[knitting] Similar... But different

I finished a couple cowls this month, before the Olympics. I joined the Cowl group on Ravelry and there's a knit-along every month. February's selection was the Burberry Cowl:

Burberry Cowl

Pattern: Burberry Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf

Needles: US 10 (6 mm)

Yarn: Rowan Cocoon, less than two balls.

The cables were a bit of a pain to work (seriously, 16-stitch cables) but it went fast. Did a provisional cast on, knit it up, used kitchener stitch to close it up. I kitchenered it closed, then went along the row again from the start with a tapestry needle, evening out the stitches... and the yarn broke. Cocoon is a soft single-ply and couldn't handle being sewn through once, then tightened up. I wasn't yanking on the yarn or anything. So, just FYI. I was able to duplicate stitch/reinforce where the break happened and you can't tell.

Burberry Cowl

I liked it so much that I had to try other another, similar pattern:

Tuesday Night Cowl

Pattern: Tuesday Night Cowl (rav link)

Needles: US 9 (5.5 mm)

Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Renaissance Heathered (now discontinued), 2 skeins

This is a good pattern, written for 3 different weights of yarn. I did the aran-weight version. I was able to perform the kitchener close with confidence because (a) I felt more experienced at it- the kitchener row is quite invisible, and (b) the yarn has multiple plies.

I still have a couple more similar-but-slightly-different cowls like this I want to try...


[crochet] Starburst Hot Pad

Another crochet hot pad:


Pattern: Starburst Hotpad

Hook: US G (4 mm)

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream solid- off white color. Lily Sugar 'n Cream Naturals- Earth Ombre color

This was a one-evening project. You make five separate motifs and then draw them together with a double strand of yarn. The effect is pretty but the whole thing is only held together at 6 points, so it's a little loosey-goosey. I want to iron the folds flat, then it's going to my sister.


I've seen some pretty red/green/white Christmas-y versions done that remind me of poinsettias.

I'm trying to find more crochet hotpad patterns to use up all my worsted-weight Sugar 'n Cream. So far I haven't found/made one that made me go, "I want to make 10 more of these."


[misc] Murderface Monday

About a week ago I got Murderface a new cat nip pillow toy...

This is the first and only time I've seen it. I have no idea where it went but it's lost somewhere in the house.


[misc] Procrastination - If a job's worth doing, it'll still be worth doing tomorrow.

I finished the main body of Quinn. The bottom is seamed (three needle bind-off, rather than kitchener) and I washed it and blocked it. I still have to make the strap: strands of i-cord braided together. In the interest of saving time, I tried to use my Embellish-Knit machine (a turn crank niddy noddy), which works well with up to DK weight yarn, but it totally bombed with the worsted weight, mostly cotton Sierra I'm using. It got all kinds of jammed up and I ended up having to cut out a tangled mess of immovable knots.

Which, I suppose, is fair? I was planning on literally cranking out at least 12 feet of i-cord with this thing because I didn't want to do something so tedious by hand. But this is the Knitting Olympics. Would it be like running a 22 mile marathon and then jumping onto a motorcycle at mile 17 to finish out the last 5 miles? I kinda think so. It felt like cheating to me.

(But if the machine had worked, I totally would have used it.)


I got some new games from Game Surplus. Dollar and I are going to try out Batt'l Kha'os tonight. I tested it out a bit by myself last night (blatantly avoiding all the i-cord I have to make) and it's very cute. A tile-laying game for two. One side is Knights, one side is Orcs. You line up opposing forces and whoever has more forces at the corners of the tiles wins that corner. I know, it doesn't make sense when I write it out here, but it seems light and fun.

We've been playing a lot of Smallworld recently. This is the ONLY game I can't win against Dollar (besides chess) (and Magic) (okay, maybe there's a SHORT list of games I can't win against him). I have NO IDEA how he ends up with a higher score than me. I would accuse him of stealing victory tokens but I'm usually the one passing him his chips. Even when I know I've won the game, KNOW it because of all the victory points I was accumulating like crazy, when we add them all up he still wins. By a lot.

I played Dominion up at my sister's last Friday. Now that Lost* has started, we all watch it together on Friday nights, with supper, then play a boardgame. We started by playing a game of 4-player regular Catan. I placed my starting settlements in unapologetically mean locations and the rest of the game was smooth sailing to an easy win for me. I wanted to play Dominion after but Dollar wasn't feeling like another game (crushing defeat tends to have that effect on him) and he walked back down to the house to play a video game. I stayed to teach my sister and her bf Dominion. We played a game. Then we played again. I offered to leave but they kinda taunted me into staying for another game. I didn't get back home until midnight.


*If Kate doesn't meet some kind of grisly demise this season, I'm calling BS on the entire series. I didn't invest 6 years into this show to not see Kate get what she deserves. I demand satisfaction!


