Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sunday Funday Silence

I know I've been pretty quiet over here for a couple weeks.  Things have been busy at Chez Blackbird, but they only reached fever pitch two Sundays ago.  Want to hear the story?

So, I have this cat, Jashu.  He is, 98% of the time, a wonderful, magnificent, goofy beast.  I have conversations with him more than I'd like to admit.  And he'd never really shown an interest in my knitting! I counted myself lucky that I was able to knit with him next to me or on my lap, and he'd never try to catch the yarn or get in the way.

The not-so-wee beastie in question.

So, the Saturday of the 14th, I finished a sweater that had a deadline of May 1st for pattern and sample.  No sweat! I thought, merrily got it blocking on the blocking mats on my floor, warned Jashu off the pins until at least a day had gone by (he likes pulling them out), and ignored it for the rest of the weekend.  I've blocked tons of things there, never had a problem except for the aforementioned pins.  Tra la, I thought, I have plenty of time!

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, when I am working away on the loom on my project of many (chartreuse) hues, when I saw Jashu make a beeline to lie down on the sweater.  Not good, I say to myself and head over to shoo him off.  When. . . I see it.  Them.

The holes.

The large, shredded, gaping holes.

Any shaky camera work is entirely due to the "oh my god what have you done" adrenaline running through me at that moment.

Jashu apparently really liked this sweater.  Enough to use it as a scratching board.  Upon closer inspection, it turned out that all the holes were above the armhole split, but that still meant about thirty hours of knitting gone in the swipe of a tiny claw.  After copious wailing and some choice words and maybe a stiff drink or two, there was nothing for it but to r-r-r-rip!

Evidence.  I hope this cat knows how lucky he is to be alive.

All other plans for the week were abandoned, and every waking moment was devoted to re-knitting this sweater.  It came back off the needles this past Saturday, and, after a trip to Home Depot for some wire shelving, went straight on the blocking boards.  It is covered by wire grid and a towel and I am thinking of investing in an air horn for when the cat gets within two feet of it.  But it's done, and after this coming weekend, I may have some Sunday Fundays to myself again!

And the cat?


Try as I might, he's just too cute to stay mad at.  But just don't let him near my knitting again.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I May Have a Problem

So in the course of prepping for today's Sunday Funday, for which I am very excited (and will be revealing more about later), I compiled a few yarns in similar tones of my favorite color.  I had put a bag of leftover scraps together a while ago, and then ransacked my sock yarn stash for a few more.  And then my normal stash.  And then the back-up stash (don't ask).  And. . . well.

This may come back to haunt me at some point.

After doing some deep breathing, and a tiny bit of hand wringing, I stuffed most of it back into its respective cabinets and was left with the bag of remnants from the very beginning:


There are bits in there from two different dyelots of Kelp in Quince and Co's Tern, from my swatching and knitting of Alys.  There's a partial ball of Buoy in Tern, from another project I'm working on.  There are handspun scraps from a goof-off project I don't think I ever posted here (oops).  There's a couple bits of hand-dyed Brown Sheep Naturespun that I dyed for my Fair Isle Knitolution two years ago.  And there's a full skein of the most gorgeous handspun from my friend Jan, who I taught to spin and dye as an intern at the Fiber Gallery back in 2008.  I've got some pretty big plans for this stuff, which will involve the lovely piece of equipment in the background of the picture above!

The other thing I've been working on for the past few Sunday Fundays came about, spur of the moment, when we got a freak heat wave here in Maine.  I even had my window open! And you know what that means--suddenly, it's fleece washing season.  The problem I realized as I spun the excess water out of the washed fleece: this is the first time I've washed a fleece in my apartment.  This became painfully clear when I couldn't find a darn place to put it to dry!  I became very thankful that I had done dishes earlier that day.

 (the house was built in 1805, and has settled to a point where the cabinet doors don't shut there.  I hate this; my cat loves it.)

On the right is a fleece from Fleecewood Farm, and on the left is a CVM lamb fleece I bought at Rhinebeck back in 2008.  The first washed beautifully; the second I'm waving the white flag on and sending out to get commercially processed.  But last Sunday I got started on combing up the Fleecewood fleece!


I'm already dreaming about the Tour de Fleece when these are going to be my go-to.  And yes, I haven't forgotten about my Ursa--she's getting a dutiful few sleeve rows every Sunday.  But there are some other exciting things going on!