Sunday, March 4, 2007

Lots of news...none very interesting but pretty pictures ahead

I went kinda nuts with the camera this morning in preparation for el gigantico blog post about everything and my dog (okay I don't have a dog so my three cats...2 1/2 really but more on that later). But first...some blog sustenance to energize the creative mind required to entertain all five or six of you (HI!). We have tea in the super amazing spinning mug (I really wanted one of the "Spinners for Whorled Fleece" mugs but they aren't making them anymore) and Cookies and Cream Cheesecake. This is NOT low fat since my take on cheesecake is go big or go home. However, if you must try to upgrade your cake there is a note in the comments to alter the recipe and it sounds pretty good too.

Next...a few weeks ago I received a fabulous package from Chris Dalziel at Joybilee Farms who stepped up to be my pal in the Spin to Knit swap after mine fell very ill (Jo - if you are reading, I hope things are getting better!). Not only does Chris spin a great skein, she also makes her own soaps and I was lucky enough to get on big one scented with anise, and two little ones that also smell pretty great.

The green on the left is wool plied with silk - a 67 gram skein with 80 yards on it. The red skein is 100% wool in a Fire! colourway - 48 grams and 64 yards. Thanks again Chris!

I will also be sending my own stuff off to my pal who is owed two months worth of handspun after some miscommunication. It will be in the mail this week after payday.

And now...knitting update. There have been some basic socks knitting around. If you had told me two years ago that I would have THREE pairs of socks cast on and many more waiting to be knit I would have ... well I don't know what I would have done but the words laughter, disbelief and coma jump to mind. Work has been so busy that knitting mindlessly around in circles with exciting breaks (partridge heel! turning heel! picking up stitches! kitchener stitch!) seems soothing. Having three on the go means I can choose a sock to work on colour (I need soothing blues!) or state of completion (I just wanna sock done by tomorrow!). So without further ado:

Party time sock - second sock working on the gusset decreases and then down the home stretch to the toe...whee... I love these so much I wear the first sock sometimes while I knit the second one for inspiration.

Fleece Artist - sixth-time is a charm sock (long story - but I may have to frog these AGAIN)

Pretty pastels for Madeline (my attempt at pattern dying some Knit Picks bare fingering weight merino) - these are pretty enough but I was hoping they would be brighter. First sock, heel and decreases done so just working my way down the foot now)

The last of the current knits is the Icarus shawl which I am knitting in Misti Alpaca lace weight - bought last summer and has been patiently waiting for me to either commit to the Print o the Wave stole or try something else. I'm not awarding points if you spot the glaring error I am currently ignoring.

Next up...wanton consumerism/enhanced stash/project understudies waiting for their big break

10 butter soft skeins of Mission Falls 1864 Wool in a deep raspberry colour that is begging for me to stop be such a weeny and just commit to a design for a cabled sweater for Madeline. For some reason when I go to design something - and I mean really, its mostly just math folks (which I happen to like) - I hit a creative wall of insecurity. Not sure why - if the wool was $25 a skein I could understand it!

And speaking of $25 dollar skeins - this is 875 yards of exquisitely soft gossamer weight wool. Someday I will win the lottery and buy it a friend and after that I'm going to try a shetland shawl. There, I said it. Publicly. Now I want to run and stick my head in the sand.

Some more handdyed knit picks merino - I just could not get the colour to work on this but the tones are actually much deeper and more jewel tones with blues, greens and purples. Someday these will be socks for me!

And more socks. The small balls are leftovers from projects - mostly the Charlotte's Web Shawl. I picked up more Apple Laine in black and want to do some kind of mosaic up near the cuff with some of the leftovers - and maybe a heel and toe in an contrasting colour.

And this was just a silly retail therapy purchase - more sock yarn. That is actually a deep purple. More sporty socks with a bit of a white stripe maybe?

Today's project is a perfect one-day knit (I hope). This teapot is chilly. I painted it at one of those paint your own ceramics places a few years ago. I absolutely love everything about it except that 1. it really leaks when you pour your tea so you have to put a tea towel under it but and 2. it doesn't have a cozy to keep the tea warm so I end up with cold tea all over the table. There is nothing I can do about 1. so today's mission is a felted tea cozy worthy of my hard labour...

And last of all...I leave you with the possibly cruel but necessary plight of my poor ragdoll Amber. Let me begin by explaining that ragdolls do not shed as much as other long haired cats. Or at least this is what the breaders will tell you. This is patently NOT true. All cats shed. Long haired cats just shed in clumps which makes it a bit easier to clean up. Ragdolls have very soft "bunny-like" fur that is very fine. So when Amber sheds it often gets caught up in her own fur and in the spring especially she gets a ton of mats in her ruff. This year was so bad, I resorted to drastic measures.

Before (Madeline likes to capture "cat stuck in the [insert object here]" pictures. Yes that is me in the background knitting and glaring at her.)

I'd say I'm sorry...but I'm not.


Lissa said...

I'm doing my Icarus in Misti Alpaca too. I also have an error in about the same place I am ignoring because it's already been frogged too many times. Yours is looking lovely ;)

Jeanne said...

I love the knit picks yarn you dyed (blue/green)- beautiful! Actually everything is very all of the socks. I hate to admit but I laughed at the cat picture - poor thing. We used to have to shave my cats back - she was too fat to get it clean and it matted terribly. But it just stopped doing it eventually and now she looks normal again. Do share your cozy pattern - I was thinking of making one for my mother.

Laurie (Moo!) said...

WOW! You've done some great yarn "collection" building!

Poor kitty. I've got a 12 month old Ragdoll and also laugh at the breeder's words "Good for people with allergies. They don't shed as much."

OH MY GOSH! We brush him every day and we're still walking advertisements for those pet hair tape roller things.

Renee said...

Yes, it is only math and it is only yarn. You can always rip it out and start over. Just swatch first and measure twice before you get going.

The cat is hilarious. You made my day.

Angela said...

So much pretty! I've got two pairs of socks, a cabled scarf, and blanket for one of my kitties on the needles now.

And I completely agree: there is no such thing as a cat that doesn't shed (except for the hairless cats, I suppose). I have one white, one black and two calico, so it doesn't matter what I wear, I have fur on it.

wanna-baa said...

Please adjust your blog parameters immediately so that I am able to simply download a piece of that cheesecake and a pair of socks. It would lift my mood considerably and you owe it to your loyal readers :) I'll take Amber for a cuddle too, now that I could pass her off to cat-disliking hubby as some strange stuffed animal :)

Lisa said...

Poor cat, but I have to have my fat cat's butt shaved because she is TOO fat to clean herself. Oh yeah, I bathe her too.

Lucky me!