Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hemlock Ring jellyfish, Minimalist Cardigan, and 7.5 random things about me!

Thanks for all your comments on my Mystery Stole, the Hemlock Ring Blanket, and the potential dangers of letting cats play in your knitting (insert evil purring from Bug and Moana here).

I have been home sick with a cold, and not getting as much knitting done as you might expect under the circumstances, so Moana has (very generously) been trying to "help" me with the Hemlock Ring Blanket again.

This is Moana's version of helping:

Awe... isn't she cute?

Luckily, she's also easily distracted.

I like how the "wrong" side of the blanket (while on the needles, at least) looks kind of like a brain.

Looking at the "right" side, I see some sort of jellyfish or deflated and spineless sea urchin.
Ooo! For a second there, I thought it looked like an eyeball!

I swear, I don't have a fever (though my stuffy eustachian tubes can contribute a mild sense of dizziness at times).

...Hmmmm... doesn't the first photo in my post look like Moana is emerging from a walnut?...

I have also started working on the Minimalist Cardigan from the Fall Interweave Knits. I'm using Valley Yarns Colrain - which is a really gorgeous, soft yarn (50% merino, 50% Tencel) with an amazing sheen - in the color Chestnut:

I tried really hard to want to use a non-reddish hue for this (the original is done in a lovely red, and I usually like to use something different), but alas, I just love it in red! Here's a close-up of the moss stitch / 2x1 ribbing interface:

I haven't gotten very far yet, just about 5 and a half inches up the back (still on the first ball):

Not too long ago (I hope!) Tammy tagged me for 8 Random Facts about myself, while Kerry tagged me for 7, so to compromise, here are:

7.5 Random Facts about me

1. I love to bake, cook, and eat.

2. I broke my nose in elementary school playing softball (it's still crooked today!). Yes, I caught the ball with my face. That's the only bone I've ever officially broken (though I'm pretty sure I broke my big toe, playing basketball, a few years ago).

3. I like to watch tv shows like the various CSI's, "Bones," "House," and "Numbers" at least in part because I get to laugh (or stare in dumbfounded disbelief) at their frequent misuse of scientific concepts and misrepresentations of the limitations of certain scientific instruments, not to mention their sometimes bizarre portrayals of how "scientists" behave. (Yes, I'm a scientist.) I do find them entertaining, and that's all that matters, right? Edited to add: (Actually, I'm pretty concerned about what effect these portrayals have on the public's understanding of science and scientists, so my "that's all that matters..." comment was meant to be sarcastic. Can you tell I'm torn?)

4. I'm not a vegetarian (though I don't eat much meat), but I definitely would be one if I had to kill my own food. (I also really dislike killing things in general. I catch spiders and insects I find roaming the house in an overturned glass and free them outside.)

5. In addition to knitting, I like to draw and paint (and I dabble in photography, although I have no real clue what I'm doing).

6. My favorite color is... I can't decide. I don't like to choose favorites (never have).

7. As you may have noticed, I have a major problem with using too many parentheticals (really!).

7.5. I think Bug and Moana are pretty darn cute (major revelation, I know, but hey, this one's only a half...).

If you would like to participate, consider yourself tagged!

Moana says: mmmm.... sheepy...


SJ said...

I think every handknit blanket should come with a kitty inside! Too cute!

I'm glad to hear your good review of Colrain. I've been resisting the closeout at WEBS pretty well lately, but it's in the back of my mind for when I can allow myself to buy yarn again.

Donna said...

Not a fever... but what medication are you taking for the cold? ;)
I totally agree that Bug and Moana are cute.

Tammy said...

I love the same shows, although I'm scientifically clueless. I also like Criminal Minds... the behavioral analysis fascinates me.

sulafaye said...

I am totally with you on not choosing a favorite color, but I LOVE the color of your new cardigan (oh, and I am parenthetically codependent as well).

Alli said...

The Minimalist Cardi looks really pretty so far. I like that color a lot, so rich and autumn-y. You're lucky that your cats only want to play with/sniff your knitting and not destroy it! My dog doesn't eat yarn but he loves to unravel yarn balls and shake yarn cakes so that they fall apart.
Bad dog!

soknitpicky said...

