on the sixth day of Christmas...

and this is a really crappy way
to say hello to the New Year

there is a definite career as a poet in my future.

it would appear that the news of my recovery was a bit premature. worst still, he is back to having a fever, and i expect that it is only a matter of time before everyone he had contact with during the couple-few days at his family's place starts coming down with what is turning out to be the worst cold either one of us has probably ever had. please make it stop.

we had already gotten the ball rolling on the prep for our New Year's Eve meal, but that may have to be postponed for another day or so. so, instead of ringing in the New Year full of good thoughts and good food, we will probably still be in bed, performing what is by now a well-rehearsed coughing duet. oh, joy.

and speaking of joy, i pulled a certain project out of the naughty corner while i was photographing the sweater for yesterday's post. it is a pair of socks that i have been trying to make for at least three months now.

i really really really hate making these things, but he really really really likes them, so he keeps using guilt to try to get me to make more of them for him. this one has a lovely texture across the top of the foot and around the whole leg section. naturally, it is a pain to knit this stitch.

i took a few photographs with the intent of unraveling them and re-purposing the yarn, but then guilt kicked in again, so i guess i am going to have to finish them one of these days. that is, if i ever recover from this cold.

this project lives in one of the two projects bags i purchased from the Fat Squirrel shortly after she first launched her bag-making business. they are the only such bags i own that i have ever purchased. i bought them to be "supportive", but i am pretty certain that at least one of my dead grandmothers is shaking her head in shame at my buying something i could make with my eyes closed. that is guilt from beyond the grave.

and what was lurking the bottom of the bag, below the offending socks? another ball of yarn that is supposed to eventually be turned into even more hand-knitted socks. maybe it would not be so bad if this cold destroys me after all.


on the fifth day of Christmas...

i'm feeling so relieved 
i... cannn... BREEEEEEEATHE!!!


to be fair, it is only one nostril back in action, but that is enough for me to survive without the constant mouth-breathing of the past four days.

i feel so dehydrated, especially as drinking anything meant that i had to stop breathing entirely while i sipped and swallowed. who knew breathing was so complicated??? no exaggeration, i experienced a massive life-or-death dilemma while eating a gingerbread cookie. i was chewing it for what seemed like forever, but it still felt like a mouthful of bone-dry crumbs. that is when i remembered that i would soon have to inhale.

problem was, with a mouth full of dry cookie crumbs, even the slightest inhale would result in some of that going racing into my lungs, which would end with a fit of coughing and choking. that is when the panic kicked in.

i could not decide what to do. should i spit the chewed up bits of cookie all over the floor, then inhale? or maybe i should try to form some kind of tunnel to let the air through? trust me, it was hilarious. i ended up using my tongue to sweep all the bits into one cheek and keep them there, while i finally sucked down some air on the other side of my mouth. all of that because of a lousy cold.

but, now... i can breathe! i am celebrating the happy development with my first cup of coffee in almost a whole week, and it smells and tastes great. i had almost forgotten how awesome smelling and tasting stuff can be.

i think it is fair to write off this week as an official bust. we are both still not over this bug, and it will be a while yet before our home stops being filled with the constant sound of coughing.

the worst part, however, is that i was genuinely too sick and tired to work on the one project i had set aside especially for this week.

i was calling this my Marvel-ous sweater, as i was going to work on it while we watched those movies (plus some other stuff). i was totally convinced that i would have it done in time to wear when we have our special New Year's Eve dinner. at this rate, the special meal may turn out to be yet another bowl of chicken soup for two.

the pattern is called Morning in Engelberg by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne. i especially love the juxtapositioning of the textures in the garter stitch and the cable.

that cable is plump, almost to the point of being marshmallowy... -ish, -esque, -like?

and i am using this adorable stitch-marker that i made some years back when i was deeply fascinated with creating things from beads and wire.

and now i need to add that to the list of activities to revisit in the coming year. no promises though.


on the fourth day of Christmas...

