Curried Kitty!

Another weekend gone… when you only have one actual day off, that goes really fast!  Especially when your one day is started off with a cranking headache and you have to take your kitty to the vet 😦
Last year when he went, the vet couldn’t get a full checkup done on him because he freaked out and the were afraid he was going to hurt himself, so they declared him ‘fine’ and sent him home.  This year, it had to be a bit more thourough of an examination… which was horrible!  I’ve never seen an animal fight like that… as tho he thought he was fighting for his life.  Even when he gets into really bad fights, I’ve never heard him scream like that… His eyes were completely dilated and he was biting and hissing and chewing and writhing around.  It’s actually burned into my mind and it was REALLY upsetting. I knew they weren’t hurting him, because besides the tech holding him down, they were barely touching him, but he was so upset… I’m pretty sure that he didn’t really even recognize me, even tho I was talking to him and he could see me… I think the most upsetting thing was that I couldn’t comfort him 😦

Does THIS look like a wild beast?  No, I don’t think so either.  He’s such a little sweetheart with us and a terrified, adreneline ridden lunatic when he goes to the vet!  Next year he’s being sedated!  It took him a whole day to recover from his experience, complete with following me around, having wobbly legs and not being able to sleep for longer than 90 seconds at a time.  I eventually took him to our bed and we had a nap together, which seemed to help him (and really, I would do anything for the kitty, including napping!).
On Saturday night, after our nap, the kitty and I made a huge pot of chicken curry/masala (two jars of sauce, mixed because evidently they’re the exact same thing!) with two kinds of mushrooms, onions and peas!  We had it over rice… it was very yummy!  We also had it for dinner last night and I’m having it for lunch today and probably a bite to eat before knitting tonight!  Breaking down the costs, it was $14 for the chicken (bone in by accident, but cheaper), $6 for the sauces, $6 for the mushrooms and onions, $2 for the frozen peas and whatever the nominal cost of the rice was.  $28 and it’s broken down into 6 meals… that’s $4.66 per serving!  Not bad!

I knit on my Alpaca shawl again last night, after having drank a beer… I’ve decided to take up drinking, but Patrick doesn’t seem to think it’s a good idea.  It’ll only last until the beer in the fridge is gone and since there were three and then Saturday night I had one and Sunday night I had one, that just leaves one left for my drinking career.  What will I drink in the states?  I understand American beer sucks… someone enlighten me so I don’t have to drink crappy beer!
Sister, your hat will probably be done tonight… I’ll take it to knitting… I have to put it on a longer cable to do the decreases and quite frankly, I’ve been lazy!  I’ve also got to fix the sock at knitting too, so hopefully someone will help me (and hopefully I’ll remember to bring it)
Five more work days (at the day job) until I leave for AZ!  Between now and then I need to go to the fabric store and find some fabric to make myself a sun dress or two and then I’m going to go to Dressew and buy the cupcake fabric for my pajama scrubs.

Nothing to say

That’s probably untrue and I’ll get to the end of this post and find that I’ve said a lot… LOL!

I haven’t knit much in the last couple days.  After finishing Terra and then the baby blanket and then starting and finishing Guernsey Wrap and finishing the Magic Carpet and then starting and finishing the hot water bottle cover (still in love!), I’ve knit A LOT in the last little while… More than I’m used to and so when I started the hat for my sister at the same time as the cover, after all that finish it up knitting, I found my hands hurting. I think because I had to do the ribbing for the hottie cover on 16″ circs and that makes me hold my hand funny for some reason… made my pinky all stiff and my hand feel funny…

Anyway, I’m going to pick up the hat again right now and hopefully get it finished.  I was working on my Tree of Light shawl yesterday.  The pattern is engaging (altho it’s printed out TINY so I have to do something about that!  Also, the cat was kind enough to sit on the paper when he was a bit wet from outside, so large parts of it are very smudged and I’m sort of guessing my way through… I should do something about that too!) and the yarn is a dream!  I love how it looks like a completely different stitch pattern in large yarn and almost can’t wait to get it blocked.  I keep thinking I should take it off the needles and do a partial block to see how big it’s going to get, but then I remember I like surprises!

I’m going to Arizona next week and have decided to make myself a souvenir so I’m going to make Jared Flood’s new Rock Island.  Have you seen this yet?  It’s AMAZING! 

Here’s a photo off his blog! Go over there and see it!

I’m going to knit it out of Handmaiden Mini Maiden in the Salt Spray colorway, which is a gorgeous iceblue and cream 50/50 silk/wool combo!  Not sure exactly how much I’ll get done, but I’m willing to work for it!  The other option is to take some Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3ply in Fire Opal and make another feather and fan scarf. Last time I went for a holiday at my dad’s by myself (last march), I made a feather and fan stole out of Fleece Artist Nyoni.  I never wear it but it’s gorgeous!  (I partly never wear it because the first time I wore it, I snagged it on a spiral ring notebook and ripped a hole in it… I fixed it but now I’m scared!)

