1) First, a kitty update. Callie has settled in, and recently I sprung for one of those cat tree thingamajigs because she seemed like she was a little bored. She's one of those cats that is immune to catnip, which I discovered after buying a slew of new toys for her. She just looks at the toys, then looks at me as if to say, "What on earth am I supposed to do with this?". Same with balls. So I thought one of these would give her a place to play. Instead, after it took her three days to figure out she could get inside it, it became her favorite place to nap. Just don't get too close -- she's keeping an eye on you:
And speaking of trouble...she's not happy about the whole wrapping presents concept:
I suspect this is my fault, as in my quest to entertain/exercise her, we started playing a game that has come to be called "Smackdown". The one toy she likes is a fishing-pole style toy -- a long plastic stick with a string, and a fuzzy toy at the end of the string. Callie doesn't care about the fuzzy toy or the string...she likes the stick. The stupid plastic stick. And she likes it best when I hide the stick under paper or a sheet, so she can attack it. She smacks it repeatedly with her paws, and then when she really gets going she starts racing around and pouncing. Now, before you call the ASPCA, I am exceedingly careful with this, and I don't let her play this without me, as it is all too obvious she could really hurt herself (poke herself in the eye, etc.). I don't let her chew on the stick, and don't let her grab onto it. She just bats it around with her paws.
2) Thanksgiving was really low-key this year. We were up at my parents' in Maine, and the day after Thanksgiving it snowed. Not a lot, but enough for one very determined 8-year old to build a "snow deer" with her father. Note the leftover dinner rolls used as ears and nose:
3) Knitting. There has been an inordinate amount of knitting mittens around here. Alas, the knitting has been accompanied by a ridiculous amount of un-knitting. I knit this mitten for my 10-year old niece J. (from the new Cascade 220 book), using yarn she had picked out. Stupidly, I thought that knitting the mittens just as the pattern instructed would result in mittens that would fit J. I was, alas, hugely mistaken. Thankfully, I only knit one of them, and this one fits her mother (my sister). So not all was lost. But it's taken me several tries to rework the pattern in order to get something that fits J., and that's where the ripping out has come in. I *will* figure this out though!
Meanwhile, I had my own mittens to knit. For the past two years I have knit myself mittens, with matching hats. And for the past two years, I have lost what I have knit. Come spring, these things just disappear. I assume I've left them on the train, but they never turn up in the lost-and-found.
This year, I had a picture of exactly what I wanted in my head, but couldn't find a written pattern so....well....I winged it. And all was good until I got to the increasing part. You'd think I would have anticipated this, it's not like I haven't knit mittens before, but no. Totally didn't occur to me that my two black/one red scheme would get thrown out of whack when more stitches were added. So, there was a lot of "improvising" (also known as, "screw it, its yarn, what's the worst that could happen?"). Ultimately these were a pretty quick knit, but I was honestly *this close* to ripping them out because I didn't like the way they tapered off. In the midst of my indecision, it got cold out, and that was the end of the deliberating. Plus, since it's stranded knitting, they are really warm!