Shameless

Ahem. Damn.⁠

And again, just for clarity, please mentally file this under ‘very unlikely to become a pattern.’ Because this is by far the single hardest yarn I’ve ever tried to photograph in my whole life. And that’s before you try and get a kitten involved (black kittens being a bit hard to photograph anyway, and kittens in general not being known for sitting still and taking art direction).⁠

But wow is it cute.⁠

Yarn is Cascade’s Luminosa in color 12. And while it is not something I’d work with generally, it is clearly the most suitable thing imaginable to make a tiny little pointy hat out of. ⁠

I am amused.

Toil and trouble

All I can say is I have a solid black kitten and very little sense of shame. You can probably figure out for yourself what that means this is.⁠

Here’s the bit where I say, right from the very beginning, that this one probably won’t be an actual pattern, in part because the thought of taking a picture of a wiggly black kitten wearing a piece of black knitting gives me a headache just thinking about it, in part because it may actually pass my own personal ridiculousness threshold. There is the very tiniest possibility that I might maybe possibly sneak a word or two about it in another pattern I have scheduled for this fall, but that mostly depends on whether her furry highness decides to sit still for photos (the answer to which, I suspect, will be a resounding no). But just so we’re clear from the very very very beginning, to avoid any possible hurt feelings, this is one that might remain forever secret. ⁠

You know…except for when I get too amused and have to show it off just a teeny tiny bit.

Cuter and cuter

This? This just keeps getting cuter as we go along.

And given the cuteness levels that we started out at, that’s frankly alarming.

I mean the face does wonders, but the ears?  The ears just basically overwhelm any last vestige of self restraint you might have possessed.

And I don’t even have the decency to apologize for myself.

Fox what now?

This? Well since you’ve seen the owl, I don’t think I’ll be giving anything away if I tell you that this thing right here is a fox butt. Because of course we need a fox to go with the owl. Well, actually, we need another owl to go with the owl. But a fox too.

Oh, what’s that you say? You’re surprised that I, a grown ass adult human being, a fully vetted member of polite (more or less) society, a person who can vote and get a car loan and enter into legally binding contracts, am spending hours of my limited time on this earth knitting fox butts? Surprised and maybe a little disappointed? You thought you could expect better of me? You thought I had more sense?⁠

I mean you’re probably right. And you’re definitely not alone. ⁠And yet here I am, fox butt in hand, and plans afoot for a whole forest worth of these little critters. ⁠

So you may want to lower your expectations, since I’m apparently going to be up to absolutely no good for quite some time.

Otherwise

The lovely, leafy little hat? The one that’s more charming than it has any right to be? Yeah, it’s out!

And look, I truly do not know why it is so endearing.  It’s ridiculously simple.  One quick panel of knitted leaves (which are always delightful but are not exactly the hardest thing in the world to knit), then the rest is stockinette in the round, which is basically auto pilot knitting.  That should, if we’re being frank, be almost boring.

But somehow, between the inherent charms of the leaves (what is it about knitted leaves, I have seriously never met one I don’t love) and the glorious yarn (all that stockinette gives you room to show off yarn that does interesting things, like this lovely tweedy/fuzzy combo) and maybe just maybe the fact that after the last yearn and a half I’m a little fonder of mellow than I used to be (please tell me I’m not the only one still feeling a bit overwhelmed by, well, everything), it really hits the spot.

And no judgement, if what you’re looking for is a project you can really dive into, one that will involve at least one spreadsheet, one that will take months to knit, one that you’ll cry and/or swear over at least once, one that will impress even the most judgmental of folks at that one knitting group you admire but are kind of scared to join.  Those projects are lovely. They are an important part of the knitting ecosystem, and I’m so glad they exist.

But for me?  Right now?  Well for me right now what I want is a hat that by all rights should be almost boring but is instead a quiet delight.  And if that’s what you’re looking for, this might be just the ticket!

It’s called Otherwise, and it’s available on both ravelry and payhip right now, and you can take 10% off for the first few days it’s out with the code LEAFY (and don’t worry, the matching mitts are coming soon)!

Look what you did!

As promised, screenshots of the donation you folks helped me send off to the good people over at @popememorialhumanesociety who have done so much to help us with the kittens! We raised Seven Freaking Thousand Dollars because you are all amazing (and because the screen that I thought told me how much the sale had sold didn’t update fast enough to keep up with all of you!).

But, you know, first a gratuitous picture of a giant kitty! Because she’s so much cuter than pesky words…

And it’s two pictures because for some reason the system wouldn’t let me send the whole donation all at once, so I had to split it in two. My guess is it’s something about the size, but sweet crispy crackers do I not usually type numbers that big into anything with a dollar sign anywhere nearby, so I honestly can’t say for sure. But I’m pretty sure it still does the job, even if it comes in in two batches!

Two of the kitties are now off with their forever families. The little black boy kitty (the one we usually called hissy black, though his hissyness was short lived) has been named Vesper and you might be able to catch a glimpse of him here from time to time @longwintercats. The little gray girl kitty (the one we usually called sweetie gray, and yes she still is a sweet pea) has been named Marceline and she might make the occasional appearance here @erinsday.

The other gray kitty, who we found out belatedly was in fact a boy, has gone to hang out with the good folks at the rescue group for a few days so they can get a good sense of his personality and get him placed (I’ve been assured there is a long waiting list of folks eager for kittens, so he should be heading to a permanent home quite shortly, never fear). I’ll update you if I find out more & if his new family is ok with me sharing.

And the black girl kitty is staying with us! We haven’t quite decided on a name just yet, though I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of her and hearing about her antics from time to time as she settles in and starts bossing all of us around.

Soon!

