Saturday, November 10, 2007


The shredder has been going quite a bit this weekend. Part of my cleanout includes going through old files and shredding whatever needs it. This includes old medical bills and EOBs--some from the 80's!--because they used to use Social Security numbers as ID numbers.
Not gonna do that any more, and not going to put that info in the trash can, either, at least not till it's all shredded into bits.
The Simon-cat loves the shredder, partly because it lets him sit next to me when I'm on the computer and thus he's handy for head-skritches. But on these chilly days, he really likes it because it gets warm and he can bake his tummy on it. I keep worrying that he'll get some of that long hair caught in the blades, but so far so good.

In case you've wondered how Padua is doing, here's a shot of him looking rather annoyed that I'm taking his picture. Again. He's doing quite well, eats up a storm, is very active, and I will probably take him back to the vet early next week for a checkup. He's not pudgy yet, but he is definitely putting on weight, and his fur is nice and glossy. He's very good about eating his K/D (kidney diet) food, but he also scarfs down anything else that's available. He likes kibble, pushes Simon away from his food bowl, and begs for kitty milk as well. (I sneak the antibiotic drops into the catmilk, which hasn't put him off at all and at least makes sure they get inside him.)
Just so his feelings don't get hurt, here's a recent shot of Highland. He's just fine, and very diligent in his duty of keeping me warm at night. I just love his little face and those pretty white paws!

Sweet Pea is still nestled in her pod. I did a few more rows on her blanket last night--I do hope she's not planning to wait till it's done before she makes her appearance, though!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Cat Follies

This is a very interesting pile o' cat. Instead of curling up on my lap, Simon curled up on the sofa and wound up in this sort of pretzel-pose. He was so deeply asleep he never even noticed the flash going off.

Today his favorite spot has been the top of the shredder. I have been cleaning out a filing cabinet and found tons of stuff to shred, so the shredder has been busy a good part of the day. It overheats and shuts itself off, which means it makes a nice warm spot for a kitty tummy. Of course, it also means that the shredder doesn't cool off quite as quickly, but after all, what's important here anyway?
I mean, the trash cans are full--well, the four "good" cans are. Am I the only one who has "good" trash cans--that have wheels, and handles, and lids--plus an assortment of old ratty ones with no handles, lids that don't fit, and holes in the bottom?
On those days when we've been doing a lot of cleaning and the sidewalk is lined with 11 or 12 cans, I guess it's a good thing to have that "second string" of not-so-good cans.

Meet the latest inhabitant of the Moose Lodge. Himself liked the scrawny little moose who used to show up in the beginning of Northern Exposure.
With this family, it isn't safe to pick a "theme" unless you want lots and lots of them. To this day, this corner of the living room houses the moose collection, affectionately known as the Moose Lodge. Most of the moose (meese? mooses? nah, moose!) are stuffed animals, but this guy is rusty metal. I got him in Pacific Grove on the last trip up there. I'm not sure exactly why, but it just seemed as if he needed to come home with me.

Nothing happening with Sweet Pea, yet. There's a restaurant in L.A. somewhere that serves a salad which, 99 times out of 100, results in labor--it's gotten quite a reputation. I think D5 and spouse are planning a visit to that restaurant this weekend. Yeah, I know it smacks of an urban legend, but since it's generally utilized by women who are past their due dates, there could be something in it. I'm just sayin'!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wanna See?

Couple of things I'm currently working on. First of all is the baby blankie for Sweet Pea, which will not be done by the time she arrives. However, it will be done some time before too long. (Said in a hopeful, optimistic tone of voice, with a bit of wistfulness there too.) The pattern is from the latest Knitty and the yarn is from Lotus Knits--it's called Lullabye, and while I know the song doesn't have anything to do with babies, the color will be perfect with Sweet Pea's nursery and I am enjoying the play on words.

Next up is Lady Eleanor III. I just love this pattern and this yarn--it's Rowan Tapestry in Rainbow. I'm working it on a pair of elderly, ie original, Balene needles and while the cable is rather stiff, the needles themselves are just perfect for this project. Slick but not too slick, nice points with just a bit of "scoop" and the white stands out against the colorful yarn.
I've gotten a lot of this done this week just hanging out at doctors' offices, in addition to OOPS-ing and Montrose Monday-ing. I'm going to be interested to see if that blue blob gets repeated anywhere else--I'm still not sure if it's bothering me or not, so it's staying. I mean, this stuff is murder to frog! A dream to spit-splice, though.

