Friday, July 14, 2006

And now for something completely different...

So, I'll start off with knitting stuff and warn you that the rest of the post may contain lengthy rambling about random topics, such as kitty acne and white chocolate M&Ms. So start here, and just stop when you get bored or perplexed :)

First, here is the start of the fluffy bunny hat to go with the Angora Baby Booties. I got one ball of Valeria di Roma Angora in each of five colors on sale at WEBS a while ago. The peach went to the Snow Queen Hat, the pink one went to Angora Baby Booties for a friend, and much of the red went to the recent baby booties. This leaves me with some red and whole balls of cream and orange. Yes, orange. And I mean REALLY orange. Traffic cone orange. Hey, it was angora and on sale, and it was an impulse buy, near the virtual register! Anyway, I certainly don't have enough red for a whole hat, even for a newborn head. I had an irrational fear that a cream and red hat would make my child look like either a pirate or Waldo (you know, as in Where's Waldo?, so I decided, perhaps rashly, that orange and red are right next to each other in the rainbow, so that'd work out fine. You guys are much more rational about color schemes than I am, so if you have thoughts about the red/orange combo, let me know. Is it hideous? Are my pirate fears unwarranted and I should use the cream? Should I alternate rows to make it look more integrated, or use a big stripe in the middle? I'm just winging it with a basic rolled-brim stockinette strategy, and I'll post the "pattern", such as it is, when I'm done. In fact, I may just call it Fluffy Bunny Hat. Here are the colors:

And here's Hourglass Sweater. I think it's my inherent avoidance of finishing, but I'm starting to think that instead of hemming, maybe the slight roll stopped by the "turning" row looks pretty nifty. I know, I'm awful. I will probably get lots done tonight, as we're going to a local baseball game. I'm not sure how this'll go for me...I'm not really "into" sports, per se. I enjoy going to Cubs games with my husband, and watching World Cup games and Chicago Fire (Major League Soccer) games. But that's pretty much it. But I'll have my knitting, so I should be fine.

Marie, I lurve the Eau de Nil Rowanspun (even if I've noticed I type it as Eau de Mil half the time. No idea what that would mean), and I hope I find the right project for it. Besides the thin fabric when I swatched (which, why the heck didn't I take a picture???), the main concern I have with it is how brittle it is. It breaks at the slightest provocation. I also got the Rowanspun DK in Mist, which is a grey with blue flecks. The weird thing is that the Eau de Nil seems much thinner and less soft and lofty (yeah, that's a technical term) than the Mist, but they should be the same. Weird. Maybe they'll be more alike knitted up. I also ended up with prodigious amounts of Rowanspun 4-Ply, some of which has already been made into a shawl (in Turkish, a purpley-blue and yes, lots of yarn breaking), and some of which I have no solid plans for (TWO bags of Lunar, a blue, and one of Siren, a red). I think much of the Rowanspun will end up doubled.

So, those of you hoping for an update on the kitty teeth brushing, we've put that on hold to deal with a different problem. When we took the boys to the vet, we asked her about a weird thing that's been going on with Geronimo's chin. It turns out he has kitty acne, possibly caused by the plastic water dish, which is apparently a bacteria farm, especially when your cats like to scratch the bejeezus out of it. So we needed to get a stainless steel water dish, and the vet told us to brew calendula tea and dab it on Geronimo's chin a few times a day (This is one of the things I like about our vet's office. Everything's not all about expensive medicine. The two vets are certified in naturopathy and homeopathy, and while they definitely are proficient in mainstream veterinary medicine, they often have herbal remedies, like the 20 cents worth of calendula flowers we got at the co-op instead of starting off with steroid medicine and its side effects.) And we replaced their reservoir dish with a stainless steel one. I should also tell you that we were stupid and left the old water dish up on the kitchen counter. This is how they responded. I wish I had taken pictures.

Mirando: Cautiously approaches the new water dish. Sniffs it thoroughly, pats it with his paw several times, sticks his face in and has a drink.

Geronimo: Cautiously approaches the new water dish. Sniffs it thoroughly. Runs out of the kitchen. Returns later to jump on the counter and meow at the old (empty) water dish. Oy. I finally got Geronimo to drink by scooping up water from the new dish with a measuring cup and pouring it back in. They both love running water sounds, so that got his interest. He's using it, but not happy about it yet.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Writing: 28,000 words. Almost done with the revision. Just finishing up the new subplot/character I just added. He's cracking me up! Stefaneener, I have no immediate plans to write romance novels, but it's something I joke about with a friend of mine. I'm barely making it through the flirting scenes in my murder mystery right now...not sure I could pull off a "romance" scene :) I love Mrs. Bing's romance writing advice on Friends: "Oh, please, honey, listen, if I can do it, anybody can. You just start with half a dozen European cities, throw in thirty euphemisms for male genitalia, and bam! You have got yourself a book." Eh, I have the murder mystery, then the Real Novel, then three children's books...maybe after those :) It seems a pity to waste the awesome pen name...

Cooking: Okay, I haven't been cooking. It's too hot. I have great plans for homemade ice cream this weekend, though. I'm deciding between Turtle, Mint Chip, Peanut Butter Swirl, and Blueberry Cheesecake. Let me know which one you think I should make, and you can come over and share it. And if you're across the ocean or something, I will post the recipe instead! If only I were one of those clever bloggers who runs a contest and does a drawing and actually sends the winner a prize...but I post dessert recipes--that's just as fun, right?

This isn't cooking related, but I was suckered into buying some White Chocolate M&Ms by their clever Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in packaging. I like peanut, peanut butter, and crispy, so it's not that I'm averse to change, but I'm not sure about them. They're really, REALLY sweet. I think the candy shell needs the contrast of the semi-sweet chocolate. I like a bit of Lindt or Godiva white chocolate from time to time, but mostly I'm a dark chocolate person. They do, however, have little pirate symbols on lots of the M&Ms; a ship with an M in its sail, a skull (sans crossbones), swords, a spyglass. I think they're pretty cute, but I had no idea pirates were so into pastels. They're aqua, yellow, white, and peach. Doesn't seem very "Argh. Ahoy, you mateys" to me, but I assume the M&Ms folks had their reasons. Maybe they're meant to be "Caribbean" colors? I was also disappointed that there was no instant-win opportunity. I mean, I never win anything from those, but it's nice just to get the little "Sorry you are not a winner" card in the bag, or better still, the code you put into their web page to find out you didn't win. Just to make this even more irrelevant, we had special M&Ms made for our wedding favors. Our colors were burgundy and silver, so we ordered burgundy and silver M&Ms and tied them up in netting. You can have a pretty entertaining time making your own color combinationshere, and I guess you can now get them specially printed, too. Sadly, M&Ms/Mars is not paying me for my endorsement :)


Rain said...

Oooh the picky kitty.

I like the orange and red together. I have issues with insipid colours on babies and since this is your baby if you like it that's what matters. Stripes are cool and pirates are very 'in' right now.

Annie said...

Totally go with the red and the orange! fantastic! babies look good in bold colors. You could add the white (or cream?) too, and do a fun striping sequence. Rock on!

Marie said...

Oops, I think I wrote Mil too...hmm, water of the Mil river. Yes. Really. I have some DK in goblin, a bright green, and three bags of the aran. I didn't know rowanspun was so fragile!
The orange and pink look good together. The pink is bright enough not to be overwhelmed by the orange. In fact, I have a baby sweater kit in just those colors. Red and cream is a bit too peppermint/Christmas/pirate/Waldo-esque.
Poor Geronimo! Hope his acne goes away! It's quite funny that he is so attached to his old water dish!