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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cambridge and Christmas

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Mommy finished her Cambridge shawl and I got to be the first to wear it!  I think it's too big for me - she wrapped it around my neck several times, or maybe I've just gotten used to the perfectly fitting, small shawls she's been doing.  This is a big, wrap around yourself, snuggle into it kind of shawl.  I think it will keep Mommy warm and I know that when I cuddle with her, she'll wrap it around me too.  She used 4 skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Logwood to make it and I like this yarn - it's very soft.  Mommy says it's nice to knit with too.  She also said to tell you that once you get a feel for the pattern (it takes a few rows to figure out what's going on), it's very easy and she worked on it all over town and with Maximus and didn't lose her place.

We've had lots of things going on around here lately.  My human brother turned 11 and he loves these really scary things, so Mom and Dad got him some for his birthday.  These things are scarier than Max (who's really pretty scary when you have teeth and claws flying at you).  They float and they look at me and they're way to close to my kitchen cave - I won't go in there unless I absolutely have to, and then I'm not staying for long.  Those scary things are watching me, I know it.  Mommy says they're called balloons and they won't hurt me, but I don't think Mommy understands the true threat here.
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Yesterday Mommy (with Max's help) did something really weird and it didn't involve yarn.  She did her nails (which isn't weird, she does that all the time), but she did something called water marbling.  Now her nails look like swirly peppermints.  She said she watched several videos on You Tube (just search water marbling tutorials) and each was a little different and when she had it figured out, she did it.  Now my Grandmommy wants festive Christmas nails, so they're going to do Grandmommy's nails later today.
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Mommy wanted me to tell you that she'll be blogging off and on through the end of the year, but it won't be regular.  We all hope every single one of you has a wonderful Christmas.  I hope Santa has something special in his bag, and maybe your gift won't have as many teeth as mine does.  Merry Christmas from the Pink Lemon Family to all of you!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Remember Babette?

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I finished crocheting the squares to Babette and got them all laid out ages ago.  Then I joined together about a quarter of the squares and that was it.  Babette has been in the center of the floor of my sewing room all this time.  I've blocked around it, designed around it and gone stash diving around it.  Logan, who had just been allowed into the sewing room right before I laid out Babette, was gated out again and The Wrecking Ball Maximus, doesn't even know there's a room there because I keep the door closed.  (He' SO not ready to find out about things like yarn stashes and spinning wheels and fiber and sewing machines.)  This meant that for me to do any work on Babette, I had to shut myself in the room (or go behind the gate pre Max) and then I could only work on anything while Logan squeaked his Squeaks of Great Loneliness as he was unable to be near his Mommy.  This was already the tragic sound track I wind balls of yarn to (if Max knew there was a ball winder and swift in there his head would probably explode) and you can imagine the guilt I get when I wind more than one ball at a time.  Never mind if everyone else was home at the time, Logan cannot be separated from his Mommy for any length of time and be expected to survive such trauma.  So since I knew that any progress on Babette would be accompanied by a big, heaping helping of doggy mom guilt, Babette has just sat there, in the middle of the floor.

Then one day a light bulb went on in my head!  Why the idea only recently appeared, I do not know, but it occurred to me that I could take small sections of Babette and pin them to a towel, which could then be rolled up until it was safe to work on (i.e: Max was completely worn out and had fallen asleep with his legs in the air, preferably under the covers).  I got a second quarter of Babette pinned on a towel and moved it downstairs.  Last night, I unrolled just a little bit and started working on joining squares.  I got what you see at the top half all joined up!  I can't believe how fast it went once I remembered what I was doing.  Once I get the rest of this quarter joined, I'll pin another quarter's worth of squares to the towel and work on those.  I might actually finish Babette in this lifetime!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All Done!

