I’m afraid this may be a visually boring week, as Melissa and I didn’t get together and I wasn’t able to take advantage of her artist’s eye and digital camera. She’s painting like crazy for a show she has coming up in Mill Valley that will feature her landscapes. Meanwhile, I spent the weekend here in Santa Cruz, assisting with negotiations among the members of my newly expanded cat household. We still have some hissing going on, but it’s getting much more pro forma. Saturday night, I imagined writing up minutes: “Let the record state that Bea wanted to sniff Sparky’s butt, but Sparky objected, tabling the activity until an unspecified date. On at least sixteen occasions, Penny raised the issue of not being allowed outside, repeatedly labeling Sarah-Hope’s references to her stitches [the vet found out the hard way she’d already been spayed] irrelevant.”

I wish that I could show you my lovely Wrapped in Comfort malabrigo shawl. I worked on it Friday night at a stitch-along at The Golden Fleece. The owners had the swatches out for the entire malabrigo line, which was both thrilling and frustrating: thrilling because I could touch everything, but frustrating because the swatches are so short they don ‘t really give a clear sense of any of the colorways. In a masterful enabling ply, Carol, one of the owners, said, “I can get you all the malabrigo you want. Just give me a list of the colors and how many skeins of each.” Oh, it will be a long list, I can tell you that, but I have made a promise to myself that I will not hand off the list to Carol until I have saved the money to pay for the yarn when it comes in. Meanwhile, I will be visiting the malabrigo web site and drooling uncontrollably (the cats may have to start wearing little Wellies).

Drops Designs has some great new (free!) patterns up. This cardigan looks comfy as all get-out, and I appreciate the complete absence of areas of stockingette wasteland. This jacket is a bit longer than I’d like (and the bustline bobbles have to go), but again cozy, cozy, cozy—and decorative enough to dress up or down. And here’s a pretty little shrug.

Take a minute to check out the Turkish Delight Hat at Black Purl. The genius of Donna Druchunas‘s design is that she’s taken a traditional mitten pattern and transformed it into a hat, which opens up all kinds of possibilities for those of us who are “thumb phobic” (or just too lazy to work a thumb). I may soon be wearing Hello Yarn’s squirrel mittens on my head.