Sunday, June 3, 2018

Aggressive Kittying

I know. I have been horrible about keeping up on my blog. I have been enjoying retirement just too much. More than that, I have been enjoying my kitties! We have had Omi and Wookie for about seven months now and I am just nuts over these two. They both engage
in what Ken calls "Aggressive Kittying" which means they love people and have to be with us at all times, usually cuddling, rubbing, purring and such. They are just wonderful!

Omi was originally named Omen, but after a few days, she just renamed herself to Omi. It does fit better so she knew what she was doing. I call her the nearly perfect cat. She is loving and sweet and has to be within 6 feet of me at all times. As I sit in my lounger, she usually makes herself at home by laying across my chest, making knitting a little difficult. I read somewhere that cats like sitting on your chest to hear your heart beat. I think she just loves the constant human contact.

Wookie is my magic cat. She is a bit skittish, but she is a rubbing lover of a cat. She has to rub your arm, your leg, your neck, but if she gets close to your face, she will lick you within an inch of your life! Like I said, aggressive kittying. I would stop her, but I could use the exfoliation.

Anyway, I am loving being the cat owner of two loving and adorable kitties. Omi is laying on my chest right now which makes it very hard to type. So I am going back to cuddling my ladies.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Debating the Temperature Blanket

I started a temperature blanket this month. I have a heap of stash so I should be able to make it without having to buy anything. I used worsted yarns and a size 9 circular needle. (I like using circular needles even if the item is not in the round. That way, I never lose the other needle in the sofa) I cast on 250 stitches and worked the first two colors in garter stitch. I am going to use knitting pattern that is more fun after the border, but still debating it. I am considering a daisy stitch.

I noticed on Facebook that there is some criticism on why this is popular and why on earth would people would want to do it. A row a day? Work on it for a year? 

These questions crossed my mind too, but there is a part of my personality that loves lists and charts, and this blanket would fit in well. I record my knitting projects daily in my journal along with the color of the day, phase of the moon, and the writing prompt of the day. 

I will let you know how it goes. 

Here are my thoughts on it:

1. I recorded the high and low temperature in my daily calendar even though I hadn't started. I go to a website and record several days at a time.

2. The mid-range temperatures are in green, so I changed the colors to match my purples and blues. -- because I like blues and purples best and I have more of these colors in my stash.

3. I don't feel obligated to do a row a day. I usually have several projects going at one time from complicated patterns to simple. If I want to do some mindless knitting, I can pick up the blanket and do a few rows. I have yet to change up to today.

4. I like seeing the results everyone is getting on their blankets, so I am glad to be on a Temperature Blanket Facebook page.

5. Not everyone is marking the temperatures from January 1. Some are using the first year of a child/grandchild or a year from another special date.

6. There are really no rules, so enjoy it.

7. It is rather addictive like so many other types of knitting.

8. If you don't see the reason to make temperature blanket, just don't do one. If you get tired of it, frog it.

9. You don't have to participate in making a blanket to enjoy the progress of others. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

That's One Good Ombre!

This Ombre is orange and blue, and if you like
in Denver Bronco country, this is a plus.
 I love this pattern. Mainly because I can use my favorite yarn to make it. I am currently working on the third hat using the ombre motif. It is a simple stranding pattern and a good first project for learning how to work with two colors.

I use Loops and Threads Woolike which is an acrylic yarn available at Michaels. I usually go to my local yarn store for most of my yarn, but I have to admit this yarn really has a hold on me. You can check out my Ravelry page on this project at

Mr. Neary's pattern is included as a link on my Ravelry page. I made a few changes but it is essentially the same as Paul Neary's pattern. Feel free to use any of these changes -- or not -- as you would like. 

This is actually closer to the true colors.
I cast on 120 stitches instead of 112 because I like a little bit bigger hat for my guys (big heads and all -- lots of brains).  The pattern is in multiple of 4, so sizing is easy. My hats are around 23 inches instead of 22".

I also do a different brim. The one I do makes a double thickness around the ears for extra warmth. I cast on my 120 stitches and work in stockinette (knit every row since you are knitting in the round) for 4½ inches (don't worry about the edges curling; you will deal with that when you sew the thicknesses together). Next row: Purl one row (fold line). Go back to working in stockinette for 2½ inches. Now return to the original pattern for the rest of the hat.  

I made Ken's hat in maroon and navy. I don't think
he has taken the hat off since. He actually sleeps in
a hat so this is perfect for him.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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


 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.