On the Road

When last I wrote, Tiger was about to start radiation therapy. I expected the weeks of radiation to be difficult for all involved, and for things to get easier after. While the radiation was challenging, Tiger came through with flying colors and I thought the hard part was behind us. I was wrong.

Tiger caught a cold. Then our other cat, Puck, started having health issues. Within a week, I thought we would lose both cats. Over the last month, I’ve spent many nights sleeping on the couch so I could provide medicine and food at all hours of the night, without disturbing Chris’s sleep. Tiger recovered and is doing fabulously. Puck passed over the rainbow bridge sometime last night. I will write a more detailed post about all of this, along with a slideshow tribute to Puck, in a couple weeks.

Driving and More Driving
Months before the cats got sick, I had planned an epic trip. I embarked on that trip this past Tuesday. The first leg of the trip was a 14.5 hour drive from Orlando to Greencastle, Indiana to visit my friend Stacy and attend The Fiber Event. My plan was to leave at 6:00 am, so that I could drive through Atlanta in the middle of the day when traffic is more likely to be light, and to drive as long as I remained alert. I expected to stop and stay in a hotel at some point.

I did leave my house at 6:05 am and arrived in Atlanta around 1 pm. I had no traffic slow downs in Atlanta — the first time I’ve had that happen when driving through the area. By 2:30 pm, I was in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and starting to feel too sleepy to drive. It seemed too early to stop for the day, so I pulled into a McDonalds parking lot and took a nap for 1/2 hour. I felt much refreshed, so I got back on the road.

I arrived in Nashville around 5:00 pm. I expected to be caught in rush hour traffic, but only slowed to a crawl once, when the road I was on split into two major roads. Once I was past the split, we were back up to the speed limit. At this point, I called Stacy to find out when she usually goes to bed. I started thinking I might drive all the way through.

I did end up driving all the way through, arriving at Stacy’s house at 10:15 pm. I had ideal driving conditions — a little rain in Georgia, but it wasn’t a deluge; the weather was beautiful for the rest of the trip; no slow downs in the construction zones, no accidents; no rush hour traffic. I couldn’t have asked for more!

Coming Attractions
Stacy and I have been doing some weaving on our rigid heddle looms. Tomorrow and Saturday, we will be at The Fiber Event. Monday, I’m driving to Kansas City, Missouri. I’ll be site seeing and visiting family for a couple days, then attending PLYAway, the first spinning conference put on by PLY Magazine. After PLYAway, I’m driving to Memphis to visit a friend, then driving home to Orlando. I plan to visit The Yarn Barn of Kansas, two Laura Ingalls Wilder sites (The Little House on the Prairie and the home Laura and Almanzo lived in for most of their lives), Graceland, and who knows what else.

I’ll be blogging as often as possible during the trip! I only brought my iPad with me, and I’ve discovered that the WordPress installation does some funky things when I’m using Safari on the iPad. As a result, the formatting of my posts might look a little different than usual. Hopefully, it isn’t too distracting!

Another Day, Another Waiting Room

One of my favorite things about fiber work is how you can always find something to work on that fits your current circumstances.  Have lots of time and mental space?  You can learn a new craft or take on a complicated project like colorwork or complex lace.  Just need something mindless?  You can crank out some stockinette or granny stitch or plain weave scarves.  On the go?  You can bring along a small project that can easily be put down if needed, like socks or dishcloths.

My current purse project is crochet dishcloths.  I like how easy it is to put crochet down.  You don’t have to worry about dropping stitches, so you don’t need to carefully secure anything.  If I’m on the monorail from the parking lot to the Magic Kingdom, waiting for food at a restaurant, waiting in a doctor’s office, I can work a few stitches and when we arrive at our destination, the food comes to the table, or the doctor enters the room, I can toss the project back into my pocket or purse with no fuss.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in the waiting room of veterinarians’ offices.  It all started back in December 2014, when my sister, in Florida for Christmas, first noticed that Tiger’s lip was red and slightly swollen on one side.  I brought him to the vet in January 2015.  They didn’t think it was anything terrible.  “Change him from a plastic bowl to aluminum,” they said. “Sometimes cats react to plastic.”

