Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I think the boy is cursed....

...because nothing I knit him works out.

I finished up the first war glove last night just before Mom arrived to take us to see the Trans Siberian Orchestra (WICKED AWESOME! Go see them if you can! I especially loved the fire. Mmmm fire....) and I tossed it at his head because he was playing pirates on the computer and ignoring me. He tried it on and....
They are too big. Now obviously this is my girly hand pictured with it, but it is enormous! They are supposed to be 5 inches wide and it's just over 5.5 inches (my girly hand is 3.5 inches). Dave doesn't have small hands, but they are nice, slender piano man hands.

But the thing that REALLY ticks me off. I SWATCHED. I never swatch - never, ever, ever, ever. I had to for this because the pattern didn't give a needle size. Just a gauge. It's worsted, and to get gauge I had to use a 3.5 mm needle (not really surprising, I do tend to be a loose knitter). And my gauge was SPOT ON! It was perfect!

Now I can easily fix thsi little problem by modifying the pattern a bit - but I don't want to undo this one. I'm going to make the second and give it to my Papa, who has huge hands! Then I'm going to head up the Julie's to see if she has another skein of the yarn (her site said she had three, lets hope they are still there by the time I have moolah and a chance to get there) or something in a similar colour.

I had considered casting on for the second one at Job#2 tonight, but this morning I packed up Dave's sock instead. But when I got to work, I realized I left my fourth needle at home - so no knitting tonight.

Now I'm going to go upstairs and decide which yarn I want to use for my first shawl. Dave hasn't decided where he wants to go for New Year's - his cottage or his uncle's, but wherever we end up at the stroke of midnight - I'm casting on!

Happy New Year's to all!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Of wartime and thieves...

Well, after a wet and rainy Christmas, old man winter has finally made an appearance. I woke up this morning to about an inch or so of snow. The temperature has dropped and the wind has picked up considerably. Dave is at the cottage and he says the wind is just a-howling off Lake Erie.

I myself spent the evening curled up with my shawls and afghans, knitting away. What better way to spend a cold evening?

I cast on for a new project that will hopefully solve a little problem Dave and I have. Whenever we get in his car, he turns the heat on full blast - and I mean like 90 degrees full blast (this from the boy who can't stand summer). That wouldn't necessarily be a problem except for one thing. Neither of us can agree on where the heat should be coming out of.
When I drive, the heat is always turned to the floor. The only exception is when I need to defrost my windows, and as soon as they are clear, it goes back on the floor. The reason - I can't stand hot air blowing on my face, it makes me feel like I can't breath. In fact, I quite often drive with the window cracked in the winter to let some fresh air in. I similarly hate air conditioning in the car, but I can live with it.

Dave however, wants the heat coming out of the dash. The reason? "My hands are cold!" he whines. He won't let me close the vents, and even though they are turned toward him, I still feel the brunt of it.

I bought him some lovely fur-lined leather gloves, but he never wears them. He says he can't get a good grip on the steering wheel. Fair enough. Finally, at the beginning of December I had a brainwave - fingerless gloves!

I mentioned it to him and got - "yeah, that could work, but are they going stretch like my socks and my sweater?"
After I finished beating him for his insolence, I hopped on Ravelry and found a pair called "Trigger Gloves". The pattern was from the second world war, and as soon as I mentioned that, Dave's eyes lit up. "You mean it would be something like what the gunners wore?"

The boy is slightly obsessed with WWII. I like history too, but much prefer the mysteries of ancient Egypt, the innovations of ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, the knights and chivalry of medieval times and the intrigue and ingenuity of the Renaissance. But I digress....

The pattern called for sport weight yarn - but I don't have any sport weight yarn that isn't girly. I also wanted it to match his leather coat - which is a lovely '70s hue of dark tobacco. I knit him a hat that matched perfectly last year (which he loves) out of Bernat Ultra Alpaca. I still have a skein left, but it is worsted weight. I found a couple patterns - but none were from the war.

