Friday, July 27, 2007

I need a bigger lap

Is it starting to feel a little cooler in the earth's underbelly? I had three, yes, three adorable kitties sitting on my lap last night for more than 5 seconds. The clouds had parted, the angels were singing and kitties were tolerating each other (read - Xena was tolerating Purl and Ashford). It probably would have lasted all night had I not needed to eat. Thankfully, before I was loaded down with kitties, I had been surfing the net on my computer so I was able to capture the momentous occasion on the Mac's built in camera.

Not the best photo, but that's the best I can do with 3 cats on my lap. If you're playing along at home, that's Xena's side in the front, Purl's cute little mug in the left and Ashford's orange chiny chin chin on the right.

And I can't just post one cute kitty photo. Here's what happens when you leave a ball of orange yarn out on the table.All I can say is thank goodness I was home to witness this. The crazy little cat would have been in a bit of a bind...literally.

This past weekend, Mary and Phil finally tied the knot. It was a beautiful ceremony at my grandparent's farm. The weather decided to not act more like May than the middle of July, so it was an absolutely lovely day. There are more photos of the big day at their blog. Here's one from my camera.

That's the flower mob. Such a fine looking group all decked out in their polka dots.

After the wedding, Mary and Phil had invited their friends and family to join them on their RAGBRAI honeymoon. RAGBRAI is a week-long bike ride across Iowa. So, right after the reception, we jumped in the car and drove several hours to Rock Rapids, which is about as far northwest as you can get in Iowa without crossing the stateline into South Dakota.

On Sunday, we rode 77 miles from Rock Rapids with the other 15,000 cyclists to Spencer, and Monday, we rode 79 miles from Spencer to Humbolt. Unfortunately, after 2 days, I had to head back to Bartlesville, and even worse I left my camera with my parents, so I have no photographic proof, except for the photo of me that appeared in the Des Moines Register. I'm the rider in the orange on the left side of the photo. Next year, I'd like to ride for the entire week. There just wasn't enough time in 2 days to taste test all of the the wonderful goodies the towns along the way were serving. I did manage to eat a couple of Farm Boys breakfast burritos, vanilla milk shakes, homemade vanilla ice cream, a smoothie, one of the best monster cookies I've ever had, fresh-picked Iowa sweet corn, watermelon and a wonderful spaghetti dinner served by a local Catholic church. I can totally see how people gain weight while riding 450 miles in 7 days.

It was pointed out to me this week that Ironman Wisconsin is less than 50 days away. Yikes! If I survive the next two weeks, I'll be feeling pretty good. I'll be getting up early in the morning to ride 90 miles and then go on a 15 mile run Sunday morning. Good times. As a reward, I'll be heading to a fiber festival in Tulsa. I think that will give me an incentive to ride fast. I need to get there before all of the good stuff is gone.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that I finally got my invitation to join Ravelry. My username is LynnZimm. I still have a lot of work to do to upload my photos, but I'll get that done in my free time. :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Growth Spurt

I was away from my house for one night at a work retreat, and I swear the Purl and Ashford have doubled in size. Just two weeks ago, they were tiny little babies, and now they're so big. I wish there was a way to keep them tiny and cute. Although, I am looking forward to the day when they are able to jump up on to the couch without too much effort. I cringe every time I hear Purl latch on to the couch with her sharp little kitten claws.

I have some catching up to do on showing off my handiwork. And because the Purl and Ashford have learned that if the camera is on, they are supposed to be in front of it, the kittens will be modeling.

This is Purl with the Coopworth/Silk Blend my sister and my niece picked out at the Iowa Sheep & Wool Show. The colorway is Pandora's Box. So pretty!

This is the Ashford coyly showing off the first Monkey sock I've completed. I think it's taken me 4 months. I am amazed at the knitters who post the start photo on their blogs one day and have the finished pair the next. I need a lot more time, and three less kittens to be able to do that. The yarn is from Yarn Pirate in Crocus.

Such lovely yarn. The photo doesn't capture how cool the lime and purple colors look. I should be posting a photo of the second sock here sometime in November. By then I will have added at least 3 more skeins because I'm a member of the Yarn Pirate Booty Club. I can't wait for my first shipment! Hopefully, it will come before I head up to Iowa for my little sister Mary's wedding.

And finally, the next photo (minus kittens) is the Perchance to Knit superwash merino roving I spun for the Tour de Fleece. I really love how this turned out. The colors are so vibrant.

On the schedule for this weekend...I have a long bike ride and a long run, then I'm hanging out with the kitties and my spinning wheel.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


They're still not best friends, but there's more balance to the kitty harmony in my house today. I captured this moment and it involved very little hissing and swearing, with no signs of an impending smackdown. I see that as progress.

One Big Happy Family

Another sign of progress this weekend was that I am actually going to be able to spin without too many kitty interuptions.

I said, not too many interruptions. I did have to pay attention to make sure I didn't crush a little kitten paw. The spinning wheel is fascinating.

In honor of the Tour de France, I'm participating in the Tour de Fleece, a challenge to spin every day while watching the Tour.

So, I spun this:

It's superwash merino handpainted by Perchance to Knit. Merino is so soft and fun to spin. The finished product is hanging on the drying rack right now. I'll post a photo once I've skeined it. I also attempted to teach myself how to Navajo ply. It's a really cool technique, but I need a lot of work before I release it on my good wool. It gets really overtwisted. Maybe I'll make that one of my challenging mountain days.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Spinning, Kittens and Floods, oh my!

It's been quite the weekend a Chez Zimmerman.

First, it's about time to build an Ark. You might remember last year at this time that Oklahoma was on fire due to several years of drought conditions. Well, this year fire is not such a big concern. But the flood waters are. A good portion of Bartlesville is under water, including most of the roads that lead from my house to civilization. I can still get to work (the office is closed today due to the floods), but if I try to go to Tulsa, the mall or even the grocery store, there is currently a slight chance I might not make it home. The water is supposed to crest this afternoon, and more rain is predicted tonight. It could get interesting. Here's a photo of a road that is about 3 blocks from my house. I live on a hill, so I'm not so worried about it making it to my house, but I would like to be able to leave my neighborhood at some point.

As far as the ark goes, I'm doing my part to populate it with kitties. On Thursday, I adopted two absolutely adorable kittens. They are 8-week old sisters, a calico and a tortiseshell, I've named Purl and Ashford. They were named after two of my favorite hobbies, knitting (the purl stitch) and spinning (the brand of my spinning wheel). Meet the kitties:

This is a rare instance when they are sitting still. I had forgotten how hard it is to take photos of kittens.

Xena is not so happy about the kittens moving in. They haven't officially met yet since the kittens are living in my bathroom as step one of the introduction process, but she knows something is up. As she walks by the bathroom on her way to my bedroom, she likes to stop at the door and hiss at it. I'm a little concerned about the face-to-face meeting.

Xena sits in the cat cave to express her displeasure.

They look like kittens, but I'm concerned Purl might be part puppy. She's quite good at fetch.

Finally, this is the last weekend the kittens will be contained. I realized that once they're free to roam the house anything to do with fiber/yarn will be much more difficult, since I'll probably have several paws helping me with it. So, I spent the weekend working on my spinning skills. I received my first fiber club delivery last week from Spunky Eclectic. Absolutely beautiful stuff. It's Blue Faced soft and it has a beautiful sheen. This is how it looked before spinning.

I'm actually really happy with how it turned out. I still need a lot of work on being able to maintain a consistant size and tension, but it still looks cool.

Xena liked the fiber too.