Thursday, August 30, 2007

Vacation Time!

Have you ever heard the saying - "Some people are like Slinkies - they don't do a whole lot, but it sure makes you smile when you push them down the stairs."?

Much like my interactions at work this week.

But, all that doesn't matter! Because as of now I am on vacation until September 10th! Yay me!! And during that time, I will be visiting my sister and SIL in St. Catharines; turning 39 (on Sunday); and going to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter's Fair with Lorraine (have you seen her new design, Guinevere?!) on Saturday the 8th.

And guess who I'm also visiting with in St. Catharines!

"What? Why's everyone staring at me...?" - Finnegan

Much to the chagrin of these fellows...

"So, I'm in charge? Right? While you're gone? Can I abuse my power? No?"

"Neener neener Atticus! Pffffttttt! Neener neen...oh hey, a hangie thing..."

But they will be in good hands, no worries there. Mae? She knows who's really the boss...

So, I've been happily knitting away on Grace:

Of course, black is not the easiest colour to photograph. Here's the back, in it's unblocked state. Once blocked, it'll bloom out nicely. I LOVE this pattern. LOVE. Dorothy Siemens is just a genius. Her patterns take all the guesswork out of absolutely everything - you don't have to figure out how to shape along the armhole and shoulder. It looks much more difficult than it actually is. I'm going to get a good head start on the front.


And here's another one I haven't posted about before:

Persian Tiles Blanket, from Virtual Yarns. It's from Jade Starmore's "A Collector's Item", and is going to be spectacular when it's done! WHEN it's done. Because you need to complete 10 repeats of the 50 odd stitch pattern (3 repeats per round, 179 stitches per round). Which is completely doable, however I finish this when I finish it. It's a project I'll work on when I can. I do love it - it gives me the satisfaction of stranded knitting, yet is only 2 colours throughout and simple enough to work on while watching TV.

I just can't think of the 500 rounds I'll have knit by the time it's completed. Or I'll never pick it up again.

My colours are Kittiwake (the light blue) and Shearwater. Both Michelle and I are working on this, although I think Michelle has a deadline...brave, brave girl. Because it's a long knit...

So, that's it! I'll be back next week, a bit older, a lot sillier and just as happy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Nothing Says I Love You Like...

...kitty scratches.
So, our little friend Gandalf was dead to the world asleep last week - you know the kind where there are little kitty paw twitches and air-boxing moves. Snoring. On the couch, next to me, where I was minding my own beeswax, knitting and watching "Family Guy". Just out of the blue, something must have spooked him in his sleep, because he woke up, jumped 2 feet in the air, and landed feet first, CLAWS OUT, on my leg.

And then proceeded to use my leg as a springboard to the floor. OK, so it doesn't look too bad in the picture; this happened last Sunday. But let me tell you - the scratches on my leg bled, and those dots on my foot and leg are bruised, and gouged. Not scratches - gouges. And they HURT. Once he landed on the floor, tail all puffed out, he blinked, looked around, found Atticus, snuggled up with him and went right back to sleep. I needed Polysporin.

"...I'm a lil' tea' is my spout...nananalalala..."

It's been that kind of week. Everyday I said "I'll post tonight!", and something else came up. Which is probably not a good thing, because that something else usually entailed knitting something not meant to be... So, I really haven't much to show for myself.

Except for making an even bigger mess of my WIP table.

But! I've been doing all sorts of cool stuff on Ravelry! It's amazing how much time you can, uh, spend on it, searching through a ton of neat projects, and seeing who and what's out there.

Let's see, in the last week I have:

* Joined the Clapotis Second Wave KAL (starting September 23rd).

* Joined the Fulmar KAL (starting October 1st).

* Not blocked poor Kiri yet.

* Started a Caped Crusader cardigan (link to Lorraine's completed one from last November).

* Started "Grace" by Dorothy Siemens.

* Reached the halfway point of Mermaid. I'm going to hold off doing any more until next weekend when I head out to my sister and SIL's for my birthday. I'll be there for 5 days, and I always get some good knitting in.

