Showing posts from 2013

The Ugly Baby

My super secret project is over.  And no longer super secret.  Why? Because the project is so ugly.  I am very disappointed in all aspects of this project.  The colors, while looking gorgeous wrapped up in skein, did not go well together.  On top of that mistake, the pattern I chose highlights the colors in all the wrong ways.  This project was intended to be a gift but now has forever home with me and the cats.
Then, a miracle happened.  Or maybe it is just the natural outcome of spending so much time with the project.  Like a mother who births a less-than-adorable baby, I started to love this ugly project.  

The colors are not well represented in this picture but even if they were it would not make this any better.  I have analyzed my choices and believe that this particular ripple pattern is appropriate with three colors or less.  
Remember, just like any good mother, I am allowed to describe my progeny (taking serious liberties with the definition) as ugly, less-than-perfect, or even…

September Recap

I feel like when I leave my house in the morning, I'm taking a big huge breath, as if I'm diving underwater, and then the second I get to work, I am going at double speed to get everything done.  When I clock out at night, that's the only time I can let out that breath and start to decompress and relax.  I never seem to get done what I should have and I feel like I've left so many things undone, that's it is just a matter of time before the HR people come by my desk and tell me to pack my stuff.  The worst part about these feelings is that my job is that I'm trapped.  My family unit relies on my salary to pay all of the bills.  I really cannot complain because if I don't have this job, we are broke.
It doesn't help my stress level that it appears every time we turn around, there is something new to pay for.  Delilah had surgery on her ear to cauterize a hematoma inside her ear.  We took her back to the vet around day 12 after surgery but the vet wanted …

I Found My Thrill

I have put aside my secret afghan project and started knitting hats.  The thrill, yes there is a thrill to knitting, of finishing a project in one evening has given me a second wind.  I have to go to the craft store today because I promised to knit a hat for a guy at work.  He is a Steelers fan, and I need a yarn close to the Steelers yellow.  Also, he wants earflaps, so I have to a free pattern for that.One of the hats knitted up really big, because I used the wrong needles.  I am going to buy some elastic thread and try to fix the brim.  The hat could work as a slouchy hat if I could tighten the brim.The other hats are nearly perfect and I will be gifting them to another co-worker.I am finally unwinding after a very stressful two weeks at work.  I really needed this three-day weekend.

Surgery Updates

Saturday afternoon and the sky is darkening.  We are supposed to get lots of thunderstorms this weekend and it sounds like/looks like they are starting to roll in.

I am very far behind with my workload, and I probably should go into work this weekend to make a dent in the paperwork.  However, I'm fairly confident that I will not be doing that.  I plan to stay far away from the office because my anxiety is at a very high level; I'm hoping that by staying away from work, I will relax just a bit in an effort to give my attitude time to adjust to a more tolerable level.

On the kitty cat front, Monkey made it through her spaying surgery without any complications (thank goodness).  I was in a panic over Monkey's refusal to keep her e-collar on.  Mr. Grumpbump did not ease the situation as he sent me regular text updates of Monkey's paw caught in the collar or how she pulled it up into her mouth and was choking on it.

On my way home from work, I bought an inflatable e-collar…

Nervous Nellies

I am at the SPCA clinic.  They just took Monkey kitten back.  I have to wait and see that her pre-op blood test comes back clean to ensure she can tolerate anesthesia.  Both Monkey Cat and I were shaking.  I will be so glad when 3 pm gets here and she can go home with Mr. Grumpbump.

Forgive Me

I just installed the blogger app on my phone so maybe I will post more frequently to my blog.  I am having a freak out this evening because I have to take Monkey to the SPCA vet clinic tomorrow to have her spayed.  I feel like a shitty guardian because she has no idea and she will probably freak out, I will cry, and I will be anxious all day.  I definitely could not handle children.  We had to get Delilah in the vet on Tuesday to have surgery on her ear.  She had a hematoma from a ruptured blood vessel.  Her ear will never be normal, it will flop over even after the stitches are removed.  She is tolerating the cone of shame; I think she is slightly depressed because if it.  Also, we have had her on antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and pain medicine.  Way more medicine than her poor tummy can handle.  The Charlie Brown blanket is done and I have moved on to my secret project. I might start two new hats.  More on those projects later.

