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So, after making the cat bed I put on the table because I really wanted to test its power. Within a short time Izzy made himself comfortable in the bed. He spent a good portion of the day in the bed until he got up to eat dinner and the Puffy Tail assumed ownership of the bed.

Well, that didn't last long because Puffy needed to eat as well. So, when she got down to eat, Izzy had scarfed all his food and was back in the bed for the remainder of the night. The Kitty Pi bed has more allure than the overheated radiator in our bathroom. The radiator is so warm the kitties bask in his glory like topless sunbathers on the beaches of Spain (are all the beaches topless? Sunburn must hurt?). Back in the seat of power. Izzy seems to be the dominant presence in the bed.

And finally, stolen by Churchill. Look at the smile and look of "It's mine! It's mine!" This was this morning, I come out to feed the kids and there is a smile of victory on the pretty boy. I can't wait to make a cat bed for my babies, so I can watch drama like this unfold all the time. Who needs cable when I have Feline Fiesta happenings? With that strange made-up phrase, I leave you as I need coffee and I need it now.

So, after a moment of madness, I realized I have no idea how much yarn, of what type of yarn, how many needles, what type of needles, and notions that I have. So, I made piles of yarn on the floor. Now, let me explain my stash is not huge by any means, however I am an individual who is committed against clutter. I through random pieces of paper away. You can ask my friend Anna how I threw her tickets to England because I thought they were scraps of paper (a trip to visit her fiance nonetheless). And how we went threw the garbage in the condo the day she was supposed to leave to realize that it was probably in the garbage I brought to the basement, which we went to look for to then realize the garbage was picked up that morning. Yeah, that was fun. So, me cleaning up what I feel is somewhat disorganized is rational as the year is coming to a close. So, I made piles of all my needles and made an Excel spreadsheet (email me or post a comment if you want a copy) and sat in front of Gilmore Girls to enter the spreadsheet. I made piles of my yarn and separated into projects (for myself, for the knit 4 paws, for the paws bazaar, and for other projects like my sil shawl). I am finally somewhat satisfied with the progress until I realized I really need to finish some of these projects. So, after the holidays I have to finish the cat beds for the second knit 4 paws and scarves for next year's bazaar. Ok, so that is how the topic of resolutions came into being.

Here they are:

1. Finish the poncho I began in a sage green angora. I seemed to have added the cowl neck backwards. That will take an afternoon. And block it.
2. Finish my sil's poncho. I want to make it bigger and I have ton of yarn leftover to do that. Block it and mail it. The deadline for this is end of May.
3. Finish the remaining acrylic yarn I have in a bag. Make it into some cat blankets and drop off at shelter. Deadline for this is March.
4. Finish the yarn I have in a bag making sarves. Deadline for this is July.
5. Mail Mercedes baby blanket. It has been done for months.

Ultimately, this will free up my baskets for some yummy yarns and new projects such as,

1. Make a baby blanket for Ben's cousin. Heidi is due in May and I am so excited to finally make a baby item. Deadline is April if I am to mail in time.
2. Make the Yarn Harlot's poncho. I have the yarn sitting in a bag in the bedroom because it doesn't fit in my stash basket (thus the items listed above).
3. Make the Harry Potter scarf. I have the yarn, I should use it. Before the next movie comes out.
4. Whatever else inspires me as it comes to me....

I leave you with this moment of zen. A kitty pi bed I made for my friend Fiona who wrote a letter of recommendation. She does't know its coming and based on my ability to mail things, I don't want to warn her it is coming. Which reminds me:

6. Mail Fiona's cat bed.

Ignore the paper, ignore the paper! There is no clutter on this table, it is holiday madness creating this mess.

Grumperina posed the question,

"Who knows about your knitting and your knitting blog, and what are your reasons for revealing (or not) its existence to these folks?"

Most people who know me at this point are aware I knit. Whether they have accepted it or not, is another question. My husband has mild acceptance of my knitting, although he refuses to buy me a knitting related Christmas gift (that's ok, I bought my own) and my parents are aware of the knitting but my mom is perplexed. In Puerto Rico, crocheting is very popular, but she never enjoyed it, so she is confused by these turn of events. Friends are friends, if they like it they ask questions and learn to knit (which is how I learned and how I introduced a friend) or they make fun of you (or both).

