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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Knit Something of the Month

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I've completely finished my January Knit Something of the Month project!  All knitted, all ends woven in,  not kidnapped (glove napped?) by Max!  These are Glacier Gloves but instead of doing full fingers, I made them fingerless.  I made the smalls and I used The Loopy Ewe Solids Series in Cornflower to make them.  I only used one skein and I did have some left over.  I knit them on US 0's (2.0 mm) to make them a little smaller than the smallest size and they fit perfectly.  Other than not knitting the full fingers, I didn't make any changes to the pattern as it was written, and while there's a lot going on in the charts, if you've done cables and are comfortable with charts, it's not a hard pattern to knit.

Good thing I've finished since February starts tomorrow!

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Glacier, Quality Inspection

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I'm through with the knitting portion of the Glacier gloves and they're getting their inspection.  Apparently they passed because Logan tried to walk off with one right after I took this picture.  The finger things amuse him for some reason.  Today's job will be to weave in all those ends.  There are more ends that you can't see that are inside the gloves so I'll be weaving in ends for a while, I think.  It feels good to have them done though.  I'm going to try to get Mickael or Caleb to take tomorrow's picture, so you can see them on, but they aren't always cooperative.  If only Logan could take pictures!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Knitter's Crayon Box

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I thought I'd give you a break from Glacier (next time you see them, they'll be done) and show you something new.  Actually the yarn for something new, or most of the yarn.  This is for a Christmas gift, but I'm not going to tell you exactly what the project is yet.  All of the yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh DK which is a multi-plied superwash merino (not to be confused with Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK, which is a singles yarn of superwash merino).  I've got to get one more color that The Loopy Ewe is out of, but I've contacted someone on Ravelry who has the color in their stash and is looking to sell it.  From the top, starting with the black and going clockwise the colors are:

  • Cloak
  • Mare
  • Ink
  • Fathom
  • Betty Draper's Blues
  • Norway Spruce
  • Moorland
  • Jade
  • Nutmeg
  • French Grey
  • Moccasin
  • Sequoia
  • Oxblood
The color I'm going to add is Tart which is a dark, true red.  It would sit between the Sequoia and Oxblood in the wheel, if I were working things in order.  When I was picking colors, I was looking for colors you might find in an antique Oriental carpet.  Maybe the kind that flies!  Before I start working with all these colors, I'm going to wash all the skeins, just to make sure none of the colors are going to bleed on any of the other colors.  This will take some time to get everything washed and dried, but I'll be sure to blog it once I actually get started on this project.  For now, I'm just loving all these rich, deep colors.

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Glacier

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I've gotten to the point where I work fingers!  I'm now very hopeful that I'll get these finished by the end of the month.  (Fingers are quick, and the thumbs shouldn't take too long, but there are lots of strings to weave in at the end!)  Also, I'm still on my first ball of yarn (The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in Cornflower) and I might be able to finish these with one ball.  I'm working the small size and I'm working at a slightly smaller gauge than the pattern calls for because the small size was a little bigger than I needed, so that might be why I've got so much yarn left.
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I don't think I've shown you the palm of these yet, because most of the twisted, traveling stitch action is on the back of the hand.  The palms are pretty too and the design comes up over the heel of the hand, onto your palm a little.  It's really a pretty design and the thumb gusset is increased within the stitch pattern itself, almost like it grew there.  (Please disregard the scratches in the floor, big dogs and hardwood aren't the best combination, particularly when the big dog in question believes he is a direct descendant of Seabiscuit.)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Glacier

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I think I forgot to mention yesterday that this will be all I'm working on until both of my Glacier fingerless gloves are finished.  Just to warn you.

I got a little farther on them yesterday.  I'm now to the point where the palms are just stockinette so that is making the rounds quicker to knit.  Once I take the thumb stitches off the needle and put them on a holder, things should move even faster.  I'm less than 10 rounds away from taking off the thumb stitches.

