Sunday, April 30, 2006

I Can't Think of a Title for This Post...

I don't think I have too many functioning brain cells left at this point of the week. It was a busy, busy week for me. We had many births this week, and as nursery orientee, I was at nearly all of the ones that occured on my shift. Each birth entails being there for the actual birth, assessment of the baby, taking care of any problems that crop up, and a ton of charting. It's like writing a book for each baby. I spent nearly an hour past the time I was supposed to leave each night there. I got a lot of experience, but, I am really, really fried.

Cal has picked this moment to be super-friendly and lovey. I am trying to type, but he is head butting me and stepping all over the keyboard. He continues to improve and look better each day. I am really happy with his progress. He doesn't seem to miss the eye, but he does have problems with depth perception. Chris was eating chicken the other night, and holding out morsels of it for Cal, who was waving his paw in front of his face. He couldn't seem to locate the exact place the chicken was, so we just put it in front of him - problem solved.

Spooky, on the other hand, is worrying me. He doesn't look well-he is not taking care of his fur, and his ear continues to have an infection in it, despite applications of two antibiotics. His head tilt is somewhat better, so I think if I can get this infection under control, he won't have too much of a permanent problem. The injury to his brachial plexus doesn't seem to have improved, which bothers me. He has been on steroids for two weeks, and I thought I would see an improvement. I guess it is back to the vet for him this week.

I'm coming along nicely on Clapotis. While I love the yarn, and love the colorway, this yarn seems to be a bit "sticky". Each time I drop a stitch, I have to help it ladder itself down to the bottom. It occured to me last night, that if this was an item that I didn't want to ladder, it would probably do so very easily. I was knitting along on my Trekking sock the other night, and realized that I had dropped a stitch about two inches down. I guess I should really count my stitches a little more often. With a little bit of finagling, and a crochet hook, I managed to bring the stitch back up, and wiggle things back into place.

Got some outside work done yesterday. Not as much as I wanted too, but Chris made a dent in the yard. We planted some mountain pinks, and found a new home for some of the other plants. I am working a 12-hour day tomorrow, so there will be no gardening, and very little knitting tomorrow. I have a feeling I'm going to come home feeling like a zombie. I have some new solar path lights; a set with a separate solar panel that can be put in a sunny area. Just what I wanted. I need these for the path up to my front door, which is mostly in the shade. No electric outlet nearby, so can't use the low-voltage lights I have elsewhere. I'll comment on these lights once we have them installed. I hope they work - I'm tired of tripping over things when i come home from work in the dark.

Our Phoebe friend continues to sit on her nest by the front door. She eyes us with a great deal of suspicion and worry each time we come out the door. I was a little concerned last night when I went out to walk the dog, because it was very cold here - cold enough that we had a frost (I'm so glad I resisted the urge to plant tender annuals!). So, I dragged Dusty quickly off the porch and down the path. I didn't want Ms. Phoebe to leave her nest. I don't know if her eggs have hatched yet, but I don't want frozen eggs or baby birds.

Thank God for the Sopranos and Big Love tonight. Mindless knitting while watching tv. I don't know it that'll kill more brain cells, or allow some of the fried ones to rejuvinate.

Oh, I almost forgot. While out shopping yestderay, I found a Nikon Coolpix for $89.99, on final clearance. Wow! A $279.00 camera at nearly $200.00 off! Then, I came to my senses. If something looks too good to be true, it usually is. And so it was. For $89.99, that's all you got. A camera. No cord. No batteries. No book. No case. No memory card.No anything else that usually comes with it. Just a camera. And, a counter demo at that. The young man behind the counter looked at me and said "it isn't worth it". Just what I suspected. So, I am still searching.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Chipmunks are Back!

