Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Favorite Time of the Year - Burt Edition

Hubby blindsided me with a question the day before Thanksgiving, Do you know where the tree is?

First of all, I am still mostly back in July or August in my mind only now we have cooler weather. When did November get here? I may just refer to this as the missing year.

Second, part of me thought we would not put up a tree this year. Of course that idea was raised in the middle of the move, when we had not yet seen the apartment. We were not sure if we would have space.

Anyways I did indeed have an idea where the Christmas tree was stored. We pulled it out and brought it upstairs, then we looked at Burt... How would our used-to-live-outside kitty adjust to having a fake tree appear in his space? Especially since it smells like our old house and Gus and Jack. You've seen the pictures Gus loved the tree almost as much as me.

We pulled out, put together, and fluffed the tree. I promptly dissolved into memories and tears. So many emotions. We fought so many battles while the tree was up. Gus always seemed to fall ill in the winter. I'm know he fell ill the rest of the year too, but we always wondered if each Christmas was his last. And Jack went so fast it was hard to believe he was no longer here.

So after the tears we decided to leave the tree up undecorated to see how Burt would do with it. If we came down the next morning and it was laying on the ground... maybe only the lights would go on it.

Burt did a thorough investigation of the plain tree. He was figuring out how to climb it and tried to sharpen claws on the metal trunk. Then he laid down underneath and accepted that we put up fake trees in this house for some reason, most likely not for kitty entertainment?

The next evening we decorated our still standing tree.

Burt was delighted! Maybe it is an entertainment system.

He did follow Daddy out to the kitchen to see if mousie wanted to play.

Then it was time to admire all the dangling ornaments.

We decided to put Gus's bed underneath as with years past. D put the shawl of healing in too. 

The next day I saw the tree move a bit. I heard a cat toy rattle and a bell jingle slightly.

Gus said I could play with his shawl! He did!

He said it might heal you, Momma, to see this.

Yes Burt, that does help me feel better. Remember no knocking over the tree though.

I'm trying not to Momma! 
I do love Christmas!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Swatch It

A couple of Rhinebecks ago I picked up the pattern for Catkin. I had seen this shawl at many a festival. It was alway so striking to me. The perfect shape and with buttons to keep it in place. 

I safely tucked the pattern away for "one day". You know how it goes, one day when I have more time, one day when I want to be day after a huge move?

Yep, I took myself off to one of the local yarn stores to get some air conditioning back in July. They even had to wind up the yarn since my swift was not accessible. I searched and searched for the right color combination, and settled on the Civil War...the blue and the grey. 

The yarn is from a dyer across the river from us in Vancouver Washington, Alpha B Yarn. I had seen her wares on Ravelry and am so happy to say I now have easy access to them. I just could not resist picking them. I did wrestle with the colors and changed my mind several times... only partial due to the ability to stay in the air conditioning for a while longer.

Finally, I decided Crater Lake and Strong Gale suited my tastes for the best. I read through the pattern and thought, maybe I should have done that before buying it. Hold on, the designer starts you off with a lovely swatch, I can knit a swatch!

As I ripped back my first attempt, I convinced myself that, no really I can knit a swatch properly.

I then did indeed sort out my brain and knit a proper swatch. Lovely isn't it?

I was so overwhelmed with my ability to knit correctly that I promptly abandoned my swatch for some socks. Turns out it was a lot of socks that needed to be knit before I could think of knitting a shawl. There are still quite a few on the needles getting my attention. 

Do you think I can wash the swatch and measure it still on the needles? I hate to waste yarn on swatches. But then again it would make a lovely coaster. One of a kind you could say. Just let me find my tape measure before I put this away. On second thought, it would be really nice to have another shawl, one that stays put hopefully...

So many projects to work on...I am a lucky knitter!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Knitting Parade

I don't want you to think that all I'm doing since we moved here is buy yarn, but I bought some yarn.

And it is not even local yarn, it's from WEBS, you know they claim to be America's yarn store so maybe I can call it local?

No I don't think so either. D had asked me where his red sweater was located since the move. I gave him a weird look and said you don't have a red sweater. He was so convinced that he did that I had to go check my project page on Ravelry to confirm that I knit a red sweater for me, not D. We settled on a nice wine color of red.

Their price on sock yarn was a compelling reason to get sock yarn that would match because I've not knit him any red socks either. I also had to pick up some Eucalan since I gave away the little I had. I'm going through more wool wash since I started hand washing socks. I don't trust the machine here not to eat them. Before I got here D called me to ask about washing clothes, especially socks. I asked if he had enough to make it through till I got there. When he said yes, I said don't wash any of them till we know if the machine plays nice. I still have not decided yet. Boy does it take longer to dry socks in damp Oregon. It seems to be about triple the time here, but maybe I'm still adjusting to everything.

Hey we have not had a knitting parade in a while, how about one now? 

This is some yarn I picked up because I was not able to repair some holes in D's shocking orange socks. It looks alright here but there is more pink than I thought there would be, good think I don't have the same rule about no pink hubby socks as the lady from the library did. The bag is a birthday gift from D, along with some yarn that I forgot to show you. Guess we have fodder for another blog post.

