A place for me to share photos, trips and projects with my friends, mostly about knitting,kayaking, and quilting.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Farewell to My Friend

Cali left me last night. She was at home and I was with her. I buried her this morning in a cool spot right at the edge of our woods. She was a good and true friend, and I will miss her.

Last week when I brought her home from the vet, I was hopeful that maybe the tide had turned on her slow decline. She was good for a couple of days, drinking lots of water from the bowl (as opposed as an occasional sip from the faucet), and eating. Though after sampling the vast array of tempting kibble I purchased for her, she managed to convince me that she would only eat and gain weight if I gave her the canned food again. So I did. But on Monday she began to lose interest in food, and gagged and heaved at the liquid antibiotic I was shoving down her throat with a syringe. I finally listened to her request and stopped forcing anything on her.

Over the next three days she gradually quit eating, drank less water, became less steady on her feet, and began to lose control of her bladder. Last night at 11:25 she'd had enough and gave up the fight.

As all of my girls, Cali was a stray who found me. She showed up in our back yard in Florida one January when the weather was quite cold for Florida. We brought her into our utility room at night so she could stay warm with the space heater we placed there. Then one night it was going down to 19 degrees, and even the space heater wouldn't have kept that outside room warm. So we placed her in the spare bedroom. She didn't go outside again for the next 13 years! She had been spayed and declawed when I found her, and was obviously a house cat and enjoyed every minute of it.

I have so many warm memories of time shared with this special cat. The vet estimated her age at about 3 when she came to live with me, and she's been with me through so much. I was privileged to share the prime of her life, and I'm so sorry that she's gone. Still, she wasn't well and wasn't going to get well. Aged 16 is a ripe old age for a kitty, and I hope the life I provided her was as good as the love and companionship she provided me.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Parrot Socks and Other Colorful Stuff

Ta-da! Karol's socks. The Parrot colorway from Opal's Rainforest collection. Note the un-matchiness. Do you think she'll care?

Our roadside wildflower patch. We resorted to this because it's annoying to mow between the fence and the ditch, and the roadside maintenance people don't do it often enough, or neatly enough, to make much difference. So of course, before I got the signs, they did a fabulous job of mowing the patch and scraping dirt in a few places. Thus the signs, in case they show up again this summer! I ordered more seeds to sow in the bare spots they left. David and I believe this is a successful experiment. Many of the plants are annuals, so we'll be interested to see how well they reseed themselves and what the patch will look like next year.

I may not get another post done for a while. Our paddling club's annual outing begins this weekend and will last for 9 days. I'll be headed that way soon I think.

So BC asked for another chance to say "hi!"

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cali is Home

I was able to bring Cali home this afternoon. Along with some liquid antibiotic and some little pills. She drank from the water bowl for the first time in a while, which is good news. Now she's trying to con me into giving her canned cat food. But she ate kibble at the vet, and now that I know she's perfectly capable of eating kibble, I'm going to try NOT to let her persuade me to give her the canned stuff again (she's very persuasive). She needs to gain some weight, though. So if she hasn't eaten kibble by tomorrow, it's off to the store to buy some small bags of other stuff to try. All the girls loved the Kitten Chow that I used when BC was a baby, so perhaps some of that will tempt Cali.

I'm hoping to take my kayak out for some roll practice tomorrow morning. David is away for the weekend, and I really just want to mess around with some different ideas right now, so I don't need him there. In spite of the severe thunderstorms that passed through earlier, I don't expect the water at Leatherwood Ford (on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River) to be more than a pool, so if I should need to come out of my boat, it will be easy to swim to shore or shallow water.

I finished Karol's first sock, but I'm going to save the photo for a PAIR! Right now I have 3 socks completed, all needing mates. Soooo, back to the socks!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Slow Going

No knitting pictures. The yellow toe-up Koigu is kicking my behind. Well, the toe of the second sock is. Can't figure out why - it's not rocket science and I executed the same toe and a heel on the first sock. Anyone who can see clearly and/or count should be able to do it. But it's beat me twice now. I think after David leaves for his weekend tomorrow, I will take said yarn and sock instructions to the basement, where nothing and no one (that means cats) will distract me until the second toe is DONE!

I have been making progress on socks for my friend Karol. Opal Rainforest Parrot. I was kinda lukewarm about this yarn for a while, but it's grown on me. I'll show you when they're done.

This little lady is at the vet. They believe she has pancreatitis. Sounds bad, but for a 16-year old cat, her prognosis is pretty good. I was expecting kidney failure or cancer or something awful. At least pancreatitis is treatable. Apparently she was feeling much better this morning. I'll know more on Friday, when hopefully new blood work will show improvement and I can bring Miss Cali home.

On a lighter note, even if I don't have knitting progress to show, I have some crazy new baggies and I even wore them to Knoxville to the dentist today. Baggies are my favorite summer long pants, and the fact that they don't rub and irritate my knee injury is a big plus. Aren't they lovely with the black Crocs?? You know, Crocs are so ugly; but they're so comfortable I have 3 pair: yard pair, camping pair (the black ones), and "dress" pair (navy to go with my jeans).

Last photo for today - I managed to get a shot of Summer, aka "The Grouch." She's probably wondering where Cali is (as are Baby Kitty and BC), but she's not complaining about having one less cat to deal with.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


As in plural, a pair. The "Harlot" Koigu socks are finished. I love them.

The Lisa Souza Petal Lace - one sock done. As expected, it's a bit snug. I got 9.5 stitches and 12.5 rows per inch on these with my trusty #1.5 Crystal Palace bamboo double points. I like this density. I love this yarn - it's Sock! Merino. So I'm going to knit the second sock, then do the pattern again with some slight modifications.

