Sunday, October 19, 2008

Old Ladies with Heating Pads

This is Wee my old cat. She's 13 and celebrates her birthday with Alex, who was 5 when we got her. A couple of months ago she started limping, and after many dollars spent at the vet's, we found that she had torn ligaments in one of her back knees. The treatment for this ailment in cats is rest.

Wee hates rest. She loves going outside and though she's semi-retired, she has been an active and successful hunter. She's never met a rodent that she didn't want to have for breakfast, unlike the other three lazy cats that live here. Wee did get better after her rest cure, but a couple of weeks ago, she started limping again, so now she's back on house arrest and napping on the heating pad. I figure either it was the sudden cold snap that brought back her limp, or she re-injured herself by jumping or running.

Wee and I are very simpatico, because in the midst on my walking routine, I tripped on some uneven pavement and twisted my ankle. I went to the chiropractor, who adjusted my jammed up bones. I'm hoping to feel better soon, but in the meantime, I'm trying to walk a bit less until it all settles down. It's not fair when you get hurt by your healthy practices.
But sitting around with my foot up I finished knitting this vest for Allie. The pattern is from Knit Simple magazine's Fall 08 issue and it knit up pretty fast. The pattern called for chunky yarn, but I found some thin yarn in my stash that I doubled, and it worked perfectly. One strand was some curly Icelandic wool that I've had forever, and for the back and trim I combined it with a beige strand of wool. For the front and hood, I combined it with a thin blue wool. Allie's been wearing it, and it looks cute on her. It reminds me a bit of that fur vest Sonny Bono used to wear in the Sonny and Cher days. I've kept that association to myself.
I finished my Halloween quilt. I machine quilted the center on a diagonal and did simple quilting in the border. It's now on the dining room table, where one of the cats has decided that it makes a lovely mattress. I love the cheerfulness of these colors. Orange is one of my new favorite colors.

And purple is too! Michael took this picture when we walked to the Farmer's Market yesterday. I see a purple sweater in my future. Ouch, my ankle. I'll have to wrestle Wee for the heating pad.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Oh, to Be a Cat

Cats really know how to relax. In the hustle and bustle of my life, they remind me of the beauty of curling up for a nap. I wish sometimes that I were as relaxed as they are, but doing stuff is much more fun.I was inspired by Debra's closet cleaning to get a bit more organized. I'd been keeping a lot of my jewelry in a jumble in milk glass bowls in the bathroom, but the damp isn't good for metals. I saw this idea on the net for storing and displaying pins. Take an old embroidery hoop, stretch a piece of wool in it, trim, put your pins in it, and hang it on the wall. I put mine up in the closet, where I'll be able to see it when I get dressed.
Last week Michael and I picked blackberries. We've been corrected about calling these blackberries, apparently they're Himalayan black raspberries. They're a real treat and this is the season when they ripen. We picked a couple of gallon buckets of berries, and I brought them home, washed them, and then froze them on parchment paper-covered baking sheets. Once they're frozen you can store them in plastic bags. They make killer jams, pies, and cobblers.
I've taken some stray balls of yarn and started a hooded vest. I bought this curly oatmeal colored yarn a long time ago in my early knitting days, and I never found a use for it. I recently realized that I can combine it with other yarns in order to knit larger-gauge items.
We'll see how this comes out. It's pretty thick, so it may not be the most attractive thing I've every knitted.
Allie finished knitting a Harry Potter scarf, and Susan wanted to see a picture. It's knit in a big tube in stockinette stitch, and then you sew up the ends. It's huge, but she stuck with it, even knitting in the dark at the movies. This is a Gryffindor scarf, and I guess she hasn't had enough, because she cast on for a Slythrin scarf in green and silver. She got the pattern here.

We've been busy bees here, despite the good example of the cats.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...