Friday, February 29, 2008

Life's persistent questions

(with apologies to Guy Noir, private eye, and in no particular order)

How much ketchup does it take to make a vegetable serving?

How much ice is under that snow on the roof? (notice the ice on the orange cord)

Have I been neglecting my blog to spend more time on Ravelry??

Why are there always assorted socks all over my house? Are they fleeing the laundry chute or the children's feet?

Why does the printer ink always run out at an inconvenient time?

Is there anything as amazing as how gorgeous as the ice on the trees? And the startling shade of blue of the clear winter sky?

Where are we going to stack the snow next time?

We got 2 more inches overnight; why is no one surprised?

Why can't I got the posts to format the way I think they should?

Why are there big holes in my tawashi's petals?

Do you like my other work in progress?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Welcome Kitty Knits Blogtour!

Hi Cindy!

How is the winter treating you this week? I see from the MKE Journal that you're expecting more snow later today. We had a little rain on Friday and it was a bit overcast yesterday but Saturday was a beautiful day. We worked in the yard all morning, attacking the weeds that have popped up under the last few weeks of occasional rain. We are now about half an inch above normal for this point of the year. Of course that won't last, the "rainy" season is about done and it's time for warm days watching spring training, if you're into that kind of thing.

Unfortunately the beautiful weather meant lots of yard work and little time for knitting. On the way to work on Thursday I started the Felted Cat Doorknob Toy from the new Kitty Knits: Projects for Cats and Their People book. I ended up stash-diving for the yarn I used for it. The purple is one of the first yarns I bought from the $3 bin at Fiber Factory. I had two skeins but ended up using only one. I had about 3 yards left at the end and used that for stuffing the head. The green is the same Moda Dea Fur Ever that I used as trim on Margi's sweater last fall. I still have a good chunk of it left so it's likely to show up here again.
For the body I ended up using 3 dpns and knitting in the round rather than doing I-cord. The 12 stitch I-cord just seemed a little bulky and the regular knitting in the round worked better. I followed the rest of the pattern as directed. Margi isn't too sure if she's excited by the whole thing. Once I got it sewn together she just looked at it. I hung it on the front door and she batted at it a little. I still need to felt it but it is pretty cute, don't you think?
Donna, the author of the book had two cats herself, so she knows what it takes to keep a cat entertained. Here she is posed with her cat Deedee, a handsome and frisky-looking kitteh if I ever saw one.

One of the other patterns in the book is a quick knit. I started, and finished the knitting portion during the Oscars last night, the Felted Catnip Toy. I made it out of the churro yarn I got down at the Phoenix Public Market. You remember, I wrote about it last September. The yarn has been isolated in plastic since it dried after the dyeing and no signs of critters chowing down on it so I think I've got that situation under control. The kool-aid dying has given it a lovely varigated pattern. I'm going to finish sewing it up and felt both items one of these evenings.
I had a couple of pictures of friends at work looking at the book and picking out patterns that might work for their critters but I forgot them on my other computer so I don't have them right now. I'll post them either later tonight or perhaps tomorrow. I made them pose for me so I'll definitely use them later.

Time to get to work. Take care and don't get stuck in a snow bank! I leave you with one last picture of Margi curled up with the new toy. A

P.S. 7:50 pm

Here are my friends at work whom I asked to pose with the book. Carrie has one cat at home but also fosters abandoned kittens.
Tracy had two cats of her own but took in a momma cat and her four babies last year. So far she's found a home for only one of them so now it looks like she has 6 cats. LuDean has just two cats and they love her new house with its upstairs and downstairs.L doesn't have any cats. She does have a giant lizard but I don't think he'd like anything hand knit; I don't think there a book out there Lizard Knits. They just don't seem to inspire knitting designs although I'm sure I could find a pattern for a knitted lizard.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The trouble with tribbles

Hi Cindy,
The trouble is that you can't stop with just one. And they're so easy that multiples just pop up. It was one of the guy's that I worked with for a few months birthday over the weekend so they had cake for him on Friday. He is a big Trek/Star Wars/ LOTR's fan. I'd been thinking about making him a tribble for a while and figured this was a good excuse. I missed the actual party since we had to do a little field work. I talked to him later in the day on Friday and he'd already posted pictures on his MySpace page and sent them to his other geeky friends.

