FO: Nera

First, I’m happy to have prompted so many happy Barbie/Midge memories with yesterday’s post. I’m a huge Barbie fan, though my era was the ’80s/early ’90s. (I still have ALL my Barbie stuff). You’ll definitely be seeing more of vintage Midge and her seasonal outfits.

But moving on… it’s a week of FOs here at Chez Wandering Cat. Today, I give you Nera…

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As you know, I knit it in just six days. But as I mentioned, part of the speed was the yarn. Chunky on 6mm knits up so quick! The yarn is Knitpicks Chroma Twist Bulky… and despite not being the colour I expected, it knit up beautifully. It’s a superwash wool, so there is some itch, but it is bearable.

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I made a few minor mods to the pattern. It’s knit from cuff to centre back, and the instructions have you knit the whole thing flat. But I saved myself some seaming by working the sleeve in the round, and only knittin flat when I got to the underarm.

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The pattern also has you join the centre backs with a three-needle bind off. I grafted instead. With the gradient yarn, you can’t tell where the seam is at all – it just looks like one solid piece.

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It’s a fantastic little throw-on cardigan, perfect for this time of year. Sadly, it the colour really only works with one of my dresses… hmmm I guess I’ll have to buy a few more… 🙂

FO: A spring mini for Midge

A while ago, Mom bought a vintage Midge doll off ebay.

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She came in this cute little blue skating outfit (she has skates, but I swapped them out for sensible white heels). Midge lives on Mom’s sewing shelves, and her intention was to make her a new outfit for each season.

But here we are, a  year or two later, and poor Midge was still stuck in her skating gear. Because I was so focused on Nera, then Hitchhiker, I’ve barely touched the machine. But Friday, I decided it was time to sit down and get some stitches in. I wasn’t in the mood for quilt blocks, so I raided the fat quarter stash instead.

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I have my own Midge doll. She belonged to my Great Grandmother, who made Barbie clothes for any little girl she could find (including me!). My Midge is not in as good a shape as Mom’s, but she was good enough to serve as a model for my creation. When I was eight or nine, Mom taught me how to make a Barbie dress with just two rectangles of fabric, (no pattern). I’ve made enough of them that it’s kind of like riding a bike… I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Though this time around, I upped my game by using a circle, instead of a rectangle for the skirt portion.

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And now Mom’s Midge is dressed for spring… complete with a little feather and fan shawl so she doesn’t get too cold. (I forgot to get pics of it on it’s own).

So what do you think? Bikini top and shorts for summer?

Thar she blooms!

FINALLY!!!

Okay, really, it’s pretty much on time. It just feels like it’s taken forever for something to bloom around here. But this reliable little crocus has been the first two bloom two years in a row now. And if you look at the second pic, it’s spread, so hopefully more blooms will follow.

It shouldn’t be too much longer for the daffodils, either…

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And I noticed the big hyacinths are budding up, despite some squirrel damage.

And the tulips won’t be far behind…

And look…

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The raspberries are starting to grow again. That means it’s time to get out there and prune. I’m on vacation this week, so hopefully I get some good weather to commence with the hack and slash!

Hitching along

Both Dee and Vera have been knitting Hitchhiker shawls, and I’ve been admiring them from afar. But then Dee started one in a gradient yarn, and I was absolutely smitten.

So when I ordered the yarn for Nera, some Chroma fingering also came along for the ride (hitchhiked… so to speak!). In my defense, the colourway  I got (Lakefront) was on clearance, and I knew the finished shawl would be ideal for my friend Aneesha’s upcoming birthday.

Almost as soon as Nera was cast off, Hitchhiker was cast on.

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It’s knitting up beautifully! If I’m honest, I don’t like the yarn that much. It’s like a low-rent version of Crystal Palace’s Mini Mochi. It’s a single ply, loosely spun, single ply, which can be a bit of a challenge to work with (don’t tug too hard!). I probably should have gone up a needle size or two, but I was already too far before I decided that… and this yarn does not stand up to frogging, so I will just keep on keeping on.

I also came across a knot and a break in the colour sequence, which totally ruined the gradient effect, so I’ve had to get creative, wind it up into a few smaller balls, and reattach to keep the gradient smooth. It doesn’t matter to me if the colours stay in order, so long as the switch from colour to colour isn’t harsh.

The pattern is fun, and I have to admit, a little bit addictive. But I really do need to set it aside and finish Dad’s socks….

 

 

Lady of the lake

I was hoping to have a completed pair of pigeon socks to show you by now… but I’ve been a little distracted. Last week, my knitpicks order arrived. You may recall that I ordered some of this yarn…

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What I got was a fair bit different….

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Oh it’s the same colourway… at least according to the label. But the website shows (and lists) that Drawing Room is a mix of creams and pastels. As you can see, I got no cream, and shades that would do credit to an Easter egg on acid. Not exactly as described…. they are apparently sending me more yarn, saying I got the wrong one, but I suspect it will be more of the same… looking at other projects on Ravelry, this is what it really looks like.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the yarn as it is… but it’s not at all what I was expecting. I didn’t have this problem with the Leaf colourway, so I’m a little flummoxed.

But I decided to press on, and make the cardigan anyway.

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I know what you’re thinking…. “Holy Crapola, Valerie – you finished the whole thing already!?!?”

Yes… yes I did. In six days. I’ll do a proper FO post when I get modeled shots, but I can tell you, it’s chunky yarn – so that fast knitting isn’t all me – the yarn did a lot of the work! It’s going to look great with my dresses and now is the perfect time of year to wear it!

Fun in the sun

It was a beautiful weekend here in Southern Ontario (and has more or less remained so since then). It feels like spring is finally here to stay. I celebrated by getting something I’ve been saving for since the end of Summer.

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A big girl BBQ!!! You may recall that when I celebrated my five-year anniversary at work, they gifted me with a small, portable BBQ. It lasted two years before rusting out beyond all use. I replaced it last spring with another from Walmart. It didn’t even make it until the end of summer. So since then, I’ve been saving my PC points (earned from buying groceries at my grocery store) and by the end of winter, I had enough to cash them in for a BBQ at one of the parent company’s other stores. I usually save them for garden season, and use them at the grocery store garden centre, but as you know, the gardens are pretty full, so this seemed a much better use.

As soon as I got it home, Dave dutifully assembled it for me (though we still need to go get propane). When he was done, I brought the boys out while I rearranged the patio so everything fit nicely. Then I sat back to enjoy the sun.

The boys enjoyed the rays as well. At least for a little while….

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With all that black fur, poor Burt can’t take the sun as much as the other two. But he’s got a nice new shady spot to chill out!

And Relic’s not the only one to discover the benefits of the new fence…

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Rupert put his brave pants on and went for a little stroll along the top. I don’t know about you, but I think he kind of looks like he belongs there!

We stayed outside for quite a while. We saw our first butterfly, though I couldn’t get her on film.

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There were a few honey bees buzzing around, though there’s still nothing for them to eat. But it won’t be for much longer…

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This little crocus should bloom soon.

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The pussywillow is fuzzing up!

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And those fuzzy little sprouts are my Pasque flowers. They usually bloom just after Easter, so not long now!

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And while it will be months before we see blooms, I’m happy to say it looks like all my roses survived the winter. All of them have little red nubs emerging. That means pruning will happen in a week or two!