Archive for the ‘cats’ Category
I bet you’ve never seen one of these before! It’s this great pattern called Clapotis! You should try it.
Ok, jokes aside, this really is a great pattern for crazy yarns like these that I dyed a little while back. Just take a gander at the pre-block back.
I didn’t plan it when I dyed the yarn, but it ended being a great fit for this project, and for the intended recipient. I’d been stirring the idea of making something for a friend of mine who’s recently experienced a few life-altering events and when I started knitting this, I knew the cheer and vitality of the project were perfect for her. We are kindred spirits in many ways, but there are other things that will always keep us a little distant (mostly those professional things that are unfortunate only in cases like these). So I’ve been hesitant to knit for her. You never know how people will respond to a gift like that, and I dread the thought of forcing someone to accept something they feel obligated to take.
That being said, her reaction was amazing. We were standing at the bus stop talking, and before her bus came I slipped her the bag. Before she even looked inside she said, “But I’ve never done anything for you!” That is so far the opposite of true I just laughed.
Anyway, she cried when she saw it. There aren’t enough stitches in the world for people like that.
And just so you don’t think I’ve gone all soft on you, here is oblivi-Vince, who apparently didn’t realize that he was wearing the evidence that he’d been into my cut-straw stitch markers (did you need more evidence that I’m rather tight-fisted? Actually they’re great)…
And a teaser! My Shocking! skirt, the colors of which are so shocking I’m making you wait for the debut. Anybody got any elastic lying around
edited 4/6 for clarity
Maybe not so much for you, but for me (and I’m guessing DH), this is pretty durn freaky.
In late November, a good friend and colleague of mine casually mentioned a need for a poncho that would fit over her bouncing babe in her baby carrier, the kind that can go on the front or the back. She’d found a few (pricey!) options in online stores, but me being me, I knew we could improve the general concept. I have an aversion to ponchos–drafty, and of limited access to arms, a fact that seems especially inconvenient for mothers)–and an aversion to shapeless and ugly garments, however functional.
I’d seen a poncho-ish sweater on the bias before (it’s here if you are interested), and since I’m fond of bias knitting and in this case I felt it would be both stretchy and yet slimming, I decided that’s what I needed to do (NOTE: I’ve been on the Ravelry forums enough to know that taking inspiration from a pattern and not buying it will tick some people off. For me, it’s the same as adding a lace panel to a basic sock pattern and calling it new. The idea is so brilliantly simple, that I have no qualms admitting I took inspiration & nothing else. I totally give props to the designer for her originality! Oh, and for the no purling thing. Still don’t quite get how she accomplished that, although I did change a lot about the pattern.).
So the above shot is the sweater in full-baby mode, frontways (I still can’t quite wrap my head around wearing your baby like a backpack, but my friend assures me it’s quite comfortable), and here is how it will look sans progeny. I’ve got a couple of closure options, but the recipient will decide exactly what she wants, so that’s why I’m holding it shut in this picture. I voted for a “baby on board” sign. I lost.
It was lots of fun to collaborate on a project: I sent her links to various online & local vendors for yarn choices, and she made the decisions and came up with the colors (K’picks WotA in bare and Wine, plus Twirl in rust). I have to say that it looks not so good on me, but my friend actually does have pigment in her skin and very dark hair, and the colors look good on her. Plus it fits her muuuuch better. That being said, as much as I enjoyed it, at times it was very stressful, knowing that she’d invested a bunch of money in my skillz. She’s had it on, however, and she loves it, her formerly dubious husband was much impressed, and… she wants to learn to knit! Happy ending!
First and foremost, I feel obligated to clarify something: I’m not really as fast as my Road to Golden makes me sound. There are a couple of factors to keep in mind…
1) my narrowish upper half. I eliminated the underarm gussets entirely (sooo glad knit pants haven’t really made a big splash or I’d be in big trouble)
2) an addicting fair isle pattern
3) really really loose knitting: I don’t even tension my yarn
4) worsted weight yarn
5) the Knitpicks chart keeper I finally broke down and bought (just to get the free shipping, of course). Love it for travel knitting! And have you seen their new needles? I rarely or never knit with wooden needles, but I bet these are good. In any case, I’m always a sucker for ingenuity. And good customer service–when the tip pulled off one of my size 3 fixed circs doing the RTG sleeve, they sent me another one free of charge, no questions asked. In other words, I’m a huge fan. Glad I’m not the only one. MTOW, could you actually convert me to wooden needles??? Maybe if I get the sock set for Christmas (why yes, DH does read this blog. Why do you ask?)