No, not Alvin and the bunch (I think I just dated myself), but the little guys who spent last fall running around in our yard. They were so cute! It was funny to see them sitting on the porch or the patio stuffing their cheeks full of sunflower seeds or corn or peanuts. They were an energetic addition to our yard. We usually have a bunch of porky, crabby squirrels, who are enjoyable in their own right, but the chipmunks were so high energy, and so visible, it was quite a change. We didn't see them at all for the winter months, and we weren't sure if they were hibernating, or had moved away. Yesterday they were scurrying around the back yard around the bird feeder, and under the old wooden slide we keep out by the fence for small-animal hiding spots.

I have continued knitting on Clapotis, and have unraveled two stitches so far. Interesting effect, and I really like the Noro Silk Garden in this colorway. I finished the second ball last night, and need to wind a third ball for tonight's knitting. That is, I will knit on it if Muffin gets off it. Muffy is our sweet little brain-damaged cow cat. She has taken quite a liking to Clapotis, and I don't have the heart to move her. Yes, all my knitting comes with complimentary cat fur in it. So, instead of Clapotis, I have decided to restart the frogged Trekking sock. I am several rows in on it, having started it this afternoon. I spent a good deal of time trolling ebay again. I saw several colorways of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock and Lorna's Laces that I liked, a skein of Helen's lace for yet another shawl, some Koigu for the Charlotte's Web that I would like to make. I know, this was done to death a few years ago. I was in school and didn't have time for a life, much less knitting. I also looked in one of my favorite ebay stores, Jannette's Rare yarns, and saw some yummy clearance Rowan. However, I cannot spend a cent until I find out how much my transmission repair is going to be. I am not having trouble shifting this time - the last time I had transmission problems, I first noticed it when I couldn't shift out of reverse. Now, I am just leaking fluid all over the place. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is not going to be a huge expense. I can't get a camera, either, until I know what is going to be spent on my car. Oh, yeah, I also need four new tires. It never ends.

I just love this wonderful spring weather. It's been in the 70's today. After the monsoon we had over the weekend, this is a welcome change. Unfortunately, my backyard is too muddy to let the dog out in, or do any gardening in. The front yard is somewhat better, and it is a treat to check every day, and see what has come up. I have a million lily-of-the-valley this year. Apparently, they are really happy this year, and have spread like wildfire. My fers are coming back, and look beautiful, as do the hostas. Now, all I have to do is hope we don't get visits from hungry deer. I know they like roses, but hostas and ferns are also high on their favorites list.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lazing on a Rainy Afternoon

Apologies to the Kinks for fracturing their lyrics.

Not much going on at chez Knitting at Night today. Heading out to the in-laws for dinner later. No gardening, either, because it is raining. Good thing, too, because it has been a little, um, arid here lately. I have things to plant - four pots of mountain pinks, some head lettuce, and some parsley. The last time I planted parsley, I noticed that I had these weird little bugs in it. I started squishing them, and then, for some reason, decided to look them up to see what they were. Well, it turned out they were swallowtail butterfly larvae. So, they took up residence in my parsley plants for the next several weeks, and I bought my parsley at Shop-Rite. I'm kind of hoping they'll come back again. I haven't seen too many swallowtails lately. Losing my parsley for a few weeks is a small price to pay for these beautiful butterflies.

I wanted to knit some more on Clapotis today, but Cal is all curled up on it. He looks so happy and content, I don't have the heart to disturb him. So, I think I'll read my newborn manual instead. I need to do that, and now looks like a good time.

The cats seem to know when the weather is rotten. All of them, with the exception of Meggie, are dead to the world today. Alex and Gremlin are snoring on my bed, the scaredy-cat trio (Thomas, Shadow, and Missy) are piled up together, and the rest are curled up in various places around the house. Meggie is acting like all the demons of hell are after her, and she is running around like a crazed cat.

Have narrowed my digital camera search down a little. I think I'm going for either a Nikon Coolpix or a Canon PowerShot. Both have models under $199, which puts them in my price range. I just have to make a final decision. Oh, yeah, and find out what's wrong with my car transmission. It's leaking fluid, but haven't yet had any trouble shifting. It goes in on Monday, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed this isn't a major financial hit.

