me, Mavis

I knit. I garden. I co-manage an eclectic shop. I sometimes work in real estate. I sometimes swing a hammer. I always volunteer in my community. I live in an old house with my nice family of one husband and three beastly cats. I have great friends. These are the things that matter to me, Mavis.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Team Spirit Continues

Coming off the strict regimen preceding my Olympic victory ("strict" for me means not knitting whatever the hell I want whenever I want to), I jumped back to the long-stagnating Aran sweater.

First, I finished the back:... and then got a nice start on a sleeve:(The true color is somewhere between the two depicted here -- I know I am no photographer ).

OK, so there I was, finally getting somewhere on this project which I think I started sometime in late November -- yes, THREE months ago -- but then I got hit again with the Team Spirit which led me to produce this:

"What the heck is it?" you are thinking. Well, this time it was the Knitting Goddess that led me astray. I first followed her link to get the gist of the project, then followed again for the details. Come on - join in with Phyl!

Back to The Goddess, but on another subject, in this entry she talks about the "Trinity" stitch in her new Aran -- which is the same as the "Blackberry" stitch in my Aran. Having worked this "rose by any other name", I understand the use of both names, and I agree that it is a bit squirrelly to start with. However, once you get it, the stitch is great fun to work.

And to close ... my efforts have been rewarded -- isn't he wonderful?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Olympic Conclusion

The Thrill of Victory was indeed earned by me, Mavis ... but the end result was not quite as planned.

My Olympic goal was to finish two Princess Snowball Cat Beds -- one for Isabella and one for Beau -- during the 16 Olympic Days. I finished early -- Hurray!

Thanks again to the Knitting Olympics organizer, the Yarn Harlot, my teammates at U S Team Cat Bed and our coach and organizer, Knit'nat.

Though I'm proud to have completed my event, the Thrill of Victory is bittersweet as my rose-colored vision of the little beasts snuggled in their personally customized and color-coordinated labors of love was futile.

Although Beaubalicious did take a brief snooze in 'Bella's bed, he entered his own green creation only when bribed with a Tastations treat. Worse yet, last night he decided to nap in one of Wally's store-bought KittyKups -- WHICH HE NEVER DOES!!!

Following her mentor, Girlfriend has refused to enter either bed, except to dash in one plump paw in order to retrieve her much-loved sparkly balls.

Before I collapsed from the utter disrespect, enter the Number One CupCat in all of MerryLand and probably onward -- Bug Man. True to form, this dude has yet to meet a cozy bed that is unworthy of a little snooze. Yes, he has already laid claim to two store-bought creations that he uses daily. But my hero decided that my lovingly crafted work was to his liking as well. You Rock Wally!
(for the astute knitters who are saying to themselves "Those sure don't look like no Princess Snowball Cat Beds!" -- you are right! I followed the general shaping and construction of that pattern, but substituted yarns and finishing of my own design. Specifics will be added to my Knitting Gallery soon.)

End of Week Observations and Musings

1. Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is? (This is from a group of such things sent by my SIL, Bonnie).

2. I haven't had a regular daily Monday through Friday job in nearly six years, and weekend work is not uncommon for me, Mavis -- yet I still feel that certain "sweetness" waking up on Fridays in preparation for the weekend.

3. Two nights ago I had a weird dream where a religious fanatic pulled a knife on me when I questioned her doctrine. Thursday night I had a strange brief glimpse dream of cutting off my left hand cleanly at the wrist with the wet saw (which I was scheduled to use all day Friday).

4. I chose to interpret the #3 events as warnings to be careful so I did carry on with the Schavis tile-setting project. I am happy to have both hands intact today.

5. I have an every-growing supply of small rocks that I pick up whenever one calls out to me. Nearly every day, I hover over my collection until I'm drawn to one (sometimes two) that I put into my pocket with a brief prayer. In a trying situation, I can take hold of the rock (which will then be very warm from sitting next to my leg) and feel/sense/know the support and guidance of Mother Earth.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hens and Goats and UnMeat

Ohmigod, have you tried these yet!!??

UnFreakingBelievable, I tell you!

The DH gave them a high-heat saute so there were crunchy, almost-charred, edges, then added in a bunch of neat vegetables (baby corn, sugar snap peas, etc.) sauteed separately in a smoky marinade, and mixed the two together -- it was magic! The best part? 100% Vegan according to the nutrition info label.

In a non-related event ... we took a little road trip up north to Harford County over the weekend to look at an old house that was absolutely cool, but also, alas, kind of beat to crap, AND in a terrible location ... but I digress ...

During said road trip, we came across these ladies (who I seemed to know from somewhere?):
... and just across the street, another cute couple:Doncha dig that face?

Monday, February 20, 2006


I received a very nice surprise last Friday ...

... a big box of fancy stuff from my Secret Pal!

