Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Stormy times

We've lost our younger cat. Stormy is a tortoiseshell (black/orange mix), and app. 3 years old. SHE chose my daughter, not the other way around! And Stormy often slept in Delainey's bed, though occasionally she'd sleep in my other daughter's bed, guess she didn't want Allie feeling left out! And occasionally, Stormy would get out later at night and either come home in the middle of the night and wake us with her meowing...or she'd come waltzing in the next day when someone opened the door to go out.
Stormy liked watching the hamsters, and enjoyed perching on the desks to watch them in the respective cages. She also snuck into the guinea pig cages, which are left open.
To boot, she liked to play with the dogs. Which was a novelty for us, since our 15 year old cat wants nothing to do with animals. Please note, I did not say *other* animals. I don't think Smudge realizes she's a cat.
Stormy is sadly missed, it's going to be hard to find a cat with a similar personality.

Now, the really sad part: on Sunday, we visited the Humane Society in nearby Windsor, on the off-chance that someone had turned her in as a stray. I know there are always a lot of cats, since spaying and neutering both seem to be foreign terms to a lot of cat owners. So does responsibility. But I was still surprised. There were three rooms of cats/kittens that were not yet available for adoption: I am assuming these are the more recent strays that were being held (again, the word 'off-chance') in case their owners were looking for them. Those rooms were so loud! Almost every cat/kitten came to the front of their little cage and meowed loudly to get out. It just about broke my heart. That, and reading the labels on each cage: the majority of cages, under the term 'gender altered' had NO.
The fourth room of cats was considerably quieter. Most cats just laid there, like we were nothing special--not that we thought we were! But I'm thinking those were the cats that had been there long enough in those little cages that they were giving up hope of getting out. Unfortunately, none of them was Stormy.

I wanted so badly to rescue even two of them...but am still holding onto the hope that Stormy will be returned to us. At least there won't be little Stormy's running around in a few months. We adopted Stormy KNOWING we would be paying to have her spayed. Sure, it would have been wonderful letting my children see the miracle of birth (and some people use this as an excuse to have a litter of kittens), but I explained to my girls that the kittens might not find good homes. It was more responsible to prevent that.
As for the miracle of birth: if you REALLY want your children to witness that, breed mice or rats. Pet stores that sell supplies for reptiles and snakes would most likely take them off your hand. Sound cruel? It's life. And to me, a lot less cruel than someone abandoning a litter of kittens, or drowning them because that person didn't bother to spay their animal.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New tote

Just finished this tote, (pattern will be available on my site and probably also at my etsy store September 5th) and now am in the middle of a Hallowe'en tote which I'm having fun with, and I also started a smaller purse with sequins. So far I'm liking the look!

We're waiting (not) anxiously for the building to commence beside us. Step 1: the connection to the sewers is done. If ya saw this lot, you'd be wondering, too: how on earth are they going to fit 4 duplexes AND a small park side by side on this thing??? I swear, the map they gave us made it look they'd be building into our back yard. Hey, pay me enough, I'd sell in a minute. Give me a house where I can have my own craft room and I'd be happier than the proverbial pig in s***.
I've even got it roughly planned: ceiling high shelves on one wall with see-through bins for yarn and accessories. A nice long table with a computer at one end. A smaller table with a coffee maker. A comfy couch, a radio...maybe even a tv with a dvd player. I told this to my husband and he said "sure, then you'd NEVER come out!"

Monday, August 21, 2006

It's Coming!

It's coming! It's coming! Hallowe'en, one of my two favourite times of year! I do enjoy all of autumn, it's much more fun creating for Hallowe'en.
I've been thinking of Hallowe'en a little earlier this year, trying to get the seasonal patterns out a month early. In mind: a witch toilet tissue cover (similar to my bride, bunny, snow couple, leprechaun), some more macabre body parts (like my Dismembered Digits), and a Hallowe'en Tote.

I also would like to do another Hallowe'en afghan square. I had done a square some time ago, and it was suggested I call it Spider in the Barn, even though there were 16 legs instead of 8. Of course, if you're dead scared of spiders, all those legs...very well could seem like 16! Anyway, I was looking for seasonal squares for a crochet along in one group, and decided to adapt the 6" square to make a 12" square.

I've posted the pattern here (it is available, along with that year's crochet along at Needlecraftpals--but since it's a free site, and I've passed the link along to others, it very well could exceed its bandwidth.): **thanks to the Google Help groups, I switched to firefox and was able to upload my pic!

Spider in the Barn Square

This square was designed for a ‘masculine’ afghan. My two daughters named it: even though there are more than the 8 legs spiders have, they both felt it looked like a spider. Finished Size: app. 6". Your tension may differ from mine, and you may need to use a smaller/larger hook to get the 6".