Although it is cold, windy, and rainy, my birdfeeders are doing a booming business. There are several goldfinches, a Cardinal pair, some purple finches, and the usual assortment of chickadees, titmice, and woodpeckers there. And, as usual, there are several indefatigable squirrels trying to work their way into the smaller feeders, and a couple of very noisy and obnoxious Blue Jays screaming at each other and the other birds and squirrels.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cats, Clapotis, and 12-hour days

That's quite a combination, hmm?

I just broke up a minor cat spat in the kitchen. Nothing serious, either just the usual territorial crap, or a little horseplay (catplay?) that got out of hand. I am happy to say that Cal continues to recover nicely from his cancer surgery. He has been doing much grooming lately - he's giving himself a bath on the desk as I type. His fur is starting to grow back where his eye was removed. He has a hearty appetite, and looks better than he has for quite a while. Spooky is still hobbling around on three legs. His head tilt looks much better, mostly due to a relentless application of antibiotics in his ear. His beautiful twin sister, Shadow, who is rounder and chubbier than Spooky's slim Siamese-type build has been surprising lately. Although she has lived with us for nearly four years, she still acts like she's never seen us before. Shadow has been sleeping on the couch, and has allowed me to pet her on several occasions. I can tell she is very nervous while being petted, but at the same time she will head-butt whatever cat is sleeping next to her and purr. I know cats purr when they are anxious as well as happy, but her whole demeanor makes me believe she really enjoys being petted.

12-hour days - I love working them! It means I only work three days a week, and actually have some time to have a real life. I worked one today - still on nursery orientation. When I finish orientation, i will go back to working 12 hour nights. I can't wait. I am so sick of fighting my way through traffic at 6:30 am. The only problem is that is was a beautiful day, and I didn't get a chance to enjoy it. I got home at 8:00 this evening, just as the sun was setting.

I started Clapotis last night. It is a surprisingly quick knit, and a fairly easy pattern to get the hang of. The yarn is interesting. I thought Silk Garden would be a little more, well, silky, but it feels very wooly, instead. However, it is nice to knit with, although it seems to have a tendency to twist. I was a little uncertain about the color. It's a black, grey, bronzy, gold, and dark tan mix. The first part of the Clapotis is knitted in the dark tan, which happened to be ethe starting end of the ball I grabbed. Not very interesting, but I am getting to the gold colored yarn, so it's starting to look interesting.. The yarn that I was using for the Tatania is going back to the store tomorrow. I have enough aggravation in my life; I don't need a yarn that will add more.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

No Knitting at Night, But Lots of Gardening During The Day

No actual knitting today, but lots of gardening, and cats, and kids, instead.

I went outside early this afternoon, and stayed out for several hours, until it was time to start dinner. Chris was dividing hostas and moving them to other parts of the shade garden (shade garden: most of our yard). I spent the day raking leaves out of my long-neglected flower beds. I was disappointed to find most of my roses have died; that everything in the shade garden on the north side of the house had died from neglect and being covered with a ton of leaves. I did managed to find the remnants of one bleeding heart, and a tiny shoot that I think used to be a robust Virginia Bluebell. I dug both up and transplanted to the front yard. I cut down dead canes on the roses and found that three of them are well enough to survive. The other six are gone, so I pulled them up. I am going to start checking around the garden centers to replace those. My Olympiad and Don Juan roses seem to have enough new growth to hang in there.

I cleaned a years worth of leaves off the patio, and started setting up the table and chairs. Some of my low-voltage lighting needs to be checked. I have a million violets coming up all over the yard, and the shade garden on the south side of my yard, under the big oaks, looks like it did well. I have three huge bleeding hearts, a hydrangia, several beautiful ferns, a bunch of hostas, and some ground covers that all look well. I pulled up a lot of poison ivy, and stacked up a lot of deadwood. It's going to take a while to get these gardens back into shape, but it can be done.

