Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Tale of Two Kitties (and two mousies)

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I read about a wonderful breed of cat and knew someday I would have a Ragdoll. They were everything I wanted; a companion, lovable, big and fluffy, could be trained. Just perfect for me. Then Chief came into my life when he was 3 months old. He picked me. I went to the breeder to meet the kitties she had. They were all cute but he crawled up on me and snuggled into my neck with the biggest purr. He wouldn't leave me alone. How can say no to that! Jamie could, that's who. She was an old cranky kitty who was still in mourning for her "sister" when Chief came to live with us. She missed Jessie who had dies a few months before and just wanted to be left alone. Chief had other ideas and tried so hard to be her friend. He hugged her, licked her, tried to play with her but nothing worked.

After Jamie died Chief did the next best thing. He made friends with the mice that got into the house that fall. I would find Chief walking down the hall with a mouse next to him, just like buddies. That's wrong, it's just wrong! This event happened a couple different times with a couple different mice. I know they were different because I physically and permanently removed each mouse as it happened.

Then came Bert. Mister bundle of energy. He took care of Chief's need for a buddy and they became the best of friend - inseparable. Time pasted and we moved into a different house. No mice in this house, only the occasional fly or other bug that would amuse the boys for a while.

Earlier this week I came home from work and headed down the hall. There in the middle of the hall were two blobs. Crap! Bert's been at it again. He likes to play vacuum cleaner and suck up every bit of fur left on the carpet. He gets so excited about sucking up the little fur bits that is whole butt wiggles like a Labrador puppy. After he sucks up enough fur and condenses it in his tummy, it comes back up in the form of a tight fur hot dog (sorry that's the best description I could come up with without being gross). So, there it was in the hall, two dark fur hot dogs. Bert had been busy.

Unfortunately, looking closer at the blobs, they turned out to be a couple dead little mice. ICK! This brings up a couple questions- 1. How did one, much less two mice get into the house when I've been without them for many years? 2. Who did the deed of protecting the house from these intruders? The first question bothers me because I want to prevent more from coming in this fall. But the second questions has me curious. Chief would just as soon make friends with the mice so if it was him; his size probably scared them to death. Bert runs away at any noise in the house or outside so he would probably see a mouse and go hide under the guest bed. Guess I'll never know. At least the mice are, for now.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Good Hair Hat

Really poor picture of Brioche and Garter stitch Hat


I don't have much to post but I've been playing around with some bulky yarn I was given at Yarnover in April. This hat is a loose fitting hat because I have a friend who hates her hair being smashed down by the normal fit of hats. Brioche stitch (the body) is a very loose stitch but is double layer so nice and warm. It's quick to make up and I keep forgetting this lovely stitch but - it spoke to me for this project. The brim is garter stitch - another looser fitting stitch.

The hat took one ball of Lion Brand Jiffy and less than one evening's time. I will evenually write it up as a proper pattern but until then - if you want to try it out, here's the basics....


Good Hair Hat


Bulky yarn. Sample was 1 ball of Lion Brand Jiffy

Size 11 needles


CO 60

Knit garter st for 8 ridges (16 rows)

Knit brioche st for 36 rows


Top shaping:

Row 1: (k1, p1 catching the purl st and loop), repeat across

Row 2: k1, p1 across

Row 3, 5, 7: ssk across row

Row 4, 6: p across row

Run the stitches on needle thru yarn, pull tight and sew side of hat.


Brioche stitch: The stitch is one set up row and then repeat the next row for length needed.

Set up Row: * k1, bring yarn to front between needles, slip one st as if to purl, knit next st bringing yarn over right needle to the back creating a loop over the slipped st; repeat from * until last st; yarn forward between needles and slip last st.


Working row: *k1, yarn forward between needles, slip one st as if to purl, knit next st and loop over it bringing yarn over right needle to the back creating loop over slipped st; repeat from * until last st; yarn forward between needles and slip last st.


Sorry about the formatting- for some reason blogger isn't letting me put in blank rows lately so I'll put in a row with one dot just to split things up a bit and this creates some blank row and the dot row - go figure......

