twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Who knew buying a toilet could be so tough… March 30, 2009

Filed under: knitting,laughter,March, 2009 — kathy @ 4:45 pm
What started as an wee (LOL), innocent leak at the base of the commode in our master bath, turned into a long weekend of plumbing for my (thankfully) handy DH, and enlightenment for me. Did you know that many a brand spankin’ new toilet doesn’t come with a seat? No indeed. You must buy a “deluxe” kit. Who decides this stuff? Who’s gonna go to the trouble to install a new toilet, yet hang onto their old seat, which might not fit anyway? Ah well, at least it’s not like buying a new fridge or some other sort of extraordinarily expensive house thingy. Toilets, happily, are pretty cheap. 

What was tough for us was that we have a funky old Midcentury Eichler house, which we adore, however it has some unusual space limitations. If we got a toilet that was even a half inch too long, the bathroom door wouldn’t close, and…well, you can imagine.

Well, luckily my DH and I have similar taste (DD is another story entirely. She’s into anything Victorian. Which is fine if that’s what we lived in…) so choosing the toilet was easy, given our space/budget limitations. Finding a Kohler Santa Rosa toilet in stock was another. After 4 hours, 7 mega-hardware stores, lunch, and filling up the car because we were out of gas, we had success.

And since there was plenty of driving-knitting time, I finished my forest canopy shawl–Yippee!

Here she is, just off the needles...

Here she is, just off the needles...

I must admit I was a bit disappointed that I wound up with quite a bit of leftover yarn. This surprised me because many of the shawls made on Ravelry had their makers noting that they used all but a couple of yards on their shawls.

I actually could’ve made another full repeat or two of the pattern. By the time I was 5 rows into the edging, I realized this, but with no lifeline, and with no desire to unknit 975 stitches, I decided to simply add 4 more /rows/repeats of the edging to give me just a bit more length and use up a bit more yarn. I know this is supposed to be a shoulder shawl, but I was hoping it’d be a little longer. Well, here she is, all blocked and loverly…

Isn't she lovely...

Isn't she lovely...

Next up will be finishing my Lion Collar Cardigan by the fabulous Wendy Bernard (though I’m not going to do the collar…just wait and see what I’m gonna do–hope it works), and then I’ll have to figure out what the heck I’m gonna make next.

Oh trials! LOL 

The good thing about my current stash (thanks to enrichment from the recent Stitches West) is that no matter what economic difficulties come up over the next year, I will have knitting projects! Yeah hey for my stash! 🙂


The vineyard canopy shawl in MMMalabrigo… March 25, 2009

Filed under: knitting — kathy @ 5:32 pm

Funny thing, lace knitting. It’s obsessive in its way, for if you can really focus, you not only make something intricate and beautiful, but it flies in process. On the other hand, if you have trouble concentrating, whether due to your own mind’s wanderings, or you’re being subjected to external interruptions of the inane sort (I mean, DD, can you really not figure out how to open the yogurt smoothie, and if truly you cannot, and truly are dying of hunger, can you truly not find something else to snack on without my assistance?) you can loose your place and screw up in epic proportions that take you hours to right, or just frog the whole damn thing, stomp on it, and start over (or not).

So, a few weeks ago, I, an obsessed knitter and Raveler (my username: talismanrocks), decided that my Bugbug (one of my DD’s nicknames) was old enough for me to try lace knitting again. What I mean is, she can get her own food.

I’m making the lovely Forest Canopy Shawl by the amazing Susan Lawrence

as part of the Malabrigo March KAL. After a few false starts, it’s going swimmingly and here’s an early shot:

the lovely shawl in colorway velvet grapes
the lovely shawl in colorway velvet grapes

 I am planning on trying to finish the body later today, then start the border. I hope I get it done. We shall see. I haven’t worked on it in 4 days and I’m afraid I’ve lost my groove.

