There were lots of adventures on the flight back from Japan (well, I slept through most of it because… I’m a cat) as Sharon threw a gobshite passenger off the plane (with a parachute, of course), discovered Chad that Golden-Bag-of-Cat-Treats-Thieving Worm hiding in the wheel well of the plane, took a nap in the catnip-scented oxygen of the cabin, and then finally tackled Chad off the plane in a butt-waggling zoom of epic proportions that allowed her to recover the priceless bag of cat treats while Chad fell through the clouds. She did throw Chad a parachute and an inflatable raft, but we kind of don’t care what happened to him because there was sushi and Meow Mix for all of us on the flight. Did I mention that there was catnip-scented oxygen in the cabin?
(Okay, Sharon did post a photo of Chad falling through the skies in his parachute, so he did get it on and hopefully landed safely…)
Anyway, the Mother of Cats finished the shawl, and I got my wings!!
Now the Sharon Air MKAL is over and the Mother of Cats has returned to knitting a sweater that had been hibernating in a bin for the last few weeks. I still have my blueberry box from the flight, and since I returned in Cardboard Class I brought my blanket and all the wonderful yarn that I bought the Mother of Cats in Japan home with me with no problems.
So now the Mother of Cats is happily knitting away on her new sweater (the Lace & Fade Boxy sweater by Joji Locatelli) with Mateo (the CoalBear) and I’m catching up on my sleep in my blueberry box. The Mother of Cats taped my wings to the box, and I’m still dreaming of all the places that I visited during the MKAL adventure. Cairo. New Zealand. Paris. Istanbul. Japan. So much fun!
Now it is fall outside and the flies seem to have vanished with the backyard robins but there are crickets and bunnies. Luckily it is cooler so I can play with the CoalBear in the daytime, and I’ve started sleeping on the bed with the Mother of Cats at night again. The Mother of Cats bought me and the CoalBear a lot of new toys, and we are playing chase-chase through piles of crunchy brown shipping paper. I’m returning to my old routines and I’m actually glad that my adventure is over. It is good to be home.
There I was, all cozied up in my cardboard blueberry box, flying to Morocco, finishing off my inflight drink of warm milk with whiskey when the news came in… Chad had gotten on a flight to Tokyo! WHAT?!!! How did that happen?! We were really looking forward to Morocco!! The Mother of Cats had just made her favorite quinoa dish (Quinoa and Pistachio Salad with Moroccan Pesto) and had settled down to chomp some while getting all her knitting supplies organized for the next clue drop of the Sharon Air MKAL, and … no Casablanca? Nope. The plane made a sharp left turn and pointed its nose towards Tokyo.
Oh. We are kind of excited about Tokyo! The Mother of Cats has been there before and she used to live in Yokohama, Japan. We weren’t in Tokyo long as we had to grab the bullet train heading south to Fukuoka, Japan. Sharon ate 4 bento boxes on the way, but mostly we knitted and drank tea on the trip as we had stuffed ourselves on katsudon (which the Mother of Cats just loves!) before we got on the train and the Mother of Cats was sort of regretting the decision… hey, I told her to not order a second bowl, but does she listen to me? Anyway, Sharon ended up recovering from the chase in a hot spring, and that Fungus Boi Worm was there too, but he got away somehow, and we were left in southern Japan to knit, relax, and have fun with Chad’s AMEX card.
Here’s a closeup of the new section of knitting.
So that is what’s going on with the Sharon Air MKAL. I’m so happy that I had cardboard class for that long flight, but I’m a little concerned about what is going to happen to my blanket if we need to fly out tomorrow in another class. Please, Sharon, no litter class for me and my blanket, okay?!
This is Hannah, signing off.
Notes from the Mother of Cats:
One of the hugely serendipitous events of my life was being sent to live in Yokohama as a young bride in the early 1970s by the US Navy. Why? More than 50 years before my own grandmother had arrived there as a young bride herself. My mom was born in Yokohama, and her first language was Japanese. How crazy was that?
My mom, by the way, was Swedish-American, and her mother could speak Swedish.
I still miss the Katsudon that I ate there.