I had an awesome weekend with over 24 hours all to my lonesome. DH went up to his folks Saturday morning to visit them and his grandma who will turn 95 in 2 weeks. I stayed home because my uncle and cousin were arriving from KC. My cousin R is starting at a recording arts school next week. I didn't know what time they were going to get here or if they wanted to stay at my house before heading over to R's place that he's sharing with friends so I stayed home. They called at 7:30 Saturday to say that they were just leaving Flagstaff and wouldn't get to town until after 10 so they were just going to R's new place. I didn't see them until after noon on Sunday when I showed them around a little and helped them find a few things.

Rather than get antsy waiting for them to call I spent the entire time knitting and spinning. I started the Cobblestone Pullover from IK Fall 2007 for DH. It's coming along nicely.

I also spent several hours on Saturday and Sunday sitting at the spinning wheel. I finished off the daffodil merino blend and then plied it with the lavendar. Here are the two skeins drying in front of the bathroom mirror. The yellow shows up more in person although in the picture the lavendar is showing more, how odd. I don't have anything planned for them yet but it should be something for spring.

I also started on some green English mixed roving. It will be something for DH, I just don't know what yet. I'm thinking I'd like to ply it with some brown or gray but I don't know yet.
I haven't got the book sent off yet so it probably won't get there in time. Sorry I'm such a slacker!
Don't freeze while your standing in line to vote! Take care, A

Monday, February 18, 2008

Dispatch from the winter that won't quit

But first, a picture of my birthday boy! Notice the lost tooth (first one, last month). He had a great day. Family party for both kids in March, still wavering (me, not him ;) about the friend party. And here's the cake: a chocolate eclair ring. Yum.

You probably heard we've broken our all-time record for most snow in one winter; we've already had over 80 inches and it is snowing again right now! Good thing I like winter. Good thing we had a bit of a thaw in January or it would be hard to find the front door . . . We all would have happily skipped the inch or so of freezing rain yesterday. Maybe the pic is too small: it's the ice on the clothes line (we were a bit optimistic in late November about hanging the wash out a few more times). We had no power for about 6 hours yesterday and had the dubious pleasure of shoveling water out of the garage. Who knew there was that low spot right under the garage door ?? After about the 3rd time of shoveling, the temp finally dropped enough that the snowbanks stopped melting and the rain mostly turned to snow which is better behaved!

Happily I got a lot of sewing up done on DH's vest; detailed post on that when it becomes a FO. Before that though, probably a post on our home improvement efforts for the year!

Also I'm trying to think up some new classes to teach at my LYS. Any suggestions? Love, C

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Hi Cindy!

Did you see this? Specifically what's happening on April 28! I expect pictures and a full post. She is awesome and you will totally have a good time.

How was DS's birthday? Big party and all? I'm looking forward to pictures of his smiling face.

Take Care, A

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feeling the tawashi love

Hi Alene! Well, somehow I've got all 3 of my WIPs to that middle stage. So of course, all I can think about is tawashi and washcloths and mittens and holiday ornaments (and my aquarium project but that's another thing). I'm thinking cotton for a face scrubby and a ballband washcloth. I even picked up some acrylic yarn at my local Savers store (hey, it's recycling, right?) for dish-scrubbing tawashi and bought a tawashi pattern book online the other day from OkinawaOtter's Etsy store (there are other etsy stores with patterns, too, that I want to check out sometime). I have lots of nice wool bits for cute ornaments and mittens, don't got me started . . . :D Cindy

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Kind of Yarn are You?

Hi Cindy,

I found this "What Kind of Yarn are You?" Quiz page today while I was looking at the other stops on the Blog Tour.
I am:
The results say:
You are Dishcloth Cotton.
You are a very hard worker, most at home when you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly born to clean.
You are considered to be a Plain Jane, but you are too practical to notice.
35804 other people got this result!
This quiz has been taken 170624 times.
27% of people had this result.
I don't know, does this sound like me? Can't I be cashmere? At least I'm not fun fur or acrylic!
Take care, A

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Coming Soon: Blog Tour!

Hi Cindy,

Look what arrived in the mail yesterday. I scanned it quickly last night and hope to study it in depth over lunch today. I'm going to pick my project and will try to send it off to you on Thursday. I have a couple of books and some other stuff to send you too, including some citrus, so it's time to send it off.

