Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My Favorite Picture



I am so in love with my new kitties! Omi (aka Omen) is my sweet little delicate black cat who has more of a squeak than a meow, but lots of attitude. Wookie is my tortoiseshell who is super affectionate and a 'momma' cat with a deep need to take care of Omi, Ken, and me. They are young so we are looking forward to a long life with our sweeties.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Katarina Slouchy cloche

This classic slouchy style cloche uses linen stitch to create a dense, tight knit gives the hats extra warm using sock yarn. The size is medium although it is stretchy enough to fit any adult head size.  I used a size 5 on the pink and black hat, but when done to a size 4 for the gray and pink hat so it was a little more fitted.  The good thing is that the hat does not crush your hair as some hats do. 

Also, this hat looks much better on your head than the stand or laying down because it needs the shape of your head to bring out the shaping.

You can use any sock yarn or similar weight and variegated yarns are especially showy. Also, I am going to try to make this hat with leftovers of my sock yarn to create a technicolor hat as well. 

I cast on and use a smaller needle for the first couple of inches and then switch to a needle several sizes larger. You can also adjust the size by increasing or decreasing stitches; it just needs an odd number of stitches.

Short rows are used to put more fabric at the front of the hat to make a smoother slouch in the back. My only warning about this hat is that it is fairly slow-going due to the density of the stitches, but it really does make a comfortable, warm addition to your wardrobe.
 Size:                       Large (Medium) size. Hat has a lot of stretch so one size fits most
Yarn:                      Any kind of sock yarn
Needles:              Circular needle size 4 (3.5 mm) 16”
                            Circular needle size 9 (5.5 mm) 16”
                             DPN Size 9 (5.5 mm) set of 4
                             Yarn needle
                             Stitch markers
Gauge:                 8 stitches/inch in stockinette, size 4 needles (not critical)

With smaller circular needles, CO on 175 (161) stitches.  Join, place marker (pm), being careful not to twist the stitches.
Knit 2 rows. 

Start linen stitch:

Row 1: K1, with yarn in front (wyif) sl 1 st purlwise. Continue to last stitch. K1.
Row 2: With yarn in front sl 1 st purlwise, k1. Continue to last stitch. Wyif sl.


Continue Row 1 and 2 for 2½ inches.

Switch to size 9 needles and continue in linen stitch for one more inch, for about 4” from cast on.

Short rows:
Short Row 1: Work linen stitch for 40 stitches; place marker.  With yarn in front, slip next stitch onto right needle. Turn. With yarn in front, slip stitch onto right needle.  With yarn in back, slip stitch purlwise, p1; continue for 80 stitches (the beginning of round marker is at the 40 stitch point).
Short Row 2: With yarn in back, slip next stitch onto right needle. Turn. Place marker. With yarn in front, slip stitch onto right needle. Continue in linen stitch to five stitches before the second marker (i.e., not the beginning of round marker).
Short Row 3: With yarn in front, slip next stitch onto right needle. Turn. Place maker. With yarn in front, slip stitch onto right needle.  With yarn in back, slip stitch purlwise, p1; continue to second marker.

Continue with Short Row 2 and 3 until you have five markers on each side, ending with Short Row 2 (e.i., the right side facing you).

Next row: *Work linen stitch to next marker not the beginning of round marker. Remove the marker. Lift the bar under the next stitch and place it on the needle. K tog.*  Continue * to * until you have removed all the markers except for the beginning of round marker.

Continue until the entire hat measures 9” or desired length. Be sure to measure at the marker so you include the short row length as well.

Crown: (switch to DPNs when necessary)

Row 1:  *K2tog, p2tog, work in linen stitch for 18 (16) stitches.* Repeat around. (Don’t worry if the stitches don’t come out even at the end. The important thing is to maintain the linen stitch.)
Row 2 and all even numbered rows: Knit in linen stitch.
Row 3:  Work in linen stitch for 6 stitches. *P2tog, k2tog, work linen stitches for 16 (14).* Repeat around.
Continue in this pattern, reducing the number of knit stitches between the decreases by 2 until you have about 10 stitches left (exact number is not critical).  Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn, thread through the remaining stitches and secure tightly.  Weave in ends.

   




Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Omen is One Cool Cat!


My name is Omen. You can call me Omi. This is my box. I am the coolest cat around. All kitties want to be with me; all cats want to be me. Stay boxy, my friends.



