Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bug's a lean green-"Ice Queen"-wearing machine!

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Ok, so he's not the leanest cat around, but Ice Queen works pretty well as a girdle to hold his flappy kitty belly in place : )

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Ice Queen (Knitty, Winter 2007)
Handpaintedyarn.com Kettle Dyed Pure Wool Lace, 100% Wool (850 yards / 100 g per skein), color "Peridoto," 0.38 skeins
US 5 & 7 Denise Interchangeables circular needles (~16")
US 14 (0.75 mm) steel crochet hook for placing beads

I made version B, the garter stitch and more heavily beaded version of Ice Queen. As suggested in the Ravelry Ice Queen KAL, I used a beaded picot cast on (instead of doing a provisional cast on and beaded picot bind off as specified in the pattern) as follows:

Using the knitted cast on method *CO 5 sts, BO 2 sts, place bead on middle stitch of the remaining three with crochet hook, repeat from * until 156 stitches are cast on.

Other than that, the only change I made was to do a total of 23 repeats (7 extra) of Rounds 21-24 of Chart B for the main body of Ice Queen, as mine was definitely coming out a little short.

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Because I used a non-mohair containing yarn, my Ice Queen has a different "feel" (both texturally and visually) to it than the original, but I love the subtle color changes in the Handpainted Yarns lace:

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Believe it or not, there really are approximately 350 seed beads in there, they're just very similar in color to the yarn and much smaller (size 10 instead of size 6) than the pattern suggested. You can kind of see them here:

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If I had it to do over again, I might choose slightly more obvious beads. I was going for a subtle look (and I had the beads already), but I think it could stand a little more glitter. Overall I'm happy with how it came out, and I think the friend I made it for will enjoy it.

By the way, Bug wants you to know that he was involved with all stages of Ice Queen production:

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He even offered to block it for me:

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...and was slightly miffed when I turned him down:

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Spinning Update

I spun up enough singles on my drop spindle to give plying a try. Here's the singles:

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I wound them into a ball:

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...and trapping the ball under an upside-down flower pot (loaned to me by my spinning mentor -- thanks, Mary!), I pulled both ends of the ball through the hole in the bottom, and plied them together using my drop spindle:

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Then I washed the yarn, and balled it by hand. Here it is (my first yarn!):

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You Make My Day!

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I want to thank Del*, Sarah*, Amy, Sulafaye, Soknitpicky, and Stitchywitch -- who all nominated me for a "You Make My Day" award. Thank you guys! You definitely make my day : )

* edited to add Del and Sarah!

In fact, if you're reading this post, chances are excellent that you, too, make my day (It's true, it's true!), so I'm going to refrain from listing only 10 of you. I just want to say "thanks" for all your wonderful blogs, for your willingness to scroll down my picture-stuffed posts, and for your generous and insightful comments. You guys are always encouraging, inspirational, and just downright interesting : ) Now if I could only catch up with all the fantastic blog posts you've been writing -- I am soooo behind!


New Project

While waiting to hear back about the errata for the Seeded Cables Cardigan from Sensual Knits, I decided to come up with a use for the Malabrigo Silky Merino I got at the end of December.

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I tried a bunch of different stitch patterns, but settled on using the entrelac pattern from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary.

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To fulfill my new plan (insert sinister cackle here) I may have, um, had to order more yarn. Here's Bug napping on the two new skeins (while wearing the two old ones):

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The two skeins I've knit up already are pretty different from one another. The first was mostly gray/black with hints of blue and dashes of palest green. In the second, the gray/black is much bluer overall. You can see the color change pretty well in these two photos:

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The two new skeins (ordered from Kaleidoscope Yarns, as Webs, where I got the yarn originally, was out when I called them) seem to be intermediate in color.

42 comments:

jennsquared said...

Ice Queen is beautiful! I love the color of it! And I can see that Bug loves it too! :)

Can't wait to see your next project!

Annie said...

I love the color of your ice queen! I think it looks lovely as a non-mohair version.

Alice said...

Bug has to be the CUTEST cat I have ever seen. Seriously. Don't tell my cats that though!

The Silky Merino looks great in entrelac. It's slightly annoying how much the colors differ by skein, but in your pictures it doesn't look that noticeable!

Kara said...

haha! Love the cat girdle.

Leslie said...

Bug could make an excellent living as a model -- oh wait! He does that already :)

Your Ice Queen is lovely; the smaller beads are like a private surprise, one of those things that make you smile and everybody wonder why.

sulafaye said...

Oh, Bug! The "flappy belly" comment really got to me! (And what a cool ice queen!)

Marlena said...

Beautiful Ice Queen. I love the color, and I love how the beads add a little shine.

I also love how well it doubles as a chic strapless dress for Bug!

Kirsten said...

Bug is quite simply the awesomest of blog models!
Your Ice Queen is beautiful. I have some of that color of Malabrigo Lace sitting in the stash. Hmmmmm. . .

SJ said...

Your Ice Queen is beautiful! I like the subtlety of the beads -- they're a nice surprise when you look at the knitting more closely.

Nice job on your plying! I have yet to try to do it on a spindle. One of these days I'll get around to it.

soknitpicky said...

Ice Queen looks divine! And congratulations on your first yarn :-)

Ewe-niss said...

It is a wonder your cat hasn't done anything to you in your sleep! :-)

You Ice Queen is BEAUTIFUL!!! The very first photo in this entry to your blog should be on a calendar. Very regal.

Jeannie said...

Bug is such an excellent knit wear model. What gorgeous eyes! Ice Queen is very pretty. I love that green color that you chose and the subtle beads are a nice surprise too. The malabrigo looks great in entrelac. I like the criss-crossed little stripes.

