Monday, December 31, 2007

One Day It's 2007...The Next It's 2008

Almost 2008...

"Wow, Gandalf was right! Lying like this ROCKS!" - Cousin Finnegan

It always amazes me at this time of year how quickly it all seems to go. I'm not one to make resolutions - life has it's own way of creeping up on you, and that's enough for me. If something's worth changing, it's worth changing at the time it comes up.

But still. Some knitterly things I'd like to do:

1. Finish my WIP's. In particular Western Seas. I'm not going to put a time limit on it. I just don't want to be writing next year at this time how I want to finish Western Seas in 2009. Sheesh! For shame! It's a Starmore, Brigitte.

2. Try something new. And I'm not talkin' Intarsia (ewww...). More like something I struggle with. Like top-down socks. Or another lace project *gulp*. I also have some really cool non-Fair Isle stranded projects in my stash, so maybe it'll be time to try another Norwegian?

3. Socks as non-commuting projects. Otherwise this lifetime will not have particularly warm feet. Not to mention the amount of time between knitting the second sock will be greatly diminished; preventing such boneheaded maneuvres such as the second one being knit A SIZE TOO SMALL. Just sayin'. I'd know.

And that's all I can think of. Stuff to ponder...

It was a happy time away! As always, we had a great time just hanging out, watching movies and eating ridiculous amounts of food. And I met some of my SIL's family! So here's a shout out to the Jay girls - Catherine, Victoria and Madeleine! Hey guys *waving*! The girls live in China with their parents, who are working there.

They're also in love with the little Dudes. Who can blame them?

There are 3 reasons the bed isn't made. See if you can spot them.

It's nice being away, but coming home is pretty special too.

There wasn't too much destruction or sulking when I got home. They were well looked after by their Auntie Raven, who took very good care of them. Gandalf did whine a bit on the evening I came home, probably just to remind me NOT to consider going away without Kitty Counsel approval.

Were the holidays good where you are? I hope so. I thought of all the great friends I've met this last year, and the friendships that continued. And, how much I've learned from you all! There is so much to be thankful for - and I'm happy to have met each and every one of you.

For me, I'm hoping that 2008 will be less stressful, and that I can enjoy more of it. I'll be honest - 2007 wasn't a banner year for me, but I always try to look at the good in it. And there were positive things, and I remind myself of that.

Things that made me happy in 2007:

1. A new job! Less money, but a new position!

2. Conrad Black going to jail!

3. Mulroney humiliated! ("I'm not calling you a liar Mr. Mulroney, but I want everyone here to know that I don't believe you.)

4. Amphora.

5. My Norwegian mitts.

6. Getting back into watching Coronation Street.

7. Gandalf turning 1! But still acting like a nincompoop kitten!

8. Successfully growing lavender in my deck garden.

9. I Can Has Cheezburger and The Daily Coyote.

10. The Little Dudes.

And there's more, I'm sure. So, what made you happy in 2007? Consider yourself tagged!

So, to my wonderful friends and family, I have only good wishes for 2008.


"And happy 2008 to everyone! I myself will probably be sleeping. I think Mom will be sleeping or watching "Das Boot". New Year's Eve is pretty much like any other night, only it's a bonus day off when it's during the week. Anyhoo. I'm rambling. So...what was I saying? Oh, right. Have a good and safe one everybody! MeOW! And a special purr and head-butt to my favourite Auntie Lorraine!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Peace on Earth

Wishing all my wonderful and kind knitting friends a safe and happy Christmas! And the Little Dudes would also like to send furry head cleanings, purrs and maybe the occasional stare down to all of their blog kitty friends - Santa Claws DOES exist!

See you later in the week!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Weather Outside is FRIGHTFUL!!!

No kidding. WOW. Well, if you live anywhere in Eastern North America (not just Canada, and not just the United States. North America), you know exactly what I mean.

We are getting our collective asses whuped by a huge snow storm!

This is outside my back door. It's even worse now...

