FO – Cat Sweater

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My first cat sweater is finished!  My actual cat is stunned by the awesomeness of his likeness.  Or he’s been possessed.  It could go either way at this point.

The pattern is called Professor Meow and I followed it, more or less.  My gauge was different so size adjustments were made.  And my one addition, the paw print on the back.

I made this one for my sister.  I’m making one for myself next.  It’s going to be identical.  I really don’t know what came over me.  It’s one thing to send crazy text messages about knitting us identical sweaters.  It’s another story entirely, to actually do it.

It’s just one of those things I couldn’t resist.  I’m still excited for it.  I thought my gusto for the project may have died about this point but I’ve cast mine on already, progress is being made!

I am making one change — needle size.  Instead of knitting the next size up, I’m going up in needle size.  I think it’s going to work out purrrrfectly!


 

24 Hours Later…

…It seems like it’s been much longer though!  I’ve gotten a lot done.   It started with cat sweater sleeves.

Sleeves

I’m STILL following the pattern!  It’s on the verge of completion and it’s perfect!

Knitting ADD kicked in though.  I wanted to do some relaxation knitting.  I pulled out the Spice Market Shawl.

spice market

Frankly, this project isn’t going to get far.  It would be gorgeous if I had the desire to finish it but I hate the stitch that makes that little flower dot thing.  It’s m3f3 – make 3 from 3 – essentially you K3tog, yo, K3tog all into the same three stitches.  It’s a pain.  I’m not feeling it.   It’s in the time out corner so I can think about it for a bit but I’m pretty sure my mind is made up.

By then it was about 5 o’clock and I was thinking about what I was going to bring to knit night.  The mailman came and saved the day!

mail call

A box of yarn from my Mom arrived!  While I’m certainly a yarn snob, I like to try new things.  And here’s a whole bunch of stuff from Lion Brand, I’ve never tried.   The lower right hand corner is their Ball in a Shawl.  One Ball = One Shawl and they have several pattern choices on their website.   I chose a simple garter stitch, boomerang shawl.

square needles

I did rewind the Lion ball…it was dreadful and destined to be a tangled mess otherwise.  So far, this yarn is okay.  I see why people with a small yarn budget would be drawn to it.  It’s a cotton/acrylic blend with a metallic thread.  Aran weight, 518 yards.  I’m using a size 8 needle, so it’s going quickly.

shawl in a ball

I even took it for a little bus ride today.  My favorite kind of knitting is the kind that be successfully executed on the bus.

shawl on a bus

The six skeins on the left are Landscape, another aran weight yarn.  It’s soft, sure, but it’s also barely spun making it a tangly mess, despite being 100% acrylic.   I kind of hate it already.

landscapes

I’m thinking maybe some quick cowls in fun stitches…herringbone, brioche, linen stitch?  If you hated Lion Brand Homespun, I don’t recommend this one at all!  Consider yourself warned!

And the rainbow Mandala, I think that’s destined to become a crochet mandala circle vest.  It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love here in San Francisco.  Every local institution is pushing it hard.  A rainbow crochet vest seems completely appropriate!

But first, a cat sweater.  Fingers crossed, the next time you hear from me it will be with news of a finished sweater!!

Can’t Win ‘Em All

some things can't be unseen

I’ve created a monster and for once, I’m NOT talking about the cat.  No, I’m talking about that big, weird splat behind him.  I was foolishly optimistic that blocking would improve my latest FO, the Vee Vee shawl.

wtf was I thinking

It’s not the worst thing I’ve ever knit but it’s certainly not the best.  It has some good parts.

But, it’s got some wonky parts too.

It’s also got some green splotchy parts.  Thanks KnitPicks.  <- sarcasm.

The yarn is KnitPicks Chroma Worsted and it bled.  Green.  Ugh.  I’d care, if this thing wasn’t such a monstrosity already.

I’m kinda over it.  Oh well.  You learn just as much from failed experiments as you do successful ones.   The lesson here:  Good intention isn’t enough.  Sometimes, planning things in advance actually helps.

