Conversations with Cats

Sometimes cats talk with me. Don’t ask me how. I’m far too committed a rationalist to claim psychic powers, and I know cats don’t speak English. Nonetheless, it happens. Just last week, Damian asked a perfectly intelligent question about the availability of free government pamphlets on trout farming. Several times I’ve heard Archy using a French accent to murmer innuendo to his favorite throw pillows.

Last night, Bea and I had the following exchange.

Bea: This summer, let’s get Sparky swimming lessons.
Me: I don’t know. I don’t think he’d like going in the water.
Bea: That’s okay. I could push him.

And on the Knitting Front

I’m almost to the end of my third ball of Malabrigo on the Clementine Shawl. Once I finish in the next day or so, I’ll be taking a trip to my LYS, so I can have someone look over my shoulder and coach me as I graft it. I can follow printed instructions for Kitchener stitch, but I’m not yet completely confident about tension and the like—and I don’t want to mess this project up.

I’m also about three-quarters of the way done with a new, larger Easy Triangular Shawl in Noro Blossom color 19 (courtesy of Little Knits). This pattern has a crochet cast-off that makes a little, loopy fringe, and I’m thinking of switching to a very drapey, purple-brown rayon I’ve got in the stash (I think it’s rayon—I don’t have it in front of me) for that part, which should be easier to manage with the crochet hook and have a more graceful line. I’ll wait to move on to this last bit until I’ve has a chance to consult with Melissa because I trust her eye for color.

Last week, when I was sharing pictures from Jo Sharp Knit 3 I’d noted that my back-and-forth stockingette can get a bit wunky. Well, I played with it some over the weekend (in between writing placement tests), and I’ve figured out a way to improve things. I knit continental style and had been bringing my needle over the yarn, then drawing it through the loop; if I bring the need under the yarn and sort of scoop it through the loop, my stitches come out much more neatly. Having discovered this, I’m in a transitional phase just now, using my over-the-top method for projects already underway (luckily, none of these have big stretches of stockingette), but starting to switch the the scoop-it-up technique as I begin new pieces. It feels a bit awkward, but is well worth the effort of re-teching myself in terms of the quality of the finished project.

And in closing, let me share this picture of Damian, hard at work putting the cat in catatonic.
Damian puts the CAT in catatonic.