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January 5, 2012

Cat Bullet

Hexagon madness

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 10:19 am

So you have all been remarkably patient with my lack of up to date photos. I think that I’ve finally managed to work out a system to use my phone to take photos and email them to myself. Let’s see how they look on the blog…

Hexagons. I’ve mentioned them frequently lately. It would have been hard not to mention them as I am a bit obsessed.

White border hexagon

I’m putting these together using the English Paper Piecing technique. I had developed a procedure based on internet searching, but then Glenderella and I took a class at a local Quilting store and that really sealed the deal. The instructor really helped clarify things that I was finding a bit difficult.

This is a really fun project to work on. I really like that all of the supplies fit into a nice food storage box and are therefore portable. I don’t have to sit at the machine every time I work on it, which makes the kitties happy because my lap is available for their occupation.

Each little square of fabric is pinned to a cardstock template. The fabric corners are lightly trimmed (to reduce bulk), and then each side is folded and tacked to hold it in place. Then two hexies are held back to back and itty bitty stitches with a really small needle are used to attach them. You really have to pay attention to get the corners to line up properly.

The fabric I am using is from a “Jelly Roll” which is no where near as carb-filled as it sounds. It is just the name given to a roll of 2.5 inch by 43 inch coordinating strips that are rolled together. The nice thing about using them is that they all match, and you don’t have to think too much about picking out fabrics. The line is “Afternoon in Provence” by Moda.

Over Thanksgiving, I cleared off the kitchen table and spent a couple of days cutting all the remaining strips into appropriately sized squares and then matching up “sets” of the fabrics to be used to make each future hexagon flower.

Hexagon arrangement
hmmm… that picture is a titch bit fuzzy. Sorry about that…

Once I get all of the hexagon flowers sewn, I’ll arrange them on a back ground fabric and use the sewing machine to sew them in place. That will be the only machine sewing that I will do on this project, because I’m planning to hand quilt each little hexagon. Why not? I’m not in a hurry and I’m really enjoying the process. Once the hand quilting is done, then I will just have to put a binding on the quilt and I will have a really nice blanket for use in my living room.

Hexagon pile

As of my last count, I have 16 hexagons made. If I remember correctly, I was able to put together a total of 30 sets of fabric for hexagon flowers before I ran out of material. So, I’m slightly over half way with the first phase of this project.

Such fun!!!

Next week, though, I will be off work and exiled to the upstairs because my kitchen and downstairs bathroom are being renovated. Never fear, though…

I have plans.

36 patch blocks cross cut

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September 16, 2009

Cat Bullet

Wednesday musings

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 10:19 am

It is Wednesday already. Time is flying.

What is new??

I finished my second “Leaf Lace Sock” last night at knitting knight. It was kind of a surprise, actually. There I was, knitting away at the foot, a couple of rounds here, a couple of rounds there… As I was working on it last night, I measured it against the first sock and WOW, it was just two rounds short of where I needed to start the toe decreases. Woo Hoo!

I finished the toe decreases last night, so the only thing left to do is to graft the ends together (I am incapable of doing that when anyone else is in the room) and to weave in the ends. I am exceedlingly happy with these socks; photographs will follow shortly.

So, my new travel project? I will be very excited to start “Bella’s Mittens”, which I have owed to a friend for some months now. They look like they will go quickly, and I am really looking forward to working on them.

However, I also have to make a present for a baby shower on October 4th. I purchased some dark Aqua cotton last night at Knit Knack and will making one of the baby sweaters from “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn”. Everybody say it with me: “Pictures to follow shortly.”

I can’t decide if I should use the baby sweater as my travel project and evening project, just to make sure it gets done in time or if I can go ahead and cast on both.

What do you think, my beloved readers?

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September 10, 2009

Cat Bullet

Thursday musings

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 9:00 am

Sundance Trail Corral
Dinner time at the Sundance Trail Corral

Thursday morning, already. This week is going quickly!

