Friday, February 21, 2014

My Kitty Knitty Bowl

My knitting accessories have grown by another item. I purchased a beautiful little knitting bowl that will sit on my side table while I knit watching TV or listening to books on tape.

Although I have a swift and a yarn winder, I usually wind my yarn by hand in a ball. I like yarn balls better than a yarn cakes because cakes will collapse in on themselves. Then I get a lot of tangled yarn toward the end. Then I end up winding the tangled mess into ball anyway.  However, a ball just gets smaller and smaller.  

Not that there isn't a downside to a ball of yarn. I cannot count how many times while knitting away, my ball escapes onto the floor and rolls under the coffee table, only to be batted and chased by a little black paw to the other side of the room. Then it becomes a game for Neko as he continues to jump on it and wrap himself in the yarn. Then I have to crawl out from under my warm afghan to rescue my poor little yarn, rewinding it as I reverse the path of the yarn across the room, under the coffee table, and unwrap it from the legs of the side table. And the yarn is usually snagged by kitty teeth with a slobber of kitty spit. There might even be blood if I had to entangle the yarn from little old Paws and Claws.

So the solution is a knitting bowl. I went onto Etsy to look around and came across the perfect knitting bowl and of course, it has a kitty on it. What is even cuter is that the tail of the cat silhouette is the tail of your yarn. And the best part is that Neko has no interest in the kitty on the side of the pottery.

I ordered it on Etsy from Shars Art Pottery (

So my kitty is safe, my yarn is safe, I can continue to keep warm in my chair and all is right with the world.

Back to the needles.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

At Least One Cat Liked my Sweater

If you remember, I made an adorable sweater in blue and orange for my kitty Neko to celebrate the Super Bowl.  For some reason, Neko just didn't like it. I took a couple of pictures before he got too nasty, and never managed to get a picture or two with his hood up. Maybe a sweater is just too warm for a long-haired cat.

So I gave the sweater to Leo, my lion. Leo is must happier with the sweater than Neko. If you look closely, there is a gleam in his eyes. He doesn't even seem to mind if the hood is up or down. And keep in mind, Leo has a full mane as well.

It just seems to me that if Leo is okay with the Bronco sweater, Neko should be happy as well. After all, wouldn't Leo be more of a Detroit Lion fan instead?

Oh well, back to the needles.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Next Downton Hat

I have attended the Estes Park Wool Festival almost every year and I have purchased yarn at every one of them. This yarn is one of them from years ago. I think I originally thought I would make a shawl from it, but it sits year after year on my shelf.

Just after finishing my gray and black Downton hat (Feb. 16, 2013), I had to do another one right away. Before I purchase any more yarn, I owed it to my stash to see if there was anything I should use instead. It was also late on a Saturday night and I wouldn't be able to go and buy another until Monday lunchtime. I just couldn't wait. My fingers were itching to cast on the next hat.  After looking over some of the options, a unwound skein of blue yarn with random strands of a rusty brown appearing every now and then. It was calling to me. The reason I never used this yarn to make a shawl is because it was waiting to be used in a Downton hat. Never mind that I purchased this yarn several years before Downton was even a fledgling idea in the writer's brain; this is the project this yarn was destined to be.

So last Saturday night, I grabbed my needles and started this pattern again. No I didn't do a swatch. The yarn is similar to the last yarn I used, so I am just going to wind it. Besides there is some natural stretch in the pattern. So my blue yarn is happy and I am burning up my needles again.

I'll keep you informed. Back to the needles.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I Love This Hat!! Downton Hat Finished

I bet I have made over 300 hats in the past 20 years, maybe more. But I have to admit that this is one of the most fun hats I have ever made. I made this hat in an alpaca wool double knit and basically followed the pattern as written. (If you have read my blog, you know that is not always easy for me).

It took several days because I used 2.75 mm needles. With such little needles and as many as 136 stitches in one round, you just seem to knit and knit without making any progress. So this is one of those patterns that are easy to take along when you are riding in the car, waiting in the doctor's office, on your lunch hour, etc. I even knit during my women's circle meetings. Gradually, the hat grows in length, and you see the beauty of the yarn and the stitch pattern emerge. Finally, the hat is done, and you try it on. It fits beautifully and it is incredibly warm!

Like the rest of the country, we have had some very, very cold weather in Colorado with the coldest temperatures that we have had in 20 years. Usually I don't like to wear really warm clothing (yes, I am the rare creature that loves the cold weather), but this hat is perfect for some of those below-zero days and nights.

I am now going down to my yarn room to see what yarn I will use to make another Downton Hat. Stay tuned!

If you make this pattern, I would like to see your final hat, so be sure to sent it to me! My email is I look forward to seeing them.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Next Project: The Downton Hat

I have had this hat on my 'to-do' list ever since it came out, so I am starting it this evening. My friend Christine posted on in red just today, so I decided it was time. (Thanks, C!)

I am making it in black and gray. I'll keep you up to date!

Skunk in the 'hood

I usually love living in the foothills of the mountains in Colorado, but this is not one of those times.

We are taking care of a dog for a friend of ours while she is the hospital. Izzy is a 15-year-old Jack Russell terrier and is usually a pretty sweet guy. However, last night when Ken took him out, Izzy dashed out the door, snapping the lease from Ken's hand. The reason was soon apparent as a very potent smell exploded into the air. Izzy came running back into the house like his tail was on fire.

So Izzy smells, Ken smells, the basement smell, in fact the entire house smells! It's too late at night to try to clean him up too much, so we put Izzy in the downstairs bathroom. But it really doesn't do too much to help the situation. I swear you could almost feel the skunk smell on your face as you were trying to sleep.

So I was very relieved to go to work today. Ken is spitting mad at having to take care of a smelly dog as well as the rugs, towels, floor, and clothes left by this escapade. I left him looking up recipes on the internet to neutralize skunk odors and shampoo for dogs.

Neko just sat there and laughed and laughed.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Five Stages of Grief -- Bronco Style

It's been 24 hours since the end of the game, but I think Denver fans are doing pretty well. We had a lot of people at our house, so we started the support group by half time. Before the end of the game, we had already passed through all five stages of grief:

Denial (A safety on the second play of the game? We didn't just see that! What happened to the real Broncos?);

Anger (What the H*&# is wrong with you!? Who are these guys?);

Bargaining (I think this new shirt is causing this meltdown, so if I change, will you play better?);

Depression (this needs no explanation);

and finally Acceptance (Oh well, it was a good year anyway; let's drink!) So by the time the game was over, we were having a great time!

Just wait until next year!


Stupid Broncos.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


Hoping for a victory and a houseful of people!

And just in case, a little eye candy:

I hope he catches at least four TDs!