Thursday, May 31, 2012

Surmount the Stash - May Roundup

 This month was another month where I felt I knitted way more than I actually did.

All of them were small projects too.

First up Octavia and Octavius Bill

The pair of them total about 200 yards
 Next  up - my Frost Queen design in gorgeous but scratchy handspun, and then again in much softer Twinkle Cat DK

This pair amounts to about 300 yards

And finally - my coworkers Grey Loop Cowl, which comes in at 220 yards of Twinkle Cat DK.

So this months total is a meager 670 yards.

Next month is going to have a much better showing - I can  feel it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This is just a post of little things I want to get out of the way before my Surmount post tomorrow

1) Remember that pretty cowl I designed, but was too itchy? Well here is a quick pic of it done in Twinkle Cat DK:

The pattern is revamped a little and the Twinkle Cat was an excellent choice. I'm hoping I can eke out a small pair of matching fingerless mitts from the rest of the skein, but we'll have to see. As soon as the pattern is ready, I'll announce it here.

2) Minding My Own Stitches asked if I was catching the Colour Affection infection, and I have to admit, while I wasn't overly excited when I first saw the pattern - after seeing all the different versions, it's really grown on me. I've definitely got the first signs of the bug now. Here are the colours I've picked out:

All three skeins are Top Cat. Now I just have to decide which order I want them to go in. I'm trying to be good and finish my Slinky vest first. It's a very good thing that the swift and yarn caker are at Mom's  - otherwise, I probably would have this puppy caked and started.... In my defense - it's a perfect stash down project - two of those skeins have been in the stash for a couple of years!

3) Speaking of the Slinky vest - I completed another half repeat on my lunch today. I think it might be growing. The good news is, once I finish the body, it's only a handful of rows to finish off the armholes, so technically - I'm a lot further than I think I am.

4) I love this picture of Rocky I took the other day. He was inside, begging to come out:

He looks so innocent... don't believe it.

5) And, speaking of brat cats. I keep a towel on one end of the couch, so I'm not constantly cleaning cat fur off it. Tux, Peno and Rocky all adore towels, and will lay on one every chance they get. Mopar?
...Not so much.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Another boom

It appears there is another little baby boom amongst my circle  - this time it's the cousins edition.

My littlest cousin Hailea and her boyfriend Chris are expecting a little boy in October.
and my cousin Sean and his sweet girlfriend, Katie (who oddly enough went to college with me - she was already dating Sean and we ended up in the same class!)
have just announced they are expecting as well. Their baby is due in January.

Fortunately - I have quite a bit of "baby" yarn in the stash already, so I think these two babies are going to go a long way to helping me surmount the stash!

I have big ambitions, but we'll see how it all pans out. I'd like to do a whole layette for each - blanket and outfit, but that might be too ambitious. Oh, and Katie's a Star Wars fan, so you know there's totally going to be another Yodagurumi!

In the meantime, I'm trying to knit monogamously on my slinky vest - but it still doesn't feel like I'm getting anywhere. I am - I've got about six inches done from the underarm, I just feel like I should be a lot further.

I've started taking it to work. Since my coworker has departed, I'm without a lunch buddy. So now I'm eating at my desk and using my lunch hour to enjoy the sun and get a few rows done. I was really hoping to have it done by the end of the month to include in my otherwise meager stashdown tally, but I don't think it's going to happen.  With any luck it shouldn't be too far into June by the time I get it finished, but we'll see... if I can stay monogamous... but I've been poking around in the stash for Colour Affection combos.....

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Mom and I did end up going to the local Fibrefest today. When I was working for the newspaper here, I covered the very first Grimsby Fibrefest - it hasn't grown much in the last 7 years, but that's actually kind of nice.

Naturally there were lots of sheep...

and lambs galore!

And alpacas...
who are either just shy, or really snobbish! Not one wanted a pet.

We also got to watch them shear an alpaca...
There's a lot of fibre in that back and they aren't even half done!

They had herding demonstrations too. It was fun to watch the dogs work, but I especially loved this guy...

Just sitting, waiting patiently for his turn to herd! You'd never get Ladydog to sit like that if there was was something to chase!

There was a  small marketplace, so Mom and I indulged in some homemade ice cream  - in a handmade waffle cone! And you know were weren't coming home without wool!

Mom snagged some lovely bamboo, alpaca, and some BFL.  But I was feeling a little more conservative...