Hmm, actually, I don't like to watch those shows because of the misrepresentations, even though the characters are interesting. :-) And yes, I do think the inside of the blanket looks like a brain in that picture. Reminds me of brain purse Olga found, http://olgajazzzy.blogspot.com/2007/07/knit-me-some-brain.html, which I am strangely tempted to knit, even though it's pretty wacky.

jennsquared said...

I am, FINALLY, done with my MS3!!! I didn't think this day will actually come! Now I have to learn how to block it!

I am also doing the Hemlock Ring but haven't started yet!

My dogs also like to sniff yarn - when Mick was little (6 mos old - when we first rescued him) he ATE my coach purse and my first ever attempted knit sweater (it wasn't quite a sweater yet). Yes, ATE THEM! It's a good thing he is cute and cuddly (100lbs!)

can you tell I also use a lot of ( )?? :)

anphoe said...

your Hemlock Ring looks pretty good already. And Minimalist Cardigan is also in my to-knit list, but I don't have time to knit lately. I am so jealous of you!!!

I am also very into photography but no clue how to do it professionally, haha, maybe we should take photography 101 together.

Maud said...

Cute blog cats you've got!Moana goes very well with the colour of your Hemlock blanket. The shine of the red yarn must be stunning, since it looks so fabulous on my not too good screen!

elizabeth marley said...

Maybe I'm just really tired (it is, like, 3am), but I suddenly want to cast on for the blanket so my cat can crawl around in it, too!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the cardi...that red is just fabulous.

Love how the blanket is coming, but I think the kitties think it's theirs...? :-)

Anna said...

I am sorry to hear you have been sick. At least you have such a cute helper. My kiddies are only atracted by boxes of all kinds and ignore my knitting, which I should probably be grateful for.
The Minimalist cardigan looks great. I love the color and I am glad to hear you enjoy working with Colrain. I have been eyeing it myself.

Oiyi said...

Lovely yarn for the cardi! Nice stitch definition.

yarnsnob said...

aw..get well soon honey! Colds are awful..hope you aint got a scabby nose...eeewww!! lol

Cat pics are always cute, love love love and the Hemlock is looking awesome.

Disentangled said...

The photos of the blanket in progress are great! Ha! It's like finding shapes in the clouds!

P.S. I hear you about the veg thing. I would be 100% veg if I had to kill my own food.

Amy said...

I love the color you chose for the cardi. It's not *really* red... :)

It's a really nice thing to be amused by the "inspired" interpretations of science on tv. I got a lot more entertained by those shows when I just let go of my annoyance.

(That blanket TOTALLY looks like a jellyfish.)

lomester said...

I love watching House. Although I have no idea what he is talking about or if its mildly correct.

The blanket looks like an eye to me

Amanda said...

Heh - I love it when cats act like cats! Always so cute! The Hemlock is looking awesome - can't wait to see it transform from an eyeball to a blanket.

Kara said...

Gotta love that Hemlock! And minimalist cardi is looking oh so fab.

wildtomato said...

Brains and walnuts look similar, so the Halloween twist to your post could be that Moana is walking out of a brain.

I love the reds, too. I try to branch out more in my colors, but it is hard! One quick look at my stash reveals my weakness.

Bobbi said...

you're moving right along on that blanket! Now I'm gonna have to try to get the doggies to post in mine! :)

the yarn you're using for HRB is beautiful!

Soo said...

I also have a parentheses dependency problem. (In fact if I'm not careful I find myself speaking parenthetically within my parenthetical comments. (Really.)(It's worrying.))

The cats and knitting are gorgeous.

By the way - if you are interested in baking check out www.thecakedcrusader.blogspot.com - she makes some amazing cakes!

Lesley said...

The seed stitch on your Minimalist Cardigan is making me drool. This has just shot up to the top of my To Knit list!

The_Add_Knitter said...

Yes, definitely a jellyfish or sea urchin, love it! And don't you think that the Valley yarns are such an amazing deal? I just got some Lenox and I love it so much...

melissa said...

your cats are such good models in your pictures. mine hate the camera.
i live close to webs so i've had the chance to check out many of the valley yarns in person. they're so nice. the colrain is looking lovely knit up in all that moss stitch.

Jana said...

