MacKenzie Speaks: Done, Done, and Done!!

Hi. I’m MacKenzie.

Cat.
Do you see how innocent I look? I ran out the front door when an Amazon package arrived, forced the Mother of Cats to chase me down in her bathrobe, and then informed her that I needed cookies. What? Cookies are for cats!

A few week ago the Mother of Cats lost control of her stash and cast on project after project. There was an explosion of  WIPs. The project bags and plastic containers were everywhere. I was constantly in trouble for knocking things off the table. So excitable, the Mother of Cats. I don’t think that she has her priorities aligned correctly. Cats are first, always. Everyone knows this!

This week she pulled herself together and got things done. Look at this!

Cat and knitting.
I helped myself to a little yarn chomping while she tried to finish the sleeves of her sweater. I kind of like this thick Brown Sheep yarn because you can get a good chomp on it!
Finished sweater.
Monday the Mother of Cats weaved in all of the ends and the sweater was done! Mohair and wool: perfect for cat naps. The Mother of Cats is thinking of knitting me a little blankie from the extra skeins.
Cowl on author.
Tuesday she finished her new cowl.
Cowl on wooden bear.
By Wednesday the cowl was blocked and finished. I think it looks better on the bear, don’t you?
Cat and sock.
Wednesday she concentrated on getting a sock done and I once again helped myself to some chomping. This thin yarn isn’t as fun to chomp and the Mother of Cats actually YELLED at me to stop. What is wrong with her? Yarn (and cookies) is for cats, right?
Socks.
Tonight they came off the needles and she did the finish work. Look! Here they are… done!!

Wow. Suddenly the Mother of Cats needs to clean up the coffee table by her knitting chair. There are empty needles, knitting patterns, project bags, and yarn scraps everywhere. I can hardly get to my bed with all of this chaos around it. Why does the Mother of Cats lack balance? She should learn from me. It is best to spend the day sleeping, eating, chomping cookies, causing trouble (umm… I might have eaten part of a baby rose bush…), and chasing yarn.

Tomorrow she plans to clean up and to get her last two WIPs finished off so she can WIND MORE YARN!! Oh, I really like to wind yarn.  That is about my favorite thing in the world. The Mother of Cats would struggle to get things done without me.

I’m such a good boy.

Can I have cookies now?

>^..^<

Notes from the Mother of Cats:

  • The sweater is the Daelyn Pullover and will be a great cold weather sweater for me. My project notes are here.
  • The Cowl is the Dissent Cowl; I knit it with MCN in a DK weight from Western Sky Knits. It is very soft, sturdy and warm. Another cold weather star. My project notes are here.
  • The socks are my own pattern to match my new Clinkerbell Cowl by Casapinka. Project notes are here.
  • I have to get a pair of mitts and my thrummed mittens finished. Next week! Tomorrow I am going to wind the yarn for a new sweater!! Sturgill, here I come!!

MacKenzie Speaks: WIP Progress

Hi. I’m MacKenzie.

Cat on knitting.
I’m dozing on the new sweater. Don’t you think that this color red looks good with my fur?

Last week I reported on the explosion of WIPs that happen as the Mother of Cats abandoned all good sense and cast on one project after another. So many projects going I can hardly find a place to nap! The Mother of Cats has been busy knitting all week long but she hasn’t managed to get even one little project done. Not one! I keep nagging her to knit faster, but it seems that even that isn’t enough to get things finished around here.

Daelyn Sweater.
But she is making progress on her new sweater!

I like this sweater a lot. Every time she puts it down I move in for some quality sleep. The color is nice, but it’s a standout for just being nice and warm with some optimal squishiness too. There is a lot of this yarn in the stash and I’m hoping that she uses the extra to make a new blanket for my bed. I deserve a new blanket!! Never was there a cat more patient and understanding than me!

Mitt
She did get ONE mitt done.  I had so much fun chasing the little furry thrums while she was making this.