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I finished up Just Enough Ruffles over the weekend and it came out great!  It's folded in half here as it finishes drying and blocking.  (Logan was busy running in circles and clearly didn't want to model - he thinks running in circles makes breakfast come faster.)  I used Valley Yarns Northampton (Lake Heather colorway) for this and while it felt like a nice standard grade wool while I was knitting (think Cascade 220 or Elann Peruvian Highland Wool), when I washed it, it REALLY softened up!  This is going to be such a great scarf and it's done in time for the really cold weather we get here in January and February.  (I know those of you up North are laughing and mocking me, but we do the same thing to you when you complain about 80 degrees in the Summer - it's all relative to what you're used to.)  I loved the pattern and once you're through the cast on (you have to count) it's really a pretty easy pattern to work up.  Now I have a scarf to match my Chimera Mitts!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Ruffle My Feathers

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Mommy finished something else for me to wear but I've got to do this quickly - the Max kitty is sneaking up on me.  He's a very scary kitty sometimes and he attacks me, but I chase him.  Sometimes I help him take a bath and sometimes he gives me a bath.  I'm wearing Mommy's new lace thing.  She says it's called Ruffle My Feathers and it's made in Sanguine Gryphon's Bugga in the Bomber Worm Colorway.  Bomber Worms sound scary, I hope I don't meet any!  The color actually matches Max's eyes so maybe he knows about Bomber Worms.

He did something yesterday morning that scared everyone in the house!  I'll tell you about it.  You all realize that the Max kitty isn't quite right in the head?  He's also able to get into small places and he had walked through the railing on one of the upstairs balcony areas.  Then do you know what he did?  He jumped!  From the upstairs to the downstairs, just jumped!  He landed on the slippery floor that Mommy calls "hardwood"  and he didn't do it right or something because he was holding one of his paws funny and doing something Mommy called "limping."  I gave him kisses on it though since everyone knows Golden Retriever spit heals everything.  By the time Mommy was dressed to take him to the vet though he was starting to put weight on it.  She called the vet instead and they said she could just watch him for a bit since he seemed to be able to do that.  Sure enough, after a nap, he was chasing me again with none of the limping.  I'm glad I was here with my magic spit and I could help the Max kitty.  I hope he doesn't do it again because Mommy and Daddy estimated the jump at 12-15 feet and that's too far for a Max kitty to jump.  I wouldn't jump that far, I think Mommy and Daddy have the stairs in the house for a reason.  This morning the Max kitty has been staying on the inside of the railing, where he's supposed to.

I've got to give this lace thing back to Mommy, Max just hopped sideways at me and ran off.  It is on!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Knit Something of the Month - 2012 Edition

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I've figured out the line up for next year so I thought I'd show you.  I've got patterns picked out for all twelve projects, but I'm going to keep those a secret, but I will tell you if the project is a shawl or mitts.  Sound good?  Here we go (starting at 1:00 with the pale blue and going clockwise):

  • January - The Loopy Ewe Solids Series in Cornflower - Mitts
  • February - Blue Moon Fiber Arts Geisha in Rosebud - Shawl
  • March - Fleece Artist Kidazzle in Beach House and Topaz - Shawl
  • April - Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Cherry - Mitts
  • May - Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Iris - Shawl
  • June - Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Vermillion - Shawl
  • July - Wollmeise 100% Merino in Neptun Dark - Shawl
  • August - The Loopy Ewe Solids Series in Dove - Mitts
  • September - Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in Maia and The Loopy Ewe Solids Series in Navy - Shawl
  • October - The Woolen Rabbit Kashmir in my own overdye - Shawl
  • November - Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Longhorned Beetle - Mitts
  • December - Dream in Color Smooshy With Cashmere in Dusky Aurora - Mitts
So at this point I have five mitts and seven shawls planned.  I say "at this point" because I reserve the right to change my mind, change yarn, and change patterns because that's just the way I am.  Also, Max might steal some of my yarn or something (he's not trustworthy).  My goal is the same as last year: begin each project on or after the first of the month and finish (and block) by the last day of the month.

