Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why it pays to surf the net at work....

... because you find a site with more than 900 knitted Barbie patterns. FOR FREE!!!!!!

And not frumpy Barbie patterns... nicely styled and shaped patterns that use fingering weight yarn! Looks like some of the sock yarn left over may not make it into the crackghan

Oh, and I finished the first sleeve of the cardi... only one left to go... but that's not nearly as exciting as the Barbie patterns.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Little things...

I recently wrote an article on easy ways to cheer yourself up for one of our magazines - one of the suggestions was to, essentially, count your blessings... instead of focusing on the bad things that happened, write down all the good things, no matter how small.

Last week was a pretty crappy week workwise, so I decided today was a good time to take my own advice:

Good thing one: Lazy mornings
Since neither Dave nor I had to rush into work this morning, we slept in - I spent a good portion of the morning snuggled up to his warmth, listening to his snoring (which is really more like an adorable purr) and the sound of the rain. I can't think of a much better way to start a Monday.

Good thing two: Laundry surprises
Like any couple, Dave and I have our issues - some big, some small. But there are tonnes of little things I love about him. One of the things I love is folding laundry and finding his underpants mixed in with mine - yep, it's silly and school-girlish, but I love it.

Good thing three: Weekend knit-a-thon
While I did have to work Saturday, Dave spent most of the weekend at his cottage - and when he did come here on Sunday, he was so hung over worn out, we spent the whole day relaxing and watching movies. Which meant I had Friday and Saturday night and all day Sunday to finish Travelling Woman Shawl
This was a great knit. If you're looking for a last minute gift and have a weekend to devote - this is it! I added an extra repeat of chart A, so mine is 52 inches wide.

And the yarn..... I know if any of you could feel this yarn, it'd be flying out of the shop. Please take my word for it, this is the most scrumptious yarn you will ever find!!!!!! The fabric it creates is light and lofty... so silky... I seriously want to make a nightie or undies out of this... it's THAT nice.

Good thing four: Lap Cats
Peno sat in my lap for the first time this weekend. For those who don't know, Peno came from a rescue. She was live trapped as a feral kitten, and spent three years in the rescue. No one wanted her because she was so timid. The first three weeks she spent with me were spent under the bed. She only came out when I wasn't home (I know she came out because the food was eaten and there were never any messes out side the box)

She still hides when company comes, but over the past three years, she's become quite a noisy, pushy little pest... a far cry from the scared little thing she was. But, she has never been fond of being picked up (she will let me though, as long as she knows I'll put her down when she asks) and she's never been a lap cat... until Sunday morning when she climbed in my lap, did a silly little cat dance and laid down purring. It didn't last more than 10 minutes... but it's progress!

Good thing five: Free time
The dishes are done, the house is clean (or as clean as it's gonna get today) and I have the rest of the evening to knit!

What are your little good things?

Friday, September 25, 2009

I think I'm in love

A little while back, I posted about our Fluffy Cat yarn. We hadn't gotten around to dying it, but I already knew I was going to love it.... I just didn't realize how much.

As I mentioned earlier, I dyed up a skein just for myself for the Travelling Woman shawl... Well, I cast on tonight and I almost didn't blog about it because I didn't want to stop knitting(I'm just to the first chart)...
This yarn is absolute heaven! Is a fingering weight blend of alpaca, silk and cashmere and it is so, so silky and soft. It just glides through your fingers and across the needles. It has a nice soft twist and creates a light, lofty fabric with just a hint of a fuzzy halo... I think this has become my new favourite yarn (I know I've said this before, but it's going to be really hard to top this one)

It was made for scarves and shawls, though it would make very luxurious socks too.

There are three colourways up in the shop:
From left to right - Moonlit Amethyst, Mermaid's Fancy and Clockwork Orange. (My colourway - Pumpkin Patch is not available but if you really like it, let me know and I can make it so)
There are two skeins of each with 400 yards in each skein, so if you want to make a big shawl buy two... for scarves and socks buy one.

Oh, and if you're reading this on September 26th... it's Mom's birthday today!
Head over here to wish her Happy Birthday! And if you really want her to have a great birthday, stop by the shop and buy some yarn - then you both get a present!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Button Up

You know my last post.... where I was all proud at finishing the fronts of the cardi, and I said that I had a few hours left that night to knit? Remember how I asked if I should start on the sleeves or work on my sock? You remember that?