There was a little halt in the sweater when the Mother of Cats realized that she needed the needles being used in this mitt to knit the sleeves of the sweater. Oops. She knitted like crazy one afternoon to finish the mitt so that she could go back to the sweater. Now we have only one mitt, and the other one will have to be knitted when the sweater is done. Did the Mother of Cats think of this when she went all crazy and cast on all of these projects? No. She did not. She should listen to me more and concentrate exclusively on meeting my needs. I need cookies more often. I still want a mouse! I keep reminding her every time I check out the garage, but she hasn’t gotten me one yet…

Cowl on cat.
The new cowl is coming right along too. Check out the fun pattern.
Cat wearing knitting.
It really isn’t comfy to wear yet. She needs to take these crazy needles out so I can really cuddle in the yarn. This one is really soft and warm!
Snowy pine.
Look at the icicles in the trees. I wanted to go out to play in the snow, but NOPE! I didn’t get to have any fun.

It got cold and snowed early last week, and the Mother of Cats stayed home a couple of days because she is such a baby. I guess I should be fair… the weather forecast was broken. It was supposed to snow only an inch, and instead there was almost a foot of snow! She did shovel the walks and found these fun icicles in the pines. They made her think of the socks she is making to match her Clinkerbell Cowl, so she also worked on them one evening.

Socks
She is now starting the heel.

That’s it. Do you see all of this knitting that has been going on, and NOTHING is finished. Okay, there was a mitt done, but she needs to do the other one to wear it. Lazy Mother of Cats. She needs to devote herself to one thing at a time. She needs to listen to me more.

She needs to get me a mouse!!

Sigh.

I’m such a good boy.

Can I have some cookies now?

>^..^<

Notes from the Mother of Cats:

FO Friday: Week 3, Year 2019

MacKenzie has slept through most of the knitting this week, so I am going to have to post my progress in my own “voice” this week.

Sleeping MacKenzie.
Actually, the only time that I have been able to knit this week has been while he was sleeping.

I think that it is the weather. It snowed over the weekend and the days were gloomy. I had to do errands this week which left him home alone for too many hours; ocicats do not tolerate alone time well. He still misses his brother Yellow Boy. Anyway, when he was up it was all “pet the cat!” all the time. He had absolutely no interest in the knitting or yarn chomping; instead he just climbed on me, head butted my hands to make me pet him and ran his purr engine on high. He is so cute about it the knitting went away each time he showed up at my knitting chair. So, no knitting with cat pictures this week.

In spite of the needy MacKenzie I did get a lot accomplished over the week. Check this out!

Stitch detail of the cowl.
I cast on and started on a Clinkerbell Cowl for myself over the weekend. This MCN DK yarn (another Western Sky Knits score from the Estes Park Wool Market this summer) is just a joy to knit with.
Finished cowl.
By Tuesday I had the cowl done and steam blocked. I just love, love, love this piece and plan to take it out shopping in the snow this afternoon. My Ravelry project notes are here.

I also pulled out a languishing WIP and got knitting on it again. I have several skeins of Brown Sheep yarn that I have had stashed for over 10 years. Now that I am attacking the stash I have pulled myself together and am knitting steadily on this sweater to get it done while it is still cold outside.

Start of sweater.
This is a single ply wool/mohair yarn that is going to be a workhorse for me in this sweater. Can’t you just feel the cushy warmth coming right at you through the picture? You can, can’t you! That’s what I’m talking about.
Progress on my sweater.
Look at how far I got this week!

This sweater is the Daelyn Pullover by Isabell Kraemer, and the second one that I’ve made so I know that it is going to be the perfect warm sweater for casual wear. Okay, let’s be honest. That is just about every day for me these days as I am all about layered wooly comfort that will keep my Raynaud’s under control. This sweater is going to be seeing a lot of wear for sure, hopefully for years to come. My Ravelry project notes are here.

So how am I doing on the 2019 yarn stash challenge? I used up another three skeins of yarn this week!! I am now up to a grand total of 6 skeins for the year; only 44 more to go.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Bad Start, 2016 (but I made a great sweater anyway. Ha!)

