Friday, December 31, 2010

Rocky's ready!

Let the countdown begin!

Wishing you all the very best for the New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just in time!

Well I squeaked in with just a day to spare, but I have officially (and successfully) completed the "10 shawls in 2010" challenge.And here is the final shawlAn as-yet-to-be-named-or-released design of my own, knit in Blue Moon Fibre Arts Silkie Sock (courtesy of the lovely Jeanne) Colourway: Walking on the Wild Tide.Looking back at my plan at the start of the year, I realized I only knit one of the shawls I had queued for the challenge (The Red Dragon Shawl, and I used a different yarn than planned) I'm a little bummed, because I really did want to make a few of those shawls... but there's always this year right? But this time... no pressure!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle!

Dave has run away back to the cottage, (he says he went to retrieve the presents he left there, but really after all the holiday hoohaw, I think he just wanted the alone time) so I'm by myself for a couple of days. Since Mom was still off, we spent some girl time dying yarn.

My hands are a lovely shade of purple now and we've got loads of yarn for an update - including Slinky Cat, Big Cat, Stray Cat and more.

The update (which will most likely take place on Sunday) will also feature a brand new yarn addition to the Wandering Cat litter - Jungle Cat!

Jungle Cat is a super soft 80/20 Merino/Bamboo blend. I've been trying to get my hands on this base for months, but our supplier was sold out for a long time. We finally got it in and I couldn't wait to dye it up!

When it comes to plant-based fibres, I have to say bamboo is my favourite - it has the durability and wash-ability of cotton, but the softness, shimmer and drape of a silk. Every bamboo yarn I've used ( Berocco Bonsai, Patons Bamboo Baby, Rowan Bamboo Tape, Twisted Fibre Art Kabam, & Crystal Palace Panda Silk) have all been lovely - I think ours is going to be just as nice.

It's a fingering weight, with a lovely poofy twist... and you know I just had to bring a skein home for myself...Jungle Cat in "Nana's Brooch" - like alpaca, cashmere, and silk, the bamboo doesn't soak up the dye quite like straight wool, so the colours are a little more muted - but it does have a lovely sheen. I can't wait to crack this baby open.

But I'm trying to be good. I still have my 10th shawl to get off the needles before Saturday...

But these others I brought home aren't helping either.

a skein of Slinky Cat in "Steel Magnolias"
and TWO skeins of Slinky in "Powder Puff" (These skeins are "messy" because I twisted them up myself- mom is much better at making them "pretty")

The Jungle Cat will definitely be socks (any pattern suggestions?) and Powder Puff Slinky is destined for a shawl (but not for some time) but I don't have anything in mind for the Steel Magnolias - any thoughts?

Starting the new year, we will be doing special knit-a-longs in the Wandering Cat Group (with yummy yarn prizes), so if you follow along you'll most likely see these knit up.

Well I better get back to that shawl....

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The day after....

Well it went even faster than it came.. but all in all it was another good Christmas.

Knitted presents were well received and now I can show you one that I was holding back.
Meet Mr. Mantis. This was a present for my brother's birthday - but since we live three hours apart, he hung on until Christmas to open him.
It's another one of Hansi Singh's brilliant patterns - but one that I will NEVER, EVER, EVER knit again. Don't get me wrong - great pattern and brilliantly written - just SUPER fiddly - especially when you decide to do it in fingering weight on 2mm needles (pattern calls for worsted) But my brother loved him, so it's all good.
As mentioned, I managed to finish Dad's socks in time for gifting (pics to come later) and I even managed to cast off Dave's Stray Cat socks before midnight on Christmas Day... so they count as a Christmas gift too!He put them on before bed and hasn't taken them off all night. I definitely see more sport weight socks in his future... much quicker to knit! (I think I even have enough left of this to make myself some anklets!)

And, I must admit, I was not neglected by the Christmas Fairy - I brought home a copy of... there will definitely be more knitted toys in 2011... I'm dying to dye up some yarn just for that frog prince!

Dave gave me a new set of sexy, red enamel frying pans (mine were in sorry shape) and I thanked him with a pancake breakfast this morning. Apparently there are other presents, but he forgot them at the cottage, so I have to wait a few days.

But the biggest news of my Christmas is....

....I got a dishwasher!!! (Thank you Mom and Dad!). I'm trying to convince Dave that since his only chore is now obsolete (loading and unloading does not count) he can start cleaning the bathroom... I'll keep you updated on how successful that campaign is....

So, I'm off work until the new year, I've got a couple of WIPs to finish, but otherwise, this week will be spent doing as little as possible!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Friday, December 24, 2010

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

And a Happy New Year!

May the Christmas Spirit be with You!

The tree is finally up and decorated

The presents are wrapped and set into piles according to which house they are going to.

