[knitting] Hat Club

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of hats this month, given it's the middle of summer and who wants to knit winter hats? We all did, apparently.

The chosen pattern was Cap Karma.

Here's mine:

Amy's Cap Karma


Lois' Cap Karma


Janet's Cap Karma


Linda's Cap Karma


Tammy's Cap Karma

On top of that, there were even more cable hats:

My Staggering Cables Hat:

Amy's Staggering Cables


Lois' Staggering Cables

Janet's Dean Street:

Janet's Dean Street

And my Elizabeth Hat:

Amy's Elizabeth

And here's a swatch that Lois did for a reversible cable scarf:

Reversable Cable Swatch

It might be hard to tell but the right side of the swatch is folded toward the middle, so you can see there really truly are neat cables on both sides. Amazing.


[misc] Murderface Monday

I'm home, safe and sound (and recovering from hangover on top of hangover), from Cleveland. While I do laundry, Murderface kindly stays out of my way:

Murderface sleeping in

I think he actually missed me. My first day back, he stayed close to me in the house and would purr so hard he was drooling. Awww.


[travel] Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

The Hall of Fame and Museum was great. Here's the entrance:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The admission is a little much ($22), but I was there for nearly 4 hours. No pictures were allowed. Boo. Hiss. But it's part of the agreement that the museum has with the artists who donate the goods so... What can you do?

The lower level has all kind of exhibits: The Roots of Rock and Roll, Legends of Rock and Roll, special areas just for Elvis, The Beatles, Hip-Hop, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, The Rolling Stones. There are artifacts galore. Posters, clothing, guitars, etc. I saw... a million things. It was really cool to see Michael Jackson's stuff- the Thriller jacket, the outfit he wore in the Bad video, and... wait for it... the sparkly glove.

So after hours on the lower lever, I headed up. There are 6 different levels with more exhibits. One area features Les Paul and the new guitars he invented. I went out onto a deck that overlooked Lake Erie:

Lake Erie

I did sneak some pictures out here:


Rock and Roll Byrds.


The top levels had the special exhibit on Bruce Springsteen. It was cool. There were lots of journal pages with song lyrics hand written. Some clothes- the blue jeans, white tee shirt with rolled-up sleeves and red baseball cap from the Born in the USA cover.

I did get to see a 63 minute video in a comfy three-screened theater that combined film footage, music, interviews, animation and still photography to tell the story of ALL the Hall of Fame inductees. One funny part was when the movie showed a letter they got from the Sex Pistols that basically said, "F-you, you're still a corporation, we're not coming." :) That's punk rock.

It is a corporation, though. I don't particularly understand why the admission is so much and when you're ready to leave, the only escalator out leads to the gift shop. You'd have to navigate through the gift shop to get out.

All in all, though, it was very good and I think Dollar and I should fly out for a day trip.


[travel] Cleveland, OH

I'm in downtown Cleveland this week. The weather here has been off and on rain, so I've no pictures to show, but it's pretty nice. There are some really old buildings and lots of parks.

On my first day here, I saw lots of people in my hotel lobby using sign language to one another. I figured that there must be some kind of deaf person's conference in the building. Later, because my life is like a never-ending sitcom, I was in the back of an elevator riding with other people and when the doors opened at my floor, I tried to step out. Before I could, a woman in the elevator stepped in front of me to sign to the person out in the hall. I stupidly tried saying "Excuse me" over and over again, one man on the outside steps up and starts signing at the woman in front of me, the two woman are signing to each other... I eventually got out of the elevator but... it was just funny.

Went to see Adrian Belew last night at the Grog Shop. It was... Experimental. I described the experience to someone as "it was like seeing your uncle Stan making noise on his expensive, limited edition guitar." I think the music just wasn't for me. The drummer was quite good, I thought. After the show, some of the kids hanging around outside were nice enough to call a cab for me since there were none around.

I'm going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this afternoon/evening. No pictures allowed, which totally sucks, but I'm excited to see all the artifacts.


[misc] Murderface Monday

I'm packing for a work trip but I think Murderface doesn't want me to go:

Don't pack the cat

Must. Not. Pack. The cat.


[spinning] Tour de Fleece... So Far

I have some Tour de Fleece spinning to show! I bought a bag of 100% alpaca from Fantom Farm at last year's Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival...

Fantom Farms 100% Alpaca

I didn't spin it for a very long time because it's 100% alpaca and quite slippery. Turns out, it was quite easy and fast once I got the right ratio on my wheel...

Alpaca Handspun

Alpaca Handspun

I also finished 8 oz. of merino from Frabjous Fibers (colorway = redwood forest)...


I made it all into worsted/bulky low-twist singles...

Merino Singles

Those two spinning projects were quite fast, only taking a few days each to complete. I've spent more than a week on this stuff:

Ashland Bay Merino Top

8 oz of Ashland Bay Merino (colorway = mojave). I'm filling up two bobbins, trying to make a worsted weight two-ply when all is said and done.

Before starting TdF, I set aside all the fiber I wanted to complete. It's all of the above, plus:

Chameleon Colorworks Optim

Foxfire Border Leicester & Mohair

Grafton Fibers Batts

Hmmm... Think I can do it all by Sunday, July 26?

(By the way, I'm going to be out of town and unable to spin next week.)


