Friday, July 25, 2014

Of catproofing and audiobooks.

It's amazing how many things you have to catproof once you adopt a curious and apparently tireless kitten. Keturah has learned that my laptop is off limits, but she takes great delight in vexing us by drinking from our water cups, playing in the bathroom sink while we brush our teeth, and diving into the jungle of power cords behind the TV. She chews on charge cables, earbuds, and of course, my knitting. We've taken to exiling her from our presence whenever she does something particularly offensive. The problem is, when Bandit is working during the day, the only place I can exile her is the living room where his home office is, and the only place he can exile her is the bedroom where I am! We've concluded that, short of shutting her into the bathroom or laundry room all day, the only solution is to get a bigger apartment.

The problem was somewhat alleviated when Bandit bought me some practical early birthday presents: a Bobble, one of those water bottles with a carbon filter built into the mouthpiece, and a Bluetooth headset.

I love this headset. Its main body sits around one's neck, and the earbud cables are magnetically held in the hollows at its tips when they're not in use. It's extremely lightweight and provides excellent sound quality as well as a pretty reasonable maximum battery life. And I can't get over the fact that I can now roam freely around the house while taking calls or listening to music! It's a welcome reprieve from feeling not just mentally but physically shackled to the computer when I've got a headphone cord keeping me on a tight leash.

Best of all, when I'm trying to relax, I no longer have to guard against feline assaults on my knitting and my audiobook and my drink. Just the knitting. I can defend my knitting perfectly well. Most of the time.

Although this morning I discovered a giant loop of yarn tugged out from what had been a single stitch on my newest project. Not long ago I rummaged through some of my older stash and tried to match up individual skeins to potential patterns. This lovely, light skein of 55% merino/45% baby camel from DyeForYarn...

...seemed perfect for the Whispers top by Veera Välimäki. I'm shortening the bottom ribbing by an inch because I'm cutting it dangerously close on yardage. This skein of yarn has 75 fewer yards than the pattern calls for, and no one seems to have any more of this colorway. But I have faith in the yardage god who loves me.

I'm listening to Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie while I knit this. I know that many of you enjoy listening to audiobooks while you craft, but does anyone else pair specific projects with specific books? I knitted Hanami while listening to the early Sherlock Holmes stories, and a good deal of the Nouveau Beaded Capelet while listening to Jane Eyre. I plan to knit a Y Ddraig shawl while listening to New York: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd (I love his historical fiction!), and I've been saving a lecture series on Byzantium for my future Sheherazade.

I also finished the second heel on Bandit's socks, and the cuffs are slowly growing now.

The socks don't get an audiobook at all. I work on them almost exclusively on the living room couch in the evenings while watching Bandit play video games, or with a Starcraft stream going in the background. After all, I have to have knitting in my hands at almost every hour, even in dangerous kitten-infested rooms. These sturdy socks are the most likely to withstand an ambush.


  1. I love that yarn, its so pretty!! It sounds like your kitty needs a time out spot!

  2. YAY for the Whispers top! Mine is still sitting in swatch time-out...Maybe I'll pick it up!

    Good luck with kitty time out :)

  3. Your work is so beautiful, Kaiya. I am always impressed when you share what you're working on.

  4. Kaiya, I love everything you make, it is all so gorgeous. I listen while driving, but sometimes the book is so goo I want to listen in my home too. I so appreciate your comments on audiobooks. I hope you have a wonderful week,

  5. Oh I adore your color choices in both of these, so perfect! I especially love the contrast between the leg and the rest of the body for those socks. That headset looks like a dream come true, I may have to invest in a pair, thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Your kitten sounds just like my Darwin! He also loves yarn, dangling things, and drinking our of water cups. I know use a closed-top water bottle indoors and out!