Exponential Cuteness

The kittens have gotten bigger and went for their "tutoring" last week, making them eligible for adoption this week. They are hilarious and so rambunctious and so cuddly at the same time. They'll be great companions for the lucky people who adopt them. Here are some pictures from the past couple of weeks:





There's been a name-change - Lola quickly made it known that she needed to be called Dora, because of her penchant for escaping the play yard and running off to explore as much as she could squeeze in before being caught and brought back to the yard.

Curry was adopted into his new family yesterday. He has a new mom and dad, a large, goofy lab mix who loves cats and a 1-year old sister-cat. We had an e-mail from him this morning. He is now known as Tigger and immediately made best friends with the cat and dog and had been spending most of his spare time with them on their screen porch. Another successful match!

And sweet little Lucy may have a new mom. She's a sweet and shy young gal who is getting her first apartment and has always wanted a cat (her family are dog people). Lucy came out of the cage and, unlike Gumbo and Dora, walked straight over to the girl and rubbed against her, as if to say, "You're the one." It's funny, because Curry did the same thing with his new people. Anyway, she has asked us if we can keep Lucy an extra week while she's actually moving, because she doesn't want Lucy to be scared or confused. She's a very sweet girl and this, too is a good match.

So tomorrow, it's down to the shelter I go with the 2 poly-cats, to find them their new homes. Keep your fingers for these adorable babies!

As if we don't have enough cuteness to spare around here, we exponentially increased the cuteness factor last week by giving this little sweetie-pie a place where he can stretch out and learn how to be a puppy instead of being kept a prisoner in a cage way too small to let him grow.

We're calling him Wolfgang. He's a yoodle or a schnoodle or some such nonsense and was rescued from an evil puppy mill. He's settling in very well, but when we took him in, he couldn't really walk because he had been kept in such a short, tiny cage. His paws and ankles were so weak, they looked like flippers when he tried to walk. He's a doll, very eager to please, but he has some sensory issues and gets way overstimulated. He's pretty smart and learned paper-training in just a couple of days.

Not only is he walking now, but he jumps around like a maniac, chasing the kittens. He's living in the kennel right next to them and gets playtime with them a couple of times a day, to help him socialize. Unfortunately, I believe he now thinks he's a cat. as soon as he's over his kennel cough, Abbie and Chloe will get to remind him of how much fun it is to be a dog.

He's going to get to go to the lake with us all of next week, where we plan to do some intensive house-breaking and socialization (and I shall be doing some intensive knitting, reading and napping). Now it looks like Lucy will be with us as well. But don't feel sorry for the ones left behind. Aunt Cindy, who is the bestest pet-sitting aunt in the entire world (according to Chloe and Abbie) will be staying with them and spoiling them something fierce.


SFCS Goodies (& More)

This week, as I have been playing catch-up from my trip to Charlotte, I received my Spring Fling Coffee Swap package from Alicia (aka PonyKnits). I'm not sure what happened, but Alicia sent me an email a couple of weeks ago to tell me that there had been a change of swappers and that she was going to be my new spoiler. Even on such short notice, she did a fine job. She sent me lots of great springtime goodies and a double dose of caffeine. Check it out:

Look how pretty all the colors look together.
(Double-click to enlarge the picture and check out the pretty stitch markers in
the lower left corner.)

Mmmalabrigo is always appreciated - don't you just love this color? And she also chose one of my favorite cotton yarns in a pretty rosy pink.

Alicia made me a dishcloth in a wonderful yellow ombre color. There's a journal, which I'll use for keeping track of my garden this year, and a notepad with 2 magnets.

Finally, she sent me not 1, but 2 bags of coffee! One is a medium roast, which I'll bring in to work and share with my coffee-addicted colleagues. The other is a dark roast that I've already sampled and it's really good.

I'm sorry I couldn't get a good picture of the beautiful glass stitch markers she sent, but I think she made those for me, too. They are in a variety of sizes, which is very clever, and really unique. I love art glass and these are just perfect. Thanks Alicia! This is a great package and much appreciated.

