First Summer of Socks 08 FO!

As anticipated, I finished my first pair on the road to Slidell, LA last night.  Here they are:

SOS08 Pair one, 6/21 - 7/5

That's my basic sock, knit from Steinbach Wolle Aktiv Effekt.  It's 75% wool/25% polyamid, 420 m/100 g, knit on my usual #1 circulars. 

I've begun Wendy's Summer Sock with the aqua stripe yarn.  Boy, she wasn't exaggerating: a size down will be plenty big. 

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Minky & Torie

Minky & Torie001
Originally uploaded by meezermeowmy

GrandMeowmy calls it "universal kitty nap time", that time of day when all kitties compulsively zonk out. Here are Minky and Torie preempting my glider and footstool. Notice the abandoned cat furniture, despite its choice position in the morning sun.

Summer of socks proceeds nicely. I could finish my first pair this evening as we travel to Slidell for an Eastern Star meeting. Pictures will follow!

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The Lady Minky

May I introduce The Lady Minky, known to her friends as Minky. She is the senior Meezer, being two years older than Torie and Casper.  Minky is a chocolate-point Siamese, the first cat we brought home from Texas Siamese Rescue. 

Minky is well known for being a lap cat, a knitting supervisor, and a grand dame.  She has a tendency to wave her extended right paw at things she wants, and pronounce the "imperial we". 

Now that you have been properly introduced to the ladies, I should tell you about their vocabularies.  Siamese are very talkative cats, and Torie, especially, has always called me "An-wah".  It seems to be as close as she can come to "Nana", the name my grandchildren call me. 

Recently, Minky was being unceremoniously packaged in the cat carrier  for the two-block ride to her V-E-T.  She had a respiratory infection,  and really needed to be treated, despite her protests to the contrary.  When I continued to ignore her protests, Minky said "An-wah!"  Whoa, you could have knocked me over with a meezer whippy-tail!  She had learned Torie's name for me, and used it herself!  That was as big an achievement as the gorilla who taught sign language to another gorilla! 

This is a basket of sock yarn, pitifully waiting for tomorrow to begin Summer of Socks 2008.  That's Wollmeise Blue Suzanne in the center, at 2 o'clock is On Line Supersocke, Holiday, then Shibui Jonquil at 4, Fleece Artist Rose Garden at 6, Lorna's Laces Butterscotch at 8, and some purple Opal at 10.  Hiding under the pile is some Sockpixie Asparagus for Wendy's Asparagus Cable socks.

Ambitious enough for you?  Waiting is hard! 

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The Elusive Torie

Meet Victoria, "Torie", my warrior princess.  Torie is the alpha female of our trio of Meezers.   She is a tortoise-point Siamese, bred from a champion Seal-point father and an equally fine Snow Leopard Oriental mother.  Torie has the little lynx tufts on the tips of her ears that her mother and two lynx sisters had.  I think they are endearing.

Given her pedigree, you may be surprised to know that Torie and I met and bonded at Texas Siamese Rescue, where she, her mother and sisters, and two Aunts and their litters were waiting for forever homes.  That's 15 fine kitties seeking adoption.  Very unusual, I assure you.  But it gets stranger. 

In 1984 my Mother, who lived in Iowa, arranged to meet a Nebraska cat breeder at the Des Moines, Iowa cat show to select a Siamese kitten.  Mother cheated:  she wore a fuzzy sweater, and the kitty she liked instantly fell for her.  He was a blue-point wedge she named Gwyned. Mother always spoke of how well the breeder raised her cats in her home, not a cattery, so they would have good personalities.  She added the breeder insisted that if Mother could no longer keep the cat it was to return to its breeder.  Gwyned lived with Mother for many years, and, indeed, outlived Mother by 4 years.  He came to our home, under the care of our daughter and son-in-law, and moved on to graduate school with them. 

