YO! ZMK Knits!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ken is well

None of you have probably read ZMrK's comment on my previous post regarding Ken, mostly because I forgot to confirm it until now.

Ken is well. The doctor does NOT think he has cancer. It's possible that he has cardiomyopathy, which is a heart condition. We need to schedule for him to get an ultrasound from a heart specialist to confirm that. Right now he does have some fluid in his lungs, so he is on a couple of medications that should help him out there.

Apparently he put up quite a fit when they were trying to get x-rays, and they had to sedate him. He was really out of it Monday night, but would not sit still and was staggering around the house. Once in a while he would roll onto his back with his tongue sticking out. If we weren't so worried we would have laughed. He also growled and hissed at us, and growled, hissed, yowled and jumped at Ellie. She's a little nervous around him now.

Last night (Tuesday), he was back to close to normal. He purred quite a bit, and may have even given the blanket a half-hearted violation when we weren't in the room. We really thought giving him his pills would be a problem, but one of ZMrK's co-workers told us about Pill Pockets, tasty little morsels that you can shove a pill into. We probably could get the same result if we cooked up some hamburger, I'm sure, but these come in a convenient bag and he seems to like them.

Thank you for all of your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. If you don't mind, I'd like you to keep them coming. I'd love to have a healthy Ken for a long time.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yard Work

For all those folks in other climates who romanticize crisp autumn days in New England, I give you this:

2+ hours labor raking and bagging leaves
1 torn leaf bag
1 pissed-off husband due to the torn leaf bag
4 overflowing bags of leaves, plus 1 3/4 bag overflowing with leaves
1/2 mouse (the top half) found in the back yard while racking said leaves (damn cats)
2 sore shoulders
1 sore butt

and, finally,

approximately 5 or 6 more bags' worth of leaves in the back yard that we do NOT have bags for.

At least it (1) got me out of the house for a while and (2) probably burned some calories. But I am sure as shit going to feel this one tomorrow.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Too much to ask for?

Is it too much for ask for healthy cats?

Ken has had some intestinal problems lately -- loose poop and occasional barfing. He also had an episode last weekend when he came in to the living room, drooling and a little discombobulated. He recovered pretty quickly, and his appetite has been good, but we thought he should go see the doctor anyway.

The doctor wants us to bring him in for x-rays/ultrasound on Monday. He suspects intestinal lymphoma. I believe that is what I lost my cat George (who resembled Ken in more than just appearances sometimes) to in 2000.

Please, Diety of Choice, please let Ken be okay. Please let him get through this. I'm not certain I can go through the emotional turmoil again.

Keep us in your thoughts, please, that he will come through this with a clean bill of health.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Marathon Knitting

I'm usually not one to do "marathon knitting". I try hard to not give myself deadlines, and try to not knit nonstop for hours. Today was different though.


See, I had decided that I wanted my Dickenson Pullover done by Thanksgiving. That's all well and good, but not when some nights I only knit one or two rows, and most nights less than ten. That will not do at all.

Today I knit the entire sleeve cap, and bound it off. I feel a little stiff now, in my back and my hands especially. My body doesn't want me to cast on for the other sleeve right now, but considering how long it took me to knit the first one, I should get cracking. Finishing the second sleeve isn't the end, and I'm not at a week and a half until Thanksgiving.


I kinda hate when I give myself what sounds like a reasonable deadline and then don't make it. I started this sweater around September 2. Sure, my sweater knitting time does average around 2.5 months, and this is a cabled sweater and thus a first for me, but I don't think that deadline was unreasonable. Either the second sleeve will fly, my fingers will fall off, or I'll finish right before I fall asleep after my Thanksgiving dinner.

