Thursday, December 31, 2009
2009 Recap
When I set these goals back in January, I had a lot of high expectations in the fiber arts department.
What the heck was I thinking???

Yeah, 2009 was not quite what I expected. There were high points (like having two surprise birthday celebrations) and some low points (the death of my mom's uncle and finding out about my cat's cancer) and all points in between. The long and the short of it is that I am truly blessed to have a wonderful support system of family and friends in my life....I would not trade you for anything.

In reflecting on the year, I actually accomplished a lot of stuff. I finished 13 knitting projects, one tapestry project, one ribbon embroidery project, and an amazing 14 house projects! While not everything was photographed, I made a collage of some:

2009 Recap

What didn't get done? The big standouts in my mind are the lack of progress on the house reorg (particularly the studio), not enough spinning, and not nearly enough stitching. I picked back up the needle in November and remembered how much I enjoy it. But that's ok, things will happen in their own time.

Monday, December 28, 2009
Running Fast Yet Staying In Place
Christmas came and went like a blur. I was able to spend a lot of time with my parents, which is great. I am lucky to be off this week as well, but I fear my to do list far exceeds the amount of time available - short of being cloned or hiring a fleet of helpers. So I suspect that while I will likely accomplish a lot of stuff this week, it will feel like I didn't accomplish anything.

The monster cats and I moved home last week. Big monster kitty got his biopsy stitches out, by some miracle, he was very well behaved. He has been diagnosed with a squamous cell carcinoma, which while it is not bone cancer, it is still cancer with not a good outlook. As a last hope, I am taking him to a vet oncologist tomorrow to try and figure out if there is any reasonable course of action that will still give him quality of life.

For Christmas this year, I whipped up three of the cabled mice from WendyKnits - two for them and one for my grandmother's new kitten. The first one was "disappeared" within 24 hours. The second is still hanging in there and is quite popular. Here is an assortment of bad pics to show how they were enjoyed. You can really see the lump on his jaw in one of these:

Cabled Mice

I also finished Oceane last night and wore it out today to my dr appt. This was a super easy knit, a bit monotonus, and I got nervous towards the end that I would run out of yarn before completing it. But it all ended well and it looks like this in the wind.


I used one ball of Marble Chunky from James C. Brett, which is 100% acryllic. It is a very nice acryllic with multiple color strands plied together. It is very soft, not scratchy, so I think this yarn would be great for a lap blanket or baby blanket also.

Time for dinner and some relaxing with the family. More later!

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Saturday, December 12, 2009
Cats and the Daily Grind and Stitching too

The last week has been filled with work, work, and more work. Trying to wrap up major work deadlines before Christmas makes for a very busy Shell. My world has turned upside down upon discovering a bump on my big monster kitty's jaw.


Biopsy results are still pending, but the overall diagnosis is an extremely aggressive bone cancer. Outlook is not good, but for the moment, he continues to eat, sleep, and cuddle. For 13 and a half years, he has been my lapcat, my lump of love, my fibercat for which I have had to rearrange many aspects of my world. Someday, I will stop crying. But not today.

Today is a stitching day (and apparently bad picture day). I had an embroiderers' guild meeting this morning and then came home to crash with the kitties. I've spent the better part of the afternoon watching Gilmore Girls episodes courtesy of Netflix (including the Knitting episode!) and a combination of internet research and general crafty-type surfing. Then picked up Cat by the Hydrangea Bush from Rowandean Embroidery to tackle a hydrangea or two.

garden range

This is one of my many black cat stitching projects. Over the years of having black cats, I have established quite a collection of black cat projects - many finished, many not, many in between. Many are Kats by Kelly designs from Calico Crossroads, but I like the dimensional work from Rowandean. They have a lot of different stitches - french knots, detached chain stitches, and satin stitches.

Tomorrow is housework, laundry, weavers' guild, and then an Arbonne presentation at a friend's afterward. I want to go by the yarn shop as well, but I feel like the cat is all I can think or speak about. I just don't want to ruin everyone's holiday spirit.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Emerging from the cold fog
My cold has improved greatly, the "brain fog" has left but I still sound pretty scary. It really knocked me down, so I worked really hard at taking it easy and trying to get well. The monster cats watched over me and made sure that I stayed put as much as possible:

sick day

While camped out with the sock and cat, I watched Interweave's "Start Spinning" with Maggie Casey and Eunny Jang. It was a very good video, well made, lots of tips and tricks ranging from fiber prep to spinning technique.

Mom graciously agreed to take on Thanksgiving so I wouldn't get the entire family sick. By the time of the big day, I was well enough to join everyone, but was assigned at my own little table at the other side of the room.

All the knitting time paid off:

first socks completed

The second "first sock" is complete! These are definitely fraternal, not identical - I made some changes to the first one that I could not identify for the second. Plus, although the dye lots are the same, the colors appear to be slightly different! I still have a lot to learn about making socks. I'm so worried that I will make them too small, I end up making them a little big!

The LYS had its "Black Saturday" sale this past weekend. I helped out and tried to resist, but quite a little pile of stash followed me home:


Cashmere, SeaSilk, and Rumple from Handmaiden, Winter Lace from Moutain Colors, Chunky Alpaca from Misti Alpaca, and a couple more lovely things. Now if I can just get the Pretty Thing Cowl (rav link) done, I will be a happy camper. I am using Bamboo-Bison from Fibre-Isle, it is lovely!

pretty thing - progress 10-31-09

I did get some house activities moving again during November. Nothing terribly dramatic, but I am thrilled that the checkmarks are slowly moving down the list. Basic repairs made. A few plants planted. Carpet cleaned. Done, done, done.

And its December already! I need to finish up my gift list this week, one of the biggest craft festivals will be happening this weekend. Mom and I are planning to shop til we drop! I am considering getting a tree to try and get into the Christmas spirit, even though I probably won't be home much this month.

Tomorrow will be an early one, off to bed!