Monday, May 31, 2010

Drive By Posting

I planned a much longer post... but I got busy doing other stuff and now it's almost bedtime so this is all you get...I finished up Dad's F-Day socks last night. I'm really rockin' this whole not-procrastinating-knitting-gift-thing, now if only I could manage the not-procrastinating-everything-else-thing.

Anyway, these are just and easy-peasy vanilla sock, 72 stitches, 2.5mm needle, 2-2 rib cuff, in Wandering Cat Yarns Top Cat, colour is Snails!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Well that was .... fun....

Despite a beautiful day featuring sunny skies and cool breezes, the show was a bit of a bust.

We were there with all our pretty yarnAnd a nice assortment of my jewellryBut there was one small problem... there were no customers.... just vendors. At most I would say about 20 people who weren't associated with the show came through - and none of them were knitters.

I don't know if there was no advertising, or if it was just so nice everyone went elsewhere, but last year the show was bustling - this year was a shame.

But not all was lost. Both mom and I got a lot of knitting done. She completed the sock she was working on and I'm to the toe of Dad's second f-day sock.

And I got a visit from some of my most favourite people in the world - My bestie Samantha and her three adorable (if a little evil) children.(Not Miss Lily's real hair - she stole poor Roxy's wig!)

So, we came home with all the yarn we took - but that's good news for you guys... as the shop is back up and Mom will be adding some new colourways.

As for me - today I'm taking it easy. I've already spent a few hours reclining in the shade of my backyard, reading with the boys. Now it's time to knit and watch a movie - I think something historical is in order.

But before I go, here is a sneak peek at my soon to be released shawl pattern:
It's off the blocking board, so now it's just a matter of getting the pattern together.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

... and another thing....

Sometime late tomorrow, you will see the shop go into vacation mode.

Don't worry, we're just putting it down for the weekend while we're at the show, so there are no conflicts if something gets bought in both locations.

I should be back up late Sunday early Monday.

That said, if there is something you really want - get it now, it may not come back from the show!

I will also be absent from the blogsphere for the next few days... so much to do...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Show??? What show???

Yes, yes, yes.. I've been a bad BossCat and have neglected to share what show we are doing, and where it is.

Well really, I was just trying to be elusive to pique your interest... yeah... that's it!

This Saturday Mom and I will be at the Brantford Pagan Meet and Greet this week-end.

I did this show last year, but with just my jewellery. Last year I brought Dave.

This year it will be jewellery and yarn and Mom!

If you can make it, do stop by and say hi - we'll be the ones knitting!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shhh... don't tell the boy....

.... but he was right.

The air conditioners are on. It's hot and sticky and it's suppose to stay that way for a couple of days at least... hopefully it will all end in a spectacular thunderboomer!

Meanwhile, I'm inside with the air cranked and knitting.You haven't seen any progress, but early on last week I cast on for Dad's second F-day sock. On the weekend, I managed to reach and finish the heel. I should be pressing forward with F-Day only a few weeks away, but I got a little distracted.

You'll remember that yarn we dyed that knit up like this:Well on the weekend we tweaked the formula a little (same colours, different amounts) and it now looks like this:I just had to see what it looked like knit up - so I set aside Dad's sock and cast on for a pair of Undines. So much better! The colour is Mermaid's Treasure and there is one skein in the shop.

Want to see what else we dyed?These won't be in the shop until after the weekend, as we are taking them to the show on Saturday. What ever is left will go up in the shop.

Oh, I also got one other thing off the needles - Friday night I cast off the latest shawl!
It's blocking at Mom's, but I should have the pattern ready in a couple of weeks. You may remember that is was purple - but I decided to overdye it with red - it's a much deeper red than the pic shows, and it's a nice big shawl - more than 60 inches wide!

Holy Canolies - I've been a busy girl!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summer! Summer! Summer!

It's hard not to get into the spirit of the season when the sun is shining and you're making pretty sundresses!I fixed the top of Summerlin last night, and this morning I began work on the skirt. It would have gone a lot quicker if I'd actually had a piece of fabric wide enough for the skirt. All I had was a pack of quilting fat quarters, so I had to piece them together. It was more work, but the end result is pretty nice. I didn't end up mixing in the cat fabric I had (it was part of the fat quarter package) because I like it so much I want to keep it for myself!

