My current work in progress:

1. Woodfords, designed by Elizabeth Doherty, knit from Madelinetosh Merino Light in the "paper" colorway on U.S. size 3, 5, and 7 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Crochet for Dolls

I did tell you a few weeks back that it was the start of book season, didn’t I? Well, I have another fun book to show you today!

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This is Crochet for Dolls by Nicky Epstein, released on September 3, which is subtitled “25 Fun, Fabulous Outfits for 18-Inch Dolls.”

As I mentioned before, I really don’t crochet, but when offered a copy of this book for review I said “yes please!” because it looked so darn cute and I know that a lot of you are whiz-bang crocheters.

I have it on good authority (a Google search) that American Girl dolls are 18″ dolls, so these outfits will fit them nicely. And what a great holiday gift for a special child: a custom made wardrobe for their favorite dolls.

Aside: when I was a little girl I had Barbie dolls, and my mom sewed outfits and knit sweaters for them. When I got together with friends to “play Barbies” I was very popular indeed because my dolls had such a wonderful and unique wardrobe. All my friends wanted to play with me because they wanted to borrow my dolls’ wardrobe. So if you want to boost your child’s popularity, I know for a fact that a couture doll wardrobe will go a long way towards achieving that aim.

You can see the range of patterns complete with photos on Ravelry, here. Not only are the designs adorable, but the photostyling is awesome. A few of my favorites:

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I think the styling on this photo is incredible, and the dress is so cute, but doesn’t look like it would be too difficult to make.

And this:

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I just love this little flower child outfit! L-B, do you see this? icon smile Crochet for Dolls

And this:

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Check this out: the little princess outfit comes with a matching purse!

As I said, I do not crochet. So who would like to have my review copy of this great book?

To be entered in the drawing to win this book, leave a comment on this post by noon on Wednesday, September 11, 2013. The Random Number Generator will select a winner at that time.

Winner!

The winner of the  Great Little Gifts to Knit giveaway is Shirley, who has been emailed. Thank you to everyone who left a comment!

Work in Progress

My current work in progress is being knit from Biotayarns’ Dakota White, Cormo Wool, 3ply, worsted weight, 200 yards per approx 3.6 oz skein. I’m not sure exactly how I found the yarn — I think I simply stumbled upon it on Etsy, here. (At the moment the yarn I am using is not available in their Etsy shop — I think I bought all that they had.)

Here’s my project:

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This is going to be a poncho. I am knitting it from side to side, with the Celtic knot cables at the top of the piece. I will knit two identical pieces for the front and the back, then join them at the top to a knitted shoulder strap on each side that will extend out to the edge on each side. Then I’ll pick up and knit a ribbed collar.

I love this yarn because, first of all, it is Cormo wool. It’s natural color and it is minimally processed. The yarn has a “rough-hewn” look to it and is slightly uneven in places, giving it the look of handspun. It’s a three-ply, and is a lovely fat round yarn and it makes the cables really pop!

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Loki

Thanks for all your nice comments about Loki. If he were to read them all he’d get a very swelled head. While I do still miss Lucy terribly and life just doesn’t seem right without her, I am very glad that I adopted this wonderful kitty.

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He is sweet, goofy, and lovable, and I look forward to coming home to him every day. He is also huge: he weighs about twice what Lucy weighed and he is not done growing. And I swear his neck is as big around as mine!

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Loki sez: “I am a growing boy!”

 

All Loki All the Time

A number of you have requested more information about Loki. And as far as Loki is concerned, everything is all about Loki!

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This little guy has been living with me almost a month now and has done a good job of making himself at right at home.

He is a smart kitty — he has quickly learned the meaning of the word “no.” From the start he has had the tendency to want to play-bite my fingers. I withdraw my hand, say “no” in a firm tone of voice, and then ignore him for a few minutes, and he has figured out that this is not acceptable behavior. He gets over-excited when he plays and forgets, of course, but at the first attempt at a play-bite, I just have to say no, and he puts himself in time-out for a few minutes, moving away from me and curling up a couple of feet away.

He is very good about keeping his claws in during play with me, and when I am petting him. That took him no time at all to figure out.

When he first came to live with me he did not like having his paws touched at all, so clipping his claws was out of the question. He’d freak out if I pressed on his paw to extend the claw, so I had to take him to the vet for a claw clipping. He behaved himself beautifully there, so that gave me hope. Since them I have been making a point of playing with his paws as much as possible. He now lets me extend his claws, so I am hopeful that when the time comes for a kitty mani-pedi, he will let me and the King of All Remote Controls do it for him.

We are doing well with the knitting. He is, of course, entranced by the working yarn, but I am very careful to keep it out of his reach, and to always have a toy (like this one) nearby. If he starts eyeing my yarn, I pick up the toy and initiate some playtime.

He loves toys that have feathers, so I have an assortment for him — kitty fishing poles and “stand-alone” toys.

At first he would only sit next to me. He wanted to be touching me all the time but was not interested in getting in my lap. Lately he has wanted lap time. He climbs into my lap several times each evening. He doesn’t stay long, just long enough for some kisses and snuggles.

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And he is getting much better about letting me sleep through most of the night . . . or I’m getting better at sleeping through his play requests at 2:00am!

The thing that totally cracks me up — he must have memorized the part in the Ragdoll manual where it ways that Ragdoll kitties like to flop down on their backs. Because he is pretty darn good at it.

