Saturday, May 31, 2014

Until Next Time

Summertime is in full effect here, and I would like to go swimming but I have to wait out the afternoon thunderstorm that is headed our way.  I managed not be a total lazy bum this weekend - I got up and went to the grocery store, did the laundry and cleaned out the cat litter boxes.  

We're are still a family of five, two cat guardians (me and Mr. Grump) and the three feline overlords, Delilah, Macy Gray, and The Monkey.

Macy likes to lounge with us in the living room

Yes, I posed them but Monkey and Delilah lay like this for a while

The most gorgeous face in the cat world
Delilah has some health issues that we are mostly attributing to get up in years (she's maybe 11 or 12?) - her weight dropped off dramatically and we had to start her on medicine to regulate her thyroid.  She put the weight back on and we are trying to monitor her more closely.  She's not as active as she used to be, more lethargic but not in a scary way.  Just an overall lazier way.  She takes after me, or I take after her.  It's hard to get a picture of her sitting upright, she does a lot of laying down.

Macy is a robust cat, who rarely has any issues, and The Monkey, well, she's still a kitten so she's all over the place, not to mention a really effective huntress.  

I'm working on a ripple (baby) blanket right now, as well crochet place mats.  I don't have any big projects ongoing.  I have a Missoni-style blanket on the needles, but it's been sitting untouched for a while.  It's hard to knit a blanket when it's ridiculously humid outside.

Stash-buster baby blanket
place mat made from t-shirt yarn (fun project; I've made two; have two left to finish)

My sister-in-law visited the UK this month and promised to send me some yarn from Ireland.  I have to wait and see if I actually get it.  I found the most beautiful cowl pattern and I hope I can use that yarn for this project. 

Not my project - this is from the pattern page - it is simply beautiful
I will find the right yarn and the knit the hell out of this

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Chaos Postponed for the Weekend

It's a Saturday evening.  I am outside on the porch, listening to music, drinking some wine and crocheting.  Delilah is fast asleep in the chair next to me, while Monkey is running around hunting geckos.  

It's deceptively relaxing.  I have a huge week at work coming up that I am not prepared for and that I forecast may be partially disastrous.  If I could just calm myself by realizing that it is not the end of the world, that (any) failure is just that..and not the end of the world.  I have never been able to self-manage myself, and I am not sure why I think I could start now.  Is it just the lies that I tell myself to get through the day without melting down, so I can struggle internally to stay in control of my emotions?   Yes.  Yes it is.

I finished my basic ripple socks.  They are cute and I think I did a good job with knitting them to a good size (instead of my normal baggy oversized socks).  The only issue I had (and had nothing to do with me) is that the two skeins didn't match!  They were The same dye lot and I started each sock from the middle pull.  On one sock, they tied the yarn together, so there must have been a break but they didn't match up the color way.  It's not that bad because it was at the end of the sock (I knit cuff down so the color mismatch is near the toes).

I think I will be digging through my closet to locate an old project...a ripple scarf or shawl.  I put it aside early last year to work on my various ripple afghans.  It's time to get that thing off the needles.  

There will never be enough time to get to all the projects I want to do.  Stupid work for interfering with the important stuff.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Perfecting My Technique

Very grateful for the slow transition from Florida winter to mild and overcast Florida spring because I'm having a hard time with my budget lately.  Any additional expenses, like having to run the air conditioner, would max out my already-strained budget.  I'm clinging to breakeven mode every paycheck but only by a sliver; I feel like the good guy in the movies, who is hanging on to the side of the building by just enough to keep him from falling to the ground below.

It helps to keep my mind off it.  I'm very good at running away from things that bother me.  I was working on another chevron afghan, but only made it about one-third of the way before I got really bored.  I picked up my smallest needles and starting knitting socks again.  

I tried to hide the fact that the left sock is smaller (but it fits better) than the right one

I'm trying out a new heel with these zig zag lace socks
I've got my sock mojo working for me right now.  They are not perfect, but I love finishing a project in a few weeks.  

So all my sock yarn has been getting a second look these days.  I'm really trying to perfect my technique.

Pretty soon, we should be coming up on the end of Monkey cat's first year with us.  I'll work on getting a picture retrospective because she has grown so much in the last year and she's just a perfect (or so) fit.