Another view, outside my back door. Can't see too clearly? Looks blurry? That's the snow. Don't get me wrong - I love falling snow, but not when there's a ton of it, and it's windy... and is that thunder I'm hearing? Definitely a day to stay INDOORS. Once it's all said and done, we should get around a foot and a half of snow. Some areas, even more. So, definitely a day to stay in, whittle down my "To Do" list, and knit, of course.

Let's see how I've been managing so far:

* Booked train ticket? OK. Um, train is sold out...who knew stuff like that happens around Christmas time? But I have made other creative arrangements.

* Clean? Wha'? *cough*

* Arrange kitty-sitter? Although I had some interesting offers (Atticus with Lorraine, Mae and Gandalf with Tracey), I figured it would be easier if I asked my friend Raven to come by. Um, she's a bit closer than Mississauga and Pennsylvania.

* Wrap stuff? Nope. One word - "Gandalf".

* Do I have stuff to wrap with? Yup.

* Pack the Christmas stuff? Oh, that's funny. Try the morning I leave.

* Knit something for Finnegan? Um, not yet...

* Finish my Christmas knitting? Yes, no, almost, yes and almost. And let me tell you? The first "almost"? I had barely 2" of contrasting yarn left over after I cast off. How's that for cutting it close? Heh heh... The 2 last ones are extra knitting projects I'm making for my SIL's parents. Not to jinx anything...but wow, I think I may just do it... Except for the "no" one. Recipient, a non-knitter, will be able to experience to joy of opening a box of yarn! And peeps, we ALL know what an experience that is!

This week - yearly physical, finish knitting, clean, pack my stuff... Yikes! My shopping is 95% done, and...and...oh, I have got to get more organized next year. Then again, I say that every year... Oh, and "work" in between all of that. Which did NOT leave me alone all week. I had hoped it would calm down? I had obviously misplaced my hope...

"I don't care about some snow storm, cousin Finnegan told me that you're going to visit him?? Does that mean you won't be here? With me? I mean, us? I don't recall you clearing that with the Kitty Counsel."

Hey, did any of you read this fantastic blog entry from Bridget? It is worth a read if you haven't, and if you have... it's still good for another giggle!

I'm still trying to figure out what to take with me while I'm away... I'm thinking probably Delores, and maybe (maybe...) Western Seas as the easy project. I'm pushing 2 years since I started it, a measure of time that doesn't make me too happy. It's a Starmore dammit. For shame Brigitte. *hanging head in shame*

I'll be glad when I can pick up my knitting again.

What about everyone else? At least let me see what you're knitting!

Have a good one everyone! And stay safe and warm in this awful weather.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Whole Lot o' Nothing...

See, that's the thing with Christmas time... Although a wonderful season, you have a whole lot of nothing to show for the knitting you've been doing. And I've managed to squeeze in quite a bit. I just can't show any of it here. On Ravelry, yes!

And of course, work plays a part. I will spare you the details of how there is a mad rush at this time of year to spend the last of the budgets purchasing (really cool stuff though) servers and cables and spare blades. I think Chris may be the only one remotely interested in that kind of hardware...

Then I realized on Friday that hey, Christmas is really only 2 weeks away. And I'd better get a move on my list of things to do before I head out to my sister's in oh, 2 weeks time. Like finish up knitting, book my train ticket, clean, arrange kitty-sitter, wrap stuff (and believe me - this is NOT an easy thing for me to do. I suck.), oh, I suppose I should check that I have stuff to wrap WITH, get my laundry done before I head over, pack, pack the Christmas stuff, oh, yeah, knit something for Finnegan...!!!! And I'm scheduled for my yearly physical at the doctor's at some point in between all of that. Oh, and finish shopping. And figure out which knitting project to take with me. Mermaid? Laleli? Fulmar? Western Seas (oh, you jest...)? Delores? Hey...maybe I'll take Delores...

*breathing into paper bag*

At least work should settle in nicely next week, as the mad rush should be over.

OK. So what have I been knitting?