The blog began out of curiosity. I put wedding photos up, announcements of fundraisers, and now my knitting obssession. I have learned that a few friends visit the blog. Recently, my mom asked for the address but I am now all confused. See, I have pictures of the beginning of her Christmas gift. And after learning that a friend (and her husband-hi Ulli!) visit my blog, I have had recently had to cutback on some of the postings due to the graphic material involved-no, because I have made gifts for some, and bought gifts for others.

So, I will write about how I really really want a Roumba. It sounds crazy. But, my friend who has two cats has scheduled her Roumba to vacuum her place twice a week and she has mentioned it cuts down on the fur. Now, we have five cats. Five, so can you imagine the balls of in our home? Yesterday, I noticed a ball of fur that was the size of a mouse. I chased it down the hallway but it eventually made it under the armoire (out of reach with minimal effort). I am convinced the balls of fur have a plan to join forces to form one super huge cat. It will have its own soundtrack like the Power Rangers or Transformers, and yell out meows when it combines to become MegalaFelinis!

A la Jennifer (originally tagged from Scout),

"Get your camera and take a picture of your favorite knitting spot. I want to know where you are as you create your masterpieces."

So, this is my spot. My first and only spot in the home. I usually have the tv on for background noise and late at night, I have kitties curled up with me (as you can see). I would have to bring my camera to stix-n-stitches in order to take a picture of my second knitting location. I hope to have a third and fourth knitting spot over time, but for now these are the stable spots.

In this instance you can imagine I was in the center of the sofa, but this is where I knit. Ella happens to be managing the yarn for a scarf I am knitting. Churchill, the pretty boy, is just napping.

Puffy investigating packages. Later, I learned this is not a good idea as the ribbon was disassembled.

Things you see your pets do late at night. Kinky kids!

Below are my instructions and advice on how to wrap holiday gifts as demonstrated by Izzy and Puffy Tail.

Get focus, there is a lot to do!

Don't get frustrated with the bows, tape, or paper,....

You can also enlist some help when wrapping gifts...

Sometimes it is better to wrap gifts on your own...

Marvel at your accomplishments...

Catch a nap!

Scenic view (ignore the atm machine) of the church from the balcony. Let it snow, let it snow!

View from the balcony of the neighbor's car under snow.

And what of the other kitties? Tabby twin troublemakers.

Puffy enjoying the view of snow.

It's actuall Murphy's, but close enough. I have been attempting to post a blogpoll on blogger but it keeps giving me a javascript error, agh. Anyways, posted a few new pics and Puffy tail is currently sleeping on the scarf I just posted a pic of (with the Artyarns). You gotta how cats can appreciate expensive yarn for their own needs (i.e. beds and toys).

Oh yeah, so I have to take the Miller Analogies exam tomorrow. I have no idea how I can prepare the test, so I am just going to do what I usually do which is panic. Miller's Law. When in doubt, panic. I took the practice test and it comes across like the How to be a Millionaire of standardized tests. Very random. I will let you know tomorrow, if that pre-assessment is entirely accurate.

My WIP diagonal scarf in Artyarns. This is such a quick knit and I am loving the feel of the yarn.

You can expect this picture in eventually. Ms. Ella Bean taking a nap in the bathroom sink for reasons unknown to us.

Modular Knitting that is! I went to a workshop at s-n-s yesterday called Modular Knitting. Our teacher was Iris Schreier. I was incredibly excited because Iris was one of the authors of Exquisite Little Knits, the book I continuously mention on this blog. She also wrote Modular Knits which is truly amazing. In the beginning of class she brought and displayed over three bags of knitted items from the books. All patterns were made from Artyarns and were oh so lovely. The artyarns are really fabulous and for those interested in the clapotis, check out their gallery on their website.

So, now I have a third scarf pattern on the needles. Notice I said third scarf pattern, there are several other projects on the needles. Now as much as I would love to buy things off of Oprah's recommended holiday gift list, I don't have her bank account. I don't fear purchasing gifts for my friends, it is the fear of gift purchasing for my relatives. I don't know what to buy my dad, dvd's he will accept but never watch, clothes he will accept but never wear, hobbies he does not have (except sleeping on the sofa and bargain hunting at Walmart), so I am left in a quandary. My mom doesn't have hobbies, still has her Victoria's Secret gift certificates from two years ago (and that does include the one my friend gave her), and isn't into fancy things (in fact I think she is programmed against any item costing more than $50, did I menton garage sale diva here?). The dilemma becomes what can I give them in addition to the scarves I am making them. The easiest family member is Blake the family dog and the kids (our cats) who think everything has catip inside of it. Ideas?

