Sunday, July 30, 2006

Now With More Fiber Content

Marci Senders gave me an idea with her link to a little felted knit creature that was really cute! Here is today's start.

But I didn't forget the kittens - they are all hopping around like crazy. Sally has started playing tag with them - I hope it's tag! She comes in fast from the other room, stops right in front of them, then taps them (gently) on the head and runs away! Strange.. but at least she isn't hissing anymore ;o) Willow spends long hours kittenwatching and meowing at me to save her when they realize she is there!

Little Red just exudes cuteness!

That is Squint instigating a fight! Wow!

Squint: Don't I look a little happier?
even though my cute floppy ear is curling up now :o(

Cowlick kitten - Smoke

Obsidian Kitten mentioned just how small they are. This pic shows it! That is my (average size) stapler. Each kitten is about 8 inches long, and weighs a little over half a pound.

And the first finished brown sock!

We start the final process on closing our land deal tomorrow -- if everything looks right on the deed. Things are quite different around here than in Minnesota - but we want to make sure everything is written there that should be there BEFORE we sign, not 'it'll get done - don't worry, just pay the survey first then we'll write it in...' Err.. No. That is not going to fly.

Linky: This guy (schlatzer) on Flickr has some beautiful photos, I especially like his black and white rose and hummingbird!.

Linky: See a strange debate the pros and cons of horses vs. bicycles for transport in this flame war on, all because some guy from Wisconsin decided riding a horse to school was cheaper.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Big Mice we Have Around Here

We are watching movies from Netflix and just hanging out with Squint and Company ;) I finished the first brown sock today! There are fewer and fewer special feedings for Squint and much more time to just let them run around and get socialized.

SOCK QUESTION: When you start a sock, do you start k1p1 immediately after joining, or do you knit all around first before starting k1p1 ribbing?

Willow stays 'high and dry' in the laundry room
Good thing they can't reach this high yet ;o)
But Willow's tail is in danger!

Willow is taking a great interest in the early morning process of feeding otherwise noisy kittens. She stays safely behind me, but is watching the process. I think this means she would have made a good momma cat! (both of our girls are spayed) Or, maybe she is just amazed at how very loud kittens are silenced with food ;o)

'Right in the Kisser!'
This little gray girl is a fighter!

Squint fell asleep on J's arm yesterday while
he was kittensitting at work.

I've been giving Squint a lot of 'outside-the-box' sleep time, away from the paws and jaws of his playful siblings. They are all getting plenty of play time running around our living and laundry rooms (almost completely box trained too.. what kind of a miracle is that? I know I didn't do it!)

These kittens are very lucky that we have the kind of work environment where we can bring them with us during the day. Since they belonged to an office cat, the people there are also truly happy to see them doing well! Although, carrying three kittens back and forth has meant a lot of preparation on my part - getting the cage cleaned and ready to go, and also getting food, towels, medicine and other supplies packed. I can chalk this up for newborn experience right? ;o)

Hmm... I suspected this... except for the 'Nerd God' part.. couldn't they find a better name for it? ;o)
I am nerdier than 97% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Face only a Mother could Love?

But I'm the mothering type, so I think he is gorgeous.
SUCH a difference from two days ago, you wouldn't have believed it.
You can tell he has two eyes now too!

with milk on his paw

He is up and walking (following me a lot) - interested in things, and purring and crying for food. I think his throat hurt him so bad, he tried not to do anything that would hurt it more. You still can't see the bite here, it's just under that 'mussed' area of his face. He has tried to eat off a dish with the other two - but still has trouble chewing. He's still sleepier than the other two - but he still has a ways to heal too.

Feeding a sick kitten who can't chew: I'm so glad we got the medicine syringe (no needle) from the vet. It is much better than the bottle! It doesn't have to be squeezed constantly (or require a strong kitten to suck) just emptied slowly into his mouth. He has eaten juice out of tuna and cat food cans from it hungrily, and that has put a lot more fluid into him. He'll eat more juice even after starting to refuse the milk replacer.

