Sunday, October 28, 2012

Storm Watch

Hard to say how much wind we'll get from Hurricane Sandy,  but it doesn't hurt to take some basic precautions.  I've got all the pool hardware put away, and brought in the the deck furniture.  It won't hurt to hold the trash until next week, and the recycling bin that usually sits on the steps outside is now in the kitchen.    There's dry kindling inside for the woodstove, oil for the oil lamp, and some food we can eat without cooking if we lose power.  I'm not terribly concerned- we're very close to a busy commercial strip so we're in an area that generally gets power back first after an outage.  And we've lost so many big trees in the last few ice and snow storms that most any branches weak enough to come down have already fallen. 

Cookie and Biscuit are also ready- they've found comfortable sleeping spots where they can stay warm and observe the humans taking care of anything that needs taking care of.

Today I went down to the local charity knit-a-thon, now in it's third year.  Knitters were ready, and we filled a table with donations at our kickoff party.

Once we showed off our donations, we hung out, knit, had snacks, and generally had a fiber-filled good time.

I finished weaving in ends and tagging the last few pairs of mittens to donate on the spot.

The closing party and final knit-a-thon donations will be collected in early December.  So plenty of time to whip through a few more donations before the holidays.  (Don't worry, Mom, I didn't donate everything here- I've still got a bunch of mittens for the Holiday Baskets collection too.)

But certainly I've got plenty to knit should say, my workplace lose power and I get an unexpected day off.  (Hah.  This is not actually likely- my workplace loses power even less frequently than my house does.)   Still- all we can do now is wait and see what happens.  See you on the flip side.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012


For once I've had an entire weekend day at home.  No place I had to be, nothing I absolutely had to do.   It's been a very pleasant day puttering, reading, drinking mocha coffee, rescuing the butter dish from Biscuit's earnest attempt to pry the cover off,  and weaving in ends on a few FOs.  Mittens, of course. 

I've also started a couple of new projects.  A scarf:

The yarn is gorgeous, but I'm not entirely happy with the pooling, and the way the pattern is working with the colorway.   I'll probably give it a few more inches before I decide if it's working or not. 

The other project I'm quite pleased with.  More socks:
The yarn is Valley Yarns Huntingdon, and I'm really liking the way it shows off the cabling. 

And now I still have a couple more hours to watch Castle, resist Cookie's incessant begging for cat food, and maybe bake some blueberry muffins. (Cookie has just curled up beside me on the couch- it makes it easier to monitor incipient cat-feeding behavior.)   Gotta run.  Well.  Gotta pet the cat, then run....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cut to the Chase

I feel like it's been a little blah in the blogging department here lately (aside from the bird invasion), but the truth is, there has been working, working, collapsing in a pile of books on the weekend and more working the last few weeks.   But there has been some knitting going on around the edges. 

For example, in a fit of boredom with everything else I was knitting a couple of weeks ago, I went through my pile of patterns-I mean-to-knit-Real-Soon-Now and cast on a Falling Water scarf.    Saturday I finally had a chance to block it.

I also finally finished the socks I've been working on for approximately the last two months.   Apparently I wasn't in the mood for plain knitting.  I expect these to be very comfy basic socks.  They're a tad more blue than they look in this photo.

There are the usual random mittens kicking around.  There would be more, but I have a pair in time out waiting to be reunited with the main color of yarn, which was left at a friend's house.   I'm not entirely certain whether I failed to pack it back in the knitting bag, or whether the resident felines thought it looked intriguing and helped themselves.   (I feel so at home with loaner cats to help me knit.)

And speaking of 'helpful' cats, Biscuit has renewed his interest in my breakfast cereal.  Or rather with the milk that is on the cereal.  He's looking shyly aside in this photo:

But don't underestimate him.  It's only because I was pointing the box-that-makes-nasty-flashes at him.   The truth came out a few minutes later:

I do have to keep a close eye on him, because if my attention wanders from the bowl I'll have a fuzzy face stuck in it before I can say 'That's my raisin bran, you twerp!'.   One of these mornings I'm going to eat chili for breakfast, just to weird him out. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Rescue

So there I was, staggering around in my usual early morning fog, single firing brain cell fixed on the imminent prospect of tea, when I heard a rustling, followed by the unmistakeable patter of paws. Since unidentifiable noises interspersed with cat noises generally indicate that there is something going on that humans ought to be aware of, I turned around. Both cats were prowling around the woodstove, sniffing and peering in the front glass. And each time they did there was a rustle- no a fluttering of terrified wings. After considering for several minutes the chances of me getting myself around a cup of something hot and caffinated before the terrified bird did himself an injury, I sighed, and considered options for removing it. First and foremost was the need to deal with the cats, since I regarded the prospect of overexcited felines as decidedly not a benefit to this exercise. On further contemplation, it was quickly evident that any option that involved confining said overexcited felines away from the action was going to make enough noise that my sweetie was unlikely to sleep through it. Add to that the desire for moral and physical support, and I went to the bedroom and woke up my husband. "I need a hand here," I told him.

He awoke reluctantly and regarded me with instant suspicion . "With what?"

"There's a bird in the woodstove."

He made a face that suggested he'd rather bury his head under a pillow until I went away, but extricated himself from the bed, donned a bathrobe, and followed me out to the kitchen. "I have no idea how to get it out," he protested.

"That's okay," I told him. "Neither do I."

We both looked at the stove. Cookie had concluded that however interesting it was, he couldn't get to it in the stove, and had gone out to the sun porch. Biscuit, however, was still peering into the window of the stove and terrorizing the bird into paroxysms of fright. "First let's remove the cats," I suggested. I scooped up Biscuit and shut him, protesting, in the bedroom. Cookie was corralled on the porch and relocated to the bathroom. The noises of indignant cats pawing at the door, interspersed with occasional meows from Biscuit accompanied me back to the kitchen.

"I'd thought of using a large tin," I said, referring to one of the giant popcorn tins I usually use for yarn.

"How about a garbage bag?" Jonathan said.

"Sure." A garbage bag was light enough not to harm the bird and flexible enough to fit over the door of the stove. We opened doors, and readied our bag. We had neglected however to consider the bird's point of view.  He clearly didn't think  of the bag as something having space to fly into. He cowered in the back of the stove, staying well away from us.

We tried again, but the bird spotted his chance and swooped out of the stove, evaded the bag and headed straight to the closed windows in the living room, instead of out through the door. There he perched on the edge of the cat castle and gave us a wary look.

It was at that moment that Cookie managed to pry open the bathroom door and joined the fun. I snatched him up before he managed to sight his prey, and this time incarcerated him in the basement, which has a catproof latch on the outside.

My husband meanwhile tried to shoo the bird toward an outside access. The bird swooped back to the kitchen window- ignoring all three open doors. "You birdbrain!" Jonathan exclaimed, accurately enough.

There ensued a brief period wherein two barely clad humans chased the bird back and forth from window to window, just barely managing to cut him off from getting into the upstairs (which would be quite hard to get him out of), and finally, with much cursing and flapping of bathrobes, managed to chase him out the door.

Fortunately, it was still early enough that there was no one out on the street to appreciate this spectacle. My husband went back to bed. I got my tea. The bird lived to cheep another day. And the only disappointed ones were the cats, who prowled around the woodstove and kitchen after their release, complaining that they'd been left out.