I caught Ken in the act of violating my pajama pants the other night:


He tends to move around in a circle when he does this, twisting the object of his lust in the process. When he was finished, my pants looked like a spotted loaf of Challah bread:


I like how he sits there looking sheepish while the evidence lays behind him (and Ellie looks disgusted with the whole thing):


Speaking of Miss Ellie, she's been looking really photogenic lately:



This photo really tugged on my heartstrings because she reminds me of Solvie in it:


Ken, of course, knows he is handsome:


I really should not spend every Saturday indoors, all day. Granted, I didn't do that last weekend, but I did that often last winter. I did that today, in fact, but at least I got dressed. It was really shitty and rainy out today, and I think we even had some hail. It sure sounded like it. It's not a habit I should get into, you know: sitting on the couch all Saturday, drinking tea and eating banana bread, especially when one considers how tight the corduroys I wore today feel. Maybe once this sweater is done, I won't have any more deadlines and can take my time knitting something.

Before I publish, I want to thank everyone for the comments and compliments on my hair. Nobody at work has noticed yet -- can you believe that? The color I use (and this is for Bezzie) is Loreal Couleur Experte in 6.4 "Ginger Twist". It has all over color and "harmonizing highlights" that you can apply afterwards. I tried to make a really dramatic highlight in the front but it didn't come out so dramatic. Damn subtle highlights. Oh, and Bezzie -- my natural haircolor isn't as dark you think it is. It's rather a medium brown. The dark hair I was sportin' for a couple of years was also hair dye. I was using a deposit-only color that was supposed to be close to my own color, but came out really dark. The last time I used it, it was damn near black.

See, this:


Not natural. And really, not too attractive at that point. Ugh. Way too dark for my complexion.

I can't even find a picture of me in between hair colors. Shit, I know I was trying to grow out my natural color about a year ago, so you could totally see my roots and my greys, but damned if I can find the photo. My photostream on Flickr contains almost 4,000 photos, and I have tried to keep them organized. In a few spots, I've failed.

Okay, I've got to flounce off to dinner and a viewing of "Mother of Tears". Ta ta!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On the edge of a Flounce

What a sad little blog I have. I give my readers an open mike -- the opportunity to say ANYTHING at all -- and I get three comments. *sigh*.

So, what do I do now? Do I just flounce and close the blog altogether? Do I go completely batshit crazy with the blog and post the most random shit ever, to the point where anyone who stumbles upon it might think the blog has been taken over by a spambot? Or do I just start posting more often, with stuff that is of interest to potential readers, hoping to gain some readers back?

I think I'll take door number three for now.

I'll introduce to you some Knitting Content:


This is the progress on my Dickinson [Dickenson? Dickinsen?] Pullover. I think I spell it differently every time I type it. Oh, well, if anyone still uses Google and not Ravelry to look at projects made from popular patterns, with all the spelling variations I've used, it should turn up. I have both the front and back done, and am about 5 inches from being done with one sleeve. My goal is to have this done by Thanksgiving. I still have a ways to go (another whole sleeve, seaming, collar, and blocking). It's for me -- I'm a selfish knitter -- but I have a feeling my mom is going to want one too.

Here's the part of the photo that should be of interest to ZMrK:


It's mah butt. He noticed it after he took the photo. This is in case y'all didn't believe me when I said I have a shelf butt.

I also plied some of my handspun this past weekend:


It's only about 70 yards, and I have another bobbin and 1/8 of a bobbin to go. I had spun the singles back at the end of June. I plied it with some gold thread from the craft store, and I will get a better photo over the weekend, when I have time to photograph stuff when there is light outside.

Okay, plying. Plying is a pain in my shelf. See, I spun the singles clockwise, so I have to ply them counterclockwise. Getting the wheel to turn counterclockwise while making sure both plies are being fed in nicely can make me cry. It takes FOR-FREAKING-EVER. Plus, I just can't get it going cold. I have to spin some singles counterclockwise to get a rhythm going, and then I have almost NO BOBBINS to use. Well, I still have a spinning disaster on a bobbin, shoved into a drawer. I suppose I had better get that crap off. It's the worst stuff I ever spun, and I lost the end somewhere in there. Twice. I started the process of just cutting a new end, and unwinding it, and then lost the end again. It's some superwash stuff that I dyed myself, and I don't really like how it spun up. It's so bad I contemplated tossing it, but decided maybe I can use the bits and pieces for some arty yarn later. I just need that damn bobbin to be clean.