Paris scarf, still plugging away. It's now on some Suzanne's rosewood needles, which I think gives it that certain oooh-la-lah that it lacked when it was on a broken Bryspun or a French version of a Boye cheapie.
If you see any mistakes in this thing, please don't tell me! It will get a bath and a good blocking when it's done. Which, at the rate I'm going, will be some time in the next millenium.

Then there's my sorta-stalled second square. I'm doing the Enchanted Cottage block from the second Barbara Walker Treasury--there is more yarn on its way to me (I hope--no word yet from the seller, uh-oh!) so I'll be able to get this one done and mailed off too.

When I was looking for my Ab Fab yesterday, I ran across this bag. This is the Ab Fab That Isn't Started Yet.
The colorway is called Mushroom. If I can't find the pinky Sorbet one, I may go ahead and cast on for this one. Must have a nice warm project for these slightly-chilly late fall nights! I mean, it's already down to 60 degrees here and it's not even 6 pm yet. (The time notation is for Simon's benefit. He seems to think it's dinnertime and is doing his best to erase this post so I'll go feed him.)

In other catly news, Padua is doing fine. I was able to get his antibiotics in a liquid form, which he will take (as long as they're disguised in a splash of cat milk). I've got to take him back in for a checkup to see how his numbers look, but I've been preoccupied with workmen here and with getting myself into the various doctor offices. I do, however, now have clean teeth and a flu shot. The nurse who can't put a needle in my hand without crossing herself and saying a prayer or two managed to get enough blood out this morning to run a CBC on, so I'll find out in the next few days if my hemoglobin count has come up enough.

That's all the news that's fit to print for today. So far so good on NaBloPoMo! (Have you fallen asleep yet?)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Boy Who Came to Knitting

We had a visitor today--meet Wyatt!
He's such a sweetie--6 weeks old. Mom is thoroughly delighted with him, and he was really good--slept most of the time.
Of course, Mom didn't get much knitting done...

I did get some knitting done, as did most of the rest of us. I hope that Fresh Noodle Beth takes pictures of her creation and posts them--she's doing something really amazing with free-floating cables. You have to see it to believe it.

Okay, here are the pictures from yesterday's post:
Sky shots--sorry about the traffic lights, but that's what happens when you are taking pictures through an open car window while stopped at a traffic light.
At the top of a hill.

On a state highway! I tried to get some more shots, but they didn't come out this well. Once I got to my destination, the buildings hid the sky.
So much for civilization! I did think it was a spectacular sunset--even though the colors look more like dawn to me.
Photos from class--it was a busy session and there was a lot of activity going on, so I didn't get too many chances to haul out the camera and snap away.

These two pieces didn't move as fast as the rest!

Judy is hand-quilting a Flower Garden quilt. She started several years ago to finish some quilts that her grandmother and great-aunt had made but not completed. It's involved some piecing and a whole lot of quilting. Luckily, there are some wonderful 30's repro fabrics available, so she's been able to match the look of the older blocks. For instance, in this square, the purple is old fabric and the greens are new. The red checks are originals. I love that she's working away at this and preserving her heirlooms for the next generation! (She has a son and a daughter. I don't think her cat, Cleo, is too interested in anything but the nap possibilities!)

This is Charlotte's project. She did the embroidery herself, and is finishing the square as a pillow for a wedding gift to a young friend of hers. She used a "vintage" fabric to put a border on the square, and it will be backed with a black print. I think the recipient will be quite charmed!

Okay, here's a frustrating experience that you may, or if you're better organized than I am may not, relate to. I wanted to work on a particular UFO today and went to grab it. Hah! The bag I thought it lived in? Had a similar, but very different, project in it! The original project? Nowhere to be found! I've looked again after I came home from knitting today, and I think it's vanished. I do know that it didn't go into the sale--it's a Colinette Ab Fab in the Sorbet colorway--but it's not in any of the "usual" haunts. I know it was nearly completed, too, just had been put away since I can't bear to knit on 10 pounds of wool and mohair when it's hot out.

So that's one of tomorrow's projects, finding the Ab Fab. I also have some medical unpleasantries (blood draw, teeth cleaning, chatting w/ the dentist) to face, so I hope I can at least locate the missing UFO to salvage the day!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bad Blogger

...won't let me post pictures right now. And a post without pictures is, well, sorta boring.

Of course, D5 posted her latest news to her blog, and didn't have any pictures either. You can head over there if you'd like to hear her latest news, or stay here and I'll natter about my day.