there's little-to-no sign of relief
i'm exhausted, so i will be brief

that is poetry, people. poetry! i should be charging to even let you read anything that brilliant.

i have a running list somewhere of topics that i plan to revisit one of these days, so i will use this opportunity to cross off one of those things. it concerns a certain tiny garden i planted earlier this year.

i think you would agree that it has come a long way from the sparse appearance right after it was first planted.

all that was needed was a bit of patience. now i have my dead grandfather's voice echoing in my head. i will save that story for another day.

most of the little "rescued" leaves sprouted, which added new layers of texture to the grouping. so now it looks even more like you stumbled upon a tight cluster of plants that have been growing together for centuries. plus it adds a much-needed reminder that warmer climates do exist, which is sometimes hard to believe at this time of year.

now i just have to make a note to remind myself to rescue all those tiny figurines before they get lost in the sand.

oh, and i am on the lookout for a giant glass jar the approximate size and shape of those big bottles they use in workplace water coolers. i want to create a tropical rain forest next time around, and making that happen inside a container with such a narrow opening is always a delightful challenge.


on the third day of Christmas...

i am home all alone 
with three cats and a stinking cold

life does not always rhyme. get used to it.

i think it's fair to say that i am over the worst part of this cold. however, as he got sick almost a week before me, and he is still coughing quite frequently, i know it is going to be a bit of time before the last of it is out of my system. oh joy!

this really sucks, as i was looking forward to us being able to spend some time doing totally pointless stuff together during this week. we are catching up on the Marvel films i/we missed—which required starting over from the beginning, as my OCD would settle for nothing less.

we were also considering taking a drive out to visit a wildlife park about and hour outside of Montreal. it is one of those places where you drive through the grounds, and you are encouraged to bring carrots to feed the animals that come up to your car. we went there during the Summer (i will talk more about that in a few days), and we wanted to see how the place looks during the Winter. that will have to wait till my lungs are up to inhaling sub-zero air again.

the one thing i was most looking forward to though, was a visit to a shop right here in Montreal that sells supplies for making things like soap and candles. i can easily order those items online, but i wanted to go sample their full range of fragrances, so i can finally get around to making some scented candles of my very own. he even agreed to help with the sampling and the candle-making. however, choosing scented oils would prove quite difficult just now, especially with the tissue shoved up both nostrils and three solid days of breathing only through my mouth. such an attractive picture, i know.

so, he abandoned me for a couple-few days. he is off having winter-time fun with the nephews, and i... well... i am working my way through an impressive amount of tissues and over-the-counter cold medicine.

then there was that other thing i had hoped to get done during this week. i finally have all the pieces completed to put together the Bright Star blanket i was slow-knitting for the past two years. cat sold separately.

the second i finished arranging the last piece, she showed up out of nowhere, and plopped herself down smack-dab in the middle of the thing, and she absolutely refused to move. i finally convinced her to shift far enough so i could get a picture of the center of the motif. ta da!!!

then i realized that the top corner pieces needed to be switched around, so i sorted that bit. ta da (for real this time)!!!

it is going to take a whole lot of patience, and a lot of alcohol, to assemble this thing, and i was hoping to get that done while we were watching stuff together this week. instead, i am wrapped up in bed, alternating between pulling the covers over my head because i am shivering, and tossing them aside because i am burning up. but i can sorta-kinda taste again, so i guess that is something to be happy about.


on the second day of Christmas...

i'm gonna share with you
the story of 'two pees and a poo'

before you run away, it is a cat tale. i swear.

i grew up in one of those households where pets were a definite no no. they like to damage furniture, you know. oh, the horror!

the closest i ever got to a pet was the bag of goldfish i bought from the basement of my local Woolworth (back when that was still a thing), and my mom managed to kill them off while i was away at camp for all of like two or three weeks that following Summer. and, yes... it is already established that i will require therapy for the entire rest of my life, plus a few years after that.

fast-forward a couple few decades, and i share my life with a guy who has never not had cats. so now i have cats, which some may say is the best form of therapy.

what i found most fascinating in the adjustment to life with cats was just how different each one of them really is. they all have unique personalities, which shows in how they interact with the people and items around them.

case and point... Mama Kitty is usually the poster-child for apathy, but she goes into an absolute panic if their dry-food bowl dips below apocalypse-survival-level. i have to check some days to make sure that cat is still breathing. yet she turns into the world's smallest angry mob over that food bowl.