For the top I used some left over Berrocco Bonsai. It's nice and light like a cotton, but it's very soft (from the bamboo) and has a pretty little shimmer, which unfortunately you can't see in the picture.

This one is for Little Miss Rowan(Also known as Satan's Protege) who turns two in a couple of weeks.

I have a feeling as soon as her sister sees it.........
........I'll be upsizing the pattern to make another one.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Moving right along

Things have been busy here at Chez Wandering Cat. In fact, I'm ridiculously happy that I have tomorrow off, because I've been so busy, it hasn't felt like much of a weekend.

Saturday was dye day. Mom and I did up a bunch of Big Cat, Fat Cat and Alley Cat in preparation for our show next Saturday.

When I got home it was time to feed Dave, and after dinner I settled into an evening of knitting. I cast on for Summerlin. My niece's birthday is in just a few weeks, so I figured I better get moving. I

I got the top part done last night, only to realize I'd have to rip it out. I modified the pattern so it had a button band, then was joined in the round just below the buttons. Unfortunately, I didn't notice and twisted my join, so when I cast off, I discovered I had a Moebius Summerlin - not very helpful when it comes time to sew on the skirt! I put it away for the night and decided to deal with it later.

This morning Dave and I got up and ran some errands. When we got back I FINALLY tackled my studio. It's not perfect, but you can at least get in and find stuff.

Dave got to work putting in my air conditioners. I'd prefer to leave it a few weeks, because they block out a lot of my natural light, but Dave didn't want to install them on a hot and sticky day, and since it's a big job and I should be grateful that he's willing to do it in the first place - I relented. But they are not getting turned on until we are melting!
Then it was time to feed him again.

Now the boy is fed, the cats are napping, and I'm sitting down to tackle Summerlin again - I've got some adorable cat fabric for the skirt, so I want to get to the sewing! Thank goodness for long weekends!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Super Spectacular Spring/Summer Sale

It's the first long week-end to kick off summer, so in celebration, Wandering Cat Yarns is offering free shipping (refunded after purchase) on all orders over $50 until Monday May 24th at midnight.

We'll be outside enjoying the sun!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New kitten for the litter!

There's a new addition to the Wandering Cat litter - and this one definitely isn't the runt

This is our scrumpdiddlyumptious worsted weight yarn - 100 per cent superwash merino.
It's soft, it's squishy, and it's washable so it's perfect for babies and kids (and adults).

You may remember I made this:It was a gift for a new baby and was knit with Big Cat. I loved every moment of working with the yarn and have pretty much decided I am never making another baby outfit out of acrylic again.

There's a limited amount in the shop right now, but they are gorgeous colours. If there is a lot of interest, you will see a lot more (and maybe even sweater amounts).

Mosey on over to the shop and take a look.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Astounded by the Awesomness


I am in awe!

In just a few short days, Artemis has garnered far more attention that I ever thought it would! It's already been favourite 230 times and is in 65 queues! You guys rock! Thanks so much for your support.

I really makes me want to get the next shawl off the needles and into print!

That said, I haven't knit a stitch since Saturday. Sunday, as you know, I was busy trying to de-monkey, and yesterday was a 12-hour work day (someone decided that it would be a good idea to plan an execute a trade show with less than a month of time) so I came home, made lunches for the next day and went to bed.

But tonight..... tonight is all mine..... hello couch.... meet ass! Yarn... meet needles!
Blog readers......

Meet Rocky's enormous belly!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good bye monkeys

Despite some Friday night procrastinating, I manage to get a few monkeys off my back this weekend - the giant, King Kong gorilla of the hideously trashed studio is still on my back - but the door to that room closes, so I can live with it for another week or so.

Among the things I accomplished:

Yarn dyed: This wasn't really one of my monkeys, but Mom and I spent all Saturday doing it.
Here are some of the results:
(Mom got a new camera, so she's all about the fancy shots now)
Pictured is the new Alley Cat, and it will be in the shop Monday. We also did some Big Cat, which is our yet-to-be-released worsted yarn, but I'll do a post all about that when we put it in the shop.

