Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods

Hooray! A finished pair of fingerless gloves for my Dad! I'll be flying out to visit with my parents, siblings and their families tomorrow, (which is actually today since it is 12:30 am right now). At 86, you can still find my dad outside working with his hands, so I thought he might enjoy these. I used the Knucks pattern from Knitty, size 4 double points, and Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK, in color 409, a heathery, charcoal grey. It's merino, with a little silk and cashmere tossed in. I made the men's size, and ended up using a little more than an 147 yard ball. I'll have enough to make another, smaller pair with the rest of the second ball.

The pattern was great fun to knit, and very fast. You knit the little tubes for the fingers first, and then connect them all together and knit the rest, top down, adding the thumb tube at the appropriate moment.

Yes, that is a felted Kitty Pi as a backdrop.

PH posed with his fishing pole and pi.

The slightly mishapen pi. It felted a bit unevenly and it's a bit lumpy in the middle. Punkinhead has yet to get inside it since it's been felted.

He prefers to attack it from the outside. I'll put it in a cozy spot and wait.... I might make him a round, unfelted cushion for the inside that he can sink his "kneady" little paws into. My Christmas blessing? His lump is shrinking. I've been praying and praying. I sure love this little guy.

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

My very own Kitty Pi bed, at last!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tiger Pi Progress

A few weeks ago, my friends and I had another fiber night at my house. The oh-so-creative Natalie and Jennifer were working on projects for a craft fair that they both do every year, so fabric and beads were also involved. PH moved into Natalie's bead box and staged a kitty bed protest. Because other cats are shown on blogs lounging in warm, soft, woolen kitty beds, he wanted to be pictured here in a sterile tupperware container, so everyone could see how deprived he was that he had no such luxury.

Never fear Kittysperk, there has been progress made on your Kitty Pi. You shall be snug and warm for Christmas. It's a big ol thing now. Looks like it could swallow up thirteen pound cats!

He felt a little better that night after Natalie let him wear one of her amazing necklace creations. He also commandeered my Shirt tail sweater in liu of a kitty pi.

My awesome fiber buddies came bearing gifts. 'Twas around my birthday time, you see. Natalie made me some stitch markers! See the little monkey sitting on a persimmon? She has seen the "wall of ape". No one can see the "wall of ape" and not be touched by it in some, um, really profound way. Heh. I love these stitch markers!

Jennifer gave me a little, felted sheep, which is now, as you see it, on my tree! It is even more adorable in person! Thank you guys! I love ya both!

Recently, my LYS acquired these tiny sock blockers. I have seen these on line, but when I saw them in "real life", I had to bring one home with me. No second sock syndrome with one of these babies!

Okay, has anyone listened to Lime and Violet, lately? I made a stamp....

And, a tad more knitting content to round out this post...some more snowflakes. They look pretty sad before they are blocked.

What's that they are resting on, you ask? A Fiber Trends felted beret pattern and some Brown Sheep and Galway, in bright "winter" colors. Tomorrow, I should be finished with PH's bed. I hope to get it felted as well. The little guy better use it!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Making of a Housewife

Here's some plied merino on my Kundert drop spindle. This is a fibery distraction so I can slip by you what I've really been working on for the past three days.

A house wife (sewing roll) and a scissors case. All done in 18th century style.

Here's the housewife opened up.

I need to add some finishing touches to the inside of this. If you make the pic big, you can see the pin cushion at the bottom with the wire-wrapped-headed brass pins, two pockets with the scissors, thread, beeswax and accessories, and a wool heart to hold needles. I still need to attach the heart and maybe do a little embroidery. I was thinking a little chain stitch around the pincushion. They are totally handstitched, made with linen fabric, wool and silk threads and the scissors case is bound in gold silk ribbon.

PH was sleeping on a hat, so I made good use of his angelic form. Goodnight knitting buddies!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Oh Yarn!

