Friday, May 25, 2007

Superimposed Knitting!

I'll admit it: Sometimes I think I've learned all the genres of knitting. I know cables, I know lace. I know intarsia, I know fair isles. I know mosaic, I know double-knitting. I can knit english and continental, or both (though I suck at combined). I can knit forwards or backwards and even knit back backwards. I can do twined knitting, or two socks at the same time. Considering the relatively short amount of time I've been knitting (my first project is only two years old, after all), this seems like a pretty damned arrogant stance, but I tend to be really good at crafts, and I love to research new techniques. I've checked out more knitting titles than I can remember - not all that are on the OCLC database, since some just aren't available through interlibrary loan, but more than I ever expected to find. I don't own many knitting books, but the ones that I do own are solid, and my library now stocks a good collection itself.

I say all this, again, not to sound arrogant, but to explain. I've seen a lot in knitting.

So when I see an entirely new technique, I am both startled and thrilled.

Fleegle recently (and by recently I mean April, but I just ran across it last night) had a guest-post explaining superimposed knitting. Superimposed knitting! Imagine it! One fabric, made with two yarns held together, temporarily becomes something like a tube, with one solid color in the foreground and another in the background, then comes together again. Brilliant!

So of course I'm having to try it. I've got a ball of's lace weight in a green tea and a lavender, and I'm swatching it up as another Emma Frost scarf. The colors have the same value scale, so it should be interesting to see how they turn out. Imagine it! A garter-stitch scarf in blending colors, with bright green lace diamonds on one side, and purple stockinette diamonds on the other. It should be a very happy scarf.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fuck Yeah!

Ha ha. I interviewed yesterday, and I start tuesday. Life is sweet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Not Much Here Today

I got the last clue of the Galveston shawl up, for all shapes and sizes. It's actually one of the few clues that have been on time so far, so I'm fairly excited about that. I still haven't heard back on any of my jobs - I'll be going by the library tomorrow to "just say hi" and maybe hear something on the interviews. I'm worried about coming on too strong - I could be just "in the neighborhood" to pick up some GRE books, which I do need to do anyway.

In knitting news, Sweetie's birthday socks are going well. I've turned the heels on both of them, in what I think is an interesting way.

I started out with 80 stitches (I'm doing these in Lorna's Laces Cocoa on size 0's - have I mentioned that before?), but Sweetie wanted a garter-stitch short-row heel to match his garter-stitch short-row toe. I usually have trouble doing such a heel on only half the total stitches - 9 times out of 10, it's too shallow, and with the garter stitch base, this would be one of those times.

So what I did was put in four gusset stitches on each side before doing the heel. That adds another 10% to the heel's depth, and since Sweetie's got giant man-ankles and his socks are in a ribbing pattern anyway, I can do another repeat of the stitch pattern and not worry about having to decrease. Hooray! Now all I've got to do is the cuff. He hasn't actually told me how long he wants these, so I'll do about two inches or so on each of them and have him try them on again. That way I'll know if I need to do any calf shaping or not :)

Like I said, though, not a whole lot else going on. I got in some Knitpicks sock and laceweight yarn. I had forgotten how much I liked their stuff. I'll have to order from them again once I have a job.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Well, it's been a full week now since we lost Cricket, and an amazing fuckload of stuff has happened.

First off, Heed tested positive for the coronavirus that causes FIP. This is exactly what we expected, so we're not too worried. He's still only got a 1 in 5000 chance (according to our resident pathologist) of developing the mutated version.

Second, I graduated! It took three hours of sitting and knitting while an old man called out peoples names, followed by about five minutes of walking and smiling. Sweetie's birthday socks are approaching the half-done mark, I've turned the heel on one and am starting the gusset increases (toe-up socks, 8 sts gusset, then short-row garter stitch heel) on the second. This doing two socks at around the same time thing really works great!

Thirdly, dear Hastur has added to our family. Today we took home a pair of sweet little girl rats, Out and About. They're very young hooded blacks, littermates, and Hastur personally handled each and every rat in town before selecting the very sweetest and most sociable. I love Hastur. Having the two little girls will not only give Heed something to do all day (he loves to watch rats doing their thing. It's like youtube for him), but having little ones to take care of makes me feel better about Cricket, as well. It's not in any way a replacement kind of thing, but like we're giving them the good home he should have had - like we're taking them home in his honor. Plus, it was a special occassion.

