Monday, November 28, 2011

Wishful knitting

I'm still slogging away on my "required" knitting.I've turned the heel on Miss Pee's second "BuddyCat" sock. (And since these are for her birthday, not Christmas, I have even less time...)

But I'd really rather be making a fairy.Mom got this book for me from Amazon. I've already got presents for the girls, but if I can I'd really like to knit them a couple for Christmas.

So I guess I better go get those socks finished!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Double post Sunday

Yup it's a double post today...

I couldn't resist mentioning that Mom's famous Peacock Slinky Cat is in the shop right now...
Hard to say how long it will last - but there are several other pretty new skeins up too...

Look! I knit something!

As you can probably guess by the lengthy silence between posts - it's been a little hectic around here.

Despite that - I have managed to knock a few things off the Christmas list.another Barbie outfit...

...and a watch-cap inspired toque.

Both are my own design, and both will be available as free patterns sometime in the (hopefully) near future.

But, as there are still several things left on the list - I better get back to it... there's just no rest for the weary knitter...

What are you knitting right now?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Grade 1 Goat

To distract you from my lack of knitting, I'm going to tell you a goat story....

When I was just about to finish Kindergarten, my parents made the best decision of their lives (I mean aside from having me - though really, I was more of a happy accident than a decision). They decided to move us to the country.

We moved to a little town in Southern Ontario called Jerseryville. It's population was listed as 500 - though I'm pretty sure 400 of that was comprised completely of cows.

At the time, Jerseryville had a tiny little school that only went up to Grade 3 (and the Grade 3 class was actually a 2/3 split). After that, the kids got bussed to the next town over.

I went to Jerseryville school for Grade 1. My teacher was Mrs. Ireland. To this day she is my favourite teacher. What won my heart?

Other classes had hamsters, or guinea pigs as a class pet. What did our class have?
(Not actual class goat - just a picture ripped from the net)

A baby goat in a diaper.

Yep - can you imagine a class of about 20 six-to-seven-year-olds - and then you throw a baby goat in the mix?

Well, Mrs. Ireland thought it was a great idea. I don't remember baby goat's name (probably Billy) but boy could he bounce. And eat books. He was also being bottle fed, which is seriously cool when you're a six-year-old girl.

And that, my friends, is how you earn the title of coolest teacher ever - farm animals! (Not coincidentally, my second favourite teacher is Ms. Junker, who taught Grade 3 - she brought in incubated eggs we got to watch hatch, then raise the chicks.)

And now.... because I still have no knitting.

Reason number one why baby goats are cool!

Monday, November 21, 2011


I stopped at the grocery store to get cat litter tonight - and they had some pots of cat grass so I picked a pot up for the kids.

Normally when I get home, I'm being mobbed for kibbles, but as soon as they realized there was a treat in the bag, they had no interest in cat food.

Well.. except for Mopar - he had no interest in the salad bar and demanded the main course straight away.

I don't have much knitting to show from the weekend. As mentioned, there was lots of cleaning and painting going on - as well as some unexpected car issues. Dave's car, not mine, but it still sucked up a lot of my time as I ended up as diagnostic wing man.

All I have to show you is one completed Barbie outfit.But it's a stylish one at least!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

In need of an adventure?

Try painting a set of stairs with four cats in the house.

It doesn't matter how high you build the barrier, at least one will always find a way over it and onto the wet paint...
"What? you mean that barrier at the bottom of the stairs wasn't made to test my magnificent jumping skills?And naturally, once she did it, both Tux and Rocky had to do it too...Fortunately, it's latex, so it washes easy. And most of the stairs were dry, so they only mucked up a couple.

But, of course, as soon as the barrier came down, they lost all interest and went to bed. I was able to do the second coat in peace. Lets hope it's the same for the third coat....

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ready for winter... least Barbie isI whipped these up last night. More Barbie stuff to come before Christmas.

And the FO train derailed on the other projects I was knitting - the townhouse complex I live in has been sold, and the new owners want to come and take pictures on Sunday.

That means a Saturday of cleaning for me.... and probably very little knitting.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Stitch by stitch

I haven't really been loving it, but stitch by stitch, I've been making progress on my Christmas knitting.

