Life With Cats

22 November, 2008 at 7:24 pm (caturday, knitting, life)

Things I can no longer do in my room:
1. Knit.

Despite Oolong’s attempts to chew on my yarn and needles at every opportunity, I’ve gotten a few more tiers done on the neverending entrelac scarf. I’ve got to speed up a bit though, since there are other things I need to get to that I can’t start ’til this is done.

2. Sleep. Because nothing is more fun than a cat pouncing on your feet at midnight. And 3am. And 6am. And 9am. And any time that you may be trying to get some rest.

3. Spin.

Since Oolong has taken an extreme liking to all things a) moving and b) fibery, I’ve had to take my spinning upstairs to the wheel, where I’ve been working on some qiviut. I only have an ounce of this stuff so I’m trying to really get as much out of it as possible—spinning long draw into superfine singles, which I’ll turn into 2-ply once I’m done.

4. Eat. If I have to defend one more sandwich, bowl of soup, or plate of pasta from this crazy cat I may just go crazy myself.

5. Get any work done. Oolong, with her aforementioned fondness of spinny things, also likes to chew on spindle components whenever I sit down to work. So, not as many spindles built this week as I would like. Still, I got a few done, and they’ve just gone up in the shop, including a couple with some shorter, smooth tapered shafts that I’m trying out. I’m loving the look and feel on them, and they spin quite well.

6. Blog, apparently. Although this one is probably my own fault; in trying to avoid boring cat talk I’ve ended up posting nothing instead. I promise we will return to regularly scheduled updating shortly.

Really, she’s lucky she’s so cute.


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Radio Silence

15 November, 2008 at 2:04 pm (caturday, knitting)

This past week’s unintended absence was caused by one thing.

One teeny tiny, itty bitty little fuzzy thing.

Oolong has returned to the house! (Yes, it is the middle of the day and I am still in my pyjamas. Yes, they have sheep on them. Shut up. Leave me alone.)

More specifically, Oolong is living in my room, so I spent the week doing a total tidy-up and overhaul of all of my yarn and organizing so that there’d be plenty of room for her to play.

Said organizing didn’t leave much time for knitting, although I got a few more tiers of the entrelac scarf in—Oolong kindly obliged when I asked her to pose with it…

…by chewing on my KP cords. Of course.

Two more spindles are going up in the shop today, including this gorgeous glass one:

which I am quite enamored of. Perhaps if it doesn’t sell I’ll keep it for myself.

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Come and get ’em!

8 November, 2008 at 3:44 pm (caturday, knitting, spinning)

Some new spindles have gone up in my shop with more to come early next week. Assuming these don’t all sell right away I’m hoping to finally be at the point where I can keep a constant level of stock in there.

In knitting news, I’m still entrelacking away. I’d guess that I’m a quarter or a fifth of the way through at this point; I have five balls of this yarn and I’ve just broken into the second, but I’m not sure if I’ll use all of it.

(And before someone asks, yes, it is hanging from my wall. What, the rest of you don’t randomly hang your WIPs on unused picture hooks?)

We have new foster cats,

Although my beloved little Oolong is also returning to us—and will be living in my room for a while. That should be interesting.

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The Edge of Entrelac

6 November, 2008 at 11:29 am (knitting)

As promised!

(Please note that this tutorial assumes that you are already familiar with the basic steps of how to work entrelac.)

First things first: what’s wrong with any of the usual cast ons for entrelac? Well, nothing if you’re planning to cover it up with fringe or an edging or anything else. Next to nothing if you’re doing your entrelac in a solid coloured yarn. But when worked in a multi-coloured and especially in a self-striping yarn, it ends up looking less than lovely.

And of course, the more stitches you cast on and the longer the edge, the worse this effect gets. Even beyond the colour differences, the cast on is a bit sloppy looking, which I wouldn’t mind in most things, but I do mind in this.

Now, I’m sure you could use some method of mid-row cast on to simply cast on stitches for each base triangle as you worked them, but I suspect that might leave some gaping problems and also potentially some edge stability issues. So! I present to you, the Jesh method.

Start by casting on your preferred number of stitches, using a loose long-tail cast on in waste yarn.

Then, work your base triangles in the usual fashion, as well as the first tier of squares. Be careful when working the squares not to pick up stitches off of the cast on; instead, if you find you are short a stitch, pick it up from the strand of working yarn in between the triangles, as badly shown here on the left needle:

Stop just before picking up the stitches for the far side triangle—for me this is on the left side, since I started with a purl row. Yours may be on the right side, but it doesn’t matter either way.

Now, here comes the scary part. Ready? Are you sure? Break out the scissors and…

Cut off the cast on!

Note that if the scissors make you squeamish you can just start at the other end and unpick the cast on, but that is not nearly as thrilling or fun.

After you remove all the cast on bits left behind, you will find that you have one unsecured stitch:

Don’t panic! But don’t try to pull it out, either, unless you really want to unravel all your hard work. Instead, use that stitch when you pick up the stitches for the side triangle,

Then work the side triangle in the normal fashion. And you’re good to go with your nice clean cast on edge!

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4 November, 2008 at 3:35 am (knitting)

Every year around this time I seem to find myself knitting entrelac. Every year I’m reminded of how delightfully addictive it is.


See that nice, neat cast on edge? No? How about a closeup:

Watch this space for a tutorial on how to get that nice, neat edge later this week. Be warned: it involves scissors.

I’ve also been hard at work putting some spindles together,

and I should have a shop update ready to go by the weekend. I’ll keep you informed on that, too!

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We interrupt this Caturday

1 November, 2008 at 11:21 pm (caturday)

With breaking news: Kitty Carlisle is on the front page of ICHC

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

We’re trying to keep it from going to her head, but, well, that’s a challenge even on days when she’s not intarwebs famous.

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