Riding in the car (Smoke was in another box,
she was wanting to playfight too much)
You can see how thin they are
I've been feeding them as much as they can hold every four hours.

Black/Smoke: If I pose like this, they can't tell us apart!
I caught her off guard waking up, she is perfectly normal.

Way too much energy here!
You can see Smoke sleeping in the back here, ears normal.

Thanks for the good wishes everyone - they must be working! I left a note for the vet this morning too, to tell her they were all doing fine. I know I'm doing the right thing saving Squint - even though he will need a very special person to adopt him in a few weeks.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Kitten Update (after vet)

Little Red and Black

They all went to the vet, and Squint got his abcessed wound lanced and treated. He has antibiotics, which seemed to make a big difference right away. A motherly dog here at the office cleaned his wound as if he were a puppy - and it went from something that made me shudder to looking like a healing burn. It still hurts him a lot, but isn't weeping and smelling bad. I think he'll make it. He was up and walking more today and drank tuna juice out of his medicine syringe (very happily!)


All three little kittens, Squint in top left hand, Little Red on bottom clowning off, and Black/Smoke Gray up in top right corner.

Sally: Please give me back my house!

Sally is NOT happy, at all - and is even mad at me, almost constantly. Willow is fine with me, knows she is loved, but is very confused by the squeaky kittens. She comes over when they cry, then looks at me and cries too, and hides behind me. Sally just hisses at them, then makes unhappy meow at me and runs away. :o(

Picture of Squint <-- he still looks a little beat up, but better than before. Not graphic, just not especially 'cute' pic, either.

Squint is up and walking around, but he gets tired quickly. He is also eating more and his bad eye is open more. He gets up and follows his siblings a little bit, then falls asleep on the towel. Little Red is always hungry, and Black/Smoke Gray is a feisty little kitten who is always wrestling.

Another meme - 5 by 5 freakin' meme

Well, while I'm at it... and because I have to give Squint his medicine before I go to bed.. her is another meme found via Susan of Knitiot Savant.

5 Things always in my purse:
  • a foldup pair of sewing scissors
  • several spools of sewing thread
  • chapstick
  • pens, regular and drawing pens
  • a knitting or sewing project

5 Things always in my wallet err.. it's really a card case!
  • library card
  • driver's license
  • postage stamps
  • unfiled mail receipts
  • spare change that gets stuck between cards ;)

5 Things always in my refrigerator:
  • soy milk
  • french bread
  • jam, usually black raspberry
  • brown mustard for sandwiches
  • soy sauce

5 Things always in my closet:
  • a box of mementos, old letters etc.
  • Mr.J's shirts and ties from his old hotel job
  • tennis rackets
  • a kitty toy or two, I'm sure
  • my silk floral boquet from our wedding

5 Things always in my car:
  • travel umbrella
  • atlas and maps of TN and nearby states
  • original vehicle manual
  • jack and emergency equipment
  • WD40, extra oil, brake and transmission fluid

5 Things always on my desk:
  • as many pens as I have jars to fit them in
  • A metal bowl full of mostly pennies, pins and small hardware (nails etc.)
  • several boxes of matches and a candle
  • my handbound address book
  • necessary office equipment - stapler, punch etc.

6 weird things (meme) and I won?

I won a contest over at Knittymama's blog - for the 'I Can't Believe I Knit That! sweater entry. Thanks Knittymama! I really can't believe it, as I read all of the other stories and there were some things to learn from there! That is, for me -- I have a LOT to learn about knitting, as we can see ;o) Thanks Knittymama! (psst. does anyone have her email, please?)

Obsidian Kitten challenged me to this meme. Well, I'm super tired from three hours of sleep between kitten-rearing last night. These little ones are so worth it though! OK - I'm caffeinated, so here goes.

6 Weird things/habits about me. Well I will skip two medical ones, although they are indeed weird, and go onto six others.

1.) I too, clean like a furious tornado when I am worried or stressed. This comes, also, from my mother. I find it easier, though, to clean other people's houses than my own, unless someone is coming over to visit that isn't family. I clean like the wind then, too.

