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August 25, 2010

Some Bad Igor News

When we got home from vacation, our seventeen-year-old Igor did not look good. After two trips to the specialty vet in as many days, he unfortunately has a lymphoma diagnosis.

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Sad, but not unexpected. He is home getting lots of treats and snuggles until he tells us he is ready to go.

Poor little muffin.

September 14, 2009

Igor Monday

I've got one more deadline coming due tomorrow, so today you get a cat picture.

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A sleepy, unwilling-to-be-photographed Igor.

Thanks for all your great advice on progressives. I decided to try out an incredibly cheap (less than $60) pair from Zenni Optical. At that price, even if the glasses suck I'll still think the risk was worth it. I'll let you know how it works out!

July 18, 2008

Igor Eye Candy

Just when I thought I'd miss Eye Candy Friday altogether, Igor woke up from his beauty nap.

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Click here for bIgor.

And, just to try to kick-start a positive attitude (yep, I know its Friday afternoon, but that doesn't mean much if one is working all weekend) here goes a list of the things I liked most about this past week:

1. My round bar of Taza Stone-Ground Chocolate Mexicano. Currently I am eating the plain chocolate version. But I can vouch for the deliciousness of the vanilla, cinnamon and almond flavors too.

2. The elliptical trainer machines at my gym overlook the pool. There is no better entertainment than watching all shapes, sizes and ages of people swimming their laps while some merengue plays on my iPod. Granted, I've said before that I am easily entertained. And some of you might moan, groan and mock my newfound love for the elliptical, but that's a place that no phone rings, no client or husband demands, its all about me baby. Nice.

3. Sil was here for a few days, lightening my chore load and providing fun company. YEAH!

4. The broken-ankle-hubster is finally out of his cast! Its been almost three months of hobbling, and thus avoidance of most household chores. Guess who is taking out the garbage THIS weekend? Hint: its not me.

So, all in all a pretty good week. Blessings, consider yourself counted.

February 07, 2007

No Knitting; Only Knitting Talk

Despite my best efforts to capture the true color of my Kidsilk Haze project, that did not go well. I gave up and am going with a cat picture today instead.

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For a bigger Igor, click on the picture.

I'd thought I'd copy my sister and do a mini-Cute-Pattern-Roundup. Since in over one month I've only managed to knit six inches of the sleeve to my Kidsilk Haze sweater, I'm beginning to wonder if this is such a good idea. I mean, look at all that stockinette. Whoa.

Silvia recently alerted me to the Grannie Smith pattern. I liked it immediately, probably because I'm getting so much wear out of Ariann that my eye is being drawn to the smaller, lighter, lacy cardis. I am quite the fan of picot edging on socks, and liked the edging on this sweater. However, I am also intimately familar with the tendency of picot to roll a bit, or at least its tendency to stand away a bit stiffly from the body of a garment. Thus, although picot edging at the hem and sleeves strikes me as a cute idea, I'm skeptical about picot around the shaped neckline and the buttonbands. Also, I picked the Glad pattern because its more of a wrap with sleeves than a sweater. Would I really wear a sweater out of Kidsilk Haze? I wonder.

While in search of other lacy cardi ideas for Kidsilk Haze, I ran across this extremely cute French cardi. My French-reading skillz are marginal to completely nill, and the link back to the pattern doesn't work, so there are two large-ish obstacles to overcome here. But I like the restrained laciness and the cute waist detail, and were I less lazy, I could reconstruct the pattern from the picture.

Taking a different path, I was really drawn to the Thermal pattern by Cosmicpluto Laura. I think the neckline is really cute, and the sweater idea is a great take-off on the thermal shirts I've been wearing all winter. A good friend recently gifted me with some hemp yarn, and I'm thinking about swatching it in the waffle stitch to see if there is any hope of a match. If I make the sweater small enough, maybe the lack of elasticity in the hemp won't be a problem......

So, clearly I am THINKING about knitting. Even if none of that actually appears in today's blog.

July 14, 2006

Random Friday

You get only randomness today.

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1. Igor wishes to remind you that he is still cute.

2. Probably my favorite purchase of the last few months is my very first ever travel mug. Why it took me so long to buy one of these is a mystery. I don't usually drink coffee -- tea is my thing. Currently my tea of choice is Peet's Pride of the Port. I'm drinking some now.

3. Actually, I take that back. The favorite purchase part. I recently bought these pants in black and I wear them all the time. Don't you love when the clothing you buy turns out to be just right? Just one perfect choice will make up for quite a few of the mistakes sitting in the closet.

4. If you guys are game for a fundraiser for a good cause offering great prizes, check out this effort to help out a fellow knitter undergoing a bone marrow transplant.

5. Despite currently being asleep, Igor still wants you all to be reminded about how cute he is:

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6. You will shortly be hearing more about the ancient sweater on which Igor is sleeping.

