Saturday, October 6, 2012

Fourth Quarter Goals

It's the last quarter of the year. I did so well with my August goal-setting and September crafting that I'm going to try some more:
  1. Keep the WIP count under 15. This rule can maybe be waived if I'm piling finished things up in order to wash/block them all at once.
  2. Finish everything I start in 2012. Right now I have only my current HPHC projects started in 2012, so this is not an unreasonable goal.
  3. Make all the gifts on time this year. I'm not giving many hand-knit goods this year, but there is another baby on the way (not mine!) that will need some goodies. I've chosen all the projects and have all the yarn.
  4. Don't buy any yarn that isn't needed for a specific project. That's a couple skeins for a present planned for next year, if/when I get coupons. Nothing else, at least until 2013.
The only one I'm pretty sure will be easy is #4. Not going to good yarn stores often certainly helps! While #1 gives me room for a couple of new projects to work on, grad school has been kicking my butt a bit and I can totally see myself casting on multiple things, trying to find something that is easy enough to do while reading papers. I'll try to keep it to a needs-doing project and a for-reading project, tying together goals 1 and 3. While #2 seems easy right now, I've got a bunch more things I want to start! It ties right in with #1, keeping the count down and hopefully finishing things. #3 is probably going to be the trickiest, because I have specific things I'm planning to knit, and I'm not sure how many of them will work for paper reading. Or how much time I'll have that isn't paper reading. Sigh.

Blurry kitty thief, because no blog post is complete without pictures:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

More Cat Stuff?

Of course! I made a catnip-filled ice cream cone, which Layla loved and cooperated for an excellent photo shoot:

 She held the ice cream cone and sniffed it a bit, wasn't quite sure what the purpose was:

and then decided it was obviously something for nomming:

Demon kitty!

Final product:

Pattern: Ice Cream Cone Cat Toy (Ravelry, mine)
Yarn: Craftmax Classic Merino Aran クラシック・メリノ 並太 (from Japan)
Hook: 3.75 mm/USF
 Timeframe: October 1, 2012
Mods: None!
Problems: None!

I also made another cat bed, larger than the first couple so Layla wouldn't need to curl up quite so much in order to enjoy it This size seems perfect for them to curl up in comfortably, rather than as tightly as possible. Not a good picture, and I'll be making another one of this size in blue, but here it is:

Pattern: 1 Skein Pet Bed (Ravelry, mine)
Yarn: Caron One Pound
Hook: 6.5 mm/USK
 Timeframe: September 3 - 16, 2012
Mods: Different hook, added three more increase rows, did two layers.
Problems: None!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Charity Work

I don't tend to craft much for charity. I craft a LOT for other people (22 pairs of Thujas before I finally knit one for me!), but not so much for faceless charities. I had some extra acrylic from my mom's old stash and decided to use it as a thank-you for the local shelter where I got my cats. They don't like jingle balls, so I donated the pack of balls I got for them along with three blankets/cage pads. I considered donating some of the mice/fish I made as well, but the cats like them so much I decided to keep this whole batch. I have a few more skeins of the yarn, so I'll probably end up making some more for the shelter at some point, but for now, here's the three I made this past summer:

Pattern: Easy Cat Cage Nubby Blanket (Ravelry only)
Yarn: Natural Yarn Crafts Natura Sayelle, very old yarn from my mom's old stash
Hook: 6.0 mm/USJ for the first one, 6.5 mm/USK for the other two
 Timeframe: July 25 - 28, very fast!
Mods: hdc rather than sc border because I like it better that way!
Problems: None!

I love this pattern, it's so fast and easy and looks rather nice. I'm planning to use the same pattern to make a pad for my cats to sit on when they sit by the window. So far we have my craft bins piled up under the windows so the cats have a place to sit, and a washable cover for them would be good. Maybe I'll get to that this month, they're fast!