I cleaned out the cupboard under the stairs: I didn't find a boy-wizard there, but I found just about everything else. It's actually more of a large walk in closet and has been a junk-depository since I moved in.

The kitchen is cleaned and scrubbed: Should we be so inclined, we can actually eat at the kitchen table again instead of looking at piles of ... whatever happened to accumulate there! And the collection of wine bottles is in the car ready to be returned for deposit. (I might have about $10!) I have a whole corner back now! I moved the cats dishes over there, instead of in front of the cupboard where they were. Tux is totally confused.

I completed two freelance writing assignments: I left the newspaper business and suddenly my respect for deadlines went right out the window. Fortunately the editor is a good friend, so she forgave me for being late and will still pay me!

The fat cats got some exercise: I took the boys out for some much needed fresh air. They have been outside in about two weeks because I've been too lazy after work and last weekend the weather was crappy. But today we went out. There wasn't much exercising, they pretty much just relaxed under the rose bushes while I read my book, but they were happy to be outside.

Pattern released: This is by far the biggest accomplishment of the weekend. The fluffy cat shawl pattern is ready!
This took me far too long to get around to. I finished this shawl in JANUARY! But it's finally named - Artemis - and is ready on Ravelry for your knitting pleasure!

As I mentioned, the studio still needs to be cleaned, and there are still a few small things I need to accomplish, but I'm feeling much better now. It's amazing what a little determination can do!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Procrastination - thy name is Valerie

Lately I've been feeling a little frazzled. It's nothing huge, it's just that I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of little things I need to do. But all I want to do is knit.

So that's what I've been doing, but that sea of little things isn't going away - it's getting bigger.

But, I have this weekend all to myself. Dave is busy and I won't see him until Sunday night at the earliest. So, this weekend - that giant sea is going to be made into a puddle. This weekend I AM going to tackle those little things - one by one.

So, now I'm going to write out a list, so I'm prepared and nothing gets forgotten. I'm going to do it. RIGHT NOW.

Well... maybe after I knit a few rows.......


P.S. I almost forgot to announce the winner in our contest.

It was Minding My Own Stitches! She gets a sock blocker key chain and gets to chose a skein of yarn from the shop!

And, since there were only a few entrants, but they were so generous, we decided to give the others a skein of yarn too! So congrats to Smoking Hot Needles and Restless Needles!

With your help Miss Pee was able to raise $110 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Thank you so much!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


First - my apologies, but my brother gave me the wrong deadline for Miss Pee's Jump Rope campaign - so the contest will unfortunately end at midnight tonight. If you can participate before then, click on the link in the side bar.

Second - onto shawls. I've been working away on the Feather and Fan shawl, but tonight I put it on hold for a bit - at least until I can get a bamboo needle in that size. The silk content is just a little too much and it's slip-sliding all over the metal needle and driving me crazy.
So tonight I've been working on My Pet Dragon. Here's a better look at its "scales."I'd like to try to get this done before the 29th, as Mom and I have a show to attend - it would be nice to be able to show it off there, and have the pattern available.

Third - you already know this, but Rocky is evil. This evening I came home to three balls of yarn stacked neatly on the kitchen table (which means Dave took them off Rocky before he left for work), as well as a skein in the bedroom, and the entire dragon shawl and attached yarn in the basement. He hasn't touch my yarn for weeks - then decided to go nuts!Rule # 1 - Never trust something so cute.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New yarns in the house!

Mom was a busy bee last weekend and dyed up some more skeins of our newest yarn. They are in the shop now.
When we first put House Cat in the shop, we didn't have very much and it went very quickly. It's a 2-ply fingering weight 100 per cent merino yarn with a fantastic twist. Don't miss out on your chance to knit with this lovely yarn!


There is still time to help Miss Pee meet her Jump Rope for Heart goal! A big thank you to those who've already donated! Good luck!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Miss Pee Has Heart - A Contest!

Meet Miss PeeMiss Pee is my niece and if you visit Mom's blog often you're already familiar with this little munchkin.

Right now Miss Pee is participating in Jump Rope for Heart, raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. She's got a pretty lofty goal of $350 and we'd love to see her make it.

So, we're calling on all our blog friends to help out - and holding a contest to reward you (and it involves yarn!)

