Thursday, June 30, 2011

Free Shipping!

Us Canucks are celebrating 144 years of togetherness, and since our southern neighbours are also celebrating a special day a few days later, Mom and I decided to offer a little birthday present in the shop!

From tomorrow (Friday, July 1, 2011) to midnight (EST) on Monday get free shipping on any order over $50. Just enter the code 'canadaday' on checkout and shipping will be automatically deducted!
Happy Canada/Independence day to all!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Houdini undone

Remember how I told you about Rocky pulling a Houdini, getting out of his harness without undoing it?

Well - I discovered how he does it - but only because he taught Tux how to do it too!

We were out on the weekend, enjoying the sun and a good book, when my neighbour walked by - it spooked Rocky and sure enough, he slipped out of the harness. I put him inside because he wasn't happy about the neighbours prescence, and went back to the chair to finish my chapter and let Tux have a little more outdoor time.

A few minutes later, I look down at Tux and he's working on his own Houdini - this is how they do it:

Tux positioned himself so he leash was taut, and running over his head - with a good pull, the collar of the harness slips right over his ears and off... he pulls his elbows in and the belly strap slides easily over front legs and head and voila -he's free.

They do it in one pretty swift motion -and I got to admit, it's pretty smart. I guess I have to see if there's any room to tighten that collar...

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's a mystery

I finally got some work done on the Mystery shawl...
I'm not as far as I hoped to be. This is Clue 1 finished. I was hoping to get Clue 2 done over the weekend, but it was not to be. Clue 3 comes on Wednesday, so If I can get Clue 2 done by Friday, I'll be happy - then I can do Clue 3 over the weekend and be all caught up for Clue 4 the following Wednesday.

I'm also hoping we start decreasing on Clue 3 - because - gee these rows are LONG!

Tonight though - tonight I'm going to work on my beading KAL. Mom gave me a little beading lesson on Sunday, and it's MUCH easier than I thought it would be. I'm eager to put the new skill to use. Look for that update on Saturday.

Oh - and the shop has reopened - the postal workers were back in the plant sorting mail today, and the letter carriers hit the street tomorrow. So, anyone going through withdrawl can get their fix!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Katherine - A Honeysuckle Project

A while back, our yarn supplier asked Mom and I if we would like to be involved in a special fundraiser for breast cancer.

We were asked to design a pattern and donate it, and the finished project to the cause - called the Honeysuckle project.

Our supplier created a special "honeysuckle" colourway (which you can buy for your own projects) for us to use. On Friday, I finally finished my contribution.I've named the pattern Katherine - after my first editor and writing mentor. She is a breast cancer survivor and one of the strongest, most inspiring women I know.The pattern itself is deceptive, looking complicated, but it's really just a two row lace pattern (and the second row is straight knitting) with an easy scalloped cuff and finger detail that ends in a point.I'm not sure when the pattern will be available, but I will let you know the moment it is.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cheshire Socks

Wow - you guys are awesome! Thanks for all the congrats!

Once of the things I love about running a contest is finding new blogs to read form all the people who come out of the woodwork.

Contest is open until the 30th, so tell your friends!

On the knitting front, I completed my deadlined project, and I'm almost through the first clue on the mystery shawl (details of both should come tomorrow or soon after) I'm so proud of myself that I decided I deserved a little reward.

So I cast on for my Cheshire knee socks
And this way you guys get an idea of how the prize yarn looks knit up too. That's about 2.5 inches... only about eleventy-billion more to go (I have long legs).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oops....well here's a contest

Amidst all the confusion of the Canada Post lock-out - Mom and I missed our anniversary!
On June 19, Wandering Cat Yarns turned two!!! And we totally forgot.

Since it's never too late to celebrate - here's a contest.

In honour of our Birthday - you can win your own Cheshire Cat Stripey sock kit!
The kit will contain one 400 yard skein of your choice of Alley Cat, Barn Cat or Top cat, hand dyed in Cheshire Cat Self Striping, as well as a 100 yard heel and toe skein dyed in either Slate (grey pictured) or Cheshire Aqua (again, your choice).
To enter, simply leave a comment before midnight on June 30, 2011. Winner will be chosen by random number generator on July 1, 2011 and announced here.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The knitting gods have spoken.

A few post back, I mentioned that I am working on a special project. And sadly, I haven't been working on said project as much as I should - especially considering it has a looming deadline.

I got distracted by something shiny.

Something called the Mystic Midsummer Wreath Mystery Shawl. I got the first clue last Wednesday, and finally got a chance to cast on on Friday. Three-hundred-ninety six stitches later, I was entranced. I wanted nothing, but to keep knitting and seeing the shawl develop row by row.

The first clue was only 15 rows deep, but as you might imagine, at 396 stitches (and that's the smallest size) each row was a little time consuming. At about row six (sometime early Saturday), I realized I had done something terribly wrong - mistaking cast-off stitches for slip stitches (the symbols were very similar). The only solution was to frog.

Fortunately I was able to salvage my cast on and the first few garter stitch rows. By Saturday afternoon I was back on track.

Sunday morning, with only a few rows left to go, I came across a new stitch that threw me for a loop. Technically I could execute it, but it was sloppy, and not nearly as nice as the other knitters' in the KAL. I decided to soldier on, and hope that blocking would solve all. In the process, the stitches got a little neater. But half-way through... I realized I'd badly messed up the middle of the pattern a few rows down. It couldn't be fudged. I didn't have to patience to tink, so I set it aside until Tuesday night.