And then I had another brainwave - why not use a regular glove pattern - I had a 'service man' glove pattern from 1942 - and just shorten the fingers?

Here it is so far...
...I had hoped to be a little further along, but I had a bit of a knitting emergency tonight.

You see, back when I posted the pattern for Nip Nuggets, one of my blog readers and her four beautiful kitties admired them. She doesn't knit and neither do her cats, so I thought I'd whip up a quartet and send them off.
With all the hours at work and Christmas knitting, I didn't get a chance to finish them until last night. I tucked them up on the shelf where MY cats couldn't get them... or so I thought.....

I came home today to this smug little turd...What gets me is 1) this is the fattest, laziest cat you will ever meet. He lays down to eat! If anyone was going to climb the shelf to get something, I would have put my money on Rocky, not Tux. 2) All four Nip Nuggets were in the same spot - and he only took the one.He may be a smug little turd, but at least he's not a greedy little turd.
So anyway, I really wanted to get them off to Amy and her family - they've waited long enough - so I spent an hour or so whipping up another one.
All four are l safely packaged up, cat proofed and will be posted tomorrow! And with any luck I can still gt Dave's gloves finished before the New Year, 'cause I've got some shawls to cast on!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

All about socks....

I finished up a couple pair of socks over the holidays. I wanted to make a pair of Feather and Fan socks for myself, but couldn't find a pattern that was exactly what I wanted. So, of course, I set to designing my own using our Top Cat (colour is Budgie):
I called it Undine, and the pattern is now available for free on Ravelry.
I finished these ones up on Christmas Eve and immediately cast on for a second pair. I finished them on Boxing Day.
These were knit with La ball of Lana Grossa I picked up at Julie's tent sale in the summer. It's a blend of virgin wool, silk, polymid and cashmere - I want some more of this yarn - it's lovely! I On this pair I knit the purl row, leaving out the garter ridge. I think the socks look great both ways.

The thing I love best about knitting socks is having sock yarn left over for the crackghan:This has been neglect of late what with all the hours at work and need to finish Christmas gifts. But I picked it up today and did six new squares on it.

And, I test drove the exercise bike for a full half hour today. I kept a speed of about 15 km/h, travelled 6.6 km, burned 78 calories and knit this muchA simple 3-1 rib sock for Dave. I will most likely give them to him for Valentine's Day.

But now it's back to the real world... so off to bed for me. No sleeping in until noon tomorrow.... sigh....

Saturday, December 26, 2009


I hope everyone had a good Christmas.

For my part, I really can't complain. Christmas Eve was spent with Dave's Mom and Grandma. They received the Pink Berry Hill socks, and Fan Shawl respectively and both seemed pleased. We got home just before midnight and crawled into bed, just before Santa arrived.

Christmas day we slept in until almost noon (a first for me - I was always the kid trying to get everyone up at 3 a.m.) and headed up to Mom's for 3 p.m. There was a whirlwind of present opening and a great dinner and then it was off to my grandparent's for a quick visit:
I love this pic... the oldest member of the family, my Papa, with the youngest (and cutest and baddest), my niece Rowan.

She, and her big sister, Paisley,...made out like little bandits. But I wasn't neglected by the Christmas faeries either. Some of the highlights include:Wicked awesome Knit Picks Harmony double points in larger sizes. These will come in handy with the Tosh cardi, as the sleeves are knit in the round.
A gorgeous set of new dishes. When I moved out, Mom was kind enough to give me her old set - which are about 15 years old. I've wanted a new set for a long time, but could never justify the expense. After all - there is nothing really wrong with old set - they are still very functional.

But this set is perfect - it's so me... at once rustic and trendy... and GREEN. You can't see it, but the glaze on the green is all crackled and so beautiful. I particularly love the bowls, which are nice and deep. Dave loves the mugs - they are super tall and sturdy - perfect for a giant cup of coffee in the morning.

