Saturday, July 31, 2010

A good start

There's no denying I was really looking forward to this long weekend. And so far it has gotten off to a good start.

Dave and I rolled out of bed at the crack of 11. ( I loooove sleeping in)

I went for a walk to (the weather is perfect - warm but not humid) to get a few groceries, while Dave did a little work on his convertible.

When I came back the boys and I stretched out in the backyard and read (a great novel about archers in the Hundred Years' War). A blue jay serenaded us for a while, and a little later a swallow came and yelled at the boys from a low lying branch. I wish I had brought my camera outside - they were both really pretty little birds.

But all that fresh air certainly tuckered Rocky out...
... so we came inside and cooked up some wild haddock and chips for dinner and the rest of the evening was spent knitting.

I finished up another row on the Crackghan, and finished up that new sock I told you about the other day.This is our Spice Trader colourway and I just had to see how it would look knit up.

Now that my curiosity has been sated, it's back to the goal of knitting up some second socks....

And for anyone interested in the Fluffy Cat lace - it will most likely be in the shop on Monday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Listen up Lace Lovers

We've got a new kitten for the Wandering Cat Litter
Introducing Fluffy Cat - LACE!!!!

Yep, that's right - my favourite sumptuous, sensuous, seductive yarn is now available in an irresistible lace weight!
1300 yards per skein
Gauge: 32.0 to 38.0 sts = 4 inches
Needle Size: US 2½ - 6 or 3 - 4mm
Content:70% Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere

It will be in the shop in time for the shipping sale this weekend - but we've only got a few skeins dyed up right now, so I'm betting they won't last long!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Calm after the storm

I took this picture of Rocky tonight, just after a big thunderstorm rolled through. He was enjoying the chance to get near an open window. I love the nice golden colour of the sky (it would make a nice yarn colour...)

The storm swept away the humidity that's been hanging over us, and I finally got a chance to turn off the air conditioners. I hate having the house closed up all the time.

In knitting news, I have decided that despite my hectic schedule - or maybe because of it - I am taking Wednesday nights as "me" nights. No freelance work, no errands, no house work - just a night for me to chill out and do whatever I want.

Which of course is knitting! Tonight I worked away on my Peacock Dragon shawl, and I've finally got into a good rhythm.

It's still slow going though, as it requires a fair amount of attention and there are lots of stitches to a row at present.

I've completed two repeats of the second chart and plan to do at least one more before I decide whether to start the final chart or continue with the second chart and make a really large shawl - it will all depend on how long it takes me to complete one row I'm guessing.

I've no pictures to show you as it's just a giant blob of knitting and not very photo worthy.

Instead, I have some good news. This weekend is a long weekend! YAY!

Even better news is that it means not only do I have an extra day off - but you will be able to take advantage of free shipping on any order more than $50 at the shop.

Been waiting for an opportunity for some stash enhancement? Here it is. Mom and I want to clean out some of the older stock to make way for some new yarn we'll most likely be dying over the weekend. So... if there is something you've had your eye on in the shop - now is the perfect opportunity.

The shipping sale will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and run until midnight on Monday.

Happy shopping!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Days....

... I really wish I was a cat.Those two really seem to have it made.

I figured after the wedding, things would start to go back to slow down a little and I'd have some more time on my hands.

But I've started making a list of all the things I want to do in the next few weeks and ... well it's isn't going to be much slower! And I can't believe July is almost over already - can I ask what happened to June?

I did manage to take a little time for myself over the last week and I completed two more rows on the Crackghan:
I've included Tux for scale - as you can see it's really growing! It's 33 inches long now - so just a wee bit more than half way there! This is a great stress relieving knit - so I expect to be working on it a lot more...

I also knit a little more on my Peacock Dragon shawl yesterday, and I might have accidentally cast on for another pair of socks (It wasn't my fault - the yarn was sitting there taunting me) I'll try to get photos up over the next couple of days.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Wedding Bells

Well... almost eight years, and two beautiful little girls later, my big brother and his loving partner, Jenn, finally made it official.The family lives in Owen Sound, Ontario and decided to hold a nice, informal ceremony at Hibou Conservation Area, over looking the Sound.
I was a bit dubious when Dave and I headed out for the three hour trek up Highway 6, as the weather certainly wasn't cooperating for an outdoor wedding. It was hot and humid with threatening skies. Rain on your wedding day may be good luck, but is certainly spoils all the work you put into your hair and make-up.

