Monday, December 05, 2005

Who Would Do This To A Baby?

The Lion Brand yarn company. They call it "a clever baby headband" -- part of their "one-hour holiday projects."

I call it pathetic. Making this kid a fashion victim at such a young age just can't be good.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Who Invented the Phrase: Ripping is a Part of Knitting?

Because I'd like to give them a big kick in the ass, thankyouverymuch.

I haven't been blogging so much, but I have been knitting. And ripping. Lots of ripping.

I started a new seemless sweater because I fell for some beautiful orange Nashua Creative Focus Worsted 75% wool/25% alpaca yarn.

Self, I thought. I've made two of these seemless numbers so far: a crew neck sweater and a cardigan. Who's counting that I really don't wear either becasue the crew neck just looks dorky and the cardigan needs to be reblocked or reknitted or who knows -- sold on Ebay.

But I saw this orange wool and thought: Maybe three's a charm?

So I bought the wool and start making my third seemless sweater -- this time with a v-neck. I followed the pattern but altered it slightly because I wanted a deeper V than the pattern called for. How cool was I altering a pattern to adjust the V? I'm such an advanced knitter!

Not so fast hot shot.

About a third of the way through the sweater I looked at it and thought -- "WTF? Am I making this for Barbie? Because it sure looks teeny." No way this sweater is going to fit across my bust. This is an alpaca/wool blend. Not expando-elastic.

I made an emergeny trip to Urban Knitting, where I bought the yarn, and showed Helen my work-of-art-soon-to-be-disaster sweater.

Helen: "Oh yeah. This is way too small. Your gauge is supposed to be five stitches to the inch and you have five and a half."

Me: "Well, um. yeah, mumble, mumble. I know that, mumble, mumble. I just figured I would make it slightly bigger than the pattern says."

And this is when I was reminded: I am Math Challenged.

More stitches to the inch on your gauge and your project will be SMALLER, not BIGGER.


And so I ripped. 350 yards of beautiful orange yarn. Now nicely wound up waiting to be started again using bigger needles that give me a gauge of 5 stitches to the inch.

It was a painful lesson.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ben is Annoyed with My Blog

As I'm sure many of my IIFs are. (That's Imaginary Internet Friends, pretending that I have some left.)

Meet Ben.

He's one of my co-workers at my not-so-new-anymore job.

His official job responsibility is to manage all of the company's PR efforts. His unofficial job responsibility is to plan all of the drinking-related events for the office.

He has a fully stocked bar here at work (hi HR -- it's locked up. really...), a "lounge" area where imbibing employees gather, and he occasionally accepts kisses from the women participants, as you can see above. He's quite the little party planner.

On top of that, he's oddly obsessed with my knitting blog.

Ben: "Stacy -- you need to update that blog. I'm sick of looking at that stupid ostrich."

Ben: "Um...Stacy...what's up with that blog? You've really got to keep that up."

Ben: "Stacy, why don't you blog about my latest press release. It's Ok that it has nothing to do with knitting. It's a great release. You should write about it."

So here is my latest entry. For you Ben. And for anyone out there who still checks in with me on the off chance I've posted something. Anything.

I promise -- I will be a better blogger. I've got so many bad knitting projects in my queue, many that have been ripped out, some that have been finished and ridiculed (ie: not sure I can wear outside my house) and others that just deserve to be blogged about.

Coming soon. Good entries. I promise. In the meantime, enjoy Ben. BTW, he's single, and clearly likes to be kissed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Meet Henry

He's a Katrina hurricane survivor.

He came to us from the
Lamar Dixon shelter in Louisiana through the Marin Humane Society's "Operation Orphans of the Storm."

We're fostering him until he's a little more adjusted to life away from the bayou in Northern California. (Read: F.O.S.T.E.R.I.N.G. he will not become kitty number 7 in our house...) Not that I don't love him. But
six cats are plenty for me.

Henry looks like he's been through a lot. He's super skinny. (So much so that he has kind of a
bobble-head that Hollywood celebrities get when they decide that a size 0 is fashionable.)

