Finishing Friday

My Meezer Ulmus came off the needles last night, and was blocked in short order.  It was just the right size to use the diagonal of one panel of my blocking board as its long edge.  Then it was a simple matter to pull each point out to the sides of the board and pin them…no measurements required.  With the Ulmus pinned to just one panel I was able to pick it up and take it out to rest on the drying rack in the garage, free from Meezer wallowing.

This morning I pulled the pins, and was very pleased with the final results. 

The slip stitch pattern takes on a more subtle color blend after bloccking. Pre-blocking it reminded me of a woven fabric I had seen at a woolen mill in Wales. 

No photo shoot in this house is complete without Meezer intervention. “But Meowmy, you said it was a Meezer Ulmus!”  So I did, Torrie.

A cautionary tale

No, I haven’t finished the second sock.  The usual excuse would be “the dog ate my homework”.  Yet you know well, dear friends, that no canines reside here, just Meezers.  I’ll fess up to my error, in hopes that you  won’t have the same mishap.

Last night I had gotten past the gusset of the second sock while I enjoyed Antiques Roadshow.  I was feeling a bit sorry for myself  because I was clearly coming down with a cold (thanks so much to the coughing and sneezing relative waiting in the surgery waiting room…it’s just what I wanted!).   I decided a low-fat Pop Tart was just the ticket for making me feel better.  It was toasted without burning, and removed to a plate with my bamboo toast tongs.  Ah, then I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  I decided it needed to be nudged further onto the plate, and touched the far edge of it gently with my fingertip.  Youch!  The hot jam had bubbled out, and I burnt my right index fingerprint!  Even with the prompt application of ice I have a second-degree burn (a 1/4″ diameter blister).  Now I understand what they meant on those Food Network competitions when someone burned themselves on hot sugar making a sugar show piece.  No more knitting for me for a day or two. As Eeyore would say, “Don’t mind me”;  I’ll just sulk over here in the corner with my tissue box.

At least I can show you how the repeat is coming out.  It amuses me that I even care whether or not these socks are identical.  Usually I don’t bother; it’s the challenge, I guess.  As you can see they are very close.  The first sock has a few short rows of white and black tweedy on the tip of the heel, but the second sock goes right to grey.  That makes for one less round of grey around the whole sock when the gusset is picked up.  I’ll always be able to tell them apart, but no one else will notice, I think.

The first sock finished with a repeat of the pink and grey tweed that started its heel flap.  I wound off the white/black tweed print to equal the rest of the heel flap, and there I was at the light grey to start the second cuff.  That wasn’t bad at all.  Oh, and of course, that’s Torrie arriving in the picture…”sorry I’m late for the photo shoot, Meowmy!”

Much Ado about a finished object

Yesterday was very productive, and I was able to Kitchener the toe of the second Rib Fantastic sock yesterday.  ( I must confess, the name just hasn’t caught on in my mind.  I just had to open another window and log in to my Ravelry projects page to look up the name of the pattern.  Sheesh!) 

The second sock went much faster than the first.  I finally focused on the pattern, and it’s really not difficult, once I got my  attention off BBC America’s Cash in the Attic.  The directions called for a three-way distribution of stitches on DP’s, which I did for the cuff of the first sock.  I got rebellious around the time of the knitting of the gusset, and went to two Knit Picks circulars, which made all the difference in speed.  Now, I must confess that having the pattern divided into three made sense with the pattern repeats, so for the second sock I put one third on the first circular, and two thirds on the second circular, with a stitch marker between the second and third parts.  It worked like a charm.

Today is forcasted to have bumpy weather, with some thunderstorms being severe.  The photo shoot needed to be an early priority, and I was so pleased with myself that I was able to set up without attracting Casper’s supervisory attention.  The sock pictures are taken on my sewing desk, which sits at the side of a north window.  I get wonderful light by pulling the lace curtain away, draping it over my shoulder.  Socks were arranged, the picture framed, and Victoria arrived in the picture just as I clicked the shutter.  Not a cute picture of Torrie, no, just her furry flank obscuring the socks.  Drat!  Three tries later, with the same result, I decided to take a picture of Torrie without the socks.  After satisfying our diva that she was the center of attention I was able to then capture the picture of my finished socks.

Universal Kitty Nap Time

Everyone knows about time zones, and daylight savings time.  But do you know about Universal Kitty Nap Time (U.K.N.T.)?  I was first told about this phenomenon by Grandmeowmy, the director of Texas Siamese Rescue.  She observed that there was a point, mid-day, at which no kitty could keep their eyes open. Every cat at the Texas rescue ranch would be zonked out!  This knowledge can be very useful if you need to find or catch your kitty, say for a veterinarian appointment.

One of my all-time favorite books is All My Patients are Under the Bed, by Dr. Louis Camuti.  Dr. Camuti writes of his life as a house-call making New York City veterinarian.  All of his cat patients take refuge under beds when he arrives.  Having read this entertaining book, I always make our cats’ annual appointments for U.K.N.T.

U.K.N.T. is also useful for snapping pictures of camera-shy felines. I know I will find Torrie napping in the cat tower, and so she was.

One picture was tolerated with good grace. The second picture elicited a protest,

but by the third picture, U.K.N.T. was irresistible once more.  It’s a tough life, but someone has to do it!

What a difference a day makes!

We actually ate at a restaurant last night.  Now, admittedly, they had a limited menu, but, hey, they were open !  While we were eating, our son-in-law tried calling his home phone.  When his answering machine spoke to him, he knew his power had come back on.  Our daughter, son-in-law, grandson, two grandcats in carriers, and their stuff (including his computer) crammed back into their car and headed home.  The two-year-old had been saying “go home” for several days, so we know he must be relieved to be back with his things.

The saga of the cats and travel is not as happy.  Each cat travels in its own carrier.  One always is a nervous-Nelly about car travel, and must be bathed when he arrives, and his carrier must be washed, too.  On this trip, both cats “lost it”.  Our son-in-law was able to bathe the habitual offender, but cat #2 was having none of it.  This fellow is the size of a beagle, and is used to having his own way.  Finally, s-i-l got a sufficient quantity of water in the bathtub, dropped the cat in, and proceeded to play goalie.  After three intercepts, the cat lost all patience and sank his teeth into s-i-l’s outstretched arm!  You know, it’s not nice to laugh on the phone when someone calls you for first-aide advice!

Torrie says “I was watching out the window to make sure they left!”

Torrie, our Warrior Princess

This is Torrie, our warrior princess. I’ve previously shown you her supervising my knitting in the evening. In the daytime, she is in charge of much more, including defending the homestead. Torrie is a gymnast, able to hang from the cat tree and sharpen her claws at the same time. She is both fit and fearless.

As part of the adoption agreement with Siamese Rescue, our cats are to be indoor cats only. (That would be our personal preference, too.) Sometimes we can see a hawk circling over the lake, and I say “See, Torrie? That’s why you’re an indoors cat.” DH adds “That poor hawk wouldn’t know what he was getting a hold of!”

Well, with that background knowledge, look at what caught Torrie’s eye at the living room window. That’s a gecko, and they are fairly common in Louisiana. When he moves just a slight bit, he catches Torrie’s eye, and she dashes to the window, chattering and muttering and pawing the glass. Mr. gecko should be glad she’s an indoor warrior princess!

On a personal note, I’m spending much of my time at the hospital with DH. He was admitted with diverticulitis two days ago. There is talk of surgery after the antibiotics do their work, but no decision has been finalized. Keep us in your prayers, please.

Update:  he will have surgery Thursday (the surgeon’s preference) or Friday.