take to the supermarket? Those dumb bags they sell at the store are practical, but boring--and they have those store logos on them. This bag makes a statement without any ads.
Nora seemed to like the bag too. So far she hasn't been inside it, but I imagine that's in her future too.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
She is what I call a "tabico" because she is part tabby and part calico. She's about Nora's size and very sweet. Nora is not yet reconciled to the idea of another girl in the family, but I think she'll come around. She's hissed at the new kitty and growled, but then she runs away from her. No fighting so far.
Abigail was pretty calm when I brought her home to the house in Kent, but she flipped out this morning and didn't want to get in the carrier even though she'd been in and out of it all day on Monday and Tuesday. She hid all day in the store. When I tried to get her out, she resisted--and boy, is she strong...and fast. Got her home and she is currently hiding under the chest of drawers. It's been a confusing couple of days and I don't blame her for being a little freaked out.
She's slept on the bed with me the last two nights. Very agreeable. And she eats anything that isn't nailed down. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Please note the space where the thumb will go. Not hard to do. Weaving in the ends will be the part that annoys me. For the next mitten I will carry the yarn much more often. I'm still learning the best way to do these. Haven't decided if I want to line these. It will depend on the fit, I think. If there's a lot of room, I'll do a lining, but I suspect these will be a good fit rather than a loose fit.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
The weather was supposed to turn lousy, but it never did. We didn't see a lot of birds--disappointing that. But we saw lots of dolphins and a couple of huge (100+) flights of cormorants.
The trip home was "eventful". We'd gone in Liz's car which is 15 years old but only has 67,000 miles. There was a piece of something loose on the front which broke off on the Garden State Parkway and shredded the rear driver-side tire. Then the donut tire which the service guy put on for us went flat and we got towed to a PepBoys in Hazlet. Much waiting and a trip to an Italian restaurant with patrons from a sociological group with which we were unfamiliar, and a new tire was installed. We made it home without much more ado other than a slow trip through the Lincoln Tunnel.
The cute alpaca shown here was from an alpaca farm in Cape May. They have about 23 boys, girls and babies. Alpacas is adorable! I love this dude's haircut. These people also refer in their literature to the "alpaca lifestyle", something I'm still trying to understand. Their fleece is very soft though. I bought some yarn there. So what else is new?
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I've started some socks with a bright orange and yellow yarn that is called "Florida Sunshine" if memory serves (and when does it these days.) Very cheery, but I'm not sure about the pattern, and I was going to do them on one circular needle but seem to be all bollixed up on that front. Right now one sock is on a single circular needle and one is on two circulars of the same size. I'm not sure about the pattern, and the whole project my wind up in the frog pond. The process was not improved by young Nora who chomped into the yarn and broke it on one sock. Grrr...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
This is the time of year when you don't feel so bad about the labor, sweat and tennis elbow you experienced last fall when the bulbs were planted. Truth to tell, these were planted a couple of years back.
Soon the forsythia will be in bloom, looking like this:
Even though it's only yellow for a couple of weeks and then grows at a prodigious rate and has to be hacked back with a machete, even though...ya gotta love it.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Let's see. WIPs of the day: mitten #2; sock #2 from the Rockin' Sock Club's first offering of 2008 (note my restraint at not having started the sock from the second offering although I admit to having wound the yarn into two neat balls); Liz's scarf; the Latvian Mitten; the Central Park Hoodie. I also knit the toe of a sock in the most amazing yellows and oranges, but I have restrained myself and put that aside. I don't even really consider that project a work in progress. After all, a to isn't much more of a commitment than winding the yarn, right?
If I weren't writing this silly post, I could get some good knitting accomplished! Bye.
Friday, March 28, 2008
The right front, the two sleeves the hood and the front bands remain. And of course, sewing the @#$%& thing together and putting in the zipper. I have already told myself that I will have a professional put in the zipper. My mother would have rolled her eyes at this, but then, she was the professional. I don't have a sewing machine, and I don't want one. There's a very good tailor in town, and she can do it for me. She can use the business.
By the time I finish this, it will be too late to wear it until fall, but then fall has a way of sneaking up on me, and it will be a thrill to have a nice new hoodie to wear when there's a chill in the air.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Then I got the idea that I wanted to knit a hoodie. Looked for a pattern for a long time. The Yarn Harlot started to knit a sweater out of a Paton's pattern book and I discovered that it contained a great hoodie. But all the Harlot fans bought up the book at every Michael's and Joann's in this part of the world. So the search continued. Then I discovered the Central Park Hoodie. I downloaded the pattern (which cost more than the Paton's book with 5-6 patterns in it) and started. It's knitting up fast.
Of course, I made a boo-boo at the second cable and only discoverd it later. I'm too lazy to frog back since it isn't impossibly obvious. I remind myself that Persian rugmakers say that their wares always have errors because only Allah is perfect. I know I'm not, and this will prove it.
I like the color--more than the gray or green that the pattern uses-blech. It's Lion Brand Wool--soft, a rich color, not terribly expensive.
I'll have to decide down the road whether to go with buttons or a zipper. I'm tending towards the zipper since that seems more compatible with a hoodie, but time will tell. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I chose really loud colors. I couldn't get quite the colors I wanted so I threw caution to the wind and said, "What the hell," and went with what you see. It will actually match a fuschia storm jacket and a fleece hooded jacket I have. You'll be able to find me in the snow, I think.
The knitting is actually very easy on these mittens, but the instructions in the book are a little confusing at first. Once you understand what's what, it's not hard to make these babies. I am a bit apprehensive about knitting the lining since that's mostly (or completely) done by improvisation. I don't want my lining to be lumpy or too tight so I'll have to experiment. Lisa points out that since you do the lining with big needles, it's no big deal to frog back if you get it wrong since it knits up fast.
Mitten #1 is nearly done--or at least the outside is. The lining and mitten #2 will follow soon. (I hope--got to start my Rockin' Sock Club offering before the next one comes later this month. I tried to start it last night, knit a swatch and decided I needed smaller needles which I didn't have with me in CT. )
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I also have 4 (or more) projects gracing the stash. These are projects where I have the yarn and the pattern rather than just the yarn with no idea about what I'm going to do with it. Busy, busy.
The nice thing about the mittens from the class is that they are worsted weight and move along smartly. The Latvian mittens are done in sport weight on size 1 needles. Pictures to follow.