Friday, November 30, 2012

No muppets were harmed in the making of this scarf

Though the cat wasn't exactly amused... I don't think he likes pink.

I whipped up this scarf over a couple of lunch hours, and a part of an evening.

It's knit with Baby Monkey - my absolute favourite novelty yarn. It's so soft and fluffy! It was like a gateway yarn for me... totally the reason I got into knitting. I actually have a whole bunch stashed away to make an afghan - but that's another story.

This particular batch was bought at the Needle Emporium's Tent Sale a few years back. I thought it would be perfect for a scarf to go with the beret I made.

So that's another project off the Christmas list. Now I have a nice four-day weekend (using up my last vacations days), so it's nothing but knit and clean this weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I lied

 I said I had only one pair of socks to complete before Christmas, when in fact I have two. I've made zero progress on Dave's Christmas socks... remember these?

They have been slotted into the Christmas spreadsheet, but I won't be touching them for a little while if I follow the schedule.

The other pair of socks however, are slated to be started next week. I looked in the stash - I only have one skein of yarn that's suitable. And then Mom went an put some new yarns in the shop - all Alley Cat... and I'm sorely tempted to sneak in a grab one.... just check out what Mom has created:


There's also some stipeys left, as well as new Top Cat Aran, Twinkle Cat and more! All in the shop now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Socks ahoy!

The last family birthday present is complete!

Dad's socks are done. Just plain old vanillas in Alley Cat BFL, colour - Pirate's Cove.  I started these in September, and they've been knit almost exclusively on my lunch hours at work. As you can see - I need a better pair of socks blockers for men's socks... maybe Santa will bring me a pair.

I do have one more pair of socks to make for Christmas, so I guess I better go raid the stash and see if I have anything suitable, now that the dpns are free...

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Many readers will know that I have long hair. Well - for the last little while, it's been getting too long - almost-to-my-waist-getting-caught-in-my-armpits-ideal-nesting-place-for-Rocky too long. It was definitely time to get it cut. But since I never do anything by half measures, I was planning on getting it bobbed - a nice little sculpted bob with bangs. Kind of a softer Cleopatra look.

I even took a photo of what I wanted to the salon.

Now I should have been concerned when the hairdresser said that I had some natural curl in my hair. I have never had natural curl. My hair will barely hold a fake curl.

I should have been really concerned when she started putting a whole bunch of layers in the back.

I should have been really, REALLY concerned when she said she needed to add some texture.

What I ended up with was some sort of weird boycut-bob hybrid. Kinda like Justin Bieber meets Dorothy Hamill, and all bad.

I thought maybe it would look better when I washed out all the product she put in it.

Then I thought it might look better if I gelled it back.

Then I thought it might look better in the morning.

When I woke up looking like my Dad in 1984, with it all winging out at the side - I knew I needed to do something drastic.

So I got in the car and drove to the city (because nothing is open in this small town on a Sunday.)...
...and I got pixie-d. Even this is a little shorter than I wanted (it does a weird Alfalfa thing at the back), but I can live with this. I just have to make sure I wear make up every day now - otherwise, I look like my brother.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Give me a few hours, and a small recipient - and there's another project off the Christmas list!
This is the Perfect Beret in Twinkle Cat DK (colour is Fairy Petals), for a little fashionista I know. I knew I wanted to make her a beret, but finding a pattern that would work with the variegated yarn was tricky, and in the end I opted for simple.
I love this hat and want to make one for myself... I have some lovely handspun that would be just perfect....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

When in doubt - map it out!

While I usually live my life in a state of creative chaos, I'm actually fantastic at organization. I was looking at my list of  Christmas and birthday projects still left to do, and admittedly, I was getting a little worried. So -  time to whip out those organizational super-powers!

Today, using excel, I mapped out all the projects on my list (including ones I've already completed - just to make sure no one was missed, and give myself a little ego boost) Then I mapped out all the days until Christmas.

Then, I scheduled which projects I'll be working, on which days. Those are the little light blue and pink boxes (blue for projects worked over my lunch hour, pink for at home). This is just page one - the calendar goes all the way to December 31st.

Naturally, it's not set in stone, but it gives me a much better idea of what's left to do, and how much time I have left to accomplish it.

I'm feeling much better now. I'm sure something will come along to throw a screw into the works - but it's always nice to have a plan!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mini mitts

Here we are, closing on the end of the November, and I've only just completed a project! And it's a tiny one at that.

A pair of perfect, purple mitts to go with a purple, people-eater hat!

I'm not counting the hat as done, because as you can see, the teeth are still blocking and it needs its eyes. The set was knit with Fat Cat in Empress (Semi-solid) and Pansied (Multi). Once the hat gets its eyes (I just have to track down my felt) that's another Christmas present off the list!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The most exciting knits EVER!!!