Check out the Lilac bubble bath and bath confetti (ummm, Lilac, my favorite ...),

... the "Candy Blue" Cotton-Ease (I've worked with it before -- it's Grrrrrreat! -- and I have some "Licorice" shade left that might mix nicely with it!)

... and the stash of luxury chocolates! Very appropriate chocolate, I might add, for an Olympic Knitter like me, Mavis

Entering the me, Mavis Damn I Love Chocolate Competition is: Isis from Belgium, Alprose from Switzerland, Droste from Holland, and Ghirardelli from Team USA. This will be a tasty trial!

The Brothas were more interested in the box:

Friday, February 17, 2006

End of Week Observations and Musings

1. I'm glad to have the Olympics just now as I have been very proud of our team and hope their good actions will be noticed by the rest of the world -- especially cute Seth the Gold Medal Winning Snow Boarder who threw his arms around the other two athletes on the winning podium in an act of excellent sportsmanship and solidarity.

2. My vote for best words of the week go to Maureen Dowd for "Shooter Slips on a Silencer" in the February 15, 2006 edition of the New York Times:

" . . . Cheney gets his macho kicks gunning down little birds and the occasional old man while W. rides his bike, blissfully oblivious to any collateral damage. Shouldn't these guys work on weekends until we figure out how to fix Iraq, New Orleans, Medicare and gas prices?"

Amen, Sister.

3. And, speaking of "Sister," that quote came to me from my dear pal, Heather, who I couldn't love or respect any more if she were my blood sister.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Two New Finished Objects!

So you thought you knew about ALL of the half- and even less- finished objects that I have started and haphazardly tossed aside in my fickleness. Not so!

Two weeks ago, DH went to do some handyman work for a delightful duo in our little town. The Sisters B have lived here since the elder was only 4 or 5. They are now 80-something and 70-something and have lived together in the same house all these years. The Elder is currently undergoing chemotherapy and has lost hair. DH was dismayed at the cap she was wearing when he visited and came home to say how nice it would be for her to have a hand-knit chapeau. He had a very thoughtful idea and I complied:

For Mary, a sweet neighbor:

I also finished the first of my two planned Olympic runs:

Hey wait a minute ... wasn't that kitty bed supposed to be for "Bella?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Back UP and Runnin!

We had a big snow here in my MerryLand! It started Saturday afternoon and by Sunday morning, it was a wonderland of 12" or so of very heavy snow -- dragging down the evergreens and a few others -- snow.

We lost at least two big branches from the beautiful American Hollies outside my Palace window -- one from a tree on our property; and one from Jose's.

Cable was out when I got up Sunday morning and didn't come back until this afternoon (Monday), so no internet for me, Mavis. I can stand the dial-up only long enough to see if I have any pressing mail.

Saturday during the day I listened to the news on our TV band radio, and we watched a DVD ("Men of Honor" with Cuba Gooding, Jr.), and then for evening enjoyment, the DH hooked up rabbit-ears. The reception was not bad at all, and really, we often watch standard network stuff anyway.

and yes, I am knitting.... The Olympics started Friday night and I was there for my event! My progress is being added to the Team Cat Bed blog (see the button on the right-hand side) though apparently not soon enough for Coach Knit'Nat ... yep, she dinged me right here on my own home blog!

I chose a very easy pattern for my Olympic event as I know my attention span is limited. Little did I know that it would be a physical contest as well! It seems that the 3-strands on size 10 1/2 needles makes a nice, tight fabric that is stressing the delicate hand muscles of me, Mavis. Sure enough, I woke up several times Friday night with both hands and forearms tingly numb. So, I quickly decided to take a slower pace. Luckily, I never have a problem with starting another project to take off the edge!

So, here it is, the lovely "Becky", knit in a nice, gentle Berroco Touche, 50% Cotton, 50% Rayon:This is the back, at 11" or so toward the completion of 15". Then I can start the lace-pattern fronts!

But back to the Olympics for a minute ... not the Knitting Olympics, the OTHER one ... is anyone else totally diggin' the speed skaters? I find myself swayin' back and forth, right along with them. You gotta love those great big powerful legs.

Tonight: Mike's Heartwarming Vegetarian Chili with Olympics and 24! It doesn't get any better than this!

Friday, February 10, 2006

End of Week Observations and Musings

1. Having braces has brought an unexpected bonus to me, Mavis. Pre-braces, I wore a pants size "X", fitting quit snugly. Braces went on October 31, 2005. Pants purchased first week of February, 2006 are a size X minus 1 and fit quite comfortably. This is because I am a brushing/flossing nerd (Hello! I'm paying eleventeen thousand dollars for this process!) and cannot even fathom a between meal snack that is worth the effort of the brushing routine.