Coming soon! This hat is scheduled to come out on Tuesday with the mitts following shortly thereafter.

If you want to start your stash dive/yarn hunt before it drops, now’s the time. ⁠

I used one skein of Hypothesis Yarns’ Tweed DK for the hat in the color Wildcat, and another skein of the same yarn in Royal for the mitts. (That yarn can be hard to come by, but it’s in stock last time I looked, so you might be able to grab some if you’re quick!) On both pieces, the Tweed DK yarn is held double with a strand of Shibui’s Silk Cloud in the color Cove for extra fuzziness.⁠

One skein of the Silk Cloud was plenty to make both pieces (and I was making them for a large adult). And I needed one skein of the Tweed DK for each of the two projects (I couldn’t get both the hat and mitts out of one skein).⁠

You totally don’t have to work with yarns held double like I did. I liked the fabric it gave (extra soft, extra warm), but it’s optional so don’t feel obliged if you don’t want to.⁠

The patterns are both written in a whole bunch of sizes (6 each) and gauges (5 of them), so you’ve got a ton of flexibility with what yarn you use. Basically if you can get a fabric you like at somewhere between 4.5 stitches per inch and 6.5 stitches per inch, you can almost certainly use that yarn. ⁠

That means you can pretty much use anything from a heavy fingering through a worsted weight depending on what’s calling to you from the yarn pile this week.⁠

And, as always, if you want to hear from me (and get a discount) when the pattern comes out, the mailing list is the way to do that.

Joining, part two

That top I started to fix a few weeks ago? Yeah, here’s attempts two (ripped out) and three (the winner).

So in case you don’t happen to follow my every word with breathless attention, this is the neck opening of a sweater. It’s open a bit farther down than I’d like, so I wanted to close it up a bit.

I started by trying to just stitch it freehand (that was the post from a few weeks ago), but things shifted around a bit too much, so I stuck it in an embroidery hoop to hold everything still. That helped quite a bit.

But even with that, I realized I didn’t like how the stitches looked when I made them with the doubled up embroidery thread (that’s the picture up above). The thread twisted up on itself and the stitches weren’t as uniform as I wanted.

So I switched to yarn, and now I’m happy with it. I’m going to continue this up to the top of that darker stripe there, and it will be perfect.

I, alas, do not know the name of the stitch (if it even has one), nor am I going to try and teach it to anyone. Embroidery is an amusing diversion, and teaching folks how to do things is my job, and I do not want to rub work vibes all over something I do for enjoyment.

The most I can say is that I bring the needle up through the fabric on one side of the neck, then under the topmost strand of yarn in the middle. Then up through the fabric on the other side of the neck, and under the new topmost strand of yarn in the middle. Repeat that back and forth, keeping the stitches an even distance apart, and it makes a little mesh panel.

But again, this is absolutely positively something I’m doing to my own clothes for my own amusement, not something I’m even going to pretend to teach anyone else (this is code for please please please do not ask me to teach you how to do it, I will say no, and it will make me sad).

If someone else happens to know what it’s called or know of a resource for doing something similar, feel free to leave it in the comments though. But I suspect you’re all totally clever enough to figure out something similar if you want to tweak something of your own!

Who?

There we go. I am unspeakably pleased. As in, the other day when I was feeling a big under the weather, I wanted nothing more in the world than to hold this little buddy and fluff his wings about just so and just sort of revel in his chunky perfection.⁠

No, I can’t explain it. No, it makes absolutely no logical sense. No, the tiny stuffed owl does not actually posses any magical healing properties.⁠

But wow is it high on the absurd coziness scale, and sometimes that’s quite enough.⁠

As always, yes, it totally totally will be a pattern (pretty much everything I ever knit will be a pattern eventually). It’s scheduled to come out next month. Sign up for the mailing list if you want me to tell you when it’s out!

Holy. Smokes.

Folks…you should have warned me. No really, that was astonishingly fast. We hit (and oops, skidded right past) our goal in an hour. ⁠

I’m actually kind of overwhelmed. Like, the good kind of overwhelmed! But it’s going to take me a few minutes to dig out from under my inbox/comments, so bear with me if you emailed me (but I promise I’m working on it…I’m just sort of walking around blinking a lot and saying ‘woah’ in my best Keanu Reeves voice at the same time).⁠

So, practical stuff first.⁠

The sale is over, but the group doing all the work is right over here, and I’m sure they would be delighted if anyone still felt motivated to donate directly.⁠

I need a day or two to do a bunch of accounting work (fun!) and get the paypal money transferred to my bank account (because wow do I not generally just have that much cash sitting there ready to go), but on either Friday or Monday, I should be able to send off a donation (and I’ll post a screenshot when I do so you can see the cool stuff you did).⁠

It’s totally going to end up being for, um, a bit more than $5,000 (because you were fast and I literally could not catch the end point at just the right spot), but I don’t think anyone will mind. ⁠

I closed comments on the instagram post where I talked about this (so they didn’t turn into a stream of folks saying ‘I missed it’ or ‘it didn’t work’ because that would be a total bummer and I’m just truly not up for bad feelings right now), but thank you so much to everyone who commented on and shared the post, it totally worked.⁠

And, on a slightly less practical note (damn those squishy feelings and the havoc they wreak on my tender little heart), the next time we do something like this, I need to have a plan for ‘and what if it goes really really well…like better than you were expecting.’ Because I truly thought we’d maybe possibly get close to $5,000 if I pestered everyone really hard all day long. Maybe. If we were lucky. Or at least close enough that I could chip in a little extra myself and get us there in the end.⁠

But I did not expect us to blow past it in just a hair over an hour.⁠

And just, wow. Thank you. You folks did a lot of good today!⁠