Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pictoral Essay: One Happy Cat






PS - My Bonita is a bit bigger as is my sock but pic worthiness remains status quo here at Blog de Fluffy so no knitting pics til next week :)

PPS - The P-Man had no idea how truly fascinating a pull tab from a priority mail box could be until his pal, the Meezer told him about it!

PPPS - Does anyone have a sure fire remedy for tear stains? My poor P-Man gets his little face cleaned all the time yet his nickname remains "Krusty"! Any suggestions are much appreciated!

Have a great weekend, see ya next week!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Old socks, new socks, pink socks, blue socks

Best chuckle of the day....

I was checking my blog stats and I saw a lot of visitors from a particular site so I clicked on the link to see what was making FKD so popular. It was a blog from a woman in France and the link on her sidebar was for my beading tutorial .....It was listed as "Blog de Fluffy" :)

Yesterday was the first day of summer so of course that means it's

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Summer of Socks 2007!!

Here's my first sock of summer.....

It's the "new" pink sock - Dream in Color Smooshy sock yarn in the Ruby River colorway and it's totally luscious!! Really soft and look at that color!

It's a toe up sock using the Turkish cast on and Scroll Lace from More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, another great sock book BTW.

Now here's the "old" blue sock...a finished Thelonious!


Thelonious designed by Cookie A.

2 skeins Gems Pearl, colorway Neptune. Size US#1 (2.25mm) Aero DPNs

ETA: The pattern states that the "sock is not as stretchy as regular rib because of the traveling stitches". Because of this I used a US #1.5 (2.5 mm) for the leg and switched to the smaller needle for the rest of the sock.

Mods: NONE!! because Cookie is such an amazing designer I knit every stitch as the pattern suggested and loved every one!

It's a great pattern and a really great looking sock - the chart may look overwhelming but it's very intuitive and once you get into it, it's a really fun and interesting knit! I can't recommend Cookie's patterns highly enough but I know that's preaching to the choir cause almost everyone is already knitting her Monkey pattern :)

My other WIP is Bonita, here's her progress....

I'm absolutely LOVING this tank! I just wish I could capture the true grassy spring green of the yarn and the beautiful beads.

I leave you with my favorite guy hanging out in one of his favorite spots......

whatever pattern I'm working on (and trying to read!) Maybe if he does it enough he'll let me teach HIM to knit :)

Have a great first weekend of summer from all of us here at Blog de Fluffy!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Come join me for some summer fun!

I'm not much of a joiner or swapper these days, having been burned a few times too many. That kinda takes the joy out of it, ya know? Plus we won't even discuss the fact that I just quit MY OWN KAL* now will we? (I feel guilty, completely relieved but a little guilty - I'm Jewish, I can't help it, it's genetic! heh!)

But I saw this on Beth's blog

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and I thought, "now this is a swap/competition I can get into"!

The "Cliff Notes" version is you have a team, you buy 2 skeins of the kitchen cotton of your choice. Your team member sends you the "relay" box containing 2 skeins of cotton and a little treat, you knit a dishrag with one skein in the pattern of your choice and you keep the little treat, the second skein AND the dishrag that came in the box for yourself. Then you send the 2 skeins you bought, a new little treat and the dishrag you knit to the next member of your team. The first team that finishes wins!!

Cool, right? Plus cheap and even if you get the world's fugliest yarn/dishrag (which I am sure you won't!) IT'S ONLY A DISHRAG! so who cares? So for less than a day of knitting and around $10 doesn't this sound like fun?

If you click on the button, you can get the full version and sign up too!**

** Sorry folks the Dish Rag Tag swap is closed**

Even the P-Man is excited, see?

Why yes, this is his "bursting with excitement" expression, can't you see his raised left eyebrow? :)

Have a great weekend!

* I'm still co-hosting, I'm just not knitting!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One knitter's nightmare is another knitter's dream

And the new owner of the FPS nightmare DREAM is.....Cheryl!!

The best news is, she really wants to continue what I've already started so it's win/win for both of us! YAY!!

Can you believe it, Cheryl just FINISHED a gorgeous FPS and she actually really wants to knit another one!! Here's another lil secret: our Cheryl has a pattern in the new
Knitty!! Now clearly this is one of those Knitting Goddesses I previously made reference to :)

Cheryl, if you would please contact me with your mailing info, your SECOND FPS will be winging it's way to your doorstep faster than you can say laceweight
sucks rocks! :)

Congrats you crazy woman Cheryl and thanks again for everyone else who bared their souls and their knitting disasters!

Moving forward, here's the cute little FO I mentioned....

It's the Dolly Bag from Rowan

Isn't she adorable?

This was this season's thank you gift for renewing my status as a Rowanette. She's knit with 2 skeins of Handknit Cotton in the Celery colorway and as size 4 US (3.5 mm) Addi Lace needle. The pattern called for a size 6 but I alway have loose tension with cottons and I wanted a very firm fabric because the bag isn't lined.

