And now she is 1

Reading Update
Bit the Jackpot by Erin McCarthy. Another steamy Vegas Vampires book. Fun and light.
Murder of a Small-Town Honey
and Murder of a Sweet Old Lady by Denise Swanson. Cozy mysteries about Skye Denison, a school psychologist in Scumble River, Illinois.

Birthday Update
Happy birthday, Mayhem!! Although you’re all grown up now, you will always be my Kitten Girl. (Actual size of that “huge” blue mouse below? 2.25 inches… Actual size now of Mayhem’s back leg from toe to knee? 4.5 inches…)

There will be a contest to celebrate her birthday – but it’s going to be after I get back back from Colorado, near the end of June.

“But… I still feel like a kitten…” -Mayhem

Drip dyeing away

Oh, there’s a kitty-themed music cd swap on swap-bot. Who’s in with me?! You have to sign up by June 1.

Our Further Adventures in Dyeing
Deb has already posted her account of our Saturday dyeing adventures. I sure couldn’t tell she started her day off with a migraine – it certainly didn’t impair her gracious hostessing abilities one bit! (If you ever have the chance to eat at Deb’s, do it.)

Here’s Jeanne, doing a little dye organization – alas, you can’t see her cute haircut. (Deb, you’ll thank me for not posting the picture I took of you.)

We dyed a lot of yarn.

I did have a mission, so I was cranking through the yarn and went well outside of my usual palette. I’ll wait for you all to recover from the shock.

Sorry about the color in that picture – I swear, every time I’ve tried to take yarn pictures for the past several days, clouds have swept across the sun. I was trying to get the lime green to show up better… Maybe this is a bit better – no touch ups at all.

Here’s what the pink and brown skein on the far left looked like reskeined. I haven’t reskeined any of the others yet.

“What the heck?! Are you using me as a prop again?!” -Chaos

“I’m so disappointed in you, Mom.” -Chaos

Iced java jacket pattern and Project Spectrum mix cd contest!

Project Spectrum
Last year, Anjo the Crafty Modster made and gave away awesome mix cds for each month/color combination of Project Spectrum. Alas, Anjo hasn’t posted since October (I hope she’s ok!), so Heather made the first two PS mixes this year and I will be making the second two.

The colors for June-July are red, black, and metallics – each song or artist will have one of these colors in title or name. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the cd, please send email to my contest email address by 6 pm CDT, June 1. Three winners will be randomly selected. Only entries sent to my contest email address will be included in the drawing! You will not receive a confirmation email back. You do not need to be participating in Project Spectrum to win a cd.

Curious about what music will be on the cd? Some of the artists include Okkervil River, the Builders & the Butchers, the Mountain Goats, Blue Skies for Black Hearts, Joseph Arthur, the Sad Little Stars, Pete Yorn, Joseph Plunkett & the Weight, Thin White Rope, and Radiohead. Hey, I have notoriously eclectic and obscure taste. 🙂

Knitting: Java Jacket Pattern
To avoid having cold, soggy fingers when drinking iced coffee drinks in the summer, I knitted some java jackets from leftover Cascade Fixation. I have one at home, one in the car, one in my purse – you get the idea!

It’s a quick pattern for those of you who drink iced coffee or 20-ounce bottles of soda. For cans of soda or beer bottles, I would recommend casting on fewer stitches.


  • Cascade Fixation or Elann Esprit
  • US size 4 dpns/long circular/two circulars, depending on your preferred method (or size to get an approximate gauge of 5 st/in)
  • Beginning of round (BoR) marker
  • Darning needle

Cast on 36 stitches for seed stitch border or 37 stitches for ribbing. Join by knitting the first and last stitch together and place BoR marker before this stitch: 35 stitches (seed stitch) or 36 stitches (ribbing) remain.

Knit 6 rounds of seed stitch or 2×2 ribbing. Knit 20 rounds plain. Knit 6 rounds of seed stitch or 2×2 ribbing. Bind off and weave in ends. My bind off edge is a bit tighter than my cast off edge, which works well with a tapered cup. If you are planning to use these on cans or other non-tapered beverage containers, make sure you bind off loosely.

For a change, the cats were completely uninterested in all of this.

“Birds!” -Mayhem

“Darned screen. We could so get those birds… although since we are on the third floor, maybe the screen is a good thing.” -Chaos

Things that made me happy today

  • Gorgeous weather
  • Walking around Lake of the Isles, listening to Bake-Neko (my old ipod shuffle)
  • Taking a different route to my catsitting gig
  • Finding a used Leonard Cohen cd I didn’t have and have never heard
  • Identifying the record store clerk from his voice as a DJ on my favorite radio station
  • Buying a perfect iced soy mocha from Anodyne at 43rd and remembering how much I like that coffeeshop
  • Making a u-turn and going to Madwoman Foods, a relatively new gluten-free bakery (although they’ve been selling frozen items for a while)
  • Eating a piece of gluten-free carrot cake
  • Picking up one of their bumper stickers for my filing cabinet

  • Taking a picture of this posh treehouse, finally – I think you’ll have to click on the picture to see the circled satellite dish…

  • Watching May looking out the window while I wrote this

“I’m sure I could catch those birds if only this darn screen wasn’t here.” -Mayhem

  • Not having to go to work on Monday! 🙂

All work and no knitting…

…makes Chris a very dull blogger. So dull in fact (brace yourself, Jeanne), I’m going back to the Shepherd’s Harvest pictures again.

