YO! ZMK Knits!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cat bites and pretty yarns

I got bitten by a cat yesterday, and it wasn't Ken.

We stopped by the local shelter to pet and visit with some of the kitties. I was sitting in a chair with one cat and he had given me one nip already. Since Ken (and almost every other cat I've ever owned) does this often, I wasn't too worried about it but I did get a little cautious with my petting. It was rather hard. I still kept petting him, which was really stupid.

He nailed me HARD in the webbing in between my pinky and ring finger on my right hand.

Then I became reasonable and moved away from him. I went over to look at his card to see if it mentioned anything about any behaviour like this, when I notice a warm wet feeling on my fingers. Yup, blood running down. I applied pressure with a napkin, and noticed it was a pretty deep bite.

I did the only thing I could do. I filed a report with them.

They had me wash the bite out with soap and water (the good thing about bites that bleed is that the blood can work to flush germs out). They gave me disinfectant and a band aid. They are going to pull him and quarantine him for 10 days, and will call me if anything comes up with him. He'll be re-evaulated, too, I'm sure. If he passes, they will not put him back in the community room, but in his own cage, and will monitor him to make sure he doesn't bite anyone else. There will probably be a mild warning sign on his cage too.

I'm about the best person this could have happened to, really. I know how serious cat bites can be, and I know what to look for. I also understand that these things can happen, and I'm not blaming them. The cat was turned in by his former owner, he has been evaluated, and had just been moved from the holding area to adoption. At least he didn't bite a child.

So, you wanna see a picture?


The hand on the left is the swollen one, in case you can't tell right away.

I went to the doctor today. I thought about doing so last evening but didn't feel like spending 8 hours in the ER for a cat bite. I got a tetanus booster, as my last one was in 2001, and a 'script for amoxycilin. The doc also drew that nice line around the blotch on my hand, so I can monitor it in case it gets bigger. I'm supposed to call them if it does get bigger, or if the swelling gets bigger or doesn't go down within a few days of the amoxy.

Cat bites are serious business, kids. I worked with a woman who had to spend a couple of days in the hospital for a kitten bite. Dog bites get all the publicity because they usually are immediately fucked-up, but cat bites can really sneak up on you and mess you up.

Time for some yarn pr0n, right?

We went to NYC on Saturday. ZMrK was working at the NYC Comic Con, and I had a full 8 hours to myself. I shopped for yarn, among other things that are still unphotographed.


Lovely sky blue laceweight cashmere from School Products. There's 380 yards per skein. I may try to make a Lily of the Valley shawl from it.


JP Knits superwash sock yarn in the colorway "Tampa", from the Yarn Connection. I'm going to make myself some socks that will make Batty jealous!

I have my latest dyeing project all photographed, but I want to type it out step-by-step. I just don't feel like doing that right now, what with a swollen hand and all that I've typed already. I'll give that to you later this week.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

WIP . . . err . . . Thursday

I was going to do a WIP Wednesday post last night (even though I have never officially participated in WIP Wednesday), but it was 7:50 p.m., the computer was acting up, and America's Next Top Model was going to be on any minute.

So, here's WIP Thursday!


Exciting right? 15 inches of stockinette stitch and all. The pattern is Artful Yarns Serenade pattern # 92154 Short Sleeve Hoodie by Jane Livingston. I noticed the pattern is not in Ravelry's database, so I'm not sure if anyone else has made it. It was in the FREE bin at Webs during their sale at the end of December/beginning of January, and coincidentally, they had Artful Yarns Serenade on sale, so I bought enough of that to make it. I think it's really cute, and I'm hoping to at least finish it by the NH Sheep and Wool Festival, which is Mother's Day weekend. I'd love to say I'd like to finish it by CT Sheep and Wool, but that's April 26 and I don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself. I can't stand deadline knitting, and groan whenever I see people setting themselves up to finish something Really Fast. I just think "poor wrists!!!"