Just a natural alpaca scarf kit and a bottle of locally-grown-and-made tart cherry juice! Delicious!

We are thinking of vending there next year - I'll keep you posted if we go for it!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I've had this project done for a few weeks now, but the coworker for whom it was made occasionally reads this blog, so I wanted to keep it a surprise.

Said coworker marked a birthday and her final day at work this week (she's leaving for a much cooler job - so jealous!). We celebrated with lots of food, ice cream cake, a movie (Dark Shadows) and of course - handknits.

The pattern is A Grey Loop. I modified it to use just one skein of Twinkle Cat DK - colour is Aster. (notes are on my pattern page)

It's a really quick, easy pattern - I had it done in an evening and an afternoon. Nice mindless knitting- I can see more of these made as Christmas presents!

The Twinkle Cat is soooo nice to knit with  - absolutely love it. I love it so much, I've designed a pattern for it, which I'll release soon.

Now I'm off to the dye studio - and there's talk of visiting the local fibrefest this weekend if it doesn't rain. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blog friends rock!

One of the things I love about blogging is the wonderful people I've met.

A few weeks back, Smoking Hot Needles posted a pic of a crocheted project bag she made with her handspun. I admired it (because it was totally awesome). Today, it was in my mailbox...

...along with a super awesome Skineeez cat toy for the kids. I don't know how she knew, but Skineez are one of their favourite toys.  See...

"Nom, nom, nom..."

"I wanna play too! Giiiiiimmeeeeeeeeeeee"

"Oh man... why'd you give it to Tux first??? Now it's all slobbery....."

Peno however... she knew the bag was the real treat!

"Is anyone looking... no? Good."

"Those stoopid boys will never find me in here."

As soon as I extricate Peno from it - it's the new home for my socks-in-progress. Thanks so much Smoking Hot Needles!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The little project that couldn't

Have you ever had one of those projects that just doesn't seem to grow - no matter how much you work on it?

I've got one of them right now. You may remember me mentioning a vest I'm making in Slinky Cat. The last picture I took of it was in April, and looked like this:
It got set aside for Octopi, and socks, and other projects. But I have added a row or two here and there. And Monday, I worked on it ALL afternoon and ALL evening with just a few small breaks to make dinner, do some laundry, and make a Dairy Queen run (it was hot - we needed Blizzards!)

You'd think after all that knitting, I'd be miles ahead. But it looks like this.
That's not very much growth - barely two inches!!!

Is there there some sort of knitting gnome that was stealing my rows while I was at Dairy Queen?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Victoria Winner!

We have a winner.....

.... congratulations to Gayle! And thanks to all who entered! Keep your eye out for new designs and more contests, coming soon!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Octopi abound

There hasn't been a tonne of knitting this weekend so far. Yesterday, the weather was way too nice, so I took Stella out for a spin, then spent the afternoon on Mom's back porch, learning how to crochet - and boy do I suck at it!

But, one thing I am good at is finishing Octopi. I mentioned before that a friend saw Octavius Bob, and wanted one just like him.

Well meet Octavius Bill. They aren't identical twins - I couldn't find my left over ball of Orange Tabby Cat, so Bill here got some random handpainted yarn for his belly - it's a mixture of pink, peach and gold - but I think it does the trick.

And since my friend has young daughter who will likely try to claim Bill for herself...
I made Octavia! Octavia is made from left over Big Cat. Octavia was actually made last month, but was awaiting my new shipment of eyes. She finally got sewed up Friday evening. 

Now I really should be doing some housework.... but my needles are calling me.... and then there's that crochet to practice....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Victoria was a grand old queen - Contest and Sale!

It's Victoria Day weekend here in Canada. Often called the May Two-Four, we are really celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday  - not a case of beer as the uneducated would have you believe.

 Next to Queen Elizabeth the First, Queen Victoria has always been my favourite British Monarch. After all - we have her to thank for the tradition of the white wedding dress. (Up until her, most wedding dresses were blue - especially during the medieval era)
 So in honour of this stylish, graceful Queen, I'm having a little contest. From today to Monday at Midnight, simply leave a comment on this blog entry, and you could win a Victoria scarf kit.

The kit will include the pattern, and one skein of Wandering Cat Yarns Sophisticat (Alpaca/Silk - custom dyed semi-solid) to complete your very own scarf. 

