Tuesday, December 22, 2009

random Tues before Christmas

Hmmm... sometimes it's not a good idea to clean out the hall closet especially when hubby is around and he knows where the camera is -

Yes, most of these shoes belong to me. Not all my shoes are in this picture. I admit that I have a shoe problem. Hubby said my yarn stash was jealous of my shoe stash. Not funny.

I finished my Christmas knitting.

Pattern: standard top down sock
Yarn: ONline Superoscke 6ply Cottage; col 1079, 1 skein (150g; 410 yds)
Needles: 2.75mm dpns

The Sock Hole Fairy has visited me again. This time, my KP socks have fallen victim:

This pair has joined the other two pairs in the "I-don't-know-what-to-do" heap.

The pest guy has come and gone. He crawled around outside and identified 12 points of possible rat entry in our roof (we have a weird roof configuration). Then he stuck his head into our attic and come down with a scrap piece of wood with rat footprints on it. EEEEWWWWW! So traps have been placed and we're pretty sure one has been caught. The pest guy comes back tomorrow morning to empty the traps. Blech! Then he's going to install rat proof screening over all the entry points which should keep us rat proof for a long time.

Sometimes, Ricky looks pretty funny sleeping right in the middle of the hallway - elbows sticking out and chin resting on the ground. He looks like a turkey.

It's hard to believe that this innocent face can get into so much trouble.

The "black eye" is from a fight with Phoebe. She managed to spear him in the face with one of her claws. And I found my hibiscus plant all chewed up. It's on a tall plant stand which is close to a window sill that's 4 ft off the ground. Ricky has figured out that he can (a) jump that high and (b) reach the plant from the sill. So we booby trapped the ledge and when he tried to land on it, stuff fell down on him, and he ran away scared. He is such a bad cat!

Friday, December 18, 2009

counting down

Everything at my house is about numbers these days - 7 days til Christmas (eek!), half a sock left to knit (double eek!!), 4 days til the in-laws show up (triple eek!!!), 23 hours til the pest guy comes to evict an unwanted rodent from our attic (I think it's a rat because of the gnawing wood noises that wake me up at 5am), 11 cowls delivered, 2 cats sleeping off chasing said rodent (Phoebe was chittering at it this morning as if she was trying to lure it downstairs), 4 dozen gingerbread cookies baked and ready to be frosted, umpteen presents left to wrap, gajillion Christmas cards that still need to be written & mailed, did I mention that there's only a week left til Christmas?!?!?!? I think I'm going to pass out - where are my smelling salts?

So instead of tackling those things, I'm here to blog (and take a breather from all the madness).

Here's a cowl that I knit as a sample for a class that I'll be teaching in January:

Pattern: my own; I have a PDF for it but I haven't uploaded it anywhere and I'm too lazy to type it up here on the blog so email me and I'll send it to you.
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky; col Charrua; 1 skein (104 yds; 100g)
Needles: 6.5mm circs
Notes: If I were to knit this again, I'd use a slightly larger needle like a 7mm. It's plied so has a bit more body than Malabrigo Worsted. It's soft yarn but not as soft as Mal Worsted.

And this is my last gift cowl:

Pattern: Birthday Cowl by Nova Seals
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease; col Maize; 1 skein (207 yds, 100g)
Needles: 5mm Addis
Notes: I can't find my notes but I think I cast on an extra repeat. I changed the skp to ssk.

All 11 cowls were gifted yesterday to my quilting friends (waves hi to QHuackers). I got lots of goodies to eat, two lovely embroidered towels, a little notebook, a small duck that glows when you squeeze it, and a small paper pieced quilt of a duckie.

After I finished the last cowl, I whipped up two hand towels and two dish cloths.

Pattern: my own; the wash cloths are plain garter; the towels are some sort of waffle stitch
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Culinary Cotton; col Summer Resort; 1 skein (340g; 608 yds)
Needles: 5mm noname bamboo
Notes: I love how the colours zig zag across.

I've got to finish knitting that last Christmas gift and then I'm knitting for myself for a few weeks. I desperately want to finish my Mondo Cable Cardi before winter's over.

Phoebe sez, "I'm mad at you, Mommy! You unplugged my heating pad!!"

Thursday, December 10, 2009

making a list, checking it twice

Like Santa, I am busy making lists and checking things off.

1. Bake - so far 6 doz butter tarts, 8 doz chocolate crinkle cookies (hubby helped because my hands were too hot to roll the cookies), 6 doz cranberry choc chip cookies, and 8 doz pecan choc chip cookies (2 doz were immediately scarfed by my quilting group). We've got two more batches of cookies to make - gingerbread and either sugar cookies or shortbread.

2. Take pictures of Ricky snoozing in the sunshine:

3. Decorate house - done!!!

4. Knit cowls

Pattern: Swirling Petals Cowl by Casandra Roberts (Ravelry link only)
Yarn: 1 skein Mirasol Tupa (50g; 137 yds)
Needles: 5mm Addis
Notes: Used thinner yarn so cast on 96 sts (added extra repeat)

My last (official) cowl is on the needles and pretty close to being finished. I should knit a few extra non-scratchy ones but I'm cowl'd out. I also knit a cable cowl for a class that I'm teaching but I forgot to take a picture of it so I'll blog about it later when I have pics and the pattern written up.

5. Wrap presents
So very very far behind on this one. Only 3 presents have been wrapped because I had to get them in the mail. The others are still languishing in a heap upstairs.

6. Christmas cards
Ditto. Don't even know which storage bin the cards are in.

7. Clean up the house
It looks like the Christmas hurricane has blown through and left a ton of wrapping paper, tape, gifts, and storage bins (now empty because everything is all over the house). So the house needs a major clean up not just because it's a maze to get to the laundry room but it turns out we'll likely be housing my parents-in-law for the holidays. MIL called earlier this week and Christmas is cancelled at their place. They live way in the Rockies and it seems that their water source has dried up and/or frozen solid. Since any precipitation is falling as snow, they essentially have to wait for spring thaw before running water is restored.

8. Install Phoebe's heating pad

She loves it and sleeps on it all the time. Thankfully, I got it just before this latest cold snap. She's definitely not as stiff. I would like to get her a cushy cat bed to go with the heater. Ricky hasn't discovered the heating pad so there haven't been any fights over who gets to sleep on it.

Ricky sez, "Who needs heat when I've got sunshine"