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Monday, July 27, 2009

Just a couple of Kitten Pics, um, from a month ago...sorry.

I know - at this rate, he'll be full grown before you-all get to see him as a three-pounder.
Yes, he went to the Vet last week and he weighs 3.4 pounds. I was thinking the weekend before that when I picked him up, I felt like I was actually carrying something with a little heft.

But....stepping back into the near past...
Here's a few photos of Gryphon helping me when I'm on the computer.

You remember this fuzzy face, right?

He still thinks my mouse hand is for bopping.

The keyboard cable is fun - but the tag on the keyboard cable...oh JOY!

This one is a little dark, but he's learned to scoot himself around upside-down under the monitor stand.

"Kill da pengy!!"

"This is a good place to nap... zzzzz."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"I've got a Golden Ticket..."

I worked rather late Tuesday night and half-heartedly checked my e-mail after 9PM.
There was an e-mail from the Sock Summit folks...hmmmm....
"Why?" I thought.

Tuesday afternoon, the last day of the Sock Summit Lottery, sometime before 1 PM, it appears my Sock Summit Lottery number was picked.

I was a bit stunned. I played a couple of games of Freecell, working on breathing...
I went back to my e-mail to look again.
"I've got a Golden Ticket" from the original "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" started humming through my brain.
{Sing it, Grandpa Joe!!!!}

The e-mail was still there - and it offered me one of the 1-hour classes I most wanted "Hooked on Beads" with Sivia Harding. AND - a ticket to the Opening Ceremonies.
OMG!?!? A real, serious excuse to spend a whole buncha money to fly to Oregon and...fulfill a dream.

I'm going to the first ever, inaugural Sock Summit, 2009.
(And I'm rather freaked out, but also astoundingly pleased.)

So I started seriously reading the Sock Summit discussion group postings. There was a young lady there who was looking for folks to adopt her Sock Summit classes because she couldn't attend.
So now I have two classes at the Sock Summit! I'm also taking "Judy's Magic Cast-on" from the lady herself, Judy Becker - the 2nd 1-hour class I wanted most!

I have TWO classes at the Sock Summit!
(Freaking out a little more...)

I got some knitting/planning to do!!!!

Still feeling under-qualified to attend, I pondered the progress of my 3rd-ever pair of socks that I started Sunday:

I LOVE how this yarn is striping up.
Amazing Colors!

Colinette, Jitterbug, colorway "Sahara"
These are the socks for my friend, Joyce.

Notice please, the handsome Silver-gray cat-model who couldn't resist the circular cables...

Confession...the other day when I was lamenting my lack of Sock Summit participation and I went shopping for the "Sockgate" sock yarn...I bought some other yarn.

Yarn and a pattern - the "Seamingly Simple Vest" pattern and 2 skeins of the Amazing {seriously - decadently dark!!} Raven Clan Haida Twisted yarn with which to make the Seamingly Simple Vest. {contented sigh}
Oh - I had another helper for this "photo shoot":

(He's getting big - I need to catch up on the Kitten postings!)

See - decadent, soulful, soft, yummy- ness!

More "helping" from the getting-very-tall littlest one.

And it wound up into gigantic hug-able cakes!

I'm swatching! I'm thinking I might be able to wear it to the Sock Summit (doubtful) OR I might be able to knit on it as I wander about OR if I get to participate in our attempt to break the Guinness World Book of Records for “The Most Number of People Knitting Simultaneously”. (Note the Guinness-required standard, straight needles.)

Parting glimpse of the Handsome CooPurr (after I took that sock-yarny thing away from him):

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yarn Harlot giggles

I checked for Yarn Harlot stuff today on YouTube.
I have had such a fun afternoon!

I started with general amazement at the Yarn Harlot Irish Cottage Knitting video (on DPNs).

Yes, I've been pondering how I knit....and the Yarn Harlot DOES knit like the wind.
(Kudos and thanks to ClimbingTweedle for putting this into a platform we can utilize!!)
OH - and there's this one with regular, full-sized needles. Woof!

DH laughed with me over this fun excerpt from a Yarn Harlot talk at Full Thread Ahead.
(See - I married a keeper. He doesn't knit, but he still kinda "gets" it. Lovely man!)
({sigh} Sorry, I can't get YouTube to find the Full Thread Ahead video so you should click on the link above to see the hilarity. {You should - it's really good!})

The Yarn Harlot's altitude observations about Denver.

They HAVE to play this at the Sock Summit!! "Save me from my Socks"!

