Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Magical Animal

Cats are wonderfully magical animals. Even my Hannibal Lector Neko has magical abilities that just completely flummoxes me.

I am convinced that he has the ability to appear and disappear at will. I have yet to caught him in the act, but I keep my eyes peeled for the act to happen. Many times, I call him and he doesn't come. I know he hears me and I know he knows his name. I look in his many hiding places where I have found him before:


... in a shopping bag...
... a wayward box in the living room ...

... pile of clothes in the closet ...
Under the spinning wheel ...

... in a basket of clean clothes ...

... behind the piano ...

.... a blanket on the couch ...

... or on the arm of the chair ...

... in the yarn ...

... and more yarn ...

... on the keyboard ...

... up the ladder ...

... in the sink ...

.... among the finished projects ...


... in the cupboard ...
... in a shopping bag, whether it is empty or not ...



...  and he is not in any of those places. I'm not worried because he can't get out, but where is he?

Finally, I give up and live with the fact that I will have to put off cuddling with him for awhile.

Suddenly, he is in the middle of the living room looking at me. I didn't see him come in, I didn't hear him. He was just suddenly there. He looks up at him with that expression on his face "I was here all along."

There have been times when we thought he might have gotten outside because we were in and out the front door several times and he might have sneaked out. Ken and I encircle the yard calling his name. We open a can of tuna cat food to entice him to come back. He can be hard to see in the bushes because he is all black, so you can occasionally see us lifting the branches to get a better look. We crawl on our hands and knees to look under the back deck and under the neighbor's porch.

I have had this cat for over 14 years and I can't believe that I hadn't figured this out before.

He is magic. He has the ability to appear and disappear at will. He wasn't invisible -- he was somewhere else. There has to be a cat dimension that he visits to play with other magical cats and maybe even dogs. Can you imagine what a wonderful place that would be? They have even been planning to take over the world from us humans, thinking they could run it better. They might have something there.

It could be that he is just screwing with me.



Sunday, May 28, 2017

Tom’s Seed Rib Slouchy Hat

Purple, lavender, and beige
Tom’s Seed Rib Slouchy Hat
Blue, navy and light gray





The slouchy hat can be made for men, women, or unisex by just using sock yarn. I have made several hats it in different colors and I will continue to make many more. They are fast and easy, perfect for ‘mindless’ knitting while watching TV. I used my favorite yarn Loops and Threads Woolike, but any sock yarn or similar weight will work. You can also make it using just one color, or use a self-striping sock yarn to create a unique striped effect.

MATERIALS
1 skein each Loops and Threads Woolike in any two colors (85% Acrylic; 15% Nylon, 620m/678yds)
Size US 4 (3.25 mm) Circular Needles
Size US 4 (3.5 mm) Double Pointed Needles
Yarn needle
Stitch markers
Gauge: 18 stitches per 2 inches.
Size: Fits most medium (22-23”) to large (23-25”) sized heads since pattern is very stretchy. To make a smaller size, reduce the number of cast on stitches by numbers divisible by 4.

Seed Rib Pattern Stitch:
Round 1:Color 1, knit.
Round 2: K2, P2. Repeat to end of round.
Round 3:Color 2, knit.
Round 4: K2, P2. Repeat to end of round.

Hat Pattern:
Cast on 144 sts. Place marker and join.
Work the four rows of the pattern stitch for 10 inches alternating colors, ending with round 1.

Round 1: With Color 1, P2tog, k2. Repeat to end of round.
Round 2: With Color 2, Knit.
Round 3: P1, k2tog. Repeat to end of round.
Round 4: With Color 1, Knit.
Round 5: k2tog to end.
Continue with K2tog until you have about 10 stitches left.


Break yarn. Thread yarn thread and draw through the remaining stitches.  Weave in ends.

Orange, brown and cream (Still working on it)

Monday, May 22, 2017

More snow

Just wanted to post pictures from the snowstorm of May 18th. No, this is a different storm from the April 29th storm.  Plus we are supposed to get another one this week.  Winter may last until June this year -- and it wouldn't be the first time we have had snow in June. And I'm okay with this because it means the heat of summer will be delayed again. Let it snow!


