Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cozy Cavy Cave

It's cold outside, and I feel a little sad that our sweet little guinea pig has to sleep all by himself, while our family all piles under a plush down duvet. It's time for a homemade cuddle sack, I think.

Step 1: Find entertainment for three year old.
Step 2: Find suitable fabrics. Fleece is wonderful because it stays dry and it's cuddly. Plus, Oscar McSqueakerson has already shown his preference for fleece.
Step 3: Gather materials. Fleece for inside, coordinating cotton for outside, a strip of plastic for the pop-up entrance (no worries, all will become clear soon).

Step 4:  Fold your materials, then cut to your desired size. I made mine about 8 by 11. I figure he'll need a new one when he's full grown but this will work for now.

Step 5: Sew down the long sides of your materials, using a  slightly wider seam allowance for your inner pouch. Turn the outer pouch right side out, then slip it inside the inner pouch, so they are right sides together. Trim the seam allowances on the inner pouch. 

Step 6: Sew the tops of the pouches together, leaving a hole for turning.

Step 7: Turn and press (be careful pressing fleece, of course). Then, cut a thin strip of plastic about 1/2 inch shorter than your pouch. My strip is 1/2" wide. This basically just keeps the end of the pouch open so your piggy can climb in more easily.

Step 8: Sew a casing for your plastic strip, slide the strip in using the turning hole, then secure the ends of the plastic with a line of stitching. Be sure to have a little tension on the plastic (IE: if your plastic strip is 10 inches long, sew your securing stitches 9.75" apart) so it arches up and holds your pouch open.

Step 9:Sew your turning hole closed.

Step 10: Fill the pouch with timothy hay and watch your cavy dive in! Oscar McSqueakerson is frequently found sleeping in his pouch.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A New Chapter

Today I breathe a little easier. My road has been rocky the past few years, and nearly impossible to navigate early this summer. The past few months have been much easier, but I've redrawn my maps, and familiar places are brand new again, they look and feel different.

Today, though, a major road block has been overcome. There has been a constant threat that has prevented my full healing, but it seems that threat has lost its frightfulness, its power over me, and I no longer need to worry.

I took a deep breathe and looked around, and I liked what I saw. The road in front of me is full of light and hope and positive changes. My surroundings are comfortable and familiar again. I don't have the constant nagging feeling that the bottom is going to drop out at any moment, because no one has power over me except me.

This is likely to be my last post with the label "life lessons." It's been a summer full of change and learning, of discovery, heartache, love, hurt, and healing. Now, a new season begins in our life. That chapter is closing, and we begin writing our next adventure.

And now, as part of that new adventure, I'd like to introduce DP (Dear Partner), formerly known as POSSLQ. The internet is full of acronyms, and none are truly fitting, but Dear ______ is pretty standard in the blogging world, and the man I used to call POSSLQ is just that - dear to me, and my partner in all aspects.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cables & Hoods Notes

For knitting this pattern as one piece, some changes are needed.

After finally committing to a cast on number, I finished the 2x2 rib and started the cable set up round.  I realized about halfway through the back set up that my cables didn't match up to the rib, and that it would drive me nuts.  I decided to adjust the set up row, but after I did that, I realized it would make more sense to adjust the rib, so I'm restarting.

If I had this to do over, I'd adjust the center back cable (cable C) so it's a mirror image on itself.

Two weeks in, I'm finally making decent progress.  The cables are relatively simple, and right now it's just the monotonous straight part of the sweater.  I'm nearly halfway to the armpit decreases, which I assume is where all the fun will start...


CO 146, do 2x2 rib (start with p since it's a WS) for 38 stitches, PM, restart 2x2 rib.  You'll have 4 purl stitches together here.  Continue rib for 70 st, PM.  Restart 2x2 rib again, having 4 purl stitches together again.

Knit as shown for 1.5 in, slipping first stitch on each row, then start cable set up round.

I decided to chart the cables as a continuous chart so I could follow it easily.  Again, there was some modifications, since I used a size 3 on the fronts and size 1 on the back.

Decreases for arm:

Work R front panel to 14 in, Row 1 of cable E

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Tonight, I'm just amused. Sometimes people think they have a lot of control over others' lives. They say and do things to try to illicit reaction. I'm guilty of doing so myself.

Tonight, though, I realize that I've become mostly unshakeable. Information that was meant to hurt me actually did the opposite -it served to show me that my heart is mending, that my sense of humor has survived, that my relationship with POSSLQ is strong and resilient.

And speaking of POSSLQ, you'll see a new blog moniker for him soon. Maybe POSSHLS - person of opposite sex sharing heart life soul. Maybe something even better than that. We'll see. But in any case, I'm retiring the moniker POSSLQ.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Autumn Bounty

Autumn is my very favorite time of year. I love the crisp air, the mulched smell of decaying leaves, the bright sun and brisk breeze. I love the look of a frost-bitten garden and the long shadows on autumn afternoons.

For most people, autumn symbolizes the tucking in of the harvest, the start of the long, cold, dark seasons. For me, it's always been a time of renewal. Perhaps since my birthday falls just after the autumnal equinox, I feel my year starting anew just as everyone else's is winding to a close.

This year, autumn is especially poignant. My life started many new chapters this summer. I started a new job, as did POSSLQ. I found strength I never knew I had and am overcoming the trauma that shadowed my summer. My relationship feels brand new.  Even my car is new (to me). This fall it seems we are finally reaching some sense of normalcy, restoring balance to the upheaval of our life.

I've been stepping out to my garden with less frequency as the weather cools, and I made my final harvest today. It was wonderful to wander the rows and see every plant preparing itself for winter.
I was planning to harvest seeds, but one day I saw four birds
eating from this flower, and decided they needed them more than me!

My marigolds were beautiful this year, and look striking with deadened blooms and dried stalks.

The herb spiral, filled in very nicely.

Peppers I saved just before a hard frost. 

Dried beans. We only have about 1/3 of what I hoped for,
since most of our plants gotten eaten by rabbits.