Crazy Cat Lady and a knitter too!

Hello and how are you today? I hope you are well and staying safe and healthy. It has been way too long since my last post. I have been following a lot of webinars in relation with my new/future freelance business in addition to my regular study and so time has just flown. These past days I have found myself at my desk till 6 or 7 pm which has meant much less knitting and no time to blog. But today I decided I would make some time for my blog and so here I am:)

I have been knitting these past days but just a lot less. I don´t think I actually finished anything nor did I make any significant progress on a particular project unfortunately. So I´m going to share some of my knitting I did while away from the blog.

Yesterday I wore a short sleeved sweater/t-shirt I knit from an Andrea Mowry pattern. It is called Vintage ´83. I knit mine using all fuzzy yarns. I chose a mohair blend for the stripes and an undyed suri yarn for the main color.

Not the best pictures but you get the idea:) I really like the textured pattern on the body. It gives a lot of stretch and looks intricate. I really like this design and could see myself knitting another version without the mohair in the future.

I also purchased a kit from Wool and the Gang. My oldest is a fan of handknit clothes (lucky me) and she constantly supplies me with a list of garments she wants me to make her. So, she saw this oversized, bulky cardigan on their website and in spite of the high price tag I went along. The pattern is called Mr Honey Bear Cardigan and uses their Crazy Sexy Wool. That wool is like a thick pencil roving or partially unspun yarn. It looks lovely in the ball but boy does it ever pill!

The picture is not very good with regards to the color. It is really a sort of rich caramel color. Here it had been worn a few times and you can see on the picture how the yarn pills on the sleeves and along the underarms. It is huge! The pattern was very simple and easy to follow even for beginners as they give step by step instructions. My daughter loves her cardigan which is thick enough to be worn in lieu of a coat. However I must say we are not fans of the wool…

I also succumbed for a cardigan for myself which is on my needles already. It´s called Charlie´s cardigan

And I chose the color shown here! I have already knit the back, both fronts and 1 1/2 sleeves I think so not much left but it´s been hibernating for a few weeks. It is a cotton yarn and this time I really like the yarn, it feels nice, is a joy to work with and gives great stitch definition. I really look forward to getting it off the needles as I think this will be a great addition to my wardrope.

Ok so I have told you have fallen head over heels with the Cornish Rex cat breed and here is my lovely Romy.

Having become a “crazy cat lady” according to my family, I of course ended up wanting to knit for my little darling. I do realize that this is a controversial subject so no judging:) She is not a fan of wearing sweaters but when it is particularly cold she still enjoys a little nap in some wool.

So what happened is that I saw a post on FB from a fellow Cornish Rex fan who had knit a sweater for her cat. I contacted her and asked for the pattern´s name. It turns out she had made the pattern herself and asked if I would like to test knit. Well of course I did!

This was the first version knit using a DK weight yarn from Drops (don´t remember exactly which). However there was an issue with the sleeves. They were too close together and she was not able to walk correctly when wearing the sweater (which is partly because she had never worn anything like this). So another version was made.

This one was much better fitting. I personally chose to omit the sleeves so that there are just armholes which seems to help with comfort and walking. However, as my girl is very slim the body was a little large and not very close to her body. I think I might end up knitting this again using a fingering weight yarn in stead or keeping the DK but knitting fewer stitches to keep the body smaller/tighter.

You can check out my project page on Ravelry, the pattern is called Cornish Rex Chilly Mitten Sweater by Kim L. Malone.

And while in the Christmas spirit I purchased a Christmas Sweater pattern on Etsy which I knit but then have yet to assemble… typical me! But it is super cute. I just have to sew the pieces together and knit the neck.

The reindeers have a red pompom as a nose but I have yet to make those. The pattern is called Christmas Dog Sweater and is by DottyPatterns on Etsy.

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I have sometimes made up my own sock patterns and talked about getting them published. So far just talk. But who knows maybe this year will be THE year. Anyway I just started a new sock/pattern. I haven´t looked on Ravelry to see if a similar design exists.

I´m just knitting along and seeing how this will turn out. What do you think?

This is a textured pattern using knits, purls and twisted stitches. I quite like the look. The yarn is a very dark green so maybe not the best color to show off the pattern. I will have to knit a second pair in a lighter yarn to better show off the stitches.