[knitting] Cap Karma

I finished the July Hat Club hat:

Cap Karma

Pattern: Cap Karma by Smariek

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, less than one skein

Needles: US 6 (ribbing), US 8 (body)

Mods: I used BrooklynTweed's modifications for continuing the cables up the crown. I did it wrong the first time, of course, and had to rip back, but I got it eventually.

This hat fits Dollar perfectly and while he has decided to keep it, I'm tempted to make another for him in a darker color.


[knitting] Mouse Mat for Cat

I finished a mouse pad for Murderface:

Mouse Mat for Cat

Pattern: Mouse Mat for Cat from Pet Heaven: The Animal Accessory Bible

Needles: US 11

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted, gray, two balls (yarn held double throughout the project)

Does he use it? Not really, he'll walk a wide circle around it when it's on the floor. I tried wiggling the butt of the mouse in front of him...

Mouse Mat for Cat

He attacked it for a bit but got bored...

Mouse Mat for Cat

Maybe it's just too hot. I'm hoping he'll use it more this fall and winter.

I went ahead and added a few of the remaining details...

Mouse Mat - With face!

I might make the catnip stuffed ears someday but the cat's lack of interest is kind of demotivating.


[spinning] Our (Make the) Best (of it) Roving

I've been quietly participating in Tour de Fleece for the past couple weeks and to get ready, I had to finish up some spinning that I had been putting off. I had one bobbin of singles and didn't really feel like doing the second because I hated the roving.

J. Knits Our Best Roving

This is J. Knits Our Best Roving. And ironic name, I think, because this is one of the worst spinning experiences I've had. I'm sure the roving is a "dream" to spin when it's new/fresh, but this was felted. Tearing apart strips was like tearing apart cloth. And those strips had to be predrafted apart by hand because I couldn't properly draft it at the wheel.

When all was said and done, I ended up with:

Merino Handspun

It's soft and the merino is bouncy but it's uneven:

Merino Handspun

I couldn't get a consistant thickness because I would hit felted sections of fiber. Ugh. And I have another 4 oz bump in different colorway. Not really sure what to do about that...


[misc] Murderface Monday

Here's a rare picture of MF awake:

Murderface at the bedroom window

This is the bedroom window. He likes to jump up to this window about an hour before the alarm is set to go off, and knock his head against the blinds until I get up and open the blinds and window for him. Then he settles down to watch the world wake up:

Murderface at the bedroom window

While I try to go back to sleep.


[knitting] Elizabeth Hat

I knit myself a quick hat:

Elizabeth Hat

Pattern: Elizabeth Hat (Rav)

Needles: US 11

Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, one skein

I'm interested to see how a bulky hat with slouch works out this fall and winter.


[embroidery] When it's too hot to knit...

More than a year ago I embroidered some cloths for Dollar. He is still using them and they've held up well to many machine washings. I ordered some more tea towels from the Sublime Stitching website, thinking they would be the same thin, soft towels that came in the kit. The ones I got were VERY large and made of thicker material.

I unfolded one of the towels, showed Dollar and asked what he thought. He said "They're nice... But I think if they were half that size, they would be perfect. I can't really fold up that huge thing and stuff it in my pocket." I eyed my sister's sewing machine, sitting in a cardboard box in a corner of my dining room for more than a year.

I took it out and took it apart. I read through the instruction manual on how to clean out the lint and where to oil it. I somehow managed to put it back together...


I cut the tea towels. Here they are post-cutting. (Yes, they were too huge to begin with)...


I folded and ironed the cut edge:


And sewed it!


I sewed it! OMGWTFBBQFTW! I never sew. It's just a straight line, but seriously... I'm so proud of it.

I even got out the seam ripper to rip out the pink tags (which I'm guessing Dollar doesn't want) and sew the seam closed again.


I showed Dollar all the iron-on transfers I have and had him pick out what he liked best. Drums, of course...


And I started a snake...


The big win here is that I'm no longer terrified of the sewing machine. Wary of it, sure, but not terrified.


[knitting] June Hat Club

Here are the finished Selbu Moderns that people brought to Hat Club last Tuesday:

Hat Club hats

Hat Club hats

Hat Club hats

Hat Club hats

Hat Club hats

As you can see, the hat can go from beanie shaped to slouchy beret depending on what yarn you use and your needle size.

Here's my finished hat:

Hat Club hats

I started another one but it needs to be ripped:

Selbu Boo

I call it Selboo. The contrasting yarn I'm using against the black is a sock yarn that self-stripes. The picture doesn't accurately show how the lines of color (especially that yellow) distract from the stranded pattern. It's going to be a pain in the butt to rip (from weaving all the floats), but I'll do it some night when I'm exceptionally bored.

Speaking of hats, I've reduced the number of hats I have by at least half. This past weekend we had 4th of July stuff going on with Dollar's family and I brought a brown paper bag full of hats that I've made over the years. I regularly only wear 2 or 3 different hats in the winter, so all my Hat Club hats were simply laying unloved in a drawer.

I brought hats that were too tall for me, too short for me, hats that looked weird on me. I set them out and people took what they liked. I've decided that I'll start making Hat Club hats in masculine colors and let Dollar keep what he likes. Anything he doesn't want will go into the annual Sac o' Hats, so there will be lots for both the women and men folk. (This year's Sac o' Hats was definitely female-centric in shapes and colors.)