Iris holding up her Modular Knits book. In the background is Barbara and Sheila making a dash for it.

Eva and Deborah oogling the artyarns...

The pool of artyarns yarn before the Modular Knit workshop.

Here is my Artyarns Ultra Merino 6 for a diagonal scarf I am making. yummy!

I finally have made a commitment towards my mom's Christmas present. Ben and I were at the LS (Local Starbucks?) or could I say UMS (Upper Montclair Starbucks, we have two in town) anyways, I saw the little Barista Bear magnet, and noticed his cute little scarf and hat. I kept walking on line with the bear and decided to buy it to become an inspiration for a holiday gift. After yesterday's visit to stix-n-stitches, I decided on the rio de la plata yarn to make the scarf and hat. You may notice the hat has some red, but I have a ton of red rio de la plata which is still waiting to become a very harlot poncho.

I caught up with Mary (who has been fighting a cold). Mary has been making felted bags for all her friends and has become the catalyst for the bean bag (I think that's its name). Sitting at her chair several people stopped by to show her their felted bags inspired by her felted bag. On my list of to do, the felted bubble bag. The pattern for this bag is in Pursenalities, which I don't have, so excuse my memory loss on the name of the purse.

I am jealous of Stacey. Her secret pal sent her Frida Kahlo stickers. I want Frida Kahlo stickers (stumps the foot of the once-mature adult acting like a nine year old). My blog is named after a short story involving Frida Kahlo way before Salma made the movie. I probably should design a site that reflects Frida's influence.

Laundry all done. Need to clean. Need to study.

The inspiration for my mom's Christmas present, is a barista bear from Starbucks.

This is the inspired from stix-n-stitches. Sunday even wound them up for me, she's so cool!

Izzy rather take a nap on the Rio de la Plata while others....

What attracts all the girls? Fiber from Latin America! Ninna and Ella checking out the scarf in the cast on process.

Double moss stitch, which is reversible, and very pretty.

Ninna and Ella, jazz divas, surfing the internet.

Recently, on knittyboard it was asked favorite knitting in a movie. I like the Jamie Lee Curtis attacking Jason in the first Halloween with knitting needles. I also liked on an episode of Stacked, Pamela Anderson knitting a 4 inch by 4 inch square and saying she was knitting a tube top and "was almost done". Although, after watching Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, my favorite scene is when the spaceship goes into hyperspeed and everyone is knitted. Ironically, it was the only scene I remember vividly from the movie. We have been having this problem lately with ALL movies, that the music is louder than the people talking. As much as I would love to blast the tv (and disrupt my neighbors), we have to keep our fingers on the remote control to quickly lower and raise the volume depending what is happening in the film.

I am making progress on Grandma Sparkes Christmas present. I let go of the wrap, and moved onto a scarf. It is being knit with a double moss stitch which almost creates a diamond pattern. It is cruising along quite nicely. The only thing is that I will need to add a crochet edging as the scarf needs it.

Other than that, I am off to stix-n-stitches. They are having Iris Schreier on Sunday, December 4, 2005, doing a book signing and teaching a Modular Knits workshop. I haven't taken a workshop since early October, so I think that is fine and I think it will be inspiration for me to make La Flaca (that's my mom, and Spanish for slim) a scarf. Iris is also a co-author of my favorite book of the month, Exquisite Little Knits. I am sure Sheila will have Iris' other book on hand as well Modular Knits. I haven't been to the store in over a week, and I miss Mary (a store regular).

Oh yeah, and laundry. For my husband who might be checking this website today, I will also be doing laundry.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! We finished a lot of the work last night, which worked out really well. Our first turkey was received with high remarks. We did a red chile glaze, and that was achieved with orange juice and chipotle basted on the turkey (the turkey was picture perfect and I forgot to take a damn photo). The pumpkin spice bread came out very well. The wine we used btw was purchased at Rhinebeck, how cool!

Anyways, I am beat and we are about to sit down to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The table setting for Thanksgiving. You can't see the menu that well, but it is on the table. The pumpkin candles never got burned.

My experiment with the Williams Sonoma pumpkin mold. It is made with pumpkin spice bread with honey glaze.

I actually made the hubby hang a new light with my dad on Thanksgiving. Sadly, you can see what a horrible heat ring was left by the other lamp. Tomorrow, painting.

