Sunday, March 30, 2008


Following on the heels of the Sunny Yellow Sun Hat is this slightly more manly one.

Yarn: Elann Sonata (100% cotton) DK weight, 115 yards per 50 g. (Hmm mixing English with metric)

Basic beanie with a brim.

I think this one may fit a little better and provide more sun protection.

And a side view.

Work tomorrow. For 5 stinkin' days.


Three For The Show

I did a little Ship Support knitting this month, in between finishing that afghan and making little things for the Tiny Prince.

The green and gold hat is the redo of the green and gold moccasins that gave me such fits.

The two solid color ones are textured (strictly for interest) and the blue one incorpoates an experiment at the decreases. (Click to make it bigger so you can see what I mean.)

I have always been bugged by ribbed and textured hat patterns that switch to plain stockinette stitch (knit all the stitches if working in the round) for the crown decreasing. It just looks Out Of Place if you know what I mean.

So I decided to try seed stitch (knit, purl around then purl the knits, knit the purls around, rinse, repeat) and at the decrease points, no matter where I was in the patterning, I knit the two stitches together. I really like the way it came out. The decrease stitches form a distinct line, the seed stitch echoes the pattern in the rest of the hat.

You're welcome!

I think I will cast on a pair of Mittnz now.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Seriously Cute!

I was looking for a new hat pattern for The Tiny Prince of Wails.

Summer is coming, after all and he's going to need some sun protection until he grows a little more hair.

So I Googled: Sun Hat Infant Knit Pattern (or some semblance of that word group) and found this bit of adorableness (is that a word? It is now!)

I used less than 1 50 g. (108 yard) skein of Tahki Cotton Classic (I am seriously in lerve with this yarn) with a size 7 16" circ and dpns and find myself on a roll!

To block it, I hand washed in hot water which made the cotton s-t-r-e-t-c-h like crazy (as cotton is wont to do) so I patted it flat and left it on a towel to dry out a bit.

As soon as I was ready to fire up the dryer for a laundry load, I tossed the little hat in and I was rewarded with a nicely shrunk up hat with a cute rolling brim (not like the nice flat one on the pattern picture). I like it!

I gave about two minutes' thought to ironing it to flatten out that scallop and then decided that Momma is unlikely to do that. Good grief! Iron a baby hat? Are you out of your mind?

So, I can say (having done it myself) that it goes right from the washer to the dryer with no ill effect!

I love the little swirl on the top!

I did cast on another (different pattern) in a gift yarn. Finished the whole brim, too, then frogged it because 1) it was way too big and 2) I really didn't like it At All.

I think tomorrow, I might try out another pattern, this one from a Family Circle Easy Knitting (Spring/Summer 2001).

But first, this one will go in the mail so that the Tiny Prince won't catch a sunburn!


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sweeping the Clouds Away

"And so, " she said, " I cast on a couple of things for the Tiny Prince."

A hush descended on the crowd. They were, to a man, stunned.

"What! Another tiny garment?" gasped the Other Half.

"What about the sweater you planned for yourself?"

Just another day at Casa Sheepie.

Hat pattern here, Frog-Suit in Pinguoin 151.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Whole Lotta Nothin'

I took a day for me (that would be tomorrow) and a day for the house (that was today) because I have A Lot Of Vacation that I need to use.

So I jumped right on in to the House Cleaning Ritual with both feet.

1) Make a list of tasks to be accomplished.

2) Print it out.

3) Immediately amend to add: Take Cat To The Vet.


But some stuff got done (bathroom is clean, top of stove is clean). Steam cleaning the rugs will wait for tomorrow.

And Sparky got a blood test and 2 new medicines. (Don't a$k!)

Some other stuff got nearly finished, too. Witness:


(Remember my experiment with Excel to produce reasonably "planned out" afghans from a bunch of random squares produced by a bunch of unrelated people?)

Became this:

A reasonably "planned out" afghan.

I'm still working on the half double crochet border all around, and it needs a wash and block, but for all intents and purposes, it's finished and will be on its way to the intended recipient soon.

