Of Rats and Jen

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Online Reading Suffers

Filed under: Blogfriends,Daily Life — folkcat at 9:08 pm on Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am so behind. I haven’t had my laptop to do my online reading with since over a week ago. The backlight on the screen died, and there’s no way we can buy a replacement light at this time.

This was the computer that sat on a little table in front of my armchair, all day long, while I knit and watched tv. I read a LOT of blogs, newsfeeds, and e-mail sitting there.

Now, all my reading has to happen at my desktop computer, in a less comfortable chair, and in a spot where it’s not convenient to either knit or watch tv while I do it. So it gets to happen in small, regulated chunks of time. When I can remember to get around to setting time to do it.

As of now, I’m up to April 23 on e-mails, but only April 20 on feeds. And forget about Ravelry – I only read a couple of groups there, but Remnants, at least, is hopelessly clogged with unread/unignored threads (I do ignore a lot there when I get to look at it.)

If you send me a comment or a personal e-mail, rest assured that I cherry-pick those from the inbox to answer right away. Y’all are more important to me than the latest catalog specials from a week ago!

Pattern Update

Filed under: Blogfriends,Downloads - Original Knitting Patterns,Knitting — folkcat at 3:54 pm on Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Internet is a great big pond, and everything you post on it makes ripples that keep going on, long after you have forgotten about the stone you threw in.

Someone who found my pattern for the Knit Felted Catnip Mice decided to repay me for offering it free. You may or may not remember that I posted the pattern as a TXT file on my patterns page, because I never got around to creating a finished PDF version. Imagine my surprise yesterday morning when I found exactly that in my inbox – a finished, professional PDF of the pattern!

I am eternally grateful to this new friend for her gift, and I have made sure her work was not in vain. The PDF is now posted on the patterns page for anyone to download. I’ve left the TXT version up as well, just in case anyone prefers that.

I just need to go figure out what Ravelry links and listings need to be updated now!

Enjoy!

Surprise!

Filed under: Blogfriends — folkcat at 5:58 pm on Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I have the best blog-friends! Gryphon went to the post office today, and when he came back he said, with a slightly puzzled voice, “Were you expecting a package from Valerie?”

Um…no. He then handed me a box. Sure enough, the return address was Valerie’s. And when I opened it…

Asian treats! Yay!

Valerie’s note said that she’s been at the Asian grocery and wanted to send me a little New Year’s treat basket as a sort of pick-me-up, for all the rough times that Gryphon and I have been going through. How sweet – and appropriate! I’ve been missing my Asian goodies, because our Asian market is fairly far away and not near anyplace else we ever shop, so I haven’t been there in months.

Valerie sent five (five!) boxes of Pocky; a package of one of my favorite classic treats, Botan Rice Candy; a box of another Glico (makers of Pocky) snack called Collon, which is actually a cylindrical creme-filled biscuit that I’ve never found yet and am eager to try; and a five-slice Gummi Pizza that looks like a lot of fun.

I’m going to do my best to dole this out and savor it slowly to make it last.

Thank you, Valerie! I’m so excited, and you’re so very sweet and thoughtful!

She Did It!

Filed under: Blogfriends — folkcat at 6:58 pm on Monday, June 23, 2008

Our mutual friend, Leesa, that is! She rallied her family, friends, and Crafting Jen’s readers, and her entry of Amphibian in the “Name the Shards” contest at Avenue Beads finished at first place in the poll. Congratulations, Leesa! And a hearty Thank You to everyone who voted for her.

While we waited to see the results, I did a bunch of spinning and knitting this weekend. More about that tomorrow!

Holy Salamanders, Batman!

Filed under: Blogfriends,Knitting,Spinning — folkcat at 4:12 pm on Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You guys just totally rock! When I posted about our friend Leesa’s contest yesterday, her entry stood at a tie for fifth place. In less than twenty-four hours, your votes have put her in first place! That is just totally awesome!

Voting doesn’t end until 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, June 21 (Central Time – the contest holder is in Chicago). So we want to keep the action going to keep Leesa at the top. You can only vote once, but if you have any friends you think would vote, or a blog of your own where you can post the voting link, that would be absolutely wonderful.

The link to the voting page for the contest is:

http://www.avenuebeads.com/2008/06/15/name-these-shards-poll/

And the name to vote for is Amphibian. That’s Leesa’s entry. I didn’t mention before, but I like it so much because it suits the colors of the glass being named, but it’s not expectable or cliched. A lot of the other names entered are very pretty, but also a little too predictable. I can really imagine these colors in a frog or salamander, all wet and shiny and green!

