Thursday, June 30, 2011

and another addiction is born

Tara was responsible for my well-documented love of the Forest Canopy Shawl. This is where it started.

and if you've been with me for a while you know that my deep desire for one of my own has actually resulted in seven of the beggars

That first one was pin blocked before I acquired the wires [ well that, and the fact that I wanted to show it off at knitting group before it was truly bone dry] which means that it 'relaxed' a bit during that first wearing, pretty much lost the points and therefore doesn't really have the drama of all its younger siblings.
Anyway, I'm seriously considering reblocking that one ... one day ... when I have nothing better to do.

Now, it seems that I have passed on my love of that particular pattern unto the next victim:

You probably don't know my quilting friend Val-from-FerntreeGully.
We've known each other for quite a long time now, and though she never comments directly here on the blog, she always emails me with her responses.

Anyway, pushed to action by all of the shawls that I've made over the last year or so, and in particular, the aforementioned Forest Canopys, Ms Val has just finished one of her very, very own, and here 'tis in all its glory.

As she doesn't have a blog, I asked her if I could share it with y'all :)

unidentified 8ply[DK]yarn on 4mm needles

and [ big suprise ] she's already on the lookout for the right yarn for the next one :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

[Sh]awl Together Now

Last year could be justifiably decribed as The Year Of The Shawl

I finished 11 of them completely from start to finish [ plus the Neverending Baby Shawl that had been on the go since 2006 and finally finished Feb 2010 ]

... and it's not like I kept them all for my own wardrobe ... several of them ended up as presents for my nearest and dearest, so it's fair to say that I haven't quite made all the shawls that I hope to just yet.

Around Easter 2010, I finished a shawlette version of Kiri and have always intended to make another larger one.

and it needed to be red
and preferably finished before The Australian Wool & Sheep Show at Bendigo in a couple of weeks

so that's what I've been doing over the last couple of weeks - when I haven't been reading

MissC made it her job to ensure that the shawl-in-gestation was thoroughly CATscanned

Anyway, this is what it looked like before blocking ... kinda wafflish and fluted
but what a difference a warm bath makes

here 't'is on the blocking wires

hardly looks like the same project, does it ?

Kiri [ rav link ] & if you aren't on ravelry, you can find a free PDF on All Tangled Up

KPs 5mm & 6mm for the cast-off

Socky Goodness by Mayhem & Chaos[ aka Tara ], and a small amount of leftover Aarlan Arwetta dyed brown to finish out the border when I ran short ... because heaven forbid that I should pull out several thousand stitches to go back one full repeat, and then redo the whole border. Serendipity. I like the subtle dark edge.

anyone else got something on the needles for Spendigo?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

For the cats' domestic staff

If, like me, you are in servitude to a feline or two ... or three ... or ..., you may appreciate what Chris found for your jollification

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How do non-readers cope?

Just try being stuck at home and indoors with orders to 'take it easy' and 'not to lift more than a couple of kilos' for a month and a half.

Okay, the first week or so, it's all about the rest and the pain relief, and the 'being looked after' [ thankyou Nadie ], but after a while that begins to get old.
There's only so much tv that one can watch
and it hurts to sit at the computer for more than a few minutes [ stitches ... don't ask ]

so how do people stave off total boredom if they don't knit ... or quilt ... or read ?

I really have no idea [ and don't say gardening, cos I can't do that yet either ]

Anyway, there has been plenty of reading going on, as evidenced by the fact that I'm up to book 60 for the year, and that doesn't count the ones that I started but gave up on halfway through.

It may seem that I'm getting desparate for blogfodder when I post lists like this. but that's just so not true.
There is method to my madness.

Y'see, every time I post my booklist, someone who has bothered to wade through it all chimes in with some fabulous author that I haven't discovered yet.
Recently I've been working my way through two authors that I wouldn't have found were it not for rave reviews from Sheepish Annie ... Cassandra Clare and Mike Carey specifically.
As it happens I was able to get the Clares from the Library, but they only had the first of the Careys ... which turned out just fine, because I liked him enough to plonk down my dineros to buy the series [ including the one I'd just read ]

So, in the hope that some more great reads might be forthcoming, here's the 2011 booklist to date:

I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett
Changes - Jim Butcher
A Kiss of Shadows - Laurell K Hamilton
A Caress of Twighlight - LKH
Seduced By Moonlight - LKH
A Stroke of Midnight - LKH
Mistral’s Kiss - LKH
A Lick of Frost - LKH
Swallowing Darkness - LKH
Divine Misdemeanor - LKH
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Attwood
Dead Over Heels - Charlaine Harris
Guilty Pleasures - Laurell K Hamilton
The Laughing Corpse - LKH
Circus of the Damned - LKH
The Lunatic Cafe - LKH
Bloody Bones - LKH
The Killing Dance - LKH
Burnt Offerings - LKH
Blue Moon - LKH
Obsidian Butterfly - LKH
Narcissus In Chains - LKH
Cerulean Sins - LKH
Incubus Dreams - LKH

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Played With Fire - SL
Many Bloody Returns - Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher et al
The Harlequin - LKH
Dark Lover - JR Ward
A Touch Of Dead - CH Book 30
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest - SL
Merlin - Stephen Lawhead

