Category Archives: Alongs

Knit Knacks, paddywhacks, give the cats some tuna…

Kat with a K is hosting UFO Resurrection Challenge 2007. Signups close January 31 and everyone who finishes will be entered in a prize drawing at the end of next year.

Hmm, not much knitting going on here (but I do have my presents wrapped!), so I think it’s time for another trip down memory lane… Check out those tights, eh? I bet you’ll all be emailing me, begging me for that pattern, because what could be more flattering to our thighs, right?! 😉

Elf hat, anyone?

How about a massive collar with bobbles?! Here’s another weird thing about me – I never wear turtlenecks because I have a long skinny neck and turtlenecks are not flattering. I see these collar thingies and picture one of them on me… and I might have nightmares.

Doesn’t the French poodle (at the bottom) look like it should be holding a roll of toilet paper in someone’s grandmother’s guest bathroom?!

Quick! There’s still time to make yourselves a sequinned hood and party slippers before New Year’s Eve…

And can you believe that there are no actual photographs of these bonnets in the booklet?! These are the best part! I’m sure we can all think of a deserving child who needs a Clothilde Cat, Oswald Owl, or Lionel Lion bonnet…

Since you’ve all been doing so well interpreting black blob pictures this week, here’s another for you. I call it “Under the Chaos Bridge.” (If it helps, Chaos’ head is just off the bottom of the picture and one of May’s ears is to the right.)

“Chaos bridges falling down, falling down, falling down, I’m a fair kitten! Or something like that.” -M

Y is for…


But first, a message from our sponsor… (Ok, no sponsor, but I’ve always wanted to say that.) Christine of the Pointy Sticks podcast is having a contest. So far all I know about it is that the details are in the podcast and the deadline is December 21.

Ok, back to YesterYear… Yikes. Apparently it’s never too early to start your baby knitting?! Don’t worry about those sharp pointy sticks. What could possibly go wrong?

For humanity’s sake, please don’t make your baby wear lederhosen!

“Please don’t make me wear those lederhosen! I’ll be good!”

Because lederhosen? Seem to bring out the wickedness within… Look out, dog!

“I’m so nervous, suddenly…” -dog
“I am so going to have nightmares now.” -M

X is for…

Xanthan gum! If you’re a celiac, you probably already know that xanthan gum is used in gluten-free baking to add the structure normally provided by gluten. For the non-celiacs, it’s also used to stabilize salad dressings and sauces.

X is also for Xerxes, but I can offer no pictures, alas… Not only is Xerxes an avenue in Minneapolis, it’s also a cd by the local band Arcwelder. So what? Well, I’m actually in the video for the song “Smile” from that cd! 🙂 Sadly, the video is not online, nor do I have a copy from which I can take a photo. My part in it is small – I merely wave at the camera and smile, wearing my black leather biker jacket, hanging out at First Avenue in the mid-90s. (What, you couldn’t tell from the socks yesterday that I had a punk background?!)

“Well, ok, I’ll maybe concede that you brought the right kitten home from the vet. But do you blame me for being suspicious?!” -C

Abundance abounds

Please think good thoughts for little Mayhem today, as she’s going to the vet for her “surgery.” Thank you! I have assured her that she will still be all girl, but I’m not sure she believes me…

My Knitters’ Coffee Swap package arrived last week! My pal was Professor KnitWit, who sent me a very fun box of goodies. Gluten-free cookies (if you like gingersnaps, these are great), some lovely latte-colored alpaca, espresso-roasted coffee from The Sensuous Bean in NYC (let’s just pause to admire that name – and you haven’t even tasted the coffee, which is nice), and some delicious dark chocolate. Thank you, Professor! 🙂

If you’re curious about what I sent, you can find the details here. Here are the songs that were on the Coffee Mix cd:

Greg Brown – Good Morning Coffee
Mississippi John Hurt – Coffee Blues
The Galactic Heroes – Coffee and Pastries
John Gorka – St. Caffeine
The Jayhawks – Five Cups of Coffee
Claude Gray – I’ll Have Another Cup of Coffee, Then I’ll Go
The Mountain Goats – Woke Up New (ok, ok, this is the only song without a coffee theme in the title – here’s the excerpt that got it included: “The first time I made coffee for just myself, I made too much of it. But I drank it all, just cause you hate it when I let things go to waste.”)
Jars of Clay – Coffee Song
Ink Spots – Java Jive
Marlene Dietrich – You’re the Cream in My Coffee
Tom T. Hall – Don’t Forget the Coffee, Billy Joe
The Andrews Sisters – Proper Cup of Coffee
Lefty Frizzell – Cigarettes and Coffee Blues
Mandy Patinkin – Coffee in a Cardboard Cup
Gordon Lightfoot – Second Cup of Coffee
Brook Benton – Another Cup of Coffee
Guy Clark – Instant Coffee Blues
The Andrews Sisters – Coffee in Brazil
The Peanuts – Coffee Rhumba
The Boswell Sisters – Coffee in the Morning and Kisses in the Night
Peggy Lee – Black Coffee
Emmett Miller – You’re the Cream in My Coffee
John Mccutcheon – Cup of Coffee
Greg Brown – Smell of Coffee
Bob Dylan – One More Cup of Coffee
Ella Mae Morse – Forty Cups of Coffee

Many thanks also to KnittyMama for creating and coordinating this swap. I had a blast putting the package together and am looking forward to another coffee swap. And if there’s another Knitters’ Chocolate Swap, please, someone tell me about it!!