I just went back to the last entry and played around with the photographs. I found out why some photos you could click on to make big and some you couldn't. It has to do with the way you move the pics around when you are composing on Blogger. From now on I aim to make every photo make-biggable, 'cause sometimes you just need to, you know? I also discovered some photo editing software on my laptop, so I've been having fun sprinkling captions into the photos of Kittysperk and the deer. Unfortunately, it's just 60 day free trial software and apparently the update is no longer available. Can anyone recommend good photo editing software that is easy to use?

The day that Punkinhead went hunting for deer is forever etched into my memory. I wish I had a video camera at the time. The photos I have were taken after he had made his big move. I was bustling about in the kitchen when I looked out the window to see my little orange guy actually leaping at this deer! His entire body was up in the air, front paws stretching out to nab his prey! He landed, short, and the deer bent her nose down to his face and sniffed him, then she went back to munching on the lawn. He sat and watched her for a long time and she looked back at him every once in a while. What a brave little guy!

Today we took PH to the vet. He's developed a large, moveable lump where he was vaccinated recently. I was looking about on the internet and found some information about VAS (vaccine associated sarcoma) and got concerned. He had a needle biopsy and the vet said that she found inflamed tissue and some bacteria, like it may be trying to develop into an abcess. She said perhaps some hairs or bacteria were introduced when the technician gave him his booster. So now he's taking antibiotics in catfood meatballs. I hope that is all that it is.

And now, for your viewing pleasure... I just happened to go to my LYS yesterday and came home with this!

Colinette Jitterbug and Noro sock yarn! Can't wait to dig into these beauties! The Noro looks right in the photo, but the Jitterbug is so much more vibrant in person. This photo does not show the subtle variations of the firey, glowing ruby color. It's much deeper and richer and even redder in person. No orangeyness at all. I had to get it after a lady in the knit shop pulled up her pantlegs to show one of the owners her freshly knitted socks. Of course all the rest of us knitters nearby had to stop and look too. They were gorgeous, absolutely jewel-like! She had knit them in some sort of vine lace pattern. I'm thinking that I will try my hand at designing a new pair of socks featuring this yarn. The Noro is, well, Noro-ish. Feels a little rough, just like Kureyon, only fingering weight. The colors are really nice. I'm thinking it will soften up a bit after it's washed. I do wonder how well it will wear, though. There is a warning on the label that says it is a single ply yarn and to wash it with extra care. Hmmmmm....

A funny thing happened when I walked into my LYS. One of the nice owners, Cathy, after greeting me, proceeded to ask me if my friend Natalie had called me that day. I, a bit puzzled, told her that, no, my dear friend Natalie had not, in fact, called me. Apparently, while I was at home minding my own business, my good, sweet, kind friend Natalie had gone to this self-same LYS and greedily nabbed some Noro sock yarn. Sock yarn that had just come in that morning! Then, after asking if I had been in yet, proceeded to gloat that she had beat me to the Noro! I think Cathy told me that she cackled, her eyes lit up with avaricious glee and she exclaimed something like, "Ha, ha! I got it first!", and went dancing out of the store clutching the Noro to her chest. Well, of course, then, I had to have some, too. So I calmly and carefully chose my ball of Noro sock yarn and piously payed for my modest purchases. Before I left, naturally, I had to ask,"So...um...what color did Natalie get?" Hee hee! Cathy looked it up on the computer for me. Can you believe it? We both ended up getting the same colorway!!

I was hoping to get it up on my blog before I talked to her, but as I was playing around on Ravelry last night, she popped up in an IM, and one of the first things she typed was, "I got Noro sock yarn!" So, I typed, "I got Noro sock yarn!" And what does my dear, sweet, uncompetitive friend (choke choke gag gag) reply? "What time did you get it?" Hee-larious! Naturally, I had to report her antics here on my blog. I had to have some consolation! We knitters are a rough crowd.

And, now, look what came in the mail today!