Dave took me out for my present today. It actually wasn't our intention to go shopping - we both hate the mania of the whole Boxing Day thang - but he needed a pipe fitting for the cottage's new water heater, so off to Canadian Tire we went. We were just about to leave when we walked by the exercise equipment. I had asked for a recumbent bike, and we intended to go shopping for one in the New Year - after all the Boxing Week mania calmed down - but there it was, on sale:
We immediately put it together when we got home - which was interesting - we love each other dearly, but are well aware of our limitations when it comes to building things together - we both want to be in charge. But in the end we got it done.

It's a good size, and tucks against the wall and out of the way. When I want to use it, I just swing it around in front of the TV and peddle away! My goal is to be able to peddle through a whole movie almost every night - I don't have cable, or even an antenna - just my DVD player, so all I watch is movies.

And the best part about it? I can KNIT while I peddle!!!... How cool is that???

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

We at Wandering Cat Studio wish you all the best, however you choose to celebrate the season...
...even if that means spending all day in bed!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Twas the night before the night before Christmas...

... and there is not much going on here. It's not like being a kid - I can remember the anticipating of the weeks leading up to Christmas - every day it seem to mount and mount. Now it's just... meh.. Christmas is coming.

Actually the peace is kind of nice. I've FINALLY gotten to the arm holes on my Tosh cardi. I didn't think it was ever going to happen - 280 stitches to a row is a lot - oh wait... did I say I joined 10 shawls in 2010... I guess I better get used to long rows. Anyway, here's how it looks at this moment:
As you can see the second ball of yarn is quite a bit lighter - the beauty of hand painted yarn. Personally I think it looks pretty cool, and I'm sure the next ball will be different again. It all adds to the charm in my opinion.

I am about half done the second Budgie sock - but I don't have a picture to show you. I took one but it's blurry and I only have until Dave is out of the shower to get this post done - so there is no time to take another one.

Yep.. he's out now and will want the computer back, so I'll leave you with this wicked awesome pic I took of Peno yesterday:

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Perfect 10!

You may or may not have been to the shop today - but if you haven't, you should. Mom listed two new colours of Fluffy Cat. Pink Pearl (of which I have a skein in my personal stash) and Sugar Plum Faeries.

It was really hard to let her put those up for sale I tell you - Fluffy Cat is my absolute favourite yarn for shawls and those colours are hard to resist.

And speaking of shawls - I've joined 10 Shawls in 2010, have you?

In addition, Wandering Cat Yarns is also a sponsor and will be offering up a skein of Fluffy Cat as a prize!

Ten shawls in a year is a very ambitious project for me, but I think I can swing it. Sock knitting will be relegated to work only, and the two sweaters I have on the go will be for distracted knitting days (they are both plain stocknit for the most part). And I'm not knitting for anyone else next year! Just moi!

Here is my list of 10 shawls (subject to change without notice - images stolen shamelessly from others on Ravelry)

You may remember, I started Purity last year, but it got sent to the frog pond and never picked up again. I have some lovely white Alpaca Fina for the centre, and some pale green Kid Silk Haze for the border

Another one I started and frogged. I think I'm going to do this in Sport Weight instead of Lace Weight. I have some lovely apple green Yarn Tree House Alpaca/Merino for it.

Red Dragon
As mentioned a while back, I have some yummy Handmaiden Sea Silk in Woodland for this baby!

I have no idea what I'm doing this one in yet, but I really like that ruffle!

I will be doing the larger version and using the sumptuous Winter Spruce Fluffy Cat I dyed on my birthday.

Wool Peddler
I just scored some Debbie Bliss Stella in scarlet for this one!

Navdanya Prayer Shawl
I may steal the dark green merino I have squirreled away for a sweater for Dave for this one.

Regal Comfort Shawl
Nice and simple, I think this may be what Dave's Leo gets reknit into.

Thanks to Mom I have some lovely Skinny Bugga in Rainbow Scarab (colour pictured) to knit this one

Dragon Wings
I'm not sure what yarn to use for this, but it's been in my queue since I joined ravelry.

