Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good Times

"Why would I ever want to spend another day outside when I can stay in and sleep under Mom's flannel blanket?"

Gandalf would like to thank everyone for their concern about him after his little adventure outside on Monday! He's not likely to do it again. He ended up in the kitty hospital later that night. After vomiting blood and being generally lethargic, I decided to take him to the clinic just to be safe. He ended up staying the night, being stuck with an IV and other needles, and recovered just fine, as you can see. Little pooper... The kindly vet thinks he may have chomped on a bug or a slug while outside. I was very concerned he had licked some motor oil, or something equally dangerous. He's all better now!


Knitter's Frolic

Lorraine and I spent a wonderful morning yesterday at the Toronto Downtown Knit Collective's annual Knitter's Frolic. Lots of good stuff to be had!
And, I was good. I picked up 2 skeins of sock yarn - one "Fleece Artist", and one "Socks That Rock" (Fairgrounds). Also, some new Fiddlesticks patterns and a copy of Poems of Color. The book in the background is titled "Your Cat's Just Not That Into You", was a pressie from Lorraine! Thanks Lorraine! It has the funniest caption at the top (you can't see it, it's written on the kitty - who looks surprisingly like my Atticus), and reads "what part of meow don't you get?". Hee hee... I also picked up some "Soak" fabric wash, not pictured though.

And this? It may be my favourite purchase!

A very bright pink insulated lunch bag! With little sheep on them! I'm going to be the hippest lunch carrying girl at work. It's so cool.

Well. I, uh, think so...


Yay me! I have a new job! Still within my company, but more in line with my skills. Of course, it's a bit more money, but the best part of all? No more after-hours support!!!! Music to my ears. And another Yay Me moment - I won a contest! The first time - for commenting on my favourite birthday moment. Thanks DeeAnn!

So, it's been an interesting week, stressful at times yet in the end, all's well that ends well.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Gandalf's Big Adventure

"Me sorry, Mom..."
Oh. My. Stars.
I leave from my backdoor nearly everytime I leave the apartment, and come in from the front when I come home. And everytime, Gandalf plays a game - runs to the door, and won't let me leave until I rub his belly.
Only today, he slipped out. And I didn't notice.
Until I came home.
"Where's your brother?" - Me
"I dunno..." - Atticus
"What, he's not here?" - Mae
I looked everywhere in the apartment - under the bed, in the bathroom, the closets, even the fridge - he was nowhere to be found. But I did hear a faint little "meow..." coming from somewhere. Outside.

I looked out, and there he was, huddled under a little table on the deck. In a wet little ball.
For the first time in my life, I think my heart stopped beating. He was outside all. day. Alone. And we had a thunderstorm earlier.
I feel AWFUL. Poor little guy! :( But, he's fine. Hungry, and pretty much back to normal. He doesn't seem to have been affected by his little adventure, although I don't think I've recovered yet.
My mind hasn't stopped racing about what could have happened. My neighbour's dog...the raccoons...other people...
I need a stiff drink.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

My Opinion On Cotton

With emphasis on *my*!

I've been working away on this -

"Peace", by Kim Hargreaves. Don't get me wrong, I love Kim Hargreaves, I always have. And this is a lovely design. It's knit with Rowan Handknit cotton. I mentioned in the previous post that I actually don't mind this cotton too much. I'm normally not a fan of working with cotton, but I found the Rowan Handknit to be quite nice, and the stitch definition is lovely. It's good quality cotton, without a doubt.

Where I lose it? Finishing. Finishing is just part of the process, and I neither like or dislike it. However, with cotton? It drives me *mental*. I was ready to chuck the thing, or start using it as a rag to clean my windows. No matter how hard I tried, it was near impossible to get a half decent seam! It looks bumpy, increases/decreases stick out like a sore thumb, and the yarn piece used for seaming "pulls" if you so much as tug on it. The seam looks crooked, regardless if I used mattress or backstitch. Cotton has NO give. At all. OK, I'm sure if I were to work a bit more in cotton, things would be better. But I'm a wool girl. Wool is flexible, forgiving, and in my opinion, softer. I love my wool, *sigh*...

So. This is being done for someone else, but this will be the end of my cotton experience. I think I may have to go through my stash and see what I have...

Stick to what I'm comfortable with...wool! Look here -

A lovely shot of Amphora, basking in the lovely spring sunshine. Her sleeve is coming along nicely. I worked on her yesterday, but didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. You know how there are days when you're just all thumbs?! Yeah. That was me.

