Monthly Archives: May 2006

Cat Hosting??

So. Right. About the cat.

Since I don’t have any fantastic knitting or spinning to tell you about, I’ll give you the long version—-if you’re here just for the fiber fables, I won’t be offended if you skip down to New Word Wednesday, go ahead.

About 15 years ago, my husband, who grew up in a home without pets and only tolerated the dog, volunteered to keep a colleagues cat while they moved, and then put said kitty on a plane (to of all places Colorado; we were in Ohio at that time). We had never had a cat, weren’t overly fond on cats—the way they get on everything, leave hair wherever they go and are so aloof. For three weeks Shadow lived with us, got along with the dog and, well, I got rather attached to him. While Brad was at the airport, sending Shadow to his family, I was at the pound. I brought home another black cat we called Mocha. Mocha was great, except for the way she would attack me as I walked to the bathroom in the night. Not cool. So Mocha went back to the pound and we brought home a giant cat we called Mo (cuz we got mo cat fo da money). Mo was big and lazy and couldn’t seem to find the litter box. So. Not. Cool. Back went Mo. After that we got another black kitty, we called him Licorice, and for quite a while he lived with us. He was the indoor/outdoor kind of cat, he loved to hang out with Sunshine from across the street. Together they would hunt birds and rabbits and such. Sunny would come over a meow at the door for Licorice to come out and play…..I’d never seen such a thing. Once, he was gone for days, and we really were getting worried. We were at the pound looking for him when a fella came up and started telling a story about a cat that was caught in his tree, and had been there for days. At the base of the tree was a kennel with a couple big dogs, the poor cat was scared to death. It was our Licorice. Once out of the tree, he stuck pretty close to home, but soon wanderlust got to him and he ventured out. After redeeming him from the pound a couple times, we decided he had to stay in…the next fine would be $100. Needless to say, Licorice did not like this one bit, and demonstrated his feelings by adding a pungent odor to our newly finished basement. Hubby said he had to go. The kids (and I) were heartbroken, but agreed as long as we could get another kitty, a female, to which he agreed.

At the pound we held every kitten in the room, knowing by now that each critter has it’s own personality. We had decided to get two, to keep each other company, and after quite a while settled on a orange shorthair and her orange and white littermate. We told the attendant what we wanted and the kittens were checked out; the orange one could be adopted but the other had a fever and could not go home with us that day. After a bit of pouting, we decided to take just the one. On the way home, we decided to call her Peaches, and we had her for almost 10 years. She came with us to Colorado, and we would have her still, but the last move was suppose to be to England (another long, long story) and I gave her to a cat loving colleague for safekeeping.

We have now been without a cat for 3 and a half years. We have new furniture. We still have two dogs. We don’t need a kitty.

Yesterday morning, early, the phone rang and it was dear hubby.
“I just did something unselfish, but it will require you to be unselfish too.”
Crap, thinks I. I kinda like bein’ selfish these days.
“What did you do??” I say.
And he tells me this story about our longtime friend’s son, who is very attached to his cat, who can’t keep him right now (he’s about to enter a year long discipleship program at their church and will be living with a host family) and the rest of the family is moving to DC, and, well, he volunteered to keep the cat, until Ben can reclaim him.

And so, our household has a new member, however temporary. His name is Zorro. For the time being he is in the basement—I thought it would be best to give him a few days to get used to his new world before an official ‘meet and greet’ with his furry room mates. I did take the camera downstairs so you could see what the guy looks like, but he is hiding. Didn’t even hear him. Perhaps later.

New Word Wednesday: today’s word is lucuna which is noun that means 1: a blank space or missing part: gap 2: a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure.

Here’s what Webster says about lacuna:

Exploring the etymology of “lacuna” involves taking a backward leap into lacus, the Latin word for “lake.” Latin-speakers modified lacus into lacuna and used that noun to mean “pit,” “cleft,” or “pool.”
English-speakers borrowed the term in the 17th century. Another English
descendant of lacuna, is “lagoon,” a word for a shallow body of water,
which came to us by way of Italian and French.

Who can come up with fiber/knitting related sentence using this word???

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Cat Hosting??

So. Right. About the cat.

Since I don’t have any fantastic knitting or spinning to tell you about, I’ll give you the long version—-if you’re here just for the fiber fables, I won’t be offended if you skip down to New Word Wednesday, go ahead.