But what about Torie, you ask?  I called GrandMeowmy at Texas Siamese Rescue to inquire, "How has it happened that you suddenly have 3 registered Moms and 15 registered kittens for adoption?"  She told me the breeder was dying of cancer, and had chosen to place them through Siamese Rescue.  They had come from Arapaho, Nebraska.  You know the moment I got off the phone I started a search for Siamese cat breeders in Nebraska.  Yes, it was the same one (there were only two).  When I read her website, it was like hearing Mother tell it again. 

And how did you choose her?  Her ditsy sisters didn't want any attention, didn't want to be held.  Torie looked me in the eyes and settled down on my chest for 45 minutes.  "Oh, Hello!" 

And the "elusive" part?  Many visitors to our house never see her.  Yet she is fearless and even bossy with the other two cats.  She is extremely strong and athletic, even for a Meezer.  Torie can sharpen her claws while she is hanging from her cat tower. 

Oh, and was that knitting you see behind Torie?  Indeed, it was.  Here, let me show you a bit more:

It's Samus, the unblocked body and one sleeve.  

Having accomplished this much, I'm disinclined to cast on for the second sleeve just before Summer of Socks.  You probably won't see this project again until September.  By then it should be tempting again.

My biggest mistake was reading the instructions in an idle moment.  To finish, I not only need to knit the second sleeve, but I also need to knit attached I-cord around the neckline/front/hem of the sweater, knit attached I-cord at each cuff, sew in ribbon in the fronts, and sew in a zipper.  Just a tad more to do, eh?  Sigh. 

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Flood News On My Mind

I poured through a slide show of 632 photos of Midwest flooding.  Names posted as sandbag workers rang familiar.  Some may be grandchildren, even great-grandchildren of people I knew.  Mostly, you recognize them as belong to Des Moines County, or Louisa County, Iowa.  And then, as I read captions, scanning for anything familiar, I saw the name of Brian Schulte in Burlington, Iowa.  I knew him in school, remember when his father was killed in a MVA (gold Mustang).  We studied with the same piano teacher.  Is that small enough a world for you? 

Many pictures of the University of Iowa in Iowa City brought memories.  Surprisingly, the picture that meant the most was not from the university, but again, from Burlington.  It was the Memorial Auditorium, surrounded by water.  The auditorium was a built as a work project in the depression.  Sitting there in the flood waters,  4 stories tall, it looks like a ship.  That reminded me that all its doors have round windows, like portholes.  Inside you could imagine you are in the performance hall of a great ship.  I attended 4-5 concerts there a year from the time I was 5 through 17 or 18.  At that point, my own concerts began to conflict too often to justify series tickets. 

Across Front street is the building that housed the Burlington Music Store.  My teacher's studio was in the basement.  My lesson was at 4 pm Saturday, so we always were the last out of the store.  Many the week I waited by myself in the entranceway of the store for Mom to pick me up.  One time, an exotic (for Iowa) site greeted me.  Here came a lady, dressed in a white western-cut dress with fringe hem.  She was wearing lipstick-red cowgirl boots, and walking a white poodle.  It was a good sized dog, not one of those fit-in-your-purse variety.  Turned out I saw Patsy Kline, who was to perform at the Memorial Auditorium that night. 

Knitting update:  now half-way up the first sleeve of Samus.  Much can be accomplished while watching TIVO'd This Old House. 

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Covered in Meezers

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Covered in Meezers

That's how I spend every morning:  a cup of coffee, my computer, and the 3 Meezers (Siamese cats) that own me.  They each have their spot of choice, and take turns being the center of attention.  Victoria, "Torie", the tortoise-point, really likes to peer at the screen herself, which makes it hard for me to see anything in the left half myself. 

OTN:  Yesterday I finished the fronts and back of my Samus cardigan, knit in Cotton Candy pink Cotton Fleece.  The cabled cuff of the first sleeve was begun, but I just wasn't focused enough for detail.  More this a.m.  Anything that I get done before Summer of Socks 2008 begins Saturday is progress…to be continued in the fall.

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