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Feb. 23rd, 2010

woot

kitty_van_kat

Coffee, Handspun and Elves

Yay for Coffee is what I have to say this week! I've bought a coffee press and I've been able to make lots of yummy things! Check out my personal journal for a quick recipe and steps on how to make a Chai Latte with a coffee press :D


Mmmmm French Vanilla Latte!

And now to the knitting & yarn! For the knitting olympics this year, I'm making a really pretty lace scarf out of some handspun! I was given some Spunky Eclectic fiber by some friends who were so thoughtful as to bring some for me! :D I then spun it up into a single-ply laceweight!


Spunky Eclectic - Rocky Mountain High

And as for the Elves! I've signed up for the Evenstar Shawl knit-a-long on Ravelry! :D I love LOTR and this looked so pretty when wenchfaery told me about it and I just couldn't help myself! So, I used my Tanis Fiber Arts lace weight in garnet that wasn't doing so well for the ever-infuriating Cleopatra wrap and decided to cast on! Here's what I have so far:

For those of you knitting this shawl - SPOILER - do not click if you do not want to seeCollapse )

So, that's after the first clue... and I'm anxiously awaiting the 2nd clue, while drinking coffee... and spinning :D

Jan. 20th, 2010

Me Likey

kitty_van_kat

Come to the Dark Side, we have Cookies!

So this has been a long time coming and I should've posted these back when Christmas was on the way (not when it has passed), but I think it's a good day for cookies!

red_bansidhe and I got together a couple weekends before Christmas for a Cookie-fest of sorts! We made spritz cookies with a new cookie press she bought, and suger cookies and gingerbread cookies as well!

Saturday was the day for baking and it took quite a bit of time but we had curling to watch while they all cooled, as well as '17 Again' which is super cute if you haven't seen it yet. The Sunday was decoration day! We had all sorts of icing, different coloured sugars, dragees, mini candy coated chocolate bits and m&ms!! It was awesome, we got really creative and with the spritz cookies, we either dipped the bottoms in milk chocolate or drizzled them on top with white chocolate.

Me Need InterventionCollapse )

And in case you're wondering, yes, the smell in the house was heeeeeeeeeeeavenly!!!

Jan. 15th, 2010

knitting - yarrrrn!

kitty_van_kat

You spin me right round!

Hi all, yes an update! Can you believe it? There will be many more as I've become a bit backlogged and would like to share some things that both red_bansidhe and I have created.

So, this time, I don't know if I mentioned before but I got an early Christmas present in the form of a SPINNING WHEEL! Yes, I spin now and it's so relaxing, freeing, calming... it's great and I love my wheel. It's a Kromski Sonata (walnut stained) and it's one that collapses and folds up into it's own backpack for easy travel! I love it, I fell in love with it when I was first looking at getting a wheel, and a lady from my knit night just so happened to have one and she let me try it out. So when Mom, Dad and myself went to Kitchener for the Knitter's Fair and we saw one... Dad kinda didn't want to wait to travel to get a wheel - I think I had a look in my eye! lol

Anyway, I've done up some nice teal alpaca that I had given to kcountess for Christmas, and I got the fiber for that at Canadian Comfort Alpacas over in St. Ann's. I've also done some 80/20 Merino/Silk from Gemini Fibers that I also purchased at the Knitters Fair in KW. That stuff was like spinning butter, it was so soft and easy, it was great.

Then, I had set my sights on Etsy (of course) and found a girl who has Firefly inspired yarn and roving - Christina Marie Potter - and I just loved the Kaylee colourway! So, I spun that up into a two-ply sock yarn (fingering/heavy fingering weight) and it turned out great! You can see a pic behind the cut below:

Kaylee sock yarnCollapse )

So, that's my little tid-bit for today, I'm going to be going to a Spin In at The Fiber Garden in Jordan on Sunday and I can't wait... I may be tempted because they have some really nice fiber to spin up ... but I have to resist, seeing as I have a fiber stash that's pretty significant as it is. LOL

Jun. 16th, 2009

Knitting - Bender

kitty_van_kat

So say we all....

...hrmmm, just thinking about it now, the subject of this post and the icon I've used... does anyone else think Bender is a total Cylon?

Anyhoo! Being the huge nerd girl that I am and I had seen the Yarn Harlot pull these socks off as if it were nothing, I had to try the 'Viper Pilot' socks! I picked up some Malabrigo sock in 'Impressionist sky' and started on the 1st of June. Now, you're probably expecting both socks... but JEEZ, no way. I have finished one of the pair, and it's soooooooooo gorgeous that I've already cast on for the second.

