Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Shorty Compliment (AKA: The Not Quite A Hat Hat)

I keep checking YarnMarket for Mission Falls 1824 yarn in Ink and Cornflower, but they remain out of stock. So here is the not quite a hat hat, sitting pretty on my computer speaker, with Panda keeping watch.

Even though I haven't finished it completely, I will post the pattern here. It's quite easy, and you will be able to easily adapt it to fit any size head. Just adjust the number of stitches you cast on based on gauge. For example, my gauge for the hat is 5 stitches and 8 rounds in slip stitch pattern = one 1 inch (or 2.5cm for those of the metric persuasion). My head size is 23 inches. So 5 X 23 = 115. HOWEVER, I cast on 110 stitches because the slip stitch pattern is loose and stretchy. How did I decide to go with 110? Well, no scientific or mathematical reason really... it just seemed like the right amount!

So, then, my suggestion would be to decrease (or increase) by 4 stitches for each inch (or 2.5 cms) for your cast on. Got a 22 inch head? Cast on 106 stitches. 20 inch head? Then it's 100 cast on stitches. (You need an even number of stitches, which I why I am giving the 4. Again, it's a stretchy hat, but feel free to go with whatever you want!)

Also, if you want a shorter hat, then when working the decreases, decrease every 4th stitch.

The Shorty Compliment
Materials: 1 ball Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Ink (MC)
1 ball Mission Falls 1824 Wool in Cornflower (CC)
Size US 8 (5mm) double pointed needles (recommend using 5 dpn's)
Tapestry needle
Gauge: 5 stitches & 8 rounds = 1 inch
Size: Fits a 23 inch brainiac cranium, or a Ladies Large
Key: K = knit
Sl 1 = slip one stitch
Sl 1 PW = slip one stitch purlwise
WYIF = with yarn in front
K2tog = knit two stitches together (decrease)
With MC, cast on 110 stitches. Spread cast on stitches evenly among four needles. (Here's a trick: start off with a US 8 [5 mm] circular needle in a 12 or 16 inch length. When the circular gets too long once you begin decreasing, switch to the dpns.)
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: *K1, Sl 1 PW WYIF, repeat from *
Round 3: *Sl1 PW WYIF, K1, repeat from *
Repeat round 2 & 3 for 5 more rounds.
Change to CC
Round 9: Knit
Round 10: Knit
Round 11: *K1, Sl 1, repeat from *
Round 12: Slip the slipped stitches, knit the knit stitches
Repeat Rounds 9 - 12 five more times.
Change to MC
Round 33: Knit
Round 34: Knit
Round 35: *K1, Sl 1, repeat from *
Round 36: Slip the slipped stitches, knit the knit stitches
Repeat Rounds 33 - 36 two more times
Round 45: Knit
Round 46: NOW DECREASING WILL BEGIN. *K5, K2tog, repeat from*
Round 47: NO DECREASES, work as for round 11
Round 48: Work as for round 12 but decreasing with a K2tog every 5th stitch
Repeat Rounds 45 - 48 three more times
Change to CC
Round 60: Work as for Round 45
Round 61: Work as for Round 46
Round 62: Work as for Round 47
Round 63: Work as for Round 48
Repeat this pattern until one stitch left on needle. Take last stitch off needle, tie off as if binding off last stitch. Pull yarn through the top center to inside the hat.
Weave in your ends.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My Personal Adventures as Wonder Woman

As some of you know, I was Wonder Woman as a child. Well, I was in training, actually, and the most serious of stunts I was able to perform was to eat popsicles while simultaneously getting it to drip down to the elbows. And I was really good at it. I think I may have had several costume changes during those years thanks to Wonder Woman's mother, who kept the supply at par. Even though, at 4, the costume was just these:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I was still able to begin my training without the magic lasso, the super strength giving belt, and the bullet deflecting bracelets.

But then I got too big to fit into my underroos, and they just didn't make them for older girls. And it was next to impossible to find them for adults (let alone big girl adults) except for a random stumbling upon a website that has restored my capabilities:
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Yes, Ladies and Gentleman, the Wonder Woman Underroos are back! And they fit me! And so now, when I clean the house, study, study, and more study, do the grocery shopping, take care of our animals, pay the bills, work, and cook dinner, and all of the other things I do but am forgetting about I will be wearing these. This way it will be obvious of my capabilities, that I am Wonder Woman Domestic, the new realistic version of her.