2.) I do automatic drawings, in ink. They are my specialty. I usually draw them while listening to music. A few lines and dashes on the paper turn into a crazy mix/mess of people, fish, birds and everything else.

3.) I attach to helpless things really quickly - like kittens, etc... not quite like the little girl in LooneyTunes, that won't let go of the kitty, ;o) but I'm the mothering type. I get very emotional about these little things.

4.) I am ambidextrous. I can write and draw with both hands. The left hand is shaky, but legible. I can also write backwards, but only with my right.

5.) I am a wordy linguistics geek. I love languages, ancient and contemporary. I have 'no ear' for speaking languages, but I understand and read three foreign languages quite well.

6.) I have lucid dreams in colour that are oh-so-psychadelic at times... but I think it's a good thing. I learn a lot from my dreams ;o) like what I'm worrying about lately.

there we go!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Kitten Update (before vet)

Thanks for all the well wishes (and the advice) So far we still have three kittens.

Two of the little ones, which Mr.J insists on calling 'Red' and 'Black', although they are orange and grey, are doing as fine as kittens without mommy can be doing.. imho. They are eating like pigs and wrestling each other all over the place. I've been cleaning them with a warm washcloth, which they love.

The other kitten - nicknamed 'Squint', for now, is the reason they are all going to a vet visit at 1:30 today. The bite on his jaw is BAD - and our first aid has helped some, but he hardly wants to move. I took him out of the main cage and set him just outside it on a towel. The other two kept running him over and then he would squeal loudly because his face hurts him so much :o(

I agree a whole lot of spaying needs to happen! It is such a rural area out in Hollow Rock, there are 'yard cats' everywhere. Any cat we own will always be 'fixed.'

I don't know whether to file this under sad or funny - but the black and white momma cat from the fourth of july, remember her? She came up to me as I took the box of mewing kittens from the car to the house. She wouldn't leave. I looked out there five minutes later and she was parked on the top step, looking at me insistently. Mr.J took 'Black' out to show her, and she sniffed her and looked up like 'Oh - not mine, ok.' and strutted away. She didn't hiss, or run.. just was demanding to know exactly who's kittens were in the box.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

3 New Charges, some bad news and some good news

Doria as a kitten
Another kitty, Doria, has gone missing - and she left kittens.
That is her in the pic above, as a kitten herself.
Something is out here in these woods now -- and it has me worried!

We have three new charges at our house, three very small kittens who have been without their mother for about four days*. They were found in a valley near our office, and we haven't seen the mommy cat Doria for way too long, for a mommy cat that is. Doria belongs to someone at our office, but she's not an inside cat. She does show up like clockwork for feeding time, and hasn't for four days, while nursing kittens -- not a good sign.

I don't know what our girls are going to think - and these kittens have health problems already... I hope we can do something for them, at least. There will be pictures later, these kittens are not in good shape, which is why we have intervened.

Doesn't it seem every time I turn around I'm posting about some kitty that needs our help, or that could use some TLC? Well... it hurts me more when I can't do anything about it - and these three little ones ARE within my reach to help. It might break my heart either way - but they're coming home tonight.

All three of them have suckled formula greedily (from a bottle) so I have hope. They are at the 'I'm walking but it's wobbly' stage. One, a gray boy, has been bitten by a bee or a snake under his jaw - and has one whole side of his face swollen badly.. but he was still able to suck - so he might make it after all. There is a gray girl (I think) and an orange boy (who purred loudly at me when I removed three small burrs off the top of his head and took a warm washcloth to him).

In good news, Sugar was adopted! You might remember I posted a bit about her last month, and she has finally gotten a home. I hope her new owners are good to her!

