Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Powerbook

Last week I bought myself a gently used PowerBook G4 15".
And I love it.
I've been in love with the PowerBook since it came out years ago.
(The backlit keyboard nearly made me cry)
However, I was a bit lazy when I got it and just deleted the user-information from the previous owner.
I did not want to reboot for several reasons: I only have the OS X 10.3 disks and the OS X has since been upgraded to 10.3.9, which would make a reboot useless.
Besides it had Microsoft Office installed by same owner, who held on to the disks, and a cleansweep reboot would erase those as well.
However, after moving my iTunes library and photos and files from the faithful little old iBook, and working like a dream, it started acting up.
One thing is the machine literally screamed like a banshee when Vincent jumped upon the keyboard (I rather appreciated that as he will not do that again), but it started freezing.
And in my little world Macs do not freeze. Ever.
My iBook, after nearly five years has never once frozen or crashed or acted unpleasant.
Not even with a pint of green tea tipped straight down into the keyboard (thank you, Laurenz), or half a glass of red wine in same (which did cause a need for a replacement keyboard as the spacebar and the n and m stopped functioning).
So I do not like a PowerBook freezing.
And I know I should have done the clean reboot from start.
I do not know how the previous owner used it. Or what he has deleted and uninstalled - or how.
(I noticed that the security updates were not updated, for one thing)
Or how that would interfere with my use and my programs.
So I have spent most of today playing with Disk Utility, veryfying and repairing, and verifying and repairing, and veryfying and repairing - and being puzzled and close to panicking.
And intensely stubborn.
Even ended up using fsck.
And now I can finally install OS X.
And my beautiful machine is humming merrily next to me.
I still love it.
And the brilliant simplicity of Apple support.

And this is how the cats have spent today.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

I will be working tonight. And tomorrow night. And the day after.
And I do not mind at all.
I have no family and no relatives to spend Christmas with.
And after 10 years that no longer causes the same grief it used to.
Instead I have a nearly stress-free December, and tonight a quiet evening at work, with nice colleagues, a nice dinner - and I can bring my knitting with me.
I attended the Winter Solstice Service at the Unitarian church Friday evening.
Celebrating the beginning of a light curve that takes us from the darkest heart of winter, and leads us right on through to the doorstep of spring.
And while, to me, Christmas is no longer what it used to be, it is still the celebration of light.
Be it the solar cycle, the glittering fairy lights - or the arrival of a saviour.
And the cats will be treated to a bit of the special wet food.
Without medicine.

And when I come home tonight, I will light a candle for each of those I miss.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A box full of hamsters

Earlier today I went to visit a friend, bringing along a fresh-baked apple and fig pie.
As it was fresh from the oven, and very juicy, I had wrapped a sheet of baking paper around it before placing it in a box lined with a towel, which I then loaded carefully into big, black, plastic bag with holes punched in.
I wanted to be sure it survived the bus and train ride without spilling over. The bus ride went well.
The train ride even better.
The seats across from me were occupied by a father and his young son, a beautiful, quirky little boy, 5 or 6 years old.
He stared at the box-shaped bag.
Quirky boy: "What's in the box?"
Me: "Hamsters"
Quirky boy: "Hamsters?! Oooh, I want a Hamster!"
Me: "Well, these hamsters are all spoken for"
Quirky boy's father: "They smell nice".
Me: "They eat only baked apples".
And then it was their stop.
Next time I WILL bring her a box of hamsters.
Apple pie is rather dull in comparison.

The python pencil case

One of the Christmas presents I made this year was a python pencil case, lined in silk.

The python I had bought at some time, without much other purpose than mere owning, and it was longing for a reason to be (somewhere else than around a snake).
I was also lucky enough to find a beautiful plaid silk remnant in the same box as the python skin.

