Category Archives: cats

Just pictures

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(Winter has arrived.)

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(Everyone knows radiators are for sitting on.)

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(The beginnings of an SWS hat.)

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(Crunchy Cabbage Salad)

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(Carrot & Potato Soup)

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(Hello Dolly bars. Next time: need higher nut/coconut to butterscotch ratio.)

And one more thing…

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It’s 98% done, but the last 2% won’t get done until after my supervisor returns from a trip, so I am giving myself a couple of days permission to not think about the Thesis and return to it with (hopefully) fresh thoughts. I’m at a point where I need to do big “what does it all mean” statements and by Friday last week my brain was resisting. At this point, the draft is done enough that I’m giving myself permission to start Venezia…just as soon as I can get the last swatch or two done for confirmation. Of course, now, the knitting ennui strikes again ;) Maybe after the weekend is done I’ll get it back.

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Filed under cats, cooking, real life miscellaney

Last gasps

At the beginning of this week I told myself (and other people, out loud) that it was possible for me to finish my draft this week – or at least by the beginning of next week. Then my morale and work ethic took a hit round mid-week and yesterday I declared Personal Snow Day. I sat. I knitted. I swatched. I watched DVDs (hello, Buffy Season 3, it’s been a while). I drank tea and ate various baked goods squirreled away in the kitchen. It was awesome, except for the fact that I still have to get back to work today. Sadly in the interim, my last results chapter has not actually magically finished itself.

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But I did learn some things yesterday. For example, I learned that Miss Beatrice the Cat’s real fascination is not with yarn. It is with Addi Turbos. Sometimes she tries to bite them if one is dangling in my lap. Yesterday, in her quest to annoy me enough to feed her dinner half an hour early, she discovered my discarded Addi with a single cast-on row and proceeded to bat it about, bite it, and then carry it off in gradual steps towards some unknown destination. I can hardly blame her; Addis are indeed sleek and seductive nickel-plated mistresses. (I admired the cuteness of this for a few minutes, then tucked it all away out of sight.)

Michelle requested pics of her with the bee. I think the charm has faded a little bit, but the dangly-ness and the catnip smell are still in the bee’s favour.

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Aaaaannnnd….that’s all I got for now. If you were me, how would you whip my ass into writing the rest of my draft?

Catch ya next time…

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Baah. Baaaaaaahhhh.

I did enough work today so far that I am rewarding myself with blogging. And some Cheetos. Mmmm, fake cheesy orange Cheetos, mmm…

But anyway. Hey, so there’s this super cool easily customizable scarf/shawl pattern thingie. Maybe you’ve heard of it? One or two people have already knitted it. Well, okay. Maybe one or two thousand.

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I’d seen Clapotis out there in blog land for a while, but didn’t really feel drawn to it. Then suddenly something flicked on in my brain last winter when I was sitting in our chilly common room on campus and thinking, “gee, if only i had a neat little shawl/scarf thing to just cover up but look nice at the same time…” so into my mental queue it went. I always feel a little sheepish casting on for patterns that are just. so. popular, because I wonder if I’m just being, well, a dumb sheep. But then I remind myself that sometimes people do flock to things because they’re actually really awesome, aside from being really popular.

ClapotisFO

I bought this yarn (Patons SWS in Natural Plum) back in August and cast on in early October. When I got to the middle ‘straight’ section there was a while where I couldn’t look at it, it felt like it was going to go on forever. I stun myself to realize that this project was only with me for a little over a month. Pretty snappy, all things considered. And it really is a genius pattern, I see that now. You could customize for any length or width you want, any gauge or weight, whatever. In retrospect the SWS was possibly a less wise choice, since the dropped stitches were very snaggy (in this pic I had not yet dropped all of them, but I have now), but I do love the colour. And since it’s a little bulkier, I could get away with doing only 1 less repeat and still ending up with a nice shawl-sized Clapotis. I think it’ll live on my desk chair for a little bit.

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It is also kitty-cat-approved. But my next project is very much not kitty-cat safe, since it is currently attached to no less than 4 balls of wool:

WinterTam2

This is my interpretation of the December Lights Tam. I’m still a little “hmmmmm” on the colour combination, but I think it’ll work. I am heartened that the pattern is still clearly visible and that the yarns do clearly belong to only 2 colourways. And it’ll be a nice preparatory knit while I wait to get the chance to cast on for a full fair isle sweater. (Soon. Soon, my precious).

Happy Wednesday! Pushing Daisies, anyone?

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Filed under cats, fair isle, finished object: accessories

Wednesday random

This sock pattern is making me look at the striping yarn in my stash with interest and relief.

Kitty cat now helps me check email in the morning.

Beatrice2

There is a cupcake roundup challenge afoot, and I have plans.

And I now have accumulated an eggplant, 2 red peppers, 2 3 watermelons, a bunch of radishes, and a bunch of parsnips. Help?

Oh, and did I mention that my thesis is sucking the life out of me and I have decided it is not at all a good plan to have 4 big WIPs on the go at once and my confidence level is at an all time low and I don’t know what I want to do with my life? Oh, my willpower and work ethic, please come back for I miss you so…

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Touch of Pink

Ribby3

I started the first sleeve of the Ribby this weekend, and if I can apply myself it’ll be done in the next day or so. (Re: button band yardage in the red – I think I’ll be OK. Am confident enough to go back to it post-sleeves.) This is where the element of risk comes in through the colour selection (self-inflicted since the pattern itself couldn’t be easier to follow). How will the pink work with the red? Is the pink pale enough? Is the red strong enough as a base colour? Is it all fun and bright in an antidote-to-winter sort of way, or brassy and kitschy in a Valentine’s-accessory-gone wrong sort of way?