As I look at the photo, I see squares I'd like in other places, but there is No Way In Hell I am moving anything.

I gave up on this:

Sock/slipper knitting of the intense variety sucks the living soul out of me. There are two to be accomplished for every FO, and though I had done the striped part on both of them and about 1/2 of the toe cap, I Just Couldn't Bring Myself to Finish.

So, I frogged. Rippit, Rippit!

Back to the component parts.

And cast on a hat.

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Mittnz 2008 Roolz

LizzieK8 has very kindly made this buttin for this years' Mittnz Challenge for Cheyenne River Reservation.

The Roolz are simple:

1) Make. Knit, crochet, sew (yes, fleece counts!) and buy.

2) Document. Send me photos of the ones you hand make that I can post to this blog to inspire us all ( email to

If I see pictures from you of at least 8 pairs, you will be entered into the prize draw for one of 8 fabulous prizes.

3) Mail. Mittnz are to be mailed to Cheyenne River Reservation (CRYP P.O. Box 410, Eagle Butte, SD 57625) during the last week in September so that the Youth Project (the YP in the address) is blitzed with hand covers the first week in October when the weather starts its evil descent into winter.

Last year, during the blitz we managed to make and buy 405 pairs that were sent to South Dakota to warm hands there. That was about 60% of all the Mittnz mailed in 2007.

I would dearly love to see 1000 pairs of hands warmed in 2008 which means that Mittnz 2008 needs to generate 600 pairs!

Interpretation of the Roolz: Handcovers need to be warm. And since little kids tend to prefer brighter colors, the small ones should be less conservative than the big ones. They need to fit human hands! Any size. Any color. Mittens, gloves, wristers, fingerless, thumbless. Beyond that, let's not "overthink" this project.

I will post all photos. If you wantt o send me a picture each time you finish a pair, great. Want to wait until you have completed the challenge (8 pairs), fine too. Include the ones you bought if you are so inclined. Send photos! They inspire us all.

History: It started as a Personal Challenge to me to knit X pairs of mittens because I HATED (still do) the fiddly nature of them. Those thumbs! and there are TWO of them, for lord's sake.

Once I announced that I was challenging myself, other members of NAS ::coff:: Mariella ::coff:: Anami ::coff:: one or more of the Debbies ::coff:: jumped on the bandwagon.

I think there was one prize that first year. Last year, there were 7! And this year, I have already received offers/pledges of 2 prizes (including a copy of Morehouse Farms Merino Knits which I would covet if I didn't already own it!). I will make up the difference between what is donated and a total of 8. This project is THAT IMPORTANT to me.

So, are you in? Little kids right here in the Good Ol' U S of A are cold!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

First Fair Entry?

Following on the heels of 4 Tiny Sweaters

I brainstorned a bit and came up with the Second Draft of the Prototype Vest that I mailed to Children In Common last week.

What you see on the left, there, is the chest part of the vest I was plotting.

It's knit in Lopi-like (not Lopi-Lite) Gjestal Naturgarn wool.

I cast on enough stitches for 7-8" and knit until I had roughly 26" in length. Stockinette with 4-stitch garter border on both sides (I may rethink that on the next one and put the border on one side--the bottom hem--only).

Here's the finished vest.

After I knit the chest part, I joined the ends into a tube (really need work toward a provisional cast on and a grafted seam for the next one). Then I found the center front and back and picked up stitches to make the "yoke" area, leaving 8 rows (4 ridges) on each side for the underarm.

This is about a size 2-4 or so (26" chest). I got the measurements by checking numerous patterns in many books finally settling on Ann Budd's dimensions.

What follows is merely re-stating the obvious:

I worked an intarsia sun (from this OOP book). The rays are embroidered.

I striped the back so that it would match the bottom, though the stripes are horizontal on the top and vertical on the bottom.

I "scooped" the front neck (just like in Prototype 1). I think this makes for a more comfortable fit than a boat neck, especially when the wool is scratchy. The back neck is straight.