The past year I have been very appreciative of my store-bought,slim, black leather pencil case. Big enough for the pencils I need and use - but not much else.
And so the python and silk pencil case was born.
I cut one strip for the bottom, and another two, each half the bottom width, for the top, from both the python and the silk.
I sewed in the zipper between the two top strips, and I added the lining for the top before sewing on the bottom. I then sewed the ends closed and turned it out, grateful I had remembered to open the zipper before adding the bottom.
The bottom lining was sewn in by hand.
And for at bit if a finishing touch I cut a narrow strip of python to knot around the zipper-pull.
And it turned out much more delicious than my own pencil case.
I hope he'll appreciate it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sinus infection, Simple Sleeve and very amateurish yarn p0rn

I'm in bed with a nifty little sinus infection.
But the cats keep me greatly entertained as do the books, I picked up from the library on the way home from the doctor.
Alice Starmore's Tudor Roses.(Oh, how I want to knit Elizabeth I - and oh, how I want a man to knit Henry VII for. Sweater curse be darned.)
Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and Scarf Style - which greatly makes me reconsider my own "invention" for the Knit Your Bit KAL. And some more literature much needed for the exam paper I really should be working on. But my head is not working quite right with what feels like 24 kg of excess fluid oozing around in my head.
Instead I have made great progress on the Simple Knitted Bodice. It now has a sleeve!

I had read, here and there, that the sleeves are killers! So I thought I would switch to them after finishing the lace panel, leaving me some nice belly-knitting to do after the killer-sleeve knitting.
But either I didn't pay attention in the process, or it wasn't that bad.
I have started on the second sleeve now, hoping some mindless staying warm in front of the telly tonight will bring it forth.
And, oh the wonder, on the way to the pharmacy to get some very special antibiotics reserved for weaklings like me, who are hyperallergic to penicillin, I found this.
The Monster Clock Radio.

Not only does it show the time in a terrifying large manner (once I've figured out how to set the time), it also tunes into my favourite radio station (or I managed that) and while it will wake me up in the morning, it will also let me fall to sleep listening to Harry Potter read in the soothing, somewhat sexy voice of the brilliant Stephen Fry.
It has a CD player!
Hence the size and the ugliness.
And the postman brought some longed for yarn.
A lavendarblueish cosy wool meant for a cardiganny jackety thing for Katrine, hopefully as a real Christmas present, otherwise as a birthday present in January.

And some green silky tweed from Elsebeth Lavold, as greed quickly got hold of me once I started on the SKB and realized I could not live with just one thing knitted from the Silky Tweed.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The great IKEA bed side table assembly task force

I did get a new bed side table when at IKEA Thursday last week.
However I was not much in the mood for assembling it until Saturday.
And once again I'm reminded just how helpful cats are. Especially these two.
What would I do without them?

We had better help her. We do not want another rickety scratchingpole incident.

Hmmm, it does not look like the super deluxe 7 storey cat tower we ordered...

What can it be....
it could be a hammock
I've counted the screws for you.

It seems solid enough

Can I please go take my nap now?

And the bedside table with lamp and books in all its IKEA glory.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

And so this is Christmas

Contrary to tradition I have actually attempted a bit of Christmas decorating this year.
Glass birds in kitchen:

Fancy fairy lights:

It's already much more Christmasness than previous years.

Knitting in the night

I had great expectations before working the night shift.
But there was not nearly as much time for knitting as hoped and expected.
Only very little progress on the Knit Your Bit scarf
And a bit more on the Simple Knitted Bodice
The Lace panel is done, but I think I may have deviated from the pattern in practically every way possible so far.
I have promised myself never, ever to work night again.
I may be a bit of a night owl by nature, but going home from work at 8 in the morning is bloody unnatural, and I've felt slightly groggy and hungover these past few days.
It would perhaps be easier with some real bed room curtains and quiet cats (or no cats). But I'll stick to a more normal work schedule form now on.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Loud and clear

Vincent has his voice back.
I came home from work around 9 this morning in bad need of a bit of sleep.
No sign of the great voice of catness at that time.
Shortly after noon I was a awaken by the feeling of intense staring, impatient shuffling of paws in pillows, and some light snuffling in ear, which was all quite ignorable.
But then he, the Prime Yeller of the Catdom, yelled, something which can roughly be translated as "Wake the heck up now, you lazy human, we are in dire need of attention here."
So his voice is most certainly back.
And I have yet to find the snooze button.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I have been gifted

Today, on our way to an ill-advised trip to IKEA, Katrine gave me a beautiful tea mug with a leaping cat.
I love it.