It felt so good to have time to do this. Gardening has always been a pleasure for me, and the last time I was able to do any was spring of 2002. And, I enjoyed it even more today because I had willing help. When you work two jobs, and go to school 24 hours a week, it doesn't leave much time for anything, and the less important stuff fell by the wayside. Now, I'm finished school, have a good job, and some time to spend with my home and my kids. Speaking of kids, all five of them were here today. Aside from one of them working on the shade garden, another cleaned out all of the rain gutters, one did the grocery store run, and another took my car to get gas. My oldest one showed up for dinner and a visit. They are great kids, and I'm so proud of them. The last four years have been difficult for them, too, and they came through it wonderfully. They are all in school and working, or working at jobs and careers. They helped me through some difficult times, especially when I didn't think I could continue the two-jobs-and-school pace any longer.

It was a purposeful decision to stay at our house today, instead of going to a larger family celebration. We had a lot of fun together, and accomplished a lot. I made a brown sugar and maple glazed ham, roasted broccoli and red potatoes, asparagus, pine nuts, garlic and mushrooms, and two chocolate pudding pies for dessert.

We have a Phoebe making a nest on our front porch. It is easy to see where this bird got its name - it screams "phoebe, phoebe" all day long, starting at around 5 am. However, her babies are cute, and after a while, she gets used to having us around (her nest is five feet from the front door.)

I am resisting the urge to plant anything at this time. While the weather has been warm for the last week, I have jumped the gun before. I start planting impatiens and coleus, and Wham! - get hit with a frost. So I am cooling my trowel for a while longer.

I hope everyone had a day as nice as mine was today. What a pleasure!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Of Frogs and Dogs and Cats and Whatever

Two trips to the frog pond in two days! Aarrgh. What a waste of time and effort. I hate this! First, i finally gave up and frogged back the entire one ball's worth of Tatania. While I loved the pattern, color, and feel of the yarn, I did not love the way the yarn knitted up. I was having a definite problem knitting ribs with this yarn. I tried knitting from the center of the ball. I tried knitting from the outside of the ball. I tried knitting my ribbing using continental knitting. (I don't knit continental. I had to find a website and teach myself how.) Still didn't work. Finally, having exhausted every way of knitting that damned yarn I could think of, I threw in the towel and frogged it. I knitted a ribbing swatch from a different type of yarn, and didn't have any problem with it, so I think the problem with the yarn I was using was the twist. Back to the drawing board. Maybe I am fated to not make this sweater. This is the second or third yarn I've tried - the first two were just to heavy, and by the time I got gauge, the resulting fabric was bulletproof.

Second, while still steaming from the aforementioned frogging, I was sitting on the couch knitting away on my somewhat neglected Trekking sock, when I feel something dangling against my wrist. Look down to see what I'm feeling, and it is part of the yarn. One of the plies of the yarn is broken and unwoven, and dangling down! Crud. So, I grab my scissors and cut the yarn at that point. No sense in even frogging it. I hope the rest of the ball is not like this. I didn't expect to see this in a quality yarn. So, I am not knitting any more tonight.

I'm going to frog my Opal Petticoat sock, too. I started this one a few weeks ago while my mom was in the hospital. I love the yarn, and I think a basic sock pattern is not worthy of this yarn. I'm going to use a picot top and a shorter sock. I can wear this sock with my uniform.

While Cal, our one-eyed cat continues to make progress - he is running around this house like a nut as I type, poor Spooky had had another unfortunate problem. He has a more-or-less permanent head tilt from a severe ear infection, and as a result, has a bit of a balance problem. When I woke up on Thursday morning, he was walking on three feet. I suspected he had probably fallen from something, or miscalculated during a jump. Off to the vets with him. He has an injured brachial plexus. It should clear up, because we caught it early. He wasn't injured when I went to bed on Wednesday night, so it was less than 24 hours. He is on a steroid to help the inflammation, and more ear med for yet another ear infection.

