Saturday, March 31, 2007

Getting It All Together Again

I know this is a major PITA (Pain in the A@@), but the 'new' blog is going to disappear. After spending most of last Monday setting up this 'new' blog, the Techie Gods smiled and returned my 'old' blog to life. I've backed this up, ya betcha!

It was infinitely easier to copy/paste the 2 entries in the 'new' blog back to the 'old' blog than the other way around.

So, CBM is back at the old address, here CatBookMom's Yarns

Monday, March 26, 2007

Coming Back, but Slowly - Part Two

Further on today's story:

I've been knitting and knitting, in between marathon sessions of woefully checking my email every hour and some necessary hermiting with books. I think I've finished at least 4, Nora Roberts' Carolina Moon and Northern Lights, Jeffrey Deaver's The Twelfth Card and Perri O'Shawnessy's Motion to Suppress; there may have been one or two others. I read pretty fast.

Now, you all will remember that I am really
bad at getting A Round Tuit when it comes to weaving in ends and seaming. Though I do feel pretty darned good about the mattress stitch I did in garter stitch the other day. And I love 3-needle bind-offs, enough to frog some rows to avoid mattress stitching instead.

That said, here are some *nearly* finished objects. I don't remember if one or two of these were previously posted, so bear with me. Here we have a charity baby cardi. This is made from Red Heart's Fiesta and trimmed with Encore in a lovely deep bluey-green. There will be another cuff in Encore, and I think I'll run a row of single crochet around the fronts and neckline in the same solid blue. The pattern is from Lion Brand and is designed to be done in garter stitch, all in one piece beginning at the back hem. I decided to pick up and knit the cuffs afterward. The pattern calls for about 400 yards of DK or worsted, and the singleton skein of Fiesta had only 300, so I devised the accents in the Encore solid.

This i
s a beginning of the same baby cardi, done this time in James Brett's Marble acrylic yarn, color Fern (I think). Just to be me, I'm doing this primarily in stockinette with garter stitch trim at the hemline and shoulders, with the cuffs again knitted on at the end. I bought this yarn a while back from Stitches from the Heart's LYS in Santa Monica, and I didn't like it at first, but I like the texture in stockinette and the color changes are terrific.

I've 'nearly' finished my Elizabeth Zimmerman Ribwarmer vest. This is Cascade's Cloud 9
50%wool/50%angora yarn. BTW, WEBS has this on closeout - it's a wonderful yarn and it's going fast; some colors are already gone from this morning. Somehow all the yarn ends that couldn't be spit-spliced ended up at the point where the two collar halves join, and those need to be woven before I can seam the collar. This took 4 skeins of Cloud 9 (400 yards) on US 6? 7? I love the way the short-row shaping makes this fit.

I'm really pleased with this proj
ect (yep, ends need weaving!). This is the Blue Sky Alpaca Cropped Cardi, done in Elann's Super Tweed Yarn in Victorian Blue. This was one fast knit, let me tell you, an entire new speed record for me. I started this last Sunday, even though I had only 2 skeins of the yarn but ordered more from Elann; those skeins arrived on Wednesday and I finished this in time to show it off to my SnB group on Friday. Yeah, OK, I stayed up *really* late. Snicker. This took 5 skeins (500yds) with very small leftovers. I like the yarn, which is wool, cotton, acrylic and stretchy nylon; there are thick and thin strands, the colors change but not in any pattern, and I think the cardi will be just perfect for summer evenings. Note to anyone else: the front bands are written to be 2 stitches wide; make them 4 or 5 and save yourself the hassle of stockinette curl.

Finally, this is REALLY a FINISHED OBJECT!! These are socks for DH, knitted in KnitPicks's 100% merino Memories sock yarn in the Cape Cod colorway. I knitted the heels with a wooly nylon reinforcing thread just to see how it changes the wear, if any. I finished them on March 8 and he wore them that
Friday; the closeup shows that there is already a bit of felting going on at the heels. But the other pair I made him from this yarn, back in 2005, while having felted at heel and sole, still looks just fine and I can't find any thinning spots. That may have something to do with the fact that I don't do hand-laundry for socks very often, lol, so he may have only worn them 10 times or so.

