My current work in progress:

1. Boxy, designed by Joji Locatelli, knit from Handmaiden Mini Maiden in the "Polar Sea" colorway on U.S. size 4 needles.
2. Fine Sand, designed by Heidi Kirrmaier, knit from Rowan Creative Linen in the "Ochre" colorway on a U.S. size 4 needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

Pompeii Hat

In between all the other small projects I have been working on, I managed to finish the back of Ropewalk:

WIP032915 240x135 Pompeii Hat

I’ve started the front and have the ribbing done, but I set it aside this weekend to work on this:

Hat032915 240x175 Pompeii Hat

This is Pompeii, a hat designed by Laurie Gonyea, knit from Silverspun Sport yarn from the Feel Good Yarn Company. I purchased this as a kit from the company’s website, here. Note that you can download the pattern free of charge — according to the Ravelry pattern page, that offer is good through March 31.

This looks like a complex knit, but it is not — it is mosaic knitting, so you are only ever knitting with one color per row. You slip stitches to form the pattern, pulling the second color up from the previous row. So it is much easier to knit then it looks.

All this stitch slipping does make for a compressed row gauge — this is knit on size 6 needles and the row gauge is 10 rows to the inch. Still, I will finish this hat today, and will be able to give it to my friend who is undergoing chemo tomorrow. The yarn is a dream to knit, so I am loving working with it.

I think the Silverspun yarn is a perfect choice for a chemo cap. The yarn is 87% Combed Cotton, 5% Silver, 5% Nylon, 3% Spandex. I lifted this statement from the website:

The silver content in SilverSpun makes it therapeutic and conductive. Silver inhibits the growth of odor causing bacteria, has excellent thermal properties, is nontoxic and is perfect for those suffering from diabetes, arthritis and sensitive skin.

Often the skin becomes extra-sensitive when one is undergoing chemotherapy. This is a good thing to remember when knitting chemo caps — my friend told me that she is unable to wear  some caps that other people have given her because they are knit from acrylic and that irritates her skin. I made a point of choosing the softest natural fibers I could find for the hats I knit for her — after confirming that she is not allergic to any of the fibers.

And now I need to get back to this knitting. After I play with this little guy, that is!

Loki032915 240x181 Pompeii Hat

Horace

Meet Horace.

BoyBunny032515 235x240 Horace

Last Sunday I felt the need to knit another bunny, a brother for my bunny girls, Dottie and Inga.

Bunnies032515 240x179 Horace

They seem to be getting along fine!

Horace is made from one of Julie Williams brilliant toy patterns: Boy bunny with a piebald patch. Her bunnies are addictive: you can’t make just one.

I started knitting Horace around 11:00 a.m. on Sunday and finished him by 8:00 p.m. that same day, at which time I started making his outfit. I finished up his outfit on Monday night.

He is knit from Cascade 220 in two colors, and his clothes are knit from the Loopy Ewe Solid Series fingering weight wool. I used the suggested needle sizes to knit him and his clothes: 3 mm for the bunny and 2.75mm for the clothes.

The only way I deviated from the pattern was to turn his shorts into overalls.

I knit the shorts according to the pattern, then picked up and knit 13 stitches on the top front edge and worked a bib, keeping the 2 outermost stitches on each side in garter stitch to keep the piece from curling, working the rest in stockinette. I knit until the bib seemed almost deep enough, then finished off with a couple of garter stitch ridges, then bound off.

I worked the straps by casting on 26 stitches, and knitting a few rows, then binding off. I sewed the straps to the back, criss-crossing them, and attached to the front bib with a button on each strap.

I did not do buttonholes for the buttons because I figured they’d continually come un-done. The overalls can be put on and slipped off pretty easily as they are.

And I did not forget that Horace needed “tail accommodation” for the back of his shorts!