Is not this a gorgeous colorway? It's called Something Unusual, merino and bamboo, and it's from Drooling Over Yarn's etsy shop! I have been drooling over it for some time now and finally decided that the time was right. Now it is mine! It is even more beautiful in person. There are so many soft colors in it that all harmonize so well. Laura, I gasped when I opened the package. I am more than head over heels with it! Everyone else, go look at the new yarns she's dyed up in foresty colors!

Sooooo.....what do you do when you have new yarn? New yarn photo shoot!!

Hmmm...where can I find a model.... Must have rugged, natural good looks, since this is to be an outdoor shoot. Can't be too tall, or the yarn will be dwarfed and won't be featured prominently enough. Who's that there? There he is...could someone...hey, I said, could someone bring in the talent?

Good, now can you just make yourself comfortable right there? Yes, in that pile of dead leaves. Over to the left. No! Too far! That's it. Chin a little more to the right. Stop! Now, don't smile! No teeth. We're going for that upscale department store velour bath robe look. You know the one. Perfect! Wait! Wait a minute, there's one clump of fur sticking up right there. Make up!!! Hurry it up! We're losing the light!

Click! Click click! Flash!

Hold it! Just one more and I think we've got it!

Guess I got a little carried away.... Anyway, after a long, hard day, our hero, Punkinhead, did not, alas, get chicken. He got turkey and loved it! I roasted a turkey today, bigger than him. It was one of those turkeys that your workplace gives you in lieu of a Christmas bonus. It didn't even have the weight listed on the wrapping, so I had to pick up PH and then the turkey to guesstimate how much it weighed. PH is exactly 13 pounds. The turkey was much bigger. I see turkey soup looming in my near future....

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright...

What do you do when you find this?

would help?

DH and I put up our Christmas tree the other night, and ever since then, Punkinhead has been sleeping in one of the empty ornament boxes, on top of all the crunchy wrapping paper. He looks so happy sleeping in there that I don't have the heart to put it away. Honestly, he has been there every night. So, I was thinking, perhaps, if I make him a comfy, woolen kittybed for Christmas I'll be able to store the ornaments for another year. He loves to sink his little, white, popcorn toes into all and sundry knitting projects I have scattered about, so I know he likes wool.

I've chosen kitty colors, plus some black tiger stripes because I also know the little guy fantasizes about being a BIG cat. How am I privy to his innermost, furry thoughts, you ask? Just look! It's plain as day.

"If I bring him down, we'll eat like kings!" Tiger, tiger burning bright...

...in the forests of the night. "Just a little closer...."

"Drat! Um. Pretty big up close. Yep. Move along, nothing to see here. Just your ordinary house cat. Ooo, what an interesting blade of grass!"

I'm knitting his felted kitty pi with doubled Lamb's Pride bulky so it'll be extra thick. Every tiger needs a soft, warm place to curl up in after a long, hard day of stalking.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Monkey Madness

Okay, another confession to make...


The Wall of Ape!

Yep, I like primates...monkeys...especially apes, you know... chimpanzees, orangutans, bonobos, gorillas.... I own several books involving ape language studies...Jane Goodall videos.... I have a very understanding husband. Heh.

Phew! I feel much better now that I got that off my chest.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Catchin' Up

I've gotten some knitting done in the past couple of days! I was in a bit of a knitting slump after coming back from our vacation last month, but I'm starting to feel the knit again. Here are some before and after shots:

Here's the half-finished sock that I took on our trip. It came back looking pretty much the same, maybe just a teeny bit longer. But, after yesterday...

Lo and behold! One down and a toe to go! So, today, still feeling the mojo, I took a look at one of my WIP/UFO's. It's the, Sensational Shirtail cardigan, from Knitter's Arans and Celtics. My friend, Natalie, made one of these, and it is a gorgeous sweater in person. Here's how much I had done of the back.

