Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving time off.

The beautiful thing about having a "normal" job is holiday time off. I have three whole days off and I don't really have any specific plans for them (aside from Thanksgiving dinner, of course.) How does one spend their time? So far, I've spent it doing various fibery things.

I finished a pair of socks for my grandmom for Christmas.
These are the Embossed Leaves socks from the Interweave knits Favorite Socks book. I've been wanting to make a pair of these for a long time. The pattern is great. The only thing I'd change next time would be the toe. Other than that, I loved it.

Yesterday morning I spent a good bit of time spinning. I've had a bit of a spinning itch recently, but I just didn't have the time to get into doing some. I bought some merino/tencel roving at Rhinebeck this year that I've been meaning to spin up. I really wanted to try navajo plying. I've tried it before, but I just never got the hang of it... until now.
I love, love, love how this turned out. I only have 74 yards so I'm not totally sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but I'm sure I'll think of something!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Busy Little Bee

Ever since I finished my brother's socks that seemed to drag on and on forever, I've been churning out projects left and right.

I started and finished a pair of socks in a week. I bought the yarn at Rhinebeck and once it's was wound into a ball, I just couldn't resist starting it. They're made out of Socks that Rock in the colorway Fire on the Mountain.Of course, as is always the case with me, I have not sewn in the ends yet... They will get done as soon as I decide to wear them! A lot of my friends have made the observation that these socks aren't my typical color choice. They're a little too flashy, a little too bright. Well, they caught my eye. Perhaps I'm changing into someone a little more flashy and bright! And, let's face it, they're socks, it's not like I'm making a sweater out of these colors!

Then I cast on for an Odessa hat. I started and finished it in 24 hours.All this knitting suggests one of two things. Either I'm a very fast knitter, or I just have a whole lot of time on my hands...

I like to think it's because I'm fast.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What I've been knitting and other various things

I truly have been knitting in my hiatus. Mostly I've been working on Christmas presents. I decided I didn't want to be caught off guard this year. I've never really been one who likes deadline pressure, and Christmas knitting deadlines are among some of the worst.

I think I started my Christmas knitting back in August and now I'm nearly finished. Of course, it's only October, who knows, I may decided there are more people to knit for than I thought!

First off, I started and finished a pair of Monkey Socks for my mom.
My brother's fiance (who is, by nature, always freezing cold) also was on my list. I had started and nearly finished a pair of fair isle mittens awhile back. I realized that they are far too small for my hands, but my brother's fiance has tiny hands. They must have always been meant for her and I just didn't know it.I know she's going to love them. She's also going to love the socks I knit for her. They're the undulating rib pattern out of the Favorite Socks book.Then, of course, I had to start a pair of socks for my brother. Why is it that men's socks feel like they go on and on forever? Aside from the fact that they're huge, I think in this case it also has something to do with the fact that I had to alternate yarns every other row. Why? Well, I was sent two balls of yarn, the same dye lot and everything, only to find out that they look totally different. They're kettle dyed which I imagine has something to do with it, but really? They're completely different. Luckily I'm nearing the end now. I just need to finish the toe.
So it's that time of year folks. It's that time when I pull out my hand knit socks and wash them...I truly hope I'm not the only one who finds that hand knit socks need to be washed far less than regular cotton socks. Either my nose just doesn't work right, or wool socks don't trap foot odor like other socks can. It's one of those mysteries of the universe I suppose...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rhinebeck Recap

What a fun weekend I had. The weather was gorgeous, though it was a bit on the chilly side. Normally this would not have been a problem, but my friends and I were camping. There's just nothing like waking up in the morning to see your breath fog in front of you....

For the most part we stayed warm, after all we had all sorts of fiber insulation to warm us!

Here's the highlights in pictures...
Like I said, these are just highlights. The full set can been seen on my flickr page!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where I've been...

Wow... I can't believe I haven't written a post in well over a month. A friend reminded me that this blog was worth keeping up on. So, as I'm sure you can imagine, I have been busy. Life has been full, not too full, but definitely full.

Lists are wonderful things, don't you think? I think I'll list what's been going on in my life...

