Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is it Sunday already?

You know - weekends just aren't long enough.

I did do a lot this weekend, but I'd really love another day before going back to work

Anyway, what was I up to? Well Dave was busy with a student concert on Saturday, and now he's off to a real concert (Scorpions) so I've had a lot of time to myself.

Saturday I headed up to Mom's where we made three batches of homemade strawberry jam (and Mom, Dave would really like some raspberry and blueberry jam if you make it).

Mom has made homemade jam ever since I can remember - and I've been totally spoiled by it. I absolutely refuse to eat store bought jam. So, I figured it was probably time I learn how to make it too!

After jammin', I hung out and cast on for another sock (yeah I know, I should have cast on for any one of the second socks to complete the pairs that I have lying about... but what's the fun in that?)This is the Twisted Fibre Art yarn that I showed you early. Nice day-glo stripes!

I also finished up the first of Dave's socks in Stray CatColour is Moody Blues

And just to keep things interesting I cast on for another Daenerys...
My brother is getting married next month, and while it will probably be warm, I wanted to be prepared for a cool evening - so this shawl should do the trick.

I'm using some black Angora I picked up on E-Bay a few years ago. It's ridiculosly soft - but I keep getting hair up my nose. Oh well, it will be worth it when it's done!

Now, there are still several hours before bed time, and since I'm alone, but for the cats - it's going to be a chick-knit night! Jane Austin movies anyone?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Got Yarn?

I do! I do!

And I know some of you do too! - Mom put the Barn Cat up and it was a big hit! I hope you all love it just as much in person!

I always say Barn Cats are the best cats. Rocky was a barn cat. And so was one of my most favourite kitties of all time - Miss MonkeyI rescued Monkey from a horse barn when I was about 12. She was the sweetest little orange cat and we had her for about 10 years. She was full grown when we brought her home, so I'm not sure how old she was when she died. But you couldn't ask for a better cat.

Anyway, back to the yarn.

While I didn't bring any Barn Cat home with me (yet) I did manage to score some fibrey goodness...

Two skeins of Slinky Cat in Peacock
I had Mom dye this special for me since every time we put it in the shop it flies out! This will definitely be a shawl of some sort!

Two skeins of Top Cat in Jiminy CricketWe recently upped the yardage in our Top Cat (from 400 to 435 yrds) and these were the last two 400 yarders, so to avoid any confusion, I brought them home with me.

Two skeins of Fluffy Cat in Teddy Bear
This I had to take home, because - as you'll notice at the bottom of the skein - I got a little messy and slopped some red dye on it - so it wasn't good enough for the shop.

I didn't do it on purpose I swear.

I also raided Mom's stash too....
I couldn't resist snagging this skein of Twisted in Firefly... as soon as I'm done here I'll be casting on for some self-striping socks!

Oh and I brought home something else but I'm not keeping itIt's Fat Cat in Tea Time, and I'll tell you all about it at a later date!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Exciting day

It's been one heck of a day.

Lets start with the most exciting news:
This Friday we'll be introducing a new member to the WCY litter....."Barn Cat". This base is similar to our newly introduced House Cat, which is a 100% Superwash fingering. But the Barn Cat has a little s nylon added. It's an 80/20% Merino/Nylon Superwash fingering weight yarn with the same 2 ply twist as the House Cat.

Why "Barn Cat"? Because it's a little tougher than our House Cat, and more twisted than our "Alley Cat".

Here's a preview of some of the colours that will be going up on Friday.The second bit of exciting news is I got to experience my first earthquake today!

Apparently the epicentre was north of Ottawa, which is a good eight hour (or more) drive from where I was, but we still felt it. According to the news reports I read, it was about 5.5 on the Richter scale. It lasted about 15 seconds and was like a gentle rolling (at least where I was - others have different accounts) and all in all it was pretty darn neat!

There a couple of fault lines that run through the region, and quakes are actually pretty common, but they are usually so small we don't notice them, so it was quite the event.

The last bit of news is about the leaf stole:

It's in a time out.

I spent last night knitting and ripping and knitting and ripping the third chart. It's now in a corner thinking about what it's done while I redesign the chart.

I will probably go back to it on the weekend when I have more time to devote to it.