Just got back from dinner at a local sushi restaurant where I had really good chicken teryiaki!
Photo evidence. 

I’m now full and no longer feeling guilt toward the ol’ blog… so I will now knit hat.

Nothing if not random… and What are you Playing?

I’ve been at work since 7:40… I have a coffee and a ginger ale on my desk… What I really need are stronger uppers because I’m EXHAUSTED today!
Raisins are never more obvious that they used to be grapes as when you put them in a Thermos full of boiling water for 12 hours… It’s actually an unsettling feeling!
It’s 13 days until I go on my much needed and well deserved vacation!  I get there on Tuesday night.  On Wednesday I plan to sit by the alleged pool under an umbrella and knit and nap.  On the Thursday I’m going to the spa!
I found out today that a friend of mine, who is a terribly sweet kid (well, he’s 22, but that makes him a kid) was kicked in the head last year and has lasting head injury symptoms which have prevented him from going to school, working a steady job and he’s no longer ‘himself’.  I didn’t know him a year ago… that was heart breaking to find out.
This is how people in Vancouver queue for transit.  You will not find this anywhere else in the world (except maybe the UK… let me know in the comments how people queue where YOU live!)  We’re very polite. 
And now for the feature: What are you playing?
A work collegue has turned me on to many iphone games that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about.  I don’t have a lot of iphone friends and therefore don’t get a lot of app referrals.  Which is why I want to start this feature.  Use the comments to toute your favorite iphone app (game, useful task item etc…).  It can be free or pay, just let us know which!
Today I’m playing iassociate2.  It’s a free word association game available for iphone and Facebook.  It doesn’t appear to be available for iPad just yet, but it’s pretty popular, so I figure it can’t be long!  If you don’t have an iphone, don’t fear, you can actually play on facebook.  Just search iassociate2 on facebook or in the app store.  You won’t regret it!  Follow along on the tutorial and you’ll be associating in no time!
What are YOU playing?

I can do whatever I want!