Just in case you've never knit anything with thumbs, once you get to the point where the stitches that will be your thumb reach the top of the webbing on your hand between your thumb and hand, you take the stitches off and put them on a stitch holder or waste yarn and then continue knitting the hand in the round.    Then later you can pick up the thumb stitches and knit a tiny tube for your thumb.  Since most of the knitted thumbs I've made increase from the wrist to the thumb for a thumb gusset, the rounds working up to the point where the thumb stitches come off are longer than the rest of the glove or mitten.  It always feels like I'm on the home stretch once I put these stitches on waste yarn.  Also, for some reason, I always do both thumbs together at the end.  Fingers or fingerlets I'll do as I finish each glove, but thumbs are last and together.

More Glacier tomorrow!  (Try to control yourselves.)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Glacier

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Yesterday morning ended up being one of those crazy mornings, and when crazy happens on a Monday, it's REALLY crazy.  Fortunately, we're reasonably back on track this morning so I have a chance to update you on my Glacier progress.   I'm about 2/3 of the way from the beginning of the glove to the point where I work the fingers, so I'm hopeful that I will get these done in time (the deadline being next Tuesday at midnight).  I am also still working on the left glove - didn't change over to a right glove partway through - yet.  I'm hoping the thumb will stop me from doing that at this point.

Max has been distracted by Caleb's Legos the last few evenings so I've been able to get some work done on my knitting.  Who knew kittens liked Legos this much?

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Maximus Friday

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The Mommy gave me the blog today, although isn't really my blog anyway?  Everything else in this house is mine, I think the blog should be too.  (I'm still training the Mommy and Daddy that everything is mine, they aren't easily trainable.)  Sometimes Mommy plays with string (mine) and I try to help.  Often she uses sharp sticks with the string and I take them from her so she doesn't poke herself.  It's best when Mommy packs the string and sticks into a bag, then I can just grab the bag and run off.  My biggest problem is that Mommy can get under the bed where I hide things.  Then she takes back the things I'm protecting her from.  Mommy is also fun to snuggle with.  She'll let me sit in her lap a lot and if it's cold, she lets me climb in her jacket and wraps it around me.  Sometimes I just climb down the sleeve and sleep there if she's wearing one of Daddy's big jackets.  Daddy is proving to be more easy to teach than Mommy and I've found that if I jump on him, he'll carry me around on his shoulder.  If he does a good job, I give him a tail moustache as a reward.  The Daddy is easily amused.  He's also fun to purr at in the middle of the night.  He'll pet me back to sleep and I'll just purr and purr and purr at him.

I also have a boy who is very fun to play with.  He has lots of fun toys that fit in my mouth and I can carry them around.  We also play a game together.  The Mommy and Daddy think I should go to my bedroom when they leave the house (it's not bad, it's pretty big and I have a king size bed in there that I share with the Mommy and Daddy).  Sometimes the Mommy asks the Caleb boy to bring me downstairs to the bedroom.  That's when we play our game.  Caleb calls me and tries to catch me and I bounce away, just out of reach.  Then I sit down and wait until the Caleb gets close again and bounce away again.  We have lots of fun with that game.  I have other games I play with Logan dog.  He and I love to chase each other and sometimes I can circle around and sneak up behind him.  Then I bounce off of him and take off in another directions.  He loves to run, but he doesn't corner as well as I do.  One of my favorite things to do with the Logan is when Mommy or Daddy put him into a "stay", then I run up to him, puff up really big and hop sideways at him a couple of times.  Then I tear off at top speed and he HAS to chase me, I mean it's a moral imperative that a dog chase a cat after we say that to them (Mommy says I can't give an exact translation because this is a family blog).  Then the Logan gets in trouble.  I usually take a bath then and wait until he's forgotten he's supposed to be staying before starting it all over again.  I guess I'm pretty lucky to have such a fun family.  I love weekends when everyone is around all the time though.  I hope you have a good weekend!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Halfway There

