Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weekend to Remember...

Those of you who know me, and those of you who read this Pretty blog pretty regularly, will know that Pop Pop and I are predisposed to Peanut visits! For you, this next bit of information will come as no surprise, no surprise at all. Pop Pop and I went to visit Peanut last weekend, and in anticipation of the trip, I cast on a tiny pair of fingerless gloves...

I was particularly excited to work on these mitts, because they were my first go-'round with my new Knit Picks Caspian DPNs. I love these needles*, and they feel fast! So fast, in fact, that I finished the mitts en route, somewhere during the 8-hour drive!

And then we were there! And we saw Peanut, and our hearts sang just to watch her play!

While we were there, I cast on a Scarf for Peanut...

...and she helped with her scarf...

...and we even finished the scarf, fringe and all! But as we got back in the car for the return trip (two short days after our arrival), I realized that I had not taken a photo of the finished piece. So, I did what any distraught-knitter-in-a-car might do, and I cast on another scarf (this one for me) on the way home...

...and I finished the next day, and I took a picture.

The yarn is an alpaca blend from my friends at That'll Do Farm, and the cats love it! (I'm not sure why cats love alpaca as much as they do, but they do!) I have a second skein left over that may end up as a matching hat, because, as you may or may not know, the temperature has been brutal here! I am so very glad that my warm-and-cozy alpaca scarf is ready for the wearing!

Anyway, once I finished the scarf, I decided it was time to get back to that Plum Frost Sweater that I ripped the hem out of last week. Can I just say that adding another 30 rows was a good idea, for sure, but the idea of re-doing the tubular bind-off of 262 stitches is a little daunting?

Because it is. Still, I will plug on...there's a Big Game Party for the knitters this Sunday, and I'd like to cast on a little something new at the party...but I don't know if I can (without twitching) before this bind-off is re-done! lol!

So, there you have it! It's been a busier-than-busy, and colder-than-cold, couple of days! It's likely that I will be a knitting maniac for the next couple of months...especially if it stays this cold! There's nothing quite like a lapful of cats and wool to keep a knitter warm and Knitting in Good Health!

How are you keeping warm this winter?

*For the record, there is one thing I don't like about the Caspians...I wanted size 4 in the 6" length, but that length only goes up to size 2...that was a little disappointing. Still, I love these size 1s (2.25mm)!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hands Down, these are My Favorite!

Pretty pop-quiz time! Who knows this: What is my favorite thing to knit? Raise your hand if you think you know. Ok, seems like you think you know me. Ok, go ahead and put your hands down.

How many of you think I like sweaters best? I mean, I currently have two sweaters on the needles, and I went through a phase when all I wanted to knit was tiny I suppose I can understand why you might think that, but it's not sweaters!

How many of you think I like to knit socks most? Well, if you've ever looked at my projects on Ravelry, you will notice a LOT of socks there, in all sizes...but nope, it's not socks! It's also not scarves, hats, afghans or dishcloths, which seem to populate the majority of my most recent project pages! Sooooo, what's left?

You the corner, with your hand up...what do you think I like to knit best?

::Fingerless gloves?::

That's it! I am currently in love with fingerless gloves! (And mittens, and gloves, and did I say fingerless gloves? I did? Oh, good.) Things for the hands are just so much fun. They are quicker than socks and sweaters, a little more fussy than hats and scarves, just the perfect small project to carry along almost anywhere. :) This is my most recent pair of fingerless gloves, made for Mindy's birthday, and she should have them by now...yay for birthdays and fingerless gloves!

And, since I was working on things for the hands, I put together a little bracelet for my darling Peanut to send along with the gloves. There should be something homemade for everyone in a package, don't you agree? Me too!

So, things for the hands (especially fingerless gloves) are my latest obsession, and I may or may not have already cast on another pair (perhaps in a smaller size for a pair of littler hands), because these are my favorite, hands down! (Also because I have some new KP needles I really, really want to try out with fingering yarn! Oooooh, Caspian DPNs, you are so very lovely...come knit with me!)

