Category Archives: cats

Sample Swatch

Yesterday (err, Tuesday) I knit a large gauge swatch for my dream 70s cardigan.  I knit it in the orange because I was headed to Ariadne regardless and needed to wind that enormous skein into a ball.

I cast on about 40 stitches and then knit about two inches each of stitch patterns that refuse to be forgotten.  That slipped stitch pattern?  My friend Lisa told me about it in 2007.  That star stitch?  I saw that last fall on ravelry.  That fisherman’s rib?  Mollyann from Ariadne told me about months ago.   The coolest aspect of all of this is that I haven’t ever really knit any of these stitch patterns.

And interestingly enough, the gauges are really different:  from 3 stitches per inch to 6.  But my friend Mitali can attest to that!  I certainly was having enough trouble getting the star stitch to behave.  I’m a notoriously tight knitter so any pattern that requires that I knit through anything three times is a bit above and beyond my capabilities.  I think I may have to find a charming (yet identical in every way) sort of alternative.  That saying, I’m not sure if using a substitute will get this bug out of my ear.

In other news, my cat Patrick Purrswayze fell yesterday and twisted one of his hind legs a bit.  I know it’s not too serious because he’s still jumping from the floor to the windowsill with no problems (and also, because he sometimes forgets that it hurts and runs around like a totally healthy pussy cat) but his expression is the most tragic thing I think I’ve ever seen.

Doesn’t he look disgusted, yet contemplative, yet very sorry for himself?  Poor fella.

And without further ado (and from a special request from Princess Sonya via Mitali)…

It’s perfect:  a cat sleeping on drying hand knit socks that have been well loved on a beautiful spring day.


Business as Usual

I really like knitting socks.  Just in general;  I like knitting socks.  I am not (by nature) a flashy dresser, and socks allow me to wear beautifully intricate hand knit things without feeling like a dog wearing santa claus hat.

The pattern is Belle Epoque (by Melissa Morgan-Oakes) and I elected to knit 1×1 rib for the cuff (instead of the picot edging) because I don’t trust it; 1×1 ribbing is perfectly stretchy.  How can picot edging match it?

I feel like a bit of a muppet admitting this, but I’ve only just realized that there’s a macro setting on my camera.  Isn’t that a gorgeous picture?  I also chose the pattern because it reminded me of the movie The Fighter.

If you disagree, then at least you can content yourself with Bazzy in my guitar bag.  Awwwwwwww…

Insert Post Here

So, this Sunday before past, I came down with the lung infection that everyone in Montreal is coming down with.  I have never hacked so much in my life – and what’s more, my partner got sick at exactly the same time.

I’m one of those people that turns into an enormous baby when sick, but I did manage to take some pictures of my armbands which I sent off to Boston last Wednesday.  Unfortunately, my sneezing and coughing buddy managed to delete them by accident, so the post I was banking on sharing with you isn’t entirely feasible.  I feel kind of silly; I even got a ravelry message from mmeadow reminding me to post them on my ravelry projects page, and I can’t.

I did get an awesome email from the 146+ crew today telling me that they not only received but really liked my armbands, so hopefully I’ll be able to link to some of the pics on their reBlog once it’s updated.

I’m very nearly done all the knitting on my knitted neckerchief, and my friend Maddy is letting me borrow Melissa Morgan-Oakes’ book, 2-at-a-time Socks which is awesome!  I’m pretty excited about the cables in that book.  I’m really excited to get the neckerchief off of my superlong 2.5 mm needle so I can try this out.

And, because it’s kind of lame to have a post without pictures…

I would like you to dance!

It’s Patrick and Bazorov’s birthday today.

They seemed non-plussed.

They’re exactly one year old.  Rather, they are one year and one day old, because it’s 22h24 and they’re sleeping.  We celebrated by playing in the hall of the apartment building, playing with all the favourite toys (including the silver fish plushie – that’s a classic), and extra treats.   I think all the affection and attention has made them suspicious.

I didn’t knit at all today.  In fact, I took all day and sang songs.  I made an extremely classy microphone holder, and have been singing all day.

I made a holder out of cardboard, and notched grooves so the corners of the holder would be more rounded (three long vertical notches that ran the length of the cardboard per corner).  I cut a window for the screen, a window for the buttons, and a hole in the bottom for the power cord.

I’m very pleased with it.  I think I may have to cut a hole for the headphone port, but other than that, it’s excellent.  I picked up a broken red coat rack a long time ago (I was dreaming of a homemade knitting knobby) so I taped the holder to the base.  It’s a surprisingly good solution.

I’m also thinking about where I should host this music.  I have a myspace, but I don’t like the new site, and I think that since I’m recording a second album I may as well invest in a good site.

Any recommendations?


Look at that:  a classic action shot.  I said, “Bazzy, don’t do that!” and my hand closed on the camera button as I reached to protect my new sweater.  Amazing, really.  More of a cultural portrait than a fancy knitting picture, but you can see the ribbing.  I think the best aspect of the picture is Bazzy’s expression.  He so clearly does not care what I think, but he can tell that I don’t want him to destroy my sweater, so he’s being tentative.  Jerk.