Many members of the MKAL posted pictures of fabulous bento boxes that could be eaten on the bullet train. I’ve eaten bento boxes, but never came to love them, because… katsudon!!
While I was shopping for yarn for the Mother of Cats in Istanbul, Sharon from Security (Officer of the Paw, Defender of Snax) got out of the pokey because there was a sighting of Chad with a big bag and the sparkling (diamond-laden) yarn that Sharon was accused of stealing. Obviously, the wrong person had been apprehended, so she was out the door and off to the nearest full-service sushi restaurant. That’s one important question answered: you can get sushi in Istanbul! Also, she seems to have gotten her flamethrower back, too. How does she pull these things off? Anyway, knowing that Sharon scored a three-foot-long platter of sushi made me hungry, so I did a little cookie liberation operation of my own:
Then Sharon left me in Istanbul and took off on the most incredible adventure of all time. She caught a sub and took off through the Mediterranean waterways in chase of Chad. She broke down and got the sub fixed up in Greece, and then broke down again off Gibraltar. Luckily some sneaky people arrived to give her a tow to a sub-repair facility in Atlantis, and since Sharon was sworn to secrecy I’ll never find out where it is. I wonder if they had really nice kitty stuff there? I can always use a new blanket, some toy mice, and why does Sharon get all of the exotic sushi…????
Anyway, Sharon finally got the sub all fixed up and following intel provided by her new friends she was back on the chase and followed Chad and his bag of stolen goodies to… Morocco!!!
Now I’m stuck in Morocco until Friday when the new clue drops. Did I mention that I still have Chad’s AMEX card? Time to head out shopping!!!
I sure did love being back in cardboard class again! I brought my blanket along and even got some new yarn for the Mother of Cats shoved in there. If I have to go by Litter Box class for the next leg of the chase, I’ll be shipping all that stuff home. Hopefully I can use Chad’s AMEX card for that, too.
First, I caught my flight out of New Zealand on Sharon Air to Paris. Paris!!! Can you believe it? I had a great flight because I got to fly Squeaking Mouse Class this time which meant I had a nice seat to sleep on and I was allowed to bring onboard luggage. I brought my blanket to sleep on, of course! Then we landed at Charles de Gaulle airport in the morning and grabbed the bus that Sharon had arranged for us. I hardly had time to look at the city because I had to do some shopping (Chad dropped his Merican Express Card and Sharon gave it to us because… she really hates that Chad!!) before rushing to Gare de l’Est to board our train to Istanbul.
The Orient Express!! Everything was going just great, and we were having a exceptional dinner when suddenly the lights went out and… when they came back on the fabulous diamond skein of cashmere yarn that this lady with a really loud voice and super bossy attitude was showing to Sharon was gone! Sharon was accused of taking it (well, there was this little bit of red sparkly yarn on her whiskers) and before you knew it, she was locked into her berth and Chad was running (slithering?) across the roof of the train with just the tracks to show that he had been there. Now we have to find The Golden Bag of Cat Treats and this diamond yarn. What a mess. This is going to be hard because I think that Istanbul is a big place and there are a lot of places where a Death Worm named Chad could hide the goods…
That was our week in the Sharon Air MKAL. In the knitting story we ended coming into Istanbul where Sharon was going to go into the slammer while her security contacts worked behind the scenes to get her released, and in the real-world Sharon was thrown into Facebook jail for an entire month which basically is for the rest of the MKAL. What unbelievable Egregious Bullshittery (EB for short) that is!! The Mother of Cats has been wondering how to report EB to Facebook when she hasn’t been knitting.
This week the clue took a turn that we didn’t see coming. The shawl had been a growing “V” shape, but this week the clue said to only knit on one side of the “V” so that is what the Mother of Cats did. Look at what is happening now:
So now we are done with the third clue and the Mother of Cats is just sady knitting away on a pair of socks while we wait for the new clue to arrive on Friday. Poor Sharon. Will she get out of the slammer? Will she get her flamethrower back? Do they have nice sushi for cats in Istanbul? I can’t wait to see what happens next!