We changed the bowls.  The swelling seemed worse.  In July, we brought him for his regular semi-annual appointment and pointed it out to the vet again.  “He’s probably allergic to something,” they said.  We went through a course of steroids, one pill a day.  It didn’t seem to help.  We tried two pills a day and he got very aggressive, so I stopped the pills and brought him to the vet.  We tried every other day.  No change.

So we did allergy testing.  It turned out he’s allergic to corn, an ingredient in almost all cat foods.  We found food that doesn’t contain corn and switched to that.  The swelling was still there.

 

Tiger likes food...
Tiger likes food…

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Yes, Chris did order Tiger a take out burger.

We tried another course of steroids, thinking that perhaps the problem was one of his other allergies (a variety of environmental things like molds and pollen).  No change.  By now it was December 2015.  It had been a year of trying things.  “Is there anything else we can do?” I asked.  The vet recommended a biopsy, which would tell us what was causing his allergic reaction.  So in January, a few days after getting back from Stacy’s wedding in Indiana, we brought him to our vet for the biopsy.

A week later, the results came in: Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor.  Cancer.  The vet was surprised; he’s practiced for many years and never seen this type of tumor present in this fashion.  We’re lucky it is a low grade tumor and hasn’t grown much over the last year.  Our regular vet referred us to the oncology department at the regional specialty vet, which fortunately is not far from our home.

Two years before the tumor appeared.
Two years before the tumor appeared.

We met with the oncologist.  We weren’t sure if surgery would be an option, given the location of the tumor right on the front of his face, but one of the surgeons thought that the tumor was small enough that we did have a surgical option.

Tiger, the first day home after the surgery.
Tiger, the first day home after the surgery.

The oncologist and the surgeon both told us that after the surgery, Tiger would probably have to have radiation therapy.  Radiation therapy would kill any microscopic cancer cells remaining after the surgery.  When they do surgery, they take healthy tissue around the tumor, because the surgeon can’t see microscopic cancer cells.  The theory is that taking tissues that appear to be healthy will make sure all the cancer is gone.  The surgeon likes to get a least 1 cm of healthy tissue around the tumor.  However, because of the location of this particular tumor, taking that much healthy tissue would mean Tiger would be disfigured.  His gum would be exposed, which could cause it to dry out and that would be a problem.  It was unlikely that the surgeon would be able to get a sufficient margin, and she might not be able to get all of the tumor.

A week after surgery, the pathology report came back.  The surgeon got a minimum 5 mm margin, much better than she expected.  With that much margin, waiting to see what would happen — if the tumor would grow back — was an option.  So was radiation therapy.  “If I’d gotten 3 more mm, I would tell you that Tiger does not need radiation therapy,” the surgeon said.  “As it is, waiting is an option and so is radiation.  None of us has a crystal ball; we don’t know what will happen.  The cancer could be gone forever.  It could come back in a month.  Or in 5 years.  It’s up to you what you want to do.”

We met with the oncologist again, so we could learn about the course of treatment.  It’s 18-20 treatments, every weekday for 4 weeks.  He must be under anesthesia for each treatment, but it’s a twilight level, not all the way under.  He’ll lose the hair in the area of the radiation, but not over his whole body.  His face will be shaved in the area of the treatment, even before the hair falls out.  When the hair grows back in, it will grow back white.  We’ll have to be careful every time he has his teeth cleaned for the rest of his life.  He might lose his appetite, and might have to have appetite stimulants or even a feeding tube.  He’ll probably require pain meds.  He will develop the equivalent of a very bad sunburn in the area of the treatment.

We went home and agonized for several hours.  It’s hard to imagine putting the cat through the treatment.  But it’s also hard to swallow doing less than everything we could for him.  You see, we love all of our cats and would do the best for them that we possibly could.  But there’s no question that Tiger is our favorite.  This is a cat just oozing in personality:

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He’s the cuddliest cat I’ve ever met.  If you aren’t paying attention to him, he’ll be sure to let you know when he needs some love.

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He’s such a photogenic cat.  Partially because he’s so pretty:

Once upon a time, he was a tiny kitten!