Okay, let’s just forget blog week… there’s only one more entry that I’m interested in making (where do you knit) because I want to show you ‘craft land’, but I don’t have pictures yet… and I don’t want to keep holding off updating while I try and figure out what to say about the rest of the entries, which don’t really interest me. 
I am however really excited about the things I’ve been knitting lately!  So I’ll recap (because it’s my blog and that’s what I feel like doing today!)… I’ll do them in order of when they’re probably going to be complete… unfortunately sweater will probably stay at the bottom of the list for a while… only because it’s completion date is going to be further away than almost everyone else.  I’ll also even be honest about what’s ACTUALLY sitting in the wip/ufo area. 
1.  Vintage Silk Swim Cap Version 2
    This is a knit for my sister,  made out of Madeline Tosh DK in the Ginger colorway.  It’s a pattern that I designed myself and I’m knitting it again in order to start to fulfill one of my knitting goals for the year, which is to publish patterns.  I have a terrible habit of making something up, knitting it, being really impressed with it and the forgetting all about it.  So she asked for a hat in this pattern and I needed to knit it again, and voila!  I’m one pattern repeat away from doing the decreases, so it should be finished by the end of the week at the very latest (I’m thinking closer to the end of tomorrow). 
2.  Hot Water Bottle Cover
    I’m sure I mentioned it but I have a hot water bottle cover already… sort of.  I made it out of a too big cowl by sewing the two ends together and leaving one long side open and a hole for the neck.  It works fine… I use an old sock to cover the rubber neck/head because the cowl doesn’t come all the way up, and it sort of gapes on the one side, so sometimes you inadvertently come into contact with rubber… not so nice!
I found this pattern online (rav link: Winterberry ) and was so smitten that I put aside my somewhat newly aquired unwillingness to try new techniques.  I’m so glad I did because it’s insanely fun to knit and I learned two new things!  First, I learned how to make a bobble!  After failing at nupps (prounounced noops), I was a little fearful of bobbles… not that it much mattered… they’re not exactly my style.  Bobble: (k1, p1, k1, p1, k1) into next stitch.  Turn work and purl back 5 stitches.  Turn work and lift stitch 2, 3, 4 and 5 over stitch one, settling the lifted stitches in the BACK of the bobble.  Ktbl on the last bobble stitch (1) on your needle and voila!  What I’ve learned about bobbles is that they have a tendancy to try and sneak into the back of the work.  In order to somewhat prevent this, the next row you knit, you need to really pull the stitch the bobble is sitting on and the one on each side nice and tight behind the bobble.  Also, don’t get discouraged if your bobble seems to still be trying to sneak off.  As you knit, the tension will automatically correct itself as you get further away from the bobble.  Or so it seems.
The second thing I learned was how to cable without a cable needle.  Apparently there are a few ways to do this, but this link is where I got my info and since I’m not going to take pictures… Go here  I’m almost done this (since I’m obsessively knitting on it, and will do the decreases and then the neck ribbing and then the snuggles!  It’s currently in a side by side tie with the hat above…  
3.  Cabbage Leaves
    This is called Miracle Grow on my project page on Rav and for good reason.  What happens when you knit a fingering/lace weight pattern with worsted yarn?  Why huge lace of course!  I’m more and more smitten with this ‘huge lace’ and since it’s easier (in my opinion) to find non superwash yarn in heavier gauge, who knows when I’ll knit lace with small yarn again.  Anyway!  This is being knit for the 3 Country Shawl Kal April-June Knit (crochet) along.  I picked the pattern this quarter and to be honest, I’m totally in love with it and can’t wait till the two small (obsessive) projects above are done this week so I can get back to my shawl!  I’m knitting it out of Ultra Alpaca Worsted in the Split Pea colorway and it’s gorgeous!  It’s also huge and as of yet, I haven’t decided how big I’m going to knit it.  I have four balls of yarn, but at this time, it looks like two will give me a great big snuggly shawl and three or four will give me an alpaca tarp.  I’m still leaning toward the tarp!  I have three months to get this done and again, in order to get to a useable size, it won’t take long, so this project is the definition of ‘not stressing me out’!  I love it!  It’s been sitting patiently on the back of my sofa for a week now and I feel no guilt from it at all.  Only a strong desire to get back to knitting it because the yarn is butter and it’s a fun knit! 
4.  The Sweater
    I don’t think I need to explain what the sweater is or what it represents.  So I’ll explain just how horrible the pattern is written and how my friends and I have gone about changing it.  First off, I measured and it turns out I have a 48″ bust (now you can all stop wondering!).  So, big-boob-ed me is knitting the 50″ size because it’s either that or 46 and I didn’t want it to be tight, so I decided on 50.  The first thing I did, which was smart was to knit a guage swatch!  LOL!  Kidding!  The first thing I did was ditch the gauge swatch and knit the sleeve for as far as I could get on one ball of yarn.  Epic pattern fail!  EPIC!  Just because you have big boobs, does not mean you have a 15″ wrist… I’ll wait while you pull out your tape measure and measure your own wrist and then measure 15″!  I mean really!  The sleeve cuff at 15″ just about fits my arm all the way up to my shoulder!  Knowing that I’d be pulling that out, I got smart and actually washed and blocked the ‘sleeve’ to see what my gauge was, just in case what had happened was that I’m a terrible knitter.  But no.  I had perfect gauge! (I’ve never done a swatch before so it was very exciting to find that I had ball band gauge on the first go!) What had happened was that apparently if you have a 48″ bust, you are a beachball all the way around!  Seriously!  So my friends at knitting have devised a way to get the sleeves a more proportional size to my body.  Short rows!  Well, picking up from the armholes and knitting down, using short rows to shape the shoulders and increases/decreases to get the sleeves the perfect size for my arms.  Knowing I was going to change that, I decided to consider other things I can change.  I can knit the two fronts and the back as one piece.  I WILL put waist and bust shaping in, because the bottom hem of the sweater is 54″ (apparently people with big boobs also have hips and a but that add to more than the bust!) and I don’t think it will look good AT ALL if there isn’t some waist shaping.  I will use 3 needle bind off (which I will learn for the occassion) to join the back and the fronts at the shoulder.  And I will not be knitting a hood, but instead a 4×4 ribbed shawl collar to match the 4×4 ribbing on the sleeves and waist.  I will make a wider button placard and put three large wood toggles on from the collar to the middle bust and leave the rest open.  There will be no zipper. 
It’s kind of weird that I’m making so many changes to my first sweater, but a girl needs to learn these things anyway, so why not learn it all on the first sweater!
I would like to have this completed by the middle of May. HAHA! 
5.  Girasole
    Yes, yes… this is still on the needles.  There are no problems with it, no hold ups and no reason to not be knitting on it.  Except that it’s huge and I never feel that I get anything accomplished.  Perhaps it’s made worse by the fact that because I don’t knit on it, nothing every gets accomplished.  I have a partial E chart to finish and one F chart and then the ruffle…which I’m really excited about.  This will be on the list for a while because even if I finish the charts, the ruffle (5 times fullness I’ve decided) is going to be 3200 stitches around… Uh oh! 
Starting tomorrow I will have a new feature on here called ‘What are you playing’ and it will be games and reviews for iphone/itouch/iPad. You’re encouraged to leave your comments about games you love and recommend as well.  I hate sorting through search lists and tech blogs to find good games/apps, so I figured I’d start my own… more specialized to the non-geek.