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I've finished the first Glacier fingerless glove (minus the thumb - those I do together at the end, and a bunch of yarn ends) and started the second one!  I did start a left glove (the first was a right glove) so assuming I don't get confused, I should end up with a left glove.  I don't take this for granted, I know it will take constant vigilance on my part to end up with a left glove and not a weird, hybrid left/right glove.  I only had to remove Max from the yarn seven times last night, and only removed him from the needles four times.  This is an improvement, but the round where you join the cast on edge to the working edge to make the hem still took over an hour.  (I zipped right through that round on the first glove.)  At this point, I think I might get these done before the month is out.  At least there's a chance.  I haven't run this by Max yet, he might have other plans.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fuzzy Daisies

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I've gotten some more done on my Horai scarf.  Remember how I mentioned what an easy pattern it is to work?  It would be twice this size if I didn't keep making stupid mistakes!  I get to the end of a row, find out that I'm off somewhere, and have to tink back.  (So. Much. Fun. With. Mohair.)  I've got to figure out how to read the pattern as I go before I drive myself crazy.  Otherwise, it's really an easy pattern!

Actually, I find that I make more dumb mistakes on "easy" patterns because I don't pay attention as well as I do on the complex ones.  I'm not sure how smart that makes me.

You'll be happy to know that Max is no longer dabbling in lesser crimes, he's graduated to federal crime now - Grand Theft Auto to be exact.  Last night, after Caleb was tucked into bed and fast asleep, Mickael and I were getting ready for bed, Logan had been out for the last time and everything was locked up.  All of a sudden Maximus came running into the room, carrying something.  Sure enough, he'd been in Caleb's play room again and what had he brought downstairs?  A Matchbox car.  Not just any Matchbox car, it had flames on it, so it's not like he's stealing cars that blend in either - he's going for the flashy, high speed kind of cars.  Yep, Max lives his life a quarter mile at a time.  (Bonus points for knowing what movie that dumb line came from!)

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Glacier

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I've actually made some progress on my first Glacier mitt!  I'm ready to start the little finger things now.  (They're not full fingers, they're just little finger things.)  I'm hoping they don't take too long, but since I'm adapting the pattern (which is for full glove fingers), I'll have to take notes so I can do them the same on the left mitt.

For all the hints and tips you gave me on my last Glacier post, the panicky one because Max won't leave my project along, thank you.  Max is a unique kitten and has his own way of doing things (I say unique because crazypants isn't a nice way to refer to a kitten).

As far as a certain time of day that he consistently sleeps, yes he has that time it's between 10:30 PM and 6:30 AM.  Funny enough, I'm consistently sleeping at the same time.

If I close a door between me and Max, he will either (A) destroy the house with Logan, or (B) howl outside the door the whole time.  I tend to knit while everyone else is at school or work and when there are other people to entertain Max and Logan, I need to be doing other things (helping with homework, cooking dinner, etc.)

We do have a squirt bottle and it worked really well on Ramius when he was a kitten.  Logan also responds to the squirt bottle and stops whatever it is that got him squirted in the first place.  Maximus finds the squirt bottle refreshing and could I please continue watering him, maybe get that left shoulder?  Yeah, he doesn't care a bit about being squirted with water.  Honestly the only thing I've found that he dislikes is the scent of lotions and face creams, but somehow, "If you don't stop attacking my knitting, I'm going to moisturize something"  just doesn't quite sound right.  I know we'll get there eventually and he'll be a good cat someday and curl up nicely while I knit, but it's going to be interesting getting there.

Also, I used to have a kitty named Minkey too!  His real name was Hot Fudge Sundae and he was a Birman, but he preferred being called Minkey to Fudge.  He also responded well to the water bottle.

(Of course, as I write this blog post, Maximus is curled up sweetly in my lap dozing like a little angel.  Honestly, he's probably plotting his next attack, but he sure is cute and cuddly right now.)

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Kittens...

