Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Terror Alert Level

Well, you never know where you're going to find useful information on matters of national security. Seems that the place for me to go is Ravelry, the all-important knitting site. That's where I found this terrorism alert. Apparently the threat level is somewhere between Bert and Ernie. No one comes between Bert and Ernie! Couldn't figure out how to get the whole chart. The most serious level is the Elmo (red) level. Watch out if the Department of Homeland Security calls an Elmo!

Here are some socks that I barely finished in time for the holiday. I'm working on a hat when I'm not studying the terrorism threat. I can finish the hat tonight, but it still needs to be felted. I'll have to dry it with a hair dryer. Hmm...

Kitty Socks

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shoulder Cat

Shoulder Cat
Originally uploaded by PhoebeJ
Tortellini likes to get up on my shoulder for brief periods. I think it helps her in her role as lookout. She is a very cute and loving cat. I'm lucky to have her.

She's not the only adorable cat around here. Abby and Nora are pretty wonderful too. Torts and Nora sometimes fight--not in a friendly cat wrestling kind of way, but like real antagonists. So it's nice to see them sitting sweetly together even if it's only because it's cold.

Does It Get Any Cuter?

And Abby? She loves to sit on the (formerly) neatly folded packing paper. I finally had to get rid of this paper since tomorrow is recycling day, but if I ever empty another box there'll be a new pile for her.

Abby Rests

No knitting posts today, just kitties. They do seem to go together.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I Can Haz Bukkit?

I have many, many works in progress so of course I had to start something new. I needed a hat since I have gone about three years without a usable hat. (I had some commercial knitted berets with elastic that was completely shot. Tossed them when I moved. Good idea.) So I looked in some books at the Village Sheep and found directions for a felted bucket hat from Chic Knits. I pulled some purple Cascade 220 out of the stash. Figured if it came out okay that Zoe might like it since purple is her color.

It was easy to knit, but the adult size requires 220 yards of yarn, the exact yardage of the Cascade. What did you think the 220 in the name meant? I found my gauge was okay on the stitches per inch, but short on rows. So when I tried to knit it to the exact directions, there wasn't enough yarn. I spoke to an employee at Modern Yarns in Montclair who told me that if you follow the instructions and knit to 5.5 inches in the body of the hat, it will be too deep when you felt it and come down past your ears. So I pulled out some rows and squeezed out the whole hat out of a single skein.

The next area of anxiety was the question as to whether my new front loader would felt the finished hat. The front loader has a pause button that allows you to open the door and check your project (or add newly discovered laundry.) Well, the energy efficient, super gentle washer did an excellent job of felting! I was very pleased. The hat is drying on a Farberware sauce pan. I think it's going to be great. The hat is not too deep. I've already started one in red. And maybe I need one in black. And how 'bout one in Noro? I see holiday presents! It takes about one evening or a little more to knit.

Finishing the Hat

Monday, April 27, 2009

Grazing Sheep Bag

Grazing Sheep Bag
Originally uploaded by PhoebeJ
I finally sewed up the Grazing Sheep Bag and felted it. I also felted the i-cord handles. Just have to sew them in. A friend foolishly offered to line it for me, but I think that may be too much to ask. As someone who disdains sewing, it is hard for me to understand someone volunteering to do it, but maybe she will.

Meanwhile, I like the bag very much. I made one adaptation. Well, two. I added a black sheep on the back of the bag on the theory that one has to have at least one black sheep. I also did seed stitch on the top edge because I was afraid the edge might roll.

Back of Bag

Monday, April 06, 2009

A Perfect Blendship

A Perfect Blendship
Originally uploaded by PhoebeJ
"If you're ever up a tree, send for me,
If you're ever down a well, ring my bell.
If you ever get so happy, you land in jail,
I'm your bail.
That's friendship, friendship, just a perfect blendship.
When other friendships have been forgot,
Ours will still be hot."

Or so said Cole Porter.

The kitties seem to concur. Here Abigail and Tortellini enjoy some window time together. Two matching catloaves.

And here is a completed Kitty Sock. The full pair is done. Alpaca is soft (but you knew that), and all is right with the world.

Kitty Sock

Monday, February 23, 2009

The iPhone Cozy

iPhone Cozy II
Originally uploaded by PhoebeJ
I knitted and felted an iPhone cozy. This is a little project, one you can knit in one evening with any suitable (i.e. feltable) scrap yarn. To make it work you have to knit a swatch that is nearly as big as the finished project and then felt the swatch and do a little Algebra I to get the sizing right. You always wondered where that algebra was going to come in handy and it turns out that it's useful in the domestic arts! Who knew?

Anyhow, I quickly knitted this up, sewed up the bottom and ran it through the washing machine. I decided it was a bit too roomy so I felted it in the bathroom sink using hot water, Soak (a soap for washing woolens) and a bit of wringing of the cozy. It came down in size (and got a bit thicker too, a good thing) quickly. Then I had to find a button. I couldn't find anything purple so I took this grey job which I like a lot because it has a grain look. I'm happy and the iPhone is happy too.

iPhone Cozy I

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Abigail took it all in stride.

Her Higness

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grazing Sheep Bag in Process

Long time, no post. Here's a work in progress. It is a felted bag from the book "I 'Heart' Felt" by Kathleen Taylor. It was featured in last month's Knit Picks catalog, but alas, Knit Picks was out of the book when I tried to order it as well as some of the colors. I had a gift certificate from Amazon and free (and available) trumps 40% off any time. Tortellini approved of the Amazon box.
Surprise Package

Of course, Wool of the Andes is a lot cheaper than Ultra Alpaca, but when they don't have it, the price doesn't much matter.

This design sshould be easy. It's all stockinette, after all. But the chart has been harder to follow than I would have predicted. I suspect that's because it is 100 stitches wide, and that's a long line to follow. Also it's sheer "easiness" makes one less meticulous. So I've done my share of frogging. And it will not be fun weaving in all those ends! I was toying with the idea of not lining this baby, but 1) a lovely person in my knitting group offered to do the sewing for me and 2) a lining will hide a multitude of unwoven ends so I will probably go for a lining.

The good news: I'm more than half done. Only 3 sheep to do and then it's truly easy. The bad news: the ends and making i-cord since I want to be able to carry it over my shoulder.