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This is what most people expect Wonder Woman to look like. Unfortunately I do not even come close... but now I will get the appreciation that I deserve for all of the capabilities that I have! Had it not been for my new found Wonder Woman costume, I would still be the boring suburban wife that I thought I would never become.

All hail Wonder Woman Domestic!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Yearning for Yarn

Alright, I give up completely. I just can't stop myself. It's like ice cream... I just can't do without. A short while ago I received an email from KnitPicks advertising their sale on some of their most popular yarns. Their prices are great even without the sale... so all the more reason to shop with 20% off!

Here's what I got:
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  • 11 skeins of Main Line in Dusty Lavender
  • 11 skeins of Shine Sport in Butter (mmm....butter)
  • 2 skeins of Essentials Solid in Dusk
  • 2 skeins of Essential in Grass
  • 2 skeins of Essential in Pumpkin

Mr. Kitty gave his seal of approval on all of the yarns I picked out.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What a Handsome Boy!

Just look at him:

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Isn't he the best looking boy around? As promised to my Handsome Boy, this post is all about Mr. Kitty. He was getting a little jealous that Sister was getting so much attention here on the blog. So here he is. Handsome Boy was the first loyal and loving man to enter my life.

I was summoned to this boy back in October 2000. I had had plans to adopt an adult cat, but not for a month or two. But one morning I woke up with a strong urge to get a cat that day. So I bought some cat supplies and headed out to a shelter I had been donating money to.

There were only 6 cats at the shelter that Monday. I had in my mind that I had to have an orange cat and there was just one. He was a skittish thing with a bifurcation defect of his nose. The shelter worker felt he was not a match. There was no other cat that was drawing me in. The worker asked me about my lifestyle (no, she wasn't hitting on me, you pervs), my work schedule, noise levels in the house, etc. Some of which I had to lie about as my landlord had said after I signed the lease that no animals were allowed. This shelter had to have proof of animal cohabitation. So I told a grand story of having my own living quarters at the parents house. You know, like it was Buckingham Palace.

Fortunately, my license still had my parents address on it, and I prayed that my mother would be quick enough to go along with the deception. Especially since she had no fore warning and she's not particularly smooth on the down low.

So after I stared and stared at the cats behind the bars, the worker pointed to this black and white cat on the bottom left corner. "He's the one," she said, "he's such a love." I looked at him and thought, Hmmm... I don't know. He's not what I pictured. But I had driven all that way, and by God, I was going home with a cat. So I said I would take him. His name on his ID card was "Skimmy". Eck!

And the Gods and Goddesses listened to my prayers. My mother was quick on the uptake and lied the best cat lies she ever uttered in her whole life. Somehow she managed to maintain the Royal Palace facade, maybe even saying the Queen Mum would approve. And so I went home with this big black and white.

Once I got home, I decided that his name was no longer "Skimmy". I have no idea where that name came from, especially since he was an abandoned cat that someone brought in. He was clearly not feral, as he was loving and friendly, and didn't have his balls (he was not intact as the delicate people would say). But he did bring proof of his outdoor life with him: he was loaded with fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms.

Mr. Kitty was the name I was calling him while I was trying to figure out what it would really be. And it just stuck.

After taking him to our vet, he soon got better, and like all other living and breathing creatures in our household, he gained weight. (He's 18 pounds!) He also made tons of friends with the local Winter Hill Gang through his large apartment windows. Even though he was part of a gang, he is the most tenderhearted creature I have ever met. Mr. Kitty wants to be friends with all other animals, and has yet to figure out why the Big Bad Doggy Sister doesn't like him. (Meanwhile, you'd think he would work on his survival skills for when the BBDS manages her way up to Kitty Land, but he has yet to get it right). He began asking for a sibling in 2003, and he received his sister, the Squawker.

Here he thinks he is hiding from her, ready to attack:
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Here he checks his right side to make sure he's well concealed:
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And then his left:
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Here's a bird's eye view, pretty much the same one that sister saw as she looked at from above on the bureau:
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Mr. Kitty likes to think he's in charge, and we don't argue. We just keep the truth to ourselves. Right, Squawker?
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Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm In! I'm In! Secret Pal 9, that is.