I bought some yarn while I was there – a ball of Trekking with bamboo (the same colorway that Jeanne and Renee bought) and 662 yards of laceweight silk that I’ll dye sometime when I’m feeling brave.

“I know that the minute I lunge in for a taste of this yarn, Mom’s going to snatch it away from me. Hmph.” -Mayhem

Just one more picture of that adorable black Shetland lamb…

…and of the baby pygmy goat. I think I would name him Oreo.

“Mmmm… baby pygmy goat. Tasty! Probably. Although maybe squirmier than my usual kitty food.” -Mayhem

I had no idea yesterday when I posted pictures of Mayhem’s ‘tocks that it would inspire others to post pictures of their kitties’ ‘tocks…

Rosemary is having a contest – the first person to guess what was added to the pictured drink for a photo shoot wins one of her lovely shawl pins (Designs by Romi). Contest ends by midnight PDT, May 27.

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone! My plans are to knit, read, catch up on bloglines, dye some yarn with Jeanne and Deb, get out for a walk or two, and just plain relax. See y’all Tuesday!

Haphazard Thursday

Deb likes to knit for babies, but there’s a baby shortage in her life. Rather than creating her own baby to knit for, she’s going to knit baby items to donate. But it’s hard for Deb to knit baby items without a specific baby in mind… so she decided to knit for Chloe and Morris’ baby and created the 24 Baby Knitting Shower. Drop by and leave her a comment if you’re interested in knitting along with her!

Do you read I Can Has Cheezburger? Don’t click unless you have a lot of time on your hands! (If you’re at work, please recognize that you will be giggling aloud. This may or may not be problematic.) Here’s one of my favorites – guess why! And here’s another.

How cool is it that there’s a community radio station in northern Minnesota called KAXE (pronounced K-AXE)? It’s eclectic and excellent and you can even listen to it online. Saturday night from 7 – 9 pm CDT, check out Green Cheese, an extremely fun call-in trivia show. Not all callers are entirely sober, but many have Fargo-worthy accents! (And hey, you can even buy sports bras emblazoned with their logo!?!)

Reading Update
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. Quite some time ago, Sachi sent me a first chapter excerpt of this book. I read it, but wasn’t that compelled to rush out and read the rest of the book. Finally picked it up from the library and decided that the first chapter doesn’t really do the book justice – it gets quite a bit better after that. It’s not world changing literature by a long shot and some aspects of the book are a bit predictable, but overall I enjoyed the read.
Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie. Kincaid and James again. 🙂

Gluten-Free Update
If you have celiac disease like I do, I highly recommend subscribing to Gluten-Free Living. (Although I’m horrified at how out-of-date their webpage is.) They do a great job of actually researching celiac disease’s urban legends, providing information about new research, keeping up with legislative developments, and reviewing new products. The Spring 2007 issue featured an article about gluten-free beers – I didn’t know that Anheuser-Busch was making a gluten-free beer (Redbridge)! I was familiar with Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist, which I actually tasted before those darn migraines convinced me to go alcohol free. (It was tasty – even my gluten-eating beer connoisseur brother agreed.) The same issue also mentions a few restaurants where it’s possible to get gluten-free pizza. Woo-hoo!

Knitting Update
Does anyone even remember that I knit? 😉 The laptop bag is knitted – I just need to sew it together and felt it. And I’m working on two different socks, but it was too darn dark last night to take decent pictures. Maybe tonight it won’t be stormy… although the forecast is inauspicious. Instead, shall we take another look at the lovely Mayhem and her cute ‘tocks?

“What? Yeah, so I’m flexible. I coulda been a gymnast! Or a master yogi.” -Mayhem

“I don’t know why you think this is so interesting…” -Mayhem

Abundance abounds

Local knitblogger Deb is thinking of opening an Etsy shop to sell her hand-dyed yarn. If you suggest a name for her store that she ends up using, you could win some of that same hand-dyed yarn. Leave your suggestions by June 4.

Had a good weekend up at the cabin with my brother and SIL and I even got a little bit of knitting done. Friday was 80F, sunny, and very buggy. It rained Friday night; Saturday was cloudy, breezy, and at least 25F cooler. Definitely fewer bugs. Sunday morning we awoke to lazily drifting snowflakes! Eeeeeeeek!!! No bugs, though.

