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.