I had what seemed like a bunch of yarn left over from Althea’s baby blanket that I vaguely remember making in the first month of her birth, and I decided it would be a lovely little colourful sweater.  That part is true.  I had enough yarn it turns out for the yoke of the sweater, and had to purchase 3 more skeins to finish it off.  I keep using this pattern for baby sweaters as it is simple, and resizable based on yarn choice.  When you use worsted and add some length to the arms and torso you get a sweater that still fits my (almost) 1 year old. 

The many different colours in the body of the sweater are due to the fact that every time I went back to get say, another light pink, there were no more left.  Therefore the arms became dark pink.  Very colourful my daughter.  The trade off is that it goes with many of her outfits now, just not the red ones. 

There is however a serious design flaw, one that means we have to be very careful with this sweater, and that it needs to be guarded and watched almost at all times.  Can you spot it?  Look closely.  Here is a front view, maybe that will help:

It’s those cute wooden buttons.  I had assumd they would be poplar, or aspen, or some other harmless wood, but they seem to be made of catnip trees.  Both my cats are ga ga over these buttons, and will seek out this sweater, and try and gnaw the buttons off.  Jack has already pulled out numerous threads from the front (without the baby in it) as he uses all four paws in an attempt to rip the buttons off and eat/roll/collect them.  I have a spare button in my notions case that they will now seek out as well and attack.  Cats are crazy yo.

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And as always chez Knittingwater I decorate with a black cat:

Jack chasing snowflakes

Here is the scary black cat monster Jack chasing snowflakes through the glass window.  I tell ya, anything that moves get chased in my house.  Each morning one of them goes after the water drops flowing down the shower door and is surprised once again they don’t catch anything.  As a side note, I was surprised to read somewhere that black cats do not get adopted as often as other cats.  I think I’m surprised as my family has had a long line of really excellent black cats from Brandy, Bourbon, Bart (guess which cat the kids named!!) and now little Jackie.  (Black Jack Shelac is his formal name).  All of these cats have been wonderful pets, even though I don’t remember Brandy very much. 

Today has been a day of planning and implementation for me, and I’m feeling rather accomplished.  I’ve got my Christmas knitting list made, and patterns together for most people.  I’m organized for when I need to buy the materials for some of the presents, I have a Plan with a capital P.  (Mr. J has taken to calling me PLAnne which seems rather appropriate as I love planning things).  I was sitting on the fence about a few things like having a Christmas party (what if no one comes!!) and whether or not I should get a table at my neighbourhood craft sale (what if no one buys anything).  But after giving myself a good talking to that involves wisdom such as “you won’t know unless you try” , “if no one comes you can drink a cocktail and have a cookie by yourself and that will be fun”, and “you at least can sit at the sale and knit and meet your neighbours”, I’ve gone ahead with both plans.  I think this also means I’m feeling much better and am over my cold/flu and ready to take on the world again (rawr). 

I hope you have a good weekend, and be careful not to get any bad luck today!  I recommend cuddling a black kitty (and a tabby one if you have that as well) to compensate.

Snowy Saturday Morning

October 26, 2009

It seems a bit early to be on our second snowfall this year, but Saturday morning we had another couple of inches of fluffy snow.  It was just rain at 6:30 am, and switched to snow around 8 am.  If you are wondering how I know, its because I left the house at 6:30 am to go skating, drove across town, sat for 15 minutes being pretty sure it must have been cancelled as there were no other women in tiny skirts there, and then drove home.  I then checked my e-mail and got the cancellation notice, but in a first for me, did not go back to nap some more but made coffee and adjourned to my office to listen to pod casts and as it turns out, watch the snow fall.  Around lunch time I decided it would be a hoot to let the cats out, as there are fewer things funnier than cats in a snow storm.  Piper looked absolutely offended that she was getting wet, and could not figure out where is was coming from.  Jack stuck to the dry parts for a little bit, then in boy fashion took off through the now 3 inches of snow for some fun.

Jack Outside

He was squawking away the whole time, having a grand old time.  Eventually they both came inside, and poor Jack’s belly was loaded up with snow.  We either need less snow, or he needs longer legs.

