Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Surmount the Stash - February Round-up

Well it's the end of February and while I got an extra day to knit - I discovered that my sock had a major boo-boo and I ripped the whole thing out!

Anyway - onto the accomplishments.

This month saw three project completed - all from the stash.

The biggest accomplishment, of course, is the Lore Hoodie. Even though I don't yet have proper pictures, it used up 1462 yards of yarn! That's also one sweater down from the four I'm hoping to complete this year

Next up is Dave's Valentine socks
They used up about 420 yards of yarn and made a very nice Valentine's day gift. Stash yarn is perfect for gifts on a budget! These are also one pair out of the 10 I'm hoping to knit. (I've really got to get a wiggle on this goal)

Last is my latest design, VictoriaThis used almost all of a 285 yard skein of Stray Cat. As a dyer, I love one skein projects - sometimes that's all you have of a particular colourway, and it can't be repeated (though I happen to have another of this colour, and I'm pretty sure I can make it again).

So - that's 2,167 yards out of the stash and two projects knocked off my goal list. Slow and steady win the race, right?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dilly-dallying in designland

As mentioned - Saturday was a really busy day of doing nothing but: look at stitch books, knit, rip, repeat.

Sunday continued in much the same way (though I did manage to get my floors mopped, make a roasted chicken and whip up some uber-delicious brownies that my co-workers devoured in about 30 seconds the next day)

In fact all I have to show for it is a mere two inches of knittingIt's hard to see exactly what it is - but it's a lace sock - this one a nice, quick sport weight. I'm using the gorgeous yarn I got from Delusional Knitter - the colourway is Butterscotch. It's the perfect way to brighten up the dreary grey days until Spring finally makes a proper appearance.

In other design news - I've just got the pattern and yarn for Victoria...
off to my test knitter. She's currently finishing up Wildwood...
So the pattern should be released very, very soon!

Of course - I really shouldn't be worrying about any of that. I've got to knit a Boston Bruins sweater for a baby who's set to make it's debut in just a few weeks! Ack! Eight and a half months went by far too quickly!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bath buddy

I'm not a girl who likes to shower.

Now before you go all "Ew. Gross." and start thinking I enjoying walking around smelling like a dirty old sock - what I mean is, I like to be clean - I just like to get that way by taking a long, hot bath every night.

Steaming water, some bubbles, a good book - it's my daily ritual after a long day at work.

When I lived at home it was a challenge. It didn't matter if I surveyed every person in the household, ensuring that they didn't need the bathroom - 10 minutes in I would hear "Are you done yet?"

When I moved out on my own - I was so excited. Finally - the bathroom all to myself - absolute peace!

And then I brought a certain kitten home.

Everyday for almost five years, I have had my own personal lifeguard at bath time.
He comes in as soon as he hears the water running. He waits until I get in, then he jumps up and sits on the side of the tub.

Mostly he just sits there. If I take my jewelry off and set it on the tub, he'll swat it on the floor (naturally). Occasionally he swats at the bubbles. Sometimes he'll reach in and take a little drink.

He shifts positions several times - facing me - not facing me - facing me - not facing me. Eventually, his tail ends up in the water. He doesn't seem to notice it's in the water until he shifts position again. He stands up, it starts dripping and he looks at it all betrayed, like "how did that get wet?" He jumps on the floor, walks in a circle three times (always three, never more, never less - I've counted) before he catches it, and licks it dry. Then he lays on the bathmat and wait for me to finish.

He does this every. single. time.

And yes - he has fallen in the tub a time or two. I have the scars to prove it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Inspiration overload

It's been a bit of a lazy Caturday around here....

Exhibit A.
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
and Exhibit D
I haven't been lazy... though I really haven't left the couch all day.. I'm having a bit of inspiration overload
I've done a lot of knitting - but that's all I have to show for two designs I've been working on... and I'm not happy with either 0f them.... I blame the stitch guides... far too many options...

Now excuse me while I cast on for something completely different.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A little lore....

Another project I finished up on the weekend was the Lore Hoodie.
I spent most of family day working away on the front band. The pattern says to knit it, then sew it on - but I had a brainwave - why not knit it on? So I cast on the stitches, and on the last stitch over every right-side row I knit it together with a stitch from the edge of the body. It worked out really well.

It feels good to have this one off the needles (only lacking buttons) but I'm not sure how I feel about the project just yet. When I tried it on, it didn't fit all that well. The bands were a little wavy - so the above pic is of it blocking - they should flatten out fine - but I think it's too big in the shoulders. I'll know for sure once it's dry.

In other news....I just had to share this photo. Eleventy-billion years old and the 'Par can still strike a regal pose.

He's had some health issues lately, and I was pretty sure we'd be saying good-bye. But he's bounced back. He had a lung infection, and you might be able to see in the picture - his one eye is completely opaque. He got some sort of infection there, and has lost his sight. Vet says it will probably never heal - we just have to keep it clean and moist. (Thank-you to Knatolee - vet said the drops were exactly the thing to use - just with his age they can't do much)

I'm thinking of making him a eye patch - PIRATE KITTEH!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ruffles anyone?

