Saturday, January 31, 2015

Buy a pattern, help a cat

As you know., we're all about the cats here at Chez Wandering Cat.

So when our dear friend Natalie asked for birthday donations to help some special little kitties.... well, we just had to step up.

You see, Natalie just recently adopted three gorgeous ginger girls from a cat sanctuary in Greece, called God's Little People. The situation is quite dire in Greece for our feline friends. The rescue recently took in a litter of four beautiful kitties who were living in a dumpster. They've been fixed and vaccinated, but the rescue had is full to capacity and was faced with the prospect of turning them back out to the wild.
Now Natalie's got a huge heart (if you read her blog, you'll know just how huge!) and she's offered to foster them here in Canada, and find them happy homes where they will be spoiled as all cat's should. But they need some help raising the funds to get the kitties here.
And how can you say no to that face? (It reminds me so much of my Rocky, so I certainly can't resist. I'd be offering to adopt one of them if I thought Dave wouldn't notice...)

Natalie and her husband are going to match all donations made, so I thought I'd offer a little incentive as well.

From now, until February 7, all my patterns* will be on sale for 50% off - just use the code GATA (that's greek for cat!).  All monies raised from the pattern sales will be donated to help cover the travel expenses of these sweet little things.
If you've been eyeing one of my patterns - now is the time!

Just use the code GATA, save 50% and help a sweet feline find a new home! Please check out Natalie's blog for more details on this sweet quartet.

*with the exception of Chuck and Katherine, as these patterns already support other charities.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sparkle, sparkly, twink!

The car is still down so I've been working from home all week. And yesterday, I was very thankful.
The storm that my east coast friends endured earlier this week finally made it to us, albiet in a much weakened state. We only got a few inches, but it was that very fine, wet snow that makes the roads nice and greasy. I'm very glad I didn't have to drive.

But, this morning we woke up to a nice, bright, winter wonderland... so pretty!
It almost makes me want to put on a snow suit and go tobogganing. Since my town has banned tobogganing, I think I'll just stay in and knit.

I got the first sleeve of Old Town finished
I'm still not loving her. But fret not, there is someone on my Christmas list who she will suit perfectly. But since I'm no longer feel like I'm knitting her for myself, I just don't have the drive to finish her at the moment. I will.. just to get it done and off my plate... but right now, I'm giving myself a few days respite.

Yesterday, I cast on for my Color Affection
This is a crazy simple pattern. I think the hardest part is choosing your colours and the deciding which order to use them in. I just hope the colour changes keep me from getting too bored... it's a lot of garter stitch! But the Twinkle helps.... just look at it twink!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


As promised, mom took pics of my dry BFL fibre, all braided up and pretty!
 I got nice, rich colour this time.
 There were still a few white spots, but Mom says that blends in nicely in the spinning.
We're still undecided as to whether we are going to start dyeing fiber for the shop. We have yet to search out a regular supplier - Mom's just been buying bare fibre here and there.
I can't wait to see these spin up... but Mom says she's got a lot on her plate right now....

But.... she does have an extra wheel....

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


When I was up at Mom's on the weekend, she mentioned that she had some boxes of dishes and stuff that once belonged to my great grandmother. We took a quick peek through them and I ended up  with a few new treasures.
A pretty little plate that goes quite well with my current set. I thought it would be nice to use as a serving tray.

There was also a couple of gravy boats (we had a good laugh over that... they'd been sitting in Mom's house all this time...)
I brought this cute little one adorned with acorns and oak leaves home with me. It's about half the size of the one Mom gave me for my birthday. It's like gravy for one! (Which is perfect for when I make roast chicken because Dave is the only one of us who likes gravy on his chicken). I'm thinking I might start a gravy boat collection!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Someone once said that knitters don't buy yarn, they buy potential....
Well these two skeins of potential sat in the shop for a couple of months and didn't sell. I've seen their potential since the day I pulled them out of the dye pot, so they finally came home with me. They are potentially going to become a new cardigan design. (Yarn is Solo Cat and the colour is Steel Town).

And I finally picked up my potential Colour Affection and brought it home
In the end I went with the darker burgundy skein (though it looks quite bright here). As you can see, they are perfect match for my Twyla set. I'm thinking Colour Affection will make good airport/airplane/hotel knitting, so I'll be casting on for this before I leave for Chicago.

And if you're in need of some potential of your own, Mom updated the shop on the weekend. 
Use the code SNOW10 and you can save 10% until the end of the month.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Out of body

Yesterday morning, I had just two and a half inches to go on the body of Old Town. So I settled in a spot of sunshine with my favourite furry feline and set to work.
It took most of the day (because I was also having a severe ADD day and couldn't sit still for more than two rows at a time). But, by about 7 p.m., I was casting off
If I'm honest, I'm not loving this knit right now. I did the mid-length (just past my bum) but I'm wondering if I should have done the tunic length version (though the thought of knitting that much more on the body makes my eye twitch - not to mention I'm not sure if I have enough yarn).

