Thursday, February 21, 2008

Before I Go Off On A Rant...

I thought you might like to see how a sample of Ray Whiting's space-dyed roving came out after being spun and made up into scarf form. This 4.4 ounce sample of natural grey Jacob's sheep roving had been dyed in shades of blue and green. I'd spun it all up into singles, then plied it so that half of it was carefully aligned for a space-dyed effect and half of it plied randomly for a more tweedy look, then I made it into a simple, seed-stitch scarf for me. I rather like the half-n-half effect. Here it is modeled on a nice piece of ash:

One of the more entertaining aspects of spinning your own stuff is the ability to play with different effects. I'm pleased with how both parts came out, but I prefer the side where the self-striping came out more strikingly. The other half produced more of a tweedy effect, with the exact same roving, spun the same way and plied at a different interval.

Now for the rant.

The entrie month of February been trying. Those of you who are astute astrologers will ask me why I am surprised, what with coming out of a Mars retrograde and all, but life has been both exasperating and burdensome lately.

Let's start with the cobbler's children. We live on a busy street, which intersects with a major road at the corner, about 100 feet away. As a result, our cats are indoor kitties, and while Shamu sometimes rockets out between our feet, he avoids the street and comes back yowling to the front door after a short while. Escapes from Cellblock Cat are few, far between, and usually of extremely short duration.

But last week our most timid cat, Blue, made a run for the border, dashing between my husband's legs when he stapped out to get the mail. Now we don't leave the door standing open in a houseful of cats -- if the door is open, we are going through it. No lurking in the open doorway. Cats are shooed out of the living room before the door is opened. Otherwise, our doors are closed at all times. The door doesn't stand ajar while we sign for packages, redirect hopeful Jehovah's Witnesses, or pay for pizza. We step outside to do that, and close the door behind us.

Shamu, the daring one, will wait for those few nano-seconds when the door is actually open and is occasionally successful in shooting out between our feet as we pass through a door. But Blue is an excruciatingly timid cat -- when company comes over, he dives under the couch and stays there until they leave. If I am rushing around the house in boots, he darts beneath a bed. Thunderstorms or fireworks send him under a dresser or behind a bookcase for hours on end.

We acquired him as a four-month old feral kitten, and it took him a long time to adjust to life in a people house. He graduated frmo being skittish to affectionate over the past four years, but he rarely comes out when called and still does not like being picked up. He will come to you when he feels like it, sit next to you on the couch, and demand a belly rub. But if you pick him up, however gently, he will object, and wriggle out of your arms, and go hide for awhile to express his disapproval.

But until now, he was never tried to make a dash for freedom. And now that he's gone over the wall, he is mocking my every attempt to get him back in, even sitting smartly outside the trap that I usually use for stray and feral cat management in our neighborhood -- and yes, it's been sanitized and de-scented. I do this for a living, which makes the whole situation even more embarrassing.

Which brings me back to the cobbler's children -- always needing shoes. And my friend the plumber, whose pipes are always leaky. And here I am, a person who wrangles animals for a living, vexed by my own cat.

I worry about him because he has a birth defect -- his rear legs are underdeveloped and bowlegged. However, his front end is normal size and very muscular, so he waddles along like a burly dwarf. He is fully able to defend himself -- none of our cats are de-clawed -- but he is not-so-big, and quite timid.

He's quite all right for the moment, lurking underneath the house and out of reach, but still too shy to venture far from cover. And I am sure that with a little fine-tuning of the trapping process, he'll be back in the house within the next few days -- but for now, he's holing up underneath the house, and slipping out for food when we aren't looking.

And? I got rear-ended again See my fall 2006 archives for details on my last rear-ending incident. This time, the damage was apparently minor (I may need a new bumper cover), and (perhaps you should sit down for this part), the driver was a college kid with actual, legitimate, up-to-date insurance.

Anyway, between a rebel-without-a-cause fur-kid, a spotty work schedule, a massive load of tax paperwork, the home stretch of Dave's Vioxx paperwork, the last appeals application for the Road Home post-Katrina benefits for Mom, and a few other things, a lot of obligations have kept me away from my blog this month, and I admit that I have been both indulging in writer's ennui and exploring Ravelry (perhaps a bit much) on days when my appointment load has been low.

Next time, I hope to have some fun news. Hint: wish me a safe trip!



At 8:36 PM, Blogger Barbara-Kay said...

And may you enjoy the marketplace while you're there. Wink, wink!

At 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After spending time in good knitterly company (like fellow Knituers), we'll be expecting good moods and good ideas, Dez!

Anyway, I'm assuming you're headed to Stitches West (seems I read a comment from you somewhere about you going).

Hope you have a great trip - safe and full and all things fibery.

Carol Lee from Prince George, VA

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Liz said...

All I can say is gah.

Cats - are put on earth to make you look silly. Hope you get your little one back in, though...

Glad your latest roadhog had insurance and ID... and paperwork is crap...

Nice, nice scarf!!

At 4:32 AM, Blogger Mary Lou said...

I love the two sided effect. And don't overspend at Stitches....

At 1:05 PM, Blogger unokhan said...

bread and roses to the women here on this IWD 2008

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Anon said...

I do hope your errant furball has found his way back inside. Once during a move, our eldest kitty bolted. We were sure he'd never find our new home. Alas, he'd "bolted" behind a bookcase inside our new home. Some 4 days later, he came out, stretching, and demanding lunch. Don't give up. He'll return.


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