About 15 years ago, my husband, who grew up in a home without pets and only tolerated the dog, volunteered to keep a colleagues cat while they moved, and then put said kitty on a plane (to of all places Colorado; we were in Ohio at that time). We had never had a cat, weren’t overly fond on cats—the way they get on everything, leave hair wherever they go and are so aloof. For three weeks Shadow lived with us, got along with the dog and, well, I got rather attached to him. While Brad was at the airport, sending Shadow to his family, I was at the pound. I brought home another black cat we called Mocha. Mocha was great, except for the way she would attack me as I walked to the bathroom in the night. Not cool. So Mocha went back to the pound and we brought home a giant cat we called Mo (cuz we got mo cat fo da money). Mo was big and lazy and couldn’t seem to find the litter box. So. Not. Cool. Back went Mo. After that we got another black kitty, we called him Licorice, and for quite a while he lived with us. He was the indoor/outdoor kind of cat, he loved to hang out with Sunshine from across the street. Together they would hunt birds and rabbits and such. Sunny would come over a meow at the door for Licorice to come out and play…..I’d never seen such a thing. Once, he was gone for days, and we really were getting worried. We were at the pound looking for him when a fella came up and started telling a story about a cat that was caught in his tree, and had been there for days. At the base of the tree was a kennel with a couple big dogs, the poor cat was scared to death. It was our Licorice. Once out of the tree, he stuck pretty close to home, but soon wanderlust got to him and he ventured out. After redeeming him from the pound a couple times, we decided he had to stay in…the next fine would be $100. Needless to say, Licorice did not like this one bit, and demonstrated his feelings by adding a pungent odor to our newly finished basement. Hubby said he had to go. The kids (and I) were heartbroken, but agreed as long as we could get another kitty, a female, to which he agreed.

At the pound we held every kitten in the room, knowing by now that each critter has it’s own personality. We had decided to get two, to keep each other company, and after quite a while settled on a orange shorthair and her orange and white littermate. We told the attendant what we wanted and the kittens were checked out; the orange one could be adopted but the other had a fever and could not go home with us that day. After a bit of pouting, we decided to take just the one. On the way home, we decided to call her Peaches, and we had her for almost 10 years. She came with us to Colorado, and we would have her still, but the last move was suppose to be to England (another long, long story) and I gave her to a cat loving colleague for safekeeping.

We have now been without a cat for 3 and a half years. We have new furniture. We still have two dogs. We don’t need a kitty.

Yesterday morning, early, the phone rang and it was dear hubby.
“I just did something unselfish, but it will require you to be unselfish too.”
Crap, thinks I. I kinda like bein’ selfish these days.
“What did you do??” I say.
And he tells me this story about our longtime friend’s son, who is very attached to his cat, who can’t keep him right now (he’s about to enter a year long discipleship program at their church and will be living with a host family) and the rest of the family is moving to DC, and, well, he volunteered to keep the cat, until Ben can reclaim him.

And so, our household has a new member, however temporary. His name is Zorro. For the time being he is in the basement—I thought it would be best to give him a few days to get used to his new world before an official ‘meet and greet’ with his furry room mates. I did take the camera downstairs so you could see what the guy looks like, but he is hiding. Didn’t even hear him. Perhaps later.

New Word Wednesday: today’s word is lucuna which is noun that means 1: a blank space or missing part: gap 2: a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure.

Here’s what Webster says about lacuna:

Exploring the etymology of “lacuna” involves taking a backward leap into lacus, the Latin word for “lake.” Latin-speakers modified lacus into lacuna and used that noun to mean “pit,” “cleft,” or “pool.”
English-speakers borrowed the term in the 17th century. Another English
descendant of lacuna, is “lagoon,” a word for a shallow body of water,
which came to us by way of Italian and French.

Who can come up with fiber/knitting related sentence using this word???

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Tuesday…already??

I hope all of you had a great holiday weekend. Things were busy here at Black Sheep Central; I’ve got loads of pictures and stories and knitting news, and…..and…..well let’s start here:

Saturday, KWA held a puppy party—knit meet with our doggies. At one point we had nearly a dozen dogs running around MJ’s back yard. For the most part everyone played nice. Anti brought doggie jello shooters (too funny), there were tons of goodies for the human people, and a good time was had by all. Some of us got knitting done–I managed to finish up the moebius basket, and get the buttons on the cardi. Others were, um….


….occupied.

Sunday, after church, Brad and I took in Territory Days; the annual street festival in Old Colorado City. Live music, ‘fair’ food and several blocks of vendors filled the historic district. It always amazes me what people are selling, and folks are lining up to buy. My favorite for this year was a fella selling doggie hats. Yep. Hats. For. Dogs. Here is a picture of his top salesman.

