I haven’t done all that much knitting lately, as the title suggests it has been a really bad week. Before I get into that, I am going to mention that I am updating my Ravelry page with the finished information for the micro fibre tank I finished last week. I’ll post the finished object photos at the end of this post, to hopefully leave on a positive note.
I know I JUST introduced my furbabies in this post, and if you are friends with me on facebook you will know what happened. August 19th, Wednesday, Chloe had a major cardiac episode and passed away. She was only 5 years old and not sick at all. It was very sudden and left us devastated. She was my little knitting buddy and will be greatly missed. I went back and forth about if I should or should not say something on the blog. If it was appropriate, etc., but I was listening to a podcast today and the podcaster said that these podcasts, blogs and creative things we write are like chronicles of our lives and essentially our creative process.
Chloe was always on my lap when I was knitting and was a bright spot in my everyday life. She was forever chasing yarn and doing battle with my knitting needles. She especially liked biting the cable of my circular needles if I ever left them out. I am really going to miss those little tooth marks.
Now for the positive note I promised. I finally got around to taking a few finished object photos. After blocking the fabric grew a little bit so it is a little bit big. The microfiber ribbon is a little bit heavier than the yarn the original pattern was for as well so when I bend forward the fabric shifts a little more than I anticipated. It’s not indecent or anything, but it’s an unsettling feeling to have the fabric shifting around you like that. I think I might try to attach it from underneath to prevent the material from moving around quite so much.
I wonder if I throw it in the drier if it would shrink up a bit. I don’t think it will though because it is a synthetic fibre and not anything natural. It’s very cool though. When I went outside to take the photos it was very cool and I could feel the wind going through the shirt. I could imagine it would be very pleasant on a summer day.
Aside from this shirt I’ve started a couple new pairs of socks, but haven’t really worked very hard on any of them. The triathlon was this past weekend and I’ll be writing about that tomorrow.
Every knitter who has a furry pet struggles with pet hair in their knitting. When I was first starting out it really REALLY bothered me that there was all this cat hair in my knitting. I vacuumed, I swept, I washed the throws on the couches, but there was still fur in my knitting. I won’t lie to you, after a while, I just gave up.
How to deal with this would depend on your level of OCD when it comes to keeping fur out of your knitting. If you’re on the lower end and it is a visual thing, I would judge the colour of yarn your using and choose accordingly. For example, if you have a white cat and are knitting a black sweater, don’t expect that your sweater is going to escape. You’re going to be able to see that white cat hair like a beacon shining out in the night. I’m not saying you can only knit in white and cream, but that fur would sure be less noticeable on a tweed or heathered yarn of any colour. A completely solid colour is always going to share more fur than that of anything providing a busier pallet and more texture.
If it bothers you that there is dog hair in your knitting even if you can’t see it, progress to level two! This would be to make sure your pet isn’t sitting on your lap or beside you when you’re trying to knit. I would vacuum or sweep the area as well; perhaps lay down a throw or blanket if you’re sitting on a couch that your pet frequents. I personally do quite a bit of knitting at my dining room table. I am lucky enough that the chairs are comfortable and the TV is within line of sight. Since this is a flat surface I can wipe down everything and keep my cats occupied with fresh cat nip.
Level three would be if you were knitting something for someone with an allergy. To be completely honest, I would designate a section of your house that is ‘animal free’ if you can. I have a guest bedroom and we don’t let the cats in there because while a guest might not have an allergy, the fur might irritate them all the same. If you don’t have the space allowance to cordon off a piece of your home, you can also knit out of the house. I have a pair of socks that lives in my car, I only knit them there and the cats are never in the car. Other options can include knitting at a pet-free friend’s house, or someplace like a Starbucks.
As for getting pet hair out of your knitting, I’m afraid I haven’t found a solution outside of downright picking out each individual hair. I would highly suggest the prevention route. If you’re knitting with a synthetic fibre, some of the hair might slip out in the wash because there is nothing to hold it there.
Animal fibres, like wool, have microscopic barbs. You know those shampoo commercials boasting about how your hair looks before your use their amazing product? That is similar to what wool looks like under a microscope. That is why wool felts; those microscopic barbs reach out and fuse the parallel fibres together. If your animal fur is worked into the wool, odds are, it’s not coming out easily with a wash.
The same goes for knitting your own fur into garments. When I had really long hair, I would always notice that I had knitted one of my hairs into a sweater and it was so worked in, I couldn’t just pull it out. I actually had to tink back until I had unearthed enough to simply slip the hair out.
I realize I haven’t officially introduced my fur-balls on the blog, so I am going to do so now. I have three cats; who are my constant knitting companions. They’re only allowed near recreational knitting because they have a love for yarn that almost rivals mine.
Above is Lucky, attempting to grab a ball of yarn and run with it. I don’t know if it is just the movement of the yarn or the smell or something, but she will attempt to grab a ball of yarn in her mouth and run with it.
Just above here is Sassy; she has a variety of variations on her name, such as Sass-a-frass, Frasser, etc. In that photo is my warping board with shoestrings, pant strings, and all manner of string the cats have managed to steal from various types of clothing. The warping board had just been sitting in the hall way and I threw a few of the strings on it entertain the cats. Total hit.
Last but not least is Chloe. I don’t know if her fondness for yarn is truly a fibre obsession or if she just likes sitting on my lap. There are literally thousands of photos of her on my computer; she is either snuggling yarn, or all tangled up.
I have definitely knit a couple things for the casts, like this…
But they forgave me eventually. Chloe actually didn’t mind the little sweater; she purred the whole time it was on.
I don’t try to put them into little sweaters or Halloween costumes (that only happened once) very often. I don’t think they would forgive me otherwise. Those are the three troublemakers who allow me to live in their house and even grace others with their presence sometimes. What is the best thing you have ever seen knitted for a pet?
Not that you can’t tell, but she was not amused.
The knitting for this week has been really diverse! I knit up one of the Mochimochi cat kits and I’ve been steadily working on Sara’s mittens. I feel like those are two things on the opposite ends of the spectrum. They’re both really great projects to get back into the grove with though. After the wedding and coming back from the honeymoon it’s kind of hard to remember what you were doing before you got so crazy busy. It really feels like you are picking up threads from some kind of dream.
The cat kit I got from VKL Chicago 2014, includes the yarn for two cats; a grey one and an orange one. I started with the orange one because we’ve got far too many grey cats running around our house already.
While I was knitting the cat, Chloe was sitting on the floor and staring at me knitting this tiny little cat. It’s not like she wanted to kill it or anything, she was just watching. I actually think she was a little jealous; somewhere deep inside, she knew it was another cat.
Don’t worry, she eventually got over it and they are good friends now. By ‘good friends’ I mean they kind of ignore each other. Orange cat, or ‘Garf’ as we have affectionately named him, isn’t very vocal to begin with and after the initial jealousy on Chloe’s part, she thinks he was giving her the silent treatment. I am not too concerned though, they will work through it.
Sara’s mittens! I am making these mittens for Sara for her wedding. I am really excited for them because A) this pattern looks amazing no matter what you knit them out of and B) THEY’RE WEDDING MITTENS!! I am really honoured that she would trust me to knit these up for her and I am going to make them PERFECT. Anyone who has read this blog for any amount of time knows about my mania for perfection; lets just multiply that by three and be done with it.
I’ve been taking lots of photos of the mittens so I have something of a picture story about the creation of these! I’ll post my updated pictures every Wednesday, but at the rate I am going I think there won’t be too much left to do next week.