Thursday, February 28, 2013

Warming up with cupcakes

As you can guess by the lack of posting, there hasn't been a tonne of knitting going on.

By the time I get home from work, I'm too whomped to do much. Hopefully that will change soon. In the mean time, I did mange to get the ribbing done on the legwarmers I made for myself.
Again, these were cranked on Mom's circular sock machine, and then I added the ribbing by hand.
I used some Numma Numma The Usual for these ones (Colour is Cupcakes) which was snitched from Mom's stash. I was going to used Wandering Cat, but we didn't have anything dyed up that I wanted to use, and she wouldn't let me steal any Skinny Bugga... so Numma Numma it was!
For any of you Wollmeise lovers out there... if you're having trouble getting some of that highly coveted yarn, see if you can get some of The Usual... if it's not the exact same base, it's darn tootin' close.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Twinkle toes

Miss Kitty Cup is ever closer to being a completely free tea cup...

On Sunday I went up and cranked out a couple of tubes of Twinkle Cat on Mom's CSM (Colour is Moon Rocks). I added the ribbing by hand.

And I like them so much, I may have just cranked out a pair for myself too...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A cake decorator I'm not... but I can knit a mean pair of socks!

If there's one thing I've learned this weekend, it's that cake decorating is not as easy as it looks. Early last week, Dave asked me if I could make a cake for his boss's birthday. After going through the options (a cake shaped like boobs, a guitar, a piano...) we settled on a Boston Cream Pie with the company's logo on top.

Making the cake was easy -  my brother may have inherited all the cooking talent from mom - but if there's sweet stuff involved, I'm no slouch! (Though my custard was a little lumpy....but it tasted fine.)

The logo was a little trickier. I figured I could create a stencil, and just sprinkle the icing sugar over, remove the stencil - et voila!

Well as you can see... Didn't so much as "sprinkle" the sugar as throw it all over the kitchen..... it ended up way thicker than I wanted, and on the rest of the cake... but at least the logo was still mostly distinguishable....

Dave assured me it was delicious, and no one cared about the imperfections, but I think I'll stick to my knitting....
While he was off eating cake, I finished 25% of Miss Kitty Cup's ransom....

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Think pink Twink

In an effort to ensure Miss Kitty Cup stays safely on my desk in the future, I've cast on a pair of socks in Rose Quartz Twinkle Cat for my scoundrel coworker.

I've chosen the February Lady socks, because with all the other projects on the go (I've totally blown my resolution about keeping my WIPs under control), I really needed something lacy. It's also one from my queue, so at least I'm making progress on that goal.

When I first looked at the pattern, I was a little dubious. For the largest size, it only had 56 stitches. Now I have narrow feet, so I normally do 60 stitches for my socks - the recipient has normal feet and I'm thinking there's no way this is going to work.  But I figured I'd give it a whirl and see how it went.

That was the right decision because boy does this lace pattern stretch! I'm glad I avoided the temptation to add another repeat or two.

I think this would be a good pattern for a begining lace sock knitter - the lace repeat is only 7 stitches wide, and four rows deep - two of which are full knit rows. It's very easy to memorize - and it's just flying. Time to start the heel!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kidnapped Kitty

This is what happens when two of your coworkers have too much time on their hands.
I came back after lunch to find this note on my computer and my poor kitty cup missing. The good news is, they returned her on a promise of said knits. And the coworker requesting the socks was the one I has already planned to knit some for (the pink Twinkle). The legwarmers will most likely be cranked this weekend on Mom's sock machine (they didn't specify handknit!!!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Casual Tuesday

With Ladybug blocking, I've been working on my Business Casual socks.

Once you get going, this pattern is almost mindless - I'm almost to the heel on the first one. I'm making these in the large size - either for Dave or my Dad (not decided yet). But, I really want to make a pair for myself (I've got the perfect skein of Skinny Bugga!) and these would be a perfect choice for my coworkers socks (the pink Twinkle).

The question is - how many of these can I make before I get sick of the pattern?

And I can't forget about Dave's Hero socks, still on the needles....

I need more time to knit!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lightning bug

I love it when a project really starts to move.

Once I joined the black and got through a few inches of stockinette, things really picked up By the time I split it at the armholes, I was flying (it helps that I'm doing the smallest size). As you can see, after and afternoon of knitting, the bodice is complete on the ladybug jacket

The sleeves are next, but I think I'm going to give it a bit of a block first. While it's drying, I think I'll work on the Business Casual socks.... the KAL does have a deadline, and I'm falling behind.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Getting buggy

When faced with a daunting task, sometimes there's just no way to get through it but to sit down and put your mind to it.