Monday, the Knitter’s With Altitude scheduled a bonus meet, and I ambled in about 10 a.m. to knitting in progress. Christy was fresh back from the Pagosa Springs Fiber Festival, and brought goodies—cinnamon brown Alpaca, that she shared with me! She also bought a loom, and had brought her first attempt at weaving to show off. All this talk of fiber and yarn and everything that goes along with it has made us all very anxious for the Estes Park Market. I think it’s fair to say that the more excited I get, the more worried my poor hubby gets. (I am going to have to come up with a better wool containment system, that’s all there is to it). MJ had her latest pair of socks done….


……I believe this is some of the yarn she dyed at KWA Dye Day a few weeks ago. Pretty, no?

The weekend was not ALL sunshine on roses. Saturday night I cast on my sock for the Trek-along…..at least three times. I finally gave up and just focused on the movie I was watching (Munich…which was very good). Sunday afternoon I cast on again, in good light in the quiet, and what I discovered was that I hadn’t been making the same mistake over and over the night before, but actually because of the number of stitches on my needles, the pattern worked out in a way different than what I was expecting. I got through the ribbing and into the pattern a few rows before I set it aside for the day. Monday, I took it with me to knit with the ‘girls’ and was thrilled to see the pattern developing. After a bit, I didn’t have to count so much, as I could “read” the knitting, and things were going along swimmingly until I realized that I had WAY too many stitches on one of the needles. For the next two hours I frogged and tinked, the “mother of all swear words” dancing in my head (you know the one) and now instead of about 4 inches of leg, I have this:

…..and this:


Details: Trekking XXL, color 104. The pattern is the infamous Jaywalker (figured it was about time).

Now I’m off to hang out the wash (yay), figure out how to save my favorite black linen pants that I dripped bleach on this morning, and get ready to host a cat—-indefinitely.

Should be interesting.

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Tuesday…already??

I hope all of you had a great holiday weekend. Things were busy here at Black Sheep Central; I’ve got loads of pictures and stories and knitting news, and…..and…..well let’s start here:

Saturday, KWA held a puppy party—knit meet with our doggies. At one point we had nearly a dozen dogs running around MJ’s back yard. For the most part everyone played nice. Anti brought doggie jello shooters (too funny), there were tons of goodies for the human people, and a good time was had by all. Some of us got knitting done–I managed to finish up the moebius basket, and get the buttons on the cardi. Others were, um….


….occupied.

Sunday, after church, Brad and I took in Territory Days; the annual street festival in Old Colorado City. Live music, ‘fair’ food and several blocks of vendors filled the historic district. It always amazes me what people are selling, and folks are lining up to buy. My favorite for this year was a fella selling doggie hats. Yep. Hats. For. Dogs. Here is a picture of his top salesman.

Monday, the Knitter’s With Altitude scheduled a bonus meet, and I ambled in about 10 a.m. to knitting in progress. Christy was fresh back from the Pagosa Springs Fiber Festival, and brought goodies—cinnamon brown Alpaca, that she shared with me! She also bought a loom, and had brought her first attempt at weaving to show off. All this talk of fiber and yarn and everything that goes along with it has made us all very anxious for the Estes Park Market. I think it’s fair to say that the more excited I get, the more worried my poor hubby gets. (I am going to have to come up with a better wool containment system, that’s all there is to it). MJ had her latest pair of socks done….


……I believe this is some of the yarn she dyed at KWA Dye Day a few weeks ago. Pretty, no?

The weekend was not ALL sunshine on roses. Saturday night I cast on my sock for the Trek-along…..at least three times. I finally gave up and just focused on the movie I was watching (Munich…which was very good). Sunday afternoon I cast on again, in good light in the quiet, and what I discovered was that I hadn’t been making the same mistake over and over the night before, but actually because of the number of stitches on my needles, the pattern worked out in a way different than what I was expecting. I got through the ribbing and into the pattern a few rows before I set it aside for the day. Monday, I took it with me to knit with the ‘girls’ and was thrilled to see the pattern developing. After a bit, I didn’t have to count so much, as I could “read” the knitting, and things were going along swimmingly until I realized that I had WAY too many stitches on one of the needles. For the next two hours I frogged and tinked, the “mother of all swear words” dancing in my head (you know the one) and now instead of about 4 inches of leg, I have this:

…..and this:


Details: Trekking XXL, color 104. The pattern is the infamous Jaywalker (figured it was about time).