I know what you're thinking! But I came clean. It's the time of year, I suppose. I start to get antsy for the fall, and fall knitting. And I can't stay focused on any one thing as my mind begins to race when I start seeing all the new yarns and designs for the fall.


"Um, whoa. Back up the truck, sister! What's this going away next weekend business?? That is so not cool..."

Friday, August 17, 2007

Is Gandalf Really That Silly?

"Need the catnip...skirt's in the way...oh...catnip...come to papa..."

Catnip. The only example I can think of where Mae completely looses her dignity.

"Oh sweet, sweet catnip...oh! ...I see fairies..."

Atticus went off in a corner to contemplate the meaning of life after his roll around the catnip.

I couldn't find him.

So, I was asked recently - is Gandalf really that silly?

Oh yes.

He's a goof, but an absolutely loveable one. He loves being around others, whether it be Mae or Atticus or people. He's curious, sometimes to his own detriment - sailing down the stairs while sitting in the litter box lid; falling in the toilet (ok, Atticus did this too); getting locked in the shower stall because I didn't realize he had snuck in to explore. Oh, and of course the day he snuck out between my legs as I was leaving for work one morning and ended spending the whole day outside. Atticus sitting on his head in some kind of feline wrestling move when he was smaller. His way of saying - stop. sniffing. me. One time when I was puppy-sitting my sister and SIL puppy Finnegan, I turned around to find the two of them napping happily side by side in Finnegan's crate. (Of course, to get to this point, Finnegan had to generously offer up his puppy food, like some new kid at a new school. They were all great friends after they scarfed back his food.) He is the only one of my guys who will let me pick him up, and give him hugs and kisses, and he'll put up with. Mae will put up with only so long, and Atticus will only put up with if he wants to.

*staring into space*

"Lalalalalala...Ooooo, I wonder if Atticus will be ok with me waking him up...maybe I should go check out the food situation in the kitchen...yarn? Is that yarn?... lalalalalalala...Oh, wait, didn't I want to... cool, I think Mom's going to watch Animal Planet... I want to be a lion when I grow up... no, an elephant, no one messes with them... I wonder if Auntie Lorraine is going to come for a visit?... doodeedoo lalalalalala...Uh oh, Mom's coming over...she's gonna give me a kiss geez...! Mom!"

Meanwhile, back on the couch...

Mermaid grows. What you see there is the left front, underarm, and start of the back. And you know - it is nowhere near as difficult as it looks. As long as you pay attention, and trust the knitting wisdom of Hanne Falkenberg. I have also been making up some kitty blankets for the Annex Cat Rescue, which is why she's been a bit neglected. I am really enjoying it!

Thanks for all your kind comments about Kiri! I haven't had a chance to block her yet - I'm hoping I will be able to this weekend.

And then - pictures!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lordy Lordy Look Who's...100...

(Hey cool! Just noticed this is my 100th post!)

OK. So hey! Guess what I did this weekend?!

I finished Kiri. OK, so I didn't block it yet, one thing at a time. I have a sinking feeling blocking the shawl will be HELL, so I'm in no rush. I'm really surprised at how big it is! And, the instructions indicate it'll block out to 6 feet?? Ugh, so where am I going to block it then? I suppose my bed, with the blocking wires I bought, and a gajillion straight pins!

Oh yay! *clapping hands*

See, there is a reason I stick to wool.

I will say, I really did enjoy this. But, I'm not going to rush out and do all lace from now on, but I do feel more confident working it. And - I know, it's soft and fuzzy and cushy, but I don't know if I like working with KSH though. I just never felt too secure working with it, you know? I need to be able to feel what I'm working with, and the KSH was a bit flimsy on a 4.5mm. And besides, KSH made Gandalf more nutso than usual.

"Hee hee hee! Hee hee hee! Look at me! Hee hee hee! Wheeeeeeeee!"


Thanks to everyone who offered advice on what to do with my ivory Scottish Fleet ::cough::Anne & Lorraine::cough::, but rest assured that there is no way - none! - I am going to unravel yarn already wound into convenient balls and use it for my very first dye job. Because with my luck... It's why the Yarn Fairy invented Visa. Although I'm contemplating doing Sand Dollar with it... who knows? I don't know what I'm going to do with it. And I may use some Jamieson's DK to do Fulmar. Or not.

