Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The newest member of the family...

May I present the newest member of our family, Snert's brother, Mr. Tibbles , Tibby for short.

He is about seven months old, and came to us courtesy of my sister, Barbita. Tibby had been hanging around their place, and as much as they tried to shoo him away to the farm next door, he refused to budge from his shelter under their trailer cart.

They called the ASPCA, but around here, there are too many cats for them to handle, and you have to make an appointment to take one in. They were told it would be at least 2 weeks before they could bring the poor thing in, and in the meantime, he was literally starving to death.

Finally, Barb talked Mom into taking him (after she had sworn not to take on another pet- same as she did before we got Snerty).

He was nothing but skin and bones and fur. Lots of fur. As in shedding fur. At the rate he is going, we reckon he will be bald by Christmas.

He is slowly gaining weight, but is still thin for his age. It did not help any that we had to starve him for a day so we could get him...hmm-hmm...fixed.

He definitely looks a lot healthier than he did a month ago, though.

We wondered at first how Snert would take the new addition, considering his only exposure to cats was the neighbor's brood, which we had done nothing to discourage him chasing away. He seemed all right that first evening, and sniffed him curiously.

But then after Barb and Chris left, we tried to feed the poor starving waif, and Snert went berserk! He lunged at him, growling like I had never heard him do. Poor Tibby hid under the sofa in fear, while we scolded Snerty.

We decided we could not risk feeding Tibbs when Snert was around.

We watched them whenever they were together, and slowly they called a truce. We have to watch out when we feed them, though, as they try to eat each other's food.

When it came time to take Tibby to the vet for the... hmm-hmm...procedure, poor Snert moped around the house all day, looking everywhere for his bro.

When we finally brought him home again, Snert sniffed him thoroughly, as if to say, "yeah, they did that to me, too".

The two of them are fast friends, now, and both of them like to follow Mom around wherever she goes. She says we should have named him "Shadow". Well, wasn't that what the original Mr. Tibbles was, Harry's "shadow"? I think the name is perfect.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Getting there...

I have been working furiously on the next pair of socks in my Harry Potter series...
All I will say is the color is called cotton candy...very pink...
I am also doing a remake of Luna Lovegood's blue scarf, although mine is in a rich Ravenclaw blue...almost navy. The yarn is Bernat Satin, and it really is satiny.
Another pair of socks are on the needles, using the grey yarn I was gushing about a while ago.
I still gush, it is soooo soft, but the pattern is uninspiring. I can only do one fiddly pattern at once...
I am also working on a felted tote for my SIL, Candy, that I started some time ago...(I just remember it was cold) It is in shades of blue, green, and purple. It will be BIG. It is a variation of the French Market Bag from I am up to the straps, so it will be done soon...

Monday, July 14, 2008

This is LOVE...

I had a bad weekend at work, and came home whining...
Then I read this email, sent to me by my good friend, Sam.
God and Sam have such good timing...

Father-Son relationship

A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a
marathon with me?'. The father who, despite having a heart condition, says
They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and
son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his
son's request of going through the race together. One day,
the son asked his father, 'Dad, let's join the Ironman together.' To which,
father said 'Yes' too.
For those who don't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon
The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile
(3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike
ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast
of the Big Island . Father and son went on to complete the race together.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hermione's Secret...

The first of my sock pattern designs based on Harry Potter chapter titles,
in this case, Chapter 21 of HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban...

“But Hermione was fumbling with the neck of her robes, pulling from beneath them a very long, very fine gold chain.
He saw a tiny, sparkling hourglass hanging from it.
‘Here!’ She had thrown the chain around his neck, too.
‘Ready?’ she said, breathlessly.”

–Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 21 “Hermione’s Secret"

Disclaimer: This pattern has not been tested for accuracy.
If you wish to test it for me, let me know if it is accurate and understandable.

st: stitch
k: knit
p: purl
r: row
k2tog: knit 2 stitches together
ssk: slip next 2 stitches knitwise, then slipping left needle back into the stitches, knit them together through the back loops.
yf: yarn forward as if to purl
yb: yarn back, as if to knit
w4: yb, place next 4 st on cable needle, wrap yarn counterclockwise around these st 2 times, ending with yarn in place to k, k the 4 st from the cable needle.
The wraps create the middle of the hourglasses. Do not wrap too tightly, or the stretchiness of the sock will be compromised, but tight enough to gain the desired shape. I pulled mine just so the 4 stitches touched each other snuggly, but not so they overlapped each other.

