Sunday, August 29, 2010


...Sunday evening comes far too fast lately. I know, I'm really starting to sound like a broken record, but I could totally use an extra day or two attached to each weekend.

But enough of my whining - despite feeling too short, this weekend was a very productive one. While I was a little concerned my self imposed Summer of the Second Sock challenge was going to be a bit of a flop, it actually went pretty well. With only a few days left to spare, I finished up two second socks this weekend!

First - my Traffic Island socksI cast on the first sock in March. And it was done pretty quick, but I never bothered getting around to the second one until Wednesday. I did the cuff Wednesday night, the heel Friday night and finished the foot Saturday afternoon. (Colour is Wood Nymph Lite in our Alley Cat)

Immediately after, I cast on for the second Spice Trader sock......and by 1:30 a.m. I was grafting the toe! These weren't originally part of the Second Sock challenge, I cast on for the first sock after announcing the challenge, but now that they are done they count!

I still have two pairs that require second socks, but one - Dave's Moody Blues Socks - are probably going to get frogged - I think they are too big. They are for Christmas, so I'm not in any rush to get them done.

As for the other pair - I'm not sure where I put the yarn for the second sock, or if I'll even have enough. It was the end of a cone, and I think I'll be cutting it really close if I ever do find it - so they may never get finished.

Since I've pretty much got my sock WIPs done, what am I to knit now?

Well I still have three shawls to complete the 10 Shawl Challenge - and consequently I do have three shawls on the needles - but....

....I've been finding myself in a sweater mood lately. This weekend notwithstanding (it's gross and humid again) we've enjoyed some gorgeous weather lately - with just a hint of autumn in the air - and I've been thinking about sweaters - lots and lots of sweaters.

I have yarn set aside for several:
* I have some lovely Purpley/Red RYC Cashsoft for Debbie Bliss' Empire Line Cardigan
* The Mauve Diamond Luxury Merino I bought at the Tent Sale last week is perfect for the Honeybee Cardigan
* And I'm sorely tempted to steal the Dark Green Baruffa Merino Otto I bought for Dave to make myself Vinelle

And I also have sweater amounts in Lousia Harding Kashmir (Sun Yellow), Regia Silk 6-Ply (Forest Green), Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK (Burgundy), and Debbie Bliss Cathay (Apple Green).

And despite having all that yarn - you probably won't be surprised to learn that I just dyed up some Fluffy Cat to make Fable. I'm going to make it a little longer - but isn't it so pretty? I have to have it.

I created a new colour called Figgy Pudding for this one - it's at Mom's drying, but I promise I'll give you a sneak peek soon.

And, since I can't cast on for Fable until my yarn is dry, I'm being a good girl. I've picked up my Sloppy Sweater again. I'd definitely like to have it done before the cooler weather hits - and it's so mindless I should be able to breeze through what's left of it (front and two sleeves.)

Dave's gone to the cottage for the week - it's his last bit of time off before the school year starts again. While it's lonely without him, it means plenty of uninterrupted knitting time... now if only I could do something about my day job too....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Barbie World

Maybe I was inspired by the Barbie castle I got for the nieces, or maybe it was the bottle of Tequila Dave opened, but whatever the reason, this weekend I felt compelled to design some Barbie clothes.

So I grabbed some leftover Wandering Cat Yarn and got to it. First, a little
blue dress in Slinky Cat. The Slinky makes for a nice study fabric when knit on 2mm needles and adds just a bit of shine - perfect for a night on the Barbie-town.

Then, because it can get a little chilly, I made a nice little Fluffy Cat cardi.

The Fluffy has a nice halo - just like a cozy angora sweater - so I knew it needed pearl buttons. The "buttons" are actually beads, and the cardi closes with snaps.
And finally, for those extra cool evenings, I knit a Top Cat tunic with seed stitch details.

I love how this one turned out, and I'm going to have to design a people sized one because I so want one!

I'll get around to creating and printing these patterns eventually - they are great for using up left over yarn.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I finally decided to tackle the studio this weekend. The mess inside has been growing steadily worse. It got to the point where I could barely get in to get yarn. The good thing is I can shut the door and not look at it. But the bad thing is I can shut the door and not look at it.

So, I went in and cleaned, ruthlessly got rid of clutter (why was I hanging on to one of Dave's shirts that needed buttons, when it doesn't even fit him any more?) I threw out junk, shredded documents, and tidied and organized everything - not only can you see the floor now, but you can actually get in and move around.

Of course, my shadow had to help through the whole process.

He oversaw the organizing of the yarn.He kept watch over the pile of clothes that need ironing
And all that "helping" wore him out because he soon crashed in the box of Christmas knitting.
My next big project is to go through and decide which beads I want to destash. I don't have time to make jewelry like I used to, so I'm going to be selling a lot of it off - that will help with the clutter as well.

Of course, there's no help for the yarn clutter. Try as I might, I couldn't resist stopping in at the Needle Emporium's Tent Sale on FridayI got 10 balls of this lovely yarn (fingering weight super fine merino) for just $30 - what a deal!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wicked deals, best laid plans and shadow cats

You can tell from the title that this is going to be a random post. So here we go...

