Saturday, November 24, 2007

For Rumple: The Greatest Cat of All

It can be very difficult to explain to people who aren't pet owners how deeply a pet can impact your life, how entrenched they become in your routine, your conversation, your language. How they really are a (not merely "like a") member of the family. And how difficult it is when it comes time to grieve them. Rumple was born on our front porch on April 9, 1993 - I was 13, my brother was 8, and my sister was 6 - and she grew up with us, then watched us grow. She was with my family for 14 and a half years, and left us quickly and without suffering from heart failure and old age.

There are so many things that made Rumple wonderful. Her "vices" - fatness, laziness, bossiness - were just as special to us as her "virtues" - intelligence, empathy, beauty. She learned how to sleep heavily and snore from my brother; she used to make sure my sister got up on time in the morning to get ready for school. She would come spend time with us when we were down; she kept my mom company, and she loved sharing a good nap with my dad. She would sit with us as we listened to music and conduct the beats with her tail - sometimes she would even cue in the odd cymbal crash or brass hit. She liked the big band/swing my brother listened to when he was younger, and thought that the Mozart I listened to was alright, but much to our chagrin she had a weakness for smooth jazz that we couldn't change. She tolerated my brother's trumpet practice to the best of her ability - as he improved and his loudness increased, she would give him a long look and leave the room when he got out his trumpet; but then wait outside his door until he was done. She broke her front left leg when she was younger and had to sport a big purple cast for a few weeks. After the cast was removed, she used to guilt trip us into letting her in the house by sitting at the sliding glass door and pathetically lifting up her paw. (She eventually stopped when she figured out that we would just let her in anyway - we could never deny her anything.) She was a big cat - 22 pounds at her height - and she ruled over the other cats with an iron paw.

She totally changed our language and ways of communicating. She had many names - like Boom-Boom, The Woo, Fats, Baby - and these names were applied to everyday objects and actions. Even my car, by virtue of being large, rounded, reliable, and gray was dubbed "Rumple II" in her honor. Every time anyone in my family sees even the make and model of my car on the road, we point it out as a "Rumple" car.

When I was 14 years old, in my 9th grade English class we had to write a series of poems, each one focusing on a different method (meter, tone, rhyme, etc). My poems were a collection of works based on our cats; since it was like a little photo album, I kept it when I threw away all my other high school stuff. Here is the one I wrote about Rumple. I won't change or alter or correct anything - (being a humanities grad student, it's difficult to not fix my written language!) - I'll just let it stand. We loved her; I loved her, and I feel so blessed that we had her in our lives.

I, the beautiful Queen of Cats,
Rule on high over my siblings.
A first-born perfectionist, yes,
I am a model for felines.
For very few cats can achieve
The wondrous stature that I have.

My fur is the color of snow
As well as a light, cloudy sky.
I move daintily on my toes,
My tail in the air, higher than
That of any cat you will ever know.

I am the most intelligent,
My brain capacity is more
Than any human genius can
Or will ever have in their lives.

I, Queen of Cats am very
Loveable. I love a pat or
Good exchange of conversation.
I listen intently, my eyes,
Such as I have, look at you
As you speak, my little ears up,
Catching every word so as to
Make a good comeback, as every
Good little queen does, for I am,
No exceptions, the very best
In the line of felines or the
Human race, the very best Queen
Any human or cat can have.

Rumpleteaser Marble Replogle
April 1993-November 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007


Advertising my happiness!

As many of you readers out there know, my husband writes music for small independent films. It's been a long difficult road (and that's certainly not to say that we've made it yet, either!) There were a few years back there where he lived off of top ramen. But good news is here, and we are celebrating! On November 20th (tomorrow), his soundtrack to the film Journey From the Fall is being commercially released. His first soundtrack release! Yay! Journey From the Fall, which tells the story of Vietnamese refugee families that fled to America during the Vietnam War, received standing ovations at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. The soundtrack can be found at, either as a download or as a CD.

