Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Cat 'n the Hat

I seem to have joined another knit-along - Cover Your Head

As you may guess, this KAL involves hats. As you may also guess, since I'm working on my stranding, I knit a stranded hat -- the Fake Isle hat from MagKnits.

Now, before I say anything else, I should indicate that there have been some wonderful examples of this hat posted about blog-ville. For example, look here and here, to point out just a couple of them. I warn you now that what follows is not what I would consider a wonderful example of what is really a wonderful pattern.

Before I show you my monstrosity, let me state here and now that I really don't like 16" circular needles. Yes, the stranding goes much smoother without the joins you get from DPNs, but I find knitting with that short a circ to be hard on the hands. However, since my head is nowhere near 24", I guess it's a "suck it up" type of situation.

Brace yourselves:

I attribute the lack of wonderfulness purely to my own poor choice of colour of Kureyon. I was trying to expand my colour horizons, and I think I went a bit too far. I am so not an orange, green and purple kind of guy. This is Kureyon No. 185, and pattern colour is Patons Classic in Dark Natural Mix. I originally tried to use a dark brown, and it worked at the beginning, but it kind of got lost and I had to rip back and go with something lighter.

As I was knitting along, I began to get concerned about the depth of the hat, as I wanted something that would cover my ears. Midway through, I switched to the row counts for the larger size, hence the three row stripe in the middle. I wish I would have thought of that sooner and made the lower one three rounds as well, because it looks weird with them different, but there was no way I was going back again.

On the plus side, I was able to practice catching floats, and I think I figured out what I was doing wrong before. And then I got cocky and played with the patterning on the top so I wouldn't have to catch them any more. I added that little dagger-type shape so it looked a little less like a flower.

Now, I'm really not into fashion that much, and I generally wear what I like and what feels comfortable. Yes, I am probably a prime candidate for What Not to Wear. Clinton and Stacy, come and get me any time. But, despite my lack of fashion sense and my need to keep my ever-increasing forehead warm, while I have worn, and will continue to wear, this hat, I admit that while doing so I feel kind of like this:

Turning now to more pleasant things, thank you for your suggestions for alternate cat eyes for my Fibre Trends Here Kitty Kitty kitty cat. I liked very much the idea of embroidering them on, and I tried. I really did. I will not tell you how many hours I spent trying. In the end, I had to cover them up with little bits of felt.

Kind of spooky looking, but better than what's underneath. Whiskers on kittens are a favourite thing, so I couldn't leave them out. Monofilament gives the right kind of translucent bristliness.

And just to prove that my toy cat is cooler than I, here he is, sitting in the snow.

In the Other News Department, when I switched over to the new Blogger, I noticed that I was coming up onto my first blogiversary, so I guess that means it's time for a contest!!! I liked the idea of a "500th comment" thingy, but after adding up my comments, I realized I missed that boat -- by a long shot. I had no idea you guys were so chatty! :-)

So here's the deal: I am coming up on a different and higher landmark type of number for comments. Email me what you think this number is (email addy is in the sidebar) and I'll put all correct answers in a hat (possibly the one above!) and pick a winner. In addition, the person who leaves that actual landmark comment will win. So two prizes, one for guessing the number and one for being the number. What will you win? I'm thinking ..... sock yarn. I'll pick something nice especially for the winners. Fair enough?

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Main task No. 1: Stulpen

Sub-Task (a): To knit something for Tweeding Along

Sub-Task (b): To knit something for Fall Cable KAL 2006

Sub-task 1(c): To knit something to keep my hands warm

Main Task No. 1 and all associated sub-tasks: Complete.

The pattern for these wonderful, fingerless gloves can be found here -- scroll down for the English version. The pattern as written has the cable motif on the wrist. I modified them to have the design on the back of the hand by making the wrist portion a little longer, starting the thumb gusset when I started the cable chart, and then making the finger portion a little longer. They are the perfect length for driving, keeping the hands and fingers warm while still allowing a little finger pad for traction. I can also have my fingertips sticking our, or just tuck my fingers in to keep them warm. The flecks in the tweed give them the appearance of being dusted by snow. I am very pleased with these, and they were a fun and quick knit. I had three balls of the Rowan Tweed and have enough to do another pair -- next time with the cables crossed correctly. :-)

I had the opportunity to use my new stitch markers while knitting this project.

Very nice! Made by Aija, my favourite pronographer, and available at her new Etsy shop. They are indeed jewelry for your knitting.