Okay... someone really needs to make a sarcasm font. As the title suggests, were it in sarcasm font, I'm about to show you the most boring knits ever.

First up, Dad's sweater!
It's coming along nicely - I'm to the armpits now, and as it's knit in the round from the bottom up, that means it gets set aside and I'm ready to start the sleeves. I got a good chunk of this done while visiting Sam yesterday. We just sat and talked and knit all afternoon -only periodically interrupted by a little insanity....

I debated on starting the sleeves right away, or taking a break and moving on to something more exciting for a little bit. I really want to get the sweater done, but while I'm knitting it, the Christmas list isn't getting much shorter  - and there are a few small projects I could whip up in no time (that's knitter hubris right there...)

In the end, I opted to start something new, but it's not very exciting.

Yup.. purple stockknit... This will be a Brain Monster hat for my youngest niece. I'm using our Fat Cat in "Empress" and the yarn is probably the only thing keeping me from going buggy. It's a lovely deep purple with undertones of red and blue, and so, so soft, like Fat Cat always is.

And don't worry about Dad's sweater in the mean time. It's not going to get lonely.

"Yep. I've got it covered," says Tux.... I hope Dad doesn't mind cat hair....

Oh - and there's some new yarns in the shop - some stripeys and a few heavier weights to keep you toasty!

Friday, November 16, 2012

The true definition of a friend

 I've mentioned my best friend Samantha on the blog before.

We've met when we were 12, and have been stuck together ever since.

Recently, her husband started traveling for work. On one of his first nights away, she posted that she was going to "smuggle her turtle" at bedtime. No it's not a euphemism... she was talking about a little stuffed turtle to keep her company. Why "smuggling" and not "snuggling" was an answer I never really discovered.. but it's been a running theme whenever her husband travels.

Last week, Dave stayed the night at his Mom's and I was lamenting having to sleep alone.Today, I went to my mail box and found a parcel from Amazon. I hadn't ordered anything - and the box, while large, was suspiciously light.

I got in the house and made the cats wait for dinner while I opened it. Inside was a webkinz... this webkinz

Puzzled, I dug around in the box and found a note card. I opened it up and it said "Now you have your own turtle to smuggle"

That's the true definition of friendship right there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I have been knitting, but I have no pictures to show you - it's just endless green ribbing right now. Instead, I'll show you a surprise I got last week.

Dave's Mom is an avid garage sale-er, and this summer, she came across someone selling their bead collection. So she snatched it up for me!

A lot were really small seed beads, but quite a few were sixes, so I spent part of the weekend organizing them.

And, on the weekend, Mom discovered another bead shop close by, so we went to check it out (those are the little baggies at the bottom.

Unfortunately, all this makes me want to do is knit some beaded lace... but there's none of that on the Christmas to-do list... so I guess it's going to have to wait....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sitting pretty

Not too long ago, I came across this picture on Facebook.
I shared with with the Wandering Cat Facebook group, because I thought it was such a cool idea.

And naturally, being a crafty person... I thought... I can do that! And didn't I have just the sweater. It's a beautiful cabled sweater mom knit ages ago - but, as gorgeous as it was, it was just too darn itchy to wear. Neither of us had the heart to just toss it, so it sat in my closet for years... until tonight...

Yup - it's now a super comfy cat bed! Want to know how I did it? Of course you do!

1) Sew the collar closed. (You don't have to be particularily tidy - I just used a large, quick backstitch with some leftover white sock yarn)

2) Back stitch from armpit to armpit, creating a tunnel from the sleeves and top of the sweater that you can stuff.

3) Stuff this tunnel. I used some otherwise useless leftover strips of quilt batting and some fibrefill, though as the Facebook pic suggests, you can use rags or towels too. I stuffed it lightly enough that the arms were bendable, but firmly enough to make a nice soft pillow for kitty heads.

4) Sew the cuffs to each other. I tucked one inside the other and just did a quick backstitch. (Again, not very tidily)

5) The last step is to attach the body to the sleeves, so the bed become one piece - just a quick whip stitch will do here.

And voila! Instant cat bed! Here's a quick anatomy shot for those who need a better visual....

 Naturally - anything knit with real wool is a hit with my team...

.... and the sweater is the perfect size for a petite princess like Peno...
Or a rotund Rocky.

I better go dig out some more sweaters, or we're going to have a cat fight on our hands....

ETA: Okay... no more cat fights... Rocky got a bed to call his own.

This one is a sweater I made for Dave that is too small. Polwarth/Silk blend... my cats are spoiled!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sweater wrangler

I did manage to wrangle the sweater out from under Tux (though I'm sure I'll pay for the transgression later.)

Now you can see it's pretty colour - and I've made some good progress on it - it's at 9 inches, only 8 more to go until I set it aside and start the sleeves.

At first I was a little disappointed with how slowly it was growing. But then I reminded myself, unlike Eileen - this one is knit in the round - so I'm knitting the front and the back at the same time! Once I realized that, I have to say, I was pretty pleased.