I had the windows open today, and the cats were all piled in various windows, enjoying the sights and smells of the outdoors. I don't let them out anymore, because we have a coyote in our neighborhood. There were birds and squirrels at the feeders all day, great entertainment for the cats (and me).

Our dog loves this warm weather. Outside today, just did laps around the yard. We haven't had too much rain lately, so our yard is not a bog, as it usually is after a rain, so I can have him outside without having to hose him off. He is six, and has not gotten the message that he's not a puppy any more. An 86-pound puppy.

Happy Easter to everyone. All of my sons will be here tomorrow, although one has to work at least part of the day. We're going to have an informal dinner here. I'm happy to have everyone in one place for the day. This doesn't happen too often any more. Girlfriends, school, jobs; more often than not only some of us are home at any given time.

Lots of work in the yard today. Dug up and replaced what seemed like a million renegade crocuses (or is that croci?) Got them all corraled in one bed. Dug up some seedlings of a lovely groundcover I planted two years ago. It seems happy, and has spread like crazy. I wish I could remember what the name is - the squirrels took the marker. It is low, and has flowers similar to my Virginia Bluebell, except they are yellow. I think this plant is from England, which makes it all the more surprising that it is thriving - we have extremely hot, humid summers. I guess it doesn't mind the humidity, but I would think that the heat would give it pause. We divided and transplanted several hostas, raked a ton of leaves out of beds, and generally cleaned up. My roses have been neglected for the better part of three years, and look it. I think I am going to have to trash most of them. I think we are going to make a trip out to the garden shops along the highway tomorrow to see what is available.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning...

So, where did the rain go? Not that I'm complaining, just wondering. I could swear the weather forecast said rain. And that was ok, because I had a lot of errands to run today, so I knew I couldn't work in the yard. Doctor's appointment, yet another appointment with the vet with yet another cat, food shopping, pay the cable bill, etc. All sorts of fun stuff. Still have to run the errands, everything is late today because I was at the doctor's next-to-forever, just for a BP check, and taking an unhappy cat to the vet is always time consuming. And, if I go to the grocery store now, I'll spend 30 minutes crawling thru rush hour traffic. With gas currently at 2.69/gallon (that's what I paid in a not-to-be-named University town two days ago), I don't feel like wasting it.

I'm writing this post early today, because I Am Getting Off My Duff. That's right, folks, I am getting my behind Out Of The House For A Walk. I need to start exercising. I knew that for a while, but while at the doc's today, I found out I had gained back the six pounds I lost. And one of my friends emailed that she lost 25+ pounds since we finished college a few months ago. I'm glad she emailed me today, because she saved me from a trip to Wendy's. What was I thinking of? A baked potato with cheddar cheese and bacon, that's what. Heh. So, I came to my senses and I had a banana and some low-fat milk for my lunch-on-the-run today. And now, I'm going to be taking my cd player out for a walk.

Maybe while I'm on this walk, I will decide what to do with my Tatania
. I am so unhappy with the way the ribbing looks on this sweater. Love the color, love the yarn, love the pattern. The gauge is dead-on; only problem is the ribbing. I've never had this problem with ribbing before, and it is frustrating me to no end. And, since this sweater is all ribbing, this is a very big problem. I think before I return the yarn to the store, I will try knitting from the other end of the ball. Someone suggested that to me - I have no idea if it'll make a difference or not, but I'm willing to try anything at this point.

I had really hoped to have a digital camera at this point, so I could try getting photos on here. I'm feeling really adventurous at this point, computer-wise. I know, anyone reading this is probably shaking their head in amazement, but my kids are dragging me into the 21st century, a few feet at a time, at long last. A few unexpected expenses (read: several trips to the vet. Oh, yeah, and the stash enhancement expedition on ebay) have left me with a deflated Mad Money budget.