The above photo is part of my project 365. I need to take a photo every day for 365 days. It's supposed to be a self-portrait, with at least part of your body in it. I decided that I really need some good lighting, and to get a little creative with it (hence, the handspun on my head -- oooh, I'm so artsy!).

A couple of my other self-portraits:


I call this one, "Fuck you! I'm dyeing my hair."

Here's the end result of that dyeing session:


Yup, the bitch is back! I'm a redhead again. Last night I added highlights, but they're fairly subtle. I'll have to take some photos in the sunlight this weekend. I really would love a blonde streak in front, but I think I'll wait until it's a bit longer to do that. I've been feeling like having more glamorous hair lately.

Okay, so y'all convinced me not to flounce. Or did I convince myself? I'll try to post more often, and if I find something that I can part with, maybe I'll run a contest. Contests are a good way to get readers, right? Bribery, you know. Then I can tell another really inappropriate story and have all my readers flounce again.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Secret Pal Loot and 300!!! W00t!!!

Hey, wow, this is my 300th post! I have no clue how to celebrate that. My bloggerversary is coming up next month (3 years. . . shoot, 100/posts a year doesn't seem like too much, especially if you consider how, er, "talkative" I am in certain forums).

I'm going to celebrate my 300th post with an "open mike". Readers, the comments are your forum now. You don't have to leave a comment that is at all relevant to anything I've written, past, present, or future. It can be completely pointless and arbitrary.

This will either be a really fun experiment, or a really sad wake-up call that I need to have a more interesting blog if I want people to read it.

I took part in a Halloween swap on the Knittyboard recently. My wonderful secret pal, Blu Roux (sadly, blogless), sent me an awesome box of loot:


I made the photo nice and large so y'all can see it clearly. The only things missing are the dark chocolate M&Ms (they didn't make it too far) and the hanging jack o'lantern paper lantern, which was, at the time of this photo, on duty on our front porch for Halloween! The peachy/pink/orange yarn is Noro Cash Iroha (I think that would make a nice little lacy hat) and the red/purple/blue yarn is Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 (indulging me with another sock yarn I've never tried!). There was lots of candy in this package -- notice I say, "was". Okay, so not much is gone. I still have half a Ritter Sport, a full bag of Werther's, and the Mallow Creep Frankenstein. I didn't want to eat it all at once, plus we had some Halloween leftovers that we needed to eat.

And that's not all.

A few days later, I received another box in the mail from Ms. Blu Roux:



I couldn't get the color recorded accurately in any photos that I took, so you'll have to take my word for it. It's way more intense that the first photo, and is less monochrome than in the second photo. I think it will spin up to a gorgeous heathered blue. It's 8 oz. (EIGHT!!! OUNCES!!!) of Potluck Roving in the Moody Blue colorway from Paradise Fibers. It's pretty amazing, but I need to be careful where I leave it. I left it on the bed for a while, and came into the bedroom in time to see Ken standing over it, in the same position he is in when he violates the blanket, and he looked rather guilty and moved away quickly. Then I found a wet spot on the fiber -- don't worry, it's from his mouth. He must have picked it up. Still, not good. Kitties aren't supposed to hump the fiber! It's safely back in its bag and box, hopefully away from little black paws.

I think, with the recent round of swaps/SPs, and my purchase at Rhinebeck (which I haven't even posted yet because the photos came out crappy), I'm a little overstashed. Yeah, I know, I've said it before. You know I must be stashed out if I had the opportunity to pre-order Malabrigo Sock from WEBS and didn't. I think I need to catch up on my knitting, and slow down on my buying. Plus, there's really no more room in the stash hutch.