BoyBunnyBack032515 211x240 Horace

I purchased a supply of tiny buttons online a week or so ago because I knew I was going to make a boy bunny, and I knew that I wanted him to have overalls sporting buttons. While I was shopping for tiny buttons, I came across something tremendously useful: easy-to-thread sewing needles!

Clover makes some, as do some other brands. These are regular hand-sewing needles with a slot cut into the top of the eye so you don’t have to be able to poke the end of your thread through a tiny eye — you can pull it down through the top.

Since the last time I tried to thread a regular needle it took me approximately 1,782 tries before I actually got the thread through the eye of the needle, these were a very welcome sight indeed. Here’s a close-up drawing of what the eye looks like:

needle032515 Horace

If you pull the thread down into the bottom “chamber” there is very little chance of it pulling free.

What a great invention! By googling “easy thread needle” I found that they are readily available at lots of online outlets and I’m sure you can find them in fabric stores as well. These may have been around for years, but I’ve not done much sewing in quite a long time so had no need to buy new needles. So it’s a revelation for me!

And I am back to working on Ropewalk — I am into armhole shaping on the back.

WIP032515 203x240 Horace

And Loki wants to show off his very fluffy cat pants!

Loki032515 228x240 Horace

A Hat and Then Some

I finished the hat I showed you the start of a week ago:

RibbedHat032215 240x234 A Hat and Then Some

As I mentioned then, this was knit in Rowan Softknit Cotton, my first experience using that yarn. I loved it — so soft and lovely! I suppose I ought not to say out louds that I love it, or rowan will discontinue it, as they seem to discontinue all my favorite yarns. ::cough:: Calmer ::cough::

Yes, I am still bitter about Calmer.

Anyway, the Softknit Cotton is 92% cotton and 8% polyamide — the addition of the polyamide gives it a little bit of stretch. The hat I made is basic black. When I knit with dark yarns I always halfway expect to see some dye transfer to my fingers while knitting, but that was not the case with this yarn — all black stayed obediently on the yarn.

The hat is just a plain 2 x 2 rib, made for my friend in the middle of chemo. This will be a good plain “business” hat for her.

I also have a sweater on the needles.

WIP032215 240x134 A Hat and Then Some

This is Ropewalk, designed by Norah Gaughan. I am knitting it from Berroco Indigo, a worsted weight yarn that is 95% cotton and 5% “other” and it is 100% recycled fibers. It has that somewhat “stringy” feel that I associate with Rowan Denim yarn, but once I started knitting with it, I was surprised. It’s certainly not what I would call soft, but it is not unpleasant to knit. I’m betting that giving it a good wash will soften things up quite a bit too. I really ought to knit a swatch and wash that to see!

I am using a U.S. size 7 needle and getting a gauge of 5 stitches/inch. I’m using colorway 6410 – Relaxed. It looks pretty grey in my photo but it is more blue in person. Like faded jeans. I want this sweater to be a comfy loose everyday sweater and figured that the faded blue would add to that whole feeling of comfort.

But today I’m setting Ropewalk aside to work on something else.

Loki is intrigued!

Loki032215 240x214 A Hat and Then Some

Cats in Hats

I mentioned last Sunday that I have a very cute book to review. This is it!

Book031815 192x240 Cats in Hats

This is Cats in Hats by Sara Thomas, and I was asked to participate in the blog tour for this adorable book. (There’s a giveaway at the end of this entry, so be sure to scroll all the way down!)

First off, here is the Blog Tour Schedule:

The Book

Flipping through this book caused me to squee for an extended period of time. It is almost unbearably cute. It contains a total of 30 patterns, 20 to knit, 10 to crochet, to create hats for your cat.

There are seasonal hats, like this Santa Hat:

SantaHat031815 166x240 Cats in Hats

Fanciful hats, like this Unicorn Hat:

UnicornHat031815 234x240 Cats in Hats

Party Hats, like this Cupcake Hat:

CupcakeHat031815 133x240 Cats in Hats

And some that defy description, like this Extraterrestrial Hat:

ETHat031815 133x240 Cats in Hats

I have to say, I am very impressed by the sangfroid demonstrated by the models! I also love that the models are all given credit on an acknowledgements page in the back of the book.

