Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Olympic Socks, Alpaca Mittens

Ah, yes, the Olympics. I freely admit that didn't watch much of it, except for the opening ceremonies and the semifinal Canada vs USA mens' hockey game, and those were because it was Fridays and I was at my Friday fiber group get-together. Of course during the opening ceremonies we all ogled the various mittens, hats, and other knits the athletes were sporting. I'm just mildly annoyed that I couldn't find a decent picture of the Estonian team's mittens online afterwards, since they looked very nice...

But I did make an effort for the concurrent Ravellenic Games, and polished off not only that baby sweater with alpacas on the yoke, but my Alpha Socks. It was about time - my Rav page listed them as having been cast on just over 2 years previously!

Now I have to be heroic and not wear them until next fall, since I want to save them to enter in the local fair next August.

The other project which has gotten finished this week is this pair of mittens. These are the ones I've been designing as a counterpart to the dyeing classes I taught last summer at L'Ourse Qui Danse. Chantal of OQD has been testing the pattern, and I think it's about ready to go. So with any luck it will be up on Rav as well as available at L'Ourse Qui Danse in the next week or so.

I have to say they're a great knit to use up small amounts of yarn - I knit them in 5 colours because that's the number of samples each dye class produces, but you could technically use up to 20 colours if you felt inclined to. The only drawback is - you guessed it - weaving in ends. Whether it's 5 or 20 colours, you will still have something like 80 ends to deal with. Ah, well. Cuppa tea and something on the telly, and it goes pretty fast!

Friday, 14 February 2014

The More It Snows, Tiddley-pom

Has anyone noticed that it's a tad snowy this morning? Seems like it's a pretty big system, a lot of the eastern side of the continent is pretty snowy right now.

It looks like we had a foot overnight, and it's still coming down pretty good. The birdbath and the fences here at the parents' are getting pretty close to buried, and the car was up to its fenders this morning - it was clean yesterday.

I'm very glad the important stuff got done yesterday - drop off knits for Johanne, dentist appointment for me, and vet for the cat. Julia still wasn't eating, so we took her back for a check-up, and now she's got some different antibiotic for the ulcer, and cortisol pills, and soft convalescent food I basically have to force feed her with a syringe...needless to say she is not happy with me, but she lost close to a pound between the two vet visits, and she needs something!

We'll try to venture out later today for a few errands, but for the morning, the plan is to help Mom warp the loom, and watch the birds at the feeder in this wintry wonderland.

Finished my first project for the Ravellenics last night, a baby sweater with alpacas on the yoke. Hopefully delivering that later today as one of the errands. This pattern is getting referred to as the Noah's Ark sweater from now on - the original had sheep, but now I've done it with horses, and elephants, and alpacas...wonder how many versions it will eventually go through!

Monday, 10 February 2014

History, Music - and Fiber

I've been getting reacquainted with my old spinning wheel this week, and enjoying it - I'd forgotten how slow and relaxing the treadling rhythm of this one is compared to the Hitchhiker. Since I got the Hitchhiker, I'm afraid the old one hasn't gotten used much. Partly because I felt like I should do most of the work on the new wheel, and not risk breaking the antique one, and partly because the new one is portable and so it came with me places and always had something in progress as a result.

I've been back on the old wheel because next Sunday is a rather fun demo that the Weaving and Spinning Guild was contacted for. The Algonquin College Theatre has an event on from Odyssey Showcase, called A Musical Taste of our Canadian Heritage. And for a few hours before the show, they are setting up an 18th C trading post in the lobby, and getting us to do a little weaving and spinning there. So I get to go and spin, on my old wheel, in costume, and talk to people about how you turn sheep and plants into clothes. I honestly can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Parenting the Cat

I wasn't expecting to be back at the parents' so soon. But here I am for a couple days, because of the cat. Julia was having trouble eating and drinking, her breath smelled, she was drooling a bit, and not as perky as usual. To me that was suggesting infection in her mouth or throat, but I couldn't find anything obvious. Yet there was clearly something up, and it was worrying me to see her sit around, and not wanting anything.

Our vet, who is excellent at diagnostics, and relatively inexpensive, is out here. So I got an appointment for yesterday morning, and spent the day before the appointment fretting over Julia. As a parent, I get way too concerned, always imagining the worst-case scenarios. It's probably a good thing I've only the one cat to be concerned with. As it was, I will admit I lost sleep, and had a hard time concentrating on my knitting, let alone anything that needed thinking...

Vet couldn't find a danged thing on examination except a baby tooth that hadn't come out yet (Julia's 7) so thought that might have been fretting her or getting infected, and took it out. And lo and behold, while they had her knocked out for that, they found an ulcer under her tongue. That would explain quite nicely the issues with drinking, which seemed a bit odd for a tooth to cause.

So now she is back here, nicely perked up, being pampered, starting to eat and drink more already, and enjoying the sunlight. And I can (happily) settle back to normal and concentrate on things again.