We left early, with an extra hour to spare - while I had been to Owen Sound hundreds of times in my life (my grandparents use to live there) I'd never actually been the driver - and I definitely didn't want to be late. Leaving early was a good idea, the combination of blinding rain, and a slightly lost driver used up that extra hour pretty easily.

But we got there on time, and as we came over the hill and the Sound revealed itself (anyone who has been there knows exactly the view I'm talking about) and the sun came out in all it's glory.It was a gorgeous wedding at a terrific location. The groom was handsome and the bride was beautiful:The flower girls we're adorable:And Ladydog was dressed to match:
Mom and I served as unofficial photographers, and I've spent most of this afternoon going through more than 200 images (that's just on my camera - Mom has more on hers.)

Here are a few of my faves:

Beautiful bride...If you look close enough, you can see the single tear on her cheek.

Exchanging rings
Man, I love my zoom lens. I got one of him putting the ring on her too.

The happy family:
Not sure where Rowan is - at two-years-old she has a bit of a mind of her own....

...and, as an amateur wedding photographer - I've got to say, adding a two-year-old to the mix certainly makes for some comical moments and interesting outtakesAll in all it was a great day.

And to Ron and Jenn, here's wishing you a lifetime of happiness.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Little quickie and a BIG thank you

I wasn't going to post today, having spent aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll day at the computer, but I couldn't let today pass without sending out a HUGE thank you to Just in the Knit of Time.

After a loooong frustrating day at work, and just before a long frustrating night of freelance work, I headed to my mail box and discovered a fantastic surprise:
She had sent me a box just crammed with left over sock yarn for my crackghan! It couldn't have come at a better time. I can't wait to knit this into the crackghan. Thanks for the awesome bright spot in a crappy day! (And Rocky thanks you for the new box to play in!)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taking a moment to catch my breath

I've been meaning to post all weekend, but somebody (meaning Dave) has been hogging my computer in the neverending quest to rid the world of radio active zombies. A noble quest to be sure (who hasn't been hassled by the annoying undead?), but this girl needs a little computer time too.

As mentioned in my last post - it's been a little hectic here at Chez Wandering Cat. Basically, I bit off a little more than I could chew. I have to remember that I'm working full-time now, not part time - so there are several less hours in the day to take on extra projects.

Admittedly, it took a minor emotional break down in the form a few tears of lots of f-bombs thrown at an unsuspecting, and undeserving sewing machine for me to finally admit that I am not superwoman (though I'd really love those lassos).

So, I have decided that:

1) The stealth sewing project will not be completed in time to give to the recipient when I wanted. However, said recipient is unlikely to be upset. And they will get it before the end of the summer

2) Dave's socks will not be done in time for his birthday. (Especially considering I left them at my mom's an have been unable to work on them at all this weekend - but I've made it to the heel on the second sock!). However, Dave is very understanding and tells me year after year he doesn't want to celebrate his birthday anyway (he's still getting cake and a present - it just won't be knit socks)

3) My peacock shawl is also unlikely to be finished in time to wear to my brother's wedding next Saturday. However, I knit about half of the first repeat of the second chart today while Dave and I went on an impromptu road trip. And, I did buy myself two new pairs of shoes for the wedding (I still haven't decided which pair I'll wear), so all is right with the world.

And despite the fact that all these things won't be accomplished as planned - lots of things have been taken care of this weekend.

1) I got my house clean (mostly) and I don't feel like I'm living on the trash heap in Fraggle Rock any more
2) I finished all my freelance stories and the company was so pleased they've asked for more. This will result in a nice fat cheque at the beginning of next month.

3) It didn't happen this weekend, but earlier this week, I whipped up a little drawstring project bag out of some utterly adorable fabric I had lying aroundIt's the perfect size to carry around a shawl in progress

3) Yesterday I helped celebrate the birthday of one of the bestest people I know. A good time was had by all (but I forgot my camera so there are no pictures - you'll just have to take my word.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is another Monday, so it's back to the work week. There are a few hours left to relax, so if you'll excuse me...
...someone would like my undivided attention.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We interrupt this blog for an important notice

Sorry for the radio-silence in blogland - it's been a crazy week.

