My current work in progress:

1. Segel, designed by Lea Viktoria, knit from Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes in the "Draco" gradient set on a 3.5 mm (U.S. size 4) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

A Message From Critter Knitters

Yesterday Sage from Critter Knitters left a comment on my blog. I’m posting it here in case you missed it, because it’s worth repeating.

Hi, Everyone!

I cannot believe how many wonderful and warm responses there are to helping make the lives of abandoned shelter animals more comfortable.

You all are such beautiful people, and I am so touched to know so many people are participating in making change. Although I cannot walk into every shelter because some of the situations are just too sad, I personally have seen the blankets make a big difference to the cats at the shelters I do volunteer at. Just last Saturday, I spent 7 hours at one of my favorite animal shelters, and I gave extra blankets from Critter Knitters that the shelter had received when we started up to depressed or scared cats who needed the extra comfort. One cat who was laying depressed in the back of his cage, a newbie from the CACC (the city shelter) came to the front of the cage only after I put a knit blanket down for him and came and faced forward for the first time since he got there; another cat I was told can only be picked up when his Critter Knitter red fleece blanket (hi, Jocelyn!) is placed over him, as he is a feral and likes to feel secure since he is trying to become socialized with people; and one cat I was told was no longer biting as much (can’t tell if he is feral or badly abused) because he likes his new bed. (a fleece roundy store bought bed) And there is one cat that is so terrified (can’t tell yet if he was abused or is feral) that I put a hand knit over him and he snuggled in close to the blanket.

Wendy and Liz have been instrumental in making this all happen and you all are going to make a HUGE HUGE difference in the lives of many shelter animals who need it so much.

I have been sending over treats and toys with the blankets and keeping track in a database of the quantity of blankets shipped and the shelters and rescues they have gone out to.

I am so touched to know there are so many compassionate people out there who are coming together to make a difference in the comfort of so many animal beings. Getting involved and spreading the word and love also helps create awareness for the plight of shelter animals. Whether an animal has 48 hours in a shelter or a lifetime in their shelter cage, it is my hope that every creature in a cage awaiting their human love connection can be as comfortable and feel as secure as possible.

Thank you to all here for helping make this happen.
You are truly wonderful.

And a very special thank you to Liz and Wendy for so much hard work, preparation and enthusiasm. You both are incredible beyond belief.

Much Love and Blessings,
and happy Love Rug Making!

Sage
Critter Knitters

Thank you, Sage, and thank you to everyone who has sent us positive comments on our upcoming Critter Knitters Knit-a-thon, and a special thanks to those of you who are donating prizes for the raffle.

We are going to have some truly wonderful prizes! We’ll have the official Critter Knitters Knit-a-thon pages up on Monday, and all the prizes we have so far will be photographed and displayed. The prizes page will be continually updated as donated prizes come in, so you’ll want to check back frequently there!

Liz and I are very excited about this project and we hope you are too. Several of you have mentioned that you plan to knit two blankets — one for your local shelter and one for our Knit-a-thon. What a wonderful idea! And you don’t have to limit your contribution to one blanket — knit as many as you’d like and/or have time for, and you’ll receive one entry in the prize raffle for each blanket you contribute to our project.

Flora! Flora! Flora!

My new WIP, Flora! Woo-hoo!

Would anyone like to place any wagers on how long it will be before I am whining about being bored with Flora?

Well, I’m not bored yet, as I’ve just barely begun.

flora030904 A Message From Critter Knitters

And I did buy the coolest button for Flora, see?

florabutton A Message From Critter Knitters

I think it’s perfect!

I did not do a Whole Heckuva Lot of Knitting last night because I was cleaning my condo. Why this unprecedented frenzy of activity? Lucy and I have a Very Important Person coming to visit today. This afternoon, said VIP and I are heading out for what will undoubtedly be a Whole Heckuva Lot of Fun!

Details of the fun tomorrow.

Lucy says:

I’m ready to party now! Let the fun begin!