I had a lovely evening yesterday. I didn’t really know what I was going to have for dinner, but while talking to my “bus buddy” on the way home, I got an immense craving for quiche. Don’t ask. There is no explanation. Quiche, while quite the edible dish, is not something that I usually think about. So, I popped off the bus at an earlier stop, and ran into the grocery store. They had single serving size frozen quiches, so I got one spinach and one ham and cheese and then went home.

Being too tired to make anything that resembled an actual decision, I cooked both of them. I made a salad while they were cooking and then had half of each one of them. YUM!!! I was really pleased and now I have very yummy leftovers for lunch.

I think that, this weekend, I may have to investigate making one from scratch. Any recipe hints or suggestions would be welcome!!

While the quiches were cooking, I turned on the Rockies game and worked on my second Leaf Lace sock. I had turned the heel while waiting for the bus, but then discovered that I had left my dpn’s at home so I couldn’t pick up the gusset stitches. I guess that it worked out for the best, really. The bus was really crowded, so it would have been difficult to “gusset” anyway. So, once dinner was baking, I found the proper needles, picked up the gusset stitches and started working on the decreases. I got all of the gusset done (decreased) during the game and I finished the gusset in the 8th inning (where, if I remember correctly, the Rox lost their lead and ended up in a 2-2 tie).

As I worked on cleaning up the kitchen, the Rocks allowed a run across the plate… BOOOOO!!! It was now 3-2, not in our favor. But, as I continued to clean, the Rocks got to the plate and WHAMO!!! They won, 4-3. It was a really exciting ending to an otherwise quiet game. The inning was so exciting that, when I ran out of kitchen to clean, I pulled out Mom’s stole and got a couple of rows in. There was NO WAY that I was going to be able to go to bed while that excitement was going on.

So, to recap: Yummy, easy to fix dinner; Excellent progress made on sock project; Clean Kitchen; Progress on Mom’s Stole; ROCKIES WIN!!!

Why can’t every evening be like that?????

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July 29, 2009

Cat Bullet

Wednesday morning

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:11 am


Hi all,

I hope everyone is sitting down. I actually made it to knitting last night.

I know, I know. Shocking, really.

It was so wonderful to see everyone – Terrie, Judy, Mary, Cheryl, Betsy, Christie and Beth!! You just made my evening with your warm welcome and lovely faces.

It was so wonderful that the fact that Knit Knack was having a yarn sale almost didn’t register.


I got a bag of variegated cotton yarn in blues and tans, and am intending to use it to make a wedding afghan for a long time friend of mine. Luckily, I have just about a year before the wedding, because we all know how bad I am at knitting on schedule. :-(

I even, after my purchase, managed to knit on the shrug! I’m very pleased with the texture and softness, and I got to start the ribbing on the “far” end last night. Once the ribbing is done (about 2.5 more inches), then I do quick seams on each end to make the sleeves and then pick up stitches to start the neck ribbing. I had better get cracking on this one, because time is rapidly running out!! I still don’t think that I’ll have problems getting it done, but I had better use my time wisely.

My subconscious must be aware of this fact because I woke up at 3am this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep. Eventually, I got up and started a load of laundry and other general tidying tasks…

I have a feeling that I am going to crash around 4pm this afternoon…

Everybody have a fantastic day!

P.S. And I have confirmation from someone else who has knit with the Socks that Rock Medium Weight that it is very nice and I just must have gotten the one skein that wasn’t perfect. I was glad to hear that!!! Thanks, Judy!

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July 27, 2009

Cat Bullet

Super Sekrit Revealed

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 9:59 am

Hi All,

AT last, a picture of actual knitting!! Thanks to my mom, actually, who took the picture and emailed it to me.

Thanks also to Dad for his foot modeling skills…

Dad's Socks that Rock

The details:

Socks that Rock, Medium weight. Color: Hurdy Gurdy

Simple 2×2 ribbing, no ribbing on top of foot.