Last night, I made myself some Tandoori Chicken:


Doesn't that look yummy? I decided that I wanted to start eating better, and am trying to cook meals that I can put into small portions to bring in for lunch. I can't handle those low-cal frozen dinners any more. I'm bored to death of them! This stuff is good because you can make a kick-ass chicken salad sandwich with it. Just make sure to open the windows and shut the doors to the bedrooms (so you don't set off the fire alarms! Our bedrooms are in a small breezeway off the kitchen, and the tandoori chicken makes things a little smoky.)

I haven't spun in a couple of days, because I seem to have lost my spinning mojo! I'm not putting enough twist into my singles and they break. I need some time to really sit down and spin the rest of the merino up (which I should have done BEFORE plying, and then just plied it all up at once!), so I can finish up my spring yarn and make my damn socks already! (Oh, yeah -- did I mention I was fixin' to make socks from it?). For now, the yarn just looks pretty. I was tempted to get a little basket and keep it on my desk at work, but it may lead to lots of Questions about my hobby and I'm not always comfortable having lots of people ask me Questions. It's looking pretty in the Stash Hutch though.

Okay, so who else watches the Wednesday night CW lineup? I gotta be totally honest here, on America's Next Top Model, I am really disliking Whitney. I'd link to her profile except it keeps bringing up StacyAnn's, which makes me think someone else doesn't like her either. I don't like her snarky confessionals on every other girl in the house, I don't like her open mouth in almost every shot, and I don't like that her way of showing "confidence" in her body shape is exhibited by trying to put down thin girls. I think it is great that there are women like Whitney out there who are confident about their body type, but to make comments insinuating that women who don't look like you "don't eat" is as bad as someone making a comment that a woman who looks like you eats all day. If she says something like "Real women have curves", then I swear, I'll throw something at the TV (and it will probably just be yarn or a cheap plastic wineglass, or maybe just a piece of bread). I really hate that saying. I hate the assumption that you have to be pro-one, and anti-another. What about women who are naturally hipless and boobless? They do exist, you know.

While I'm on my soapbox, I also hate when people talk about how much "better" it was when the "ideal" body was one like Marilyn Monroe's. Dude, that is just as unrealistic as today's "ideal" body being one like Giselle Budchen's. Skinny girls were frowned down on in those days; take a look at the ads in old magazines and comic books from the 40s through 60s, and you'll see ads for products to help skinny girls put on weight. I can scan one if anyone's interested; we have some. My mother, at age 16, weighed 95 lbs. (she's about 5'4"), and she used to go out for sundaes all the time to try to gain some weight. I got my body type from my dad's side of the family - thick and boobilicious.

/off soapbox/

Oh, and the non-elimination on Girlicious? Bull Shit. I wanted to see one of those girls go home! I think Chrystina needs to be put out of her misery, and I think Charlye just has a stank attitude. Dude, what's up with all the Ys in the names? I was hoping they would cut Natalie (although she is SO going to be in Girlicious), just to see Chrystina squirm in misery being without her BFF in a house full of girls who don't like her. I know; I'm mean. Then, after saying Chrystina was safe, and Robin was getting the girls' attention because they were fawning all over each other, like they do, I was hoping she was getting their attention JUST SO she would have it to say, "I'm sorry, Charlye. You will not be in Girlicious. You must hang up your boa." But no. Fake elimination. Douchebag. Does anyone else laugh at Robin's soundbite at the beginning saying, "I'm the one who can make you girls A STAR"? I think it's recycled from the 1st season, and they just edited out "one of" between make and you, but I'd like to think Robin is that much of a dumbass. Then it gets followed by the annoying Mikey saying, "work it, work it, work it, BAM!" as if he's Queen Emeril.

Now, I had no interest in watching Farmer Wants a Wife at all, until I saw a preview that had one of the contestants (I think it's this one)in a dress and make up that would make Divine proud, standing in what may have been a pigsty, and she burps. Since we don't get VH1 and I can't see Rock of Love, I might have to watch at least the first episode of this.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Spin!

