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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Spinning and Cats

Aqua combination spin

I did finally get a photo of my first four bobbins for this combo spin.  I have two more bobbins of singles left to spin and I'm working on the first of those now.  

You may have noticed that my spinning has slowed down a bit lately.  That can be explained with a name - Mr. Noodle.  (Yes, his name is technically Newton, but when we pick him up he does this thing where he completely relaxes and turns into a kitty noodle, so he's usually called Noodle - so much that it feels weird blogging about Newton.)  

He has wool issues, as in he can't stay away from it.  I can keep my knitting in project bags, but keeping the entire spinning wheel safe is a different matter.  I've been keeping it in the sewing room behind a closed door, but that means I have to get it out of the room, go back and get the Noodle out of the room, close the door, and haul the wheel downstairs every time I want to spin.  This meant I was unable to spin in the little 10-15 minute windows I had been using before, when the spinning wheel sat downstairs.  I would only go get it when I had a decent sized block of time to actually spin.  Sometimes there were several days or even a week where I just didn't spin.   I brought the wheel back downstairs where I could actually use it and I tried wrapping the wheel in a sheet but Noodle took it as a personal challenge and found a way in.  

I realized that I basically needed a giant project bag for my spinning wheel.  Something to keep the cat and the wheel safe from each other.  I don't have time right at this minute to make one so I went to Amazon.  I searched and wandered and finally realized that a tent would work.  We have a tent.  I got out the tent and set it up.  The spinning wheel fits in the tent.  It looks ridiculous in the family room, but it works.

Noodle and the tent

Apparently - and I had no idea of this beforehand - Noodle has always wanted a tent in his life.  He realized that I had put the spinning wheel in there immediately and started checking for weaknesses.  After a thorough inspection, he realized he couldn't get to it.  He gave me a dirty look and wandered off.

Noodle and the tent

But then he came back.  He realized that the tent was fun all by itself.  It has zippers and straps and things that can be slapped and you can go underneath it and behind it and jump out at Logan when he doesn't expect it.  The tent is fun!

Noodle and the tent

Then I decided to spin, so I unzipped the tent, got out the wheel and started spinning.  At that point Noodle got to play inside the tent and the joy and rapture he was feeling at this new wonderful part of his life was unequaled.  This was the greatest thing that had ever happened to him.  He'd always wanted a tent.  It completes him.  Also, when the spinning wheel is out of the tent, it's very lightweight.  For obvious reasons I didn't stake it down into the hardwood, so it's very easy to scoot around the floor.  (This is also a great way to bug Logan because he isn't expecting to be woken up by having a tent shoved into his nose.)  So as I'm spinning happily away, I'm watching the tent scoot across the floor as it's pushed by the world's most joyful cat.  It might not be the most peaceful spinning I've ever done, but everyone is happy, the wheel is safe, and the silly cat is safe.

At some point I'll make a smaller bag for it but for now, we'll just have a tent in the family room.  In the meantime, he's sleeping really well at night!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Finished Mitts

Serviceberry mitts

I finished knitting Caleb's Serviceberry Mitts!  I was going to steam block them, but it's about a thousand degrees outside (it is summer in Texas after all) and I decided I didn't want to turn on the iron.  So here they are!  I did an i-cord bind off for the hand section and added about an inch to the cuffs (which I don't think was necessary in hindsight), but other wise they were knit as the pattern directed.  I think this pattern would be great for gifts since 2x2 rib is so forgiving and would make sizing them easy.  I'm planning on making a pair for myself and a pair for Mickael too.  These are knit in Hazel Knits Blueprint in the Carbon Fiber colorway.

I've also finished my fourth bobbin of my combo spin.  I only have two bobbins to go and I wasn't able to get a photo because a certain cat/kitten was having a really rough day yesterday.  He was into EVERYTHING!  I guess I should rephrase that - we were having a really rough day yesterday, he was having a blast*, and I just didn't have time to get the fourth bobbin photographed.  I'll try to get a picture of them soon.  We're all really hoping he's a better cat/kitten today!  He's a year and a half old now, so technically a cat, but he still has kitten brain sometimes.  He's very smart, but he doesn't use that for good, and he keeps us on our toes.  I can't imagine what would happen if he'd been adopted by people who had no cat experience!  I'm guessing mushroom clouds would be involved though.

*He started off the day by pouncing on Logan's head.  Logan  was sleeping at the time.  He ended the day being chased through the house by Caleb because he'd stolen a pair of socks.  Everything in between those two events was pure mayhem and chaos.  We really wished he'd taken more naps yesterday!