OK. I have a bit of a confesion to make. Nothing serious. I do not own an air conditioner. It gets hot here in the summer. And, my main sitting/TV room faces west, and can get VERY hot in the late afternoon/evening as the sun begins to set. Every year I get through the summer, and say - next spring, get an air conditioner, you dummy! And every year, I forget. But not this year! I'm getting one - primarily so I can keep working with my beloved wool. Oh, and the cats will be more comfortable. And me. But mainly for the wool. I love you, wool.


Reason #1085 To Love Atticus

I lay down the other day for mid-afternoon snooze, and left the bedroom door open so the Little Dudes could come in and snooze on the bed if they wanted to. Normally, Gandalf will, Mae will creep in sometime during the night, but Atticus? Hardly ever. Just the way the little man is, and always has been.

I tend to get nightmares, I have for most of my life. I'm not sure why - anxiety, stress, an over-active imagination? Probably all of them. On this particular occasion, I was having a doozy of a dream. I know I was in the half-awake, half-asleep zone. In my dream, I kept telling myself that this was so weird and creepy, I knew had to be dreaming, but when I would try to wake myself up, I'd find myself to already BE awake. In my dream. OK.

I started feeling someone poking at my head. Poke. Push. Poke. Push. Push. I finally woke up, a bit confused, to find Atticus on the bed next to me, trying to wake me up.

"Meeerrrooorrrwwww Mom?"

I got up, and he jumped off the bed, looked back at me, and went back to his sleeping spot, and just fell back asleep. He didn't want to be fed, didn't want to play, or want attention. He just wanted to wake me out of what he must have sensed was a bad dream.


I challenge anyone who does not think animals possess the capacity for love and caring, or can sense beyond what we allow ourselves to see and feel in this plastic world of ours, to spend a day with Atticus. He'll change your mind.

"Aw shucks Mom! You would have done the same for me!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

No Knitting Content!

None! It's been a quiet week.

Actually, I have been knitting, only I can't post what I have been working on. It's another stealth project for a friend - worked in cotton (!). It's not as bad as I thought it would be. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of cotton. I've always had problems with tension, and I don't like the look of most finished cotton items, except when worked in stocking stitch. Just a personal preference... But, I will say - this cardigan has some moss stitch, and I really do like how firm the stitches are. It seems to be a good stitch combination, perfect for this sturdier cotton. I'm using Rowan Handknit cotton. Pricey, but if I'm going to work with cotton, I'm glad I'm using a good quality one. And - it doesn't irritate my wee girlie hands, which most mercerized cotton will do (this one isn't mercerized).

King of The Castle

" la la...I'm the king of the castle...and Atticus an' Mae are the dirty la la..."

Gandalf explores the new Kitty Condo/Jungle Gym climbing thingy I picked up while away last week at my sister's. He loves it, as does Mae. Atticus, not so much. He tried exploring the little cave section at the very bottom, and uh, didn't quite make it in. At all.

I'm thinking he's quite offended by it all.

Next time around - some showable knitting content. Oh, in the meantime, go have a look at Lorraine's Kilkenny! Her latest design, this one an Aran, and it's just a beauty!

(Hey, this little, dull post marks my 75th post! Yay me!)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

It's Good To Be Home!

"You smell. Like dog. What? You think presents and treats will square it up?! Well...maybe. Later though...sleeping now. You go think about what you did."

"Oh, don't listen to them. If they want to sulk and won't eat their treats - hey, more for me! I love you Mom!"

Awww... They were happy to see me! Uh, well, they kind of had to. There was an unfortunate incident while I was away. Let's just say that the person who was looking in on them couldn't get into my apartment, and they were alone...the whole time.

Such. A. Bad. Mom. :(

But they were fine! Happy to see me, and no worse for wear. I had left them a ton of food and water, but it still makes me sad to know they were alone and foodless for some time. I know cats are resilient, but I still feel soooo bad! And so does my cat-sitter... I just remind myself that they're fine, had each other for company, and they weren't too overly upset with me.

Look! Someone had a birthday!

"Oh, you think this is funny?! Do you do this to the cats?? No? I didn't think so. That Bil-Jac pancake you're making me better be good. I feel like an idiot."

Finnegan was good enough to pose for a few pictures, despite being less than pleased about the birthday hat. And the birthday boy-puppy is 1 year old today!!! Happy Birthday Finnegan!