In the mean time, I pulled out some left over Fat Cat (colour is Kaia) and cast on for another Nessie for my fleet.
I can't go much further on this until I get some eyes (I don't have any the right size) but it was a nice semi-mindless knit for the evening.

Now, I've had too much excitement for one day - so it's off to bed for me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What? She's swatching?? Again???

Yeah - this new shawl (well actually it's a stole) design is turning out to be a little more complicated than it was first imagined to be.

I got the centre (using the swatched pattern I showed you earlier) finished up late last night.(you may notice I've changed yarn - I had to rip out a couple more times and I didn't want to wreck my Fluffy Cat - so I dug out some Cherry Tree Hill I had in the stash - it's studier and can handle a lot more frogging, I'll save the Fluffy Cat for somethign really special!)

I spent tonight charting out the next step in the pattern and kinda blew myself away with how intricate it is. It wasn't that long ago that I declared that I would never even knit a charted pattern, let alone actually chart one. Heck, it was only a few years ago that I declared I would never knit lace - period!

Anyway, after charting and talking to Mom, we decided it would be a good idea to swatch part of the chart so I can get an idea of the size before I go crazy and start knitting it onto the stole.Mom's going to start test knitting the pattern soon.

On other non-swatching fronts - on the weekend Dave and I took a day trip to his cottage on Long Point.

On the way there I made him take a little detour to Lens Mills in Port Dover where I picked up some supplies to whip up a couple more Summerlins for a couple of special girls I know.
I ended up spending a little more than I planned, but my splurge is going to become two truly pretty little dresses. For the yarn, I chose Patons Bamboo Baby - bamboo is so much softer than cotton, but still provides a nice cool fabric.

The fabric is fairly high-end quilting cotton, but it was so pretty I just had to get it - the pictures don't do it justice and the one on the left is much more purpley in person - closer to the yarn.

Boy- it's going to be a busy summer!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We have a winner!

First, thanks to all who entered our anniversary contest! We are so happy we've made it to a year and it's all because of you.
So, without further ado, through the magic of the random number generator - we have a winner!

Congrats goes to Splindarella! She will get a copy of Daenerys and two skeins of Top Cat in Vampire's Kiss to make it!

Thanks again and keep an eye here for more contests.


Today was Father's Day so I popped by and gave Dad his socks. He seemed to like them, but you never can tell with him.
I also gave him some time to himself, as I kept Mom busy in the basement dying yarn for most of the day. Very shortly we will be unveiling a new kitten in the litter, so we were busy dying with the new base - you're gonna love it!

And since I don't believe in posts without pictures....

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Hair Affair

Long-time readers will remember that way back in October I took some drastic measures and went from this:
To this:Well I am happy to announce - just in time for the summer season - it's finally long enough to pull into pig tails!
(Notice that tiny curl behind my ear - that's a pigtail!)

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! I will now commence with the happy dance!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No method to my madness

You've probably seen blogs from some designers - especially the professional ones - where they show you their design process. It starts with a sketch or two, several swatches, and then slowly, methodically and with much thought and care, they create a beautiful garment.

Yeah - I don't design like that.

I get an vague idea and I go full force grab the yarn, cast on and go - whatever happens - happens. And most of the time it works.

When I started the scale pattern on Daenerys, I had no idea how I was going to end it. When I got to that point - I just sorta let the stitches take me where they wanted to go.

I've always been like that. If there was a project for art class where we had to do a "brainstorming" sketch before starting the actual project I'd do the most half-assed sketch you'd ever see, or I'd skip it completely, take the hit on the marks and go right for the jugular- the actual project.

Preparation is for wankers.

Anyway, my point to all this is in designing my new shawl, I started with a vague idea that floated into my head during one of my lunchtime walks. I cast on for it yesterday and knit happily along until it was time to add in a new stitch pattern - but what pattern??? I hadn't thought that far ahead.

So today on my walk, I thought a little more and decided I wanted a continuation of the leaf theme - but different than the leaf pattern already used.

This was going to take a little forethought.


I hate forethought.

Now, I'm knitting this in Fluffy Cat. Lovely yarn that it is, it doesn't like being frogged - it starts too look a little worn out after too many do-overs.

So, I grabbed a ball of spare yarn and I *gasp* began to swatch!Now it took me almost all night to get it done and charted with the first stitch pattern - but hot damn! I like it! I should be able to get it knit into the shawl on the weekend.