 Baby Bear, on the other hand, likes to take bird-baths in the water bowl, requiring us to have to constantly mop up the floor... and to refill the bowl. then there is the oddest of the kitty behavior.. . which brings me to the subject for today.

Cordy—the "Little One" of our furry threesome—has this bizarre ritual that she performs, without fail, every single day. and it still manages to leave us in stitches when it happens.

she has this strange obsession with the litter-box that is somewhere between comical and straight-up insane. specifically, she gets indescribably excited when it is being scooped, which is usually the last thing one of us does before calling it an evening.

she comes running like a lunatic the second she hears the scooper being lifted out of the empty ceramic flowerpot where it is kept, and the excitement increases exponentially once you start scooping.

most of the time, she gets so over-excited by said activity, that she jumps into the box while you are still in the middle of scooping. then it happens... two pees and a poo.

i cannot begin to explain it, but every single night, like clockwork, as soon as the litter is being scooped, my crazy little cat has an insatiable needs to take two very quick pees followed immediately by a poo. pretty much.

half the time, you end up standing there, waiting for her to be done, so you can finish cleaning out the box for the evening. it is so reliable, that it has become a thing in our home.

typical late-night conversation around here...

him: [calling to me from another room] sweetie, did you scoop the litter box, or was i supposed to do it?
me: i'm in the middle of doing that right now. i'm just just waiting.
him: oh. is she doing her 'two pees and a poo'?
me: pee number one already happened, and she just finished pee number two. so now i'm standing here, waiting for the poo.
him: good times.

pretty much

i have to give honorable mention to Diesel (my Deez-Bear), who we had to say goodbye to shortly before we got Mama and Baby Bear (the Little One came later). Deez was my very first experience in living with a kitty, and he is (still) my favorite cat of all time.

and what was his peculiar quirk, you ask? well, that cat had been with me though some really rocky times—including many days when i was so depressed that i could not even get out of bed—and he had come to realize that his very presence was a great comfort to me.

every  single night, when he saw me getting ready to go to sleep, he would climb onto the ledge of the window above our bed at the old place. then he would just wait patiently. and he would keep on waiting until i eventually got into the bed, got the pillows sorted just the way i like them, and the covers tucked around me like i prefer them to be. when all of that was finally finished, he would step down gingerly from the window, and come settle on the bed, snuggled up next to me.

he seldom stayed the whole night, but he would lay there for however long it took me to fall asleep. and on those nights when insomnia got the best of me, then he would settle in for the long haul and keep me company.

i seriously miss that cat, and i really wish i had taken like a million more photos of him.


on the first day of Christmas...

my true love gave to me
a highly infectious disease

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

him: uhm... you are going to explain that it's just a cold right? i don't want anyone to get the wrong idea.
me: i'll think about it.

last time around, i ended the twelve days with a nasty cold, so i decided to start it off with one this time. a bit of change keeps life exciting, no?

the crew at the studio have almost all fallen sick in the last week or two, so it was inevitable that there would be some germs that traveled home with them. i will get my revenge, and it will be sweet.

worst part is, i currently have zero sense of smell or taste... which brings me to the subject of the day.

as Christmas was going to be the two of us, coughing in dis-harmony, we decided to keep our meal incredibly simple, but full of our favorite comfort foods.

mac-and-cheese with a curry of beef and cauliflower, and a few slices of steamed plantain, cause he happened to walk past the plantains in the supermarket, and they looked good.