I was so excited while I was waiting for the clue 2 to arrive so I could know where we were heading next to catch Chad the Mongolian Death Worm who had stolen the priceless Golden Bag of CAT TREATS. He had been last seen in Cairo wearing a parka, so I knew that I was catching a flight to somewhere cold, but I never expected that I would he heading to… New Zealand. Oh. It’s winter there. The other thing that I didn’t expect was that I would be flying…
Yeah. Litter Class is like coach in people airplanes. It’s towards the back part of the plane and all of the litter boxes are there at the back of the section. You don’t get a nice chair, or a cardboard box, or a blanket, or anything to sit on.
You are assigned your own spot on the floor and have to stay there. You need sharp claws because you need to dig in really, really hard during the takeoffs and landings or you’ll slide into some other cat’s territory, and you know how that is going to end up. Personally, I don’t like inter-cat conflict all that much, so I really used my claws! We did get a nice Fancy Feast meal and there was an interesting bird movie, but I was so glad when we landed in Auckland… only, our flight continued on to New Plymouth because we had to go to Mt. Taranaki because that’s where that annoying beyond belief Death Worm (named Chad) slithered off to with the CAT TREATS!! What a beautiful mountain! Why did he take the treats there, and what am I going to do to get my paws warm again!!! I hate cold!
The Mother of Cats also took nice breaks to give me kitty cookies (I don’t work for free!! Seriously, what were you thinking of?), and even with the breaks we were done by the end of Monday.
I’ve taken on a huge adventure! I heard last week from Sharon from Security that there has been a huge crisis… the Priceless Golden Bag of Cat Treats has been stolen by Chad the Mongolian Death Worm from the Museum of Gyptian Civilization in Cairo. Sharon from Security needed me to head right over to Cairo to help out with the investigation.
I immediately dusted off my passport and booked a flight to Cairo on Sharon Air so I could join Sharon in the investigation. Sharon made the arrangements for me to fly Cardboard Box Class (instead of Squeakin Mouse Class or Litter Class) which was just fabulous because…
Anyway, my flight left last Friday, and I was off to help the best I could. That Chad is a sneaky one and I think that he probably already slithered (slimed?) his way out of Cairo and before you know it, I will be back in the air heading to a new location.
Okay, if you haven’t figured it all out yet, I am doing the Sharon Air MKAL with the Mother of Cats and we started with the first clue last Friday. The Mother of Cats worried about the colors of yarns a lot and kept digging around in the yarn stash for a couple of weeks looking for nice yarns to use. She finally settled on these:
I’m not really, really in Cairo, but is sure is fun to pretend that I am. I bet there are great bugs there for me to chase. Did you see that my job on the passport is “Flycatcher”? I am such a great flycatcher that I knocked over a lamp and tore down some curtains this week. The Mother of Cats was pretty cool about all the commotion, but I think that I had better take it easy for a couple of days. There was also a problem with an orchid plant hitting the ground, but the CoalBear did that one… did I mention that there was a fly?
I’ve been taking my job as knitting helper really seriously and the Mother of Cats only make a few mistakes (Sharon Snax) and hasn’t done any whining or done anything to earn a citation from Sharon. That Sharon, she doesn’t put up with any whining or questions from humans who stupidly failed to read the directions which is absolutely reasonable, right? I love Sharon! Did I mention that the cardboard box on the plane had a little hole in it so I could poke my neighbor? Yay!
Sharon is really busy and won’t have time to send us more clues until Friday so I’m going to just keep myself busy for a couple of days while the Mother of Cats knits on boring stuff like socks and hats and who knows what else. Maybe she will knit me another toy mouse. I hope that she makes me a warm parka because Sharon did drop a clue about having to go to somewhere cold for the next part of the investigation. I don’t like snow very much; nasty stuff, snow. Maybe she can knit pink booties for my feet? Darn it, this investigation stuff is hard work!
This is Hannah, signing off.
Sharon loves sushi, but I am going to go hunt up a fly to chase.
Note from the Mother of Cats: Sharon is Casapinka’s employee/security specialist/cat and this MKAL is run by them. You can check out my Ravelry page here if you are interested in knowing more about my yarns.