This is the plan and of course you'll find out the patterns as I start the actual projects.  The scary part is, I'll start the first one two weeks from Sunday (eep!)  Where did 2011 go?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Almost Ruffled

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I'm moving along on my Just Enough Ruffles.  In fact, I'm getting pretty close to the actual ruffle (of which the being just enough of, the pattern is named).  The hardest part of this (so far, although I don't expect any major issues at this point) was casting on because you start with a big number and big numbers mean lots of counting.  If you had a kitten free environment and could count without feline assistance, you would probably have an easier time of it than I had.  The reason I'm mentioning this is, for one, I always try to tell you about patterns that are easy but cute because I figure most of you are looking for them (there might be one or two of you looking for insanely complicated patterns I guess) and sometimes, as knitters we find ourselves approaching a major holiday and need a last minute gift to knit.  I think in a normal* household with a fairly normal** stash, a knitter could whip one of these up pretty quickly and have it wrapped and ready before you hear hooves on the rooftop.

Speaking of hooves on the rooftop, Caleb has informed us that he believes Santa is a stalker, "I mean he knows when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, Mom - total stalker."  Yes, he's almost 11 and he figured out Santa/The Easter Bunny/The Tooth Fairy a while back.  Ah, the magic is gone.

*My definition of normal for a household does not involve baby animals of any kind - kittens or teenage dogs (or human for that matter).  I realize that most of us operate with some version of crazy all the time, but as long as that crazy is an established kind of crazy that you're used to, it's normal.

**No idea what normal is for this, but you need about 400 yards of a heavy worsted/aran weight yarn for this - most stashes should have something sitting around, right?

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Just Enough Ruffles With Assistance

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I decided to cast on for a scarf last night (because, why not?), so I started Just Enough Ruffles.  I thought this was the cutest scarf the first time I saw it and I knew I wanted to knit it.  I'm using Valley Yarns Northampton in Lake Heather (yes, this is one of the colors I used in my Chimera mitts) and I cast on.  As you can see, I'm getting assistance* with the photography for today's post, but don't worry, he's also helping with the knitting.  Nothing like trying to knit while Max is dangling off the circular needle.  Such a helpful feline!  If I can convince Maximus that he's a sleepy kitty, maybe I can get this done before the weather gets really cold around here (January is usually pretty cold here).  I wonder if he would get sleepy if I made him a turkey sandwich?

*Just in case you were wondering, he has dog spit on his back end because he and Logan were playing earlier this morning, but he hadn't bathed yet.  He can't be bothered with hygiene when there's a dog to attack.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Cambridge

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I got a lot done on Cambridge this weekend when we were all snuggled up watching movies.  Mickael is sick so there wasn't much else going on.  I'm almost done with the third ball of yarn and at this point it's narrow enough that it doesn't have to bunch up on the needle.  I'm looking forward to getting this finished and wearing it.  Short blog post today because I've got to get going on errands and laundry.  Be back tomorrow!

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Friday, December 09, 2011

Ta Da!

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Stick a fork in it, the December Knit Something of the Month project is done!  All finished!  Twelve projects in twelve months, completed!  I don't know how you felt reading about my little challenge, but I really enjoyed doing it.  It gave me an excuse to cast on a new project when I was feeling bored with what I was working on, it gave me a sense of completion when I finished it, and it helped use up some stash yarn that had been waiting for me.

I've (obviously) got to block this, but now I can go stash diving and match another 12 patterns to yarns.  Yes, I'll go ahead and plan on 12 again - I clearly have high hopes for Maximus becoming a more mature kitty who doesn't "help" with the knitting so much.  I might be delusional, but I function pretty well that way at this point.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Ruffly Worm

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I'm moving right along on my December Knit Something of the Month project.  I've got eight more rows plus a bind off and I'm done!  This is a great little knit and clearly works up quickly.  I'm waiting until I'm through with this before I drag out the potential stash for next years Knit Something of the Month projects.  Then I'll sort through things (with Max and Logan helping, I'm sure) and see what I'm doing next year.  I'm still debating eleven projects or twelve, but I'll figure it out before 2012 starts.

There was a question yesterday about ducks and yes, I'm afraid of ducks.  I was attacked by ducks when I was small and have considered them bloodthirsty and untrustworthy ever since.  Just to reinforce my duck issues, I was chased by one when I was running earlier this year (and no, I did not provoke it).  Caleb thinks it's amusing to walk around the house quacking.

