[misc] Penny Friday

I think this is how we're all feeling about the never-ending frigid temperatures:

Penny in warm laundry

Penny snuggled deep into a blanket and futon cover straight out of the dryer.

I just signed up for Sock Madness 9 on Ravelry, just before the cut-off time. It seems to be a very strict, very challenging competition that starts imminently and runs through the end of May. I think sock knitting is all I'm going to be doing for the next three months. Gulp.


[misc] Murderface Thursday

A week and a half ago, Murderface had to have one of his canine teeth extracted because of decay. Santana was missing three of hers by the time we adopted her and eventually had to have the last one taken out for the same decay that MF had. Who knows if these teeth problems are hereditary or what but Santana's track record doesn't bode well for MF.

Anyway, I brought him down to the vet on a Monday morning. He was sedated, his tooth pulled and the rest cleaned. He was awake by 1pm and we picked him up at 3. He was out of it and stumbled around for the rest of the evening- we had to keep and eye on him at all times so he didn't try to jump on things or slip on the stairs.

Here he is recovering at home:


His diet has to be straight-up soft food for 14 days. I found some soft treats that I could give him. This is him hearing the treat bag crinkling:

Murderface waiting for treats

When it's treat time, the cats show how deserving they are by being nice and kissing one another:

Kissy Kissy

Then they eat all the treats and go back to hating and fighting with each other.

I had a quick trip to the DC area again this week. When I got home last night, the cats showed me how much they missed me. Murderface cat-loafed on my chest on the couch during a movie:



[knitting] Super simple striped socks

My travel knitting last week for DC was a pair of socks:

Super simple striped socks 🐍

Pattern is just the basic sock formula from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns. Cast on 68 stitches, used US 2 needles. Yarn is Sari Bamboo from Wisdom Yarns and I have a decent amount of the originally 100g ball leftover.

I was trying to take pictures of the socks just before kitty suppertime so Penny followed me around, reminding me that it was almost suppertime. 


[knitting] Aran Afghan Square #12

The last square I've finished:

Aran Afghan Square #12

I'm in the middle of some socks at the moment, but then I'll go back to making the last three squares for the afghan. Then it will be hours and hours and hours of sewing.


[knitting] Aran afghan square #10

Continuing to plug away at squares for the Great American Aran Afghan.

Aran Afghan Square #10

I think I have enough yarn for 16 squares total, sewn together. I would have to buy more for a garter-stitch border but it's okay if the dye-lot is different for that; I just want to be able to complete the main body with all the same yarn and dye-lot. That should make a nice, square lap blanket. 


[knitting] Felted House Slippers

I knit/felted three pairs of House Slippers over the holidays. I gave them all away but I did make a 4th pair for me.


Pre-felted slippers

I used undyed, local wool that I picked up at a VT Sheep and Wool Festival one year.

After felting:

Felted House Slippers

They really didn't lose much of their stitch definition but they are smaller. I ran them through 2 wash cycles and they seemed to shed a lot during the process... I was starting to get worried about clogging up my washing machine and/or drainage tube with stray fibers, so I stopped.

They are really soft now. The original yarn was kind of rough and I thought it was only suitable for rugs but these slippers are ridiculously soft. They are a bit too big for me, so I'll put them into a basket and keep them as guest slippers.


[travel] DC

Had a quick trip to DC this week. Passed by the back side of the White House:

White House security was in no-joke stay-on-the-sidewalk mode this afternoon. Didn't get to see the Prez.

Everyone had to stay on the side walk. Usually you're allowed to meander up to the black fence at the edge of the grass but everything was blocked off and security was tight. We saw several people (tourists and joggers) screamed at for setting one tippy-toe off the sidewalk. Typically this happens when the president or some other VIP is returning to the White House. Who knows- who knows when they're arriving, who knows who it will be, etc. I get on my phone and searched "where is the president", which you'd think wouldn't work, but it's how I figured out that it was the African American caucus that was coming up to the White House for a meeting. Their bus pulled up in a few minutes.

While we waited, we watched the overly-friendly, overly-fed squirrels:

Black squirrel at the White House

And this trip was my first time sampling raw oysters around the city:

Had so many oysters in DC this trip.

My new favorite food.

I brought sock yarn as my travel knitting and managed to knit one entire sock. Now I've got a couple days to figure out what to do for Valentine's Day.

[misc] Murderface Thursday

Enjoying the sun last weekend. 



[knitting] Cupcake Hat

Using some of the leftover super-bulky yarn from the pillow covers, I whipped up a hat:

Cupcake hat

Pattern: Cupcake by DROPS design

Yarn: Encore Mega, 1.5 balls

Needles: US 11

Made the L/XL size. Perfect fit for my big head. Made the pompom using my Clover XL pompom maker in 3 minutes flat. Too bad I can't wear the hat inside my car- there isn't enough clearance above my head to accommodate the grapefruit-sized pompom. But this hat is definitely a keeper for me. 

I'm tempted to order a slew faux fur pom poms to add to hats. 


[knitting] Wesley Hat

A new hat knit with three colors of light-weight mohair/silk yarn:

Wesley hat

Pattern: Wesley

Yarn: Sublime Yarns Kid Mohair Blend (discontinued) in tan, pink and navy. 

Needles: US 6 (brim), US8 (body)

The above picture is a little pink overall. This close-up is a better representation of the color combination:

Wesley hat - stitch close up

Modifications: I only really used the stitch pattern. I prefer long, slouchy toques over berets.

The brim is 120 stitches on US 6 needles. Then I increased to 132 and started the main body with US 8. I worked the pattern straight for 10 inches and then decreased rapidly as such:

Color A round 1: *k2tog, slip 2 with yarn in front, k1, slip 1 with yarn in front* around.
Color A round 2: k1,  *knit2tog, k3* around.
Color B round 1: *slip 2 with yarn in front, k2tog, slip 1 with yarn in front, k1* around.
Color B round 2: *knit2tog, k3* around.
Color C round 1 and 2: Same as for Color A.

You decrease 33% of the total number of stitches every two rounds. I thought about adding a pompom to the top but I didn't for a couple reasons: 1) the decreases blended in so perfectly with the rest of the pattern, I didn't feel the need to hide it, and 2) this hat is light as air but still long enough to slouch nicely; I thought a pompom would only weigh things down in the back of my head.

Stash busting is going nicely. I can't even remember the last time I bought yarn. Maybe at the VT Sheep and Wool festival last October. I need to find good one-skein projects and projects for my handspun. I think I see a ton more hats in my future.


[quilting] Finished Quilt

I got the call that the quilt was finished, so I drove up to Fairlee to pick it up on Saturday. At home, I put it onto the guest bed and took about 100 pictures of it. I love it soooo much:

Finished quilt

I like the spiral pattern that was sewn on. I picked the thread. I brought them the navy blue fabric to sew together for the back. I picked the puffiest batting they had. And they finished the binding.

Santana on the finished quilt

Santana was so put out that I woke her up for these pictures. In my defense, I wanted to take these pictures earlier but her and Murderface were napping on the bed in the sun and looked so peaceful, I actually waited a couple hours before I was like, "Okay, I have to take these pictures now before I lose the sunlight."

Santana on the finished quilt

Anyway, the quilt and super-awesome and colorful and unique. As grumpy as she appears, Santana loves it, too.