To enter:

Click on Miss Pee's "Fundraising Page" and make a donation (any amount welcome), then come back here (or to Mom's blog) and comment to let us know you donated.

Donations are being accepted until Thursday, May 13.

On Friday, May 14, Mom and I will randomly draw one winner who will receive their choice of any one skein of yarn from the shop, and a key chain sock blocker!

If you help Miss Pee reach her $350 goal, we'll draw for a few extra prizes of Wandering Cat Yarny goodness.

And just so you know, Miss Pee is a knitter too
Look at that awesome garter stitch!

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Might as well face it - I'm addicted to shawls.

This morning I woke up with two things in my head - Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" and a design for a new shawl.

Knowing, like my writing, the only way to get this new design out of my head was to start working on it - I cast on after breakfast (so much for cleaning the house today).I know it's hard to see the pattern, but I'm calling it "My Pet Dragon" so as you can guess, it's scale-like. I'm using our Top Cat yarn, and the colour is Magnolia. Every time I knit with it I can't get over how soft it is - I'm so glad we found a supplier with fantastic bases.

In case you were wondering, I have done a little more work on the feather and fan shawl, and would be further if I didn't get distracted by dream knitting...I really love the colours, and how the pattern makes them ripple. Upon closer inspection, I also discovered that it is not exactly like the Feather and Fan Comfort shawl - the comfort shawl uses an 18-stitch repeat, I used a 12. So, when this is done, I will do up a pattern and put it on Ravelry and share it with all of you!

And last, but not least - Happy Mother's Day to the woman who made this sad, sad addiction possible...

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I intended to have some knitting to show you today.

Something like some amazing progress on Dad's second sock.

As I mentioned yesterday, there was a road trip in the cards today. Dave is a bit of a Kijiji nut, and found a great deal on a projector screen, which he wants for his studio at work. The catch - it was in Belleville - a good 3.5 hours from here. But even when you factored in the gas - it was still a really good deal.

So, when he mentioned it, I thought - no biggie - that's seven hours of knitting time for me.... right?


When he hauled my butt out of bed at 5:30 a.m. this morning (after only four measly hours of sleep) I got to thinking (amazing that my brain functions that early in the morning), the projector screen is seven feet long. He drives a swanky, leather-filled sedan, I drive a beat-up cola-stained wagon. While his car is slightly larger, my car is built for cargo.

Either way, I knew it would be going right from the trunk to in between the fronts seats of the car, and there's a lot more room to maneuver awkward parcels in my car than his. And, in the event it was too big and awkward for inside - my car has roof racks.

Dave's car doesn't.


I guess I'm driving.

Now some of you are thinking "why didn't you let Dave drive your car?"

The answer. We don't do that. Never really have. The only time I've driven his car is if he's drunk, or otherwise unable to. The only time he drives my car is if there is something wrong with it and I want him to hear what it sounds likes. It's weird. To us, cars are very personal things - almost like lending someone your tooth brush. And it's not just Dave, I don't like anyone driving my car.

She's ugly as sin, doesn't go very fast, but she's mine. Don't touch.

So, I drove. Three and a half hours there. Three and a half hours back. No knitting.

I considered punishing him by stopping in at the Toronto Knitter's Frolic on the way home, but by the time we hit T.O., the weather was really sour and I was really starting to feel the lack of sleep.

We got home about 1:30 p.m. and I crashed, crawled back out of bed at 7. Went and got my groceries, and now I'm making dinner.


No knitting.

How 'bout a kitty?

Friday, May 7, 2010

While you weren't looking...

... I was knitting.

Okay, so that's not really a big surprise. A long while ago, I mentioned that I was working on a secret knitting project. I showed you only a glimpse of it, and said it was knit in our Slinky Cat yarn.

Well the project was a scarf for my Mom, meant to be her Mother's Day gift (It's blue to match her winter coat and the gloves I knit her two years ago). A few hours after casting off the Sea Silk, I decided I better get moving on the scarf, it was half done, but Mother's Day was only two weeks away. So I picked it up and realized.... I hate knitting scarves. They are long and boring and long.

So I frogged it.

And I cast on for a shawl - something she could wear as a scarf if she wanted, but still enjoy during the warmer months. So I cast on a pattern I knew I could knit up quick (and she would still enjoy).