As I emailed you the other day we're first up on the 25th. I'll write my entry the night before and post it first thing that morning so it's up all day. If you get a chance to post something that's great but if you're too busy with the kids and real life I've got us covered. The rest of the schedule (with links) is located at Donna's Blog.

The brief listing is:

25 Alene & Cindy @ Knit-N-Spinnin' Kitten blog
26 Carol Metzger @ Carol's Experiments in Textiles
27 Carol Sulcoski @ Go Knit In Your Hat
28 Prudence @ KnitMe
29 Karen & Pearl @ Pearl the Diabetic Cat: A Journey in Patience

1 Deborah Robson @ The Independent Stitch
2 Bella Turek @ Knitsabella Knits
3 Eileen Dobek @ Purling Kitty: A day in the life of a wannabe knitter.
4 Laiane @ It's Furious Balancing
5 Kozy Kitty @ Crazy Cat Lady's Musings
6 Rebecca @ Wanderings
7 Michelle @ Turtle Lover Knits
8 Leanne Dyck @ Designer's Note
9 Mitchypoo @ Knitting and Losing
10 Stacy Elmer @ this that and the other
11 Jadielady @ Jadielady's Thoughts
12 Denise B. @ Nana and the Cats
13 Tracy Philpot @ tracylovesdevons
14 HRH Dani @ Queen of Socks
15 Ladylungdoc @ Purl This!
16 Kim @ Knit-Tea Kitty
17 Theresa Walunas @ The Keyboard Biologist Knits
18 Turtlegirl76 @ Turtlegirl's Bloggy Thing

The baby shower for Lytifa was on Sunday. Today she hits 36 weeks and she's really ready to have the baby. Here she is opening my box of knitted goodies. The pink furry booties were a big hit. I don't have a close-up picture handy here but you can see them on my finished projects page over at Ravelry. Below is the bib and burp cloth set from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. I love the patterns and I really love the yarn. It is a super soft and smooshy cotton. The washcloth is an increase miter and I used the ends of both balls held together. I love how it turned out.

I also did the cake for the shower. I don't do cakes very often but this one turned out great. I had one of the girls there ask me to do a cake for her sister-inlaw's shower. It's very flattering but I'm not interested in doing cakes all the time.
I'd best close this. I'm taking off on Thursday. My cousin is moving to AZ this weekend and I want to have the house clean before they get here. Maybe I'll be able to write more then. In the meantime, stay warm and don't get buried by snow. And wish your DS a Happy Birthday from us because the card probably won't get there on time. Take Care, Love, A

Monday, February 11, 2008

The follies of February

Hello Alene! Here's what we've been up to: school, family stuff, work, shoveling snow, getting estimates on a new furnace (ours is starting to slowly fail), going to niece L's wedding, selling DH's old car (neighbor brought over a friend who fixes old cars), and groaning to discover the garage door spring broke! Yikes.

Please send massage therapist, herbal tea, and Introductory Inuit language text. Love, Cindy

Monday, February 4, 2008

Fiber Finds

Hi Cindy!

We are having our own bit of weather right now. It was cold and threatening rain yesterday so they had to close the roof for the Super Bowl. Today it is still cold and threatening rain. To quote an infamous prez, Bring it On! More rain sounds wonderful.

I planned to write this yesterday during the big game (that we tried to ignore) but DH spent all afternoon playing with his new recorder and trying to get it to talk to the computer.

What I was going to write about was this lovely roving I picked up last week at Tempe Yarn and Fiber. It is some very lovely cinnamon colored alpaca from a cute doe named Reba McIntyre. She lives on the Alpacazona Farm in southern AZ. Margi was excited by the lovely "wild" smell of the roving and wanted to eat it up. I can't wait to try spinning this one, it is so soft and pretty although it still has some vm in it (mostly just leaves from a palo verde tree).

The other thing I picked up was a small packet of soy silk. It's small but the fiber was packed in there. Margi wasn't as interested in this one.
I'll finish this up now and write more later about the finished projects from the weekend. I was feeling icky on Saturday so mostly I spent the day knitting and got quite a bit completed. Maybe I'll have all the baby knitting done by the shower on Sunday.
Take care, A