Santana had to come check out the commotion:
While Murderface never really liked this sweater, Penny doesn't seem to mind it.
There is a mobility issue but the thing is warm. The yarn is a wool/alpaca blend and if there's anything Penny loves, it's being warm. She'll purr while she's wearing it. And she can wiggle out of it easily if she wants to. Next, I'll make a sweater that she can't get out of so easily.
I've been working on several pairs of house slippers to felt:
Pattern is from Knit 2 Together by Mel Clark and Tracy Ullman. I did a fugly pair back in 2008. They weren't even worn until last winter when I wanted something easy to slip in and out of on the cold floor.
I wore holes into the soles I wore them so much. They were perfect. Soooo ugly but perfectly shaped to my feet and not bulky. So I sat down to paw through all my yarn scraps to make some more. I felted these three pairs last night and I think they might be given as Christmas gifts. We'll see how they look in a few days when they're dry. I can always make more- for me, for guests- since the stash overfloweth. This is a great project to quickly use up leftovers.
Our house is just at the right elevation that we haven't lost any of the sticky snow that fell last Tue/Wed. The drive home along our dirt road looks like:
There were rumors of possible blue sky over the weekend. On Saturday, I saw some:
But that was basically all of it. Some sunlight came across the back yard:
Very pretty. We've got some rain forecast, so I'm not sure if everything is going to melt away or turn into a crystal ice wildness. We're probably in for more power outages in either case.
Finished the TMNT in time to give them yesterday:
These were the only project I worked on for two solid weeks. I'm glad I did all four- they look great together.
Pattern is free (rav link). Unfortunately, even using two full balls of Plymouth Galway Worsted in green for the bodies, I ran out of yarn for the feet. All the other yarn is already in my stash. And I had the safety eyes. I didn't need to buy anything- my favorite kind of project!
The next project is a crocheted doll from Frozen.
Penny generously allowed me to sleep in for one extra hour on Sunday, but then...
...informed me that it was time to get up and feed her.
Saturday was a snowy snowed-in snowstorm day. I finished crocheting most of the turtle pieces- time to start sewing them together. Sunday was a cleaning day- I also picked up a nice, tall Christmas tree. It was still very closed/frozen from the weather on Saturday, so we put it into the tree stand and are waiting for the branches to drop.
I started a new afghan block a couple weeks ago after I decided that I was sick and tired of making socks. I got halfway through:
Then the holiday gift-making guilt-o-meter ratcheted up from "You've got plenty of time" to "You're never going to finish it all!!" Then I started the turtles. I'll get back to relaxing with pleasurable knits after Christmas.
Dollar and I are Secret Santa to one of his nephews this year. I asked what the boy is in to and his mom said "Ninja Turtles". Unsure whether or not this means the old school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the cartoons I grew up with or the freaky live-action ones from the recent movie, I decided to go with classic TMNT.
If I never see green yarn again, ugh. Why I decided to make all four, I don't know.
The first head and body I made are riddled with mistakes- the torso is inside out, unnecessary slipped stitches, lumpy filling, etc. The prototype is Donatello, though, and I reasoned, "He's the scientist of the group, so he wouldn't mind being the guinea pig. He would prefer it to be that way. I'm sure."
I'm nearly done with the arms (which look like a cross between a pickle and green piece of poop), then on to the shells. And bellies. And all the accouterments like arm bands and knee bands and belts and... That might be it. I hope that's it.
Some handspun chain-plied yarn from back in the day:
Knit into plain socks:
Cast on 56 stitches, used US 3 needles, plain stockinette body. The only problem is that the two skeins of yarn that I made weren't exactly the same weight. These socks were knit identically, obviously, but one sock weights 49 grams and the other is 65 grams. Whoa. You can definitely feel the difference- one feels like a normal sock, the other feels like a heavy winter boot sock. Thankfully I only wear my handknit socks in bed and I can't tell the difference between they're actually on my feet.
They've very soft and warm. Lovely bed socks. This is just a good lesson for me to be much more precise with my spinning when I spin for socks.
Went to see a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show this past weekend. I'm glad this is becoming an annual thing- the music, lights, lasers, pyro- it's such a great show and totally puts your into the holiday spirit.
I have so many pictures but I'll stop there. It's such a bright and fun and uplifting show. Highly recommend.
Went to a Joy of Painting class last weekend.
I always loved the idea of adding monsters to paintings. These classes don't really allow for something like this- because there are so many people in class and things have to keep moving along at a steady pace. If I raised my hand and asked "How should I highlight my monster's fur?", the instructor would probably say "What monster? I told you to add a tree."