So, 2010 is going to be busy, as you can see.

You should also go check out Knitting in the Wild. She's having a contest for some lovely silk yarn.

Now, since I can't start any of these shawls until January, I'm going to go see if I can get to the armholes on my Tosh cardi.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Unloved but productive

Well... Dave obviously didn't miss me enough, (though he may still come tonight, he said.).... so, instead of being loved and adored today ....I got the floor mopped (who knew it was off-white, not some crazy greyish, juice-stained, dirty-shoe printed pattern?). I got the studio mostly cleaned, the laundry done, the fish tank cleaned (the angel fish are MUCH happier now), the dishes got done, and the cats got snuggled. I'd never have gotten that much accomplished if he was here, so there is a sunny-side to being neglected for a weekend of solo guitar at the cottage.

And now, I have the rest of the evening to knit. The question is what to knit? All the must-do knitting is done... so now knitting is ALL ABOUT ME!!!!! This could be fun.

I did not mention it, but since Friday night was Daveless too, I tackled the skein of Top Cat that Rocky munched. It wasn't nearly as bad as it looked, it only took me about an hour to untangle and wind into a ball, and I even had time to cast on for a sock for myself.... and last night I finished it!
I love ankle socks. I started the second one last night, so I perhaps I could work on it tonight...

Or I could work on my Madeline Tosh cardigan. But I'd have to convince someone to get out of the box where I've been storing it:
It could be a difficult extraction.

Or I could work on my much neglected Bamboo Tape sweater, which I haven't touched in months.

Decisions, decisions....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Okay, Christmas can come now....

... I'm ready!
I finished the last pair of Christmas socks up today at work.

And when I stopped by the parent's to give Dad his birthday present, he gave me my very first tree:

It's only about two feet tall, but I like it. An so far, the cats haven't touched it. We'll see if it's still standing tomorrow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Double your pleasure!

Wow! Two posts in one day.... (if you want to see how the day began, scroll down and read the previous post)

I got a few more things accomplished and wanted to share. As mentioned earlier, I wanted to get a good start on the GTO quilt, and I did.

This time my helper was Tux:That's the problem with having cats and quilting... any time you have to spread anything out, they think you are doing it just for them. This one gets quite indignant when you make him move too.

I had a few problems along the way (other than cat help). The black and white squares are broadcloth, and as I was ironing the seams flat, all the white squares shrunk, but not the black. (Note to self -there is a reason real quilters use quilting cotton). So, that basically made the decision on whether to quilt or tie for me. The seams didn't line up enough for me to stitch-in-the-ditch, as was my plan. So it got tied.

I was going to do the binding with the leftover black broadcloth, but then I remembered I had bought some black satin blanket binding to make a blanket for Dave (he brought home some tartan fabric a few weeks ago and wants a blanket from it), so I thought it would be easier.... yes and no... satin is slippery.. thank heavens for pins and lots of them.

So the blanket isn't quite perfect, but it's for a six-year-old and he won't care if there are a few puckers and the corners aren't perfectly aligned.

And I could never be accused of being a perfectionist... I am quite pleased! And I have a few hours before bed... I guess I'll stretch out and knit something.

(and no the floor didn't get mopped.. but one more day won't make it that much worse....)


As you know, today is my first real day off after the insanely chaotic last four weeks - yes I did have weekends during those four weeks, but I had to work two Saturdays out of the four and during the remaining two Saturdays and four Sundays, I was so drained and we had so much other stuff to do it didn't feel like time off (when you're compelled to have a four-hour nap every Sunday afternoon, chances are you've been too damn busy!)

Anyway, last night I made up a whole list of things I wanted to accomplish today. So this morning I got up at the crack of 11 a.m. (shhhh - I am a notorious sleep-in-a-holic and the past four weeks of getting up every morning before 8 a.m. have killed me!)