A note to dear Ms Lawrence: all your info about how to make a shawl is fab, but it would also greatly help this neophyte if you’d also mention that this shawl is worked top down. Took me a lot of looking, some arguing with a pal, and lots of consternation in general to realize this is how the shawl is constructed. That said,  I’m probably the only person who didn’t understand this from the get-go…

Welcome to my ramblings-on about knitting, jewelry-making, and writing… March 23, 2009

Filed under: laughter,March, 2009 — kathy @ 6:01 pm

Hey there! I’m really glad you’re here.  I hope as time passes, we find lots of things to  laugh about together; lord knows we all need a bit of a laugh now–especially now.  I know there are blogs I turn to on days I need a good LOL, and I hope this becomes one of those places for you. I’d thought about blogging on and off for a while, but I knew that a commitment was involved if it was to be worth anything! I must say that finally starting was due mainly to the encouragement of my dear cousin and my dear best friend, and I thank them both.  I hope that here I’ll find others of like-minds.  The wonderful gifts of imagination that come from our heads and through our hands, are to me  something to celebrate and what I live  for.  I want to make things  to which others find a connection and a joy, and I hope in so doing, find a bit of immortality for myself, too.

Okay, enough waxing on…see I warned you. I ramble. LOL

Let me tell you, blogging is a great evening activity for me. Tonight especially  because I’m really not anxious to go to bed anyway. In fact I almost never want to go to bed. Oh, it’s nothing like that.  It’s just that I have this nightly visitation by an evil gremlin-like creature: my ancient cat, Foozle (I knit, so of course I have a cat). Okay, so she’s not ancient, she’s 19. Frankly it’s a mystery how she ever made it past the age of 3, since she has this horrific habit of waking me (and my DH) up at least 5x/night, starting around 2:45 because she wants to be fed. My daughter woke me up less as a baby.

Foozle reclining in catmint

Foozle reclining in catmint

For many years I took care of this problem  by leaving a bit of kibble in her dish right before we went to sleep. This plan was abandoned when the cat registered 15 lbs on the vet’s scale. She’s down to 10 lbs again, and I’m afraid this has given her new life (much to my DH’s dismay). Now, without kibble to appease her,  we start the early morning hours  with the rhythmic scraping of claws on my grandmother’s horrible old dresser (on my side of the bed).

After being chased from the room, she returns about 45 minutes later to rattle the wood blinds, lick plastic bags or magazines, or get her claws caught in the blanket on my side of the bed. I know she knows this all drives me crazy and is doing this on purpose because I see her staring at me while she’s doing it. My vet and I are in violent disagreement on this point of the cat doing it to bug me, but hey, the vet is not the one getting woken up over here, is she?

And then there’ s my poor hubby. There’s nothing like watching a grown man with size 13 feet try to step on a cat at 4 am.

Finally, ragged, I stagger into the kitchen (usually around 5 am) feed her, and stagger back to bed (you can tell I’m not a morning person, right?).

And, oh yes, I’ve tried it all: the water bottle-squirter (she does not fear this–she plays chicken with the thing), locking her out of the room (she scratches at the door or the rug, and even if you can ignore that, she’ll dash in when I get up to check on my kiddo), earplugs (I worry I won’t be able to hear the DD if she needs me), making sure to keep her separate from anything she could lick, chew, or scratch. Now, though, when the weather is nice, or when I really can’t take it any more, I put her outside. She’s got a cozy little house to stay warm in. I think she uses it.  I can’t wait for it to start getting nice outside so I won’t feel guilty. I mean, I do love the little old monster. We are great cuddling buddies and she actually has a sense of humor.  For instance, she’s happy to sit with her catnip mouse on her head as long as one of us is rolling on the floor with laughter. Little cat toys and little (live) creatures are deposited into slippers regularly (with the exception of the mouse who, we think, she dropped into the toilet when she was a kitten, all creatures are presented alive).

What I really don’t get about this cat is, she’s smart. Really smart. But, how can this smart cat be so dense not to realize that if she bugs me, ultimately she gets put outside. Hmm.

Lucky for her she’s not into yarn. Not even a little bit. I could sit on the couch for hours after dinner, knitting, and she’d sit beside me, watching, but not touching, a single strand of yarn.

And good for her, ’cause that’d be the deal breaker. 🙂


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