This was my colour plan from the get-go, and you can be darned sure that I’ll be following through on it, although time will tell the bright vs. kitch factor I suppose ;) Either way, I’ll have no shortage of pink in hand for the sleeves. Of 6 balls, I’ve only just started the 2nd one and am almost finished the increases for on this sleeve. Can’t wait to get to the seaming stage, it’s getting closer and closer.

I managed to get the cupcake baking done in the early afternoon today, preparing for this Wednesday when I’ll finally get back to Lettuce Knit, and on the happy occasion of Emily‘s wee gal Clara’s first birthday (I guess this means she’s getting less wee). Mama requested something vanilla-based, but I did a batch of chocolate as well for me all me for other chocoholics in the crowd. If I can just work out the transport issues, we’ll be all good to go.

Beatrice has had a long hard day of waking me before dawn, stalking the backyard, and napping in her favourite chair, but declined to comment for the paparazzi. She’s lucky she’s cute. ;)

Beatrice4

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Filed under baking, cats, ribbi cardi

Fuel for the fire

Having a weekly vegetable box to work with is, I am discovering, the opposite of how I am used to cooking. I generally come up with a few recipes to cook throughout the week, then buy the ingredients. This is the reverse – I am being given some key ingredients and then run off to figure out how to use them. I am also realizing that the best approach is to have a few staples on hand in the pantry and refrigerator and then plan for a shopping trip mid-week instead of on the weekend to get anything else that I need. This week, I had a lot of fun finding new recipes to work with.

For the mizuna, I used one bunch as a substitute for escarole in this recipe, which was YUM. Perfect on a chilly weekend like the one we’ve been having.

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The beets and beet greens were a different challenge, though. I see now that the default recipe for any green leaf vegetable besides lettuce is, “fry it up with bacon and garlic!” But since I knew I was doing that with one of the mizunas, I kept on lookin’. I found this recipe for beet green gratin from Alton Brown (I love you Alton! Call me!), which did not disappoint, particularly with the beets roasted up on the side.

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I also roasted up the acorn squash last night as part of dinner with friends, based on this recipe I found at Smitten Kitchen (that blog is fast becoming a must-read for me). It’s a really, really good way to eat a squash. The other head of mizuna found its way to this stir fry recipe which was also darned tasty. I’m eating as much as I can (woe, such a problem to have, right?), but I do think I’ll be getting into the habit of having people over for dinner more often or passing on a few of these to my sister who is close by.

But really, it’s just as well that I have this new deal of having a set of vegetables to work with every week, because my appetite has just skyrocketed the past couple of weeks. And then it occurred to me that, in the past month, I have:
a) switched my average rising time to 6-6:30am as opposed to the leisurely ::mumblemumble:: o’clock I was used to as a grad student living a short walk from campus
b) increased my running from 3 runs to 4 runs in a week
c) increased my long Sunday run to 50 minutes and now to 60 minutes
d) started using my bike as transportation for running errands.

Oh, right. THAT’s why I’m so hungry. Bring on the vegetables. (Um. And maybe some cupcakes too.)

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But lest ye think knitting content has forsaken this blog, I can report that I finally caved and cast on something new today. It’s the start of another Ribby Cardi, for me and with the faint hope of making it to the Rhinebeck wool festival in late October. Heh. It’s Swish Superwash from Knit Picks in the colourway ‘fired brick’, a brilliantly cheerful red which will be joined by sleeves knit in – wait for it – ballerina pink. I will surely not get lost in a crowd wearing this, right? All the more reason to bring it to Rhinebeck, so’s I don’t get lost from my partner in crime. And I’m all prepped to add length and various mods thanks to using this yarn the last time around.

In other news, Beatrice the cat has accepted me. And my lap. (She even lets me knit at the same time. I knew she had some intelligence about her.)

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Happy weekend!

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Flux

Not only am I a little perturbed that it is already Wednesday, but I am most distressed to discover that it almost the middle of September. I mean, I’m trying to make friends with September since, let’s face it, August was pretty sucktastic in case I haven’t mentioned it (stress of moving, anxiety over dissertation, rejection of several things, that sort of sums it up), but I somehow thought it would progress a bit more slowly than this. It’s fall, right? Fall is leisurely and soothing? Isn’t it? Quick! Start smelling the roses! Or, smelling the fall produce, as it were…The house-sitting house also comes with a weekly local vegetable box, and now I am in possession of not only several tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, beets, and mushrooms, but two bunches of this:

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It’s mizuna, a Japanese green similar to mustard greens and which can be used relatively interchangeably with things like kale or swiss chard. Apparently this gets snuck into our salad mixes all the time, which means I must like it. This is the first time I’ve been presented with a bunch (or two) of it on its own. I am investigating stir-fry and stew recipes as we speak. Mizuna goodness shall be mine. (Then I will conquer the beet greens.)

My knitting this week is progressing slowly. I hope that one day soon I will be able to show you pictures of something besides this Moderne Log Cabin…but on the other hand, I am happy to report that the blanket does receive the seal of approval from Miss Beatrice the Cat:

Moderne3

She rolled around on it as if to say, ‘this is for me, yes?’ She also reports that, despite all visual evidence to the contrary, it is very, very, very hard work being a cat all day.

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I’m a little jealous. (But I am comforted by the knitting and the leafy greens.)

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Filed under cats, cooking, mason-dixon