Sunday, July 31, 2011

TUSAL: July 2011, Second of Two

Greetings, everyone, from the last day of July, 2011.  My goodness, how time has flown by!

I did a bit of research and found that the second new moon in a given month is referred to as either a black moon (according to this article) or a dark moon.  This list of moon folklore said that two new moons in one month predicted a month's bad weather.  Taken along with another tidbit from the same list (a new moon on a Saturday (as it was yesterday) supposedly brings 20 days of wind and rain) and we should be in for some lousy weather.  Believe if you wish, but I don't think that will be the case.

What are all the bits of colored fluffiness?

I've been a knittin' fool this month and the little bits of color are the trimming from the pom-pom that went on the hat I knitted.  Yes, you read that right: I knitted a hat!  And a scarf to go with it.  I've learned to knit in the round on cables and also on double pointed needles.  Both of those were an interesting experience.  The double pointed needles were difficult to maneuver when completing the crown of the hat.  I'm not sure I want to go through that again.  Perhaps it would be easier with smaller needles.  I used Size 10us.

The original pattern for the scarf called for three skeins and for it to be 65 inches long.  Well, I used all three skeins and mine turned out to be 78 inches (2 m) long.  It's alright, though, since I'm tall and like having extra length to wrap around the neck and over the face, if necessary.

The bright sunshine really brings out the beautiful colors in the yarn.  (It's Lion Brand Amazing yarn in colorway Mauna Loa.)  Hard to believe I'm taking pictures of knitwear when it's 100 degrees outside.  Ugh.  C'mon winter!

Ready for cold weather!

This is Ginger.  She's been a member of my feral cat colony for three years now.  Ginger showed up when she was just a tiny kitten, but already too wild to tame.  She has been spayed, though, so she's not adding to the cat population.  This was such a great picture of her, I just had to share it.

Here's Jack on the run.  (He really does have all four legs.)  And Bob looking a bit grumpy.  Pardon his rumpled fur but he got a bath on Friday and can't do a thing with it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Nikki and the Binder, and a New Kitty

I got email from a nice lady named Nikki who actually made a binder from my tutorial.  This gave me a big happy!  And she sent pictures, too!

I gave this to my 14 year old son for his birthday. He is an aspiring writer, and puts all his works in the binder.  He loves it. 

I sew quite a bit, and I was asked to visit my daughter’s sewing class (high school) with some of my projects.  I brought the cover, and the teacher liked it so much she asked me for the website, and of course I obliged her.  She is considering using your tutorial for one of her class projects next fall, I believe. 

Doesn't that look like a great fabric for a teenager?  How nice to hear that a teacher thinks my tutorial is worth using! Hope I didn't do anything wrong in there.  Please, Mrs. Davis, I'd love to see pictures when your class completes their projects!

In early to mid-June we noticed a very vocal, little black cat hanging around the house.  He responded to "kitty, kitty, kitty" by meowing loud and often.  He acted afraid and didn't want to come close, but would run up on the porch and furiously nom the kitten chow left there for the ferals.  Eventually, he did warm up to us and started flopping over for belly rubs.  Upon closer inspection it was apparent that this was a young cat (about 7 months) who still had all his equipment.  He would often show up with cobwebs on his face so we figured he was living in the neighbor's crawlspace.  After getting to know him for a week and earning his trust, we put him into a cat carrier and took him to the vet so they could run him up on the rack and give him a tune-up and all the shots and neuter him.  We brought him back home to the house and he was happy as could be, even with the doxies and Bob.  Bob, on the other hand wasn't too delighted with the little cat - Jack, as he is called - and stomped around the house complaining loudly to everyone and no one in particular.  It took about a week, but Bob and Jack are now getting along together and Bob's got his sweet disposition back again.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

TUSAL: July 2011 - First of two

This month is rather unique in that we will have two new moons in the same month.  When there are two full moons that second is refered to as a blue moon.  Anyone know what you call the second new moon in the same calendar month? (Other than the obvious, "rare".)

Stitching with tiny needles and fibers still doesn't hold any appeal for me right now so there hasn't been much added to my ort jar.  But, unlike the last two months (or so) there actually are some new orts in the jar; they are yarn orts, but orts they be!

I've managed to knit three things.  The first started life as the second incarantion of my learning swatch.  It turns out I was knitting with a twist.  Wish I could remember the actual name of the stitch I was doing, but it wasn't the garter stitch.  Once, that got sorted out, SH showed me how to do decreases and at a good enough time to turn the practice piece into a little buttoned pouch.  The yarn reminded me of water and there was a cute fish button in my stash waiting to be used.  This little pouch will be about the right size to use for credit card, ID and a bit of money to tuck into my pocket.

The next two projects (which were actually finished before I did the finishing on the pouch (confused yet?)) were the ubiquitous knitted wash cloth.  It's a nice learning project for several reasons: (1) you learn yarn over and knit two together; (2) there are plenty of repetitions to reinforce the motor memory; and (3) you've actually got something useful at the end.

The first one had some problems.  I tinked and reknit and tinked some more.  In the end, it was a good learning experience.  The second one had fewer problems and looks better than the first. 

My current project is a scarf; it shouldn't be a big deal and will be completed unless I get bored.  There's a pattern for a matching hat.  I'll believe it when I see it.   Actually, it's kind of exciting learning a new craft.