Needless to say, I'm kinda pleased with myself - as if you couldn't tell from the shameless pimpage.

No More Mr. Nice Gaius!Collapse )

So, I'll keep on going because I MUST wear these, and we (we=knit nite group) need to come up with 'Cylon Socks' so we can have both... and possibly wear one of each on days when we're moody ;P

May. 15th, 2009

knitting - I knit so I don't kill

kitty_van_kat

A tale of Lace and Woe

I went to the Knitter's Frolic in Toronto with a few things in mind. One of them was to find yarn for the Cleopatra Wrap. And I did.

Tanis Fiber Arts Laceweight in 'Garnet'

Beautiful wonderful, soft, squishy, laceweight wool. *sighs* I couldn't wait to get it started, I even bought Addi turbo needles to knit it on cause I thought it would be fun (albeit a little expensive). But still, I had to wait, I had a couple other things on the go.

So, I was ready to start. Little did I know that the skein was SO tangled, it took me two evenings to wind up. I don't think they intended it on being so tangly, maybe I did something wrong when I tried to straighten out the skein but, it took me a long time. But I did it with good humour and Ray was astounded at how calm I was untangling 1000 yards of lace weight. :S

Anyway, it got done, and it looks even prettier as a little yarn cake :) So, I cast on and started the chart. Hrmmm... can't get it right, oh wait, that's cause I was supposed to do 3 rounds of knit 1, purl 1. Okay fine.

Pulled it back... twice (yes I did it twice cause I'm bad like that) and finally, last night, got a nice little seed stitch border and I was very relieved and proud of myself. I even did the first row of chart one. Only, I realized after when the instructions said 'odd rows are right side, even rows are wrong side and all the wrong side rows are purled except for last three stitches on either side'... that Row 1 of Chart 1 was not to be mistaken as Row 4 of the whole project. *headdesk* So I ripped out that row, carefully picked up the stitches again and was ready to start.

Got to the last 4 stitches of the row - I had one extra stitch. Rip back, try again. I ended up with 5 stitches this time. WTF???? Ripped out the whole thing and stared at it. 'You will not beat me, I will get this going!' So, in bed, at 10 to midnight, I cast on again and knit until I had the 3 rows of seed stitch again and called it a night.

I really don't know why I'm having so much trouble with this lace thing. I know now that I need complete concentration and not my husband yelling at the hockey game every few stitches while he sits beside me - I can do that with socks, but not with lace! All of my knitting friends have these pretty, intricate shawls and I watch them as they easily knit along on them and I'm here like a 5 year old with chopsticks and dental floss. :/

But I will perservere, against my better judgment, because there were points in my knitting past where I said 'Oh, I can't knit socks' and I have many pairs now; 'I can't knit a sweater' and I finished one in 2 weeks and I love it. This may take longer, but I think it will be worth it. :) Some words of encouragement from the hubby were helpful as well, but I need to keep on myself to see it through.

Mar. 7th, 2009

OMFG YAY!

kitty_van_kat

Shameless Pimpage



NEW STOCK! Come and take a look or pass along the link! Reduced prices on old stock as well!

VanKat Beadwork

Mar. 6th, 2009

Geeks Husband Is King

lilacwitchtea

Paper Craft - Valentine's Day Gift

This Valentine's Day I had decided at the last minute to do something special for my husband, Kyle. (and it seems all of my great ideas happen at the last minute - the week before Christmas I had decided to format one of his favourite Christmas stories into book form, spending hours at my wordprocessor at home)

For our wedding four years ago, Kyle and I had made our own invitations using stamps and cardstock and vellum. We still had some of the materials left over from the invitations and therefore, inspiration struck.

Just For YouCollapse )

Kyle loved his gift, and he had even made ME something - a twenty-sided die made into a pendant/cell phone charm. I love my geek husband :P

Mar. 5th, 2009

Knitting - Bender

kitty_van_kat

You know you knit too much when...

... I got home from going out with Mom & Nana, sat down, had some toast and continued on my Rivendell sock and stuck my cable needle in my hair when I wasn't using it.

This morning, taking my ponytail out to have a shower, I found said cable needle! IT WAS IN MY HAIR ALL NIGHT!

Maybe that's why I dreamt of yarn and knitting last night.

