Sunday, April 27, 2008

In a time

In a time that future historians will one day call the past, there were mice. Mice that have already burned through more yarn than possibly imaginable if they were living breathing creature feasting on the stuff, 1.64 miles to be exact. With 4 days to go there is no doubt that I will make it past the two-mile marker. And then I begin to dream, how nice it would be to get below 40 miles of yarn, to actually have some storage space for things besides yarn and to be rid of some of my yarny-guilt.

But hark, what’s that I hear? It’s the sound of the Yarn Harlot at Webs and the voices of my friends urging me to go. I must. I cannot resist the call of Webs. I will however try a different tactic this time. Usually I’m a single skein stocker. I feel like I’m having a piece of my cake and thus not gorging on the whole thing, a sweaters worth as it were. A simple review of my stash reveals that a quarter of it is single skeins. 84 lonely skeins without mates or the potential of ever becoming a sweater. And truth be known those 84 were most likely the yarns I love most but felt were too pricey to indulge in purchasing too much. So this trip to Webs will be to buy companions, enough to make a sweater with one of these lonely skeins. I’m eyeing the Malibrigo knowing that it will get a wooly-haze once knit and worn, and perhaps it will even pill. But I also know it is the most beloved yarn in my stash. Knitting a Malibrigo sweater would be like working out and then eating a giant ice cream. You know that the ice cream will counteract all that hard work you’ve just put forth and the results will not be what you desire, but you really want the ice cream.

If I can succeed in not buying single skeins and only buying pals for the yarns I already have I will feel this trip has been an accomplishment.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mice, what next Birds?

Today I switch from my winter wardrobe to my summer one. It’s a project I dread and it eats up the better part of a day hauling everything out, sorting it and arranging the next season’s stuff nicely. Listening to Dracula, man, that’s a great book. It’s a classic. It could’ve been written yesterday for how interesting it is and how modern the language is. I’m also trudging through A Tale of Two Cities which is a lovely book it in its own right but the language can drive a girl a bit batty. It requires a certain level of concentration that I don’t often posses.

Anyway, while listening to Dracula…oh the poor sailors…and clearing out the closet, I happened upon a Halcyon yarn catalog with needle-felted birds on the back cover. Way back when, The Boyfriend had seen the cover and requested such a bird for the ficus tree in our living room. He reasoned that he and the boys would enjoy looking at the bird camouflaged amongst the foliage like the birds outside the windows they chitter at. By they I mean the cats, not The Boyfriend. I looked at the pattern and the price and informed him that I was not interested in any other fiber crafts besides knitting and since this wasn’t a knitting kit, no birds for you.

Today amid packing away of woolies and corduroy something possessed me. Something like procrastination, as I felt compelled to create a bird for my boys. Compelled to create a three dimensional pattern of my own. Compelled to do anything but fold and box up clothing. I rushed downstairs away from the closet and reviewed cardinal photos online. Gripping my needles and reviewing the principles of mice and sock construction I struck out to make a bird. It will of course be felted. The body and tail feathers are complete. I wonder if the neck is too long, or the body too fat. Hot water will tell. I think the wings should be something like leaves in felted flowers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mr. Chipmunk and I are cohabitating

Last fall there was a momentous event. An event which caused me to be immobile for 3 days, do you recall, the gardening overhaul? Last October Mum and I spent 10 hours ripping out the gardens, adding 5 bags of soil, building a perimeter to protect the garden from the lawn mowers, and redesigning the plant layout. It was excruciating (my that’s a big word) and felt anticlimactic since nothing would grow until this spring. During the excavation I was mindful of the fact that a certain chipmunk had been residing in the front center of the garden. By mindful I mean that we did not plant anything over his hole although we did cover it with soil and mulch. The next morning he’d dug out and I was happy I hadn’t scared him off. My mother warned me that he’d feast all winter on the new bulbs we’d just spent so long planting and arranging.

Fast forward to last night when I rushed home so I could sit in the back yard and knit. It was nice and sunny and I thought a good opportunity to check on the gardens. My mothers warning about the chipmunk echoed through my mind. But I had been diligent about feeding him peanuts all fall and then again this spring when the snow over his hole had melted. Hopefully he’d left my bulbs alone. I am happy to report I have a few small purple flowers but I can see that the tulips, lilies, and daffodils are all about 4” of green, right on the cusp of blossoms. With all of the growth in the garden I’d say it worked, the bulbs are all there, and Mr. Chipmunk and I have successful coexisted in the garden.

And yes, I’ve knit my mile. It’s amazing how much yarn you can burn through when you’re motivated to knit mice. Ok more like obsessed to knit mice. I feel like a mouse freak. April’s total yardage is 2,067 yards or 1.2 miles.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

1415 yards

18 mice later, I'm at 8/10th of a mile. And I though a mile in a month was a challenge, perhaps it should be two miles in a month!

It was a glorious spring day.