April 24, 2006

Some Weekends

Some weekends it is more about the knit-peeps-socializing than the actual knitting.

Some weekends, the actual knitting can't -- for one reason or another -- show up on the blog.

Some Monday mornings are dark and wet and rainy.

Here is a picture.

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And now its time for a story.

It was a hot and steamy late May weekend. My sister, the sexy flight attendant, had arrived in town on one of her frequent stay-overs with a secret plan.

"Hey, Claudia", says she. " I found a wool festival on the web and I think we should go."

"I don't want anymore yarn." I say. "And its far."

In return, I got The Look. The look that said, "could you possibly be any less fun?"

Apparently I was going to my first sheep and wool festival.

We pulled into the rustic fairground parking lot, and a strange noise wafted towards us from the barns. "Baaaaa!" intoned the Greek chorus of sheep. In sheep language, this means (although I did not know it at the time) "c'mon in! spend all your money! get a new lifelong hobby!"

It still means this. Be forewarned, people.

We walk into the first barn, the shade providing a welcome break from the beating sun. After my eyes adjust to the sudden darkness, I survey the wares. Yarn was in limited supply. Good, I think. I don't want more yarn.

But there was fluff everywhere. All the colors of the rainbow. In fluffy piles, in braided strands, in big fuzzy balls. I pet the fluff, a bit half-heartedly. I suppose if I were a spinner, this would be interesting. But nothing to buy here, I say to myself. And I move on down the aisle. I see an older lady spinning on a wheel. I see a seven year old girl spinning on a wheel. Hmmm, I think. Spinning.

We make our way back outside, to see a woman in an open tent with snake-like multicolored fiber ropes hanging all around her. She smiled at me. "Hi", she said. "Are you a spinner?"

No, I say. I'm not.

"I can teach you in five minutes!", was her reply. If this were a movie, I'd pick the shark music to cue right here. You know which shark music I mean.

She hands me a drop spindle with a leader of fiber already on it and a bit of fluff. This next part is a little fuzzy. There was twirling of the spindle, and drafting of the fiber. And probably dropping of the spindle, but I don't remember that part.

When I came to, there was a toy wheel drop spindle and armload of roving ropes in my hands. And a crazed look in my eye. I raced back into the barns, and did more than pet the fluff, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.

I spun in the car on the way home. I spun when I got home. I spun through all the fiber I had bought. And when I searched to find the next sheep and wool festival, I was crushed, CRUSHED! to find out that I'd have to wait until the fall.

Then fiber started arriving in the mail. Like magic, you know. The wheel came mail order two months later.

I think you can figure out the rest of the story.

There is one way for me to relive the excitement and joy of discovery that was my first sheep and wool. And that is by bringing in new victims to these shows and watching THEM race through the barns hungrily gathering fluff. Someone handed me the Kool-Aid. I'm just returning the favor whenever I can.

April 19, 2006

Random Wednesday

Let's start right out with cat blogging, so that those of you who came here today looking for knitting know indisputably THAT THERE IS NONE.

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This is Igor salivating over the birdies. Igor loves himself the spring, when the birdies come back. Igor is an indoor kitty, forever frustrated in his hunting endeavors. Poor little chicken....

Let the randomness begin!

Beadlizard Sylvia is kicking some serious Hyrna Herborgar butt. Check it out.

If anyone knows anything about carpet steamers like these, feel free to chime in. There is a white carpet and two evil cats here. Just sayin'.

Knitting time this spring will be substantially reduced by the training time needed to not die while riding this race on our tandem bicycle. Please note, that while I myself am not crazy, I am married to crazy. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Speaking of bicycling, pretty soon I will fire up the fundraising drive for this year's MS Ride. I have a seriously great prize to raffle off, so stay tuned. Generous offers of other prizes will be gratefully accepted.

The pansies still aren't planted. I did water them though. This meets my definition of gardening.

I don't know how those of you who often knit "secret" projects do it and still have blog fodder. Orange. Furry. Enuf said.

March 08, 2006

Cats and Socks, What's Not to Like?

Its a cat. With a Koigu sock. Seriously, this is the best I can do while checking my mailbox every five minutes hoping that my zipper comes for Mariah.

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Its Wednesday again, so time for randomness.

1. I am seriously excited that I'm not the only pathetic knitter in the universe.

2. The above orangey saffron/black Koigu sock has come out slightly bigger and more stretchy than the bazillion other identical pairs that I've made for the husband. Handmade is simply not 100% reproducible. Luckily he was looking for socks to wear with sock liners, so I'm good.

3. During the cat-sock photo shoot, I happened to get a picture of Kimba in a way less than flattering pose. Those of you with cats probably know which one I'm talking about. But I didn't post it because I didn't want to embarrass her. Yes, I know she's a cat and doesn't surf the internet. Still.

