Saturday, November 30, 2013

Everbody's crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed cat...

"You put this on the internets, and I'm gonna poop in your shoe...."
Tux is still having a little trouble with his paw, and he doesn't want to leave his bandage on, so we've trying out a  temporary fix and alternative to the cone.

As you can see, he's not overly thrilled about it. I'm working on some ideas that would be just a sleeve, attached to his harness, so he doesn't have to wear the whole shirt... but for now, he's just going to have to put up with it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Broken record

It feels like all I write about any more is Tux and blanket squares.... and yup... this is a Tux post.

I got home from work this evening, looking forward to an evening of birthday shopping with Dave(my birthday is not for two weeks, but he likes to get it out of the way before the stores get too crazy.) But as soon as I opened the door, I walked into a crime scene... blood spatter from the couch, into the kitchen, down the hall, up the stairs, and back out into the hall where Tux was laying in his bed looking rather pathetic. (As an aside, it's a good thing I'm not one of those people panic and/or can't handle the sight of blood, because baby... there was a lot!)
He'd sprung a leak - first one in several days. It must have been just before I got home too - the growth was still oozing and most of the blood on the floor was still wet. I got the bleeding stopped, and cleaned him up - then got to work attending to the other felines (ie serving dinner) - they are feeling very put out by all the attention Tux is getting. Then I got to work filling the mop bucket and mopping up. Tux moseyed on down for some food - leaving a trail of blood behind him on the freshly mopped floor as the growth started bleeding again.

I got it stopped again - by this time the growth had shrunk to almost half its size - most if it is just blood, which I think may be a good thing.

Tux, thoroughly perturbed (and probably not feeling very well by this point) put himself in a time out on the dining room floor.
"This sucks..."
I began re-mopping the floor. Dave got in just as I was finishing, and I promised Tux I'd get him cleaned up properly when we got home. He'd had enough prodding so I think he was more than happy to be left alone.

But... by the time we got home (I'll share my fabulous present in another post), he was leaking again. With a strong feeling of deja vu, I got the bleeding stopped, got him setlled - but this time I bandaged him up before I started mopping...
"Talk to the paw because the cat say $%^* you!"
Thanks to mom who had the brilliant idea to use a panty-liner as a bandage under the vet wrap. Sometimes it pays to be a girl!

So, now Tux and I are done for the night... time for a good snuggle and then bed!

And... just so you know.. there are only three squares left to knit....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Stay on target

As you know, Christmas knitting/crafting is in full swing here at Chez WanderingCat. While not as hectic as last year (I started earlier this year, and got those pesky December birthday presents out of the way) I've still got a pretty packed list.

Compile that with 10-hour work days (thank-you long commute), animal responsibilities, and the upkeep on the shop front, time slips away pretty quickly.

I made a list up in October of everything I have to make, and have been steadily checking things off. I'm probably about 60% done, which compared to last year, is fantastic. I was also a lot more realistic in the size of the projects I chose (no Christmas sweaters this year...).

However, to keep myself on track, and see just how realistic my goals are... I mapped everything out in excel, just like I did last year.
As I said, this year's list is much more manageable. The green are the projects already completed and the ones in yellow are underway. Several of those projects are optional extras - if I don't get them done - no biggie. If all goes according to plan, all holiday knitting will be complete by December 18th.

Then I can get back to my LeStrange Cardigan... I have missed her so.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

...on the Tux front.

The vet has spoken....

Surgery will be postponed for at least three weeks (yay - just in time for Christmas!) so we can try to get his blood sugar down. We're going to do that by upping his insulin a bit and putting him on some special (read: probably expensive) canned food. He'll like that though - they only get dry kibble - canned food is a treat.

In the mean time, he's milking the whole thing for get extra snuggles.
"I'm just a poor cat.... I need some sympathy..."
He's even sucking up to Dave, whom he usually ignores.

So while we're working on getting our furry friend stable, if you're in need of yarn or patterns the sales are still on Use the code Love15 to save 15% in the shop and there's an automatic 25% off my rav patterns.   We've got about 2/3 of his vet bills covered - I really can't thank you all enough for that! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

50 is nifty!