He's cut some cuts and missing fur. But he is SUPER friendly and loves people. And he's a big head butt-er. His table manners could be a bit more refined, as he tends to chew with his mouth open and spill out food, but hey, we don't know much about his family upbringing.

We named him Henry because his head reminds me of Pink Panther. Originally I wanted to name him "Mancini" for Henry Mancini who did the score for the movies. But my husband thought that was just way too stupid (considering I had just come back from my Italian class when I had this brilliant idea) and he suggested "Henry."

Perfect. He looks just like a Henry.

And coincidentally -- he is.

Because his original guardian from New Orleans found his profile on the day after we took him home. And guess what her name for him was? Hank. How coincidental is that?

This woman unfortunately can't take him back because she's elderly, recently had a stroke and lost her husband earlier this year. She's a bit of a crazy cat lady, as she claims to have owned 16 cats when the storm hit. (Not that there's anything wrong with crazy cat ladies...)

So luckily Henry found his way safely to the Bay Area and is now happily living with us in Marin --soon to find a new family he will adopt full time.

Anyone looking for a handsome, white, people-loving kitty from the South who just needs a little more meat on his bones?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Knit and Wine

My husband collects cars. Some of them are named after cats. (For any of you who know my husband's CrazyCatMan escapades, you will not be shocked by that last sentence.)

One of his cars is a 1967 Mercury Cougar.

Once a year, other folks who own classic Cougars get together in wine country for what's known as the Catistoga Run. (Get it? A play on words with the wine country town of Calistoga and "run" because cougars run fast. So very clevah, as my mother would say.)

This past Saturday was this year's Catistoga Run.

What do I do? Bring my knitting. Because, hey. I'm going to be in a car for a while, I'm not the one doing the driving...and I've got a poncho to finish.

There's a glass of Zinfandel with my name on it in the next tasting room. Gotta hurry and finish this row.

They're pretty impressive all lined up in a row. (Row. Knitting. Ha! I made a funny.) Anyone need to use the litter box before the next winery?

So I wined a little. And knitted a little. All-in-all it was a pretty nice day as my poncho nears the finish line.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Progress, If Ever So Slowly

It's been a while since I've blogged. My apologies to any of you who read this blog regularly and were sick of that ostrich photo that lingered for weeks...

I've been quite busy what with a new job, knitting a zillion things, and taking a new Italian class at the local community college. Blogging just fell by the wayside. I'll try to keep up more frequently.

Here's the update on my latest project(s) -- my Rowan Plaid obsession: Zephyr, Wind and Cool. (Poncho, scarf and hat.)

Wind and Cool are done! Yay! (OK, so I have to re-seem the hat because I screwed it up, but that's a quick fix.)

Zephyr is about 52% done as the pictures below show. Who knew that cats who never venture outdoors could get so excited about a poncho?

Well, no Chance. It's actually my poncho. I know you like it, but you're a cat, you're a boy, this poncho is purple, and, um, you're short. You'd trip on the fringe. But I'll let you sleep on it if you promise not to bite.

I Guess They Took Some Crap

This arrived in my inbox yesterday:

Hmmm. I wonder what could have prompted such a communique? Berroco has been consistently sending free patterns via emails containing the most beautiful projects. Maybe they finally got wind of some blog bashing going on in which they were a frequent feature.

Can't say I know for sure, I'm just guessing...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Honey, I'll Be A Little Late For Dinner

My husband, who has been traveling like a banshee lately, made a surprise dinner reservation for us at a great place in Sausalito on Monday night.

Traffic has been so light thanks to summer vacationers, I figured I'd get there in no time flat from the city after work. So when I hit a backlog of cars leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge, I was puzzled.

Until I saw the cause of the backup in the news today:

Poor little ostrich. Her butt broke the rear window of the van in which she was traveling when the driver suddenly accelerated -- and she landed on the bridge pavement.

Let's just say that if *my* butt broke the window while a driver suddenly accelerated on the Golden Gate Bridge I don't think I'd ever hear the end of it...