This was a totally fun knit. I cabled without a cable needle and even the bobbles/nupps weren't heinous cause they are the knit in the front and back of the stitch x5 then slip the 4 stitches over the 5th kind NOT the purl a zillion stitches together on the purl row kind! (::::cough FPS cough::::)

I think the FK Mom has her eye on this cause it is fairly sturdy and not as "Dolly" as the name implies as it is about 8 inches wide at the bottom and 6 inches tall without the handles. If you have the kit I highly recommend this bag for a quick summer knit!

Unfortunately, I didn't make it out for WWKIP day because I had the headache of the century! All the rain and barometric changes completely did me in (altho I did knit in front of my two neighbors so that kinda counts, right?)

I was down for the count but I did manage to start Bonita later in the evening. Then I started her again on Sunday cause as we all know, swatches LIE!!

The pattern calls for a US #5 for a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch. I was a hair under at 5.75 sts/inch so I went down to #4 and 6 sts/ inch, did the math and picked the larger size. Of course when I knit the first full pattern repeat and pulled her off the needles she was ginormous! So now I'm knitting the smaller size with a US #3! It's that pesky tension and cotton thing again! Good thing I happen to have made a recent acquisition of a full set of Addi Lace needles so I had my feathers numbered for just such an emergency! (bonus points if you get that reference - my brother used to do the most hilarious impression of the speaker of that phrase when we were kids and still does on request, heh!)

So even tho this is less knitting than I hoped to accomplish by now, here she is......

Isn't she pretty?

I ADORE the Nostalgia yarn I'm using, it's so sproingy and soft! Plus I love the subtle variegation and how it looks with the beads and the lace! See? I never waxed this poetic about the FPS :)

This is a WIP I'm *really* enjoying!

Of course I can't let that picture slide by without a mention of my current manicure - this is another of OPI's "Brights Collection" called
"Call My Cell-ery" . How could you not love that name?? I admit the color is a bit Shrek meets Slime but I'm getting a kick out of matching my manicure to my knits! Plus it's a fun summery color so why not? I must admit however, if I don't knit something red or pink soon everyone I know is gonna think of me as "the weird knitting lady with the funky nails and the handsome and studly cat" Oh wait, they already do :)

Speaking of handsome and studly cats, will this one do?

I think so :)

Friday, June 08, 2007

How can you mend a broken heart?

Altho I'm sad to leave my Forest Path Stole to the knitting of my past I take comfort in the fact that some lucky FKD fan will knit her and give her the love she deserves!

I must say that the stories y'all have shared have been hilarious as well as painful but it's good to know we're all human and we're all in good company :)

Don't forget you still have til Sunday if you're interested in making her your own, just keep the tales of knitted woe coming.... it's so entertaining freeing, isn't it?

So how does a knitter mend a broken heart? Why she begins a new project of course!

What has won my heart in place of the FPS? Well....

I'll be using this:

Berroco Nostalgia, color #6672 - "Gecko" (fitting for a Floridan, huh?) which is actually much more spring/grass green than the color on my monitor but since it's been raining like Armageddon for the last 3 days, this is the best I could do. It's a soft, light cotton/microfiber blend with a hint of a shiny nylon - it's a dream to knit with and so pretty! In fact I knit the Retro Redux Shrug with it a few weeks ago.

To knit this:

Bonita from Rowan #41

Who's neckline I will be embellishing with these:

BTW, these beads ARE the perfect color for the yarn, I have no clue why their color is so true while the yarn is not. I plan on wearing Bonita "backwards" which is why it will be perfect for some knitted beading but I'll explain more once I start her.

I'm really excited about this new WIP. I'll be starting Bonita on Saturday which is WORLD WIDE KNIT IN PUBLIC DAY and I think it will work wonders in helping me get over my recent breakup :)

What will y'all be knitting on WWKIP Day?

I'm still working on my Thelonious socks which are quite beautiful but I'll save that for next week along with another cute lil FO I completed today. I'm such a tease I know but I gotta pace myself :)

I will, however share a wonderful gift I got this week....

I know I'm doing the KFYS '07 (HAR.) and I know I said sock yarn, for me, counts but a friend wanted to buy me something special for a favor I did and she just happened to know exactly what I wanted. After all I did say any and all GIFTS anyone felt the need to bestow upon me did NOT count! So how about a little yarn pr0n baybee.....

That's Dream in Color sock yarn from Kris at Sonny and Shear

Four glorious skeins of Smooshy Sock in Happy Forest, Beach Fog, Ruby River, and Giant Peach.

It's uber soft and the depth of color is amazing! Plus Kris is a good friend of mine and I had to support in her endeavor of her new online yarn shop, now didn't I?

I can't wait to start a new sock in this yummy yarn!