The hats all take small bits of yarn and seem pretty easy to make. So you get a lot of bang for your buck with these projects.

Now, I can’t imagine Loki allowing me to (a) put a hat on him and (b) allowing it to stay in place for more than a nanosecond, but judging from the models in this book, there are cats out there who allow such shenanigans! And some of them look like they are enjoying wearing a little hat. If you have an urbane, laidback cat, these hats are for you!

And Now, the Giveaway!

Edited to add: Please note that this giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, not by me. Therefore, to be entered, you need to submit your entry via the Rafflecopter widget below as instructed — leaving a comment on this entry will not count. Also, I am unable to troubleshoot issues you may have with the Rafflecopter widget — the code was provided to me to insert in my blog entry and that’s the extent of my knowledge of it. Please note also that the contest is open only to those of you in the U.S. Thanks!

The giveaway grand prize is a prize pack that includes a copy of the book, and an exclusive pattern from Sara Thomas for the Easter Egg Cat Hat shown below, and a yarn kit from Lion Brand that will include yarn supplies to complete the Easter Egg Cat Hat:

EasterEggHat031815 240x240 Cats in Hats

FIVE lucky runner ups will receive a copy of the book!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This contest will run from 3/16 to 3/30 @ 12 AM EST. We will give away ONE prize pack that includes a copy of the book, an EXCLUSIVE hat pattern from Sara Thomas, and the yarn necessary to complete the pattern. FIVE runners up will receive a copy of the book. Winners will be contacted by email and must notify us within 48 hours of the notification email with address and acceptance. Please note that winners can be from the US only. 

Loki sez . . .

Loki031815 198x240 Cats in Hats

“I’m dreaming about that Extraterrestrial Hat . . . “

Sous Sous, C’est Tout!

First of all, Robin V. is the winner of my giveaway for my review copy of  Wrapped in Color: 30 Shawls to Knit in Koigu Handpainted Yarns. Thanks to everyone who left a comment. I’ll have another book review on Wednesday, of a very cute and fun book!

Sous Sous

Sous Sous, otherwise known as the double moss stitch marathon, is complete.

SousSous031515 192x240 Sous Sous, Cest Tout!

I knit this from the now-discontinued Rowan Calmer and achieved exact gauge with suggested needle size, a U.S. size 6. I did make some modifications to the pattern.

I made my sweater a few inches longer, and I did not do the bias knit for the front. I basically knit the front the same as the back, working short rows for the shoulders.

I did a slightly less deep v-neck, and just sort of “winged it” as I knit.

SousSous031515a 240x167 Sous Sous, Cest Tout!

I worked a three-needle bind-off for the shoulder seams, and elected to work it with a visible seam on the right side (instead of inside) because I thought it would look nice against the double moss stitch. I’m glad I did — I like the look of it.

SousSous031515b 240x228 Sous Sous, Cest Tout!

I picked up stitches along the body edge to knit the sleeves down from the body. I made the sleeves larger in diameter as I am not a fan of tight sleeves.

And then all that remained was to work the side and sleeve seams. Mattress stitch is my friend!

Hats!

Yesterday I finished a hat.

Hat031515 240x193 Sous Sous, Cest Tout!

This is a chemo cap, knit from Rowan Calmer. I just used a waffle stitch pattern and figured it out as I knit.

And I started another hat.

WIP031515 240x124 Sous Sous, Cest Tout!

This is being knit from Rowan Softknit Cotton and it is also destined to be a chemo cap. I have a friend who is undergoing chemo right now. I made her some cozy warm hats last December, but now that warm weather is (hopefully) upon us, she’ll need some warm weather caps.

This weekend Loki indulged in one of his favorite activities:

Loki031515 240x179 Sous Sous, Cest Tout!

Being groomed by Daddy!