By Sweetie, Chronicler of all things Grammy and Mischief Extraordinaire
You all must know by now that our Grammy is a knitter. If you didn't this is where you can get more than you'll ever want to know about it. *giggles*
First off, Grammy tends to go overboard with things. These 'things' started when she was young. For example. First was it was books and classical records. and those would be books by a particular author or on a specific subject. Music was mostly Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, Chopin and Haydn. Music she could do homework with or study. Oh my! She had quite the collection. Over last 25 years she has downsized considerably but even so she still has a sizable library of books and CDs... more suited for her small condo. Has she read all these books. Well, probably not all, but a good many. The music is listened to regularly... though when she is lazy she puts the classical radio station on and let's them do the work.
Then, she got into fostering kitties, starting with 2 rescued kitties which over time grew to a maximum of 11 fosters at any one time. From there she started writing biographies for the rescue organization after which she was pulled into doing interviews of prospective adopters and making decisions on who could or couldn't adopt based on the rescue's policies. Well, let's say this... The final result was us! A little overprotective when she couldn't give us up to other adopters.
Well, she's done something similar ... this time with knitting. Grammy watched her own Grammy knit when she was a child but started crocheting and knitting as a young adult. This was put on hold for years at a time to allow for university years, career, aging parents. Then in the early 2000s out came the hooks and needles and those on-hold items were finished off and donated to charity.
Having gotten the bug again and wanting to supplement her soon-to-be pension she made the decision to open an Etsy shop - since closed. What orders come in actually are by word of mouth now. Yes, we kitties are expensive and a little extra income would really help with food and vet bills. BUT, then things got crazy or should we say, Grammy went crazy?
She found a few patterns she liked, knitted them up and during the first few years put them into the shop. Sales came in slowly but steadily and for the first year or two she did okay. No fortune but a little extra.
Yarns Grammy liked weren't necessarily what customers liked so Grammy started visiting yarn shops - both on-line and in the neighbourhood to add variety to her 'stash'... acrylics, alpaca, silk, linen, bamboo, merino, highland wool, baby llama, cashmere, combinations of same and the list goes on. Why, you ask? Because everyone has likes and preferences and what Grammy liked a client might not whether colour, weight, yarn type. Variety would give more options and hopefully more clientele. But note this - the only thing she refuses to knit is cotton.
The old girl has an absolute love of multicoloured yarns too so a plethora of solids, tweeds, self-striping, colour blends (aka colourways), variegated, and so much more found their way to Grammy Ds Knitting Bag. Well, bottom line before you know it she had bins - yes, 20 bins of yarn.
She did the same with her accessories. She added to what she already had - needles in all sizes: bamboo, steel, aluminium, double-pointed, straight (not a favourite), circulars, interchangeables. Then there were the open markers, ring markers, cable needles, working yarn holders, measuring tape, blocking mats and pins, a yarn swift and yarn winder and a hamper to hold the current project(s). Oh, and buttons - yes, all kinds of buttons for the various sweaters and other projects in her plans. The woman went nuts.
You might ask, Does she use all of these and the answer is a resounding YES! Over time she is using them. Of course she has her favourites: the interchangeable circulars - both in steel and in wood - wood for slippery yarn and steel for textures and the others all have their purposes which we won't bore you with today. But trust us, she uses them. We steal them and she scolds us. *giggles*
Over these dozen years and more, yarn has come in, been used, projects have been started and completed, a few started and put on hold. Some were sold, others donated and others given away.. And then there is the yarn that has come and sat and a few projects have been started and left partially finished and still more yarn coming in leaving Grammy and her knitting in a mess.
Yes, a major mess. Yarn was tossed willynilly into bins. - OH, and then there were two large donations of yarns for her volunteer knitting projects - another BIG Bin and another BIG Obsession!
So, where has that left us? In a major jumble.
Thus, while we have all been in quarantine or lockdown or whatever you want to call it Grammy has decided to use the time to get herself organized or at least somewhat.
Anyone know about Ravelry? It's a knitting site where you can organize yourself, save patterns you like, keep track of yarn, meet up with other like-minded crafters, see what others are making, and match patterns to yarns and ORGANIZE your own 'stuff'.
There are multiple pages - one for yarn (called STASH)- we love the name. Another for projects - where you can track yarn in use to an appropriate pattern and track your progress through to completion along with photos. Another for accessories - to keep track of the needles, hooks, etc. You can make friends, join like-minded groups and so much more. AND many of the patterns are free - another bonus.
Well, Grammy has finished setting up her NOTEBOOK with the pages for STASH and PROJECTS. That is, projects completed, others started but unfinished and those in snooze-mode while she catches up with the ones partially done. AND the designated yarns for these snoozed and future planned projects are organized in designated bins with their patterns while unassigned yarns are organized by type in other bins. Still to go are the pages for PATTERNS, QUEUE and LIBRARY. As we said - somewhat organized - for now.