Not the Yarn Harlot, but a fellow crafter...
"Knitting in time" touches my knit geekiness...kindred spirit!

And just for general silliness: "Western Spaghetti"!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sockiness - waiting

Well....I'm a'wait'n.
Tuesday night I got an e-mail from the Sock Summit folks indicating they had a few spots in a few classes to fill and rather than crash the server again (and send the IT folks right into the Loony Bin) they'd decided to hold a lottery - "students" chosen by a random number generator. My heart near stopped.
I could try again to attend
the Sock Summit.
I would also have a very limited amount of time to pull together a place to sleep and a way to get there - IF my lottery submission happened to get picked.

There was another heart-stopping moment when I couldn't remember if I'd saved the list of classes for which I'd been a'wish'n. {gasp/sigh of relief} The list was still there.

So, I tried to go to bed and sleep and I plotted to submit my Sock Summit wish list on Wednesday night.
As it turned out I submitted my lottery request very early Thursday - seven minutes into Thursday morning to be exact {wry grin}. (The deadline was Thursday night...)
I had to be somewhere Wednesday night so I started re-studying my sock class wish list rather late.

And then I was reminded that several of the classes I wanted were all at the same time.
So, I sucked up my wish-I-could-go-for-the-whole-weekend yen and asked for the class I wanted most "Knitting for Speed and Efficiency" with the Yarn Harlot herself, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee; only available on Thursday or Saturday. My next desire was the "Rivendell and Beyond" class. Spiffy elfin-like socks that would make me take a step into more interesting sock knitting. Only given on Thursday afternoon.
I was also really intrigued by two short classes "Hooked on Beads" (only available Thursday and conflicting with Rivendell) and "Judy's Magic Cast-on" (Available Thurs., Sat. and Sunday - conflicting with the Yarn Harlot's class Thurs/Sat.). {sigh}.

Oh no - that wasn't ALLL of the wish list!
There were other classes I'd LOVE to take - but being only on my 3rd pair of socks, it would be cruel and a bit rude of me to hold up folks in the "Dancing with Socks" class with the amazing Cat Bordhi (Whoa yeah - she does lots more than spiffy moebius bowls!) - AND I'd need to arrive "expert in Judy's Magic Cast-on". Ya get where I'm coming from with the short class I wanted?
I also love the look of the "Arch-Shaped Stockings" taught by Meg Swanson and Amy Detjen. Spiffy, yes? But again, requiring a bit more skill than I currently own.
Then there's Heather Ordover's "Sock Heels". Boy do I need that class! It could help to cure my heel-turn angst. (And it conflicts with my other two favorite classes...arrrgh!!! Perchance she'll teach it here in Tucson....? I'll ask a bit later. )
So much to learn.

I'm seeing folks post on Ravelry that some Lottery submissions have been randomly selected and already accepted by the Ravelry postees. I had to beat down some base jealousy when some of these folks noted they were already registered for other classes.
Ok, so I'm human.
I'm suffering from Sock Summit spiffy learning opportunity ENVY.
It's just the way things work out sometimes. Deeeeep Breaths!

So - I'm a'wait'n. DH has been very supportive of my yen to run off to Oregon for a few days.
I try to discuss it with friends and they're polite, but their eyes glaze over pretty quickly. ;-)
I'm the only Knitting Junkie in my circle of friends. They don't quite understand the things I spout in the midst of knit geekiness ...HOWEVER - they are learning who the Yarn Harlot is and are very appreciative when I share pages from the "Never Not Knitting" page-a-day calendar!
(Inspiring knitters one page at a time...a bunch of them are making Knit Dr. Bags...it won't be long now before I corrupt (uh, improve), the world with knitters!! Muwhahahahah...{you're already reading this with a slightly maniacal Dr. Horrible " edge, right?)

Ahem. Sorry.
. OK.

And then there's the once in a life time opportunities at the Sock Summit:
Barbara Walker's Lecture "How I became a Knitter".
And the Luminary Panel.