The DVD for the film is available at, Borders, Netflix, and Blockbuster Online. More info can be found at -- click on "DVD," which links directly to the page on any of these retailers/rentals. (btw, my dear husband is on the "behind the scenes" extras on the dvd, yay!)


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Because I don't have other things to do...

I am now on Ravelry! You can find me there as complainr. I haven't done any setting up since I got my invite yesterday; but I forsee a weekend sucked up by the Ravelry black hole...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wooly updates

Where to begin? My husband and I just returned from a weekend visit to Cambria for our 2-year wedding anniversary. We're finding it increasingly difficult to leave at the end of every trip, for we find our longing to find a way to STAY is becoming stronger.

Anyhow, here is the Central Park Hoodie. I started this on our summer road trip to Vancouver and knit the back, fronts and most of the sleeves in the car! I made the second smallest size (don't have the magazine next to me...was it 34 1/2?). The yarn is Cascade 220 in a jade-like heather, and like many other knitters out there who have done this project, I bought nearly 2 skeins too many!

My husband took these photos in Cambria this morning as we walked along the bluffs. Many locals take their morning walks along this trail -- what a beautiful way to wake up.

Second, a quick shot of the Hermione POA hat from Charmed Knits. This photo was taken in the yard behind our motel in Cambria. I made this with the awesome Malabrigo (Geranio colorway) that I bought in Boston this past April. I've still got some of that Malabrigo left...hmm...

We went to the animal fair, and all the animals were there...
(Some perky Border Leicesters)
The LA County Fair was awesome. We made some sheep friends,
(the cutest little Suffolk in the world, with my cutie Dear!)
and some goat friends,

and we saw a sheep shearing demonstration. This guy wrangled a 200+ lb Suffolk and sheared it in under 3 minutes. I've got a little video of it I may put up. He let me take a bit of the fleece he sheared from it (the fleece, he said, was too low a grade to charge for it -- apparently even good Suffolk fleece tends to be made into pillow batting) so I could experiment a bit with it. I was amazed by how oily it was from the lanolin -- seems like when you touch the fleece when it's still on the sheep you don't feel that much oil. I brought it home and showed it to Cat, who reacted in the strangest way -- she couldn't get enough of it, as though it was catnip!

I've since washed the fleece (and a TON of lanolin came out), but I don't have any hand carding equipment, so I'm still trying to figure out what to do next.

Well, that's it for now. Here's a llama:

See you next time!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Coming soon...

Photo shoot of my completed Central Park Hoodie!

Updates on the Cobblestone Pullover for my dear!

Pictures of the Hermione Hat, Norah Gaughan's Stag Bag, and more!

A review of my trip to the LA County fair to see the sheepies!

...when I get my computer back from the shop. :(

Monday, August 27, 2007

Final road trip update

Internet access was either unavailable (Klamath Falls, OR; June Lake, CA) or ludicrously priced (Reno, NV: $7 an hour) on the last few days of our road trip, so sorry for the lack of updates! When we got back to LA, we were a little tired. The trip was wonderful, but because we were constantly doing things, it wasn't terribly relaxing. Well, June Lake was relaxing, I guess...

Anyhow, Klamath Falls, OR was a typical victim of suburban sprawl. Our motel was on the old downtown side of town. We ate at Wong's Restaurant, which looked like it hadn't changed much since 1941.

We couldn't figure out where all the people were until we hopped on the highway and went another mile south and found the Walmarts and Dennys. We did go bowling that night, which was good times.

On our way back into California, we wandered through a marsh preserve, with more ducks and pelicans than I've seen in my entire life. We also went to the Lava Beds national park, where we were able to wander through a subterranean cave.

The stop for that night was Reno, NV.

Reno is remarkably small. You can walk the entire downtown strip in about 5 minutes. We stayed at the Circus Circus, which had walkways connecting the casino to two other hotels. The casino resort was an interesting contrast to the more rustic, nature-based places we'd been frequenting the past few days, and we've found that an overnight stay in a casino hotel is just right for us. Enough time to take in the sights and see the attractions, maybe hit the buffet. Any more than that, though...well, the cigarette smoke starts to get to ya.