I’ll post next week how Leesa does in the contest. If we can keep this momentum going, though, I think we can expect a good result!

Thank you all!

And in other news…

Entrelac Shawl
Entrelac Shawl

Handspun Merino Single
Handspun single, Merino Top

Yes, I’m knitting Yet Another Entrelac Project. And after being idle for over a year, I am spinning again. Details when I feel up to writing them up!

A Call To Action; and, a Funky New Yarn?

Filed under: Blogfriends,Crafting Miscellany,Rats! — folkcat at 4:22 pm on Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I’ve made a few good friends amongst you, my readers. You make me laugh, you’re generally there for me whenever I need you. Thank you!

It’s not often I get to do a little favor in return, but an opportunity arose today. Leesa dropped me an e-mail telling of a contest over at Avenue Beads, where they sell “Unique Handmade Art Glass.” Seems they have a new colorway of art glass shards they’re planning to sell, and they’re having a contest to name it.

Leesa made it into the final poll with the name Amphibian. Remember that name, folks, it’ll be important in a minute. Amphibian. There are ten names being voted on to find a winner, and Leesa’s is one of them. A M P H I B I A N.

If you would like to help Leesa, you can go to Avenue Beads at this link:

http://www.avenuebeads.com/2008/06/15/name-these-shards-poll/

and cast your vote. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on June 21 (not sure what time zone that is), so don’t hesitate. Vote for Amphibian today!

(While you’re there, be sure to look around the Avenue Beads site – they do some really nice glass work!)

Good luck to you, Leesa!

A Rattie Yarn

This is a little fuzzy because I took it with my phone, but look at the new yarn that I found in my stash!

Rattie Yarn!

I wonder what size needles I should use?

Vacation

Filed under: Announcements,Blogfriends — folkcat at 5:10 pm on Monday, May 5, 2008

I’m feeling that familiar blogging slump again, not wanting to write anything. I think it’s time for another break.

As with last time, I won’t go away forever, and I will still be answering e-mails and reading comments. I’ll post again when I feel I have something to say, and you won’t miss out on any major news. I promise!

Enjoy yourselves while I’m gone, be crafty, and play nice! See you soon!

Surprise!

Filed under: Announcements,Blogfriends,Cooking - Folkcat in the Kitchen,Knitting — folkcat at 4:45 pm on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wow…it’s three years since I started this blog. Not sure where to go with that otherwise – I’m not doing contests right now or anything. So I don’t think I’ll do much celebrating beyond saying how very much I appreciate every single one of you! I never anticipated when I began a blog that I’d make so many – and such good – friends. Thank you!

Knitting

I hinted on Monday that I might start on the next pair of socks, and that’s exactly what I did last night. The yarn is SRK’s On Your Toes, a standard 75/25 blend of superwash wool and nylon, with aloe vera.

SRK On Your Toes, Color # ON223818

The colorway you see is ON223818. I bought this ball of yarn while visiting my family in Syracuse over the holidays, and ever since, it’s been sitting on the corner of a crafting table in the living room, taunting me. I love the colors, they’re so happy! I’m glad I’m finally knitting with it.

This pair would be, in my jargon, Socks for Folkcat: Pair 5 (SF:P5).

Edited to add: Correction! I was just looking at my projects on Ravelry, and realized I skipped a number above. These would actually be SF:P4.

SF:P5 - The First Toe

I decided to cast on yesterday, and pulled out my KnitPicks Harmony DPNs. I grabbed the needles I usually use for sock yarn – the equivalent of US 1.5 – and was immediately struck by the feeling that they were huge. Go figure! So I went to the next size down, the US 1’s, and worked a gauge swatch.

A couple of calculations, the results plugged into my plain vanilla sock formula, and I began. I’m getting 10 stitches to the inch, making these the tightest knit socks I’ve ever worked. And yet, the resulting fabric doesn’t feel all that tight. I wonder if the On Your Toes is a little thinner than most yarns? Or if I’m just knitting differently?

In the Kitchen:

The Honey Oatmeal bread from the Donna German recipe (in The Bread Machine Cookbook) was a success. Tasty, nice texture, a little chewy, and full of flavor. The loaf size for the medium recipe was a little small to our taste, so I just pulled out of the machine today’s baking – the same recipe in the large size. It looks great, I can’t wait to try the bigger slices for a sandwich.