how do these foods fit together, you may be wondering? if you come from a Caribbean family, you would already know this, but the combination of curry sauce over a really cheesy plate of mac-and-cheese is the stuff of gastronomic happiness. ditto for the plantain. just trust me on this one. and yes... those are little sweet peas in my mac-and-cheese. just deal with it.

the meal was amazing! that is... he said the meal was amazing. i just took his word for it. i did get a hint of an echo of a whisper of taste from the curry, but the rest was a blur. and we rounded the whole thing off with a couple slices of bûche de Noël (pictured up at the top), which is just a fancy name for a large swiss roll decorated to look like a yule log.

i am going to make another cup of peppermint tea, which i will sip in between the mouth-breathing that is currently keeping me alive. hope that you are happy (and healthy) wherever you may be.


a beautiful time of day...

it is the "orange hour of the day". that being the time when the setting sun is at or near horizontal alignment with our windows, sending a wash of warm, golden-orange light flooding through the whole place. it is a breath-taking experience, even at this time of the year when that hour is really more like an orange five minutes.

this is the closest we have come to a bright, sunshine-filled day in weeks here in Metropolis North. pardon me... Métropole Nord. almost forgot where i was for a moment. it has been cold, wet (with either freezing rain or wet snow), and depressingly grey... day... after day... after day. so, while it is currently well below freezing—even in the middle of the day—i am pleased as punch (i still have no idea what punch has to do with being pleased) to see sunlight filling the air.

i had toyed with the idea of doing a blog-a-day during December, but i simply could not muster the enthusiasm to get it done. unlike the usual 'countdown to the holidays' that tends to fill most vlogs/blogs at this time of year, i planned on talking a bit each day about the thirty-one movies we watched during October, when i foolishly allowed myself to be talked into a movie-a-day in the lead-up to Halloween. maybe i will save that for January, when i will (hopefully) be in a slightly-less-unexcited frame of mind.

there is one thing i am super-excited about at present. i am in the homestretch on that blanket i was working on more than a year ago. [scroll past the baby blanket my mom conned me into knitting for her co-worker, and you will find the Bright Star blanket by my favorite designer Norah Gaughan.]

ta da!!!

okay, so there are still quite a few gaps to be filled in before i can call this one finished... plus all the pieces have to be sewn together... and all of those ends have to be woven it... and i would probably want to add some sort of border around the edges. all of that aside, this blanket is practically... almost... nearly finished. trust me... sorta.

i am done with all of the multi-colored full squares, as well as what i am calling the "notched" squares, and i am currently working on the solid-colored squares and rectangles. it should be noted that i had little-to-no problems working on the color-blocked bits. those solid pieces (light-grey, in my color scheme), however, have proven to be quite the pain.

i set this project aside for a while, and it seems that my knitting tension has changed significantly in that time. so much so, that i had to re-knit the first of the light-grey squares a whopping SIX TIMES before i finally got something the same size as the color-block squares. turns out i just had to swap for a smaller-sized needle. [you can mentally insert the sound of me growling like a rabid lunatic here.]

once i get done with that step (hopefully, tonight), i will need to knit a few smaller multi-colored blocks for the corners, then i can move on to the assembling stage. i should (hopefully... maybe) have all of the pieces ready to go by the end of this week. then i can start sewing them together to make a blanket. however, there is always the possibility that i may stuff them into a handy storage case and forget about them for a few more years.

this blanket-to-be is made from some super-scratchy alpaca (i think) yarn that i had in my stash for ages. my delicate princess skin cannot tolerate such things, so it will become a future couch-blanket for everyone... but me. and, while i may occasionally feel left out to see my favorite animator wrapped up in said blanket, snoring away on a sofa, with a kitty or three napping next to him for company, this epic project will have earned me enough crafting-karma so that my next few yarn purchases will (hopefully... maybe) go unnoticed.

the sun has slipped almost entirely out of view by now, and all that remains are the  slivers of clouds tinted salmon and lavender-grey along the horizon. there is a small cat pressed up against my thigh, fast asleep, recharging her energy for all of the antics that will take place later in the evening. it really is a beautiful time of day.


