Vengence and small victories

Nora came home with all of her claws intact.

I don't mean she hasn't been declawed, although she hasn't, and she's not going to be. I mean, all of them hadn't been trimmed in some time. Talons might have been a better term. We'll have the battle scars to prove it for a little while.

I knew she wasn't going to like having them trimmed, but it needed to happen. I was right. I got one paw done two days ago, got two claws on the other one yesterday. And she would hold a grudge for as long as I was home afterwards. Once I left for work and came back, all was forgotten.

Finally, the boy held her so I could clip the remaining talons. So then we were both "evil." It's amazing what a couple of cat treats can garner - instant forgiveness.



So, as I was sitting with the lappy, checking my e-mail, I overheard the boy in the kitchen say, "No, get out of the fridge." No, he wasn't talking to the milk. He was talking to the fur kid - meet Nora:

We adopted her yesterday.


Inspiration abounds . . .

Now, I realize that it's only August, and that it's still in the upper 90's most days (not counting the humidity and heat index). I also realize that we have barely touched on hurricane season. That runs from mid August through November here.

But children across the country are beginning to head back to school, and Fall is just around the corner. This is the time of year when I would pull out my sweaters and pet them, and think longingly of the cooler days to come when I would wear them again. I really am a sweater/sweatshirt fan. For starters, they hide a multitude of sins. And, gosh darn it, they're so comfy!

My feelings seem to have adopted my knitting into their pre-fall ritual, so now I'm getting psyched for fall knitting projects. I have nailed down most of the Christmas knitting, some of which I've been working on since last Christmas. No, I'm not that driven; I just wanted to take my time and enjoy the projects. I am now on number 3 of 4 in the Grandma Shawl count. One Grandma already has her shawl, which leaves me searching for something else for her for Christmas, but I'll find something.

I actually bought most of the yarn for the Christmas knitting today, so I can take something other than a Grandma shawl up to the cottage on the river over Labor Day Weekend. See, mom's parents live up there, and I don't want to give even the slightest hint of what is to come. So my plan is to take a couple of small easy projects up there, along with the drop spindle, and try to knock out some stuff.

Don't I sound organized? A complete facade. I think I have enough will power to get me through the Christmas knitting, before I launch into one of the million or so projects that I've been eyeballing. It helps that one or two of the Christmas projects are patterns that I've been eyeballing. I think I can make it . . . I think so.

But I want to knit this . . .

and this . . .

and of course there's this . . .

and this . . .

um, . . . and this . . .

yeah, this too . . .

and this . . . for my cousin who's having a baby

and that's just the ones that have pictures to link to on the web. Let's not get me started on the patterns I've found in books. So much knitting, so little time.


Monday is my day off . . .

. . . for now. I may just have the best schedule ever, for me. It won't start for a couple weeks, but once it does I won't work Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays! I'm still working in television, I won't have to get up early in the morning, and I get three day weekends, ON THE WEEKEND!! I'm going to hold onto this shift for as long as I can, it's going to be great!

The downside to this is that I won't be able to keep going to the Tuesday and Wednesday night knitting groups I'd enjoyed so much.

In other good news, the boy has started a new job, which he seems to be liking so far. This also means that this was my first Monday off with some alone time. Don't get me wrong, I do love that boy, but a little me time today was nice.

Also, I've tried my first batch of pickles. They weren't bad, but as I had miscalculated the amount of dill seed per jar (it's a Tbsp, I thought it was a tsp) this first batch is mostly sour and not very dilly. The next batch should be better.

There has also been knitting. I whipped up a pair of baby booties and a hat in a hurry, thinking I could sneak them into the auction at camp, but that didn't happen. I need to photograph them, they came out cute, but they need feet and a head - I may need to hit up the thrift store for a baby doll for modeling purposes. There are also socks:

And then there's this one. I am in the process of remembering the benefit of putting one's mind to something (read: kicking myself). It's really moving along now. I'm slightly concerned that I may run out of yarn before I close the toe, but I won't know until it happens.

