Shoreline Raglan Sweater

I’ve been looking for a pattern to use my Baah LaJolla from my stash and I came across the Shoreline Raglan Sweater on Ravelry. The pattern is by Tina Marie and she has a choose what you pay option $6, $7, or $8. I paid the full price, but it’s nice that the price is adjustable for those that can’t pay the full price. I have to say though, the pattern is completely worth the cost. It is 14 pages of detailed instructions with variations to add fading, optional waist shaping, short sleeve option, and optional sleeve decrease.

The pattern was pretty well documented, but I did have to create my own cheat sheet for the increases, though. They are documented on the last page, but I needed stitch counts per row for each section, so I charted them out in Excel. I made mine with the fade, but did not do any of the other options.

I’ve learned that I’m horrible at following instructions though. I didn’t follow the arm patterns close enough. I was focused on the pattern and the fade and didn’t do some of the special rows (double solids, double lace). It’s ok though, I still think it’s a beautiful sweater. I was hoping to wear it in England in September, but that trip is likely to get postponed again.

Serengeti Tank

I belong to a crochet Facebook Group called Life Long Crochet. The group is moderated by Charles Voth and Rebecca Mattison, who are both designers. I’ve belonged to a few crochet groups on Facebook, but this one is my favorite and the only one I regularly follow. It’s relatively small with 1,300 members and it’s nice and friendly. There is hardly any drama in this group, so it makes it an enjoyable experience. Charles and Rebecca often do Crochet-A-Longs and I participated in one several years ago, although that’s the one I’ve done (I feel too much pressure to keep up).

Modeling my new tank top

So a few month ago, there was a sale on Charles’ Serengeti Tank pattern at Willow Yarns. Unfortunately, the pattern is not currently published, so I don’t have a URL, currently, but will try to add it here once it is available again. I also didn’t see the post in order to get the sales price, but that’s ok.

This is the first time I actually did any swatching before starting a pattern, but I decided that since this was clothing, I probably should swatch.

My first swatch

I decided to use my Juniper Moon Dappled Yarn from my stash, because I’m really trying to use stash yarn where possible. I have been saving it for a cute top and it seemed like it would look really nice with this pattern. I looked at what the pattern called for and according to my math it seemed I would need two more balls to make the tank. I actually made this tank with less than the 2 balls I started with, so now I have 2 1/2 balls of this yarn and my stash has actually increased. It appears I will need to make a second one for my mom now. Oops.

There were a couple of times I got got confused, while doing the increases of the motif, but outside of being stumped a few times, the pattern was pretty easy to follow. I think it came out great. I’ll admit that I made one modification ( a little bit of a collar). I just went back and did a few rounds of scs to give the collar a little more weight.

The pattern comes with the choice of doing an A-line, which I did. It draped very nicely while I was making it. But I decided to hang it dry to block it and that pulled the stiches down, which isn’t as flattering on me with my COVID 20, so I did go back and re-block it to stretch the stiches more wide.

Charming Tauntaun Blanket Wrap

Over three years ago, I had a New Year’s resolution to start this project and I had a follow up post with some progress. But once this monster got big, it mostly stayed in the project bag, because it was too heavy and hot to take out and work on. This winter I decided I was going to finally finish it, then as I was working on it I realized some of the yarns had been discontinued, so the fire was really on my butt to get this done. Here it is, 3 years and 3 months later, the giant Tauntaun blanket that I made for my husband.

My husband modeling his new Tauntaun blanket

This blanket was inspired by the Tauntaun sleeping bag. My original sketches had legs instead of a sack and I thought of lining it and adding a zipper, but in the end I stuck with simplicity. There is no pattern for this, I cobbled together the hood, the body, and horn as well as some modifications. The rest is pretty much free hand outside of the inspirations of the patterns. The body is all hdc, the arms are dc. This thing is heavy and warm.

The cats love this blanket. Any time I was working on it, they would lay on it.