Speaking of stash enhancement, I should have another package winging its way to me, this time from the lovely Jannette in England. I love her yarn store. I love her speedy service. I get her stuff from England sooner than I get stuff from Oregon. She says Royal Mail is very reliable. She ain't kidding. I have some beautiful cotton-blend yarn, including Calmer in Slosh for Audrey. Jeeze, i really am behind the times, aren't I? Wasn't everyone else knitting this a couple of years ago? Wasn't there a knitalong? That's what happens when you go to school. No life. I've been drooling over this pattern for quite a while, and now I have a chance to do it. I hope I don't have the Ribbing Problem with this pattern. If I do, I think I may have to look into another way of knitting ribbing. Or not knitting ribbing at all.

The outdoors is calling.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Stash Enhancement and Wonky Ribs

Just a short post tonight. I feel so wiped right now. I spent the week orienting in the newborn nursery. I have a ton of reading to do, including neonatal resusitation. There is a lot to learn, and a lot to remember. I feel really exhausted. I have tomorrow off from work, but I have tons of stuff to do around here, so I'm going to be busy. I still have several more weeks of orientation to go.

Of course, today was just beautiful. I am still trying to get outside and work in my garden. I got home too late today to do anything much, and it is going to rain tomorrow.

The Noro Silk Garden I ordered arrived today. I've never used this yarn before, and it looks beautiful. I love the colors, too - black, grey, and a bronzy brown. I'm thinking of using this with a black dress. Just have to put it in the line-up to be knitted. I might start a little bit of it, just to see what it looks and feels like knitted up. Don't need any more wip's. At least, that's what I keep telling myself. I started on Tatania. It looks like an interesting pattern, and I do like the color - sort of a jewel tone magenta. However, it looks like the twist of the yarn may be fighting the way I do rib stitching. It looks like a decorative effect, which I. am not sure I like. I am going to knit up the rest of this ball, and see if i can get it to block out differently.

I see a little note here - "can not connect to blogger. Saving and publishing may fail." I'm ending this now, so I don't lose a large post.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Grandmothers and knitting...

While trolling through other blogs today, I noticed at least two of the writers had mentioned that they had been taught to knit by their grandmothers. I started thinking about my own learn-to-knit experience. My grandmother mostly crocheted, and did some knitting, and my mom knitted - I remember her knitting argyle socks for my dad. I used to help her wind those little bobbins she used for the argyle design. For some reason, though, it was my grandmother who taught me to knit when I was about five. I realize now that I must have tried her patience mightily. I got the hang of knitting pretty quick, but I had a tendency to knit super-tight. I think it was because I used to knit right off the point of the needle. Needless to say, it made for a lot of dropped stitches, and other stitches so tight I could barely force the needle through the stitch. I made a couple of doll blankets, all of which had to be ripped back several times to try to compensate for the gaping holes, and other areas of stitches so tight they were practically bullet-proof. I got bored with the knitting pretty quick, because I could not seem to grasp the idea of knitting the stitches back a little further on the needle. So, she taught me embroidery next, and I seemed to do a lot better with that.

Fast forward about 15 years. I'm working in a brokerage firm, during an extremely slow time in trading, and I have a serious boyfriend. (Can you see where this is going?) A new yarn shop has opened a few blocks away from my firm, and I head down there during lunch one day. When I get back, I have a bag of yarn - I think it was Unger's Krista - a pattern for an aran type sweater, and some needles. Never mind that I have never knitted anything that didn't look like it was used as target practice, and never mind that I don't have the faintest idea how to knit a cable - I'm knitting an aran sweater! I'd never heard of gauge, but give it a shot anyway. So, off I go, casting on, and teaching myself cables and moss stitch as I knit. Surprise, surprise! The sweater came out perfect - no holes, right-on gauge, and sewed up neatly. I didn't know anything about the Boyfriend Sweater Curse at that point. We were married a few years later, and stayed that way until a few years ago - more than 30 years together. I don't know if I dodged the curse, or if it just got around to showing up a few years ago when he took off.

