Knittery Friend

A Quick Visit to the Knittery Friend

The humans are going to visit the Knittery Friend and her kin in the Big City to the South.  They do this because they didn’t see one another over Yule and because children grow up so quickly and eternal friendship, blah, blah, blah.

We all know it’s because the Knittery Friend bakes.

So… The not-yet-delivered Yule parcels are packed and ready to take.

diggingintothe prezzies

Taffy Cat is certain that the Knittery Friend must be receiving catnip mousies and has very selflessly offered to do quality control.  Stand down, foul feline!  You had two mice of your own at Yule and we all  know that they both vanished not five minutes later.  If you cannot keep track of your own toys, do not go bothering someone else’s. 

On the other hand, if you wish to a) annoy the human female and b) fill up all the gift bags with cat hair, be my guest.

(later)  We are here.  Hug, hug.  Yack, yack.  The highly mobile children, I observe, are almost of an age to be suborned into my army.  I shall have to keep my eye on them…

Ah!  Time for presents.  One of the gifts  is this bottle of ink, for the Knittery Friend is also a lover of fountain pens.

ink with cryptic label

I count five fonts on that box.  Only three are legible, none of which is the name or color of the ink.   Try plugging those squiggles into Google Translate!  But hmmm…. My Loki Sense tells me that there is green ink in that box.

And my Growly Tummy tells me that capicola and mozzarella balls would make a very good afternoon snack.

antipasti

The human female never feeds us anything this nice at home.

>|: [

It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets—Part I: No, Actually, It IS all Fun and Games

The humans are doing that thing they do again, that Thing that takes days of planning and preparation, that involves moving a lot of heavy things in very hot weather, that involves cooking and cleaning and logistics enough to move an invading army over the Alps in winter without the aid of hippopotami…

I speak, of course, of  the Summer Gaming Gathering.  

There are friends coming from far and wide, including the Blue-haired Goddaughter and the Knittery Friend.  They’ll all be bringing games and food and family members.  Sigyn and I will probably go for a little bit.  I like to try games I can cheat at win, and Sigyn likes talking to people and playing with game pieces that look like little animals.

I have involved myself rather more than usual this year, by making the clubhouse in the humans’ subdivision unavailable for the final two days of the gaming.  The human male and his friends looked high and low for a substitute venue and were just about to plunk down a Lot of Money to rent a space, when one of the gaming friends convinced the local Cookie Sprout troop to rent them their  meeting house for those two days, very cheaply.  I was sad to see the other deal fall through, because I had a kickback arranged, but I am consoling myself with the fact that there will be TWO venues for the humans to have to clean, and the second place has TWO bathrooms, one with not one but two toilets, so the human female will have extra, EXTRA potties to scrub.

The guests are arriving and the games are coming out.  The human male says this one is fun to play.  It has “Explosion” in the name–so I am intrigued.

marblegame

Any game that involves pieces that will roll around and get underfoot and go under the furniture is all right in my book, although it would be better if some of the marbles were green. 

This game has cards, as well as markers with strange symbols.

japanese-game

I think the artwork is giving Sigyn wardrobe ideas.

This next one is getting a lot of play. Sigyn, let’s insinuate ourselves into the fun.  It involves getting someone to guess the Mystery Word using just one-word clues–and no two hinters can give the same clue, or that clue goes away.  That is, one could say “wick” or “beeswax” if the mystery word was “candle,” but if two people say, “wick”, “wick” will not be one of the clues the guesser gets.  So do you give the obvious clue or not?

just-one2

Ehehehe!  I just whispered in the players’ ears and ALL of the clues were the same, so the guesser now has to guess the word “parachute” with NO hints at all!  Diabolical.

Oooh!  Ooh! I know!  I’ll make the next guesser have to come up with “the human female.”  All right.  The guesser has his eyes closed, the other players have written down their clues,  and now they are silently comparing notes.  The hints are “botanist,” “cookies,” “clumsy-stupid” (hyphenated words are allowed), and “sweetie.”  Deal with that.

This next game is getting a lot of attention too.  It’s much more complex and seems to have some sort of avian bias.  I think, if one played long enough, one could learn something about birds, and the artwork is quite nice.  Sigyn, unfortunately, is so occupied in trying to keep the eggs warm that she’s having trouble remembering all the rules.

wingspan

Those last two games seem to have won some sort of award.   I think it’s a safe bet that copies of both will eventually be coming to live with the humans.  Where the male is going to put them, I have no idea.  If I were nice, I’d make some sort of pocket-dimension spell for him, one that would allow him to store an infinite number of games in a single small room.