I had a great time in St. Catharines, and got a lot of rest and relaxation in. Oh, and shopping. Living within the city of Toronto, we have quite a few large stores, but none of the "super stores" are close to me. You know, the big ones that have everything AND the kitchen sink? So, I need to go to the small town of St. Catharines to discover the awesome power of the Great Canadian Superstore. Oh. My. Stars. You can buy 48 rolls of toilet paper? AND shoes? AND turn around and buy ALL your groceries? *thump*

But no yarn! I don't even think there is a yarn shop in St. Catharines, come to think of it. Look what else I managed to do:

I finished Amphora's body! And all that running around looking for a 60cm 3.25mm needle? For nothin'. Because it turns out the neckband is done with a 3mm needle. Had I taken the time to READ this before I left...what a concept! Oh well, I started on a sleeve instead. I ripped that out 3 times before I was satisfied that the centre of the motif lined up with the shoulder join, and that I had the correct amount of stitches picked up on each side of it.

It's a good thing Shetland wool is so resilient...

Thanks everyone for all your "Feel Betters!" for my shoulder! Which is, for the most part, better, although I do have the odd twinge now and then. I'm pretty sure posture, and scrunching myself on my left side while trying to fall asleep at night is contributing to it not healing as quickly as I'd like.

"I really miss you now Auntie Brigitte. Do you miss me?? Huh? Say Hi to my cousins for me, and come back and visit soon!"

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It's A Good Thing...

...that it's still cold outside, and I still need a coat. Because I went to the grocery store yesterday with my shirt inside out. *both thumbs up* Good job!

I think I need a vacation. Oh hey! I think I'm going to have one too - I'm heading out this week to visit my sister, SIL and puppy Finnegan in St. Catharines, just west of Toronto.

And I have NO knitting to show! Nothing. For one, I've been finishing up my stealth knitting these last few days, and I can't show it just yet. And, I have a pinched nerve in my left shoulder, and it's causing me a bit of grief, although it's getting better now. Serves me right, I think I swung my backpack over my shoulder a bit too roughly.

Let's see. My backpack. Home away from home. It's always packed with stuff, and last Thursday, I had - my breakfast, lunch, and 2 snacks; my blood glucose monitor; 2 magazines (an issue of Canadian Living, and another one on Container Gardening); my umbrella; a juice box; my notebook; of course, my knitting (socks); work stuff, as I was on call last week; and a bunch of batteries for recycling.

No wonder I pinched a nerve.

"It may be pink and fluffy, but I'm no less a boy-kitty. And I'm comfortable. And no it's not too small. Go away now."

Atticus enjoys Mae's favourite resting spot...

Have a wonderful week everyone, I'll catch up with you all when I'm back!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

OK. So It's Like This...

"Uh oh, I think Mom's on to my obsession with fridge magnets... Oh, there she is! Play dumb Gandalf, look busy!" - Gandalf

OK. It really doesn't matter that the picture is blurry. What you need to look at is that strange empty spot on left side of the picture. It seems I'm missing a few things...and you know, the fact that one of them is partially OFF of the fridge tells me someone is pawing after the magnets from the counter. And last I checked, my name wasn't "Rigitte". I found the "B" under my bedroom door.

No. It's not Atticus. Have you seen his girth? His lovable, huggable girth? And it's not Mae. Believe me. It's not Mae. Which leaves Little Gandalf. *sigh* I keep telling myself that no matter what he does - his antics are no where near as crazy as Atticus' were when he was kitten. More on that on another post...

Uh, Knitting...

It's been a productive week, but unfortunately, I can't post any pictures! Covert, secretive knitting...

But - I have been working on Amphora quite a bit -

Oh, and Marina? It's also done in a dark red/black colourway... Just sayin'. However, I've been unable to do much on it lately. Why? (And this is driving me kookoo.) I cannot find ANY of my 60cm 3.25mm needles. Anywhere. And I know I have at least 2 of them. They're not in any project bag. They're not where they SHOULD be. So, I'm stuck, because I'm about to cast off for the back neck, and the 80cm will be too long. I suppose I could use 4 longish DPN's, but I know they have to be here somewhere!!!! Arrrggghhhhhh!!!!!

Also - a few people wanted to know why I swapped my Henry VIII kit. Well, it's not because I didn't love the design - it's beautiful! But, I've had it in my stash for over 2 years, and I knew I would never work on it because the colourway didn't suit me. It has a good and happy home, and will be worked on now.

"I had nothing to do with the disappearing needles. Seriously. Mom, I'll help you look, OK?!"