What occassion, you ask? Well, only the best thing I could think of. Sweetie and I agreed that we weren't going to talk seriously about marriage until we'd both graduated, and we held to that. When I walked on friday, he waited exactly one day, and then asked me to marry him.

(I said yes.)

So this weekend, all in all, I got a degree, a fiancee, and two little mouths to feed. All in all, the best weekend of my life.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Goodbye, Cricket.

Hey everyone.

Sunday morning we lost our youngest cat, Cricket. He was a year and a half old, and we had had him for almost a year. He was a rescue from the Brazos Valley Feral Cat Alliance, a maine coon mix who'd been found on a construction site only two months before we took him home. When we got him, he was aggressive to other animals (and none too keen on people, to be honest) with a meow that sounded like someone was stepping on his tail no matter what. When he left us, he was a loving boy who would head butt you for attention, was sweet to our older boy
and even good around small dogs. His meow had changed to a chirping sound, and he had a purr you could hear from the other room.

We came home yesterday to find him behind Sweetie's bed. He didn't suffer. He hadn't had any symptoms except some weight loss we had attributed to a change to indoor-formula cat food, a brand that was thankfully not on any of the recent recall lists. We have a friend who works in a veterinary medical diagnostic lab, and she was able to get him taken in for a necropsy while we had the other cat checked by a vet just in case. Our friend called monday to tell us that it looks like Cricket had Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), contracted before we took him home, for which there is no cure. The most we could have done would be to make him happy and comfortable in his last year, and I like to think that we did that.

Chances of his passing it on to his big brother Heed, our five year old dumb-as-a-brick siamese mix, are very low, but we are taking him in tomorrow to be tested. If he rides out the next month FIP-free, then he will probably be fine. We've quarantined the old litterbox area and set up a new one, and are in the process of disinfecting the entire house (which won't help at all since Heed's already been exposed, but if I don't do something physical I'll go nuts). To read up more on FIP, please follow this link:

I'm not very religious, but I'm praying for Heed. I know it sounds silly to ask a bunch of near-strangers to keep a housecat in their thoughts, so I won't. All I ask is that you tell the people and animals in your life how much they mean to you.

Thank you.

~Persian Pen Name

p.s. Update on Heed: While we were getting Heed's bloodwork done for the FIP test, the vet noticed that his urine specific gravity is "on the high end of normal or the low end of high, depending on how you look at it". We got it checked again a few days later, and it was the same, so that rules out just being stressed that day. This isn't too big of a deal, since he's a very large cat anyway (16 lbs) and at better health (aside from the possible FIP) than he's been at in years. It just means he needs a more kidney-friendly diet, so we're switching him to a special wet food, which he'll love.

Heed's always been very good about not going to the bathroom where he's not supposed to. When we go on trips, the first thing I do is show him exactly where he's supposed to go, and he always lets you know if for some reason he can't get to it. So at the vet's office yesterday, all he was supposed to do was have some blood drawn, and at some point, pee so it could be tested. But our little polite boy, not having been shown by me where it was okay to go, held it for ten hours straight (complaining the whole time I'm sure). Eventually they had to go in with a needle and extract some urine, and we were allowed to take him home - where the first thing he did was go use the litterbox.

He may be dumb as a brick, but at least he's considerate.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ascended and the King of the Foolish Man

That was the title of a spam email I received this morning. I thought it was hilarious, and may use it as the title of a story :)

In other news, I graduate next week! I'm all done with my final paper, it's turned in (twice), Sweetie's picking up my cap and gown, and I have absolutely nothing left to do except clean my house for all the family coming over. Crazy! I am about to become the first member of my family to graduate from an American college. The only thing I can think about is that I want to rest a few months and then be back in school. It is going to have to wait, though, at least a year. Come June, though, I get to start studying for the GRE and looking into application dates for the schools I want to get in to. Good times!

I'm also writing up a resume tonight for the histotech position. I figure I can start the week after all the graduate-y goodness, or maybe (luxuriously but probably unlikely) the monday after that. If I do get actual time to spare, I'm thinking of catching up on some of my more nerdly things - organizing my stash, getting all my patterns updated in my Access file. That sort of thing.

Also, congratulations to Sue at Snail Spirals and Hastur Torres for being my 2000th and 2005th page views, respectively! Special things will be winging their way to each of you in the mail this weekend.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Watch Your Page Counter!

We're rapidly approaching 2000 page views since I set up the counter; if you happen to be number 2000, or 2005, take a screen capture and let me know! The six o'clock mail pixies just might have something special in store for you ;)