See the tiny hourglasses?

Yarn: I used Lion Brand Sock-Ease in “Lemon Drop”
Substitute any fingering weight yarn that gives desired gauge of 8 st/inch (stockinette).
Needles: as needed to obtain correct gauge. I used size 1US KnitPicks Options 40” circular needles.

If you need to make alteration to fit your desired size, I suggest decreasing stitches evenly spaced in row 53. I removed 8 stitches in my demo socks this way, with no discernible distortion. The written pattern reflects no decreased stitches. If a smaller size is needed, the pattern is a 12 st repeat.

Cast on 72 st. Join, being careful not to twist stitches. Work in whatever method you like: DPNs, 2 circs, or 1circ (aka Magic Loop). I prefer Magic Loop 2-at-a-time.

Cuff Border:
Place st marker at begin of row.
Work in 2x2 ribbing for 12 rows
Begin pattern:
r 13: p all st
r 14: *p2, k4 *repeat *to* around to marker.
r 15: p2, *k4, p8,* repeat *to* around to last 10 st before marker, end w/ k4, p6.
r 16, : repeat r 14
r 17: repeat r 15
r 18: repeat r 14
r 19: repeat r 15
r 20: *p2, w4, p2 k 4* repeat *to* around to marker.
r 21: repeat r 15
r 22: repeat r 14
r 23: repeat r 15
r 24: repeat r 14
r 25: repeat r 15
r 26: repeat r 13
r 27: repeat r 14
r 28: *p8, k4* repeat * to * around to marker.
r 29: repeat r 14
r 30: repeat r 28
r 31: repeat r 14
r 32: repeat r 28
r 33: *p2, k4, p2, w4* repeat * to * around to marker.
r 34: repeat r 28
r 35: repeat r 14
r 36: repeat r 28
r 37: repeat r 14
r 38: repeat r 28
r 39: repeat r 14
rows 40-53 repeat rows 13-26

Work heel over next 36 st, placing other st on st holder.
Work short row heel as in this link:
This shows the technique for toes, but it is the same as for heels, except for the cast on--you already have your stitches. You can also use this for the toes of top down socks--kitchener stitching the toe seam on the underside of the sock.
I also recommend Cat Bordhi’s YouTube videos for tips on concealing the wraps:
You may also use another heel pattern if you wish.

When the heel has been turned, put stitches from the holder back on your needles.
Work in stockinette until piece measures about 2 inches short of the toe ending, and begin decreases.
You can work short rows as in the knitty link if you wish, or as follows:
Working from marker at beginning of the rows,
1: k1, ssk, k 30, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 30, k2tog, k 1.
2: k all st
3: k1, ssk, k 28, k2tog, k 2, ssk, k28, k2tog, k1.
4: k all st
5: k1, ssk, k 26, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 26, k2tog, k 1.
6: k all st
7: k1, ssk, k 24, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 24, k2tog, k 1.
8: k all st
9: k1, ssk, k 22, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 22, k2tog, k 1.
10: k all st
11: k1, ssk, k 20, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 20, k2tog, k 1.
12: k all st
13: k1, ssk, k 18, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 18, k2tog, k 1.
14: k all st
15: k1, ssk, k 16, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 16, k2tog, k 1.
16: k all st
17: k1, ssk, k 14, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 14, k2tog, k 1.
18: k all st
19: k1, ssk, k 12, k2tog, k2, ssk, k 12, k2tog, k 1.
Graft toe seam using Kitchener st. Weave in ends.
Repeat for second sock.

copyright July 2008 by Kat Johnson
Please use this design for personal use only and do not distribute. If you wish to share the pattern with others please do so by directing them to to download their own copy.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Well, not so perfect...

The gray yarn is beautiful, but the cushiness of it obliterates the pattern I intended to use. So...I guess I have to go back to my earlier choice.

I did finish my second pair of "Fawkes" socks, that I started months ago...

I used Crystal Palace "Maizy" in colorway "Hot Feet". It is an excellent colorway for this pattern, but I don't think I like the yarn itself...

It is not very springy when knitted up. The ribbing expands, but does not retract when released. I think the yarn has a nice warm feel to it, but the texture causes it to catch on itself, not allowing it to return to its original shape. Only when I stretch it in the opposite direction does it go back, and this makes for baggy ankles, which I DO NOT need. My ankles are baggy enough without socks to make them look more so...