Good grief, there is a blizzard outside! This has been a crazy week with lots of trips out of the house, but it looks like I’m going to spend the next few days dealing with snow. There is already 15 inches on the ground and more is on the way as the storm is expected to last until sometime tomorrow.
I have been making progress on my Goldwing!! Check it out…
I am really happy with how the colorwork looks and now that I’m going down the body I should take the sweater off the needles to try it on for fit and to see what the length is on me. I laughed to see that there is now a Goldwing KAL being launched by Jennifer Steingass in her Knit.Love.Wool Ravelry group as the pattern just turned 1 year old. Talk about bad timing! If I had only waited a couple of months to cast on this sweater! I struggle with the Ravelry format for groups, but maybe I will check out the group and make a better effort to figure out how it all works. It’s okay to join with other patterns from Knit.Love.Wool, and I have two more of her patterns that I plan to knit this year so I could jump in with one of those. I have to add that I am discovering this pattern to be extremely well written with lots of meticulous detail.
A new KAL launched today from Casapika (and Sharon from Security) that has sent me back into the yarn stash to poke around to see what I can put together for a cute little shawlette (Raspberry Cordial) with two contrast colors. This is the Anne of Green Gables KAL that I am talking about, and it is a short little one that will only last two weeks. I need one skein of tonal or speckled yarn with a couple of mini-skeins as accents to the main color. Of course Hannah helped me as I did this…
I finally settled on three different yarn combos for the shawlette:
Now I have three options. The one on the left will have the raspberry colored yarn for the main color and the purple and gold would be the accents. Cute, huh! However this is not something that I would probably end up wearing a lot… I have had the Backyard Chicken combo for years and it would made a shawlette that I will wear, but it is kind of… not exciting. The third combo, plums and grays, will made something that I would wear a lot and is the more safe option. To be honest, I have lots of knitting already and probably won’t cast on right away, but a knit-along is so much fun, and I love being part of the Sharon Show community on Facebook, and how long would it take to make a little shawlette… I’m pretty sure I can find needles in the size that I need…
I’m hooked. I finished the 5th book in this series last night and the 6th book is already downloaded onto my Kindle. To my joy there are several more books in the series. 🙂
That’s it. The snow is still coming down and my area is currently experiencing white out conditions. It’s hard to be certain but I’m pretty sure I have more than 2 feet of snow outside right now so this is going to be a huge storm. It is a mess and there is lots of shoveling ahead when this finally stops. Good times!!
It’s nice to have something to break up the knitting…
Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.
The Kitten Mom and I spent most of the week hanging out upstairs because it was just stinking cold for most of the week! I mean, I hated to even go downstairs to the best window to watch for squirrels because my feet got so cold… and there were crazy noises in the night, too!! The Kitten Mom was startled awake twice by big bangs downstairs that didn’t scare me even a little bit. Seriously. Well, maybe my eyes got a little HUGE but I was totally cool. Really. I was so brave I went with her when she went downstairs to check things out…
We spent most of the week knitting and reading under the covers upstairs and the Kitten Mom also made two big pots of soup. I didn’t get any of the soup because it was made of really yucky stuff like green chili and baked potatoes… I like chunky tuna the best of all my kitty foods… maybe we can make chunky tuna soup next week? I will help make it!! I’m the best helper ever!!!
Anyway, here is the knitting stuff that the Kitten Mom did this week:
The Kitten Mom spent days and days working on the bobble bind off for her new shawl. This is soooo boring but I like to sleep under the wrap while she works so it could be worse. She got tired of the bobbles one night and started on a new shawl with nice blue yarn that is fun to chew on a little when she isn’t looking. She also started knitting a new sock in the middle of the week that was more fun for me because I like to whap the needles while she is working. Those needles are really a lot of fun!!!
We also worked on her new mitts that she is making for the lady in California who sent me the lemons to play with. I’m really helping with these mitts and they are coming out looking super good, don’t you think? I think that they should become my newest toy so I can drag them down into my box playhouse. Maybe the Kitten Mom can make them squeak when I jump on them?!! That would be awesome!