Snowy Jack

Not to worry however, the temperature was pretty moderate outside, and afterwards we all curled up by the fireplace.  Some kitties were even treated to extra snuggles by their favorite guy:

Piper and Julian snuggling

It is after all, a cat’s life.

A Jack's Life

The cats have been having tons of adventures lately in the backyard!  They’ve been teasing the neighbours dog through the fence, hiding in the grass, running at top speed from one end to the other, and I can safely report that the bug population is down by about 6 or 8 unfortunates.  They have also been staying inside the yard, which is very good.  And the end result is as pictures above: tired kitties happy from their day. 

This post was to be adventures in natural yarn dying until I forgot my camera this morning, so we’ll have that adventure tomorrow!

Hunting for Robins

June 1, 2009

In the backyard that is, good for the robins the two great hunters are still behind a screen window:

Hunting kitties

But not for long as the fence is due to be finished off this week.  The two sides of my yard are fenced thanks to the neighbours, so all I have to do is replace the chain link fence at the end with a lovely 6 foot fence that should keep the great hunters close to home.  I don’t want them roaming the neighbourhood due to cars, coyotes, giant killer rabbits etc.  (We have HUGE jackrabbits in our neighbourhood, which are really, really, cute until you remember reading Watership down, and seeing the movie at a young impressionable age, and then you get really scared.  Rabbits are bloodthirsty!!).  Its tons of fun to watch the kitties making their hunting noises, and wiggling their butts around in their pre-pouncing dance as the robins trip in front of them in their carefree innocence.  Little do they know the danger that lurks just above…  Once the cats can go out in the yard then I’ll get to watch them chase bugs, each other, and anything else that moves.  We can’t wait!

Yesterday, March 29 at approximately 4 pm, Jack and I saw our first robins, two of them in the tree out front.  I was very excited, Jack was excited, but differently I suspect.  He was almost salivating!  I felt very sorry for them as the ground that might contain tasty worms is currently covered in 3 feet of snow, more where shovels have piled it up.  The neighbourhood kids have been busy piling it up more and building snowforts here and there.  However, spring and melting snow can’t be far behind robins!

The CBC redeemed itself by playing over 4 hours of figure skating on Saturday, and showing a lot of the womens final on Sunday.  I got to see the skate that won Patrick Chan his silver, and the barely there bronze of the Canadian dance pair.  And most importantly, a Canadian lady was on the podium at World’s for the first time in over 20 years!  It was very exciting when Joannie skated well, and won the silver.  We had a great weekend by the fire knitting and watching:

cosy-watching-figure-skating

Piper in her basket, and Jack in his chair, snug and warm by the fire.  Rounding out the weekend was some salsa dancing, some grooving to Reggaton, which I absolutely love, and even dancing a jig or two to live Celtic music.

For the fifth year in a row now!  Normally I try and be in southern Utah around my birthday, and I’m two weeks late this year, but at least I am going.  We are attending the Moab Skinny Tire Festival (www.skinnytirefestival.com) this weekend, and for our contribution to cancer research we both chose the Huntsman Institute in Salt Lake City, simply because we know it is a good place who employs some of my friends who do great work there.  Whenever I rode with Gigi and Stormy behind the Huntsman Center we would stop and wave at all the patients, who were friends of my friends. 

It is currently twenty degrees Celsius warmer in Moab than in Calgary, and we brought our shorts and sandals.  We are going to uphold the tradition of vacationing Canadians wandering around in our summer clothes, whilst everyone else is wearing jackets and hats.  We will mention how nice the weather is, how strong the sun, as the natives shiver.  Oh yeah!  We’re all packed up, and most importantly (well secondly important after the biking gear I guess) is my travel knitting:

travel-knitting

If it wasn’t for the back-up skein of sock yarn in “Desert Rocks” I would be awfully colour coordinated now wouldn’t I?  Sometimes its only when you pile your knitting projects one on the other that you realize they all go lovely together.  This means:

1) I am very coordinated, and even my projects match

2) I make way too many blue things and should shake it up now and then.  Which is perhaps why the red sock yarn is there, except I threw that in to match the rocks in Moab. 

3) I over think things, and should let it all just flllooooow! 

