Monday, November 30, 2009

The Most Exciting Contest EVER...

... well I think so any way.

If you've been over to Mom's blog you've already heard about:

(Boss Cat would be me... mom is doing all the work lately, I'm just supervising and throwing around unsolicited advice)

In celebration of my impending 30th birthday on December 12th (feel free to send me presents!) we are holding a special contest.

From December 1st to 12th, every item purchased at Wandering Cat Yarns will give the purchaser one entry into the contest. On December 13th, we will take all those entries and draw for three prize packages - one for each fantabulous decade of my life!

Each package will include:
1 skein of Wandering Cat Yarns - a special Boss Cat Birthday colourway
1 sock pattern - which has ties to the birthday theme
1 set of stitch markers - also in keeping with the birthday theme

So, buy for Christmas, buy for yourself and win some free yarnz! Mom's just put up some new colours and with the way she's dyeing it up there's sure to be more coming (I think someone put crack in our dye powder - cause she's totally addicted.)

This one is my favourite
(It's called Grendel - she wouldn't let me call it Troll Bogies)

And, now I'd like to share with you a little Birthday story

Some of you already know, I have a lot of friend and family birthdays in December (five family members, three friends) - apparently every one likes to get it on in March...

...anyway, obviously I'm no exception.

Except I was supposed to be. I was supposed to be born some time in late November. But, never one to be told what to do and how to do it, I made my debut two weeks late. Interestingly enough, I also decided to grace everyone with my presence just a few short hours before my brother's birthday - he turned two the very next day.As you can see, he never really got over it... but damn! I'm adorable!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Of socks and quilts and feelin' poopy

I apologize for the posting delay, I meant to post yesterday, but I haven't been feeling well - that and Dave was monopolizing the computer as he attempted to outfly the Red Baron (yeah, it's a Snoopy game...)

Anyway while working a kabillion hours, and fighting a this nasty bug, I did manage to accomplish a few things - first the maroon socks!
Sorry for the craptacular photo - new camera coming soon. And I will get better pictures before I post the pattern. One Christmas present down!

I started the men's version last night, but the yarn I had for it isn't working out. It's not smooth enough to give nice pattern definition. Mom is kindly dying me some Alley Cat today, so I'll restart them later this week.

In the mean time, I started on a sewing project. You may remember a while back I picked up some wicked Pontiac GTO fabric for Dave's six-year-old cousin. The kids is OBSSESSED with GTOs and it was such a good deal I couldn't pass it up. I also picked up some white and black broadcloth. The end result will be a checkered flag quilt, with a GTO backing.
I cut all the squares out today and intended to at least sew the checkered flag - but then I got a really bad case of the sleepy/queasies and went to lay down for four hours.

I've had some chicken noodle soup, and I think the rest of the evening will be spent working on Dad's Christmas socks. Hopefully I feel better tomorrow morning. I have to much work to call in sick.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Wednesday Report

As I wrote the title to this post I totally went "Holy Crap, it's Wednesday already... and Wednesday is almost over."
But I guess 50+ hour work weeks will do that to you. But I'm not complaining (loudly or even that much), there are some definite perks:

1) The money of course, which will include at least 10 hours of overtime at time and a half. It almost makes me want to stop all Christmas knitting and go to the mall. Then I remember my mountain of debt and pick the needles back up.

2)It finally gives me a chance to show the bosses that my editor is not the only person in the building who can do this job - something I hope they will remember if promotion time ever rolls around.

3) The companies are sending in samples for our gift guides - and they are mine all mine! I am currently polishing off a box of chocolate - but seriously, what self respecting box of chocolates only has nine morsels in it? Nine isn't enough to last five minutes. Give me Pot o' Gold any day!
Tonight I made a very small amount of sock knitting progress at Job #2 - I finished the heel on the maroon sock. I should have finished more, but I was having issues. Sometimes heels just fly for me, other times, like tonight, I screw up every other row. I drop stitches, knit them together, pick up stitches that aren't really stitches, then my slips and knits don't line up. I ripped back several times but by the time 9 pm rolled around it was done and I'm now working on decreasing for the gusset - PHEW!

I don't have pictures because my camera is a total piece of crap and won't focus unless you're 10 feet away from you subject - I have a feeling some of that overtime will be going to a new camera.

Well that's it for now, it's off for a bath, pajamas, a book and some serious kitty snuggle time.
She's getting impatient - can't you tell?

Monday, November 23, 2009

She's evil!

My mother is an evil, evil woman!

First, knowing that I have lots of Christmas knitting to do, she sends the pattern for this:
The Tea Leaves cardigan. Now at first I wasn't overly impressed.. but then I started thinking about it.... and looking at it... and thinking about it and the I totally fell in love with it.

I don't know if it's the shape, or the simplicity of the design or the fact that it's worsted and will total knit up quick... but I decided I had to have it. And I have to have it now!

