Round up

The “more cat playtime” plan seems to be wearing out the cat, all that jumping and running and pouncing. Tangle’s little pink nose goes red when he’s over tired. He didn’t even touch his food this morning (hell has now frozen over) which I filled between playtimes, he just lay by the toy waiting for me to come back. He did eat some cat food from my hand, but he was more concerned with the toy. It’s a really simple thing, some stiff wire that wants to be in a circle shape with some twists of paper on it. They love it to bits. Kathryn A got it for us to train Quantum how to catch moths and get the hang of the three-dimensional two-paw pounce-catch. Tangle seemed a little more perky this morning.

Sehlat’s socks are my lunchtime knitting project and I’m on the foot part of sock two, which refuses to get any longer. I knit four rounds and it’s still the same size. I appear to be knitting a sock in another dimension, unrelated to this sock but occupying the same needles, and some other-dimensional knitter keeps picking up their sock and saying “I swear this thing grows every time I put it down.” Sehlat has a shirt picked out to match the socks when they arrive, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. For the record, it takes me a long time to make a pair of socks. A loooog time.

Sehlat sock 2.

I’m also working on a scarf for my Dad for Christmas. The pattern is Rachel‘s freebie design, the Good Ole Cable Scarf. It’s made using Cascade 220 (100% wool) in a colour close to Dulux Woodsmoke, his favourite colour for painting doors. Next time I think I’ll do a garter stitch border. Picture to come when I dig the camera out, but suffice it to say that the scarf is brown. Would also love to do one in Rowan Cork like wot Rachel did. Continuing a slightly disturbing trend, orange Rowan Cork (called Delight for some reason) had a guest appearance in my dream recently. I have dreamed of yarn twice now, Rowan Felted Tweed (in the Herb colour) and now Cork. Send therapists.

The grass has almost shut down for the winter, and there was much rejoicing! I am an unmitigated failure as a gardener and winter is my favourite gardening season. All that ground frost and inches of snow makes everything look tidy and cared for. I can forget the yard till spring, barring the annual leaf collecting spree courtesy of the three monster cottonwoods some twerp planted when they built the house in 1910. They rain leaves in autumn and fuzz in spring. How charming.

And there’s knitting morning tomorrow with Rox and the gals, followed by a picnic on the river and apple picking! I’m not taking the socks or the scarf to knit on, I’m taking the Eternal Sweater, doing the increases and starting the first pattern repeat.

Acres of moss stitch and cable later, I’ll have the front done, then the last sleeve, then a seaming party, and then I can give it to Hubby in time for the tenth anniversary on August 5th 2005. That’s the plan anyway. I need someone to hold me accountable to it with a big stick. Volunteers?

Cat talk

I’m a bad cat-parent. We’ve been neglecting the little ones of late and I feel guilty. Life interrupted, and Tangle hasn’t fared so well. He’s licked a bald patch on his front leg so I’m trying the leash training again, devoting more time to cat play, and getting up early to play “chase the sparkly thing,” their favourite game. Quantum even returns the sparkly thing for another throw. Also pondering one of those cylindrical cat cave things you see in pet stores. He loves to hide in dark spaces.

Tangle is not as well adjusted as Quantum. She got the benefits of plenty of kitten time with Mother Cat, was bought by couple, who then drove over her tail, rejected her, and she came to live with us, sans tail. Tangle was abandoned in a barn as a wee kitten along with the rest of the litter, and it shows. He needed more time with Mother Cat, whom I fervently hope got spayed after that litter. He hates the sound of plastic bags, panics at the mere thought of a collar, let alone a harness and leash, never learned tail etiquette, and can’t eat or drink tidily and quietly. I didn’t have enough training time with him as I did with Quantum and the sofa is suffering. He’s in need of some serious playtime.

(Note to self: when cat lies down and pants, totally ignoring the toys, he’s had enough for now.)

Knocked out

Did you see it? Did you catch it’s number? That train that ran me down, I think it was driven by this mad microbe out for revenge, and he got me good. I hate getting sick, especially at this end of the work month. Send chocolate.


Why would anyone do this? Better yet, why would there be competition for this record? ‘Scorpion woman’ breaks record.

