Monday, May 28, 2007

The Concert Venue Cat

It occurred to me that I haven't mentioned the ongoing encounters with the adventurous cat who resides in the concert venue near my office. Now this place hosts all sorts of events. It has hosted video game contests, parties sponsored by radio stations, pretty much any type of music concert, Ladies nights, female and male strip nights, etc. It shares the block with a multiplex movie theatre and a fairly large U.S. Post Office so you can imagine some of the headaches when a band's setup gear arrives.

My first encounter with this cat was on a day when I was trying to drop a bill payment in the mail at the post office on my way into work. It was an odd day since we were getting some snow flakes. On my way from the post office I was passing some apartments and saw the cat rubbing itself on the concrete area by the apartment entrances. I could see it had a collar and some kind of tag and I thought it might have wandered out of one of the apartments. It was well fed with a glossy coat, black with a little white. It was friendly and not at all concerned about being outside. Actually intent on wandering around the area. Another woman passing by was also interested in the cat and we both thought that it seemed comfortable and probably would be fine. As we left each other and I started down the block I looked at the windows of the apartments and checked the doors of the concert place to see where the cat might have come from. The apartment windows were all sealed but the concert place was getting a delivery and one of their doors was open with no employees in sight. As I was trying to decide what to do, some people exited from the concert place and I was able to ask them about the cat. Bingo! It seemed that the cat was famous for going out adventuring and they were going to notify the security person. I told them where I had last seen the cat descending the stairs by the apartments and felt better that the cat would be fine.

More on the cat encounters to come.

Memorial Day

I did manage to deal with some of my errands yesterday but of course not all of them.
One of the last was doing quite alot of laundry. On my way out of the apartment to start the laundry and pick up the newspapers I discovered that the USPS fairy left me a present. What was the present? Remember that notice I got on Saturday? For the package that would be available at the post office about 20 blocks away at 9am on Tuesday 5/29? Yep! There it was! I rescued the box and placed it in the living room so I could open it when I got back.

Laundry successfully in the washing machines and newspapers in hand, I returned and gave Mom the newspapers and tackled the box. My yarn and Black Sheep felted bag patterns were safely inside. Hooray!

So I logged into Ebay and left feedback for that seller and sent her a message that the package arrived safely with a slight adventure. Of course something else caught my eye and I bid on a couple of other lots of yarn. *sigh*

For penance I thought I should finish the second crochet baby blanket before I got totally wrapped up in felted bag planning. With a few breaks to give Mom a snack and lunch I did finally finish the second blanket. This one is closer to the 2 feet by 3 feet requested size. Still a little over in one direction but better.

The first blanket:
A close up:

As you see, the first one is made using a variegated pastel yarn. The second one I used two colors, a yellow and a white yarn. The sections are almost the same size and I think I did better on the crochet stitches for the most part than on the first blanket.
Here it is completed:
And a closeup:

I am still amazed at how much more yarn crochet uses! It is extremely hard to determine how much yarn will be needed. So I guess I will need to make sure to take extra yarn from the charity supply when I work on something in crochet. At least I have two blankets to turn in at the next group meeting.

Now to get planning on the personal projects!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

No Packages This Weekend!

Boo Hoo! The lovely postal person left me a notice in my mailbox that claimed they attempted delivery at 9 Am yesterday. I was home except for a quick run to the corner for the newspapers. I don't really think they attempted to buzz, if they knocked then it was not very loud so there is no way I would hear in the living room or my bedroom. Grrrr. That was my Ebay order of Yarn and patterns. Which I will have to go to the post office a subway stop away to get on Tuesday! Messing up another day off! I also got a notice from the internet store that one of the colors I ordered (that showed as in stock when I placed the order) was back ordered and they are holding the rest until they can send the complete order. Estimate is a week or so before it comes in.
Double GRRRRR!!!!

So this weekend is a bust. I took off Friday and Tuesday to use up vacation days and hopeflly enjoy myself. Friday was too hot to go voyaging on public transportation to the zoo or anywhere so I stayed home and worked on a baby blanket for a charity. Then Saturday I had to stay home awaiting the VNS nurse for Mom's monthly visit. She called at 8:30AM estimating she would arrive between 10 and 11am. She did but I still didn't get anything else done outside of the apartment since It was a bit too warm for me again.

Today I have to do errands or DIE!

Monday I hope to enjoy myself even if I stay home again or close to home since Mom's health aide is off.

Now Tuesday is messed up since I have to trek to the post office and back again before I can really go anywhere. At least Mom's health aide will be here so I can go out without any real concerns.

So after my errands I might wind some more yarn and figure out what project I can work on to use that yarn on.

And how many simultaneous projects are you working on?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend Already?

Hard to believe it is the end of May. Time went so fast!

I have been checking out Ebay for more yarn and bought more from the store that is closing. I also checked out a sale on an Internet store and bought some more Cascade 220 from them in other colors. The richness of some of the shades is wonderful!

I am currently expecting two packages, one from the Ebay seller and one from the Internet store. Perhaps by early next week.

On the caregiving front, Mom's VNS nurse called and told me that she has been ill and will be out of the office until June 7th but that since she had not seen Mom this month another nurse has to come to see her for the mandatory visit. When can that nurse come? Saturday! She is supposed to call before but I don't know if she will call today or not. *sigh* I would like to be able to go to the movies or do something else that might be hard to get a cell phone call at.

It is supposed to be 90F today in NYC so I guess wandering around the Bronx Zoo or the gardens is not a good idea.

