My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for November 2013

More Quick Knits!

I have here a review copy of the latest book in the “60 Quick Knits” series:


This is 60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarn Shops, released earlier this month by Sixth and Spring Books. Here is the publisher’s description:

The 60 patterns in this stunning collection come from yarn stores across the US, who chose the styles their customers like best. Created especially for the book by more than 40 designers associated with the stores—an owner, employee, or customer—and featuring the popular and versatile Cascade 220® yarn line, the projects range from accessories (purses, shawls, socks, and hats) to baby items to home decor—all in a range of skill levels so both beginners and advanced knitters will find something to enjoy.

You can browse through some sample pages from the book on the publisher’s website, here.

This is a lovely collection of patterns, all of which can be completed pretty quckly (hence the title of the book). There is a nice variety of items, from a felted purse:


A beautiful textured scarf:


And a colorblock pullover for a small child:


These are just a few of the patterns that caught my eye. There truly is a little bit of everything.

All of the patterns call for Cascade yarns, from the “Cascade 220” family, in various weights. You could of course substitute a different yarn, but it’s nice to know you could replicate a pattern exactly by using the same yarn since Cascade is so widely available.

This is a book of patterns only: no “how-tos” or tutorials. There is, of course, a list of abbreviations used in the back of the book, and each pattern is clearly written and any charts used are clear and easy to see.

This is a collection that would be great to keep on hand for those times you need to whip out a quick gift, not to mention something lovely for yourself.

The kind folks at Sixth and Spring offered to do a giveaway for my blog readers, so I can keep my review copy. Who’d like a copy of this great book?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of  60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarn Shops please leave a comment on this blog post by Sunday, December 1 at 11:00am Eastern time. A winner will be chosen at random at that time.

Meanwhile, I am knitting along on Hitofude. I have the top portion completed.



Now I am knitting the below-the-waist part — that will be a lot of knitting as I plan to add length.



And by special request, a photo of Loki’s cat pants!



He has some serious floof going on back there!

Q and A Day

Thanks for all your kind words about my cape! I am working on finalizing the pattern and will let you know when it is available

There were a number of questions in my last blog post, so I will attempt to answer them here.

A couple of you asked about sleeves — the cape does not have sleeves. One question was about lengthening the sleeves. As I said, no sleeves, but the pattern will have notes on adding/subtracting length to/from the cape.

Mickey asked if I was going to do a matching hat. I had no plans to do so, but that is not a bad idea! Hmmmmmm . . .


A question about Hitofude — Jamie asked how long it is.

I took a look at the schematic and it looks like the back length ranges from 18.75 to 22″ for XS to XXL. This design would be very easy to add length to, however. I bought an extra skein of yarn for mine because I plan to do so.

I’ve made a little progress on my Hitofude, but still have a way to go on the top/sleeve piece. It is an easy knit — the lace pattern is easy to memorize so it is pleasant mindless knitting. The yarn is a pleasure to work with too.


Loki Questions

Dorothy in Kentucky asked if Loki gets mats in his coat. I am happy to report that he does not. He has that soft Ragdoll “bunny fur” that does not mat. I brush him once or twice a week and that’s it.

Leslie asked what I feed Loki. Loki eats Life’s Abundance food — that is what he ate before I adopted him, so I’ve continued him on it and he seems perfectly happy with it.

MichelleinMaine thinks we need before and after pix of Loki for floof comparison.

Here is Loki one day after he came to live with me:


And here is a recent photo of His Royal Floofiness!


He is not fat, he’s floofy! 🙂 Take a look at this photo — you can see that he has developed his “mane” in the few months since that first photo was taken.


He has recently discovered the joys of sitting in my lap, but there is a lot of Loki overhang when he gets in my lap. So I am required to hold on to him with both hands. Otherwise, he slowly slides out of my lap like unbaked bread dough being turned out of a bowl. He did this the other day, executing a slow-motion somersault as he slid down onto the couch, landing upside down in a pile of purring floofy kitty happiness, never once opening his eyes.

It must be nice to be that relaxed.

Another gratuitous photo:



And another:


Celtic Cabled Cape



Thursday evening I finished my cape!


This was knit from 10 skeins of Elsa Wool woolen spun worsted weight Cormo wool (medium grey) on U.S. size 7 needles. So it took just under 2400 yards. From neck to hem it is 36″ long, and the circumference around the bottom is approximately 114″.


The pattern will be available in a few days.

So . . . what’s next? This:


This is the start of the Hitofude Cardigan, being knit from Dragonfly Fibers Dance Rustic Silk on U.S. size 4 needles.