Sunday, July 11, 2010

He Gets It

I made a pair of red socks. They were out of Paton's Classic Wool using Elizabeth Zimmermann's Woodman's Socks. I've made these socks tons of times. Each year Dad would get a pair to keep his diabetic feet nice and warm. He liked them so much he even washed them himself to make sure Mom didn't put them in the washer and felt them.
But this pair - this red pair went to a friend. After I gave him these socks I didn't think about them anymore. This week I saw the socks again. I stopped by the house to bring a couple knit hats and socks for a charity auction and his wife mentioned the socks. "Can they be repaired?" They had been well worn. When I saw the socks I almost laughed. The heel no longer existed, just a giant hole the size of the entire heel. The side of the toe area was gone. It too was a giant hole.
These socks were worn constantly by someone who loved them literally to death. This is what a knitter likes to see. Someone gets it. They get that hand knitting is to be worn and enjoyed. I'll be making my friend another pair. He deserves it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Knitting in the Rain

This summer has been odd. There really isn't any other word for it. It's been very rainy and when not raining it's hot and humid. So we rotate between 4 "weather" modes: rain - drying out from rain - hot and humid - dark (night time). This makes it tough to find time to mow the lawn especially since I like to put it off. I'll get up Saturday and think -I'll do the yard Sunday morning and when Sunday comes it's raining. Then I complain and berate myself and say- I should have done the yard Saturday and the next weekend I'll know better. During the week when I get home at night I'm too tired and the weather is too hot so I wait till the next weekend and the grass grows - and grows. It's amazing how quickly grass grows when it gets a lot of rain and heat! So I've spent much of the summer talking about how I should be mowing the lawn. I'm getting very boring!

While it rains I knit. That's the good thing about rain, nothing else to do but knit and watch TV. I've used up small odd balls of yarn and made some hats, gauntlets and a few other items. I've also worked on a cardigan. Of course none of this is photographed as of yet. I need to decide if I'm going to write up the patterns before I post pictures. I've also knit socks. Yup. No pictures.

Last night while watching the fireworks on TV (and knitting the cardigan) I got to thinking about a design that would be black background with a hand dyed multi-color yarn for the design. The design would be fireworks. I think that would be a really cool looking design but I don't have the "umph" to sit down and design it. Maybe someone will read this and be inspired.

Right now I'm in a good place - the yard is mowed (yes, I got out there today and got it done before the rain came), the air conditioning is on and I have knitting to do. Unfortunately, I should get to bed cause tomorrow the work world returns and I really hate getting up early in the morning. We should have 3 day weekends more often! Hope your weekend was filled with family-food and fun with a bit of knitting thrown in!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th

We all celebrate in our own way.

I planned on writing a post about celebrating the 4th because I haven't been on here in a week or so but then I saw the last date and it was the middle of June. Where did the time go!?!
Many people in Minnesota all but live at the cabin in the summers. We all go "up north" or "to the lake". There are well over 10,000 lakes - actually 15,291 lakes over 10 acres in size. We love our cabins. My family was no different.
Grandpa built a cabin in the 1940s that would house the family when the big bomb hit )people did that thing back then). It was 2 hours north of Minneapolis and had multiple buildings for all of us to stay at. The main cabin had 2 bedrooms, a porch and a large main room/kitchen. Then there was the guest house and the screen house. Many weekends would be my grandparents; my family, Mom's sister and brother's families. Six cousins to hang out together and enjoy our freedom.
July 4th weekend would include going to the local small town that had fireworks on the beach at night. July 4th has always been a family time for me and the changes in my family are most noticeable on days like today. But the 4th is still a day to celebrate what we do have.
I'm so grateful to grow up in a country where we can celebrate our freedom and families on a day like today. For the most part we don't worry about bombs going off in the neighborhood. We may disagree about the "other" political party but rarely do these disagreements turn to violence or the government throwing us in jail. I know our country is filled with flaws and problems but I also know we have it so much better then most of the world. We just assume we'll have enough food and fresh water. We assume we can complain about the government. We assume our life will be basically a good one. We are a very lucky country and today we can celebrate and remember how lucky we are.
(sorry everything is all mushed together - blogger isn't letting me format properly)