*: Doria's owner was feeding them ground-up wet cat food outside. But - they can't eat much of it, and they need some milk replacer, lots of cleaning and TLC.. not to mention someone to look after them because they were huddled up under a board outside the office fence!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Brown Sock Progress

Blurry Willowpede not included

The white yarn is 20% angora and mostly lambswool. It is a recycled yarn from Ebay. The brown yarn is KnitPicks Shadow merino lace yarn. At the moment, I didn't have much luck with fine lace, so experimentation yielded this! I combined the two very fine yarns to make one sock-weight yarn, and it is becoming such a yummy sock!

The resulting fabric is warm, squishy, slightly fuzzy and so soft. I can't wait to wear these in shoes during the Fall and Winter.

I think my gusset technique is improving some, but better documentation is needed. I might even think about asking Mr.J for two circs for Christmas, as the ladders are beginning to get annoying in these smaller gauge, fine yarns.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

We're Back, Finally!

WARNING: extremely picture-heavy. I missed my girls ;o)

We are back! The girls were out of food when we got here, but it must not have been long, because they didn't want much of their tuna treat. I'm quite surprised they were out, as we left two huge plates, piled with dry food. Our friend also stopped by and said they had plenty on Friday night.

At the house, we were greeted with lots of plaintative meows, in two octaves, as soon as we had the key turned in the lock. Then, we were thoroughly sniffed, lap-landed on and head-rubbed. For a few minutes, we had needy, kneady kitties who jumped at every pin drop and bag rustle, but the girls now say 'All is right with the world.'

We got back six hours earlier than the original plan, as the entire crew was packed and ready to leave at breakfast. Mr.J wants to go to a movie tonight, and, IMHO, that is cruel to stop by for three hours then leave for three more!

Hmm.. Smells like Cincinatti.
You can see some sock knitting did occur.

We were fairly good this time,
But - next time, I promise DESTRUCTION! ... maybe.

They did knock a lot of stuff over in the house, but nothing broken.
I cleaned and organized all night before we left - can you even tell now? They hit the living room (shown) hardest, but left the other rooms pretty decent. Even when we are here, their games of hop-chase get pretty intense!

Tuna Bribery: It just might get you out of this one.
Why don't we get the 'good china' though?

If this suitcase moves again, I'm pouncing on it!

This thermos of miso soup is quite... fishy.

WHAT? You are going for another trip in August?
Didn't you learn anything from this??

Your Vacation Rights are Revoked!
just kidding - but let's see you get me off here!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Missing my girls badly...

Tough times here at the convention, little sleep - long treks for food, and getting lost in the city last night! I literally have fallen into bed two nights in a row. I'm missing my girls so badly. I know they are cats, but they're also like my little kids. And they are left at home, alone :o( Our friend did look in on them last night and said they were very happy to have a visitor.

As for me, I had to come look at my own pictures for a kitty 'fix', how bad is that? I've also dreamed two nights in a row that they are trying to wake me up. Boy, do they have me trained!

Just a tiny bit of knitting done, turned the heel on the first sock. I can't wait for the end of the week, but I am surprised to also be enjoying the speeches at the conference (even though I'm just A/V staff, technically).

I hope you're all having a good week!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

While the Owners are Away, the Cats will Play

At least, we hope they'll lounge in the A/C or play nicely - and not set any fires, chew through any electrical cords or knock over major appliances.

Willow: Hey, you're giving me ideas!
Let's Throw a Party, Cat Style!

Luckily, we were able to ask the one person at the office who is coming back early to check up on them Friday night. So, they don't have too much time to get into things before someone can come and assess the damage ;o) It is the person who owned their mommy cat, and they are always very happy to see him.

Sally: Really? This isn't the way to get packed
and go to Cincinatti with you?

I am worried about Sallymander the most, she is the vocal, needy, 'I can't bear to be without you for an hour, much less a night..' cat. I wake up many mornings with her tucked in the crook of my arm, while Willowpede sleeps sprawled on a chair somewhere.

I'll have web access there, but there won't be a whole lot going on that isn't geeky and technical and highly stressful! I'll probably just visit all of you ;o)

I probably won't get to any yarn stores simply because of the nature of the function - harried registration tables, long speeches we have to catch every minute of on tape, etc etc. Veterans of the convention say it is not atypical to start your first day at 5 am and finally sit down again at midnight and ask: 'Where did the day go? Where is my pillow?'

