28 January 2006

Hot Water Bottle Happiness

This December saw the demise of my faithful red hot water bottle. It had to have been 15 years plus. The rubber gave out. Fortunately the water disaster was in the kitchen, after filling, rather than in the bed! But do you think I could find a replacement? I ended up caving and purchasing a microwavable bag with a stretchy interfacing-type fabric with a strip of hook & loop tape for closure. Not fully satisfactory, although I have worn it around my head on a dismal sinus day or two this week.

After seeing a post at yarnstorm, I was determined to try again to find one. My local family pharmacist (whose store is quite anti-chain, I should mention) was delighted to hop to and seek one out for me. They found two. I was torn. Red economy with a 10 year warranty or for 3 dollars more an awful tan with a lifetime warranty. I left aesthetics at the door and plunked down the extra 3.

So now....where does one find a pattern for KNITTING a COVER? I'm forever using a towel wrapped around it. Something to look for in weeks to come. Years to come - it is a hot water bottle with a lifetime!

Bramble Cable

I'm on to the sleeves. This is front and back. I stitched up the shoulders, as I wanted to get the yarn free from the neckline addition. The hem and cuff detail may be an interesting experiment, as I probably won't have very much extra yarn to fuss over.

I've included both photos, as monitors vary. All I did was zoom in a little, I swear.

Men have big feet. Well, some.

Yes I am soldiering on with the grab bag socks. Nearly done with the heel. I was distracted. (Don't tell!)

21 January 2006

One more niece knit

Sh. Whisper. It's a poncho. A few inches away from a nice three needle bindoff to connect the side edge with the live edge.

Hey. It's for a kid. She wants it.

Here's to a hasty knit

I think this little bit of bramble on the great big bamboo needles should be pretty zippy.
I've done a provisional cast-on and will knit an alternate, same-yarn version of the lightweight ruffled edging from the bottom down. Same will be done with the cuffs. Choices may depend upon the amount of yarn I'll have left! It will be close, but that's the thrill of the sale purchase.

I think I'll like this choice of sweater longer in this yarn than I would have done with the T.D. corrugated sweater. I'll save that one for a different yarn.

PS. In the end, it wasn't horrid thoughts of aging that finally changed my mind. I decided I didn't want that asymmetrical neckline to go with a wintry sweater that might require a layer. Neckline dilemmas galore on that one!

20 January 2006

Happy Middles

I'm in the middle. There's no denying it.

I'm old but not.

I'm back in town but not fully unpacked.

There are pics in the camera, but the camera's no here.

I have 5 things on the needles but I really want to work on the 6th quick knit project that I started just for me. Might as well BE in the middle of more.

And as much as I think I might be able to carry off the assymmetrical corrugated rib in the Teva Durham, I'm just not sure. I may be too old.

I'm frogging the start (despite last night's contented approval of the swatch) and moving on to the quick knit that I found in a back issue of VK with the nice red v neck, the big clean cable. I'll be doing something different with the designer's kid feather weight ruffle at the hem and cuffs.

I can still do a nice v and a bit of a flare (and a bit of flair!), but assymmetrical AND chunky AND offbeat colors? (Yes, I found some Rowan Plaid locally at half price. I caved.) I'm too {(old)}.

Eek. Happy Middle-Aged Day to me! There shall be wine and dine and knit. Still chunky and fun but maybe not TOO off beat here in the middle.

17 January 2006

A necessary bandwagon

Witness it here. I'm about to jump on a knitting bandwagon.

I left the cats unattended a little longer than is my habit. I had the lovely new fountain and the gravity-operated food dispenser in place. All had worked for the holidays, for another weekend away, and this was the third departure. I worried a bit. Senior kitty is about 15 years old. However, this year has been personally taxing (their own lives, that is) for several friends on my rotation of cat caregivers, so I thought I'd not ask more of them.

When I came home from this third absence, I held my breath (as I now do) to be sure two cats come to the door to meet me. I was met by indignant scolds from senior Miss Thing and some New Invented Fun: someone had discovered the swinging door to the kitchen.