...are exhausting (but their scratching posts make great pillows)!
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Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Houston, We May Have A Problem

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It's official, I'm beginning to panic a little around here.  I know it's just the 12th of January and we do have the extra (31st) day in the month, but every time I pull out my Knit Something of the Month project, Max starts attacking.  Despite attempts, I cannot knit while a 6.5 pound kitten dangles from my knitting (yes, he does this, yes, I've tried), purring like a lunatic.  He's very cute, he's very playful, but he seems to sense a tremor in the force when I get this project out.  I'm very chart dependent on it, so there's a bit of setting up every time I start (leaving charts and project bag out will only result in tents being made from the charts, corners of pages being eaten - yummy!, and the project bag "walking" off).  I've tried playing with him and trying to wear him out, but he always seems to have enough energy left to attack this project.  I'm wondering if taking him for a run would help - surely 3+ miles would take the edge off, don't you think?  Do they make tiny treadmills?  Right now he's upstairs playing with Caleb's toys, but if I get out my Glacier gloves, he'll be down here in under 30 seconds.  Wait 'til he passes out?  He'll miraculously wake up within 2 minutes.  It's truly impressive to see his level of dedication to making sure I get nothing done on these!  I wonder if they make straight jackets for kittens?

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Glacier

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I've gotten a little bit more done on the Glacier Mitts (or should I say mitt, since this is the first one), but I don't think I'm as far as I should be.  I'm not to the halfway point of the first one and the month is 1/3 over already!  Seeing as this is my Knit Something of the Month project for January, I'd better get a move on these.  On the other hand (no pun intended), the second one always goes faster than the first because I know what I'm doing by then.  I've just got to be careful to knit a right one and left one on these and not two right ones.  This isn't usually a problem with socks!

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Another New Project

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With the new projects from last week, I really felt like I had enough going on (after all, I still have unfinished things), but then I realized that I didn't have anything to work on while I was waiting on Caleb.  None of my projects were easily portable, easily memorizable and easily stopped when people speak to me.  Naturally, I had to cast on for another project!  I'm now officially out of row counters and places to keep projects that are safe from Max.

This is Horai and it's meant to be a wrap/wide scarf kind of thing.  I'm using Shibuiknits Silk Cloud in Fjord which is double stranded.  Fjord is a very dark blue green that skews more to the blue side.  Kind of almost like navy but it went a little green at the end.  That probably makes no sense at all, but that's what it looks like.  It's photographing lighter than it really is because the flash is bouncing off the silk, but flash was mandatory this morning since it's cloudy and rainy today.  This pattern isn't charted, but it's only four rows and it's easy to memorize.  Max would also like you to know that he really likes this yarn.  He tried to walk off with a skein (repeatedly) and when I was starting this project, I couldn't convince him to take a nap for the life of me.  It's probably a good thing that this will be an out of the house project!

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Friday, January 06, 2012

Hexipuffs - Fun For the Whole Family!

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I've gotten back on my hexipuffs lately and I'm now up to 27!  I realize that at this rate, I might have enough for a small blanket by the time Caleb graduates from college.  With a doctorate.  It doesn't help that if Caleb sees me making hexipuffs, he asks for another one.  I guess the red one is lonely, but it's not getting a friend.  Max doesn't ask for a hexipuff he just takes them.  Either flat out picks one up and walks off with it or scoots it away playing hexipuff hockey and then picks it up and tries to run.  So far, he's been unsuccessful at keeping them, but he's getting faster.  And craftier.

Sitting next to the hexipuffs is one of my new double points.  I only had one set of size 4 (3.5 mm) DPN's and I knew that the hexipuff project would be an ongoing one, so I ordered a set of Dyakcraft DPN's in the Vermont Rosewood that could be exclusive to the hexipuff project box.  I also figured it would give me an idea about their needles and I could decide if I want a set.  (I do.)  Max would also like a set.  (He's not getting one.)  The wait on these needles is long, but the needles are beautiful and well made.  The fact that they're made here in the US is important to me also.

I hope you have a great weekend and remember to guard your hexipuffs if you have them!

