Sunday, October 5, 2014

Knitting's Changed Forever

Today knitting has changed for me forever!  I spit-spliced the two ends of yarns, twice.  Spit-splicing is a method of joining two ends of wool yarn together, eliminating the tails completely.  I didn't know about it until a friend rescued a piece of knitting that my cat Emily mistreated.  Because the piece was already knitted and the ends were so short, Laurie was clever enough to needle felt it the rest of the way.

I was watching the Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries on Acorn T and winding a ball of yarn when I came to a broken end.  Ordinarily this would upset me but today I thought it gave me a chance to try out spit-splicing for the first time.  I couldn't find the end the yarn broke from, so I rewound it from the other end, to find another broken end about a yard from the end I knew was there.  This was a little trickier than the video I found because the yarn was 4-ply.  I managed to interchange them quite well.  I dampened the strands with water, rubbed them vigorously between my hands, and like magic the yarn felted to a strong union.  I think this will revolutionize my knitting. 

I used my cell phone camera.  It isn't as easy to use as a regular camera.  I must remember not to chop off the cat's ears.  

Here's Christy Nelsons's video I found on YouTube that showed me very well how to spit-splice:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Long Day in the Sun

Yesterday was a full day, much of it outdoors in the sun.  After a late start because I could not find my glasses, I drove up to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival.  The day was picture perfect and the drive up Route 40 one of my favorites.  Fortunately I had found my prescription sunglasses a while ago and they helped me through the day.  I had my back-up pair of glasses with the one bow with me as well that I could balance on my nose if I had to.

(In Googling Route 40 I found no photos of the area.  Hmm, is this a possible market for photography?  It seems the only people who have noticed it are painters and realtors,beyond many people's budgets.  Sssh!  Did I type that too loudly?)

My friend Laurie of Sliver Moon Farm could not make it that day.  Her late partner's husband Nick was taking care of business.  (I really miss Kay.  Never, ever forget safety while walking by yourself..) I saw my friend Jackie and her friend, whose company I enjoyed for quite a while and someday I may remember her friend's name.  After seeing the few objects I purchased Jackie said I was bad for her because she had to visit those vendors too.

It appears I have committed myself to the Camilla Shawl prematurely.  Despite its advertisement on Ravelry, the pattern is not available. Murphy's Law has got me again.  Now I have to put in more effort to find another acceptable shawl pattern.  I hate it when I'm in a period when knitting projects come to naught. 

The body of whatever shawl I knit will be a wonderful hand-painted teal to purple yarn by The Fuzzy Bunny.   I discovered I didn't like the color of the yarn that I previously bought for the border.    The teal I already had at home went perfectly, but the combination lacked something.  I found a yarn at Holiday Yarns that I think would work well in some accenting stripe in some stitch in some shawl pattern.  The sales associate was very nice and helpful.  My choice was Andromeda's Big Sister below.

This is the yarn for the largest portion of the shawl:

Andromeda's Big Sister has lavender, blue and a hint of teal to it.  The heavier weight yarn in the color was gorgeous in a cowl.  It had something like a subtle, sun-dabbled effect.  I really don't know how dyers get some of the interesting and wonderful colors I see,   (Hmm, this would make a good photography topic, if I had a camera.)  I may want to play with this color again.

I thought I might splurge on one thing if I found something I really liked, and it didn't matter what it was.  It turned out to be yarn, not a big surprise.  It is called "Cheshire Cat Color Morph, Turquoise to Fuchsia."  Here is a link to Frabjous Fiber's Mini-skein packs.  The 100 percent superwash merino fingering yarn is by Wonderland Yarns.  I'm not sure if I bought a mini-skein pack, but I found the colorway there.

A woman had the one pack in her hand when I came to the stall and I thought to myself, if she puts it down I'm going to grab it.  And she did!  I briefly looked at another one, but I decided it was too dark.  Driving away later, I realized it took my interest the last time at the fiber festival and somewhere, sometime on the web I saw a shawl in the colorway and coveted it.  

I finished our friend Karin at Periwinkle Sheep.  I am still trying to create a sheep out of four skeins of her yarn so I didn't buy more.  I did tell her about the Tre o Molti shawl on Ravelry I thought I might try next.  I think the pattern would be a good showcase for her beautiful colors.  Compared to all the fingering weight merino yarn at the fiber festival, Karin's is one of the best and the rest is up to personal preference for colors.