“Father’s day” present; even though the completed pair didn’t get delivered until last Saturday. I would have finished on time, but problems with the ball o’ yarn as well as some unforseen health issues really slowed down the process. What can I say? This is why I rarely knit for “scheduled” gifts. Too much pressure.

The verdict: I love the way the finished socks feel. Very soft and cushiony. I love the colors in the yarn, as all of the major Denver Sports teams are represented (Maroon for the Avalanche, Navy for the Broncos, Sky blue for the Nuggets and, of course, Purple for the Rockies!!). Quantity of yarn: One skein was quite sufficient for a Man’s pair of socks. Not huge feet, really, but I made the “tops” really long, so you could cut back there if you were knitting for bigger feet. I had a small amount of yarn left, enough to possibly make the socks each an inch longer, if that had been needed.

The yarn itself? Meh. There were hard “crimps” every couple of yards, which probably led to the problems I had with the skein. In addition, there were three areas that I had to cut out, as they were slubby and yucky.

However, I like the finished product enough to consider buying another skein of the medium weight, just to see if it was a fluke… I’ve certainly never had any problems with any of the light weight skeins that I have used in the past.

Has anyone else used the STR Medium weight? Please sing out in the comments and let me know if you have had problems…

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June 17, 2009

Cat Bullet


Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:40 am


How about some snow to cool things off a bit?

Our run of cool, rainy weather appears to have come to a close. It is going to be hot here this week!

Thanks for saying such nice things about the Taos stole. I really like how it came out. I took it with me to the Estes Park Wool Market so that I could show it to the Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool vendors. They liked seeing it.

Estes Park was nice. It was my first time visiting the festival. I didn’t buy too much (relatively speaking). I got a nice vest/shrug pattern, along with one skein of a hand dyed accent yarn to be used for the collar of the piece. I got some neutral-baby color variegated cotton yarn to make something for a newly pregnant friend. I got a nice shawl pattern. I got a back issue of Wild Fibers magazine that I had been wanting.

There were a lot of really nice things to see. I almost bought a beautiful silk/wool felted beret, but when I turned around to go to the register, a woman was staring at me with a really nervous look on her face. Apparently she wanted the hat, but set it down just before I picked it up. Then she was agonized that I was going to buy it. So, I let her get the hat, but picked up a business card so that I can order one for myself. The vendor wrote down the item number on the card so it will be easy to get exactly what I want. I’m thinking about getting a new winter coat for next winter, so it will be nice to get something that matches.

I didn’t take any pictures that day. I did have my camera with me, but I wasn’t feeling very well, so I just didn’t pull it out. We also didn’t get to see too many of the animals for mostly the same reason. I guess that I will just have to go back next year, right?

(Thanks for going with me Donna, it was really fun! And you were a good sport to drive…)

Knitting wise: The super sekrit project has turned a corner, so to speak. No more problems with yarn ball madness, thankfully. It won’t be done on schedule for a variety of reasons, but somehow, I think the world will go on.

I also started the Retro Redux shrug out of the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. It is going quickly – I can’t remember the last time that I knit on size 10.5 needles. I think it is going to be really nice to wear. Very soft and silky.

I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’ve been scampering around doing too many things lately, and I’m planning on spending the whole weekend in my house with my brain decidedly in the “off” position. Except for Father’s day activities, but since Mom and Dad’s house is home away from home, it will pretty much qualify as the same thing.

Everybody have a fantastic Wednesday!

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June 12, 2009

Cat Bullet

Taos Stole – Finally

Filed under: Finished Projects,Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 5:00 am

Taos Stole on Bear

So, what do you do when you can’t find a suitable location to photograph your latest knitting finished object?

You go out and find a funny napping bear sculpture who doesn’t mind giving you a hand. Er… paw. Er… back.

