Tag: animals

kira makes disgruntled mumblings about “that damn cat…”

It is a good thing I love that cat.

That cat, being Árnyék.

Because, he is a jerk.

Cyntaf Eaten

Apparently, even though Cyntaf was tucked away in a bag, he managed to get into the bag and chomp a couple holes in the shawl. I mean, luckily, it is at the bottom edge, and I can probably undo the binding and salvage it… but still. Sigh.

Then the next day, I was looking for a specific ball of yarn. Finding another skein that I was also looking for, I pulled it out and set it aside.

I turned my back for a minute.

yarn ball tangle

Arrrrgh!

This is also the same cat that knocked my TV off the counter (twice!) and broke it.

Mehhhh…

-x

kira makes uncertain ponderings about blocking… with cats

I’ve been knitting away like a madperson to meet the photoshoot deadline. My friend/photographer is out of town next weekend (even though that would give me the most amount of time to knit). The weekdays are likely out, because I am hoping to do an outdoor shoot and want to work with natural light — and we both work days, when the most light is. So, that leaves this weekend, Saturday-only.

I am theoretically on-track for making this deadline. (I may or may not have called out of work yesterday to knit. To be fair, I also hadn’t been feeling well the day previous, and needed some time, anyway.)

Today, I plan to finish up the last 8 rows and bind off.
Then comes the problem: blocking.

Blocking. With cats.
Cats, who get into everything.

Zaka on Pattern
Example A: Zaka, who is helping me by sitting on my knitting pattern.

Arnyek
Example B: Árnyék, who is likely the cause of the “Someone ate holes in my Mirkwood!” Cat-astrophe.

PorkchopExample C: Porkchop (Ryan’s cat, who has been living with us). He has not given me any reason to be wary of him and my knitting. Yet. He is a cat, after all.

So… yeah.
Not sure how I am going to wet-block and pin out this shawl.

I figure, first plan of attack is to barricade myself in the bedroom (the only room with doors, to keep the cats out (apart from the bathroom, of course)). I have blocking mats, wires and pins. The next step is to take the dampened shawl and pin out on the mats (which… I don’t think I actually have a large enough configuration of mats. Boo. I might have to look into getting more.) Then… what? I think my options are to try to prop up the pinned-shawl-interlocking-mats in the closet, or somehow balance it on top of the wardrobe cubbies (would need to move the shoes). Pretty much anywhere else, the cats have been able to get at or into. There is the possibility of balancing it on top of the laundry baskets on top of the machines in the laundry nook (yay, closet with doors!), but that might be a hassle for getting to the laundry. It should only be for a day or so while it dries completely.

This should be… an interesting challenge.

-x

kira makes her second trip to the Powhatan Festival of Fiber

kira with sheep (instagram: @lolspeak)
(photo by Dylan)

Last year, I went to the Powhatan Festival of Fiber by myself, on a gloomy, drizzly day. This year, my party increased by 3! Woo.

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Alpacas

We saw alpacas, and sheeps, and bunnehs.

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Chicken

There was a very large and incredibly grumpy looking chicken.
I have less pictures than last time, because I was being social(!). Hah…

We wandered the vendor booths, meandering from stall to stall, each of us trying to find our small score for the day. (Boo, budgets!)

There was an amazing 50% yak/50% silk blend roving by Kim Dyes Yarn, in two gorgeous colorways (a somewhat jewel-toned rainbow and a lovely blues-and-greens mermaid color). I snuggled up to it multiple times, even dragging Lauren over to it later, but I’m still attempting to resist the lure of spinning. (Because… face it, I don’t need another hobby, with all it’s tools and trappings. At least, for right now.) Sadly, there wasn’t any of it already spun up, otherwise that might have been my yarn.

Somewhat ironically, after scouring all the booths, I returned, yet again, to the Unplanned Peacock booth — and purchased the exact same yarn I got at last year’s festival, in a different colorway. I guess I know what I like!

Unplanned Peacock - Kinky Sock - Butterscotch

Unplanned Peacock, Kinky Sock, in Butterscotch. I’m not sure what I plan to make from it, but I’ve been drooling over shawls in yellow.

And, I think I finally know how I’m going to use my other skein of Kinky Sock (colorway Frog) from last years festival. The second lace shawl design I’ve been dreaming up; I think I might swatch it with this and see how it looks!

Altogether, a fun time. And I have next year’s festival already on my calendar!

-x

kira makes a sad discovery… and a triumphant recovery

It’s been a long while since I have updated the blog. Life has been busy. I’ve been surprisingly social, which (while being enjoyable) has severely cut down on my personal time and time for making things.

I’ve been trucking away on the Mirkwood Shawl at the weekly Twisted Stitchers RVA craftnights, and in the few evenings I have to myself. Everything had been going along relatively smoothly, with the potential for actually finishing it in time to wear to the wedding a not-too-far-off possibility. Until…

Mirkwood - Eaten

… one of the cats ate multiple holes in it. I am fairly certain it was Árnyék; he likes to gnaw on the red blanket on the bed and probably found it to be similar. As you can see from the picture, there’s still kitten-spit on it. *sadface*

On the bright side, all of the three holes that I found were relatively close to the working side. After recovering from the shock-and-horror, I bravely removed the entire shawl from the needle and unraveled it, picking out the beads as I went, until I got to the base of the holes (which apparently was all the way back to when I switched skeins of yarn).

Mirkwood - Unraveled

And then — picked up 379 stitches like a BOSS.

In a stroke of luck, the row I picked up had the distinctive double-YOs, allowing me to more easily figure out what row I’m now on (Chart 2, row 79). And each segments’ stitch count matches what it should be. Woot.