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But also because he is so patient.  This is why he often models my finished objects!

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But most importantly, Tiger and Chris are bosom buddies.  Tiger picked Chris as his person.  Every day, when Chris comes home from work, Tiger runs to the door to greet him.  Tiger follows Chris everywhere, even when Chris is pacing while talking on the phone.  Chris might complain when the cat wants to cuddle all the time and is constantly underfoot, but there’s no doubt that he loves the cat.  They are inseparable.

 

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We decided to go ahead with Radiation Therapy.  Tiger is 13 now, and in excellent health other than this tumor.  If the tumor did come back at some point in the future, he might not be so healthy and able to endure surgery and radiation.  And so this morning I found myself back in the veterinarian’s waiting room, dropping off Tiger for his first treatment.

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In his carrier, this morning, waiting.

I pulled out my current dishcloth and crocheted a few rows, finding solace in the familiar rhythm.

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P.S.  Just as I finished typing this post, the vet’s office called.  He did very well with his first treatment and he’ll be ready to come home in about an hour!

 

 

 

 

The Highlights Reel

While I was at The Knit and Crochet Show, more than one person commented to me that they couldn’t take classes the entire time because it was too much for them to absorb.  Wasn’t I totally overwhelmed?  Nope, not at all.  The entire event was an adrenaline rush and I enjoyed every moment.  A week after I got back, after reliving the entire event through writing the blog posts about it, I crashed.  This wasn’t all because of the show; August is break month for the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup.  I push myself hard during the term, achieving feats of crafting that I otherwise wouldn’t attempt, and I appreciate break month!  Don’t get me wrong — I still crafted and had fun adventures in August and September to date.  Here’s the highlights.

August

S’s 5th Birthday Party

My cousin’s daughter turned 5 and had a birthday party at the zoo.  It was the largest kid’s birthday party I’ve ever attended — 28 kids and 30+ adults.  I made fondant cupcake toppers (I don’t think I’ve mentioned here that I’ve got mad cake skills?  I don’t make cakes as often as in the past).  Since I live 2+ hours from my cousin, she bought cupcakes locally and I put the toppers on when I arrived at the party.

imageBirthday party at the zoo = live animal show and tell!!

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And I was the first person in line to get my face painted.  I got to the party early so I could get those cupcake toppers on the cupcakes and the few children already there showed no interest in getting their face painted.  I figured I’d beat the rush!

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I knit the birthday girl a Barbie dress.

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Sorting Yarn

A few months ago, my friend Nancy and I went to the home of a member of the weaver’s guild who had passed away (see my blog post).  She wanted her yarn to benefit the guild.  Nancy and I sorted it to pick out anything that was suitable for demos.  We always have a little takeaway for kids and are constantly on the look out for yarn for those.  We packed up any project kits or yarns suitable for weaving and brought those to the guild’s annual auction.  The money raised from the sale of those yarns is designated for demos and will be used to buy yarn for takeaways once we use up our current stash.

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Orlando Shakes Open House

From the Weavers Guild meeting, I went straight to the Orlando Shakespeare theater for their annual open house.  I’ve never made it to this event before and had a great time.  I went to all three panel discussions — one on lighting and sound production, one on building props, and one with the directors and educators about visioning and producing individual plays and the future of the troop.  They also had a small display of props and costumes from previous productions.  Here’s a small selection of the spectacular costumes, which are created in house, in conjunction with the theater department of a local university, and with the help of many volunteers.

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Akerworks

My order from Akerworks arrived!  I got 6 bobbins for my wheel (one in each style) and 3 drop spindles (one in each size).  I didn’t take pictures before they got pressed into service, but I’m sure you’ll see pictures in future blog posts.  I did take a picture of the lovely hand-written note Adan included in the box.

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Ravenclaw Staff

I accepted a position as blog mistress for The Ravenclaw Aerie, the blog for the Ravenclaw Tower in the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup.  This is a big part of the reason for the neglect of my own blog; planning and executing for that blog has taken the time I had for blogging.  Now that we’re on a schedule over there, I expect to be back to my own blog regularly!  Most of what’s on The Ravenclaw Aerie is probably only of interest to those in Ravenclaw Tower or the Cup, but one of the first posts is about something else I did in August.  Ravenclaw Porcupine Snuggles works at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  She and two of her colleagues drove from Baltimore to New Smyrna Beach, FL to release Cougar, a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.  I met them in New Smyrna Beach so I could witness the release, and Porcupine Snuggles and I wrote a blog post about it for the Aerie.