All Knitting, All The Time

I finished my fall-inspired chevron blanket.

It was not what I exactly envisioned, but the graphic is eye-catching.  It looks great in person and is lightweight enough for Florida.  I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice yarn, an acrylic yarn but it feels pretty soft after a few washes.

For my next project, I want to make a Missoni-inspired chevron blanket.  I found (and bought) this great pattern.  KnitPicks is having a great sale on yarn and I found all the colors I wanted in their popular Wool of the Andes line.  After I picked out all of my colors (and was so excited about the project), I realized that Wool of the Andes is not a superwash wool so it will felt if machine washed (agitated).  Bummer.  KnitPick's superwash merino wool is at least $1 to $1.50 more per skein.  And now I'm venturing into a very expensive blanket.  Whatever I decide on, I will need to buy online because I need so many different colors.  I think I might be making a trip to Hobby Lobby soon.  They are…

God Told Me To Quit My Job

I have been nagging Mr. Grumpbump for weeks - we need to flip our mattress.  He ignored me for a long time but we finally did it over the July Fourth weekend.  I pulled all the sheets off and was in the process of washing them.
The sheets puddled on the bedroom floor and to my amazement, Macy curled up in the sheets and made herself comfortable.  This is significant only because Macy never comes in our bedroom; it's just the one room that she doesn't feel comfortable.  She only traverses the room in order to use the cat door to escape outside.  Generally, she avoids it because it's always been the domain of Delilah.
So, I helped Macy out by doing all the other laundry and saving the sheets until the very end.  I didn't like the idea of disturbing Macy's new hangout.
After all the laundry was done, the mattress flipped and the sheets back on the bed, Mr. Grumpbump and I went to sleep.
And to our amazement, this happened.  It has never happened the entire time we hav…

Riding The Wave

I'm just resigned to the fact that my needlework crafting skills are limited.  Any project requiring shaping or tailoring does not inspire me and, in fact, I work really hard to avoid starting those projects.  I think I'm so highly motivated to fail that I just can't start the project.

Inspiration is found with ripple and chevron patterns.  So I bought some yarn (the first in a long time) and cast on this long-admired zig-zag blanket.  I'm zooming through the project but I'm not sure of the color blocking yet so there are no pictures for the blog.  I will knit more rows before I photograph as the colors are laid out in a really random design and I'm not sure a photo of it at this point will give a good impression.  I'm really hoping that the more I knit, the more pleasing it will be to the eye.

Lucky for me, Mr. Grumpbump has an affinity for plants because I'm terrible at keeping those things alive.  As a result, we have cultivated a mini-jungle on our…

It Doesn't Take Much Time

I lost my knitting mojo for a few weeks, skipping two meetings of my Tuesday night knitting group.  I had no projects going (well, ones I was confident enough in to bring to a meeting).  I managed to knit the back half of a cat pillow, which is shaped like a crescent moon, and started the front seven triangles that will make up the front half.  However, that project looks like Frankenstein's monster knitted it.  The seams are exposed (I was practicing invisible seaming - guess I got an F on that) and it looks like a distracted three-year put the colors together.  That project is definitely for my eyes only.

I tried and failed to start several projects, small ones so that I could feel accomplished quickly and get over my slump.  I wanted to knit so badly, but I could not focus on any one pattern and have enough energy to go find some suitable yarn and needles.  I had knitting depression.

Adding to my distractions was the Monkey Cat.  She's so big now - long and lean.

Adding a c…

The Great Kitten Experiment

Today is our first day of sunshine and cool, cool weather in about a week.  There was a whole lot of rain for us in Central Florida, as evidenced by my greenish pool.  Which means I have to re-hire the pool guy and just adjust the budget to carry the service through the spring/summer/fall season.