All winter, I drive past this guy and I just have the un-bear-able urge to knit him a scarf. Maybe I will do that some day. But in the mean time, he was happy to display the finished Taos stole.

Mom went with me for the “photostyling” and suggested that he should model it as a muffler.

Bear with stole

How about a detail shot of the knitting?


This was a fun project. Here are the details:

“Triple S Shawl”, by a designer called “The Knitting Fairy”. The yarn used was from the “Plain and Fancy Sheep and Wool” company (no website, sadly).

I picked up both pattern and yarn at the Taos Wool Market last October. I understand that the Plain and Fancy vendors will be at the Estes Park Wool Market, so I am hoping to be able to show the finished project to them.

I highly recommend the yarn – very soft and stunningly colored. It knit up like a dream. Blocking was amazing – I didn’t even have to stretch and pin out the shawl. Instead, I soaked it really well and then laid it out on towels on the guest bed. The weight of the shawl let me just give a tug or two to straighten out the lines and then it was perfect. As usual (for Denver), it dried overnight.

Everybody have a great weekend!

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June 10, 2009

Cat Bullet


Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:16 am

Taffy, relaxing
It is hard work, being a cat…

So here it is, Wednesday already. Gah…

I bound off the “Frankenscarf” last night, but didn’t have time to braid the fringes yet. I can truly say, though, that this is going to be a favorite object. (insert usual promise of photos… soon… here). I will need to block it, because the cast-off edge was a little ruffly, but that should hopefully straighten out with some soaking and some tension. If not, I’m probably the only one who will notice it.

And yes, it is much to pretty to be called a Frankenscarf, so I will come up with a better name, I promise.

The “super sekrit” yarn ball issues are possibly over. I finally gave up when I had a total of three extra loops that had worked their way out from the center of the ball. I used my fingers and felt around in the middle of the ball and found that there was a really hard central core of knotted yarn, so I pulled out the whole chunk (about a quarter of the ball). I then spent the last three bus rides carefully de-knotting and then wrapping the detangled yarn around my ruler. Once I got it all wrapped, I pulled the ruler out and had a small, rewound center-pull ball already made (I was unintentionally clever when I started wrapping). I was able to knit this morning on the bus without any further problems. I have hope and faith that things will go better from here.

Oh, and if you think you get strange looks while knitting on the bus, you should see the ones that you get when detangling on the bus…

Tonight, I’m hoping to cast on the Shrug. It looks like a fairly easy and no-nonsense pattern. I hope that is in truth. Thankfully, I bought yarn that is already in center pull balls, so I can’t mess that up. :-)

Everybody have a great day!

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May 27, 2009

Cat Bullet


Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions — Cat @ 10:33 am

Has anyone seen Jack?

Well, this past weekend’s rain and now sun has led to quite the growth spurt in the back yard.

Just kidding…

I was nursing a headache for most of the weekend, which was sad. The cats were happy, because I spent a lot of time lounging around taking naps and applying ice packs, but it wasn’t hugely productive. Stupid weather fronts.

I couldn’t concentrate on the lace henley sweater, but I did manage to get a good start on my new scarf project, which I am currently calling the “Frankenscarf” becuase it developed from many ideas that I’ve encountered over the years.

I am using the stitch pattern from the Scrappy Lengthwise Scarf . Kind of a slip stitch stockinette that really looks like it was produced on a loom. Very cool.

I’m using a “Magic Ball”*, obtained from Sophie’s Toes Sock yarn. I’ve lusted after this yarn ever since it arrived in my house – with a fervor usually reserved for Haagen Daaz Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream. The slip stitch pattern is serving to “meld” the various colors into a glorious harmonius whole.

To aid in the blending of the colors, I’m changing yarn every row, leaving a long tail at the start and end of each row. I borrowed this idea from a scarf kit that my sister in law picked up in England.

The long tails will (eventually) be braided together, both to stabilize the edges of the scarf and because I think it will look really cool. This idea (loosely translated) was from the Montego Bay scarf, a couple of summers back in Interweave Knits.

