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. Myriad stealth projects.

Cats in Hats

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

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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:

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Fanciful hats, like this Unicorn Hat:

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Party Hats, like this Cupcake Hat:

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And some that defy description, like this Extraterrestrial Hat:

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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:

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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 . . .

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Being groomed by Daddy!

 

 

Wrapped in Color

I recently received a review copy of this lovely book:

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This is Wrapped in Color: 30 Shawls to Knit in Koigu Handpainted Yarns by Maie Landra and Taiu Landra. As you may know, Maie and Taiu are the mother-daughter team responsible for the little slice of heaven known as Koigu.

I think Koigu’s Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM) fingering weight merino was my first experience with handpainted yarns, back before thousands of indie dyers dotted the yarny landscape. It is still a favorite of mine, and there are now several different yarns available in their line of handpaints.

This is the latest book of designs created specifically for these lovely yarns. Most of the designs are by Maie, with a couple from Kersti and Taiu Landra, and a few from “outside” designers whose names you will recognize. You can take a look at all 30 designs here on Ravelry.

Some of my favorites:

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Patch of Berries. Koigu has released a variation of this pattern in the past — perhaps a smaller scarf? I don’t recall, but the pattern stitch is a great one for gloriously variegated yarn.

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Starfish is a lovely long dramatic wrap.

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Silver Lace has a lovely all-over pattern reminiscent of traditional Shetland lace motifs.

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Dash is knit from DK weight Kersti in an easily customizable strip sequence.

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Lola is an awesome dramatic wrap knit from Koigu Bulky weight and the fingering weight KPPPM.

I’m tempted to be greedy and keep this for myself, but I’ll be a good person and offer it up in a giveaway. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win my review copy of Wrapped in Color: 30 Shawls to Knit in Koigu Handpainted Yarns by Maie Landra and Taiu Landra, please post a comment on this post by 11:00 AM Eastern Time, Sunday, March 15, 2015. I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.

Meanwhile, at home . . .

The next time you see my Sous Sous sweater, it’ll be done.

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And here are Dottie and Inga wearing their March dresses.

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And here is Loki, doing one of his favorite things: watching my phone restart!

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In Like a Lion

First of all, the winner of my review copy of Faux Taxidermy Knits: 15 Wild Animal Knitting Patterns by Louise Walker is AK McKinnon, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

I took a bit of time off from knitting Sous Sous yesterday so I could knit March dresses for my bunny girls.

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The bunnies are in my office (where they are safe from Loki) so I’ll let them change into their March dresses tomorrow.

So I’m back to Sous Sous.

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This is the front, which I am knitting straight across instead of with the reverse dip in the front as the pattern directs.

It’s March 1, and March is definitely coming in like a lion — we have sleet/freezing rain/snow coming down today. I was out briefly this morning and Basil was quickly encased in ice!

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Loki is content to stay in where it is warm!

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Faux Taxidermy Knits

I have here a review copy of Faux Taxidermy Knits: 15 Wild Animal Knitting Patterns by Louise Walker (David & Charles/F+W; $22.99; Available Now).

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If I had to sum up this book in one word, that word would be “quirky.” Given a paragraph, I would say that this is a collection of 15 patterns of anima-based knits. The patterns include both wearable items and home decor.

On the back cover, it states that this is a “tongue-in-cheek” collection, and that is for sure. Some of the patterns are brilliant. For example, the “tigerskin” rug is a masterpiece.

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I love (and laughed out loud at) the crocodile make-up bag.

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The hedgehog slippers are adorable.

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As are the bear coasters.

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Some of the patterns made me go “huh?’ Like the hanging pheasants:

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And the badger head, suitable for wall mounting.

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But I can imagine that these have their place — they are just not for me!

Who’d like my review copy of this cute, quirky book?

To be entered in a drawing to win my copy of copy of Faux Taxidermy Knits by Louise Walker, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 am Eastern Time Sunday, March 1, 2015. I’ll draw a winner at random at that time.

Loki is a little concerned about all this taxidermy . . . see how anxious he looks?

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