Disney with Beth

My friend Beth came on vacation for a week and we spent lots of time at Disney!  We ate at the Be Our Guest restaurant in the new part of Fantasy Land in the Magic Kingdom.  We did not expect to be able to get a reservation because this restaurant, the interior of which is a replica of the castle in Beauty and the Beast, is sold out 6 months in advance.  We checked anyway; someone must have cancelled because we got a 1:15 pm reservation!  The restaurant is stunning inside and out.

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On the day we went to EPCOT, it poured.  My mother, Beth, and I walked from The Land to Journey through the Imagination without seeing any one else walking around (everyone else was smarter than us — when we got to Journey through the Imagination, the ride was down because the building was struck by lightning!).  It was eerie, and made us think about what the park is like after it closes.  We waited for Journey through the Imagination to be back up, and after we got off the ride, the rain had settled down to a normal rain shower rather than a deluge.  We headed towards the World Showcase, wading through a calf-deep puddle on our way there.

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All the rain made for a beautiful sunset!

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Sick

A couple days after Disney, my husband got sick with a very bad cold.  I caught it from him and it turned into a sinus infection.  Yuck!  For the last week of August and the first week of September, we took turns feeling misearable.  Not much got accomplished around here.  I was coughing so much that fiber crafting wasn’t even viable 🙁

September

L’s Birthday

Fortunately, I felt better in time to fly to New York City for a long weekend celebrating my sister’s 40th birthday.  Before she arrived on Friday evening, her friends and I went to the Global Fashion Capitals exhibit at the Fashion Institute of Technology Museum.  Here’s a couple of interesting pieces from that exhibit.

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We were trying to decide what to do next when I saw someone walk by with a Mood bag.  For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Mood is a fabric store and is the place contestants on Project Runway shop for the fabric used to make their creations.  We decided to go to Mood and since it was a lovely day we walked the 10 blocks to the shop.  I was totally overwhelmed by Mood.  On the ground floor, there’s a two-story section of upholstery and other home decoration fabrics.  To get to the main shop, you take this old elevator, operated by an elevator attendant, to the third floor.  Once there, you have another 3 stories of every fabric imaginable.  I have no idea how the contestants manage to shop for fabric in only 30 minutes!

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Yes, I did pet Swatch!
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One section of the leather department.

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One day, we went to the Tenement Museum (no pix allowed there).  Our grandfather grew up in the Depression-era tenements of the Bronx, so this was a poignant visit for us.  Afterwards, we wandered around SoHo and I bought my first ever pair of Fluevogs.

Later that evening, my sister and her friends went to a play.  They bought tickets before I committed to the trip, and I wasn’t able to get a ticket to the show.  Instead, I took a train out to Long Island to visit law school classmates and meet their 4-month-old baby.  It was good to see them!

The next day, my sister, her friends, and I went to the Cloisters Museum, and visited their famous room of unicorn tapestries.

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We ate fabulous food every day, including the best doughnuts I’ve ever eaten, from The Doughnut Plant.  The interior of the shop was adorable, with doughnut pillows on the wall, a doughnut tile backsplash, and donut chairs!

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The last night, my sister and I stayed in her friend’s apartment in Brooklyn.  The friend was out of town, but gave us a key.  The apartment came with bonus kitty, Billie.

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Billie was super sweet and reminded me of my Pepper, whom I still miss very much!

Although I lived in the Northeast for nearly 30 years, I had never spent more than an afternoon in New York City before this trip.  I had a wonderful time and hope I get to visit again!

Spamalot

For the fifth year in a row, Chris and I have season tickets for the Orlando Shakespeare theater.  The first show of the season was Spamalot!  It was absolutely spectacular.  If you have the opportunity, you should totally see this show.

