Saturday, January 26, 2008

..and by Popular Demand~~

The NEXT post will be the third in the series, "Books". I promise.

WARNING: many words ahead! Make a cup of tea and settle in.

Having said that, I've had a couple of requests in the last two days that I mean to take care of right away (and I got a couple pretty neat pictures I want to share too).

First - there was a BIG flap here and there on various other cat-populated knitblogs about something we all saw first at Crazy Aunt Purl's house, the Wonderful Cardboard Chaise Scratcher thingie. Well, when I saw that Chris of Stumbling Over Chaos had gotten one for her (delicious and stunning) black kitties,

nothing for it, Evangeline had to have one too. As you can see, it gives her Magic Eyeballs. She loves it, and often sits on it or lounges on it or admires it from nearby. She does NOT, however, scratch on it.

Lilliane, on the other hand, sits on it, admires it from nearby - and scratches the heck out of it. Even as I "speak", she is having a lashing-of-tail and wild-attacking-of-chaise. She claws and scratches - then sits on it polishing her shoulder.

The verdict? They both, in their ways, love it. I fully anticipated getting another so that there wouldn't be any rivalry-territorial thing going on, but so far they seem to each take their turns with it. I'd have to say it was about $15 well-spent, and I can say that after a week of their enjoyment. (You know spoiled children cats - they get a present, play with it for five minutes and then it collects dust.) CONFESSION: my cats have a small (SMALL) plastic bin full (FULL) of toys. But to their credit, they do pluck them out and play with them from time to time. And they only get new ones whenever I go to the pet store , uhm - when I need to stop at Target for holidays or special occasions. Nevermind.

In other news, briefly - Michael's had a sale flyer in last Sunday's paper (as usual)and it listed something I couldn't believe: Lion Brand "Moonlight Mohair", usual price $8.99/skein (therefore pretty much out of my range of interest) for two dollars ($2) a skein. Now, I've bought two skeins in the past, full price, with the thought of a very narrow scarf knit on # 19s or something. Haven't done anything with it yet (something about TOQUES, you know).

But at THAT price? Well, what can I say? I enhanced my stash to the tune of five skeins - EACH - of three colorways. It's mostly acrylic with a bit of mohair, cotton and "metallic polyester". Makes it soft with a bit of sparkle. While I'd love to start paging through books and patterns -- well, not until the toques are done ! It's described as "bulky" too...for whom, elves? but I think it has some potential, especially for something summery where the sun can show it off to best advantage. I am looking forward to it.

Yesterday, nevermind that it was below zero, we stopped by the zoo to see the newly-acquired Red Panda (ex-QUI-site) and while there, I had Mr Dearling take a picture of me with my BFF Nanuk. There weren't a lot of animals out (and no other people) but actually the two real polar bears did come out to see who was greeting them. But now, see? All y'all in other climates? The weather here, described as "bone-chilling" and "bitter" - it's no problem at all, you just have to dress for it. (Ever wonder why there isn't much courting begun this time of year? Hard to look sexy or cute.)

Now to those requests I mentioned at the beginning.

First, Janna of Knitting Relaxes Me , asked how these oft-mentioned toques work; it is hard to imagine them by description only. Hopefully this will help:

This is the toque, all blocked, and just lying open on the table. As you can see, the "knitted football" description fits. In fact, I suppose if I stuffed it really full of roving before would.....NEVERMIND! (Incidentally - this one's going out Monday and I DO have the next one on the needles. Just sayin'.)

One end of the toque is tucked up inside -- if it's pushed in all the way, you have a fitted double cap. I have a black one that I wear this way - and then fold up the bottom, which effectively gives me four layers over my ears. See what I mean about "dressing for it"? If, however, you only push the end about half-way up, you can flop over the extra on top, giving you effectively a double cap with either a short or long "bag", thus:

Mr Dearling, modeling, prefers a longer toque himself; he still has the first one I made for him (which was, matter o' fact, also the first one ever I made!) NOTE: it is not lost on me, the irony of the fact that Mr Dearling has wonderful thick ringlets....I have waist-length hair but absolutely thin and straight as pretzel rods. If I make a single braid (a la Ojibway, 18th century) it looks like a ridiculous shoelace. I cheat, wear it up and wear a fine silk scarf--as the wife of a voyageur I get first pick of the silk scarves brought from Montreal in the trade goods. Boys get all the good hair.