So, I have finished my coconut almond bread, I have begun some deviled eggs, and I am now roasting the garlic for the herb garlic butter which will be used for the turkey and canapes. Thanksgiving is in the air. What I haven't started is the pumpkin spice bread due to the everpresent mistake of confusing if we have baking powder or baking soda.

I realized in my jubilation about adding photos inside the text, I haven't posted any pics of recent projects. I did breakdown and buy Exquisite Little Knits from Amazon and ended picking up Loop-D-Loop. Now, as much as I want to make the Chain Scarf (as seen on the cover), I can't imagine who would wear it. I did make some progress on my shawl, but had to put aside not only because I got bored but also because I needed to finish several projects that involved mail and a foreign country. I only have 2-3 more scarves to complete for the holiday and I can begin the shawl, possibly a blanket, and world peace (that was put on hold for the holidays as well). On another note, I love Duchess Yarn. It is oh-so yummy. I want to make scarves for myself in this yarn. The Feathery Lace stole should be done in two weeks, except I don't think I like knitting wraps. It is not done in the recommended weight yarn, but it was the pattern I was looking for, and I think it will be fine for Ms. Sparkes.

Oh, let me get back to Thanksgiving preparation....

Here is a picture of Izzy flirting with the ceramic dog on our balcony. It is an old picture yet it still is captivating.

This is the Feathery Lace Stole from Exquisite Little Knits. It is using the Adrienne Vittadini yarn I have saved for Ben's Grandma. It is progressing slowly, but it should be done in time.

My purchases from Amazon. Hmmm, they always get you because you need to spend $25, well I did.

I love this scarf! It is longways I believe 250 or so stitches in Duchess Yarn. I love this yarn! It is for my husband's soon to be bil. It is nice!

The is my update on the Blue Moon Fiber yarn I picked up from Rhinebeck. The shawl was postponed due to more critical holiday knitting. It is about three feet wide, but it needs another two to three feet.

I just happen to be roasting garlic as I type this entry. I finished the coconut almond bread for tomorrow, and started the deviled eggs, and roasting the garlic for the butter which will be used for the turkey and one of the appetizers.

Anyways, I noticed I was posting a lot of pics (excited to learn a new blogger skill) and I need to post some pics of recent knitting ongoings. Once I finish the Feathery Lace Stole, I have two more scarves to complete for Christmas, but, and this is a good but, I have time to finish because those folks live in the neighborhood and thus are not impacted by the US Postal Service, Royal Mail, and my ability to get to the post office.

This is our second year hosting Thanksgiving and this year, we are cooking a turkey. Last year, it was a roasted chicken, but this year it is a proper Turkey.

So far, we have a Butterball fresh turkey. I was debating calling their 1-800 helpline, but after a while of internet research, I have learned it is okay to brine this turkey. So Operation Brine will continue as planned.

Our menu reads as such:

  • Canapes of Roast Beef with Caramelized Onions
  • Coconut Almond Bread
  • Arugula Salad of Cranberries and Bleu Cheese with Balsamic Vinegar
  • Medley of Roasted Vegetables
  • Whipped Chipotle Sweet Potatoes
  • Red Chile Glazed Turkey
  • Pumpkin Spice Bread with Honey Glaze
Now, I am postponing the inevitable : cleaning.

Cynthia had written to me about how Americans use the word chick for a woman, which is very true. I think bird has more double meanings than chick, unless I just never heard them. So, I promised I would look for this joke I had seen about Christmas in UK. Considering we have our turkey on Thanksgiving, I amended the joke to

Things You Can Say at Thanksgiving
1 I prefer breasts to legs.
2 Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
3 Smother the butter all over the breasts.
4 If I don't undo my trousers, I'll burst!
5 I've never seen a better spread!
6 I stuffed the bird.
7 Are you ready for seconds yet?
8 It's a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
9 Just wait your turn, you'll get some!
10 Don't play with your meat!
11 Stuff it up between the legs as far as it will go.
12 Do you think you'll be able to handle all these people at once?
13 I didn't expect everyone to come at the same time!
14 You still have a little bit on your chin.
15 How long will it take after you put it in?
16 You'll know it's ready when it pops up.
17 Just pull the end and wait for the bang.
18 That's the biggest bird I've ever had!
19 I'm so full, I've been gobbling nuts all morning.
20 Wow, I didn't think I could handle all that and still want more!

Ha! If you ever wanted to know English (yes, from England) slang, you can check out this site. Learn how fanny is not the location on the body that Americans know.