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Orlando Maker Faire

Last weekend was the Orlando Maker Faire.  The Drunken Monkey Spinners and Weavers of Orlando shared a booth for the event.  Nancy and I spent the entire weekend in the booth; other members of the two groups spent one day or the other.

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This was the fourth year of the Orlando Maker Faire.  Last year, they expanded from the Science Center and included some exhibits in the park.  This year, they expanded further, with arts and crafts exhibits in the Orlando Museum of Art, which is located on the opposite side of the park from the Science Center.  The expected attendance at this event was 15,000; I didn’t hear an actual number after the event, but it is by far the highest attendance at any event where I’ve demoed.

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The Science Center was wall-to-wall people; the Art Museum, where we were located, was steady but manageable.  This was a fantastic event to demo.  The people coming to this events are makers themselves.  They like to know how things work and ask lots of questions!  I spun the 50/50 Camel Down / Silk that I bought from Red Fish Dyeworks at The Knit and Crochet Show.  I only got 1 ounce spun, out of 4, in the 17 hours I spent spinning!  This is partially because I talked to lots of people, but also because it is spinning very fine.

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Hey — there’s one of the Akerworks bobbins I got in August!

Florida Fiber In

This weekend is the Florida Fiber In.  I went last night, but won’t make it there the rest of the weekend.  I picked up some Black-Faced Valois locks and some Bombyx Silk fiber, and spent a couple hours spinning and chatting!

Fiber Crafting

The new HPKCHC term started on September 1 and I’ve been crafting like a mad woman.  I haven’t taken pix of anything yet, but I’m working on that today and tomorrow.  I’ll have a Year of Projects update post sometime tomorrow.

Ongoing

I have also been working on improving skills to benefit my blog.  I bought my first DSLR camera (a Canon 70D (affiliate link)) and a Pro-Am video camera (Canon XA-10 (affiliate link)).  I added Adobe Stock to my Adobe Cloud subscription.  I used my Lynda.com subscription to learn how to use Adobe Bridge, then used Bridge to move all my photos out of Apple’s Photos app and into their own folders on my external hard drive.  I’m still working on adding metadata and tags to the photos.  I had 19,000 photos and videos in Photos and have a very hard time actually finding anything when I’m looking for it!  It’s a lot of work to organize, but I believe it will be worth it in the end.  I’m just starting the Lynda.com courses on Adobe After Effects and Lightroom, to further improve my photography and videography skills.

So that’s the highlight reel of the last six weeks.  What’s your highlights?

 

A Year of Projects 2015, Week 26.5

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For the past week, I’ve been crafting like it’s my job.  I also had an unusually high number of fun activities.  I had lunch in Diagon Alley with Ravelry friends who were in Orlando on vacation from Massachusetts.

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Of all the items listed for sale here, I most want the never-tangle wool.

I went to my first ever professional soccer game.  It was my cousin’s wife’s birthday and that’s what she wanted to do.

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My husband and I bought tickets to view last Sunday’s SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from the NASA causeway.  We didn’t want to get up at the crack of dawn and drive over, so we drove over Saturday night and stayed in a hotel.

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If you look closely, you can see Launch Pad 40 and maybe the rocket on the pad. There’s 4 objects that look like buildings. Pad 40 is between the two right hand buildings. There’s 4 lightning towers surrounding the pad; the rocket is in the middle.  It’s a slightly thicker line than the 4 surrounding towers.

Here’s the video I took of the launch.  The vehicle failed 139 seconds after launch.  I stopped recording two seconds before that because I was using my phone to record video and could barely see anything at that point.  It looked like a beautiful, perfect launch with nothing more to see.  And then the Liquid Oxygen tank exploded.