My daunting task: the seeming miles and miles of garter stitch on the peplum of the ladybug jacket (okay, really it was 9.5 inches... but it felt like miles.)  I know some people love garter stitch, and I'm envious - I find it mind-numbing.

It does, however, make excellent TV knitting. So I loaded up the dvd, got comfy on the couch, and set to it. 
Success! I am through the peplum and onto the bodice. Now it's just mind-numbing stockinette stitch - but with 1/3 less stitches, so at least it will grow faster.

What's your knitting kryptonite?

Saturday, February 16, 2013


You can probably tell by the lack of posting that there's not a whole lot going on here in the fibre/craft department.

I've got the February blahs in a big way. I've completely fallen out of love with every project I have on the needles. It's sad. The only thing I have been knitting is squares and clothes for my Monster High doll (pics will come soon).

I considered forcing myself to just sit down and work on something today. But I decided I was better to step away, get out, and get some new inspiration.

Where did I go? The yarn store of course....

Mom had given me a gift certificate to the Needle Emporium for my birthday, and I hadn't had a chance to spend it yet.

Let me tell you, it's very hard shopping for yarn anymore. All I really want are hand-painted yarns and... well... I have a whole studio full of those, and the ability to make more. There were many lovely skeins of Malabrigo, Lorna's Laces, Tosh (Amber Trinket almost came home with me) and more... but I just kept thinking ... I can make that!

Then the Tanis caught my eye... as soon as I touched it, it had to come home with me. It's Tanis Red Label Cashmere Silk Single... and is it SOFT! And we don't have a merino/cashmere/silk base!

I almost bought the green instead - these aren't my usual colours, but there was just something about it (colourway is Shadow). Naturally, it's destined to become a lace shawl, though I'm not decided on a pattern.  Any suggestions?

After shopping, I went down to the studio. It didn't start out so well, but by the end I managed to create some nice new skeins (very manly colours). We should have an update within a couple of weeks. I also snagged a skein of Twinkle Cat in Rose Quartz. destined to be socks for a coworker.

After all the yarn fondling and dyeing, I'm feeling marginally more inspired... I may just get some non-doll knitting done tonight...

Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Square dance

It's only Wednesday, and it's already been one heck of a week. With freelance work Monday night and an early Valentine's dinner out with Dave last night, I've barely had time to knit a stitch.

Needless to say, Dave's Hero socks will not be done in time for Valentines (it's okay.. I got a back up gift...). Now that I don't have a deadline for them, I'm seriously tempted to forsake them for the Business Casual socks for a while...

About the only knitting that has been going on is work knitting. Over the past few weeks, I've managed to knit up four new squares (one pictured has been knit for a while, it was just awaiting blocking).

This puts me up to 10 squares total - I'm aiming for at least 60. This is going to be one funky blanket!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The unhelpful model

I've been kinda restless this weekend - mostly likely because my car is buried and I haven't gone anywhere for three days.

To quell that restlessness, I gave into my knitting ADD and cast on for the Ladybug jacket. Since row upon row of garter stitch doesn't make for an interesting picture....

I'm using Fat Cat (the yarn - not the feline) in Cherry for the peplum. So soft and squishy (just like the feline!)

I have also been work on Dave's Hero sock - slowly getting through the cuff. I asked Tux to model with that one too...

... but it might have been a mistake...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow day sale

Looks like a got my wish and today is a snow day.

The kids and I are snuggled up inside, warm and safe.

We hope if you're anywhere snowy, that you're warm and safe too.

And if you're bored, head on over to the shop. Use the code SNOWDAY10 and save 10 percent off your purchase.

The sale will last as long as the storm does!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Last night I was just too whomped to cast on for the second Hero sock (not to mention the fact that I misplaced the first page of my pattern.

So I decided to slack off and knit my doll another dress.

This one is a just a little flirty short one, with just a touch of lace at the bottom.

I love how poseable these dolls are. I'm struggling to resist the urge to buy another one. 

In other news.... Mom got me a bit of a surprise this week... and I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to thank her enough.

I went up to her place tonight to pick up my very own digital SLR camera!!! I'm so excited. My camera has been dying a slow death - the LCD screen went, the flash wasn't working right, the focus was going... the pictures were just turning out crappy... but look at the pictures from my new baby!!! Look at that detail! And the colour - oh the colour!

Have I got the best Mom ever, or what??

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Half a hero

Well.. I've got half a pair of socks off the needles... now I just have to make it's mate.

I love the look of this pattern, but boy is it a pain to execute. The foot isn't quite as bad as the leg (Thank goodness because it's longer!) but it's still slow going.

I stayed up late to close the toe on this one. I wanted a fresh start for the second one. I've got just eight days left to finish it!