By the way, check out how much yarn I still have left after one sock. There is some serious yardage on these skeins (560 yards)!

We're off in the morning for 3 days at the Ocoee. I'll have the knitting bag and another sock in process.

BC suggested I sign off with a picture of her - she's such a ham!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Boys n the Tub

Scott invited us to spend the night at his place after paddling on Saturday. Rather decadent. Karol had already showered, so passed on the hot tub, and I chose to keep my knee boo-boo dry. So the guys didn't have to rotate or share. Can you tell they were hating it?

Left to right, David, Scott and Don.

Karol, quite the cook and kitchen maven, got her kicks a bit later using the electric, lighted pepper grinder!

Rene asked if I take my knitting on paddling trips. So here I am, knitting the second "Harlot" Koigu sock in front of our tent. My normal mornings begin with coffee and knitting. Camping mornings are often the same. I seldom go anywhere without my knitting bag, though usually the traveling projects are my generic favorite socks.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Learning New Stuff

Toe-up socks! With short row shaping, no less. Why? Because this is Koigu left over from a scarf. I have enough for socks, but not two full skeins and I'm not sure how far it will go. The situation calls for toe-up socks, so I must learn to make them. So far, so good.

I'm using this book (even though she uses Magic Loop and I'm using 2 circulars). These are the first short row directions for sock shaping where I've understood exactly what I need to do, and the first ones I've made that didn't have eyelets or some funky "ugly" shaping line. The ugly, of course, resulting from my poor execution of and/or failure to understand instructions. I think I will like this method. The other Koigu sock (my usual method) is in process, but it's on reserve for this weekend when I will likely need lots of mindless knitting, and my usual sock method provides plenty of that.

Knitting back backwards. Why? Because I want to make this sweater, and the pattern uses back and forth knitting for a couple of small portions. Because I hate purling in stranded color work, and while other options are available, knitting back backwards seems like a good way to go. I also realized that I could probably use this technique soon on the Mara vest. So far my tension seems to be off only on the left hand carry backwards. Left and right forward, and right backwards look pretty much the same. The bigger stitches in the swatch are from the left backwards rows. Gotta practice.

Multidirectional diamond panel scarf. Why? Practice for multidirectional diamond panel vest, from Modular Knits, which uses nicer yarn. Knitting this way is kind of like eating potato chips. And the practice has helped me learn: when the pattern says loosely cast on, it means LOOSELY; that the SKP called for in the pattern works better here than my usual and habitual SSK; that wool is a good choice because it should block well.

(Addendum: I acutally wrote this last week but didn't get it edited. My normal sock mode Koigu sock is ready for the mindless foot portion. I'm about to make my evening coffee, put on the headphones and knit while I listen to a Recorded Book.)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Projects du Jour

Yesterday's projects du jour had nothing to do with knitting, so it must be the "other k." There are my new sun protectors, copied shamelessly from my older pair. I decided I need spares in case I misplace them during hectic shuttles and gear transfers. They protect my hands from the sun while I'm paddling, but the palms are open so I can still feel the shaft of my paddle. They're a nylon coated neoprene. I tried several needles before getting one that would work without causing skipped stitches - I used a #90 stretch.

And this lovely fashion statement is my new summer changing robe/towel. Wal-Mart special super sized beach towel, folded in half with a hole cut for the neck. Now I can dry off and remain discreetly covered when I'm forced to change clothes in public by the side of the river. My winter fleece one is just too hot for this time of year.

And now, I've packed my socks and we're off to the Ocoee for a couple of days, then to meet up with friends for further paddling adventures on Saturday.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Koigu Sock

A finished piece of knitting - but can I really count it, since it's only one? As soon as I'm done here, I will immediately cast on the second Koigu sock in order to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome. I LOVE Koigu for socks! I confirmed with this sock that my standard gauge has changed, and I now need 64 stitches for my standard, plain ole, favorite sock, rather than 60. These are knitted at 8.5 stitches per inch on Crystal Palace bamboo double points #1.5 (2.5 mm). My favorite needles. I also confirmed that I can get a pair of socks for myself with two skeins of Koigu, but you see how much I have left from one skein. This won't do for David, or any of my friends who have larger feet than me. Unless they want a shorter cuff. I like mine 7.5" and ribbed through the cuff and down the top of the foot.

I also have this lovely Petal Lace sock from Lisa Souza ready to zoom down the foot. These are going to be a bit snug on me, but I will decide how I'd change the pattern once I'm done. The cuff is knitted on 56 stitches, with the foot increasing to 60. I love her yarn - it's a light and soft merino. There's more waiting for me when I'm done (Koigu is small skeins on the right - Lisa Souza is large skeins on the left).

I have a new blocking tool! Given that the body of "Bardot" took about 5 days to dry out in my basement, I am very pleased with the new addition. With the fan ($14 at my new, local Super Wal-Mart), the sleeves dried in less than 2. I'd love to start sewing today - but I'll have to see how my left hand is working. It's still not 100% after my tiny little out-of-boat experience while kayaking almost 2 weeks ago.

Off to cast on that second Koigu!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Roses and Geese

Despite some pesky pests that I'm trouble-shooting, the roses have arrived and they're beautiful. I mentioned last year to David that I would like "a rose bush" since he said he knew how to take care of them. He planted 21 for me, and built the raised beds for them too!

Several varieties, but the big red one here is one of David's favorites, Mr. Lincoln.

I finished the flying geese units for my wall hanging! I started with these:

And now I have these:

And my back hurts, so no more work on the wall hanging today. Back to knitting, where I'm tinking a bit on a sock. More knitting progress reports later, but nothing really new right now.