Go pay Kris a visit, she's a real sweetie with great products and fabulous customer service! She even includes nice little surprises in each order (FK Mom loved the raspberry tea!), has a great free shipping deal and rewards for her loyal customers! Come on you know you wanna have a peek!

Now to close with some manly kitty pr0n. Seems kitty tummies are all the rage around Knitbloglandia these days - here's the P-Man's contribution!

Have a great weekend and get out there and Knit in Public!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

There's both good news and bad news....

Y'all are so funny! Your guesses on the reason for my exuberance were hilarious but my favorite goes to
Madge who wrote:

"Hmm, I'm guessing your parole has ended and you don't have to wear that pesky ankle bracelet any longer. :D"

Cute Madge, very cute!

I wish many of your guesses were correct (new computer, lottery win and world knitting tour with the P-Man all sound great to me!) There were a few of you who got the right answer so let's unravel the tale, shall we?

Here we have my Forest Path Stole. Isn't she lovely?

And a close up...

I love her color and the pattern is much easier than it looks....the kind of pattern that has the world thinking you're a Knitting Goddess when you're really just a warshcloth knittin' chick :)

The bad news is, this fluffy knitter wont be knitting even ONE MORE STITCH on her! Actually that is both good and bad news, heh.

Here's the story....

I learned to knit when I was 8 and knit pretty steadily until I moved to Florida in 1989 (no LYS, knitting was passe and it's HOT here!) That hiatus lasted until about 5 years ago when I was surfing the net looking a hobby for "stress management" (HAR.)

In those 15 years the Internet had been born and knitting had a PRESENCE!! So I came back to knitting with a vengeance but also with quite a bit of experience under my belt, or so I thought.

After getting my feet wet I jumped in with cockiness gusto and chose a lovely stole in laceweight yarn. Wait a minute! SSK? What's that? I'm a PSSO girl...charts??? we don't do no stinkin' charts...I don't remember knitting being this complicated!! (now, btw, I wouldn't knit anything without a chart!)

Bottom line? I tossed the mess across the room and almost gave up knitting for another 15 years! I picked other projects and things went much better, my skills improving with each new FO. I chalked up that failure to my 15 year lapsed muscle memory and once I got my chops back, I evolved into the semi-goddess knitter I am today :)

What I didn't realize, until this February, is the problem with that long ago stole wasn't so much with my knitting sabbatical and atrophied knitting skills but that I LOATHE KNITTING WITH LACEWEIGHT YARN! Yes, there, I said it! Whew! Do I have to hand in my Knitter's Secret Decoder Ring now? hehe!

Gimme some fingering weight yarn and a set of size 0 DPNs and I'll knit you the Brooklyn Bridge but me and laceweight, not so much!

Yes I've knit shawls since that fubar fiasco 5 years ago but always in fingering weight or above. Either it was what the pattern called for or I was upsizing for fluffy me by subbing a heavier yarn for laceweight.

So.....I blithely sign up as co-hostess of the FPS KAL, not realizing that knitting with laceweight yarn makes me want to poke my own eyes out with my Addi Lace needles :) And I get to loathe all 2700 yards of it!! YIKES!!

So me and the FPS, I'm just not into her.....

Now for the good news! I'm giving her away!!! YAY! A contest!!

I'm giving my FPS away as is, so if you've always wanted to knit the Forest Path Stole, think of this as your way of getting a six tier head start! It's such a shame to waste all that pretty knitting and I would love for someone who isn't adverse to knitting with laceweight yarn to complete the stole and give it the love it deserves.

If you want to knit the FPS, but would rather every stitch be your own, or if you just want about 2000 yards of Juniper colored Zephyr wool/silk yarn after you *snip snip* what I've already knit , the yarn will be yours, do with it what you will....just DON'T tell me, please! I'm sad enough already. (I would be thrilled to know if you do knit the stole with my "head start" however!)

As I said, the pattern is easier than it looks but it is a BIG project! The lace is quite easy and the finished product is stunning....just head over to the KAL blog** and see for yourself! And as I said in my last FPS post, the Addi Lace needles are so fabulous with this yarn, they almost made me reconsider my decision to part company with the FPS! (but even they are not that good!)

So how can you make the FPS (and/or the yarn) your own, you ask?

Why a contest of course!! It's simple, all you have to do is leave a comment sharing your biggest knitting
disaster disappointment! Come on, we've all got em! You can share em even if you don't want the FPS, it's cathartic!

You have until this Sunday, June 10th and then I'll use a random number generator to choose a winner.
So dish up your juiciest stories and win yourself a Forest Path Stole of your very own! Even Pumpkin says you should....

See? He's doing quality control so the winner wont be disappointed :)

Good Luck!

** I will still be co-hosting the KAL with my buddy Agnes but I'll be cheering the participants on instead of knitting.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Just a little teaser.....

FREE AT LAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll be back to tell you why and reveal a juicy contest next week!

Continue to enjoy the P-Man Live til then!

Have a great weekend!