Pepto-Bismol in the parking lot...

it is Monday, and i appear to be alive, so it is fair to say that the Wintery illness did not win. i still feel pretty crappy, and i have less than zero energy, but it is steadily getting better... i think.

meanwhile, he has devised a brilliant new way to gauge my wellness.

me: [in the whiniest tone possible] sweetieeee...!
him: i know. i know. you're sick. do you want me to get you anything?
me: no.
him: do you want something to eat?
me: no.
him: do you want me to make you some tea?
me: no.
him: do you want to watch something together?
me: no.
him: do you want a piece of chocolate?
me: no.
him: no chocolate? wow... you must really be sick. 

then i pulled the covers over my head and went back to sleep for the next several hours.

the entire weekend was like that. one big blur. however, i did manage to take some photos of my latest finished object. ta da!

this is the Willow sweater by Pam Allen. it is part of her Plain & Simple collection. Willow is a relaxed, oversized sweater with an elegant simplicity that is one hundred percent me. to be honest, i want to make every single garment in that collection... except maybe that cowl/hood thing. that one is definitely not me.

i love love love the gansey-style textured motif on the top.

it is on the back too.

 i made very few changes to the pattern... except...

i added a couple-few inches to the overall length, which made it slightly tunic-y (ish? esque?).

and i added pockets, because it was screaming for pockets, and i aim to satisfy.

i also split the hem at the sides, and i made the back slightly longer than the front.

oh, and i finished all of the edges with a sewn bind-off, which is always a pain in the neck, but it makes for a much more attractive edge. you can see it here on the cuff...

and on the neck...

i usually make a point of not making stuff in the same color as the sample garment, but i had a yarn that was perfect for this project, and it happened to be in a similar warm-white color. best of all, the yarn is a cotton-acrylic blend, which means that i can actually wear the thing for more than thirty seconds without breaking out in hives. madness, i know.

i started this project one day in Jultember (that being, the month whose name i no longer speak), right after having a meltdown in a drug store parking lot. said episode ended with me frantically opening a newly-purchased bottle of Pepto Bismol, and taking large gulps of it in-between the tears.

it was a rough day following an indescribably stressful week, and i had just discovered that there was a large rip straight down the center-back of my dress as we were getting out of the car to walk into said store. naturally, i remained behind, and when he asked me what i was planning on buying again, all that i could manage to say was "Pepto-Bisoml".

i casted it on as soon as we got home, and i called it the "Pepto-Bismol in the parking lot sweater" for obvious reasons.

it is living for now in one of the cubes in my recently-erected yarn storage system that was put in place to keep my stash under control.

is there still yarn in every room of our apartment? yes. yes... there is.


check out my buns...

i walked into the living room, and stopped dead in my tracks.

me: what is that?
him: what?
me: [gesturing toward the balcony and the world beyond it] ... that?
him: [staring at me like i'd lost my mind] i have no idea what you're talking about.
me: i'm talking about all of that snow. when did it snow?
him: oh, that. it snowed while you were sleeping all day yesterday because you were sick.

so... uhm... yeh. i seem to be in the grips of one of those Wintery illnesses that really make me hate this time of year. i spent a whole day in a feverish stupor, but that seems to have broken (for now).

