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Birds Chirping, Bees Searching, Crochet Animals Abound

Yes birds are chirping these days and it seems like our “winter” weather has taken a vacation from us here in So Cal. Bees are coming out of hibernation too. While bees are nice to see pollinating flowers, I do not care for them when they search out our fireplace and enter our apartment.

Gizmo kitty got an up-close introduction to several of them, getting stung on the face and cheek. A quick trip to the vet, a shot of Benadryl and he was back to his antics within 48 hours. Here’s hoping the exterminator’s spray is able to keep the bees at bay and not use our fireplace as a new home.

      

March went out like a lion, so to say, with lots of animal custom orders. Lee started taking a couple of my crochet animals to work with him, and within 2 weeks, 10 animals were sold. With more orders, came more work. While some of my favorites sold; i.e. piggy, party penguin, octupods, new animals were popular like the Happy Car, Big Ear Bunny and Teddy Bear made with Caron Sprinkle Cakes yarn. All in all, March had 22 sales.

April is for my consignor. Last weekend we drove down to her shop in Laguna Beach, about 90 minutes away, to deliver some animals. At that time, I inventoried her current stock and she placed her order for more ocean related animals: octopus, squid, mermaid, seal, walrus, hippo, you get it, water related critters.

Baggy and Gizmo are so thrilled to know my crochet animals are heading to their new homes. They will miss all the yarn tails, ball and strands that were play toys for their entertainment.

Until next time, when the 6th LA Yarn Crawl comes around April 19th thru April 22nd. 26 stores, lots of free knit and crochet patterns, trunk shows, giveaways and miles and miles of driving the freeways.

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January WIPs summary, Baggy the Cat Update, Knitting Product Review

Here it is February already. So much hit at once, seems like a big bowl of random. The Super Blue Blood Moon, did you see it? Ground Hog Day-6 more weeks of winter; the Super Bowl-Philly won, yay! Baggy cat had surgery, a new knitting product review and yarn was purchased.

January WIPs finished

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus, January ended with 10 WIPs finished! My hands have been working feverishly.  I was able to finish 1 Knit Shawl, 1 Crochet Shawl, 1 Tunisian Crochet Scarf, 5 knit Kids hats with cute animal toppers and 2 crochet trimmed fleece baby blankets. The baby blankets are for charity. Many skeins, cakes and hanks of yarn were put to good use.

It feels good to accomplish something that has been sitting and brewing, so to speak.

A few of Terri’s artwork on display

 

Over the weekend of January 26, we drove up to Venice, Ca, to see my sister’s art on display at The Kinney, for the stARTup Art Fair A year’s work accumulation for her, she showed 26 pieces of her art in a hotel room. There were over 50 artists, 2 floors and many visitors. I am very proud of her, lots of hard work, and long hours.

Baggy the Cat, mascot of Yarn Kat,  has been recuperating from his surgery. He has been wearing the “cone of despair” for 3 weeks now. He has a hematoma on his right ear, and a drain was inserted into it. He hates it, and has been able to “free” himself from the cone. We hope its only another week before the cone comes off and the drain is removed. Poor Baggy, he hates the cone, but its for his well being.

Now, for a new product review. A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by my local JoAnn’s Store to stock up on one of my favorite yarns, Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky yarn. I use this yarn to make crochet animals like the Teardrop Bunny, Micropods and Elephants.

While walking around the store, I noticed a display that caught my interest. The black packaging said The Gang Collection, Wool And The Gang. I was curious, so I picked up one and read what was on the packaging. It was a kit! Yarn, Knitting Needles, Pattern and Darning Needle. All in one package. I had to buy one! But what to choose: a hat, fingerless gloves or a cowl? I chose the hat, in a soft powder gray.

The cost for each kit is $29.99. With a coupon, you could save as much as 50% off the price. The yarn and the needles can be purchased separately for $14.99 each. Look at the beautiful colors to choose from.

After getting home with my yarn and kit purchase, I decided I must knit the hat. I carefully opened the package, and pulled out the goodies inside. As you can see here, you get a big ball of yarn, 150g – 66 yd – 60 m of 70% wool, 30% acrylic yarn. It is very soft, fluffy to the touch. It even states the time in which it will take to knit the hat, 3 hours.

The needles are made from 100% Mango Wood, size US 17 – 12mm – about 14 inches long. One needle top is embossed with WA, the other TG (for wool and the gang). Nice lightweight needles, even though they are long.

 

Happy Daze Beanie pattern with 3 ways to make the beanie: Beginner (garter stitch); Easy (moss stitch); Intermediate (twisted rib). I chose to knit this hat with the Twisted Rib Stitch. I have never used the Twisted rib, so I chose to knit it.

Easy to follow instructions with the stitch technique written out clearly for you to be able to knit up the hat. The pattern even shows you what your stitches will look like when you are knitting it. I was able to knit up the hat within 5 hours from beginning to end. I did run into a couple bumps along the way, but kept moving forward to accomplish the task at hand.

