FO: Kitty cat hat

And the last Christmas hat is done!

I am happy to say, I was able to rework the pattern so it’s completely seamless

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As written, you knit flat around the face opening (and seam it closed at the end). Then knit until the ear increases are done. Then you cast off, and knit down the back. Then you pick up stitches around the bottom and knit the neck ribbing (again knitting flat). At the end, you sew the neck and face opening seams. And seam the back and up the ears.

It was very easy to knit the face opening in the round, getting rid of that seam. Then you still knit flat until ears are increased. But then it gets tricky to continue seamlessly. I managed it by putting the ear stitches on holders, and using short rows, ssks, and ktogs to join the sides to the back as you knit. Then it was simple to pick up the neck and knit in the round until its complete. The ears were then grafted closed.

And while I’m happy with how it looks, grafting the ears did leave a little hole that needed to been seamed closed, so it’s no quite a perfect solution.

I’m going to try again… using short rows and decreases to close the ears before starting the back. I’m not sure it’s going to work, but I figure it’s worth a shot.

I’m recording my notes, so whichever way is more successful, I’ll share the pattern with all of you. Hopefully by the end of the month!

All the trimmings

I did something I said I wasn’t going to do…

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I let all those Leader and Ender HSTs pile up and now I have a mountain to trim before I can move forward with the next step of the quilt. I hate trimming. Like really HATE it. It’s not hard… but it’s just so darn tedious. I promised myself that I was going to trim a few every day and I didn’t and now I have more than 150 that need to be trimmed and ironed.

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I managed to get about 20 done before I was ready to run over my fingers with the rotary cutter. Maybe if I do 20 every day, I can make this a little less painful (and keep my fingers…)

Fabric overload

Something unusual happened to me the other week. I blame it on the cold meds…

It was Black Friday week… I don’t normally succumb to Black Friday sales…. although it’s gaining in popularity, it doesn’t have quite the hype here as it does south of the border, so it’s usually easy to ignore. But then I got an email from Craftsy of their “doorbusters”…

Charm packs… $3… Layer Cakes… $10… Jelly Rolls… $12… I couldn’t be reading that right… those prices are all around 2/3 off the regular… that’s just crazy! So I took the bait… I logged on. And sure enough… I read it right. Now the prices were a touch higher thanks to the exchange rate, but they were still a steal! I filled my cart!

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Some of the prints I already had, in different cuts… but at those prices, they were worth having a second go at.

In charm squares, I got:

Blenders Botanicals (Pretty semi-solids with a subtle floral feel), Dreamfield (flowers, birds – pretty, feminine), and Heartsong (Happy little farm)

In layer cakes, I got:

Blenders Moonshadow, and Petal Noir. Mom made a beautiful quilt from a Petal Noir jelly rolls, and I’ve coveted the collection ever since. And looking at those side by side… the packs would work very well together!

For Jelly Rolls:

Jardin Rustique (More of that beautiful French-inspired fabric), and Sweet Reverie (a beautiful Paris-themed collection).

And I wish I could say my little fabric buying binge stopped there… but then a few days later… for Cyber Monday…. I got another email from Craftsy with a few batik fat quarter packs. You know I have a soft spot for the batiks.. I’ve been collecting fat quarters here and there to make myself a spectacular batik quilt (pattern still undecided)… and I’ve mentioned they can be quite spendy.

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Well I did the math, and each FQ worked out to about $1.90 each. When batiks aren’t on sale, FQs are usually between $4 and $5 each. How on earth could you pass that up? Obviously I couldn’t. But don’t worry… Mom and I are going to have a little playdate, and split the packs up between us. She loves batiks as much as me, and it makes me feel a little less guilty if I share the good fortune.

And… I wish I could say it ended there… but it didn’t. Because come Friday, I got my flyer from Lens. They were having a late black Friday sale… and batiks… well they were all $6.49 a yard. The average regular price is $15 to $20 a yard… so…

All those batik FQs are going to need some background fabric right??? I got three yards of each of the above, except then end one…I only got 2.5 yards of that one because that’s all that was left. I wasn’t the only one thinking it was an amazing sale – the bolts were flying off the shelf!

I also managed to snag a yard of each of these. I’ve already cut them in half and will be sharing them with Mom as well.

But now the credit cards are smoking, and I think I need to give them a rest… until spring at least!

Friday felines

While the weather hasn’t been super harsh yet, it’s been too cold for me to sit outside. That means the only cat who gets out is Mr. Relic (and only because he’s soooo darn insistent about it.)

But Sunday was quite mild, so when I went out to take pics of the gingerbread hat, I figured the rest of the crew could use some fresh air too.

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Relic was very happy to have us out with him. As you can see, things are still quite green. We’ve had a couple light snows, but nothing that’s stuck around for very long. And whenever we get a warm day like Sunday, it seems like what’s left in the gardens just perks right back up.

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We stayed out for about half and hour, and enjoyed the last bit of warmth from the waning sunshine.

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It may be a while before we get another day like this.

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Cats and hats

The final Christmas hat is a Kitty Cat hat for Miss Wren. You can read about my history with this pattern here.

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The pattern is an old Patons pattern that’s knit flat and seamed. I’ve been trying to work out a way to knit it seamlessly for a few years. I’ve got it down for the face and neck openings, but the way the ears and back come together makes it tricky to do without seams.

I think I’ve finally got it figured out (it’s going to take some grafting and short rows), and I’m just about to put my theory to the test.

For yarn, I’m using Patons Decor, it’s mostly acrylic with just a touch of real wool. The colour is the creatively named “florals”

 

 

Swanning around

I finally had enough energy to get into the sewing room this weekend. And I found out that one of the anticipated babies is going to be a girl, so I decided to switch tracks a little.

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I had this pretty little collection in a charm pack. And a charm pack is just perfect for the baby  Moda Love quilt. It just needs a complimentary background colour.

And you know me… I don’t like to be conventional when it comes to babies, so I chose grey. Now it’s not a crazy as it seems…. grey is showing up more and more in baby things (though more so for boys), and this baby’s Mama is quite partial to the shade.

That said, I wasn’t completely sold on it until I started getting my HSTs together.

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And once I got the first quadrant together,  I was completely in love.

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Conventional – maybe not – but elegantly beautiful? Absolutely! I think this one is going to be just perfect when it’s done!

FO: Gingerbread hat

The third Christmas hat is done!

Just a simple watchman style cap, with cables and garter rib. The pattern is the Gingerbread hat and it’s a freebie (with three sizes). It used just less than one ball of Paton Classic Wool in Navy. It’s cool and classic – just like the recipient.

And now there’s just one Christmas hat left… and plenty of time to finish it!