Kittens galore

These little kittens are, well, the cat’s meow? No. I didn’t say that. (They are, though.) You’ve seen Sara Elizabeth Kellner’s freebie Tiny Window Cat once before on my blog. The first one was quite a hit with my little granddaughter. At her mom’s urging (“Did you want to ask grandma if she could knit something for you?”), Evelyn smiled so sweetly and asked if I could knit her kittycat a friend. Oh my. Is that like every crafting grandma’s daydream?

In case you’re thinking tiny might not mean particularly tiny, here’s original kitty cat’s new friends compared to a thimble.

Wild whiskers seemed in order. I have waxed thread in my thread stash and that worked out well.

The baskets are my addition to the pattern. Here’s how I knit them. Cast on 32 stitches, in the round. Knit 9 rounds. Purl 1 round. Knit 9 rounds. Bind off. Fold the basket on the purl ridge and sew the cast on and bound off edges together, wrong sides facing each other. Echoing the construction of the bottom of the cat, pick up 32 stitches along the bottom edge. Work rounds 1 through 5 of Kellner’s pattern for the bottom of the cat, except on rows 1, 3 and 5, work the decreases 8 times around to form the bottom of the basket. Draw together the remaining stitches and your basket is complete.

While on a cat theme. This litter of kitten dishcloths makes a sweet gift for the cat lover in your circle. These are Amy Marie Vold’s PurrPetual Domestic Supervisors cloths. One pattern provides a knitter with four ways to knit the cat.

Mine are knit in Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran. This set of four used 50 grams of yellow and 50 grams of blue, 30 grams of white, and 14 grams of green. If you haven’t yet tried mosaic (a/k/a slip stitch) knitting, it’s an easy colorwork technique, well-explained in the pattern. You use only one color at a time. Easy peasy and great fun.

Cat stuff

This fingering weight stuffie is Sara Elizabeth Kellner’s freebie, Tiny Window Cat.  What a cutie! Many yarnie types will know how tall the Clover “catcha-catcha” counter is. Two and 3/4 inches. 7 centimeters. Tiny cat ends up about half an inch taller.

I felt like my cat was looking as if she needed her own cozy cat basket.

To knit the sides of Tiny’s basket, I cast on 32 stitches, in the round. I knit 9 rounds, purled 1 round, knit 9 rounds, and bound off. Then I folded the basket on the purl round and sewed the cast on and bound off edges together, wrong sides facing each other. Echoing the construction of the bottom of the cat, I picked up 32 stitches along the bottom edge. I worked rounds 1 through 5 of Kellner’s pattern for the bottom of the cat, except on rows 1, 3 and 5, I worked the decreases 8 times around to form the bottom of the basket.

Tiny cat ended up in my granddaughter’s knitted “lovies” stash. Even her older brother thinks this guy is cute.

Keeping to today’s cat theme, I have two new cat basket blankets to show off. You’ve seen me working these before, here. I always knit them in Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Worsted.

I have a theory that that dab of mohair in the yarn turns out to be a real cat whisperer.

These two are my newest.

They’ve already been gifted to two good cats, in one good home, who needed a few more cozy landing spots.

This is an adaptation of a freebie pattern from Donna Druchunas. Hers is designed for super bulky yarn. My version uses worsted weight. Mine increases the stitches in each section, adds that mitered square with decreases on the diagonal that avoids any sewing after the last square is finished, and includes a knitted-on edge. You will find the details on how I knit these cat blankets here.

Speaking of Canada Geese

I don’t have friendly feelings toward Canada Geese. I’ve written about this a lot on my blog over the years, including my efforts to chase them away with a big floating alligator head with shiny jewel eyes that sparkled in the sun.

That worked not one bit. In fact, a pair of black ducks decided to befriend Headly the first night he appeared at the dock and they soiled the dock big time.

And then there was the plastic coyote.

He had a big fluffy realistic tail that flapped in the wind. We moved him around the lawn thinking maybe we’d keep the geese wondering if he could do more than wave his tail at them. That didn’t work either. And everytime I caught a glimpse of him I startled.

We’ve strung the property (to the extent that we can). I’ve run after them in my white bathrobe yelling and waving a broom in the air. I have permission to go on my neighbors’ lots to chase them away. Nothing, except a dog–which we don’t have, works for longer than a few minutes unless THEY decide they want to graze elsewhere. So, from about June until September we have to deal with geese, their goslings, and–of course (and this is the point)–their slimy toostie roll droppings.