I'm just saying.

Sunday, August 28, 2005


I received the KnitBits newsletter from Berrocco the other day:

Are they kidding me? Does anybody think this "vest" is nice? I think it tops (no pun intented) anything in my "Just Because You Can Knit It" post of a few months back.

I know that the more patterns a yarn company can put out there, the more yarn they will sell, the more money they'll make, the more yarns they can produce. Blah, blah, blah, blah. I get it. I'm in marketing.

But this thing? What were they thinking?

Dear Berrocco:
I've got a few cats with a couple hairballs they'd like to add to this "design." But I don't think anyone would notice...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I'm a Ho

Are you a yarn ho? I am.

I guess it could be worse. I could be a ho on 9th Avenue turning tricks. Instead I'm a Yarn Ho turning web pages and buying yarn like a love-struck teenager.

Lately I've been lusting after
Rowan. I guess that makes me a Rowan Yarn Ho. I can't help myself. I love their yarns. I'm obsessed over their yarns. And their pattern books, too.

My favorite new obsession?


It all started with an innocent purchase of 3
skanks of Plaid in Lavender Mist from my LYS. I wasn't sure what to do with it so I shoved it in one of my many yarn drawers.

Then I found 3 skanks of Plaid in Spicy on ebay. I started knitting a 2x2 rib hat and matching scarf. That's all it took. I was hooked on Rowan Plaid. Or shall I say I became a hooker for Rowan Plaid? (Just continuing with the whole Yarn Ho theme here...)

Which led me to buy the Plaid Collection pattern book.

Which led me to buy yarn for not one, but two ponchos. (I'm pretty sure my What is Ugly, What is Not radar is operating at full-bore again so I'm not afraid of repeating the Razor's Edge Poncho disaster...) But if you think said radar is still on the blink -- do tell. (I won't be insulted, really. Just think of the time you'll be saving me.)

Poncho #1: Zephyr

Poncho #2: Thunder

While this model looks quite lovely jogging on the beach sporting Thunder and a Monica Lewinsky beret, I doubt that's how I'll wear mine when it's completed...But you nevah know...

The Zephyr poncho is part of a "set" -- hat, scarf and poncho

I'm half way through the scarf and almost finished with the hat. (And when I finish, I'm wearing it the next day. I don't care if it's 75 degrees in San Francisco -- it's foggy here in the morning. And cold...)

Then it's on to Zephyr and Thunder. God I hope my radar is working again.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Houston, We Have A Problem

It's called the Razor's Edge poncho.

I thought it was so cute.

I saw this pattern months ago in the Stitch 'n Bitch Nation book. I've blogged about my issues with the pattern: I couldn't get the lace stitch to line up. Alas, the pattern was wrong in the book. Their errata web page pointed me in the right direction and I've been knitting this thing like a lunatic for weeks, amazed that my lace stitches were looking so groovy.

But then my husband saw my work in progress.

Me, to husband with squished up nose: "What? Don't you like it?"

Husband: "Well. It's not my favorite of what you've done."

Me: "What do you mean? It's cute."

Husband: "It's so old lady."

Me: (to self): "Oh, you just can't see how the final piece will look. It's a poncho. It'll be cute. Really."

I kept on knitting. I finally got to the point where I could put my head in the hole and try on the project that had been consuming me.

And I hated it.

My husband kept making fun of it. "Old lady. Old lady. Old lady."

Where was the cute poncho from the book? What went wrong? Why was this so thing so friggin' ugly? Was it really ugly? Was I just being swayed by my husband? Was I losing my own ability to recognize ugly?

So I showed it to my friend Marissa.

Marissa: "Well...the color is nice."

Thanks. That's like when you ask someone "does my ass look fat in this?" and they reply with, "those are beautiful shoes."

So the Razor's Edge must be ripped out. It's too big. It's too ugly. And by now, I hate the whole idea of it. It's been a week since I've made the decision to rip, so I'm less sickened by all the time and money I've spent on this thing.