I didn't start the sleeves.....

I didn't even work on the sock.....

I sat at the computer ....

..... all night.....

....buying BUTTONS! (Damn you Etsy!)

You see, after finding those lovely dragon buttons... I decided I needed a button stash.... I have a small one... sort of... mostly it's just buttons I've "borrowed" from Mom's button stash. You know... "Mom, I forgot to bring my project with me, so I'm just going to take a bunch home that might work and I'll bring the rest back."

But then the buttons don't want to leave. They like it here, and they know that eventually, I'll find the right project for them.

Anyway... I was on Etsy and I found these:

With the exception of the octopi, I think I had a theme going.

But the Octopi were just so cute. I think they will be perfect for a little pink baby outfit.

I can easily see this becoming a new addiction... there are so many cool buttons out there. I think I may got to a thrift store too.... see if there are some clothes with unique buttons.

Tomorrow I'm heading up to Mom's to do a little yarn photographing, so don't forget to stop by the shop this weekend to see what's new!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Got my groove on...

With some help from my knitting friends, Peno...
... who kept my pattern warm, and Tux...... who kept my lap warm, I spent yesterday evening and tonight finishing up the second front of the cardi. It's blocking with the first half...All I have left is the sleeves, and since I plan to do 3/4 sleeves instead of full sleeves, I am well ahead of my October 31st deadline. I may even have it done before my buttons arrive!

It makes it very tempting to cast on for the Dragon shawl.... but, I think the Dragon shawl may end up waiting a little longer than planned.

You see, yesterday I went up to Mom's to drop off some stuff I had borrowed... and she suckered me into dying more yarn. (Keep you eye on the shop... Fluffy Cat (Alpaca/Silk/Cashmere) and Slinky Cat (Merino/Silk) yarns will soon be available.) I dyed one skein just for myself and it's destined to become the Traveling Woman shawl...I've loved this pattern since I first saw it and I figured, since it's smaller, it's probably a good "practice" project before taking on the Dragon shawl and possibly mucking up my Sea Silk.

So, there are several hours left to the evening.... should I cast on a sleeve or work on the pink sock?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I've been good...

...I haven't cast on for the Dragon Shawl... yet.

Actually, I left the yarn in skeins, which is helping. I don't have a winder, so I have to take it to Mom's... so it starting the project actually takes forethought.

I even finished the first front of the cardi - it's blocking now. I've started the right front, but I've only got the moss stitch border done. Last night, I bought some buttons for it on Etsy.

I'm not sure if they will be the right size, but if not, they are so cool I can find something else to use them for (there are two)

I was looking for nice celtic buttons. I saw some on someone else's blog - I can't remember who. They looked like carved wood or bone and they were celtic knot work. If anyone knows anywhere online I can find something like that, please let me know.

Yesterday Dave and I spent the afternoon at my Grandparents. My Grandpa's internet was too slow, and he was having trouble playing online bridge... five hours later Dave had the problem fixed and I had about 3.5 inches done on the second pink sock (no pics yet)

We also got sent home with a Butternut squash fresh from the garden. It's in the oven cooking right now, along with some nice roast chicken.

We stopped up at Mom's today and I finally got some pictures of the Fan Shawl.I was happy with the usual pose, but Mom decided to get all artsy with the "Stick it in the tree!" shot.
I have to admit, it looks nice in the tree. I've been wearing the shawl all weekend, and with the cool nights we've been having (actually got some frost last night) it's making me crave more warm woolies.

So, while dinner is cooking I'm going to go get a few more rows done on the cardi. That is if someone will give it back:And someone else will get out of my knitting basket:

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mmmmm silk...

Well it's arrived.....
My absolutely delicious skeins of Hand Maiden Sea Silk. It actually arrived on Tuesday, but I didn't get a chance to head up to Mom's until today. AND she threatened to keep it!!! But she's too busy with her Wollmeise, so I was able leave with it without too much trouble.

The colourway is actually 'Woodland', NOT Forest, or Hemlock or Cedar as we thought. But it is beautiful and feels oh so nice.

I've downloaded the Dragon Shawl pattern, but I'm not going to start it yet. One, I don't have any ink to print it out... and two, I'm forcing myself to at least get both fronts done on my cardi before I cast on anything new.

I'm actually up to the arm hole on the first front, and may even finish that up tonight.

