Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This post is brought to you by Mooky

Have I ever told you the story of Mooky? OK, get your coffee. We'll wait.

Nearly five years ago, Bill and I were living in the Okanagan valley in B.C. Some friends of ours had a neighbour who refused to have her outdoor cat spayed; in turn, the cat produced litter after litter of kittens that summer. These kittens lived outside, often coming to our friends' place to be fed. It was an area with few houses, mostly orchard, a good deal of passing traffic, and plenty of coyotes in the hills. Eventually the kittens would get bigger and stop coming around. (Let's imagine that they all moved to better neighbourhoods, where they slept peacefully all day and romped in a garden of catnip all night, OK? OK.) And then there would be more kittens.

Our friends were livid about all this, and complained to authorities, but nothing was done. They already had two cats of their own, but still put food out for the orchard kittens from time to time. Come November, the four kittens from the last litter were still hanging around. Snow was on its way, and Bill and I decided to kittynap one of the kittens. I don't remember why we chose to only take one. Anyway, we went to our friends' place to see the kittens -- there were two boys (one black, one grey/white) and two girls (both grey/white). The black one marched right over, while the other three semi-hid in the garden, so we decided he would best be able to leave his siblings. And we took him.

At first, I thought he might be a Spike, but the name just didn't catch on. It turned out that he was a Mooky. (Movie trivia: There's a connection between the two names. What is it? *)

Just over a year later, we took Mooky to live with friends in Montreal before we set off for Taiwan. And that brings you up to date. The Mook is back. And, for the record, he did not weigh eighteen pounds back then! But he does now -- must have been all that red wine, brie, and baguette, I guess. C'est la vie.

(There is a postscript to the story: The cat next door continued to have kittens for a few years, and one of them now lives comfortably with our friends [the accomplices in Mooky's kittynapping] and their two cats, Oscar and Twinkie. Her name is Toby, and she looks exactly like Mooky. But smaller, bless her.)

* Yep, Spike Lee's character in Do the Right Thing is Mookie.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Eye of Partridge heel

For a heel flap on an even number of stitches.

R1 (RS): *slip 1, knit 1* repeat to end of row
R2: slip 1, purl to end of row
R3: slip 1, *slip 1, knit 1* repeat to last stitch, knit 1
R4: same as R2

Repeat these four rows until flap is desired length (usually square), ending with a purl row.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Go Leafs

Only a non-knitter would (without a pattern) request handknit socks based on a hockey jersey -- excuse me, a vintage hockey jersey. Bill picked the colours for his latest socks, and he did indeed ask for socks that looked like the old Maple Leafs jersey. And, of course, I knit them, because I want him to continue to think that knitting makes me a little bit magic.

(OK, you're right -- it's really only the colours that are vintage Leafs, there should be another, thicker stripe... Doesn't matter. They have been approved by the wearer, and that's what counts.)

These were knit with my new favourite worsted-weight wool: Shelridge Farms Soft Touch W4. Love it, love it, love it. It's hand-dyed, so the colour is not entirely uniform; it's hardly variegated, but the slight variation in tone just adds depth to an already gorgeous colour (for these socks, Blueberry and Natural White). And it's machine washable! And very, very soft. And Canadian.

No pattern, just yer basic top-down, ribbed-cuff, eye-of-partridge heel, wedge-toe socks. I used a 3.75mm circular needle and cast on 44 stitches, increased to 46 after the 2-by-2 ribbing, and then after the heel only decreased the gusset to 48, since Bill has superwide feet. Socks in worsted wool take no time! Of course, it helps to do a few rounds while you're sleeping. Heh.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Dig, if you will, some pictures

Remember waaaay back when I lived faaaar away and I used to show you photos? Yeah, that was fun. I'm going to do it again. I took all kinds of pictures on Saturday, the day that was two or three days in one. Clicking on each link below will, if all goes well, cause a picture to pop up in a new window:

We drove to Paris, Ontario, a beautiful and very photogenic spot on the Grand River.
Bill took this shot of a train crossing the bridge.
After Paris, we wound our way over to Thamesford, a small town on the Thames River. (Look at that sky!)
There is an old mill in Thamesford next to the river, built in 1898.
There is also a riverside park, where we found historical carvings by thirsty travellers of yore (perhaps a shopping list, from the pre-paper era?).
We hadn't even planned to go to the Western Fair in London, but drove past the fairgrounds on the way home and, made dizzy by the lights, couldn't resist.
We spent most of the evening in the agricultural buildings making eye contact with barnyard animals.