Jackie wasn't impressed that I bought two pairs of old-fashioned metal knitting needles in size 7.  I was happy, though.  Emily wants to bite the tips off any wooden or bamboo needle, so I have to stick to metal.

I found I could not leave without buying one more item.  I went back to the barn and found out I just missed it.  It was a double-pointed needle holder featuring calico cats sold by Nan Urban Knits.  As I much as I loved Midnight, I didn't want the black cats because they might be hard to find if I dropped them.  I thought the tiger cats would do.  The cute faces are growing on me.

Maybe they will motivate me to return to sock knitting.

The day was only partly over.  My mother is in a Catskill rehabilitation center because of a broken hip.  I wanted to visit her Saturday, but I was exposed to a viral respiratory infection at work and didn't want to chance exposing her.  Instead I put together a care package for her Friday night.  On the drive down, I found a couple flower balloons to tie to the gift bag.

This cute little fellow I found in a flea market last week.

The last stop was my mother's apartment where I spent a few hours with her cat Susie, petting her, brushing her, petting her, brushing her, petting her, playing with her, and petting her some more.  I called Mom while I was there and put the speaker on so that Susie could hear her.  That made her very happy.

I started home just before midnight.

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Unexpected Down Side of Spay and Neuter

I recently viewed the video below on Pussington Post

It looks like the cat is using sign language to communicate with his dinner companion.  Using symbols is definitely a sign of higher intelligence and evolution of a species.  This ability to obtain desired food would probably be considered advantageous to the species.  We humans are tinkering all the time with cats' ability to pass on traits that would benefit the species.  Can a species evolve in a positive, beneficial way with individuals indiscriminately sterilized?  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Giving Up

I may give up knitting the Bold and Blended Striped Wrap.  I've been working on it all summer and it still won't come out right.  The third color has come up short, whereas I had enough of the gray and the blue this time around.  I could shorten it a couple inches. At this size if I stretch when I block it, it's not going to be a shawl but a cape.  Right now I'm just tired of knitting it.  I'm going to study multicolor shawls on Ravelry for a while.  There are a few I like.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Knitting Progress

I am still working on the Bold and Blended Striped Shawl.  I was halfway through the third wedge when I found a dropped stitch near the top edge of the second edge.  I tinked the third wedge and managed to work the dropped stitch up to the edge of the second wedge.  I was very happy about that because it wasn't a matter of going back a few rows.  Then I discovered somehow the short row stitches were twisted the wrong way.  I fixed that and I'm working on the third wedge again.

The Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival is coming up soon.  I'm thinking about buying another hank of yarn so I can do a three-color version of the Camilla Shawl.  I had debated between the light aqua and the teal.  I think the vendor is local to the region.  I might like the combination of the two as the lace edge.  That or teal and lavender.  I'll see what I can find.  That is, if I ever finish the Bold and Blended Striped Shawl.  

I'm learning to cope with a different set of allergies.  Two are molds that show up on leaves and in food.  The other is yeast.  It's difficult to figure out foods that can fill me up without emptying my bank account.  

And One More Song

on a related topic, "(Whenever I'm Sad, I Do a Web-Search for Pictures of) Adorable Kittens."

This song can be found on Jacob Haller's album Mistaken Identity.

Mistreating Yarn Blues

I've learned that Jacob Haller had more knitting songs and that he also knits.  I found this song on YouTube, "Mistreating Yarn Blues." It can found on his album Circumstantial Evidence

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kitten Knitting Blues

While playing around on the Internet one time, I found reference to the song "Kitten Knitting Blues" and tracked it down.  I love it!  The music is by Rhode Island musician Jacob Haller and lyrics by John Laviolette, from the album Time to Break Up the band, released 14 May 2014.  The album is available for purchase on-line.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Burger King

I just told Burger King to stuff it.  I wrote them complaining about the drinks available with the combo meal.  I don't drink soda, I can't drink lemonade and I don't want to drink the artificial, flavored drinks.  This time around the fruit punch tasted like medicine, and was strong and bitter.  I received a very arrogant and condescending reply, saying in essence it doesn't care what I said or what the public wants: 
"In view of this, it is not surprising that many of the suggestions made to us from outside our company are already known or available to us through the efforts of our staff.
 While we appreciate your interest in presenting an idea or suggestion to us, it is BURGER KING® restaurants policy not to accept or review any unsolicited idea or suggestion. 
Unfortunately there wasn't enough room in the message field to tell the company that maybe I didn't feel like going to a company that gives so darned little about the people they take money from.  So I told them to "stuff it" instead.  I am definitely going to look for an alternative to Burger King.  If it's locally owned, all the better.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Back-Up Plan

While scrolling through Ravelry and talking to my mother on the phone (she knits, too, so it's ok), I've reminded myself I have a back-up plan in case the Bold and Blended Striped Wrap doesn't work out. 