As for today's blog title, my pattern for this month is Ruffle My Feathers (I linked it on a previous post) and the yarn is Bugga in Bomber Worm.  See?  Ruffly Worm.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Cambridge

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I was able to get a photo of all of Cambridge so far.  It's pretty hard to get the whole thing into frame at this point.  I've got the pattern memorized again (it changes at the halfway point so the two halves mirror each other), so even though it's pretty big, I can work on it in public and it's not an at home project only.  Also, when I am working on it at home, if Maximus is in a quiet mood (not attacking everything in sight), I can put the end I've already knit over him and help him to stay warm.  Once he figures out that knitting can keep him warm, he should behave better when he's sitting with me and I'm (trying) to knit.  Theoretically.

Also, I have to share, I saw a pair of coyotes this morning when I was running.  It looked like a male and female but I couldn't quite tell.  They were crossing the street and thankfully, they both made it safely.  I've never seen coyotes on a run before so this was pretty cool.  When I told Mickael about them, his comment was, "You're not scared of wild dogs but ducks terrify you?"  Yep, that's right.

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Monday, December 05, 2011

December Knit Something of the Month

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I'm doing much better at my December Knit Something of the Month project than I did with November's project.  It was portable during all that garter stitch, but if you look at the top center you can see I've started the lace.  The lace section isn't portable, but it still feels like it's moving pretty quickly.
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This second picture shows one of my assistant photographers (the other one is off camera to my left).  Apparently there were some wrinkles that needed smoothing out.  Or something.

As quickly as this project is going, I'm questioning my earlier thought of only doing one project for November and December for next year's Knit Something of the Month.  Next year Max will be older and (possibly) more mature, or at least he shouldn't attack knitting as much as he does now (feline yarn tensioning device anyone?), so it's possible that I could do one project a month next year.  What do you think - leave a comment and I'll let you decide:  do I do 12 projects next year or only 11?  (This is just for the Knit Something of the Month thing, I'll still have other projects going on at the same time.)

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Maximus' First Blog Post!

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I am Maximus!  I am ruler of all I survey, and also the rest of the house which I can't survey right now because there are walls in the way.
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Do not disappoint me or you will hear my wrath.  Also, leave the closet door open, that place is great - who knew those shoe things and pants things had so many STRINGS!  Ahem, I mean, as ruler I shall not be denied access to the closet anymore, and also the pantry shall be mine.
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Anyway, you would not believe the state of things when I arrived here.  The people were in charge and the tiny marshmallow of a dog was completely out of control.  Obviously there was a lot to do to whip this place into shape.  I have pounced upon that which needs pouncing, disciplined those who needed discipline, and fortified my defenses under the bed with all necessary equipment that I requisitioned from around the house (Mom took the cashmere sweater back from me, I will thwart her and her cashmere later, when she's not looking).  It's been a lot of work, but things are starting to look better around here but I can tell it's going to take years to get things exactly as I desire. I shall be back to update you on my progress but now I have to go sign for the truckload of Fancy Feast that I ordered on the Internet.


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Thursday, December 01, 2011

December

Here we are on December 1 and I'm getting ready to start my last Knit Something of the Month Club project for 2011.  This is the first year I've challenged myself this way, but it will not be the last!  I wasn't sure how this would work for me since I don't always respond well to deadlines, but for the last 11 months, I've knit my project.  I've swapped some patterns and some yarn out from my original plan from last December, but I've done either socks or a shawl (and one scarf) each month this year.  Most have been in fingering weight except for January, which was worsted, but the yardage was about the same as the fingering weight projects.
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I'm going to start my last project today, and it will be Ruffle My Feathers in Bugga (Bomber Worm colorway - here's what the actual Bomber Worm looks like if you're curious - don't worry it's not a really scary looking bug).  The nice thing about these smaller projects is that they give me something that can be finished quickly, which is a nice feeling to have when I'm also working on (or ignoring) larger projects (I'm so sorry Austin Hoodie).

Since it is December and I do plan to Knit Something of the Month next year, I need to pull out my stash soon and find some projects!  I'm not sure what I'll do yet and I might either skip socks or cut way back on them (the sock drawer is a bit full), but I'm not sure I want to do a dozen shawls either.  Maybe I'll add in some fingerless mitts!  Or a tiny, kitten shaped straight jacket...

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