The entire thing cost about $400 in suplies:

Yarn Bee Snuggle Up White, 7 skeins

Yarn Bee Snuggle Up Silver Fox, 18 skeins

Yarn Bee Snuggle Up Silver, 26 skeins

Knitpicks Clarity Comfy Worsted,12 skeins

Knitpicks Light Blue Comfy Worsted, 40 skeins

Safety Eyes

And as much as I was afraid of running out of yarn, I ended up with a ton left over.

George Update:

He’s still with us, although not integrated with the other cats. He really doesn’t like them.

When Cat Introductions Go Bad Part 4

Well, here we are about 4 1/2 months after we initially adopted George. We’ve tried many things to fix how we screwed up our introduction of George to our other cats. I left off with the cat behaviorist and working on her plan. It took us about 3 months to go through all of the steps. We took it real slow (2 week full separation reset, 4 weeks of treat time, 3 weeks of scent swapping, and we added an extra week just in case).

George peeking out of his gate

We decided to try the introduction again the day after Christmas. George has seemed ready to come out. He was always trying to open the double doors at the gate.

Let me start by saying, George is the sweetest, most relax and chill cat I’ve ever known. He is so content and happy. He has been bonding with us and getting sweeter with every day. He comes to me in bed and paws at me when he wants to snuggle. He will relax with me in bed and purr. He likes having his belly rubbed. I’ve been working in the dining room and my husband has been sleeping on an air mattress in the dining room all so we can keep all of our cats happy and give them all enough attention.

So, the day after Christmas we let him out. My husband and I were watching him and playing defense. He was fixated on the other cats, but also trying to look around and explore. I tried to get ahead of him to make sure he didn’t sneak up on another cat. I also blocked him from getting close to Tuna. We cut it short after about 10 – 15 minutes and let him back into his area. A day later we tried again. Our cats are very wary of George and downright scared of him, except Marvin, who will growl and act tough. The second time George was walking around and really fixated on the other cats. Marvin was not helping with his growling. We were blocking and keeping between George and the other cats while he tried to explore, but his tail was starting to get puffy. I was out ahead and saw Pumpkin in George’s path, so I picked him up (Pumpkin was George’s punching bag before). When George came into the room and saw me holding Pumpkin it was like he wanted to climb me to get to Pumpkin. I had put Pumpkin down on the air mattress. Eventually George came in and tried to attack Pumpkin again, so we cut the session short again.

We’re heart broken. I was really hoping that we could get him to not attack our cats. We think he does it out of fear. They scare him and then he attacks them out of fear? If that makes sense. So we can either keep living the way we have been living separated with 1/3 of the house for George and the rest for the other cats. Or we can rehome him/take him back to the rescue. We’ve already put feelers out there to see if anyone we knew would want a cat (that doesn’t already have a cat or dog). We don’t know of anyone. Even his pee/poop issue has completely gone away. It was only triggered by the initial stress. Now that he’s happy and feels safe that has stopped.

I joined a few Cat Behavior groups on Facebook and posted a shortened version of my story there. A Cat Behaviorist reached out to me and I’ll talk to her on Monday. I really don’t know what else there is to do for George. Maybe over more time things could get better? I really don’t know.

Many people say that it is probably best to rehome George at this point. That’s such a hard thing to do. We’ve never given up on a cat before, but of course we want him to have the best possible life. I think if we knew he was going to a really good home it would be easier for us to let him go, especially now that we have bonded with him and he with us.

Because of all the George things going on this year I haven’t been crocheting much, but I did make this little freehanded phone holder for my treadmill. My little treadmill is to keep me running over the winter. But it doesn’t have a place to keep my phone and not all my shorts have pockets, so I made the little pouch to keep my phone handy, in case I want to change a song on my playlist.