This is some Into the Whirled yarn from Rhinebeck that called to me on an overcast day here. We are having quite a few days like that, who would have thought that in the Pacific Northwest. (I think NY is getting snow today so no complaining from this camp, just colorful yarn.)

Ahh my socks that were bought and started at my first knit night here are almost done. (Actually are done this morning, shh don't tell the knitting police.)

This yarn continues to frustrate the heck out of me. I bought it in 2009 and have tried to knit socks out of it several times. The two colors pool half and half, no cool swirling stripes, just utter division. It looks so odd, like the sock cannot make up its mind which color to be. I'm even trying my magic cubic needles that usually gets my knitting to behave nice. Nada!

What do you think should I give up and just use this yarn to mend other socks? Maybe as toes on socks that run low? It even resisted me during a shawl phase. Maybe I should just take it to the knitting guild and give it away?

Oh I did not tell you! I went to my first knitting guild meeting. I'd say there were 50 to 60 people there. They had a lady give a talk about socks, and you all know I love hearing about socks. It was interesting and I met a couple of very nice people that like talking about yarn and knitting. They even do a show and tell to close out the evening. I do believe I will be going back for next month's holiday party.

I attended a volunteer orientation for the shelter I adopted Burt from. Now if I can resist coming home with a brother or sister for Burtie Burt. I can tell you Burt can be a lap cat if there is a chill in the air. We have spent some quality knitting time together recently. I could not be more happy with the idea. Burt just wants a warm butt...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Knitting Tales to Tell

Well my friends I continue to knit my little fingers off. At this rate I will have to buy more yarn, oh bother. I am using some of my knitting time to catch up my sadly neglected knitting journal. It was only a year and a half behind when I started working on it. When you get busy it is more important to blog than write in a journal only you will read. Still important but wow the catching up is taking me for a walk down memory lane. For instance I just logged this yarn in as a Rhinebeck purchase from last year.  

Fiber Optic Foot Notes in Prism Break

Yay that means I am only a year behind now. Anyways I don't love how it is working up but I've got more than a half of sock done... and I am strongly resisting the urge to cast something else on. I've only got two socks on the needles and I think it may be getting to me.

I ordered some yarn for a new sweater for D and was anxiously awaited its arrival. Just as I was about to email the company to inquire when it would be shipped, just like that it had been sent off. Anyone in the midwest want to wave to my yarny plane?

While I was picking out the yarn I showed it to D and he was amazed at the price. He thought all my yarn was as valuable as my fancy sock yarn. But hey I can economize and knit a sweater for under fifty too, and I get all the fun of playing with the yarn for a month or so. Ooo and he can claim to have another bespoke sweater. Quite a value.

In other knitting news D spotted a knitter in the wild for me and we had a lovely conversation. D and I were attending a talk at the library when he pointed out a cute bag covered in sheep. Turns out the bag contained a sweater in progress. We had a lovely chat after I showed of my sock in progress and the socks we were both wearing. We may have even convinced the knitter to knit some pink socks for her hubby. She claimed that he should not wear "girlie" colors. Good thing my hubby is confident enough to wear anything I knit for him. I will however hold off pink sweaters for the time being. 

And you all know Burt wants to make an appearance on the blog. This was from a while ago. The first time he joined me for making dinner. That cute little kitty cutout behind him says The only self cleaning thing in the house is the cat. I bought it years ago and now I have the matching cat!

The astute among you will recognize My Favorite Sheep mug which always makes my tea taste better.

I think I smell the bread I am baking, such a lovely smell, if you'll excuse me.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rhinebeck-Free Chicken Socks

Burt and I are negotiating lap time. I was hoping for a knitting companion so you know that I love this. We did discuss knitting on Burt pictures and he thinks they are OK, especially when we're feeling all cozy. 

Yes indeed he did allow me to knit some socks. I love the colors on these! Hmm these seem to be complementary to Burt too. I think my cat color is influencing my sock colors?! Wait I bought this yarn before we even thought about getting Burt. Whew.

Socks That Rock lightweight in the Free Range Chickens colorway. I just love the feeling of new socks. I did a bit of a weird needle mashup. The cubic needles I have make me knit just a bit tighter. Which works out well for getting nice color changes like you see above. But I still need a loose enough sock to get it on my foot, so I subbed in one of my round needles with four cubic needles. Just enough stretch to make a nice sock with great color pooling stripes.

Burt spent some of his time supervising from his newest perch also know as the spa. He hopped up and started to take a bath in it, plus he does his own nails on the scratching post below.

I brought home a new toy the other day and Burt fell in love with it. The mouse is tucked under his head here.

It is called a Cat Catcher, it is the little bristly mouse on a wire attached to a short stick. My friend Burt is so possessive of his wee mousie that he tries to back away and run with it. He is so sure he will win tug of war that he pulled the string out of his mouse while growling at me. Sort of a my mouse, low growl.

I had to reattach the mouse but further play means it is falling apart. Mousie time is limited till I can get a replacement.

I told Burt that the mouse is not as much fun when he gets grabby like that but he remains unconvinced. He thinks he may be "sorry" if that is what I need to hear.