The Simple Knitted Bodice is taking shape.
Only all too slowly.
I love the feel of the silky tweed.
Hopefully working the night shift these two coming nights will help me finish it quickly.
I cannot believe I actually agreed to work nights, but the thought of being paid for knitting all night helps a bit.

Vincent with the volume down

Monday I had to take Vincent to visit our wonderful vet.
He was coughing and his voice, which is usually very loud and clear, was barely there.
He is now in bed, diagnosed with tonsillitis, and we have two daily performances of the great show "Giving the cat his penicillin".
This involves one nosy Siamese very interested in the pill, one sulking Oriental refusing to get anywhere near same pill - and a generous amount of the special-treat-wet-food, which is where the magic of making the pill disappear takes place.
And this I'm a bit concerned about in case they think that's how it should be every day from now on - sans the pill scenario of course.
Vincent is however as chatty as ever, still unable to keep his little cat-mouth shut for more than five minutes at a time - he even mumbles in his sleep.
Only difference is that the volume has been turned down to not much more than a coarse whisper.
I feel a bit guilty for appreciating the peace and quiet.
But now Laurenz is sneezing. Which may or may not be part of an attempt to finally get that pill.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Knit your bit

The lovely Linnea has started a KAL in support of the National World War II Museum's "Knit Your Bit" effort to knit scarves for veterans of World War II.
While I have not had any veterans in my family, my grandfather spent the last two years of WWII in German concentration camps, Buchenwald and Neuengamme, where he would most likely have died, had it not been for large role American soldiers played in defeating Germany and liberating Europe.
So this bit of knitting is in his memory and in their honour.

Oooh, it's a kitty wrap

No, It's just my Simple knitted Bodice before frogging.
Now I've learned to swatch before knitting, and to do it properly - both stitch- and row-wise.
I need to add a few more rows than the pattern calls for. But that's ok.
At least now I've learned my lesson. I hope.
And the library had lovely books for me today!
I have brought home Sensational Knitted Socks, Vogue Knitting American Collection and Bags & Backpacks.
All lovely.
I also got some long awaited books on intertextuality and remediation.... but I'm still a bit more excited about the knitting books.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Not so pretty

I wanted a pretty photo of the beautiful cats, but this is what I got:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I've knitted a hat

I have fallen completely in love with Grumperina's Odessa hat. It was such a lovely, easy and fun pattern. And a nearly all too fast knit.
And right now it's actually a bit wet and drying after an incident with spilled tea and a quick wash.
Cheapish but surprisingly soft and pleasant superwash wool/acrylic yarn from the yarn store near work (where I quite often go to fondle yarn on my lunch breaks).
I have decided to attempt a slightly more mannish version for lovely colleague, who has been asking me to knit him something, anything - even a nose cone.
I do knit at work. In a strange way it keeps me calm and happy all through the day, or evening.
The hat is for Katrine.
As an extra little package for the calendar, which I can finally give her tomorrow. I'm not sure if the bed socks will be able to wait in their wrapping until the 24th. That's a lot of warm softness going unused while it's cold outside.
This very evening I have cast on for the beautiful Simple Knitted Bodice, using Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Tweed in black. And I'm terribly excited about it!
Sadly, Vigdis has been put on the backburner for a while, as I had to return the book to the library and cannot find the copy I made of the cable chart. And I do not dare try it out from memory. So untill the book returns to me or the chart shows up - no finished Vigdis. Unless I decide to test my memory or whatever skills may be needed.
I have also prepared for tomorrow's lecture - after a full day at work.
And cleaned the bathroom. And done the dishes. And played tag with the bad cats.
This weekend should bring more cleaning, more knitting, more reading, a bit of work, and hopefully also a bit of Christmas decorating, just for once.
And more playing with the cats.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Bed socks and a bit of Christmas spirit

Today i finished the bed socks I've been knitting for my lovely friend Katrine.