I cast on for....
...yup you guessed it. Another Frozen Leaves shawl.Cast on was April 26 and worked as steady as I could, casting off on May 1. Good thing too because I have had almost zero knit time this week.This one is smaller than the Sea Silk version but slightly larger than the Top Cat version. I did five leaf motifs, and only shortened chart two by about six rows.

I took it up to Mom today because I'm not sure if I'll get the chance to see her this weekend. Dave and I are on a road trip tomorrow, and my studio needs one hell of a good clean which I'm hoping to do Sunday. Plus, I've been itching to show it off since I took it off the blocking board.

So, that's five shawls for 10 for 2010! I'm halfway there!

I hope every one has a great weekend - and don't forget to call your mother!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It was bound to happen eventually.

As I was fiddling around on Ravelry today, I came across a shawl that looks suspiciously like the feather and fan shawl I'm "designing".

I opened the pattern and sure enough... it's basically the same - with a minor variance on stitch direction - I'm not as original as I thought.

There are only so many stitch patterns out there, so I guess there's bound to be duplication. Especially with a pattern as common as feather and fan. Oh well, I guess it saves me having to write out a pattern.

I have made absolutely zero progress on it. Yesterday was another total write off. After work I slid over to mom's to pay back some moolah I borrowed (First National Bank of Mom rocks!) and ended up staying for dinner - and Jeopardy.

By the time I got home, it was almost 8:30 and the house needed a good clean before Dave moseyed on in, then I made his dinner, and our lunches for work. Then it was bath time - after I was all squeaky clean, I looked at the clock and it was 11:30 so off to bed I went.

But tonight - tonight I'm going to knit something. It might not be the shawl, it may be a sock or a crackghan square or SOMETHING. Yarn is getting wrapped around a needle TONIGHT! (Provided of course the first spring thunderstorm doesn't knock out the power - I hate knitting by candlelight)

Man, I don't think I like this full-time work gig... anybody want to pay me $40,000 a year to knit for myself? No? Okay, I'll go scratch my lottery tickets and see if I have any luck there...
... in the mean time, enjoy this pic I call "Tux on the lawn"

Monday, May 3, 2010


... this day's all shot to hell!

First I worked late, then decided to stop to pick up a few things at the grocery store, which turned into a full blown grocery shopping venture. By the time I got home, put the groceries away, fed the cats, fed myself and attended to all my email and blog comments, I looked at the clock and holy crap - it's 8 p.m.

By the time I finish blogging, put out the garbage, make tomorrow's lunch, and have a bath - it's going to be bed time.

Which means, I have nothing of my own to show you - but I do have some one else's pretty knitting to share:These were done by Mom in our Stray Cat yarn. Stray Cat is an eight-ply sport weight yarn - a little heavier than a fingering, but lighter than a DK. It's obviously great for baby items, but as you can see it's awesome for socks too - these are so soft and squishy - I wish you could touch them.

And the best part - they knit up faster than fingering weight socks!!! I'm totally dying up some for the big-footed men in my life!

There are six colours in the shop right now, and you can expect more soon.

In other yarn news, we finally got our shipment of Alley Cat base, so look for some new Alley Cat colours in the coming weeks!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Where does the time go?

Sorry for staying away from the blog for the last couple of days. The first week at work (especially Friday) was a hectic one so I've spent the weekend chilling out.

I took the boys outside to enjoy the nice weather several times this weekend.As you can see, Tux is quite tuckered out from the adventure (which includes trying to escape under the fence while my back was turned - good thing he was on the leash).Rocky took advantage of Tux's exhaustion to snag some couch time - sleeping off his outdoor adventure as well (which included getting caught in the wild roses).

When not playing with the boys outside, I've been knitting and frogging, knitting and frogging. I should be working on the Starry Zetor, or Dad's second F-day sock but instead I cast on for a new project.

I originally cast on for Multnomah, but decided I didn't like it. So, I started playing around with a "Multnomah-inspired" design (basically feather and fan). After frogging several times, I think I'm finally happy.The yarn is STR Silkie Sock in "Walking on the Wild Tide". It was a gift from the lovely Jeanne, and I love the way it is knitting up.

Tomorrow is back to work and another hectic week, but I'll try to stay on top of the blog.