Things have been busy here as I've had to work a little more this week to make up for the 2 1/2 days I took off. While it's great being my own boss, the downside is that I still have expenses to pay, so whenever I take off, I have to work harder when I return. "Pay to play" is how I think of it. Such is life - there's always a balance that needs to be maintained.

One of the things I had to catch up on was the scarf I made for my ISE6 spoilee. I was really happy to get someone who loves blue, since that's one of my favorite colors, too. She wanted something lacy and long. I've been wanting to knit a Montego Bay scarf and have had my eye on this gorgeous Dream in Color Smooshy yarn (in Almost Summer Sky), and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to knit both. I'm happy with the way it turned out, and I hope she enjoys it, too. And speaking of balance, I let the Bird Girl help with the modeling:

Blogwise, I have lots to catch up on. The kittens are still here and growing. And I have some pictures from my trip. Enjoy your Sunday and check back soon!


The Cuteness Just Keeps On Coming and I'm Going

The kittens are growing so fast, that they will probably reach spaying/neutering weight by the end of this week. There is already a waiting list of people waiting to adopt them. They are all just loaded with personality and very people-oriented. They've also made friends with Chloe and Abbie, who get to have little visits with the kittens inside the play yard every night. The dogs are so sweet and gentle with the kittens, who enjoy being sniffed down by the dogs. Gumbo keeps trying to climb out of the play yard, and when he manages to escape, he runs straight over to Chloe and Abbie, who are usually laying nearby, keeping an eye on their little friends.

I may not be able to see them off to their new homes, however. I'm going to Charlotte for my niece's high school graduation this week and I won't be back until next Monday. My brother and his family moved to Charlotte about 9 years ago and this is the first time I'm going to visit them. As an added bonus, one of my most favorite friends lives in Boone, which is in the mountains, about 2 hours away. She was my mentor in graduate school, and if it weren't for her, I wouldn't have stuck it out and I'd be working at KMart or something right now instead of slaving away 50 hours/week. I'm driving up Friday morning and will stay with her and her husband that night. Not nearly long enough! And yes, I have already checked to see which yarn shops I need to visit when I'm there. Fortunately, (according to some of the forums on Ravelry), the most popular one in the Charlotte area is just 20 minutes from my brother's house. My niece, who is a newbie knitter, has already volunteered to take me!

I have been doing some knitting in addition to trying to work, socialize kittens, clean house and get packed and maybe sneak in a little sleep now and then. We were asked to knit something that "screams spring" for our spring coffee swap pals. A couple of weeks ago, when I looked out my window at the grey, cold and drizzly April day, I thought to myself: a wooly headwarmer is what is screaming spring right now. So I pulled some luscious merino hand-painted yarn out of the stash because the colors reminded me of my downstream pal and decided to make her a Calorimetry, since her weather hasn't been much more spring-like than ours. I had a blast knitting it and loved the little bone button I found for it.

It figures that one of the few times I checked my gauge and hit it spot-on that casting on the 120 stitches called for results in a Calorimetry that would fit a basketball. Good thing I made a mistake and took it off the needles to frog it. That's when I saw how huge it was. I went down a needle size and it looks like it should now fit a normal-sized head.

So I heard from my spoilee today and I think she liked it. I had a great time spoiling my friend and fellow dog-lover, Nichole. If you don't already read her blog, please pop on over and tell her hi.

Now I'm off to pack, which is always a 2-day event. I start by trying to load every single thing I think I'll need into my suitcase, then jamming in extras "just in case". Did I mention my OCD sometimes makes it a wee bit hard to make decisions? Then I try to zip the thing, laying on top of it to mush everything down and it still won't zip! So then I have to do a ruthless weeding out of everything but the essentials (and my pillow, which must always go with me. Always.) Then onto the part I love the most - narrowing down the knitting projects and the reading material I want to take. When we drive, it's no problem. I throw a couple of Rubbermaid tubs into the back and away we go. Flying is a different matter.

