Saturday, April 27, 2013

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.

Pepper, a/k/a Monkey born 2-24-2013
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 more comfortable being held, petted and loved on than her other brother or sister.  When I texted Mr. Grumpbump a picture of the kittens, he remarked that Pepper was very cute.  I'm not surprised by his comment as she is very similar in appearance to Tigger.   However, she's a girl and I wasn't sure how that would go over with the ladies-in-residence, Macy and Delilah.

So I left that day without a kitten, telling my co-worker that I would discuss it with Mr. Grumpbump and get back with her.  Two days later, Friday, April 19, I picked up Pepper and brought her home.  I took her to the vet that next day, Saturday, and Pepper got a clean bill of health.  

Eight days later, we are adjusting to Pepper's extremely energy and playfulness.  Neither Delilah or Macy have been that welcoming but they aren't aggressive with Pepper at all.  They just voice their displeasure and Pepper decides to do something else.  Pepper is living in our guestroom.  We moved a cat tree in there and the floor is littered with cat toys.  Pepper has not been on the patio; it's still way too much for her and I don't think she has a comfortable feel for the interior of the house yet.  

We love the name Pepper because of her coloring - although she is mainly tabby-striped, there are lots of black  dot marking on her back and belly.  However, a more descriptive name for her personality is Monkey, and that's what we call her a majority of the time.  Here's an example of her frenzied playtime and why Monkey works so well for her.

This means that for a while there will be a majority of time and pictures and videos focusing on Pepper so if you aren't of a kitten-mind, this is not the blog for you.  

And in case you were wondering, knitting is going to be a bitch when Pepper is around.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

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!)

Bulk of My Stash

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 full skeins of cotton yarn and started knitting washcloths.  I've been giving them to a co-worker, since I have several baskets full of them.  I have been using an internet-famous free pattern - Grandmother's Favorite Dishcloth.  

My next step was to start on another lap blanket, using only the scrap, leftover yarn from my other projects. I found a nice, easy chevron pattern called Chevron Colour Block Blanket.  I'm trying to be a bit more random with the color choices and usage.  The cream color will probably be the dominant color (I've got the most of it.  The beginnings of this blanket are full of mistakes, but I eventually found my rhythm and now the pattern does not mess me up.  You have to purl the wrong side of this blanket (where you can see all the color changes) and there are several yarn-overs that you must purl through the back loop.  In  the beginning, I would miss those all over the place; therefore, on the right side, it creates a hole.  Super annoying.  However, since this is a scrap blanket, I forgave myself.

Chevron Scrap Blanket
The weather this weekend has been super gorgeous so I was doing a lot of knitting out on the patio yesterday.  In the middle of a row on my chevron scrap blanket I start thinking about crocheting.  Why?  I don't know, but I could not get rid of the thought that I should be crocheting.  My skills are strictly beginner but since I'm on this yarn diet, I found a skein of red Bernat Satin (I think) and started on a hat.

Almost done - but I will add flower to blue band
I found an almost iridescent blue yarn (I have just a smidge left) and used it for the band.  I will also have enough to add a flower.  While digging, I found a skein of some leftover purple (maybe the same Bernat Satin?) that has enough to make a duplicate of this guy. I'll be giving these away because the hat is too small for my head.

I love to tell people that Mr. Grumpbump will not allow me to buy any new yarn until I use all the yarn I've previously purchased.  He does give me the wonky eye when we go to Michael's and I come back with a bag full of yarn.  This yarn diet is completely self-imposed; I would love to buy more yarn but only when I make a serious dent in the stuff already in my possession.

I have a ton of baby yarn that will need to be used next.  I would like to try to crochet something more than hats, so maybe I will have a go at a baby blanket.  I've never started a crochet project from a straight chain; I've only done patterns (like the hat) that require you to chain just a few stitches and then form a circle.  There have got to be circular projects, right?

Before I end this post to go searching for new projects, I must tell you that Delilah is making me worry.  She's been in a funk for the last two days.  I am comforted that she is still eating normally and appears not to have any bathroom issues.  However, she is restless - moving around a lot and napping in a lot of different places.  For example, yesterday and today I found her sleeping in front of Tigger's memorial.

A little creepy, yes?
I told Mr. Grumpbump that Delilah needs either a boyfriend or a boy kitten STAT.

Finding My Treasure

Now that my shawl is complete (yarn purchased during the Orange Blossom Yarn Crawl in March), it is just hanging out in my foyer until I de...