I used garter stitch for all of the edgings (neck, armhole, hem).

There were a lot of ends to work in. I did that while surfing blogs this morning. Weave an end, read a blog, rinse, repeat.

This puppy is in serious need of a nice wash and block.

Since my intention (right now at this very Moment In Time) is to enter this one in the fair, I will hold off the wash and block until right before so that it is crisp, fresh, and uncreased.

OMG! It's time to Mittn agin!

Indeed! October 1 will be here before we know it! It's time for those intrepid Mittn Knitters to drag out the bag of odd balls and set to work!

This year's goal is 8 Hand knit pairs.

I figure that there are about 26 more weeks until time to mail the finished Mittnz to Cheyenne River Reservation so that small and large people will have warm hands and hearts.

Won't you join us?

There will be prizes!

Eight of them!

Rules, buttons, and all details will be posted soon, but you can start planning now.

Gloves, mittens, mitts, armwarmers, wristers, call them what you will. If they warm the hands, they put you in the running.

Fiber? Warm! Animal and animal fiber blends are best. Colorful is wonderful, drab and dreary works too! Plain or decorated, knitted or crocheted. Felted and not.

Have at it and have a ball!

Like last year, I will be calling for photos of completed Mittnz and posting them right here. Mailing is scheduled so that they arrive in SD before the onset of winter (by October 1). This is a blitz! So we try to mail the last week in September to shock and awe (awwwww) the volunteers at the Youth Center.

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Friday, March 21, 2008


Today (after work) I was at the grocery store shopping for a ham and 4 other things. While I was looking through the half-hams (unsliced, not dipped in pink goo, reasonably(?) unadulterated) I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.

Right next to me, and between me and her mother (presumably) was a child. Not a small child. One aged somewhere around 10 years. With a toothpick. Presumably from a snacky thing off the deli counter (cheese or somesuch).

She was poking holes in the heavy plastic wrapper on one of the hams!

And I spoke up!

Me: Did you just poke that toothpick into that ham?

She: ::silence::

Me: You know that you are introducing bacteria into that food and someone could get sick from it!

She: ::silence::

Her mother: You know better than that!

And so, did her mother take the offended and offending ham and offer to pay for it by putting it her cart at least until I was out of sight?

Of course not!

So I picked up the ham myself and handed it to the person behind the deli counter and explained what happened.

Then I carefully checked my ham wrapper for poke marks.

(And people wonder why I buy my meat at the farmers' market!)

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers

Today is the birthday of beloved children's television host Fred Rogers, born in 1928in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Fred was an orddained Presbyterian minister. His show (Misterogers) first went on the air in 1963. Over time, it evolved into Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (first seen nationally in 1968).

The show, which begins with him singing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" and changing clothes from work stuff to sneakers and a cardigan, was/is the longest-running show on PBS.

The program featured themes like feeling good about yourself, getting along with others, and handling fears. Rogers wrote more than 200 songs for the show. The last episode was taped in December 2000.

Unlike all of us "neighbors," Mr. Rogers isn't getting any older these days. His neighborhood, however, continues to grow.

Today: wear a cardigan in his honor, and tell someone how much you like him or her, "just the way you are."


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Additional Silliness

If you thought I was kidding, you need to look here.

Squirl Scouts!

Initiation rites!

Catherine: My last name is NOT Coulter!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

End of Winter Post

It's spring and the squirl scouts are out in force! See them on the road, lying there, waiting for you to swerve. Squirl scout initiation rites.

Beware! The rest of the troop is sitting in a tree laughing!

Humorous Pictures
see more crazy cat pics

Peeps with nut allergies should avoid the cookies!


Monday, March 17, 2008

Easily Amused

My office window (2nd floor) looks out onto a woodsey area and a creek. The trees are well-populated in the summer with any number of winged species. We have muskrats, groundhogs and deer, too.

This time of year, it's not so wild, though the squirrel activity kicked up a notch or two this week.

One squirrel (not unlike Scrat) in particular was especially busy. I/we watched his antics for a good long time.

