Batu and Ella Make a New Friend

We have been very fortunate that in all our years in Singapore, we’ve always had someone stay with our cats. This summer, we are fortunate to have a kind and responsible friend who will stop by each day to care for them and give them some attention. Still, in my heart I felt sad because our cats are very social. I knew they would be lonely.

Yesterday something wonderful happened. We found a wonderful playmate for our cats. One of Kent’s colleagues just moved into our condo complex.  She has an elementary-aged daughter whom I will call E and a pre-school son.  Her daughter is going to come over to play with the cats this summer.

Our first year here I was able to arrange for a colleague’s daughter to care for the cats when we were on short trips.  My cats sleep around 18 hours per day, so they really don’t need someone here all the time.  I decided I would pay her x amount per visit, and she could visit up to four times per day.  It turned out to be a great deal for both of us.  She was an animal lover who really enjoyed the time with the cats. Even my timid Kapas eventually came out from hiding to be with her. I am hoping this new arrangement will work out as well.  I am thinking it will.

Last night E came over to meet the cats.  As usual, Batu was hesitant at first, wanting to watch her a bit to make certain she was safe.  Ella warmed up to her right away, especially when she brushed Ella’s coat. Ella loves to be brushed.

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E was a real trooper. She gamely tried each different way we suggested of playing with Batu.  Batu was clearly interested but not yet comfortable enough to play.  Here E is trying to entice Batu to play by tempting her with a toy in her playbox under the coffee table.  (Ella watches on from the coffee table.)

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As you can see, she had Batu’s attention but Batu wouldn’t play.

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Eventually, Batu did play for a few moments, much to E’s delight.

Later, E  spent time with her in the bedroom. As long as I wasn’t in the room, Batu would snuggle with her.  It’s almost as though Batu doesn’t want to hurt our feelings by being too friendly with other people.  Or, she’s not willing to let us feel less guilty for leaving her.

E stayed for quite a while. Since our two cats don’t hang out together, E kept going from one to the other.  Soon, they were following her.   The best sign came when E left. We walked her part way home.  When we came back in the condo, Batu was in the entry way. Rather than greet us, she was staring past us to see where E was.

E returned today with cat treats she had purchased with her own money.  Batu really isn’t interested in treats, but Ella was delighted. She licked her lips with relish after each treat.

My heart is no longer sad.  I am grateful that E, who took great care of her own pet bunny, will bring joy and comfort to my cats this summer.

P.S. E had been caught in a downpour which is why she is looking a bit soggy.

Queen of the Stash

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I accidentally organized my stash yesterday.  I went diving into one of the bins for a skien of yarn. Four hours later it was all photographed, entered into Ravelry, and organized by weight into bins and bags.  Pretty impressive for a task I didn’t know needed doing.

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I knew it already but if you scroll through the photos of my entire stash, there is a preponderance of blues, greens and purples because those are MY colors.  There are also a lot of tans and browns, because I often wear tan or khaki pants and needs socks to wear with them.

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I also found some yarns I can destash. I sold a box of cotton yarn at work on Thursday and other people expressed interest, so I’ll put an ad on Marketplace, our mail group at work.

In any case, it will be nice to be able to sort my stash by size or color whenever needed. Should also help when I am home this summer.  Either I will buy skeins to hold with some of my fingering weight yarn, or I’ll buy worsted skeins and sell some of my fingering.  I find that I don’t want to invest the time knitting socks out of 100% merino yarn.  The pairs I have knit out of that have not worn well enough to justify the effort.  However, people knitting scarves, gloves, mittens, etc. could make good use of it.

Of course, as I started to make up the flyer to sell yarn at work, I found I didn’t want to part with it.  Ideas began to niggle about what it could become. However, I will be strong.  It felt good to clean out closets last weekend.  Now that stash is done, it is time to tackle medical claims and filing.  Just the thought of it makes me want to take a nap.

On a different note, isn’t it nice we purchased an ottoman for our cat?

