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Archive for the ‘Purring’ Category

Since last I updated (a million years ago, I believe, although I haven’t done the math), I haven’t knit a thing.

OK, technically, I guess I have knit – or half-knit – a thing, but I’m going to frog it, so I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count.

I wanted to get in on WWKIP day/week before it passed, so I decided to knit a toddler-sized version of a doll-hat pattern I found in my stash. The name escapes me now, so hang on just a minute…

Here’s a kitty picture to occupy you while I fetch my project from the car:

If they fits, they sits... or something like that.

If they fits, they sits… or something like that.

Found it! The pattern is called Eyelet Beret. It’s by Deb Denair of Debonair Designs. It’s so cute… and it’s available free on ravelry.com. Just click on the pattern’s name in the 2nd sentence of this paragraph. Her designs are made to fit 18″ dolls, specifically those in the American Dolls series. Anyway, this particular beret design caught my eye a year or so ago, and I’ve been planning to make it… eventually.

When the last day of WWKIP 2014 rolled around and I still hadn’t knit a stitch anywhere, I decided to take advantage of a two-hour car ride to start this hat. In truth, I had every reason to think I’d finish the hat before the end of the returning two-hour car ride, given my now-decades of knitting experience and the relative simplicity of the charming pattern.

However… the knitting goddess was not being reasonable.

True, I had ignored her for months.

Also true, I was modifying the pattern to be larger…. something I’ve done many times in the past, although usually with a bit of math written out to back up my changes.

And also also-true, I was changing it from a knit-flat pattern to an in-the-round pattern… something else I’ve done many times in the past, with no difficulties.

Alas.

This time, I knit for an hour or so before deciding my calculations (in my head, of course) were off somewhere… or my gauge (which I didn’t swatch, of course) was wonky… so the hat was going to be too big.

No problem, says I. I am no stranger to curative properties of a timely frogging, after all.

I ripped out the WIP and started again, this time carefully noting (in my head again, of course) the changes to my original modifications (still in my head, of course).

Alas.

So I’ll be ripping the poor thing out again, only a little daunted.

Perhaps just daunted enough that I’ll write out my modifications next time… and take notes of any on-the-fly changes I make.

So, not knitting, but I have been sewing.

Back in July, I finally stopped procrastinating and not just because it was the day of the show in which i was to wear them and made a pair of bloomers for Cupcake, my medieval faire alter ego! My group, Just Desserts, was performing at a local club, The Midnight, and my old bloomers were worn out and falling apart. I’d stockpiled some bloomer-destined fabric back in the early spring, and with only 7 hours before showtime, I got serious and started sewing.

True to form, I’d tempted the sewing goddess by not starting sooner, then by not making sure I had all of my supplies (elastic cut to the right length for my calves, I’m talkin’ about you!) before I took off with the almost-finished bloomers to meet the other wenches and start getting ready. “Oh, no problem that they’re not really finished! I can quickly thread in these two elastic pieces in the leg casings and stitch them closed,” said I… only to discover (when I was far from home and without my stash of notions) that one of the pieces was about 3 inches shorter than the other, which made it about 3 inches too short to fit without cutting off the circulation to my foot.

I made a down-and-dirty desperation decision (yay, alliteration!) to use a ribbon on that leg, just for that performance, so the fabric would gather appropriately. But ribbon is not elastic, and that leg drooped. I’m not sure if any else noticed, but I sure did, mostly because it felt all wrong.

After the show, once again at home, I replaced the ribbon with elastic, and the bloomers were truly finished.

Here’s how they look (on a hanger):

Arrrr!

Arrrr!

That photo makes the pirates’ hats look kind of purplish, so how ’bout a closeup of the leg casing and fabric:

Avast, ye landlubbers!

Avast, ye landlubbers!


I also sewed two tablecloths for an author-friend of mine to use at her author appearances.

She chose the fabrics and trims, and I supplied the labor. Each turned out about 8 ft long and 3.5 ft wide, simple rectangles with trim on one long edge.

Here’s a closeup of the striped one I made first:

Why, yes, there is a blue ribbon on that grey stripe!