[knitting] Quinn's Surgery

I'm making good progress on my Quinn cabled bag. I was able to knit all of the band on Saturday, graft it together and pick up stitches around for the main body. Here's the front...


As I was knitting along, I flipped the bag over to knit the back and saw that I had messed up. MESSED UP. Look at the top of the back:


On the previous cable round, I had sent the stockinette lines back toward each other (rather than away). I said to Dollar, "Oh [bleep]. I [bleeped] up. I [bleeped] up really bad. It's time for surgery. I'll see you in an hour."

I went into my craft room, dramatically cleared my desk off pushing everything off one end, and put the patient down on the table.

Scalpel, I mean, crochet hook. Check. Cable needles. Check.


The fix was easy enough, just tedious. Pick up 4 stitches 2 rows below onto a cable needle. Drop those 4 stitches down to the cable needle. Reverse the orientation of the 2 purls and 2 knits. Pick them back up. Do this 10 times.

IMG_4892   IMG_4894

IMG_4896   IMG_4897

Here's the surgery 50% complete (with the fixed cables shown on the right):


It was a success and the patient is no worse for wear. Dollar and I celebrated with a bottle of champagne. Which we had on hand for Valentine's Day, but I think it's an appropriate reward for this kind of thing.

And I explained to him why I didn't just rip it all back to the mistake and knit it all over again. "It's like building a 2nd story to a house, finding out you put the windows in wrong and tearing the entire 2nd story down to put the windows in right. You don't have to; just fix the windows."


[misc] Murderface Monday

The long weekend is coming to a close. Muderface says, "Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the tabby- I mean, tiger!"



[knitting] Eye of the Tiger

The Winter Olympics start tomorrow and I've been busy training for the Knitting Olympics. I was going to take an action shot of me in a striped terry cloth headband and wrist-warmers, in a track suit, tirelessly winding yarn from skeins into balls... But really, it was just a couple hours of me casually turning the knob on my ball winder while sipping wine and watching Flight of the Conchords. Yeah, that's my kind of training.

I have three things I want to do: a cabled bag, a stranded pair of mittens, a sweater for Murderface. I also want to frog a pink sweater. Ideally, I'd also like to be able to spin 8 oz of wool, knit a hat, a pair of slippers, a baby sweater, finish my handspun shawl... Yeah. I think that's it. That's all I want to do. In two weeks. BUT we're not meant to set ourselves up for disappointment, so my "official" goal is just the first three things.

I've been cooking and freezing dinners so that I can just reheat them on week nights during the Olympics. I'm skipping boardgaming on Wednesday nights. I do have a few upcoming obligations (a dinner with Dollar's family, a show at the HOP, a hair appointment... oh yeah, and work) that's going to cut into my knitting time but what am I going to do. The occasional shower and event outside of the house will probably do me good. At least I'm starting with a three-day weekend to make up for the wasted time, I mean, lovely time doing Valentine's Day dinner and stuff.

And the Chinese New Year starts on Valentine's Day- it's the year of the tiger. Eye of the Tiger!


[misc] What you get for scaring my cat.

Went to Unity XVI and it was awesome. Mentally exhausting (18 straight hours of boardgaming) but so worth it. I played Dominion, Thebes, Endeavor, Ave Caesar, Wits and Wagers, Shadows Over Camelot, and I brought my homemade Twin State Ticket to Ride.

18 hours of boardgaming. Am I insane? I'm not sure, but I feel like I need to roll a die to find out.

We played until they kicked us out of the hotel's ballroom at midnight. Then I went up to my room and passed out. I woke up at 8:30, went to H Mart and was back home by 11:30 am. I nearly ran out of gas and peed my pants, but I refused to pull over for anything- I just wanted to get home.

Speaking of peeing their pants, I brought Murderface to the vet yesterday for his 2nd round of shots. When we got back home, he came out of his carrier and started sniffing around the outside of it. I pulled out the bathtowel that I put inside and there was a big pee spot :(

Back at the vet's, after the exam was over and I was paying, a man with a big dog on a leash came in and let his dog go right up to Murderface's carrier and his dog put his nose right up against it. I didn't know what was happening until I heard Murderface hissing. I immediately picked up the carrier, moved it to the other side of me and gave the guy a dirty look. What I wanted to say was-

"You wanna control your f'ing dog? Get it away from my cat."


"Are you a f'ing moron? Keep your dog away from my cat."


"Are you f'ing stupid? I got a cat here."

Other, meaner, options ran through my head as well. When I saw the pee towel at home, I figured it must have been the dog that scared Murderface so bad that he peed. Which pissed me off more. I wanted to go back and find this guy, tie him to a tree and let a gigantic grizzly bear get right up in his face. I bet the guy would pee his pants. And I'd be up in the tree, saying, "Yeah, scary situations that make you pee yourself aren't fun. Right? You see now? This is what you get for scaring my cat."