I like Gina House's Camilla Shawl very much.  I could knit it using four colors of yarn as jvancott on Ravelry did:

I like her colors very much as well.  If I use this four-color variation of the pattern I should have enough yarn, I think.

Somehow I find plain striped shawls leave a little to be desired, but this pattern uses colors and stripes very well to make something beautiful and graceful.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Knitter Too

My company occupies the ground floor of the building.  The offices opens onto a glassed lobby with a cathedral ceiling.  Because my allergies have flared up, I don't want to go out for a walk during the day but I want some light, so at lunch time I sit on the wide sill in the lobby and knit.  

Recently I was sitting and knitting (in public) at lunch time in the lobby.  Three people entered the lobby and start toward the elevator.  A man left the group and came toward me.  "You're knitting!  I'm a knitter too!" he exclaimed.  "Someone told me there's a woman who sits here and knits."  

He asked me what I was knitting and said he was knitting a shawl too.  It was all garter stitch and it was getting to him.  He liked the shawl I was wearing.  I think he would have said more but his coworkers were waiting for him in the elevator to go back up to work.  I'll have to try coming out earlier with my knitting and maybe one day we'll have more time to talk together.  I wonder if he goes to a knitting group locally.  From my first impressions, I think any group he belonged to would be fun and interesting.  

My Bold and Blended Striped Wrap is coming along slowly.  About halfway through the second  wedge I discovered that I didn't have enough yarn.  It also seemed quite big and it would probably block out quite large.  I unraveled it and began knitting it again with a size 6 needle.  The original pattern called for a size 8 needle.  I originally used a size 7.  I wonder how big the shawl with the size 8 needles would be.  The one I'm knitting now is almost to my waist.  Times like this make me feel better about being a short person.  

Last night I had a very interesting dream in which I was someplace where many cats and kittens were for adoption.  One cat was a long-haired purple tabby cat with the swirled striped coat.  She was beautiful!  She made me wish there truly were purple cats.

Here's a photo of my cat Tattoo as if he were purple.  Although he was a mackerel tabby, it gives you an idea.    He did eventually become long-hair with a beautiful tail he always fussed over.

Have you ever wondered why there are birds every color of the rainbow, but the only non-monotone color coat cats have is some shade of gold?  I imagine it's because cats are hunters and need to blend into their surroundings to be successful.  

Midnight sometimes used her black coat to her advantage.  Twice when I was getting dressed to go to work she hid in the closet so that I would shut her inside.  This was when Emily was the hyperactive dynamo of a kitten and wore her older sister out.  I'm sure Midnight knew she couldn't be seen and she'd be left to take the nice, long nap she craved.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Cats and Knitting

I had to wait for Emily to grow up before I could knit again.  She was at least three months old before I tried to knit with her in the house.  She swooped in, grabbed the yarn in her mouth and tried to run away with it.  That was what she did each time I tried to knit.  She would usually give up after three tries, but then the yarn would be too wet to knit.  

I think I could knit again when Emily was about four years old.  I quickly learned she was obsessed with my circular knitting needles and I always have to keep them stashed away.  When one wore out on me I gave it to her but she didn't play with it.  I think the fun for her is trying to steal them from me.  

She's fairly good about my knitting, although she likes to lie on whatever pattern I'm trying to follow.  Here I gave her an opportunity to be naughty, but she wouldn't be.

Occasionally she likes to get more involved.

I've learned that she loves to knead yarn, the nicer the better.  I have to stow it away as soon as possible.  That's some Sliver Moon merino in Spring Mist she found there.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Through The Chair

I finally added some minutes to my cell phone and sent to myself the photo of when I fell through the chair during the Heritage Spinners' meeting at the Stephentown Library a few Fridays ago.

The only thing damaged was the chair.  I hadn't had anything like that happen to me since the hammock ripped out from underneath me when I was a kid.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Here I Go Again

Last week I finally figured out how to knit the Bold and Blended Striped Wrap.  Fortunately there wasn't a setback at all when the seat of my chair ripped right across when I was at the knitting group and I fell through it.