During the time I was married, I knitted a frillion sweaters for my five kids. I still have most, if not all of them. Tiny arans, tiny hats, a small sweater using cables as owls. Looking at my sons now, it's hard to believe they were ever that small. I made a couple of sweaters for myself, but knitting was an activity that was frowned upon in my house, so once again, I quit for several years.

Currently swatching for Berrocco's sweater pattern Tatania. I'm using the yarn that I bought over the weekend. Haven't decided whether or not I will actually do this sweater in this yarn. I did troll ebay today, but more about that later.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Late To The Party, As Usual

When I woke up today, I flipped open the shades expecting to see some nice April weather. What I saw was a nice April monsoon. Since this is the first day I've had off from work since Sunday, and I have to work tomorrow, I was hoping to get to work in the garden. No such luck. Torrents of rain, and a lake where my backyard was. So, I did errands instead. Slogged over flooded roads, around a couple of accidents, and tried not to think about how bedraggled I looked after hopping out of the car several times. Since I was near one of the big box stores (not Walmart!) I ran in to buy yet another pair of dpns for sock knitting. (Yes, I use Susan Bates needles. So shoot me.) I walked out of there with the needles, and 14 skeins of a nice, dark magenta yarn called Peru DK. It's 70% merino, 20% alpaca, and 10% silk. I have no idea how it knits up, but it was on sale for 25% off, so that put it in the affordable range for me.

The plan was to finish the errands, go home, write a quick post on the blog, and then settle down for some serious swatching. I decided to post a couple of links on my blog, and that's where things went downhill. I don't know what happened, but Blogger was very slow, and when my blog republished, it was a mess. Several things disappeared from the sidebar, the bottom footer was screwed up, and I couldn't recover it. I managed to recover the main blog, but had to add all the links again. Just as I got done adding the last link, instead of hitting the button that says "save template changes", I hit the one that said "clear edits". Damn!! After much tooth-grinding and hair pulling, I just did the entire effing thing all over again. I just finished. There has been no swatching today. And there won't be any, mostly because I have to be at work at 7 am tomorrow morning. And I am there until 7:30 tomorrow night. On the bright side, I do enjoy my job, and tomorrow should be interesting. I am orienting in newborn nursery, which I have been anticipating for a while now.

The Opal Inspiration sock is finally finished. I finished it last night. I don't know why knitting this sock was such torture for me. Maybe it's because the colorway just doesn't do it for me. It's nice, but I'm not in love with it. At least, not two socks worth.

So, what party am I late to? The Clapotis party, that's what. Winging their way to me right now, as I write, are seven skeins of Noro Silk Garden in colorway 47. I think this will look good with a little black dress. I've spent the last several months watching everyone knit this, and finally decided to go ahead and do it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

If This Is April, Why Are We Having A Blizzard?

Huh. After having some beautiful, warm, sunny days this month, things changed yesterday. Or rather, they changed the night before yesterday, when we had severe thunderstorms roll through for several hours. When I got up yesterday morning, it looked murky and grey, and was much colder. We got some rain, and later in the morning I was standing in a patient's room, and looked out and saw - snow! Lots of snow - the I-can't-see-across-the-street kind. It managed to snow for a couple of hours, and cover everything in sight. Around lunchtime, we noticed it had stopped. By the time we were done a few hours later, the snow had completely melted, the sky was blue, and streets and sidewalks were dry. The blooming magnolias didn't suffer, the daffodils were standing upright, and the flowering pears were flowering away. It was still a little chilly, but, wow, what an amazing sky!

