Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'm not sticky

Knitting, cats, and cake

So, I spent the first two weeks of 2008 in bed with pneumonia, and the rest of the time catching up with work and the rest of the world.
But the time under the duvet wasn't entirely wasted. Even if high fever gives me the attention span of an 8-weeks old puppy I have indeed been knitting.
And I've even finished something:
Lois Young's lace tam from A Gathering of Lace. It's very pretty and very warm.

I also very nearly finished Harwood from Rowan Studio 2. And I actually cast on for it minutes after making the list of all the things I wanted to finish. Have no idea how that happened.
And I was very, very, very nearly finished when I decided to try it on (Having sewn one shoulder!). But it was a bit ... narrow in the fit. And I measured, and measured again, and then started counting, and somehow my gauge had changed from 12 st. to 15 st. per 10 cm. Same size needles, same yarn, same ... me.
Again I have no idea how it happened, but it makes a bloody big difference.
(Please note the freshly washed cat-butt)
I have not frogged it yet.
I look at it and feel very pleased with my changing the direction of the cables (because I'm such a sucker for symmetry), and with having stuck with something so long that I nearly finished it. And wonder if blocking would make up for the gauge-problem.
I doubt it.

And because a lot of cables all the time was a bit much, I started something else and sweatery from a very lovely dark red SoftWoolSilk bought in December when I felt rich.
(Please note the freshly washed cat-legs)
Much stockinette, and a lot of making-it-up-as-I-go-along.
It may turn out a mess, it may turn out brilliant. It's too early to say.

And to add to the wip-insanity I cast on for gloves yesterday, having lost or maybe just misplaced the only pair I had left. The Cabled Gloves from VK's anniversary issue.
I love VK even if they have very crappy subscription service.
Yet sometimes keeping an eye on a chart while keeping an eye on your knitting and keeping an eye on the cat, whose butt is likely to cover the chart anytime while the other end of same cat is pawing a bit too enthusiastically at the yarn, and keeping another eye on the movie you are watching is a bit much all at once.
Therefore I missed what may be a vital part of the pattern but I do not mind too much since I'm no big fan of bubbles anyway.

And so I have added a few extra projects to the list of things to finish in 2008.

The cats are now adjusting to the fact that we are no longer staying in bed all day.

And after several long mornings of complaints they have returned to getting baked on the radiator.

Oh, yes, it was my birthday this week.
And since I have two jobs, that means two cakes to bake. Which should be no big deal.
One big carrot cake baked Tuesday evening to bring to job #1 on Wednesday, there are only 10 of us there, so that was just fine.
Except that the company also bought cake. A giant marzipan-covered wonder in no lack of fondant roses and gold dust, and I couldn't help wondering if somewhere there was a medium-sized wedding of the posher sort looking for their cake.
That was a bit overwhelming. And very sweet. My carrot cake looked a little lost and misplaced next to it.

Wednesday night then meant baking for job #2. We are close to 30, meaning Very Big cake.
Very Big carrot cake, because I lack imagination and because I've developed a kick-ass recipe for one!
I mixed egg yolks and sugar and cinnamon and orange juice and oil and grated carrots in a big bowl, while humming merrily and chatting to Vincent, who was yelling at me from the overhead beam. As he likes to do when I'm in the kitchen. Don't ask me why.
And then I went to answer the phone.
And then I had to hang up rather abruptly due to loud crashing noise in kitchen and cat yelp.
But before I made it to the kitchen I met Vincent racing past me covered in lovely egg yolks and sugar and cinnamon and orange juice and oil and grated carrots.
And before I could catch him he rolled on our pretty Oriental carpet.
Then Laurenz went out into the kitchen to investigate. And walk around in egg yolks and sugar and cinnamon and orange juice and oil and carrots. And probably taste it before walking around in it a bit more. Before going back into the living room to wander across the carpet a few times, because that's the sensible thing to do, apparently, if you're a cat covered in egg yolks etc.
And so I had two very sticky cats and a sticky carpet and sticky floors - and only 6 eggs left, by the way.
All I could do was cover myself in layers of hopefully protective clothing and carry a very angry Vincent out into the shower.
And I hope I'll never have to wash him again.
Laurenz only needed his legs and face washed, and he's a bit more laissez-faire in his approach to the world.
And with all the cleaning of the cats, and the kitchen, the floors, and the carpet, I forgot to add the egg whites to the second cake-attempt. Resulting in a very moist and dense carrot cake. But there was no way all that mayhem, and the mess, and the first sticky then wet-and-grumpy cats should have been wasted.
So they would bloody well have to eat it and nod approvingly and say how delicious it is.
But luckily the boys at work think cake is cake, and cake is good.

I felt rather happy I came too late into 2008 to think of inviting guests for my birthday.
Even if I could have used an extra pair of hands when washing Vincent.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

First day of a brand new year!

So the first day of 2008 is a bit grey and wet.
But for once I didn't wake up to the new year with a hangover and champagne breath.
New Year's Eve was spent in bed with pneumonia - and the cats.
Quite cozy in its own way, and it seems the entire neighbourhood shot their fireworks across our roof and my bedroom skylights.
And the cats did not bat an eyelid in spite of the noise and general mayhem outside. I was very proud of them, remembering too well my big red cat, Oscar, who hid in the farthest corner of the wardrobe most of the fireworks season.

And so I've had time to make big plans for 2008:
I will finish the Elfin Bride. I'm so very nearly there.
I will finish Elizabeth I. It's almost done.
I will knit the second Spiral Boot sock and give them to Katharina as planned, even if I’d rather keep them myself.
I will finish the City Coat even if it is hard work. It will be worth it!
I will finish the Saturday in the Park dress from Fitted Knits, even if it’s boring. It should be worth it.
I will finish the Hex coat, even if I’m mildly bored with it and the yarn seems a bit odd at times.
I will finish the Fitted Jacket-gone-tunic. I have a major crush on it and it’s very addictive knitting. I just have to read up on the dominating-yarn-thing.
I will finish the Cashmere lace blouse. It would be perfect for spring….
I will accept and embrace the fact that I suffer from a bad case of castonitis. That is not very likely to change. But I could of course try to control it a bit.
Once done with the WIPs I will knit the Knitted Robe of Insanity! I will!
And I will knit more socks.
I will take better care of my skin. By the end of January I’ll be closer to 40 than to 30 and so the days of going to bed without using cleanser and cream etc. are officially over. No matter how tired or drunk I am. I swear!
I will take very good care of my pancreas!
And remember to appreciate the fact that my inner bits and pieces are actually functioning perfectly again. And not cease to be amazed by the complex mostly-silent ever-busy wonder that is the human body.
I will spend less time online and more time outside.
I will read more for entertainment without reading less for education - meaning more fiction but not less non-fiction, just more pleasure reading.
I will be better at taking credit for my work. And learn to toot my own horn a bit.
I will learn to recognize flirting when I meet it.
I will try to work less.
And play more.

I will knit sweaters for the cats. Even if they’ll absolutely hate me for it.

And I will get my bachelor’s degree this summer! That one is certain.