On the yarn project front I am crocheting a baby blanket for my knitting group at work. I feel so guilty that I haven't turned anything in for awhile. Our organizer wants us to concentrate on baby blankets for now since those will probably be the most needed at the Aids charity.

Gotta go the Cat is demanding attention!

Friday, May 18, 2007

More About Those Recent Purchases

I didn't post a picture of my Cascade 220 purchase so here it is:

Some may be curious as to how the yarn swift looks disassembled for storage, so here is a pic of that minus the little bag of dowels:

I also recently bought a bag to use for projects, etc. Someone had posted on one of the Yahoo groups about the Smith and Hawken tool bag awhile ago. I have a hard time visualizing the dimensions given for anything. I have to actually see one in person to figure out if it meets my needs. Luckily there is a Smith and Hawken store in Soho here in NYC but it is quite a hike from my current office. I did manage to get there after a long appointment at my dentist which was a shorter hike from the store.

The Ultimate tool bag comes in several sizes but of course the Large was my preference. They have it in black currently priced at $29 which is not a bad price.
I liked it enough to buy one and have been pleased with it. Have been using it instead of my usual backpack for going to work.
Dimensions:12 1/2" W x 9" D x 12 1/2" H. The exterior pockets have an elastic across which keeps longer items secure. There are a total of 10 pockets. 6 on the outside with 4 secured with the elastic. Internally there are 4 pockets and a sizable inside area. Each pocket on the inside front and back are across the bag and suitable in width for magazines but can hold alot. The inside end pockets are pretty sizable in diameter and I use one to hold my current knitting scarf project.
I am able to knit on the subway standing with the scarf pulled partway out of the bag so the rest is supported and not heavy.
Here is a photo of the outside:

And here is the inside:
If you want to check it out the Smith and Hawken site is:
Just do a search for "bag" and you will find it.

Have Fun!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Hanks to Balls - Hooray!

Normally I have been using yarn for projects that came in skeins that were already center pulls. But listening to alot of of the yarn or knitting podcasts does make you want to try out yarns not as easily found, the kind that comes only in hanks. There is one small local yarn shop that is near my office that would carry these but I decided to check out Ebay for some of the brands mentioned as standards, like Cascade 220 wool yarn.

Well I found a wonderful Ebay vendor who is unfortunately closing shop who was selling their remaining supply of Cascade 220 even cheaper than a sale price I found on a regular internet store. It is always hard to tell colors from pictures even when they are from direct scans of the hank. Some I was sure I would like and got a few more hanks and some I wasn't and only ordered one. In the end I ordered 16 skeins this past Saturday. Paid via PayPal and even got direct email from the vendor over the weekend.

Now I had hanks coming but then was the problem of winding them into balls for actual use. No one I know has a ball winder or swift so I couldn't borrow. I knew I would be dying to try out the yarn so I looked again on Ebay for any cheaper alternatives to the prices I had been finding on internet stores/manufacturers.

I lucked out and found a handmade oak swift that disassembles easily into something that I could find a storage spot for and the price was great. At the price if it didn't work out for me I wouldn't be too upset. The Ebay seller was Cindyswifts.
Their swifts sit on the floor or table which was a better arrangement for me, not enough surfaces to clamp onto.
I also found a ball winder at a slightly cheaper price for a model that looked better made and more likely to last. So I "Bought them Now", paid with PayPal and was set.

That was Saturday and oddly all three packages arrived via USPS on Wednesday morning! When I got home last night I opened everything and had to try out the swift and winder. In the pic below you can see the empty boxes on the top left.
Here is closeup of the winder with the completed ball still on it:

I will have to take a pic of all the hanks and post it later. Right now the question of what project I can start to use some of this is still up in the air!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Cold, Allergies or Something Else?

Friday at work my energy level bottomed out in the late afternoon. I was just dragging and unable to concentrate on the project I am extremely late on. It did not help that I finally got a chance to get my lab results from my doctor's office for blood tests done a few weeks ago. My cholesterol is fine but my liver enzymes are elevated and my triglycerides are way high. We shall see if I have to change medications to lower cholesterol again. I had to change from Lipitor when my liver enzymes stayed at a slightly elevated level and then my cholesterol shot up. I am on Vytorin now. But I am not very good at keeping my diet correct. I have to confess that I was addicted to having ice cream at night for a couple of weeks before the blood test which must have contributed to my high triglycerides. I now do not have any ice cream in the freezer.

But something else was going on. I wasn't really sneezing but I was having pressure problems in my ears and Friday evening my throat started aching. Over the weekend my energy was low so I took it easy on Saturday and stayed mostly in bed trying to rest. I was sneezing a bit and blowing my nose alot but my throat was better. It seems like this might be a cold instead of allergies kicking up. I was achy on Friday all over but that went away. I don't think I had a fever either. Of course I may also have a sinus infection but I will see how I am today. If necessary I will go to my doctor's office to try and get antibiotics for the sinus infection if it doesn't get better by then.

So knitting wise I only forced myself to do some work on a pink scarf I have been knitting as part of a charity donation for a knitting group at work. I have been neglecting those projects for personal ones and I feel very guilty.

I have another market squares bag in progress with purple, turquoise and a variegated yarn in that family. My problem is finding different colors that would look nice in a wool yarn. Although I used KnitPicks yarn for the first one the colors available really don't grab me for a second round. So I am actually using yarn from a couple of different companies. Hope they all felt about the same!

I will take an in progress pic when I can.

Here's hoping that whatever bug has gotten into my system leaves soon!