What's your current knitting (or crochet, or other craft) obsession? I hope that you are keeping warm and finding plenty of time to play with your favorite things & people this winter! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It's Never Black and White

The cats in my life may be black and white, but nothing else ever is...especially the knitting! Yay for that! Although there is some gray...

...and dark gray, with colorwork, back on the needles again...

...usually my knitting looks more like this:

Wow! Now that's colorful! It's going to be beautiful when it's finished, but with FOUR projects  (including the ever-present hexipuffscurrently on my needles, I'm not sure when the finish will be. =/ In fact, it is quite unusual for me to have more than three OTN at any given makes me twitch a little... Sooo, as black and white as this is not, of course I cast on just one more this week, right? Right!

And there you have it, friends. Pretty, the "Project Knitter" who twitches when things don't get finished, has started yet another project. Somebody stop me!!! (Or don't...I think I'm having fun! Just look at all the pretty I'm playing with!)

Thanks for stopping by, friends! There is no black and white here, so knit as many things as you would like, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Little Cattywampus

You guys have met my cats, and let me tell you that they have been real pistols lately! Even despite the fact that they sleep A LOT, both Black Cat...

...and White Cat...

...have been bugging me to let them blog. Finally, last Saturday, I offered to let them write a blog post. Unfortunately, the conversation went a little like this:

Me: White Cat, you said you want to blog, right?
White Cat: Who, me?

Me: Yes, you. Do you still want to blog?
White Cat: Well, I just woke up...why don't you check with her?

Me: Black Cat, you interested?
Black Cat: Is that a bird? Is there a bird in here?

Me: Nope. That's the reflection of sun from my cell phone. How about the blog?
Black Cat: No...I'm sure there's a bird in here...
White Cat: What?!? There's a bird in here? 

Me: No! There is no bird! You guys are ridiculous! If you don't shape up, I'll just get the neighbor cats to blog for me...sigh!
Both Cats: Suit yourself...

So, I went across the street to see my neighbor's White Cat and Black Cat...who said to me, "What are you doing here...are you here to feed us? Because we can see the bottom of the bowl, and if you don't feed us RIGHT NOW, we're probably going to starve to death." (The white one was serious, I think.)

Me (filling their bowl with a heavy sigh)Yes, I'm here to feed that enough food for you?
(15 seconds of silence) 
White Neighbor Cat: So, then you're just gonna watch us eat? That's creepy.

Black Neighbor Cat: Yeah...Creepy.

Seeing as how they seemed to be in a "mood," I threw up my blogging arms and trudged back across the street, figuring I'd just write the blog myself. Sigh! But as soon as I sat down...

White Cat: Are you SURE there's not a bird in here?!? 

Knit in Good Health Friends.
And watch out for birds in the living room...sigh!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Cat(s) "Helped"

A couple summers ago, I made a t-shirt quilt for a friend. She offered to pay me to make the quilt for her daughter to take to college, and I got it done just in the nick of time...she loved it. :)

When my son-in-law Snake saw it, he asked Dollface if she thought I might make him one. "Of course!," I said, a year-and-a-half ago. I thought I could even get it done by Christmas (2012)! Then I had surgery...still, I had him bring me his shirts, and I told him I'd get it done as soon as I could. I think I lied...either that or I am a really bad estimator of how long I will procrastinate on a project, because I did not actually start this thing until after Christmas 2013!!! It was then that I finally got out his t-shirts to see how many? what size? colors? and the cat "helped..."

Then I cut off the sleeves and put them aside until New Year's Day (day off work) when I started the cutting, interfacing and finally sewing the top together! I finished the top that night (yay!),and the next day, the day that knit night was cancelled for snow (boo!), I laid it all out to cut the fleece to size for the backing, and the cat "helped..."

I pinned it together, and the cats "helped..."

Then I bound the fleece around the edges, sewed on buttons and added quilting ties to the centers of the shirts, and (you guessed it) the cat "helped!"

Overall, I'll call it a success, and he loves it!

And the cats are so very "helpful." When it was all done, I took a moment to decompress, and I knitted up a quick pair of Peanut socks. The cat modeled them, kinda...

I even added a little non-skid to the bottoms, so her little feet don't slip and slide too much!

