Monday, February 28, 2011

At long Lass....

I am slowly starting to get my patterns together!!!!

First up - a scarf you may remember from Christmas - The scarf for Dave's grandma.
The pattern is now together - so you can knit one for your grandma! (or yourself!)

Here's my description from the pattern:
Highland Lass is a simple scarf with a delicate, but bold lace edge. It was designed as a Christmas present for my significant other’s grandmother. A war bride from Scotland, she came to Canada more than 60 years ago, but still clings proud to her Scottish roots. When I found this stitch pattern in my stitch dictionary, it reminded me of her description of Greenock and the Clyde, where she grew up. The mottled colours of the yarn, combined with the rolling waves in the lace make me think of rocky shores and fantastical tide pools, and hint at mysteries beneath the depths of murky waters. The finished scarf, knit in a merino/silk blend, is at once beautiful but strong. Fearless and graceful - like a true Highland Lass.

It's knit in our Slinky Cat fingering in the ever-popular "Peacock" (Mom is talking about doing more of this soon.)

If you'd like to knit your own Highland Lass you can find it on Ravelry!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Busy, busy

I had a very busy weekend, but all I have to show for it (image-wise at least) is one sock - so I'll start with that:
The colour in the photo is waaaaaaaay off - it's much more warm and golden - but at least you can see the cable, which reminds me of a pretzel. I've modified the pattern to make it an ankle sock, and carried the ribbing right to the very end of the toe. Second sock should follow quickly this week.

I did also manage to complete the second handwarmer for my co-worker, but I haven't taken pictures. Nor do I have any of the pictures of the progress on Bitterroot (I'm on the second-to-last chart)

I also neglected to take my camera to Cake Day - a semi-annual, girls-only gathering at my bestie's house. We enjoyed plenty of food (including cake), wine and jolly good company. It also gave me an opportunity to deliver the Christmas Nessies to four adorable children - and don't worry, they always get their Christmas presents a few months late from good ol' Auntie V - it's tradition now.

The weekend was far too short (and obviously pictureless) and so begins the final four days of the job. Let the countdown begin!

Friday, February 25, 2011


This was my coworker today:Mother Nature dumped another crapton of snow on us this morning, and after determining that my little car was not happy being out on those slippery roads, I came in and fired up the remote desktop. I only have a few days left at this job and I'm trying to get several projects complete before I leave - a day off (no matter how much I would have loved to spend it knitting) was out of the question.

Peno makes a pretty good colleague too - she doesn't talk too much, and never raids my desk for gummy bears or pens.

And I'm much more productive when I work from home. I started earlier (8 instead of 8:30) didn't take a lunch and worked well past quitting time (almost 7 p.m.).

All that work tired Peno out. By 10 a.m. she was already on an extended coffee break.Well - it is Friday. Can't say I blame her!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another Stray

My socks have been set aside momentarily, while I work on another small project.

Since announcing my departure at my current job (last day is March 3rd), many of my tasks and duties have been shifted to a co-worker. She was hired a few months ago as a telemarketer - but she's done very little of that. She's our Jacqueline-of-all-trades. She helps me with my marketing, sales with their customer service, administration with filing and some accounting, and she evens helps the president of the company with a variety of his tasks.

As a thank you for all her help - and a bit of an apology for leaving - I decided she needed a knitted gift.

Our office, while brand new, was badly designed, with all the work spaces sitting directly under the vents. The HVAC system cycles hot and cold, and when it blows cold, it does a pretty good job of freezing hands that need to use the computer. My fingerless gloves have been invaluable these past few months (as has my collection of shawls).

So....A new design is born. I had enough yarn left over from Dave's last pair of socks, (Stray Cat in Moody Blues) - perfect colours for my co-worker. I whipped this up in just a few hours, and will knit the other one up tomorrow night. I'll share the pattern with you all soon. (I know - I have several other patterns I've promised you too.. they are coming)

While I can't lighten her workload - I can't at least make sure she's more comfortable while she works.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gone all twisty....

Thank you for all your sock pattern suggestions. I loved them all and my Ravelry queue is even longer now!

As I was looking at them, I realized something. I don't have any cabled socks! I love cables... so how can that be?

And then I discovered Another Faery!

So I cast on last night:

Here's a close up of it.
I am modifying the pattern a bit, but I'll show you more on that at a later date. The yarn I'm using is our Stray Cat (sport weight superwash merino) colour is "Brown Sugar n Spice. It is a repeatable colour, and since many of you have remarked on it on Ravelry, I'll try to get some done up for the shop.

The Stray Cat is perfect for cables as it gives absolutely stunning stitch definition - it makes me want to make a cabled cardigan out of it. The sport weight yarns knits up nice and quick (well, quicker) and I'm already on the gusset of the first sock.