I almost frogged this and started over because I thought the gauge was off, but I decided to keep on going because it looks like it will block to gauge. You can't really tell, but today, I knit half again as much and started the armhole shaping. It's a pretty quick knit in bulky Lopi.

And, recently, I started yet another project. I wanted a good, mindless knit for those times when you really need a good, mindless knit. I know you know what I mean. So, I picked up a bright, magenta ball of Kidsilk Haze and started a simple scarf that I am going to do the shibori thing to and felt it with beads or hazelnuts or very small rocks, etc.... Tiny rubber bands...heh heh...fun....

So, will I continue with these projects until I finish one or all of them? Hmmmm. I get sidetracked easily. Let's hope I finish something soon, before I start something else.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Caught, red-pawed, on the dining room table, and on a knitting magazine, to boot!!*

I can't believe I haven't posted since I've come back from our vacation. Boy, this blogging stuff is even tougher than I thought. But, now that I put just this much down, it should be so much easier the next time, right?

I've always had this problem, see. I'm embarrassed to say, but there are people that I've simply lost touch with because I'd let too much time elapse before I would answer their letter, or e-mail. The longer I let it go, the more I had to tell them to catch up on what was happening in my life, then it would all become overwhelming and I would put it off, again and again, because I didn't know how I was going to possibly write it all down in one letter. After awhile I felt it was too late, that I had somehow missed the opportunity and that, well, perhaps they would be angry with me by that time and I would have some kind of 'splainin to do. And, therefore, I am truly pathetic! Am I the only one in the world who has ever felt this way? Please leave me a comment if I'm not. I would feel much better.

Anyway, I need to remind myself that posting on a blog like this does not need to get overwhelming. I can reveal as little or as much of what is going on in my knitting, and my life in general, as I wish. I don't have to say everything all at once, but I do need to post more often. I am thankful that on this day of thanks, I have had this revelation.

I am also thankful for yarn, my sweet Kittysperk, and my wonderful DH. That's the short list, cause it's late.

Kitty is thankful for turkey and gravy!

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Old Kentucky Home....

I'm going on vacation! DH and I are finally going back to Kentucky and Tennessee to see family and friends. I'll try to post from the road, but we'll see how that goes.... I'll be taking some travel knitting. I think I'll be making more snowflakes on this trip. Probably take some socks, as well. KittySperk will be staying here with kittysitters, Jennifer and Natalie! Here they are on one of our "fiber nights".

We were playing with my drumcarder. Just so they don't kill me for posting a picture of them without having them check it out first...

Humiliating picture of me! Yay! Drum carded Marge Simpson hair! Here, let me show you what Punkinhead is in for while we're gone....

Doesn't look like he likes them one bit, does it? Something tells me he's not going to miss us too much. He's sporting a ball-band dishcloth, by the way.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Variegated Hell

So, have you ever started a project, knowing full well that it was too intricate a pattern to show up in a variegated yarn, and yet you said to yourself, "Nah! It'll be alright?" Did you then work on said project for way too long, until there was no turning back, only to find that you were indeed right the first time, it looks like hell in the despicable variegated yarn you chose? Weeeelllll, then, you are not alone, for, I, despite the pricking in the back of my mind, did choose to knit the splendiforous, Peacock Shawl, in Turquoise Splendor Shimmer, from KnitPicks. Now, granted, in and of itself, this yarn is soft, lovely and truly shimmering with rich color. Oh, but paired with the complexity of the lace pattern which is the Peacock, it is as awkward as teats on a boar hog. Have a look yourself....

See what I mean? I am thinking that my only recourse is to overdye it. What do you think? Any suggestions? I believe that it is only the light bits that vex me so. Arrgh! I am almost to the last chart, too.

This brings me to one of the reasons why I started this blog. Confession time. I have the unfortunate habit of knitting full speed ahead on a project, until I see the finish line hovering close, then, suddenly, I lose interest and start another project that I think is more exciting at the moment. Hence, I have way too many UFO's, or more kindly, WIP's, in various stages of completion, some, so close to finished, it ain't funny! I have one sweater that is close to 10 years in the making!!! The shame!!!