Anyway, I saw that this painting featured a bunny, so I tried to make it a creepy bunny by giving it a red eye and fang. From a distance, you can't even tell- but I know it's there.
Someday, when I'm feeling more confident in my painting skills, I'll set up all my paintings and add proper monsters.
Spun up 8oz of corriedale pencil roving into a single-ply:
Fiber from Crown Mountain Farms, which is now sadly closed, in a colorway called Dance of thte Dervish.
I was going to do a plied yarn but then I was all, "Naaaahhh" so I spun low twist singles ranging from fingering to dk weight. Some spots have a little extra twist.
Will probably use the yarn for a lacy shawl. Someday.
Finished a new pair of socks from Favorite Socks:
Used my super-sharp DyakCraft US 2 DPNs. I forget the name of the yarn but it's just a regular ball of Regia or Opal or On-Line or something. Regular work-horse sock yarn.
The leg isn't too long, so it was fast to work up. They are very pretty on.
I think I've finished all the socks that I want to do for now from this book. Time to switch to a different sock book.
I had some new things delivered from Amazon and was able to add a new wing to the cardboard estate that the cat's have:
One of the items delivered was a fur pad that reflects body heat, so it warms up when you lay on it. It fit perfectly into the new addition and Penny wouldn't get out for anything.
This week was a blur. I had Tuesday off work and then Wed/Thur we flew to NYC for a b-day party for Dollar's favorite bass player: Megadeth's Dave Ellefson. It was a free event but of course we spent so much on plane tickets and hotel and cabs and etc etc etc. It was all very nice and easy and relaxed. The flight from Burlington, VT to JFK was 45 minutes. It was all worth it in the end- Dollar got to have pictures and autographs and meet so many of his idols. Next time, though, we're going somewhere for me. Either a knitting or a cooking event of some sort.
I finally put everything together for my faux succulent garden:
I used a sign that I purchased at the craft store. It had "Apple Orchard" printed on it with a big apple. I painted over it:
Then I added the pistachio shell succulents that I made a few weeks ago:
Then added rocks:
And finally variety of mosses:
Very pretty. Possibly good Feng Shui depending on where I have it. Kind of useless and takes up a lot of valuable table space, though. I figure when I'm sick of it, I'll take the rocks back out, toss the moss and shells and repurpose the sign into a bottlecap table.
Last year I took a trip to Niagara Falls and brought back a 4oz bump of Merino:
I split the fiber into two lengths and pre-drafted. The plan was to spin each thin and chain ply to retain the gradual color change from blue to brown.
If I leave any of the unspun fiber unattended, Murderface "helps" by needle-felting it in places:
Then I have to come along and carefully peel apart the sections that are matted together. Classic Murderface.
The final yarn:
They're about the same- one skein has slightly more yardage than the other. I'd like to knit a pair of simple fingerless gloves. Basically sleeves- no hole for the thumb or anything- just arm warmers.
Finished a new pair of socks:
Pattern: Waving Lace Socks from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks
Yarn: Chugiak Hand Dyed Sock Yarn from Pagewood Farm
Needles: US 2
Mods: I did an extra pattern repeat to make the leg a little longer.
Working both socks in tandem worked out well- I liked finishing the pair at the same time rather than completing one and thinking, "Oh man... now I have to make another?" Also, this all-over lace pattern works up more quickly than standard 1x1 ribbing. I've always thought socks were so damn tedious to make- and now I'm sure it's because I was doing k1p1 ribbed socks which- yeah- is crazy boring and tedious. I think it's just lace socks for me from now on!
I knit a little hexagon pouch:
Pattern: Earbud Pouch
Yarn: Aracunia Atacama (leftovers)
Needles: US 3
Made to hold my girlie pink earbuds:
This is a snug fit. I'd like to make another slightly larger. This is a great little pouch if you're traveling with earbuds, to keep them neatly tucked away until you need them.
I made a 3rd Wilted Warlock and I think I'm all Warlocked out.
I'm keeping this one because it's knit with my own handspun. The original fiber:
Purchased, I believe, at the 2010 NY Sheep and Wool Festival (my first and only Rhinebeck). The fiber content is 70% wool and 30% seacell, so the finished yarn has a nice sheen:
It's a pretty dense bulky-weight yarn. Should keep me nice and warm but the finished hat doesn't have the drape that I desire (and seemingly hardly every achieve).
I'm going back to knitting socks...
I made another Wilted Warlock hat, since it's so fast and I have so many leftovers. This yarn is Mountain Mohair again.
And the back, to see the not-so-great color jogs (although I think these are less conspicuous that yesterday's hat).
Both hats are now with my mom, who was very please I was able to make two. Little does she know, she's probably getting more for Christmas.