Sunday, March 29, 2009


Last night, the guys and I observed Earth Hour, and turned off the lights.

"Nice ambiance. I like this Earth Hour thing."

And before that, I tried to work on Isobel of Mar. You know, I'm amazed I actually get ANY knitting done.

Silly Boy Munchers gnaws on the needles.

"...*chomp chomp*...nananana nananana BATMAN! Batman! ...nananana nananana BATMAN! Batman! ...*slobber chomp*..."

Mae sleeps through it all.

Mae does snore.

Atticus makes himself...comfortable.

"I'm a chunky lad..."

(What is it with male cats wanting to be around you *all* the time? Mae is a much more independant girl kitty.)

"This won't be a flattering picture of me."

"...*chomp chomp*...nananana nananana BATMAN! Batman! ...nananana nananana BATMAN! Batman! ...*slobber chomp*..."

It's a wonder I get anything done. But, look! I actually do -

I have in fact completed the body of Isobel of Mar! Not bad, for scads of herringbone and moss stitch. Lots of moss stitch. Lots. And I'm now working on Sleeve One. Again. Lots of moss stitch. Lots. The sleeve looks like a big...trapezoid, at this point. Again made up of moss stitch. Lots of moss stitch. Lots. But, I am plugging away at it like a trooper - the sooner it's done, the better.

I'm a bit concerned at how this will look on me though. (Just a tad.) The upper back section seems a bit, I hope it will block out nicely. I'm also hoping that I won't end up looking like a puffy blue blob once it's done. Oh wait, I still have the button bands to knit up. OK, we'll just have to see how it turns out.

The VY 3-ply Hebridean "Summertide" shade shouldn't have black flecks in it, but you can see why it does.

Speaking of Virtual Yarns.


So, they had a little contest, and I was entered when I ordered the Driftnet Wrap back in January... Grand Prize was "Boudicca" (the original knitted sample), and other prizes include signed copies of "Aran Knitting" and "Tudor Roses". AND - they were also drawing for the Thistle Bag kit.

Hee hee! GUESS WHAT I WON!???

I received a very nice e-mail from Alice herself, congratulating me on winning the kit, and letting me know that it would be in the mail on Monday! ME!

Now. I can't remember ever winning anything before. (Oh wait, I did win a gift basket from M&M Meat Shops at one of our work Christmas parties a few years ago. But, that was during my serious vegetarian days. So. It's not like I could take advantage of it too much...) But - to win a prize from Virtual Yarns?!!? You could not get a more excited knitter! I'm so thrilled! And my name is up on the site too, along with all of the other knitters!

I feel like a kid at Christmas!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning...Oh, and an FO

Has turned into this...

Not bad, huh? I went through each and every bin and bag, and put aside anything I either did not remember having, or did not have any intention of using. You gotta be ruthless...

I ended up with 4 large Ziploc XXL-sized bags, ready to be donated. So, Lorraine came over, and I packed up her car with the yarn, and we dropped it off at the Purple Purl, where they would be donating it to Sistering - a drop-in centre for homeless and socially isolated women here in Toronto. And excellent cause, and I'm glad I could contribute in some small way.

Let's face it. If I haven't used it by now, chances are I won't. Sure, I could have sold it off, but to be honest - I don't have the time. And you know what? Donating it was a much better solution.

What I kept - all my Virtual Yarns kits and Hebridean yarn, all my Norwegian kits and yarn, my "basic" wool, most of the Fleece Artist/Fiddlesticks yarns, and the Noro Kureyon (I want to make Lizard Ridge...). Oh, and all of my Jamieson's too. What I gave away was good stuff, but nevertheless stuff I would not have ended up using.

Hey look! It's an FO! Wow!

Hello, Genevieve.

Here she is, completed. Genevieve is by the very talented Dorothy Siemens, of Fiddlesticks Knitting. I bought the kit, and the yarn used is Silken Merino (a lovely blend of merino wool/silk) in the Amethyst colour. It's knit using 3mm and 3.5mm needles, and using 3mm to 4.5mm for the collar.

I thoroughly enjoyed this project! The pattern was well written, and the charts were fool-proof. Now, yes this is "lace", or rather, it uses lace techniques. However, I didn't find it difficult, primarily because of the excellent charts. And the yarn wasn't tiny and floss-like. So, it worked out well.

Not too much else to report in my corner of the world... Let's see... Work is...there. I actually have to finish up here and log into my work laptop. We are working on a server upgrade that's being rather difficult. Such has been the weekend up to now...