2. Before I leave the house, I MUST check the whereabouts of each of my 3 Beasts... AND, I MUST tell them where I'm going; when I'll be back; to have fun; to look out for each other; and that I love them. As they are almost never all together, I MUST go through this dialogue at least twice.

3. Thing have been coming in "two's" this week. During a very brief blog-reading session this morning, I was TWICE directed to (of all people),William Shatner. Yes, that pompous-assed, bad-acting, flinging-myself-about-the-under-attack-Enterprise, William Shatner. First, the ever-enlightening Knit'Nat directed us to his new DVD club ... and if THAT wasn't bad enough, then Veggie Geek (see Feb. 3, "Common People") posted the lyrics to his song ... with Joe Jackson??? This is too weird for me, Mavis.

4. Vegetarians and Vegans spend too much time answering lame questions about their food choices. In this video, Steven the Vegan gives an idea what it's like. (I found the link on the Shmoo Blog).

5. I get so pumped when I feel like I have bested "The Man" and won a round for "the little guy." My dental wax discovery will make me happy for a long while.

6. We're preparing for a snowstorm here in MerryLand, which means that the grocery stores are filled to the tippy-top with aggravated, unfriendly folks elbowing one another to get milk, bread and toilet paper. I went in for the required Friday Night Pizza, but came away forlorn ... no plain pies were left. I did get the fixins for Mike's Heartwarming Vegetarian Chili ... and 2 bags of Frito's Scoops with which the DH eats his chili ... no spoon necessary!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Many Names of Beau

For the third installment of the Nickname Project, please meet, last but not least:

Proper Records Name (used by his vet): Beau *

* When his pathetically thin mother, Kate Moss, moved the four tiny kittens to our cellar, we agreed to be foster parents, but had no intention of becoming permanent adoptors. The bigger of the 2 orange kittens was called "B.O." (for "Big Orange" -- aren't we clever?). As time marched on, "B.O." went through several iterations: I went from pronouncing initials "B.O" to the word "Bo", while DH changed the definition of "B.O." and used the name "Stinky." When it became apparent that "Bo" would remain with us, I prevailed on usage, and changed the spelling to "Beau."

Frequently Used Alias(es):

The Big Guy

** Beau and Wally are littermates and collectively referred to as "the Brothas"


For a look at a neighborhood urchin (who does not yet have nicknames) check out this post from The Things I Get Into

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tagged Twice ... Same Day

I have never been tagged for a "meme" before, yet yesterday I was tagged twice!

First, let me say that I'm kind of queasy about these things. While they are sometimes fun to read, they are also coming really close to those 300 or so daily e-mail messages about friendship, love, or [insert whatever here] and if you don't send it on to 27 people within the next 4 minutes your arms will fall off just after you have come down with a gigantic headcold and the runs. Now, of course no one really believes those things will happen (do they?), but at a minimum if you don't participate you will not be a team player and a black mark will go on your permanent record.

Having THAT off my chest .... I have decided to participate by posting my answers .... but I'm not yet sure if I will "tag" anyone else.

OK, the first meme came from the ever-busy Knit'Nat who tagged me for a musical meme:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.
If anyone expected current stuff, you expect too much of me,Mavis. Even if I have heard and/or enjoyed anything even relatively new, I surely won't know the name of the song nor the artist.

Mostly, I listen to NPR while I'm here in my Palace, or for Friday Night Pizza we often turn on an oldies station, but otherwise, the music plays only in my head, or in an endless loop from the "I don't know many of the words" DH when he gets a song stuck in his head. (This usually happens during a multi-day paint job when we are in close proximity for long hours.)

Anyway ... my choices (and I threw in an extra since I'm not really following The Rules):

Summer Breeze - Seals & Crofts
Back in the USSR - The Beatles
Stray Cat Strut - The Stray Cats
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding - Elton John
Tender Tennessee Christmas - Amy Grant
Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
How Far is Heaven - Los Lobos
Found Out About You - Gin Blossums
Mercy Mercy Me/I Want You - Robert Palmer

Next, I was tagged by a (da da da DAAAA!) -- a LURKER!!

Yes, a cute California Vegan Gal, Obstiknit Vegan tagged me for the "Four Things MeMe."

And, away we go:

Four jobs you have had in your life

Greenhouse Worker
Gofer in Motorcycle Shop
Clerk in a tiny standalone photo processing booth
Legal Secretary

Four movies you could watch over and over

The Color Purple
A Christmas Story
My Cousin Vinny
Forrest Gump

Four places you have lived (Hmmm, I'm such a homebody, that I must go down to the TOWN level for this)
Oxon Hill
Upper Marlboro

Four TV shows you love to watch

Four places you have been on vacation
Great Smokey Mountains
New Mexico
Cayman Islands

Four websites you visit daily
Wendy Knits
Vegan Knitting
Fake Sheep (even though she posts like every 3 months!)