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She was a bit annoyed when I covered it with laptop and yarn last night while I organized the stash.

FOs and WIPs

The week after school let out, Kent and I went to Ubud, Bali. We stayed at Ketut’s Place. Our room had a huge lovely balcony that reached out over a steep ravine and a rushing river. I spent each morning out there knitting. It was bliss.

Early morning on our balcony

On that balcony, I finished my purple Lacy Mock Cable socks.

Lacy Mock Cable socks in Cherry Tree Hill
They are knit in Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in the amethyst colorway. I made them longer than usual because instead of knitting a gauge swatch, I just jumped in.
Lacy Mock Cable Socks

After a few inches I decided I wanted to go down a needle size but rather than frog it, I decided to let the bigger needle part act as shaping. The socks fit really well. In part that is because I finally realized that if I pick up extra gusset stitches, the foot part will be too loose. It also helped that this stitch pattern is stretchy. It made a good traveling sock

I also finished my Pretty Comfy socks.

Pretty Comfy
The yarn is Cascade Fixation. I don’t remember which colorway, but I like it.

I tried a rounded toe but my formula wasn’t right and after 3 tries I gave up and knit my standard wedge toe. Thanks to the way the pattern dissolves into the stockinette toes, it makes a pretty toes. I tried three times to kitchner the toes closed and couldn’t do it so I gave up. The next day, I finished both toes in 15 minutes. Go figure.

As on the Lacy Mock Cable socks, my only mods were to use a heel-flap instead of a short row heel. I know they aren’t as pretty but they fit so well and are so comfortable.

Pretty Comfy

In any case, these turned out lovely and I may have to make a pair for me.

On that same day, I cast on for Cookie A.’s Monkey.

Monkeys by Cookie A

I’m using my Pagewood Farms Yukon which is a merino, bamboo, nylon mixtures. It feels buttery. I wanted to cast on before I was on the plane back to Singapore.

I’m not as far as I expected to be because although I brought them on the long flight to the US, I actually slept a bit which is rare for me on flights. As a result, I’m only this far.

I did bring them to run errands, and made lots of mistakes because I don’t know the pattern well enough, so I cast on for a pair of ‘Vog on socks using Plymouth Happy Feet yarn. (Color is more accurate in first photo.)

Vog on

'Vog on

I’m not certain this was a good call for this yarn. I’d thought the yarn was solid enough, but between the variegation and the darkness of the color, the pattern is being lost, and although it is a simple pattern, I have to look at it so it isn’t good when I am with other people.

Then I decided to knit my mom a pair of socks. She picked out a truly lovely yarn. It is Dream in Color Smooshy in the Bermuda Teal colorway.

Diagonal Rib Sock

I’m using Ann Budd’s Diagonal Ribbed sock pattern. It is an easy to memorize pattern but I also need to watch the stitches I’m knitting. It is a real bugger to rip out due to the diagonal stitches.

And as long as I’m knitting patterns that require me to watch what I’m knitting, I cast on for the Sumac Leaf Shawl.

Sumac Shawl

It is a worsted weight shawl and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’m using Lamb’s Pride worsted. I just started the fourth repeat.

Sumac Shawl

It is beyond good to be home visiting my family. I haven’t seen any friends yet. I need to rectify that next week. The only bad part about being here is being away from the cats. Here is Kapas in her favorite place for an evening nap.

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That cubby is on the bottom shelf of our bookcase. That puts her near to us on the sofa.

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Sick Cats and Questionable Photography

I’ve been sitting here on the couch looking out over the pool and palm trees as I work. I notice Batu out enjoying the balcony so I snapped a few photos. I’m not a great photographer and I left my real camera at school, so I snapped a few handphone shots. Now I’d like your opinion. None of the shots will win awards, but which one do you like best and why?  Or are they too similar for you to see a difference? Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion. (And take a moment to feel sorry for poor Batu who is slowly recovering from an eye infection. She has her sore eye squeezed shut.)

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Kapas has no opinion. She’s working hard at her Sunday nap.
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