I also won a contest over at For My Next Project – I was Kat’s 1000th commenter. She sent some nifty cat toys (May adores Black Slinky Mouse), some stunning laceweight alpaca silk, and a tasty maple candy. Thanks, Kat!

Just a Knit Wit sent me a birthday package! She sent me some of her lovely stitchmarkers, birthday buttons, cat and yarn stamps, cute post its (including one shaped like a “C” that didn’t make it into this picture), a skein of Silk Garden, and a wonderful cabled Silk Garden hat! Thank you, Kelly!! (No, the kitten wasn’t part of the package.)

My Knit Sock Kit Swap pattern, Elspeth, also sent me a birthday/coffee package – I was curious about the famous Peet’s Coffee, so she sent me some, along with some Peet’s chocolate (with coffee in it), black Bernat sock yarn (which I haven’t seen before – the color’s perfect!), and a lovely sock pattern. Thank you, Elspeth! (Even Chaos had to check it out.)

W is for…

Winners! Congratulations to Michaele, Cyn, and V – the random number generator loves ya! (I’m emailing the three of you in order of number selected so you can pick your yarn, so look for emails soon, Cyn and V, after I hear back from Michaele.) Many, many thanks to everyone who left birthday wishes and advice for my contest – your words of friendship, humor, and wisdom were wonderful to read.

W is also for Whiskers! Behold the Whisker Vase, which is actually a sake cup I got in Sante Fe a few years ago. Supposedly finding a cat whisker is good luck…

“Those are, of course, all my lovely whiskers, since someone bit off all of May’s whiskers. Must’ve been Mom!”

Mmmm…. mocha: The coffee edition

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m participating in the Knitters’ Coffee Swap, right? I’m a notorious coffee fiend, but I’m real particular like – I just drink soy mochas straight up. For me, chocolate is essential for the coffee experience.

There’s a contest as part of the Knitters’ Coffee Swap – sharing our favorite coffee shops. Well, it’s kinda funny – I always find coffeeshops that I love when I’m traveling, but don’t have a favorite coffeeshop in the Twin Cities (other than the generic Caribou Coffee). I’m also totally weak for buying souvenirs from coffeeshops when I travel.

Even when those coffeeshops aren’t that terribly far away.

“I ate an entire espresso bean when I was a kitten. What a rush!”

I’m also fond of some coffeeshops a bit further afield: Dry Creek Coffee in Hill City, South Dakota; Starry Night Cafe in Fort Collins, Colorado; Cafe Oasis in Sante Fe, New Mexico…

May? She just likes the cups.

“Mmm, this would be perfect for a little mouse dunking.”

Knitters’ Coffee Swap Answers

Here are my answers to the Knitters’ Coffee Swap questions.

1. Whole bean or ground?

Whole bean, so I can grind it just right for my espresso machine

2. Fully-loaded or decaf?

Caffeine me, baby!

3. Regular or flavored?

Regular – flavored coffees may contain gluten, which would be bad

4. How do you drink your coffee?

Ummmmm… It depends. On weekdays, I make a soy mocha at home and take it to work. Sometimes I’ll grab a soy mocha over lunch, if I’m having a sleepy/groggy day. On weekends, I lounge in my comfy chair, sipping my soy mocha, knitting, and reading. Ahh…

5. Favorite coffee ever?

Espresso roast is critical. Good quality chocolate is critical. Because… I only like coffee when it’s in a mocha. *hangs head in shame*

6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?

I’m probably on the low end of fussy – I can’t detect subtle flavor shadings, but I can definitely tell if it isn’t good quality.

7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?

I pretty much just drink my soy mochas and consider them a well-rounded treat.

8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?

Not that I can think of right now.

9. Yarn/fiber you love?

Sock yarns are always a particular favorite. In non-sock yarns, wool-silk blends are excellent.

10. Yarn/fiber you hate?

I’m just not a big fan of acrylic or of froofy yarns.

11. What’s on your needles?


12. Favorite colors?

Black, jewel tones (especially purple, blue, and green); I’m definitely not a fan of yellow or orange.

13. Allergies?

Oh yeah. I’m gluten and lactose intolerant. The gluten-intolerance is the biggie – no wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt, teff, kamut, or anything containing derivatives thereof. I’m also extremely sensitive to fragrances – they tend to be migraine and asthma triggers.

14. Anything you really love, really don’t like, or just need to get off your chest?

I’m a voracious reader and I read while I knit. I have no interest in watching TV and haven’t turned on my TV since, um, April? My two black kitties are very, very dear to me. I’m really particular about travel mugs, so it’s best not to even start down that path. 🙂