I was one of numerous winners of Sachi’s birthday contest for my amazingly brief revised lyrics to Happy Birthday. Sachi sent me some of her gorgeous handspun (with beads!), a skein of Cascade Sierra Quatro (which I haven’t tried before), stitchmarkers, and some chocolate (not pictured). Thank you, Sachi!

“Is Neatnik reading? I know she likes pictures of my butt.” -Chaos

Local knitblogger Kelly sent Chaos and May some catnip mice that she made – you’ve already seen a couple of the pictures of how well the mice were received and you will see more, since one of the mice had Chaos cavorting like a kitten!

“Mmmm… stripey… Hey, wait a minute – I do not cavort. Whatever that means, I’m sure I don’t do it.” -Chaos

Check out what Kelly included for my refrigerator – thanks, Kelly!

Yesterday my Coffee Swap package arrived from (tragically blogless) Laura, who knows how to do an awesome swap package. She baked gluten-free biscotti for me and they’re very yummy! In the picture below, Chaos is trying to get into the bag of biscotti – no way, Chaos! Those are mine. Laura also sent me some Equal Exchange fair trade coffee, a wee bottle of wool wash, two balls of purple Jaggerspun wool silk and an Addi lace needle (with a note that she better see some lace on the blog soon…), dark chocolate truffles (not pictured…), black kitty statuettes, and stitchmarkers.

“I’m sure Laura meant to include a note that the biscotti were for me.” -Chaos

The stitchmarkers came in a cute necklace style bag, which will be very handy for holding markers as I need them… and keeping them out of harm’s (feline) way. There was one more blue kitty head marker that managed to evade the photo shoot.

The black cat statuettes are really cool, aren’t they? (No, I will not be getting another cat so I have a set that matches the statuettes!) Thank you so much, Laura!

8 things about Mayhem

Brenda tagged Mayhem for the seven (or eight) things meme. I know, I know – lots of people have tagged me. I’m sort of meme-adverse and I’ll just apologize in advance to anyone who tags me. But Brenda made a very good point that I have 100 Things about me, 25 Things about Chaos, and even 5 weird things about Chaos… and nothing for May! Oh dear. Bad kitty mom.

1. Mayhem is a chewer. Chew chew chew. Fortunately, she doesn’t chew on power cords (much) and has only chewed on books that I own. I’m pretty sure that the library frowns on fang holes in paperback covers…

2. Mayhem believes herself to be the dominant kitty around here. Chaos does not agree. There are some rather spectacular disagreements about this. None of these disagreements has changed her mind.

3. Mayhem likes to sprawl froglike underneath the kitchen chairs. I think it looks like she’s been squashed.

4. Mayhem has the softest fur I’ve ever petted. Her tummy is particularly soft. This results in me snatching her up to rub her tummy more often than Mayhem feels is appropriate.

5. Mayhem doesn’t purr very often. She purred a lot when she was a wee kitten, but at some point she started to only purr when “nursing” from Chaos. Since Chaos has her mostly “weaned,” she rarely purrs anymore. This makes me sad.

6. Mayhem likes to be near me and almost always follows me around to see what I’m doing.

7. Mayhem is fascinated by water. She likes to lounge about in the bathroom sink. (Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a white bathroom sink free of black fur when you have a sink kitty?!) Sometimes she falls into the shower with me. She doesn’t stay long!

8. Mayhem is indefatigable when playing fetch and her favorite fetch toys are little furry mice that rattle. None of her mice have tails – she either eats the tails off (see #1) or I cut the tails off so as not to add to tail collection in her stomach!

“This is an exceptionally nice nip toy! Mmmm…. nip.” -Mayhem

Goats and llamas and cats, oh my!

Ok, now that we gave Jeanne a little break (and besides, she’s asleep on a plane to Miami right now anyway), we can get back to my last few pictures from Shepherd’s Harvest. I present the baby pygmy goat:

Apparently, when he’s fully grown, he might be knee high. Awwww…. I wonder if the cats would notice him? Can you litter train goats?

Besides all the goats and sheep that are part of Shepherd’s Harvest, there was a second, simultaneous event going on at the Washington County Fairgrounds:

Sort of boggles the mind, doesn’t it? What sort of magic do you suppose llamas do? Coin tricks? Levitation? Sydney, as the only magicians I’m aware of reading this blog, could you or Rick help us out here?

While we all wonder about that, let’s move on to what you’re totally waiting for – baby llamas!!

At that point, Jeanne pulled me away from the pen, because apparently the mama llamas were not happy with my picture taking…

Wow, talk about baleful stares… Thanks for the heads up, Jeanne!

Here’s a little prelude to some kitty photos you’ll see next week.

“Hee hee – maybe I can eat off this mousie tail before Mom steals the tail from me!” -Mayhem

Have a great weekend, everyone! I am heading “up nord to da cabin” with my brother and SIL. I’ll try to get caught up Sunday night…