I knitted at least three inches of the pattern when I decided I didn't like the way it was coming out.  The designer may like the contrasting border with the pattern from the opposite side, but I don't and it makes the pattern more complicated.  I feel that when I knit a pattern, I'd rather have it the way I want it than put up with a version I'm not happy with.  What's three inches of knitting versus the entire garment anyway?

Yesterday I spent watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while I knitted the shawl.  Today I will watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban while I unravel it and start over.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Beginning the Bold and Blended Striped Wrap at Last!

I've wanted to knit Lara Neel's Bold and Blended Striped Wrap for quite a while. 

I struggled with the directions, though.  Maybe I hadn't knitted enough projects with short rows to intuitively understand them.

I had a epiphany when I went to the Periwinkle Sheep's open house.  A young woman and I looked at the directions together.  I studied the second photo to see which way the stripes were going and how they should be knit when the pieces slid into place.  My thoughts were further confirmed by the directions for the basic knitted mandala on the blog The Knit.  

The main difference is the shawl has a border.  I just compared the two patterns.  It seems I just needed the border stitches pointed out to me, as well as the right and wrong sides during the course of the pattern.  I thought that was a standard procedure in writing knitting patterns, but maybe I'm wrong.

I will be using yarn from the Periwinkle sheep to knit the shawl as well. I guess that's fitting. I had gotten a light blue skein at my knitting group's Christmas party.  At a local farmers' market I  bought two more skeins, a reddish purple one and a darker bluish purple.  Then I won a light gray skein from the Periwinkle Sheep blog.  I didn't like the two shawls I tried to knit with it.  Then this pattern was added to Ravelry and I thought the four colors would look good in it.

Here are the four skeins.  You can't really see the difference between the purples but there definitely is one.  I haven't knitted in a long time.  The beginning of summer or not, it will be a relief and a pleasure to have something to knit.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Another Movie With An Area Connection

Tonight I was watching the movie Sneakers.  It was released in 1992 and starred Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley and Mary McDonnell, and also featured the late River Phoenix.  Right after the plot took a turn for the worse, I recognized the anchorman on the television set pictured, Capital Region WRGB anchorman Ernie Tetrault.  Why would a movie in Southern California feature a newsman from upstate New York?  It was directed by Phil Alden Robinson who was once an intern at WRGB.  

Ernie Tetralt in Sneakers

Friday, May 30, 2014

HP, Change Your Printers!

I own and use a HP Photosmart Premium.  It is great except for one thing.  I have to be connected to the Internet in order to print.  I think this is about the stupidest idea any company has ever had.  Because there are so many companies trying to track my computer use right now, the printer can't contact HP over the Internet and I can't print.  This practice is also an unnecessary use of electricity.  HP must change their printers so that people can print without connecting to the Internet.  I'm sure most people just want to sit down and print something.  It shouldn't be necessary to connect to the Internet as well.  We are not all connected all the time and we don't want to be.  It would be a waste of electricity and money.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Which Two-Color Shawl?

These are the shawls I'm contemplating:

Windchaser Shawl by Lori Law


Winter Arboretum by Erika Flory

Vanilla Orchid by Ágnes Kutas-Keresztes

Partly Sunny by Jennifer Weissman

Yes, there's a definite pattern or two, and that's ok.  I'm usually not one for dramatic contrasts and I like leaf patterns.  All the curtains in my apartment had leaf patterns at one time, including the shower curtains.

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Cat Who Loves Music

Lately Molly has been yelling at me on the weekends.  The first few times it took me a while to figure out what she wanted.  This weekend I'm sure I'm right.  Yesterday and today when she started meowing again, I started playing music.  She went directly to her favorite bed, the box the laptop came in, and settled down for a nap.

Anyone guess the inspiration for the title of this post?

Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Craft Fair

Saturday I drove east to attend the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool Craft Fair in Cummington, Mass.  I like going there. The drive through Berkshire County, past the grand houses in Dalton and onto country roads is very pleasant and a good spring tonic.  So far the fair isn't crowded so I can see things and the vendors have a moment to talk to me instead of just talking my money.  

I had no grand project in mind, but last weekend took care of that anyway.  I went to the Periwinkle Sheep's Open House on Saturday.  In a box of discounted yarn I saw a beautiful turquoise fingering yarn in alpaca and merino, and another and another until I had scooped up five, enough to knit almost any large project I wanted to. The price was discounted from $24 to $10!  How often does that happen? 