6) the Road to West Virginia!
But before Road to Golden there was Kathy Zimmerman’s Notting Hill Vest. I’ll be perfectly honest, DH and I should probably figure out alternative photo shoot strategies. When we finally get around to them, we usually don’t get down to business but have a little too much fun. That’s what I’m telling myself to justify the fact that I can’t take a decent picture of my beautiful DH or his beautiful sweater vest (that I am going to block an inch longer). Scenery provided by just one of my mom’s gorgeous gardens.
I believe this is what’s called “working it”
I’ve started another pattern, that has found me in various stages of fits and giggles. Here is when I decided not to work on the sleeve anymore.
I think I’ve finally solved a few problems, so hopefully a post will be forthcoming! School starts this week, so maybe look for it around…next June.
I tend to be more on the self-conscious side of the spectrum (which can, at times, lead to an extraordinarily loud internal monologue), and thus when I encounter an opinion that is drastically different from my own my first instinct is usually to question myself. Such a reaction, I’ve learned, can be dangerous, but as I become more and more aware of it, I learn to use it to my advantage.
That said, it always surprises me when someone does have a bad reaction to something that I am very fond of–the knit/blog community for example. To combat this negativity, I am going to show you pictures of cute cats and handspun yarn and finished socks. Don’t worry, I am careful when wielding such powerful weapons.
Yarnzombie said it best: what’s more fun than a cat in a box??
…maybe a cat sleeping?
This handmade travel spindle was a gift from a classmate whose wife is an accomplished spinner and weaver. Actually, you might recognize her. She is absolutely delightful, I promise! I am touched and delighted at the gift. It reclines oh-so-gracefully in my bowl-o’-homespun for the photo, but I’m sure will go with me many places. Anyone else think it is easier to spin extremely fine on a spindle?
DH socks- Lorna’s in Aslan on size 0, basically Wendy’s toe-ups with gussets. I was very happy with how little pooling there was, just a bit about the ankle, as shown in the second picture.
Finally, more experimental handspun. These are both domestic wool in Deluge from Abby’s Yarns. You can probably tell just by looking that I’m still experimenting with the navajo ply. I wanted to experiment with the perfect ply, especially give the poof factor of this yarn, so I overplied the top yarn and underplied the bottom yarn. Then I decided that the underplied yarn was ugly, so I felted it a bit and I’m more happy with the filling out it did after the abuse. A bit rugged, I’d say. I’m anxious to swatch these up and see what kind of differences there are in the knitted fabric. Spinning could seriously take over my life.
Have you ever seen such an earnest face? aka, the Ravelry trance
Here’s my swatch from the summer spinning project–a two ply of some unknown fiber. I’m totally digging the texture of this yarn, and the resulting fabric (I would show you the yarn, but I can’t get a good picture of it). I was knitting my Leyburns at the time I started spinning this, and was going for the pebbly-ness of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn. There are so many other colors in this brown, I wanted to make a yarn that would be interesting in plain stockinette. So far, so good, I think. I’m sure you’ll hear more about this as the process continues, including how I’m processing it––hint, abuse!––and figuring out what to make with it. It’s going to take awhile. In a stunning revelation (wait for it…) spinning takes time.
And for Specs, I give you Vince vs. the needles, part 453:
Phase 1: I’m just a nice sweeeet putty tat.
Phase 2: I’m playful, that’s why you love me!
Phase 3: Attack cat!
(the phase 4 picture is not here because I suddenly became more interested in snatching my precious needles away than in obtaining photographic documentation of a sadly all-too-common event. Note that no harm was done to the options cords, or as they are known to the cat, Red Vines)
PS Wendyknits gave me permission to post the numbers for using her toe-up gussets & heels with the Swirl socks! I think I’m going to make up a separate patterns page, but for now if anyone is interested, I’ll post it here and to the original swirl socks post.
Rnd 1: Maintain pattern on needles 1 & 2. Needle 3- K1, M1L, k to end of needle; needle 4- K to last st, M1R, k1.
Rnd 2: Maintain pattern around (swirls on needles 1 & 2, St st on needles 3 and 4).
Repeat these two rows until you have increased 9 (10, 11) sts on needles 3 and 4 for a total of 40 (44, 48) heel sts.