Because of the impending job switch, I am no longer on the event committee at work... that means more evenings to knit (and blog!) for me!!! This pair will be done in no time!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stuck to it

I did, indeed, stick to it, and finished up the second Blackrose sock last night.Were I to knit these socks again (and it's likely, it's a very pretty pattern) I'd use a less busy yarn that really lets the lace shine. I love this colourway (Nana's brooch) though, and these will definitely be a favourite pair.
I love how the Jungle Cat knits up and can't wait to try it in a shawl or cardigan - it creates such a lovely fabric, squishy fabric. And of course, because I love shiny things, I LOVE the sheen of the bamboo. One thing to keep in mind though... the bamboo is a bit slippery, and if I'm not careful, I end up sliding all over the house (hardwood and linoleum throughout)

I now have absolutely no socks on the needles (just two sweaters and a shawl....) so I'm in search of another pattern. I have a beautiful skein of Stray Cat, so I'm on the look out for a nice sport weight sock pattern... any suggestions?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday 7

1) I finished up another pair of uber-adorable baby socksI have been sticking to gender neutral yarn choices, but baby has been born and it's a boy. I want to do one more pair - probably blue or green - and then I'll get them sent off.

2) When not working on baby socks, I've been making great progress on my BlackRose socks. If I stick to it, I should be able to get them done today. But.. it's hard to say if I will stick to it.

3) Tomorrow is a holiday, so at the very least, I'll probably get them done this weekend.

4) I haven't touched Bitteroot. I haven't been in the mood. But I want to get moving on it, because I'm itching to cast on for the Crow Waltz Shawl again. I didn't like the way the Regia was knitting up for the edging, so I commissioned Mom to dye up some different yarn for me.

This is our Sophisticat - a sport weight Alpaca Silk blend that I haven't gotten around to dying up and getting into the shop. The colour is Chimney Sweep and I think it will work perfect with the handspun.

5) I also have another skein... well ball.... I haven't shown you yet. It's a Top Cat Stripey:This was an accident skein (Mom's - not mine, for once!) I told Mom how to fix it, but she still didn't think it was good enough (not enough contrast between the two colours) to put in the shop. But I thought it was perfect for stripey socks for Dave. It doesn't have a name though... any suggestions?

6) Mom's been busy dying yarn, and I did some last weekend... expect a shop update in the near future (including our new Twinkle Cat GOLD!!!!)

7) I gave notice at my job on Friday. I have a new job in the big city (Mississauga). It starts on March 7th, and will mean a move in a few months. I'm going to miss this small town, and my little townhouse. But I'll only be an hour away, and Ill be back frequently to dye yarn.

It means a better opportunity for me, and less commuting for Dave. If we can save enough to buy a house, the sacrifice will be well worth it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I didn't buy it for the cat, I swear.

I stopped in at the Drug Store to refill a prescription today.

While I was waiting, I walked up and down the aisles, browsing. In the "seasonal" section I came across the cutest little storage option. They call it a magazine rack, but my first thought, of course, was "I can put yarn in that!"

Of course, the minute I got it home Rocky thought, "I can fit my furry little butt in that!"And promptly did so.He got quite comfortable in fact. (I do love the pockets on the side)Unfortunately for Rocky, this one will soon be filled with a few WIPs. I bought a second one (at only $5.99... why not??) that I will use for a magazine rack in the bathroom.... Dave hates it when I leave my books in the sink.

I have managed to squeeze in a little knitting this week - just some more baby socks, but it's better than not knitting. More to come on the weekend (It's a long one! Woohoo!)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just a little bit...

You may have noticed the silence in the little corner of the blogsphere.

As mentioned earlier in the week, I hadn't picked up the needles. That trend continued right in to Saturday. Blame a crushing workload and a crapton of other stress and tasks last week that left me with no time what soever to knit.

Of course, that might have been a good thing given my state of mind at the time. If I had picked up the needles, someone might have lost an eye.

But Saturday morning came, and after a decent night's sleep, I was feeling relatively calmer (or at least not homicidal) so I turned to the needles. But I didn't want to work on anything I already had on the go. I need some instant gratification.Baby socks to the rescue!

As you know, I'm not one of those women who gets all gooey over babies (unless they have fur)... but there are few things cuter in the world than wee, knitted baby socks. And stressed or not, they certainly bring a smile to my face.

These will go to our web designer at work - his wife is due with their first child in a few days.

And Monday is back to hell.. I mean work... but hopefully I'll be able to snag a few hours here and there just for myself.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taking a break

I have no knitting to report. I haven't touched the needles since Sunday. The last three days have been work, work, work....

But Sir Tux decided I'd been working too hard. So he enforced a little down time...
....and persuaded me to play a few hands of Spider Solitaire.
(Yeah... you know you're a sucker when you have to move your keyboard out of the way so your fat cat can make himself comfortable.)Of course, he then decided that even just clicking the mouse was too strenous (try taking a picture with your left hand when your a righty if you really want to talk "strenous") so he did his best to deter me from that as well.
"What?!? you mean all this 'Tux Love' isn't melting your stress away?!?"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snug as a bug

It's been another quiet weekend here at Chez Wanderingcat. Lots of lazing around for cats and human alikeIt snowed again - nothing crazy - but enough to make me want to stay inside and knit all weekend. Okay - admittedly, it doesn't take much to make me want to do that.

