Sunday, July 25, 2010

She's here!!

Where to start with my Princess?? Is it just enough to say she's here? Otherwise, this is the whole story:

There are 80 units in my complex, the first two levels have garages, and level 2 garage has a door into the lift vestibule and a long corridor that eventually leads to my front door.

Well I have the world's smallest job: I let tradesman into the building and show them where they need to be working. All sorts, the electricians, our handy man, the tree loppers, you get the idea.

Well, the committee one day said, "Lorna there's kittens in the garages in Level 2".
"Really? Kittens?"
"Yes and their mum. Feral cat and her feral kittens, I've seen them, mother cat with kitten in her mouth - definitely cat and kittens"
"And you need to get rid of them - you know take them to the pound, that sort of thing - you know, get rid - rid of them"

..OK, rang the pound, who DON'T take feral cat families - no they suggested I catch and release them in the bush (Honestly - They. Did!)
rang the RSPCA - they will take them but are an hour away.
Then I found out there are people who will come and kill them all for me - Honestly who would WANT a job like that??
Then I Googlefooed feral cats, then I rang our strata manager and told him all our options, and asked if I could approach our local vet and see if they would provide veterinary services for us (worm, vaccinate the kittens and treat Mum humanely). Yes he said. Yes she said. Now all to do was warn all our residents to NOT frighten, chase or in any way bother them, until they were big enough to go off to the vets. They had food, water and a toilet, and the kittens were too small to use the exit through the broken louvres, up too high for them. One by one I was able to trap the kittens - all five of them, then Mum, who I'd already christened Princess, she deserved a name, a fabulous mother and a beautiful cat - who hissed and growled at me daily - couldn't fool her - she knew I was about to steal her gorgeous kittens. I cried! I begged the vet nurse to beg the vet to spay Princess and let her go, she's a beautiful cat, a survivor, a champion, fearless and nothing is her fault, she is healthy and deserves to live, she would have been the first kitten to go at a pet shop, a very pretty kitty.

I couldn't bear to think she couldn't be saved. I spoke to many of the residents, some thought my cat whispering skills are a mysterious gift, others commiserated at the cruelty and thoughtlessness that got poor princess into such a position.

Then yesterday came I knock at my door. She's just come back from the vets (annual jabs for her dog) and saw a photo of our kittens and Princess!! they believe she was dumped, some time ago, is about two years old and was social enough to be rehomed.

They have stuffed her full of food, she's twice the size she was when I took her there a couple of weeks ago and she's been jabbed, spayed, de fleaed and really healthy.

Well Princess is in the bathroom, with her food, toilet, blanket and won't come out. I kept her in there with the door shut (that feral cat site was great), door's open, she stepped out and decided she'd seen enough of the world and is back on her blanket, thank you very much, but ain't moving. She purrs when I pat her, I have to close the door or she's too scared to enjoy her food.

So I have a semi-feral cat called Princess living in my bathroom. And Anthea wanted a photo, and I took one without a flash and she moved her head as I was taking it... the.. the... ccccc..ccamera... mmmmmade a noise!!! scary stuff indeed for a reprieved princess!

Now... where did I put that link for a cat bed....

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bag Lady Mitts

Edit: seeing as someone may want to adapt them, I've put in better instructions.
I used the long tail cast on over the two 4.00mm needles - nice and stretchy.
Cast off very loosely, with the 5.00s or 5.5 if you have them handy, especially if you want to fold back the tops, it's too uncomfortable otherwise.

After the stunning success of the fingertipless gloves, I decided to make a pair with ribbing to cover my fingers, using the same basic pattern. I fiddled around with them a little bit and the wrap and turn short rows really is perfect.

Needles: 4, 4.5 and 5mm
Wool: 2 x 50g ball of 12ply (worsted)
Fits: my big hands 23cm/9" around the knuckes (40 sts) (if you require a smaller size, do 32 or 36sts and rows should work out within a row or so - try them on and adjust as necessary).