 

I still managed to get quite a bit of crafting done!  Let’s review the ridiculously ambitious list of goals I wrote:

Goals for June 21 to 30, 2015

  • Finish Raindrops on Roses Shawl (Headmistress Challenge)
  • Finish Grisou Scarf (homework, but which class?)
  • Finish Solid / 1×1 Scarf (OWL)
  • Three more color and weave scarves to meet OWL 50% (highly unlikely to finish)
  • Finish current Heart Illusion Dishcloth, plus 4 more (COMC?)
  • Tier Scarf (Charms or Potions)
  • Crochet Dishcloths (Transfiguration)
  • MHK1 swatches (Divination and / or Charms)
  • Small stuffed bird (DADA)
  • Cast on Sweet Summer Shawl (Quidditch Round 3; due July 8)
  • Liquid Silver Swatch (OOTP; due July 19)
  • Cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl (Headmistress Challenge; due July 28)

Fully Accomplished Goals

I finished the Raindrops on Roses Shawl.  I absolutely love it.  I test knit this for Assorted Musings (Ravelry, blog); the pattern will be released on July 15.  I plan to publish a detailed blog post for FO Friday on July 3.

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I finished the Grisou Scarf.  I test knit this for Sasoolero (Ravelry, blog) and I’m not sure when she plans to release the pattern.  I will publish a blog post on this project for FO Friday on July 3.

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Partially Accomplished Goals

I started the Solid / 1×1 Scarf.  I’ve woven somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 of it.  I have the hardest time taking pictures of weaving in progress.  Since the finished work gets wound onto the cloth beam, it’s difficult to see progress!

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I finished the Heart Illusion Dishcloth that I had in progress, plus two more.

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I started the tier scarf and knit about 1/3 of it.

Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.
Knitting while waiting for the rocket launch.

I crocheted one dishcloth.  In my goal, I didn’t say how many I wanted to knit.  I need 18 for the Dishcloth Advent Calendar, but didn’t expect to get them all done this month.  I was hoping for 9.  I learned how to single crochet increase, single crochet decrease, and crochet through the back loop.

I knit the first 3 swatches for MHK1.  I still need to weave in the ends and block them.  I also wrote answers to several more questions.

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Unaccomplished Goals

As expected, I did not weave the 3 additional scarves for my OWL.  I did not make the stuffed bird.  I decided to submit the Grisou scarf for DADA instead, and didn’t need the bird for anything else.  I have not cast on the Sweet Summer Shawl.  I will be doing that today.  I have not swatched for Liquid Silver.  I will be doing that today.  I have not cast on Begonia Swirl Shawl.  I think I’m going to wait a couple of weeks and cast on before I go to TKGA in San Diego.  It will make excellent travel knitting.

Other Projects

I made a felted cat bed for Tiger.  I managed to knit 1,047 yards worth of garter stitch in less than 3 days, felt it, and stitch it together!  It wasn’t on my goal list because I hadn’t decided to do it until after I wrote that list.  Tiger’s been sleeping on an alpaca blanket my father bought me when he was in Peru and I didn’t want it ruined.  I needed a quick replacement.

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Goals for July 1 to 5, 2015

  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Sweet Summer Shawl
  • Cast on Miranda Shawl
  • Swatch and Cast on Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Swatch and Cast on Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Finish spinning and plying the Cormo I’ve been working on since February
  • Start spinning the 3 Feet of Sheep (8 ounces BFL) on July 4 for Tour de Fleece

I’m tempted to write more, but I think this is more than enough.  My husband is off on Friday and Monday for the July 4 holiday.  I will have less crafting time than usual because I’ll be hanging out with him, and we’re going to the beach for at least one day!

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

The Tale of Pepper and the Emergency Scarf

I finished the Emergency Scarf on June 1, but I haven’t blogged about it yet.  I didn’t write a separate post about it; I didn’t include it in my FO Friday post.  I wanted to write something a little different for this project, and I wasn’t sure how to do it.  I’m still not sure what I’m going to write, but now that two weeks have passed, I think I’m ready to try.

Official Stats

  • Date Started: February 16, 2015
  • Date Finished: June 1, 2015
  • Pattern: 4 rows 1×1 ribbing alternating with 4 rows garter stitch
  • Yarn: 440 yards Cascade Pinwheel in Citrus
  • Needles: US 8, I think.  I forgot to write it down!
  • Made for: Charity
  • Ravelry Project Page
Stacy modeled this scarf for me :-)
Stacy modeled this scarf for me, since it perfectly matched her outfit!