Admittedly, the pattern is boring - just a 6-2 garter rib. But the yarn is divine - so soft and squishy. I will have to set it aside to work on a baby sweater soon - but I'm hoping to get to the armpits by then. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Sweater Endeavour

I have been working diligently on the sweater I've chosen for Dad. But I can't really show you any progress... because... welll...

As you can see - Tux has claimed it for his very own and is reluctant to give it back....

I can tell you the pattern is Saranac and I'm knitting it in some Baruffa Merinos Otto in a nice dark forest green. I got it at one of the Needle Emporium's awesome tent sales a few years back. I was planning on making a sweater for Dave with it... but green is really more of Dad's colour.

Anyway, I have to get back to it... I'll let you know how the extraction goes....

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Killing three birds with one stone

1) I really wanted to crack into some of that gorgeous Top Cat Aran
2) I had a new design floating around my head that needed to come out
3) I needed to knock off another Christmas present

And I accomplished all three with Cobblestone!

If you look through Ravelry's popular patterns, it's easy to see that it's cowl season - and the Top Cat Aran gave me the perfect reason to knit one! And you get another free pattern out of it.

 While this one was knit as a Christmas present, I am sorely tempted to keep it. It's so soft and warm and squishy!

It's just a simple slip stitch pattern, knit in the round. It's great for hand painted yarns, as you can see. But, I think it would look just ask good alternating two or three different yarns. Or in a crazy variegate.  And the texture is perfect for a solid.

It's also very versatile in how you can wear it. You can wear it long. Or wrap it twice
Or three times - which is my favourite because it's just so cozy!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sock triad

Christmas is inching ever-closer... so that means I really need to get boogie-ing on my sock knitting. I have two pairs done already... and I have two more to go. Not bad, but I also have a host of other Christmas knitting (including, hopefully, a sweater).

The first pair isn't actually for Christmas.
Just a pair of plain ol' vanillas for Dad's birthday (There are four December birthdays I have to attend to - thankfully, two I've already bought presents for earlier this year). I started these in the middle of September, and have only just finished the first one. However, I only work on these over my lunch hour at work... which I don't always take - so I'm making good progress. I should be able to finish them by December 18th, no problem! The yarn is Alley Cat BFL in "Pirate's Cove" - one of Mom's creations.

Next up are the John Huston socks I started for Dave.

These are going slowly - in part because I've been neglecting them for Eileen and other projects, and because the stitch pattern requires a fair bit of concentration (no rest rows either!). I'm almost to the heel on the first one, so if I give them some lovin' I should be able to motor.... and if not... Dave's used to late Christmas presents! For these I'm using Top Cat in "Cohiba" - another of Mom's creations!

Now despite the amount of Christmas knitting I still have to do.... I just had to cast on a pair for myself.
 These are Embossed Leaves - a pattern that has been in my queue FOREVER! I'm using Twisted Top Cat - which is just as nice as regular Top Cat. I find the knitted fabric a lot like Skinny Bugga. The colour is "Pinewood" - and you guessed it - Mom made it! I guess I'll have to keep her around.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Beautiful Eileen

Well she doesn't have her zipper in yet, but Eileen is still looking good. And as promised, here are some pics to prove it!

I've just got her closed with a shawl pin for now, but it works pretty good.

What I like about Eileen, and what kept it an interesting knit, is that it's patterned all over. Even the sleeves.

As Mom noted, it's a perfect walking the dog jacket for cooler days when it's not cold enough to need a winter coat.

This last pic gives you a better look at the details - cable-like with no actual cables, it's all yos and decreases! It's also a great representation of the colour - a nice warm grey!

If you're thinking of making Eileen for yourself, I highly recommend it. My only caution, is keep an eye on the sleeves - as written, they are VERY wide, and were I to knit them again, I wouldn't increase quite so much. But otherwise, it's perfect!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Queen of Hearts - Free Pattern

I know I said I was going to do this as part of an upcoming e-book, but I changed my mind.
and lucky for you... it's now a free pattern - Queen of Hearts!

It uses just one skein of yarn (pictured here in Barn Cat) and has three easy to follow charts.

I knit this one up in just over a week, so it would make a great last minute Christmas present! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Top Cat Aran

That delicious Top Cat Aran I dyed up last week is now in the shop (as well a couple skeins of Big Cat.) I kept two skeins for myself and all I can say is OMG... LOVE IT!

I've started the Honey Cowl.... pics will follow soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


No - not that kind of Chubby.....

The stripey kind!

Mom's been mucking about, and has discovered a way to make wide-striping yarn. Each colour is about 10-12 rows long depending on your gauge. I love it - and so did the fans on our facebook page  - I'm hoping to dye some up this weekend - so you might see some in the shop by the end of the month!.