Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cozy

Last weekend's plans were derailed by a last minute social engagement which turned into another weekend-long board games marathon.
I only succeeded in conquering the galaxy once, but my final move of the game was to decisively blow up a dreadnought that had invaded my star empire.   I gloated basked at least halfway through the next game.  

We built star empires, constructed the French countryside, and finished with a rousing game of RoboRally, wherein my sneaky spouse snatched victory while I was busy pushing Kevin's robot into a pit.  These things happen.  

While not much happened on the craft front, I did finish off the cell phone cozy.
I may still get funny looks when I pull the phone out of it, but it definitely protects the phone from getting banged and scratched in my bag, and it's not nearly as eye-catching as the sock I was using as an interim cover.  

The cats were thrilled with the company- our friend Kevin is a frequent visitor, and all the boys came out to greet him (and sniff his luggage).  Biscuit has evidently decided he's part of the family, and patted him, followed him around, and supervised his activities in the bathroom.   It was exhausting, however, and Biscuit needed a lie down after a while.

Cookie and Jake were more blase, and curled up together in the living room while the rest of us played games in the library.  

Tonight I arrived home to find everyone weirded out by the furnace having emitted noxious smells. My husband had the situation well in hand- the furnace turned off, repair persons called, and his schedule rearranged to be here to let them in while I'm at work tomorrow.   There are some decided benefits to this marriage thing.   The weather has fortunately cooperated by not being enormously cold, so we'll be fine overnight- we can always build a fire in the wood stove in the morning if it's too chilly.    Hopefully it's nothing serious.  Our hot water is made by the furnace, and while it will stay hot for a couple of days with the furnace off,  keeping a fire going in the woodstove and heating water in the kitchen for baths is a pain in the patootie.  Wish us luck!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Plus Ça Change

At about two minutes after midnight on Jan 1, I looked up from my book and said to my husband, "By the way, Happy New Year." He looked back over his computer. "What? Oh. Happy New Year." And then we went to bed. And the next day we hung out with friends, played with their new kittens and played a board game. Yeah, we're party animals.
Actually the real party was over the weekend, and we celebrated with more board games: galactic domination (Eclipse), covering Europe with trains (Ticket to Ride), competitive colonization (Settlers of Cataan), competitive farming (Agricola) and the electrification of Scandinavia (Power Grid, the new Finland board). It was enormous fun.
The cats were a little dubious about the festivities- even Cookie, normally our social butterfly, was completely weirded out by a toddler. The toddler was a 20-month old and she was desperate to play with Cookie. Cookie was every other kind of desperate. He would come out to check out the company, and the little girl would spot him and express her enthusiasm by letting out an earsplitting squeal of delight, and run straight for Cookie as fast as her little legs would take her, yelling, "Get kitty!" Since this was her only kitty-getting strategy, Cookie was in no danger of being gotten, but the extreme dismay with which he regarded the girl was quite comical. Fortunately the girl was untroubled by her failure to catch him, and would just stare after him and tell us, "Kitty run away," in mournful tones. It will be interesting to see what Cookie makes of her once she masters the 'sit quietly and let the cat come to you' strategy her mother was trying to teach her.
I finally took a photo of the last mittens of 2014.
And simple knitting being a must for the holidays, I also have the first mittens of 2015.

Having finally cast off the Glasgow socks, naturally I cast on for the next pair. These went a lot faster. I guesstimated where to divide the yarn for the second sock, and had to adjust a few rounds- I was finishing off a partial skein and a half and used other leftovers for the toes and heels. I'm thinking that this may be the year of finishing off partial skeins of sock yarn. I love the look of sock yarn blankets, but I suspect my thrifty nature is going to push me to find a way to turn them into more socks. We'll see.

In other news, I have finally succumbed to the lure of an actual smartphone.  And since it's all new and shiny, and I don't want the screen to get scratched up, I have cast on a cell phone cozy from some of those aforementioned sock yarn ends:
Isn't it pretty?  You'd think it was the 21st century!  Wait...
And since socks are a must for the busy 21st century knitter-on-the-go, I've cast on more socks. These are the Slip Stitch Rib pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks.  The yarn is Twisted House Cat in Pointsettia from Wandering Cat Yarns.  Though they are such a large size, I suspect I'll be using up other odds and ends of red sock yarn before I'm done.  

I'm starting to wonder whether by the time I get to a project 'to use up sock yarn ends' the sock yarn end problem may have already taken care of itself.  But probably not.  What I really need to focus on is finishing up the sweaters that have stalled out since they got too big to travel with easily.  


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In Which I Handle a Critical Lack of Time Without Getting Worked Up

Well.  As the last few hours of 2014 wind into the past, I'm enjoying a long weekend.  It was a rather hectic holiday season in some ways, and easy in others.  My parents generously hosted, which let me slough off on the cleaning-and-decorating part of the holidays, so I could focus on the fun bits.

So, the last weekend before Christmas, instead of  scrubbing, decorating, baking and wrapping, my husband and I took off for a weekend in New York City.  It was a trip we'd been discussing for months, but first one, then the other of us was sick and there was work and weather.   So on the Thursday evening we checked the weather report, found a hotel room and left right from work the next day to go down to Connecticut and catch the commuter rail into Grand Central Terminal.   It was a terrific trip.  We went to the Cooper-Hewitt Museum and the Natural History Museum.  We went to see the Imitation Game, which was in the first days of its release. (It's an excellent movie.  While it does take some considerable liberties with history, the changes were clearly made in order to make it a better story.  And it does a good job of presenting the spirit of the issues.  Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as Alan Turing is extraordinary.)  We went to the Strand, our favorite NYC bookstore and we walked the last stretch of the High Line, which opened this year.   Great fun,  (Yes, there was a little shopping in and amongst as well.)

Of course I took advantage of the train travel to work on the Glasgow socks, which I finished Tuesday, blocked and were dry and popped into a gift bag on Christmas morning:

Christmas Eve, I broke out the baking pans, and had a marathon cookie baking session.  Biscuit wanted very badly to help.
After removing him from my work surface several times, I finally persuaded him to sit on the pass-through between the living room and kitchen where he could see what I was doing without getting paws-on the cooking.  Any Biscuit fluff that got in the frosting was minimal and should be regarded as adding a healthy dose of fiber to the cookies.

In between cooking and waiting for cookies to be cool enough to frost, I wrapped presents.  Biscuit helped with that too, but I didn't have a hand free for the camera.

And then we had a delightful quiet family celebration on Christmas morning.

The rest of the week was spent on practicalities; work, catching up on the laundry.
(While Biscuit is white and fluffy, he was not laundered.)

I turned out my knitting bag and found another pair of mittens lurking in the depths.

And I knit yet another pair of mittens and cast on for the next socks.  The weekend following Christmas, we went out to western Mass. and I got to stop in at Webs, but that's a tale for another post, since I haven't taken photos of anything yet.

I hope your holidays were lovely, and that 2015 will be filled with many fine yarns- of the fiber and blogging variety both.  Happy crafting!