About this Project

Once upon a time, all the way back in 1996, a pretty little tortoiseshell kitten was born.  She had a brother in her litter.  He was black and white.  They had a rough beginning, but then someone found them and took them into a house as foster kittens.  When they were about 8 weeks old, their foster mama put them in a carrier and brought them to a different house.  A man and a woman at the new house petted them and snuggled them.  Then the tortoiseshell kitten and her brother went in a carrier again and went to yet another home, where the new man and woman lived.

The adoptive mama called the tortoiseshell kitten Pepper, because she looked like freshly ground pepper.  She called Pepper’s black and white brother Puck, because he was a mischievous little sprite.  These were not the names the foster mama called them, but Pepper and Puck soon forgot that they used to be called Elvis and Priscilla.  Pepper liked her new mama.  To be honest, Pepper just liked people.  Everyone who came into the house was a new friend.  She ran up to everyone and greeted them with a loud meow.  Most people petted her, and that was nice.

Pepper and Puck moved with their new mama and papa to another place a few months later.  Mama stayed in that house for a while, but the papa moved out.  A while later, Pepper made friends with a visitor to the house.  He didn’t just pet her; he let her climb on him and sleep with her head on his shoulder.  This was how Pepper told mama that he was a nice guy.  Pepper was happy when he became her new papa.  He petted her a lot.

A year passed, and mama and the new papa moved a long way.  Pepper and Puck rode in the car with mama and papa for hours and hours.  The car was scary, and Pepper was happy when she could sleep on papa’s lap, even if he was driving.  The new place was nice.  Pepper and Puck always lived inside before.  The new place had a screened in patio.  Pepper could see outside, and catch little lizards that snuck onto the patio.

Pepper and Puck moved with mama and papa three more times after that. Tiger joined their family after the first of those moves,  and Pepper wasn’t happy about Tiger.  Even when he was little, he thought he was the boss of everyone.  Pepper was really the boss!  She reminded Tiger of this as often as she could.

Mama and papa didn’t move again.  Pepper got to live in one place for a long, long time.  This house had a whole fenced in yard and on really good days, mama or papa would let Pepper out in the yard.  She liked to sleep in the grass, chase lizards, and eat grass.  Sometimes she tried to slip  through the fence and see if the grass was better over there, but mama or papa always picked her up and brought her back to her own yard.

Mama made Pepper nice beds to sleep on.  Pepper was especially happy with the bed on top of the refrigerator.  She could see everything that happened in the kitchen and dining room.  Tiger didn’t usually try to come on top of the refrigerator, so she could stay away from him.

Pepper got older, as happens to everyone.  Her hips didn’t work as well and it was hard for her to jump up to the counter to get to the refrigerator.  Mama and papa put a chair near the counter so it was easier for Pepper.  Eventually, Pepper couldn’t jump on the chair.  Mama and papa moved her bed to a table in the living room.  When Pepper couldn’t jump on the table, they put a chair, and then a step beside the chair.

After a while, Pepper got sick.  She didn’t know what was wrong, but she went to the vet an awful lot.  Everyone at the vet was nice to her.  Pepper talked to all of them, and they pet her and cuddled her.  She liked the massages she got.  Her hips felt a little better after the massages.

One night, Pepper did not feel well at all.  Mama looked worried.  Eventually, mama brought Pepper to the other vet, the one that is open at night.  Mama brought her knitting with her.  Mama often had knitting.  Pepper liked the knitting.  The balls of yarn were a soft place to sleep.

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After that visit to the vet, Pepper started sleeping in mama’s office at night.  Pepper liked being away from Tiger.  She liked having her own litter box, food dish, and water.  But Pepper didn’t like being in only one room.  When morning came, she was ready to get out of mama’s office and wander around the rest of the house.

Pepper saw mama knit the scarf, and it seemed like it was done.  It was still sitting on Mama’s desk though.  Pepper heard mama say that the end needed to be woven in.  The scarf sat on the desk for a long time.  Pepper never did see the end get woven in.

Pepper’s eye was bothering her, so she went to the vet again.  Mama kept putting drops in Pepper’s eye, and Pepper didn’t like that.  She wished mama would stop with the drops.  Then Pepper started feeling worse, not because of her eye, but because of the other sickness.  The one she’d had for a long time.  She stopped eating.  Mama seemed worried.  Mama put food on her finger and tried to get Pepper to eat it.  Pepper sniffed the food and licked her lips.  It smelled good, but she didn’t want to eat.

