Cats, Hats, and a Book called “Cats in Hats”

Fasten your seat belts: here comes cute! I struggle to understand how this happened, but I guess one thing just led to another and before I knew it I had spent a week wallowing in, stitching and knitting the cutest little projects ever. It was a great break from my usual production knitting and the perfect counterbalance to a week of rain, hail and tornado warnings. So, with no further ado, here is the week of saccharine on my needles.

Cute kids hats.
The last time I went to my favorite yarn store there was a display of these darling kids hats. How could I resist? Hats for all the grandkids and grandcousins!! The kits are from DMC and only cost me 9 dollars each and knitted up in a flash. ! I have one more giraffe hat to still make for a grandnephew…

While I was knitting hat cuteness I also worked on the parts for a knitted cat for my cousin during odd moments. I knit the cat pretty tightly so the little hats were nice breaks from the finger crushing tension of the cat. 🙂 Finally last Thursday I finished knitting all the cat pieces, steamed them flat and considered sewing them together. Gee, there were an awful lot of loose ends connected to the pieces… Obviously I needed a thread catcher!!

Opened thread catcher
Here is the thread catcher in its opened state: a nice little fabric cup waiting to catch cut ends of yarn.
Collapsed thread catcher
When you are done sewing (and catching threads) the cup collapses into this showy twisted disk that is only a centimeter tall. Pretty slick! Did you notice the cute cat fabric?

This only took me an hour to make once I had assembled all of the materials. The best part? This cost me nothing as I already had everything that I needed on hand. I first saw this on Sharon’s blog called Creativity and Family and was struck by how useful it was. (OK, thread catcher envy definitely occurred and I was helpless in its grip. I mean, look at how cute it is!!) This excellent video really made it easy to make my own.

Well, once I had the thread catcher made I had no excuse to put off stitching together the cat. I worked on him all weekend during odd moments, and by this morning he was done. Ta-daa!

Knitted cat
Here he is already getting into trouble. To be frank, I had promised him to my cousin Ruth Ann last February, but he decided he was a spring kitty. Later this week I’m driving him up into Colorado’s mountains to meet her. This cat thankfully won’t meow the whole trip up there. 🙂

This is the third cat that I have made from this pattern which is Four Knitted Cats by Kath Dalmeny. I’m thinking that this is the last one as it is really hard on my hands to do the hand-stitching. Good thing he is soooo (do I need to say it?) CUTE!

Yesterday I stopped by the bookstore to check out the new knitting books, and what do I find but this gem.

Cats in Hats book
MacKenzie just can’t wait for me to get started on this. Doesn’t he look like he’s thinking, “Wow! I just can’t wait to get one of these on my noggin!!” <Not! He’s actually hoping that I torture Yellow Boy with these babies!>

I was helpless in the face of the book by Sara Thomas. I mean, isn’t this the poster child for the word of the week? Yep. It is dripping in cuteness. There is a kitty hat with reindeer antlers. A hat with a Mohawk. A hat shaped like a pumpkin and a Santa Claws (see what I did there?) hat.

I did put this book on the bookshelf to incubate for awhile. It is time for me to bid cuteness goodbye and to move on to some more serious knitting. This afternoon I kitted up the yarn, needles and directions for a couple of shawls that I am just chomping to get going on, and of course there are the June socks. Productions knitting, here I come.

Still, it was fun to take a detour into cuteness for the week. Hope you all find a way to channel some cuteness for yourself this week. 🙂

 

 

I’m Knitting as Fast as I Can!

I just love this new pattern on Ravelry that was published a few weeks ago. It is just fabulous!! It’s called The Joker and the Thief (by Melanie Berg), and it required 6 yarns that form a color gradient (this would be the Joker…) that is anchored by one color that is the Thief. I immediately went on the hunt for color gradients in my yarn stash, ended up making two trips to my favorite LYS, and moved yarns around and around until I finally settled on TWO color combinations for this shawl. Yeah! They are both fabulous and I have finally decided to make both of the shawls. Why do something if you can’t overdo it? See, this is a motto that all knitters can get behind. 🙂

Joker 1 Yarns
Here’s the yarn for the first Joker shawl (hereafter called Joker 1). The Thief will be the navy blue above the gradient. The Joker yarns (magenta and golds) are all Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat. The Navy is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (Colorway Ink)
Joker and Thief Yarn
This is the yarn for the second Joker shawl (AKA Joker 2) The Joker is more Wonderland Yarns Cheshire Cat, and the Thief is the gold colored Knitted Wit Fingering Yarn.
MacKenzie and shawl yarn.
As usual my cat MacKenzie is chomping at the bit to get started on the shawls. He was a big help as I was winding the yarns, making the color keys, and kitting them up in plastic snap top (and moth proof!!) boxes.

I’m all ready to get started on the shawls except… I already have three projects going and one of them is on the needles that I need to use to knit the Joker. I thought about going to buy more needles. (No way! Who would do something like that???) I considered taking the shawl-in-progress off the needles so it could hibernate for a few weeks while I knitted the Jokers. Yeah, we all know what would have happened to that shawl.  It would have hibernated in a corner somewhere for a few years. Nope! I decided to suck it up and knit like the wind until it was done. This shawl is beautiful, and I will commit to finishing it in a timely manner! Feeling very self-righteous I began working on this shawl (Sidere by Hilary Smith Callis) again.

Marked up pattern.
Self-righteous can take you only so far. This pattern is requiring very close attention to the details which are all written out. I’m marking up the pattern like crazy while I work. This type of attention means that I can only knit when I have a big chunk of time open and sleeping cats.
Shawl
Still, I’m making good progress and the shawl is starting to look fantastic! I can’t wait to get this off the needles and blocked. Here’s the project notes on Ravelry if you would like more information.
Shawl
I’m also making this dark green 3S shawl as simple take-along knitting. The yarn is Becoming Art Fingering Yarn. I love the yarn but this shawl is going a little slowly too. 
Knitted Cat
I’m also working on a long-overdue knitted cat for one of my cousins. This one I knit on during news broadcasts. Here’s the pattern for the cats (it’s free!!!) on Ravelry.

So there we are. I’ve got two more projects all lined up and I’m dying to get started on them. I’ve been knitting as fast as I can for over a week, and I still haven’t gotten anything finished. The weather is warming up and I need to start tending to the lawn and gardens outside.

Stay tuned folks! I think that it may rain this weekend, and I’m hopeful to get at least one of these off the needles. 🙂

Jokers, here I come!!