It completed another chart on Bitterroot. I'm about half way there now - almost through the first skein of Fluffy Cat. This is going to be a nice big shawl (it's probably about 40 inches wide already.)
You'll also noticed that I cast on for the second Black Rose sock. Minding my own stitches is challenging herself to clear out some WIPs throughout the month of February. I think that's a great idea, so I'm going to try to do it to.

But Sunday's almost over, and Monday is back to cold, snowy reality... at least the days are getting longer!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spoiling the Grandkittens

As you know, I don't have children. Well I do, but they're the furred kind.

Mom would much prefer, the whiny, poopy, hungry kind (wait... that sounds like the cats too) but until my biological alarm clock kicks in, she has to make do with three Grandkittens.

And, like any good Grandma - she's got to spoil.

There is a certain curved scratcher I've wanted to get them for a while. Mom's cats have one, and I've seen several other blog cats with them, and I thought my babies would like one too. But I just never had the money to spare whenever I saw them at the pet store.

So Grandma stepped up to the plate.
You may notice the absence of Miss Peno (except in the background of one pic). Have no fear - I'm sure I'll hear her scratching away after the boys and I go to bed.

Thanks Mom! Once again - you're the best!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Watching snowflakes

I did, indeed, get my much anticipated snow day. My manager called at 7 a.m. to let me know that work would not be open and to stay home. No argument from me.

I hung up and snuggled back under the blankets, soaking up the luxury of being able to sleep in until 9 a.m.

I woke up at noon, buried under a pile of very happy cats. (But can anyone tell me why the heaviest cat always has to lay right across my knees, effectively immobilizing me)

In defense of my laziness, I didn't get to bed until 1 a.m. the night before (I'm usually asleep no later than 11 on work nights) and then I tossed and turned until well past 3 a.m. I was thinking about all the things I would do if I did indeed get a snow day and my brain just didn't want to shut off. I'd also indulged in far too much caffeine that evening.

Anyway, among my plans were to:
1) Clean my studio (it's still in a terrible state, and I keep putting it off)
2) Sew some jammie pants (from the fabric I got just before xmas)
3) Maybe tackle my quilt
4) Finish sewing the Summerlin I started for my niece MONTHS ago.
5) Bake cookies
6) Clean my fridge
7) Do the eleventy billion loads of laundry that have annexed my closet
8) Knit most of the charts on Bitterroot
9) Finish Beaker (needs legs, arms, a lab coat and tie)
10) Start my second Blackrose sock.

So, yeah, not exactly a realistic goal, but had I not slept half the day away, I might have been able to accomplish at least half of it.

Despite sleeping so long, I could have made some serious headway if I had really tried.

Instead, I made some hot chocolate, plopped my butt on the couch and watched the snowflakes fall as I knit away on Bitterroot. I'm now done Chart B. It's easy to look at a shawl chart and think - hey.. that's only 20 rows, it can't take that long, all the while forgetting that each row is getting longer and longer. Only four more charts to go.

I did manage to get a couple of loads of laundry done between rows, but the invasion force of underpants, tights and towels is still in full control of the closet.

As for the storm, it wasn't quite as bad as they predicted, but obviously still bad enough to put a temporary stop to things. All the schools were closed, as well as many government buildings. Mom and Dad both got into work, but got sent home when the mail truck couldn't make it from the sorting plant to the post offices.

The wind was really howling through most of the night, and as I understand, that's when the worst of it came.

At 7 a.m. it was still blowing strong, but by noon the wind had mostly died and Environment Canada had called off their "blizzard" warning.

Snow continued to fall throughout the day, and from my window, it was pretty and peaceful. Out on the roads I'm sure it was another matter.

I'm not sure what the final snowfall was, but judging from my lawn, it was about a foot.

By tomorrow morning, the roads should be plowed and sadly it's back to the real world, where I can't sit around in my pajamas all day. (Unless I win the lottery tonight, of course!)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bitter Sweet!

The storm has been officially upgraded to a blizzard - it's suppose to start at midnight and continue right through to mid-day tomorrow. Here's hoping the roads are total crap in the morning and I can stay home.Tux is on blizzard watch - so far it's just wind.

I've been working away on Bitteroot and so far it's progressing nicely.There are six separate charts to this pattern, but despite that, it's not complicated. I'm almost through the final repeat (of four) of Chart A. The rest of the charts are only knit once, so I've only got 100 or so rows to go.

As always, knitting with the Fluffy Cat is a dream! It's soft and silky, and creates such a nice light airy fabric with beautiful drape.

I'm still debating on to bead or not to bead. I think the beads are very pretty, but I don't know if I can be bothered. By the time I get close to the end of a shawl, I really just want to be done.

What are your thoughts? Do you like beading your knitting, or is it too much of a pain?