But being the yarn ho I am, I've moved on. My new friend is Rowan Plaid. I've got too many waiting projects to get all weepy about an old lady poncho.

Here's a 2x2 ribbed scarf and hat set in progress.

And my first attempt at cables!

So screw that Razor's Edge.

For now it sits in a bag in my closet until I find the energy to rip.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

YA Would Have A Lot Of Members

What is it about knitting? How could something (let's face it) so tedius suck you in so fast and so far? If there were a Yarnaholics Annonymous their membership would be huge. Imagine the Yarn Interventions that would be happening around the country.

The Intervention Police: "You, Miss, have entirely too much yarn. Just look at those closets -- they're bursting at the seams. And what's that in your trunk? Spare yarn? You use your trunk as a yarn storage device? Oh yes, you must come with us. Immediately. We can help wean you off this addiction."

Yarnaholics Everywhere: "But wait! I can't go with you now. I have yarn auctions closing on Ebay in 2 hours that I must bid on. I have a sweater to finish. That poncho -- it must be done by August. And what about my Kitty Pi?????"

Since I've learned how to knit (5 months ago), 3 of my friends have also learned how to knit. And each and every one of them are as obsessed and as sucked in as I am. And that's not counting the friends who already knew how to knit. They're as nutty as the rest of us.

My friend Marissa taught herself how to knit about 3 weeks ago. In addition, she also launched her own knitting blog. Granted, getting uncerimoniously dumped by her I'm-not-sure-I'm-that-into-you-whimpy-boyfriend certainly helped free up some of her time -- but she's passing up dates to knit!

She came over my house on Sunday with some knitting questions. She was struggling to find a project for her Rowan Biggy Wool yarn. So I fiddled around with some stiches, combined a few things from various pattern books, and came up with a scarf pattern for her wool.

The next day she wore it to work.

Yes. Wore it to work. She worked on it that evening, took pictures of her pets modeling the scarf, and then wore it to work. (So what if it was 85 degrees out? It was her first completed scarf!)

It came out quite nice, too.

She posted our pattern on her blog -- which you can also check out. (How nice of her to use my F-Factor rating system.)

Yes. Another Yarn Freak has been born! Welcome to the club, Marissa.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


My Quit and Knit theory was a little flawed.

For those of us that have to work for a living (thanks for nothing, dot com boom), Quit and Knit eventually turns into Work and No Knit.

I started my new job last week. Don't get me wrong -- I love it. But with all things new -- there's a learning curve.

So now when I come home from work, after dinner when I usually steal time to knit, I am faced with choices:

Tonight? The report won out...Maybe tomorrow I can get back to that poncho...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The F-Factor

I've decided to come up with my own ratings system for knitting.

Mostly because I don't believe the current terminology of "Easy," "Intermediate" or "Expert" fully prepares the knitter for the kind of project on which they are about to embark. (See how proper that sentence was? I managed to NOT end it in a preposition.)

Therefore, I've created the F-Factor Ratings System. It's a rather simple system: How many times the knitter blurts out "Fuck!" during knitting
a particular pattern determines its "F-Factor" rating*. Easy, peasy.

For example, a simple scarf with a straight garter stitch might only require one, if any, "Fuck!" mutterings while knitting the entire scarf. This scarf pattern would have an F-Factor rating of F1.

Yet a more complicated, let's say, lace patterned poncho with a pattern printed WRONG in the book, and WRONG on the errata page of the book's website, might require multiple howlings of "Fuck!" This pattern wou
ld be more likely to get an F-Factor rating of F4.

Even more interesting would be the cardigan I just finished. This was a pretty easy pattern to follow. Just a few "fucks!" could be heard throughout most of that pattern. Until...I reached the sleeves and the two sets of circular needles. The pattern then became an F5...with a bullet.

Thankfully, the pattern redeemed itself as this knitter got more accustomed to knitting with two sets of circulars. In the end, it netted out to have an F-Factor rating of about F3.

So let's review:

The fewer "fuck!" utterances during the knitting process yields a lower F-Factor rating. The more uses of "fuck!" yields a higher F-Factor rating.