A Day Late

Filed under: Blogfriends,Daily Life — folkcat at 3:53 pm on Tuesday, April 8, 2008

But I have good reason. I spent yesterday afternoon visiting with my friend Liz at her home. We had a lovely lunch – grilled cheese on homemade bread with creamy tomato bisque. Then we sat and talked for several hours over knitting and lucet braiding, before returning to the dining table for cheesecake and tea.

Liz has a very friendly dog, Max, and an equally friendly cat, Burt. As a renter who can’t have a cat or dog, it was almost as nice to visit with her pets as it was to spend time with Liz – and it was absolutely wonderful spending time with Liz!

There were a couple of pictures I had to take while I was there. First of all, as I was leaving, Burt jumped up on the windowsill to watch me go.

Burt at the window

Then there were the first blooming flowers I’ve spotted this spring, purple crocuses in her front yard…

Purple Crocuses

…and white ones in the back.

White Crocuses

A marvelous time was had by all, and we plan to do it again. Thanks so much, Liz, for inviting me! It was a very special afternoon!

Family Matters

Filed under: Blog Admin,Blogfriends,Brother,Cooking - Folkcat in the Kitchen,Knitting,Mom — folkcat at 4:58 pm on Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First things first. I made some progress on the Adult Surprise Jacket yesterday, though not all of it knitting. The tower of blue/green variegated yarn, once upon a time, was my Clapotis. I never wear it, even though I love the Red Heart yarn that it was knit from. (I just wasn’t as delighted with the finished Clapotis as everyone else seems to be. And no, I don’t think it’s the yarn – I actually didn’t like the look of what, to me, was a fairly boring piece of fabric with lots of drop stitch runs. *yawn*)

ASJ: March 12, 2008

I had incorporated the small bit of yarn leftover from knitting the Clapotis in the ASJ, and really liked how the color worked with the purples. I wanted more. Being a stash-buster project, I determined I wasn’t going to buy it, however. So I decided the Clapotis counted as stash, and spent a chunk of time yesterday frogging it.

Those nice cakes, btw, are center pull balls wound by hand, not on a yarn winder. I was pretty pleased at how nicely they came out!

Baking

We’re making another attempt at bread today. Same recipe as last time, but this time I’m letting the starter proof longer, using olive oil instead of shortening, kneading longer, and letting it rise more. Fingers crossed!

Fan Collector Geek

That’s the name of my brother’s new blog! We grew up with collecting parents, and he, like me, came honestly by his habit of gathering all sorts of interesting stuff. He started this blog last week as a place to showcase his collections, and to reflect on the nature of collecting and collectors. Check it out, and if you like what you see, drop him a comment!

Your Mother Should Know

For a long time, (this blog will be three years old on April 23rd), I’ve been writing here without my family much looking at what I have to say. My brother was always too busy to peek, and my mother simply didn’t have a computer.

All that’s changed! This past Christmas, my brother actually went through my blog to get gift ideas, and came up with an amazing one. He also, for my mom’s birthday in November, gave her a MacBook computer.

Mom has been taking lessons at the Apple store near her, and she’s been exploring the web. She even takes pictures with the camera built into the laptop, and e-mails them to family! It’s been great to be more in touch with the family in Syracuse this way, we just don’t seem to be the type that phones much.

Until this past weekend, though, I never got a clue that she might be looking at the blog yet. Then, she e-mailed me Sunday night, saying she’d been looking around here, and she had a few things to nitpick about in regards to my “105 Things About Folkcat” over on the sidebar! Mostly some details about family history that I, having “learned” them as a child, hadn’t quite gotten right.

I doubt I’ll change how I post here just because my mom may be looking over my shoulder. I’ve always hoped the family would do so, actually, and could thus understand more about what life is like for Gryphon and I here in New Hampshire. Mom, if you’re reading this, welcome, and do stick around, please!

105 Things Redux (Soon)

I was prompted by Mom’s e-mail to read through my 105 Things again, and realized it’s actually quite outdated! There are facts that have changed (I comment at one point that “spinning never clicked for me”, for instance). Lists of favorites that could be updated, desires I express that have been fulfilled. And of course, now, corrections to family history to post, courtesy of my mom!

I’ll be working on a new and improved version of “105 Things” to post Real Soon Now. And in that vein, I will point out that I was recently tagged by Crafty Christina for the Seven Random Things meme. Normally, I don’t do memes, and technically, I won’t be doing this one. But I think I can claim a pass anyway, because the 105 Things will be, well, 105 random things about myself. I hope that works for you, Christina!

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