Dave and I have a busy weekend of a lot of little tasks planned, so it's hard to say how much knitting time I will get. So, I'm off to it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spreading the disease

Things have been really stressful at Job #1. It's nothing serious, just a lot of projects, tight deadlines and sales reps who don't understand that - no I can't pull a 500 word story out of my butt in 2 minutes so you client can approve it because the deadline is in 5 minutes and you took your sweet ass time about selling the space.

One of my editors is bearing the brunt of it and was saying she needed something to take her mind off the chaos. Of course, I suggested knitting.

So, the lessons began yesterday:She's doing quite well... all that knitting after just two lunch breaks. What's she's making has changed several times from a scarf for herself, to a scarf for her boyfriend...but now she seems to have settled on a scarf for her Golden Doodle, Grace.

All in all, it worked out. Just look at the smile on her face. All I kept hearing this afternoon when we went back to work was "I don't want to work - I want to knit." And as I left today she was knitting - the presses were having issues to she had to wait around to send her publication out. But she was SMILING!

Now Dave hasn't been here all week, so I have to go do my own dishes... then it's off the bath, book and bed!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Back to the Cardi

I don't know what's going on, but the last few days I feel like a knitting (and blogging) machine.... but don't worry, everything has a balance and I'm sure I'll get into a rut again soon.

But for now, I've got my groove on.....
... and I'm flying on the cardi (this is the left front). When I picked it up tonight, I only had the bottom moss stitch border done. And in just a few short hours, I'm almost half way to the arm holes. (Thank you to Miss Peno, who spent the evening laying on my book, so now the pattern lays perfectly flat.)

It was weird going back to this. The Fan Shawl was knit with Regia Silk, and that yarn is so soft and ... well... silky. This (Filatura Di Crossa Zara) feels so rough by comparison. And it's not really rough at all. It's extra fine merino and it's knitting up just lovely. It just took a few rows to get used to again.

It has the perfect amount of sproing, and is giving me nice even tension (a big thing for me). And rub it against your cheek... there is absolutely no itch. The Regia was also very splitty, and this isn't. It really is a nice yarn to knit with. I wish I had more.

Anyway, I've set myself a goal for this one. I'd like to have it done for the end of October. Just in time for the really cool weather. It's a doable goal too, as long as I limit the crackghan to weekend movie-watching knitting, limit the socks to weekend car knitting (that's if Dave doesn't make me drive), and resist the urge to cast on for another shawl.

That's going to be the really hard part... you see, Mom apparently snagged me two skeins of Handmaiden Sea Silk... and it's due to arrive any day. And I have the perfect shawl picked out:
The Red Dragon Shawl... though mine will be a green dragon...(these aren't the actual skeins Im getting, just a pic I stole off the net) the colour mom picked out was Forest (or at least that's what we think it was.. neither of us can remember for sure.. it might be Hemlock or Cedar... it's green anyway.) So, when it arrives, it's going to take some serious resisting... of course, it's all knit with charts (I hate charts) and the cardi is simple stocknit stitch, so the cardi may just win out.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pagans, Pink Socks and Progress

The Pagan Harvest Festival was great. Great weather, nice people and Wandering Cat Yarn was received with enthusiasm (with several knitters who were pleased to see fibre at the show as they were unable to get to the KW Knitters' Fair).

I don't have any pictures because Dave was sick and unable to join me. While other friends did pop by to give me a break, I didn't get much of a chance to leave my booth.

I did however manage to resist the siren song of the Bugga, and finished my pink sock:
I even cast on for the second one. Pattern will be available as soon as I finish it.

Despite his cold, Dave spent most of today in the basement doing something. I'm not entirely sure what, but I have a feeling it has something to do with the building of a doomsday machine. Regardless, it left me plenty of time to knit. So, I set aside the pink sock and finally finished the fan shawl:As you can see, it's blocking now. I can only block half of it at a time. As soon as it's done, I'll take it up to Mom's and get her to take some better pictures of it.

In order to pin it on the board, I had to take off the back of my cardi, which has been blocking since I pinned it there several weeks ago. I'm feeling inspired to do some more work on that, so hopefully I'll have some time this week.

That is if I don't jones too much for the crackghan:But, now the weekend has gone far too quickly, and it's time to go find that boy of mine for a snuggle...

