Monday, April 30, 2012

Surmount the Stash - April Round Up

Looking back, April wasn't near as productive as I thought. That appears to be because some of the things I was working on aren't finished yet, so they will have to be part of another month's round up.

It still wasn't bad though. Naturally, my biggest accomplishment was my lace vest.
It used up almost two skeins (approx 855 yards) that have been in my stash for a couple of years now. Kudos to me!

Next would be my newest design, a pair of lace socks that I just finished last night.

These used a skein of Alley Cat BFL that's been kicking around for a few months, at approx 360 yards. (Pattern and better pics coming soon)

The only other project that got completed this month was Octavius Bob - the Octopus I knit for my coworker (he just got his name today!)

I will admit,  I dyed up the Fat Cat just for this project, but as it's Wandering Cat Yarn, it doesn't count as stash enhancement! I did use leftover Tabby Cat for the underside, and more of the Fat Cat will get used up on another Octopus requested by another friend. Octavius Bob brings my used yardage up by another 100 yards.

My total this month is 1,315 yards knit. That makes it 4,294 yards knit this year so far!

If you look at this from my goal perspective, I've made some good progress too.

1)Knit four sweaters this year
As far as I'm concerned, the vest is cardigan-like enough to count as a sweater. So that puts my count at two completed (You may recall the Lore Hoodie as sweater number 1)! Woohoo

2) Knit 10 pairs of socks (5 for family, 5 for me!)
Theses socks make pair number 2! So I have 4 left for family, and 4 for me!

Not too shabby after all!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A day at the studio

It's been a few weeks, but I finally got back in the studio and did some dyeing today.

What you see there is  20 skein of Slinky Cat and Alley Cat BFL. Quite a productive day if I do say so myself.

Afterwards, Mom helped me finally get a few decent shots of my Bugga vest. Naturally, Ladydog had to help...

The pattern is the Vintage Vest. It has a really simple construction, and the lace pattern is very easy. A good pattern for  a lace beginner. The only mods I made to this pattern were:

1) The yarn - the pattern calls for lace weight, I used fingering and went down a size to accommodate the thicker yarn.

2) The pattern has you doing the front bands and neck bands separately. But with a few cleverly placed increases and decreases, I was able to do the bands all at one. I think it makes for a little more polished finish.

A little about the yarn. As mentioned before, it's Skinny Bugga - a nice MCN blend. The colour is Oaktimberworm and as you can see, it's a lovely brown with touches of green, blue and rust. This is going to go so well with so many things in my wardrobe! I still have one skein left and I'm debating... socks for me... or socks for Dave....?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Finally Friday

My back is almost back to normal, so it looks like Monday, I'll be a commuter once again.

I always enjoy working from home, but it does have it's disadvantages. I miss my cubicle-mate. She's always good for a laugh, to bounce ideas off, and just general good company.

 At home I can bounce ideas off the cats, but the response is usually the same.

"What care I for the flow of that sentence?"


"I eat random crud off the floor, and  you want my opinion?" 


 "Not now, can't you see we have some very important napping to do?"


"What they said"

You don't really realize just how much your cats sleep until you're home with them for a full week. Note to self: Reincarnation as a cat is a must. 

When they aren't sleeping they are, naturally, far more disruptive than that loud guy at that everyone has at the office. Their only saving grace is that they're cuter, because at home I get disrupted by

"What are you eating? Can I have some? Just a little piece? Seriously, just drop a crumb on the floor. No one will know. C'mon, I'm eleventy-billion years old. Take pity on me. This could be my last snack... like I mean EVER."


 "C'mon.... play with me. You need a break anyway. C'mon, stealth kitty is your favourite game.....No? Fine, next bathroom break, stealth kitty is going to break cover and run right in frontof you as you head up the stairs... see how fun  work will be with a cracked noggin."


"Yeah, I'm sitting on your stuff. You don't need this do you? Seriously, I don't think you need this.I think you put it here just for me. I can't see any other purpose for it than for my pleasure.Speaking of my pleasure - I want a belly rub and some fresh tuna - stat!"

Okay... yeah.. I'm ready to head back to the office...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A little lace to lighten your mood

Thanks for the well-wishes . I'm still working from home because my back still isn't up to snuff - but it's better.

After I packed my work away for the day, I went on a mini cleaning rampage. I focused on my knitting station/coffee table and frogged some UFOs, organized some patterns, and rediscovered a design I had started a few months ago...

