Category Archives: cat

Color is a funny thing

Remember this color combo? I really wanted it to work for a version of my Cherry Blossom Wrapture for the Knit Picks IDP (Independent Design Partnership) program. I took it to Hawaii to knit after the Dotty Bed Socks (working, working, working). I liked the green and the pink together. I liked the green and the speckle together. I didn’t like the pink and the speckle together. Blergh. I tried to make it work by making the log cabin frame around the leafy center green instead of pink, hoping that using less pink would make it work.

I kept telling myself it was okay, but the pink still looks like a tacked on afterthought. The shawl was reading as way more green than pink, and it’s the pink that I’m most interested in. Over the course of vacation, I got word that this pattern will be featured by Knit Picks in spring 2022 for the IDP program, and the thought of it not being perfect made my stomach hurt. So I started poking at using a different color with the Poseidon and Italian Ice.

Camellia, Goddess, Turkish Delight

My options? Turkish Delight (a deeper and more magenta pink), or Goddess (straight up purple). I love the Goddess with the greens, but I don’t think the flowers would show up in a color that dark, so I decided to try the Turkish Delight.

I think Turkish Delight is a winner! Somehow it holds its own against the green and yellow, where the Camellia did not. So that’s how it’s going to be. I love it. Now I just have to finish knitting it, and re-writing parts of the pattern. I’ve done the math and know how big it’s going to be…yay math!

Bisquee is helping. She let me her pawdicure snips, because I left the snips from this project bag in my studio for a class.

What are you working on during this in-between week? Are you planning to celebrate the new year with a new cast on? I want to finish this project first, and I have miles of garter stitch to go…

Christmas aloha

It’s been a minute or two, hasn’t it? I came home from Minnesota on a Friday, did a book signing and taught on the weekend, and left for Hawaii on Monday…two and a half weeks ago?!

We had planned for the kids to be with us, but after traveling at Thanksgiving and then learning of the omicron variant, they decided to opt out this year. That left us with the usual 3 BR condo, and lots of room to spread out. We worked *and* played.

Not a bad place to knit! I decided that I wanted the Dotty Bed Socks to have the dot pattern on the top of the instep, instead of an all striped instep, but some of my test knitters loved that wrap around stripe. Which do you like?

Knitter’s choice! Instructions for both insteps will be in the pattern. I’ll publish it next week, or the week after, along with the Slip Away Cowl. If you’re interested in a combo deal, make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter!

Slip Away Cowl

Now I’m home, and scrambling to catch up. (More aloha pictures at the end of this post.) I put up new Christmas lights on the house on Tuesday. I still need to put the knitted fairy lights on my wreath, hopefully today.

The tiny tree is up, and both Biscuit…

…and Calvin have investigated. One of my Korknisse was missing, but I found him under the piano, and all is well.

Three Wise Guys

I just made a batch of Irish Cream for gifts. The recipe is in this post, and the picture is a re-run because it’s biz (Bisquee?) as usual around here! Onto the next thing! But I’ll leave you with a little more aloha…

yellow billed cardinal
a brazen Zebra dove
Java finches (Java sparrows)
Honu!
A rum pum pum pog…
Moonset

Mele Kalikimaka to you!

Lovenote Sweater update

While you’re busy choosing yarn for the MinervaKAL2020, I thought I’d show you where I am with my Love Note sweater. I had put it on hold while I finished my Noro Minerva sample, but now I have time to get back to it.

I love the better lace definition on US 9 needles, and I’ve gone back to US 10 for the body because I like the floaty quality of the stockinette that way. Yes, I did knit stockinette on the 9 for an inch or so, and didn’t like the way it felt, so there was a little more frogging.

I still don’t really know what my gauge is, but I put it on 2 circulars and tried it on, and it is a much better size than the first one! I know, do as I say, not as I do as far as gauge swatching for sweaters goes. As long as you’re willing to live with the consequences, you can do whatever you want! You could say that my first two attempts at this sweater were giant gauge swatches, themselves.

The first time I tried to get an update picture, Calvin wanted to help. There’s not enough contrast between rug and sweater, but I love this picture anyway. It was his one year anniversary with us, and he has been very charming since day one.

It’s a rainy day here, after a stretch of glorious sunshine. Today’s to do list:

  • Learn how to use Instagram Stories (don’t laugh; I’ve been resisting
  • Learn how to use Zoom on my laptop (for singing and knitting?)
  • Try sewing some masks using this tutorial (haven’t used my sewing machine in a long time, hope it’s in good form!)

What are you doing during this time of social distancing? Let’s flatten that curve!

Clara Parkes was here!