One sock is (hopefully) complete for Miss Pee.
I haven't kitchenered the toe yet, because I'm waiting on confirmation of her foot length from my sister-in-law - I may have to rip back and lengthen - that girl grows like a weed.
This is using the Tabby Cat she dyed this summer to match her cat, Buddy. They are just plain vanillas at the moment, but I've got something special planned for them.

I've also cast on for my co-workers much deserved socks
I'm using Barn Cat, and Mom's gorgeous Wandering Rose pattern. I just started tonight, and it was hard to put down. It's one of those patterns, you want to do "just another row" to see the pattern develop.

And, to break up all that fine knitting - I'm making a Monster....The Brainmonster hat - this one is for Dave's eight-year-old cousin.

I expect to have at least one of these done by the weekend. Any bets on which it will be?

Saturday, November 12, 2011


This morning I was up bright and early to take Mopar to the vet. Everything checked out good. (and he was such a good boy - even when they had to take blood right from his jugular!)

Since Mom lives just around the corner from the vet, we stopped and picked her up on the way home. Then we dropped the 'Par off (he was more than happy for that!) and headed to our favourtie LYS - The Needle Emporium.

Julie, the owner, was holding a copy of Coastal Knits for me.One of the things I love about Ravelry is the ability to purchase single patterns - I often don't find books with multiple patterns I like. But this one - page after page, I'm loving it!

And while I was there - some Mini Mochi followed me home....Now that Mom and I are dying yarn - I find it very hard to justify yarn purchases. We have so many nice bases, that it just seems silly to go elsewhere sometimes. So, when I do buy yarn, I try to stick to things I can't create on my own. Mini Mochi's color repeats are one of them - couple that with the single ply and I'm doomed. These will become a shawl at some point after the Christmas chaos is over.

Oh - and a Namaste round needle organizer also jumped in my bag on the way out the door...This I really do need - and it was so much cheaper than the ones from Off-hand Designs...

It's all just an early birthday present to myself... 30 days early, but who's counting?

And since I'm flashing pics of yarn. Here are my latest stash enhancements from the dye session last weekend.A skein of Barn Cat for Christmas socks for my coworker

And three skeins of Jungle Cat in "Loch Ness Monster". These are destined to be a cardigan of my own design sometime in the new year.

And... while I'm talking about designs...I reworked my Wildwood beret design and got some of the kinks out - I just have to type up the pattern and get it off to my test knitters. I'm hoping to make this pattern available before Christmas.

Now, I've got a nice pork roast in the slow cooker, so I'm going to put my feet up for the rest of the afternoon and make some headway on my Christmas list!

What are you up to today?

Friday, November 11, 2011

All wet!

What's more pathetic than a partially blind, 17-year-old cat with diabetes?
A partially blind, 17-year-old cat with diabetes that's just had a bath! Mr. Mopar has a visit with Mr. Vet tomorrow (nothing serious - just going to switch him to the same insulin Tux is on, so we want to make sure everything is ship-shape) so he got a nice warm bath to make him all sparkly clean! Now he smells like peaches!

Actually - I feel kind of bad about giving him a bath. He's 17, can't jump all that well, and has no claws. I'm use to cats that turn into chainsaws when you try to put them in the tub. This was like shooting fish in a barrel... he just sat there looking pathetic and meowed - there was just no challenge.

Tux, of course, came in and sat on the toilet and laughed at him the whole time. If I was feeling a little more brave, I'd have dunked Tux too - but I don't really feel like losing an eye today.

The only other cat who's ever gotten a bath in this house is Rocky. The first was the day I brought him home because he was covered in fleas and lice. He got another one about a month later because he got into the pot of (thankfully cold) cooking oil on the stove and was covered!

Mopar is now upstairs sulking - and the rest of the cats are hiding from me... with the exception of Tux. He's more than confident I won't take him on...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finishing touches

I finally got around to finishing the details on the baby cardigans tonight.

Buster got buttons:I was planning on buying some star-shaped buttons for this one, but in the end I was too lazy, so I just raided Mom's button jar and found these green ones, which match pretty well.

Splash got buttons AND blanket stitchIt's my first time doing blanket stitch, and I need a little more practice, but it's not bad. It certainly makes the cardigan look more finished.