A Malaysian woman has broken a world record by spending 32 days in a glass box with more than 6,000 scorpions, her sponsor claimed on Tuesday. Nur Malena Hassan, nicknamed Scorpion Queen, has been stung seven times since she began the stunt, in a shopping mall in Kuantan in central Pahang state. With scorpions crawling over her body, Ms Hassan passes the time by reading, watching TV and waving to onlookers. But she cannot make any sudden movement, or she could face the wrath of her treacherous roommates.

After five years of training, Ms Hassan has built up resistance to the scorpions’ stings, but can still pass out if stung three times in quick succession.

Since starting the stunt, she has only left her box once a day for a 15-minute toilet break, as well as a two minute break on Sunday to cut her birthday cake.

She used to hold the record, then someone else took it, now she’s out to regain her crown, planning to stay in there until 36 days. Don’t try this at home, or indeed anywhere. Five years training getting stung by scorpions? Where do you put that on a CV/resume?

Haiku V

All good things must end

Haiku week is finished now

Thank you for playing!

This is the last haiku round up, thanks to everyone who posted them, it’s been a blast! I’m leaving town mid-afternoon, so I’ll post what I have so far. If I missed you, leave a note in the comments and I’ll add you when I get back.

I’m off for the weekend. Hubby is getting better, and I’m still stealing his car. In my defense, I have cleaned it and filled it with petrol.

Haiku IV

The Mystery Yarn Parcel I won in Jillz August contest arrived last night! Good old Royal Mail!

Mystery parcel,

Rowan Cotton Chenille yarn,

Galaxy chocolate!

Mystery Yarn Parcel!

There was a bar of Galaxy chocolate in the box that did not last the night, also a lovely note, and four balls of yarn purchased from Liberty in London, a store I remember walking past and never going in. It is my first Rowan yarn, Chunky Cotton Chenille in two wonderfully contrasting shades of blue, soft and squishy.

Yarn close up.

I love those two colours next to each other! Jillz, how did you know blue is one of my favourite colours? 152 yds a ball, I have four balls, so that’s 608 yards total. The Shapely Tank Top requires 600 yards, but that’s in DK not chunky. Can anyone help me do the conversion from DK to chunky? Dark blue two thirds of the way up, and the top third in light blue maybe? Or maybe a warm and snuggly Tricot? Or a scarf, hat and mittens set? A waistcoat/vest? Endless possibilities. Must swatch, but endless possibilities! What would you make with it?

The Thursday haiku round up:

I’ve been listing the haiku’s for the day they were written, not the day I found them. The Friday haiku round up will be the last one. It will be done early afternoon as I’m leaving town for the retreat, so apologies in advance for anyone I miss off the list. Just leave a note in the comments and I’ll add you when I get back. This has been so much fun! Make sure you read everyone’s comments, lots of haiku are popping up there too.

A handbag?

Fascinating article in the Telegraph, £577 price tag as the handbag spills its secrets.

Women’s handbags have always been a mystery to men and now it appears they are a mystery to women too. Few realise it but the average handbag and its contents are worth £577, according to a survey of women. What’s more, despite the labyrinthine nature of bags – containing everything from packets of cough sweets to tissues or countless receipts that have been there since the dawn of time – the average value was made up of just 10 items. The survey of 1,700 women found that most had a bag priced at £30, a purse worth £15, containing £50 cash, a £199 mobile phone, £50 sunglasses, 8 hairbrush, £40 of perfume, house and car keys that would cost £100 to replace, and a leather diary or organiser worth £35. Perhaps the most incomprehensible statistic to men is that the average make-up bag and its contents carried in a handbag was worth £50.

So what’s in your handbag? Mine always has my wallet (containing a very hard to replace green card and a handful of change), keys (including a Photon II Microlight), lip balm, pocket Moleskine notebook, pen (Cross Ion Hubby gave me that writes purple), cell phone, comb, mirror, eye drops, nail clippers, Leatherman Micra, small tin of headache pills, tissues when I remember to restock it, cheap sunglasses, and some fluff right at the bottom of the bag. That’s not £577, but it’s more than I expected.