Since I am on a very tight budget, I set them with my things to contemplate.  In this era of $5 polar fleece throws, I wondered if I should really purchase them.  I don't really like synthetic polar fleece and it's yet another product of nonrenewable crude oil that corporations now want to tear up and poison our earth for.   Polar fleece blankets might be acceptable for my current job.  However, they may not be in another and I don't see anyone wearing them when they go out.  I am also a shawl or cardigan person, not a blanket wearer.  I also realized that I had been sitting at work wishing I had a larger piece of knitting I could wear instead of the small shawl I had.  I think I have now further justified my purchase :)

One of my reasons to go to the fair was to see my friend Laurie Perrin of Sliver Moon.  I received a big hug from her.  It seemed so odd not to see her former partner Kay ten Kraft there, whom we lost last year.  It still hasn't changed our love of yarn, though.  I did my first serious browsing in her stall then ventured out to other ones.

I didn't want to spend much money on the fair, but I ended up doing so.  However, I felt good about it.  I took two skeins of yarn with me.  One was a present of turquoise fingering yarn from the Periwinkle Sheep and the other was a hand-painted yarn from the Fuzzy Bunny.  I had always thought I wanted a larger shawl than many patterns and I know that now.  I was very surprised to find a very good match for the Fuzzy Bunny yarn.  It will help the bright colors stand out.  I also found the right color purple to go with the turquoise yarn, and it even seemed to be the same brand yarn.  

This photo was taken before my cameras died.  Part of me is now sighing that I used money that could have gone toward a new camera instead.  At least I don't think I'll be tempted by yarn for a while now.  I think I have enough to knit for a while, and I've barely knitted since I started my new job.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Good Cat-Size Boxes

Recently I went to a local food co-op to buy a few things.  I forgot to bring my own bag with me.  While I was waiting at the register I picked up an empty cardboard box from the rack in the front of the store.  I brought it back to the register and said to the cashier, "This is a good, cat-sized box.  You can put it in there."

The cashier replied in bemusement, "I hear that a lot of that from people,  boxes being a good size for cats."

The gentleman behind me said, "That is a good, cat-sized box."

The funny cat in the box is my cat Tattoo, whom my family adopted in the middle 1970s when I was in high school.  He was crazy about empty boxes.  A favorite memory is when we brought home a portable black and white tv for me to take to college.  It was in a huge box.  He launched himself right on top of the box.  He could hardly wait to get inside.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pink Not So Much

I've been poking around in my beads this afternoon since allergens compelled me to stay inside.  I haven't really played with my beads since we lost Midnight.  She was my beading partner.  She used to come right over and sit down to watch.  

I was looking to see if I had pink flower beads because I want to make earrings to go with my vest.  I didn't find any.  I never liked pastel pinks for years because little girls were supposed to like pink.  I still don't favor it.  I like bright pinks instead.  

I found a lot of beads in different shades and shapes of purple and  blue-green with some green.  My favorite colors, of course.  I found a lot of beads that brought a lot of projects not even started to mind.

I've come up with the idea of making some kind of a patchwork applique vest featuring my own cats.  It's a Native American tradition, wearing representations or even actual physical parts of the animals that you identify with spiritually, or symbols that represent people or events.  I've wanted to honor Midnight, and my other cats, somehow, and I think this would be the best way.  

A Confession

I have a confession.  Occasionally I buy clothes on Ebay.  My personal sense of style usually doesn't coincide with fashion trends.  That is one reason why I frequent secondhand stores.  What is Ebay but a giant secondhand store on the web?  At least that's my view. 

It first began with a teal corduroy skirt made by Lands' End.  I really liked the black one I had and thought I'd try to see if it existed in another color.  It did, in teal.  I bought it for less than ten dollars.

I like to wear vests.  I find they're the perfect garment for the transitional weather in spring and fall.  They also express my personality.  It may not surprise you that I don't look for traditional, one color vests.  Unusual vests are not easy to find in the local stores.

I think the vest below was one of my first Ebay purchases.  The photo is from a current listing on Etsy.  The funny thing is that the design on the vest is the same design on a sheet of gift wrap that I bought in the 1970s.  I still have it.  I think the company must have been Gordon Fraser.  A friend suggested that I hang the paper on the wall as an art object.  If I could afford a method to protect it as well I would.