For some reason the Kitten Mom kept working in the stash this week digging around in the yarn. It has something to do with this other cat named Sharon from Security who is releasing a new pattern this week named Botanique. What ever. Is that like plants? I like to dig in the dirt of the plants in the indoor garden. Did you know that the orchids have wood chips in them that are great toys to bat around on the kitchen floor? Why do we need more yarn when there are wood chips? Anyway, she found this yarn finally and WE GET TO GO WIND THE YARN TOMORROW which is about my most favorite thing in the world. Next to having the Kitten Mom play with me using the red dot toy… that little red dot is the bestest toy in the universe!!
So that was the week. The only other thing that happened is that the Kitten Mom VACCUMMED the house today and took away all of my dusty paw prints on the tables. I was really brave and watched from under the bed while she worked but it was kind of stressful. Afterwards I got new toys and some kitty cookies!!
I think that the Kitten Mom is waking up and that means that my time at the computer is over. I want to go pull a bunch of clothes down off the hangers in the closet to make a little kitten bed for myself now, anyways. Laters!!
Notes from the Kitten Mom:
How cold did it get? It was -17 degrees Fahrenheit when the pop cans exploded. I looked outside while searching for the source of the noise and saw a lonely bunny huddled in the yard covered with snow. Tough night for bunnies and kittens.
The wrap with the bobble bind-off is Julie’s Wrap (Joji Locatelli).
The garter stitch shawl (blue) that I started this week is another Age of Gold by Joji Locatelli. What can I say. The bobbles were hurting my hands and I needed a nice break to work out the soreness… I should have the wrap finished in another week or so and the left over black yarn can be used to trim the new Age of Gold shawl.
The sock is just a homegrown pattern, but that yarn is Smooth Sock in the colorway #Trending by Hue Loco.
The mitts are the Mando Mitts (Natela Datura) and are an exercise in yarn handling as some rows use three or four colors. I am doing three at a time and planning on coming back to duplicate stitch in the missing details later.
The lady in California who shipped the lemons is my exceedingly knitworthy niece Melissa.
The shawl that Sharon from Security and Casapinka released yesterday is indeed Botanique. I bought the pattern and have the yarn all lined up to cast on, but I want to get something finished and off the needles before I do that. Must knit faster!!
I am currently in position 6, 231 on my health provider’s Covid-19 vaccine wait list. I have a whole bucket of medical testing coming at me in the next 6 weeks and the race to get vaccinated first is now on…
The worst disaster of the week? I somehow sliced some new yarn that came via squishy mail as I battled with the packaging to get it out, and I now have 15 pieces of this yummy pink yarn.
It is really, really cold here today! Right now it is 1 degree Fahrenheit outside and there is snow on the way; tomorrow will be colder. I’m wearing layers of knitted warmness and thanking my lucky stars that we are just catching the edge of this outbreak of polar wonderfulness.
I bought a laser pointer to play with Hannah and now she calls for me to come play with her a half dozen times a day… she loves that moving red dot even more than cookies!!
Let’s see… what else has been going on this week… I moved up 4,000 slots on the virtual Covid-19 vaccine wait list which means that I think I will get an appointment for my shot in just another couple of weeks. Yay!! My 23andMe results came back showing that I am ridiculously healthy (except for that little autoimmune thing…), I have elite-athlete type muscles (huh?), and that I have a genetic propensity to hoard unused items. Are you kidding me?! How did they learn about my yarn stash? Anyway, the ancestry results show that I am about half Swedish (which I knew) and about half British/Irish, which I wasn’t sure about as my dad’s family has been here in the US for over 300 years and the name is something… absolutely not British or Irish. There is a little French/German DNA in the mix, so I’m guessing the name came from that. This is kind of fun and I’m considering pursuing the family tree further.
No word on the systemic sclerosis study, but my DNA is now officially part of the data base. Yay!
Knowing that the deep cold was on the way I hurried and finished my Tinsel Mitts so that I could wear them over gloves this week when I leave the house. The rest of my knitting time was spent adding the edging to my Julie’s Wrap which is pretty slow going as that ribbing uses twisted knit and purl stitches. That’s a lot of knitting through the back loop, people! It looks great and isn’t pulling in the way typical ribbing does, but it is definitely slow going. I have another inch or so to knit before I start the bobble bind off; maybe in another week I’ll be there.