Clara Parkes came through Portland last Friday on a tour for her new book, Vanishing Wool. We saw her at Powell’s, our lovely independent bookstore.

While waiting for Clara, I noticed that Mary Mooney, our friend who works for the Oregonian and used to keep a knit blog there, had a blurb on the back of the book jacket. Go Mary!

Clara gave a great introduction musing on the changes in the American wool industry post-World War II. It’s a little sad, but it’s also uplifting to know that there are those of us who care about it and want to support good wool. Her book chronicles her Great White Bale project, when she bought a bale of unprocessed Saxon Merino wool and used it to learn the process of yarn production. The bit I’ve begun has me captivated already; I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

As soon as Biscuit lets me have it back. We’re also sharing the Goodwool Ambassador pin.

Nymphaea Shawl FO number 3!

I started this shawl for the Nymphaea Fall Shawl Retreat last year, and set it aside sometime after my last post about it in November 2018. Other design projects were calling my name. You can see my progress up to that point in the previous blog post, with lots of thoughts about color and beads.

So when the Bead Biz ladies asked if they could borrow my sample for their shows, I decided now would be a good time to finish!

I was already on the 10th repeat of the ZigZag Lace pattern, and that was about where I wanted to end up. There’s enough yarn left for at least another partial repeat, maybe a half? But deadlines are deadlines, so I finished the 10th repeat and went on to the edging.

I was planning to use the dove gray pearl beads on the edging, but the yarn in the Soft Kitty colorway was tabby striping, and the beads weren’t really adding anything to the story. So I ripped back and changed to peacock beads, to pick up the teal from the last repeat. I love it.

The finished shawl is so beautiful; can I really stand to let it out of my custody to go to west coast shows with Bead Biz?

Sure, as long as it comes back soon. The yarn is from Fierce Fibers, her Abyss base (with silk!) in the Surf and Sand gradient. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Finally!

The original shawl was knit with a mini skein gradient.

The second shawl was knit with 2 435 yard semi solid skeins from Bumblebirch. (Lots of CC left over.)

And this third shawl was knit with a 650 yard gradient from Fierce Fibers, plus a 50g skein of contrasting yarn.

I love them all!

Crafty Moms Weekend 16.0 (2019)

One more time! We had a spectacularly beautiful weekend on the Oregon Coast. Great weather, beautiful sunsets, camaraderie and crafts. I’ll put the scenic photos at the end. Yarn and other craftiness first!

Brioche and Bellini breakfast

I brought three knitting projects, but I only worked on one of them. I spent a day trying different ways to reverse the colors on the new section, and I’m finally happy with how it’s working out. It was a technical challenge.

Now it’s just a matter of finishing it! I may have to set it aside for a bit; another project has a deadline and needs to get underway.

Laurie was crocheting unicorns. So cute!

Sharyn brought supplies for block printing on tea towels. I brought some of my previous blocks, and carved a new flower block. I purchased these bags last year in Sisters during the Lantern Moon retreat, but hadn’t gotten around to printing them yet. Done!

This is pretty easy, and lots of fun. I see more of this in my future!

This was our 16th year at Rockaway Beach. The house looks right over the water so it’s perfect for any weather. But this year it was sunny all weekend.

Twin Rocks

This cloud bisects the sun

This one does, too

We stayed Friday afternoon through Monday morning. It would have been hard to go home on such a gorgeous day, so I didn’t! I had a free night expiring soon at Tolovana Inn in Cannon Beach, so Carole and I headed north for an overnight there. It was so warm that I bought a sundress and walked barefoot on the beach.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

The afternoon low tide was perfect for tide pooling.

We only saw two sea stars; I hope they’re coming back.

The anemones look pretty healthy!

The moon was nearly full, and the early morning moonset was gorgeous to behold.

It clouded over as the day went on, but that made it easier to head home. It was a perfect weekend!

Bisquee missed me. A lot.

And today (Friday), we brought this guy home. He’s 2 years old. His shelter name was Frumpkin. That’s got to go. But I don’t know what to call him yet. Working on it…

The fun never stops around here!

Missing our Yadi

We lost our Yadi last week after a brief but devastating illness. He was two (two and a half?) years old. He came into our life last summer, July 25, 2018, from Purringtons Cat Lounge.

We got him as a companion for Biscuit. They got along famously, almost always in each other’s orbit.

Bisquee was teaching him to be a blocking supervisor.

He could also supervise knit design work on his own.

He loved denuding tinsel balls, and wandering around with them, sounding like Chewbacca.