There's still one present left to knit (Dad's socks... almost to the last toe), but it will be finished today, wrapped and ready for gifting tomorrow.

I've been off work for the holidays since Wednesday. I was hoping to use those days to accomplish everything on the list. But, come Wednesday morning, I took a serious, realistic look at the list and realized, while it might be doable - I'd probably end up spending Christmas day in a padded room somewhere.

So, I took a deep breath, changed a few knit presents to bought presents, and headed up to Mom's so we could head over to my Grandma's for her birthday. (Yes, another December birthday in the family - another reason why December is so nutty.)

We also headed out to Lens Mills, so I could pick up a ball of Bamboo Baby to finish Dave's cousin's present. $75 later, we finally left. But I got a few other Christmas presents, including a pet bed for Peno, because Tux keeps stealing hers.
Tux! I said I bought that for Peno! Get out of there and let your sister enjoy it!
That's better thank you. (The new bed has been a big hit, but I can't keep the boys out of it - I'm going to have to go pick up a couple more I think)

I also got a little present for myselfSome cute kitty flannel to make some jammie pants... in January after all the Christmas craziness is over, of course.

Oh, and... here's what the yarn was for...Master Yoda! You see, a while back when I was looking for Christmas projects, I came across the Yoda Bottle Cozy. Dave's cousin loves Star Wars, but he's a little old for a baby bottle (he's 7) so, using the bottle pattern as inspiration, I made a Yoda amigurumi. The designer of the bottle cozy has kindly given me permission to post my pattern, so after Christmas, I'll get it together and put it on Ravelry so you can all make one! I will most likely be making one for myself - it was really hard to wrap this one up to give away.

So, I'm off to finish that last present, then it's off to Dave's Grandma's to await Santa, and then Mom and Dad's tomorrow for more festive fun.

I'll catch up with you all sometime around Boxing Day. Happy Holidays, and wishing you all the very best of the season!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Most awesome Webkinz ever!

As you know, Dave wasn't feeling well on my birthday, so today he decided to make up for it by taking my out to lunch at our favourite little Chinese restaurant in Welland.

On the way back, we stopped a little florist/gift/yarn shoppe in Font Hill, because I needed some Yoda coloured yarn (all will be revealed next post). I did get my yarn, but I also came across the most awesome Webkinz ever.

He's called the Night Mare! And I've called him Asmodeus!I love his fiery little hooves, and his flamey tail!
And check out his horns and spikey mane! Too cute. You know my weakness for mythical stuffies and there was no way this little guy wasn't coming home to join the stuffie dragon collection! He'll fit right in with the fire-breathers!

On the knitting front, I didn't get as much accomplished as I'd hope to. When I gave Dave his hat Friday night, I got a pouty face because "it's not a rolly hat."

So Friday evening, and part of Saturday morning, was spent ripping it back and adding another three inches so he could fold up the bottom edge.

Saturday afternoon was spent running errands, but Dave was driving so I did make some progress on Dad's Christmas socks (I've just finished the heel flap on the second sock).

Saturday night, I stayed up late and finished off Dave's Mom's mittensAs you can see, I stole buttons from Mom's stash and I think they add just the right amount of charm to the cuff.So the Christmas knitting list is down to one more Monster, two 1/2 pairs of socks, and two unmentionable presents. Five knitting days to Christmas.... I don't think I'm going to make it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Little by little....

... stitch by stitch, inch by inch, I'm getting things done.

I finished up Dave's hat tonight.It's a pattern of my own design. It needs some tweaking and I think once I get the holiday knitting out of the way, I'll knit up another in some Big Cat and release the pattern.

Speaking of holiday knitting.... another present is half done.
These are mitts for Dave's Mom. She doesn't drive, and takes the bus or walks everywhere, so I figured some nice warm mittens were in order. It needs buttons (I'll raid Mom's stash tomorrow) and the mate will be knit on Saturday, so that will be one more present off the list! This is another pattern of my own design and again - after the holidays, I'd like to knit a pair for myself in Big Cat. Pattern will follow soon after.

So all that's left is one more Monster, 1/2 pair of mitts, two 1/2 pairs of socks, and two unmentionable presents. Eight knitting days to Christmas.... I can do it.... maybe....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monster Minute

A quick post to say another present down!
Another Loch Ness Monster - so there's just one more to go!

However - Christmas knitting has been put on hold for some emergency hat knitting.

That silly boy of mine put an alpaca hat in the dryer (I love that he does his own laundry, except in moments like this) and it's a wee bit small now....

It's been bitter cold the past few days, so it's really hard to deny him a new one. Hopefully it will be off the needles tomorrow evening and I can get back to the task at hand!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Well - here's to another year under my belt.

It was a quiet birthday weekend - but that's just fine with me.