Feel free to begin using this rating system. I think it's just a wee bit more realistic. Don't you?

*Or any curse word you favor.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Quit And Knit

How's this for progress? I quit my job and finished my cardigan.

Oh, I'm not saying that everytime you have a sweater that's taking forever to complete that the solution is to quit your job -- but for this particular cardigan at this particular time in my life -- it worked out rather perfectly.

See, this cardigan was time consuming. What with sized 7 needles and a zillion rows to knit. And my job? Well, it was boring. So I killed two birds with one stone. I quit and then had more time to knit. And finished it just in time to wear to the last-Thursday-of-the-month Knit and Wine at my LYS.

Quit and knit. Could be a new craze taking over the country. Forget that stitch and bitch thing. I think I'm on to something.

It's really not crooked on the bottom. Just looks that way here...

Of course, I start my new job tomorrow. And I'm not expecting it to be boring. I'm just hoping I can still find some free time to knit and blog.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Patience, My Little Grasshopper

It's no surprise to me that I have no patience. I've lived with myself for as long as I can remember -- and I've never had any.

So why now, as I've taken up knitting these past few months, did I expect anything else??
Let's look at my cardigan. What did I say recently? "I should finish the sleeves in about a week."

Um. This is how "complete" my cardigan sleeves are today. And we're way past the one week mark.

Is it a patience thing? Or a stupidity thing? Or a combination of both?

Let's tackle stupidity first:

To knit the sleeves, once you start decreasing, the circumference gets too small to continue with one pair of circulars. So you add a second pair. (Or you can go with dpns, but supposedly two sets of circulars are easier.) Easier? If this is easy, knitters may soon require PhDs to call themselves "knitters..."

No exaggeration -- I frogged the same 7-10 rows of knitting in the round with two sets of circulars AT LEAST 10 times. The yarn was getting thread-bare. I even went back to my LYS for help. And continued to frog even after getting help.

Now let's tackle patience.

While at the yarn store for yarn "instructions" last week, Norma and I did a little yarn purchasing, too.

She bought Rowan Biggy Print to knit a scarf called Pia. I bought some Rowan Big Wool because I wanted to make a cute sweater vest called Click-Clack to wear over a long-sleeved white t-shirt. Both came from Rowan's Big Wool Just Got Bigger pattern book.

The next day Norma sends a photo to my cell phone of her progress on the scarf.

My patience with my constantly-being-frogged-sleeve wore thin. I thought to myself: "Self, look how much progress Norma has made in less than 24 hours. You could knit up that big wool vest in NO TIME, feel accomplished, then go back to your hateful sleeves."

Yes. Of course I could. Because I'm neither stupid nor impatient.
Or so I thought.

Impressive, no?


The back is too long and the edging stitches are all screwed up so it will need to be redone from the armholes up. The front has now been frogged twice. Maybe three's a charm?

So thanks to my knitting stupidity and lack of patience, here I sit with two uncompleted sweaters and no feeling of accomplishment. Thankfully, I finally did get the hang of the double circulars. And while it's no speedy Gonzales process, I really can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And Norma?

Wearing her completed Pia scarf.

Rumor has it, she's considering purchasing more Biggy Print for yet another. Which I'm sure she'll finish before either my cardigan or my vest...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bakeries, Apple Pie and Father’s Day

When I was a little kid, around 5 or so, my dad and I would go to the bakery to pick up breakfast for the rest of our sleeping family. And he would teach me how to drive. In my feety pajamas.

There I was behind the wheel, turning at the corner and pulling up in front of the bakery. Of course, I was sitting on my dad’s lap, and he was really doing all the driving, but in my 5-year-old’s mind – I *was* the driver.

Granted, this was the late 60s. Seatbelts weren’t something anyone actually put on, airbags were still years away from development and there just weren’t that many cars on the road. I was driving. At 5.