But I don't have any worsted yarn in my stash - well I do... but it's been promised to Dave's sweater.

So I started looking online... I found some lovely handmaiden Lady Godiva (50% merino/50%) silk... but it was a little out of my price range.

We talked about dying some.. but our supplier is out of worsted, and right now with all hours at work, I don't have time to dye anyway (Mom's been doing all the dying for the shop lately... I have pics of her newest and will put them up at the end of this post).

And then mom sent me a link for some lovely Madeline Tosh - Tosh Merino (what the pattern is done in) and just as I was about to empty my bank account to buy it (okay, it wouldn't be empty, but I probably should buy groceries instead) when she offered to buy it for my birthday (which is next month)

I chose Kale:It's on it's way and should be here just in time for my birthday... which means someone might not be getting socks for Christmas.. but blame Mom. (Thanks Mom, you rock!)

So, until it comes I'm occupying myself with the baby cardi:I made a lot of progress tonight... body is done, all that's left is the sleeves. There is going to be a lot of work for the next four days though, so I doubt it will be done this week.

And, as promised, here is a sneak peak at the yarns that will be up in the shop soonThe bottom right one might not make it into the shop... it may make a detour at my stash

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's called multi-tasking

Whew - what a week. My editor is still off, so between the two jobs I pulled in more than 50 hours this week.

Needless to say, that didn't leave much time for knitting, so you wouldn't think that I would have anything to show you... but I do!

Yesterday, while sitting there, bored out of my mind at Job#2 (I answer the phone, and it doesn't ring all that often) I said screw it... I'm gonna knit. Normally I read - but I've got Christmas deadlines looming - so I cast on for the second maroon sock:

I got the ribbing and two whole pattern repeats done while I was there. The rest I've done in the past few hours - one more repeat and I'm to the heel. I am flirting with the idea of making a men's version of this sock, but I'm still undecided - what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hip to be square

My editor is off because of back problems (who knew they were contagious) so I'll be working A LOT for the next little while. I worked late tonight, so it really cut into the knitting time, and tomorrow and Thursday, I work evenings at Job # 2, so no knitting on either of those days.

Despite the late night, I did manage to knit the pieces for two more Nip Nuggets.

These are for a blog friend's kitties, so stuffing them without my kids getting a hold of them is going to be interesting. I think I may have to barricade myself in the bathroom when I do it.

In other cat news - some one is staging a rather messy, silent protest here. Every day since I went back to work after the most recent back flare up, I've been coming home to this:
He's not doing it because he's using the plant as a bathroom - he just pulls it out and dances in it. I think he's trying to tell me he wants me to work from home. Some days I'd like to tell him to find a new home, but it's really hard when he looks like this:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blankets & broken promises

Yesterday I said I would have a proper update on the Crackghan, and here it is:
It's up to a whopping 16.5 inches long - only 43.5 inches to go!

If you're a regular blog reader, it's not a big stretch to assume I haven't been working on it steady. All the cardigan, shawl and sock knitting has gotten in the way. That's why, since the last update a few months ago, I've only added 5.5 inches.

That... and these squares are really freakin' small. Each one is only about 2.5 inches, and takes about a 1/2 hour. So - 111 squares so far = 3330 minutes, or 55.5 hours - yeah this blanket isn't getting finished any time soon.

But I don't care. I love it. It's just starting to get big enough to cover my lap as I knit, and it's like sitting under a pile of your favourite socks. Of course, as you can see from last blog, Tux loves it too for the same reason. As soon as I pull it out of the basket, he's there!

Tonight however, I set it aside and cast on for some Christmas knitting.

Yes, I know - I promised myself I was going to be totally selfish, and not do any Christmas knitting this year, but cash is a little tight this Christmas, and I have a pretty decent stash - no need to buy yarn, so knitting it is.

I already have some of it done. The pink Berry Hill socks are going to Dave's mom. The fan shawl is going to his grandma. In the summer I went on a little binge and knit a bunch of hedgehogs - those are going to my neices. I test knit a baby sweater for mom, and that is going to one of my friends babies. When I get the second maroon sock done, it will be wrapped up with the first and gifted, and I will probably cast on a couple of other pairs for other recipients.

But that's not what I cast on tonight. Nope... this one is for another baby - the youngest edition to our friends' circle of spawn. Her name is Olivia and she's the baby I designed Little Princess and Baby Janes for. I was going to design a cardi to go with Little Princess since I have lots of the yarn left, but then I found this:
A nice feather and fan cardigan already designed for me!

Of course this means I'm no closer to getting the sock pattern to you, sorry. I'll cast on for it soon... I'm sure... well before Christmas anyway...

