Showing posts from 2012

Christmas Time!

I smell coffee brewing and it's wonderful.  Christmas day 2012 is here and I'm at home with the kitties, while Mr. Grumpbump is at work until 2:00 p.m.  Macy's Christmas gift to me is that she is sitting on the couch with me and exposing her fluffy belly and accepting a few rubs from me.

I attended my knitting group's Christmas party a few weeks ago, which was a super fun evening, and in the course of buying presents for secret santa and door prizes, I ended up buying 10 skeins of a discontinued cotton yarn by Adrienne Vittadini.  It is the most lovely shade of red.

I knew I wanted to wear this color but the yardage for each ball was only 87 yard so I had to start with something small.  I found a really cute, easy pattern for a cowl on Ravelry called Sweet Memories.  Of course, I made a mistake right off the bat and only cast on 170 stitches and I used smaller needles than the pattern calls for (size 7 instead of size 8).  I was worried that this would be too small to…

Another Grumpbump Valley Sunday

Today, we laid Tigger to rest in our backyard.  We had him cremated and his ashes are in a memorial stone that we placed in the plant beds next to our pool.  It feels comforting to know he's back home with us.

Less than one week after we lost Tigger, his former owner emailed me, asking if she could visit him.  I had to tell her via email that Tigger had passed away on October 30.  She did not email me back.  But, in a bizarre turn-of-events, she emailed me back last night and told me that she was (understandably) devastated by the news and that her birthday is actually October 30.  We had Tigger put to sleep on her fucking birthday.  She went on to say that she appreciated us taking good care of Tigger.

Of course, her email opened up the whole loss-of-Tigger wound again and I cried for quite a bit.  Not a very pleasant evening.

On the knitting front, I have started working on a pair of socks (finally).  My next knitting group meeting is Tuesday and I wanted to have at least the h…

Celebrating and Remembering

Now that my afghan is complete, I should be devoting all my knitting time to the shawl project.  And while it does currently reside beside me on the couch, I am only periodically picking it up and knitting a few rows (unless Mr. Grumpbump asks me to do something, then I'm all about, "Hey!  I'm busy knitting here!").

Actually I'm cheating.  Cheating on this project that should be demanding all of my attention.  I can't stop thinking about getting a new project started.  I want to make a pair of socks (haven't worked on socks in well over a year) and I have a pattern for a super cute hat.  I even bought expensive yarn to make it.

I really want to do all these projects at once!  And I never seem to factor in time to do my household chores, which I really resent having to do.  I am trying to convince Mr. Grumpbump to let me get housecleaning help for these last two months of the year.  He has a bunch of family visiting during Christmas and New Year's and…

In The Market For A Change

I am trying to convince Mr. Grumpbump to let me have a garage sale so I can sell everything in our living room.  And use the proceeds as a down payment to the purchase of real furniture.  You know, where everything matches?  My living room is schizophrenic and a study in the various shades of brown.  Yuck.

But, when I look at the cost of furniture - oh my gosh, it just makes me sick.  Look, I am not really concerned with appearances or keeping up with the joneses.  I just want something cute and comfortable.  I predict that I will wasting a lot of time on craiglist.

I finished my ripple afghan tonight! I had this stinking project on the needles since January.  It took me forever to bind off the stitches (two nights).  I used Sewn Bind-Off technique because it gives the edge a bit more stretch and looks very clean.  I am so happy I have a completed project.

Tomorrow will be one week since Tigger's passing and  I miss him every single day.  I wake up expecting to see him begging …

Time Is Running Out

I am so close to finishing my afghan/lap blanket.  It's been on needles for months (started it in January!).  I spent lunch hours and weeknights just de-tangling and winding the yarn into center-pull balls.  My goal is to finish it by tonight, meaning off the needles and cleaning up all loose ends (there are always plenty of loose ends when you knit with many color changes).  I also want to throw it in the wash to soften up the acrylic yarn.  I used the Michael's store brand (Loops & Threads) yarn for this project, cheap but durable.  The other afghans felt so much better after a wash.

Which leads me to wonder, why am I posting about being so close to finishing?  Why am I now working on it this very minute?