I've been crocheting dishcloths like a crazy lady.  I found a wonderful simple pattern called 29 stitches and I have made at least six of these in the last week.  I've been very good about my yarn diet (no new yarn purchased) and I'm down to the last little remnants of my cotton yarns. 
As for Monkey and her adjustment into our household, I am amazed that only two weeks have passed.  The three cats are living relatively peaceful; Monkey is bold enough to follow Macy (mostly) and Delilah around and when they catch her wiggling behind them, there is some hissing or growling.  Monkey is never alone with them and I'm not extremely concerned about the older cats' responses.  I&…

There's A New Girl In Town

Mr. Grumpbump thinks I am crazy.  He said so last night, just before he fell asleep.   His thoughts are that I have no reason when it comes to cats.  
The crux of his pronouncement was our new kitten, Pepper.
Ever since Tigger's death, I have wanted to adopt a third cat.  We've been comfortable with two, but Tigger was such a pleasant cat and I truly believe that we can manage three.  Also, I was fairly confident that we would adopt another boy cat since Macy and Delilah barely tolerate each other.  
A co-worker, who sponsored me for the SPCA Meow March in February, told me that a stray cat had given birth in her mother's yard and that they were monitoring her and her four kittens.  She invited me to come see the kittens once they were about seven weeks old.   The kittens (two boys, two girls) were adorable, of course, and I immediately made up my mind to take one of the boys for my own.  However,  during the visit, Pepper seemed to me the most interested in me and was mor…

Lighten The Load

It's been tough adjusting to my diet.  I had no self-control; when I was in the store, I just had to fill my cart.  Even though, at home, I knew very well that there were lots of other options.  Additionally, it's not as if I was making good decisions, most of what I bought was the cheap stuff.  So, I put myself on a diet.  I would not go out and buy anything more until I used up what I had at home.  And now I'm proud to say I'm sticking by that diet.

If you think I was referring to food, well that would be a pretty good guess.  But I wasn't!  I fooled you, I was referring to my stash of yarn.  (Although, as an aside, I'm in the Weight Watchers program - in seven weeks I've lost 14 lbs!)

When I started the soft wave ripple afghan at the beginning of the year, I promised myself that I would only knit with the yarn currently in the house and not buy anything else.  And, as of April 7, 2013, I've kept that promise.  
I started by gathering up the several …

Quick Update

I can't call my ripple afghan complete - even though the knitting portion of it is done.  Because of the scalloped beginning and ending, I decided to go with a sewn bind off.  It's really the best choice because it's a bit more stretchy and blends into the existing stitches without looking stiff.  The only drawback to this bind off is the time it takes to accomplish.  I started last night and I'm only up to 46 stitches (and I've got 230 on each end!).  
I haven't even mentioned that I have a ton of loose ends to weave into the existing stitches (for every color change, I've got a tail to weave in).  But the most daunting (and boring) task at the moment is this sewn bind off.  I have to persevere and not lose focus so I can get this afghan in the washer and photograph the end result.  
In case you are wondering, the cats are great. 
Also, I'm participating in Meow March 2013 for the SPCA of Central Florida.  If you want to sponsor me (fundraising runs th…

Cold and Hungry

I'm very close to finishing my ripple afghan.  I have two more repeats of the pattern (16 rows total) and then about 4 rows of edging and it will be off my needles.  Of course, I have a ton of ends to weave in and I have to bind off the provisional cast-on.  So I am probably looking at next weekend before I can actually call this complete.  Of course, by then, the temperatures here in Central Florida will be back up into the 80s.  It has been really nice to knit this blanket while the temperatures have been in 40s and 50s.

Two weekends ago, I was in D.C. It was just a short visit, only two days.  I took a day trip to Philadelphia, where I got to eat an authentic Philly cheese steak from Geno's.  The sandwich was delicious but the real story is how incredibly cold it was that Sunday morning in Philly.  It was all we could do to eat it while the freezing wind cut right through us.  The only good thing I can say about cold weather is you can really make do with a lot of hand-mad…

Did I Mention I Have Cats and I Knit?

"Hey, Mr. Grumpbump, call your cat", these were the words I used tonight as Delilah scurried through the living room.  He whistles for her a few times and she scurries towards him.  Delilah walks around this house as if she bought and paid for it several times over.  Her tail is always straight up in the air and she carries herself with absolute confidence.  She makes herself comfortable wherever she feels like.

Compare that to Miss Macy, who stays out of the way, hugs the corners of the living room, and rarely makes a sound.  Macy doesn't travel far to settle down; she's either in the cat tree in the front room or squeezing into the shoebox left behind by guests.

Our little family gets quirkier and weirder each day but that's not a negative.  I think it brings us closer - we know how weird we must seem to the outside world.

I've been knitting small projects here and there.

I knitted two scarves for my sister-in-law, who lives in Minnesota.  Nothing fancy at…