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I didn't cross much off my to do list this weekend - Dave wanted to go antiquing, all weekend which definitely wasn't part of my plans - but I did manage to do one important thing - I got a card reader so I can download pictures. So, without further ado, here are the grey socks completed:
And the lone maroon sock:As you can see, this isn't a great camera - it's just a basic Fuji point and shoot - I'm use to a professional SLR, but well, beggars can't be choosers right? It will do for now, but I am definitely in the market for something with a little more functionality - or at least a macro setting.

I barely got any knitting done this weekend. I didn't cast on for the second maroon sock, so sorry, no pattern yet. All I accomplished was just a few squares on my crackghan... which pretty much looked like this:
He thinks he's helping. I'll do a better update on the blanket later, but for now I'm beat from all that driving and treasure hunting.... time for some tea, cookies, and a few more crackghan squares before bed.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Crappity crap crap

Well I got another camera. I took pictures of the grey socks and the lone maroon sock; of rocky and the mess he made of my Japanese Peace Lily; of Peno and her water dish shenanigans, of Tux in all his fat roly poly glory.... but I can't show you any of it because I can get the @$^&#&*** camera to download... on ANY of the THREE computers in the house.

It just keeps telling me the USB device is not recognized, and I swear if I see that insipid, unhelpful bubble pop up one more time, I'm gonna hurt someone - so I've given up. Dave can fix it... that's what he's for, right?
It's not the USB ports, other devices work fine. It's not necessarily the camera, as it did this to me with my last camera just before I got this one. It might be the USB cable I suppose... but the other camera used a different cable, and what are the chances they are both screwed? I guess it's possible but unlikely.
So, tomorrow I'm going to take it up to mom's and see if it will work on her computer.

Until the, I'll leave you with the lovely new yarns in the shop...

Continuing the Wicked line we have........ Bad Moon Rising Sleepy Hollow
and Belladonna

There are also more Poison Apple and Witching Hour up if you wanted those and missed out last time (Belladonna is gone now though, as is Darkwaters - if you really wanted either of those email me at and I'll see what we can do).
We also got more naked yarn today, so expect to see more coming soon. And stay tuned for a special contest announcement.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Nothing to see here folks...

... because I'm between cameras at the moment. So, sorry - no pictures, even though I did manage to finish the maroon sock and cast on for the second grey sock. The Regia Silk (maroon) was nice to knit with, but it just doesn't compare to our Top Cat. I think it's the cashmere. I think the only thing that could make me love it more is if had silk in it.

A few of you have asked, and yes, once both pairs are finished, I'll make the pattern available. Provided there are no dire emergencies, it should be by the end of next week.

I think I had more to say, but my brain has decided to stop working (picked up and extra shift at job #2 tonight, job #1 was crazy (getting caught up from last week) and I'm doing it all on four hours sleep. It's time for a hot bath and a comfy bed I think....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Something wicked this way comes...

Well, Mom got into the dye without me again. (If you follow her blog you know this already) She put some of the fruits of her labour up in the shop today.

Introducing the Wicked Series....From left to right... Love Potion, Witch's Britches, Poison Apple and Witching Hour. You've seen both Witch's Britches and Witching Hour before, but mom wanted to expand the line. There is also Dark Water, which isn't pictured here. All of these are in our new Merino/Cashmere/Nylon - Top Cat. Both Witching Hour and Poison Apple sold within minutes of updating (There is a Witching Hour left in Alpaca lace, however), but Mom has plans to dye some more up tomorrow, as well as a few new colourways.

I worked from home again today. Once again, I got a lot accomplished, but every time I turned to refer to one of my papers.... ... I had to pull it out from under a cat butt. Rocky was by no means the only culprit either. Tux, while quite pleased to share breakfast in bed, wasn't too fond of having the share his afternoon nap space.

So, after a fruitful day of writing, I'm devoting the rest of the evening to knitting....Yeah.. I know.... I cast on for yet another sock... I wanted to see how the sock I'm designing would look in a solid as opposed to my semi-solid Top Cat. This is the Regia Silk I bought a while back at Julie's Tent Sale. I'm quite pleased with it... and yes I'm fully aware that this will leave me with three mateless socks... I should have cast on for the second nutlet, or the second Top Cat sock.. but what's the fun in that?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I could get used to this

Well, this morning I made a valiant effort to go in to work. I should have known when the minute I sat in the car and my back gave me that warning spasm. But I didn't listen, I drove into work and lasted a whole hour and a half, before finally deciding to pack it in. It took me another hour to gather up all my paper work and and organize my contacts, so I can at least earn some money while I'm stuck on my back.

But, I got home just after noon, powered up the lap top, stretched out on the bed and wrote my brains out.

My bedroom is bright and cheery (unlike the drab grey of the office), my bed is so cozy (unlike my work chair which could double as a torture device) I had my music on (as opposed to sales reps talking trash and classified reps booking death notices) it was great!I accomplished way more than I would have at the office. I could totally get used to this, except for the one tiny bug that needs to be worked out:Hmmm, I wonder if I could teach him to type.