As my husband (from Coventry, but family lives now in Bruton) is a limey, we do entertain too many conversations on pronunciation to disputes on the letter "u" (colour vs color), to what words mean (bird is a woman in UK). I do have to say the phrases are the best part. For instance, "Sod that for a game of soldiers".

Ah- the English! Not only did they give us the Spice Girls, tea, and my hubby. And no, I still have no idea what the phrase above means.

I am a geek sheep. Very strange. Interesting, but strange...

Which flock do you follow?
this quiz was made by alanna

Ok, so Woolgathered started a topic on knitting bags, and as I am an accessory obssessive individual (I owned the sheep tape measure before I knitted anything other than a scarf). I never understood why you would need a certain type of bag, probably because I have been a messenger bag/tote bag person majority of my life. But, the Lexie Barnes Lady B bag looks so cool. The pattern in hermosa (pictured here) is funky. It is shaped like a bowling bag, and the inside is gorgeous. I want, I want! Unfortunately, I wait...I wait....I wait....

Until then, I have Grandma Sparkes' Christmas present, or prezzie as my in-laws say, and I have to still make two more cat beds. Ah.

I just learned how to add photos inside the text. That is so cool! For my next trick, I will create world peace.

The new HP film is out! and we SAW IT! I have to admit I won't repeat this mistake. We bought tickets on Fandango for 10:30, and brought my mom's, a.k.a La Flaca, but we were not prepared for it to be sold out and sitting so close I thought I would hurl in the first five minutes. We were sandwiched. The guy behind me was not sitting comfortably in his seat due to his long legs and I didn't want to lean so far back (as it was already uncomfortable), but the girl in front of me had no problem leaping back in her seat into my knees and checking her voicemail.

Ok, I know, what about the movie? Ok. A few cool scenes. I loved the ballroom scene. I explained to English hubby we call that the prom (without the cool special effects). I loved that scene.

I was extremely happy to see another nationality introduced into the film, especially Eastern European. I have a weak spot for Eastern European accents. This film was more racially diverse, but still no Latinos. Oh well.

I loved the dragons. I wasn't too thrilled with a few parts but won't say what as you may not know. I do miss Wood the Scottish Quidditch player. Well, because he was Scottish, and I believe from Glasgow.

oh, I loved Neville. So cute!

My mom and I spent the day together. We had coffee, looked for a table and chandelier (found a chandelier), found a rug, visited two Homegoods, bought a basket to store my knitting projects next to the sofa (Homegoods). The basket was a steal at $15 and if the cats tear it apart, I have no emotional attachment. It does the job.

No knitting was accomplished today. All in all, a good day.

Yeah, so last night I met up with some old friends, Fiona and Anna. All three of us worked together in a company in downtown NY, and we enjoyed our meal at Thai Basil on 860 9th Ave. The dumplings were okay, but my penang shrimp curry was oh so yummy.

Fiona is writing my letter of recommendation to graduate school. I was so happy to see her.

Anna was my maid of honor and my closest friend. I haven't seen her in over two months. A little difficult to visit each other with her schedule and NY is very far away now that I don't work there anymore.

I picked up my husband's bil's Christmas present. My software went on the fritz so I will have more pictures later. I am knitting it longways and changing shades of brown in a garter stitch. This pattern is loosely based off a pattern in Scarf Style. I borrowed this book from a colleague and will probably breakdown and purchase. I attempted the Moonlight pattern, but that just fell apart. I could probably try one more time. Hmmm....

Anyways, SNB at stix-n-stitches tonight. yeah! I wasn't able to go last week due to the teacher's convention in Atlantic City. Don't ever stand between a teacher and a free gift (especially tote bags).

On the bright side (sorta), I posted the pictures of the cat beds I made. Now, the pictures are blurry due to the lighting of the room and just suckiness of the camera. I finally got the whole felting thing down. I don't think I was agitating the beds long enough. Now, I got it and now I want to make more beds for friends and the holidays. Hahahaha....Yes, I have jumped on the bandwagon of delusional holiday knitting. I have two weeks to finish Grandma Sparkes' wrap and two paragraphs ago I started discussing doing a lace pattern... holiday madness.

Who's the diva? Ninna....

Guinness sleeping on a crocheted catnip ball. Moments you wished you had a better camera.

The cat beds up close and personal. Three pictured, fourth one was completing its felting drying.

Cat beds made for the Holiday Bazaar.