YO! ZMK Knits!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I finished Fawkes about a half hour ago.




I love them. I love the colors, I love the yarn, and I love the pattern. It was such an easy pattern with such beautiful results! They fit my feet perfectly. I didn't have to modify the pattern at all.

Ken and Ellie look so impressed, don't they?


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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Morricone Tribute

The good . . .



The bad . . .



And the ugly . . .



It was worth a shot, though. ZMrK thinks it "has character". It's really super soft though.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday's PlyDay!

Truth be told, I didn't ply today. I plyed yesterday, and Tuesday, and here is what I have:



It's Corriedale that I purchased at one of the Sheep and Wool Fests in 2007. Okay, I just checked and it was the Connecticut Sheep and Wool Fest, because here is the roving. It's scary how I can't remember where I bought what. That's the sign of purchasing too much stuff.

It's seriously scary when I have to go into the stash hutch now. Things just fall out onto my head. I'm really glad that I collect yarn and fiber and not bowling balls or I'd be concussed ALL THE TIME.

Back to spinning. I started this:


But I was having some serious overtwisting problems so I had to take a break. But my plan is to do one bobbin of each of these, and then ply then together:


I'm purposely doing it a bit thicker, because all my singles have been really thin. I'm also NOT spinning from the fold. It's time to branch out, even though spinning from the fold is so easy. I won't get a large amount of yarn from this project, but I'm really eager to try it out.

Did I tell you my birthday was last week? February 12, the day I went to the doctor and found out I had sinusitis and bronchitis. That wiped me out for the week. But I haven't told you what ZMrK gave me. Behold:



Yup, two skeins of sport weight Buffalo Gold bison fiber! I was going to buy some at one of the Sheep and Wool Fests this spring and let that be my big purchase there, but he beat me to it! He also gave me a gift certificate to WEBS, AND he's taking me to the Everglades for a long weekend. JOY!

My MIL sent me the new book, Kitty Knits. There's some really great projects in it; in fact, I'd probably knit most of them. I think the first project will be the felted placemat, and ZMrK agrees with me. Our kittehs are messy eaters.

But they sure like to groom:




How fucking CUTE are my baybehs? Usually the grooming session ends when Ken jumps on Ellie and starts biting her, and then Wild Kingdom starts. I need to get that on video sometime for y'all. It's pretty funny. I'm lucky ZMrK was home today to get this action.

Oh, and Miss Ellie had a "wellness exam" by our vet (even though she was checked out at the shelter, we like our vet to look at 'em too) and she weighs over ten pounds! I thought that little piglet had gained weight, and I was right! She is quite a little ham though (pun intended):




Ken won't let himself be outdone, though. He just does it quietly and with class.


Well, it's Friday night, it's snowing out like mad, ZMrK is baking up a yummy eggplant dish, and now that I'm finally off my antibiotics I can drink again! WEEEEEEE!!!!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

I told ya

I told ya I would be finished with the first sock by the end of the weekend, and I finished it on Saturday:


(Just check the date on the photo if you don't believe me.)

ZMrK did provide me with some sustenance while I was hard at work:


And Ken provided something cute for me to model with:



And yes, he totally did rest his head on my foot.


I'm into the 2nd repeat on the leg of the 2nd sock. This pattern FLIES. It especially flies when you're home sick for three and a half days, followed by a weekend. Don't expect the second sock to be done by the end of the week, as I do have other things to do.

Yesterday I did get out of the house, and ZMrK took me on a date to see George Romero's "Diary of the Dead", which was most awesome. I liked his last one, "Land of the Dead", but not as much as I liked "Dawn of the Dead". I put this somewhere between "Dawn" and "Day of the Dead" in terms of getting the claustrophobic feel and tension. We went to an early show (12:10), and the corridor of the theatre was nearly empty when we left, which added to the eeriness. We expected the first couple of people we saw to be zombies. 'Tis the sign of an effective movie (or an overactive imagination, you take your pick). As ZMrK remarked, "I took you on a date to see a zombie film, which is a surefire way to get in your pants".

I love that man.

I was back at work today, and I'm not the only one who was sick. There's shitloads of flu going around the office. I'm staying in my corner with my antibiotics, and I'll shoo anyone away who so much as sniffles near me. I don't want that shit after having sinusitis and bronchitis.

It's a big TV week at Chez Zanti. Tonight is the season premiere of Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious (whoa, what a stupid title), and Wednesday is the "cycle" premier of America's Next Top Model. What fun: I get to make snap judgments and snark on a bunch of women who will always be taller, thinner, and younger than I am! I'm going to reserve judgement on any of the girls until I see them in person, because the PCD girls are all tarted up like drag queens, and the ANTM girls just are all victim of some horrible photography. I can't believe all of those girls have such forward jutting jaws.