It's still really tough adjusting to life without Tigger.  While we don't see any real change in Delilah, Macy is a different story.   Macy has taken Tigger's spot as Mr. Grumpbump's shadow.  She hangs out with him much more and he's very careful to …

The Word Today is Comfortable

I've had a busy month - October ended up being full of activities.  Unfortunately, the end of the month has turned out to be devastating.

The first weekend in October, Mr. Grumpbump and I went to the beach to celebrate my mother's 65th birthday.  We had a super weekend with the family, doing what we do best - eating and drinking.  There is a certain energy I get when I'm with people who love me unconditionally, no matter how fat or obnoxious or self-centered, etc. I am.  I feel so comfortable in their presence.  The weekend was uplifting in so many ways.

And top it off, the weekend we were at the beach was sting ray mating season for the Gulf Coast.  Crazy.  Mr. Grumpbump and I were entertained, truly entertained by watching a manta ray swimming up and down the shore line.  He did the same thing over and over and we were mesmerized.

The next two weekends I got to participate in bridal activities (first, a bachelorette party, and then a bridal shower, which was actually …

No Rest for Cat Lady

Just in time for the rainy season, we cleared up our pool problems.  The main culprit of our poor circulation (and therefore algae growth) was the clogged filter.  Pool guy cleaned up the algae and also replaced a gasket somewhere in the tangle of pvc pipes next to our house.   And he informed us that our pool was designed to use a pressure cleaner instead of the suction cleaner (which we have been using).  We will have to buy a pressure side cleaner, at a cost of approximately $300 to $400.   We are going to sell (i.e. eBay) the suction cleaner we have now to offset the cost of the new cleaner.

I finally finished that hat for my brother!  I was able to piece together the pattern (after it was blocked by the original author).  I actually knitted it twice because I was unhappy with the first attempt.  The second attempt is the one I will send to my brother (Surprise! if you are reading this).  I made it with a wool yarn but it's not scratchy and actually pretty soft.

I am finishin…

Reading the Label

I had an amazingly relaxing day.  It was glorious.  We didn't get any rain at all today, even though Hurricane Isaac is moving up towards us.  Ugh.  I just read the news reports and they are predicting tornadoes for us Sunday and Monday.  How am I supposed to go to work when my kitties are at home by themselves?  I will be so stressed.  It's a good thing I'm getting my relaxation in now.

I bought a dishcloth pattern book at Michaels (I'm not sure why I did that - I think it was the pretty pictures).  My first dishcloth from that pattern book is finished:

I really need to finish the hat I'm knitting for my brother; I've been procrastinating with it because I'm not sure I understand the decrease for the crown.  It doesn't help that the pattern is written in Finnish.  I've been searching the internet to see if someone can further expound on the decreases, which are confusingly written (possibly because of the translation from Finnish to English).

Oh n…

My First Cake

Please don't tell Mr. Grumpbump.

I went to a yarn store today at lunch.  Not a big-box craft store, but a locally-owned yarn store with fancy yarns I've only read about (on Ravelry).  Don't even bother asking if I purchased something. Of course I did!
The front of the store contained a lot of needlepoint yarns and notions, but the two back rooms were dedicated to knitting and crocheting.  The employees at The Black Sheep were so nice to me and helped me find the perfect yarn for my next project.  I also bought some locking stitch markers (I've been using a safety pin and I'm sure that I'm going to stick myself one day) and some cable needles that match my interchangeable needles.  But the best purchase was the fabulous Malabrigo yarn, which was spun into a "cake":
It's hard to tell in the photograph but the yarn has varying shades and tones of red and should knit up very nicely.  I'm planning to knit a zigzag shawl (I love those chevrons/rippl…

Crazy Old Man

Mr. Grumpbump has a new soccer team.  He's in an over-40 league and previously belonged to a team that practiced/played about 30 miles from our house.  That's a lot of driving; not only to play in games but to practice/scrimmage every week.  This season, he joined a new team, one that is much closer to our home - probably 10 miles away.   He's very happy when he's playing - even if he gets injured, which is all the time given that he is an old man (he's 45).

And, to honor his time on the previous soccer team, Mr. Grumpbump is making me go outside with him and take pictures of him in his old uniform.  Right now, he's running around the house, collecting his old uniform, looking for comb so he can style his hair, and grabbing his soccer ball (presumably to pose with it).  Yep, this is who I am married to.

I finally finished a crochet project that doesn't look like a hot mess.