Which was uneventful, mostly, except for a doctor visit (got my flu shot, found out my cholesterol is perfect but the triglycerides still need work) and then my quilting class tonight. We had a good session of quilting--lots of fun, good projects, and I even took pictures of a couple of them but naturally you can't see them.

I'll try to upload them later. Right now, I'm going to go catch up on The Biggest Loser and Dancing With the Stars. My pathetic addiction to reality TV is really getting a fix with these shows. Which, considering that the Writers Guild is on strike, means that there will probably be a lot more of that in the near future!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Finally, an FO!

Going to start with a view of the furry one--just because he was looking so cute this morning. It was a bit chilly in the house and he was hunkered down asleep on the quilt.

Of course, he wakes up as soon as the camera comes out. What is it about cats--some sort of 6th sense?

And, finally: a "real" Finished Object that isn't a 12" square!

The newest Cash Island scarf is on the right, with the older one on the left. The left one was done with 2 skeins, alternated every two rows. I was surprised and just a little chagrined that the colors didn't stripe as much as I had expected.

So, when I went to make the second scarf, I decided to just use the three skeins sequentially instead of alternating rows. I actually like both effects, and I think the differences are pretty subtle.

As a refresher, in case you've forgotten (how? You mean you haven't memorized every single skein in my stash?) here are the pictures of this yarn in the original skeins. They are grouped the way they were knit up, so the 2 skeins are the scarf on the left and the 3 skeins are the scarf on the right.

What I think I enjoy the most about variegated yarns--at least, artisanal variegated, a category which I think Noro fits into--is that you can't be sure what you're going to end up with when you knit with them.

This doesn't happen with the machine-dyed yarns, even the high-quality ones.

Today was a knitty day in Montrose, complete with coffee, Quizno's "Sammies," and lots and lots of good talk. Thanks to a little pre-planning and some clever shopping by D4, I came home to a house that smells of pot roast. Before I left, I threw some onions, carrots, and potatoes into the crockpot with a nice chunk of beef chuck, and it's now nicely tender and will be ready to eat later. Since we've been having warm days and cool nights, it's been quite damp and foggy in the evenings and early mornings, so a good hearty hotpot will hit the spot!

Not to mention how nice it is to have the aforementioned nice hot meal without having to actually stand there tonight and cook it. The only problem I seem to have is that I don't really know how to cook for two--I spent too many years cooking for twelve! (Nine people, including growing children with hearty appetites and the frequent addition of a buddy or two equals, don't cook for 9, cook for 12, and be sure to have bread and other supplements around too!)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunday Travels

Today this event took place:

This is a relatively small fiber fest, by many standards: no critters, unless you count the little white dog wearing the purple satin jacket, who wasn't allowed inside. Not too many vendors, which is actually kind of nice, since it means you don't have to fight terminal fatigue trying to see them all. I'll take quality over quantity, myself--and there was a lot of quality fiber there!

Since this festival caters primarily to weavers and spinners, there was an emphasis on roving, raw fiber, and weaving yarns. Case in point: all this luscious hand dyed roving. This is from Capistrano Fiber Arts, aka Lori Lawson, and it's got her signature combination of beautiful colorways and high-quality fiber.

She had also brought some of her lovely yarns ready to knit, including this most deliciously soft and wonderful angora/merino blend.
This is what the trunk of Patty's car looked like when we got through:
hopefully, she and Madgik and CBM will post more pictures on their blogs so you can appreciate the full glory of the bounty!
This is just a peek to show you what four determined knitters (two of whom are also spinners!) can find in a day of fiber fondling and fiber-fume inhalation.
This is what came home with me: some lovely baby alpaca, enough for a wide-ish scarf or shawlette.

And some of Lori's fingering weight, in a colorway I've been yearning over every time I see it.
It's hard to resist when you're surrounded by all of this wonderfulness, but I was doing really well. I mean, I do have a stash that is of rather gargantuan proportions. I'm at SABLE status and then some--could even be SABLE for the daughters' life expectancies, too (most especially the non-knitters!).
But then, at what point does one draw the line? How many times do you have to hold onto a skein of yarn and reluctantly put it back on its peg, turning your back on it, and why?
I mean, a few skeins of yarn more or less don't make that much difference in the total stash. And the happiness they can bring is a Good Thing. I know, it's rationalizing, but it's also a harmless addiction, isn't it? It's not illegal, immoral, or fattening; it won't harm my body or deprive the cats of kibble; and it helps an artist make a living.
A new garage door is a necessity. A little new yarn is a luxury. But so is eating in a restaurant, or going to a movie, or playing blackjack or poker. We all need bread and roses too!