Why, yes, there is a blue ribbon on that grey stripe!

And here’s a closeup of the second one, which is both my and the author’s favorite:

Love that sweet brown and pink trim!

Love that sweet brown and pink trim!

And here’s a shot of the second one, in the real world:

Here's one: in use... and in need of ironing!

Here’s one: in use… and in need of ironing!

And yesterday, I “finished” three pair of wench’s bloomers! I say “finished,” because the actual sewing is done on all three, but only one is ready to wear. That would be the ones I made for my sister wench, Tira McSu. It is, surely, a complete coincidence that these were also finished at the last minute on the same day they were to be worn in a performance. (We were one of the acts in a benefit show to raise awareness and funds for a local domestic-violence shelter and similar programs.)

I didn’t have Tira at my house when it was time to fit the elastic to the legs and the waist, so I packed up some sewing supplies and took them with me. Once again, I almost blew it, as I had not included a sewing needle in said supplies. (I know!) Luckily, it took only a couple of minute of frantic searching to find one in the house where we were getting ready, so the bloomers did get finished. The hand-stitching details (sewing the leg casings closed, slipstitching down the space in the waistband that the elastic was threaded through) did not, as I ran out of sewing time before we had to head out to our venue, but those little things can wait.

As a result, I did not take a photo of them.

I do, however have a photo of the fabric, taken while I was trying to sew it. As you can see, Gandy (i.e., Gandalf the Grey) was helping me sew, but you may need to click-to-embiggen to see the fabric print better:

"Not like that, silly! You forgot to put the legs right-sides-together!"

“Not like that, silly! You forgot to put the legs right-sides-together before stitching!”

The other two pair still need to have elastic fitted into their legs and ribbons in their waistbands (not elastic, so they can be worn by whichever wench wants to, waist measurements notwithstanding), then they need to assume the clothes-hanger-on-the-door photography position and smile for the camera. Once that’s done, I’ll post them, along with some adorable kitty-helper photos I took during the marathon sewing session yesterday.

Till then, I hope your summer has been all you’d hoped. And as temperatures start to become more fall-like and the kiddies start back to school in some parts of the world, I wish you smooth transitions.

Later, kittens!

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Always ready to, um, help?

I was modifying my costume for this year’s singing gig* at the city’s tree-lighting festivities, when Dragon kitty decided I was going too fast.

She found a very effective way to slow me down:

"Haste makes waste, lady." - Dragon

“Haste makes waste, lady.” – Dragon

* I sing in a group called Singers of Reformation, although our secret name is Singers of the Resistance. We have a rather pathetic Tumblr, which has a few sound files from our rehearsals this year. Feel free to check them out, if you care to and can find them. I’m pretty bad at that linky-thing. Our group is also booked to sing at a local retirement village’s annual Madrigal Dinner.

I’ve missed you all! Have a wonderful Friday, kittens!

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Kitts and mitts

Or, more accurately, kittens and fingerless mitts.

Last Monday, Mogwai*, the littlest and most loving of the two neighborhoods who adopted our family several months ago decided to move on in and, in a delightful show of how much she trusts us, to have her first litter of kittens in a cat bed in our dining room.

Here’s a photo from Friday morning:

There are four babies in this picture... promise!

There are four babies in this picture… promise!

The gray baby’s head is hidden in the pile. You can see his/her back at the 9 o’clock position in the picture. I’d enlarge the picture more, but the focus would be worse. I didn’t want to flash the poor little things too closely or often, so I only took two photos… and this is the best of those.

Luckily for everyone, our older cats have accepted the new cats’ presence with amazing aplomb and have not made Mogwai feel threatened or unwelcome. Whew!

On the knitting front, I finished a pair of fingerless mitts for a dear friend whose favorite color is green. I can’t show you the photo of the pattern on the backs of the mitts yet, as I don’t want to spoil the surprise when I give them to this dear friend, but I can show you these:

After one day of knitting...

After one day of knitting…

And here’s a photo of the palm side of the finished mitts:

Palms, thumbs, cuffs... oh my!