Well, actually I was awake at 8 a.m. when Dave crawled out of our nice warm cocoon of blankets and let all the cold in. Then again at 9 a.m. when he kissed me good-bye and left for work. Then again at 10 a.m. when Rocky decided I'd slept long enough and decided the best way to wake me up was to jump on Peno and make her scream to high heaven - but I finally crawled out of bed at 11 a.m.... Tux was not amused... in fact he's still up there.

I got the downstairs tidied up - I've yet to mop, but I really have to at some point today. My kitchen is covered with 50-year-old linoleum that looks dirty no matter how much you mop it, so normally I don't. But now it's gotten beyond dirty and has entered a "flop-house" level of filth.

Rocky is absolutely thrilled that I am finally home to pay attention to him. He's not one of those cats who has to be pet all the time, but he likes to be involved in whatever you are doing.
So, he helped me sign all the December birthday cards:He helped me wrap all the birthday and Christmas presents:
And, he gets really "paws-on" with the helping:But all this stimulation and attention was a little too much for him, so he's found a nice quiet place to nap for a little while:
Now it's 2:30 and I know I'm not going to accomplish everything on my list - but there are three things I really need to do:
1) Mop that darn kitchen floor
2) Cole's GTO quilt - at the very least, I want to get the top pieced and the layers pinned together. I can do the quilting and the binding on Sunday if I have to. I'm still undecided whether to quilt it or just do ties. Ties are easier, but I'd really like to practice some machine quilting before I tackle my own quilt.
3) Clean the fish tank - it's almost as neglected as my floors and my angel fish have been giving me the stink-eye for weeks!

One plus is that Dave is going to the cottage tonight so I don't have to worry about having to make dinner for him and I have the evening all to myself to accomplish whatever I can. He says he may stay all weekend so that would give me Saturday night and all Sunday too.. but I'm not counting on it... $10 bucks he misses me and shows up Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Light at the end of the tunnel

Things are going back to normal at work. My editor is still off, but this is our quiet time, so there is not much to do.

The extra hours have helped immensely. I love to spend, and let's face it, this time of year it's hard not to go a little overboard. That said, I have shown much more restraint than in past years. That couple with the extra money from the hours means this is the first time I won't be playing catch up for the first three months of next year. It feels good.

I finished up the last little bit of Christmas shopping last night.

I have two things left to make - the last of the Christmas socks is almost done - I finished up the heel flap at Job # 2 tonight, and I have tomorrow night and Saturday at Job #2 to finish it completely.

The only other Christmas project on the go is Dave's cousin's quilt - and I'm taking this Friday off to finish it.

That means, come Sunday, I am free and clear of all holiday obligations! Wow... that's a darn good feeling.

How is your Christmas coming along?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Free to a good home....

... or he will be very soon if he doesn't smarten up.

You've seen the dirt pulled out of the plant. You saw last week's wool salad. Over the last couple of weeks he's also been leaving me "presents" - things he's stolen from the studio and hidden in various places around the house - Hello Kitty charms, stuffed animal eyes, a string of pearls...

But today... today....

Today I brought home some lovely yarn from mom's. Yarn we dyed on my birthday. I laid it all out on the couch to take pictures. One of them was a skein of Top Cat
(Colour is budgie). I took pictures of the yarn. Sat down at the computer which is directly beside the couch on which the yarn was sitting. Did a little Wandering Cat Business. Heard some skittering on the floor behind me. Turned around to discover this....
I didn't even see him jump up on the couch and steal it!!!! Talk about stealth kitty. He completely mauled it in under a minute! I'd kinda like to cry right now.

So deep breath.... in..... out.....

Here are the other yarns I brought home. (And thankfully he didn't maul)Fluffy Cat in Winter SpruceAnd Pink Pearl.

Of course, I can't knit with these until my Christmas knitting is done (only 10 days left! ACK!) and I get that little messed all fixed up. They are getting put in the studio and the door is getting shut!

Now I think it's time for a good stiff drink! (And people wonder why I don't want children... the cats are enough thank you very much!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Now Available

Thanks to Mom and her super awesome camera skills (and decent camera) Sagittarius is now available to the general public!Finally some good pictures of the stitch pattern.
I love this pattern - easy to memorize, and looks great!