Last summer my grandchildren, then ages 3 and 5, visited for a week. They were quite entertained by the adult efforts to keep the geese at bay. Especially memorable was their mother herding the geese off the neighbor’s lawn screaming like a banshee as the geese fluttered ahead of her.

My daughter-in-law later suggested that the children would enjoy having knitted Canada Geese. They’d taken to calling themselves goslings and to teasing their parents sometimes by calling them Mama and Daddy Goose. Gulp. Knit geese? Knit Canada Geese?

These two made their appearance in time for a Valentine’s Day send-off to the kiddos. They were well-received. The children are totally sweet and totally knitworthy.

This is a pair of Betsy’s Goose, a freebie pattern on Ravelry offered by Sara Elizabeth Kellner. I decided to economize on the yarn and knit the geese in Paintbox Yarn Simply Aran, a 100% acrylic. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the yarn. Even knit at tight gauge, the yarn didn’t squeak as I knit. There were no knots. It’s an excellent acrylic in my view. The pattern was an easy knit.

Lots of folks have trouble with the legs. Basically, the geese don’t want to stand on them. Some knitters just leave the legs off. But I didn’t think that geese without legs and feet would suit. I positioned the legs in a few places. I tried them stiffened with a section of plastic straw. I tried running a length of yarn from the leg to an unobtrusive place in the neck to try to strengthen them. None of that worked. On a second try I borrowed feet from a different duck pattern where the feet are larger. That didn’t work either. Finally this is what I did:

I used the black yarn, doubled, and moved up to size 6 US needles rather than the size 4 that I used for the body. I followed rounds 1-4 for the leg, as the pattern directs. But I didn’t knit any rounds of the next one inch the pattern called for. I moved right into the remaining rounds, 1-8–as written. My idea was to double the yarn to make the legs stiffer and to shorten the legs, a lot. I ran a running stitch across the foot, at the base of the stumpy little legs to help flatten the feet a bit. When I fastened these feet to the goose in the place where goose feet ought to be, the goose toppled over–just as with all my other tries. I had to place the feet much further toward the neck than toward the tail before the goose would balance. So, not anatomically correct. But it worked and looks OK.

I wonder what this pair is looking at?

No. Please. No.

Rest easy. This is a photo of a Long Lake Canada Goose attack during the southern migration when, for reasons unknown (to me), the geese only rarely come ashore. At this time of the year, and through the summer, we tend to have “only” 4-5 geese pair on the lake. Oh, and each pair has between 3 and a dozen goslings that survive to what passes for maturity among these critters.

Ending on a more hopeful note, but still sticking to the theme, this is the Flying Geese Hat by Streelymade Designs.

I knit mine in Mirasol Umina. It’s 50% alpaca, 50% merino and lists on Ravelry as an Aran weight. I see it more as a worsted, though.

Good hat. Nice simple crown decrease.

Canada Geese. Beautiful birds. I just wish we weren’t up to our eyeballs in them.

Eek! It’s Scabbers!


I’m not sure he’s Scabbers, of course. But he might be. That would fit in with some recent knitting I’ve done that’s Harry Potter themed, such as a Deathly Hallows Shawl and Dobbie’s pile of hats.

This was my first mystery knit along (MKAL) on Ravelry. I’ve never wanted to join one before because they are often shawls and take a major commitment of time and yarn. I’d rather know what I’m making and, also, whether I have the skills needed. But this MKAL tempted and it was fun.

The teaser said there would be four clues, released four days in a row. It would be an animal who is a small mammal, very sociable, and active at night. Knitters were told they’d need two shades of brown or two shades of gray and a bit of pink. After the first clue, the body (but no tail yet) I definitely smelled a rat. I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect at first.

This is Rabbit Hole Knits a/k/a Sara Elizabeth Kellner’s “Rats!” It was an easy knit, on double-pointed needles. As with all small animals, the patterns can be a tad fiddly at times. I’d do a MKAL again, with just a bit of assurance that it wouldn’t be too much of an investment of time.

Kellner has a number of vintage-look animals and stuffies available for download through her website and on Ravelry.

Watch the cheese around the rat, though. I didn’t even have it unwrapped yet and Scabbers already went after it.scabbers2