Palms, thumbs, cuffs… oh my!

I reset the photo size on my new camera (!) before I took the FO pictures, so the resulting pictures are, um, small. I think I’ll have to reset it again and take new (i.e., larger) photos of the backs of the mitts, so you can see the pattern details better.

Sorry for the tease, but it’s a necessity… at least for a few days.

Hope your Sunday (Easter!) is filled with love, music and laughter. Mine will be filled with sleep and mucus, as I am heading to bed now (worked last night and again tonight) and I have the crud. Ah, well, c’est la vie. I get sick so rarely that I can hardly complain about it now… but I want to. Oh, goddess of snot, how I want to!

Oh, and WordPress has reminded me that I hit my 6-year blogiversary last week. Woo-hoo! Yay, me!

* Mogwai from, of course, the movie Gremlins. And, yes, we fed her after midnight… but we didn’t get her wet.

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… for January, anyway.

Sorry for the slackenbloggen, kittens. I’ve been occupied with the first weekend of the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire**, which was a blast, and just didn’t have the energy to post until now.

As usual, faire time means sewing time for Toni. In addition to the white shirt I made for the BC16 (see last post), I also made a pair of bloomers for Cherri Tart (my sister wench) and a pink eyelet chemise for Cupcake (moi!).

Here’s a very dark picture of the bloomers:

Might see more details if you click on the photo.

Might see it better if you click on the photo. (No promises.)

Here’s a closeup of the ruffle detail:

Pretty ruffle!

Pretty ruffle!

To make it easier for Cherri to figure out front from back, I put a little decorative button on the front center of the waist.

See?

Sweet little butterfly among the cherries

Sweet little butterfly among the cherries.

I hope to get a good photo of them on Cherri when I see her this weekend. If I do, I’ll share it with you all.

As always, details are in the FO page for this project. (See sidebar on the right side of the screen.)

Before the first day of the faire, I had completed all but the sleeve casings and the neck treatment on a new pink eyelet chemise for Cupcake’s costume. Alas, I had been awake for 28 hours (transitioning from a nighshift-sleep schedule to a dayshift one) at that point and just couldn’t finish it then. I had all these wonderful intentions of finishing it Saturday night or Sunday morning (before the 2nd morning of the faire), but was too exhausted to attempt it. In fact, I spent all day yesterday recuperating, too, so it wasn’t until today that I had the want-to and the can-do at the same time.

It took me about 90 minutes, but I got it done!

Here’s my newest FO:

Not a nightgown, thankyouverymuch.

Not a nightgown, thankyouverymuch.

I really like the result and hope it looks good with the rest of Cupcake’s costume. We shall see this weekend, when the faire runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

As you’d expect, I had some help with the sewing.

Ninja kitty is... hard to see!

Ninja kitty is… hard to see!

I managed to keep her off the pink eyelet, but it wasn’t easy. That li’l Ninja is fast and sneaky!

** As I mentioned, the faire has been so much fun! My wench troupe, Just Desserts, performed three shows a day, plus one song at the closing pub sing, to raucous applause and laughter. Which is exactly the reaction you’d want a wench show to get. The truth is that we probably laugh at least as much as the audience, probably more. In fact, the audience sometimes just laughs at our laughter, which makes us laugh even more. (I did say it was a lot of fun, didn’t I?)

Our act is just a little too risqué for the kiddies, so we won’t be doing any stage shows on Friday, which is kids’ day. We will find a space (probably a closed-for-kids’-day ale booth) and we’ll do a little busking, singing pretty madrigal and traditional songs. And we’ll save our naughtier fare for Saturday and Sunday, when we’ll once again perform three shows a day (plus a song at the closing pub sing).

We may have some new youtube videos for your viewing pleasure. You can find them on our youtube channel. If you subscribe to the channel, you’ll get an email for ever new video we upload.

I hope to get some knitting on the needles soon, but I still need buttons for the pink ruffled baby cardi. And as I’m keeping daytime hours this week and not working until next week, after the faire, I hope to have a chance to get them and therefore to finish that sweater. And then I’ll have to pray the cardi fits the recipient and that we’ll have a cold snap, so she’ll have a chance to wear it.