It was only a few repeats from being done, so I put my nose to the grindstone and finished it off. The pattern needs a few minor tweaks, and of course the second sock knit - but I'm quite pleased with it. It's very light and lacey - the perfect spring/summer sock.

This one is knit in our Alley Cat BFL - it's not my favourite, but it's still a good sturdy sock yarn, and washes up beautifully!

I've got a few more octopi to knit for friends (a couple of requests came in after I posted the last on Facebook), but I expect I should get the second sock done pretty quick. It's one of those patterns you seem to breeze through, because you just want to knit a few more rows to get to the end of the lace repeat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An octopus a day....

...keeps Valerie entertained when she's stuck on the couch. Why was she stuck on the couch, you ask? Because she spent an hour on Saturday playing Cinderella.

While she does have sparkly clean floors now, she was rather hoping to be rewarded with a wicked pair of shoes, instead she got a spine that decided to pretend it's an unbendable  iron rod instead.

C'est la vie. It gave me time to knit up this little cutie
He's knit in Fat Cat (Pansied) with some leftover Tabby Cat (Tangerine Dream) for his underside. My co-worker asked me to knit her an octopus a few weeks ago - and well, here he is.

This is of course, another great pattern from Amigurumi genius Hansi Singh. This is the second octopus I've made, and I absolutely love how they turn out!

In other news, I have frogged Skew and set the aside the yarn for now. I flirted a little with my Cheshire socks, and some new Camel/Silk yarn (before you freak out and mention my stash down - it's technically Wandering Cat Yarn and I'm testing it to see if it's worth carrying in the shop) before settling down and knitting the octopus.

I think I needed a quick-finish project to clean my palette - now it's back to some WIPs..... maybe....

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I've finished the first Skew sock...
I like the way the colours mixed, but honestly, I'm tempted to frog the whole thing.
It feels weird on the big toe - and its really baggy in the ankle...Just not a good fit for me. I love the Jungle Cat for socks though.... such a dilema..... I guess I'll sleep on it and decide what to do tomorrow. *sigh*

Monday, April 16, 2012


New project won out over WIPs yesterday, I'm afraid...

I have a skein of Jungle Cat has been tempting me for a while (and not just because the colourway is Temptress). I actually have two, and originally dyed them for a shawl. I've started several, but always ended up ripping them out because I didn't like the way the colours were chunking.

So yesterday, I decided to start Skew. I've wanted to make it for a very long time, and finally got two round needles to do it (it's recommended over dpns), so I figured I'd see if the yarn wanted to be socks! I have to say - I think it does.

In addition to being the first sock I've done on round needles, it's also my first toe-up sock - yay for new techniques.

The sock is coming along swimmingly (I'm already to the heel - way further than this picture shows. ) and I'm already thinking about what to do with the second skein. I could do another pair of socks - but what about a Wingspan?

Sunday, April 15, 2012


As promised, I finished my vest. However, it's cold and rainy, and mom is out of commission with the sick.. so I had to fend for myself picture-wise.
So yes.. all you get are crappy bathroom mirror shots. I'll do a proper finished-object post when I can press Mom into taking some better pics, but this is it worn with the sun dress I mentioned a few posts back.
The pattern calls it a vest, but it's more like a short-sleeve cardigan, which is just what I wanted. Were I to make this again, I'd decrease for the neckline sooner, and make it more of a deep-v.

The only mod I made was to add a loop closure and a button (the pattern as-written doesn't close at all). This lone little flower button was in my stash - obviously it was meant to be!

So, now I'm left with a conundrum - work on a WIP... or start something new?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Baby Bruin update

I am diligently working away at finishing my Bugga vest (just seaming and bands left), but while you're waiting for the great unveil, I thought I'd share some pics of the world's smallest Bruins fan.Nora is a month old today, and it looks like I made the cardigan just the right size.And for anyone hoping the Bruins would lose Thursday night, my apologies, apparently it's mine and Nora's fault.

According to her Daddy, she was cranky and wouldn't let him put the cardigan on her at game time. When the game went into overtime, he finally got fed up and draped it over a sleeping Nora... and the Bruins scored. It looks like he's got his good luck charm for the rest of the season...

And speaking of Thursday night... apparently, even though I'm 32 years old, you still can leave me alone with a pair of scissors...I got bored and chopped myself a pair of bangs. I'm keeping my hair long for the time being, but I needed a change. I've since evened them out more, and will probably have mom do a little more next time I see her.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wildwood winner!