Mind, we've lived here a fair bit, and to be truthful, I don't know if somecat has already done this trick for the cat sitters. The upshot was that one cat was on one side of the door - no food, no water - and the other cat was on the opposite side - food and water but no litter. And who could tell exactly when this happened - the morning of my return or the day after I left?

I looked about the dainty kitchen for the mess I needed to clean. No mess?!? Why, no, the delicate and resourceful tom had pried open the wastecan-style lid of the food container and had used the kibble as litter. I kid you not.

So the cats are looking at me with a great deal of those "aren't we pathetic" glances. I anthropomorphize. Furthermore, they've been on top of me and up against me every moment I've been home, and in the tightest corners between me and other parts of furniture. And in shoeboxes, lately.

It's time for knitting some kitty pi beds. There's stuff in the stash. And the cats deserve it. Of course I'll have to figure out some clever way to do the fulling, what with current reliance on laundromats. However, limitations be damned: there are pathetic cats to be pampered.

Bandwagon kerplunk!

PS. This is also part of my necessary nesting campaign. Also on the docket: curtains for the bedroom so I can read in bed without being peered at from across the courtyard. Currently there's a degree of privacy, but the standard issue miniblinds don't cut it for me. I do a lot of lights-off changing.

10 January 2006

The point, after all

For a brief moment I felt guilt at not keeping up with this visible journal. However, the purpose of it was to document progress, and despite my string of absences lately, I have been making progress.

The second of the grab-bag sock has progressed through half of the leg.

I started a hasty niece poncho for the daughter of dear friends of mine. She said her favorite color is black. She's all of 9. I found Tessin, a black with bright multi-color blips twisted throughout. It's washable enough for her mom, black enough to the request, with enough color to keep her from looking depressing. And as I'm knitting it on big old bubble gum pink 10mm pony pearl needles, it's an amusing contrast from the sock knitting.

Oh, right. And I've cast on a pair of self-striping socks for myself. If I keep them, that is. I made plans to give away the last pair of self-stripers before I'd finished the first leg.

I think I have something in my else in my knitting bag for this week's excursion out of town. A boucle. 200 yards. I don't think I took a photo of it - colorway is outrageous, and that sounds like I typed up a mention of it. Oh well. Knitting is more important than photos for the time being. This is about a scarf amount, and it is soft as can be. Debating whether to play with multidirectional squares or something more drapey. Will have to see what it wants to be.

I'm going to have to NOT look for yarn shop information for my out of town location. I coaxed myself into not shopping last week, since I'd placed an unlikely order from a year end sale. It arrived this week. Bigger than a breadbox? Bigger than my vintage microwave! I've ogled but not taken it home.

Okay. I have two hours of work I want to do and half an hour of work I can do before I'm on the road again and off to a theatre fest. I'll have knitting to amuse me while I'm between events. Progress report when I return.

The progress and the process are, after all, the point.

03 January 2006

Grab bag socks

This was the progress of the grab bag sock as of New Year's morning.

I am happy to report that the first sock is done. I know the heather is stiffer upon knitting and softens up in the wash, as I have a pair of the heather with contrasting cuff, toe, and heel. With the double strand, it's about as tough as iron. I hope the softening will help, though I hope the iron-like quality will speak to the potential endurance.

The second sock has been cast on. I expect to have some time by the end of the week.

The Merriest and Happiest of Wishes!

Since there was very little traffic in to see my cheerful holiday kitsche, I give evidence that I decorated. The cats were put on strict notice not to mess with the ornaments.

The daintiness of the lace snowflakes, the lace and other angels is offset by the tacky-but-I-have-them multi-colored lights.

The most senior of kittens was most pleased with the winter addition of highly washable afghans.

Why yes, that is an odd little moose on the top of the tree. It may have been intended as a reindeer, but it was gifted to me as a moose and so it remains. Please ignore the sagging crack of old plaster walls, but this was the best cat-free spot in the room.

And despite some holiday absence, not an ornament was moved. Could this face have done such a thing?