4. Just so you all know, I never wore the Perry Ellis Bubble Sweater. I came to my senses shortly after knitting it and promptly gave it away.

5. I do wonder which "sweaters of the moment" will cause you and me much embarrassment in ten or fifteen years. However, I'm betting that Rogue and Ribby Cardi will still be looking fine. I'm betting against anything knit with fun fur.

March 01, 2006

Until I Have Time to Tell the Hood Story....

Until I have time to tell you the Mariah hood story (which is worth the wait, I think) Igor and a small portion of my sock collection will have to suffice.

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That is Mariah in the background. Only the best for my little Ig.

February 19, 2006

Cat Blogging

Usually, when the cats show up here that means I've got nothing. Well, that's not entirely true this time. There are socks in progress and a sweater. But none of those pictures really turned out.

However, fans of my evil cat companions will be happy to see that both of them had their model faces on today. So cats it is.

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Clearly I have interrupted Important Cat Business.

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Hi there, Miss Meow-Loudly-At-Regular-Intervals-During-The-Night. How does it feel to be woken up from a nice nap? I'm crying for ya. babe. Cryin'.

Perhaps the inanimate knitted objects round these parts will kindly allow themselves to be photographed less than crappily tomorrow.

December 30, 2005

Out with the Old...

How about a random Kimba-and-sock picture to start with, aye?


Kimba thanks me for drying my sock collection on her favorite chair.


So, 2005 is on its way out. I am not the biggest fan of New Year's Resolutions. About that, I refer you to Yoda, who said "Do or not do. There is no try."

So we will pass on the resoluting at this here blog. The end of a year, however, is as good a time for planning as any, so let me think about what fabulousity awaits in 2006.

Despite some technical setbacks I am still planning to move this blog to a Movable Type platform in 2006. For me, to make the comments easier for me to interact with. Due to the suckage that is Blogger comments, most of the time when you lovely folks take the time to leave me a comment, I have no way of responding to you because your email or website doesn't come through. Grrr. And for you, to give you a way to search this site which currently can't be done.

One of the real highlights of 2005 was the incredible way you guys supported my MS Ride to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Welp, we are doing it all again in June 2006, and I'm plotting out the fabulous prizes already.

What is on the knitting agenda for 2006? Excellent question. I don't have the foresight and organization of Margene to plan out specific projects in advance. But I'm committed to sock diversity (something that isn't a regular Claudia sock) and to knitting more spring/summer sweaters. There is a serious lack of cotton sweaterage in my wardrobe, whereas I've pretty much got the cold weather sweater situation covered.

And the fate of unfinished projects? Ahem. Well. I am committed to finishing my Mariah because I want to wear it. Maybe if I'm feeling brave, I'll refine my cabling-without-a-cable-needle trick on this project.

As for spinning, well the original name of this blog was "Claudia's Knitting/Spinning Blog". The creativity of which simply takes one's breath away, doesn't it? But I digress. So at first, spinning got equal billing with knitting. But in truth, I am a spinning dilettante. Until the last couple of days when I've been moved to use both spindle and wheel, I probably hadn't spun anything in months. I enjoy spinning, but there are only so many hobby hours available and knitting gives me more new clothes (a strong motivator for Claudia) per minute spent.

I'm not resolving to spin more...see above. But in looking over the Fiber Room recently it became clear that fiber outnumbered yarn by a huge, huge margin. Stopping the acquisition of new fiber, which I've already done, does nothing to diminish the fiber stash without spinning effort being applied. Since I'm simply not a packrat and don't enjoy being weighted down by stuff, this means one of two things. Either I will start spinning more, or look for some nice fleece/batts/roving being sold or given away here.

Thanks for reading this year. May 2006 bring nothing but good to you and your loved ones. Knit on.

December 26, 2005

The Joy of Receiving

Em knit me socks. Socks! Which you will see in a moment. But first I'd like to share with you pictures that show what the joy of receiving is all about. You see, Em included catnip mice for you know who.


When Igor Attacks!


Note the single-minded determination to destroy. And, let's not forget Kimba:


Beware of the claws, little catnip mouse.


Indeed, the kitties are all about the joys of receiving this holiday season. As was I when I got Em's package.


Who better to appreciate the gift of handknit socks than a knitter?


These socks that Em knit for me are made out of Claudia's Handpainted Yarn in Roasted Chilies. Despite the obvious reason why I should have tried this yarn before now, I haven't.* The socks are incredibly soft -- softer than Koigu -- and have a lovely springy feel. Altogether delightful.

