Weird Wool Wednesday: Cat yarn inspections

Last weekend I brought the Wolbeest tortie cat yarn to Suus, the tortie cat from Spectre120, for approval:

She’s such an adorable, sweet cat! She likes the tortoise cat yarn.

Of course Boef, their young marmelade cat, needed to be involved too:

This is right before he claimed the yarn and tried to take it from me.

Boef, meaning “little rascal” is a young male cat. He’s about six months old, soft as kittens and such a mild mannered, well behaved youngster:

Or is he??

Here I want to photograph tortie cat yarn and Cat Ear Bag with Suus and her cat fabric cushion:

Young timid Boef just happens to be walking over…

Lalala, just an innocent coincidinky:

Oh, fancy seeing you here.

Let’s “shake hands” old girl!

Suus stands her ground.
Boef saves face by pretending to have never seen a felted fleece before.
All ends in much disapproving of today’s youth:

A bit later Boef is on time out in his room -he has a room of his own!- and Suus gets some peace and quiet on her nice pillow. Her tail is still a bit bushy and is softly tapping.

Boop! from Boef:


Finished: glitter cuffs

Handdyed soft fingering yarn with silver angelina. Each pair takes about 20 grams of yarn.

The colour is magnificent! Handdyed by Wolop and given to me for Sinterklaas. They were x-mas baubles. They’ve hung in the Wolop Advent Garland and now I’ve knitted them into cuffs.

This time of year the sun regains its strength and the air can be so crisp and clear. No longer appropriate are the dark greens and reds and golds of December. This is the time of clear skies and sun glittering on snow. I also think of mountains and quarts and I wear my rings to celebrate:

These feelings are combined with the wish to celebrate wintergreen trees. So my x-mas tree is still up, converted to the colours of quarts and snow and mountain streams. I’m spinning white under it whenever I can. It smells so nice! Celebrating wood creatures too.

ALERT: life philosophy ahead!
Not particular funny either but perhaps of interest? It’s something that is part of my daily life at the moment.

(I do feel burdened because while I celebrate trees I’m watching this tree dying in my house. It’s such a ridiculous industry anyway, the x-mas tree industry. So wasteful, so phoney. Also, woodland creatures are quickly disappearing in my country due to overpopulation with humans and their narrow minded ideas of economic progress.

I counter these feelings by living in the moment. By noticing and celebrating the small things. By resigning myself to what life actually is and by resigning myself to the era I’ve been born in, with its characteristics that I cannot alter. We are in the process of overpopulation and we can see how our future living environment will look like by looking at dense populated areas in Asia. These people live, these people laugh. It’s not a drama.

Yes, things will disappear from our lives. Things, habits, knowledge, experience, animals. It has always been happening. Who now knows the once common knowledge and skills of making fire with the tinder box? How part of common life it was to travel by moon light? How everybody knew the classics like Greek drama’s and opera’s and they were the memes and cultural vessels of the day? All these things have gone. The only difference is that now we are with many, many humans and we are devouring our surroundings. But it’s not that different, really.
The loss will happen slowly. It is a shame. But it is not a drama. I should not perceive it as a drama. Perception is faulty anyway. Always biased.

Besides, I can live in my head. I can travel to the mountains, wade through the snow, be a mountain spirit, in my mind. A little thing like a ring or glittery cuffs is a reminder of this freedom.)

Pooling cat hat: tortie princess keeps me on my toes.

I back engineered the stitch pattern from the pooling shawl by Leikna that I like so much and casted on 60 stitches:

There’s some stacking but the black centre part is slowly shifting to the left.

At the Pooled Knits group I learned that the trick is to count your stitches: how many do I make with black, how many with orange? So I started to keep track:

I tracked everything. The amount of stitches per colour, how many orange stitches before turning the work, the amount of stitches in a Right Side row compared to a Wrong side row. In the end I noticed some consistencies.

One of them being I made 70 stitches on a WS and 64 on a RS. Don’t ask me to explain, WS does not have more stitches than RS.

Loes, the tortie princess who lend her name to this colourway, is not having it and does ask me to explain:
 pic by Anneke
My humble apologies Loes. It probably has to do with how many stitches I make in one particular colour: I make more stitches out of one colour when working on a WS than on a RS. Conclusion: my tension on the back is tighter than on the front. Solution: knit all WS with a needle one size up. Thank you Loes.

I adjusted total stitch count (to 64 st) and then I took the middle of a black part of the yarn and started knitting with it in the middle stitch of a row. I now do the RS’s with a 2 mm needle and the WS’s with a 2,25 mm.

And whaddayaknow, colours are stacking!
I marked the change row with my needle:

Wrong Side for better colour identification:

I’m still swatching and counting:

The skein has two black parts and one is little bit shorter than the other. But numbers are consistent: black is always either around 11 stitches or around 22 stitches. Maybe I can make it so that I get the shorter part (11 stitches) on a WS… Oh, it already is! Good.