One of the great things about having a best friend who knits, is that when you go to visit, it's pretty much expected that you'll bring you knitting.
The end of the year is edging ever closer, and as mentioned, I'd like to have the barn-raising blanket done by then (that's because I have another afghan I've been dying to start, but don't want two large projects on the go at the same time).

So I took along my bag of stripey sock yarn leftovers when I went to visit Sam and the previously-blogged-about whipcream bandits. As we chatted, I knit away - they really are the perfect public knitting project! And as I was casting off one of the squares, Sam asked me how many squares I had finished. I did some quick mental math and discovered I was at 50 squares! I couldn't believe it - did my math again and yep - 50. Still not believing, I counted them all out when I got home. Sure enough - it was 50.

Last night I got the rest of the unblocked ones on the board....
And these 16 include the few that I knit at Sam's, which actually brings the count to 52. I have one in my bag that's ready to be cast off, so by the time you read this.. I'll probably be at 53. That means there's only seven more squares to go!

Of course, I might have some problems sewing them up....
"Oh.... did you need these?"

I think he's a little jealous of all the attention Tux has been getting. He's been rather naughty this weekend.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Because of your absolutely awesome generosity, yarn in the shop has run pretty low (especially in the sock yarn dept....)

So this weekend was spent in the studio. On Saturday, Mom dyed up these beauties...
There's a mix of Twinkle Cat Gold and Alley Cat BFL.

I was up there this morning and added some Twinkle Cat DK and some Barn Cat to the mix. They should be hitting the shop sometime in the next few weeks - I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Sometimes, after a long stressful week, you just need to kick back and have some fun. And sometimes all that takes is a can of whip cream and three very silly children.
That's a mouthful!
"Look Mom! No hands!"

"You missed a spot!"

 ... and of course, some pumpkin tarts and good conversation with your best friend help too!
.. I even managed to knit some more blanket squares, which I'll report on soon.

Friday, November 22, 2013

I lied....

.... I promised you a break from the cat tales... but I got a call from the vet at work today.

 The results from Tux's bloodwork came back - his blood sugar is too high. (For those that don't know - the problem child that is Tux, is also diabetic....). We have to postpone the surgery until we can get his blood sugar down, otherwise, he won't heal.
"Why me?"
The vet is going to call me on Monday, and we'll talk about what needs to be done (hopefully it's just upping his daily insulin dose.)

In the meantime, Tux is still ticked about the bandage on his leg, but I want to thank you for all your support. I'll keep you posted and hopefully it won't be too long until we get the poor feline straightened out.

In other news, we've updated the shop - there's lots of pretty, pettable skeins in there, including some heavier weights, for those who want to knot cozy hats, mitts and cowls for Christmas...
Stray Cat in "Smuggler's Cove" (sport weight)

Aristocat in "Green Forest" (DK)

Desert Cat in "Avocado" (Fingering)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

All Tux, all the time

... it certainly seems like that... doesn't it?

This morning, Sir Tux and I were up before the birds, and off to the vet. The vet took some blood, did a fine needle biopsy and gave Tux a pretty purple bandage in return. 
"I hate you."
Then we were on our way. Tux went home (as you can see, he's less than amused about the whole situation) and I headed off to work.

The vet called me at work this afternoon. Unfortunately, she can't tell what the growth is from the biopsy. So he goes in for removal surgery on Wednesday. While she's in there, she is going to take a larger sample and see if they can figure out what it is. If it's bad (i.e. bad cancer), she'll give me a call we'll decide if they should go ahead and amputate his leg.

So for now, it's just keeping him comfy and happy, which as long as I'm not hauling him off to the vet, is pretty easy.

There's lots planned for the weekend, including a dye session (we've got to get the shop restocked now!) so I'll be back soon with some non-Tux content.
"But, I like it when it's all about me...."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


.... here be Monsters!
Tux and I snuggled up on the couch last night and I committed to putting fins on this sweet little plesiosaur. In theory, I could knit one of these in a day, but working with heavier yarn on small needles is a bit hard on the hands, and it's best to take a break.