Queen of the froggers said...

That Ice Queen seriously suits bug, but then I think that your cat would look gorgeous in anything! Your spun yarn is great, I have just ordered a drop spindle and if I could get yarn like that I would be rather pleased. :)

Christie said...

I am seriously in love with your cat. He's brilliant!

The Ice Queen is beautiful...I think although the beads blend in, they will add just the right amount of sparkle in the light. It's so pretty...I really love the color.

Sunflowerfairy said...

Your cat is adorable.


Love the ice queen. I'll have to add it to the queue. I don't have a pretty coat to wear it with, so I'll have to add coat shopping to the queue too.

Are you ever coming to a Stitch n B!tch meeting or what? I'm still asking every newbie if they are named Octopus. They always laugh and say no.

For some reason, they never want to sit next to me though.

Kelly said...

What a fabulous first ball of yarn! Mine in no way looked that good, it was a lot more garbled and lumpy. Great job!

And I love the colour you choose for ice queen, it's beautiful!

Jane said...

Love the color, love the subtle beads, and especially love the cool cat, Bug!

Amy said...

Everything looks fantastic as usual, of course--but I can't get over Ice Queen-as-cat warmer. :) Inspired!

elizabeth marley said...

Your Ice Queen looks beautiful. And the pictured of Bug are hilarious! I love them.

del said...

Ice Queen is just stunning! Wow. And how kind of your model to pose with it. heh.

I'll be watching your Entrelac project since that's something I haven't yet tackled.

LizKnits said...

That Peridoto color is just beautiful ... great job!

Nonnahs said...

That green is unbelieveable...and it doesn't hurt that Bug is such a fabulous model. ;) Great handspun, too- congrats!

Laiane said...

My Emma (my tuxedo cat and doyenne of the felines in my household) has told me to tell you that the "flappy kitty belly" is more properly referred to as one's "ruffles." Emma has ruffles, thankyouverymuch.

I think Emma has a blogstalking crush on Bug, too.

The Malabrigo Silky Merino looks fabulous, btw.

Yarn It said...

Ice Queen is gorgeous! The color is very stunning! Love the Entrelac too....it is one of my favorite patterns!

The_Add_Knitter said...

That Ice Queen is lovely, I like the fact that the beads aren't overly obvious.


re:Bug--If looks could kill...

Jana said...

It's so funny how that green Ice Queen is just the perfect color for Bug! It's really wonderful for his complexion! Now I'm wondering, because I've been contemplating this pattern too-is it warm? It's a very pretty fashion accessory, and sometimes that is enough, but I'm just curious if it helps battle the elements at all too. Or I wonder if a heavier yarn might be an option, I'm thinking of making a not so fitted version. Hmm...

Sarah said...

I always love your pictures; your kitties are such good models! I try to get my two to cooperate, but they really want very little to do with modeling. Harumph.

Your Ice Queen is gorgeous - I love that color!

Erin said...

I love the vivid color green you used. Bug can so rock Ice Queen.

Oiyi said...

Love your Ice Queen. What a great color choice! And hurray on your first spun yarn!

Pam said...

I love your ice queen - in that green, it's an ice queen hoping for spring. Do the beads add an interesting weight to it?

Beth said...

Okay, let me just say, I have a friend who blogs and takes pictures of her cats that are so amazing, I really think she should make a calendar or book out of them. Now I see Bug and your amazing creations and I seriously think you should have your own knitting book with Bug as your model. I mean, what you create to me is absolutely beautiful AND amazing (the ice queen is GORGEOUS), but the photographs are equally terrific.

It really makes my day (seriously) when you have a new post and you deserve that award.

Virtuous said...

Ice queen is puuurrty!
LOL @ Cat F.O. Pron! ;op

You are really working that spindle!

And OOHH I am so green over here with you have the Malabrigo silk!

Cindy said...

I absolutely love the green lace! Nicely done! And the previous post Koolhaas with brim is great too. Nice, nice, nice.

Mel said...

Bug is so ready for his own TV show. A reality show in which he just tries on endless handknits and looks fabulous. I would totally watch that.

Beautiful work. The entrelac is wild. In those colors it reminds me of armour.

mel said...

Can I just tell you that I have been coming back to this post for the last week to enjoy all the bug pictures and always get pulled away before I can tell you how much I enjoyed them?! I'll be back another couple times this week just to giggle and say "Awwww"!

Your Ice Queen looks lovely - I love that green! and your spinning looks terrific - hurray for spinning!

Beth said...

Back again. LOVE these pictures. I had a question. I'm knitting hats now with good results, but I don't think my going round technique is correct. Was wondering if you could answer something for me -- when you get to the end of your row when knitting in the round, do you go back the other way, go to the outside of the circle, or just keep going round and round in the same direction?

ducky said...

You ice queen is just lovely. I like it better in non-mohair yarn, and the color is gorgeous.....and bug is adorable too! : )

Susan said...

You've been tagged!
Visit http://susanwritesandknits.blogspot.com for details.

Kasia said...

I love Icequeen, you made amazing job! Bug looks so cute wearing it! Your new project looks like a lot of fun as well, can't wait to see it done!

Carol said...

I like the non-mohair version better I think! And the colour is scrumptious. Goes very well with Bugs' eyes.

Tammy said...

Beautiful! Everything you have going on is lovely!

And you've been tagged. See my blog.

wildtomato said...

Bug, you're a natural model! I didn't notice that the Ice Queen stitch was a feather and fan pattern until I saw these pictures. Beautiful.

I agree that the entralac is the perfect pattern for that yarn. Lookin' good!