It was a glorious spring day. It started in the much the same way as many proceeding Saturdays. Last night’s pizza for breakfast, a bit of knitting and some Dr. Who. Well it’s not always Dr. Who, sometimes it’s a bit of Torchwood if I’m feeling particularly British. Or if I’m in the mood for some witty banter I’ll watch Bones. A bit of detecting, CSI or Law n’ Order. A historical perspective, then History’s Mysteries or Ancient Almanac. But none of this is what made it glorious. Although it was a particularly good Dr. Who in which he proclaims himself to a Time Lord and 903 years old with all of the self-assuredness you would expect from someone that old.

Finished up the knitting and hopped into the car with The Boyfriend. The sun was shinning, the wind blew in our faces through the open windows and we were giddy from the fresh air and arrival of spring. Stop to mail back last night’s Netflix, and head to Nottingham. It feels like the country. Met some friends and contemplated visiting a goat farm. I thought ahead, actually I thought back, and remembering my dismay while on our honeymoon when we visited a Turtle Farm, I asked ahead of time if the goats were for eating. All responded in the negative and my conscience was at ease. We took a leisurely stroll over to the farm where I fell in love a black and brown baby goat. Unlike the others, she didn’t have an ears to speak of and was very sweet. I was shocked to hear myself cooing away to her and scratching her head. Me, the girl who is strictly hands off to all animals except our devons. I even knelt to get closer to her. She put her hooves on the fence to get closer to me. The boyfriend laughed as he pointed out that she was about to take a bite out of my pants. It’s so nice to see him laugh and relaxed.

During the fifteen minute walk back to the house I had ample opportunity to consider how disgusting my hand felt and reassess the appropriateness of my previous hands off policy. It eliminates the possibility of icky hands.

Next we went for another ride, with the top down. I recalled the time we were with The Eye Guy in California and road through the sun-drenched seaside. This was a close second to that ride. Arriving at our destination I then spent the rest of the afternoon reclining in the car, listening to my favorite podcasts (CraftLit, Yarnthing, Yarncraft) as well as Dracula. Strange thing, I originally read Dracula while on that trip to California. Something about convertibles and Dracula…well he is a bit of a convertible himself. My hands moved mindlessly through the motions as I knit four cat toy mice. The pattern was memorized long ago.

And although I did get a bit warm sitting in the sun, and I did get a few odd stares as people passed, I was encased in my own world, of yarn, gothic literature, and sun. It was a glorious day.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Last Night we went to a bonfire. It was great fun. I love the sweater the fire starter is wearing; it blends from small stripes on one sleeve, to larger stripes on the body and other sleeve. It’s a nice variation on stripes. I’ve thought of knitting my own but knowing my tendency toward knitting with Disney princess colors, I’d never wear the resulting sweater.

I’m at 966 yards, for April, just over the half mile mark.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

March is now April

I know I’ve left you hanging with those burning questions. Will the shop on the way to the Cat Show in Middletown have it?Will our hero finish the hat before Midnight on March 31st?
I did not feel I could address them without photos to accompany my results.

Will the shop on the way to the Cat Show in Middletown have it?
No the Creative Fibers shop did not have Cascade Chunky Alpaca. I was forced to set aside the Chunky-Alpaca-Better-Bucket-Hat.
In it’s place I began the Drops Design 86-10 Headband in Alaska. I’ve knit this pattern before and had packed extra yarn just incase the shop did not have the stuff to finish the hat. I used Knit Picks Andean Silk and knit this while Nessa was busy doing her thing.

Will our hero finish the hat before Midnight on March 31st?

I have succeeded in completing the 5SKSO Challenge. I cast off the headband on Sunday March 30. Monday the 31st I wove in the ends and attached the button.

This brings us to today, already 8 days into April. I’ve been struggling to come up with an April Challenge. I had thought to set the goal of completing the ILV, but the urge to knit something in cotton for summer is too strong. I had thought to work on a secret Christmas gift, something small, requiring almost mass production. I’m being intentionally vague here. Perhaps the challenge should be, complete 20 Super Secret Projects by the end of April. Or perhaps I should be Challenge-less for the month of April. I’d rather not go without as it does give my knitting some direction. I think another mile challenge would be helpful in making room for the inevitable yarn purchase that will result from the April 27th trip to Webs. I could make the mile challenge a quarterly event. January, April, July, & October. That would be 4 miles from Stash in 2009.

The offical count, as of April 1st 2008 is 42.53 miles of yarn. I know it's a bit more because that doesn't count the Chinese yarn that I can't translate, or the Shetland yarns for the ILV. So it’s settled, the April Challenge will be knit a mile in the next 22 days. Can I do it? I did it in January, but I wasn't working the first 14 days of the month. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Nessa Update

Wish us luck, today could be a big day for Nessa. I couldn’t sleep worring about how well she’ll do. Cross your fingers and hope that each judge makes Nessa
-Best Devon Rex
-Best Short-Hair Cat (honestly I’d be happy with a 1-10 here)
-Best All-Breed (same thing, a 1-10 means she’s one of the best 10 cats at the show!)

Now remember, she can get best DR, SH, AB 8 times over the next two days, once for each judge. That’s a lot of possibilities…send us positive vibes…

Also, I left my camera in Middletown so no pictures, but yes I did complete the 5SKSO Challenge in time. More on that latter. Now I'm off to prep.