You know I'll come to my senses, though.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Yup, I voted this morning!

I was nervous about going. I had heard the speculation about voter turnout, 2+ hour waits, etc. I was hoping to leave my house fairly early, but didn't get out until about 7:20 (which, truthfully, is about 15 minutes earlier than I usually leave and is really the time I SHOULD leave).

The polling station is about a 5-8 minute walk from my house, at the police station. The community center, across the street, had HUGE lines and I almost went over there, thinking the turnout was so great they decided to move it. I then saw the "Vote Here!" signs on the door of the police station.

I went in, checked in, and didn't even have to wait for a booth. Oh, and we didn't have curtained booth, just the four corners with divisions. Not really private, I guess.

The ballots always give me pop-quiz-anxiety flashbacks. What if I fill in the wrong oval? Can I get a new ballot? What if I forget to fill something in? Damn, how do I know what my score is? Well, I guess that depends on who and what issues win, right?

Then there is checking out and submitting your ballot. I always get confused, as if it is the first time I've voted (I admit, I didn't vote the first time I was eligible [in 1988], and my first time was in 1992. I scored well that election.). My anxiety comes with putting my ballot into the slot -- what if it is a paper shredder? What if this is all some big practical joke? What if I do SOMETHING WRONG?!?!?!

At any rate, I got to work on time. It was suspiciously easy.

I'm not going to tell you how I voted, because I was brought up not to discuss religion or politics outside of the family ("because you'll always offend someone with your views"). I will say that I do feel a high level of anxiety regarding this election. No matter who wins, there are going to be many unhappy people, and some of those unhappy people are total nutters and could do something. Yes, I am talking about things like riots and assassination attempts. Let's hope for peace, k?

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Rhinebeck Posting: Better Late than Never!

So, I'm finally posting about Rhinebeck. I don't have many memories from it sharp in my mind, so I'll just let the photos speak.

Fiber on display:


This is probably my favorite fiber display photo. I think this vendor knew just what he or she was doing by putting these colors here:



(I always look at the marled yarn and never buy it! Why not? Next year, I'll make it a point to.)


I love how this one looks like a flower:



Enough of the fiber -- there were cute animals!


I love this llama -- her name's Madame Bianca and she was for sale!

She gives kisses too:

Speaking of kisses, some brazen hussy sheep tried to steal my husband:

There were other, less slutty animals:


I only kept this picture because the little kid wiping out in the background cracks me up:


These babydoll sheep were even cuter than they are in photos:


There were cute non-fibery (or, if it floats your boat, I suppose you could spin their fur) animals too:


Then there were the cold-blooded critters who must have been frickin' FREEZING! I know I was!


At least the guy with the gators and snakes was indoors.


I like the skeptical kid on the far right in the gray sweatshirt. He had that face the whole time.


I know the haunted tunnel is cheesy, and I think we're the only adults who go through it, but I like it because I always get some good photos out of it:


Finally, there were the people:


I was late for the Ravelry meetup on the hill, so I didn't get into the photo. Notice the devil signs in the back -- those are some LSG-ers.

Speaking of LSG:


The Twatweasel is the official LSG mascot!

Jesh let me take her picture:


It must have been an attempt at a self-portrait, because that is clearly my schnozz in the lower left hand corner. Clearly.

We were pretty late for the Ravelry party, too, due to traffic and going out to dinner beforehand. We were there for about 90 minutes of raffle, complete with people shushing us if we talked. I wish we had been there earlier, but, truthfully, I'm not comfortable mingling at big parties. I'm much better in smaller groups, or one-on-one. I'm not the sort of person to go up to someone and introduce myself, although I wish I could be.

I'll leave you with a idyllic "Autumn-in-the-Northeast" photo. You can see all 150+ photos from Rhinebeck here:


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