Friday, September 11, 2009


Well I'm all organized... all that's left is to pack it all in the car (where is the boy when you need him to do some heavy lifting?) But it's dark out now, and there are absolutely no lights where my car is, nor does my car have an interior light in the hatch... so packing will commence early tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, I'm dosing up on Advil (killer headache) and sharing with you all the lovely presents I got today.

First... a present to myself.
Some lovely Australian opal beads finally arrived in the mail today. There is a great seller on Ebay who has beautiful gemstone beads - but the opals are particularly hard to get. It's not unusual for the auction to skyrocket waaaay out of my price range. But I managed to get these at quite a reasonable price a few weeks ago. They are quite small but the fire in them is AMAZING. I'm going to make myself a pair of chandelier type earrings with them, I think.

Second... a present from Mom...

This one is a real present too!A skein of Skinny Bugga from the Sanguine Gryphon. For the uninitiated, the Sanguine Gryphon along with others like Wollmeise and the Plucky Knitter are like rock stars are of the hand dying community. Their stuff sells out in minutes, and sometimes its ridiculously hard to get a hold of. I tried once, failed and said "screw that!" There is a lot of other yarn I can spend my money with very little effort.

Mom however, has infinite more patience, and finally scored four skeins... one of which she gave to me! And while I won't lurk on the internet waiting for an update, I will say this is GORGEOUS yarn (merino/cashmere blend) and her dying is beautiful. I do understand why people want it.

I was planning on taking both the fan shawl and my sock to the show tomorrow to work on , but I am sorely tempted to wind this up tonight, and cast on for a new sock tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on my progress to resist that urge.

And finally... another present I bought myself

For most people, impulse items are things like gum, a chocolate bar, or a bag of chips... for me..... it's a dragon stuffie. I was in Hallmark buying a birthday card, and this awesome guy was near the cash register... the picture doesn't do him justice, but I didn't have time to get a better one because my battery was dying. I have a small collection of dragon stuffies and as soon as I saw him I knew he had to come home with me.

And now there is a strange smell coming from my kitchen that I must go investigate. I think Dave put something in the recycling that should have gone in the garbage...

So, if you're around Hamilton tomorrow, stop by Gage Park for the Pagan Harvest Festival 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Never enough time

I use to roll my eyes at my mother when she'd say "There are enough hours in the day"... and it's amazing how quickly that changes as you grow older.

I could use at least another 8 hours to each day and it probably wouldn't be enough.

Here it is, less than 48 hours before the show, and I've barely done anything toward getting organized and packed.

Oh I have lots of inventory, I've been slowly building it up over the summer, but it's all over the place, nothing is priced, I have no business cards, brochures, signs....

Today the intention was to leave work early (around 2 or 3) head up to mom's pick up the yarn, and come here and get organized.

Well, I worked until 5, got tom mom's about 6, and she asked me to stay for dinner. Now if there is one thing I miss about living at home, it's Mom's cooking. Oh, living rent free and having disposable income were great, but I wouldn't move back home just for that.... but Mom's cooking... yeah that might tempt me.

And tonight, it wasn't even really her cooking... she bought a roasted chicken from the grocery store and threw together a salad... but even store bought chicken tastes better when she buys it.

So anyway, by the time I played with Ladydog (I'm not allowed to sit at Mom's until I throw the ball at least 100 times), played with Mom's new Wollmeise (she wouldn't even let me sneak some out in my purse), ate dinner and packed up the yarn it was 8 p.m.

I got home took care of the kids (they hate getting dinner late, no matter if there is still food in the dish) read my email, read my blogs and now it's almost 10.

So no organizing for me. I'm going to have a hot bath, put my feet up and do a few more squares on the crackghan.

I'll just leave work REALLY early tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Why I am a strong supporter of natural selection

Normally, I like to keep this blog about knitting, dyeing and other artsy things... but I have to share something I experienced today.

As many of you know, in addition to the Wandering Cat enterprise, I have have two "real" jobs. Well one "real" job and another job whose purpose was to "get me out of debt" but has turned into "keep me in yarn and shoes". In Job #1, I'm a writer. In Job #2 I'm a receptionist for a car dealership.

This interesting little experience happened at the dealership tonight.

The phone rings

I answer, "Good evening (insert dealership name here)"

The woman on the other end says "What?"

I repeat: "Good evening (insert dealership name here)"

She says "What's that?"