Then it's on to the third stitch pattern.

No - I don't know what it is yet.

I guess I'm just a damn the torpedoes kinda girl - but so far it seems to be working for me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


It's Wednesday and I'm feeling rather random-y... so here's a bunch of random stuff.

1) If you're looking for the contest scroll down. To everyone who's entered so far - thanks! and good luck!

2) Is it strange and wrong that as I ate my fish n' chips tonight I had the sudden urge to watch Finding Nemo?

3) Summer is definitely here - you can tell because my roses have exploded. Remember how they looked like this just a few months ago?
Well a little sun, a little rain and ...... crazy eh?

Here's a close up...3) Despite the pile of single socks that are yearning for a mate, the two shawls and sweater that are already on the needles - I cast on for a new project...Another shawl of my own design - this one in Fluffy Cat.

4) While I don't work on it steady, I throw a new square on the crackghan every now and again, and little by little it's growing.
It might grow a little faster if I could get it back from the cats.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our baby is turning one!

And by baby, I mean the giant yarn baby that is Wandering Cat Yarns!

Yep, that's right - on June 19 we celebrate one whole year of throwing dye at yarn and feeding your (and our) fibre habit!

To celebrate (and thankt you all for helping us reach this milestone) we are holding a contest!

First the good stuff - the prize:

A copy of my newly released Daenerys pattern
(If you have already purchased the pattern, we will substitute Artemis, or a shawl pattern of your choice - up to $5 value)
....and two lovely soft skeins of Top Cat (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) in Vampire's Kiss to make it!

To enter:

Leave a comment here, or on Mom's blog - it's as easy as that!

Extra entries:

Buy yarn - Each skein of Wandering Cat Yarns purchased (within contest timeline) will earn you an entry.

Tell others - Post about it on your blog! That earns you an entry too!

Join in - Join our new Ravelry group for another entry (current members will automatically get one entry)

The contest is open now until Midnight on June 19th. Drawing will take place on June 20th through the magic of the random number generator!

Good luck!

And here's some Fraggle fun just because I can....

Sunday, June 13, 2010


After running a few errands on Saturday, Dave and I settled into a much needed lazy weekend.

And you know what that means....
I've been knitting! And I finished up my Mermaid Socks!

Pattern: Undine
Yarn: Wandering Cat Yarns Alley Cat
Colourway: Mermaid's Treasure

Despite a hot Saturday afternoon, the rains moved in and Sunday has been a little chilly - perfect timing to finish up a pair of cozy socks, while lazing about in front of my new (to-me) very first big girl TV.
Previously I've been spending lazy Sundays in front of the little 13 inch TV my parents bought me when I was sixteen. I was quite content with it, but since Dave moved it upstairs for me last weekend, I haven't wanted to bring it back down.

My grandpa offered me this one, so Dave kindly slugged it home for me and all I can say is --- wow --- these people are BIG! (And it will be really nice to read subtitles with out scooching closer or squinting real hard)

Sadly, tomorrow it's back to work, so no more couch lazing for me... at least until Saturday.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Meet the Mother of Dragons

I gave you a sneak peek at this little beauty a few weeks back.Well now the pattern is together and I give you Daenerys. Knit in Top Cat(colour is Vampire's Kiss) this one is delightfully soft and warm.It's a biggie too- 64 inches wide - just like I like 'em. As I was knitting it, I was planning on giving it to a friend for a door prize at her doe. But I like it too much - so I'm keeping it - I'll just have to knit her something else.The pattern is pretty easy - and once you get going it's about as mindless as lace can get. It takes about 600 yards of fingering weight yarn and if I knew how to add beads, I probably would have done it (maybe I should get mom to teach me).

Now ... onto the next design... I'm dreaming up some frilly girly anklets!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I am beautiful...

I was given a Beautiful Blogger award! (Thanks minding my own stitches!)

I started blogging in 2007 as a means to promote my jewellry, but it quickly came to focus on the cats and my knitting - then last year mom and I started dying yarn and you all know how that's gone. Reading my favourite blogs is one of the best parts of my day. I like to see what everyone else (and their pets) is up to and it's nice to see traditional skills continuing despite our ever increasing digitized world.

As part of the Beautiful Blogger Award, I have to share 10 things about myself that you might not know.