Using the incredibly delicious Regia silk which makes them ultra soft and .... a bit hard to part with.
They are to be part of the Christmas calendar I've put together for her.

As we are both orphans December can be a bit tough to get through, and I hope a small present a day will cheer her up.
Small things, and not so small things.
Portion-packed facial masks, as she rides her bike in all sorts of weather, which is rather rough on her skin in winter time.
A few DVDs, as she just recently got a DVD-player - America's Sweethearts, L'Amant, Amélie, the Pillow Book.
Small hurricane lanterns for her balcony.
Glass ornaments. Christmassy CDs. A beaded key chain. Chocolates. Goofy poems.
The grand finale being the bed socks.
I cannot wait to give it to her Friday.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Nice and warm

Why don't you just get your own radiatorbed...

And a very young Laurenz in same bed. It does stretch.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Come here, Spidey, Spidey

Vincent is a great hunter.

If he can get to his prey....

"Come here, spidey, spidey"

"Stupid spider"

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gmail freaks me out - and cracks me up

I love gmail. It's easy and friendly, and, well, easy.
However, I generally find myself confused and a little baffled by the ads, the super-targeted ads, which are generated by certain words in the emails I receive. I try to ignore them, especially as they do give me an eery feeling that someone is reading my mail - even if it's just a program.
And sometimes, although rarely, it is very amusing.
As today.
Headline "Dick Cheney totally hates you" (very gifted SF Chronicle columnist Mark Morford)
And the carefully chosen ads:
"ONE Disposable Underwear"
"CMI Erosion Solutions"
"Girl Underwear"
"The Proven CFIDS Cure"
"Environmental News"
"Under Pressure"
Because, naturally, when you think of Dick Cheney, your next thought is .... disposable underwear!
.... but "Girl underwear"?!
Well, maybe you have to know Cheney to know.
And gmail probably reads his mail too.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My brain needs its beauty sleep

I've slept like sh*t these past few nights, and I have no clue why.
And after class today I had a job interview with big pharma co, which came as a bit of a surprise. A bit too much of a surprise.
So I was wearing knee-high turqoise suede boots and unruly hair and funny shirt dress to job interview with very big pharma co Sales and Marketing Manager, who was very correct and white-shirted.
And I was of course underslept and unprepared, as the job-mediator had forgotten to give me the correct date and time, and called me the very last moment, and I had not expected to go to any job interviews anywhere today - or even this week.
I remember talking about rarely taking the train, and labelling the Metro as a non-train.
And then I talked a bit about knitting too.
And cats, probably, well, most likely.
And... Oh, yes, I did make sure to mention I got a fine on the Metro this morning.
Which is of course important for a future, potential employer to know.
I'm an underslept fool.
Or my brain just needs its beauty sleep.
I would have liked that nice assistant's job, though, but they probably test on animals, anyway.

Vincent knits

I decided to knit a mouse. Of course.
I had some leftover yarn from the kitty pi (which has been sadly ignored since the heat was turned on and was replaced as favourite spot by the radiator bed).
Vincent was as always most helpful.

However Laurenz has decided the mouse is his, all his. And he leaves it out of reach or sight only when sleeping or eating. Any attempts by Vincent to sniff it or give it a little playtime is met with low growls leaving no room for doubt as to who is the rightful mousemaster.
I will have to knit another one.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sleeping beauty

Well, hello again, Vigdis!