If I made them again, I may even do one wrap and turn on the second row:

C/0 40 STS ON 4.00 2:2 RIB 16 rows

in stst. Knit 1 row.
** optional: put in a short row here:
work to 10 sts w&t; purl 20 sts, w&t, continue knitting in the round, this will be counted in the increases, so increase 1 st as if you were knitting in the round. **

Inc 1 st ev 2nd row 10 times (50 sts). Increased section is on the palm side.

Right: Knit 2 sts on scrap, turn purl 2 sts, knit 2 over the scrap, slip next 10 st on scrap or stitch holder, continue on 40 sts.

Left: 12 sts from your increase ridge, slip 10 sts onto scrap, knit 2, turn, purl 2 on scrap. Knit over 2 scrap stitches, continue on 40 sts.

Work 2 rows

Next row: knit 15 sts, Japanese W&T  purl 30sts W&T

Next row: knit 25 sts, Japanese W&T purl 20st W&T

Knit next row, picking up the loops from the W&T k2tog then SSK, keeping the loop behind the stitch. around to maker.

Knit one row

Continue in 2:2 rib
on 4.50mm work 14 rows.

Thumb: P/U 16, dec 1 st in divide line (ssk/ K2tog) dec ev 2 rows to 13 sts, knit 2 rows, cast off.

And the really nice thing is you can fold them back when you want to do stuff and roll them down to keep warm.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Bag Lady Gloves - Fingertipless Gloves

Last winter I bought some 12ply Classic wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills back room in 50g balls for fingerless gloves. I started them, they were way, way too big, then by the time I fiddled around with them, I ended up putting them in a plastic bag and chucking them in the too hard basket.

Now winter has returned. It's cold. I'm cold and I have no fingerless gloves in warm wool. Ripped them back and tried trusty Ravelry and found a men's pattern in roughly the right ply - nope it didn't work. I know I'm a large framed person, and honestly men's medium should fit - nope too small. but gave me a good inbetween to aim for... and here they are in all their ripped and redid glory:

2 x 50g 12ply wool
4.00mm needles
5.00mm needles

C/0 40 STS ON 4.00mm 2:2 RIB, Work 16 rows
Continue on 5.00mm in stst. knit 4 rows.
Inc 1 st ev 2nd row 10 times (50 sts) - palm side, put a marker in but keep the increases in line.

Knit 3 sts on scrap, turn purl 3 sts, and slip the 10 sts increased onto holder. Knit over the scrap, continuing around (40 sts)

Work 4 rows.
My little finger in gloves is always too high, so here's how I solved it:

Little Finger: 8 sts; 8+4; from the needles, add 4 sts in the middle, knit 8 rows or adjust length, cast off.
When restarting, there are 5 or 6 loops to pick up, k2 tog or SSK on each side - 3 sts remain from the little finger.

knit 4 rows.

Ring Finger : 14st 4/3/4 st plus 3 in the middle. Knit 9rows. When rejoining, there will be 4 loops, k2tog on edges. 2 sts remain, cast off.

Middle finger: 16st: 6/2/6/2: Slip the first 6 and last 6 sts plus 2 from ring finger add 2 on, knit 13 rows , cast off.

Index Finger: 14 sts: 12/2: 12 remaining sts plus 2 from middle finger, knit 11 rows, cast off.

Thumb: pick up 16 sts: K2tog or ssk any stray loops picked up on the edges. K2tog (or SSK, to match side increase line), on the first knit round (also the stray loop pickup row - so actual count is 15sts after first round), then ev 2nd row, dec along that line (outside), to 12 sts, work one row, cast off.

Stitch counts:

Cuff: 40sts; 2:2; 16R

Hand, 4R; +1st ev 2R 10x
Little: 12; 8+4; 8R

Ring: 14; 4+3+3+3; 9R

Middle: 16; 6+2+6+2; 13R

Index: 14; 12+2; 11R

Thumb: 16 to 12sts over 8 rows