Last stop was at June Lake, CA, one of our most favorite vacation spots. Sigh. Kayaking and swimming in June Lake, visiting the Bodie Ghost town,

hot chocolate at the beautiful Gull Lake, grilling in the evenings,

and...a BEAR at our cabin site.
(Can you see it? Hint: look for its eyes.)
How much better does it get?

Well, after this post, I guess this blog will be going back to its regularly scheduled programming. Since this is a knitting blog, I suppose I will start posting pictures of the project I started on the trip: the Central Park Hoodie. Thanks for reading!

PS. More Bodie photos on my Facebook album:
and some more road trip photots at:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

O Canada

O tired. Spent 3 hours at the border today to get back in the US. But I've got a few updates to share. Here's the border crossing into Canada at the Peace Arch:

We arrived in the little mountain town Squamish two days ago. The town was an interesting blend of logging industry, new pricey condos, natural wonders, and cute little shops. We stayed at the August Jack Motel, which was like stepping back into 1973.

Yesterday we went to Victoria, which was a crazy trip: 2 hour drive to the port, 1.5 hour ferry ride (although the boat was really fun), 1 hour bus ride to Butchart Gardens (which were impressive -- and popular), another 30 minutes to downtown to see the Parliament building, and all that in reverse to get back to the hotel.

We uploaded a few more photos here, too:

Oh, here's a major restaurant chain in Canada:

Insert your own obvious joke of choice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Ok, I think I figured out this Flickr thing at last. This link should take you to the photos!

In other news, I finally got a glass of iced tea. I was beginning to think the state of Washington had it in for me.

Wandering around Seattle was fun. We saw the Pike Place Market, which was an awesome visual overload.

Fresh fish,

fresh flowers,

and lots of yummy food.

Later, we took a ferry over to West Seattle and back. Good times. Tomorrow we cross the border!

Day 2: Oregon Vortex, Eugene, and Day 3 pt 1: Seattle

Just made it to Seattle. Our motel room has a certificate on the wall for the "Motel Trespass Program", and I'm not really sure what to make of that. Also, I've discovered that it is really hard to get a decent glass of iced tea outside of So Cal. What's up with that?

Anyway, yesterday we went to the Oregon's like the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot. People seem to get bigger or taller, glasses seem to roll uphill and so on. We got a few weird pictures...see for yourself!

Eugene was pretty interesting...similar to Santa Cruz, lots of hippies and college students, only a little more "low prole." Good Chinese food.

Woke up early this morning to go see Mt. St. Helens (which erupted a scant 4 days after I was born, kthx). The museum there was really good, had a decent documentary running.

Off to go see Seattle. Be back later. Enjoy some pictures: Day 2 and 3!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

day 1 photos

I've uploaded them to Flickr...and I have no idea how to link over to them. So let's try this:

Day 1: Sacramento, Redding

This is Holley and Chris, writing from Redding, CA. It's day 1 of our long-anticipated, Second Epic Road Trip. First goal is Squamish, a town an hour north of Vancouver. We took the 5 up, which is a really, really boring highway. We stopped in Old Sacramento for lunch, went to the boardwalk and briefly visited the Railway Museum.

On our way to the museum, we ran into a book -- Michael Crichton's Congo -- sitting outside a candy store. It had a yellow sticker on the front, proclaiming it a "traveling book" and directing us to a webiste: The website lets you track books that people have tagged and released into the wild. Our book originated from Amarillo, TX. I think we'll take it up to Canada before releasing it again.

In Redding, we visited the biggest sundial in the world, which is attached to a lovely bridge over the Sacramento River.

Sorry there wasn't an update last night. I was having trouble uploading pictures (weak connection to the internets). Hopefully the next hotel will have better internets.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stay Tuned!

Chris and I are taking our second epic road trip (this time from LA to Vancouver), and starting tomorrow, I'll be updating this blog with pictures and comments from the road!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Long time, no post!

But I'm reporting in with a collection of FOs!

First, my mini-Eleanor.

