Friday, September 25, 2009

favoritest toy

My cat has a favorite toy. There are several things he loves to play with (including my hair, which can be simultaneously funny and perilous), but clearly one stands above all the rest. It's not the laser pointer, which he will chase and chase and chase until the sun comes up, even though he appears to have figured out where it comes from. Jude's favorite toy is this:

It is a strip of cardboard, the bit that you yank off to open a package sent by priority mail. This strip of cardboard is about a month old, and has somehow been split lengthwise into two pieces that travel mysteriously around our apartment. The most mysterious part to me, though, is how one of these twin strips has ended up in my bed -- literally in the bed, under the covers and all -- and not once, but twice.

I take this to mean that Jude loves his cardboard strip as a child loves a teddy bear, and carries it to bed with him. Either that, or Evan has developed a cardboard fetish.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

#8 love

Man, I gotta say, I just love the feel of US 8 needles in my hands, cruising along with some worsted weight wool (working on the wedding afghan for Thatcher and Izzy, or maybe Izzie). It feels so fast! So substantial! And I especially like this new pair of 8s I got at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival last weekend. They're a little shorter than most needles I have, so they feel less cumbersome, and more nimble. Ahh, sweet pleasure.

Last night I unpinned my improv lace shawl from its position blocking on the floor in the second bedroom. (As Evan reminded me to do, by saying, "That's a nice rug in the other room." I nearly punched him.) Picture-taking ensued.

The pictures above have kind of lame light, so I draped the shawl on the couch, for another photo op:


So, thank you, Myra Wood, for teaching me the technique of improvisational (crazy) lace knitting at the Knit and Crochet Show in Buffalo, NY. I heart it.

PS - bonus points to anyone who can tell me where my yarn scale is. It hasn't resurfaced since we moved, and I miss it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mostly fiber stuff

This luscious fiber arrived a couple days ago from Chimera. Definitely looking forward to spinning it.

And here is some yarn I spun with fiber I got from SarahWood3587. I just finished plying it this evening. I had to re-wind one of the bobbins into a ball before plying to get the color contrast I wanted. I love how soft the yarn is. I don't think there's enough for a scarf, but definitely enough for a hat.

And I finally finished my improv lace shawl! I cast off last night. I've got pictures with and without Jude. The shawl is currently blocking on the floor in the second bedroom. It seems pretty dry, but I'll still wait to unpin it until tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jude nap

Knitting news: I'm still plugging along on the improv lace circular shawl. The end is in sight. I'm on the third rep of the feather and fan border, and I think I'll go for 5 reps, or maybe 7 to balance out the size of the shawl. The crazy part is: I still love working on this project! How many tens of hours have I spent on it? And it's still pretty much my favorite project to pick up! I don't understand it. I do look forward to wearing it, though.

I've been somewhat succumbing to startitis lately. Luckily my supply of needles is limited, else I would have three more hats in "progress" right now. I did start the Litla Dimun shawl from Folk Shawls, because it's a moderate size, simple-looking, and the kind of thing I can finish. As much as I would love to have the Irish Diamond Shawl, I don't think I've quite reached that maturity level, as a person. The KnitPicks podcast on charity knitting from 9/9/09, and especially the Sticks and String podcast from 9/6/09 inspired me to cast on for a baby hat to send off to Afghanistan, where many babies die just because their heads get too cold. I even have the perfect yarn for it. But I'm going to let that wait until I finish a few more projects. And then there are various promised presents I need to make this year. And stocking my Etsy shop. And Christmas...

I just discovered a new blog today: AndreaKnits Fiber Arts Blog. I'm going to just eat that up. Her work is gorgeous, and her pictures are plentiful and lovely. And it's fun to read.

In other news, Jude is outrageously cute. Jonny came over to pick up his mini fridge, which Evan and I had been storing for him over the summer. Jude was as friendly as ever, and lay down as Jonny and I were chatting in the living room. Jude fell asleep. Nothing strange there, except for his position:

I couldn't help taking many, many pictures. Jude didn't move through the whole thing. Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy.

Oh, my gosh, I love my cat!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Yesterday Evan and I had to euthanize his pet rat, April. April had had a very long and happy life, though in the last several months she had been developing tumors. Evan operated on her three times to remove these tumors, which were superficial, but the tumors spawned and grew faster with time, and though she recovered quickly from the surgeries, they were still hard on April, especially as she got older and the cancer took its toll. These past weeks April hasn't been eating or drinking. She couldn't make it up the ramp to the upper floors of her cage, and couldn't even navigate around the lowest floor. So Evan made the tough call, and we took care of it. As he says, it was harder than he expected. This afternoon he went to his parents' house to bury April in the back yard.

Here's a picture of Evan's rats, Lily and April. April's probably the one on top.

There's still Lily, who is remarkably healthy, feisty, and cancer-free. We wonder whether she will notice that April's gone, or if she will care. More banana chips for her, I guess.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


So apparently crows can recognize human faces. However, humans are hopeless at telling one crow from another. Interesting. NPR told me.