Archie, aka The Big Moose

I mentioned a few days ago that Archie is getting to be a big moose!  Here he is by the dining room chair legs, for scale.  Of course, he’s still growing! He’s so long-legged that he can put his arm down in an iced tea glass and touch the inside bottom to feel what’s there.  (Yes, he does that.  Guard your glass!)

Tuesday was Casper, our flame point meezer’s annual vet check-up.  DH was preparing to walk him over, as Casper is bonded to DH.  (Nothing like Daddy for comfort when they’re poking and prodding a fellow.)  First, Archie climbed into the basket under the stroller.  By the time I could grab the camera, he was out again, alarmed for Casper.  “Hang on, Casper, I’ll get that zipper open!”

DH reported that Casper survived his annual check-up with good graces.  Since he is an inside cat only, he had plenty of commentary on the scents and sights during the walk over.

Playing with fabric

DH and I had errands to run in Baton Rouge today.  After a fine seafood lunch he was in a mellow mood, and agreed that I could spend some time in a quilt shop.  He had his current book along, and a shady parking place promised good reading time.

Inspired by a Laura Ashley blue/yellow colorway, I chose these 14 fabrics.  They will become this pieced jacket. The service in the store was fabulous, and I had a really good time finding the fabric combinations for the mood I had in mind.

After shopping there, I was musing with DH about the wonderful shopping experience I had enjoyed.  Another quilt shop had opened at about the same time as this one; the owner was cranky and snappish, and the shop closed over a year ago.  Ironically, the failed shop was only a couple of miles from my house.  It wasn’t worth traveling even two miles!  DH wondered why people like that buy quilt/yarn/whatever stores that are primarily people service ventures.  They obviously don’t like to deal with customers.

You do understand that no photo shoot happens in my studio without the assistance of the Meezers.  Casper was on duty today. If he had his way, I would have shown you three Casper pictures.  Sorry, boy, you’ve been cropped!

Slogging through knitting

I haven’t written much lately, because I have become a knitting machine.  Last fall I showed you these washcloths and soaps, which were friendship gifts for Eastern Star grand chapters (state meetings) I would be attending.  All of those have been given away, and it’s time for Louisiana’s grand chapter, my home state.  I have 17 soap bars left; as of today, I have 14.5 washcloths knitted.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I want to knit something else.  However, between here and the end of March I also have to make a gown for our DD, prepare music for three church services, as well as for that grand chapter (I’m the grand organist this year),  and in general plan a bit.  There just aren’t days to goof off.  le sigh. Oh, how I look forward to playing with wool, or alpaca, or any of the knitting delights that wait for me when I have completed my obligations!

The sun did come out yesterday, and Casper and Victoria took the opportunity to enjoy it together (something they seldom do…she’s too bossy.)  It looked inviting!

Weekend of Progress

It’s been a weekend of progress.  (Those of you who are Disney fans may have toured the Carousel of Progress.  I know we have, many times!  I feel like we should be singing the theme song as we “move on” to the next vignette. “There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow, waiting at the end of every day.”)

First on the list was progress on the Secret of the Stole III. I’ve been over a week behind, ever since DH’s surgery and hurricane Gustov arrived the same week.  Saturday I finished clue 4, colored the graph for clue 5, and actually knit the first 8 rows of 5.

After I finished the Paprika Bells & Whistles Socks and the Crystals, Combs, and Cables Socks (hold the crystals), it was time to –say it all together now, boys and girls — cast on more socks.  This summer I had searched high and low across the net for a skein of Fleece Artist Merino in Rose Garden.  Last year I knit a Caravan Robe in Rose Garden from Fiddlesticks Knits, and here was a sock colorway to match! Now I don’t recall my original pattern plans, but it looked awful in the yarn.  Rose Garden went back to the end of the line, but kept calling to me from that distant vantage point.  Now was its time, and Spring Forward Socks turned out to be an excellent vehicle for the yarn.  Here I’ve made it to the gusset decreases on the first sock.  I need to finish this pair in September, before the October brown sock KAL begins in the Solid Sock group on Ravelry.

As I was editing my pictures, I heard a drawer open. Caught you, Casper!  Breaking and entering!

Casper denies all charges! I ask you, is that an innocent face? ‘Course not!

’twas a dark and stormy night…

Have you noticed a correlation between finishing a knitting project, needing to take a picture, and stormy weather?  I believe finished objects could replace the traditional rain dance as drought-busters! It’s not that the rainy weather inspires me to stay inside and knit–I stay inside mostly, anyway.  Yesterday I was so close to finishing the socks I was working on as the cold front came closer and closer.  Finally, around 7 pm, I finished my second sock, accompanied by pouring rain on the lake.

Without further ado (why do we say that?) I give you Paprika Bells & Whistles Socks. Oh, shoot, that’s Paprika Bells & Whistles & Casper.  Casper believes he is the designated Master of Ceremonies, and, as such, must supervise all photo shoots.  Well, the Knitting Contessa has knitting brides, perhaps Casper belongs in all finished object shots.  Here is the beauty shot, then, sans Casper. 

They are knit with Araucania Ranco solid, color 105, Paprika.

The pattern is Bells & Whistles Socks by Mona Schmidt, as published in Interweave Knits Holiday 2006.  They are my entry for the September Solid Sock KAL, which is orange socks. Yes, I will be washing them separately for quite some time.

Happy dance, happy dance!

What I go through for you!