I know that I kind of did this to myself. I was really pushing things as I got everything baked, stitched, knitted, wrapped, mailed and cleaned for Christmas. It was wonderful. My family was all here on the big day, the dinner was perfect, and it was even snowing lightly making it a true White Christmas. A wonderful, wonderful day.

I was just exhausted afterwards.

Still, I made some after-Christmas plans. I wrote out some ideas for the end-of-the-year blog post and made a list of projects to tackle in the coming weeks and months. Great stuff: weaving, spinning and quilting made the list along with the usual plethora of knitting items.

Cat Face
No New Year’s for us. Mom got sick.

The Monday after Christmas I woke up sick. Influenza!! I had had the vaccine, but I knew that it was unlikely that I would get the full benefit because of my immuno-suppressant drugs. By New Year’s Day I literally couldn’t get out of bed. The next day I dragged into the after-hours clinic and was sent home with antibiotics and some serious cough medicine. Thus a cascade of severe unhappiness was launched. Here’s the short version: bronchitis; removal from immuno-suppressant drugs; allergic reaction to the first antibiotics; more antibiotics; a full rebellion by my digestive system; low blood pressure; dizzy, dizzy, and more dizzy; help: I can’t even manage to knit; a flare of my systemic sclerosis; and a complete helping of why can’t I breathe right yet??? There. That was the whole month!! In fact, it is still going, but I am definitely on the mend.

Take home lesson: it is possible to survive on yogurt, cranberry juice and Christmas cookies. Maybe I should write this up as a new fad diet. 🙂 It is also good to have a pile of books waiting to be read. An emergency stash of chocolate is a given, right? Oh yeah, one more thing: GET YOUR FLU SHOT, PEOPLE!!

Two weeks ago I pulled out my partially completed Daelyn Sweater (by Isabell Kraemer) and got started knitting on it again between naps. Last week I finally finished it. Oh, my goodness. What a wonderful sweater. It kind of looks like a sweatshirt…

Daelyn Sweater
See what I mean? The ultimate comfy weekend sweater. This baby is knit from the top down and there isn’t a seam anywhere in it. I decided to knit the XL size (43.75 inches) so that I would have at least 6 inches of positive ease; because of the garter stitch shaping it hangs really nicely and is actually kind of flattering. This view of the sweater is pretty boxy looking, so I decided to try to get a selfie…
Sweater front
Do you know how hard that is? Ugh! Still, this gives you a better idea of how the sweater actually hangs. Once it is on it doesn’t look wide and boxy anymore because of the garter stitch side panels. My swollen fingers are due to the systemic sclerosis flare. I want my drugs back!!
Raglan Sleeve
and just check out the raglan sleeve and the back view! The garter stitch in the back  makes it really comfy and stretchy. The back of the sweater is a little longer due to short rows shaping which also helps make it hang nicely over my rear end. 🙂
Cat chomping yarn.
Did you notice the cat hair on the sweater? Yep. That’s a thing as cat help and yarn chomping happened fairly frequently as I knitted… MacKenzie purrs and kneads like a madman (madkitty) in these sweater attacks so it is hard to heartlessly chase him off. I think that he especially liked the Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn that I used.

Shelter Yarn

I have to give a shout out to this yarn. You almost have to work with this stuff to believe it; it is soft, squishy and very light weight. My finished sweater is soft, warm, comfy, looks and hangs like a bulky sweater but weighs very little. It is almost a shock when I lift it to put it on. There are little bits of veggie matter in the yarn, but I think that is because it hasn’t been over processed. It was fairly easy to pull them out while I worked.

When I got ready to knit my sleeves I began to panic about running out of yarn. I ordered two more skeins online that were from another dye lot. I blended the new yarn in by knitting every other row for 8 rows (it did happen on the sleeves..) and you absolutely can’t see the change in yarn. I could have just skipped the blending. How’s that for quality control! Here are the Ravelry notes for my project if you want more info.