As soon as I saw this pattern on Ravelry, I fell in love with it and I purchased it as soon as it was offered for sale. The patterns costs 200 yen, just over two U.S. dollars, so that’s a great deal.

Then the hunt for the perfect yarn began. I did not want to make mine from wool because I knew that would make it too warm for me to wear comfortably indoors. Silk seemed like a good idea. My first thought was Sea Silk, but I really hesitated at the cost. Sea Silk retails for around $40 per 440-yard skein. Then I remembered Dragonfly Fibers Dance Rustic Silk, which I had used once before. Imagine my delight when I went to check it out on the Dragonfly Fibers website and saw the price was $15.00 for a 450-yard skein. That is a bargain. The yarn is lovely 100% silk noil and it has a sort of linen-y feel to it as you knit. I know from experience that once washed it softens up and drapes beautifully. It took me a while to decide on a colorway — I love Dragonfly Fiber’s dyeing! I ended up buying the Spanish Moss colorway and I was not disappointed.


This is such a clever design. The pattern is extremely well-written and the construction of the cardi is genius. And fun to knit!

Loki Fun Fact

Loki has no interest whatsoever in people food or in between-meal treats. He happily eats his food twice a day and never begs for anything more.


Here is an overhead shot of Loki so you can see how floofy he is getting!


The End is Nigh

I am so very close to completing my Celtic Cable Cape! I completed work on the body of it on Monday, and knit the collar.


Last night I picked up stitches for the buttonhole band and started work on that.


So all that remains is to finish the buttonhole band and work the button band. Then it is done, done, done. I feel as thought this has taken me forever to knit, but I note that I only started it on October 16, so it’s been less than a month.

It’s just been difficult to knit a lot of the time, since Loki has required a lot of lap time during the knitting of it, and along with that lap time has required that my knitting be nowhere near him. I have noticed over the past few days that he seems to be getting a bit more open-minded about the knitting occupying space next to him.

But just when I think Loki is calming down, he has a crazy spell. Last night was one of those. There was an extended “Thunder Kitty” session, after which he dashed into the bedroom and executed an amazing leap: he soared up and over the bed in a long jump about 5 feet in length. I was duly impressed. He was, not surprisingly, a little tired after that, and settled down for a nap.


Blog Contest Winner

The winner of my review copy of Crochet At Play by Kat Goldin is Kate Mc. Kate has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Just for Fun

A video of Tank Boy playing with his favorite toy. I apologize for the poor quality and vertical orientation: I find it easier to hold the iPad vertically in one hand when I’m holding the end of the toy in the other hand.

Crochet At Play

You may be asking yourself: “What’s with all this crochet talk? Wendy doesn’t crochet.” Well, I happen to have recently received a couple of very nice crochet books for review.

I have in my possession a review copy of Crochet At Play by Kat Goldin.


Originally published in the U.K. this past April, it was just released in the U.S. in October.

The book is a collection of crochet projects for kids and I think it is one of the cutest and most creative collections I’ve seen in a long time. You can check out the projects on Ravelry, here.

The patterns are divided into categories:

  • Head and Shoulders
  • Fingers, Knees, and Toes
  • Whole Self
  • The Play Room

One of the things that struck me about the designs in this books is that they were things that I thought would really appeal to little ones, not just to their parents. I showed the book to a colleague who is the mother of a little boy and she agreed with me. The designs are cute and whimsical and fun.

How about a mermaid bunting?


Or a pair of hedgehog mitts?


Or a fox stole?


Or a wolf hoodie?


I could go on and on.

The patterns are written in a nice range of sizes and the instructions look clear and complete. (Disclaimer: I am not a crocheter, so am not the best person to judge the instructions.) The yarns used are ones that are widely available and for each pattern alternate yarns are suggested. There is a lot of good general information in the “getting started” section of the book, and there are illustrated how-tos for various stitches used in the patterns.

So . . . who would like my review copy?

To be entered in the drawing to receive my copy of Crochet At Play by Kat Goldin, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. The Random Number Generator will select a winner at random.

Work in Progress

Yes, here is yet another photo of the Celtic Cabled Cape with incremental progress. I have stopped taking this to work as it is way too large for commuter knitting so knitting time on it is even less. Still, I have high hopes for finishing it this weekend.


This weekend is my annual knitting retreat to the Blue Ridge Mountains with some friends, so there will be two days of concentrated knitting  put in on it. We’ll see how I do.

It can be difficult for me to make a lot of progress at home because a certain little furry somebody likes to jump up and plop himself down in the middle of my knitting. I have to be fast — when I see him coming I have to move the knitting out of the way quickly. Otherwise Tank Boy burrows in and does his best to be unmovable.


Fun Fact About Loki:

He has no interest in catnip. He’s high on life!