These are opportunities that will never come again. I'm suffering from a kick-me backlash because I didn't include these to gems in my Lottery list. Partially because
A.) there was a Saturday AM conflict with the Yarn Harlot's class (Hey - that means she doesn't get to go either...well, a lot of the Summit teachers won't get to go. That's very sad as I'm sure they have a much greater understanding of Barbara Walker's impact on the Knitting World than I do.)
B.) The cost of staying until Sunday when I might not have classes past Thursday...?
C.) Well, because I'm a frigging ninny!
I shouldn't pursue this kind of thing at midnight when I've already been practicing my insomnia for several weeks....OY. {Thumping head on desk 'cause I - AM - A - Ninny...}

I'm contemplating just going up there for a day or two. But I find it hard to reconcile spending a lot of money so I can go spend more money.
Well, yeah! Of COURSE I'd shop. Be realistic! {wry grin}. So tempting. And maybe, just maybe...even if there were NO classes available, maybe I could attend the Lecture and Luminary Panel. {Dreaming a bit.}
Then there's the whole "Where would I sleep question" {...waffleing...}

It is very unlikely that my lottery submission will be chosen. {Deep Breath} I'm accepting that.
I'm also a'wait'n to hear how many lottery submissions they received. My guess would be not quite the 30,000 that crashed the server during the first round of registrations - but I'd bet there's at least 10,000 - if not more. The lottery was the best possible option.

There is a bright spot from my last blog. Jo of Celtic Memory Yarn left a comment that she'd been unaware of the Sock Summit Sock Museum. It sounded like she was off to register to knit a sock for the museum! She's a profoundly good knitter!! I can't tell you how tickled I am that a comment from my blog may have "inspired" a knitter of that caliber to knit for the Sock Summit Sock Museum!!! (I'm living vicariously through better knitters!)
Yeah, I know it's a very small thing - but it's tickling my knit geekiness and I am so pleased. (There's some guilt involved too - her latest blog post was a pledge to address the 7 Deadly WIPs she'd found in her dining room. She wasn't supposed to start a new project (like socks...) until the 7 Deadly WIPs were overcome. But knitting for the Sock Museum would an EXTREMELY good reason to pause on the pledge...) ;-)
(Oh - how cool is it that she was looking at my blog? Feeble attempt to restrain the gushing knit geekiness ...)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Blogs to Explore - Blue Moon Fiber - and Shopping!

I've been mildly lamenting my lack of Sock Summit 2009 participation.
So - I did the next best thing - Shopping!

E'yup, I went to visit Blue Moon Fiber and I done ordered me some SockGate Socks that Rock Sock Yarn. Not only is it entirely spiffy-looking, it's from Blue Moon Fiber (my first BMF order ever), and it represents the colors in the Sock Summit logo. I like. A LOT.
Well, yes, I did consider my vow not to buy more sock yarn until I actually knit some socks from my semi-frightening sock yarn stash. However, I did finish my 2nd pair of socks and have started on my third. Hence, I've earned another skein of Sock Yarn. Logical, yes?
("Not thinking about the scary stash, not thinking about the sock yarn stash...".)

Moving on...whilst I was there, I explored another blog that has been languishing in the Blogs to Explore folder. The Blue Moon Fiber Arts Blog. This again supports my Sock Summit yen, because it also appears to be the blog associated with the Sock Summit.
Sock Museum update...obviously being on my whopping 3rd pair of socks, I didn't even consider trying to knit a pair of socks for the Sock Museum, but I'm definitely looking forward to the results! (There's a Sock Book in the Sock Museum concept....hmmmm.)

This is pretty cool - Tina did a blog about the first time she dyed fiber - roving. I like her description - relates to how I was tickled with the shades and names of her colorways. If I can't quite see the color spreading in the roving as she describes it, I do get a feel for her delight at the results...well, joy maybe. Nifty.
Yeah, I'm kind of pre-smitten, fresh from the exploration of the Blue Moon Fiber store. But this tickles me. Ohhhh- there's a comment in the blog about a shift in colorways....if this means what I think, there's more yarn - in more colors - and there will be more yarn - in other colors - in different seasons. Dangerous... lovely....but giving me a happy yarn heart moment!

Crim-mo-ny - the day of the hate mail from the Sock Summit Server crash. I read the Yarn Harlot's blog on this too. Why are people so mean, self-oriented, and cruel? Stupid probably applies here too. Ok, that's not helping.
Grrrr - let us just hope they feel badly about their behavior/cruelty... and that maybe they fates chose them not to go to the Summit for a reason. Let's just leave it that those people obviously need to do more knitting and calm down.
(I'm still pondering the possibility of escaping for the weekend to Oregon - even if I can't attend any classes...crazy but tempting.)