So, here it is whole month late but I am starting to think about my new projects for the year. Lots to do. You weren’t very nice to me at the start, 2016, but let’s see what we can get going now. Behave yourself!!

 

 

Crawling Along the Rockies…

It’s been a while since my last post. It has been really busy: more doctor appointments, a new drug (CellCept) to adjust to, and an infection that just refuses to die no matter how many antibiotics I swallow. I’m working hard at knitting up mitts and writing patterns for Alpaca Farm Days. The garden is suffering in the heat and cries to be watered. I’m way behind on my book reading. The cats are shedding in the heat and coating the house with hair. Then there was Yarn Along the Rockies

What is Yarn Along the Rockies you ask?

Just the biggest event of the knitting calendar year in this part of the world!  We are talking about  a yarn tour with a tote bag, a passport, free goodies and patterns. A chance to meet new friends, crawl along with old ones, and visit unique yarn stores with unknown, hidden but possibly fabulous treasures. If ever there was a time to learn how to use the GPS function of your cell phone, this was it!

The event is held over 9 days and involves 23 yarn shops up and down the front range of Colorado. One shop is up in the mountains. There are people who manage to complete the tour in the first weekend by driving like maniacs and dashing in and out of stores without really looking at the goodies. Whatever. I am not one of those folk. I wanted to savor the tour, discover new yarns and patterns,  make new friends, and locate some great stores. I split the tour into 4 different sections and drove a different section each day. Here’s how Yarn Along the Rockies works:

Passport.
Every participant of the tour carries a passport with them. Each yarn store stamps the passport when you arrive in their shop. Most of the stores had a free pattern for a knitted project and several also gifted us with goodies like stamps, stitch markers, and coupons. At the end of the tour the passport is left with the last store to enter it into the drawing for the five grand prizes. (Baskets with hundreds of dollars of yarns and notions!!)
Bag with buttons
Almost every person on the crawl had one of these canvas tote bags. Each shop gave us a button to put on the bag to record our progress. Cool! A lot of us bought things and stuffed them into the bags while we worked our way along the tour. Even more cool!!
Stitch markers.
You also received stitch markers at each 6th shop. The green marker was for completing the tour. If all this wasn’t enough incentive to lure knitters onto the tour there were also drawings for gift baskets stuffed with yarn, patterns and goodies at each individual shop. 

You can see how I got pulled into this. This isn’t a yarn crawl, it’s an adventure!! I tried to make a shopping plan for myself; I took patterns for future projects with me and decided on a shopping budget. Whatever. Sometimes it is best to just surrender to the experience. Here is what I ended up with.

Yarn
I found this Serenity by Zen Yarn Garden at Mew Mew’s Yarn Shop. This is DK weight cashmere/merino yarn that is just begging to become winter fingerless mitts. Can’t you just feel the cashmere through the computer screen? This yarn feels wonderful!! I feel better about winter already. 🙂
Shelter Yarn
I could not walk out of Fancy Tiger Crafts without some of this Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed. I’m going to knit a winter sweater for myself that will be warm and wonderfully comfy. I decided on the Daelyn Pullover for my pattern.
Yarn and mitt pattern
The cute pattern for Tea Time MItts was a free one at Needleworks by Holly Berry if you bought the silk/wool blend yarn. Of course I bought it!
Sock yarn.
My last stop on the tour was Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins in Boulder, Colorado where I found a big display of MJ Yarns. The display was enough to stop me in my tracks. This stuff is Opulent Fingering yarn. Cashmere, check! Nylon, check! Happy feet this winter, check! This put me over my budget, but I’m talking about my (poor, blue colored, Raynaud’s suffering) feet here, people! Socks happen!!

So that was the tour. 9 days. 23 shops. 2 tanks of gas and a shopping budget blown to bits.

What more could any shopping knitter hope for? Oh yeah. The drawing for the grand prize is tomorrow. What will I do with all that yarn if I win?

Hey everyone. I’ll have a big giveaway!! Keep your fingers crossed for me. 🙂