So, anyway, I DID find a summer knitting project. It's called Greengables, and was on the
Zephyrstyle website. I ordered the Brown Sheep yarn in a pretty blue called Blue Paradise. I have the pattern, the yarn will arrive in about two weeks. Meanwhile, I am continuing to work the the cursed second sock of my Opal Inspiration. While watching the Amazing Race last night, I knitted up a storm, and got all the way down to the toe stripe. &%$#!! I forgot to do toe decreases! So, once again, I ripped back to the point where the decreases should start. I hope to finish the damn thing tonight. Speaking of Amazing Race, I was sorry to see Dave and Lori come in last on last night's show. They were one of my favorite teams.

On the homefront, it appears I may finally have thwarted the squirrels that raid my big bird feeder. I have several feeders in the yard - a finch feeder with nijer seed, which the squirrels hate, a larger feeder in a cage that the squirrels or larger birds can't get into, and a large hopper style feeder. That feeder has a squirrel baffle on the post. The squirrels hop up on it and reach into the feeder. This particular feeder is pressure sensitive, which means that if the squirrels sit on the perch, the feeder door closes and they get nada. So, the smart little devils have figured out that if they stand on the baffle and hold on to the pearch, pushing UP on the perch, they can grab several choice seeds before closing the door. It is certainly fun to watch them, but it's hard on my wallet. These squirrels can clean out five pounds of bird seed every day. And, yes, I do put out food for them - peanuts and sunflower seeds, along with occasional bagels and muffins. I mixed the seed in the birdfeeder with hot pepper mix - supposedly squirrels hate it, and birds don't give a rat's a** about it. So far, it's exactly as advertised. I have tons of birds at this feeder now, and the squirrels are sulking on the ground.

I guess I'll find out if they're cooking up any other plans.

Monday, April 03, 2006


After spending the last week talking about the never-ending sock in Opal Southwestern, I found the ball band today for that yarn. It wasn't Opal Southwestern at all, but Opal Inspiration, #5022. Am right down to the toe today, ready for the shaping, but I don't think I'm going to make it. I've been switched to working days for a month, and I'm finding it hard to go back to that. Not to mention, instead of working 3, 12 hour shifts, I'm working 5, 8 hour shifts. I feel like I have so much less time now. I'm tired when I come home, and I don't really feel like doing much. And, by the time I finish what I have to do - dinner, laundry, etc, - I really don't feel like doing much. I fell asleep in front of the tv tonight, so I don't have much time left tonight.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Couldn't flash my stash....

because I couldn't find some of it. I know it's been three years since I've done any appreciable knitting, but this is ridiculous. Is my memory that bad? I thought I had some summer-type yarns, and I was thinking of a summery cardigan. All I came up with was some Cotton-Ease. Where the hell did THAT come from? I don't remember buying it. Not only can I not find the yarn I thought I had, I can't find the books I KNEW I had. I had some Pingouin pattern books in my closet. Granted, they were older, but the patterns I had in mind were pretty classic in style. While I try to figure this out, it's back to the socks. I did find some nice patterns on the
Sockbug site that I would like to try. Up til now, I have been knitting a generic sock pattern.

On the home front, Cal went to the vet's yesterday. The stitches from his eye removal came out, and so far, all looks good. It'll look better once all the fur grows back around his eye. I should mention that we have quite a few cats. We have been a foster home, and several of the cats who live with us were considered unadoptable for one reason or another. Some have serious health problems; others are too shy. Several of them are from cat families where quite a bit of inbreeding took place, so they have congenital and chronic diseases. Most of our cats live to ripe old ages; some don't. We do our best with them, and we love them all.

This week, my work schedule has been changed to days. All five days, 7a-3p. This should be interesting. On the bright side, I might be able to finally make a stop at the LYS not too far from where I work. They usually aren't open when I get out of work at 7:30 am. I finally finished reviewing the postpartum module, and did the self test, and now I will spend part of tomorrow reviewing the newborn module and taking that test. Then it's on to reviewing fetal monitoring. I need to order a couple of books from Barnes and Noble.