I have been so absorbed by sock-knitting and general going-ons that I have ignored the poor Vigdis.
However, as the wintry cold quite suddenly arrived without warning, I realized that I really, really need this sweater.
And, voila, I've finished the front. Not quite as "voila" as that, but I'm a bit surprised by it, nonetheless.
I had expected to knit for ages, and ages, and ages, before reaching this point.
But it seems I may very well be much more efficient than I think.
"She" will not be nearly as big as the original Vigdis, as I'm really not tall enough to carry something that wide, but the length I do like.
And since this was the first thing I started knitting, before I was sure if it was a thing for me to do, I chose a cheapish (but still wonderfully soft and nice) wool, with a higher gauge, but stuck somewhat to the original pattern (in spite of a surprising lack of pattern-following skills), with a small, intended, variation in the ribbing.
Cat-less photos are hard to come by in this house.
Hence the stretching taking place.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Warmed and delighted by Rae's care-package

Yesterday I finally made it to the postoffice to pick up my package from Rae, who has spoiled me as part of the Hot Socks Swap extravaganza.
(Damn work and courses and having to pick it up at strange postoffice I've never been to before and had to look up on map before finding. Otherwise I could have brought home these delights much sooner.)
The cats were of course very helpful during the opening ceremony. The lovely yarn made Vincent, his usual graceful self, snort loudly in appreciation. I already have plans for them! The lovely lilac Lang Jawoll will become a pair of Fancy Silk Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks, while the wonderful white Louet Gems will become Aran Sandal Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks.
I love the Numi tea, and not just the tea itself, but also the clever, amusing packaging.
I had the Simply Mint last night before going to bed, and couldn't bring myself to dispose of the wrapping which I sniff every time I pass the kitchen counter, while smiling at the direction "While humming, bring fresh water to boil (....) Let the soothing taste warm and delight you".
It's heaven!
Only problem is, now I cannot decide if the next cup should be "Bushman's Brew" ("Unlike teas, Honeybush will not grow bitter, nor shall you"), or "Red Mellow Bush" ("Sip and dissolve your worries away"), or "Chinese Breakfast" ("Like you this tea is well-balanced"), or .....
Can you fall in love with teabags?
And then I have not even mentioned the lovely Chai spice tea!
Or the most beautiful post-it notes ever made.
And there are scented candles in my favourite scents - lilac and vanilla, how could Rae possibly know?

One part aristocat, one part yarn-snorting guard-cat

When we have company, Vincent does his best to appear elegant and aristocratic, just as a fine Oriental is supposed to be. However, when we are alone he snorts loudly in appreciation of 100% merino sock yarn.
(And he barks at the gardener.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Oh, no, it's just pizza

Lunchroom at work, early evening.
I read the paper having finished my pasta salad.
A young colleague walks by, carrying a pizza box.
I don't remember his name.
He opens the door to the courtyard, nods in way of greeting.
Me: "So you're dining al fresco?"
Him: "Oh, no, it's just pizza"
It's pretty chilly outside, though.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Oh, a bed sock

I have finished the first Bed sock.
And I love it.
It is soft, and cosy, and comfortable and pretty - and quite quickly knit.
I love the pattern, in particular the triangle formed by the gusset decreases.
And as the first storm this autumn is approaching, nice warm socks are very much needed up here under the roof. Thanks to much yoga, this photo wasn't that hard to take.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

From evening stockings to bed socks

I love Knitting Vintage Socks, and I love the local library for letting me borrow it.
Having finished the Evening Stockings I have moved with the clock and started on the Bed Socks.
Soft, soft, black alpaca.
I love them already
And Laurenz looooves alpaca.
Mmmmm, alpaca.

A square for Grandmother Purl

I too have knitted a square for Grandmother Purl, and I loved knitting this. And for a short while it felt like I had my own grandmother to knit for.
Of course the center-motif is .... off-center.
But that's how it is.
Gives it the right hand-made touch, I think.
And I have to admit, I didn't love knitting it enough to frog and knit again.
Modelled by the ever-present Vincent, who thinks it's a bit small for a blanket, but nice and warm anyway.