So I think this is all for no. I must get back to my translation studies. But just one more thing I want to mention. If you have been following the blog for a while you will have noticed that now there are some ads on the blog. I personally do not enjoy ads on blogs but the reason they are here now is that financially I was not able to renew my previous business plan with WordPress. I had to downgrade and that meant some ads. Now I see that so far I have “earned” 14 USD which is not much but I´m wondering if I might be able to reach 100 USD which would then allow me to upgrade to the previous version. We´ll see. I had thought of doing something like a paid subscription for added value like a monthly newsletter or a knit night on Zoom or a members-only podcast, something Patreon style to help pay for the hosting but I´m thinking that given the current crisis worldwide, most people do not have as much disposable income as before so leaving the ads is probably a better solution for the timebeing. Let me know what you think.

That´s all folks. I hope you have a great rest of the week. I have a busy week ahead with a full day of translation webinar on Saturday so not much knitting in the days to come. Stay safe:)

Baby knitting

Hi there, how are you today? I hope you are doing well and staying safe. I imagine that you, like me, are being more or less confined due to the current Covid crisis. This is perhaps less of an issue for us knitters as we can always pick up our knitting to pass the time if need be.

Here in France we are in lockdown from 6 pm to 6 am. I´m studying from home so this means I rarely leave the house or just to go grocery shopping etc. I should go out for walks, a bit of fresh air would do me a world of good both physically and mentally but I´m having a hard time committing to that. I did actually sign up for the walking challenge hosted by Dan and Kay of the Bakery Bears podcast hoping that will give me a kick in the behind but so far….not much success! How about you? Are you part of their race this year? What do you do to motivate yourself for some light workout?

As for knitting, I have been knitting everyday as always. Since last time I managed to finish 1 pair of socks, a baby cardigan and socks. I have also been working on my scrappy crochet blanket as well as the other gazillion wips I have.

So first the socks, I have finished the Snow Forest socks by Kay Jones

I have yet to create my project page on Ravelry but I used yarn from Lay Family Yarns. This was the first time I used their yarn and I must say it is beautiful. The base itself is just the standard 75/25 merino nylon but the dye job is really beautiful and I love the finished item.

The lace pattern is only on one side so even if I pictured them facing the same direction, when worn they actually mirror each other. The pattern was clearly written and easy to follow and I like the rounded toe. These are a step up from simple vanilla socks so perfect when you are not in a mindspace that allows for complicated and intricate knitting but you still want something other than just stockinette stitch round and round. So highly recommend this pattern. It is one of 3 patterns she published end of 2020. I purchased all 3 and plan to knit the other two shortly.

For information the other two are Flurry and Winter Solstice

I recently learned that one of my cousins in Iceland is expecting her first baby. I don´t know yet if it is a boy or a girl but I immediately wanted to cast on something. I haven´t knit much for babies in a while so this is quite exciting. I have been perusing Ravelry searching for patterns and have created a list of patterns I like and you can check out if interested by clicking here.

Knitting for babies turns out to be very fulfilling in terms of productivity as they usually are small items and so can be finished quickly. The first item I decided to knit was the Newborn Vertebrae. I chose a gender neutral yarn from Regia and I modified the pattern slightly by adding a few stitches to make the cardigan cover a little more of the chest area.

I like the finished item and I´m actually wondering about knitting a second raglan cardigan though not necessarily from the same pattern.

I then knit a pair of newborn socks. I did not use an actual pattern but looked at different free patterns and made up my own. I did however have an issue with the length of the foot. I was not really able to find a good source for the sock length so maybe they will only fit the first few days of life:)

I used the same yarn as for the cardigan and they are super cute. But I will have to knit more socks in bigger sizes.

My finished set of Newborn Vertebrae and matching socks

As this was finished I had to find a new project and I chose to knit a pair of baby tights. I chose the Olive´s Tights. I chose a yellow sparkly yarn from my stash. This was already balled up from a long time ago. I had started a shawl with this yarn but then ripped it out and put away. I no longer have the ball band and I´m not even sure if this is something I dyed myself or if this is yarn I purchased.

I have only just cast on so there is not much to show but here´s a sneak peak so you can see the yarn.

This week I will be working on the Olive´s Tights and I would love to finish my Sparks socks by Andrea Mowry.

I just have one foot and knitting colorwork with one´s own handspun is such fun that I should not need much time to get these done.

I will also be working on my crochet blanket. I originally made two magic knot balls of 200 gr each and I´m almost done with the second one so last night I made a third one and this time it weighs 335 gr. What is absolutely amazing is that all that yarn, now a total of about 740 gr comes from small leftovers of sock yarns! I have not touched my stash of mini skeins! And I still have plenty of leftovers!!! Oh my!