I reply "We're a car dealership"

Woman: "Well what did you want?"

Me: "Umm, you called us."

Woman: "No, someone called me earlier and left me a message."

Me: "Okay, well I'm the main receptionist. There are about 25 other people in the building. Who did you want to speak to?"

Woman: "I don't know."

Me: "Was the call for sales or service?"

Woman. "I don't know."

Me: "Did they leave you a name?"

Woman: "I don't know."

Me: "Well what did the message say?"

Woman: "The message?"

Me: "Yes, you said someone left you a message..."

Woman: "Oh. I didn't listen to it. I just called the number back."

Then there was a long pause as I let her figure it out for herself...

Woman: "Well I guess I better listen to the message."

She never called back.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Liar, liar, pants on fire!

As the title suggests... I'm a liar. I did not get one single project finished this weekend, as promised earlier... and I can't even blame Dave.

In view of the cooler evenings we've had lately, I opted to finish the fan shawl over the socks. Considering all the time I've had to knit this weekend (Dave and I barely left the house for once!) it should be blocking right now. But it's not. It currently looks like this...
There are only 4 half fans (only 19 rows each) and five rows of garter stitch edging left. Probably less than 3 hours of knitting.

So how come it's not finished? Well there were several idle hours of not knitting... just lazing around watching movies. Normally I knit while watching movies, but as the evenings wore on, I just had no drive to pick up the needles and keep knitting.

And the other reason is....Despite Miss Peno's best efforts to keep me from working on it... I can't keep my hands off the damn sockghan! It's addictive! I think I'm going to start calling it the crackghan.

Both projects are modular, but unlike the fan shawl, I don't seem to get bored with the crackghan. I think it's the fact that each square is a different colour, where the fan shawl is just more and more and more of the same.

So, there are only a few hours left before bed time, I could finish up the last few fans... but I won't... I'm off to get my mitred square sock yarn fix...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sale! Sale! Sale!

Just a quick note....

Mom updated the store yesterday with the sock yarn we just dyed. And, in honour of all our hard work this summer, we marked down the sock yarn 10 % for Labour Day Weekend.

My favourite colour(Witch's Britches) has already sold:But there are still many other lovely colourways, including....


Have a great weekend

Friday, September 4, 2009

I love you Royal Mail

I love Royal Mail so much... I think I want to move to Britain (oh, and for the castles, and history and all that cool stuff too....)

Why do I love Royal Mail so much? It's fast.... look what it brought me in just a week... all the way across the Atlantic!15 beautiful balls of Regia Silk 6-ply in the loveliest shade of dark forest green. Yeah... I know I said I was going to stay off Ebay... but $2.12 a ball... how do you pass that up, people? (Plus I bought it with money made from selling some of my jewellry so it doesn't really count). I was thinking I'd make a cardigan out of it... but for now, I'm just going to go fondle it for a while.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I haven't had a whole lot of knitting motivation this week... as mentioned before, I'm so close to finishing two projects, but I have no desire to pick either of them up.

But this weekend is a long weekend, and Dave and I have no plans, so I've decided to make it a UFO long weekend and commit to finish at least one of them.

But I can't decide which... the socks, or the fan shawl. So tonight, I worked on the sockghan while trying to decide. (yes I am entirely aware that I probably could have completed one of them by working on it tonight instead of the sockghan, thus leaving the weekend to finish the other, then have BOTH projects done... but what's the fun in that?)

I still haven't decided which project to finish, but I did get another row done on the sockghan...

.... and look it's a whopping 11 inches long! (that's 74 squares).... only 55 inches (370 squares) more to go.

Actually, I am loving this project. Unlike many other projects I've worked on it doesn't bother me that I'm miles from being finished. I think the variety of yarn is keeping me from getting bored. Each square is almost like casting on for a new project... and I have so many great yarns to choose from.

But, as I said... I'll be putting this away for the weekend, and by Tuesday, you should see a finished project on this screen!

Oh, and before I forget... Mom and I got into the dye again the other day. It's drying now, but there should be some new colours up in the store again soon.

... and one last thing.... on Saturday, September 12th, I will be vending at the Hamilton Pagan Harvest Festival. This year, I'll be taking the yarn, as well my jewellry.... so if there is something on the site you want... you might want to get it soon, as it might not be coming back from the show.