These two, along with the pink one I knit a few months ago will all be gifted to the respective coworkers and parents-to-be tomorrow.

I guess I better get them wrapped!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dipping into the dyepot

I've mentioned before the wonders of overdying.

Put overdying isn't just limited to fixing things I've dyed for the shop.

Long-time readers may recognize the following picture as a huge hank of Fiddlesticks Country Silk I got about two years ago.Over the past two years, I've started several patterns with it, but nothing suited it. Honestly, I think I've just out-grown the colours a little. If they were socks, I think it would be okay, but I have more than 800 yards and was thinking a nice shawl.

So... on Saturday, I dumped it in a bowl of dark blue.That's better! It's just too bad I have so much Christmas knitting to do - I'd love to cast on with this now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Socks on Sunday

Today Dave and I headed up to my parents. Dave was out back building something - I hope it was my time machine, but I suspect it was a guitar amp.

And, while he was building - I was dying yarn of course!That's a small batch of Barn Cat, Alley Cat, Jungle Cat and Sophisticat - all (except the green in the back) coming to the shop soon.

Mom also sent me home with two pairs of almost-complete socks she whipped up on her CSM. I just had to close the toe and add some ribbing to the cuff. Which I did as soon as we got home.These are from a ball of Regia that has been in stash for a few years. It was much prettier in the ball, but they are growing on me.
These are from that Alley Cat sock blank I dyed up a few weeks ago. I love mismatched pairs!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Flying solo

Recently, Dave has started working every Saturday. At first it was a little weird, but now I find I quite enjoy having the day to myself.

Sometimes I use it to go up to Mom's and dye yarn for the shop. But most Saturdays, I spend at home. I do just enough housework to keep the place looking respectable - then I focus on things I want to do.

Like finishing Buster.All it needs is buttons, which I'll most likely pick up this week after work. There is now only one baby project left to do this month.

The cats seem to be enjoying the weekend company. Especially Mopar, who managed to sneak up on the couch while Tux was sleeping and grab a snuggle.Mopar is mostly getting along with Rocky and Peno, but he and Tux are still fighting for Top Cat status. It's really hard to say who's going to come out as winner.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Raising a barn - one block at a time

I woke this morning with a fever and body aches... so I took a cue from the cats...
And spent most of the day resting and napping.

When I did find enough energy for knitting, I ignored Buster, and opted instead to work on a different project.

This one is on my list for Christmas, though honestly, I'll be surprised if I get it done in time
(Three blocks post-blocking - two pre-blocking)

The Barn-Raising Quilt.

When I completed my crackghan - I still had loads of scrap sock yarn leftover. I passed quite a bit of it on to other sock-yarn-afghan knitters, but still had lots left. It's now sorted into four buckets - silks, self-striping, semi-solids, and hand paints.

The silks are being saved for something special. The hand-paints are being used in a project I hope to unveil soon. The semi-solids are set aside for a linen stitch scarf (or ten). And the stripes are dedicated to this Barn-Raising.

Each of my squares is 6 inches wide. I've calculated that I'll need at least 60 to make a decent size afghan. I've got enough yarn - as always, I just need the time. Each of these squares takes about two hours - so, I've got about 100 hours to go. Then they need to be sewn together.

I'll have to come up with a back up present for this recipient - though I'd really like to have the blanket done in time. Fingers crossed. (Now excuse me while I go talk to Dave to see if he can build me a time machine!)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You got it Buster.

Last night I got felled by something that feels suspiciously like the flu. I hope it's not.

But today, I played it safe, snuggled up on the couch with the cats and lots of warm woolens (socks, cardi and crackghan). And, it gave me a chance to get started on the next baby cardi.

I took another quick look through the books I borrowed off Mom, and came across Buster.I'm not sure how I missed it on the first pass, but I think it's a gender neutral pattern that still manages to have some style.

I managed to get the back and the left front finished. I'm using Pingostar (yellow) and Sirdar Tiny Tots (green). My star is a little wonky, I'm not that great with colourwork - but at least I'm not bored out of my mind.

The sleeves, collar and button will be yellow, and you know I'll be on the hunt for the perfect star-shaped buttons this weekend.