A co-worker (who crochets hats for chemo patients) gave me this pattern because i…

Modifying and Tailoring

I'm knitting a hat with some cute pink bamboo/wool yarn.  It's for my sister-in-law (who, according to my brother, has a very small head).  I went down one needle size on the ribbing and two needle sizes on the psso stitch.   I've knitted this twice before.  The first time was with a cotton yarn and that was a mistake!  Cotton has no give in it at all.  The second attempt was with a wool yarn from my stash and the results were 180 degrees different.  That was perfect yarn for this project.  The pattern is a free one (of course!).  It's called Slouchy Copy Cat Hat.  The passed stitch over two knit stitches makes the hat look more intricate than it really is.

Problem is that I'm not sure my sister-in-law is a "pink" person.  And this dyelot is really pink (the label says "Snapdragon" and I'm not sure how that translates to this really pink color).  I'm sending it to her regardless and whatever feedback I get will determine how I tailor t…

Just Getting Along

Last night, while lying in bed reading, I watched Delilah jump onto the bed and walk over to me, looking for some scratches.  In the evenings, Delilah is pretty friendly, hoping up onto your stomach or chest but only for as long as you scratch the top of her head between her ears or her neck under her chin.  I gave her the necessary attention but wanted to get back to my book, so she quickly hopped off of me and stretched out next to me.   I was surprised when a few minutes later, Mr. Tigger jumped on the bed (on side of me opposite of Delilah).  He stayed in that position for a bit, while I gave me scratches.  However, his real goal is to be near Delilah, so he moved down to the foot of the bed and within a foot of Delilah.  Delilah gave no indication that she was bothered by Tigger, but I know her and she likes to have the entire bed to herself (usually), so I watched as Delilah showed Tigger her disdain but rotating herself around so that she was in the same place but facing away f…

An Explanation

Being over 40, childless, and living with three cats classifies me as a crazy lady.  Being married doesn't save me from ridicule or judgment.   I could argue that having three cats is not in any way related to being childfree, but I'm not sure I completely buy into my own argument.  
Facts are facts, and I'm not having kids.  So all of my emotion and love and maternal feelings are channeled into my cats.  I am not their "mother".  They are not my "children".  I am always aware that they are cats.  
However, I love these guys.  They are every bit my family as are my parents, my brother, my husband, my friends.   Delilah, Macy and Tigger live with me and I am responsible for keeping them healthy, fed and sheltered.  When I think about them in pain or unhappy, it hurts.  I want them to be happy and, in turn, I feel happiness through them.  All of these things define "family" to me.   As I watch Mr. Grumpbump watching the basketball game, and Miss…

Chores Are Done; Time to Knit

In my absence from this blog, I finished a baby blanket.  Mr. Grumpbump's niece is expecting her first child, a boy, in September, I believe.  Mr. Grumpbump liked my first Gradient Baby Blanket, so I picked up baby yarn in cute boyish colors (green, blue, purple) and went to work.  I slipped the  first stitch of every row so that the edge would look cleaner.  I toyed with the idea of adding a crochet border, but I was afraid that adding it would take away from the effect of the "bleeding" of one color into other.
Here's the finished product:
I've picked up my ripple afghan to try to finish it.  It's been forever since I've touched it.  I also bought some really cute pink wool yarn for a hat for my sister-in-law.  Apparently, she's got a very small head so I have to force myself to knit it like it was for a child.  For some reason, I always want to knit bigger sizes even in the face of what I'm supposed to do.  It means that everything I knit is al…

Pecks of Peppers

I got a plant from my office for Administrative Professional's Day, the politically correct term for for the commonly-known Secretary's Day.  The plant is a type of ivy and it's dying.  I put it inside, it withers.  I put it outside, it continues the death spiral. I water.  No change.  I spritz it with water.  Yep, you guessed it.
However, Mr. Grumpbump seems to have a way with the plants (as he does with the cats, who love him so much more than me).  He started planting all kinds of everything once we bought the house.  There is no real plan to what he is doing.  I know he enjoys color, so anything with a bloom brightens his day.
Although our area has suffered from lack of rainfall, Mr. G has managed to keep some of his garden alive and thriving.

But Mr. G's real promise seems to be with vegetables.  He admittedly went a bit beserk planting peppers because we must have 50 of them growing and so many more flowering.  The majority of the pepper plants are sweet peppers …