The beauty of just never know.

OK. Off to peruse Ravelry (which I swore I wouldn't go near) and spend more time NOT knitting! Cool!

Speaking of cool - once the weather cools off a bit, I'll post a modelled shot of Amphora (which fits perfectly!). Now that I've sewn the facings, I also want to re-block her.

Oh, and I should probably go and feed the Little Dudes seeing how they're giving me funky looks, and Mae is sniffing at dust balls on the floor...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Blob

Remember that campy movie from the '50's? I remember going to see it when I was a kid, then watching the 70's remake. I also remember being really, really grossed out, yet too fascinated by it all to not look.
Sorta like this.

This would be Kiri. I decided to get her done once and for all, seeing how I'm 4 rows (ok, 8 with the wrong sides too) to completion. I'm totally bummed about it too - I'm pretty sure it's going to come out all wonky and lopsided, mainly because KSH doesn't behave for me. That's right. It doesn't.

But, I am nevertheless proud off having at least finished a lace project, regardless of how it turns out. My new knitting buddy, the Serta Counting Sheep I've christened Luna, is helping me to show off the rumpled blob that is Kiri so far. I had to fire my last assistant (Gandalf), as he tended to get distracted by the fuzziness of KSH and wouldn't stop trying to gnaw on it.

I am so going to hug my wool stash after I'm done.

So, it's been a bit longer than I would have liked since my last post. Mainly because of the heat, and let's face it - I really, really don't like the heat. I tend to not want to do anything, least of all park myself in front of a computer generating tons of heat. But, I did knit. (Like heat's gonna stop me.) Mermaid? Heh, coming along quite nicely. I'm really enjoying this - much, much easier to knit than Diva was. This one has few surprises, and as long as you pay attention and follow the directions closely, you'll be fine. This isn't a pattern open to interpretation. And, I'm loving the effect of the apple green and turquoise together.

And, I finally got my hands on a copy of J. Starmore's "Sand Dollar", from Pacific Coast Highway. I have a ton of Scottish Fleet in my stash that I had intended to use for "Fulmar", but it's in ivory, and I really have my heart set on making Fulmar in pink. I've toyed with the idea of selling the Scottish Fleet, but finally decided to pull out this pattern, and put it to good use instead.

Did you know that you start off with casting on 540 stitches? And did you know that you work the first 26 rounds of Sand Dollar with every one of those 540 stitches, before decreasing to a more reasonable 504 stitches?

Well, you do now.

However! It will not deter me! It's still the pattern of choice for the Scottish Fleet, although I'm pretty sure I'll need a few more balls of it.

So, let's see... Mermaid. Delores. Persian Tiles. Arangenser. Western Seas. Amphora's done. Kiri's almost done. Um, that can't be all? Oh yeah, Gingko Leaf, but I figure I have another 2 years to finish that. It's only been 3 years on the needles, and the guilt has long since dissipated.

OK. Not bad... I'm hoping the bulk of Mermaid will be done by the time I'm at my sis and SIL's for my birthday in early September.

"Wow Mom, you should have seen it! That blue blobby thing you're working on? It just flew to the ground! All by itself! Weird or what? And I tried to stop it - "stop it I says"! But it just flew to the ground! You should have seen it..."

My big help. I really hope blocking will fix those little KSH "design features" Gandalf has left behind.

Despite being such a good little kitty for his auntie Lorraine and new bestest buddy Laura (Lorraine's DD) this past Friday, he has been a little weenie of late. His latest endearing habit? Chasing kibble around the floor. WOW! Talk about ANNOYING. Hard cat food on a ceramic floor. I must have a meal's worth under the fridge and storage shelf in the kitchen by now.

And it doesn't just annoy me.

"Lemme go!"


"Lemme GO!"



Atticus has pretty much had it with all the precious food going under the fridge. There was a bit of a kitty smack-down where he let Gandalf know he'd pretty much had it, and then plopped himself down in front of it to prove his point. On Gandalf's legs. Although he has managed to squirm one of them out by the time I snapped this.

So - next post - Mermaid pics! And hopefully a finished Kiri. Hopefully.