Kitty Couch

I started making the kitty couch at the beginning of the summer and I just finished it this morning. While it’s a bit of a pain to make, it really doesn’t take months to make, I’ve just been distracted by George. I finished the couch itself this summer, but took forever to pick up the Afghan to finish.

Completed couch

My friend had given me a crate of yarn that she got from someone else. I had a few skeins of a teal yarn in there, so I thought it would be perfect for my kitty couch. The Afghan yarn also came from my free crate.

The pattern is available for sale and is only $2. For the most part, I found the pattern easy to understand, but I made some mistakes and modifications along the way. My first mistake was that I used a size G hook for the couch, and that hook was only supposed to be for the Afghan. As a result I needed to modify the entire pattern to fit the dimensions of the couch.

My next mistake is that I ran out of yarn, so I had to buy some more skeins. Thankfully it was no dye lot so the colors matched, for the most part. I think the older yarn from the crate may have faded some.

I used white yarn to join the panels. It reminds me of the piping that couches used to have in the 70s or 80s. The cats couldn’t wait for the couch to be completed before testing it out.

All of the cats have been on the couch and they love it, although I don’t have a picture of Tuna on it. I’ve had the couch done for months now and the cats have been using it regularly. I really dragged my feet on the Afghan. I hate making Granny Square Afghans, in general, but a mini one? I only really pushed myself to finish it because I wanted to complete the look.

Anyway, now that I’m done my husband wants me to make more so the cats don’t have to fight over it. Perhaps I’ll make a round one next. I could probably free hand something like that.

Summertime Tee

After spending about a year on the Linen and Lace Tunic, I wanted something quick and easy to make.  I found the Summertime Tee by Toni Lipsey on Ravelry; I purchased it there.  It’s also available for free on her blog TL Yarn Crafts.  I was able to complete this project in two weeks!  It was that quick and easy.  And I’m slow, so others could probably make it much faster.

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Linen and Lace Tunic

A few years ago, at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival Day 1, I picked up a pattern for a tunic, Linen and Lace by Crochet Mon Cherie.  I had purchased the pattern and the thread, Linas Linen in Grey,  (I can’t find any current resources for Linas Linen, so I don’t think it’s available anymore).  Two years ago, I picked up the pattern with the intention of creating the tunic, well, I got stuck on the pattern.  I had a difficult time with the motif and I couldn’t quite figure out what I was supposed to do on Round 5.  So I put it down.

Tunic 2

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I Put a Spell on You

OK, This is a little late.  First Halloween was postponed till the Saturday after Halloween due to weather.  Then I just didn’t get around to writing about it as I put away all the Halloween decorations and winterized the yard.

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Here’s my Winifred Sanderson Costume.  Let’s beak it down:

  1. The Wig – highly recommend
  2. Buck teeth
  3. Purple Dress
  4. Green stripped stockings
  5. Awesome witch shoes (and comfortable too)
  6. Green velvet robe
  7. Snake Robe Clasp
  8. Witch symbol Stamps
  9. Snake Stamp
  10. Green 25 Yard skirt
  11. Crochet Corset
  12. The necklace

OK, that’s a lot to wear.  I started with the purple dress and wore the Green 25 yard skirt over top of it.  I pinned up both skirts because I wanted to show off my stockings and shoes and I also didn’t want to trip.

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Next I added the corset that I made.  The pattern was from Etsy.  Pretty easy to follow, I didn’t have any issues with this pattern.

The robe I tried to embellish using stamps and gold then yellow ink, but it came out very faded.  You can see them if you look at it close, but they are not noticeable otherwise.

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I love these witch shoes.  Love, love, love them!

The snake clasp came all the way from Australia.

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Additional accessories induced the buck teeth, long annoying press on nails, and a black mesh sleeve.

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I made the necklace out of gold wire and beads.

Finally, putting it all together now.

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If I were to do it again, I’d try to modify the robe more, make it more fitting and perhaps fix the stamps.  I also tripped on that thing all night, so maybe it should be hemmed a little.