The neighbours. Well. It seems they're back together. No s**t. Didn't see that one coming. Although she did mention to me again that she plans on giving her notice. I'm really not holding my breath. But, they have been pretty quiet of late, so I'll take what I can get.

And the Little Dudes?

Very little changes in their world. Which is what they like, so it seems.

Atticus dodged a bullet Saturday morning, simply by being a pill. He was supposed to return to the vet, but put up such a fight, I had to call and cancel.

"Return visit? I don't think so."

Mae is still fidgety when it comes to posing for pictures.

"It's like drinking a ton of caffeine AND sugar together!"

And Gandalf still plays the suck card, milking it for all it's worth.

"My turn! I want to do a crossword puzzle now! Me! Me me me!"

And I must sign off for this week! Have a great one!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Full Moon and a Half Moon

Chris and I were discussing the effect of a full moon on cats.



"...sigh...My stitches are out, by the way. Thanks Mom... *yawn*..."

Sure, they look content and calm now.

But for most of the week, it was more like this.

"...Gandalf/Atticus/Mae!...Get off the counter/table/your brother/your sister/my dresser/the computer ... Gandalf! I'm on the phone! No one cares that you pooped! ... Mae! Stop tearing down the stairs and making a mess of the litter box! ... Atticus! ATTICUS! Stop whacking Gandalf! GANDALF! Whatareyoudoing!?!! Stop chewing on the circular needle! Do you want to move off my lap???... *grumble* you guys are worse than kids!..."

Maybe it's a Mars retrograde thing or something, because this full moon? Even Mae *really* tried my patience.

But of course, it's all back to normal. No more dorkiness. Or more than usual anyway.

And when I wasn't at home trying to keep them from destroying the apartment? I was at work, enduring one of the busiest, and most frustrating, weeks in a very long time. I could go on about how people who make scads more money than I do seem to be experts at the Art of Menial Work, but hey. What do I know? I just clean up the mess. And my time? Just not as valuable. Did you know that?

Then, when the dust settled and things calmed down (Friday at 3pm, I kid you not...), I promised myself that I would never let myself become so "settled" in anything I chose to do. If it made me miserable? And it started to colour my attitude about my job and those around me? Time to go. Because I can't imagine getting up every day and subjecting those around me to the misery that I've allowed my life to become. And I can't imagine a point where I would choose to just settle, and give up. I suppose when you do get to that point, being miserable and a pill really doesn't matter - you've gone beyond the point of caring what others think of you.

And what of those I don't work with, who seem to invite discord and misery in their lives? Like my neighbours downstairs? Well, after a few mornings (we're talking 3:30 - 4am mornings) of being woken up by more screaming matches between Those-Who-Live-Downstairs, I received a call from her. Apologizing for all the noise and disruption. And to tell me that she's ended it... Wow, silly me! I thought "ended it" meant...buh-by... but, by the looks of it, it means - sure, stay a bit longer. Because he's still coming here after work. No fighting and screaming though since Friday morning though. Gotta be a record. The Captain said I should just call the cops the next time they start up again. I just might do that...

Oh, and she did mention that she'd be handing in her notice, because she wouldn't be able to handle the rent on her own once Stand-Up-Guy leaves. For good.
I'm not going to comment too much on that, for fear of jinxing it.

Anyway. That's more than enough drama for one week. Once again.

What's really important here? Huh? Why, knitting, of course!

Now that is a LOT of yarn. It's the skirt part of Isobel of Mar (have a peek at Marina's finished one - scroll down to the November 25th entry). I'm showing it off because I'm very happy to report that it is FINISHED. The skirt that is. I'm now up to point where I can cast off for the the underarms, and just work on the upper sections.

As Genevieve was drying - don't get excited, you need to block the front and back before picking up the stitches for the sleeves - I finished up the last of the repeats remaining on Isobel's skirt. I'd have to think long and hard to another project I've done that required so much yarn... Fingers crossed that I have enough to finish her! Otherwise there will be much weeping, and possibly screaming.

I should have enough...

As for Genevieve... You'll just have to wait until next week to see her in all her completed glory. One short sleeve and the collar to go. Yay!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Daylight "Savings"

My patootie. I feel like I've already run out of time to do the stuff I have to do this morning.

"Do you want me to file your taxes Mom? Or do the dishes? Oh, wait! Lemme just chase this squirrel for a sec...!! Eeeeheeheeheeheeeeeeheee! Hi Squirrel! Hi!!"

Windsor Waistcoat, I love you. I spent hours and hours yesterday working on you, and yet, I feel you haven't grown much... *sigh* When will you reach your armhole steeks? Soon? I hope so, because my wrist hurts. But, you're so pretty!