And, our gift to you for this Royal birthday  - enter the code VICTORIA10 and save 10% at the shop until Monday at midnight!  

Monday, May 14, 2012


I've got another pattern for you lovely bloggers. You may remember my pretty little scarf, Victoria.
 Well, she's been test knitted and laid out and you can make your own now!

There's some lovely shades of Sophisticat in the shop too - you only need one skein! I will definitely be making a few more of these before the year is out!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Moms and Octopi

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!

I spent yesterday with my Mom. I showered her with yarn, and flowers and of course, handknits.

This is my latest design - a pretty little cowl that showcases a set of nice buttons. This prototype was actually knit with handspun from the amazing Smoking Hot Needles.

Unfortunately, like most prototypes, the design needs a little more work. It's a wee bit too snug, and while the yarn is absolutely gorgeous to look at, it's just a little too scratchy to have on a sensitive neck.

So, back to the drawing board. Mom will get a revised version (and of course she gets to keep the aforementioned flowers and yarn) and this handspun will be used for something a little further from the skin - I'm thinking a nice hat!

Today, I've been  hard at work putting some patterns together. Mom helped me take some decent pics of my Morning Glory socks.
I got the pattern off to her for test knitting, so hopefully I will be able to release it to all of you soon. I think these socks have become my new favourite pair.

I absolutely LOVE lace socks - I need to make some more!

Another pattern I pulled together is available now!

Introducing Octopussy! This little freebie is a nice way to use up bits of left over sock yarn, and keep your cats happy in the process!
As you can see, it's fully Tux-approved! So happy Mother's day to all the human and cat-moms alike!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Peno's present

Sorry for the brief silence - the computer's been on the fritz and Dave just finally got it back to normal.

I have been knitting (what else do you do when your computer isn't working, right?) But it's secret knitting, so I can't show you yet.

So instead, I'll share a cat story. I've mentioned before that Peno is our "good cat". All that really means is she's the least bad.
She's also the quietest. Mopar is half Siamese and takes no pains to hide it. Rocky isn't, but you'd think he is with all his caterwauling. Tux isn't quite as bad, but he's very vocal when he wants something - like food or lovin'.

Peno however, barely makes a peep. The most we get out of her are little merps and chirps (unless Rocky is bothering her - then it's full-on, knock-down, drag-out, she-cat hissing and screaming). The only time I've ever heard an actual meow out of her is in a very odd circumstance.

It usually happens anywhere between 2 and 4 a.m. I will be awoken by a very loud, but oddly low "Mroooowow."
None of the other cats sound like that, so I always know it's Peno. I wake up and say "Peno, what's wrong?" and  from the darkness comes the unmistakable "thwack" of one of her toy mice hitting the floor. Apparently she wants to play... or so I thought.
Last night, I woke up to the same sound  - only she meowed three times, not one. When I asked her what was wrong, I didn't hear the mouse drop. Instead, she meowed again. And again.
Something wasn't right, so I got out of bed (and yes, Dave is totally snoring through the whole thing). I get close to her and she just sits there (usually she runs if you're standing too close). I ask her again what's wrong and she runs to the top of the stairs. My first thought was  "Oh no, Mopar has passed and she's letting me know!"

She runs down the stairs and I follow. Into the kitchen we go. Mopar looks up from his bed. "What? Oh wait - are you going to feed me?"
My next thought was something is wrong with Tux (Rocky was in the bed on Dave's pillow, so I knew he was fine). I peek into the living room. Tux looks up from the couch. "What? Oh wait - are you going to feed me?"

So then I start thinking, maybe she's alerting me to another emergency. Dave was fine, I could still hear him snoring. I couldn't smell smoke. My CO detector still seemed to be working. Nothing was flooded. There was no prowler lurking. The was no well for Timmy to fall down.

I ask Peno once again what is wrong, but I just get that enigmatic cat face.
So, I head back up stairs. All of a sudden, I step in something squishy. Right where Peno was standing when she first woke me up. I hop out of the bedroom on one foot and turn on the hall light. I turn up the bottom of my foot expecting to see a furball or something of the like...
Nope.. it's was a dead soggy giant moth.... yay...

Peno of course is sitting in the hall looking all smug and pleased. And I'm pretty sure she was thinking "Stoopid human... took you long enough to find my present."

I scraped the poor moth off and went blearily-eyed back to bed. I fell asleep to the sounds of her eating her catch.