I really like them, and I'm so glad they fit. I was worried. At this rate I should have a few more pair to add to the rotation soon. Is it sad that even when the highs are in the 90's I wear wool socks to work?

The other thing I'm remembering today? How great milk and graham crackers are!


I'm home, did ya miss me?

Probably not . . . seeing as I didn't mention I was leaving. But it being August it was time for the annual trek to West Virginia. Well, at least it used to be annual. I have great hopes that it can be again.

We timed the trip perfectly, by accident of course. We left town on a day where the predicted high was 101, and the heat index was somewhere in the one hundred teens. When we reached Alderson it was still very hot. They had been suffering from the same heat wave that we had been. We unpacked the truck, set up the tent, and then promptly donned our swimsuits and submerged our sweaty selves in the river. By the time dinner was over the temperature had started to drop. We had arrived just in time for the first cool night they'd had in over a week.

The boy wasn't sure what to think at first, but it didn't take him long to relax and enjoy himself. We got a chance to visit with folks that I've known my whole life. We swam and tubed in the river. We went to the fair, which the boy pronounced to be a bit small, but inherently cool. (This was the WV state fair, by the way) I introduced the boy to the cultural experience that is the Pig Roast.

Packing up to leave yesterday was not something we wanted to do, but the boy had to go to work today. We had fun on the drive home, and even managed to squeeze in a stop at a yarn store!

But wait! Did they take their camera?? Silly question!

The boy did more of the photography than I did, so I'll see if I can beg him to post some pictures.

But the best part? I actually heard him say "I miss Camp Greenbrier" today . . . it wasn't as quiet and under his breath as he thought. Made my day!


More Knitting, Yay!!

Just to put it out there, because someone may ask - yes, I've found another job where I can knit at work. When I've finished everything I can do and am just waiting for a show to come down or something, my boss said I can knit, so long as I put it away if a tour group comes through or something. My new boss is awesome, by the way.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled knitting . . .

Zeebee by Schmeebot
Yarn: Knitpicks Bare Merino DK
Size: the boy's head . . . roughly 20" around and 8 3/4" to crown

The boy begged me to knit him a hat out of this yarn the minute I pulled it out of the dye pot. Truth be told, I didn't like the color combination much, but only because it wasn't what I had been going for. When I finally got around to reskeining it to see how the colors blended, I had to concede that it wasn't too bad looking. So when I needed a quick project last week, to break up some knitting monotony I figured it was time to make him a hat. I'd been dying to try the pattern, which is really more of a formula (feeding my inner nerd). Once it was finished he started wearing it around the house. No our AC is not on that strong, he's just adorable like that. He even slept in it a couple of times. Silly boy.

He wouldn't let me take a picture of his face, but hopefully you get the idea, I think it turned out pretty well. Now I want one. Maybe in something tweedy.


Can I kick myself?

When I started knitting last summer, I decided to try socks, because they were small and looked challenging enough to be interesting. It wasn't until I'd been at it for a few months and had finished a couple pairs of socks that I learned that socks are supposed to be hard. I've heard countless knitters, many who are far more accomplished than I, say that they could never knit socks because they're too hard. Seriously.

I've read all but the latest book put out by the Yarn Harlot, and from the way she writes it would seem that many knitters need to be convinced that certain things aren't really all that hard, and they should try them.

I've even posted to group blogs on the topic of pattern technique suggestions, and not feeling obligated to follow them. I didn't want them to be scared to change things. I wanted them to see that it wasn't hard.

I've lived in the world of knitting relatively oblivious of what was hard and what was not. And it's been working for me.

And yet . . . there's one project that I've been avoiding because it looks hard . . .

Duh duh duh! Sweaters!!

Especially ones that are knit in pieces and then sewn together. It's a love hate relationship - especially with the sweater in the picture. I have the pattern, and I've picked out yarn (just not the color). I would love to knit it, love to wear it. But I'd hate to fail miserably, to be beaten by a sweater. But this is ridiculous - I can do this! I just need to start, and it will all be ok.

Now to noodle over colors for weeks, until I find the perfect one.