It's quite distracting to see a flash of white belly boing, boing, boinging upside down on a pencil thin tree branch, running hither and yon in pursuit of. . .until finally he reached the prize: a fresh red tree bud that will never be leaves, but was a quite tasty snack for a squirrel.

I wish I had a video!


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Prototype, or One Last One

I was able to get my vests in the mail yesterday.

I had last bits of several colors of lopi-type yarn. Surely enough to make one more little vest.

On a wing and a prayer, I put together this little number.

So, what do you think?

Me either. But I believe the design has potential.

Initially, I thought that I would just be all random and all, then sensibility kicked in. I had just a couple of yards of the really nice yellow and the equally nice cranberry so I got a little less random and a little more formal and went for symmetry.

The back shows the issues that developed from my initial randomness.

I'm not crazy about the very wideness of the pink. (FWIW, that pink color came from overdyeing almond wool with grape Kool-ade, I think!)

I'm not all that crazy about the seaming either. I should have cast on provisionally.

And that's why this is only a prototype. And why I took photos. I will learn from this one and go for something that I can share pattern-wise at a later date.

The one thing that I did that I really like, though, is the scoopedness of the neckline (rather than the boat-neck that I used on the other three sweaters for Children In Common).

I think this will make the sweater easier to get on and more comfortable to wear.

I will definitely incorporate this neckline into the final product.

And on another note, I got this in my email yesterday:

Hello! My name Elena and me of 27 years. I was very much interested with your structure on a dating site and I to wish to get acquainted with you. If you has interested, you can write on my e-mail: address deleted . In the following letter I could tell about myself and send the photos. I hope you will give me chance and I shall like you!!!

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Thought It Was CATurday!

This is Daisy. She's a Redbone Coonhound currently being fostered by the Younger Kid.

Kinda skinny, young, bouncy as all getout!

He says she takes up less room on the bed than

Ms. Pushy (aka Belle of the Ball)

Seeing them together, I wonder.

Having been owned by a beagle in a previous life, I completely understand!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

And the Winner Is

The winner of the People's Choice Award for Heet the Feet 2008 is Mariella aka Knitting Nonni.

She does lovely stuff and is also the designer of the fabulous garter stitch sideways Mittnz (check out the pattern--link on her sidebar).

Thanks to all the Faithful Readers who voted, and congratulations to Mariella.


Monday, March 10, 2008

As Promised

Stuff about knitting!

I started this sweater back in January. Got seriously discouraged that it would be Way Too Big for the Tiny Prince of Wails so I cast on another sweater (the green and eggplant one) and another (the red hoodie), and next thing I knew, the Tiny Prince had gained 4 pounds and I figured that if I didn't finish this one soon, there was no way he's ever be able to wear it!

Imagine my surprise when I whipped right on through it in a weekend! Pattern here. Yarn is a spoingy stretchy terry stuff (discontinued, sorry) in daffodil and navy.

And here's a hat for ship support.

Cast on 80, do a border of sorts.

Mark the beginning of the round and knit 3, purl 3 until ready for the decreases.

Work a row or two of seed stitch (k1, p1, the p the k and k the p, rinse repeat).

Decrease at 8 points by working in pattern, but always k2 tog for the decreases.

Decrease every other round. On the even round, work in pattern, but always knit the decreased stitches.

When you are down to 8 stitches, fasten off, weave in.


Uses about 3 ounces of worsted weight. I used a size 7 16" circular needle.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

Monty, We Hardly Knew Ye

That would be Himself on the left (Belle on the right). The Younger Kid signed up to foster for Peaceable Kingdom. Monty was (as you can see from the photo) not a puppy. Rather, he was an elderly gentledog of the highest order.

He lived with the Younger Kid (and Belle and Raven) for about a week before he crossed the Bridge.

Better in a house than in a cage!

And wasn't it a great Caterday once the rain stopped?

Can we have Caterday every day, please?

Just a simple request.

Knitting stuff tomorrow.

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Friday, March 07, 2008

Rock The Vote

People's Choice voting time!

