Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mrs. Potts' Cousin, and an Argument with a Cat

`How is it you can all talk so nicely?’ Alice said, hoping to get it into a better temper by a compliment. `I’ve been in many gardens before, but none of the flowers could talk.’ 
`Put your hand down, and feel the ground,’ said the Tiger-lily. 'Then you’ll know why.’ 
Alice did so. `It’s very hard,’ she said, `but I don’t see what that has to do with it.’ 
`In most gardens,’ the Tiger-lily said, `they make the beds too soft — so that the flowers are always asleep.’  --The Garden of Live Flowers, Alice through the Looking Glass 
`But I don’t want to go among mad people,’ Alice remarked.
`Oh, you can’t help that,’ said the Cat: `we’re all mad here.' --Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Today I spent some time outside giving new life to some old things. I found this colander at a vintage shop last weekend. I was instantly charmed by it: I think it looks like it could be Mrs. Potts' cousin from Beauty and the Beast. Maybe we could call her Ms Strain... or maybe Madam Noodle.

I walked around the shop twice, circling it like a hawk, looking furtively at anyone who entered the shop and who went anywhere remotely near it. I decided I'd better stop stalking it and just take it home. It was such a reasonable price, and as I peered at it from behind the umbrella stand in the shop, I came up with a few ideas of what I could do with it.

After I got kicked out came home, I sat and looked at it for a while on the table, and then tucked it away and mused about it a bit longer. This week, I pulled out a bag of wool roving from my spinning stash, and pulled out a few pieces. Yesterday, I rescued a few dying plants from the back corner of the garden centre.

I took the roving and pulled it into pieces and laid it around the edges of the colander, covering the side holes carefully:

Then, I put some stones in the centre for drainage:

I went over to get the plants that I'd left out overnight on the flower bed, and I when I returned, I saw this cat. He meowed at me a few times, and then planted himself at the door, determined to come in. I told him that it wasn't possible, but he was adamant. I left him to it, thinking he'd get bored and leave...

Meanwhile, I took my rescue plants, got out some potting soil, and started arranging, scooping, watering, re-arranging, and watered some more. I left it to sit on an old vintage pie plate all afternoon, and when I went back this evening, the plants had perked up a bit and seem to be settling in. I know it looks like a tangled mess, but I think it will sort itself out in the end. I used the roving in the hopes of keeping the water from trickling out of the sides and to help retain the water around the roots, much like the moss used in hanging baskets. Some people knit or crochet basket liners out of wool for their hanging baskets as well.

Wool: it's everywhere.

While I was at it, I refreshed the plants in the vintage wok I had used for a succulent arrangement a couple of years ago. This time, the hubby drilled a couple of holes into the bottom and I set it on the base that it came with to keep it from rocking and give it some room to drain. I'm hoping that, when it perks up, it'll have flowers tumbling out of it. Right now, it looks like the flowers are asleep:

Meanwhile, the cat was becoming impatient. He meowed a bit more, and then, to my surprise, he started hissing at the hubby inside, telling him to hurry up and let him in. I was a bit freaked out by his behaviour, and I went over and told him to stop, but he turned around and gave me attitude, and took a few swipes at me, too. I realized I was now trapped outside. There was no way I was getting into the house now. The cat and I argued a bit longer, and the hubby ended up having to come out to shoo him away. I don't like having to do that - it seems mean - but I have a feeling that this was an argument we had to win. I'm sure he'll be back. We need to come to some sort of understanding, because I refuse to become the neighbourhood cat bully. 

Yes, I know this feels a bit like Alice in Wonderland. And no, I don't care if I sound crazy. This cat and I have to work something out:

Meanwhile, I have another finished object drying on the blocking boards. It's a very clever pattern called Ojos de Bruja by Sybil R., which makes use of lots of strategically placed short rows to show off the colours in a variegated skein of yarn, particularly one that has lots of contrasting colours. It was perfect for the "emergency skein" of Alegria I got when I ran out of projects to knit last Christmas (I guess it wasn't such an emergency after all). I wanted a break from all the lace charts I've been working with over the past few weeks, and this was perfect. It's still wet, but it reminds me of the ripples in the sand just under the lapping waves of a sandy beach. I can't wait to show it off once it dries:

In the meantime, I've been thinking about finally making something with some Handmaiden Lace that has been marinating in the stash for a while now. I think I've finally chosen a pattern for it, and I think I am going to cast on tomorrow for it. The thing is: I'm determined to do some spinning for the Tour de Fleece this year. It starts on July 2nd (same day as the Tour de France), and you're supposed to spin throughout it, taking breaks on the same day the tour breaks, and challenging yourself to try something different on the uphill days. It's the most commitment I've had to spinning in a while,  and I don't want to be distracted by a knitting project while I'm doing it. There's nothing more distracting than a half-finished project sitting there staring me in the face...

Well, maybe there ARE more distracting things that could be staring at you... Till we meet again, Sir Black Cat.


YarnKettle said...

I will bend you to my will...Go buy me some treats or I will tell CrazyCatLady Yarnkettle on you!

Is it possible it is a previous resident's cat? It looks pretty well taken care of and fed.

AdrieneJ said...

I think it might be the neighbour's cat, but I've never seen him before. He's got those mitten hands... you know, where there's a thumb on the paw? I can't remember what you call those.

YarnKettle said...

Polydactyl? Hemingway liked extra thumb cats.
I guess this cat thinks he can hitchhike his way into your house?
Just keep telling him he does not live there, you do!