Second Monday in January

Good morning, lovelies! Hopefully the new year is still treating you well and you’re making progress on the things that matter most to your heart. This week I’ll be (hopefully) finishing the Cat Lady quilt. The quilting is finished, and it’s trimmed; I just need to get going on the binding and label. I’m thinking I’m going to use the loads of C+S Bluebird scraps I have on-hand from when Denise made a dress for Em out of that fabric, which means I’ll be doing a scrappy binding construction because the scraps are very weird shapes–there’s very little yardage that will work for WOF cutting. BUT…it’s C+S fabric, and I have loads of it that I’ve been trying to sew through for years, so this will make a significant dent.

I had hoped to finish the Cat Lady quilt last week, but geez, what a week! Washington got a lot of snow and ice and rain and it just threw everything off kilter all week long. My kids had a two-hour late start for school four days out of five, the roads were flooding over…you don’t realize how stressed you’re feeling about stuff until you get past it and realize that you’ve been holding your shoulders up to your ears for days. And now we have to deal with rescheduling all the stuff that got cancelled, and adding it on top of all the regularly-scheduled stuff…I just wish that people would let things go when they get cancelled? Like, it’s too bad it didn’t happen, but let’s try again next year, rather than trying to fit it into the next couple of weeks that are already booked? Please? But alas…that’s a rare outcome.

Once the Cat Lady quilt is complete, I’m hoping to start work on Rachel’s birthday gift, and I can’t show you anything about it or she’ll figure out what it is. Which also means I have to clean it up everyday and not leave it lying around on the cutting table or the ironing board. Let’s see if I can actually remember to do that everyday…who else thinks that I’ll forget and Rachel will know what her gift is before it’s even finished? It also just occurred to me that I can’t work on this over the weekend days because she’s somewhat of a constant fixture in my craft room on the days that she’s home. So I guess it will take twice as long to stitch this up because I really will only have two days a week that I can work on this. Awesome.

I’m still working on the Nereid Fingerless Mitts for my bestie, and hopefully will have good news to report on them soon. This “tell people you were making them a gift if you didn’t finish it before Christmas” idea has been the perfect motivation to keep me working on those gifts. It might add extra incentive to get things done before Christmas in future years, too: I’m going to lose that special moment of surprise if it’s not done before Christmas because I’ll have to announce it on the blog. I don’t like doing that. But I do like finishing stuff, and so here we are.

Scrappy Thursday this week is for working on the Clementine Quilt. I don’t know if anyone remembers that I was one of the quilters in the original Clementine Quilters group, but I had to quit because we were moving. I hated quitting, but it was definitely the right call at the time because here we are, four years later, and it’s only now that I have the feasible time to work on it again. Fat Quarter Shop supplied me with the fabric to make the quilt, and I don’t feel right accepting fabric from people and then not using it, so it’s been on my mind ever since that I definitely need to get this completed so I can fulfill the obligation that I signed up for originally.

Update on Marshmallow: He’s doing better than he was. It looked like his hind legs were permanently paralyzed for many days, but in the last three or so days he’s started using them again, somewhat regularly. We changed up his meds the day before that development, so it looks like we’ve hit on a combo that works well for him. Pretty sure he’s gone blind though–he seems to only be responding to sounds, and he runs face first into things a lot. He got pushed down the stairs by Charlotte the other day because he walked near her, which is not a thing he used to do because she’ll bat any cat in the face that gets that close to her. (She’s such a GRUMP.) I feel like I need to set something up that will keep her away from him while I’m gone from the house because I’m afraid I’m going to come home to a murder scene or the like. Sigh.

So yeah, bad weather and geriatric cats…last week was intense. Hopefully things are a lot calmer this week!

Rainbow Ombre Heart Mitts

I made these for Rachel for Christmas. They were the first gift she opened on Christmas morning and she wore them immediately and left them on until she received a gift from Renaissance that had velcro on it, at which point she took off her new mitts so the velcro wouldn’t catch on the yarn. She was incredibly pleased with the mitts.

I bought the yarn for these almost three years ago at the Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. (Hmm, I’ll need to go look at scheduling time to go to it again this year–although it’s now operating under a different name: Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat.) Rachel and I went to the festival together and she was entranced by the smorgasbord of yarny goodness at the market, so of course, I had to buy some rainbow yarns that she fell in love with. One of the rainbow yarn purchases was this mini skein set from Canon Hand Dyes, and there’s enough leftover to one day make the matching hat.

Details:

Pattern: My Rainbow Heart, by Stephanie Lotven

Size: Medium

Yarn: Canon Hand Dyes Charles Merino Fingering, Bright Fierce Color (link only takes you to their mini skeins page)

Needles: US 1 & US 3 (2.25 mm & 3.25mm)

Modifications: None

Not gonna lie, kind of wished I’d kept these bad boys for myself. They’re such happy mitts!

Click here to see this project’s Ravelry page.

Yellow-Green


 
I complained last week about how everything I was working on was pink or purple, and realized that the exact opposite of said colors was yellow-green.  As luck would have it, I had purchased a skein of very yellow-green yarn only a few weeks ago, and figured it was a great time make use of its much-desired colorway.

The original intention was to make Penguin a new hat, but the girl owns numerous hats AND she is bumping up into number of Bluebird’s outgrown hats this year as well.  Penguin doesn’t need another hat.  I asked her what she did want and she suggested mittens.

I’m not much of a mitten knitter.

However, the yarn was a bulky-weight (Lamb’s Pride Bulky–85% Wool, 15% Mohair), and a quick pattern search pulled up Susan B. Anderson’s Outsider Mittens, which looked pretty cute (and free!).

Once I cast on, I was a woman possessed.  I finished the pair in less than twenty-four hours, and I’d really like to some more of these quick little cuties.

What’s analogous to yellow-green?
Oh.  That would be yellow…and…green.
 

Finished: Bella’s Mittens

I extend my apologies to the two potential recipients of these mittens, but I’ve decided to keep them for myself.

Pattern: Bella’s Mittens by Marielle Henault
Yarn: Peruvia Quick by Berroco, Color #9125 “Sea Turtle,” 2 Skeins
Purchased at: Kamille’s
Needles: #10 DPN & #8 DPN
Started: September 2009
Finished: December 8, 2009

I love bulky yarn. It makes you feel like you’re a superspeed knitter. I love cables. There’s something about manipulating stitches to become cables that I happen to find very exciting. This pattern offered both good things. It’s a good pattern and I recommend it to everyone, especially since it’s free!

Yes, the mittens were originally slated to go to one of two Twilighters whom I figured would appreciate them immensely, but then the past two days’ worth of snow alerted me to the fact that I own ONE glove. I’ve owned this ONE glove for about three years now and I keep it because I like it and I maintain a hope that its mate will magically reappear.

A person can only hold onto hope for so long; especially when it encompasses dried, frozen skin that starts to crack and bleed. It would be absolutely ludicrous to give away a newly finished pair of mittens when I so desperately need a pair of mittens for myself.

Another perk to these little lovelies is that they’re loooong. My maternity winter coat only reaches about halfway down my forearm. (Actually, every coat I’ve ever owned has only reached halfway down my forearm. Why is that?) Another problem solved. The wonderful bell-shaped cuff fits OVER my coat sleeve. No gaps!

*blissful sigh* They went out for their inaugural use last night as I carried things in and out to my Relief Society’s Christmas dinner and they passed with flying colors. It’s so nice to be warm again.