See?

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I’m not kidding.

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It is so darn cute!

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He is the definition of a Ragdoll.

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And he is a very good kitty — completely non-destructive, he focuses his claw sharpening activities  on one of his several scratching posts/pads. I have not wanted to tempt him by leaving yarn out where he can get at it, but he seems to “get” which things are his toys and leaves everything else alone. He is tidy and fastidious with regards to the litter box, and the only food he is interested in is his — no begging at table! He eats Life’s Abundance cat food and seems to like it. He free feeds: I put down half the recommended amount for a cat his size twice a day, in the morning and at night, and while he does not rush to his bowl as if he was starving, he does eat most of it by the next time I refill his bowl.

He has knocked his bowl over twice, but he did that by accident during Thunder Kitty runs.

Just to give this post a little bit of knitting content, a sneak peek at my current work in progress:

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Great Little Gifts to Knit

Last month Jean Moss contacted me to ask if I was interested in being part of her blog tour for her newest book, Great Little Gifts to Knit.

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Of course I said yes. Jean Moss has been one of my knitting heroes for quite a while so whenever she contacts me I fell like an amateur musician being contacted by, say, Mick Jagger and asked to review his work.

So . . .the book is Great Little Gifts to Knit, and it is available now — good timing for getting a jump on your holiday knitting! There are thirty projects divided into sections for baby, hers, his, and home. And as the title suggests, all the projects are relatively small, so they will not involve a huge investment of time or money. They also use a variety of techniques, so you get a mini-lesson with each project you knit. For the sized items there are a nice variety of sizes, and the patterns are thorough and well-written, just what you would expect from Jean Moss. And there is a great techniques section in the back of the book.

I picked a favorite from each section:

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This is the  ”Cuddle Cocoon” — isn’t it sweet? I love that it comes in five different sizes, so you have some choices depending on the anticipated size of the baby. It is knit from Rowan Big Wool, so it is a fast knit. And there are two versions: an easy one knit ins a straight rib, and a more challenging version in a “swirl rib.”

From the “Hers” section:

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The  Kitten’s Paw Stole. I love, love, love this! The pattern has directions for two different weights of yarn, so you can make an airy light wrap or something a bit more substantial.

From the “His” section, my favorite is the Hendrix guitar strap and belt:

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This is knit from linen yarn so it won’t stretch. Very clever!

And I think this is my favorite piece in the whole book, from the “Home” section:

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The Welcome Toran Door Hanging. As the introductory text tells you, a toran is a Hindu or Buddhist door hanging that both welcomes guests to your home and celebrates events like weddings, births, and traditional festivals. This project is knit from cotton and cotton blend yarns (but you could of course use up your own odds and ends) and is a great introduction to stranded colorwork.

Each of the patterns tells you how long it will take to knit, be it a day, a weekend, or a vacation. Everyone is different of course and knits at a different speed, but it is nice to have these estimates.  The yarns used are all Rowan yarns, but you could easily sub others.

Jean is offering a free copy of this great book to one of my readers. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win this book, leave a comment on this post by noon on Sunday, September 8, 2013. The Random Number Generator will select a winner at that time.

Be sure to visit the project gallery for this book to check out all the patterns. And stop in on all the stops of the blog tour:

Blog Tour Itinerary
Mon 2 Sep       Wendy Knits Wendy Johnson
Wed 4 Sep       WEBS    Kathy Elkins
Fri 6 Sep          Getting Stitched on the Farm Kristin Nicholas
Mon 9 Sep       Stolen Stitches Carol Feller
Tues 10 Sep     Knittedbliss Julie Crawford
Wed 11 Sep     Black Bunny Fibers Carol Sulcoski
Thur 12 Sep     Rhythm of the Needles Joanne Conklin
Fri 13 Sep        Tiny Owl Knits   Stephanie Dosen
Mon 16 Sep     Just Call Me Ruby Susan Crawford
Tues 17 Sep     Zeneedle Margene Smith
Wed 18 Sep     Redshirt Knitting Erika Barcott
Thur 19 Sep     A Friend to Knit With Leslie Friend
Fri 20 Sep        Craft Sanity Jennifer Ackerman Haywood
Mon 23 Sep     Connieleneknits Connie Lene
Tues 24 Sep     Knitsofacto Annie Cholewa
Wed 25 Sep     Ulla Bella Anita Tormoen
Thur 26 Sep     A Really Good Yarn Julie Schilthuis
Fri 27 Sep        Urban Yarns  Alexa Ludeman
Sat 28 Sep       Linda Marveng  Linda Marveng
Mon 30 Sep     Yarnings Jen
Tues 1 Oct       Tentenknits  Margaux Hufnagel
Fashion Crochet book giveaway
The winner of my copy of Fashion Crochet is Chris Reeske, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!
Finally
Look at what I finally finished!
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This is the Maidenhair Cardigan from Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting. I made it from Wollmeise DK (a heavier yarn than called for in the pattern) and knit the smallest size. I also made it longer than directed so it’s more of a coat than a jacket.
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I started knitting this in early June and finished it on August 31. Why did it take me so long? I also knit two other cardigans while I was making this — two of my three Camp Loopy projects.
I’ve started something new, but I’ll save that for my next blog post. As you can see, Loki is very excited about it!
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He looks so innocent, doesn’t he? Do not be fooled! He is just resting up.
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