I think I need to get beyond the major Sock Summit planning stages to get to the "real" Blue Moon Blog. Her blog on not being able to do what she loves best is a good reminder of all the work that people put into building the Sock Summit for us.
Hmmmm - I might be a little past where the Sock Summit started taking over her life...the pictures of Cat Bordhi and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee are a hoot! (Yes, my knit-geekiness is showing again...) Ohhhh - Colors!
She got to talk to Anna Zilboorg!! (I have an amazing sock book written by this marvelous person!) And Tina reacted much along the lines of how I did when I got e-mails from the Yarn Harlot/Cat Bordhi. Knit-Geekiness!! Ok, in her case it was more like Fibre-color-geekiness, and on a much grander, personal scale.
7/13/09 - edited to add - you HAVE to go look at the Fair Isle Cat Scarf (And various knitting luminaries)!!
Ok, I'm just gonna add the Blue Moon Fiber Blog to my must-read list...I'm smitten.
(And it's time to get off the PC because the kitten has been bouncing on my keyboard and my screen is wonky...Ack!)

BTW...I also recently revisited Knitting to Stay Sane and my interest was solidified and she's also been added to the Favorite Blog list.
OK - I was following the blog for a while but because I didn't have it noted on my blog-read list, I lost/forgot about it for a while. [sigh]
But it's spiffy and charming and I'm glad I found it again.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Blog-iversary to me...July 6th, 2009.

It's been a year since my first blog. Woo-Hoo!!

It is surprising to see what all went on and got blog-shared in the last year.

Nature and the critters in our world fascinate me. The blog allows me to show unsuspecting blog-visitors the things I notice every day but that I don't generally have someone handy to which I can point out the marvels in my daily path.
I'm still particularly tickled with this series of Frost Pictures.
And then there's the blockbuster pictures: dragon in the back yard, the ginormous lizard I found in the Hall Bathroom, and Attack of the 50-foot Grasshopper.
[What do you mean asking if I have a tendency to exaggerate?!?!] ;-)

I experienced generally good health in the past year although the insomnia continues. (I'm getting reallllly good at it!) Work continues to challenge me in good ways and sometimes in not so good ways. I'm making a serious effort to find ways to avoid letting some of the ugliness at work hurt me and inspire more insomnia. [blech]

There never seems to be enough time to knit and craft, but I've also completed some spiffy crafts, learned new techniques, met AMAZING teachers, was gifted with a few craft adventures, and I yearn for more! (There seems to be a lot of felting going on, though...)
I lost a beloved furry friend but now have two more furry monsters enlivening my life: CooPurr and the kitten, Gryphon. BobCat became less than healthy but seems to have improved greatly in the past few months (I wonder if it has anything to do with the 2 new kitty-bros he's inherited?).

I got to do for a couple of charities and was gifted, along with millions of others, with The Last Lecture. I explored more of the Internet, YouTube, quite a few blogs, and came up with some serious blog-favorites , charmers, magical crafting, and keepers!

I'm rather liking this way to document bits of my life. I like revisiting the pictures and the memories. And the occasional visitor comments that make me feel like I've succeeded/achieved something grand. Writing something or posting pictures that move folks to leave a comment feels like a gift.
Not to mention the heart-smile that comes from seeing my friend Snarkula watching over me and my blog!

A year ago, I didn't quite know what I was getting into...and I've still got lots to learn - but I think my first year of blogging went reasonably well.
I know why I like looking back over the blogs I've posted - it is the evidence of the happenings and blessings in my life!

Blessings to you and yours. Let's see what the next year of blogging brings!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

We named the kitten today!

Yes, we finally agreed upon a name for the kitten today.
We've tried a variety of names on him and none seemed like good, permanent names.
Most had to do with obvious or less than charming behaviors:
"Shadow", "Brat". "Zippy". "Jr.". "Ninja".
Several were alternate names for the Devil...like "Dickens". "Taz" "Dervish" - oh wait, that one is more whirling mystical/religious than devilish...
"Sparta" was a favorite with the DH this week - relating to the kitten in this video/song: "The Mean Kitty Song/Hey Little Sparta". (I was pretty tempted by that one...)

However - DH and I both like "Gryphon". It's a strong and interesting name so DH finds it acceptable. It can be shortened to "Gryph" or cute-ified to "Gryphy" - which is actually... BobCat's original name!
Well, for BobCat, it was Griffey - a la Ken Griffey Jr. (So named by the young man who asked us, before he moved away from his parent's house, if we wanted to adopt the cat that had been seriously loitering around our house...)

We're wondering if BobCat will notice his old name being bandied about.