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Knit Something of the Month

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Introducing the first project for my 2012 Knit Something of the Month Club!  The pattern is Glacier and the yarn is The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in Cornflower.  I'm making the small size and making them fingerless gloves (there will be little finger parts, but not full fingers, versus fingerless mitts which don't have separate finger parts).  In our climate here in Texas, fingerless gloves/mitts pretty well take care of things and they're easier to walk Logan and drive with than full gloves.  Also, if it does get really cold, I can always just put mittens on top of them.

A strange thing happened when I was taking the picture this morning.  I had put Logan into a stay beside me since this wasn't his photo shoot and I thought it was just the two of us in the room at the time.  It's easy, when you're taking pictures, to completely block out everything that's happening outside of your little view window on the camera and between one picture and then next, my glove disappeared!  Using my keen detective skills, I followed the blue yarn leading from my project bag away from me and heading across the room to figure out what had happened.  Maximus had picked up the glove by a double point and was trying to escape with the whole thing.  The yarn, project, and needles are all fine.  I gave Max a stern talking to but I don't think he was listening since he was playing with the strings on my hoodie the whole time.  The yarn does match his eyes, but it's not his glove!

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A New Project For The New Year

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Remember this past Fall when I knit Kleio and I made the comment that I'd like to keep up with Romi's shawls as she releases them in this second eBook?  Well, there was a second design released months ago and I'm just now starting it.  The second muse is Melpomene and I had originally planned to use my overdyed Pashmina, but for some reason it didn't feel right once I saw the whole pattern.  I've been following the chatter on the Ravelry thread for Melpomene (Romi has a group on Ravelry that has ongoing KAL's for her designs, I probably need to look into doing something like this for my own designs, don't I?), and recently someone made the comment that Melpomene really felt more like a scarf than a shawl.  That's when I realized that I wanted to use a heavier yarn and just go with the more scarf-like feeling of the design (there's no lace, it's all texture).  Fortunately, my stash had just the yarn for it.  I'm using the now discontinued Peruvian Collection Uros Aran from Elann (50/50 wool and llama) in color 4143 which is a dusty, pale aqua.  I'm also using bigger needles - US 7's (4.5 mm) on the heavier yarn.  I think it's working out pretty well, but it will need a good blocking when it's all done.

Hopefully, if I knit this quickly enough, I can be ready to start the third design when it comes out and be on track again!

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!  We got together with family at Christmas but New Year's Eve was very low key.  It's not usually a big blow out around here, but Max had the big snip snip on the 30th so we were doing our best to keep things quiet.  Not that he wanted things quiet, he was attacking Logan's head a few hours after we brought him home from the vet's.  He seems to be healing well and Logan was of course thrilled to be attacked.  This morning Mickael and Caleb are off to work and school while Logan and Max sleep and I drink my tea.  It was a wonderful Christmas break and none of us were ready to go back to the usual routine (Logan actually groaned when the alarm went off this morning), but it was time.
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There wasn't a huge amount of knitting while I was away from the blog, more reading and watching movies actually.  I did get a few hexipuffs made, but it's been so long since I did that, I had to get out the directions.  The pattern is back in my head now, but I'm not making them quite as fast as I was when I started them.  (Yes, I time them.  Yes, it is a race.)  Also, I decided that I needed a new hat and a few weeks ago I saw Gretel from Ysolda Teague and couldn't get it out of my head.  I dug up the leftovers of my Tea Leaves Cardigan (Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in Cream or Ivory or something else that means Off White) and got to work.  This was a very fast knit and I made the slouchy version of the pattern, but when I went to try it on I realized that this style of hat really doesn't work for my hair or face shape.  I think it might work better with curly hair to balance the flop of the hat (and to help hold the hat up a bit), but with my straighter hair, it's just not working.  (Also, despite the rather possessive paw in the picture, it doesn't work on Logan's head either.)  So while I love the hat and think its a great pattern, I will probably be frogging it and making something else with it - possibly another Riply (I've done the lace edged, non floppy version and it's really cute - scroll down a bit to see this version).  It would be pretty in the cream color.  So now I've learned something already this year (floppy beret type hats don't work on me) and it's always good to learn stuff, right?

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