Main Task No. 2: 4 Corners Dishcloth

Another fun and quick knit, designed by Abigail, and pattern available here. A most excellent usage of short rows to mix up the colours in variegated cotton, and a clear and well written pattern. I can see more of these in my future, as friends are always asking my for dishcloths for gifts.

Main Task No. 2: Complete.

Main Task No: 3: Clean the litter box.

Guess I should get on that, eh.

Monday, January 15, 2007

New Kats on the Block

I tawt I taw a puddy tat.

I did! I did! I did tee a puddy tat!

Another fun and quick knit from Fiber Trends. Here Kitty Kitty, Pattern No. 219X, made out of Lett-Lopi. Mods: no fun fur because I wanted to see how it was shaped.

I found this pattern to be a little more confusing than the other one I did. When the body was finished, I had absolutely no idea how that mis-shapen piece of knitting was going to turn into anything, let alone a kitty. At one point, the pattern references the cast-on edges, and I couldn't even identify those without a lot of puzzling. I attached the legs where I thought they went and still had no idea. It wasn't until the head went on that I could envision how it all came together. Note: If you do this pattern, when it says to attach markers, use different colours, and write down which colour went where.

I couldn't find any cat eyes in the craft stores this weekend, just googley eyes, so at this point he's still kind of blind.

And because he has no eyes, he also has no guts.

But he does have attitude!

And what does Tidget think of this?

"Do you expect me to share my litter box?"

Actually, MissT, yes, I do expect you to share your litter box, because you also have a new step-brother!

This is Muushuu, a seven-year-old male long-hair Siamese, who is now living with me because his previous owners' son has developed allergies. He's cuddly, smart and extremely soft. Tidget and Muushuu are presently still in negotiations over who has priority seating on my lap.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I finished the front of my Noro sweater.

It's Jakobsberg from Noro Revisited by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton in Silk Garden No. 203.

Noro being what Noro is, and me being who I am, I don't really want the front to match the back, or the sleeves to match either themselves or the front or back, but I do know that if the stripes on the front didn't match themselves, it would give me a constant twist in my knickers. I played with it a bit and got them to match up as best I could.

Totally acceptable, at least in my books. Or, in other words, close enough that I don't care that it's off a bit, and I'll just stand, and sit, crooked whenever I wear it. :-)

So I layed out the front beside the back to make sure they were reasonably close in length, and ...

... do you see it? Right where it divides for the armhole, there's pale blue, green, dark blue, brown -- and then it's off again. I guess I'm actually a little thankful for all those knots they put in the yarn.

Next? Sleeves or clogs? Hmmm.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Easily Distracted

I went digging through the stash, looking for my felting yarns, because I have plans to make some new clogs, you know, and guess what I found.

Two balls of Regia sock yarn, one in a mottled creamy colour, No. 5570 ....

... and one in a mottled reddish colour, No. 5571.

They were nicely packaged together in a bag, just the two of them. I obviously intended them for something at some time, but I have no recollection just what it might have been. I really like these monochromatic, nearly solid yarns and wish there were more of them.

Then I got to wondering what they could become, and it occurred to me that they might look nice in a stranded design. Did I mention that I am easily distracted?

Don't my new clogs look nice?

Eunny's wonderful Endpaper mitts. These aren't perfect, but they went much better than my first attempt at stranded knitting nearly a year ago. I changed the ribbing to 2x2 instead of 1x1, because 1x1 is evil, and I didn't bother with the Italian tubular cast-on because I really just wanted to practise stranding.

I really like how the colours in the two yarns play together.

Stranding is much more fun when you don't have to worry about catching floats. My tension over the joins between needles still needs some work, and some of the stitches are wonky, but I like them anyway.

These were gifted (Hi, Norma!) to a coworker who always goes above and beyond, and who is also always cold.

Now, where did I put that clog yarn?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

January socks - Done!

When is an Owl ...

... not an Owl?

When it has scales!

I was going for something a little more snake-like, and I think it worked out well.

I had a lot of down time over the Christmas break, so I managed to finish my January socks.

Opal Rainforest Owl, using the Scales Skin stitch pattern. It's a great pattern, and makes a wonderful fabric. All that lifting over of YOs means it takes forever to knit, but I like it so much I will probably use it again. Some day, that is.

That brings to a close the Sock a Month Knit-a-long, both 1 and 2, and my sock drawer has been nicely replenished. Although I'll always likely have a sock or three on the needles, I think it's time to turn my attention to other projects. Maybe a sweater that actually gets finished? A shawl? An afghan? Some hats? Gee, I guess you can knit stuff other than socks. :-)