Although it is tough to see in the picture, these socks have a subtle texturing to them by way of cute little twisted stitches. As readers of this blog know, I am quite dedicated to the mindless sock concept, and although I have knitted many a sock for myself, 99% of them are plain stockinette/picot edge/short row heel and toe socks. Seeing as how I really like these textured socks, I resolve to stretch my sock knitting chops in 2006. Cara is making this way easy for me, but that is a story for another day.

Em, am I not worthy. I say, THANKS! But, Igor and Kimba say, "Dude, we can't get the catnip out! WTF??"


*Although I wish I had something to do with producing this lovely yarn, there is no affliation between Claudia Hand Painted Yarns and this here blog.

November 30, 2005

Cats as Post Substitute

Today, I will be working like a fool in order to have a hope of not working tomorrow. Tomorrow is my birthday (YEAH!) and there is nothing that sucks worse than working on my birthday.

Thus, in time-honored Claudia's Blog tradition, when all else fails go to the cats.


"Bitch, I'm sleeping here." Ah, payback is sweet my little Kim-ster.


Rarely do I get both Kimba and Igor in the same picture. Cute fur times two, people. Its the best I can do today.

I could continue to natter on about how I'm punting on sewing up Copper Jacke. How I'm knitting up a secret sock. blah blah blah.

Let's just cut back to the cats.

November 23, 2005

Another View of Thanksgiving

Have a Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate, and a kick-ass Thursday if you don't.

Igor, however, wishes to broadcast a slightly different message:


"....to compensate me for this indignity. Seriously, this isn't right. Damn humans."


Disclaimer: I did not encourage this commission of a felonious affront to feline dignity. This evilness is all the fault of another.

November 17, 2005

Hi. You've Reached Claudia's Blog....

Claudia won't be able to come to the blog today, because she is out busting her hump to put kitty food in this mouth:


And an enormous mouth it is.

Wish her luck.

November 08, 2005

Igor Says.....

....have you missed me?


Don't I look angelic? Like I can do no wrong? But of course, I am perfect.


My evil human jailers left me for a long time, with no way to access my Public. Don't worry, though, as I left them suitable punishments.

The She, well, it is not moving the sticks with all the string so much. It surely is also not paying me the proper lavish and slavish attention which is my due. I suggest that my Public chastise the She for her shameful neglect.

That is all. I must nap now.

October 04, 2005

Kimba Makes A Fall Appearance

In case your Tuesday morning isn't being all it can be, perhaps it would make many of us feel better for a moment knowing there can be such contentment in the world.


Kimba in the sun, raisin-like.


For those of you concerned for the fate of Teacup Sweater, a certain rabbit is taking charge of it. I predict this fashion-designer-in-training has plans to re-style it into fabulousness!

August 29, 2005

Today is Cat Appreciation Day

To my cats, Igor and Kimba, for all they do around the office.*

Work? You wanna work? Um, OK. You don't need this thing I'm laying on, do you?

Let's just take a panoramic view of Igor's efforts, shall we?

Kimba: Officemate Supreme:


C'mon, pet me. Pet. Me. PET ME RIGHT NOW DAMN IT!

Yup. No knitting.

Nothing to see here. Move along now.

*Technically, they don't really DO anything if eating and sleeping don't count. But felines can get away with alot due to Cuteness.

July 29, 2005

You Know What This Means

There is a cat here:

Kimba as office mate. Wouldn't it be grand if all officemates the world over had fur?

There is a cat here, ergo there is no knitting/spinning/fiberly activity here. You know this, yet you continue you read. Clearly there is no hope for you.

Let's talk about the last post, hmmm? For all you vultures awaiting Lion Cashmere Blend, start looking for it in September. As for being a conservative dresser, 'tis true, 'tis true. Just ask my sister who makes it her business to jazz me up whenever she sees me. All photo-styling tongue-in-cheek aside, although I DO indeed voluntarily own a Bud Racing tank, I rarely wear it. Whether or not I'd ACTUALLY wear a combo of NHRA American style and cashmere is seriously doubtful. However, it amuses me to think so.

I think my main difficulty with the shrug is the incongruity of the heavy weight yarn in a garment clearly intended for the slight coolness of a summer day or evening. It seems somehow not quite right to be wearing an item made of aran weight wooly yarn in July. Regardless, I did keep the shrug on while working in the air-conditioned delights of my office. So it can fulfill the same chore as Birch: keeping aggressive air conditioning from wreaking havoc with my delicate shoulder-age.

Perhaps if I am extra diligent this weekend there will be some actual fiberly content here next time you check in. If not, I've got me a boatload of kitty pictures and no shame.

March 11, 2004

Some Day My Zipper Will Come

Now. If everyone reading this closes their eyes and sends mental energy to help lift a small, defenseless red zipper through the tortures of the U.S. mail from NYC to Boston, I would truly appreciate it.

This here is no help whatsoever.

ARGHHH!!!

OK. I'm over it.