So where does that leave Grammy? Well, she has about 300 projects completed (each listed once but anywhere between 1 and 100 items of the same type knitted eg. scarves, slippers, hats), 5 projects in the works, 6 more designated to start as soon as these are done and 6 snoozed projects to follow those. That's 17 projects lined up... at anywhere from 70% completed to identified but not started as yet. THEN there is the 5 plus kilometers of yarn waiting in the wings for projects yet to be determined. At least now she knows what, when, and where. All she needs now is the how!
How is she ever going to complete everything? And HOW are we going to keep her from buying more yarn? Well, the knitting is up to her and since she knits every day we think she'll finish those listed ones. But we've confiscated the credit card and 'Stashed' it. *giggles* And we aren't telling her where.
The problem is that she keeps finding new patterns she'd like to make and they get downloaded and filed in a binder or added to her QUEUE page to be made when everything else is completed... and the list is long. AND no, we don't think she'll ever get through all those.
Oh, and the plan to supplement her income to pay for our care? OUT the WINDOW! If anything, she's spent more than she has made on her knitting supplies. Why? Because she doesn't like to charge people, prefers to make things she chooses to work on and then ends up giving away a lot of what she knits. Silly Grammy!
And in all these years of knitting what has she made for us? One knitted mouse, two crocheted blankets, and two goofy hats.
For those interested click here for a video of what she's completed and for future go to her Facebook page GrammyDsKnittingBag.
Happy Birthday Etude and Rondo
By Etude & Rondo - the handsome birthday boys.
Tomorrow Rondo and I, Etude, turn 9 years old. We thought we'd take a page from Seville's blogs. 9 years, or 3285 days, or 78,840 hours, 4,730,400 minutes EACH. We won't go into minutes or seconds because we were all born at different times of the day.
Now, that is a lot of hours to live with Grammy. A lot! So, we had to come up with strategies to do so. For the first 18 months life was easy, full of fun and companions to play and sleep with. We had a revolving door of other kitties - kittens, moms, bachelors - to cuddle with, play with, sleep with, get into trouble, oops change that to mischief with. That's over 4700 hours that we pretty much ignored Grammy, did what we wanted leaving around 65,700 hours.
65,700 hours of dealing with a Grammy who controls our food, yells at us for picking on the girls and gets upset when we scratch furniture and walls. Thankfully, we have perfected the ignoring Grammy techniques. What are those techniques, you ask?
Well, here goes:
Sleeping: 56,700 hours We sleep as much as possible, on beds, on chairs, in Whiskers' marshmallow, under the duvet tent, in the closet, all kinds of places... every single one of which is totally soft, warm, and comfortable. That still leaves us with 9,000 hours.
'Playing' with the Girls' Necks: 900 Not that many when you calculate it over our lifetime. Of course, Grammy says even 1 hour biting girls' necks in a lifetime is too many but hey, we have to entertain ourselves somehow. And when you break it down further that's only 300 hours for each girl over 9 years... only about 5 minutes a day. Not so bad in our estimation. That means they each have 23 hours 55 minutes of peace every day. We'd work out some of those bitey necks on Grammy but she is bigger than us and controls our food. And speaking of food...
Eating: 6,300 You know that Grammy gives us a lot of flack for being chubby boys, but truly... Look at the numbers. That's less than an hour a day when broken down over the years. AND the old girl monitors our food so even if you did think it is a lot, the food doled out is minimal, minuscule and paltry. She practically starves us. We are wasting away.
Cuddling Grammy: 1600 (Well, we cannot ignore her completely. Don't want her to think we don't appreciate her!) When you look at the stats you can see we are cuddle deprived. Yes, we get less cuddle time than each of the girls get bitey-neck time. That isn't much... and we think we deserve MUCH MUCH MORE!
Of course, we would be more demanding of Grammy's time if we weren't so darned considerate. We have to leave Grammy periods in the day for herself to do the dishes, clean the condo, pay the bills, make our meals, supervise the girls' meals (and they take a lot of supervising) and knit.
Now, if you've been calculating as we go you'll notice there is a discrepancy here of 200 hours... and those are VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. Those are our birthday hours. Yes, every year we get just 24 hours to celebrate our birthdays and we have to make the most of them.
AND in case you hadn't heard...TOMORROW is our 9th Birthday! Yahoo!
Grammy put together a slide show for us but something happened and it won't let her edit it to add, remove and reorder some of the photos.. We apologize that it is too long.
Comments are welcomed.
Mischief and Mayhem Adventures
by Sweetie, mischief maker extraordinaire
Good afternoon dear friends.
As mentioned in our last blog I will share a few episodes of our adventures with you.
As you know the boys, Etude & Rondo, pick on Mousie when they are in teasing mode... and that happens often. You may remember Mousie has a beau. Little Boy Cat has passed on but before this happened the boys tormented the couple. You can read about one episode in three parts: Invasion of the Interlopers, the Plan and The Plan Goes Awry.
Whiskers, the Matron of Mischief, not to be outdone by the younger cats decided to have an adventure. Read it in four blogs listed here:
Austria: Here I come
Austria II: Home at Last
Austria III: The Adventuress Returns
Austria IV: Home Hum!
We hope you'll enjoy reading (or rereading) our blogs. Have a wonderful day, dear friends... and we'll see you next week.
Comments are welcomed.
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.