I finally finished up some of the yarn I've been working on! Here it is:





I plied the Falklands yarn I purchased from Spunky Eclectic (colorway Atomic Melon) with some spring green merino I purchased from Mind's Eye Yarns together. The plying really softened up the vividness of the atomic melon, and both yarns together are really soft. You can really see the fuzziness of it here:


I still need to spin up another bobbin of the merino before I can ply the rest. It was too hard to go back to spinning singles after 2+ hours of plying, and I haven't had a chance to spin much this week.

I decided to call the colors together, "Is it Spring Yet?" I started naming my handspun yarns on my Ravelry stash.

I finished my Poseidon socks on Thursday, and have been wearing them since. I might wash and block them before I take photos, because they might look better. The cuffed edging should be shown off more than I does now. They feel awesome, and the only took about 7 months to knit. I've since cast on for a short-sleeve hoodie with ArtYarns Serenade cotton/angora mix. I haven't figured out yet if I'm allergic to the angora or not. It's pretty mindless knitting, though, which is what I need at the moment.

I think it is spring here! It was about 70 on Thursday, and it got well into the 60s for a while today. It's cooled off and clouded up a bit, but we still have the windows open for the kittehs. They love with the squirrel visits them in the tree next to the window. It makes them crazy.

Right now, I'm gearing up for some sheep and wool fests. They start soon!!!! If you're going to the CT, NH, or MA Sheep and Wool Fests, keep a lookout for me! I'll try to wear my Ravelry pin with my Rav/Knittyboard/Blogger name on it.

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Saturday, April 05, 2008



I made a cute amigurumi octopus recently!

Ellie likes it.


She likes the camera too.


This little guy is from Amigurumi World: Super Cute Crochet by Ana Paula Rimoli. I used some leftover Lion Brand Cotton Ease from one of ZMrK's hats and a size F crochet hook. It took about a week to crochet.

I'm not sure what was more time-consuming -- embroidering that mouth or sewing on each little leg. Speaking of legs, he's nice and round with these spindly little legs that we always call "Babe Ruth Legs". I couldn't find any photos of Babe Ruth that showcased his large stomach/skinny legs, but here's a photo of Ken that comes close:


Other craft news: I'm almost done with Poseidon. I had a problem with the edging on the 2nd sock. I was trying to use the instructions that would make it mirror the one I've finished already, but I keep knitting it so the wrong side shows, so I'm just going to use the instructions for the 1st sock and not have them mirror each other. I've put that aside for now and have started on a hooded t-shirt pattern that I got for free at WEBS. I'm using ArtYarns Serenade, which is cotton/angora. It's good, mindless knitting for when I don't want to pay too much attention. Plus, I wanted something to wear to the spring Sheep and Wool Fests.

I picked up a stack of vintage knitting magazines today at an indoor yard sale that was advertised on Craigslist as a "knitter's yard sale". Mmmmmm. There are some groovy-assed 60s Spinnerins and some early 60s Vogue Knitting books. I also got some Columbia-Minerva and Bernat books, and some Red Heart Super Saver (for afghans) for 50 cents a skein. Can't beat it!

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I forgot something. . .

I really wanted to announce a "challenge" when I flashed my stash this year.

If you have a stash, that means you have some yarn that has been sitting in the stash for a while. I started knitting around Thanksgiving 2004, and really went a little nutsy buying yarn on eBay in early 2005. I'm sure there are others who have done the same.

Think about that yarn, sitting lonely and neglected in your stash, yearning to be knit and loved as a finished object. That poor yarn just wants to BE something other than a potential Moth Buffet.

Here's the challenge: take something from the deep recesses of your stash bin, and make something!

I'm giving this challenge a deadline of June 20, so we have all spring to do the Spring Stash Clean-up.

My old stash?