Wicked deals:

On the weekend, Dave decided we should brave the disgustingly thick, humid afternoon and hit up a flea market. Of course by the time we got there, he was ready to go back to the air conditioning (of which my car has none - his car does but he insists on using up my gas - so he has to suffer.) But since we were there already, we did a quick walk-around, and I'm so glad we did because I found an awesome deal!
An almost complete Barbie castle for just $15! It's missing a few chairs, and a couple of other pieces of furniture and accessories, but the elevator works! The monsters... I mean my darling nieces......are visiting my Mom for the week so I took it up to them on Monday. Word is they went out to get some new Barbies and a "royal toilet" for it today.

I love deals like this. When Miss Pee was a toddler, I came across an entire Fisher Price kitchen with accessories for $10. And of course, who can forget my wicked cat couch deal of $5?
Best laid plans:

I started designing a baby blanket with some left over yarn last night, but this morning I got bored with it and frogged it. Probably because there are no babies on the way.

Instead I turned my attention to one of my shawl designs. I've reworked some charts and now it's going swimmingly - I love it when a plan comes together. I'm hoping to get it done by the end of the month and give you all a peak (right now it's an unphotographable knitting blob.)

Shadow cats:
I've been off work for the past couple of days, and Rocky really seems to be enjoying the company. He is such a social kitty. He's not really a lap cat (though he likes a goof bedtime snuggle) but he likes to be with people. No matter what I'm doing, I can pretty much guarantee he's not far behind and he follows Dave like he's afraid to let him out of his sight. Occasionally he likes to get involved in what ever I'm doing - especially when making the bed or cleaning the litter.

Today however, since I was mostly stretched out knitting, he was enjoying the sun from the back of the couch. Of course, I have one of those couches with the square pillow cushions for the back - not ideal for lounging cats. It wasn't bad when I was sitting there, keeping it propped up, but when I got up to do a little housework.......this is how it looked when I came back. He slid right down between the cushion and the back of the couch. Of course, as you can see - it really didn't bother him and was obviously the perfect way to take advantage of that sunbeam.

Tomorrow is back to work, so I better go make my lunch - another of Rocky's favourite activities, especially if there are tuna sandwiches involved.

Monday, August 16, 2010


I was very unsettled with my knitting this weekend - hopping from one project to the next.

I pulled out some Debbie Bliss Pure Silk and cast on for a new shawl (Aestlight) then I got bored, ripped it all out and cast on for a new one (Swallowtail). I knew a few repeats on it and moved on to some second socks.Then I got bored again knit a few squares on the Crackghan. But even this didn't satisfy me.

So I did something totally crazy. I went upstairs and got the Noro Silk Garden Lite I'd bought sometime last year. I had bought it with the intention of making an entrelac beret - but decided I didn't want to make that. Instead I found this pattern and cast onUnfortunately - apparently I can't read a pattern. I knew the hat would be a little smaller than spec, I used DK instead of Aran - but I'm a loose knitter and I have a small head. However, for some reason, I decided to make up my own rules for decreasing and as a result the crown is much shorter than it should be. It still fits, but it's not the poofy, voluminous fit it should be.
I'm also not overly thrilled with the colours - they are nice, but not what I'd wear.
However, it will make a perfect hat for one of my nieces. So I made some mittens to go with it.
I got lucky with the second ball and was able to manipulate the yarn to get matching mittens.

A word about Noro - anyone who's poked around on Ravelry or blogs knows that most people either love it or hate it. For me it's a love/hate relationship. I love the long colour runs, and the way the colours subtley change from one to the next. But the yarn itself - YUCK! It's badly spun - it might as well be a thick/thin yarn. And full of veggie matter. It's a very "rustic" yarn, and so not worth the price.

That said, if it was on sale and I wanted to do some felting - I'd totally go for it. (I'm also interested to see how it would knit up in a Loch Ness Monster.)

In other knitting news - I'm resisting the urge to go to the Tent Sale at the Needle Emporium this week. I definitely don't need the yarn, and I really should pay my rent instead - but I got soooo many good deals there last year (enough yarn for two sweaters, three pairs of socks, a shawl, a shrug, a couple of hedgehogs, and a stock pile of Baby Monkey - all for under $200).

If you are in the area, I definitely recommend checking it out!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pre-Weekend Update

First - thanks for all your well wishes for Sir Tux. He's back to his usual lazy, lovable self. The vet is pretty sure we can manage it with diet so insulin will most likely be a last resort.

Second - YARN!!!!
While I was knitting (and Dave was hogging my computer) Mom was busy filling the shop with the buttload of yarn we've been hoarding. There's much more than pictured here - Alley Cat, Barn Cat, and House Cat - AND Mom also put all of our Fat Cat DK, Stray Cat Sport and Big Cat Worsted on sale at 10% off. And don't forget about the free shipping on orders of $100 or more.

I'll be back in a day or two with my new knitting project - but for now enjoy the yarniness!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Poor widdle Tuxikins

Is it just me - or is my cat giving me the stink-eye? That look totally says "eff-off", doesn't it?

