Tag: kittens

kira makes disgruntled mumblings about “that damn cat…”

It is a good thing I love that cat.

That cat, being Árnyék.

Because, he is a jerk.

Cyntaf Eaten

Apparently, even though Cyntaf was tucked away in a bag, he managed to get into the bag and chomp a couple holes in the shawl. I mean, luckily, it is at the bottom edge, and I can probably undo the binding and salvage it… but still. Sigh.

Then the next day, I was looking for a specific ball of yarn. Finding another skein that I was also looking for, I pulled it out and set it aside.

I turned my back for a minute.

yarn ball tangle

Arrrrgh!

This is also the same cat that knocked my TV off the counter (twice!) and broke it.

Mehhhh…

-x

kira makes uncertain ponderings about blocking… with cats

I’ve been knitting away like a madperson to meet the photoshoot deadline. My friend/photographer is out of town next weekend (even though that would give me the most amount of time to knit). The weekdays are likely out, because I am hoping to do an outdoor shoot and want to work with natural light — and we both work days, when the most light is. So, that leaves this weekend, Saturday-only.

I am theoretically on-track for making this deadline. (I may or may not have called out of work yesterday to knit. To be fair, I also hadn’t been feeling well the day previous, and needed some time, anyway.)

Today, I plan to finish up the last 8 rows and bind off.
Then comes the problem: blocking.

Blocking. With cats.
Cats, who get into everything.

Zaka on Pattern
Example A: Zaka, who is helping me by sitting on my knitting pattern.

Arnyek
Example B: Árnyék, who is likely the cause of the “Someone ate holes in my Mirkwood!” Cat-astrophe.

PorkchopExample C: Porkchop (Ryan’s cat, who has been living with us). He has not given me any reason to be wary of him and my knitting. Yet. He is a cat, after all.

So… yeah.
Not sure how I am going to wet-block and pin out this shawl.

I figure, first plan of attack is to barricade myself in the bedroom (the only room with doors, to keep the cats out (apart from the bathroom, of course)). I have blocking mats, wires and pins. The next step is to take the dampened shawl and pin out on the mats (which… I don’t think I actually have a large enough configuration of mats. Boo. I might have to look into getting more.) Then… what? I think my options are to try to prop up the pinned-shawl-interlocking-mats in the closet, or somehow balance it on top of the wardrobe cubbies (would need to move the shoes). Pretty much anywhere else, the cats have been able to get at or into. There is the possibility of balancing it on top of the laundry baskets on top of the machines in the laundry nook (yay, closet with doors!), but that might be a hassle for getting to the laundry. It should only be for a day or so while it dries completely.

This should be… an interesting challenge.

-x

kira makes yet another yarn purchase

I originally played around with the idea of designing a shawl in order to use up some lonely skeins in my stash. However, the yarn has been discontinued and if I want to try to submit the pattern for publication, then I need to use “commercially available” yarn.

So… I should just buy more yarn, right? Haha…

Cyntaf Yarn

The yarn has arrived. Knit Pick Preciosa, in Goldfish.

Now to see if I can knit a worsted weight lace shawl in less than one month. (Since I need to also photograph it before deadline.) The race is on.

-x

kira makes the start of a New Year

Four days into 2016, and it’s time for the obligatory New Year post, albeit a little late.

I haven’t done as much reflecting on 2015 as I probably should. It’s nice to have the blog to go back through older posts to see what I was up to throughout the year. Definitely more motivation to try to keep the blog updated more regularly.

This year, according to the blog (not a comprehensive review):