Recently I bought the vest below because I realized that most of my fabric vests didn't fit any longer and I needed one.  The colors were so pretty I had to buy it.

Last week I was thinking that I wanted a vest that didn't cats on it but was colorful.  I didn't find anything online.  Then I had a wait a minute moment and realized I had been looking at the perfect one for the past couple of months without buying it, so I sat down and did!  It is so beautiful I don't know why someone else didn't buy it.

I think it may be time for me to go into my closet to find the vests that I no longer wear and make them available to other people.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A New Type of Bird Call

This past Monday was very nice here.  The temperature was in the middle seventies.  The next day didn't start out as nice and it was cold when I left work that evening.  It snowed overnight.

I had to scrape my car off, but I didn't mind because the sky was clear and the sun was shining.  It also seemed like there were several birds in the area:  a robin, a cardinal and a chickadee.  Then I saw a Northern Mockingbird laid on the electrical line.  It was just one bird.  

Here's a link to its page at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  The bird sang his songs again as I worked at the ice and snow:  a robin, a cardinal, a chickadee, a blue jay, a car alarm.  A car alarm?  I guess the bird liked the sound.

It's another bird that flashes white wing patches.  

Coming home that night I passed a young man wearing a kilt in a green dress plaid running along the side of the road.  That is not a common sight in upstate New York.  I didn't recognize it as a local band tartan.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Stash-Less Knitting

I've been trying to knit from my stash since losing my most well-paid job in 2009.  It doesn't seem to be working for the project below.

This is Greta by Christina Wall.  I have a lovely knit batik dress that I need a vest to wear with it.  I thought this vest would look very nice with it.  I thought I'd be able to use my teal worsted wool with it.  No, the green in the leaf pattern is not teal.  I think I unearthed a hank of yarn that was called spruce green when I bought it.  It sort of looked like teal, though.  It didn't go with the dress, either.  The only yarn I know is spruce green is in the cedar chest that's currently covered up with boxes.  Finding it will have to wait for a little while.  I think of the other color in the pattern as purple, but I'm pretty sure that's not what it is.  It might be sort of a plum.  I might have a hank near to it in color to use as a guide.   *Sigh*

All I've been able to do is think about knitting.  I'm allergic to dust and off my partial allergy shot  treatment for 3 years.  My body was not very happy with the heating season this year.  I was too muddle-headed to want to knit.  I knew I'd probably mess something up.  I'm feeling a little better now. 

While I haven't been able to knit, I used my thoughts to pursue my other avocation of genealogy.  I recently bought a month's subscription on Genealogybank.  Even though it's the same old story that a site is only as good as the resources it has on your family (as in none for the Indiana relatives),  I am finding information for paternal relatives in Massachusetts.  I hope I find some information for a cousin's family in New York.

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Spring Flowers

I recently saw on DYI Village 50 spring wreath ideas.  Not very many of them celebrated spring flowers, like this arrangement I created:

Some day I might be able to do something creative again.  I don't have much energy left when I get home from work.  I know it has had something to do with Emily waking me up at 4 am in the morning many times recently.  I've begun shutting her out of the bedroom she's been retreating to at night, to mourn I think.  Then she wants attention at 4 am.  This seems to help.  She's stayed in the living room with me and her sister, where she's played and gotten attention.  She seems happier, and quieter, now.

I thought I had something of a digital camera in my $9.95 Tracfone cell phone I recently bought.  However the phone (or is that fone) died before I could figure out how to get the photos off it.  I had a couple cute cat selfies of Molly and my mother's cat Susie.  I think I can get them to pose again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Best Reason to Knit a Cowl

Kitten hammock.  Photo found on

Vigil for Midnight

The cats held another vigil for Midnight Friday morning.  Emily climbed to the top of the cat tree and surveyed the area.  She looked at me very sad and confused.  She went over to the sofa and laid down in loaf position on the arm.  Molly came and laid down on the plaid throw that Midnight was partial to.  They laid there together being quiet.  This is clearly a demonstration of social ties, emotions and memory in domesticated felines, and it upsets me every time I see them do this.  I so wish I could bring their sister back well and happy to them.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Kittens and How They Grew

Someone shared with me a blog post in which there were photos of pets and how they grew.  I thought the photos were neat and decided to do it myself.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Congratulations, Ravelry!  The 4,000,000th user just created an account.  I've been on Ravelry since 2008 at least.  I remember using Ravelry as an example for something to my boss in applications development.