A friend gave me a gift certificate to Wildfiber as a thanks for singing at her wedding, and I finally got to try 4 skeins of Noro Silk Garden...which is just about the best yarn EVER. I had been drooling over that Eleanor the moment I saw it in Scarf Style, but a big ol wrap like that is so impractical in So Cal. So sad. But a scarf that can double as a small wrap, now that's something I can use!

Next, the ugliest Jaywalkers EVAR:

Made of Lorna's Laces in the Bee Stripe colorway. First socks I've ever made. Great pattern. At first, I was in denial about the ugliness. But now, I've come to embrace them. So ugly, they're cute, right?

I know I promised pictures of my finished Rusted Root...but I washed it and it's drying right now, so:

Also, a dream swatch headscarf made of Kollage's Cornucopia. 100% corn product, my friends! I have to say, I loved working with it. So lightweight, very stretchy, and so sunny and happy. Good times.

And I'm working on Breeze socks from the recent issue. Finished one, and it's being modeled with obvious enthusiasm by Cat. These will go to a friend soon!

Oh, and one last thing, the market bag from Free download, fast knit, and a great stashbuster! I used up the last 4 skeins of Shine Worsted leftover from my Arwen. I made the small size bag...the large bag must be big enough to cart a piano! Or maybe a cello.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Another FO!

As of last night, the Pinwheel Baby Blanket o' Death is at last finished. It does need to be washed, and I want to attempt something like blocking to flatten it out because that picot edging is curling like whoa.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

At last, an FO!

I just want to say that I finished my Rusted Root on Sunday, and I loves it. Pictures soon, when I get some batteries for the digicam.

Monday, May 21, 2007

UFO Roundup!

For some reason, I can't keep myself from casting on these days. I have way too many UFOs (unfinished objects) in my apartment! I have never had this problem before. In the past, I have tended to only work on one project at a time, and only when it's finished would I allow myself to cast on for another one. I haven't finished a project in months; I keep looking forward to the promises of the next one.

Let's take stock, shall we?

First, the Betsey Bag from Spin to Knit. It's more or less done. But it needs to be FELTED before I can knit on the bag flap. The yarn for the flap is my very first handspun, I can't wait to work with it. But I don't have a washing machine...and I'm not going to go dump $1.50 of quarters into the coin-op machines. Sigh.

Next, the neverending CDR. I worked on it over two round trips flights from Boston to LA, and now when I think about working on it, I get a little vertigo.

Ah, the pinwheel baby blanket. I bought the yarn for this way back in February, knowing my friend's baby was due in late June. Plenty of time, no? I'm a fast knitter, yes? Well my friends, a pinwheel blanket with DKish weight yarn on size 6 needles takes FOREVER. OMG. And it doesn't help that this skein has become particularly ornery (tangled) in its ending stages...

And here's my 2-color Venezia. She will be a beauty when she's finished. Like, 20 years from now.

The Rusted Root is a great, fast knit, and this is the one I can't put down right now (at the expense of everything else).

And finally, the Scherezade shawl:

A-hahaha. Ha. And this doesn't even count the bumblebee Jaywalker socks that I couldn't find...

Friday, May 4, 2007


Well, I got about 7 rows into the Venezia when I realized that I had TWISTED the JOIN. So off the needles it went (man, knitting 7 rows on size 2 needles w/teeny yarn takes FOREVER). Perhaps it's for the best, though, because once I pulled it off the needles I realized that the waistband was ginormous. So when I cast on again, it will be for the next size down.

I think I'm going to have some wine and go pet my skein of Malabrigo now, or something.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A month of little knitting

April was a busy month, so not a whole lot of knitting updates!

The CDR is going very slowly. I don't think I've ever had second sleeve syndrome this bad. It sat for weeks with no sleeves, until it came time for me to take a plane out to Boston for a conference. So here's what I managed in my airplane-phobic terror:

I'll be going back again soon for my brother's graduation, so maybe I'll get to finish this sleeve and get some significant work done on the other...just in time for So Cal summer.