I read the next book in the mystery series I started last week featuring a Roman doctor attached to a regiment in conquered Britannia. Once again he has arrived at a new posting just after a murder has occurred… I’m getting pretty fond of Gaius Petreius Ruso, the protagonist in these murder mysteries, and I especially like his disrespectful and independent slave Tilla who is quickly moving out of that status when it becomes apparent that she was illegally sold into slavery. There, I knew it!! I listened to this book on Audible as I knitted away on the wrap and there may be another book in this series arriving on my Kindle soon.
Did I mention that Hannah has perfected her cat loaf posture and hangs out with me while I’m listening to the book and knitting along on the wrap?
Have a great week, everyone!!
Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.
It’s Saturday? Seriously? I seem to have spent the entire week taking naps and doing a little knitting on the side. I’m still circling the cardiology airport trying to get a slot to come in for a landing, but my rheumatologist did call them up and chatted with them this week, so I have hopes for an expedited appointment in the near future. (If you missed my previous post about this it is an issue with Covid-19 long haulers with severe heart complications competing with me for the testing that I need.) I became officially slotted on the Covid-19 vaccine waiting list this week, so hopefully that will be coming my way soon, too. Oh. I also bought some more yarn online…
I have been knitting steadily all week between naps and I really am making progress, but the projects are so big it isn’t all that obvious. My Goldwing sweater is slowly growing, and my Julie’s Wrap is now into the third skein of yarn. The pictures, however, are kind of underwhelming at the moment.
See what I mean? That is hours and hours of knitting, and the results are less than stunning. Wanting some quicker gratification I started on my Tinsel Mitts and finished the first one in the middle of the week.
The fit of the glove is just perfect, and the flip top for the fingers stays in place on the back of my hand until I pull it over my fingers. Because of the ribbing on each piece, the mitt and the top, the top really snugs up and stays in place. I have extra room in the top around my fingers so I plan to pad the flip top with fluffy wool batting (from my carder) and then will knit a lining for the top to cover the batting and hold it in place. I’m still thinking out how to make it work… maybe a little duplicate stitch basting to secure the batting…
I have been giving the African violets fertilizer at the first of the month and they are still putting out new blooms! I’ve been looking at the amazing number of blooms on the wine colored plant and I ask myself… how does this plant know that it is summertime in Africa…? Of course it doesn’t; I think what is really going on is that in the summer I put the plants in the kitchen window where they get the afternoon light, but when I move them under the bright grow lights of the indoor garden for the winter they respond and bloom. They get about 10 hours of light in the indoor garden, and obviously they are liking it!
I’ve been listening to an audiobook this week between naps and knitting, and I chanced across one that is fun to listen to. I am a fan of Lindsey Davis and her Marcus Didius Falco books; what’s not to like about a private investigator solving mysteries in ancient Rome? I loved the tone and setting of the books; an autocratic and scary society that is shockingly familiar (do you have a permit for that addition to your property?) and yet clearly foreign. I loved Falco’s wit and flexibility with legalities as he solved mysteries and traveled through the Roman Empire through the 20 books in the series. It was with real anticipation that I started another series of historical mysteries set in conquered Britannia under Roman occupation.
Ruso is a doctor working at the medical center of the Roman fort in what is now Chester, England. He is having some financial issues. He has just relocated to this posting from Africa and it has been a pretty bumpy landing so far. He has recently acquired a female slave who is a native and he is definitely having some buyer’s remorse and trouble managing her care and work schedule. There is also an issue with some dead prostitutes…
I really liked this book. It was fast paced with a snappy dialogue, but it also seems historically accurate in how the Romans of the time viewed themselves, medicine, slaves, and familial obligations. Did the Romans keep records of virtually everything and do extensive financial audits? I’m betting that they did. Ruso’s male Roman superiority is just obnoxious at times, but I’m guessing it is also accurate. In spite of that, though, Ruso is a caring professional who really is trying to do the right thing for his patients, his family, and his dependent slave. I’m so glad I found this series and am already into the second book.
Have a great week, everyone!!
Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.