The other thing is that the stitchpattern has yarn overs (YO) and this makes my hat full of holes. I’m a loose knitter after all. I tried a few rows increasing in other ways but it throws off the whole tension thing and I would have to start a whole new swatch with a different number of cast on. I’m not up for that. I hate swatching and setting up a pooled knit depends on the swatch. So holey hat it is.

I’ll keep tracking numbers a little while longer:

I’m neeeearly there, nearly at The Magic Number as it’s called amongst pooling knitters and crocheters. I now keep track of the middle stitch of my fabric. The middle of the black part should always hit it: identical amount of black stitches to the left and right of it.

It’s not totally there, things are veering off a little bit. I think I need to add one stitch on the left side to get it there. Which is what I will swatch now. I just continue knitting on this swatch. Eventually it will be the real project and when finished I can choose to cut of the lower part or fold it inside for a double fabric brim of my hat.

Bonus picture of Loes as a kitten:
 pic by Anneke
Oww, that face! Those toes!


Things are working out!

I pin a stitch marker through the middle of the black colour repeat and try to make it hit the middle stitch of the knitting. It’s may be off by one or maybe two stitches and then I adjust the tension in the following row. An entertaining knit, it sure keeps me on my toes.

But now I want to change the stitch pattern! I don’t get the beautiful fern-like/ fox face lines that Leika’s shawl has:

Or is the beauty mainly because all knit stitches are twisted? I’ll have to investigate. But then my tension will change! And the pooling. And the size of my knitted piece…

That’s “tortitude knitting” for you.

Planned Pooling

Back in the magic year of 2011 I crocheted this bag:

(I was still into rainbows back then. I needed to celebrate life with bold colours.)

It’s made from a skein that is dyed in the round. Only by working this yarn in the round will you get pooling. By crocheting a few stitches more or less each round I got the pooling to wave like this. I sewed a fabric covered beer coaster on the bottom.

The Tortie Cat Yarn from Het Wolbeest is dyed differently, not in the round but mirror like:

If this yarn is worked in the round colours can be stacked, in different ways. They can also be made into an argyle pattern. And, thirdly, it can be worked to and fro and then the colours can be stacked too and end up pretty much as show in the skein above. (I like the one with the black in the middle).

I’ll be doing the latter option, the to and fro, probably with black in the middle. The result will be a rectangular shape.

I can chose the technique in which to work to and fro, it can be knitting, crocheting or weaving.

I have measured the skein. It’s 140 cm in total and when folded double like shown above it’s 70 cm from side to side. I am going to try to make each row use 70 cm of yarn. I have no idea which will be the correct number of stitches, I’ll have to find out. I do know that my gauge in garter stitch is 29 stitches per 10 cm (= 4″) when worked on needles 2 mm.

My aim is a hat made of a rectangle folded double. (Hopefully this will give me some cat ears!)

I found this awesome pattern, free and with good explanations about pooling and how to get the right number of stitches: The shallow end of the pool by Rowan Martindale
 pics by Jimiknits

I have rejoined the Ravelrygroup Pooled Knits  I was a member in 2011 too. Looking at their projects is so inspiring.

So a hat… in what technique and what stitch?

My weaving loom is occupied. And I don’t want to spend time mounting the other loom nor working with a non-elastic fabric for a hat. So no weaving this time and no crochet either. Knitting it is!

Don’t feel like garter stitch, even though it knits easily away… Or do I? Because the colours stack I don’t have to get annoyed by the purl bumps in different colours.

Hmm, I was already thinking towards an elegant stitch pattern, such as this one:
 pic by Leikna

but as I write this I realize that a stitch pattern like this requires a certain amount of attention and may yield a hat that’s not as warm as garter stitch would be. I’ll have to think about it some more.

Now I want to show you this amazing pooling hat:
 pics by spacedebra
It’s Exploding Tardis by fellow raveler Spacedebra and she used Perfectly Pooled Hat by DrawFour Designs which is a free pattern, especially written for this colour way.

The pattern doesn’t go into pooling and how to get this with other yarns, it just assumes you get a great gauge and magic happens automatically. Judging by the projects they’re not wrong.

Oh! A fourth awesome thing you can do with pooling colours is change your stitch according to colour. Look at this crochet mastery:
 pic by Vashtirama
It’s vashtirama’s Florida Peaches Handbag and she teaches Color Stacking classes in Florida.

Here’s an example of the argyle pattern that can come into existence with pooling knits:

Free Knitty pattern from 2009 on Ravelry

Well, those are the four pooling or colour stacking techniques I know:

  1. stacked in the round;
  2. stacked to and fro;
  3. stacked to and fro resulting in argyle and
  4. doing something different when you encounter a certain colour repeat.

