11 May 2009

I've moved!

Hello All. The blog has moved. Please join me over at the new My Sedentary Life. See you there!

29 April 2009

I need a vacation

It has occurred to me lately that I suck at regular blog posting. There are various reasons for this, the most notably is mental exhaustion. Work's been very busy and my brain has been stretched about as far as it can go.

Rest assured that I am still here and still knitting. I'm even working on a new blog design for y'all.

I'll leave you this evening with 2 things.

First, Happy Anniversary, Shane! Our 3 year anniversary was yesterday. He had roses sent to me at work and took me out to dinner to the restaurant where we had our first date. It was lovely to have a date night. I am daily grateful that such an amazing man is part of my life. I just hope that I bring as much joy to him as he brings to me.

And, second, here are the kitties, fighting. They clearly love each other - they sleep curled up with each other and groom each other all the time. But they also fight like siblings. I managed to catch them with the camera the other day. The quality kind of sucks because it was early in the morning. Makes me laugh anyway.

06 April 2009

Meet The Kids!

Shane and I brought home some new kids a little over a week ago.

Meet Anthony and Cleopatra!

Anthony (Tony)

He's a year old, dumb as a box 'o rocks, and the sweetest little furball ever. He's my little cuddle worm. He likes to climb up on my chest and roll on his back, rubbing his head on my neck.

Cleopatra (Cleo)

She's about 3 years old, talks all the time, and loves to be scratched on her tummy. She was at the shelter for over a year. Very sad. But I'm pretty sure that she was just waiting for Shane and me to come and take her home.

The kids are obviously not siblings, but they lived in the same cage for a while and seemed to get along pretty well when we saw them at the Humane Society. We have been so pleased with how they are with each other.


They sleep together, groom each other, and chase each other all over the house. They even fight occasionally, just like siblings - love and hate.

I was really worried that we wouldn't be able to find the cats that were meant to be with us. But we went to the Humane Society with open minds and found the perfect pair.



It's wonderful to have little furbabies in the house again.


31 March 2009

WiP Wednesday!

Yes, I have WiPs to show you! On Wednesday! Can you believe it?!

I'm working on three projects right now, and they all have a deadline.

The first is the All About Aran afghan.

afghan blocks

There are 16 blocks in this afghan, which makes a much more portable project than a one-piece pattern. I have finished just those 2 blocks (one of which has to be ripped a little because I made a big mistake that I was in denial about until after I finished it and realized that I had increased 2 stitches every other row for 12 rows). I'm using Mission Falls 1824 Wool. It's a bit pricier than I would usually use for a project of this size, but it's a wedding gift for a close friend, and she's definitely worth the extra cost. Due date on this one is 16 May.

Next up, the Landscape Shawl.

grandma's shawl

Actually, I'm not using the pattern. I'm winging it. I was too impatient to order the pattern so I'm making it up as I go. We'll see how it goes. I'm using Vanna's Choice. I know - ick, acrylic. Right? I bought the yarn because this is a gift for my grandmother's 80th birthday, and I needed it to be machine wash and dry. I looked around at Hobby Lobby for something reasonably priced and really liked the color choices of Vanna's Choice. It feels really nice too. Not at all squeaky like acrylic often is. Due date is 24 May.

And, lastly, is a Monkey sock.

monkey sock

These are for TechGirl's mom. Yarn is Regia Kaffe Fassett. Due date is end of April, at the latest.

And yes, that's a new kitty you see in that last picture. Shane and I bought home two kitties last Friday. I finally had a chance to take pictures of them and will post them later this week.

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24 March 2009

Yes, ACTUAL knitting content

I just realized it's been months since my last knitting-related post. Sorry, Knitters. I have a good excuse...

Socks, socks, and more socks. The months of January and February were completely devoted to sock knitting, and I was on a deadline for some of them.

The first pair I finished were some socks for Socks for Soldiers.

sos socks

The picture is kinda crappy and is pre-blocking. They looked much better after blocking. The yarn is undyed Opal. They will eventually be dyed black by the SFS organizer (if I ever get them in the mail to her).

The second two pairs are for TechGirl's mom. I made TechGirl a pair of socks for her birthday last October. When her mom found out about them, she asked if I could make a pair for her. See, she has a medical condition that has caused her ankles to swell to the point where she cannot wear store-bought socks. So I had TechGirl measure Mom's feet and I made these socks:

mom socks

The yarn is Opal. Just a simple cuff-down, 2x2 rib with a slip stitch heel flap. To accommodate the 13 inch diameter that I needed for the cuff, the leg and foot have 90 stitches. Working on size 1 Addi's, I ended up with a gauge of 9-9.5 stitches/inch.

They took about a month to finish. I'm a slow knitter to start with, and the 90 stitches of ribbing made things go even slower. It was all worth it though because Mom loved them. She said it was the first time in months that she's been able to wear socks without the cuff leaving grooves in her ankles. She loved them so much that she has asked for several more pairs.

So I started these:

mom socks2.2

Again, the yarn is Opal. I had it and the yarn for the first pair in my stash. I wanted yarn that is wool and nylon, and very hard-wearing. There are some lovely sock yarns out there, but many of them are not very sturdy. Opal wears like iron, so it was the perfect choice - and all the more perfect because I already had it in the stash.

This pair was also cuff-down, 3x2 rib, slip stitch heel flap.