I mention the weather because, well, it’s a factor.

That’s because spring has already sprung here in north central Florida. The pine pollen exploded everywhere about 2 weeks ago (which is 2 weeks earlier than “normal”), and the azaleas and camellias are in bloom. Hell, even the grass is green and will require cutting soon.

So who knows what I’ll knit next.

Any ideas?

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I’ve been busy, unlike the rest of you, who no doubt have been lazing about and eating bonbons while planning a year-long cruise on a private yacht with a half-dozen of your closest friends. (Ahem.)

So I’ve been working… a lot… and had a music rehearsal or two… and caught up on some of my TV shows.. and, of course, laughed as often as possible. I’ve also been in a lot of pain for the last few days. Muscle spasms in my neck/shoulder led to a hellacious headache, one that is finally diminishing to a level at which I can ignore it.

In keeping with the theme of this this blog, I’ve written, knit, read a book or four(?), and petted some kitties.

As for the knitting, I finished one more of the “paler” boobie hats, pierced, which had the added benefit of finishing off a big (well, biggish) skein of yarn. I’d show you a picture of it, but that would mean I’d have to pull out my camera, take a photo, etc., etc. If you’re wondering what it looks like, you need only look at this year’s FO # 41, as this newest one is a clone.

As for the aforementioned purring, our family has been adopted by a neighborhood kitty. She looks almost exactly like Ninja Kitty did when we adopted her, except neighborhood kitty has yellow-green eyes and NK has green-green ones. Neighborhood kitty (whom we refuse to name, ’cause that would mean we’d have to keep her) has taken to sleeping on the former dining-room table that’s on our front landing. More precisely, she’s been climbing up inside the makeshift “flowerpots” that have been sitting there since the sun and weird bugs killed the tomato plants the Hubs attempted to grow this spring/summer.

I snapped a photo of her when I was out for a rare morning walk last week.
See?

As Crissy said, “You grew a kitty!”

We’ve been feeding her, along with a teeny-tiny teenaged kitty-girl who occasionally visits, for a couple of weeks, and she is one loving cat! Definitely not feral, she loves being held and petted and, of course, fed. I don’t know how long she’ll be “not ours,” but we’re enjoying her company when we get it.

I’ve also been sewing, making a second pleated skirt for the my friend Crissy. She wanted a brown one to complete her Velma costume, by jinkies! To that end, she came over Monday night after our madrigal/Christmas singing rehearsal and we cut out the fabric and marked the circles, etc. As we had already worked out the peculiarities of fit (as you do) with the grey skirt, this one went much more smoothly.

Then last night I sewed it, starting at about 3 a.m. and finishing the handstitching-down of the waistband around 7 a.m.

All that remains is to put it on Crissy, mark the hem and then sew that final bit. Oh, and to take an official picture for posting. I’ll do that on Thursday night, after three of our wench troupe performs at a local club.

That’s right, Just Desserts will have a bedfull (our term for a quorum) to represent at the last-ever Nerd Nite at the Laboratory. (Last-ever because it’s closing at the end of the month… oh, no!) If any of you are here in Gainesville, Florida, around 9 p.m. Thursday, come on down!

Oh, and I wrote (see, there’s the “write” portion of the blog’s title) a song for the troupe to perform for birthday boys (well, men… ’cause it would be completely inappropriate for minors, trust me). I’d never written a song before, but we’ll need our own songs if the troupe is gonna have some original music to perform and perhaps record and sell, right? Right! At least that’s what I told the troupe at our last rehearsal.

You should have seen the deer-in-the-headlights looks they gave me! I think they were afraid I was gonna assign each of them a topic and set a deadline. No. In fact, to alleviate their fear and to get the ball rolling, I volunteered to write the first one. We haven’t recorded it yet and I have no idea how to post an mp3 here anyway, so I can’t post the actual song. I can, however, post the lyrics, which are subject to modification and ad-libbing ad nauseum… ’cause that’s how we roll!