Sigh. I wish.

P.S. In case anyone thinks daydreaming about this guy with being mauled by a bear is excessive, I just want to add that when I gave him a dirty look after moving Murderface, he gave me a shit-eating smirk that made me want to kick him in the nuts. He didn't pull his dog back. Just saying.


[weekend] One is the lonliest number :(

I'm going to Unity XVI tomorrow, which is awesome but since it goes so late into the night, I'm staying over at the hotel. Dollar isn't coming because he's got band practice, he's not as into board games as me, and he wouldn't be able to get up at 7am to leave. A night away from him and Murderface makes me feel :(

Also, it turns out that the gaming convention is only 10 minutes from H Mart. So I'm going to swing by there before heading back up Sunday morning. I was just checking out the online flyer to see what's on sale this week.

The H Mart front page has a happy tiger family (because this is the year of el tigre?), happy about all the meat on sale:

Happy Cat Family... Is happy

I saw that there is some rice on sale, they always have boxes of fruit on sale, marinated meat, etc. Then I saw this:

Tropicana Bathroom Tissue

Tropicana Bathroom Tissue No Pulp/Original. Ha, obviously that's a typo. It should say "No Poop/Original". Because the original comes with a little bit of poop.

[crochet] Flower Hot Pad

Flower Hotpad

Pattern: Crochet Flower Hot Pad

Hook: G (4mm)

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream

Practicing to crochet more. I have all kind of Sugar 'n Cream that I would like to use up. I have enough dishcloths, so I'm opting for thick hot pads that can got on the dinner table when I bring out hot dishes.

I did this hot pad in one color, instead of two, because I didn't want ends to weave in. But I think stripes might have actually helped when it came time to figure out where to fold the petals and crochet them down. Also, this is really tight- I would probably go up a hook size for the next one.

I like this. It's pretty and dense but not very... cohesive? The whole thing is held together by 7 points around the center, and 7 points where the petals are attached with a single crochet. I think when I wash this thing, I'll have to take it out of the washing machine when it's wet, refold/reform it's shape and let it dry flat. If I just let it go in dryer, I'd probably end up with a scrunched up cotton bath poof.

This was an easy, one night project. This is only the 4th thing I've crocheted. It's just double crochets to start, then single crochets after that. The only tricky part was figuring out how/where to fold the petals.


[knitting] Chair Socks

Last Friday I saw a post on Ravelry about chair socks. I have wooden chairs and wooden floors and the former makes the most awful sound when dragged across the latter. I've been meaning to get felt pads for the feet for a long time but never have. So the idea of these chair socks made a light go "bing" over my head. What if I used the i-cord glove method to make bulky fingers for my chair feet?

Chair Socks

Aw yea, my chair doesn't have cold peg legs anymore. And they are quiet! I put them on one chair and did a demo for Dollar, sliding it around the room, "You hear that? No? I KNOW!"

Chair Socks

I've got to make more for the rest of my chairs. They're cute, bulky, fast, they stay on. They will probably wear out someday, but then I'll just have to make more. It's a good way to use scraps and leftovers.


[knitting] Warmer Cowl

Still trying to stash bust around here; another cowl:

Inca Marl Cowl

Pattern: Warmer (rav link)

Needles: US 6 (4mm), US 8 (5mm)

Yarn: Classic Elite Inca Marl, 1.3 skeins

Mods: Cast on for an extra pattern repeat for 98 stitches total. Kept on knitting until I practically ran out of yarn, so it's looooong. But so soft and squishy and stretchable. I can pull it up over my nose and mouth when it's really cold out.


[knitting] Cotton Dishcloths

Bright Granny's Favorite

Pattern: Grandmother's Favorite

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm)

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream Ombre

Love these. VERY bright and the color pooling isn't too noticeable. I made these ages ago and only recently sewed in the ends and gave them to my sister. I have tons of the Mason Dixon Ballband Dishcloths that I use and they are still going strong.

Lacy dishcloth

Pattern: eLoomanator's Diagonal Knit Dishcloth (rav link)

Needles: US 8 (5 mm)

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream Solid

A touch of lace added to granny's favorite. I wasn't too into it so I stopped increasing sooner than written in the pattern. I prefer the lace-less version.

I have enough dishcloths... I'm thinking I might like to start making some hot pads to use at the dinner table. In crochet. OOOOOo!


[knitting] Abstract Leaves Cowl

Abstract Leaves Cowl

Pattern: Abstract Leaves Cowl (rav link)

Needles: US 4 (3.5mm)

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss sock yarn, approx. 1 skein

Mods: Knit a few extra pattern repeats to use up all the yarn I had. Blocked around a rolled up bath towel. There is an option to do with pattern with beads as well.