On the upside - Mr.J might be able to go to a vegan restaurant in Cincinatti instead of hanging around for the plate dinner, but we still have to see about that.

Thank you Harriett!

Harriett of One of Each sent me a great package of yarn and fabric. She made a sweet little pincushion out of pretty fabric too! Thank you Harriett!

4 skeins of pink/white Gelato yarn,
4 of Schechenmeyer FEMIA
Such a treat!

Monday, July 17, 2006

What's Wrong with That Sweater?

Well, so many of you asked what was wrong with the 'herringbone' sweater -- so I have to bear the true awfulness of what a new knitter can make without a pattern.. and still love enough to want to save it.

Remember, I started this project in November of 2004, only a few months after I started knitting! And I haven't touched it since -- except to wonder what to do with it.

The Awful Truth of It

I GIMPed this pic because the pose was a little 'racy' - but it was the only way to show what is really wrong with this sweater! The gauge of the weave on the front is too big - almost meshy, and the 'back' isn't really a back - more of a sailor flap?? And it's wavy-edged, not sure if that will straighten out :o(

The back is way too short - and too wide... but maybe putting another back up underneath it, and making it like a sailor's uniform flap might save it. But should I even try? This yarn could be made into socks - or something else.. and maybe it would be happier? Do you still think I should save it?

I started this today - because we are going on a long trip this week and I have to bring something with or go crazy. We are going to a convention to be part of the documentation crew. We will send back live podcasts, reports and other media to our company. Mr.J gets to run the sound equipment and I get to do the HTML and photography.

Sally: A long trip? I can't believe my ears!
What about us?

Linky: Knitty: Knit in Technicolor (article) Hehe, that's funny! When Mr.J and I were going out.. YEARS ago.. like over 8 years ago, he always said I was the 'girl with technicolor hair.' It wasn't dyed or anything.. but I had so many red highlights in dishwater blonde hair (light and dark mixed all over) that he could never decide what colour it really was... so it was technicolor. As I got further away from sixteen, it got darker and now my driver's license officially says 'brown.' :o( No offense intended to brunettes. But, brown? I really rather prefer the technicolor blonde ;o)

I'm a Space Geek too

Yay for Space Shuttle Discovery! Welcome home!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Knitting UFOs

While I am airing my art supplies, Crazy About Sox, a friend of trek, has given me the perfect opportunity to also air my knitting UFOs in her Flash your UFOs contest.

I am not a very accomplished knitter - but, I tend to start lots of projects.

Three socks without matches (yet) all 2006

Super Long Scarf, still needs at least a foot,
or until I run out of yarn. Started July, 2005.

'Practice Sweater' November, 2005
Permenantly stalled.

My oldest UFO (that I haven't unravelled)
Started November 2004. I still love the back flap,
but can't figure out what to do to save it.

The herringbone back.
Eyedazzling, huh?
I'm not sure if that is good or bad, but personally I like it.

Other UFOs - Theatre Shawl, started early in June. Critter blanket scraps hopefully will find a new life as something else. My Branching Out doesn't count anymore, because it was mercifully returned to the yarn from which it came.. to be reknit at a less cat jumping time.

Sigh. I need to learn to knit better and faster!

Which do I get to unravel first?

Linky: Great Zakka Book!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Destash weekend (not yarn)

I am getting two packages together to go in the mail early next week. While looking for some of the special things I plan to send - I realized (again) a desparate need to destash. Not yarn - I actually don't have a large yarn stash, but just.. stuff.

I have piles of paper, art markers, pencils, odd contraptions, publications and artwork EVERYWHERE. I am an extremely prolific artist - with piles of sketchbooks, looseleaf papers and regular notebooks stacked on bookcases, in drawers, a filing cabinet and the closet.

What do you mean? We don't get to eat her?
Assorted plastic animals from my drawing props collection.