And now to the last request. There were comments on a blog that I read regularly, written by dear Ryan at her Mossy Cottage. Let's just say that she was feeling very nice about the end of a rough patch experienced by her and her partner -- and consensus in the comments was that everyone was very pleased for them, because Ryan is a very special lady - hers is the Dulaan Project, which organizes knitted goods for people in frigid Third-World areas, which is a big project and a real mitzvah. In MY comment, I said some time I would send her my "Philosophy of Love", and another commentor asked if I might share that. I sent it to Ryan by e-mail, and she asked if I'd post it HERE, so she could refer folks who might be interested. In the all-over scheme of things, (and with Mr Valentine's Day around the corner) here it is.

Love is good.

By "Love", I mean tender, caring, nurturing adoring affection between people of any configuration. So--heterosexual love? Brilliant. Homosexual or bisexual love? Likewise. People and cherished pets? Divine.

The problems in this world are all, uniformly, caused by people who have no one to love, and are unloved/unlovable. People who DO love each other do not always agree, come to impasses, wonder how/why/where? But it's just the simplest of all things - LOVE is good. When I see people holding hands, or snuggling and kissing, or arm-in-arm, I love it. I love it if they're any combination of colors; any combination of genders, any combination of ages. It's ALL GOOD. Love should be relished with one's loved ones, appreciated by the rest of us, and encouraged and nurtured wherever and HOWever it lives.

People who project negative feelings or comments or hatred towards loving people make me very sad. I have high hopes that this "innernet" thing will eventually lead to people meeting one-on-one and becoming fast friends and falling in love - either romantic or loving friendship - to such a degree that there will be no more war. Just as we happily exchange knitting patterns and tips (and quilt patterns, recipes, advice) with friends who live scattered all over the world, perhaps everyone will realize the value in truly sharing with all our neighbors with whom we share this global village.

OK - all soapboxes put away, dusting off the rather dense mush level and calling it a day, I will go arrange my literary comments and offerings for my next post. Two statements which pretty well define me: "But...I digress!" and "It's never too late for a Happy Childhood."

Editor's note: Need I say? Polite people are discreet and genteel in their Public Displays of Affection. Ladies and Gentlemen act accordingly.


Alwen said...

I like your polar-bear boyfriend. It's not so much the weather as dressing for it!

Deb said...

Did the polar bear give you a big smoochy? Cuz if I was there with you in the cold - I would have - just for all the good and nice things you just said about life and stuff!! Peace.

Anonymous said...

The polar bear is the taller one, right? ;-)

I agree wholeheartedly with your philosophy of love. It's the loving relationship that matters, not who it is between (although I do draw the line at bestiality).

Elizabeth said...

Boys get all the good eyelashes, too. At least in my family. (Though my hair is pretty thick and curly, so I can't complain about that.)

Iron Needles said...

I see how the toques work now, and thanks for the instructional.

Love Mr. Dearling's long locks, too!

Give those beautiful kitties a scratch or two.

janna said...

Thank you so much for the toque tutorial. I knew what they looked like on, but couldn't imagine how that football thing became a somewhat-floppy hat! And Mr. Dearling has curls like my sister's, which I have always coveted.

I love the picture of you and the polar bear -- I embiggened it twice and chortled out loud both times. ;-)

Jane said...

Beautiful. Thank you!

daisy in the shenandoah valley said...

Thank you for posting the Philosophy of Love. It's being forwarded to my Beloved. (I'm the one who requested it over on Ryan's blog.)

Wonderful to discover your blog. Now I must go buy a kitty scratcher AND start a toque.

Mary in Boston said...

Thank you for posting your philosophy of love. It's so simple, right?

I love the picture of you with the polar bear. I lived in Minnesota for 9 years, so I totally understand the idea of dressing for the weather. You look adorable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the toque tutorial. I had been wondering...

Of course, I wonder about a lot of things, but mostly I keep them to myself.

Mea said...

Man, I'm so glad you put in Toque pictures, I've been wondering and googling but to no avail. Thanks so much!! I really enjoy hearing about Evangeline. I have a Corgi (Tiggy) but I miss my cat. I would also agree with your thoughts on Love--whole heartedly! It's good and it's completely worth it!

Cindy G said...

Thanks for sharing the Philosophy. My way of putting it was always "God isn't concerned about who we love, just about how well we love."

Yarnhog said...


I am one of five kids. Some of us are gay and some are straight. One day, my then-eight-year-old asked me whether my sister and her long-time partner are married. I explained that they are not, because it's not legal for two women to marry. He asked why not, and I told him that some people think that it's wrong for two people of the same sex to love each other. His jaw dropped and he looked at me in astonishment. "But, Mom!" he exclaimed, "How can it be wrong for people to love each other?" If an eight-year-old can get it, maybe someday everyone will.

MollyBeees said...

My cat Sebastian looks just like your kitty. Right down to the magic eyes! There is a surprise for you over on my site!