I have been obsessing over this all week and think I have it narrowed down to 3 small projects, 2 magazines and 2 books. All for 5 days. Think it'll be enough? I worry that I will run out of things to do and get bored, which to me is worse than having my toenails ripped off, 1 at a time. So I must go now, and obsess over this all some more. I'll be back next week with tales of my adventures and pictures and knitting content. Take care and have a great week!


The Good-Swapping Karma Continues!

...with this fantastic package from my ISE6 pal, Nicole. Look at the wonderful goodies she sent:

First of all, the scarf is a gorgeous chevron pattern in one of my favorite colors of blue. It's not wool, but I'm not sure what it might be. I'm guessing a heavy silk. It looks hand-dyed and is spun with these pretty little blips. It's the perfect weight for spring and fall and I just love it! It also smells really good. Sadly, the pictures do not do it justice at all.

Silky, blippy goodness

Nicole also sent an incredibly beautiful glass bottle in an equally beautiful brocade bag. Again, the pictures don't do justice to how lovely it is. The painting is exquisite. The best part is that she chose it for me because of the dogs on either side. It is truly special!


Finally, she must have read my blog and decided that my brain has been rotting because I rarely read anymore. So she sent me 2 books. One of them, Family Tree, looks like the kind of book I enjoy - it's about relationships that are challenged, and (I assume) will be overcome by the end. Nothing gory or catastrophic, but I am sure I'll shed a few tears while reading. And the other is a book I've thought about buying for myself - the Yarn Harlot's book of knitting meditations. This is the kind of book I love to read (when I have time) - entertaining, informative, and easy to pick up and put down at bedtime. I started right in on it the first night I got it.

Nicole, thank you! You really made perfect choices and I love it all. You've been a great spoiler and I hope that you are also blessed with good-swapping karma! I recommend a visit to her blog for many reasons. She knits beautifully, knits for charity, posts gorgeous pictures (of food, among other things!), gardens and posts fudgy brownie recipes! She has great taste in movies, and has a cute husband.

So Nicole, if you ever find yourself in Kansas, please call me. We'll eat and hang out and talk about our kitties, knit hats, play canasta and watch some movies. Come soon and you can go back home with an Erin mini-me souvenir!


In Which We Try Something Different

And that something different involves 4 furballs of the feline variety. Meet the new batch of distractions:

Lucy, the dainty one

Lola, the intrepid explorer

Curry, the cuddler

Gumbo, the instigator

They are all from the same litter. But Gumbo and Lola have something the other 2 don't - they're polydactyls. Polydactyly is a genetic trait that results in extra digits. In the case of these two, they both have one exta toe on each foot, including their back feet, which is less common. Poly-cats are good luck, so I think we should keep them around until tornado season is over. These kittens all have great temperaments and are very people-oriented. I think they won't have any trouble finding good homes. Although Mr. C and I may be in trouble this time - we're both already very smitten with each one of them.

While the kittens aren't as time-consuming as puppies, it's still going to be hard for me to get much knitting done. Good thing I've almost finished this secret project I've been working on. Here's a sneak-peek:

No matter how cute, no kitten can compare to the gorgeous (and peeved) Ms. Criquette

I also made Sarah's market bag, in honor of Earth Day. This was a very fast knit. I used Tahki cotton, doubled. For this project, I learned how to do the Kitchener stitch. While it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, my first attempt was absolutely pathetic:

I got the hang of it on the second try and it turned out okay.

I think I made the handle too long, but otherwise, I'm happy with how it turned out.

But, I will have to tear myself away from the supreme cuteness of the kittens so I can get this finished. It's the scarf for my ISE6 spoilee.

It's probably about 1/5 finished, so I have quite a way to go. Between the kittens and the tornado sirens going off several times on Thursday night, knitting conditions in the C household have been less than ideal this week. Today and tomorrow are finally supposed to be sunny and warm enough to be outside, and the garden and several pots of perennials are beckoning. Good thing the sun will eventually go down, kittens will eventually go to sleep and then maybe I can get some knitting done.