Nature has clearly not designed me for life in a place that is frozen half (or more) of the year, so i already knew that the next several months were going to be rough. between my sinuses and my throat, there is always something to complain about once it gets cold around here. however, i was hoping that i would make it through November before being laid low by one of those illnesses that are designed to do nothing by cause frustration. good times.

for now, i am staying tucked up under the warmest blanket we have in the place, while working my way through our mini-stockpile of over-the-counter cold/flu remedies (luckily, this is Canada, where their OTC meds actually work). i am also subjecting myself to many cups of herbal concoctions of my own design. it tastes terrible, so it must be good for me, right?

so, that is where you find me. the pressure in my sinuses is making the back of my eyeballs hurt, every muscle in my whole body aches, my throat feels like i swallowed a porcupine, and i have the use of about half of one nostril at any given time. joy.

but i did manage to get one awesome thing done before the germs got the best of me. check out my buns!

i was in a very-not-good mood, and dough-kneading is a near-Zen experience in my universe, so that seemed like a good time to make bread. the plan was to make a couple loaves of white bread, but we were also making an obnoxiously-garlicky pork roast for use in ramen and other such meals in the coming days, when he got me excited about slices of roasted pork stuffed into warm buns. so, the loaves got downsized to buns.

he walked into the kitchen as i was dividing the dough to form the buns.

him: wow. i'm impressed that you're just eyeballing that. you usually use the scale for something like that. i'm proud of you.
me: it definitely feels like i'm doing something wrong. 

so, while my buns may not all be the same size...

they were close enough after the second rise.

the whole place smelled so wonderful while they baked, that my OCD about such things disappeared completely. pardon me while i drool for a bit.

throw in a few thin slices of ridiculously-garlicky roast pork, and you have a perfect meal for a cold Winter evening.

the snow seems to be starting up again. i am going to have something to eat. then i am going to pull the blanket over my head, and go back to sleep. if this is the last time you hear from me, just assume that the Wintery illness won.


this lost love of mine...

random fact: i have a degree in Classic Literature. it was one half of my undergrad double-major. oddly enough, it has been quite a few years since i sat down and properly read a book.

this is yet another thing i blame on grad school. at some point during that wasted time, i got feedback on a paper i had written about a research project i was working on, and the core criticism was that it was too much "fun". "your writing style is very poetic and evocative, but scientific writing isn't supposed to be entertaining", i was told. "stop writing like yourself", the notes concluded.

so, i set out to do precisely that... with a bit of advice from the killjoy writer of said notes.  

"think of it like you are writing a highly-detailed user manual. you want to walk the reader through the process, but at no point should it be "fun" reading."

what, then, would be the point of living?

i would have to find a philosopher to answer that question... taking care to avoid the ones who sound too engaging or entertaining. clearly they did not receive the "fun is not allowed" memo. 

turns out that the hardest part of trying to move away from my usual style of writing was that it required me to move away from my usual style of reading. problem was, i was almost-always nose-deep in the middle of a book, and it was almost-always purely for fun.

yes... i was that dorky kid. hard to imagine, i know!

from the entire set of encyclopedias (back when people owned such things) to all of mom's cookbooks to the boxes of old comic books my cousins and i found in our grandparents' basement... you only had to shove a page of text in front of me, and i was in my happy place.

then i got to middle-school, and i discovered the world of epic storytelling. i still remember the first Summer i was allowed to take the bus by myself to go to the main branch of the public library at Grand Army Plaza. that is what i still think of as "the Summer of Tolkien". and it only got worse from there.

i had a genuine love for reading. it really was my idea of fun. so, it made sense (in that moment, at least) that the only way to stop sounding like i was having fun with my writing, was to stop having fun with my reading. so i did.

and that is still where i am today. i spend very little time engaged in reading just for reading's sake. the closest i can remember coming in recent years was a handful of mysteries by Ngaio Marsh and Ruth Rendell, and a few collections of short stories by David Sedaris.