And so, for my next trick, I’ll knit a sweater from a pattern!  Hard to believe but so far, I’m mostly on pattern with this one.

catsweater progress

Cat Sweater #1 is nearing completion!  This one is for my sister, who’s a smaller size than I am.  I couldn’t resist trying it on anyhow.  I think it’s going to be perfect!  I can’t wait to start mine.  I think instead of making a larger size, I may just go up a couple needle sizes for myself.  (because while I can follow a pattern, I can’t do it for long!)

FO>CO

When one door closes, another opens.  The end of one chapter is just the beginning of the next chapter.  And so it goes with knitting, as well.  Binding off one project leads to casting on for the next.

I’ve finished the Vee Vee shawl, complete with my own modifications to the edge & bind off.

vee vee shawl modified edge fogknits

It’s hard to see the details since I haven’t blocked it yet.  In addition to the stripes you see, I added a series of YO holes that increased in size.  Then, I bound off with a crochet hook!

crochet bind off

I thought maybe I wanted to continue with the loopiness and a crochet picot seemed easier than a knit version.

crochet bind off ruffle

Turns out, it was!  Far less fiddly than a knit picot.  I enjoyed doing it.  After a short while I decided, perhaps, just maybe I was going too far with all the loopy bits.  Ultimately, I finished the rest of the bind off, in a plain chain bind off, still with the crochet hook.

ends to weave

There’s a section bound off with the grey yarn as well.  That was my attempt to make my frankenstein bind off look planned.  Until it’s blocked, it’s hard to tell.  And, I was in no mood for end weaving.

miss babs gradient kit 2 ply yummy rainbow yarn knitting

Instead, I started something new!  This is a Miss Bab’s 2-ply Yummy Polydactyl kit!  Yay rainbow!  I’ve had this in the stash for several years.  Being Pride weekend, it seemed like the perfect time to finally but it out!

miss babs gradient kit rainbow 2 ply yummy madelinetosh void eurosock

I’m pairing it with a skein of MadelineTosh Euro Sock in color Void.  Turns out I actually have two skeins of fingering weight yarn in black?!?  I guess I never counted this one because it’s got some variegation going on.

spice market on the needles

The pattern I picked is Melanie Berg’s Spice Market Shawl.  I’m very excited!  Rainbow yarn knits faster than non-rainbow yarn.  Fact!   Much progress has been made already!

spice market rainbow

I really do intend to finish my cat sweater soon but for the meantime, I’m stuck in rainbow-land!  I’m loving this so far!  Hope you’re enjoying your weekend just as much!  :)

Change of Plans

yarn chicken

The latest shawl, Vee Vee, was nearing completion yesterday.   With half a row plus the bind off to go, a loss seemed imminent.   I wasn’t too worried though.  I had a second ball of the white yarn I could borrow a few yards from.

Then it occurred to me that I could use the whole ball.  It was just stash, not being saved for anything in particular.  Annnnnd, I have wanted to do some more loopy Esjan inspired shawl borders.   Problem solved and enhancements made!  Yay!  I love when a new plan seems like it should have been the original plan all along!  As usual, I was congratulating myself,

Until…

I read the yarn label.  The spare ball of yarn was worsted, not fingering like I was using.  In the fingering weight department I had black.

chroma fingering knit picks black yarn

Not stoked about that.  The color is a bit too harsh, and thrown on the edge like that, it will scream afterthought.   Maybe rip back that last white section and replace it with black and white stripes?  That will provide at least a little consistency.  Okay.  New, new plan not as great but could work.

I surprise myself all the time.  Like, why, seriously, do I have black fingering weight yarn in my stash??  What the heck was I thinking.  Every time I try to use it, after a fit of profanity, it goes back into the stash.  So, perhaps it was just waiting for today!

Except I compared the two yarns and they were definitely not the same?  Bizarre.  After a bit of sleuthing, (aka reading the knitpicks invoice in my email), I decided, I was, in fact, using worsted weight all along.

D’oh!

Suddenly it all made sense.  I was very short on my yardage, which I’m used to because of my loose gauge.  The knitting flew though, I worked through one ball in just a couple days.  I made the usual adjustments to account for what I thought was a typical scenario.