Now for me, the kitten being black...with a name of "Gryphon" relates to a character in one of my favorite series: Skandranon, the Black Gryphon. "The Black Gryphon" is a book by one of my absolute favorite authors, Mercedes Lackey,(and her spouse Larry Dixon!). (Love the whole Valdemar series. Yes, my book geekiness is showing...). "Skan" is interesting, charming, brave, clever, sometimes not entirely mature, adventurous, dangerous, and very lovable. Not unlike our youngest Monster-cat.

Um, I have to note...DH's eyes did get a little big when I suggested we name the kitten Skandranon....so I suspect that might have something to do with why "Gryphon" seemed so acceptable. [grin].

Friday, July 3, 2009

Look! Knitting Blog-stuff. Ok, and more kitten pictures.

Well, yeah, I know...MORE kitten pictures.
But...I'm catching up on the kitten pictures. There's so many. And...he's rather cute...

Alright - with all the kitten-sitting (and extra time at work to boot) there hasn't been much knitting going on around here.
The knitting withdrawal symptoms are profoundly unpleasant and I can only say - it's a good thing the kitten is so frigging CUTE.

OK - the knitting that has occurred in the past few weeks are these:

Twisted Spiral Scarf in Noro Kureyon.

I must confess - I'm a little annoyed with this skein...I got about 3 inches into the spiral and there was a KNOT. Darn thing went from a spiffy green tied to a funky purple going orange. And the knot was cheesy - took all of 4 seconds to untie it! So I started over [rassn-frassn].
My first experience knitting with Noro yarn (known for it's quality and amazing gradual color changes...) on a 1-skein project and I get knot-shorted. (harrumph!)
We'll see if there's enough yarn to finish the scarf or if I'll have to get creative (or froggy).

Enough whining - this project is going a bit better:

Knit Dr. Bag - with a Wave!

I'm hoping these lovely aqua colors will felt with a wave pattern. T'will be a very spiffy bag if I can pull this off! My Craft Klatch friends got all head up about taking this class and asked if I wanted to join...(I was a skosch peeved that my first 2 Knit Dr. Bags were so memorable to them...).
I reminded them that I'd already taken the class but offered to do a Knit-a-long.
(Magnanimous of me, yes? Not... that I was... really just looking for an excuse to knit another mondo bag...
[Is my bag-lady penchant showing??])

Turns out Kitten is not the wool-hound that CooPurr is! (Hooray!!)

OK - more kitten pictures - from about 10 days ago. These show the interesting relationship Kitten is forming with CooPurr:

First thing out of the Computer room, there are purrs and head butts - even a kind of hugging.
Shortly after that, Kitten gets into wholesale play-mode, flinging his kitten-body at CooPurr and

then there's wrestling time.

Kitten, standing on his hind legs, can almost reach CooPurr's head.
Add a jump and a wrestling hug and it's a whole new game!
However, I've seen CooPurr hold Kitten down by putting a paw on Kitten's head, 3 Stooges-style.
Kitten tries to jump up into CooPurr's face, but he's held at arm's length by CooPurr's paw on his forehead...(No, I wasn't fast enough with the camera to get the 3 Stooges bit. Sorry.)

When CooPurr is tired of wrestling - CooPurr goes...Up.

And Kitten wonders how he does that.

(Think CooPurr looks a little smug?)

(Spectator Sport.)

(Um, yeah. Smug.)

"Down" time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Don't Look!! More Kitten pictures (and he still doesn't have a name...)

Ok - picking back up where we left off yesterday...we started letting the kitten out for supervised visits with the big boys.
This also meant Kitten got exposed to more toys (lots of them).
One in particular inspired a VERY odd reaction - a "mine, mine, mine" - with a Growl.

Lots of growls, actually.

The Purple Mousie.

He started carrying it around growling. And being less than charming if he thought we would take it away from him.

I initially feared I'd exposed the kitten to Kitty-drugs.

This happens to be a Very old catnip toy.
A catnip toy that has been through the washing machine dozens of times (my first baby black cat, Gable, used to hide it in the dirty clothes all the time...[and in shoes, drawers, purses, food bowl, water dish - ok, I guess sometimes I Chose to run it through the wash...])

So...we did take it away from him just in case we were exposing him to kitty drugs in his formative...., uh, weeks....



[no kitty drugs in this one...]

Or in this one - which occupied him for what seemed like an HOUR! [bliss]
So...the growling isn't inspired by a kitty-drug induced haze...

He's partial to the sparkly ones too...

(but they don't inspire growling.)