But I’m not, so I won’t.

>|: [

Mini-break, Part I: A Not-so-super Sleuth

The humans have snatched the chance to go see the Knittery Friend and her clan in the Big City to the South.  When you’re trying to arrange things to fit six people’s schedules, it can be quite difficult to find a date that suits everyone.  (The baby is isn’t two yet, expressed no opinions, and has no appointments in his  calendar, so he doesn’t count.)

We are taking the opportunity to go to the big museum while we are here.  There is a big exhibit about a famous, fictitious Midgardian detective with preternaturally keen powers of observation.

holmes1

Pfft!  I’m the only one with powers here.

The part of the exhibit about the author, his sources, and his methods is really well done.

sherlock1

Sigyn is a bit squeamish around human skulls, so she is busy reading the old newspapers.

There are little displays about what was cutting edge science in the late 1800’s. There’s a stamp you can collect at every “station.”  Sigyn is tickled because botany is included.

holmes2

Plus, she loves stamps!  (But why is the “optics” stamp a footprint?)

One of the displays shows how a paper with a pattern of slits cut out of it can be held over a text to reveal a secret message.

holmes4

Hmm.  That didn’t work awfully well, because the rubbing of brass newspaper article they had out for rubbing came out rather blurry.  And the holes their punching machine made in the paper didn’t line up very well with the text.  That resulted in an extra-cryptic message!

holmes3

Sigyn thinks the slotty paper’s fun to play with, though.

One room is set up like the great detective’s study, with all sorts of books and props from the stories.  The little notebook has a list of items we’re supposed to find .  The human male has found everything, but how he figured out which of the portraits was Dr.  Beecher, I surely do not know.

holmes5

Ehehehe!  The “V. R.” is spelled out with bullet holes in the wallpaper.  That’s fun!

Fandral’s mustache!  Sigyn, look, we get to try to solve a case!  The whole second half of the exhibit is set up like a crime scene and a lab.

holmes6

The crime scene has all sorts of clues–a smashed statue, a fireplace full of burned books,  and drag marks.  A seedpod?   Multiple bodies?  Blood spatter?  This is agreeably spine-tingly, don’t you think, Sigyn?

There’s a seed pod we’re supposed to match with actual plant samples, as well as some demonstration chemical “tests” to determine if the seed pod was toxic or had poison added to it.

holmes7

I don’t think it looks like a worm.  Sigyn doesn’t think it looks like a worm.  The human female doesn’t think it looks like a worm—and it doesn’t appear to match any of the samples.  One of the docents, though, says its meant to be Wisteria.  The human female remains skeptical.

Also, the human female, in her usual insufferable way, has found a wrong translation in the Spanish part of one of the chemical  test stations.  And the text of the demo test stations seems to suggest there are two “tests” to do on the plant sample, but after a quarter hour of looking all over the room, it seems there’s only one.  She’s starting to look cranky.

Ooo! Here’s the blood spatter evidence.  We’re supposed to match it with the spatter patterns produced by several gruesome penny-arcade-like machines.

holmes8

Sigyn is more than a little uncomfortable.  I’d like to go back through and make the machines squirt “blood” all over again, but Sigyn is feeling a bit queasy.  Moving on.

Here we’re supposed to figure out where the bullet must have been shot from to leave a hole in the wall and a spatter of blood on the wallpaper.

holmes9

Except some of the text says the bullet hole was above the fireplace, while the bullet hole in the set-up crime scene is to the left of the fireplace, about five feet up.

The machines for making comparison drag marks and footprints in a big sand pit is kind of fun.

holmes10

Sigyn and I agree that some of the marks were footprints, but we don’t think the drag marks came from a body.

At the end of the exhibit are more slot punching machines.  We’re supposed to put the card in the ones that correspond with our interpretation of the evidence and punch out a rectangle, and then put the stencil over a message to reveal the final truth.

Uh, oh, based on the docent telling us that the plant was supposed to be Wisteria, the human female punched the wrong slot.  And then the right one.  We can see the message, and we were mostly correct, but there was a lot of this exhibit that was  misleading or just plain wrong.

holmes11.jpg

There!  I’ve supplied a more appropriate secret message.