I've picked up some freelance work, in addition to all the other projects I have going on, so it hasn't left much time for knitting or blogging.

I'll update you soon,

But in the mean time

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another weekend bites the dust

It's been a quiet, albeit productive, weekend here at Chez Wandering Cat.

Most of it has been taking up with some stealth sewing that I can't show you yet. But that doesn't mean I've got nothing to share.

There has been cleaning - I finally tackled the studio.

Which of course means the door is now left open and Rocky has re-discovered the box of Christmas knitting:I hope everyone wants cat hair for Christmas!

There has been knitting:While I should be knitting socks, I couldn't resist the urge to crack open a skein of Slinky Cat in the ever-so-popular "peacock" and start a new shawl. Mom has been busy dying up some more of this lovely colourway so there will be more available soon.

There has also been some outdoor time:
Tux has been driving me crazy this week - just itching for a chance to get outside (and frequently trying to escape under my feet) but it's been too stinking hot.

Friday brought some cooling rain and the early evenings are much more comfortable so I took the fat boy out for a jaunt around the yard Saturday night.

Rocky was none to happy with me, as I waited until he was asleep upstairs before I took Tux out on his own. It makes me a bad cat mommy, but Tux likes to explore, while Rocky prefers to hunker down in a corner, so it's hard to take them out at the same time unless I have another person to hold a leash - and it's hard to convince Dave to participate.

I did make it up to Rocky with an extra long ear scritch, so I think he's forgiven me. I'll take him out later this week and we can spend sometime reading under the tree.

So, it's another weekend that's gone far too quickly, but I've still got a few hours left to knit, knit, knit!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do you believe in Sea Monsters?

Well... if they do exist I hope they are as cute as this!I've spent the last two evening knitting flippers and horns. And once again I am astounded at how awesome Hansi Singh is! I love this pattern (this is my fourth Nessie!).
While the other Nessies you've seen have been for others, this one is mine all mine! I still have to make at least four more - but I have until Christmas!
This is a great way to use up left over yarn and I love the mottled effect the hand-dyed yarn gives it.

Now I better get back to knitting socks!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Eyes Have It!

They safety eyes came in for my latest Loch Ness Monster, so I snapped them on, finished the belly and stuffed her up!She just needs horns and flippers which I hope to do this week!

As mentioned before, the body is knit with our Fat Cat in Kaia - left over from baby Kaia's Helena. For the belly, I doubled some Fluffy Cat (in Pink Pearl) left over from my Artemis. It made a nice soft and shiny underbelly for my Nessie.

A note about the eyes. I've had a heck of a time finding safety eyes. I don't know about where you live, but around here all we have is Michael's the (craptacular) Arts and Craft Superstore. They used to be great, but now they don't carry half of the craft supplies they use to. It stinks. And there are very few independent craft and hobby shops left - and most of the ones around here carry mostly model trains and cars - no crafting supplies at all.

But if you're looking - check out Etsy. I got mine from 6060, she has a great selection (and noses too!) I got them really quick and I thought the prices were quite reasonable.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wee x2

As promised, I finished up the Baby Socks last night - so that's one pair done in my Summer of the Second Sock!I gave them to my co-worker today but he was waiting to open it until he got home to his wife. I hope they like them.

In non-knitting but utterly adorable news. Rocky has claimed the coffee table as his new territory.But for some reason, he wants to claim the couch at the same time.
I think it's all a ploy to get near the yarn.
It may look like he's keeping that Stray Cat yarn safe for me, but don't be fooled, he's waiting for me to turn my back so he can steal it!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Summer of the Second Sock

As I mentioned before, I have a lot of socks-in-progress.

My way to treat the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome is to immediately cast on for a different pair. Usually this works and by the time I've finished the first sock of the second pair, I'm ready to go back and knit the second of the first.

Until recently.

Mom and I have been dying so many pretty yarns that I've gotten a little carried away - and I now have six socks that need mates!

So, as of today, I am declaring this the Summer of the Second Sock and will devote the next two months to making mates for all these lonely socks.