Now I’m off to hang out the wash (yay), figure out how to save my favorite black linen pants that I dripped bleach on this morning, and get ready to host a cat—-indefinitely.

Should be interesting.

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Moebius…take 5?

Yesterday afternoon I met up with a couple of the girls from KWA (Knitters with Altitude) with the intended purpose being to get the moebius thing figured out. If you were here earlier in the week, you’ll remember this:

….the basket with the design feature. Still don’t know how it got there. Anyway, the decision was made to frog it and start over, for a couple reasons: 1. I was afraid that the double twisting handle would felt to itself in the washer and 2: Since this little basket is suppose to be a practice run for a larger trifold bowl thingy, I really thought it was a good idea to get it right. So, the basket was frogged and I cast on again. And again. And again.

I actually lost count of how many times I started over, but at least twice I got through the entire cast on (a trick in itself) and began knitting the moebius to find that half way round all my stitches were crossed. Finally, Christy reminded me I was suppose to be knitting in the front and the back of the stitches alternately……oh yeah. Crap.

After three hours, we now have this:

….a basket handle with 1 twist, and the infant beginning of a basket. True to form, I somehow have more stitches than I’m suppose to, and I’m really hoping that it won’t be completely wonky, but at this point I’m banking on the felting process covering for me.

We have buttons. Not on the sweater just yet (I did mention the moebius thing, right?), but purchased, complete with backing buttons and thread. While I was buying buttons, I picked up an issue of Spin-Off, my thought being that it never hurts to know a little more about what you’re trying to do. I think Donald Rumsfeld was quoted as saying “we don’t know what we don’t know…” or something along those lines, and as far as spinning is concerned, I know that I don’t know more than I know, which isn’t much. I was reading on Juno’s blog the other day about her new wheel, about choosing it, and so on and she mentioned someone asking her what ratio she preferred. Ratio?? thinks I. What did he mean? I have a choice???

Sad, but true.

So armed with a new magazine and the books that are coming from Amazon.com (gotta love Amazon), maybe I’ll get a better handle on the spinning thing. I’m also hoping to figure out what to do I I happen to buy a fleece (what—you knew that was bound to happen) at Estes. I am really and truly not interested in the processing aspect, and need to find an economical fleece to roving guy. Spin-Off seems to list several, so in the next three weeks I’m going to try to get a handle on that.

Ready for favorite foto friday?? Here’s a fun one.

While the boys (yep, that’s them) were down for Christmas, we went to the zoo. I love the zoo, and one of the best parts of our zoo is the giraffes. For some reason, our zoo has a very successful giraffe breeding program, and there are lots and lots of animals. There were nearly 20 out in the yard the day we were there. You can check out our giraffe exhibit here. Anyway, the best part is that you can feed the great beasties, for a small fee of course. If I knew how to do it, I would post the ‘video’ we took—there’s just nothing like being sandwiched between giraffes, going for the same bit of rye krisp.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend….and while you are reveling in the unofficial start of summer, please take time to remember why we have Memorial Day in the first place.

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Moebius…take 5?

Yesterday afternoon I met up with a couple of the girls from KWA (Knitters with Altitude) with the intended purpose being to get the moebius thing figured out. If you were here earlier in the week, you’ll remember this:

….the basket with the design feature. Still don’t know how it got there. Anyway, the decision was made to frog it and start over, for a couple reasons: 1. I was afraid that the double twisting handle would felt to itself in the washer and 2: Since this little basket is suppose to be a practice run for a larger trifold bowl thingy, I really thought it was a good idea to get it right. So, the basket was frogged and I cast on again. And again. And again.

I actually lost count of how many times I started over, but at least twice I got through the entire cast on (a trick in itself) and began knitting the moebius to find that half way round all my stitches were crossed. Finally, Christy reminded me I was suppose to be knitting in the front and the back of the stitches alternately……oh yeah. Crap.

After three hours, we now have this:

….a basket handle with 1 twist, and the infant beginning of a basket. True to form, I somehow have more stitches than I’m suppose to, and I’m really hoping that it won’t be completely wonky, but at this point I’m banking on the felting process covering for me.

We have buttons. Not on the sweater just yet (I did mention the moebius thing, right?), but purchased, complete with backing buttons and thread. While I was buying buttons, I picked up an issue of Spin-Off, my thought being that it never hurts to know a little more about what you’re trying to do. I think Donald Rumsfeld was quoted as saying “we don’t know what we don’t know…” or something along those lines, and as far as spinning is concerned, I know that I don’t know more than I know, which isn’t much. I was reading on Juno’s blog the other day about her new wheel, about choosing it, and so on and she mentioned someone asking her what ratio she preferred. Ratio?? thinks I. What did he mean? I have a choice???