Four places you'd rather be right now

(I'm actually perfectly content and very cozy right here in my Palace!)
in my garden on a soft summer day
in my loft during a snowstorm
on the couch with one of the Brothas in my lap
with the giraffe herd at the watering hole

Monday, February 06, 2006

High-Tech me, Mavis

That's right ... my new swift and winder came in the mail today!

I waited only long enough to put on my home uniform (sweats, baby!), pour a glass o' vino, and then I plowed right in! I even set it up at the kitchen table so I could (in theory) make dinner whilst I was winding.

Also in the box was my "Becky" pattern and Touche yarn, so that's where I started winding. Let me tell you, this thing is WAY cool.

Knit'Nat, send your skeins on down here ... I'll have it all wound up in a snap -- no charge -- really!!

Anyone else out there need some yarn wound? ... Please?

Yea, that's me, Mavis sounding like a damn ADDICT!

P.S. to Vegan Knitter: Thanks so much for the heads up on the Lentil Soup from Vegan Planet. It was really great; much heartier than I anticipated, and I'm sure I'll be making it again and again.

P.S. to no one in particular ... don't I look like Harry Potter in this picture? ... or is it the wine ...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Many Names of Isabella

Proper "Records" Name (used by her vet): Isabella*
(* this is correctly pronounced in a sing-song, Spanish-ish
"Eee' sa bel'la" as opposed to plain ole American "iz a bella")

Frequently Used Alias(es):


Ping Pong
Busy Ella

The Baby

... still to come ... The Many Names of Beau

Friday, February 03, 2006

End of Week Observations and Musings

1. It is "winter" in my MerryLand, yet today I saw 2 women wearing flipflops. I wished I was wearing flipflops too when the thermometer reached 64 degrees.

2. Overheard comment from a tiny girl to her mother in a department store: "Can we go home now ... I miss my dog."

3. A segment of a recent talk show dealt with how men and women show their devotion for one another. The expert offered that women are likely to verbalize, while men show their love by doing things. DH made a wicked-good Scrambler for me this morning ... and it's a weekday.

4. I spend much more time reading/thinking/talking about knitting than I spend in the actual process ... and I'm starting to come to terms with that.

5. In today's "heatwave," we opened the kitchen window and I immediately felt a huge sense of loss for my dear old kitty, Ethel, who used to sun on that ledge when the window was opened. She died this past August at 20 years and 4 months of age.

6. The saying goes "you only get one chance to make a first impression," but I think it's a valuable idea to leave yourself open to reinterpret the first impression you receive -- particularly if it was clouded by second-hand information. It may come to pass that a really special person is revealed where you first saw only negative traits.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Wally in the Store-Bought

I have been shopping a bit and thinking a bit about my Olympic Cat Bed projects. I'm probably not going to go strictly by the Princess pattern suggestion, and have purchased a few potentials to swatch.

Meanwhile, Wally thinks the Store-Bought bed works just fine and is unconcerned that he is numero tres on the list for a hand-knit version:

Why yes, of course he is on the kitchen counter -- don't your cats lie up there too? This was the third time I "flashed" in his face, so he has his eyes shut so tight you can't make out a thing!

DH says this is "lights off". When he opens a little squinty bit, it is "parking lights." When he goes wide-eyed, it is "high beams." That really seems to fit on a black cat! His eyes truly are like lights coming on and going off.

We do a lot of nicknames around here at Chez Schavis. Today, I'll let you in on the many monikers of Wally.

Proper "Records" Name (used by his vet): Todd Wallace*

(* does anyone remember the FOX5 newscaster, Todd Wallace? He was one smooth dude and my favorite, -- soooo I respectfully named a scrawny kitten of a neighborhood stray after him. (You're welcome!) ... Be careful that I might like you too much!

Frequently Used Alias(es):

Toddikins (primary common name used during kittenhood)
Wally (primary common name used since he got all big and stuff)
Meester Wallace
Gorilla Pads

Bugsy Malone
Bug Man
The Notorius B U G

...still to come... The Many Names of Beau and 'Bella.
  • Yankee Knitter Designs "Aran Sweater" in Sirdar Supersoft Toddler Aran "Hyacinth"
  • Mark's "UT Afghan" in Red Heart Super Saver Carrot and White
  • COMPLETED! "Aran Rose" in Rowan Calmer "Powder Puff" (details in the Gallery soon!)

  • The Things I Get Into
  • Vegan Lunchbox

  • VEG WEB - YUM!
  • Customized T-Shirts at!

  • Previous | Next

    Previous | Next

    Email me!

    A Rainy Day with My Main Squeeze
    "Doggie Bag" becomes a Sweet Purse
    Off on an Adventure!
    School Daze?
    Knitting Knews
    Coming Up for Air
    Aran Rose is Done!

    Powered by Blogger

    Subscribe with Bloglines
    Dell Coupon Codes
    Web Counter