The pattern is brilliant though, and no matter how many of these I make (this is number 10!) I'm always amazed at how it comes together.
This one was knit with Fat Cat in Cloudy (Yep, the same skein as the Antler Hat) and I paired it with some lovely hand-painted silk for the belly.

This is another Christmas present off the list - and I'm feeling pretty good. There's only a handful left to go, and none of them are huge. Of course, November is quickly creeping by.....

Tux update:
I've been letting Tux have some cone-free time, and for the most part, he's left the leg alone - though there was a big licking session just before bed, that sprung a major leak - so cone is back on overnight.
Right now he's napping in Dave's chair (of which Dave does not approve, but he's not home, so too bad for him!).

Tomorrow morning, we're back up to the vet for some bloodwork and a biopsy, and his surgery is tentatively scheduled for next Thursday. It wouldn't be happening this quickly without the help of all you wonderful readers and knitters - the sales so far have covered about half of the potential costs. I've teared up several times when I think of the support you've shown us. You're all amazing!

The sales will continue for the rest of the week - Love15 to save 15% in the shop and and automatic 25% off my rav patterns

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thank you!

Sorry, there's still no Loch Ness Monster to show... but can I just say how utterly, absolutely amazing you guys are!?!

The outpouring of support Tux and I have received is incredible! I've still got a long way to go to cover his bills, but you guys have helped to put a huge dent in it after just one day! I don't have the words to say thank you enough.

The sale in the shop will continue for at least the rest of week and the pattern sale is on just as long. I know money is tight all over, especially coming up on the holiday season, so your purchases really mean so much to us.
"Tell the peoples on the internet they have my eternal gratitude...
may their homes be blessed with an abundance of tuna!"
Thank you. So. Much!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Still no monster...

.. instead, you get poor, conehead Tux.
"I do NOT like this cone"

And why is Tux in a cone? Well, he has a growth on his leg, and last night, it burst. Now every time he licks it, it starts bleeding again. I woke up this morning to a house that looked like a crime scene. (You can see the blood on the mattress behind him.) So up we went to the vet. We came home with a cone, some antibiotics (because he's diabetic and the wound is on an extremity, the vet was worried) and a quote for some very costly surgery that he'll need to have done in the near future.
His poor shaved paw. The growth is like a cluster of blood filled sacs,
though the vet says there is something hard in there

To help cover the costs of his surgery, we've got a sale going in the shop. We've extended our Customer Appreciation sale, so use the code LOVE15 and you'll save 15% off your purchase. Every skein sold will help.
'I really do NOT like this cone!!!"
I've also put my patterns on sale for 25% off. (With the exception of Chuck and Katherine, which raise money for charities) - no code necessary. Any purchase is greatly appreciated!
"Wait.... does cone mean I get extra lovin'.... and maybe some tuna???"
Thank you!

I had to share this pic of my faithful knitting companion on a better day
We still knit like this frequently (though not with the cone!)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

All fired up

I know you were expecting to see a Loch Ness Monster, and you will see him, but not today - he still needs his flippers.

Instead, I have a project to show you that I couldn't be happier with.

Way back in 2008, not long after I first started knitting seriously, I attempted a colourwork hat. I was knitting it flat, with some left over cotton. It was my first ever colourwork attempt... and well....
Not only did it come out looking rather crappy, with stitches pulling in all directions.... it was also about two sizes too small for the recipient, because my floats were way too tight. After a very aggressive blocking session, it still only managed to fit my niece, who was about two years old at the time...

I've wanted to redo the hat for years.And since my recent successes with colourwork, and considering I had the colours in my stash (and in Big Cat no less - so much better than cotton!) I gave it another shot.
Well... that's MUCH better. Dave tried it on and it fits him, so it will definitely fit the recipient! The pattern is the One for All Cap. I cut the fire chart down to 20 stitches from 29, and cast on 100 stitches for the brim. It knit up quick - just two evenings - and that's one more present down and a giant colourwork success!

Now back to that monster....