Here are the lyrics:

Men’s Birthday Ditty

(wench 1)        Today is your day.
(wench 2)        You’re the man of the hour.
(wench 3)        Your swagger is strong.
(wench 4)        You exude manly power.
(wench 5)        Oh, what’s a wench to do…
(all)                   But to wish these things for you?
(wench 1)        May your cock only crow (cockadoodle-doo!)
                          When the timing is right.
(wench 2)        May your ass not get tired (hee-haw!)
                          From morning to night.
(wench 3)        May your ale at the pub
                         Come with plenty of head.
(wench 4)        And the pusses you pet (meow!)
                          Leave no fleas in your bed.
(wench 5)        In short, may your year
                         Bring you naught but good luck
(all)                  With a wench in your bed
                        When it’s time to get…
(all, slowly)     …. tucked… in!
(all, ad-libbed loudly) Happy birthday, love!
OK, that concludes the wrap-up. I apologize for the lack of amazing blogitude lately and thank you for your patience. Happy hump day and, always, happy knittin’, kittens!

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Bright, glowing object!

To distract you from the glaring lack of photographs of my latest FOs, I present this:

Look at those whiskers!

Chewie was sitting in a sunbeam and his l-o-n-g whiskers were gorgeously highlighted, so I grabbed my camera and snapped a couple of photos. This is the only one that was in focus.

I have, in fact, finished a couple of things.

First, I knit a baby hammock, but I haven’t found a clever way to photograph it. Why? It’s huge! And it just looks like a mesh thingybob when it’s folded up. When I get a photo, though, you know I’ll post it for you.

Second, I crocheted some barefoot baby “sandals” for my friend Maresa’s little one. They’re really more like foot ornaments than sandals, as they have no soles, but everyone on Ravelry calls them barefoot baby sandals, so there you are. I’m going to give them to Maresa on Wednesday night and I don’t want her to see them here before that, so I’ll share a photo of them afterward.*

Two of my pregnant friends have had their baby boys this past week and I have not made their gifts yet, so you can guess what I’ll be working on over my next “days” off (tonight and Tuesday night!), can’t you? That’s right, lace bikinis… er, I mean, baby stuff, of course. (Ahem.)

Hope your Labor Day is filled with just as much peace and quiet and/or fun and frolicking as you want, kittens!

* If you can’t stand the wait, check out the unmodeled photo on the FO page for Evalee’s barefoot sandals. It’s in the 2012 Finished Objects section on the right of this entry.

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I promised you more and better pictures of Nyla’s Osmena hat, and I am ready to deliver… well, the “more” part, anyway. You’ll have to tell me if they’re “better,” too.

Here’s a top shot:

Look, spirals!

And here’s a side shot:

Slouchy enough? Won’t know for sure until Nyla tries it on.

Oh, and here’s a shot that shows the hat and the “model” wearing it:

Gargoyles: not merely decorative any longer.

Nyla’s mom has promised (sworn, even!) to get me pictures of the hat on Nyla’s curl head, but until those pictures appear, I do hope these will suffice.

And here’s a little Smut for those of you who like that kind of thing. You know who you are… and clearly I am one of you, as I am your source here.

Sleeping Smut-in-a-box.

And another shot, this one including Chewie:

His eyes are glowing with, um, love. Yeah, that’s it: love. (Sigh.)

I brought that box home from work the other day as a special treat for our littlest cat, Ninja (formerly known as Josie). She’s just the right size to curl up in it and was, in fact, the first one to check it out. Since that first inspection, though, she has left it to the big boys. And they both love it, although Smut does seem to be monopolizing it, leaving few photo ops for Chewie in the box. Alas, I shall persevere in my attempts to photograph Chewie in it… so that I can share it with the universe you, my long-suffering readers.

Next up should be a baby project, as a coworker (on another shift) recently had a baby girl, a former coworker is expecting a girl, a now-cross-country friend is expecting a baby of as-yet unspecified gender and the hub’s cousin is expecting, too. Oh, and another former coworker is having a boy soon! Yikes!

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