Mar. 2nd, 2009

two needles two eyes

lilacwitchtea

Sock Monkey Hell

You're excited to begin a project and you have everything in place. You've even seen and felt a finished product from the same project that your friend had done before you. You're hooked - you want to do this too.

This happened to me recently after seeing my best girl Katy, aka kitty_van_kat's Monkey Socks. I was amazed at how simple the pattern was, and how intricate and complicated looking the sock appeared after it was knitted. I haven't tried cable-knitting yet, so this was the next best thing without having to learn a 'new' technique.

I have the perfect yarn in my stash. Patons Kroy Sock Yarn in Mulberry Stripes. It's has wine, baby pink, slate blue, chocolate brown and jaquard in white and black. It's really quite lovely to look at.

I cast on the requisite 64 stitches one night just before going to bed, thinking "ah ha! this will give me something to do tomorrow while I'm waiting in the therapist's office!" I read ahead and I am to seperate the stitches with 16 on each needle.

16 on each needle. Okay, simple. First needle, 16. Second needle, 16. Third Needle...

Wait, there's 32 stitches left. Shoot, the pattern must be wrong. No, wait...oh ! Pattern requires there to be 5 dpns, not the 4 that I had. *sigh*

I get to work the next day and tell my best girl about my woes and she informs me that I CAN knit them on just 4 dpns. I'm sure she's right, but for now I just decide to continue on my plain vanilla socks until that evening. I know I have another 3.25 dpn around SOMEWHERE at home. (ironically, it is my husband that finds the needles. I really need to organize those things better).

I'm one of those people who wants to follow a pattern exactly how it is supposed to be the first time, and THEN mess around with it from thereon.

I cast on again. I have my 5 dpns. Okay now for twisted rib cuff, k1, k 1tbl...

Well what the hell is "tbl"!!!! Call up Katy and ask. Duh, knit-through-back-loop. Okay. Everything is going smoothly, until about the third row of 'twisted rib' for the cuff of the sock and I am not happy with the cuff at all. I prefer k2, p2 ribbing as it is stretchier, particularly for my very thick calves.

I frog it and start again. Cuff complete I begin the pattern and an merrily knitting away, following the pattern and making sure to read one line ahead so I can...

Wait, for some reason this isn't working out. To be honest, in my knitting experienced I've never had to work with a pattern that requires me to yo ("yarn-over"). I push mum off the computer so I can go to the knitting meca site on the internets: knittinghelp.com (mostly because it's near after midnight at this point and I don't want to bug Katy again).

I knit continental style. Bless that site for posting vids for both continental and english style. I discover it IS possible to yarn-over wrong. Go figure.

Back to the sock. A couple of more rows and I begin to notice that I'm not ending up with the number of stitches I should be after each round of the pattern. I try to decrease and increase to make up for it, but it starts to look all wonky and...ah screw it.

I frog it all out.

The next day I talk to Katy again about the pattern and a light as big and bright as the northern star clicks on. SSK does not mean just slip two stitches onto the needle and continue to knit after! I should have been knitting those two stitches together! SSK is just another K2tog!

That night I cast on. Get half-way through the pattern and bugger it up. Tried to tink it back but get so frustrated with tinking, I frog the entire thing out. Cast on, knit cuff and carefully, carefully, yes, yes okay....

I finished one round of the pattern for the leg! It looks just like it's supposed to! I call Katy at home with jubilation only to remember that she's gone to Knit Night. I text her.

"I will conquer this monkey pattern if it kills me!!!"

She doesn't get the text until after she gets home but I don't care because by this time I'm almost done the leg and by the next day I'm already turning the heel. I cackle endlessly with glee. I CAN do this sock. I really can.

I finish one sock. It's beautiful. I wish I had a picture to show you all right now but it was so beautiful I forgot to take one. Last night I cast on the other sock (I am not one of those who suffers from second-sock-syndrome. Yes, be jealous.)

One third of the way into the pattern...you betcha! I messed it up. Grrrrrr (tinks, swears, oh goodnight.)
Knitting - Bender

kitty_van_kat

Socks Ahoy!

Okay, FO time (Finished Object)!!! Finished my monkey socks last night at like 12:30 am (bleh), but I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Yarn - Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (100% Merino) - Misty Moor
Needles - 2.5mm
Started/Finished - Feb 15/09 - March 1/09

Clicky for a PiccyCollapse )

I loves them!
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