My dad also taught me about apple pie. My dad and I seemed to be the only ones in the house awake in the mornings. Hence our secret driving trips to the bakery. Some mornings we’d just have breakfast in the kitchen together. One week in particular I remember that he kept eating apple pie for breakfast. I thought it looked SOOOO gross. And I told him so. Day after day. “Ewwe, Dad. That’s looks gross. How could you eat that? Ewe.”

But he just sat there with his boyish smile, shoving pie down the ole’ pie hole. Finally, after a few days of this, instead of just smiling, he said: “Pinky” (the nickname my sister gave me before I was born that has stuck long into my adult-life…), “have you ever tried apple pie?”

Me: “No. Gross.”

Jimbo: “Why don’t you try it? You might like it.”

Me: “No. Gross.” (As you can see, my vocabulary was very advanced at this young age.)

Jimbo: “Please. Just a bite?”

Me: (Never able to deny my favorite father) “Ok. Just one bite.”

Me: “OH WOW!!! THIS IS GREAT! Can I have a piece?”

Jimbo: “Nope. That was the last piece.”

And right there in the kitchen I learned a valuable lesson: Don’t scoff at apple pie until you take a bite!

My dad also taught me how to swim.

Or in this case, how to raft.

Years later, he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day.

He looked so cute in his tuxedo. It was all I could do to not burst into tears and ruin my mascara.

My husband named my dad Jimbo shortly after meeting him and meeting a pair of my shoes. "Huh," you say? It all came about because I had a (what I thought great) pair of black loafers with a kind of platform-y rubber sole. My husband thought they looked like shoes my dad would wear. The shoes became known as my Jimbo shoes, my dad became known as Jimbo, and the name just stuck.

This is my first father’s day without Jimbo. He passed away in February, one month before his 70th birthday. I miss him every day but know my memories of him keep him alive. I will continue to relish those memories, his funny sense of humor and the things he taught me about life.

And the apple pie.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.

James O'Connell
March 5, 1935 - Feb 1, 2005

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Cardigan, Oh, Cardigan

Back in March when I posted about taking on my first sweater project, a seamless sweater, I got a comment that said: "Once you knit a seamless sweater, you'll never want to knit any other kind."

I must admit, I did get kind of hooked. (Sorry, bad pun...)

I saw a pattern for this seamless cardigan and had to make it.

I bought the pattern here.

My progress so far:

All that's left to do are the sleeves and the neckline. Knitting is super slow, what with size 7 needles, but I'm hoping to be done in about a week.

Because I have yet another seamless sweater project waiting to be cast on. A v-neck.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

MyMy MeMe. Part One.

Inky Knits tagged me for my very first MeMe. You know, the series of questions you answer that are all about YouYou (or MeMe, but you know what I I mean...) Shortly thereafter, Kristy tagged me for a totally different MeMe. But since this one took forever to answer, I'm making no promises on how quickly MyMy MeMe, Part Two will follow.

Here's how it works:
Pick 5 of the following questions and then complete the sentences. Then pass it on to 3 more of your blog friends! (No tag backs allowed.)
If I could be a scientist?
If I could be a farmer?
If I could be a musician?
If I could be a doctor?
If I could be a painter?
If I could be a gardener?
If I could be a missionary?
If I could be a chef?
If I could be an architect?
If I could be a linguist?
If I could be a psychologist?
If I could be a librarian?
If I could be an athlete?
If I could be a lawyer?
If I could be an inn-keeper?
If I could be a professor?
If I could be a writer?
If I could be a llama-rider?
If I could be a bonnie pirate?
If I could be an astronaut?
If I could be a world famous blogger?
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world?
If I could be married to any current famous political figure?
Here are my choices:

If I could be a musician?
I’d be Madonna. Not because I want to make a book called “Sex” and be photographed walking nude down the street, but just because I think it would be quite the exciting experience to perform in front of a huge crowd screaming your name and dressing in the same clothes you made stylish. And if you’ve ever heard me sing – you’d know this would never happen!