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Erin Honeycomb Hat


   










If you like playing with color combinations, you need to try this honeycomb pattern in a hat. Woolike yarn comes is several colors along with neutral colors such as gray, white and black. This uses two shades of gray to offset the pink and maroon. I want to try this in a purple and lavender, orange and brown, and shades of blue. I used four different colors for the honeycomb, but you can use only one up to several colors. It also uses a banded brim for extra warm, but if you prefer, you can use a rib of 1x1 or 2x2 as well. I would love to see your combinations.

MATERIALS
1 skein each Loops and Threads Woolike (85% Acrylic; 15% Nylon, 620m/678yds) in:
A – Demin blue
B – Light gray
C – Pale pink
D – Dark gray
E - Maroon

Size US 2.5 (3.0 mm) Circular Needles
Size US 2.5 (3.0 mm) Double Pointed Needles
Yarn needle
Stitch markers
Approximate 20” waste yarn

Gauge: 32 stitches in pattern to 4” (approximately one pattern per inch); 24 rows to 2"
Size: Fits most medium (22-23”) to large (23-25”) sized heads since pattern is very stretchy. To make a smaller size, reduce the number of cast on stitches by numbers divisible by 8.

Pattern Stitch:
Round 1: With A, knit.
Round 2: With A, purl.
Round 3-8: With B, slip 1, * k6, slip 2; repeat from * across to last st, slip 1.
Round 9: With A, knit.
Round 10: With A, purl.
Round 11-16: With C, K3, *slip 2, k6*, repeat from * across to last 3 sts, k3.
Round 17: With A, knit.
Round 18: With A, purl.
Round 19-24: With D, slip 1, * k6, slip 2; repeat from * across to last st, slip 1.
Repeat Rows 1-32 for Honeycomb Pattern.
Round 25: With A, knit.
Round 26: With A, purl.
Round 27-32: With E, K3, *slip 2, k6*, repeat from * across to last 3 sts, k3.
Round 9: With A, knit.
Round 10: With A, purl.
 
Hat Pattern:
Cast on 128 sts. Place marker and join.
Work in stockinette (knit every round) for 1½”.
Next round (fold line): K2tog, yo.
Next rnds: Knit in stockinette (knit every round) for 1½”.  

Increase round: K 8; m1*. Repeat to end of round (144 stitches)

Begin pattern: Work rounds 1 through 32 unless you reach the desired length. For this hat, the patterned part of the hat is 8 inches.

Crown:
Switch to double pointed needles when appropriate.
Round 1: P1, k1. Repeat these 2 stitches to end of round.
Round 2: K2tog to end of round.

Break yarn. Thread yarn thread and draw through the remaining stitches.  Weave in ends.




Sewing up the brim. 
Using a needle and some waste yarn or thread, fold the brim on the fold line and baste the two sides of the brim together. Change the thread to Color A. Using a loose whip stitch, sew the cast on edge to the last row of the brim.

Weave in ends and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Our Foothills Home and Wildlife Need Protection -- from our Panther


We lived in a beautiful community just south of Denver in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The hills you see in the picture above are out our east kitchen windows. Our property backs up to the Pike National Forest so I can always say it is part of our backyard. As you imagine, we have lots and lots of wildlife in our yard and we want to preserve our wildlife habitat while we live in the center of it.

Therefore, we have to be careful not to let our little black kitty Neko out. He would show no mercy to the wildlife! He has been cited by the Wildlife Habitat and Territory (WHAT!) society as being a danger to the environment and wildlife surrounding our home. Neko knows no fear and will defend his home against any and all alien wildlife creatures, including humans and the following critters we have found in our yard:

We have bears, ...
Mama bear and her two cubs

This is how close the bears are; that black spot just over
Ken's shoulder

... and lots and lots of deer:
Our front yard ...


... at the front door ...
... the back deck ...

... grove next to our back deck ...