  • My boyfriend and I broke up. (this actually happened around the same time I stopped writing on the blog) It wasn't that anything bad happened, it's just that the feelings weren't there anymore.
  • I got a new job at my vet's office. Completely by chance (though I don't believe in accidents) I was down at my vet's office having the cats checked out and he asked me for my resume. A week later I had an interview and a week after that I had a new job. They started me off in reception so I could be comfortable with that since everyone is expected to help out when needed. Once I was comfortable with that, they moved me to the back where I've been doing actual animal work. They even have me doing blood draws (which I never in my life thought I'd be comfortable with) This job is everything I've been lacking in my old job: wonderful, understanding people, meaningful work, flexible schedule. They actually realize that you have a life. Go figure!
  • My social life has really taken off. It's been a long time since I've had a normal schedule where I can actually hang out with people. I'm finally feeling like I have the life I've been wanting. Good friends, good job, time to enjoy life. It's really nice.
  • My cousin is cancer free, though he's still going through chemo just to be sure. We are all very, very happy and relieved to hear this.
  • I have to give up Lily, the new cat. She and Ludo are not getting along at all. She pretty much terrorizes him and it kills me. I hate to play favorites, but he comes first and if they can't get along, I have to find a new home for her. This has not been an easy decision, but it's been a necessary one. I think I've found her a home, it's going to be on a trial basis, that way if it doesn't work out, I can have her back to keep looking for a home for her.
  • My brother and his girlfriend are now engaged! I can't even tell you how exciting this is. She's a wonderful girl and she is going to be an awesome addition to the family.
  • And of course, there's been knitting which I'm afraid to say I haven't been taking pictures of. Shame on me... I plan on going to Rhinebeck next weekend as well. A bunch of my friends and I are camping so it's going to be a bit of an adventure.
So those are the highlights I can think of. Hopefully it won't be another two months before I write again! Maybe I'll even have some pictures to share...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Cuteness overload

I know that I am highly overdue for a post. Most of what I can say is that things have started looking up. Lily's kitten has been a constant source of entertainment and fascination. Watching her grow up, seeing all the new developments and skills she keeps getting better at has been so much fun. I know the kitten is a 'she', by the way, because I had to take her to the vet for a urinary tract infection. The poor baby was very uncomfortable but once those antibiotics got in her it was like night and day.Here in this picture her eyes had only just opened a couple days before. (I have to admit I thought she looked a bit like an alien...) But every day her cuteness factor keeps multiplying.She's now mastered walking, though running is still a bit of a challenge. I'm sure it will only be a matter of days before she's got that down.

I haven't named her because I don't plan on keeping her. I feel like three cats might just put me on the road to becoming one of those "crazy cat ladies." Though I will admit, she might be hard to let go of. I already know several people who'd like to take her, so I'm sure she will go to a very good home (One of which is the neighbor who lives across the hall... I may get to watch her grow up after all!) If you'd like to die from a bit of cuteness overload, please feel free to watch this little video I took of her.

As far as my cousin goes, the last I heard he's doing well. After his first chemo treatment he went out and played softball. Did I not say he was a strong guy?

And there's been knitting... and some crochet.

I started a granny square blanket out of all of the leftover sock yarn I had.I took this picture a while ago and now there are quite a few more, though not enough to be anywhere close to finishing size. I think I need to make several more pairs of socks before I have enough yarn for squares.

I'm going away next week for a much needed vacation with the family. The last time I had more than two days off in a row was New Year's so I'm thinking it's about time I took a little break (not to mention that's far too long to go without a break if I want to stay mentally sane!) I still haven't even decided what I'm bringing with me to work on, and as we all know, that's the most important part of packing!

Monday, July 14, 2008

One of those weeks.

I've had one of those weeks that Life sometimes throws at you. One where you can't possibly imagine handling another major event, and yet, somehow you do because you have to. You either deal with it, or you don't, but either way, it's happened and there's nothing you can do to change the situation. The only thing you can change is how you feel about it.

First and foremost, we found out last Monday that my cousin (who is younger than I am by a couple of years) has cancer, an aggressive form of lymphoma. Because it's so aggressive, they've started chemo treatments earlier than planned. The good news is that the treatments already seem to be taking affect. We're all hoping that since he is young, strong and healthy (aside from the cancer) that he will pull through this. It's such a large shock that, for me, it hasn't totally sunk in quite yet. It seems impossible that this person who is such a strong guy (he's been a firefighter and a lifeguard, just to name a few of the things he's done) has cancer. All we can really do right now is hope for the best.

Not a few days later, my mom called me at work to tell me that our family dog, Shelby, who's been with us since I was in high school was not doing so well and that she was going to take her to the vet and have her put down. While I know that it was her time, it still seemed far too early. Her spirit was still young, but her body was failing her and had been for some time. I know in this situation I'm sad for my loss, I'm sad that I won't see her physically anymore, but a part of me should be happy because she's no longer bound by a old and breaking body.

Before any of these major, upsetting things happened, I took in a stray cat. For a little while now, I've been meaning to get another cat to keep Ludo company and here, literally on my doorstep, comes the most laidback, affectionate cat. She's super lovable and was starved for affection (and starved for food as well.) I took her to the vet and she only weighed 6 pounds. I named her Lily.

A few days after I took her in a neighbor came to me because they had found her kittens. The vet and I assumed her kittens either died or were all grown up because her milk had gone dry. So my neighbors and I hand fed the kittens for a little while and luckily because Lily was now getting adequate food, she started producing milk again. Despite our best efforts though, only one of the three kittens that were found is still alive. It seems to be doing well, but I'm hesitant to get my hopes up too high.

Here's a picture of Lily.You can see in this picture how much her hip bones stick out. Also, it's obvious that she's barely more than a kitten herself. The vet thinks she may only be about a year old and for her to have already had a litter of kittens is just sad.

This is the one surviving kitten, who seems to be getting bigger by the day which to me is a very good sign.
As long as there's hope in life, things will turn out ok.