I will miss my kitties of course, who should be well looked after by their sitter.  How could you not love this face:

jackie-yawning

Posting will be sporadic and people like parents shouldn’t worry.  If I damage anything on my person I’ll be sure to call you right away!  When I get some good pics I’ll be sure to put them up. 

Red Rocks here we come!!!!

We have a very good view of the new skylight they are building over the downtown mall here in Calgary:

new-skylight

You can see the old, obviously too small skylight that will eventually be removed when the new one is ready to go.  I’m afraid I don’t understand the marketing behind this construction, and why someone signed off on tearing up a perfectly good mall to put this in.  I just don’t know how its going to inspire more people to go into downtown Calgary to shop.  Now I’ve seen the “World’s Largest Fountain (Singapore)”, the “World’s Largest Mall (again Singapore)”, and even the “World’s Largest Indoor Manmade Waterfall (Hong Kong)”.  Am I just jaded with all these other wonders I have seen?  Am I too cynical to shop under the “World’s Largest Skylight”.  Was I naive as I also shopped under the old, obviously now too small skylight?  What do you think?  I do think its kind of cool however, especially how they are constructing it.

I am finally starting to come out of my extended grumpiness that began last weekend.  Believe it or not the grumpiness was brought on by the fact that we’re leaving for Moab Utah tomorrow after work.  Stressed by work I haven’t done, projects undone, the fact that everything always explodes while you are gone, and how horrible things seem when you get back to work due to the aforementioned explosion.  Now that I’m almost packed, have done some damage control on projects, I’m starting to get excited about going.  We’ve been trying to train for the bike rides, and my bike and I are so, so excited to get out of my living room for awhile.  I know its going to be some painful rides, long, and made worse by my out of shapness, but its going to hurt good.  I know there are other people out there who love that achy body feeling brought on by a really good work out.  Right?  Piper has recently emerged as my personal coach extraordinare:

piper-in-training

“Get ur bootee back on this bike young lady!”  Yes ma’am!  I’m planning to make it to Blazing Needles on Thursday March 19, and hopefully breakfast at Silver Lake Lodge on Saturday March 21 before we leave for home.  (Mental note to bring chains for the car.)  I hope I get to see some of my friends in Salt Lake!  I have also decided to break the yarn diet, but only for local stuff I can’t get anywhere else!!  Desert Threads in Moab, Sleeping Dragon in SLC, I’m coming for you!  Yeehaw!  One more day to go!

personal-trainer-jack
And is very involved in my training!  Whenever I get the bike out for a living room spin, he is right there, demanding that I pet him and ride at the same time.  Doing both must burn more calories, he has my best interest in mind of course.  When I start my sit-up’s he sits on my chest (I still have to keep patting him) in order to make it harder for me, and improve my work out.  When I do push-ups he walks under me so that I have to bury my nose in his fur, which must help my technique.  He is such a great help!

Have a good weekend everyone!  Bundle up!

Revelling In Winter

December 29, 2008

Now that it has warmed up enough for one to get outside without bits falling off:

skiing-at-the-nordic-center

Its been a lovely -10 oC lately, which is making all of us run around saying things such as “This isn’t so bad, I think I’ll go for a walk and enjoy the fresh air”.  And some of us went out to Canmore to go cross country skiing for the first time this year.  I would like to thank Mr. Stranger with the Canada jacket for getting into the photograph, he certainly adds a bit of patriotic fervor to it. 

And to further celebrate my first cross country ski of the year I’m currently sacked out on the couch in my pink reindeer fleece pj’s, hoping it doesn’t hurt too much when I wake up tomorrow.  I’m knitting furiously trying to reach my goal of 50% completion of my 2008 knitting list.  I’ve also made a chart for my yarn diet.  I like charts.  Its all ready for red checkmarks when I get stuff done, Yippee!

Jack and Piper survived the vet today, poor little guys.  Piper spent almost the whole time on the table with her face buried between my arm and body.  I guess she felt safer there.  She also fought hard, and apparantly will fight to the death to avoid having her toes clipped.  The next step would have been sedation, at which point I declared “I’ll buy a cheap couch”.  Poor little stubborn kitty.  Jack had his claws clipped but his little paws shook the whole time.  Don’t worry, they have completely recovered their normal panache like nothing every happened.  Just more cuddling today. 

Still hate food.