Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas Knitting for People and Pets

I've done a fair bit this year, thanks to planning ahead.

Right now I'm finishing up a pair of Baba's Bedsocks http://www.knitlist.com/98gift/babassocks.htm for my sister's MiL (a wonderful woman who sent me quite a bit of her stash yarns, as she's decided she won't be doing any more knitting, only crochet and cross stitch). I'm using a charcoal gray acrylic/cotton tweed (double) with a strand of pale blue cotton added in for the heel and toe, as they're down in Texas.

DH's BiL is getting a mosaic slip-stitch (double knitted) scarf with yarns from a frogged thrift shop sweater. I dyed the teal myself: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e111/lindydiva/2ColorMosaic_First.jpg

My MiL is also getting Baba's Bedsocks, but in a very soft novelty yarn, pale blue, with I-cord ties; also a linen face cloth in a seed stitch chevron pattern.

SiL is getting two dishcloths, and my BiL a pair of gray socks in merino with a Yankees insignia worked in stranding (navy) on the heel flap (my own design).

If I have time I'd like to make my mother a pair of bedsocks from a plum superwash wool I got in a Knitty trade—I also have suede bottoms for the soles.

Now, I haven't done any new toys for the cat. But I am making him his own Christmas stocking (I know. But even as pets go, he is a darling.). It's based on this pattern: http://www.heartstringsfiberarts.com/rugglescandycanesocks.shtm

I've modified it to include a white fold-down cuff and contrasting heel and toe (also in the white). That's about 80% finished.

Alrighty...on Knitty I mentioned that I also make cat toys, sometimes for sale. This is what they look like:


A few people have PM'd me asking for the patterns, so here they are, albeit a little on the loose side, I'm a knit-as-you-go sort.

Catnip Snake

It's my own, adapted from the snake/worm scarf in Kris Percival's "Pretty Knitting". I've never written it down, and tend to increase/decrease when I think the width needs to change, so if you prefer to do that, go for it!

Worsted weight or scraps to make up to it; this is fun to do in lots of crazy stripes. Use wool, acrylic or cotton; they all work.


Scraps for stuffing
Size 7 or 8 straights, a yarn needle, sewing thread & needle (optional)

CO 5 sts; knit in stockinette, and increase every 2 to 5 rows until the unrolled width is a scant 3". I generally use a M1 increase one st in from the edge.

Knit even for about 5" more; your snake should be about 7" long, total.

Decrease every other row (1 st each time) for 6 rows.

Increase 2 sts per row, every other row, for 4 rows.

Decrease 1 st per row for 4 rows.

Cut yarn, pull through live stitches, and secure.

Make the tongue

Take 6 strands of yarn (I like red) about 4" long. Knot one end, and divide into 3 sets of 2 strands, and braid about 2/3 of the length.

Divide again, this time into 2 sets of three. Braid each set of three, and finish off with a knot. Trim ends.

Sew the tongue onto the snake (I usually thread it through the circle made by the fastening off. Sew it very securely!!) It's long so you can fasten well into the body, in several places if need be.

Now stuff your snake with pillow stuff, yarn scraps, or what have you, and a few good pinches of catnip.

Sew up the underside, securely. Embroider eyes. Black sewing thread works well for this.

Exclusive of the tongue, it will measure roughly 9".

Catnip Mouse

This pattern is one I found somewhere on the internet. It's very simple! Just knit a square (stockinette is good...but choose your own stitch!) at a rather tight gauge. Use whatever scraps you have, and leave a long tail from the cast on OR cast off.

Fold it into a triangle, and seam the side w/o the tail of yarn. Stuff it with yarn scraps or pillow stuffing or whatever you choose, plus a few good pinches of catnip.

Now, fold the point of the unseamed side to the point of the seamed section, and sew that up as well. Now you have a mouse.

For the tail, cut another piece of yarn twice as long as the one already on the mouse, and using a yarn needle, pull it through behind the attached piece, half-way. Now you have three strands; braid them and knot the end. Trim. Embroider eyes, if you like.

Voila...catnip mouse!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Socks, socks, socks

Well, I'm not the Yarn Harlot, with her sock-a-day for the upcoming Knitty Gritty, but I am a minor addict.

Last week I finished my BiL's Yankee insignia socks, and the first of a pair for DH is close to being finished, too.

But I want more socks for me. To that end, I planned out a pair today. I cast on at lunch. They'll have some spruce colored Regia for the top of the ribbing, the body will be in Zarina baby merino (soooo soft, it's what I used for the Yankee socks), and the heel flaps and toes will also be in the spruce; it's left over from a pair I made in September.

Most of the body will be stockinette, but I've worked out a diamond pattern to travel down the front of the leg and the instep. As we're driving to an inn in Maine for our Thanksgiving dinner, I'll have plenty of knitting time tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Knit Your Bit Scarf

It's done. I did the finishing last night, after quite a few false starts. I was going to use (evil) crochet to turn the golden brown ends into a brown and white plaid, but...oy.

Let's just say I won't be winning any awards for my crochet "skills". I spent plenty of time bitchin' at the SnB last night, chaining, then ripping out. Then chaining...then ripping out...

Finally I brought it home. Ripped out all of the crochet, put in clusters of fringe at all four corners, and knotted each bunch of fringe together to make tassels. There! Now it's a little more unified. The tassels just need to be trimmed, a new picture taken, and I can send it off to the WWII Museum in New Orleans for vets.

No photos right now because my ancient laptop has decided it doesn't want to play nice with the camera. And the pictures will upload to my husband's computer...but then my online photo album won't accept them.

This will be a drab blog for a while.

Friday, November 10, 2006

In the beginng there was yarn...now it's Obsession.

Which is why I'm here. I've joined (so far) just to join the "Knit Your Bit" KAL.

More info here: http://knityourbitkal.blogspot.com/