The Cat Knits...

A singular forum to discuss knitting as craft, therapy, and way of life (with or without the benefit of cats).

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

From Boas to Bibs

I picked up several balls of Sugar and Cream cotton yarn at a recent sale and decided to make bibs for babies. Here are the first samples being matched to buttons. More on that later....

The basic bib pattern is from Mason Dixon Knitting. So gauge "doesn't really matter?" I knitted up a Godzilla-sized bib. I was using US6 needles which seemed to be a good size, so I cast on fewer stitches until I got to the approximate finished size (6-1/2" x 11-1/2"). Well, if I could vary the number of cast on stitches, what else could I do? I picked up Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge and looked at borders. Leaves and berries eventually became carrots and peas, and the scalloped edging suggested ocean waves to me.

Unfortunately, trying to match bibs with buttons that carry through on the theme is a much more difficult task than knitting to gauge. With all the wonderful buttons out there, I haven't found any that can pass for green peas. The boats and the carrot buttons (Yes, hand painted carrots!) were too small.

Well, I guess, I'll have to keep on shopping....

Make a Wish

While walking around the neighborhood the other day, I found a stand of dandelions in a neighbor's yard. They looked so pretty that I had to stop and admire them. I know. They're not the gardener's favorite plant (Ahem!)... weed, but they still hold a bit of magic for me. I didn't pick one and I didn't make a wish. Hope someone got to. Later that week when I walked past, they were all gone.

Glad that I took a few snaps. Don't they make a pretty lace pattern? Wish I could knit something like that.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Year of the Boa

I got Sirdar's Loopa a while ago, but didn't try it until recently. I guess I just really enjoy knitting and had been making loops by winding the yarn around fingers or my hand. But, when I tried to duplicate last winter's loopy boa scarves with my usual methods, I was less than successful. Then I remembered that I had the "tool." What a difference it makes! It's not knitting, but I can make loopy boas in a short period of time, although not in an hour like the brochure claims.

Well, let me back track a little. To make the boa, one winds the yarn(s) around the ends of the tool. After winding two loop ends, the yarn is secured in the middle with a chain stitch. When the Loopa is loaded with the chained yarn, it is further secured by back stitching up the center. Unfortunately, it is still possible for strands (that evaded the back stiching) to be pulled out of the center. I found it was best to examine each pair of loops and tack them to the chain if they were loose. This takes much longer than an hour, but will ensure a more stable boa. (For some reason, they tend to catch on things.) Even if a loop does get pulled out, it's not a tragedy. Find the center of the pulled loop and tack it in to the center seam.

Chunkier yarn is more likely be secured by the chain and hand stitching. Although, I found a few loose strands of Wool-Ease Thick & Quick that had to be tacked down later. Lion Chenille was also tricky to handle. It appears to be "thick", but can fray and shed down to the thin little threads at the core. If anyone gives you a boa made of eye lash, nominate them for sainthood! It was, by far, the most difficult yarn to secure. I've had fun with the boas. It has been a learning experience, but now I have a new technique to use up yarns in my stash.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

No April Fool

What happened to March? Was I was too wrapped up in yarn to realize that the days were passing? Imagine my surprise when I poked my head outside and saw the sun (my, it's warm!) and flowers blooming. Winter was colder than normal, but my columbines seem to have been energized by the freeze. They've become bushes and are already blooming. As much as I enjoy knitting, it's time to get outside to see flowers blooming. Time to get recharged and inspired by Nature!