I estimate that I am about half way through the scarf, as it is moving fairly quickly. A couple more evenings of work and I will be done with it. Quite the exquisite reward for making it through the finishing of the Mystery Stole.

On Sunday, I briefly kidnapped my Mom and we went to Knit Knack. We have a family trip coming up later in the summer, and I decided that I needed a quick shrug project to go over a couple of dresses that I am planning to wear.

Stop laughing. I do TOO own dresses.

Anyway, I picked out a farily easy looking shrug pattern (Retro Redux Shrug) from the book Lace Style. Mom helped me pick out some nice black Cashmerino (Debbie Bliss) to make it with. By all accounts, this should be a very quick knit. I’m looking forward to getting started on it.

Still no pictures. Well, there are pictures, but they are still on the camera. I’m currently planning on taking this Friday off from work. With no weather fronts expected for the weekend, I should be much more productive. Hopefully, that will translate into photos for the blog.

Everybody have a great Wednesday!

*A Magic Ball, I should define as a ball of various remnants of sock yarn tied end to end and wound into, well, a ball. Though that definition doesn’t even begin to do it justice, since the seller has truly amazing color sense. My Magic Ball was in the “deep blue sea” colorway and is full of blues, greys, purples and browns.

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May 12, 2009

Cat Bullet


Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 8:51 am

As I have implied in previous posts, I’ve been on a big push to finish all of my current works in progress. I finished the Taos Stole and the Cats Cradle lace scarf (Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!). The last two evenings, I have spent working on the Mystery Stole 3.

Yes, the one that was started two summers ago. THAT Mystery Stole. My longest existing UFO (Unfinished Object). Perversely referred to as “my albatross”.

For reasons that I won’t repeat here, I was never very happy with the pattern; and when Mamma Cat ain’t happy, projects don’t get worked on.

However, as it so happens, I now have a project waiting in the wings that needs my Size 4 Knit Picks needle tips. MamaCat might not be happy, but she is also incredibly stubborn about taking needles off of projects before they are done (it is a psychological thing, which we won’t think too much about).

Therefore, this project is now in my focus to get done. As soon as possible.

To keep things interesting (and, because I’ve not had a blog contest around here in a while), I’d like you to submit your guess as to the time and date of when the project will be finished.

Some information to help you make an informed decision:

    1. As of last night, I have 71 rows left.

    2. Each pair of rows takes between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on complexity, mental state and how tired my hands are (and how many cats are in my lap at the given time).

    3. There will be a 99 stitch Kitchener graft to join the two halves together.

    4. This not a project that can travel, so I can’t work on it on bus rides.

    5. On weeknights, my bedtime is between 8:45 and 9:15. I generally get home between 3:30 and 7:00pm (work is fairly erratic).

    6. On weekends, when I am home all day, I generally don’t start knitting before noon (because it takes my hands that long to really get warmed up and able to knit).

    7. I will define “finished” as the two halves knit, grafted together and all of the ends woven in. I will NOT include blocking of the stole in the game, because I’ve been known to let projects sit around for months before I get around to blocking.

I pledge that this project will be my primary focus until it is done. However, I reserve the right to not work on the project in case of any of the following:

    Cute cats
    Misbehaving cats
    Shedding cats
    Dirty dishes
    Dirty clothes
    Lack of groceries or cooked food in the house
    Intense/exciting Colorado Rockies games
    Knitting Nights
    Prescheduled Arsenal dates

So, there you have it. Make your best guess in the comments. To avoid “skewing” the results, I won’t look at the guess comments until after I have finished the project. If you have any questions, I will make a second post shortly where you can leave questions in the comments.

Oh yeah – Prizes!! Well, I will come up with something that is “Winner Appropriate”. If you are a knitter, you will probably get something knitterly. If you aren’t, well, I’ll come up with something. Don’t worry. It will be something cool. :-)

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