>|: [

A Gaming Gathering, Part I: Making New “Friends”

The semiannual gaming gathering is in full swing.  There are people from the Big City to the North, the Big City to the South, the Slightly Smaller City a Bit Further South, and quite a few from around here.  The blue-haired goddaughter and her parents are here, as well as the Knittery Friend and her clan.  When I landed on this rock, getting to know the populace before I subdued them was never part of my agenda, but I seem to know quite a few of them now.  Of course, I can’t be bothered to learn any names, but the same faces keep turning up.

There are some new faces here, though.  Some of these characters appear decidedly… shady.  Sigyn, true to form, trusts everyone and has made a beeline for the strangers.

This large grey fellow is rather imposing.

gaming-rhino1

Careful, Sigyn!  He appears well-armed.  Though my horns are finer, no doubt he could do some damage with his, for all they appear to be somewhat squishy.

gaming-rhino2

Guess I needn’t have worried.  Apparently, his name is Rinaldo and he is now on our Yule card list.

Moving on.  I know I haven’t seen these colorful characters before.  Look, you bespotted nobodies, don’t get any ideas.  I am Loki, God of Mischief, and this is my turf!

gaming-figures2

Perhaps they are mostly harmless.  I think they may be in search of a good ophthalmologist.  The owlish-looking one has some serious bug-eyes, and the big blue bird thing has the worst case of amblyopia I’ve ever seen.

gaming-figures1

And I think the frog-like one is trying to do the macarena.

Oh, great.  Now we’re taking a group photo.

gaming-figures3

Sigh. Fine.  I’ll line up.

But I won’t say, “cheese.”

>|: [

In Which We Meet Some Truly Odd… Creatures

The humans are in the Big City to the South, visiting the Knittery Friend and her family.  This usually means good food and good company.  Good food eventually means a trip to the Necessary Room.  Sigyn and I have gone exploring to try to find it.

I think we found it.

And by Fandral’s Mustache Wax, it is guarded by the weirdest beast I have ever beheld—and keep in mind that as a lad I once sneezed mid-spell in the royal menagerie in Asgard and had to deal with the after-effects!

bathroom1

No doubt the Knittery Friend has stationed it here and trained it to mercilessly savage any who would dare leave toothpaste globs in the sink.  Don’t get too close, Sigyn!  A normal duck hasn’t any teeth, but this is most decidedly not a normal duck…

Ah, this beastie here is no doubt more gentle and amenable to scritches.  Unless I miss my guess, this is the rare striped pygmy soapwhale.  They breed in southern latitudes and migrate northwards in the summer.  The fact that this fellow is here now is a sure sign of the impending solstice.

bathroom2

Sigyn says she would like to be able to cruise the seven seas, living a life of High Adventure.

And I think she’s figured out a way to make that dream come true.

bathroom3

>|: [

Gaming Gathering, Part III

Come, Sigyn, let us see what delicacies await us on the refreshments table. These gatherings are famous for sporting a wide array of delicious junk food.

By Volstagg’s embonpoint! Who brought this?!

9zxotjAhIkeaX4mur_jgbDCCrNqtTCNTuftLSIUveuA=w888-h666-no

Someone is trying to ruin things with a platter of healthful vegetables. This will never do.

Oh. I see Cheetos over there. After what happened last time, I must keep Sigyn away from them. (Her hands are still orange!) Look–over there! Do you see? It’s some of those rainy cherries you like so much.

iSSGOjnJNQIk8bdZbtWsEqtHOoDw5iEsdWgeERwvqTg=w888-h666-no

I think Sigyn plans to camp out there in the bag and just eat her way out…

(Later) She’s been in there a while. Let me see if I can find something to entice her to rejoin me.

Aha! These will do! I know what these are–the human female’s Knittery Friend has made these before. They are the most scrumptious little cookies imaginable and the human female is quite helpless before them. To her great consternation (but the salvation of her waistline,) the recipe is a Family Secret Which May Not Be Shared.

fdtu6rgu-ZhsdJ4lJOBOEvPfBCO-tCP7pFYtYModDrI=w655-h666-no

I knew that would get you out. It looks as if there are not many left. Let us carry them into a quiet corner and indulge. The humans will just have to make do with the rabbit food.

>|: [