I had the most wonderful time in Boston this weekend. I gave my paper on Friday, so I had plenty of time the rest of the weekend to relax and spend time with my brother and his girlfriend, who generously took me around to see sights! We made a stop at Newbury Yarns on Newbury Street, and it was awesome. It was a small but brightly lit shop, with an awesome and kind owner...we even saw a knitting celebrity! (I won't give the name, but she has something coming up in the Fall Interweave magazine...). I got a gorgeous skein of Malabrigo in the Geranio colorway, but I tend to think of it as Red Sox Red...

I think this is going to be one of these.

My next big project is to cast on for Eunny Jang's Venezia sweater from the Winter 2006 Interweave. I must be crazy. I'm only going to do it in two shades (a very dark grey and a very light grey) so that should cut down on the insanity a little bit. I have to admit that it has me so intimidated that I've been afraid to swatch. Hopefully I'll have some time soon to get going on it!

Also, since I got a new ipod for the trip, I recently discovered podcasts. So fun, and perfect for the airplane. I downloaded a ton of episodes of Unwound, which I loved. I like how the podcaster Kellie creates a sense of community by having listener response time on every episode.

Anyway, hopefully I'll have more updates this month. Woot!

Monday, April 9, 2007

An FO, and a UFO...

Okay, so it's been a while since I've posted progress on the CDR. I have to admit that instead of working on the CDR, I had a brief, torrid affair with Ms. Marigold:

No iconic shoulder ruffles on this one, at least for now. I did attempt to crochet on a ruffle, but in my impatience with my ineptness with the hook, it ended up looking...well, not ruffly. Ah well. I like her just fine as is.

I have made some progress on the CDR:

I will probably have to take a break from this one for a bit to finish a blanket for a friend's imminent baby...yikes.

Now, I must go replace the empty tp roll that ended up in all those pictures...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

in awe

This person made a cat sweater: (a sweater for a cat, not a sweater with a cat on it) it's amazing.

I am amazed.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I like how easy it is to feel accomplished on the Cable Down Raglan (hereafter known as the CDR - ha), especially after the increases are past. You just crank on through those diamond charts one at a time and forget about all that straight stockinette.

I had wanted to start the waist cables at the end of the third diamond, but I've already reached the underarm length for my size...sigh. Maybe I'll have to take it off the needles and try it on.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Drum roll...

The Arwen, she is done.

And now for the ubiquitous blurry in-the-mirror shot:

Please ignore the messy, messy room!

Whew. What to say? Well, I am not happy with the hood seam -- I didn't think my kitchener stitch was that bad, and the cotton is pretty unforgiving -- but overall, she's pretty darn wearable. I would have preferred that the cuffs were a bit tighter (skinny wrists, d'oh!), but it's not a big deal. I am extremely happy with the side seams; it appears my mattress stitch has dramatically improved! Woot!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

loot and other updates

Visited A Mano's sale today! I ended up passing on the really marked down stuff, but just about everything else was on sale, too. So I got some lovely Misti Alpaca laceweight in the Merlot colorway which I am currently planning to use for the Scheherezadestole (it's actually a bit more brown-red than the purple that it appears to be in the picture), some Blue Sky Alpaca Melange for a Ms. Marigold, and some roving from Chameleon Colorworks.

Arwen came off the needles today!

I kitchener stitched the cuffs and the top of the hood. I don't mind kitchener stitching, but I'm not great at it and it took one entire viewing of Napoleon Dynamite to finish that seaming. I now need to get a LOT better at mattress stitching so I can seam the rest of Arwen. Sigh. She's going to be cool (if I do say so myself), but I think that all that seaming will kill me...

I cast on and started up the Cable-Down Raglan:

This picture looks really vague...ah well. I'm looking forward to getting more work done on this one!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Arwen update

One front half down, one to go...

While on a weekend roadtrip up to Cambria and then Walnut Creek, I had plenty of time to finish the first front half and get a good 12" head start done on the second one. The end is coming into view!

In other news, I bought yarn for the Cable Down Raglan from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits while in Cambria this past weekend:

The color is almost right in this extremely blurry picture. I can't wait to get started (I love seamless knitting!) but I told myself I HAD to finish Arwen before starting this!