The cast on I used for Mom's socks is one that I learned for my Socks for Soldiers socks. SFS socks have to have a cast on stretchy enough to fit over a 2-liter pop bottle. I learned this tip from someone on Ravelry: Cast on double the number of stitches and decrease every 2 stitches on the first row. Now, casting on 180 stitches by the long-tail method was a bit of a nightmare with the first pair of socks. So for the second pair, I did a crochet cast on. Much easier and I didn't have to try to leave a long enough tail for 180 stitches. Here's what it looks like when finished...

mom socks cast-on

Yes, it makes for a rippled cuff, but that doesn't show when the sock is being worn.

Finally, the last pair of socks I finished recently was a pair of KU socks for Shane. He asked for a pair of ankle socks last fall. I told him I would have them ready by March Madness. Five months later I finished them. They have red toes, short row heels and cuffs, and blue insteps. I haven't been able to take a picture of them yet because he wore them right away and won't let me wash them until the Jayhawks lose. Superstitious, that one.


Thank you all for the kind comments about Abbey. They all meant a lot to me and brought me much comfort. I brought Abbey's ashes home today. The vet's office receptionist's husband makes beautiful wood boxes for pet ashes. Wendy bought one for me. It's quite lovely. When I showed Shane the box, he took it over to the couch and placed it on the arm where she used to sleep. I'll have to find a better place for her. I'm not sure why, but I feel more settled now that she's home.

On a more positive note, Shane is ready to adopt a new kitty. We agreed that we would try to find two cats to come home with us. We're going to the Humane Society Thursday during lunch to look around. Wish us luck.

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18 March 2009


TechGirl and I have been friends since my family moved to her neighborhood in Ohio almost 25 years ago. Though my family moved to Kansas in 1989, she and I have remained very close.

And this is why:

A couple of weeks ago, TG and I were emailing back and forth from work. I told her she should come out to visit me since the last time we saw each other was on my wedding day almost three years ago. Her response was that she didn't think her husband would be to thrilled with the idea.

That night, Shane and I talked about it - when she would come, where she would stay, what we'd do while she's here, whether we had BB that weekend. While Shane and I were talking I had an idea. I would contact TG's husband and appeal to him. I would tell him that I am really upset about my problems with infertility and could use a few days with my best friend. It wasn't completely a lie. I am upset about it and I would love a few days with my friend.

The next day I emailed TG and told her my plan, to which she replied, "We must have the same brain. I told him the exact same thing last night."

Even after all these years and 800 miles, we still think alike.

This post brought to you by Kate and her blog circus.


16 March 2009



A week ago tomorrow, our dear Abbey left us. Her kidney disease had progressed to the point where she weighed about 3 pounds (about half what she weighed most of her life - she was a tiny kitty) and was so weak that she couldn't walk very far without stopping and resting. She was tired, and it was time. Shane and I took her to the vet last Tuesday and stayed by her side to her last breath. It was really hard, but I know we did the right thing. I feel much better knowing that she's not suffering anymore.

Rather than dwell on her illness and death, I want to share three stories about Abbey that have been on mind a lot over the last week.


In October 2000, I was living in an apartment by myself for the first time. I was so excited to be living on my own, but I was completely unprepared for the loneliness of my empty apartment. Having wanted a cat since I was a little girl, I decided it was time. My boyfriend at the time went with me to the Lawrence Humane Society one Thursday evening. I carefully considered each cat, hoping to find a young one that was already declawed. Sitting at the front of one of the upper cages was a precious little orange and white long-haired cat. She had pretty light green eyes and a short nose. I stuck a few fingers through the door of the cage to touch her fur, and she stretched and immediately started purring. I knew then that I had to take her home. She had been there for 6 months. I was so surprised that such a beautiful cat had been there so long. I guess she was just waiting for me.


Growing up, I always wanted a cat. On many occasions I asked my parents for a cat, but was turned down every time. My dad thought cats were evil and that they smelled and carried disease. When I was able to decide for myself and told my parents I was getting a cat, my dad warned me against it. Never one to react well to being told I shouldn't do something, I ignored my dad's warnings and adopted Abbey. The day I brought her home, my mom, dad and sister came over to meet her. Dad was still really unsure about cats, but he was curious. Upon arriving at my apartment, my dad sat on the couch and folded his arms across his chest (a common gesture for my dad). As the four of us talked, Abbey very quietly and very slowly crawled up onto Dad's folded arms, laid down and purred as loudly as she could. You could almost see his heart melt. Two years later I had to move home for a year. I brought Abbey with me and she quickly became my parents' favorite. After I bought my house and moved out, Mom and Dad went right out and adopted two cats from the same litter. I never thought I'd see the day when Dad would want a cat as a permanent part of his household. Abbey changed that.


Abbey confirmed for me that Shane was The One. Every boyfriend I had before him either didn't like her or just tolerated her. She was spoiled, picky and sometimes had a horrible temper. Despite all those things, Shane immediately loved her and she loved him. It didn't take long before she really became his cat. She never showed her bad temper to him. She was always the sweetest, most loving animal with him.

Shane has taken Abbey's death pretty hard. He won't let me remove her litter box or unplug her water fountain. He tears up every time he thinks about her.

Something that did make him feel a little better is that not only did our vet send us a personalized sympathy card, but he also made a donation to the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine in Abbey's, Shane's and my name. We have a really great vet.

I am going to have her cremated. One of the women at the vet's office sells handmade mahogany boxes made by her husband. I will have Abbey's ashes put in one of those boxes. It will be nice to have her home again.

I was looking around for pictures of Abbey to put on the digital picture frame that Shane and Brady gave me for Christmas when I came across this video. It's really short, but in it you can hear how loudly she purred. She never talked much, but that purr was the best.

I miss her.