... tasting the seeds from the bird feeders ...
... even trusting us with their newborns.

We have foxes ...



... and wild turkeys ...
... lots and lots of birds ...




... and yes, mountains lions.
Just outside our garage door
Yes, that mountain lion is just outside the window 
on the south of our house!

Nothing like looking out your window at the mountain lion and then she turns and stares at you!


We also have raccoons, porcupines, and coyotes. I didn't get pictures of the skunks. You can imagine why.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Snowed in and --- wait! It's April!

It really is April (very late April, in fact).

It really is Spring.

But here in the foothills of Colorado, we have about 18 inches --- so far. It is still snowing and we should have another 6 inches by this evening. This is why we are all warned not to plant anything outside until after Mother's Day.

Now one of the major things you need to know about me is I love snowy days and cold weather so I am loving this last hurrah of winter. I figured someone has to love winter weather and it appears that is me.

Wine -- check!
Movies from the library -- check!
Lots of yarn -- check!
Chili in the crockpot -- check!
Snowed in -- Priceless!

But it will all be gone by Monday or Tuesday when the temperatures go back into the 80s. I guess summer will come after that.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kelsey Lace and Spiral Hat

Kelsey Lace and Spiral Hat




I recently did a spiral hat (posted April 12, 2017) and enjoyed doing the stitch enough to make a second hat. However, to add a little interest, I did a small leaf lace pattern just above the brim. Now I am thinking I need to make an entire hat of the lace pattern now. It is beginning to look like I will have more hats than I have cold days, even in Colorado, to ever wear them. (Don’t worry; I will sell many of them at holiday craft fairs)

MATERIALS
1 skein each Loops and Threads Woolike in Gray (85% Acrylic; 15% Nylon, 620m/678yds))
Size US 2.5 (3.0 mm) Circular Needles
Size US 2.5 (3.0 mm) Double Pointed Needles
Yarn needle
Stitch markers
Gauge: 16 stitches in pattern to 2”
Size: Fits most medium (22-23”) to large (23-25”) sized heads since pattern is very stretchy. To make a smaller size, reduce the number of cast on stitches by numbers divisible by 2.

Pattern Stitch:
Round 1: P1, k1. Repeat these 2 stitches to end of round.
Round 2: Insert the tip of your right needle knitwise into the second stitch (which is a knitted stitch) on the left needle and pull up a loop. Do not remove from the left needle. Knit the 1st stitch on the left needle. Put both stitches onto the right needle.  Continue to the marker which is the end of the round. Remove the marker, k1, place the marker. It is important that the first stitch of each round is a stitch that was purled




Lace Pattern Stitch:
Round 1: K2tog, YO, K1, YO, SSK, k1. Repeat to end of round.
Round 2 and all even numbered rounds: Knit.
Round 3: YO, K3, YO, S2KP2. Repeat to end of round.
Round 5: YO, SSK, K1, K2tog, YO, k1. Repeat to end of round.
Round 5: K1, YO, S2KP2, YO, k2. Repeat to end of round.








8


O
B
O

7






6

O
/

\
O
5






4
B
O



O
3






2

\
O

O
/
1


Knit
/
K2tog
\
SSK
O
Yarn over
B
S2KP2: Sl 2 sts as if to k2tog, k1, pass 2 sl sts over


Hat Pattern:
Cast on 136 sts. Place marker and join.
Work the two rows of the pattern stitch for 2 inches, ending with round 1.

Begin Lace pattern: Work the lace pattern 4 times, ending with round 8.

Return to the two rows of the pattern stitch until the hat measures 10 inches from the cast on edge, ending with round 2.


Crown:
Switch to double pointed needles when appropriate.
Round 1: P1, k1. Repeat these 2 stitches to end of round.
Round 2: K2tog to end of round.
Round 3: K all stitches.
Round 4: K2tog to end of round.
Round 5: Repeat Round 4 until you have about 10-15 stitches left. It doesn’t have to be exact.

Break yarn. Thread yarn thread and draw through the remaining stitches.  Weave in ends.