Thursday, July 22, 2021


Serviceberry mitts

In addition to the cardigan, I'm also making a pair (or maybe two) of fingerless mitts for the ESK third quarter Craft-A-Long.  These are the Serviceberry mitts and they don't have thumbs yet.  I'm knitting them in Hazel Knits Blueprint in Carbon Fiber and I'm knitting them for Caleb.  I'm also going to be knitting him a hat and some socks to match because I don't want him to get cold.  In Galveston.

I really can't explain it, but it's very important to me as his mom that he stays warm while he's away.  I had the same feelings last summer, feelings that I must knit all the things for him, and after February's freakish cold snap, I still feel like keeping him warm and bundled up is a priority.  Murphy's Law being what it is, if I knit him enough warm things, he won't need them, which is also a way of keeping him warm I suppose.  (Also, February was a 100 year storm, and this next winter will have only been a year, so theoretically he should be fine.)  

Last summer Mickael's Knit-All-The-Things equivelent was to put first aid kits together.  Caleb has everything from tiny first aid kits in Altoids tins that he can put in a pocket all the way to a backpack full of first aid and emergency stuff.  This summer Mickael is sorting and repacking all of them.  Caleb has been a good sport about all of this silly parental fussing around.  He just says "thank you" and packs up our craziness to take to school.  He probably just shoves it under his bed and ignores it once he's there, but it makes us feel better.


Thursday, July 15, 2021

A New Cardigan

Punchwork cardigan

I've started a new cardigan.  (I'm still working on my Adam's Ribs hoodie vest too.). This is the Punchwork Cardigan and I'm knitting it in Madelinetosh Eyre Light in the Mandala colorway.  I thought this was a cute, cropped cardigan and I could see it paired with just about anything.  Also, fingering weight cardigans are super useful here.

Punchwork cardigan

The color is more accurate in the top picture, but I wanted to try to get a photo of the stitch pattern.  This is worked from the bottom up which is not my favorite direction to knit a sweater, but since it's cropped, maybe it won't feel like it's taking forever.  (I really prefer top down because they feel faster for some reason.  I'm pretty sure the amount of knitting is identical no matter the direction, but with top down you get through the shaping and the really long rounds early on in the project, when you're still high on New Project Fumes.  That's my theory at least.)

Have a great weekend!


Monday, July 12, 2021

Some Crochet

Fabulous the flamingo

I've been a busy little hooker around here.  (Words my mother never wanted to hear.)  Last week was Spirit Week for ESK and one of the challenges was to make a mascot.  I'm on the Fiber Flock team so I found a flamingo pattern and got to work!  I used the Floyd the Flamingo pattern and some yarn leftover from other projects (which is why he's such a dark pink/red violet color).  I absolutely fell in love with his rose wings!

Fabulous the flamingo

He was a fun little project to make and I'm happy with my finished flamingo!

Mable doily

I also finished my Mable doily and got it blocked.  I actually stopped two rounds before what's supposed to be the end because I couldn't figure out how to get the next round to look right and line up with what I had.  I went back and double checked and my previous rounds were correct, so it wasn't a case of making up my own round again.  

Mable doily

I looked at the pattern, checked my crochet book, and even spent time watching YouTube videos of crochet trying to figure out what was going on.  Finally, I admitted defeat (or maybe I was just emotionally done at that point) and called it finished.  I'm super happy with how it looks after blocking and I bet you'd have never known that I skipped the last two rounds if I hadn't have told you.

Mable doily

This finished at 16 inches across after blocking.  I crocheted it on a 3.25mm hook with fingering weight yarn.  Obviously Newton approves of it, since he's trying to steal it for his own use.  

Both the doily and the flamingo are put away now where he can't get them.  I don't want him eating anything strange.  Again.

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Thursday, July 08, 2021

A Public Service Announcement Regarding Doilies

If you decide to crochet a doily, I have found two things to be true.

1.  Do not skip rounds.  The following round will not make sense.

2.  Do not make up rounds randomly.  The following rounds will not fit and also, things will look weird.  


Either of these will lead you to think that maybe the doily thing isn't for you.  Maybe you have overstepped your crochet knowledge (which is basically just the double crochet stitch and a couple others after all).  Perhaps sticking with granny square blankets (which have to be put away carefully after using to protect them from a certain kitty) or maybe a nice amigurumi critter (which is also threatened by the same certain kitty) is what you should stick to for your crochet.

Fortunately, before I completely threw in the towel I realized that I had skipped a round and made up my own round.  After undoing a bit, I was able to get going again.  Hopefully I will be able to finish the doily.  Then I can put it away carefully to protect it from the aforementioned kitty.