If I could be a chef?
I’d cook just like Michael Chiarello. His family is from the same part of Italy as my grandfather and I love his style of cooking. Fresh. Flavorful. Simple. And he always has such fun dinner parties at his house on his television show. Every time I’m in Napa I wonder if I’ll run into Michael and get invited over to be a guest on his cooking show. There I’d be: smiling, sipping a glass of wine, tasting the dish he just made and saying, “Deelish, Michael. Mangia, mangia.”

If I could be a librarian?
I could never be a librarian. I’m too loud. And I like to laugh. I don’t own any dresses in a floral print. And I really don’t care to teach anyone about the Dewey decimal system.

If I could be an athlete?
I would be a gymnast. How cool would it be to fly around the parallel bars and actually know what you’re doing? Or to do a back flip on a balance beam without killing yourself? And how fun to make the finishing pose on the matt: “tah-dah!” Gymnasts have such grace and strength. I admire that.

If I could be a farmer?
Stacy the Farmer? Recipe for disaster. I hate direct sunlight. I hate bugs. I do not like digging in the dirt. Plus, I have two brown thumbs. And I suck at watering plants

Case in point.

The current state of my herb garden.

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for....The next 3 lucky bloggers to be handed the MeMe baton: 20goingon40, rincaro, Ms. V.

Monday, June 06, 2005

No I Didn't. Nuh Uh*.

I did not just receive an email from Yarn Express with the subject: "Yarn Sale!"

No I didn't.

And I did not click on the
link inside the email that told me more about the "Yarn Sale!"

No I didn't.

And I did not fall in love with and subsequently purchase the super cute orange wool to make one of the sweaters featured with the yarn. 10 balls for $30! Merino Wool!!

No I didn't.


Tuesday, May 31, 2005

And Then There Were Six

Don't get me wrong. I love cats. I have always loved cats. I've had cats since I was a little kid.

I just never knew that one day I would live with SIX of them. And a husband who from now on will be known as CrazyCatMan.

Yes. Crazy Cat Man. Oh, I know. That's not an expression in today's vernacular. Crazy Cat Lady is far more popular. Cats and spinster women, blah, blah, blah. They go together like cookies and milk. But cats and men? Yes. Welcome to my world.

CrazyCatMan never had cats. He grew up with dogs. Then he met me. I loved cats. I just didn't have one at the time because the apartment I lived in had windows that opened out, were unscreen-able, and the thought of coming home to a cat who had fallen out of the window was not feasible. So cat-less I was. But I digress.

We moved in together. Rented a house in the suburbs. One night coming home from dinner we spotted something at the end of our dead end street: The silhouette of a little kitten. Sitting there right in the middle of the street. In the pitch dark.

Doesn’tYetKnowHe’sCrazyCatMan got out of the car and jiggled the light of a flashlight near the kitten. (CrazyCatMan is also CrazySafetyMan and carries a flashlight in his car.) The little kitten played with the beam of light. Then three more kittens came out from under our neighbor's parked car to play with the light. Four kittens in all.

They followed the light up to the front door of our house. I ran in to put some milk in a bowl. (OK, half and half, but I digress again...) The kittens went for that bowl like starving tigers.

One by one we lifted them up and put them in the bathroom and shut the door.

Doesn’tYetKnowHe’sCrazyCatMan: "Now what?"

Me: "We go to the all night Safeway for kitten food and litter."

We discovered later that someone had left them in a big box at the bay lands at the end of our street. LEFT THEM IN A BOX AT THE END OF OUR STREET. What is wrong with people??

How cute are these kittens? (Moneypenny: upper left)

After a week of 4 kittens running (literally) all over the house, Doesn’tYetKnowHe’sCrazyCatMan had his fill. It was time for them to go to the shelter for adoption.

But alas, I had fallen in love with Moneypenny. Fallen. In. Love. Had to keep her. So we did. Her siblings were all brought to the local Humane Society and Moneypenny stayed with us and became the world's most spoiled cat.

Fast-forward a year. Reading the local paper at breakfast. Article on Missy the one-eyed cat. Found in a box with her four one-week old kittens. And a newly stitched up eye. The kittens just got back from foster and were all up for adoption. They were adopted in no time flat. But Missy lingered. Adult cats don’t get adopted fast in the middle of kitten season.