All that picoting paid off - I have a finished scarf
This is my newest design - Victoria. As soon as I get it test knit, I'll release it.It lost a little of its flounce when I blocked it, but it's still quite pretty. I threaded white ribbon through the eyelets for just a touch more "pretty". I love the simplicity of this one - I think it might be one of my favourite designs.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The pain of picot

Mom's been bugging me for a while to design a pattern to showcase our Sophisticat yarn (sport weight alpaca/silk).

I haven't had a lot of knitting time, but after casting off Dave's socks (which he loved), I've devoted what time I've had to designing a pretty, ruffled scarf.

The scarf is so pretty, and so ruffled that I decided the only way to finish it off is with a delicate picot cast off.

I'm really beginning to regret that decision. I've been casting off for two evenings now......I'm not even half way there... *sigh*... it's a good thing it's a long weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dipping into the dye-pot: Not every one is a winner

Another blogger made a lovely compliment about our dyeing skills the other day - and as nice at that is - I wanted to share with you a little secret... not everything that comes out of the dye-pot is quite what we expect.

Occasionally, inspiration for colours comes through photos. I found this one while goofing around on the internet one day...... and I knew I wanted to capture those colours in yarn. So I set to it. It didn't seem so bad at first - but on reflection......I hated it. The purples aren't so purple... they are much more orangey/burgundy - and they just don't jive with the eye-bleeding yellow and green. This one was temporarily called "Frog in a flower" - but after reskeining - Mom called it "Frog in a blender".

Now... one thing I've also learned... just because I don't like something, doesn't mean someone else will feel the same way. So we put it to our faithful Ravelry group members... and they are just about tied when it comes to love/hate.

So.. we've put it in the shop (and renamed it Carnival)

If it doesn't sell, we'll subject it to the magic of over-dyeing!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wild winter weekend

The cold I was fighting came on with a fury and knocked me out, so Friday I worked from home and kept my germs to myself.

Tux was my coworker for the day, as I settled on the couch with my laptop to finish my writing and editing.Apparently he finds customs brokerage to be a boring topic to write about, but it keeps him in cat kibbles so he really shouldn't complain.

And, after mentioning how much of a non-winter we've had this year - Saturday we woke up to a winter wonderland.The snow started falling late Friday and right through Saturday morning. We even got a little more this morning.

It's hard to say how long this will stick around for - they are predicting mild temperatures for the rest of the week. So I spent Saturday enjoying the snow from inside with the cats - and set my fingers to finishing Dave's socks - and voila!I finished them up last night - with a few days to spare! These are now tucked away with a package of wine gums and some cinnamon hearts - all ready for Tuesday.

Now... I really should finish the band on the Lore Hoodie - but I think a new pair of socks is calling me......

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February blues

You can probably tell from the lack of posting, that there is not a whole lot of knitting going on over here.

At least not as much as I'd like.

I did finish the first of Dave's Valentine's day socks - but I don't have a picture because I left it at Mom's last weekend. I've started the second one, but I've only been able to complete a few inches.

Tick, tick, tick... that's the time moving swiftly to Valentine's day. Unfortunately, there's not very much click, click, click.... the sound of my needles knitting a sock.

It's the usual culprit keeping me from knitting - work. And since it pays for the yarn, I can't really tell it to take a hike.

I'm also fighting a cold again (and losing). We may have had a mild winter this year with very little snow - but it's been a bad one for colds. This is my fourth - and they've all been doozies. And Dave's got this one too - which means I can't just sit around and mope - I've got to take care of him.

And yeah... he's your typical man with a cold - all whine, all the time.

But there has been an interesting development at Chez Wandering Cat
Sharing space! And no growling. Though they refused to make eye contact with each other!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Leaves of hope

While I was up at Mom's today dying more yarn - I took advantage of the opportunity to get some shots of my latest frozen leaves shawlAs mentioned - this was knit for a colleague who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for bone cancer. I knit it in Dale of Noway Svale - a dk weight cotton/viscose/silk blend. The dk made it knit up very fast and I like the nice large leaves.
It was a true stash-buster, using all six skeins I had. I'm glad to have it gone - while the drape and weight is ideal for a shawl, it's terribly splitty. I still have 9 balls of red still in the stash - and it's hard to say what I'm going to do with them.
This is the fourth frozen leaves I've done - and each one has been a little different. This is probably the closest to the original pattern, though I added a centre stitch and modified the edging a bit. Finished size is about 68 inches wide and 34 inches long - a nice big shawl to wrap up in.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ahh.. that's better

Look! Progress!!!I finished the final few rows on Frozen Leaves, and that baby is a-blockin'! I'll give more details in a proper FO post, but I knit this one in a DK, cotton/viscose/silk blend - perfect drape for a shawl.

And - today was an all-day meeting for my department at work. Fortunately, our department directors are just fine with me knitting through the meeting - one actually commented that having my hands busy probably helped me focus on the meeting - okay... we'll go with that.

So, I was able to whip along on the socks I started for Dave.I'd really like to have these done for Valentine's Day (this is just the first sock). It's really too bad, I don't have any more meetings scheduled before then!