Thursday, November 14, 2013


The Antler Hat is done. For some reason, I thought I was knitting it in Big Cat, but it's actually Fat Cat, so it's a little bit smaller than intended. It's got a lot of stretch, so it should sitll fit the intended recipient. Better pics will come when I can get some better lighting!

But onward and upward - I've got a Loch Ness Monster to knit now!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cloudy with a chance of Christmas

I said I wasn't going to do much Christmas knitting this year, and save myself some stress. But then I looked at my finances... and out came the needles.....

This is the Antler Hat in some lovely blue-grey Big Cat that mom dyed up (colour is Cloudy). I'm about half way through my list and optimistic that it won't get too stressful... but of course that can change... Christmas isn't that far off!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Not square

The birth of my newest project began last Christmas, when Mom gave me these socks...
A pretty autumn rainbow!
I liked the yarn so much (Kroy FX in "Clover Colours") that I stole the remaining two skeins out of her stash. My intention was to eventually make a pair of gloves and a hat. Naturally, I got side tracked by other projects and the yarn languished.

Then this summer, my coworker gave me a lovely red fall coat that no longer fit her.
I can't decide if I'm Red Riding Hood or Paddington Bear...but I love this coat!
I've been wearing my Cranberry Bonnet and Glinda Mitts with it, but the grey is not the best compliment, so I've been planning on making a new set.

Then... a few weeks ago, Mom turned out these fabulous mitts on her circular sock machine...
So cozy!
They were for another Raveller, so I couldn't steal them... but I've persuaded Mom to make me a pair out of the Kroy. So I decided I better get started on the hat...
It's nice to be working on something other than a square!
I'm using the Lightweight Raspberry Beret pattern. It's a great pattern that I've knit before. It has a nice range of sizes too and the beret is flattering to almost any face. I think it's going to be perfect with my coat.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Back to Square 40

Holy crap... where did the week go???

Wow.. I've been so busy with work, there's been no time for posting. When not working, I was working on the Hundred Acre Wood sock.... but Wednesday I frogged it. The pattern and the yarn were fighting each other - I can find a better yarn for that pattern, and a better pattern for that yarn.

I did manage to finish up four more squares
These unblocked beauties bring the square count up to 40! Sixty squares doesn't seem quite so daunting now... 20 more to go!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


The random number generator has chosen Bridget! Congratulations - I've sent your Rav name to Delusional Knitter - she will get the pattern to you soon!
Now please excuse me, I have to extract some warm laundry from under the bum of a certain feline. Then I'll be knitting!
"I don't think so...."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hip to be square

I know I told you a while back that I was going to be working almost non-stop on the Lestrange Cardigan. Although I've made some good progress on it, and I'm loving it, I haven't actually worked on it for at least a week and a half. In between the test knits, I've been working on squares for my barn raising blanket.
I've just put 12 new ones on the blocking board.
I only need 24 more to complete the blanket... but now.. now I need to work on anything but a square! I'll try to get back to them some time next week....

Saturday, November 2, 2013

When one contest ends...

.... another begins....

Our Back to Socks KAL has ended, and the winners have been announced in our group. A big thank you to those who participated. We love seeing our yarns knit up.

And, if you'd like a shot at more winning, Delusional Knitter has kindly offered up a copy the pattern of her Kahlan mitts, which I test knit for her.
If you'd like to make your own pair, leave a comment with your Ravelry name on this post. I'll take entries until midnight on Monday, November 4th and announce the winner on the 5th. Good luck!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Things are not as they appear.

Ask anyone who knows me well - self esteem is not something I lack.I'm not perfect - I'm over weight, have a gap between my teeth, my head is too small, I bite my nails, I'm not graceful. But most days, I think I'm pretty damn awesome.

But just like any woman, there are days when I look at the the pages of a fashion mag and think... why don't I look like that? And I have a media background - I know that what you see is not always reality. But it's easy to forget that when you're staring at a seemingly perfect model.

If you ever have a day like that, check out this link. It really puts things in perspective.

And here's a cat picture. Because cats never worry about eating that cheeseburger!