No wonder the cats want to be around that blanket, it does look cozy. I like your point about the 'scientific' tv shows. I always wonder about 'Gray's Anatomy' too, people always go to the hospital with simple symptoms and end up with an extremely rare horrible disease. I wonder if it's increasing the number of hypochondriacs...

Kasia said...

Your hemlock blanket is lovely and I guess that you will have to rename it for "Catlock" blanket ;) Your kitties are such a lovely models! Sweater looks great so far, I love the colour!

Leslie said...

I'm in love with the color of your Minimalist Cardigan and with all the photos of Moana - cats rule! I shall have to look into that Hemlock Ring blanket - looks comfy and might be fun to make.

I'm a fan of all the CSI, Law & Order, Numb3rs except CIS Miami - can't stand Caleigh!

Madge said...

I heart parentheses. And walnuts. And kitties. And your pretty burgundy cardi yarn. And food. And laughing at tv. And I used to be a vegetarian, but not anymore...but if I had to kill my own food? I'd probably starve. Or eat roadkill. But that's kinda gross, so let's stick with starving.

Hope you're feeling better!

Yarn It said...

Both the cardigan and the blanket are looking lovely! I really want to knit both of those. Thanks for the random facts. It is always fun to find out more about blogger friends!

kmkat said...

I love your photos in this post, and I agree with your perceptions about the brain, eyeball, etc.

That yarn looks yummy. I'm not sure which is better, the color or the sheen!

Mel said...

Aha! A scientist! Wow, I never would have guessed.

I like Moana taking a stand and making the blanket her own before Bug steals the limelight.

Don't get me started about the state of TV....

Cardigan is lovely. Why don't more patterns incorporate moss stitch? it's one of my favs.

Mary said...

I just love the photos of Moana and the Hemlock! What a cozy nest.

Knittymuggins said...

Sorry about your cold :( Hope you're on your way to feeling better though! I had to laugh at your comments/answer on number 3 because, as a scientist also, I feel much the same way about their stretching of facts and procedures/equipment. I'm still entertained though :) *Love* the Colrain! I've been wondering about it, so it's nice to read what you think of it. Your cardigan will be gorgeous. And of course, the kitty photos are perfectly adorable :) Thanks for sharing!

Laura said...

oh the Moana photos are great! And so brave of you! I've never let my cats into my knitting while it was on the needles. I'd be afraid that they will push the stitches off the needles!

amber said...

I trap bugs in a glass and put them outside too. except mosquitoes (I kill them and don't feel bad). Just thought it was funny that you did it too. I'd love to know what they screw up on shows like house... I have no clue. But I try to keep in mind that they are really not fact based.

Anonymous said...

"I'd love to know what they screw up on shows like house"

Octopus Knits and I spent three months in the BMT ward nursing my father. I really wouldn't want shows like House to be accurate or I'd get some unpleasant flashbacks.

I think most of inaccuracies in shows like House are done for dramatic or artistic effect -- diseases are sped up, they sometimes avoid accurate diagnostic tests (in favor of not knowing for another 10 minutes), they treat much much more frequently prior to diagnosis, they downplay the negative effects of many treatments, they don't send patients to specialists or call in specialists for consultation, their patients recover nicely from organ failure, and sometimes they make up diseases or change them to make them scarier or allow patients to recover. Not to mention the doctor to patient ratio.

On the other hand I think House does an amazing job with an American accent. From the perspective of my limited vocal skill being able to switch back and forth so smoothly is pretty amazing.

The reality of hospitalization is probably not that entertaining but there are a few things you really should know before your relatives get hospitalized. Better health ed??

Among the many silly things in CSI shows is they have a limited array of demo-instruments so they generally stick samples in the wrong one and get the computer to spit out a highly interpreted result (1967 Ford Mustang) in 1/100th the time it takes to actually analyze a sample. From the actor's perspective they're just following in the footsteps of Spock (and his tricorder) on the original star trek. A show which I love too :)

Marla said...

Your cat helping is so cute! Mine hasn't helped me knit since we've gotten the dog.

It also irks me that certain TV shows do not do their research. I had to explain that to a co-worker that what happens on CSI is not how it happens in the real world. And don't get me started on Grey's Anatomy.