5.30.2006

Cables, Kittens, and Fleece


Here it is--my first cableknit scarf! I used the same yarn as for the "Life" blanket (Caron Simply Soft in Bone), and this Irish hiking scarf pattern, with one finished Irish hiking wristwarmer pictured at left. The scarf took longer than I'd anticipated, but I'm really happy with the results. And I love cable! If you've never tried it, don't be afraid. I'm a new knitter, and it really isn't hard. You only have to put in the twist every eight rows on this pattern, and it looks so beautiful. Rosalynn suggested using a double-pointed needle to work the cable stitches, which is far easier than using a cable needle. And voila!

I altered the wristwarmer pattern a bit, so the cables go farther up the back of the hand, and made a buttonhole instead of opening the seam for the thumb. Also, I'm working this pair in the round. (I knit the pair I made for my mom flat, then seamed them). Admittedly, it's a bit more awkward to make cables in small rounds than on straight points. But hey, no seams to sew at the end!

Something else I tried was this Russian Join. I hate weaving in ends, and this works great. (Another little tip from Ros, thanks!) It leaves a slightly thicker spot where the yarn is joined, but to me this is far better than having ends that work themselves out despite my best efforts. Yay for the Russian Join!


Here Isis models the finished objects for you, as she briefly stirs from a nap. She has actually been sick this weekend, requiring an emergency visit to the Michigan State University Veterinary Clinic on Saturday, when her temperature soared over 105 degrees. (I just learned that a cat's normal temperature is around 102.5. Who knew they were so hot-blooded?)

She's only nine weeks old, so she hasn't had any of her shots yet, and other than the fever and the sudden onset of lethargy, she didn't have any other symptoms. We found out that she doesn't have FIV or feline leukemia (hooray), but won't have the rest of her labwork until tomorrow. In the meantime, she's eating, sleeping, taking an antibiotic that smells like bananas (who thought that was a good idea?), moping a little less, and her fever is down to 103. I'm just praying it's not distemper. So, fingers and extra toes crossed...

Finally, I thought I'd share a photo of the fresh crop of llama fleece from our recent shearing. There's about two pounds of Llannie's fleece (at left) and three pounds of Graty's fleece (at right). Since it doesn't need to be washed until after it's spun and was quite clean with limited VM (vegetable matter, lol), there should be very little waste. Hence, lots of yarn and felt this year. You can see I have my work cut out for me!

5 comments:

Rosalynn said...

The cabling is lovely, Shannah! Congrats on your first and second cabling projects! I should definitely take a look at Simply Soft in that color... it's gorgeous.

Poor Isis! Good luck, and I hope she feels better soon... I remember a kitten's first days... we had problems with Tyra getting sick too... and I was always so worried. We'll be keeping little Isis in our thoughts.

Obsidian Kitten said...

Thanks! Yeah, I bought that Simply Soft because it was 100% acrylic with a nice feel, not squeaky like acrylic can be sometimes--so it had a good texture for the baby blanket, yet was totally machine washable & dryable. Plus, it was really cheap, with a surprisingly pretty finish.

Isis is already doing so much better, but I was a fairly neurotic kitty-mama over the weekend. I was so worried! (Good grief, how does anyone ever have real 2-legged children? lol)

RheLynn said...

Oh My! Poor Isis (and poor you - I've been there with Willow and her burned feet!) I am glad she is feeling better now, but that was quite a scare!

Ahh.. your fleece looks heavenly there - almost like a black kitten curled up on the left - I had to look twice!

I knit a hat out of Simply Soft last year and it was completely chewed (pilling) up by my washing machine. It's made me stay away from the brand now, even though it was so nice to knit up.

Obsidian Kitten said...

Good to know about the Simply Soft--I mean, it is pretty cheap stuff. I admit a hand washed the baby blanket before I gifted it, since my old washer does nothing "gently," and to be safe I dried it on delicate, too.

Heehee--it does almost look like a kitten hiding in the fleece! But no, just llama. Emma is the one who likes to crawl in the fleece bags, and I'm always really careful with the plastic bags (bags + cats = BAD!).

I actually just moved the fleece into these more breathable bags my mom stitched up from some silkscreen fabric. But I'm always a little paranoid one of the cats will nest in some plastic bag of fleece, roving, or yarn unbeknownst to me...

Zee said...

Yummy... looks luscious!

What a cute kitty! :) I had a kitty a couple of years ago, and her name was Isis. She looked a lot like yours.