He loved getting up on the kitchen counters, so we never left anything out. He still had to check to make sure, though. And he was Naughty Yadi at Piano and Pinot last summer, craving those lemon bars.

I finally gave him his own Instagram account, @yadiyadayada in January, after having him share Biscuit’s account, @thebiscuitreport.

We all miss him terribly. He was sweet (Captain Cuddles) and funny (Naughty Yadi) and a great friend for Biscuit. Seven months is a short time to have a cat, but long enough for them to capture your heart.

A whale of a new year, and more on Barbie knitting

Last week was Winter Whale Watch week at the Oregon Coast; gray whales are migrating down to Baja to their warmer winter waters. I went on a day trip with friends to try to catch a glimpse of them.

We ended up at Ecola State Park, which has gorgeous views. You can see Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach from here.

We didn’t see any whales/spouts, so I made this picture to commemorate the day.

Along the way, I had this very happy lap full of rainbow knitting. This is a project with Knitted Wit, due in late February. It’s her #glowupknittedwit rainbow mini skeins, paired with a skein of Oregon Sky. The base is Knitted Wit Fingering.

It was the perfect knit for a drizzly day. The project is done and currently blocking; I love how it turned out. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you soon.

Thanks for all your comments on the previous Barbie knits post. I was wondering just what kind of skating outfit was in that Knitting for Barbie canister, so I googled “knit 2 piece barbie skating outfit” and found this pattern page on Ravelry. It’s a 1962 pattern for a sweater and skinny pants. There’s a picture of the printed pattern, and more googling found a copy of the pattern posted on an old blogspot blog.

The instructions are extensive and quite bossy, with a header that says DO ONE STEP AT A TIME — DO NOT READ AHEAD and a footer that says DO NOT PUT YOUR WORK DOWN BEFORE YOU FINISH THE ROW YOU’RE WORKING ON. The pattern is aimed at beginners, with instructions for ribbing that include moving the yarn back and forth between the needles for knits and purls. I wonder how many of these outfits were knit, and how many were abandoned?

Maybe it wasn’t that hard. At least it was small; the cast on for the back is only 14 stitches.

My Aunt Rose taught me to knit when I was 14. My first knitting project was a pullover sweater knit in the round with baby blue worsted weight yarn, with twin cables up the front. What was your first project?

Introducing: Concentric Bed Socks

My new Concentric Bed Socks are knit from the cuff down using a single strand of worsted weight yarn for a quick and cozy knit. You can use magic loop, 2 circulars, or double pointed needles; knitter’s choice! Alternating bands of knits and purls create a scrunchy fabric that traps warm air at the ankle. These Bed Socks are very similar to my Concentric Slipper Socks, which are knit double stranded. They’re perfect when you don’t need quite so much bulk and warmth.

The Concentric Bed Socks are sized for women, or a small man’s foot, based on the available yardage in Knit Circus’ Ringmaster Panoramic Gradient 50g cakes. They feature a contrasting heel and toe, which makes it possible to use just two matching 50g balls of gradient yarn for the ankle and foot.

This pattern is now available through Ravelry; link here. Want to knit both the Bed Socks and the Slipper Socks? See the Ravelry pattern page for special pricing. If you’ve already purchased the Slipper Socks pattern, the price for the Bed Socks pattern will be automatically adjusted for you.

These are a perfect treat for you to knit during January, aka Selfish Knitting Month. Or you could knit them for someone special, almost as special as you.

Cool factoid: This is my 13th pattern this year, and my 100th pattern on Ravelry!

Thanks to tech editor Amanda Woodruff, and test knitters Jacqueline Lydston, Denise Delagarza, and Ann Berg.

Happy new year!

Coming soon: Concentric Bed Socks

It’s a race to the toe!

It’s a pleasure to knit these single strand worsted weight socks with Knit Circus Ringmaster Panoramic Gradient. The yarn has held up perfectly after frogging the Concentric Slipper Socks. The added bit of contrasting color for heels and toes means that I can make the cuff as tall and scrunchy as it needs to be. The pattern will have three sizes. It’s off to tech editor and test knitters now.

You’ll note that I’m back to magic loop. The Flexi-Flips were nice, but when I picked up the stitches for the gussets, I had more stitches than I felt comfortable with having on the short Flexi-Flips needles, and was afraid they’d go sliding off. I’m back to a 32” circular, and very happy. If the Flexi-Flips were just a bit longer, or if they came in a set of four, they would have been fine. Oh, well, they’ll be great for fingerless mitts!

I have quite a bit of knitting help here, from the helpful knitting cats.

Yadi wants to chew the cables.

Biscuit has become quite a lap cat.

Hope your Saturday is going well!