Monday, November 27, 2017

Copyright or Copywrong? - You Design

Who Hat
Who hat - Close up

I have been knitting up a storm, even if I haven't been posting on my blog. I am continuing to use the Woolike yarn from Loops and Threads and have been designing and knitting hats. I also got this wonderful book called AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary which has wonderful motifs to use in designing my hats. Remember to check out your local library if you can't afford the book. These motifs not only include lovely graphic design but motifs of horses, dogs, raccoons, houses, birds, and many more. 

Black Cat Hat
Black Cat Hat - close up
However, I don't know how copyright impacts these hats so I didn't write up patterns for them. I designed these hats using motifs from book, so I don't believe I can offer a free pattern with these designs on it, and I definitely couldn't sell the pattern. However, I do believe I can tell you how I designed the hat so you can apply those to making your own hat. 

Product Details

I have made several hats using Woolike so I have a good idea of how many stitches are needed for a hat. Using size 2 needles for the brim, a medium hat uses between 136 to 150 stitches and a large hat is over 150 stitches. So let's design a hat that uses a 16-stitch motif.

1. Analyze the design. The 16 stitches need to not only show the design but also have space between to set the design apart from the others. Normally you should have at least one stitch between the motifs. Notice the owl design above has one stitch between; however, the cat design doesn't have any stitches between because of the overlap of design. Most motifs already include this, but you need to be sure.

2. Divide the 16 stitches into a number between 135 and 150 to get an even number. 144 divided by 16 is 9, so I would get 9 motifs around the hat.

3. Using 144 stitches, decide whether you want to use a 1x1 or 2x2 rib for the brim. Knit the brim for 2 inches or more before starting the design. I will often switch to a larger needle such as size 4 to do the design. 
In the alternative, you might try using a double brim (see the Here There Be Dragons Hat pattern posted on September 7, 2017). This feature does a couple of things I like. First, it doubles the fabric over the ears for extra warm; and second, it covers the floats on the back of the hat. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to answer them.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Recovery

 The past couple of months have been difficult for me. It seems like a dark cloud has been over me and it just starting to go away.

First my son's wedding was called off two weeks before the date. I won't go into any details, but we have been spending time with him as he recovers from the heart break.

This changed Ken and my plans as well, as we were going to sell our home and move closer to him and his fiance (from Denver area to Fort Collins). Now he is not sure he will stay in Fort Collins after he gets his master's degree, so we don't want to make any moves either.

Then my kitty Neko passed away suddenly. He has been part of our lives for so long that I missed him horribly. He has a good life and he was very loved, as you can probably see from the many stories about him on this blog.

So it has been a couple of months now and recovery is on the way for all of us. But the best part is that Ken and I adopted two female cats from the Denver Cat Cafe and Life is Better Rescue. Everyone should visit a cat cafe. It's a magical place. We played and watched a couple of kitties play and interact with each and decided they were ours. So here they are:

This is 9-month-old Omen (the black one) and
1 1/2 year old Wookie (the tortoiseshell) 

They like hanging around in the yarn room.
They are adorable and affectionate. They like laps and nose kisses. Wookie is a lady with a loud purr and Omen is so soft and sweet. They are experts at lifting the cloud around my soul.  I will be writing more about them in the future, so stay tuned.

Omen is extremely playful
Wookie is my little hunter chattering at the birds





Monday, October 23, 2017

Grapes of Wrap Wine Cozy

Christmas is just two months away! Giving wine as a gift is an honored tradition, but you can step that up with a felted wine cozy.

Be a hit as a guest at the next holiday or dinner part by note only bringing the wine, but also wrapping it in this unique wine cozy. It is knitted on large double-pointed needles and felted to fit the bottle. Embellish this bag with felted grapes and leaves with a little bit of embroidery. If you have never tried felting before this is a great project to learn. It knits up quickly and you already have the form to fit the felted cozy around it - a wine bottle!

Click Grapes of Wrap for the PDF pattern on Ravelry.


http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/grapes-of-wrap-wine-cozy

Friday, September 15, 2017

Sunday, September 10, 2017

My Love of Cats

It looks like we will have to say goodbye to our kitty Neko. Losing Neko will be tough. He is almost 15 and his liver is failing.