And to show you how serious I am I spent all day knitting socks (okay that's mostly because the dragon shawl is in a time out... but... I was still productive)

First, I finished the toe of the the first Glow Bug sock.Then (because I realized his birthday is only 16 days away) I cast on for the second of Dave's Birthday socksI got several inches done before I realized I hadn't finished the second baby sock yet - so I've spent the evening working on that and I'm to the wee toe (so cute!)

Now despite this commitment to socks, that doesn't mean that's all you'll see here this summer. There will be shawls still, and I have three Summerlins to make. But you won't see me cast on for any new socks until September...

I promise...

Most likely anyway....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Enforced downtime

It's been a pretty lazy few days... but not by choice.

My back has decided that I've been far too busy lately, and has enforced a little downtime.

So, I've spent much of my time in bed, while Dave has been busy hunting radio active zombies and taking frequent breaks to make sure I'm well watered and fed.

But the good news is I have some great company...

(when he's not eating the patterns) ... as well as a hobby that I can do laying down.

I decided I should make good use of the time to tackle that pile of socks needing mates. So I got a few rows done on my Glow Bug socks, and then I got a little sidetracked.

You see, I have some yummy yarn that's been calling to me despite the fact that I buried it in the studio....

But there are several new projects on Ravelry using our lovely Fluffy Cat, and that has kept it foremost in my mind.

So I dug out my two skeins in Teddy Bear and cast on.

Well actually I cast on several times. I cast on for Haruni, Luna Moth, Melusine, and host of others, but none of them seemed right. Oh they are lovely shawls, but just not quite what I wanted. I considered casting on for another Zetor, but I've still got the Starry Zetor on the needles.

So I hoped on Ravelry and pulled up my favourites, hoping to find just the right pattern.

And I did - in the Red Dragon shawl. You may remember that I had intended to make this pattern with my Sea Silk. But the Sea Silk ended up becoming a Frozen Leaves shawl.

And I do love the look of the Red Dragon shawl. So I thought, "What the heck, I've cast on for just about everything else, lets give this a whirl."

Several hours later, I'm about 30% of the way - several inches further than the picture shows and into the second chart.

It's going well, but I do have to say that this is one of the hardest lace patterns I've ever done. It's not complicated, and the stitches aren't difficult to execute, it just doesn't have a rhythm - like Frozen Leaves or Daenerys - with this you have to pay attention to every stitch. But I think it's going to be worth it.

I'm hoping to get through all the repeats of Chart 2 tomorrow, and then I can take my time with the edging. I will probably end up wearing this to my brother's wedding instead of the Angora Daenerys I started a few days ago.

If you're interested in making your own Fluffy Cat shawl there are some great new colourways that will be going up in the shop tomorrow afternoon. You'll also find some Top Cat and Alley Cat both of which make beautiful shawls (and socks)

This update include all of that beautiful yarn we had hanging on the laundry line the other day. Stop by tomorrow and let us know what you think!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


It's no secret that I'm not a big fan of babies (my nieces and a select few others excepted). Babies are noisy, time consuming and... well... kinda yucky.

But I do like knitting baby stuff.

One - it's knits up quick
Two - small things are just darn cute.
Take this wee sock for example
A co-worker welcomed a new baby boy to his family on Wednesday, so I decided to knit up a pair of baby socks. I was hoping to get them done for tomorrow, but mom and I got a little side tracked today.Since we had today off, Dad was going fishing and Dave was busy in a Canada Day parade, we decided to have a little mommy-daughter dye day. And we might have gone a little crazy... but it was fun.

We dyed some Alley Cat, Top Cat, Fluffy Cat and a little bit of Slinky Cat Lace. The results will should be in the shop next week and I'll try to preview some in the coming days.

And of course, I did manage to bring some home for myself.

A while back, Mom managed to score some naked Skinny Bugga - they are just small skeins, most under 300 yards, but that's perfect for ankle socks!

I dyed a skein up today in my new Spice Trader colourway
Spice Trader is one of those skeins that looks much nicer when the colours are all mixed up, but since it's just for me there was no point in re-skeining it.

Sadly, you'll probably have to wait a while to see this knit up. I have quite a pile of single socks going, so I need to knit them some mates before I start casting on for new ones.