Sad, but true.

So armed with a new magazine and the books that are coming from Amazon.com (gotta love Amazon), maybe I’ll get a better handle on the spinning thing. I’m also hoping to figure out what to do I I happen to buy a fleece (what—you knew that was bound to happen) at Estes. I am really and truly not interested in the processing aspect, and need to find an economical fleece to roving guy. Spin-Off seems to list several, so in the next three weeks I’m going to try to get a handle on that.

Ready for favorite foto friday?? Here’s a fun one.

While the boys (yep, that’s them) were down for Christmas, we went to the zoo. I love the zoo, and one of the best parts of our zoo is the giraffes. For some reason, our zoo has a very successful giraffe breeding program, and there are lots and lots of animals. There were nearly 20 out in the yard the day we were there. You can check out our giraffe exhibit here. Anyway, the best part is that you can feed the great beasties, for a small fee of course. If I knew how to do it, I would post the ‘video’ we took—there’s just nothing like being sandwiched between giraffes, going for the same bit of rye krisp.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend….and while you are reveling in the unofficial start of summer, please take time to remember why we have Memorial Day in the first place.

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More Random Ramblings…

I woke up this morning with the thought/plot for a book, and so before I even read my email (shock) I opened up Word and started to write. Three phone calls and a visit from a friend later, I’m back at the computer, searching for the muse that woke me. While I’m looking, I’ll write a quick update.

The red cardi is done, except for buttons. It FITS, the v-neck turned out perfectly and all things considered it is a success. There will be pictures, once the buttons are on.

Spinning is progressing, I’ve got one bobbin 3/4’s full and enough fiber to fill a second. It is mostly good, with some sections of crap, but given that I’ve been at it less than a month, it too is a success. I’m thinking it might be nice for mittens, and I have two people in mind (no, I’m not telling–you’ll have to wait and see). As for the wheel, we are getting better acquainted, I’m learning how to keep the wheel spinning in the right direction with the single treadle, learning that sometimes dropping my heel is the “right” thing to do, and all in all we are getting along swimmingly. Still no name, though I’ve had suggestions ranging from those already mentioned to something profane, the thought being that I can’t be held accountable for swearing if I am calling something by it’s given name. DH suggested that ‘damn wheel’ might be an excellent choice, while I’m sure Cliff was thinking of something a little more, shall we say, choice.

—–reminds me of a story. Early in our marriage we lived in Japan, and for several months we lived in a little apartment on a pretty street lined with cheery blossom trees. In addition to the local folks, we had as our neighbors another American couple stationed at the same Air Force base as my husband. They had a little finch of some sort that they had named Shithead, (it was about a year after Steve Martin exploded onto the silver screen as “The Jerk”–remember that?) Anyway, this presented a problem or two; they wanted to get the bird a friend, but couldn’t think of what they would name it, not wanting to hurt Shithead’s feelings. During the day, the bird had the ‘run’ of the apartment, and one day, the couple came home to discover that poor Shithead had drown in the fishtank. Hubby and I, expressed our sorrow for their loss, but thought ‘really, what did they expect? Naming a bird Shithead, geesh.’

Moral of the story, I don’t think I will be naming the wheel Damn—even though I can see the wisdom in such a name.

Lookie what was on my porch this morning:

All this yarny goodness is Son number 2’s new cardigan, the pattern for which is in the new issue of Interweave Knits.

Also in the box is the yarn for the tummy of a cute hedgehog :

(don’t ask, I have NO @#$% idea what I’m going to do with a hedgehog). Pattern by Fiber Trends.

The yarn for Trek Along with Me should be here very soon, coming from Boulder it can’t take too long can it?

Completely unrelated to my normal blog fodder, this came in the mail yesterday (and you have no idea how excited I am!)

During our last sojourn in Colorado I had this nifty retractable clothesline in the back yard. Loved. It. With so much sunshine and the nice breezy days, I could hang out a load of t-shirts and have them dry in no time at all. When we came back from our season in Washington, alas, the clothesline was no longer. We bought a new one at the local mega home improvement warehouse, only to find it was too short, and when we took it back we found it was our only choice. Last week, longing for line dried sheets, I looked for one online (I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this) and yesterday—TaDa—it arrived. This morning, apparently before he left for work, Brad installed it, right where the old one was.

Back. In. Business.

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