So, I guess I will have to relegate these socks to the "cold winter day, stuck at home" pile, and only wear them when no one is around to see my baggy ankles...

Friday, June 27, 2008


I found this beautiful gray yarn at Big Lots, of all places! For $1.00!
It is just what I had in mind when I designed my "Beyond the Veil" socks. It is a slightly larger gauge than I planned... but this is fixable. Sooo...
When "Hermione's Secret" is finished...
It is Schachenmayr Piazza 40% cotton, 30% acrylic microfiber, and 30% polyamid. It has a very soft cushy feel, and I can imagine nice winter socks...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I promised myself that I would knit up my designed Harry Potter socks in book order...but...
The first sock has been giving me fits! Soooo....
I have skipped to the one I like much better...#3 "Hermione's Secret"
The next is...yes, out of order, too...Probably # 4.
Oh, well I guess the best laid plans...yada-yada.
I will post a pic when the socks are done.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I love yarn, and I have found a new sock yarn, from Lion Brand, called Sock-Ease. The colors are nice, with candy names like toffee and red hots. I have been designing several new sock patterns, and thought these yarns would be great for these socks.
The patterns have a Harry Potter theme (of course they do), and are named after HP chapter titles. The first is named "The Forbidden Forest". As soon as the socks are done, I will post a pic.
I would like to have someone test knit my patterns for me, so if you would like to do this, leave a note in the comment box. I will not publish the pattern to the blog until I get it tested...even I can make mistakes...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lost friends...

Along the path of my life I have had many friends, some good, some close, some just in passing. But I have lost a dear friend and I don't know where to find her. Her leaving has left a hole in my heart that at times seems as big as Lake Erie.

She came into my life at work, then when our work paths diverged, we held on to our friendship. She came to this area several years ago, leaving behind a crime ridden, drug infested city life.

She found joy in the close up view of nature like she had never known. She would speak of seeing a deer or pheasant by the roadside, that to me was oh so common in my life, being the country girl that I am. "But I've never seen a deer," she would say, amazed that I should be so nonchalant about it. Her son also would stop by the road to look at the wonders of nature that we country folk took for granted.

But the day after Thanksgiving she called while I was at work, and my mother took the message.

"We miss NJ, and we are going home." They would be staying with friends, and would let me know when they had settled in to a place of their own.

But it is now May, and I have not heard from them, and I wonder if I ever will. She is in her 70's, and I worry that she may pass away, and I will not know.

My heart is broken, and I don't know how to fix it.

Where are you, Janice?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Yes, I know...

Its been nearly 5 months since I posted last. No excuse.
I have been very busy, craft-wise. I have done swaps, and have not posted here, for which I am heartily sorry.
I did the HPCrafts ATC swap, and this is what I made...

The theme was Valentines. I did a handmade envelope, and a card that was a sheath for a pull out greeting. Outside I did my Ravenclaw house crest which I designed myself, and a motto that was a play on the Ravenclaw motto of "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure", which became "Love beyond measure is a friend's greatest treasure".
I did a Hogsmeade/Diagon Alley shopping trip swap, and sent my partner Zara a knit/felted dragon, which I dyed with green Kool-aid,

some of my HP mini book/notebooks,

some Weasley's Wizard Wheezes treats,

and a cursed "opal" necklace a la Borgin and Burkes, which I made using polymer clay for the opal beads.

Zara sent me the most beautiful knitted and felted witches hat

It was midnight blue with crystal beads strewn over it and a crystal and chain band. It fit perfectly and came just in time to wear for my HP birthday party. It is modeled after the hat that Fred and George gave to their mother for Christmas in HBP.
She also sent me a set of potions in a portable carrying case,

some Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans -sugar free, a set of beaded knit stitch markers,

and a hand knitted sock bookmark.

Oh, and an antique potion bottle pendant necklace, from Borgin and Burkes.
My sister was really drooling all over it at my B-day party, and let me know (as if I had forgotten) that her birthday was 5 days after mine (hint hint).
Well, I gave in to her whining, especially after I figured out how to make the pendants myself! The necklace went real nicely with the outfit she was wearing, and I do like to give things to those I care about.
I will be participating in another ATC swap for the month of May. The theme is Hogwarts summer vacation. I might do something like postcards from Hogwarts teachers. I have a mental image of Dumbledore water skiing = P.

I'm a Ravenclaw!