Must stop talking to my knitting. I did work on WW yesterday quite a bit; I probably managed around 20 rounds. Not bad, considering colour changes, cats and a really good episode of Law & Order I hadn't seen.

I'm maybe...7 or so rounds to the armhole steeks? Pretty good. And I'm on the last repeat of the front of my lovely Genevieve. Then, it's on to the sleeves, which are short. Wow, I'm amazed at how many people love it in Ravelry! Actually, no - I'm not. Fiddlesticks Knitting patterns...what can I say? She makes it easy. But, I'm amazed I actually had the chance to do any knitting this past week. Work has been quite...full, of late. I get in at 7:30am, and next thing I know, it's time to go home. There were days that I don't quite remember...

Anyway, I'll take the stress of work any day over the stress of a sick cat.

So! Despite it all, my plan to clear out some WIP's is working out well. jinxing though!

"I hear people wondered why I didn't pose for pictures last week. Well, there are days when a girl just doesn't want to be photographed, you know? I'm looking pretty content here though, don't you think? I call it my Greta "I vont to be alone" Garbo pose."

"I love you, man."

"Uh huh. You too, Gandalf."

"Sorry I lunged at you when you got back from the vet. I thought you were someone else. Hey! It's looking better now! Not so freakish."

"Whatev. It's not like I can see it. I thought you were going to go explore the world with Yoko?"

"Naw, I decided I'd be no good at fending for myself. Besides, she called me a Momma's Boy, because I asked her it Mom could come too. You know, to feed us and stuff. Hey, do you think we look fat from this angle?"

"Pffft. No! Fat. Please."

All is well with the boys now. Back to being the best of friends. Now to just get those stitches out of Atticus' back...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

What Now?

Peace, and somewhat quiet, has once again returned to the household.
The patient continues to heal, although a bit reluctant to show off the battle zone.

"I sleep. You go 'way now."

If he were awake and alert, he'd take the time to thank EVERYONE who sent good wishes for a speedy recovery his way. To think - he has all these friends all over the world who know and care about him! He's back to his old self now. If anything, he seems to be cuddlier of late, wanting to be even closer to me when I'm on the couch. Little competitions to see who can cause Mom to overheat the quickest is springing up between him and Gandalf, as they try to cover every square inch of my thighs while on the couch. Great fun! And I wouldn't trade it in for anything.

Oh! And he did want to send some Greenies-induced gas toots in the general direction of the person who said I was crazy to have spent so much money on a cat.

Would you not do anything for a cherished member of your family??

So. Everything *seems* to have calmed down (except for work, ugh) - so, what now?
I face the knitting music -

I finish long ago started projects. Such as this little Fleece Artist number. Which, in theory, should take a second or two to make. But, in my universe, it isn't always so. Because this WIP is probably, oh, pushing 3 years old? That's about right. Mainly because the Silk Spun "yarn" may be beautiful to look at, and to the touch, but it is one supremely large pain in the ass to knit with. All those knobby boucle'd bumps drive me cuckoo. But, I will finish this thing, if only to mark it as DONE. After all, it's not difficult...

And there is this little number, which I love. Oh, and I may have uh, forgotten to mention it before...

It's one half of "Genevieve", from who else? Fiddlesticks Knitting. One of the only lace designs I will attempt. She makes it look easy, and at least for me - knit-able.

A somewhat close-up of the detailing:

You can't go wrong with Fiddlesticks Knitting patterns, and really, this design is not difficult at all. And it moves quite quickly, once you get the hang of it. I've completed the back, and have started on the front.

Now, the reason I decided to show those 2 projects... I figure if I want to clear up all of the WIP's on my table -

(which does in fact look as bad as it is), I should finish off those that are either simplest to complete, or, are close to being finished. Obviously.

And the Fleece Artist Silk-Vee, and Genevieve are first in line. Never mind what's after that...if I think too far ahead, I'll end up in a corner rocking. And possibly sucking my thumb.

Of late I haven't been up to the challenge of working on anything that requires too much concentration. Go figure.

But that's OK. Little bits at a time.

"Oh! You will become my Yoko Ono. Atticus! Mae! I'm going on the road with Yoko!"

"You can't go, we're a team!"

"To hell with you all! She's my muse!"

Gandalf may have become enamoured with an inanimate object. He becomes even sillier when little Miss Hello Kitty is around. I picked her up while at the MAC store last week, and I also got the tote bag for free! Oh, and of course some MAC cosmetics too... Kind of hard not to pick that stuff up while at the store...

Lorraine understands. She's probably one of their best customers.

Here's to peace. And quiet. And a healthy little feline family.