Woo hoo! I'm in! I'm in! I missed out in past Secret Pals, but I just signed up for Secret Pal 9. I just love getting yarn in the mail, and even better... it's yarn I will be surprised with! Can't wait!

This is a short post, but I will be back soon because Handsome Boy has found out that this blog is named after his sister and there's even posts just about her so I promised him a full post filled with just him! (His Grammy will be so happy to see that as well.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Not Quite a Hat Hat

I am blaming my big fat head on this one. I had estimated that I had enough yarn left over from the Shorty Scarf to make a matching hat. I guess I was estimating based on an average woman's head size, which is roughly 20 inches. I measured my uber grande intellectual noggin at 23 inches (no wonder I'm so smart!) and cast on the stitches needed for the gauge. It was coming along nicely, and what a bonus! It even fit!

But, alas, I do not have enough yarn to finish it. And I'm not so sure I want to order more yarn. Maybe I will just redo this in some yarn I am positive I have enough of.

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Perhaps I could market this hat to the Hare Krishna's. I'm sure they have a knitting magazine made especially for them, right?
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That size hole at the top would be perfect for them. No more hat head!

I've also learned I have a cowlick at the crown of my head. Jeez...when was someone going to inform me of this??

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Oh, Foxy Lady!

I see you, heh, on down on the scene...ooh, Foxy Lady!

Here she is! I finally got her on film! (Well, digital) She's absolutely beautiful, and finally made a full fledged appearance above her wood chip pile den.

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She took a little nap, even feeling relaxed enough to stretch out.

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I think if you click on the pics you can get them to show more detail on your monitor. I tried to get as close as I could without scaring her. We didn't want her to feel threatened (Sadie is bad enough) and want her to keep her den in our backyard.

Last night I heard her kits yipping, and earlier this morning she was out but went running when she saw the dog. When I was taking the pictures from out back, she eventually turned and looked at me. I stayed as still as I could while she watched me. Then she casually got up and went over the to the other side of the wood chips. We spotted her later, back on top of her den, so I was happy to see my presence didn't keep her away.

Crazy Cat Person, if you only stayed a few more minutes you would have seen her live and in person! Damn your naps!

P.S. I broke the yarn vows. KnitPicks was having a sale. I am saying it here, in a non yarn related post, so hopefully no one catches me!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yarn Addict Going Cold Turkey


Here's why: If I keep buying yarn then I will go broke. That's pretty straightforward.

Seriously, there have been and will be some changes financially that just have to put yarn last on the list. Here are the top ten reasons why I must go cold turkey:

  1. I'm going back to school. And grad school is expensive! Over the next two years, I will shell out close to $30,000 on tuition, books, and the never ending fees that colleges seems to drum up.
  2. I am working less. Instead of the typical 32-44 hours I was working, I will be down to approximately 24-28 hours a week. And maybe less some weeks depending on the amount of school work that needs to be done.
  3. We bought a new car. YAY!! Good bye white bread Corrolla... hello challah bread Subaru!
  4. We bought tin tile for our kitchen backsplash and the dining room ceiling. That cost $1100. The next Discover card bill will be atrocious!
  5. I booked an anniversary/birthday trip for the DH. That cost another $1100 for just airfare, event tickets to the UFC re-match between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, and hotel. This is not including meals, etc. Again, that Discover bill will be something fierce.
  6. DH wants to put a tile floor in the kitchen. Which I am all for... I hate the vinyl floor we currently have, which doesn't clean well at all. But that will cost us, I am sure.
  7. We have added another monthly bill to our repertoire: life insurance. Well, we hope, actually, as we haven't had the mandatory blood and urine tests and medical record reviews by the insurance company registered nurse. You never know, but they can always try to find a reason for denial. But my guess is they won't, so this one stays on the list.
  8. You know, I do have a lot of yarn. Quite a bit. Some I have no idea what I plan to do with.
  9. We still owe another $600 to our wedding photographer. Urg! That's a whole other story for a later date. If I can tolerate it.
  10. There's always something that you don't anticipate, so I will leave that as my last reason.

However, if I am having yarn DT's then there is always the back up plan. eBay! I can use my PayPal account towards some yarn. And nothing better than money earned through sales on eBay to go towards purchases on eBay. You never miss a dime this way.