I’ll be doing stacked to and fro, no argyle. For a hat. By now I’ve decided it’s going to be an elegant stitch. And that I probably line the hat so it will be extra warm.

Tortie Cat Yarn arrived!

Third installment of the Wolbeest Cat Sock Yarn Month:

Again such a luxury! This time it’s about tortie cats, they are such characters.

Alexandra chose to dye the yarn in a rusty orange brown instead of a more muted sand brown that a lot of tortie cats have. But she offers us the option to change this skein for a more muted one if we want to. How’s that for customer service!
I’m not changing, I think this rusty orange works well with the mottles black.

The goodies again are awesome: a cat pen, a post card (made by me), an explanation card and a play mouse for our cats:

I’ve already balled up the skein and done some research, I’m diving into pooling!

Offering a goodie to my cat, who has been intimidated by torties her whole life:

Offer accepted and appropriately allocated to boost self esteem:

Oh, this is a t-shirt I bought on the fair and photographed on Sunday:
cat t-shirt dweezilsfriend birman poezeboot fair trade lillepoes

“kattenkwaad” means “cat mischief” which is of a good natured kind. The kind kids do when playing in the neighbourhood.

(Do kids still do that, play outside? Or have they unlearned that because of helicopter parents, virtual entertainment and ridiculous heavy activity schedules?)

(I also hear that “helicopter parent” is sooo last decade. Nowadays it’s “bowling parents”, who prevent their kids from every running into a difficulty or dealing with a minor frustration. Or boredom.)

(also “neighbourhood”, what a weird word is that? Is that the distance determined where you can hear the horse from next door neighing?)

(also, when I’m rambling on like this, I’m usually procrastinating.)

(I am sooo procrastinating right now.) (it

cat yarn post is here!

Turned out the post service was swept away by the storm last week and things got delayed. Here is the second installment of the Wolbeest cat yarn club!

A sock blank,stamped with iconic cats, some black, some grey so the knitted fabric will vary. In the accompanying card Wolbeest explains that all blanks have been individually dyed, with the various recipients in mind. That’s why mine is more purple than most 😻😻😻. Raveler Wannabekat has one that will knit up less variegated.

There’s dpn holder pouch and cat liquorice with iconic black cats. A silver marker. Hot chocolate drink. A personal card with explanation of the dyeing. My card. All wrapped in cute catty bags and stickers.

What a wonderful second installment of Het Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month!






Oh oh….

Wolbeest is doing a similar club next month, with theme Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s art:

other cat things today

The post did not deliver my Wolbeest cat yarn parcel yesterday 🙀

Luckily I’ve got other cat things today, let me show you:

I bought this cat ears bag from FiberRachel on Etsy!

That graphic fabric is fantastic! It’s canvas, my favourite fabric for usable things such as bags and skirts. I saw this fabric the previous weekend, well loved by Suus, Spectre120’s cat:

Today my new bag holds my Harry Potter knee socks and will accompany me to the Feel Good Market in Eindhoven.

There’s a cat loving t-shirt printer there, Dweezilsfriend

who donates profits to the Canal Boat Cat Shelter in Amsterdam:
pic by Terretta
 pic by The Catboat
pic by The Catboat
The famous Poezeboot, The Catboat, a no-kill centre on the canals of Amsterdam.

A year and a half ago I bought one of her shirts at Mermaidy in Utrecht, which is next to the LYS Sticks and Cups.

It’s made of bamboo and organic cotton, it’s produced in Turkey and bought under Fair Trade agreements. It is printed in Amsterdam. I love that shirt. But I’m not wearing it today, it’s too cold.

The last cat thing I want to show you is the postcard that I made for the Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month installment that other people got yesterday:

Hee hee, a shedding princess on a pea!

Ravelry knitters will recognize the pullovers she’s sitting on:
That’s February Lady Sweater

crazy stripes tee
Paper Dolls

Hee hee! I had much fun painting this. purrrr 😸

finished: tuxedo cat hat!

Amazing pattern! For all weights and gauges.

I used 60 grams of sock yarn and, because I like a double brim over my ears, knitted until part 1 of the pattern was very long.

The hat is far more sophisticated than I can show you here, on these “charming cabin” pictures. Even my husband said it’s a chique city hat.

Now I want to use the same technique for a pair of matching self striping wrist warmers. Quickly, before the next installment comes from Wolbeest January Cat Sock Yarn Club.

Weird Wool Wednesday: knitter cat lady lap

This my lap today:

That hat is coming along great! I don’t understand the magic shaping that’s involved but the pattern is so well written and the self striping yarn looks great:

It’s hat Langfield by Martina Behm and yarn Het Wolbeest January Cat Sock Month colourway Otto and Floki’s Collar. I’m having a blast! Great pattern, great yarn, great company:

sorry your highness.