Wednesday, February 13, 2008

If Only They Could Speak...

Pretty little Lilly has been dealing with a runny eye for over a week now. She has such pretty blue eyes, it was so sad to see her looking so miserable. I had been giving her lysine for a kitty cold, but she wasn’t getting any better. I took her to the vet on Monday, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see my regular vet, who is very thorough. At least I did find out that she didn’t have a viral infection.

It seems that she may have been having problems with the dust from the kitty litter. Even I was noticing how dusty it was, but I didn’t think this was anything new. Lilly has been a chronic sneezer since I got her in 2006. I didn’t associate it with the litter box, because she didn’t sneeze while she was using it; she sneezes mostly when waking up from naps.

I’ve been noticing how dusty the whole litter box area is, and the other cats have been sneezing more as well. So I’m trying out some alternative litters, and hopefully this will help everybody, and keep the basement cleaner too! The first litter I’m trying is ground corn, and I hope it works out, because apparently I can then just buy a type of chicken feed at the feed store and use that, and it will be less expensive. I don’t know why I didn’t try it before. I never liked the idea of the bentonite clay, but because it was the most prevalent product out there, I used it. The corn litter will be able to be composted, so that’s another plus. At least 50% of the garbage in one of my typical garbage bags is clumps from the litter box, so that will mean less trash generated.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I don’t think my cats will be sending me roses like they did last year. However, they are still my sweethearts, and I’ll give them some extra snuggling, and if they could just refrain from throwing up or knocking anything over for a day, that will be gift enough for me!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Quick Like a Bunny...

When I saw this pattern in the latest issue of Creative Knitting, I wanted to start it right away, but I held back, and worked on some of the other knitting I already had started. But Easter will be here before you know it, so on Saturday I pulled out some pink yarn and cast on. The magazine pattern was written for flat knitting, but after about six rows I ripped out and started over, converting the pattern to circular knitting. It wasn’t too difficult to figure out, and I started stuffing as I went along, once the arms were finished. By Sunday afternoon the first bunny was finished, and I started a second one during the Superbowl. Yes, I did watch most of it, although I took a break during the middle quarters to bake some muffins and do the dishes.

I may alter the bunny pattern in the future, but I wanted to see how the first one worked up. I like that the pattern went by rows, rather than inch measurements. That way I can use any size yarn and needles, and still come out with the same proportions. The first bunny was knit in a sport weight yarn, the second one is in a worsted weight, so it will be bigger. After that I’m making one in fingering weight. I guess it’s true about bunnies multiplying!

Finally, Rusty the pseudo-groundhog, did not see his shadow on Saturday, but he predicts that Spring will get here when it gets here, and he’s not going out again until the snow disappears, thank you very much.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Have a Super Weekend

Ok, now that these guys are not going to the Superbowl, I may or may not watch the big game on Sunday night. I certainly am not planning my weekend around it. But I probably will be plopped on the couch Sunday night watching something, and working on my knitting. That’s because I just bought a new television today, and managed to get it all hooked up and running, and it’s great!

The blog was on vacation back in July, which is when my former television blew up. No kidding – a horrible buzzing, then a pop, then that acrid electrical smoke – it was nasty. And scary. After the frantic pulling of plugs and cables, I was left with a useless plastic and glass hulk. Thinking that maybe it just needed to cool off, I plugged it in an hour later – nope, same horrible buzz and smoke. The next Saturday, before hauling it to the recycling center, I tried one more time, with the same result. That TV was toast.

Luckily for me, my boss was about to sell a similar size set in her rummage sale, so she let me buy it for $25.00. It’s been working all right, but the whole episode gave me a push to jump on the flat screen bandwagon, and I’ve spent the last few months researching brands, sizes, and other features.

One thing I might watch this weekend is the DVD set of Knitting Around videos by Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen. I had the set on VHS tape, but upgraded last week when I needed to order some needles from Knitpicks. I listened to a little bit of Elizabeth reading her “Digressions” and watching the family photos. They used dozens more photos than in the book, and I think it was wonderful of Meg to share so much of her family’s personal history with us.

On the knitting front, I was able to finish this pink baby sweater knit from Bernat Handicrafter Cotton. I had used this type of cotton yarn exclusively for washcloths, but wanted to try it in a small garment. I think it turned out rather well. I don’t think I’d like it for a sweater for me though. It might end up too heavy, and then sag. I’ve only knit a few sweaters from cotton yarn. Bernat Gloucester and Bernat Cassino were successes in their day. My sister still wears the cabled sweater I made from Cassino. I’ve lost track of the Gloucester sweater. I think it’s in the dresser in the spare room waiting for me to shrink back into it. But it was very comfy. I’m working on a Shapely Tank using Sedona Cotton from Webs, and at this point, it does not have the nicest feel to it. It’s a mercerized cotton, and I’m hoping that once I wash it, the feel of it might improve. Finally, Rusty is going to play Groundhog tomorrow and venture outside to see if he sees his shadow or not. He doesn’t know it yet, but I’ve decided that for him. Of the three cats, he’s the one who most closely resembles a groundhog, at least in his size and ambling gait!