- 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon that I intend to make the crocheted cap and wrist warmers from 101 Designer One-Skeins Wonders with. I originally had five skeins of this that I purchased on eBay in an "oooh, shiny!" moment -- I have given away 3 skeins! I've never used it because I haven't liked the way Kureyon feels in the skein, but decided to hold on to a couple of skeins just so I can try it out to see what the hype is.

-- 5-6 skeins of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Slate Blue. I purchased this on eBay to make Tempting from Knitty, almost finished, then realized I had made a couple of mistakes and was sick of the whole thing anyway and frogged it. FIL's wife dropped a hint to me about handknit gifts this winter, so I think she'll get a feather and fan scarf, and maybe a hat or gloves too, depending on how much I end up needing. This may or may not be done by June 20, but at least I've bookmarked it!

What's your plan?

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Veni, vidi . . . Flashed.

Here we are, April 1, and instead of playing practical jokes, I'm flashing my stash!

First up: Fiber!


As always, you can click on the photo to go to my Flickr account, where you can hit "all sizes" to make the photos bigger.

Here's the same group from another angle:


I only started buying fiber in December 2006, which is when ZMrK gave me my wheel. I've only really started to spin lately -- this year marks my first "finished" plying attempts.

Once the fiber got packed away, I took out the contents of the first shelf of The Yarn Hutch. The first shelf has mostly sock yarn and laceweight, with some of my fiber (which is represented in the 1st two photos), and some random non-sock and non-lace stuff (like the bag of SWTC Bamboo and bag of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora).


Notice that I had taken all of the fiber out of their respective ziploc bags. Once I finally got them all back in their bags and put away, I decided not to attempt the same with the yarn. So my colors may be a bit off. I have posted individual pr0n-y pictures of most of these when I got them, so you've seen most of it before.

Did you notice I had some help?



I also keep my handspun on the first shelf. I'd like to find a nice display basket for some, at least until I find something to knit with it.


Second shelf has mostly heavier weight, sweater-worthy yarn (I have three different yarns for 3 different sweaters there), and more examples of my "oooh, pretty! Buy!" mentality:


Then comes the third shelf. I call the third shelf the "Scary Shelf", because something from there usually falls on my head (I'm so glad I don't collect bowling balls!). I'm also never quite sure what I'll find up there. Much of the yarn up there is stuff I bought when I was a new-ish knitter, and yes, there is plenty of acrylic. There's also yarn I purchased an estate -- I got an air conditioner box full of yarn for about $40 (and much of it was wool, too). There's yard sale and thrift store yarn. There's weird novelty yarn that was given away at the Boston Knit-Out. Lots of options there!

So, here's a few angles of the Scary Shelf:


(I overdyed the blue/purple stuff in the lower right hand corner; it was a yucky heathery slate blue.)


(I'm going to overdye that pink stuff in the corner. This photo does that color justice; it's a dull heathery pink.)

So, that's what is inside the Yarn Hutch.

But wait! There's more!

Next to the Yarn Hutch is a maple dresser that we fished out of our neighbor's trash. It's really adorable, and I'm glad we have it, especially because it serves as More Yarn Storage!

ZMrK's co-worker Jaye has gifted me several bags of yarn from her old foray into knitting. Some of it is here:


The two kits, the lilac Rowan, and the green in the foreground are the only things not from Jaye.

The bags of yarn also contained a WIP and a FO.


The FO is a cowl, knit in blue alpaca. I probably should have taken it out during the winter, especially on those frigid windy days, but I can wait until next year. I'm not sure what the WIP was intended to be.

These are my newest fibery acquisitions.


This colorway is Guts, Grits and Pink Lipstick from CJ Kopec Creations. I broke my online yarn/fiber diet to purchase this and the following colorways.


There is NO WAY I could pass up a colorway that matched Ellie!!! This one is called "Pumpkin Cappucino".


I also recently purchased some purple merino/tencel from Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA, which stuck with my "in-person-purchases-only" rule.


You come here for cats and fiber, right?


(Just 'cuz he's cute.)


I successfully trimmed my own bangs on Saturday. You like 'em?

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