1) I have the eating habits of a six year old- I still don't eat crust and prefer my sandwiches cut into quarters; I don't like the taste of purple; I will only eat Kraft cheese slices, tartar sauce and peanut butter (not all together), Campbell soup (chicken noodle, tomato and vegetable only), Bick's pickles, and Heinz ketchup - other brands will not suffice.

2) Since I began my working career at the age of 16 I have had more than 30 jobs - sometimes two at a time (part-time). I was only ever fired once - and that's because I was under the probation period and the manager didn't like my stance on gun control (she asked - I answered! I always say if you don't want my opinion - don't ask for it.)

3) When I had the chicken pox as a child, I had one on my tongue.

4) I like sharp and pointy thing - daggers, throwing knives, swords etc., and this summer my goal is to learn to shoot the compound bow my grandfather gave me.

5) I've always wanted a pet bird - preferably a raptor of some sort - but that's not practical so I'll settle for a cockatoo.

6) Until the end of high school I wanted to be a fashion designer. Then I graduated and got lazy - it took me five years to go to college and then I went for journalism - how in the hell did that happen?

7) When I was a child, I spotted a deer in the field between our house and the neighbours. I immediately went in and told everyone I saw Bambi and he let me pet him and ride him. More than 20 years later, no one has let me live it down.

8) I almost had Dave talked into moving to Norway to take up positions as tour guides at a Viking museum - but then I read the job posting and discovered we had to know more than one language.

9) On the topic of language - I use to be really good in French and vowed to become bilingual (mostly because I wanted to move to France and I was in love with Jean Claude Van Damme) - for some reason I stopped taking French after Grade 11 and have regretted it every time I've seen a job posting that requires bilingual capabilities. Maybe that will be my winter goal.

10) I am afraid of heights, but heights don't bother me as much if there is water below me (even though I'm not a great swimmer).

Now to award 10 other beautiful bloggers (In no particular order)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Well ...children grow ...right?

Okay - so it's a weeeeeeeee bit big on her. But at least she can enjoy it for a good while before she grows out of it!

Thank you to Mom & Dad who delivered it in time for her birthday as I was unable to do much, what with the work overload and all.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I've never been so happy to see a Tuesday

Well - the Trade Show has come and gone and all I can say is PHEW!
All in all, it went very well - my boss is happy so I'm happy.

And it means back to our regularly scheduled knitting time (at least until Boss decides he needs another event planned)

That said, I did manage to sneak in a little knit time on the weekend. My back had enough 12 hours days of sitting in a chair and decided to enforce break-time whether I wanted to or not.
So, Dave brought my TV and DVD player upstairs for me, and I stretched out on the bed, medicated and cast on a new sock
This is the Stray Cat in Moody Blue I showed you earlier. The socks are for Dave, but I'll probably tuck them away for Christmas. It's sport-weight, so a little too warm for our sunny summer.

The Stray Cat is lovely to work with and once again I'm grateful we found such and awesome supplier for our bases.

In other Wandering Cat News, we finally got around to starting our own group on Ravelry. We would love all Wandering Cat fans to pop on over and visit us once in awhile. We'll post all of our news, updates, new colours and such and we'd love to see all your projects pics too.

On a semi-unrelated note ... Another reason Tuesday's are good - I got a present in the mail (a reward for all my hard work on the trade show...even though I bought it weeks before....)
Ten gorgeous balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in Wine. Yeah - it's similar to the Cashsoft DK I have in my stash.... but ... ummm.... what's your point?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I give you more...

...socksThe first undine in Mermaid Treasure is done! Now don't get too excited - this was mostly done on Sunday, I just finished up the toe tonight.

I also have a few stash enhancements I haven't shown off yet.Alley Cat in Opium Den - Mom calls it muck, but it's a very pretty grey with undertones of pink, purple, blue, brown and gold. I LOVE it! I think I might make Rivendell with this.Stray Cat in Moody Blues. This is mom's creation - I said "make me something manly for Dave" and she put her genius to work - and she never disappoints.
House Cat in Aurora - I've wanted Aurora ever since I first took it out of the dye pot. Trying out the new House Cat has given me an excuse to snag a skein. The are definitely going to be frilly, girly socks!

Not much else going on around here - I'm working late almost every night as I prepare for the trade show we are planning, so you might not hear too much from me until June 9th, but I'll try to pop in now and again.