It was quite a day, in and around Paris and London, crossing the Thames. Ontario is hilarious that way; maybe next weekend we'll go to Delhi and Geneva. Yes, this province attracted an original-thinking bunch of settlers. Not quite ready to leave home, perhaps.

I shall leave you with a Western Fair lamb that simply wouldn't stand still. Have a lovely day.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Those baby socks, and a great day

The wee socks in my last post were based on the Better-than-Booties Baby Socks patterns in the summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits. I cast on 44 stitches (on a 2mm circ) and just did *k1, p1* ribbing on the cuff and top of foot. Simple pattern, and it involves a whole new (to me) method for short rows. The patterns as written are even cuter, too, with little cables and things.

Bill and I had a good weekend, especially a very full Saturday that included thrift shopping (in two locations); a couple-hour road trip; pulling over to look at sheep; walking along a river and spotting a ginormous turtle; beers and baked Brie on a riverside patio; and the Western Fair (more sheep, llamas, alpacas, goats, horses, swine, etc., and glorious barn smells -- plus I won a toy fish because I was able to "Fool the Guesser" about my age). And I feel like I'm forgetting stuff. It was like two or three days in one, and we so needed that.

To top it off, I started a new sock for Bill just before bed that night. Then, during the night, I dreamt that I was knitting this lovely blue sock, when suddenly Bill's voice cut in, clearly and slowly saying, "You are really starting to freak me out." I woke up to find Bill looking at me and... well, I was lying on my stomach, propped up on my elbows, knitting air. I shit you not. (Bill said he watched for a while, and I had been intently watching my fingers as they fiddled together, so he knew I was dreaming about knitting.) There's something kind of awesome about becoming the funniest thing you can think of, isn't there?

Friday, September 16, 2005


I've stayed away from the blog all week, quite relieved to be distracted by the first real week of school, so when I took a deep breath and came back here today, I was stunned to see the number of comments. Thank you so very much. I haven't quite mustered up the strength to actually look at the comments, but their presence is a comfort. I'll be setting aside some time (and pouring a stiff drink) to read them soon. Many of us have observed at various times that the knitblogging world is a wonderful source of support, but I have to say, you all have outdone yourselves. I am thankful for you.

Along with starting classes, dropping classes, and whatever else I did at school this past week, I had another important task to immerse myself in. I watched the entire first season of Lost on DVD. (Actually, I haven't watched the two-part finale yet, so please don't tell me what happens.) I'll be ready for the new season, newly aware of all those vital questions: Will the raft be rescued? Will the hatch open? Who is hotter: Jack or Sayid?

And of course there has been knitting. In fact, because I am superhuman, I started and finished a whole pair of socks in one day, while watching ::ahem:: nine episodes of Lost. What, you don't believe me? I'll show you:

Well, I didn't say they were for me. Some friends had a baby girl two weeks ago. Her name is Addison. It's never too early to foster a dependence on hand-knitted Fleece Artist socks, is it?

Have a good weekend. I'll talk to you soon. xo

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Beatrix was hit by a car on Wednesday night, and she is gone. I can't tell you how much I am going to miss her.

I'm going to take a little blog break. You take care.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pretty kicky socks

First I tried to photograph my own feet with my new socks on. There were lots of shots like this -- various close-up parts-of-socks:

There were also lying-flat shots (like this one), but that’s a little boring. So then I went for outside help and found a photographer who was willing and able to capture the kicky nature of my new socks.

I love this Cherry Tree Hill merino. The colours are gorgeous (though I’ve been warned that they fade), and the yarn is scrumptious to knit. I cast on 68 stitches and just did a 2-by-2 rib down the leg and top of foot, and a good old-fashioned heel flap/round heel combo. I love these. They’re like buttah, in the colours of a rose garden.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I'm back!

There are two words in fishing trip. Let's get the fishing out of the way first: crap. There were no fish! We fished mostly in Hay Bay, and it was pretty bad. Bill caught one big fish called a sheepshead, a big ugly thing that went back into the water. Me, I had nary a nibble. You'd think a knitter could at least catch a sheepshead, but no.

As for the trip part, it was great. The area around the Bay of Quinte is beautiful, and we went through are all kinds of lovely towns like Picton and Port Hope. We didn't make it to the sheep farm, sadly. But we had lots of fun, enjoyed the peace and quiet, and saw more herons at Hay Bay than I've ever seen in one place. Like this one:

Don't take this the wrong way, but I didn't miss my computer at all. Not a bit.

And now summer is over. School starts tomorrow. I thought I was ready for it, but now I'm not so sure...