She spent all last night primping and preening in preparation.

lucy030904 A Message From Critter Knitters

Presenting . . .

frida030804 Presenting . . .

Frida!

In all her completed glory.

I actually finished the second sleeve late Sunday evening, so last night simply had to sew this baby together.

I tried her on quickly and am very pleased at how nicely she fits.

My New Knitter

A question the other day about my new knitter and how she’s getting along. Well, she knits and purls like a pro. She’s ordered yarn for the baby afghan she’s going to make (in a basketweave stitch), and we’re waiting for it to arrive.

Critter Knitters Knit-a-thon

The official kick-off date for this is next Monday, March 15. Feel free to start knitting whenever you’re ready, though. We should have all the information pages and the button up by Monday, though.

I won 8 skeins of Plymouth Encore Chunky in an eBay auction last weekend, so I know what I’ll be making my blankets from!

Lucy approves!

lucy030804 Presenting . . .

March Contest

The March contest is the same as last year’s March contest . . . limericks.

Submit a knitting-related limerick — one entry per person, please — by emailing to me using the contact link in the sidebar.

Your limerick must be in the proper rhyme scheme — here’s my stellar example:

There once was a knitter named Wendy,
Who would never use yarn that is trendy,
But she goes into fits,
As she maniacally knits,
So her needles become somewhat bendy.

Be impressed by my literary abilities.

Limericks must reach me by 5:00pm EST this Thursday, March 11.

My panel of judges will select a winner, who will be announced on Monday, March 15. The winner will receive this:

balletyarn March Contest

Six 200 yard skeins of Wool in the Woods laceweight wool yarn in color “Burgundy Blast.”

Critter Knitters Knitalong

Lots of positive feeback on this project — thanks guys! Liz and I are in the process of figuring this out, so bear with us. But you can feel free to start knitting blankets for shelter animals while we are still in the organzing phase. Remember, the guidelines are available on the Critter Knitters website.

We’re going to have some really great prizes for the raffle, so stay tuned!

There was a question Friday about the suitability of Wool-ease for shelter blankets. If it is machine washable and dryable and can stand up to multiple washings, it’ll work for this project. I’ve never used Wool-ease, but I’m betting it fits this description.

Frida

She’s almost done! Here’s her second sleeve.

frida030704 March Contest

I got some good knitting time in over the weekend. Friday night we set up a wireless network so Daisy (my new laptop) is online. Too cool!

Lucy would like to extend thanks to Lisa, Mike, Della, and Little Jack, who sent her some tissue paper with Texas bluebonnets on it!

lucy030704 March Contest

Critter Knitters

Didja see the new Critter Knitters Coalition website? Liz blogged about it being up and running yesterday. She did a fabulous job and I think it’s a beautifully designed and executed site.

I also love what it’s all about. Go read it, and then come back here. I’ll wait. icon smile Critter Knitters

Okay.

You all know what a bleeding-heart animal lover I am. This is a cause that really tugs at the ol’ heartstrings for me, because when I read about shelter animals needing warm blankies to lie on, I think of Lucy when she was in a shelter (before her rescue), shivering, injured, alone, and scared.

I look at her now, sleeping in my lap, purring in her sleep, and wish I could give a loving home to every poor creature in a shelter. But I can help by knitting and donating blankets to the Critter Knitters Coalition.

What do you guys think about a Critter Knitters Knit-along?

Liz and I are going to cohost this event. We are still in the planning stages but we’d like to give everyone a heads-up and see what you think. We’re going to have a raffle, like I did with the Mouse-a-thon, so there will be chances to win some great prizes.

There are guidelines on the Critter Knitters website on what they need, as well as links to patterns for blankies. Those of you with knitting machines could whip them out pretty quickly, I think. The blankets must be machine washable, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got some Plymouth Encore Chunky at home left over from another charity project, so that’s what I’ll be knitting my blankets with. Plymouth Encore is my favorite machine washable yarn. Mostly acrylic, but has enough wool in it to feel good.

