Trouble in paradise

Meet Lani and Kai. Their names mean sky and sea, respectively, in Hawaiian. We thought it would be nice to make the “plain black kittens” seem more exciting by giving them exotic names. These two kittens are undersocialized, so they are going to need behavior modification work. I am concerned that they will also contract ringworm given that I still have 3 from the previous litter in the house (but in a separate room). They’ve got at least a month with me anyway given their current state of affairs.

Lani has lice. The nice thing about those bugs is that they are feline specific – people can’t catch them. I do have to keep her away from my cats until the Advantage has killed them all off or I will have a bigger infestation on my hands. I pretreated my cats just in case. She’s made progress since I picked her up on Tuesday. I’ve given her a spoonful of baby food once a day, and now she is ok eating and roaming around the room when I am in there.

Kai doesn’t have lice, or at least has too few for me to notice. He has really shiny, incredibly black fur. Lani is a little brown in comparison. Kai is more undersocialized than Lani as well. He hisses when I look at him. It’s really cute when a kitten that size hisses at you – he is so tiny, yet he thinks he’s fierce! I cannot resist kissing him when he gives me that angry hiss. He was very quick to warm up to baby food, so I am betting that by next week he’s going to think I’m not so bad.

At knit night, I cast on and finished a hat. I think it will fit a five-year-old kid. I just grabbed 2 partial balls of yarn from my stash, cast on 36 stitches onto size 10 3/4 dpns, and knit away. Carisa has a goal of knitting 5 of them – I think I can do that. Shoot, with big needles I can knit a ton of them. I am just going to knit hats until Carisa mails them off. Wow, what a great excuse for casting on tons of new projects! I love it when the world steps in to validate my addictions.

Charity knitting is a great way of getting rid of yarn in your stash that you just hate. Poor Linnea was given a gift of yarn several years ago. I never would have known that could be a bad thing until I saw this pile-o-nastiness. No one who has seen that yarn has liked it yet. And wouldn’t you know it, Linnea acquired this yarn in a big garbage bag. She loaned it to our friend Melinda who made a blanket from this yarn, but still there is a mountain of it left. I think the picture represents 1/4 to 1/3 of the leftovers. The nice thing about this project is that kids tend to like brightly colored things that adults consider hideous. She can make many, many hats and be rid of at least some of it. Maybe some of the others of us in the group should make some hats from that yarn too, just to relieve Linnea of the burden…

In any case, not all of the hats I will make will be ugly by my definition. I actually like my first hat, and I intend to crochet a hat from my favorite cheap yarn of all time. Currently I am planning to pair it with yarn I have leftover from a skirt I made last year before my anniversary cruise to Hawaii. That should make it nice and fast warm.

I’ve avoided talking about this for the whole post, but there is a reason I entitled this one “Trouble in paradise.” Blaze looks awful! I got pretty far on it after I finished untangling all of its yarn. I got to the neckline, used a smaller needle than the one I used for the rest of the body, reduced nigh on 100 stitches, and yet somehow when I cast off I discovered that the neckline is bigger than the rest of the sweater. I am going to graft the armpits closed, set up my explanation of what I found wrong with the pattern, then try to shrink that bugger. I am hoping this is an issue of blocking. Seriously hoping. My husband suggested I stop trying to knit sweaters for myself from patterns. This is my second attempt that went way awry. My first sweater was a pink cashmere/merino thing that was too big for me, but fortunately fit my aunt who happens to love pink. It’s still in the family. The odd thing is that when I design a sweater myself, it tends to fit the recipient well. I cannot believe that I can do a better job than people who have published their patterns. Maybe I really am just that hard to fit.

It’s a good thing that I view failure as a challenge. My next step is going to be to find a yarn that I fall madly in love with and knit it into a sweater of my own design for myself. That one will fit. Period.

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