  • Around the start of the year (technically in the December of the previous year), I finished making the squares for the Cabled Afghan Knit-Along. I have yet to sew these squares together into the blanket. Eeesh.
  • Also at the start of the year, I cast on for making the Featherweight Cardigan. I have yet to finish this project. (I’m already sensing a theme here…)
  • I created a digital drawing that I converted into an embroidery piece. I did finish the embroidery, but did not document it here. And, really, the piece needs a good ironing and still needs to be framed. Continuing the “not quite finished” trend…
  • I needlefelted a penguin — first and only needlefelting project so far. I enjoyed needlefelting, might try it again in the future. The penguin suffered a sad fate, when the cats decided that he was their toy and has since then been chewed to bits.
  • I successfully completed A Month of Letters Challenge and International Correspondence Writing Month in February! I plan to try to do this again this year.
  • I started, and abandoned 30 Days of Lists. I partially did not finish this challenge because the lists were becoming increasingly more personal and I did not want to revisit or share some of these memories publicly.
  • I got back into needle tatting; I started making a pair of needle tatted barefoot sandals, making all the pieces, but not assembling them. All the parts are somewhere in the apartment… Also, a needle tatted choker that was started, and turned into an unfinished project.
  • I started my Fleegle heel socks, working toe-up. I made each sock until they reached about mid-calf, before realizing that I probably need to undo them a bit and add calf increases, if I want to keep knitting them taller. Another unfinished project.
  • I GOT KITTENS! Which, have increasingly hampered my ability to make things, as they like to get into nonsense and wander across whatever I am working on.
  • The kittens also chewed a hole in the Mirkwood Shawl, the complicated beaded lace shawl that I started in June, with the hope of finishing it in time to wear to my sister’s wedding in September. While I made a great amount of progress, the kitten-chewed-hole caused the project to get derailed and did not finish in time. It is still languishing in my project drawer, waiting for me to pick it back up and finish it.
  • I completed Drawlloween 2015, making a tiny-tiny drawing for each daily prompt.
  • I finally finished my Les Misérables wrap; it is tremendously long and I wore it several times before the weather warmed up too much to warrant wearing it. Now that the weather is getting more wintery, perhaps I will have more opportunity to wear it!
  • I did some gift-making, which I was unable to document, as they were to be surprises for the recipients. Now that gift-giving season is over, I can showcase them. Woo.

So, in reviewing the year, lots of making: knitting, crochet, embroidery/cross-stitch, drawing, letter-writing, calligraphy, general crafting and DIY. I am finding that I do like starting projects, but often run into issues finishing them.

Hence, my “resolutions” for 2016:

  • make time to work on projects.
  • finish the projects that are waiting to be completed.
  • update the blog more often!
  • actually do the courses that I’ve purchased from Craftsy, Skillshare, and Creativebug.

Those are pretty much my goals for every year. Make more things. *wink*

-x

kira makes a secret project

It’s not really a secret… it’s more of a surprise.

It’s that time of year, to be working on gifts for friends and family. And since, well, I know of at least ONE person (hi, Laura!) who reads this blog, I can’t show what I’m working on here. YET.

But I can show my orts jar! (Orts are the little leftover bits of thread trimmed from embroidery projects).

Orts Jar

There’s not too much in the jar right now, but Árnyék and Zaka kept trying to eat the thread bits, so made an orts jar to keep them out of reach.

The project itself is going along swimmingly. Lots of practice in making French knots. (Ooooh, a hint!) Looking forward to sharing them on the blog soon, after gift-giving season is over.

In other news, I have signed up to be a mail artist volunteer for Snail Mail My Email. The project is live this week, so hopefully I will soon receive emails to make into beautiful letters. Quick turnaround — I believe they need to be mailed out by the this Friday — so hopefully this will be the kick-in-the-pants I need to make some more stuff. Branch out and experiment a little. Looking forward to it. Yay.

-x

kira makes more stitches (a catch-all knitting post)

The last 23 days or so have just been short posts for the #drawlloween challenge. I haven’t updated much else. But I have been knitting.

Mirkwood is sadly set aside, having never regained momentum after the cat-attack. While the work has been salvaged, the semi-deadline has passed, so there’s less motivation to keep working on it. I do plan to get back to it, but am just taking a break.

In the meantime, I cast on a new project. (Of course. It’s not like I have a zillion projects waiting for me to finish them…)

I had purchased some “souvenir yarn” during my trip to Seattle — Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Beehive and Knitted Wit Victory Sock in Market Flowers (exclusive Seattle colorway). I was eager to try something with these new yarns, since starting new projects is always exciting.

I cast on with the Maxima, test knitting stockinette, linen-stitch, a chunky lace, and a few others, frogging each time before settling on the star-stitch pattern of “Holding Hands, Feeding Ducks.”

Beehive

The scarf is wider that the original pattern, and I knit until I ran out of yarn, resulting in a short scarf, good for tucking into one’s jacket. I still haven’t weaved in the ends, because I am lazy.

I also mended a machine-knit sweater. One of my favorites had gone through the wash and emerged with a broken strand that unraveled the stitches several inches wide.