This means that I lost 30 rows… and since each row takes foreeeeeever (like at least good 20 min per RS row) that means I lost only like, 10 hours of my LIFE. Plus the probably-around-2-hours it took to carefully unravel and pick-up stitches. Jeez.

It is much more unlikely that I will finish this in time to wear for the wedding as I am now having to backtrack… Le sigh. So, I’ll have to figure out something else to wear.

But, I get to be all proud of myself for fearlessly taking several hundred stitches off the needles, dismantling, and picking up stitches — LACE stitches — without doubting my skills to actually do it. Because I am awesome. And I can do things if I put my mind to it. I will finish this shawl and be victorious. (I really hope it blocks well, since it seems to be turning out fairly small… eek.)

-x

kira makes little knitting progress…

…because kittens are distracting.

Zaka

One of the downsides of kittens is that they are so gosh-darn-cute, that my productivity in any home-activity has significantly declined, in favor of playing with kittens. And cat-napping with kittens.

Árnyék Loves Socks

Árnyék loves worn socks. I’m going to have to keep him away from my knitted socks! Which I have made absolutely no progress on since acquiring the kittens.

I did, however make a little bit of progress on the Featherweight Cardigan at our craft night. I just realized that I started the Featherweight Cardigan at the beginning of the year, and it still isn’t done. That’s mainly because I get distracted by other shiny projects (like working on Les Misérables wrap and making socks).

And speaking of new shiny projects to get distracted by — our group has fallen in love with this hooded shawl: Mirkwood (Ravelry page). There is a possibility of a KAL. Even if we all don’t end up knitting it at the same time, we can still help each other decipher the lace charts.

In my idle ponderings about if I can add this shawl to my ever-growing-list of WIPs, I remembered that I have several skeins of laceweight yarn from handpaintedyarn.com. I have almost enough in Mares Profundos (a deep blue) or in Black. Roughly 1700 yards of each, when the pattern calls for 1800-1860 yards. I could always make it in the blue, with black edging. However, the quality of the yarn makes me a little bit nervous — when I had been trying to use the Mares Profundos to make a shawl previously, it seemed to tend to break at points where the single-ply was not spun tightly enough. I’d be hesitant to knit such a time- and labor-intensive piece with yarn that might give way. That being said, it makes me a little reluctant to use the yarn altogether, since any project that I spend any amount of time on, I would not want it to fall apart! Especially any lace that requires aggressive blocking!

Of course, then I am pondering what yarn I would want to use instead. And pricing it out. And pondering beads, and clasps…

-x

kira makes a new home for wee beasties

kittens
(photo from current owner)

Kitties!
After ironing out the final details, it looks like I will be welcoming two wee beasties into my home this evening. This brother-sister pair were listed on Craigslist — I was in the market for just one kitten, but didn’t want to split the two up! Luckily, my wanting to keep them together led to my being selected as their new kitten-momma. This way, they can keep each other company while I’m at work, and collaborate on destroying my apartment. Haha..

I’m sure there will be many more pictures of these little ones. The boy is all-black and the girl is the tortie. Need to come up with good names… Have been pondering several, but will wait until I meet them and get a feel for their personalities. I’m very excited!

-x

kira makes a trip to the Powhatan Festival of Fiber

This last Saturday, I woke up with not much planned to do. In a bit of a mood, as well — I had stayed up a little too late the previous night at a party, and the morning was wet and gloomy. Despite this, I didn’t want to spend the whole day holed up in my apartment, and I remembered about the Powhatan Festival of Fiber. So, I shrugged into some clothes and got on the road, for about a 45 minute drive. While the drive itself was uneventful, it was a bit emotional as I was dealing with personal stuff — partially why I had such impetus for getting out of the apartment and actually doing something, even if it was to wander a fiber festival, all by myself, in the drizzle.

As I was parking, I remembered that there would be lots of yarn and other fiber-related things to tempt me into buying them. Seeing as I was already pushing my budget for the month, I set a strict one-skein-only limit, no more than $35. (I knew that I would want to come home with at least something!)

I wandered from booth to booth, petting all the lovely skeins and hanks of yarn. The smells of festival food wafted through the damp air. I resisted buying a funnel cake. (Can funnel cakes be vegan? I don’t even know…) As I made my way to the back of the fair, I noticed a pen.

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Alpacas

Alpacas! (I later saw the white alpaca get sheared.)

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Sheep

There were also sheep being sheared, next to a couple pens of different breeds of sheep and goats. I got to pat a baby goat on its head; it had tiny little triangular horn nubs — adorable!

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Bunnies

Further down the row, there was also a booth selling angora rabbits. I did not buy one. Although, tempting. So fluffy!

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Curious Bunny

Powhatan Fiber Festival - Fluffy Bunny

In the end, I wandered around some more for a while, browsing all the booths (sometimes twice, because I hadn’t really planned a path), before deciding on a skein of yarn. There was only a single skein in its colorway, hanging on a rack surrounded by other beautifully colored hanks of yarn. But I kept coming back to this one.

Unplanned Peacock Kinky Sock - Frog

The picture does not really do it justice. It is lovely and soft, with beautiful tones of greens and blues. A sock yarn from Unplanned Peacock. The colorway name is Frog… but the colors more remind me of a peacock than a frog. I am not sure what I plan to do with it yet — I’m leaning towards a sock-yarn shawl; too pretty to hide under a pair of shoes! Now to browse Ravelry for all the possible options. Swoon.

-x

ETA: oh, there was so much Papyrus font used by the vendors! Egad!