After stepping away, I decided I had to courage to frog (yep FROG...not tink) three whole rows of 396 stitches of lace, and carefully pick it up again. It took about and hour or so, but I did it. I started knitting again, everything was going swimmingly until I got half way through the row. I discovered that in my frogging and re-picking-up, I'd dropped several stitches... and of course, they decided to drop further. I tried to salvage it - but to no avail. It was too loose and all the blocking in the world wasn't going to make it look right.

With a giant sigh, I pulled out the needle and...
FROOOOOOOOOOOOG! Yep... I'm right back to garter stitch.

I'm taking it as a sign from the knitting gods, that I really should be working on the project with the deadline, so tonight, out came the double points:The cuff is done, and I should be able to finish the rest tomorrow night. The knitting gods have spoken. I must obey.

(and I can return to Clue 1 and 2 on the weekend...)

Monday, June 20, 2011

I do so love that cat!

I have always been a big Tim Burton fan, and so naturally, I was stoked when Alice in Wonderland came out.

I loved the movie, Alice was perfect, Johnny Depp was brilliant, but my absolute favorite part is the Cheshire Cat.
I think its the combo of wicked design and Stephen Fry's voice. But he's just the coolest cat EVER!

I've long wanted to pay tribute through my knitting, and now... I can.....Cheshire Cat Stripey (Base is Top Cat) with a matching heel and toe skein. I dyed this up last week and I can't wait to cast on - I have two skeins of the stripey and they will become my very own Cheshire Cat knee socks... I wonder how I can get evaporating skills!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Better late than never....

Way back in March - my sister-in-law had a birthday. And way back in March, I knit her a pair of French Press Slippers (she'd admired mine at Christmas).

Unfortunately, they didn't felt well - so I sent her a note telling her her present would be a bit late and I set about dying some new yarn and knitting another pair.

Well, April rolled by... then May... and now June....

Since the brother and family were down for the weekend, I figured it might be time to get a hustle on...
I finished them up last night and delivered them today! Happy Birthday Jenn!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monarch Monday

It was a cold and chilly Monday... the perfect day to wrap up in a shawl....Unfortunately - this one is not for me. It's the Monarch Shawl, and I made it for my Aunt who is getting married at the end of next month.

This very pretty pattern was designed by my friend Denise over at Lost City knits. Not only does she have pretty, pretty yarns, she's also a fantastic designer and knits the most beautiful lace.The pattern is free, and I definitely recommend it. I did modify it a bit - just to get a larger shawl (extended Chart 1). It's knit with sport weight yarn, so naturally, I chose out Stray Cat - the colour is Emperor.I also learned a new way to cast off - a stretchy lace cast off that I will be using for every shawl from now until the end of time!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Can you believe it.....

.... 253 squares......126.5 hours......two years, one month and one week later....The crackghan is finished!
Finished size is 56" long and 36" wide. Perfect for just me, snuggling up on the couch with the cats and a good movie.

Here's a shot to give you some perspective:I love everything about this blanket. I love the weight, I love the drape, I love the colour, I love the warmth - I don't think I could find a more perfect blanket.

This of course, is also a favourite among the cats. Even as I was knitting is, I was often finding myself with one, two, or all three trying to grab a corner to snuggle with.

And of course, I never could have completed it without all the generous donations of leftovers from fellow bloggers - so once again a HUGE thank-you to you!!!

I still have lots of leftovers left over, so I'm on the hunt for another sock weight leftover blanket... any suggestions?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

KAL fever

I'm feeling better (and yes I was really sick, not just playing hooky so I could knit... gee...) but seems I've caught the KAL fever.

The first symptom was my joining of Delusional Knitter's Bead-a-long. It starts this weekend and I have my pattern:

(The Heart-to-Heart scarf) and yarn:

(Wandering Cat Slinky Cat in Steel Magnolias) chosen. Beads were a little harder. I have about six vials coming in the mail because I couldn't decided on a colour (pink or purple) or a shade. I guess I'll decide when they get here.

Then it's a matter of bugging Mom for a beading tutorial and off I go!

The second symptom came in the form of a Ravelry message. A reminder from the ever-so-talented Anna Dalvi that I'd joined her Mystic Midsummer Wreath Mystery Shawl KAL - and the swatch chart was ready!

I've never done a mystery KAL before, but Anna's patterns are so pretty. As you know, as a rule, I also don't swatch.

But I did this time...
because I just couldn't wait to see what I was in for.

So far - so good! I'm using some Fluffy Cat (in Teddy Bear) that I had tucked away in the stash. The first clue comes on June 15th and I can't wait!

And the best part of these KALs??? They also qualify for the Wandering Cat Summer Stitch-a-Long!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sick Day

I was home to day with the barfies (thanks to a Subway chicken sub I suspect).

I slept in, Dave made me breakfast before he left for work. For the rest of the day, I (along with rotating cats) was stretched out on the couch, watching the Tudors, and knitting away.

I managed to finish the Monarch ShawlThere were some minor mods to this one, but I'll give all the details once she's done blocking.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Honey of a project

Here's a sneak peek at my latest design....

More info to come later, but this is a very special project!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A tisket, a tasket

...two cats in a basket...Of course, not at the same time....

And Tux....... he was playing foot-warmer.

Knitting to come. I promise.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I have a certain little backyard monster, who's not at all fond of wearing his harness.
And now he's discovered how to get out of it. Twice today, I discovered an empty (and still-clasped) harness, attached to the leash - and Rocky about 10 feet from it.


There go my afternoons of relaxing reading outdoors. Now I have to keep one eye on my book and one eye on the cat....