Worked across needles 3 and 4 (or you can transfer all of these sts to one needle, and then separate them again to work the leg). You may prefer to substitute ssk for the k2tog and p2tog for the ssp, depending on your preference for the look of your heel. This version minimizes the line of the heel.
Row 1: K 22 (24, 26) sts, K2tog, k1. Turn.
Row 2: Sl1, p5, ssp, p1. Turn.
Row 3: Sl1, k6, K2tog, k1. Turn.
Row 4: Sl1, p7, ssp, p1. Turn.
Continue in this manner––slipping the first st., knitting or purling to 1 st. before the gap and closing the gap with a K2tog or ssp, then k or p one more st––until all heel sts are worked. 22 (24, 26) sts for the heel. Resume knitting in the round. You may find it worthwhile for avoiding holes to pick up an extra st between the heel and instep and then decreasing that st on the next round.
* ssp: slip 1 st knitwise from LH to RH needle, slip a second st knitwise from LH to RH needle, slip both st together back to the LH needle without changing their orientation, then p2tog through back loops.
The weekend was not long enough.
But we did rediscover an old love (Bono’s pizza, for any fellow Columbians out there).
And I got buttons for the baby tweed jacket.
The story behind this jacket is that a friend and fellow student just had a baby boy. Since she’s a musicologist and the father is a librarian, I thought I’d give the little fellow a leg up on looking the part of a child genius. The only thing that would have made it more perfect would be if I’d have made some of those darling baby blue jeans so he could really look the part of the laid-back academic.
Specs: The yarn is leftover from Salina––Tatamy Tweed in Taupe (really enjoyed it, by the way)––and the pattern is Debbie Bliss’s “Double Breasted Jacket” from the Baby Knits book. I think I used a size 3 and a size 1 needle (loooose knitter alert). Except I skipped pockets and the tie on the back. And knit it all in one piece. And did a little bit different collar and button placement. And did the sleeves top-down. And redid the math for my gauge and approximate age-range. I suppose I really just knit a coat that looks like the pattern. I did use the schematics, because really, how big is a baby anyway? On that note, I was originally going to add some elbow patches, but quickly realized that I have only a vague clue as to where a baby’s elbows might be.
PS A thanks to Yarnstorm for her eloquence and grace in addressing misconceptions about women in general, and knitters in particular. And of course for her ge-orgeous pictures!
This is a merino/tencel blend I spun last summer. It is surprisingly workable: a thin fingering weight, not quite lace weight. There was four ounces, and I think probably about 5oo yds, but I never really counted. Nor did I include the coin for scale. Bad me (but good light, ay?).
I would love to make a little wrap out of it, or a simple scarf of good looks and dubious warmth. When it comes to lace, I like a simple pattern that is built out of geometric repeats of the same pattern. Of course the Shetland Triangle is always a good option, but then again I may just keep it caked forever. You never forget your first successful spin.
To counter, here is my first attempt at a fingering weight, done almost exactly a year ago. I think that this is one of the first things I did, besides the initial attempts at slightly greasy wool. You’ll notice that it is now modeled by my cat, so unsuccessful was the entire process. I have to admit that these colors weren’t quite perfect for me from the beginning, and my (stupidly done) random spinning of these colors mixed them into a quite unpleasant combination of bleeeeah and stripes! and bleeeeah (not to get all technical on you nonspinners out there). Then I (also stupidly) thought I’d design my own shawl pattern, since I had a thing for this old fern pattern. Actually, I still like the radioactive strawberry/banana smoothie look and the old fern pattern. The problem is that the old ferns really should be going the other way! Looks kind of silly as is. The biggest problem, however, is still the yarn. Shouldn’t I be punished for such poor use of Suri alpaca? The good news is that it was a gift certificate purchase from a friend’s shop (not online) and I did learn a lot about spinning. Not to mention I really enjoyed the actual process of spinning. So it ended up around my shoulders on a few chilly mornings, and then it got claimed by Vada the cat (see glamour shot below). That’s fine by me, because it means she leaves my current project alone, whatever that may be!
This is the scene in our kitchen upon arriving home from school.
How, I ask you, is the open cabinet accomplished without opposable thumbs? And by a cat who still stands directly behind the door when trying to go out? Need I point out the spilled catnip?
Note the escaping orange: Vada is not as innocent as she’d like us to think she is.