Mama brought Pepper to the vet again.  The vet looked worried too.  The vet took tests.  Then the vet put warm things all around Pepper.  That was nice, because Pepper felt cold.

Pepper didn’t know it, but mama was at home worrying about Pepper.  Mama made chocolate chip cookies and ate too many of them.  She wove in the end on the Emergency scarf that had sat on her desk for so long.

Later that day, mama and papa came to see Pepper at the vet.  Mama brought the new bed she’d made last week, the one that was Pepper’s new favorite bed.  Mama and papa pet her and cuddled her.  It was nice to see them, and Pepper purred as she went to sleep for the last time.

KCBW6, Day 3: Experimental Photography

The prompt for today is to take creative pictures.  On this blog, I usually use straightforward pictures.  However, I often take creative pictures of the pieces for fun or to include in homework submissions for the Harry Potter Knitting / Crochet House Cup.  Professors often give bonus points for creative pictures!  I decided to pull out some of my favorite pictures and share them with you today.

In 2010, I knit a crown in Ravenclaw colors.  Since Tiger believes himself to be king of the house, I thought him an appropriate model.  I love the look of disdain on his face.
In 2010, I knit a crown in Ravenclaw colors. Since Tiger believes himself to be king of the house, I thought him an appropriate model. I love the look of disdain on his face.
This skein of yarn was a present from my friend, Stacy.  She collaborated with Christa of Nerd Girl Yarns to plan a custom colorway, based on the colors of the frog in my Ravatar at that time, and named after my imaginary magical beastie (this is a thing in Ravenclaw Tower).  Here, I've posed my Frogman statue with the yarn.
My friend Stacy gave me this skein of yarn. She collaborated with Christa of Nerd Girl Yarns to plan a custom colorway, based on the colors of the frog in my Ravatar at that time, and named after my imaginary magical beastie (this is a thing in Ravenclaw Tower). Here, I’ve posed my Frogman statue with the yarn.
Cats often interrupt my photo shoots!
Cats often interrupt my photo shoots!
While its not a fibery picture, I love this photo of Pepper stalking the  Christmas village.
While it’s not a fibery picture, I love this photo of Pepper stalking the Christmas village.
On my recent trip to India, I took this photo of goats lounging on the steps of a temple.
On my recent trip to India, I took this photo of goats lounging on the steps of a temple.

The Weasel of Wrath

In the fall of 2013, the Weasel of Wrath became a thing in Ravenclaw Tower.  Every project I turned in that term included a picture of him and told a piece of a continuing story.  The Headmistress Challenge that term was to write your own lyrics for a wrock song, with bonus points for recording it.  I wrote lyrics, another member of Ravenclaw Tower recorded the vocals and instruments for me, and I put together a music video.  The photos below are my favorites from that term.

The Weasel wearing a sock toe hat.
The Weasel wearing a sock toe hat.
Searching in the jungle (aka our hydroponic system) for the Raspberry Monster.
Searching in the jungle (aka our hydroponic system) for the Raspberry Monster.

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The wrock video included two different sets.  The lyrics are about basilisks, so I went to the home of a friend who has snakes and shot stills and video there.
The wrock video included two different sets. The lyrics are about basilisks, so I went to the home of a friend who has snakes and shot stills and video there.
The other set was the Weasel's burrow.  This behind the scenes shot shows the burrow set up on my dining room table.
The other set was the Weasel’s burrow. This behind the scenes shot shows the burrow set up on my dining room table.
The Weasel of Wrath, with his friends Foxy and Jewel.
The Weasel of Wrath, with his friends Foxy and Jewel.

WIP Thursday

I am a day late with my weekly status report!  In addition to out-of-town guests at my house from Sunday through Wednesday, I was dealing with Pepper’s health emergency.  She’s going to be okay, but it took three visits to the vet in as many days.  As a result of the guest and the cat, I did no fiber crafting at all for the past few days.  I was making progress before that, though.

Continue reading “WIP Thursday”