If you have been following my blog, you know he is quite a character. I have many stories about him including him sending messages to other cats via library books (11/3/12), second breakfasts (4/19/17), and his ability to appear and disappear at will (6/14/17). If you scroll through my blog, you will find other stories about this adorable but feisty creature.

I grew up on a farm in the 1950's and 1960's. I have three brothers and the nearest neighbors were several miles away; most of them did not have any girls my age. So I created a fantasyland with my cats. In the spring, I would hunt the haylofts to find the new baby kittens and make sure their mommy was well-taken care of. As I walked through the barnyard or the pastures, I was followed by a line of cats. It was so comforting to see a line of tails behind me. If I sat down on the ground, I would be covered with cats in no time. When I was 10, I counted 56 cats on the farm, and everyone of them would be named and loved. My dad would purchase a large bag of dog food, and cut it open in the barn or the garage so they could eat. Since we milked cows, Dad would fill large trays with the first draw of milk (which was not sold). In all my childhood, I never saw a mouse or a rat. Mom would put her wren houses up high in the tree so the cats wouldn't get them. In the winter, they all lived in the barn and in the summer they were everywhere, usually following me. I was destined to be a cat lady from the age of 5.

We will have to see what the rest of today brings but we are a house of sadness right now. It is hard to say goodbye.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Here There May Be Dragons!

Truth be told, I have never watched an episode of Game of Thrones, but both of my adult sons love it. I am more of a King Arthur fan with my favorite book of all time is Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I usually read it about every other year just to return to that fantasy land. So this is the hat that I made for my son. I am working on the another for the other one. No matter what, I love dragons and the mythology around them. 

One feature of this hat that is special is I knitted a fairly large lining before starting on the front of the hat. This accomplishes two things: 

First, it makes the hat especially warm over the ears because it is double thickness. 

Second, it covers all the stranding from the design so you don't catch them by accident while wearing it. 

I got the dragon design from a free design on Ravelry and I added another fair isle border above and below the dragon, so the pattern is free.  I want to experiment with a couple of other colors as well and I will post those as well.  Until then, enjoy!

PENDRAGON SLOUCHY HAT



MATERIALS
1 skein each Loops and Threads Woolike in Red (A), Black (B) and Beige (C) (85% Acrylic; 15% Nylon, 620m/678yds))
Size US 2.0 (­­2.5 mm) Circular Needles
Size US 2.0 (2.5 mm) Double Pointed Needles
Yarn needle
Stitch markers
Gauge: 16 stitches in pattern to 2”
Size: Fits most medium (22-23”) and large (23-25”) sized heads. Large size appears in parenthesis ().

Hat Pattern:
With Color A, cast on 140 (160) sts. Place marker and join.
Work in stockinette (knit every row working in the round) for 4 inches.
Purl 1 row (fold row)
Knit 4 rounds.
With Color B, knit 6 rounds.

Border pattern:
Round 1: With Color A, knit 1 round.
Round 2: With Color C, knit 1 round.
Round 3: *K1 with Color C, K1 with Color A.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 4: With Color A, knit 1 round.
Round 5: *K1 with Color C, K1 with Color A.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 6: With Color C, knit 1 round.
Round 7: With Color A, knit 1 round.

With Color B, knit 3 rounds.


Dragon Pattern:

Using the chart, repeat pattern 7 (8) times.






















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K 3 Rounds in Color B

Border pattern:
Repeat border pattern above.

Switch to Color B. Work in stockinette (knit every round) until the hat measures 7 (8) inches from the fold line. Feel free to add more rows if you want a slouchier hat.

Crown:
Switch to double pointed needles when appropriate.
Round 1: *K2tog, K16, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 2: K all stitches.
Round 3: *K2tog, K14, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 4: K all stitches.
Round 5: *K2tog, K12, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 6: K all stitches.
Round 7: *K2tog, K10, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 8: K all stitches.
Round 9: *K2tog, K8, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 10: K all stitches.
Round 11: *K2tog, K6, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 12: K all stitches.
Round 13: *K2tog, K4, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 14: K all stitches.
Round 15: *K2tog, K2, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 16: K all stitches.
Round 17: *K2tog, SSK.* Repeat between * to end of round.
Round 18: K all stitches.

Break yarn. Thread yarn thread and draw through the remaining stitches.  Weave in ends.
Fold the hat on the purl round and pin or baste in place, keeping it as smooth as possible. Whip stitch the lining in place.