To vote for your favorite, send an email to with "Heet Vote" in the subject line. In the body of your email, indicate the number of your favorite pair.

Voting closes at midnight EST (gotta allow for Daylight Savings Time) March 12. The socks or slippers that receive the most votes will win a lovely gift package for their maker.

Vote early, but not often. One vote per voter, please.

Wild striped tube socks.


Basic, but not boring


Diagonal ribbing


Influenced by Erika Knight


Perfect for a boy!


Special way to use sock yarn odd balls.


Crocheted stripes


Cute little stay-on booties


Thursday, March 06, 2008

I Was a Meanie

to a greenie.

I answered the phone during dinner tonight (I know, I know). The person on the other end asked to speak to the Other Half.

In my nicest and politest (really) voice, I asked, "Whom shall I say is calling?" (Yes, I really said "whom," I think.)

To which the voice on the other end replied, "This is XXX, calling from YYY, an environmental cause he supports."

(Well, see, there's the thing. The Other Half doesn't write checks. Okay, he wrote one to the oral surgeon 3 years ago when he had that root canal, but other than that, not so much. And yes, I recognized the name of the organization, because, erm, I wrote the check.)

So I said, still being polite, "This household is on the national Do Not Call registry, and I know that you are exempt from that, being a charity, but we still don't want to get these kinds of calls, and I'm going to hang up now."

And I did.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

One Last One?

There were still some odd balls left (and there are still still some odd balls left, but I digress) so I knat up this size 2 vest for Children in Common.

Same pattern, same wool.

Butterfly, this time.

Fishies next??

It's been a long day and I am wiped out.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

It's a Boy


Okay, there aren't any fishies.

There's no Thomas the Tank Engine.

Nor Spiderman.

Nor dinosaurs.

There is, however, a tractor. (Did you recognize it?)

Size 2.

And the back is stripey all the way up to the neck.

Pattern is the same as the girl version. You can find it for free, here. If you "steal" the pattern, please make one for charity first.

The yarn is 100% wool (as per the specifications for Children in Common), Lopi and Gjestal, odd balls, left over from other projects. I used size 10.5 needles except for the bind off at the neck (13s there).

The pattern makes an easy, seamless vest that will keep a little guy warm.

Won't you please make one, too?

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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Last Call For Entries

Heet the Feet

is over for another year. If you sent socks or other Feet Heeters to Cheyenne River Reservation during February, this is your last chance to get in on a drawing for a fabulous prize package that includes patterns, yarn, and chocolate.

To enter, send a photo of your best sock effort to by midnight EST tonight!

Photos will be posted and secret ballot People's Choice voting will commence as soon as I can get my act together.

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Keeping Me Honest Sunday

My pile of UFOs has grown exponentially over the past few weeks, so I am posting a photo in hopes that something will get finished. (Are there still Knitting Fairies out there?)

In no particular order (okay, starting a 9 o'cloc, sort of) moccasins, wrap sweater for The Tiny Prince, POCghan, Toe Jam sock , Bear Claw blankie, cotton sweater for Tiny Prince, odd balls to make sweater vest for Children in Common, Santa pair. Regular readers will recognize a couple of these projects. I am hanging my head.

But there is a FO to show:

First sweater of 2008 for Children in Common.

It's odd balls of girly colors of wool (Gjestal Naturgarn) that I dyed up a while back with Kool-Ade.

I know that the yarn was "almond" (a color so insipid that it begged for dyeing). I believe I used cherry and raspberry, but I could be way off base there.

The blue was a bit left over from a sweater I made a couple of years ago.

And here it is all spread out.

I really wish that I had noticed the diagonal before I started the yoke.

Steam-blocking helped some.

This one is about a size 4. CIC is collecting sweaters and vests in sizes 2 and 4 right now. It breaks my heart to think of little bitty kiddies (Tiny Prince size, no less) living in orphanages!

I'll be mailing this sweater and a "boy" one as soon as I finish the boy one. It's on the needles.

Red, shades of blue, little fishies, I think.

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