Well, these little babies. What may look like a bunch of balls are actually kitty mice that I knitted up for the Annex Cat Rescue. There are about 15 of them in the pile. And the picture was taken at work, at my desk, with the cellphone. Once knitted up, there was NO WAY I would be able to stuff or stitch up the mice at home. Catnip usually tends to incite anarchy in this house. The pattern for the mice is from Wendy, who kindly allowed me to knit them up for charity, with all money going to the Annex Cat Rescue. Thanks Wendy!

"...what is the Matrix...?"

There was a very good thing this week though - I won a contest!! Yay me! And I'm so thrilled - I pick up a beautiful crocheted snowflake from the Bookwyrm (drop by and say hi!). I don't crochet, and if I did, I don't think I could make such a lovely design. She makes them using a teeny tiny hook, and THREAD. Which is like knitting a gansey on 2.5mm needles... Once I receive it, I'll post a picture. Thanks!!!

Oh - do you drink water from these Nalgene bottles? If may be interested in this.

Wow, and that's it! Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Lost and Found!

Yay! I found my mittens! And would you believe they were in the ONE place I didn't think to look. (No, really? That never happens.) In the laundry bag. Don't ask me how. Or when. ('Cause that would be admitting to the last time I, uh, did laundry...)

They're back in their rightful spot now. Phew! Yesterday was a cold one - when I went out in the morning it was -12C. So, I pulled out my beloved chullo and Norwegian mittens! So, hey! The wind really goes through those mitts at first, but once you hands heat up, you feel NOTHING. They warm the hands up nicely. And the chullo? I still love her. Light as a feather and warm. *sigh* Ah the wonders of knitting never cease.

So, I have some updates. I'm still working on my Christmas knitting (go to Ravelry, look me up and you'll see one of my stealth knitting projects), but I'm also working on other things too. Because I can. lovely Cabled Cricket sweater from Debbie Bliss. Coming along nicely, with the front and back completed, and a good start done on the first sleeve.

"Nice work Mom... So, when's it gonna be finished? I can see myself rolling around in this..."

No time soon! But, I'm not bored of Fulmar at all. I just find the gansey yarn (AS' Scottish Fleet) a little tough on the hands. Some days I can manage 15-16 rows, other times it's only around 6. But that's OK - I knew from the start she would be a long-term project. Gandalf does like the Scottish Fleet yarn, and Atticus has developped the annoying habit of chomping on the stitch markers as I'm knitting along. Such a good boy...

I plug away at Laleli on the weekends. However, I did learn last week that watching Daniel Craig in "Casino Royale" while trying to knit Fair Isle? Not always a good thing. Tends to get a little...distracting. But, I've started on the V-neck decreases, and I'm still in love with the beautiful design and colours... Ah Fair Isle! I luvs you.

And what else...? Oh, my stealth knitting project! I finally found the magic one, thanks to a suggestion from Lorraine, but of course I can't post anything about it. So you'll have to check it out on Ravelry. I've also completed a bunch of catnip mice for the Annex Cat Rescue, which my friend Raven stuffed for me at work on Thursday. Not a chance I can do any of the stuffing or stitching up of the mice at home! The Captain gave me a catnip toy for the guys yesterday. I thought it would be OK - it didn't smell as strong as the stuff Raven had provided. I was's catnip... Anarchy and destruction soon ensued, with Mae in a catatonic state for the next several hours. They're still rolling around on the floor, over the spot they demolished the catnip toy yesterday. That stuff is SO BANNED in this house!

"Atticus, what's up with Mae?"

"What do you mean? Oh, the food?"

"Uh huh...Why she eating so much? I hardly had a chance to get any supper last night, she was scarfing back the cat chow like it was going out of style! Is it a girl-cat thing?"

"I think it's just a Mae've seen her with the catnip?"

"Oooooh...OK. So it's the catnip makes her get the munchies? Wow. I thought it just made her loopy."

"Which is why we can't have any more of it in the house, otherwise we'll never get anything to eat!"

"Gotcha! Man, Mae's weird sometimes..."