I tried it on last night and it's just a little.... frumpy.  That said, it has no sleeves, hasn't been blocked and I was still wearing wrinkled the pajamas I'd slept in the night before...

But I'm going to give it a chance. I'm going to finish it. If I don't like it, it can always go in the Christmas box for someone else.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A pop of colour for January

January is just so dull and grey... thankfully, I have dye studio play in.
I dyed up a batch of Twisted Top Cat. Though, admittedly, those shades are a little on the moody side.

But then I conviced Mom to let me take another crack at dyeing some fiber. She tied up some BFL for me and....
That will brighten things up!

I tried a new technique this time and things went much better... and easier. Mom will send me pics when they are all dry and braided up.... and I think I may just have to learn how to spin....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

FO: Cygnus Two

Mom took pity on my car-less state and came and picked me up and got me out of the house for the day. We did a little shopping and took the opportunity on the way back to her place to do a couple shots of Cygnus Two. 

There is a little church along the back road that runs to her house, so we pulled into the parking lot, I threw off my coat...
She looks nice and rich against the dull January day. This Cygnus did turn out a bit bigger than the first, but the Bugga is a little heavier than the Slinky Cat so that's not surprising. I may give her a couple of rounds in the dryer to see if she'll tighten up a bit - she tends to slip off my shoulders.
I love how the semi solid yarn changes the look of it too. The ripple is much more apparent than in Cygnus One, where the focus is on the lace.
And while she's the perfect little sweater for spring, summer and fall.... not so much for winter. After a few quick snaps, I was back in my coat and warming up in front of the truck heater.

But she's definitely my new favourite cardigan, and she'll see just as much wear as Cygnus One. Someone else took quite a shine to her too....
When we got to Mom's, I took her off so I could go dye yarn without worrying about her. I put her on the table beside my purse, so I wouldn't forget to take her home and came back up to that....

(And you might be wondering why I didn't model C2 with the polkadot dress.... well, I put them on together on last night and .. it's just all wrong. The dress' neckline just doesn't work with the cardigan..... so I'm still on the hunt for the perfect red cardi it seems....)

Friday, January 23, 2015


Well Friday ended up being a little sunnier than expected
The kids got to go outside (though they didn't stay out there long - it's still too cold for these soft kitties!) and my dear sweet Stella got a reprieve.

I spoke with the mechanic this morning and the part is still under warranty. The parts guy who ordered it (and my first one) is trying to get Chrysler to cover at least some of the labour costs too - but I'm not holding my breath on that one. But the labour costs are about half of what I thought they'd be.

The downside is, the part is going to take a while to get here (same situation as last time), so I'm without a car for at least two more weeks. I'm just waiting to hear from my boss on whether I can work from home for that time, or whether I'll need to rent a car. But I'm so happy that my dear, sweet Stella will see another summer (and I can go at least a little while longer without car payments!)

And look....
Even Old Town is getting somewhere
Just two inches to go and I can start the ribbing! Definitely a good end to a bad week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The bad, the worse, and the okay

The bad:
My dreams of prancing in Old Town on a photo shoot - at least this February - have been dashed.
It turns out that the coworker who was going to travel with me is no longer going, so we can't head over after our flight lands on Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday are completely booked up with work stuff, and I'll likely be flying out first thing Friday morning. I'm going to harass one of my favourite Sales guys - he's a Chicago native, now living in L.A.... and if our flights land around the same time, I might be able to sweet talk him into going.... but otherwise, I'll have to try again some other trip.

I am still working to get  her done, on the slim chance the chips all fall into place.

The worse:
Well... it's looking... unless there's some great miracle in the next 48 hours....
Likely my dear, sweet Stella is going to the great big scrap yard in the sky. It turns out it was not the cheap, easy fix we'd hoped... but most likely the very large, very expensive turbo booster failing again. Yes... that very same part that I had fixed last March. Now, the part itself should still be under warranty (the mechanic is double checking that), but the labour that goes along with it is not. And it's a big job. At least half of what I paid out in March, which is more than is worth putting into her. The odometre is pushing 250,000 km, there are a few other small issues with her that will eventually turn into big issues...

I'll know more on Friday (the mechanic still has to take things apart to confirm his diagnosis), but last night I snuggled up with Tux and had a good cry. Ridiculous to cry over a dead car, I know.... but I really love that damn car.

The okay:
One thing that is going right at least... my knitting. Even though I'm stuck at home, and I'm not taking lunch breaks, I'm still trying to devote an hour a day to Dave's socks. Especially since either way it goes (car repair or new car), I won't have money to buy him jeans for Valentine's Day. So.... these socks now have a deadline!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


There's just something about January.... my dear Stella, tempermental little Diva that she is, decided she wasn't going to run right on the way to work Monday. So up she went to the shop.