Sunday, January 12, 2014

No Lunch For Me; Don't Want To Spoil Dinner

Sunday mornings are the best part of the week.  I feel like I have the whole world in front of me.  It inspires me (sometimes).  Today was a good Sunday; I was inspired to cook.

Well, cook might be a strong word.  I was motivated enough to go to the grocery store, Publix, because I wanted to make a pot roast.  Let me just stop right here and tell you that Publix is the best grocery store around.  I know they are more expensive than everyone else and I just don't care.  As long as I get twice-a-month paychecks, I'm shopping at Publix.  And also, as an aside, my main focus for going to the grocery was to buy eggs.  Yes, I should have walked out of Publix with a carton of eggs and a penny in change for my $2.00 splurge.  But that's not what happened.  This is Publix we are talking about.  It's just so darn clean and organized and all the displays are practically begging me to buy a week's worth of groceries. And the Buy One, Get One display?  I cannot avoid it.

So before I get the eggs, I had to go look at the roasts in the meat section, and then down to the produce section, where I pick up red potatoes, celery, carrots and onions.  While I'm there, I figure I'll get a few tomatoes and lettuce for a quick salad.  Then I remember we may need coffee creamer and, look, I'm at the yogurt section, where I toss in a few to treat as my dessert later.  I finally grab eggs, and then head over to the deli meats, where I grab some bacon for breakfast, said bacon being BOGO.  And orange juice, I must have it with breakfast.

Yep, I left Publix with seven bags of groceries, $62.00 lighter, and I didn't forget the eggs.

I finished my potato chip scarf.  It is better described as a ruffle scarf.  The name potato chip is because you can't make just one (and this is my second one).  The first time I used a cotton yarn in a nice mild red color, but I felt like the scarf was too flat.  This one was done in an acrylic sparkle yarn I got at Hobby Lobby.  Much better suited for the project.

I'm also working on a baby blanket - the shower is next weekend, but I am very confident that I can finish this in time.  I've made this baby blanket twice before.  This time I'm using a 50/50 cotton and acrylic yarn, held in double, and the blanket feels dense.  I love the feel of this yarn.  It's another Hobby Lobby yarn, Baby Bee Hushabye.  It's a gradient blanket so one color feeds into the next.

So, this Sunday, I've actually accomplished enough to make me feel like a productive member of society.  The slow cooker is on and my pot roast is cooking with all those wonderful vegetables.  The house smells great - dinner will be very good tonight.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

It All Comes Out the Same in the End

I had put off posting anything new because I was finishing the best knit work I have done to this point.  My Missoni inspired lap blanket.

It only took me a few months of evening and weekend knitting to finish.  I gifted it to my brother and sister-in-law because it reminded me of their style.  It's hard to tell firm this photo but the blanket is a pretty decent size.  I forgot to measure before I shipped it.  

I am  working on a baby blanket now.  It's got to be finished by next weekend so I am under a bit of pressure to finish in time.

Our holidays were very busy.  Mr. Grump's family was here with us over several weeks in November and December.  We were ready for them and decided a few weeks before (in September) to purchase new furniture for the living and dining room space.  Our house is an open floor plan and the living/dining/kitchen space all spill into one big space.  And since Mr. Grump sold the pool table, we knew we needed an actual dining table.

We bought a faux leather sectional, a dinning room table with six chairs (that was very uncharacteristically optimistic of me), a recliner for Mr. G., an entertainment center, and a chest of drawers for the bedroom.

We had a garage sale to get rid of our old micro-fiber couch and loveseat and the kitchen table.  I couldn't find a cute bistro set for the kitchen nook area so I went with a couple of chairs and a end table.  The chairs were purchased on and they can serve as additional seating in the living area (which they did when we had all of our company).  Mr. G. spray painted the end table black and now it looks brand new.

We are holding steady with our three cats, Delilah, Macy and the Monk.  Everyone seems to be getting along as the house and back patio area are big enough for everyone to enjoy their own space without bothering the others.  Monkey does have her kitten moments when she is in everyone's face and the two older ladies just have to deal with her.



Monkey, a/k/a The Monk, a/k/a The Monkatron
Speaking of the feline goddess, I have to go serve my masters by cleaning out the litter boxes.  If I told you how much time I spend researching kitty litter, you would want to slap me.  My favorite brand of litter changed their formula so I'm testing out some new stuff.  My biggest issue is the Monkey cat, who refuses to cover her poop and that sends me scrambling all the time to clean up because, no offense, but shit stinks.

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...