 

Happy Daze Hat finished

One thing about this yarn, as a caution for you, when closing the top of the hat, take care in not pulling the yarn too tight, the yarn may tear. Pull tail with ease to close the top. My hat did not close completely, about 1 inch was left open, but the large pom pom fit onto the open space, and it did not affect the finished product.

Baggy here: ya really didn’t think you could get away with taking picture without us in it, did you?

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The Year of WIPs continues, Valentine’s Day Crafting Suggestions

As the year of WIPs continues, I have completed 3 projects that were started last year. Take a look at the lovely Tunisian Crochet scarf that I made with 2 hanks of hand dyed yarn. It is from Expression Fiber Arts, and it’s their Dewy DK yarn. As their website states: a mix of superwash merino wool (70%), nylon (20%) and silk (10%). It is super soft, lots of bounce and with the majority of it wool, it will definitely keep you warm. Thanks goes out to fellow knitting guild member, Merilyn Burnside, for teaching this class.

The other WIPs is the South Bay Shawlette, a Lion Brand pattern. As you can see, it is a nice size for cooler days and nights. When I picked up the cake, the first thing that came to my mind was sunsets.

   

And finally the Knit Shawl, Take Cover! By Katarzyna Baranska, a paid pattern on Ravelry. I used 1 hank of Malabrigo Mechita. I just need to block it as the top edge does curl and I want all the beautiful lace work to show through.

Now on to some fun projects for Valentine’s Day

Cute Little Hearts are the perfect start on projects. This heart can be crocheted quickly and added to all sorts of items. It takes just some scraps of yarn and a H – 5mm crochet hook. In just a few minutes you can crochet a little heart. Here is the instructions for the little heart:

Scraps of Yarn: red, pink, lilac, purple, white

H (5mm) Crochet Hook

Darning Needle and Scissors

Stitches Used: CH-chain; DC-double crochet; Treble Crochet; SS-slip stitch

Leave a long Tail, with the Magic Loop, do the following in the loop:

Chain 3

                                                                                                         Treble Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                                                       Double Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                 Treble Crochet 1 time, Chain 1; Double Crochet 3 times, Chain 1

                                                                                  Treble Crochet 3 times, Chain 3; Slipt Stitch into loop

                                                                                                        Pull loop tight and your heart is done

With this little heart, you can make all kinds of fun items. Just take a look at these gems:

 

                                                                                      Sew them to hair clips; Attach them to hoop earrings

 

                                                                                                                         Make a necklace

For the necklace, the sample shown just make a chain of at least 140 stitches, slip stitch each chain, add a 2nd color, slip stitch those stitches, cut yarn, take another color or use first color, and slip stitch across. Sew both ends to back of hearts, and you have a cute necklace.

How about coffee cup cozies, 2 versions, one to wrap around your coffee mug and 1 to take with you for your favorite brew from the local coffee house.

For the coffee cup cozy with handle, chain between 30 and 40 stitches. The length of the chain should wrap around the cup, but meet up to both sides of the handle, without touching.

Half double crochet in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in each remaining chain.

Turn, hdc in each stitch for 8 rows. Chain 1, single crochet along side of cozy, until you get half way up, about 3-5 stitches, chain 16, slip stitch into same space as the chain stitch, single crochet to the end and bind off. Add a cute button, I got this heart shaped button at JoAnn’s.

For paper cup cozy, chain 30, slip stitch to first chain to form a circle, being careful not to twist chains. *Chain 1, hdc in each chain around, ending with a slip stitch in top of beginning chain 1. Repeat from *, for a total of 10 rounds. Bind off, weave in ends on inside. Attach heart and you are ready to go.

A couple more ideas (sorry no, photos) you can do with the little heart:

  1. Stitch 2 hearts together from the top, leaving the bottom point open and, add a little fiberfill stuffing, and place on top of a Valentine pencil and either glue it shut or tie it closed so the eraser can be used.
  2. Seam 2 hearts together, add some catnip, and it becomes a kitty toy
  3. Attach 2 hearts together, add crushed lavender and herbs and it becomes a sachet.
  4. Add hearts to handmade or store bought headband
  5. Sew hearts together to create a cute bracelet.

One Little Valentine Heart, many ways to accessorize just for Valentines Day. What will you come up with? See you soon, when I will have a review on a new product I found at my local JoAnn’s store.

 

 

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New Year, Resolutions, and Saying Good Bye

Happy New Year 2018! Chinese New Year-Year of The Dog. Mardi Gras. Many things to celebrate as we start the new year. After a long year of crocheting and knitting for myself, family, friends, my consignee and my crafts shows, I took the last 2 weeks off to rest. That meant no crochet, knit, winding yarn, designing new items, nothing. And it felt good to just relax.

Happy Mew Year 2018

Our new year was a quiet one. We like to go to the last showing at the movies as the new year rings in. This year it was Star Wars The Last Jedi. We needed a distraction, as my father fell ill at Christmas, and passed away on Dec 30th. My sister and brother were by his side when he took his last breath. I was grateful they were there.