I think I have about 0.75 of an inch done.  The mission falls 136 in charcoal has been behaving a lot more nicely.  There are still loosely spun bits, but I don’t have to do nearly as much corrective surgery to fix it.  I ran out of my ball last night and didn’t bother to join a new one because it was 10 o’clock at night and I’m an early-to-bed kind of gal.  I also eat lots of fresh veggies and whole grains, which is much less boring than it sounds.

I’ve knit a bunch more on my vintage neckerchief.  I have no idea how big it is right now;  I just keep rubbing that gorgeous bamboo/merino/silk blend across my face and thinking about how much more awesome living in the 1800s would have been if scarfs were this soft.

It’s clear to me that I have to knit at least another two inches to make it wide enough.  I don’t want to rely on the edging to make this neckerchief big and bold, so I’m doing all the embiggening and enboldening now.  (I think I just made those two words up, but I don’t care.)

I like this yarn (crystal palace panda silk print in forest tones) and I like mission falls 136.  I feel as fancy and elegant as a cat washing his whiskers after a crunchy breakfast.


A Thousand Suns

This has been a really productive morning.  I feel awesome!  I finished all the things that I wanted to do, and I think I have time for a quick blog post before I go to work.

I’ve knit a few repeats of the lace pattern from the 1800s, and it doesn’t really look much like the engraving, so I did some investigating and discovered that the people on ravelry who had knit the neckerchief actually knit a different lace pattern for the main part.  That, to me, entirely negates the romance of knitting a pattern this old, but this simple eyelet pattern isn’t really making me fall in love – not that I was completely in love with the engraving either.  I’m going to take it to Ariadne today for input, but if I have to sub in a different lace pattern, I’ll probably pick something different altogether.  Or something.  I am interested in why the pattern calls for me to slip a stitch and then do a yarn over, though – it’s resulting in a very dense fabric.

The cats gave me a hand printing off the rough draft of my sweater pattern this morning.  I’m kind of proud of it, and yet, I’m anticipating one hundred thousand corrections.  In order to correct my anxiety, I’m listening to this:

I absolutely adore Hey Rosetta!, and I love this song.  I’ve seen them live twice, and each time they’ve played this song, and the whole audience held each other while they sang.  Not in a creepy way!  Just in a “we’re collectively recognizing our humanity” sort of way.  I hope you like it.

Taking a Break

I made up a pattern in September for a cabled sweater.  I’ve knit the damn thing twice – casting off the second one in the first week of January.  I have extensive notes and sketches and colour coded schematics on the pattern, and I just need to edit it and type it up.  But it’s so hard!  And I think faster than I can write, so I’ve skipped out little bits like a k1 here or a p1 there.  I have realized a few crucial errors that made writing up the pattern seem like an indomitable mountain of details so things are ticking along more easily than before, but hot diggity.  I have loads of respect for designers.  I’m about a third of the way through the yoke.  I was hoping to get a bit further tonight, and then pick it up again tomorrow for the win, but somehow, I’m beginning to doubt my stamina.

Regardless, I have a pretty blue and gold work in progress in Mission Falls 136 that is coquettishly sneaking in and out of my consciousness.  I may have to pay it its due later on.

I’ve tried it on every few inches to ensure a great fit.  I decided to knit four more decrease rounds (for a total of 40 stitches decreased).  I then knit another inch and a half or so and then started increasing by picking up the stitch knit below and knitting it.  I’m planning on increasing 40 stitches so the decreases are mirrored.  I have a strong personal preference for sweaters that are long enough to hit the hips because I have a short waist and I can pretend to myself that longer sweaters make me look taller.

I was looking at the projects page on, and I saw that one knitter said,

I increased until the total length of the sweater (along an increase) was 9”. It ended up being 72 sts for each front and back and 56 sts for each sleeve. I’m not entirely sure why it is no longer in the ratio that I cast on in, but it fits so I’m not asking questions.

Well, I can try to explain why.  If you cast on (as she did) 96 stitches with 16 stitches for each sleeve and 32 stitches for the front and back and end up with 256 stitches total (56 stitches for each sleeve and 72 stitches for the front and back), you have increased 160 stitches over 40 rounds or 20 increase rounds.

The pattern/formula instructs you to cast on a number of stitches that is both divisible by four (so you can do 2×2 ribbing) and three (so you can divide the cast on number into thirds; one third for the front, one for the back, and one sixth each for the sleeves).  You then place markers between the front and the sleeves and the back and the sleeves (four markers total).  Every second row after the ribbing requires that you increase 1 stitch before and after each marker – 8 increases per round – but the increases are unevenly placed so that the sleeves (only one third of the total cast on) get 4 increases per round and the front and back only get 2 each.  That means that one third of the stitches cast on is increasing at twice the rate of the other two thirds.  Get it?

Let’s try to express this algebraically.

32 + 2 (20) = 72 or, the cast on number plus twice the number of increase rounds (because there are two increases per increase round) equals the final number of stitches for the back or front. Simplified, this becomes…

1/3 C + x(R) = F where C = cast on stitches, x = some integer that represents the number of increases per round, R = the number of increase rounds, and F = the final number of stitches.  Applied to the sleeves on this knitter’s sweater, this becomes…

32 + 4(20) = 112 Don’t forget the final step though!  The sleeves were only 1/6 of the total CO amount, so we need to divide 112 by 2, ending up with 56 stitches for the sleeves.

Just thought I’d get that off of my chest.  What’s that Patrick?