And now it's time for a cautionary tale....

Don't drink and surf

A few weeks back, Dave and I were enjoying a pitcher or two of strawberry daiquiris (Dave recently discovered the mixes at the grocery store... this weekend is Margaritas!) and I was fooling around on the internet... and I ended up on ebay..... and one of my favourite sellers had some lovely Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in the prettiest shade of light green, and I was just too inebriated to resist.

It arrived today: pretty, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it.

There's a very pretty nightie pattern I'd like to do (imagine wearing that as a nightie!) but 1) I'd like to lose some weight before I do that and 2) silk stretches. I made a shrug out of Pure Silk two years ago and now it's unwearable because it stretched so much.

So I guess this will end up being a shawl... any suggestions? I have 1224 yards, and it's dk weight.

In other knitting news, after posting all my patterns yesterday, I started designing a new one

Yeah, I totally cracked into my Top Cat... I know, I said I wasn't going to until I finished the second nutlet... but I just couldn't resist... I think I may be raiding the shop, so if there was a colourway you really like, you might want to get it before I do....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Good things come in threes!

If there is one good thing about my back crapping out on me, it's that it's given me time to do a few things I've been meaning to get doCheck Spellingne for a while.... namely writing and formatting patterns. Sure, I'm not getting paid while I'm off and the bills are mounting, and I'm enduring horrific pain (okay, it's not quite that bad but...) but I'm accomplishing things, so I count it as good

First up, Nip Nuggets
When I was working on my crackghan, Rocky kept running off with the balls of yarn (he loves natural fibre, and face it - most of the balls are the perfect size for play) so I decided to make him his own sock yarn toys.... and ...well, I was already making mitred squares!
They are the perfect size for little cat paws and mouths, and the nylon in the sock yarn makes them nice and strong. Just make sure the cats aren't around when you're trying to fill them... it tends to result in chaos and the need to vacuum.

Next: remember the Panda Silk I was working with? Well it turned into Pip Squeaks!
A simple ankle sock pattern that's cute and cozy! (I am wearing them right now!)

And, at long last: Berry HillThe nuggets and the anklets are both free patterns. Berry Hill is $3, or you can get it for free when you purchase any of our sock yarn in the shop!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

If I'm gonna be static...

... I may as well make use of the time... so I installed Photoshop, Publisher and Wordperfect on Dave's lap top (yeah, it's totally my lap top now) and went to work.

Petal is now available as a Ravelry download - until today it was only on my blog, but I finally put it in PDF form.
I also made another one this past weekend for a friend. I really like how it looks in the blue.

And so I carried that theme in the other hats I made:

One for papa, mama and baby. Dave is delivering them for me this week as a thank you to our friends who helped with my computer.

I also updated the shop with all those lovely yarns mom and I dyed last week, so shop away.... or at least let me know what colourway you like best.

This one is my favourite... (huntsman)

And it was really hard to put it up on the site and not in my stash.
So, now it's off to type up some more patterns, and maybe do a little knitting.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Broken.... more ways than one....

Dave finally got all the little things we needed to make the Mac work... and then my monitor died. It's been acting up on and off for about a year, so I'm not surprised, but the timing really is ironic. Dave has another monitor at work, but he won't be back for a couple of days.

In addition... I am broken too. At about 10 p.m. last night, after a day of fruitful knitting, my back decided it didn't want to work any more. It was too late to take any painkillers (they are chock full of caffeine and keep me up all night) and when I woke up this morning I could barely move.

So, Dave kindly brought my tv and dvd player upstairs, and left me his lap top (it's faster than mine). I had my knitting, a good book, and three very lazy cats - if I wasn't in intense pain it would have been an ideal day.

I have no pictures (of weekend or today's knitting) because this computer has no photo editing software.

Instead, I'll leave you with the fruits of last Friday's labour:
It should be in the shop by mid week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back in Action!

Dave brought the computer back Friday night... and it's almost perfect. The mouse, keyboard, and DVD drive won't work with the Mac half of it (it's a Mac/PC split... don't ask it confuses me too) so he's out rectifying that right now.

So far it's been a pretty busy weekend:

My Top Cat skein dried nicely (colour is Silver Fox)
I am going to finish my bamboo socks (almost to the heel of the second one) and the second nutlet before I start knitting with the Top Cat.... I swear...
The rest of the yarn we dyed is drying at mom's, so she should have pics soon. She also said something about dying some more....

I wound mine up into a ball already. Normally I do it on my knees, but my back wasn't happy, so I decided to use a chair....
...bad idea, Rocky thinks we have a new game now.
In other cute cat news, Peno is once again trying to fit her bum in the smallest thing possible....
And Tux proves that while he has some white fur... he's a black cat at heart...