AlmostCrazyCatMan fell hard. Can you fall in love with a picture in the newspaper? He did. Had to have Missy. Missy: adopted. The world’s second most spoiled cat moves in.

Fast forward another year. Both of us at the shelter for “volunteer training.” (Volunteer training? Yes. CrazyCatMan is now officially CrazyCatMan.) We see a Missy look a-like in the cage. Turns out it’s one of her kittens – returned after a year. How could we resist. One of her babies! A family reunion! Wow! We adopt Chance.

Chance and Missy have NO FRIGGIN IDEA they are related to each other. Noideawhatsoever. And never will.

Acacia. At the shelter for 5 months. Bites a potential adopter. (Who flipped her upside down like a baby. Who can blame the cat for biting?) She was put on the PTS list. (That’s Put To Sleep list for you non-shelter types.)

CrazyCatMan could not have it. She was too sweet. Too cute. And not a biter at all. Cat number four adopted.

Local shelter. Madera County, CA. Rural county about 2.5 hours east of San Francisco. There is such an overpopulation of pets in Madera that the local shelter deals with it by putting something like 90% of the pets it houses to sleep.

That’s what happens in rural areas. “Neuter my dawg? No way, dude. My dog needs his balls. He’s a man! I don’t want no wussy dawg walkin' round my trailer park.” (Apologies to all you rural folk who get the need for spaying and neutering.)

So once a year the Marin Humane Society empties out Madera’s shelter and takes all the animals back to Marin where they are fostered, spayed and neutered, given necessary shots, and put up for adoption.

We fostered a cat from that rescue. He was a cuddly bear. He’s got a slight neurological problem and therefore walks around in circles a lot, especially when he's excited -- like right before he gets fed. His right side paws slip on the wood floor. And he’s a little dumb. But he is the sweetest cat. We named him The Bear.

CrazyCatMan: “There’s no way we can send this cat back to the shelter. No one will understand his needs. He has to stay with us. We’ll give him the best life he could have.”

Adoption number five.

And that’s how it’s been for about three and a half years.

Until we fostered Kitty Cat.

The world’s most timid and scared cat ever. Cross eyed and no tail with a heart murmur. She was cowering in her shelter cage. Really – no one would ever have adopted her. It was so sad to see her like that. Apparently her previous guardians had her for three years but then got a new dog that "scared her." (Said the paperwork.) Scared the hell out of her. So they returned her to the shelter, which was a far better choice than putting her in a box and dumping her by the bay. We fostered her to help socialize her and make her friendlier and less nervous. She’s come out of her shell a bit – but still, IMHO, not adoption material because she's such a frady cat.

CrazyCatMan two months into Kitty Cat's fostering: “KC is trying so hard for keeper status. Look how sweet she is.”

CrazyCatMan four months into Kitty Cat's fostering: “KC will never get adopted. We can’t possibly send her back."

CrazyCatMan five and a half months into Kitty Cat's fostering: “Look how well she gets along with our other cats. Plus, she hides most of the day. We need to keep her.”

Kitty Cat: Officially adopted May 28, 2005.

And then there were six…

Not that I don’t love each and every one of them and their adorable cat-like ways. The way their fur is knitted into everything I knit. The way they swat at the working yarn as it comes over the needles. (See, for those of you wondering 'what does this post have to do with knittiing?' I just worked it in for you...)

before you think "Hmm. There goes Another CrazyCatLady" the next time you see a woman with multiple cats -- take a look around. Don’t be surprised if you find a CrazyCatMan lurking nearby -- dreaming of his next cat adoption.

CrazyCatMan is also AnnoyinglyGoodPhotographer, as you can see by the photos in this post...And he cleans the litter boxes, too. Fab!

One day all of our cats will be up on But for now it's just Moneypenny, Missy & Chance.

If you want to see photos of some of our fosters, click here. But be forwarned. I'm not that good at HTML...