I've joined t
he KAL for the Moonlight Sonata Shawl, a new free pattern at Elann. The pattern was designed by Shui Kuen, one of the most talented knitters who regularly post at the Elann Chat Center. SK has also designed the Garden Path Shawl and the Sun Ray Shawl, as well as the Leaf and Acorn Lace Scarf all free at Elann. I'm doing this in Elann's Baby Cashmere yarn, in the Starlight Blue color; this color is sold out right now, but it's a rather pale greeny-blue. I liked the coincidence of finding this color, with this name, in stash. Yay, KFTS! (Knitting From The Stash) I'm only on Row 2, and since I haven't yet finished anything except socks that is knitted with fingering weight yarn, it's going to be a challenge.

You may recall that JenLa had a contest for the cutest paws. Midnight was entered, and felt confident that her '
Elegant Pawsitude'

would put her in the winning. As it happens, Wendy Johnson entered Lucy, who was a sentimental favorite and knocked Middy out of the final round. Lucy didn't win, but Midnight wants her to know there are no hard feelings. Although I notice she does tend to ignore Lucy's pictures.

Coming Back, but Slowly - Part One

Hi, friends! I've been sending dozens of emails to those brick walls at Blogger, trying to get them to recover my poor deleted blog. It's weird that, when I just now typed the title to this post, a previous post-title came up as a choice. So it's there, somewhere.

However, with more than 2 weeks having passed since I unwittingly zapped my blog, I've decided to try going forward with a 'new' blog. I immediately
remembered exactly why I've been dragging my feet: setting all this up is a major PITA!!! So the necessary accessories and the frills will be coming to this site slowly as I have the determination to wade through the process.

You will have noticed that we have some changes:
  • a new URL (,
  • a slightly different blog title, CatBookMom's Yarns Too (in hopes of recovering the 'old' blog) and
  • a new photo. Since I go by 'CatBookMom', I thought I'd show the Cat and the Books. I am a 'mom' only in the sense that I care and cater for both. If you look carefully at the picture, you will see some of my favorite mystery writers being represented, lol.

I still miss our little Shadow cat so dreadfully.
She's been gone 2 months today, and I only wish I'd saved at least that post from my old blog. But I can remember most of it, and I have 15 years of memories to cherish. Shadow died of acute pancreatitis and its effects on her other organs; she was not a victim of this dreadful pet-food poisoning. Here she is lounging in one of our chairs, which she always custom-covered in extra fur and leftover kitty litter.

I have lots o
f yarny news, many new nearly-FOs, and just plain chat, so I'm going to break this 'first' post into two, since there are lots of pictures.

Today I received my first order of hand-dyed yarn from a new source. See Jayne Knits has just opened for business in Vancouver, BC, and I am privileged to have some of the very first yarns she's created. The yarns are all soft as can be, with no nasty vinegar or dye odors. Here's my booty:

First, we have Coral Glow, a 100% merino sock yarn, one of the very first SJK skeins ever. This is a happy-making color, and it will make some lovely socks, when I find the right pattern for it. The flash makes this look a bit garish, but it's the closest I dould get.

Then there's Hydrangea, which is
IMO a most perfectly named yarn. This is 100% superwash DK merino, and the shades of blue-pinks and pinky-lavenders and all shades in between include my complete range of favorite pastels.

nd not least, this is Forest Camo sock yarn, 80% wool, 20% nylon. DH is going to love this - again, the camera cannot capture the colors. There are greens from cedar to balsam to olive to new leaves...., and the browns and tans are just as wide-ranging.

You HAVE to check out this new dyer! Jayne has been known among the Elann knitters for her unerring sense of color and color mixtures, and she has brought all of that talent to the yarns she is creating. She has found sources of high-quality yarns in a wide variety of weights and fibers, and she has already begun to compile a number of repeatable colorways. Right now there are some copper and midnight-blue yarns showing that I really covet. The Copper mohair could convert me from a 'waters' color fan to an 'earth' colors fan. All of us who have known her for a while are warning her against burn-out, a la Sweet Georgia, so the output won't be large, but it will be high-quality and in stunning colors.

For more news, see post number Two.