The weekend began Friday evening with a trip to see Julie the Needle Emporium (just 15 minutes from my work) where I splurged on a few little birthday trifles, including:Two gorgeously soft skeins of Mini Mochi. Mom brought home some a while ago and I've been coveting it ever since. These will be turned into sinfully soft and decadent socks.

Two skeins of Panda Silk also seemed to have followed me home...
I have a terrible soft spot for white, lacy socks. I think these are going to end up as Quill Lace Socks.

I also couldn't resistbecause it will turn into this:
(Picture ganked from Julie)

As you know, Saturday afternoon was spent making a mess at Moms, where she also gave me:stripey socks in our Witch's Britches colourway and:
a much awaited copy of Vampire Knits. Come the new year, my first yarn purchase will be something to make the Lore Cardigan - I just have to decide what colour I want!

Today, Dave's plan was to take me to the fish store to pick out some new aquatic creatures for my aquarium (the population has dwindled to just four sad little fishes) but the weather forecast was dodgy, and Dave's still feeling a little off. So, we elected to snuggle up inside instead. I whipped together a lasagna, and we lazed about all day watching movies.

It also meant near non-stop knitting. I designed and completed cuffs for mittens for Dave's Mom for Christmas. They are blocking now and I expect to finish them one night this week. And. I've got a good head start on one of the remaining monsters.
So, at least two Christmas projects should be completed this week - leaving next weekend, as well at three full days before Christmas, to get the rest together. It's going to be a photo-finish I think!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Making progress

I spent the afternoon dying yarn today (had to build up some stock - Twinkle Cat flew out of the shop!) and this evening was devoted to getting Dave's grandma's scarf off the needles.
It's blocking and I am so pleased with it. One more Christmas present to mark off the list. (I'll try to get the pattern written up and available soon). Now to go cast on some mittens for his Mom!

Friday, December 10, 2010

You know you're a crazy cat lady when... spend Friday night alone watching cat videos on youtube, peeing yourself you're laughing so hard.

Oh well - if you want real knitting content come back tomorrow.

If you want your own knitting content - head over to the shop tomorrow after 11 or so - new yarns will be up, including the new Twinkle Cat!
It's got sparkles, what's not to want?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What more do you want?

Cats and yarn- what more can you ask for?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Someone stole my Christmas spirit

I seemed to have misplaced my Christmas spirit this year. Normally, I start bouncing around the end of November and I don't stop until well after New Year's. But not this year.

Not sure what it is - I'm not all down on Christmas, whining about the commercialism and greed and ruining it for everyone else... I just feel... really... apathetic... about the whole thing. I think I just need a vacation.

I did buy my Christmas cards and will get them off this weekend. I'm also considering setting up my tree - maybe that will help ignite a yule-tide fire under my butt.

Despite my festivity funk, I also finished my Christmas shopping today. I would consider it an accomplishment, but I'm far from ready for the big day. I only had two presents on my list - the rest Im knitting. Still two Nessies left, two scarves, half a pair of socks, and a set of hat and mitts.

I frogged the silk scarf for Dave's grandma. Have no fear - she's still getting a scarf - it's just being revamped. After staring at it for a few hours, I realized the yarn wasn't doing justice to the pattern and the pattern wasn't doing justice to the yarn. I will find something more suitable for that decadent silk - something that truly lets it shine.

In the mean time, a switch to some Wandering Cat Slinky Cat, and a few tweaks to my design... ... and I'm back on track. I'm hoping to get this one finished by the end of the weekend.

Monday, December 6, 2010

One step ahead

As many of you know, Dave and I have been together for eight years. And almost every year, he comes to me a few days before Christmas and says "I don't have a present for my Grandma."

Dave was mostly raised by his Grandma and the two are very close, you'd think he'd put a little more thought into it, but...well, he's a boy.

Now usually, I have enough time to whip up a hat or something last minute and Grandma is the kind of person who does appreciate hand knits, no matter the size, so I don't really mind.

But this year, I'm not waiting for Dave's last minute realization.

In the generous gift of leftovers Monika gave me, there was a pretty little untouched skein of hand dyed silk (235 yards!). It was just begging to be made into something delicate and feminine. So I'm designing his Grandma a lace silk scarf.I apologize that the pattern is so hard to see - combo of bad lighting, no blocking and multi-coloured yarn. I'll get better pics, and probably do another up in a semi-solid Wandering Cat yarn. Shouldn't be too long from now, this little sucker is just flying off the needles. (And is providing a nice break from Monster making)

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Thanks for all the well wishes - I am slowly getting better and was back to work on Thursday.

Of course, now Dave is sick, so it's been fun, fun, fun here as you can imagine (boy are so whiny).

There has been knitting, but it's unbloggable - if you really want to see it - check out my rav page.

And, since I have nothing else to share - here's Peno being irresistibly cute.