Thursday, April 30, 2009

That's Why We Call It "Fall" in the U.S....

So we are home, after an uneventful flight. DH still has a wretched cough, and finally went to the doctor yesterday -- secondary infection, following his bad cold of two weeks ago, resulting in the need for antibiotics and rest. Since the swine flu fear is everywhere, he is to avoid socializing until he is feeling better, and if he gets worse we must have a throat swab taken at the local hospital, just to be sure. No fever, though, so it's doubtful if it's anything but the result of overdoing work duties while he had a cold.

Add to that the fun of jet lag, and this is probably not our best week ever! Still, as you can see from the above photo, autumn has landed in Exeter big time. This is one of five big buckets of leaves that had accumulated outside our back door. Nice mulch for the perennials...

Not much sewing or knitting at the moment. Hope to be feeling more like doing something in a day or two.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Farewell to a Sweet Friend...

I have postponed writing this because there is so much sadness for DH and me. We got news a few days ago that our beloved Spike was found dead in her kitty condo a few days after we left for California.

This is a pic of Spike taken in 2002, when we lived in the Sierra Foothills in California. She spent most of her time in DH's office, so we called her the Secretary Kitty.

A word or two about her name might be called for. Spike and her sister, Rosebud, were born under a house in Ione, CA in 1996. A predator took several siblings, so the people whose house it was rescued the remaining kittens and looked for homes for them. We adopted these two adorable furballs in a flash. A visit to the vet for first shots and a general physical inspection was called for, during which the veterinary assistant said, "Well, this one is a girl, and that one is a little boy," (indicating Spike). So we duly named them Rosebud and Spike, and a few months later were shocked when Spike came into heat! We tried to rename "him" -- Suki stuck for a week or two but just didn't come trippingly to the tongue. So we bowed to the inevitable and considered her to be our little biker chick kitty.

Spike had the most loving nature of any cat we've ever had. You could always count on a few gentle licks from her oh-so-soft tongue any time you petted or combed her. Over the years, she gained a few pounds (haven't we all?!) and came to be known as "one of the fat ladies," along with our two other female cats, Cassie and Chloe. (Rosebud had disappeared several years ago...she refused to sleep in the house, preferring a large knothole in a gigantic oak tree on our country property there. We believe a bobcat or mountain lion took Rosebud while she slept.)

Rebecca, our petsitter, told us that when she came in to feed the cats and clean their boxes, she found Spike stretched out on the grass, looking as if she had stretched out for a nap in the sun and just never woke up. Spike was Rebecca's favorite of our seven cats, and she is feeling grief-stricken, too.

We will miss our little Spikey more than words can sad, so sad.

Friday, April 03, 2009

All Knitting, No Quilting...BAD Quilter!

For some reason, I've been feeling like knitting instead of working on "the" quilt, so I thought I'd share the most recent FO: This is Hypoteneuse (Rav Link), by Anne Hanson of Knitspot. It's really large, and very drapey and soft. Knitted with KnitPicks Swish DK, a really lovely, soft, altogether wonderful yarn. The pic below shows how long it was windy today (surprise, surprise!) and you can see it flipping around in the breeze.
And I realized I never posted a pic of the pink alpaca shawl (also Rav link) in its full glory, so here it is. You may remember the disaster of the big hole that appeared in one corner as I was blocking it. Fortunately, I don't think it's too noticeable, but just to be sure, that corner is at the BACK in this pic.
And the obligatory close-up, to show off all the lacy detail. The yarn is Misti Alpaca Laceweight, and it's light as a cloud. Still provides a bit of warmth on cool evenings, though, because it's alpaca.
I've also begun work on another shawl, Adamas, (another Ravelry link) using that glorious KnitPicks Shimmer (alpaca and silk laceweight) in the color Cumulus (a pale, shaded taupe), but no pics yet. Right now it's just a puddle of loops on the needles.
One of these days I need to get back into the quilting studio, but that means back to cutting a zillion small squares for the sashing, and I just don't feel like cutting fabric at the moment.
We leave for California on Easter Sunday, for a couple of weeks, so I may postpone the cutting till we're back...on the other hand, think how happy I'd be to return home to a nice pile of neatly cut squares, just waiting to be stitched into star points on the sashing pieces...hmmmm, wonder how I'll resolve this...