Well poor little Tux has a reason to be grumpy. He's had a bad start to the week. Yesterday, he was pulled from a leisurely breakfast to be dumped off a place filled with weird smells, weird people and the most hated of all things - dogs! Yep, he went to spend the day with the vet.

So he got poked, prodded and generally annoyed all day. Then, because I was out of town for the afternoon and not returning before the vet closed for the day, he had to go spend some time at Mom's.
And, as much as he loves Grandcatmama, he doesn't like spending time at Grandcatmama's house - it's filled with weird smells, weird people (both of those because of Dad) and the most hated thing of all...
...Ladydoggy. (Ladydoggy is actually very good to cats, Tux is just prejudiced.)

And with all that poking prodding and general discomfort, we discovered that Tux does indeed have diabetes, as well as a bladder infection.

The good news is, the vet says we should be able to control the diabetes with diet instead of insulin shots.

The bad news is he has to take pills for two weeks (for the infection) and I can't make him feel better by sharing my ice cream
(Old picture - I promise, I am not giving my diabetic cat ice cream)

He goes back to the vet in two weeks for a follow-up and we see if we've got his blood sugar under control.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

On a roll.

As I've mentioned before, weekends are too darn short. As such, I try to keep mine free - no pressure to do anything, go anywhere unless I feel like it.

However, this weekend - I did have one goal.To finish Dave's Brithday socks. And I did! (Only 18 days late, but who's counting?)

Can you believe I started these in December? Nine whole months to complete. One reason is because he has such big feet - it's much more fun making socks for my dainty little tootsies.

The other reason is the yarn - it didn't have a ball band, but I'm pretty sure it's Opal. Not a bad yarn, but I've been spoiled with our Wandering Cat line.

However, Dave is happy and hasn't taken them off since I gave them to him yesterday afternoon.

And, since I finished them so early in the weekend, I decide to tackle another pair:These, of course, are for me. Again, another yarn I wasn't overly thrilled with, so I had to force myself to finish them.

It's Twisted Fiber Art's Playful in Firefly. The dyeing is beautiful, but the base, while fairly soft, tends to be splitty. I'd much rather knit with her Kabam (a merino/bamboo mix), so I'm saving up for a skein or two.

So, that's two more second socks completed before the summer is over. Only four more to go - and three of those are ankle socks!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Thank you for all the lovely comments on the shawl - and that was just while it was blocking!
Here are some much better pics of it.
This is the Red Dragon Shawl. I had originally intended to use my sea silk for this shawl, but as you know, that ended up in my Frozen Leaves shawl (the second one).

This was a nice pattern - at first more complicated than any other lace I've attempted, but once I got my groove on, it was pretty easy (as easy as lace goes anyway) . In fact, I got a little bored with it, but I may just be in a bit of a knitting funk because I'm a little bored with all my projects at the moment.

Of course, this is knit with our Slinky Cat, in the ever popular "Peacock" colourway. Mine is actually a bit more muted than most of the other skeins out there, but it works well, and is perfect for a lacy knit. You all know how I love making things with silk, and this was no exception!

I'm not normally a blue person, I tend more towards greens, pinks and reds, but this colourway was just too pretty not to have. I only wish I could have finished it in time to wear for my brother's wedding, but it was not to be.

Oh, and for any one who's counting, this is my seventh shawl for the 10 shawls challenge - five months, three more shawls to go!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sneaky sneaky

As predicted, it did indeed take me all of last night to finish up the shawl. The cast of itself took about an hour. But it's done, and blocking.
Here's a sneak peekProper photos will come later this week.

Monday, August 2, 2010

All yarn - all the time

Well it's the last day of the long weekend and it's one devoted to yarn

Mom got the new Fluffy Cat Lace up in the shop this morningAnd I've spent most of the the afternoon dying up some Barn CatNow there is a roast a'cookin' in the oven, and I'm devoting the rest of the day to finishing up the last 10 rows on the Peacock shawl (it may take all night -they are looooooooooooooong rows!)

And don't forget -the Civic Holiday Sale is on in the shop until Midnight tonight!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lazy Sunday

As I've said before lazy Sundays are my favourite days.

And this Sunday was one of the laziest.

While we did get out of bed a little earlier (9:30ish) I didn't change out of my pajamas until the late afternoon.

Much of the day has been spent watching movies and knitting (shawls and socks). But, since I felt I needed to do something just a little more intellectual, I took the boys outside again for another reading session. And this time I took my camera:
I'm not sure why they want to go outside so badly (Tux has taken to yelling at doors whenever I get near them) because they just do what they do inside:Which is mostly lay around and be fat.But as you can tell, he's so pleased to be outside.

Unfortunately, our evening outing got cut a little short. The neighbourhood birds have taken to roosting in the tree we were relaxing under......and not only was it starting to feel like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, it was also very hard to avoid the "bombings".

Tomorrow, there will be no more lazing about - it's up to Mom's for a little dye session. I wish every weekend was a long weekend!