Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nuthin' But the Knittin'

Since I've strayed so widely from the whole point of this blog, I decided that today's installment will be about The Projects.

First, the biggie:

What you see here are the sleeves, back, and one front half. I still haven't decided how long to make this, but since my hands are killing me, the short (hip-length) version is getting more likely all the time. I really wanted this to be almost knee-length, but I don't think I can do it.
Here's a close-up of the cables and how terrific this yarn (wool/mohair blend from Brown Sheep) makes them look:

For those mindless TV-watching moments, I give you the Sock Yarn Blankie:

This was originally done by Shelly Kang, and the info is on her blog. After doing Summer of Socks '08, I had lots of little bits of sock yarn left over, so what else could I do but start my very own blankie?? There's a great group on Ravelry that does yarn swaps, so we trade all over the country for everyone else's leftovers. We even have swaps with new yarn, which has been great because I've gotten to fondle yarns from lots of indie dyers. Another nice thing about this project is that I'm in no rush to finish it. It will take a lot of little bits of yarn to make a good-sized blanket, and as time passes I'll get to add new, fresh yarns and colors. It's nice to be working on a project and feel no pressure to get it finished.

Of course, would I ever not be knitting socks?Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can get a better idea of the colors and textures:

The yarn on the left is from Creatively Dyed Yarns. It's Calypso yarn in the color Barbuda. She has an overabundance of fabulous colors, and this photo does not do it justice. I've also read that her yarn base is the same as the elusive Wollmeise yarn, so I wanted to try it. It's very different from "normal" sock yarn. It feels almost like cotton, and is made up of about eight verrrry fine plies. That makes it a little splitty to work with, but the knitted fabric feels wonderful.

On the right is Numma Numma Toasty in Blackberry Jam. My skein is much darker than the website shows, and again, the picture doesn't do it justice. It's the most mouthwatering color I've ever used, and the yarn is soft, squishy, and a total delight to work with. It's my new favorite yarn. Unfortunately, it's hard to get hold of, but I happened to snag some at The Loopy Ewe a couple of months back.

Speaking of socks, I won a contest! I get to pick out a skein of Mathieu's manly hand-dyed yarn. How cool is that? I mean, I'd hate to run out of sock yarn!

So that's what's going on here, besides the Great Sewing/Stash/Weaving/Knitting/Quilting Room(s) Clean-Up. I hope to have pictures that show clean and organized rooms soon.

It was a beautiful day today, so I planted some yellow violas around Emmy-cat's little gravesite. I still can't quite believe she's gone, but I'm getting used to it. That makes me sad too.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Final Caturday

This will be my last Caturday post--not that I did many of them, but I have put a few pics of my little Emmy-cat up. Thursday I had to have her put to sleep. I've had lots of kind comments on Plurk and Ravelry--so many people know what it's like to lose a pet, and they've all been comforting.

It was the right decision, given her age (14) and health issues, and I was really expecting to have to do it when I took her to the vet. But it was harder than I could have possibly imagined. Part of me wishes I'd brought her home for another day or two, but part of me wonders if that would have been worse. At any rate, she's not suffering, and she was a good kitty. Ok, she wasn't always a good kitty, but she was my baby, and it hurts to lose her. I keep expecting to hear her little chirps and mews as I go through my day, but it's awfully quiet around here.

We won't be getting another cat. DH never was crazy about having cats, and my brother is so allergic that he can't come and visit. So yesterday I did what felt like burning a bridge--I threw out the litter box.

Here's a picture of her final resting place under my lilac bush. I put down some pink poppy seeds, and I plan to get some Johnny Jump-ups and transplant a Bleeding Heart. I'll mulch it and this fall I'll put in some little bulbs and make it a nice little garden spot.

It's very odd to be a knitter without a cat. My lap feels empty. So does a little place in my heart.