It puts my stash a little into perspective… maybe there actually is such a thing as “enough” yarn…It is also very satisfying to use up all those leftovers that would otherwise have kept sitting in my bins for years to come.

I´m not really using a pattern for my blanket I´m just doing trebble/double crochet and I’m not sure how many I chained but I think that width wise it is about 160 cm or so.

As for spinning, I´m sad to say that I have not touched my spinning wheel for close to a year now I think. When I lost my grandmother I lost a part of myself and I´m slowly getting my act back together and I’m hoping to get back to spinning soon. My kittens have though manage to cut through my tension band (I think that is the correct name) so I will have to order a new one before I get going.

And on the personal side, well I’m studying for my Master´s degree in translation. Not an easy task after 2 decades of working to find myself on a school bench again. It is all online and sometimes that is a disadvantage as I am often tempted to cut my day short and do some knitting instead!

But I only have a few months left so I need to stay focused and also prepare for the after when I will start working as an independent translator. There are a lot of things to consider and do before I can actually start working. And at the same time I’m preparing my cattery, reading up on everything cat related, looking at what I need to invest in, look for new queens (a female cat that is not sterilized) etc.

So as you can see I have a lot of work but somehow knitting still is my favorite thing to do and that and my cats help me to stay sane!

I think this is all for now. I wish you a very good week. Stay healthy, stay happy and enjoy your knitting!

Knitting for the knit worthy

Hi there, here I am again! Youpi! I´m on schedule! And so excited to be back into blogging. In fact, I´m so happy to be blogging again that I´m in the process of launching a second blog which will be dedicated to my cattery and my adventures as a new breeder. When it is ready I will of course share that with you so if any of you are also interested in cats you can follow there as well.

Knitting for others is a big issue and knitters can discuss this at length. Most of us, if not all, have an opinion about this. I think that maybe new knitters are more open to knitting for others.

After being a knitter for a few decades I have a sort of unwritten/unofficial rule. I do not knit on commission that is I do not knit to sell my finished items. I did sell years ago but not to individuals but to shops who would purchase my items and then resell. That was interesting and I sold both crochet baby softies in a baby shop and traditional Icelandic handknits using Icelandic Lopi in a number of souvenir shops in Iceland.

I have never sold here in France because I have come to realize that the general public is usually not willing to pay a correct price for a handknit item. Most do not realize the price of the wool nor the time required to make the item. So best not to go down that road.

So I knit for myself and those I find knit worthy – family members, friends or others I encounter in life and want feel would appreciate my handknits.

Most of my family loves my handknits and so I get to gift socks, shawls, hats and mitts on a regular basis.

This December I was surprised when one of my elderly neighbors asked if I would be willing to sell her a few pairs of handknit socks she wanted to gift for Christmas. As this is a very dear person I of course accepted. I gifted her a few pairs for herself and then she chose 3 pairs to purchase. Seeing how appreciated my work is always warms my heart. A little later her husband asked if I would be willing to knit him a pair of socks and I of course said yes again.

He had a special request. I wanted knee high socks to wear in boots when gardening. I rarely knit knee high socks. I looked on line and in my sock books. I started two times. The first time I started from the cuff and as I was maybe 10 cm in he tried it on and it was too large so I ripped back and started again and chose a different pattern.

I was just making it up as I went and wanted to knit a colorwork to get a double layer sock for extra warmth. But this time I wasn´t happy with the motif/pattern I chose. It was a checkerboard pattern in black and white. So again I stopped and ripped back.

But it was getting cold and so I had to make some progress. I ended up stash diving and doing something totally different. I chose an old Opal skein in dark green and some left over beige yarn of unknown origin and started on a toe up sock. I also chose to knit them two at a time using magic loop to be sure they were identical in length and to avoid second sock syndrome!

I had hoped to finish before Christmas but that did not work out. I have now finished his socks and hope to give them to him this week.

I´m quite happy with the result. They did take forever to knit and they look huge! I know the foot fits because he tried them on when I was a few cm past the heel. He has thin calves so I´m hoping they will go up to the knees without an issue! A little nerve wrecking I admit. I will let you know when he has tried them on.

I also wanted to knit something for his wife, now that I know she enjoys handknits. And there is my other neighbor who is going through cancer treatment. I had gifted her a shawl when she went through her first treatment a couple of years ago and I know she uses that a lot. And so I thought it was time for a second shawl for her.