Rock & Republic - Unraveled

Rock & Republic - Repaired

Using the crochet hook I’d been using for beading on Mirkwood (the hook is 0.5mm!!), I picked up all the unraveled stitches, and re-bound off the edge. I wouldn’t say it’s as good as new, because it slightly puckers there, but in the overall design of the sweater, I think it is virtually unnoticeable.

I’ve picked up the Les Misérables scarf/wrap again. I’ve decided to use all the balls of the yarn I have, and it will be very long. It is already… very long. I don’t know how much it will shrink when felted (technically, fulled). Part of me wonders if I want to felt it at all. I guess we’ll see when it’s done.

Les Misérables - with Cats

On a side note, the kittens are getting quite big.

-x

kira makes a sad discovery… and a triumphant recovery

It’s been a long while since I have updated the blog. Life has been busy. I’ve been surprisingly social, which (while being enjoyable) has severely cut down on my personal time and time for making things.

I’ve been trucking away on the Mirkwood Shawl at the weekly Twisted Stitchers RVA craftnights, and in the few evenings I have to myself. Everything had been going along relatively smoothly, with the potential for actually finishing it in time to wear to the wedding a not-too-far-off possibility. Until…

Mirkwood - Eaten

… one of the cats ate multiple holes in it. I am fairly certain it was Árnyék; he likes to gnaw on the red blanket on the bed and probably found it to be similar. As you can see from the picture, there’s still kitten-spit on it. *sadface*

On the bright side, all of the three holes that I found were relatively close to the working side. After recovering from the shock-and-horror, I bravely removed the entire shawl from the needle and unraveled it, picking out the beads as I went, until I got to the base of the holes (which apparently was all the way back to when I switched skeins of yarn).

Mirkwood - Unraveled

And then — picked up 379 stitches like a BOSS.

In a stroke of luck, the row I picked up had the distinctive double-YOs, allowing me to more easily figure out what row I’m now on (Chart 2, row 79). And each segments’ stitch count matches what it should be. Woot.

This means that I lost 30 rows… and since each row takes foreeeeeever (like at least good 20 min per RS row) that means I lost only like, 10 hours of my LIFE. Plus the probably-around-2-hours it took to carefully unravel and pick-up stitches. Jeez.

It is much more unlikely that I will finish this in time to wear for the wedding as I am now having to backtrack… Le sigh. So, I’ll have to figure out something else to wear.

But, I get to be all proud of myself for fearlessly taking several hundred stitches off the needles, dismantling, and picking up stitches — LACE stitches — without doubting my skills to actually do it. Because I am awesome. And I can do things if I put my mind to it. I will finish this shawl and be victorious. (I really hope it blocks well, since it seems to be turning out fairly small… eek.)

-x

kira makes little knitting progress…

…because kittens are distracting.

Zaka

One of the downsides of kittens is that they are so gosh-darn-cute, that my productivity in any home-activity has significantly declined, in favor of playing with kittens. And cat-napping with kittens.

Árnyék Loves Socks

Árnyék loves worn socks. I’m going to have to keep him away from my knitted socks! Which I have made absolutely no progress on since acquiring the kittens.

I did, however make a little bit of progress on the Featherweight Cardigan at our craft night. I just realized that I started the Featherweight Cardigan at the beginning of the year, and it still isn’t done. That’s mainly because I get distracted by other shiny projects (like working on Les Misérables wrap and making socks).

And speaking of new shiny projects to get distracted by — our group has fallen in love with this hooded shawl: Mirkwood (Ravelry page). There is a possibility of a KAL. Even if we all don’t end up knitting it at the same time, we can still help each other decipher the lace charts.

In my idle ponderings about if I can add this shawl to my ever-growing-list of WIPs, I remembered that I have several skeins of laceweight yarn from handpaintedyarn.com. I have almost enough in Mares Profundos (a deep blue) or in Black. Roughly 1700 yards of each, when the pattern calls for 1800-1860 yards. I could always make it in the blue, with black edging. However, the quality of the yarn makes me a little bit nervous — when I had been trying to use the Mares Profundos to make a shawl previously, it seemed to tend to break at points where the single-ply was not spun tightly enough. I’d be hesitant to knit such a time- and labor-intensive piece with yarn that might give way. That being said, it makes me a little reluctant to use the yarn altogether, since any project that I spend any amount of time on, I would not want it to fall apart! Especially any lace that requires aggressive blocking!

Of course, then I am pondering what yarn I would want to use instead. And pricing it out. And pondering beads, and clasps…

-x