Murder By The Slice - Livia Washburn
Goodies Rule OK
Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami
Dance Dance dance - HM

Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
City Of Bones - CC
City of Ashes - CC
Side Jobs - Jim Butcher Book 40
Keep The Aspidistra Flying - George Orwell
Deja Dead - Kathy Reichs
City Of Glass - CC
The Devil You Know - Mike Carey
Death Du Jour - KR
Deadly Decisions - KR
Dark Side - Belinda Bauer
Rite - Tad Williams

Fatal Voyage - KR
Grave Secrets - KR Book 50
Bare Bones - KR
Devil Bones - KR
Blacklands - BB
Mint Juleps, Mayhem and Murder -Sara Rosett
A Cottswold Killing - Rebecca Tope
Bones To Ashes - KR
Indigo Dying - Susan Wittig Albert
Fever Of The Bone - Val McDermid
Vicious Circle - Mike Carey

Dead Man’s Boots - MC Book 60

so any suggestions ???

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The More Things Change ...

the more they stay the same:

Bear and Sophie July 2008Bear and Sophie June 2011

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We all know how one thing often leads to another.

well this particular chain starts with a simple little [ free ] headband pattern, that my friend Robyne-with-an-e found on the Drops website about a year ago. As is the way of such things, it quickly went viral within our Purl's Princesses knitting group with pretty much everyone - myself included - making at least a couple of them.

Now the thing that caught my fancy was the clever way that the increases and decreases were worked within the purled sections of the rib, but to be honest, I wanted to try the idea on something else.
So I trauled through my collection of stitch dictionaries and found a nice - and still simple - lacy rib.
The next step was to swatch a set of increases in an 8ply[dk] and to block it.

A little bit of maths and a fair bit of luck / intuition led to this beret [ modelled here by Tara ] with all the shaping within the purl sections a la the original drops headband

then a matching pair of wristwarmers

You'll just have to take my word for it that, after languishing in the bottom of a knitting basket for half a year, they did in fact get sewn up about 2 months ago, and have been worn a couple of times.
The reason that you'll have to take my word for it is that I appear to have lost the beggars.
Can't find them in any of the obvious places
or even in any of the totally ridiculous ones
so basically the only 'proof' I have that they ever existed, is this fairly c****y pic of one of them in its unsewn-up state, and the second one on the needles.

oh, and they're not pink either ... more a deep cherry red.
Moving on
I made a second and much longer pair for The Girl in BWM Allegro 8ply [DK].

You can see the way that the increases have been worked in.
Needless to say, the girl was rather happy with how these turned out ...

and before you could say 'Flashdance' this led somewhat inevitably to a pair of legwarmers, also in Allegro.

Was I finished with this lace yet ?

It occurred to me that I could probably stretch the pattern a bit by introducing an extra row each of knit and purl to make it a little less lacy
and I did gave that one ball of a lovely soft sage green [ also from BWM ]

the sequence - currently - ends with this slouchy hat

Now if I could just find those blasted fingerless gloves!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I've lost track

... of what I've shown you and what has gone undocumented

so, after some blog perusal just to jog the little grey cells, here's some of the stuff you haven't seen:

First up, you might remember the red slouch hat I made for Nadie. At the time I said that I was going to make a blue one for myself
which I did
and then the girl hinted strongly that she wouldn't mind one
so now there are twins.

BWM Luxury 8ply in Junior Navy
KP Harmonies 4.5mm and 3.75mm

Which is just as well, because a certain person has managed to misplace hers twice already and has had to borrow mine
which is okay
not as though I've been going out anywhere

and then she expressed a strong desire for a blue scarf
I was going to say matching scarf, but it doesn't exactly

match that is

it's the same colour as the hat, but is a completely different lace pattern ... the same Grandmothers Lace variation that I 'unvented' for the Frothy Gothy Wristwarmers.

DD already has a matching set of those Wristwarmers and scarf in country red Sirdar Snuggly DK. They were made a couple of years ago and by happy co inky dink are close enough in colour as makes no nevermind to the BMW 8ply Luxury in Ruby that I used for her slouchy hat version1.

The red one btw has four eyelet rows per point [ so 8 pattern rows ] and this one has 6/12, so the points are a little larger. Not precisely what The Girl had in mind, but mama likes it/

what else?
well, the Hair Of the Dog handspun shawl is waiting for me to recover enough to spin more alpaca/samoyed, so it's in hibernation at probably about half finished

I crocheted a different shawl while I was waiting but no pix yet, so I guess that's a post for another day

Some of the alpaca/kid angora/corrie cross handspun from the Goat Show demo at Easter is now a pretty basic, rustic lookung beanie for Davidand then there was ...

okay stopping now before anyone has a cerebral meltdown

Friday, June 03, 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

a week in the life

Well, it's just been one hectic and giddy thing after another here Chez Catsmum.

There was the sitting
sitting and knitting
lying-down and knitting

reading - both the sitting and the lying-down variety
watching seasons 6,7 & 8 of NCIS, 1 & 2 of Glee, and slabs of heroes and Dr Who, in both the sitting and the prone position
there was a certain amount of 'persuading certain animals that I am not a cushion
... or a springboard'

AND for a change of pace
there was knitting

Oh, what a life I lead!