Materials: Worsted weight yarn in two colours.
Aluminum crochet hook size G (4.25mm) for 6" square
crochet hook size H (5mm) for 12" square

Special Stitches:DTR=yo 3 times, insert hook in next st, draw up loop. (Yo, draw through 2 loops) 4 times.
FPDTR=as above, but worked around post of specified st.
FPTR= yo twice, insert hook around post of specified st. pull up loop. (Yo, draw through 2 loops) 3 times.
Blp=back loop of stitch

With Col A, ch 4, sl st in 1st ch to form ring.
Rnd 1: Ch3, 15 dc in ring. (16 dc)
Rnd 2: Ch3, dc in same st. 2dc in each st around. FO A.(32)
Rnd 3: Join B in any st. Ch1, sc in same st. (ch2, sk 1 st, sc in next) around. Ch1, sc in first st to join.
Rnd 4: Ch3, dc in same space around post of sc. *2hdc in next ch2 space, 2sc in next space. 2hdc in next. (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in next space for corner. Repeat from * around, ending with 2dc, ch1 in same space as first 2dc. Join, FO B.
Rnd 5: Join A in any corner ch1 space. Ch3, dc in same sp. *dtr into unworked loop of rnd 2 (FPDTR). 2dc in same space as first 2dc. Dc in 3 sts, dtr into unworked loop of rnd 2. (Dc in 2 sts, dtr into next unworked loop of rnd 2) twice. Dc in 3 sts. 2dc in next corner space. Repeat from * around. Join, FO.
Rnd 6: Join B in top of any corner dtr. Ch3 (dc, ch1, 2dc) in same st. Dc around, working (2dc, ch1, 2dc) in each corner dtr. FO.
Rnd 7: Join A in blp of ch1 corner st. FPDTR around post of dtr below. Sl st in same corner st. Continue working in blps only: *sl st in 6 sts, FPTR, sk next st of rnd 6. Sl st in 3 sts, FPTR, sk 1 st, sl st in 4 sts, FPTR, sk next st, sl st in 5 sts. (Sl st, FPDTR, sl st) in corner st. Repeat from * around. Join, FO. Weave in ends. **************************************************************************************************************For a 12" square, I adapted as follows: Follow above pattern through rnd 6.
Puff st= leaving last loop of each st on hook, 3dc in same st, yo, draw through all loops.
Colours shown in 12" square=A=black, B=orange, C=white
Rnd 7: (replaces rnd 7 of 6" square) Join A in corner ch1 space. Ch1, * sc in corner space. [FPDTR around post of fptr below. Sc in same corner space. Sc in 6 sts, FPTR around fptr, sk 1 dc, sc in next 3, fptr around fptr, sk 1 dc, sc in 3, fptr around fptr. Sk 1 dc, sc in next 6. Repeat from * around. FO col A.
Rnd 8: Join B in any st. Dc around, working 5 dc in top of each corner fpdtr. FO.
Rnd 9: Join A in any center corner st. *3dc in centre corner st, ch1. Sk 1 st, (puff st in next st, ch3, skip 3 sts) 6 times. Ch1. Repeat from * around. FO.
Rnd 10: Join C in any center corner st. *5dc in corner st. Dc in next, tr in front of ch1 of rnd 9 into skipped st of rnd 8. (Dc in blp of puff st, tr in front of ch3 of rnd 9 into skipped sts of rnd 8) 6 times. Dc in blp of next puff, tr in front of ch into skipped st below. Dc in next st. Repeat from * around.
Rnd 11: Dc around, working 5dc in each corner st. FO C.
Rnd 12: Join A in any corner st. *3sc in corner st, sc in 5 sts, (tr into free loop of puff st, sk next sc, sc in next, tr in top of same puff st. Sk 1 sc, sc in next) 7 times. Sc in next 4 sts. Repeat from * around. FO, weave in all ends

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Something new

In June when I heard my 18yo niece would be going away to school, I got an idea to make an afghan with 'smilies'. She's on the computer alot, and a major part is messaging with her friends, so I thought the smilieghan would make a nice gift. Maybe a little fun while everyone figured out what smilie meant what!
She has since changed her mind and is no longer going to school--shame, she was going to study psychology, and I tell you, my family could use a shrink! But the smilieghan idea didn't go away. I started with three, and plan on adding 3 more every 2-3 weeks for a total of 15 12" smilie blocks and 1 plain block pattern to alternate with them. Rather than go and spend money on yarn, this one will use what I have. Plus some, I NEED some colours!
The crochetalong is available for sale on my site, click on the smilie block to check it out!

Vacation's Over

And time to relax! We usually go camping for a week as part of our vacation. The last two years we've also taken the dogs with us, and they seem to really enjoy it.
This year was a little tricky.
We arrived Sunday around noon and Mike and I put up the tent trailer so I could set stuff up in there while he returned home to bring our highly-carsick dog by himself. If he's gonna throw up, we didn't want anyone/thing in the way.
The weather called for possible rain...
Later in the afternoon, we listened to the distant thunder and watched the storm clouds creeping up on us. Now, they didn't take US by surprise, but apparently, they sneaked past the local radio station (CHYR--96.7 in southwestern Ontario) without being noticed. As we sat in the tent trailer, listening to the rain on the roof sounding like a stampede of buffalo and the thunder booming simultaneously with the lightning strikes...we could hear the woman on CHYR saying "a chance of showers tonight with a possibility of a severe thunderstorm".
Yup, just a possibility.
Anyway, the rain soon ended, as heavy rains oft do. Luckily, when my dh set up the tent that he and the dogs slept in, it was on a higher part of the site. The 'main' part, that around the firepit and the picnic table was flooded.
By Thursday, most of our site had dried, although around the picnic table it was still marshy. Dried just in time...to be flooded again! I took pictures the second time around. I'm just glad that we had decided to take the dogs back a day early. It's awful enough the kids not being able to wander around the site, but how do you tell dogs to stay out of the water?

The first picture shows our small pond...the centre one shows our tent trailer with the tent. The third picture shows just how close the people on the site behind us were. No, we had no idea who they were, but at least they were quiet!
The rain and the 'floods' didn't stop us. The extreme heat that week didn't even stop us. Slowed us down, but didn't stop us! The way I look at it, we weren't home to run the air conditioner, and we surely would have had we been home!