I had purchased the Knitwent ebook from Helen of Curious Handmade and there I found the perfect shawl.

I chose to knit the Tidings shawl by Helen

I decided to knit two, one for each neighbor and I chose Drops Alaska for the yarn. I wanted a durable, warm and economical option and I´m very happy with the results.

The shawls are HUGE. the top is larger than my wingspan so I´m guessing around 2 m long! And this is a thick, Aran type yarn so should be very warm too.

So now I just need to find the time to visit the neighbors and hopefully they will enjoy their handknits:)

I´m so happy to have these 3 items off my needles. I´m currently working on the following and will share info about those in a future blog post.

That´s it for this week. Thank you for checking in on me and sharing my adventures. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. Stay safe!

Happy new year to you and your family

Hi there, it has been almost 1 year since I last posted! I´m sure you all thought I had given up and you would not be far from the truth. Some of you may know that I lost my grandmother in October 2018 and was profoundly affected by her loss. I did try to continue writing in 2019 but did not really succeed and then there was 2020! Phew I´m soooo glad that year is over!

2020 was a very difficult year for me as I´m sure it was for many of you too. The worst part for me was loosing my job after 16 years of working for “my” airline. Loosing my job after all those years, a job I loved and a company I saw myself working for until my retirement, was a shock. And my age is not helping. Starting over at 49 is far from ideal.

I admit that I am still in shock and anger mode regarding the loss of my job. Being unemployed is very difficult emotionally as well as financially. With Covid jobs are few and hard to get so I chose to go back to school and try to go back to doing freelance work as an independent translator – a job I have done previously. It is not easy to go back to school at my age and I admit there are days it is not fun but I´m hanging in there. I will finish my course end of May this year and then it will be time to face the world and try to stand on my own two feet. I´m excited and scared at the same time. If by some miracle I could get my old job back I would jump at the chance. If that is not an option, I will do my best to make a living for me and my family as a translator.

The loss of my job forced me to do some introspection and I decided that in all this adversity I deserved some encouragement. I decided to make an old dream come true and become a feline (Cat) breeder.

My 6 cats but unfortunately Tigrou (bottom left), my first Main coon passed away 2 months ago today.

I did a course and passed the certification test and I purchased/adopted 3 queens – from 3 different cat breeds. I was unable to commit to just one breed. So let me introduce you to my 3 little girls.

First there is Romy a Cornish Rex cat. She is super cute and cuddly. Cornish Rex cats are active cats but they also love cuddles and are close to their human friends.

Don´t you just LOVE her crimped fur!!!

Then there is Rosée a Main Coon girl. Main Coons were my first pedigree cat love. They are majestic looking and so very sweet in character. They love their humans and seek their company all the time. Not lap cats, they don´t like to be petted constantly but they love to be close by, in the same room as you all the time.

And then there is Rubis my Ragdoll cat. I have wanted to have a Ragdoll for many years and finally now I have one. Ragdolls are similar to Main Coons in their size and character. They are very close to their humans, amazing purr machines, super cute and cuddly.

As you can see she is one of my favorite knitting buddies:) Love to have her cuddled up to my legs as I knit.

So yes cat breeding! A new adventure for which I´m very excited. I have lots to learn but I´m looking forward to the challenges as well as the rewards.

This is a knitting blog but many knitters like and own cats so I hope you don´t mind.

This is not a typical post but a sort of summary of what I have been doing for the past year.

As for knitting, I have never stopped. I´m so happy to be a knitter because without knitting I´m not sure how I would have coped over the past 2 years. I´m knitting every day, I still have a million wips on the go all the time. As an example my current wips are: 6 pairs of socks, 1 shawl, 2 cardigans, 1 baby cardigan and a crochet blanket! So lots to choose from when I sit down to knit after studying.

I have not added all my projects to Ravelry yet and I need to upload a ton of photos here to my website to show you and share my thoughts with you on my projects and yarns. But until I get to that, you can click on the following link to see my projects in Ravelry

I´m going to try to go back to my rhythm of posting once a week or so and I hope you will enjoy this comeback. Promise that future posts will be knitting related at least 80% 🙂

I wish you all a very happy new year! Thank you for coming back and reading my blog. I look forward to a new year spent with you and sharing my knitting related thoughts.

Until next time here is a little sneak peak of my most recent projects.