I’m very excited about this! Liz and I will post details on our blogs as we figure them out.

lucy030404 Critter Knitters

Cross-Stitch

I think it’s very cool that both Michelle and Anne recognized and had started or made the cat and basket cross-stitch I featured yesterday.

Did either of you make this one?

catstitcha Critter Knitters

Anne, I believe you are correct — the magazine was “Cross Stitch and Country Crafts” at that time, and I agree — it was good.

Frida

frida030404 Critter Knitters

I did complete Frida’s first sleeve and started the second one.

Oh by the way, I’m not the only person who has noticed that Dale of Norway’s yardage requirements in their patterns are often inaccurate. It’s been discussed on the Norgeknit list (over at Yahoogroups).

A question yesterday on how much extra yarn to buy if your making the largest size of a design and there’s no next size up to guide you.

Well, you sort have to play it by ear. Look at how much the amounts needed go up for each size and just estimate. And by the way, the amounts needed for Ingeborg may be exactly correct as written in the pattern. I’m just pointing out that it’s been my experience in the past that Dale underestimates yarn amounts. So I always buy a little extra so I don’t have to think about it.

Your mileage may vary.

Apple Butter Socks

Finished the first one.

sip030404 Critter Knitters

March Contest

It’s that time again, ain’t it? I’ll announce the March contest on Monday. Keep your eyes peeled!

Sleeve Alert!

frida030304 Sleeve Alert!

Yes indeedy, we have most of a sleeve here. That would be Frida’s first sleeve.

So the end is in sight! Though I’m quite sure that the second sleeve will seem to me to take three times as long to complete as the first.

Then it’s on to Flora. Yay!

Looking Ahead to Ingeborg

I was perusing the pattern for Ingeborg last night. It can be knit in 5 sizes, and being an average kinda gal, I’m going to make the middle size. Yawn, could I be more boring?

That brings us to a discussion of the amount of yarn needed. I will buy the amount shown for the next size up. For two reasons:

1. My experience with Dale designs is that they often underestimate yardage required for their designs. I emailed Dale about this a long time ago and a representative of Dale told me that they only knit up the design in one size, then estimate yardage required for the rest of the sizes.

2. I plan on knitting wider steeks for the front bands, so a bit more yarn is a good idea.

Why Will I Make Wider Front Steeks?

I don’t like the way Dale has you knit four-stitch steeks for the front bands. Even though you machine stitch the steeks, I don’t think they are wide enough for one to comfortably pick up stitches for a band. The armhole steeks are one thing — you are simply sewing a sleeve into the cut armhole, so the narrow width of the steek is not a problem. But the one Dale cardi that I steeked according to their directions was a pain in the front bands. It was a hairy experience picking up up stitches two stitches in from a cut edge. Not enough real estate to work with, in my opinion.

I’ve no problem trimming the larger steek after picking up the stitches to avoid bulk in the front bands.

More Old Cross-Stitch

This is one of my favorites.

catstitchb Sleeve Alert!

It’s from a magazine that did a series in subsequent issues of pictures that featured cats, quilts, and blankets. I did two out of three of the pictures.

Betcha can’t guess what you’ll see for tomorrow’s cross-stitch.

Check This Out!

The Knitting Garden’s E-zine. No affiliation with The Knitting Garden, by the way. But I can tell you that I’ve always gotten great service when I’ve ordered yarn and patterns from them.

Xena

In answer to a comment question, she has a black interior. Which will be mighty warm in the summer, but you take what you can get, you know? Since getting her, I’ve parked her at the train station twice, and in a store parking lot once. At the train station I parked between two cars because the lot always fills up completely, so at least there was no chance of her getting dinged in the morning. At the store parking lot, I parked at the back of the lot. Yeah, I know. This behavior will only last a little while. But she’s my pristine, beautiful baby and I’d like her to stay that way as long as possible!

lucy030304 Sleeve Alert!

Lucy is wondering why it isn’t Friday yet.