There I was, in Louisiana, in the August sun, smiling for the camera. No problem, you say? Take a look: there I was, in long sleeves and my Striped Modular Vest, trying to look as pleased as I will be when it will be winter and I will be grateful for a Merino vest! Meanwhile, I am back in the house, back in my shorts, but still doing a FO happy dance.

It was difficult to keep the Meezers off the vest while it dried. They seem to think that something as cozy as a good wool knit garment was meant for their comfort. I love them, but not that much.

I have posted pictures of the two girls, but not much of Casper, DH’s cat. He fancies himself to be a computer supervisor and a paperweight. In fact, Casper will sit on anything that is spread out ceremoniously. You can see him officiating over pictures on several of my Ravelry projects.

Here is the Casper view I have from my keyboard: Casper acting as paperweight for a sewing notions catalog. He doesn’t realize it was left there as a decoy for his attention. As long as he has something to sit on, he pretty much ignores other pieces of paper. And yes, he does know he is that handsome!

A weekend of knitterly surprises!

Last time I wrote about the happy ending with the OnLine yarn and the mother of the bride who needed to knit just one more pedicure sock.  I happily sent my yarn remnant off to Texas, and thought that was the end of the story.  Low and behold (who says that anymore?!) Saturday's post brought a package from Texas, with two skeins of Schoeller and Stahl Limbo yarn.  It's oh-so-soft and woolly.  Now, I'd not knit in DK weight before, mainly because my feet are wide.  I've always thought I needed all the ease I could get, and knit only with fingering weight.  But this yarn called to me,    

and after all, it was a gift.  So I did the knitterly thing and scanned all the projects on Ravelry first, just to reassure myself that a pair of socks could be knit from two skeins of this yarn…then I cast on. 

I must tell you that this is the plushest, most comforting wool I've worn.  And yes, the sock does fit nicely in my Birkenstocks.  This will certainly be a fall/winter pair of socks for Louisiana, and I can hardly wait to wear them.  Many thanks to Robin S, aka mother of the bride, for the yarn.  It wasn't expected, but it certainly is appreciated.

I have another pair of socks done, which I will post in the next two-week period of Summer of Socks.  The pattern is called Brigit (unfortunately, the link for the pattern no longer works, so I can't send you there.)   They

are knit
with Shibuiknits in Jonquil from the Loopy Ewe (, on #1 circulars.  I believe these are the most complicated socks I have ever knit, and I am exceedingly proud of them. 

But wait!  (as the infomercials say).  This morning I opened my email to find that I had won the blogversary contest  at
Happy dance following my finished object dance!  I just love anticipating packages in the mail!  Pictures will follow upon arrival. 

Casper, waiting for his attention on my sewing table.  He would like you to notice how handsome he looks beside the lace curtain. 

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Tell them about me, Meowmy!

"You haven't introduced me!"

Oh, alright.  This is Casper, the third meezer in the "Texas Pride", DH's cat.  He is a Flame Point, although perhaps hard to see that aspect in this photo.  Flame Points have an orange tinge where meezers are darker, and are white elsewhere.  As you can see in my icon, he has beautiful ice-blue eyes. Casper fancies himself to be a paperweight, and extends that duty to sitting on all knitwear that is being blocked or photographed.

As you might expect, Casper is from Texas Siamese
Rescue.  We actually went over to Denton, Texas expecting to bring home a Tonkinese male to complete our family.  However, he had health issues, and the search was on for the right cat.  I felt like one of the Prince's servants, carrying a glass slipper on a pillow from house to house, looking for the perfect fit. 

DH and I entered one room where he was immediately greeted by a Russian Blue cat.  This was good – I'm the "cat person", and if a cat really likes DH, all the better.  Not good…the Russian hated me…he was a man's cat, only.  Le sigh.  The search continued. 

GrandMeowmy (the director of Texas Siamese Rescue) has the patience of a saint.  I believe we made the acquaintance of all the cats there.  She knew who had to be an "only cat", who was dominant, passive, shy, aggressive.   When  a cat tried, but  didn't work for us, she told it "You did a good job, you showed really well, this just isn't your family."  That breaks my heart even today! 

GrandMeowmy pulled Casper out from his hiding place under a chair that was draped with a towel.  Casper (the friendly ghost) specialized in being there without being seen.  He was an agreeable fellow, equally accepting of both DH and me.  GrandMeowmy explained that flame points were created by crossing Siamese with Red Tabby, who are known for their marvelous disposition.  Most flame points are males.  "He's the real thing" she said.  All this time Casper was being held by DH, and getting comfy there.  It was felt that he would get along with Torie, our "warrior princess" and The Lady Minky.  The glass slipper fit:  we had found our boy cat. 

Casper received less than a royal welcome in Louisiana.  After an isolation period behind closed door (with much muttering on both sides) the door was casually left open.  Torie spend the next two weeks spitting and hissing at Casper.  Casper would look at her over his shoulder, "You have a problem?"  and walk on.  Over time they have developed roles, territories, and household duties.  Torie is in charge, and still bullies Casper a bit, but they seem to enjoy chasing each other.

The ghostly aspect of Casper seems to be a real talent.  If you look beyond Casper in the picture you can see we have hardwood floors, white woodwork, and golden beige walls…Casper colors.  He can disappear anywhere in this house.  We know he is chuckling at us in plain sight, yet we search and search for him. 

Tomorrow:  "Casper the paw"

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