Here's what I thought: If I started a blog, and posted photos of all of these projects, that maybe you all out there, would inspire/ridicule me into finishing them before all is lost. Then again, I may find out that there are many more like me out there, heh heh, like, I'm ok, you're ok....come to think of it, I have been looking around on Ravelry... heh heh heh....

So, anyway, if you have ever started a variegated project against your better judgement, like I was sayin' before. Have you, then, ever gone and done it again? Take a look.

This unrecognizable mess is supposed to be the Gothic Spires Socks by Cookie A.! I am frogging these back immediately! I started these with Lornas Laces (Embers colorway?). Beautiful yarn, but not for this project. If I'm going to put in all the extra effort with the wrapped stitches and all, I need to do it in a solid color yarn, so it will show. Let's hope I learn from my mistakes.

The sleep of someone who always finishes what he sets out to accomplish. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New stuff!

I picked this up at the Borders, yesterday, and DH got a couple more western dvd's for his collection. We watched the westerns, but I still haven't had the chance to delve into Laurie Perry's, aka Crazy Aunt Purl's, book, past the first few pages. I tell ya, I love her wit and Southern wisdom. She's also got some great little patterns in the back half of the book. I'll tell you more about them after I read the rest, but there are several I'd like to make.

I discovered Laurie's blog some time ago. It must have been almost a year after she started writing. I remember that I stayed up late, started from the beginning of her blog and read straight through it, devouring every entry. Her situation and witty/conversational writing style just captivated me. I can't wait to let y'all know what I think of her book.

We're going on vacation, soon, DH and I. We're going to go visit family and friends back in Kentucky and Tennessee, where we used to live. We've been out here in Southeastern VA for almost three years now, and it still doesn't feel like home. We haven't been back, since. I can't wait to go, but I'm afraid I won't want to return! Anyway, If I don't finish the book beforehand, I'll take it with me, and I will let you know what I think.

Stop the presses for a new taste sensation!!!!

Just got creative with the midnight snackin'. Ak-mak crackers, which are delicious, by the way, boursin cheese spread and grape tomatoes! I highly recommend this combination after a night of colonial dancing. Yep, that's what I've been up to.

And what else? More recyclable sweaters! Two 100% wool and one wool/cashmere blend (the red). I'll be burning up the niddy noddy soon.

Next post will have knitting content, I promise! I will let you in on all my knitting dilemma's. Stay tuned.... Oh, and look! My recycled angora yarn has been put to good use. Purrfect little Kitty pillows. He's so content, he's snoring! Good night all!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sock Wars Casualty!

I have finally met my demise. Look what I found in the mail, yesterday! Check out the awesome card.

Scar socks in the awesome colorway, Tidepool, dyed and knitted by none other than my assassin, Laura, from Drooling Over Yarn! After wrestling them away from Punkinhead...

... I put them on! Rich, gorgeous color! Buttery soft merino and shimmery bamboo! Comfy and squishy! I love the pooling on the left sock, especially. Aren't they lovely?

And, if that wasn't enough, beautiful, beaded stitch markers that match!

Thank you sooooo much, Laura! I love everything! I never thought I would be so happy to meet my demise! The rest of you, check out Laura's etsy store, where she has other gorgeous, one-of-a-kind yarn like this for sale. I've been doing some looking, myself. I do have a birthday coming up in exactly three weeks...heh...heh...heh....

You know, Sock Wars 2 is the first knitting exchange I've ever participated in. I've indulged in knit-a-longs, but never anything like this. I really had a great time, and I'm sure this won't be the last time I join in.

Hmmm...seems like the appropriate place to end this post, but I don't want to stop writing! I tell you what, I'll end this one, here, but I just might go right on ahead and start another! There are no rules here at KnitPox!