No, turns out, I’d just forgotten what yarn I was actually using.  Dumbass.

So, back to the original new plan!  Two balls of white yarn!  and in a surprise find, half a ball of grey yarn!

knitpicks chroma worstedknitting vee vee shawl knitpicks chroma

I can do the stripey bit! I can do the loopy bit! I can do extra stripey, loopy bits!  The new modified original plan is even better than ever!

garter stripe edge

I even get to play yarn chicken all over again!  I can hardly wait!

Hometown Tourist

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Mom came to visit, her first trip west in a decade, so we did lots of sightseeing.  My version of sightseeing…go for a walk, get something to eat.  That’s pretty much what we did for a week!  There’s lots of places to walk in San Francisco and even more places to eat!

We spent a lot of time in Golden Gate Park.  I love it there!

 

The DeYoung Museum currently has a Summer of Love exhibit for the 50th anniversary.  I’m into rock posters so it was fun to see the genesis of the art form!  And of course, the late 60’s were a great time for crochet!  I think I feel my annual urge to crochet coming on!!  I want that rainbow sweater!

 

After that, we spent a lot of time on the water front.

I never get sick of taking bridge pictures.

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Not even on foggy days!

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We did leave the city a bit too.  Visited Pacifica for the grand opening of my friend’s micro-distillery!  Hand crafted vodka and duck fat french fries!  As if that wasn’t enough, the pier was hopping with crabbers and the beach put on a good show in both the surfing category and the tide pooling category!  Two enthusiastic thumbs up for Pacifica!  (Not that I ever doubted!)

Our other trip out of the city went north.  First stop Dharma Trading in San Rafael.  Mom picked out some new dye colors, some new yarn to dye and some white skirts & dresses for dying!  I can’t wait to see what kind of color schemes this trip inspired!  One of the yarns dyes two-tone!  I guess the plys alternate superwash and non-superwash?  It’s going to be a fun experiment to find out!

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The creativity continued north to Petaluma.  We visited Knitterly in historic downtown Petaluma.  If/when I own a yarn shop, I want it to be like Knitterly.  It’s a beautiful shop with great yarns.  Definitely check it out, if you’re ever in the area!  I brought home a skein of Hedgehog.  How could I resist?

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Then it was off to Mrs. Grossman’s Stickers!  If you were a girl in the 80’s, you probably know all about Mrs. Grossman’s!  Talk about irresistable…those sticker walls!!

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I’ve already realized, I didn’t buy nearly enough cat stickers?!?!  I’ve gotta go back!  Mrs. Grossman’s gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me as well.  I highly recommend you go there.  It’s amazing!  And, as if that wasn’t enough…

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There was an In & Out Burger around the corner!  Mom’s first! YUM!  The eating didn’t stop there…

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We had east african food, ice cream made with nitrogen, dim sum, sweet potato fries covered with chicken tikka masala, the salsa that beat Bobby Flay in the burrito throwdown…delicious!

And, I still had a few hours for World Wide Knit in Public Day!

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Knitting update coming soon!

Smooth Sailing

professor meow sweater intarsia knitting rocky

Professor Meow has hit the halfway point, according to plan.  I’ve probably just jinxed myself saying that.  So far, so good though.

I could complain about the intarsia, but really…

It looks worse than it really is.

Professor meow sweater intarsia knitting blocking cat sweater

The front is blocking and I’ve cast on the back piece.  I am going to veer off course though.  I can’t leave well enough alone.  It’s only going to be a moment. (fingers crossed)

The back, as written, is plain.  I’m going to add a little intarsia paw print.  I saw it on Ravelry and knew I had to steal the idea.  It’s barely a change at all.  It’s still just 16.5 monochromatic inches of stockinette stitch with no shaping.  I feel good that I’m not going to invoke the law of unintended consequences with this one.

That leaves me with nothing to complain about except purling.  I’m not even worked up about that.  I’ve got the week off work!  Funny how that changes things!  I’m looking forward to a creative & crafty week!