[total aside: i highly recommend Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn books if you like a good cozy mystery, and Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford series is also good reading for classic-mystery fans (her novel "An Unkindness of Ravens" inspired the title of this blog, as it reminded me just how much i love collective nouns). and, if you want to laugh till it literally hurts, look no further than David Sedaris, whose ability to find absurdity in the ordinary is a much admired trait in our household, where absurdity is a way of life.]

so after more than a decade away, i made a firm decision to get back into reading... which, it turns out, is much easier said than done.

there is a fantastic shop in our neighborhood that is packed to the ceiling with used books (and records), and we pop in there every now and then. i almost-always walk out with at least one new (to me) book, and it almost always-ends up being tucked away on some shelf to be read at some later date... which almost-always never seems to come.

so, there i was, browsing the shelves one day, when i came across two books (two halves of the same story, actually) that i had read many years ago, shortly after the Summer of Tolkien.

i was so excited, i bought both books, got them home, and i even allowed myself to be talked into opening a Goodreads account so that i could keep track of the many... many... many books i would be reading from that point on. heck... i even mentioned it in a blog post at the time. i was genuinely excited to be getting back to this lost love of mine.

then the books just sat... and sat... and sat. i carried from room to room, housing it in a bookcase, then a cubby in the table near my favorite sofa, then in the wooden crate that usually contains yarn-related items on the floor next to my side of the bed. turns out that forcing myself to have to look at the cover of the thing was not going to be enough to actually get it read. the far better approach was to leave it in what we usually refer to around here as "the library"... 'cause that sounds so much classier than just saying "the bathroom".

so, it is more than two years later, and it pleases me to announce that i finally did it. well... i am doing it... slowly. it has been three weeks, now and i am about halfway through the first book. in my prime, i would have read both books in a few (or so) days, but i am woefully out of practice, so i am taking my time.

plus... i am discovering that holding on to a book is getting in the way of the more recent addiction of mine. and i have yet to come up with an amicable  solution.

i hate audiobooks, and i do not have a recipe or spell for growing extra arms, so i am forced to choose between my two loves, and (unfortunately) the knitting usually wins—especially, as i can do that while simultaneously indulging in my other addiction, which he likes to ever-so-eloquently describe as "rape and murder tv".

and, while we are on that subject—the knitting, not the rape and murder tv— i recently started a garment entirely of my own design. [the thin white lines are just there to help me count the rows. they will be removed when it is all done. ]

my brand of OCD required an intense amount of over-planning before i cast on the first stitch, which is why it has taken over two years for this one to go from the planning stage to work-in-progress status. there was a whole lot of math and several badly-drawn diagrams along the way.

luckily, i had help to double-check all of my calculations. this is Ophelia ("Philly"), aka "Baby Bear". she is useful... ish.

but, mostly, she did a lot of this.

the project involves juggling an absurd number of balls of yarn at once. this style of knitting is called intarsia, and it produces quite a lot of ends which will have to be dealt with later. that is my least favorite part of this particular addiction.

and, yes, i am working with eleven different strands of yarn in a single row, which means i have to pause frequently to disentangle all those bits.

luckily, i have another cat to help with that. this is Cordelia ("Cordy"), aka "the Little One". what would i do without her?

then she went racing out of the room and returned a few seconds later to deposit her favorite toy in the midst of the tangle. what could possibly go wrong... right?

there are about a dozen of these plastic springs scattered around our place, but she almost-always goes for this green one... which is not to be confused with the other one in the identical shade of green. clearly, that other green spring sucks!

her favorite game is to drop the spring on the bed next to me (usually at like one in the morning when i am contemplating going to sleep). i toss it out the door, into the room across the hall, and she goes chasing after it like a lunatic. then she brings it back to the bed, and we do the whole routine all over again.

that is, when she is not busy trying to destroy my plants... again.

or my yarn.

so, you can understand my concern whenever she offers to help. so miserable. so cute.

so i packed up all the parts, and returned them to a (relatively safe) hiding place. this is when i made the biggest mistake of all. i left my warm, cozy spot on the bed for a few minutes, and i returned to find kitty number three fast asleep in that space. that is Titania ("Titty"), aka "Mama Kitty". she absolutely refused to move from that spot.

le sigh!

i do not want to give too much away just yet about my special project, but i will say that it is a sweater called "Spite". and, yes... there is a story to be told when it is all done. and, yes... it will be fun.