Lee and I flew to Redmond, Oregon on Friday for his burial, which was on Saturday, a crisp 24 degrees. The ground was covered in white, as the dew turned to ice. No wind made the cold temps really not feel that cold. Maybe I was just numb. I brought yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks, but had no inclination to craft while there.

ZZzz

 

Baggy and Gizmo had the apartment to themselves, I guess they were busy while we were gone.

We are home now, and my new year’s resolutions are to finish projects started last year. You know those items, the scarves, shawls, crochet animals, hats, bags… new patterns you start, put away because another pattern distracts you, its put away… and so on and so on. 2018 I have decided to call it the Year of Finishing Projects.

The South Bay Shawlette is a pattern I ordered online as a kit from Lion Brand years ago. The first version was crocheted with mohair. When that yarn was discontinued, the pattern was placed in my binder for later use. With all of the cake yarns in the marketplace, I decided to crochet the shawl. It is about half way done, less than 1 cake used, and will be the first project of 2018 to finish.

Top: Crochet South Bay Shawlette Bottom: Knit Hitchhiker Shawl

 

The next project is Hitchhiker Shawl, by Martina Behm. Pattern can be found on Ravelry. It is a knit project with shark teeth pattern, as you can see in the photo with the southbay shawl. For this pattern, I am using The Sassy Skein, mercenized cotton yarns, in various shades of oranges, greens, gray and blue.

Other projects to be finished include the Virus Shawl, that internet sensation from a couple years ago, this one started with Red Heart Unforgettable yarn; 2017 LA Yarn Crawl Crochet Project Bag from the knit shop A Stitch In Time, using Trendsetters Ecotone cotton yarn;

Left: Crochet Project Bag Right: Crochet Virus Shawl

Tunisian Crochet Cowl, my knitting guild did last year in a workshop class, taught by Merilyn Burnside,  , this one I am using 2 hanks of hand dyed yarn I purchased from Expression Fiber Arts; The Take Cover Knit Shawlette, a Ravelry pattern from Katarzyna Barańska, using Malabrigo Mechita.

 

Top: Tunisian Crochet Cowl Botton: Knit Hitchhiker Shawl

 

And with crochet animals, and kids knit hats too, I have a long list of projects to finish.

“There’s always room for more animals”, Baggy says

 

What are your New Years Resolutions? Are they fiber related? Photos to follow when projects are completed. Stay tuned.

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Merry Holidays and Cyber Monday

Merry Holidays and Cyber Monday to you all.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Leftovers were eaten, and the belly was full. YarnKitties enjoyed their little turkey dinners too.

Now its crunch time for my 3 upcoming holiday events. I am busy crocheting animals the next 2 weeks. Then I can relax for the remainder of the year.

Just a heads up, YarnKat moves to another web host site soon. It will be down starting Dec 3 thru Dec 12th as we migrate from one hosting service to another.
However, you will still be able to reach YarnKat through the YarnKat social media accounts.

As my gift to you for your patience, please feel free to take 50% off each pattern listed. This is a limited time offer, so grab those patterns while you can.
Thank you for your continued support of YarnKat.

See you soon!

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The Weight Of The Yarn, The Size Of The Animal

Here we are, heading into the last days of August, the end of summer, back to school, changing into fall weather and the holidays will be fast approaching.

I have been preparing for my fall and winter arts and crafts shows. Applications are being mailed, hoping to get into events from the past, and I am waiting for the application process to open up for those highly sought-after December boutiques.

Baggy– not sure about those lady bugs

 

This week, I crocheted a couple animals of varying yarn weights. Weights, for those that don’t know, are the varying thicknesses of the yarn. Weights range from 0 (Lace) as ROWAN KidSilk Haze to 7 (Jumbo) like BERNAT Mega Bulky yarn. I have knitted with the Bernat Mega Bulky yarn, using size 19 needles for a blanket. Sadly, lace weight yarn is too thin for me to see the stitches.

Ladybugs

The ladybugs you see were crocheted with 2 different weight yarns. The large ladybug used Bernat Softee Chunky yarn, a 6 (Super Bulky) gauge and H (5.00mm) crochet hook and the smaller one, Red Heart Super Saver, a 4 (Medium) weight and a G (4.25mm) hook. The pattern was purchased on Etsy, from designer daveydreamer.

As you can see, there is quite a difference in size. The large ladybug measures 10 inches long by 6 inches tall by 7 inches wide. The smaller ladybug measures 6 ½ inches long by 4 inches tall by 5 inches wide. It’s fun to take a pattern, use another weight yarn, and see the differences it can make. Same pattern, big results.

Micropods, from left: Red Heart With Love, Serenity Chunky, Bernat Baby Blanket

 

The same can be said for the micropods shown. Whether its Red Heart With Love yarn, Premier Yarns Serenity Chunky or Bernat Baby Blanket, the same pattern can have varying results. I love to mix up the yarns and make various sizes of animals. Who says you have to follow the guidelines of a particular pattern. Mix it up, use a thicker yarn for a larger animal or a thinner yarn for a smaller animal.