The tree is naked

I had to happen, and it has. A moment of panic has snuck its way into my glorious sense of peacefulness around the holidays, and this morning I had a minor freakout and revised the spreadsheet, adding a few items, and moving a few items around, and then we went and bought a tree.  It’s sitting in the living room now, completely naked and awaiting the time to trim it, and I hope that’s tonight, because I think having a brightly lit, sparkling tree in the living room will do a lot to make me feel like I’ve got a grip on the season.  Realistically, it’s only one small item off the list, but it’s a significant one.  (A few wrapped gifts to put beneath it would really help, but that’s just crazy talk.)

What did Luis hang today?

Our little Lou has had a love affair with our cat Millie for some time now.  When he arrives at our house she’s the first thing he looks for.  He runs around the house, calling her name (which comes out “Mi-yee”) and filling his pockets with cat food so that when he finds her, he can try to buy her love. Millie, who’s an older cat with good manners, does not return Lou’s love in any way, shape or form, and as a matter of fact (and despite the bribes) hightails it to a secret location the minute he comes through the door.  Lou doesn’t perceive this as rejection (which it totally is) and instead views it as challenge.  He and I go for a hunt for her, and when she’s found he gives her his pocket cat treats, watches her eat them, and squeals with delight.

If a cat could roll her eyes, Millie would.  I try to help her out by limiting Lou’s access to that one brief interaction, but it has done nothing to dim his love. Mi-yee is significant to Lou, and so she went on his calendar, and surprise, surprise, it’s what he picked today. I love watching his wee priorities revealed in his choices.

millie 2014-12-04

I toyed around with the idea of a knitted cat (this pattern was high on the list) but I had a specific idea about how it should look, and felt turned out to be the better answer.  Like with the truck, I cut a cat shape out of felt. (I can draw, but if you can’t you could trace something from here – just be nice about not stealing art, make sure it’s a free image.) I embroidered the top layer, and then sewed it to the back one. (That hides the mess on the wrong side.) A smarter crafter would have embedded the hanger in the seam, but sadly, I am not that crafter. I sewed it to the back.  If know not many of you will want a Millie for your tree, but wouldn’t any representation of the family pet be sweet? (There’s some free patterns here.)  By the way, I had trouble with the mouth, so I left it off. No harm, no foul.

Gifts for Knitters, Day four

Dear Non-knitter who loves a knitter,

This one is not for all knitters. There are knitters who have a big attachment to project bags and project baskets, and this isn’t for them. This one is for knitters who like to knit from yarn wound into balls – and would like a little more control over said balls. (It’s also mostly for knitters who like to sit in one place while they work. If your knitter trucks their knitting all over creation eighty-four times a day, they might not be into it. These knitters may want a yarn bowl.  Yarn bowls are – well, they’re bowls, but bowls with a notch or swirl cut into it to guide the yarn, and they’re handy for keeping yarn from rolling all over the place when you pull another length free. The yarn sits there, tidily, without rolling under the couch and collecting every little bit of cat hair or dust that those of us with a less than heroic commitment to vacuuming appreciate.  There’s all sorts of them. Some are ceramic, some are ceramic with birds on, (this one has birds too) some are wood, and (rather excitingly, for those of us who love wool) some are felt.  If you’re handy, and you have a dremel, you could make one for your knitter. They’d love that. You should pick one that suits your knitters home and taste, and frankly, the size of their balls.