One thing that none of the cats were very helpful with was this hexipuff...

...which I knit while Sweetie was helping Snake and Dollface install their first ceiling fan!

Of course, I didn't help much with the fan either, but let's not throw stones, ok? Ok, and I think we are all caught up now...phew! What a lot of activity there has been in my Pretty World lately! Now I think it's time to get to work so I can get home and work on a sweater (or two)!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit (and sew, and install ceiling fans) in Good Health!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Snow and other Shenanigans!

As I look back at my last few posts, I see that I have some catching up to do, so here we go! Hold onto your hats or my Pretty Vortex might suck you in and send you spinning!

First up, did I tell you that we had a blizzard? Well, we did! We were nearly snowed under for two of the last 10 days...

We even had to cancel knit night...GASP! But, when the snow stopped falling, it made some pretty drifts... These look like whipped cream, just dripping off of a big slice of pumpkin pie! (And now I want pie...sigh!)

Despite the pretty, it was cold. Luckily, I have kitty lap-warmers and knitting!

Then, just as we were digging out of the snow, super-cold temperatures gripped us...I've never seen it so cold, and I've made it through roughly 37 winters in northeast Ohio! Negative 11, is that what he said? Fahrenheit? Really? Yes, really...with a wind chill of minus 36...yikes! Luckily, I have kitty lap-warmers and knitting!

Then, as the "polar vortex" was loosening it's grip, there was the gas shortage...and the water shortage...and now it's going to be like spring this weekend? The weather mavens predict 50F today...or higher! But, there will be rain, so there won't be much outside-to-enjoy-it time. Still, I have knitting!

And did I tell you about the birthday quilt? No? Hmmm...well, a girl's gotta have a little mystery here and there, so how about we save that for the next post! Besides, I believe that I've got some knitting to get to! (I am really excited to knit and wear this sweater...all I wanna do is knit this sweater!!!)

Thanks for stopping by. Stay warm...or cool...or dry...depending on what your weather is bringing you today! And don't forget the knitting - Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Just a Few of My Favorite NEW Things...

Like a new lamp, hanging over my favorite knitting spot, casting a warm glow about my stitches...

And a sparkly tree to hang on my tree, year after year, reminding me of good friends and many blessings...

And a new sweater for me, just started, in very fine yarn...a Knitalong for 2014 with my favorite Knittahs!

I think 2014 is gonna be a great year!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Size Matters

As I sit here, freshly dug out of the first wave of this winter of 2014, I am reminded that size matters. It doesn't matter for everything, but in some things, size definitely matters! Want a for instance? Snow shovels and snow blowers...when it is snowing and blowing for 24 hours straight, you really need a substantial snow removal system! 

Also, when temps dip wayyy below freezing, you need substantial warm-up gear, like the three bulky afghans I knit for our home last year. They were not for Christmas, and they were not secrets...they were simply new afghans to go with the new paint, new carpeting and new furniture...and they are lovely! There's a red one, a green one and a white one

Quick and squishy, they are fun and super-warm to sit under! But, as the winter goes on, and I nap more on these new sofas, I am finding that they are a little small for naptime. Still they are good for putting across your lap as you knit or watch TV on a snowy day!

Size also matters when you are making stocking stuffers! If you are stuffing a stocking, your stuffers should be small...unless your stockings are not! I kept this in mind as I made my little gifties for the Knitters' Christmas Party, and I grabbed my jewelry tools and shrink plastic to make these:

Little charms for a wine glass or coffee mug! I remember Shrinky Dinks from when I was a kid, and although they are now found under many names, the craft is the same and just as much fun as ever!

And size matters if you are a cat thinking of a nap on this lap...Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, will there be enough room?

Take note don't want to be the one who falls off and has to sleep sitting up!

Size matters in lots of things...especially knitting sweaters. If you want it to fit, they say you should always start with a gauge swatch...did you do a gauge swatch for your last sweater? I did not, but I'd really like to wear my Plum Frost, so I guess it's time for me to do a swatch and cast on for this KAL!

So glad you stopped by, and I hope that you will Knit in Good Health (and out of the snow) this week!