I haven't spun in over a week! I think I'll bookmark tomorrow as a "spin evening", so I can get some done. I'm thinking of attempting some funky thick-and-thin 2 ply, and since I have so much of a fiber stash, I have plenty to experiment with. The last batch that I plied turns out to only be about 72 yards, so I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with that. I'm thinking about the concept of "art yarn", i.e., yarn that just is, and wondering if I want to go there. What do you guys think? Have you made any yarn without any intentions of knitting it into something? Yarn that is just an art project, to look at? Discuss.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Some Progress

I've made some crafty progress lately. Part of it is continuing working on some projects that I've had going for some time, and part of it is starting a new project and making really great progress in a short amount of time, because I've been sick.

Did I mention I woke up sick on Christmas Day? That was a cold, and went away pretty quickly. I also started feeling sick one evening, and stayed home from work on January 30, also with presumably another cold. This past Monday I started feeling sick again, but I said, "eff this, I'm not gonna be sick again -- I'm going to the gym!". I did go to the gym, and I survived, but the next morning (incidentially my birthday) I felt like crap and was able to squeeze in an appointment with a nurse practitioner to see what the hell is going on. Turns out, I got hit with sinusitis with "a touch of" bronchitis. Agreed, the bronchitis isn't as bad as the sinusitis, which made me want to rip all of my sinuses out and live the rest of my life without a sense of smell or taste, just so I wouldn't hurt anymore. A few days of antibiotics and rest seem to be working. Nope, I haven't been at work since Tuesday afternoon.

It did help me produce this:


Yup, that is Momma Monkey's pattern Fawkes, produced for Socktopia last year. I can't find the proper url for it right now, but I think the pattern is still available out there. I love the stitch definition of this yarn, which is Ellen's Half Pint Farm Wool/Bamboo sock yarn that I got for Xmas. I love how the colors make it appear more multitonal than it is. That's hot pink and orange, folks, and they blend in so nicely.

I've gotten even further on this sock since taking the picture. I've turned the heel and am working on the gusset decreases. I suppose the next picture I take, it will be done.

I also recently finished the first sock of Poseidon:


It took me a long time to figure out how to do the cuff edging, and once I figured it out I said, "duh!" I think the second sock is going to be a blast to knit, now that I know what is coming. They're supposed to be blocked so the edging shows more, but I'll wait until they're both done.

I also did some spinning:



This is the blue-faced leicester I received in the spinning secret pal swap from the blogless Maiziemama. I hand dyed this back in October along with some sock yarn that I still haven't used. To tell the truth, I wasn't sure if this fiber was fugly or not when I dyed it, but I do like the way it looks spun it. If that little flyaway part is any indication, it should look good plied as well. I just have to figure out how to ply it, as I have only one bobbin. Do I want to Andean ply it all (that's where you wrap it around your wrist and hand and ply it from there). The problem with Andean plying is that there are no breaks -- you do it all right there. So if you have to go pee you have to hold it, 'cuz you can't even cross your legs while spinning (or if you can PLEASE tell me your secret!). Maybe I'll ply it this weekend.

I did do some plying too:



I think it came out pretty nice. The very first bit on the bobbin was pretty gross from when I started plying it over the summer. Ooooh, there was much swearing involved with that! This time, it went so smoothly. I think perhaps I know how to spin now. I don't know how much I have; the niddy-noddy is about 63 inches around the way I wrapped it, and I counted the wraps and figured out how many inches that equals. I just need to figure out how many yards it is. It's hanging up behind me now, drying and setting the twist. ZMrK helped me out with an ingenuous way of weighting it down, which I'll have to photograph for you later. Let's just say it involves a coat hanger, a belt and a wok.

Let's turn to the cute part. The cats have finally figured out the new kitty pi is for them:



Ellie also figured out that she can fit inside the little scratching hutch thing:


She also likes to "help" me when I knit:


She "helps" when we try to read as well, and when we're at the computer. She hasn't tried to help me yet because she's "helping" ZMrK sweep the floor.

I think it's safe to say that she and Ken really like each other. He enjoys washing her face, and when she decides she's had enough, he enjoys forcing her to have her face washed, which leads to him biting her and her fighting back. That of course leads to a scuffle which ends when someone runs away. I'll need to take pictures of that. I don't know how much the Feliway helped, but it's safe to say they're used to each other.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

Kitty Pi!