Mr.J is pretty good about it - but he seriously agrees my workspaces (note plural) need to be condemned, and then organized.. in that order.

But if I don't do something soon, my art supplies will eat me.. (kidding), so here we go...

Linky: Tsen Bao Recipe (chinese steamed filled buns)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Mailman Came bearing Gifts!

Tea Swap Came!
from Heather at the Knitting Maevan!
She has had a really tough couple of months
so I really appreciate her time, effort and thoughfulness!
Wildefoot and Bernat Sox yarn!

A swap with Marci Senders of New York City.
She sent some great city-patterened toile (center left)
my favourite is the super-cute pink bunny fabric in the top right.
And she found MINT FELT!!! Thank you Marci!
The colorful amigurumi is so fun!

Do I get to play with any of it? At all?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Tale of the Irresistable Critter Blanket

See Finished Critter Blanket

See Sally attack finished Critter Blanket.

Click to Enlarge this Picture!

Willow: I'm innocent - totally! It's the truth this time!

Sally has drug the blanket off the table three times now - I really shouldn't have used the girls' favourite knit mousie yarn for it! A coworker gave me a whole box of Dazzleaire yarn LAST Fourth of July and up until this blanket all I've used it for is a pink bunny toy and other kitty toys for the girls.

But - the blanket is finally done and ready to go in the mail. The amateur crochet edging was to add an extra inch to each side.

We're almost done with the cleaning at work, and now comes the really heavy moving - desks, computers, couches and tables etc etc. In any spare time (I still have to get my webpage work done each day too) I am totally and completely addicted to playing Cubis and Cubis 2 on Yahoo Games.

Well - not completely! But my arms and fingers aren't much into the detail work of knitting or sewing for hours. I added one row to my Theatre Shawl, total, this entire week. Last night I caught some great jazz music on the NPR station and filled page after page of typing paper with animal sketches and a bit of poetry.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

contest winner

is Jennifer!
I had Mr.J draw it out of his baseball cap.

Jennifer said:
"All of this lounging around is giving me the vapors. I do believe I need a catnip julip." (photo)

She'll get the wool sock yarn (pictured) from Fearless Fibers.

And - because Obsidian Kitten's comment 'honey the cat broke again' made me nearly snort tea out of my nose - she is going to get a lavendar Alien Monster Doll :o) (to be made this weekend!) No one knew this, but Sally cat was twitching during her nap when I took the picture.. and boy did that fit ;o)

There were nine entries. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks everyone for playing along!

I have to go back to working my tail off now - if I make it through these next two weeks, sane and all in one piece, it just might be a miracle. Already my arms and legs are sore and I have been cleaning and moving stuff for three days in a row. I hope everyone else is having a great day!

Monday, July 10, 2006

contest details

I have lots of clean-up work to do at the office, big time moving stuff around, and an art meeting - but please put in your entries for the contest below! The prize is a large hank of blue and purple wool sock yarn!

I'll have Mr.J pick the winner out of a hat and announce on Wednesday!
We're sending our best wishes to Chris' SIL who was very very lucky this weekend! And for everyone else, have a great day, see you on Wednesday!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Browsing over morning tea

Browsing around to look at what other people are doing... but really I should be working on my own unfinished projects. Listening to Prarie Home Companion ( in Duluth MN - :o( I missed half of it!), drinking black tea and cooking several pounds of zucchini and onions. CarrieK - yes I want that recipe!!! Both of the girls are extremely lazy.. sleeping the whole day away. My NEW critter blanket is now 16" by 8" - I started over with a solid piece.

new critter blanket and a tomato that fell off the vine
I saw the combination on the table and had to photograph it.

Etsy stuff (warning - cute toys here!)
Interesting Fish decorations from cornflakegirl

I love this artist's toy style.

And this is just plain cute with the chocolate chip cookie!

Cool picture of a diver in front of the sunset.

(Your Caption Here)

Contest: OK knitters, keep it clean and give me your best! - include your favourite colour and a link to your blog too (If I don't already have it).