I do find Ravelry very useful as a Knitter.  First and foremost is the availability of inexpensive or free patterns, since the economy has hit me very hard.  I do enjoy seeing what is being designed overall, though.  When I need yardage for a particular yarn, yarn browsing is very useful.  I've taken good advantage of the groups.   I find the genealogy the most interesting.  Since I can no longer attend a knitting group, it's nice to know that I can find someone on Ravelry to help me with a project if need be.

My favorite statistic from Ravelry is that 4 out of 10 avatars are cats.  I've used my cats as avatars

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Feline Fans

I wonder if Bernadette Peters would be offended to learn she has feline fans.  I recently found her album I'll Be Your Baby Tonight and have been playing it.  My cats seemed to appreciate it.  I didn't know how much until Molly was yelling at me this afternoon.  I started playing the album again.  The cat calmed right down and laid down in her bed to listen.

I found this video of Bernadette singing a lullaby for dogs.  Maybe she wouldn't mind feline fans.

Myself I always enjoyed Ms. Peters on the Carol Burnett Show and was sorry when she seemed to disappear from broadcast television.

Best Aspect of New Job

In the second half of January of this year, I began working as a client service representative, a job that I've officially never had before.  For one of the country's largest health insurance companies, I help physicians' offices obtain authorization for diagnostic imaging procedures.  I enjoy the job more than I thought I would.  I enjoy receiving phone calls from across the country, even Aiea, Hawaii!.  I like being called "Miss Debra" or "Miss Debbie" by Southern callers.  An appreciable number of my ancestors lived in the South. Some people are very appreciative.  The thanks I receive seems to make up for the times when I should have been thanked in the past and I never was.

Some of the callers live in the same areas that my ancestors did.  Waiting for the computer's screens to advance I used to make little comments about them, but it affected the speed and number of calls I handled, so I had to stop.  However, yesterday I had a very nice woman with the same name living in the area my grandmother's family came from, so I had to say something.  I have talked with some very nice people and I wished I could continue talking with them, but the demands of my job prevent me  from doing so. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Letter of Apology

To my former best friend and junior sister from Wells College, Class of 1979, now living in Portsmouth, RI, because she didn't have the opportunity to read this letter:
I’m writing to ask if you could ever forgive me for being the callous, self-centered young woman that I was in the 1980s.  I have missed you very much ever since.  I have wanted to contact you, but couldn’t find out how until recently.  I am so very sorry I wasn’t more sympathetic and responsive.  I’ve always regretted our following out.

I am not sure if you were aware of it, but my father was an alcoholic, and more or less died from it.  He had almost a classic case of narcissism, which I just figured out.  I grew up pretty warped and it took a long time to overcome.  I think I’ve been mostly successful.

I hope you will reconsider our friendship.  If I don’t hear from you I understand.

It wasn't very nice to send your former friend's Christmas card back in the mail. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

How Knitters Celebrate

I was just offered a full-time permanent position with full benefits and bonuses.  It took me five years to find this job.  Next Monday when I arrive for my first day will also be the fifth anniversary of being down-sized from my former employer.  I'd hoped that was a good omen.  It came just in time.  I had been in the process of applying for public assistance. 

So how does a Knitter celebrate?  Not the way that some people would.  I loved the leaf patterned blanket by Inge Spungen in the Winter 20013-14 issue of Vogue Knitting, and it was the only one I liked.  Normally I wouldn't buy an issue just for one pattern, but I thought this time I would.  I like leaf patterns.  I hope to get together with a couple friends soon, though.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Catbook Contest Tied

As part of the Happy Holidays to All photo contest on Catbook, I entered these three photos for my cats:

The end date of the contest keeps being extended because all three of my cats are tied for first place.  I think the photo of my black cat deserved to win since she recently went to the Rainbow Bridge.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Did I Save!

I live in an apartment complex.  People invariably discard items that they shouldn't where they're not supposed to.  I can see this area from my apartment, gone dumpster diving and gotten some good things that way. One time I found an intriguing piece of cat furniture.

The cats had a grand time checking it out.  However the fabric it was made out of wasn't very sturdy and was ripping as they climbed around on it. I decided to take it apart and make a cover out of better fabric, someday. Tonight I discovered that it sells for $89.99!  I'm going to use fabric I have to recover it, so I'm just spending some electricity and my time.  Did I save!