I am pleased to announce, the winner of the Wildwood hat pattern is RobinH!

Congratulations!!!As you can see... Tux and Peno are ecstatic!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hoppy Easter

I might not have been able to enjoy a new Easter outfit this year... but someone else was.Yup that's baby Nora, sporting her bunny hat and booties. Her daddy has promised me pics of her and her Bruins cardi after the game this Thursday.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Easter outfit that wasn't

So... yeah... there's not going to be a new East outfit for me this weekend... :(

Not surprisingly, I was overly optimistic. It wasn't until yesterday afternoon that I finished the back. And there's no way I'll get two fronts knit, blocked, then sewn, as well as picot band all done and finished by tomorrow.

But hey look, the back is blocking...You can kinda get a better sense of the colours in this pic.

I'm about half done the left front, but I've got to go up to Mom's tomorrow and help pack up all the orders from this weekend, so it's hard to say how much I can get done.

I'm cautiously optimistic that I might get this done for next weekend.

Both the sale and the contest are still on - scroll down if you haven't entered yet! And tell your friends!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter sale and contest

There's double the excitement here at Chez Wandering Cat this holiday weekend.

First, starting tomorrow, we're having a sale at the shop. From Good Friday, April 6th to Easter Monday, April 9th, just use the code HOPPY15 and your 15% discount will be deducted at the checkout.

Mom's got a whole bunch of new yarns ready to put in there too - so there's lots of colourful treats for everyone!

And.... I haven't held a contest in a while, so I think Easter is a good excuse. For the same time frame (Good Friday, April 6th to Easter Monday, April 9th) leave a comment on this post, and you will receive an entry to win a lovely little kit which will include my Wildwood beret pattern:...and a skein of Wandering Cat Yarns Top Cat DK (Merino/Cashmere/Nylon) in Wheat Field to make it with. I'll use a magical random number generator to pick a winner on April 10th! Good luck!

Monday, April 2, 2012


I was making good progress on my latest design...
A top-down vest using that beautiful Ladyslipper Slinky Mom dyed for me.

However, it has been put on hold for some emergency knitting - another vest, in fact.

You see, when I was on my little shopping spree last week, I picked up a lovely little sundress. It's mostly a dark rusty red, with shades of brown and navy blue - not my usual colours, but something about it spoke to me. Unfortunately, its spaghetti straps make the otherwise lovely frock unsuitable for an office environment.

All it needs is some sort of cardigan, but given that my closet is filled with pink, red and green, I don't have anything that matches.

So what's a knitter to do? Knit one of course.

I was discussing colours with Mom - I was leaning toward dying some nice Navy. She mentioned she might have some nice Bugga that would work - and that's when I remembered that I have 3 skeins of Skinny Bugga in the stash already (and I am on a stash down after all!)

So I ran upstairs to get itYup - three lovely skeins of Oak Timberworm. They are much darker than the picture - a rich brown with lovely little touches of rust, navy and even some forest green - the perfect compliment to the sundress. It should only take two skeins, which will leave me with one skein left over for a pair of Dave socks.

I've chosen the Vintage Vest pattern. A nice little lace freebie.
This pic shows the nice dark tone, but not the hints of colour. The pattern is simple - both the lace and the construction. I'm about half way through the back, and I only started it yesterday afternoon.

If I keep going at this rate, I might even have a new Easter outfit!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Surmount the Stash - March Round Up

I'm a day late with my round up, but I know you'll forgive me when I show you the last project I completed in March.Aren't they cute? Since Miss Nora is a close-to-Easter baby - I figured some bunny slippers were in order. I also have a matching bunny-eared hat I made ages ago, just for fun. Now it's found a home.

Other projects I completed this month? Well no surprise, it was almost all about Nora. I completed her Bruins jacket, as well as her blue angora bonnet and booties. That angora has been in my stash for years. It was leftover from a cone Mom bought at a long-ago knitter's fair. I made Mom a pair of gloves a few Christmases back, and now Nora's presents have finished it off. That's a stash-busting win!

The only thing that wasn't for Nora, was Miss Lily's cranked legwarmers.

So - all small projects, but all from the stash! I don't have an accurate count on the yardage - my best estimate is about 650 yards.

But I've got lots on deck for April - I'm aiming to finish a sweater or two if I can!