The picture is a little dark, but this Top Cat is just lovely - a rich creamy dark chocolate with hints of blue (colour is cohiba)

They are predicting a pretty good snow storm heading our way, so with any luck, I'll get snowed in and have a few extra hours to work on the next sock. A girl can hope right....?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Designer dolly

Just a quick hit to show you the dress I whipped up for my new dolly.

I think I'm going to create a little Monster High collection and put an e-book out in the summer.

This one used some leftover Top Cat - colour is Tapestry.

Now I really do have stop getting distracted by pretty things and go work on Dave's sock...


Monday, February 4, 2013

Going casual

As you may already know, Celtic Cast On has started a KAL for the Business Casual (BC) socks. 

I debated on joining the KAL. I love the pattern - and it's perfect for Dave. I only have one pair of socks on the needles right now (I usually have two at a time - helps keep second-sock-syndrome at bay) - three great pros.

But I'm really trying to get Dave's Hero socks done for Valentine's day (just 10 short days away). You've heard me complain about executing the cables on those socks... I really don't want to jump into another cabled pair... and I didn't have any suitable yarn - three good cons.

Well... yesterday, I raided Mom's secret stash of Wandering Cat Yarn (she has a bin down in the dye room where she tosses the ones she wants to keep before loading things in the shop... sneaky...) I found a lovely skein of Barn Cat in Cafe au Lait...

Isn't that a lovely colour? Warm and neutral, and unlike any socks Dave already has. Also perfect for a cabled pattern.  One con down.

Cables.... now that I'm on the foot of the Hero socks, it's going much quicker... and the cables of BC  aren't as intricate - it's just plain knitting around them, not purling and ribbing.... second con mostly down....

Impending v-day.... well the KAL is actually eight weeks long, which means, if I work on the Hero socks steadily, I could have them done in time for V-day, and still have enough time (in theory) to complete the BC socks for the KAL deadline...

Okay... I'm in! Here's my progress so far...

Now I've got to set these aside and get those darn Hero socks out of the way!

P.S. There's a rumour some Wandering Cat Yarn may be one of the KAL prizes... keep your eye on the KAL for more details!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


My name is Valerie Johnson. I am 33 years old, and I still love nothing better than getting a new Barbie doll.

Okay... I guess I better explain.

Last night, I was at Samantha's for our semi-annual girls night (I made cupcakes!). Her daughter Lily was showing me her Monster High Dolls. I had some spare yarn and needles with me (naturally) so I decided to knit her a dress while we were chatting.

Before I left she got a dress and a hat.
(you may recognize the yarn as Stray Cat in Hot Rod... I brought it along just in case the boy's socks weren't big enough - I could lengthen them while I was there.)

I has so much fun knitting it, I wanted to make some more. But the Monster High aren't like my Barbies. They aren't even like the newer Barbies (with smaller bust and hips - I bought a couple of second hand ones to make clothes for my nieces). These dolls have a really long, thin torso, curvey hips and crazy comic-style legs - not something you can just wing by memory when you're designing. So unless I absconded with one of Lily's dolls, I needed to get one of my own...

Meet Operetta.... the daughter of the Phantom of the Opera.

There's also Draculara (pictured above), Laguna Blue, Clawdeen, Frankie Stein, Cleo de Nile... and more. It was hard to chose which one.

I should be focusing on Dave's socks... but I really think she needs a nice red evening gown... don't you?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

WIP wrangling

Alright - here we go - the first WIP check in

As of January 11, I had 8 WIPs on the go.... three pairs of socks, two cardigans for myself, a baby cardi, a shawl and an afghan.

I pledged to get two pairs of socks, a shawl and baby sweater off the needles. And I did just that! However, I am still over my WIP goal of only 5 projects.. as I kinda cast on for two new projects (The Cranberry Bonnet and The Stray Cat Shawl.)

So, as of February 1, 2013 I have 6 projects on the needles. A hat, two sweaters, a pair of socks, a shawl, and an afghan.

My goal for February is to complete the hat (the cranberry bonnet) the shawl (Stray Cat Shawl), the socks (Dave's hero sock... which are moving along better now that I'm on the foot - but I'm still on the first one...) and ideally one of the sweaters (The Silver Cardigan).

However, I do also have to have two presents done before March, and they may impede the progress.

The first is the Lady Bug Jacket. 

This is going to be for little Miss Nora - her first birthday is just over a month away.  I've dyed up some Fat Cat specially for this, and I'm itching to cast on.

The second project I can show you, as the recipient may or may not read my blog. You'll just have to wait till late March for the reveal.

What do you want to finish this month?