Now, it should be an easy and inexpensive (well inexpensive when compared to what all the other things that might have caused the problem would cost) fix.... if the mechanic could get to it. I have a very good mechanic, and he's trustworthy - but it's a two-man shop. And there were two other big jobs ahead of mine. So I've been stuck at home since Monday.

Fortnately, I can do my job from home... but I'll admit, I'm starting to go a little stir crazy
... especially when these two are the the only things to have a conversation with.

Now, as you know, working from home does mean a couple extra hours of knitting time, normally lost to the commute....
But it feels like I'm stuck on this one too. I knit and knit and knit, but it just doesn't seem to get any longer. It's actually at 6 inches from the underarm, but it just doesn't feel like it. Ever have one of those knits?

I keep reminding myself that it will just make the sleeves feel that much faster....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Too impatient...

By Sunday, Cygnus Two was dry. I sewed in her ends, sewed on her buttons and just had to give her a test run. Normally, I'd pop up to Mom's get to get some photos (it's too cold to do one of our grand photo shoots, so that's going to have to wait until Spring) but since I still had the sniffles, I didn't want to infect her or my Dad.

So, I grabbed the camera and headed out back
Sadly - this was the best shot I could get. Selfies work okay for socks, hats and scarves, but that's about it! I need longer arms...

I brought her back inside and grabbed an un-modelled shot.
She's just a touch larger than Cygnus One and a little bit heavier - but that's not a surprise - Bugga is a slightly heavier yarn. I'm absolutely thrilled with the colour and I'm so glad I decided to do one in red. I can wear her with at least five of my dresses. And just think of how good she'll look with my Birthday boots!
And incase you can't tell in the other photos....
I opted for the bright red buttons. They were the perfect shade and I only had three of them. I had five of all the others, and I hate to break up a set.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rocky got his wish

Over the weekend, the temperature shot up a bit. By Sunday, it was a few degrees above freezing, and most of the snow melted from the yard. That meant a certain someone was yowling even more than normal...
"Could it really be? Or is this just some cruel trick???"
"It doesn't feel that warm, but all the cold white stuff is gone, so maybe I'll just give it a try..."
"Oooooh it's still cold... but.... is that what I think it is???"
"Yaaaay!!!! Grass!!! I haven't been able to barf anything up on the blond guy's pillow for weeks!!!!"

In addition to cat vomit, the mild weather does have one other downside.
These muddy little tracks ended up through the entire house... it's a good thing I already had plans to mop. (And we won't tell Rock that the temps are dropping again, and there is more snow on the way...)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The long road to Old Town

As soon as Cygnus Two was on the blocking board, the plan was to turn my attention to Old Town and make some good headway on it for the rest of Saturday.

Someone else had other plans though....
He's currently sleeping off a rough night. About once every couple of months, he runs into some... digestive issues. The result is me following him around for a few hours with a roll of paper towels, trying to keep him corralled to areas that are easily cleaned. After it's all over, he needs to be cleaned up and then snuggled because he gets very distressed by the whole thing.

And while I'm glad it always seems to happen when I'm home and can do damage control, it does take a bite out of knitting time.

As a result... Old Town is not as far along as I would have hoped.
In fact, it doesn't look that much different than the last time I showed it to you.

It is a couple inches longer though
But I've got many, many more to go!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Right on schedule

I finished up Cygnus Two this morning
She actually would have been done last night. I had only one sleeve left to do, but I just couldn't stay awake. I've been hit with the sick and it's just sucking the energy out of me.

I ended up making a couple of un-planned mods on this one. Last night while working on the bottom garter band, I was running perilously short of yarn. The Bugga doesn't have as much yardage at the Slinky Cat I knit the original in, but I still should have had enough. But then I remembered I did this one on a slightly smaller needle (not sure why now), so I must have ended up knitting more rows to get the same length.

I toyed briefly with the thought of ripping back and turning it into a cropped cardigan. It's being made to wear with my sundresses, so having it a little short wouldn't be an issue (plus I'm short waisted - a cropped cardigan doesn't look as "cropped" on me). But I hate ripping back. In the end, I decided to cut the bottom one row short (which is barely noticable) and I cut the sleeves from six garter rows down to two.
You can see the difference between it and Cygnus One here. Not enough of an issue to worry about.

And speaking of differences...
Cygnus One has been blocked and worn (frequently) for more than a year now.  But she once looked just like Cygus Two. Just goes to show how important blocking is, especially for lace.
And in the end, she actually blocked out a touch larger than Cygnus One. We'll see how big she is once she dries and relaxes a bit.

And now while she's drying, I'll turn my attention to Old Town.
Once I choose some buttons for Cygnus, that is. I'm leaning towards the red one on the top right. What do you think?