I made another Kitty Pi recently.

On my Ravelry projects board, and in my notes (yes, I did start keeping a craft journal this year, and yes, I am a total dork, why do you ask?) I've been calling it Kitty Pi 2: Electric Boogaloo. I remembered that I've already used that line in my second Rhinebeck post. Lest you think I'm completely lacking in originality, I've decided to refer to it as:

"She's my Kitty Pi
Tastes so good it makes a grown man cry"

Because nothing says fresh and original like hair metal, right?

Here she is:


Notice how the best picture I have of it is it blocking on the top of a cake carrier. That's because the cats have been ignoring it. Well, not entirely true -- Ellie was chasing around a toy and rolling on it earlier today, but I didn't get a picture of that. I do have a picture of her in the other one:


The other Kitty Pi is on the ottoman, though, to keep Ken from sharpening his claws on it. We have a scratching post for that, but he only uses that when he wants a treat. Months ago, we decided to use some positive reinforcement and give him a "good kitty boy" with a couple bits of Pounce every time he used the scratching post. Every time he uses the scratching post now, he sits and looks at us expectantly for some Pounce now.

Speaking of food. . . these cats are eating us out of house and home! They eat both canned and dry food, going through over a can of canned food a day, and a 3.5 lb bag of dry food a week. Does that seem like a lot? Maybe Zelia and Solvie just didn't eat as much. We're going to have to figure out a way to cut back on them without them driving us nuts, or we'll have two fat cats on our hands.

They are getting along much better, however:



I like how they bond over watching birds.

I've been trying to spin a bit more lately. There's a challenge on the knitty board - "Spin every day in February". I haven't gone that far, but I have spun twice in the nine days of February so far. That's a hell of a lot more than I've spun since last summer. I haven't been knitting so much though. I've swatched twice for Fawkes, which is the Momma-Monkey pattern I decided to knit in honor of her memory. After swatching twice, I realized that I need to go down to size 0 needles to get gauge. I have a set of size 0 Pony Pearl DPNs, but they're a little split at one point and therefore the yarn gets snagged on the tip. I also have a 32" circular size 0 needle, which is now in my Poseidon sock since the Ponies were driving me nuts. I just have the edging to go on the Poseidon sock, and then I may free up the needle for a quick break to knit Fawkes. I need a good commuter knit, and Poseidon isn't it, nor is my other ongoing project, Branching Out. I've seen people knit lace on the train, but I know my limits and know the most complicated I can do on the train is maybe a basketweave rib or feather and fan.

It's only February 9, but this winter thing? Oh yeah, I'm so over it.

I started bellydancing class last month. I'm really enjoying it, even though I do sometimes feel like a graceless clod. Sometimes I watch myself in the mirror and obsess on things like how small my head is. No, seriously, I'm pretty wide in the lower portion of my body (alright, it's my ASS, k?) and my shoulders are a bit wide too, and then my head looks like this little tiny bitty thing sitting up there. It's a little unnerving, having a tiny head. I wonder if I should have bigger hair, to balance me out. I suppose it would look worse if my head was huge and I had a little tiny skinny body, but that's the big look among the younger set, isn't it? Well, I can't change the size of my head, or the size of my hips for that matter. I've been a size 4 and still had big hips. If I had to diet myself back down to a size 4 and maintain that again, I'd go nuts though. I think I'll keep the extra 20 lbs AND my sanity, thankyouverymuch.

So, how the hell did I go from a felted cat bed to my teeny tiny head?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

In Memory

If you are a knit-blogger, or are on Ravelry, the Knittyboard, or Socktopia, you probably know by now that Momma-Monkey died last weekend from Lupus. I'm not sure what to write about a person I didn't know in real life. I knew that Gigi was chronically ill but didn't expect her to die.

I thought she was very funny and a very talented sock designer. I loved picking out gifts for her and her kids when she was my downsteam in the Spinning Secret Pal Swap. I purchased a Monkey Bag from her etsy shop during the summer, and it has a level of craftsmanship that I don't think I could ever reach. After Solvie died, I received a gift in the mail. It was from Gigi. She seemed to be such a generous and kind person, and a great momma to her babies. She'll be greatly missed.

There are several memorial knit-a-longs happening, but this one deserves special mention, as it is a knit-a-long to benefit the Lupus Foundation. I never knew that Lupus could be fatal. I hope that in donating to the Lupus Foundation, more people can be educated about this overlooked illness.

Rest in peace, Gigi, and know that you were loved in this world by many.