I uploaded it to Ravelry! tonight. If you entered the contest, you will find out tomorrow if you won it, otherwise, you can purchase it for $3

And - Happy Birthday to my favourite Sagittarian - my Big Brother!Hope you're enjoying all that snow.. muhahahaha (it rained here!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Buh-bye 29

We'll it's official - I am no longer in my twenties.

It was a pretty low-key birthday. Dave made me get up far too early and we headed up to Mom's. He did some work on my car, while Mom and I played with the dye.

Just after noon we headed home had some lunch and I've spent the rest of the stretched out on the couch knitting and watching movies - not a bad day at all.

I got baby Olivia's Chritmas sweater done:
I modified it a bit to add a more substantial collar and I'm quite please with how it turned out. And, since I've decided to buy Dad's Christmas present, I've only got one Christmas sock left to do.
I worked a little more on my cardigan, only four inches to go and I divide for the sleeves. I must say, I like top down, though it is a little bluky right now.
Thank you to everyone who entered the contest - and there is still about an hour left, so don't miss out!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Dave showed up today with a giant bag of yarn from his grandma. His grandma is a notorious garage sale shopper, so I wasn't sure just what was going to be in there.

It was mostly Moda Dea novelty yarns (some very pretty ones) perfect for scarves and some Patons Divine, but there was also this:It's got to be the nastiest feeling acrylic I've ever felt! But I love the label, I'm guessing it's probably from the '30s or '40s.

There was also a pair of Brittany birchwood needles too! A very nice surprise.

Jeanne asked about my cardigan - it's the Tea Leaves cardigan, and I'm making progress - slow progress, but progress.
I've knit on it for a few hours every night - I'm definitely going to have to buy my Dad a Christmas present, because his sock so aren't getting done in time.

Time is running out on the contest - you have until Midnight Saturday to enter. Mom put up some new colourways today, and there is discounted shipping - go check it out!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


...the Squid sock is done!

So, without further ado, I give you Sagittarius!While it's hard to see in this picture, Sagittarius features a a neat little arrowhead pattern. The ladies' version features lace and the pattern carries down the foot while the men's version is solid with a plain foot. The pattern will be available for sale by the end of next week.... but... you can get it sooner...

Sagittarius is the sock pattern that is part of the prize pack for Boss Cat's Birthday Blowout! And don't forget, the prize pack will also include a special colourway of sock yarn (we're dying it up this week) and a set of special stitch markers!

In addition, from now until the contest closes, you can enjoy half price shipping on any single skein of yarn or free shipping on multiple skein purchases! (And every sock yarn purchase includes my Berry Hill pattern!)

There are just a few days left to enter Don't miss out!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bad Yarn Kitty!

He's found a new way to protest my long hours....

I followed a long strand of Squid from the couch, up the stairs, down the hall and into the bedroom and found this....
...not only was this wool salad REALLY well tossed, he also chewed through it in several places. I'm not done untangling yet and I've already come across four breaks.
As you can see, he's totally unrepentant. As I was winding it up, he thought it was a new game. If he wasn't so damn adorable I'd probably skin him.

I'm not even close to finishing the rewind... it's more than half the ball... ugh. I have to get it done tonight so I have it to knit with at Job#2 tomorrow. Plus, those socks are on a deadline!

I do have to say, the Alley Cat yarn is decent to untangle. It's nice and smooth so there are no little fuzzies to catch and make knots. That said, this is still going to take all night.

Oh, and last night, after getting the garbage outside, I totally caved and cast on with my Tosh:
I stayed up until 1 a.m. Something I absolutely regretted at 7 a.m. this morning. However, this is absolutely lovely yarn, and it would be my new favourite if it wasn't for one little problem...

My hands were black with dye by the time I went to bed. The colour comes right off. It's not a huge deal, because it washes right off my hands, but I'm a little worried about it washing right out of the sweater....