Sunday, December 28, 2008

Le Mieux (and Pucker Stitch, too)


International Cat Hat: France, Le Mieux by Stacy Mar of Spindles and Spices
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK, 55% Merino Wool, 33% Microfibre, 12% Cashmere (120 yards / 50 g per ball), ~0.56 balls color 18011
US 5 (3.75 mm) bamboo dpns

I hope everyone is having a relaxing and happy holiday season :) What better way to celebrate than with cats in handknit headwear!

I followed the pattern except I increased more (repeating rounds 7 and 8 six times for a total of 132 sts) than specified in the pattern for a slightly bigger, floppier hat (it would have been fine with fewer repeats, too).


I actually got a few shots of Moana in this one:


...très chic!

As usual, Bug tolerated a somewhat longer (and less blurry) photo shoot, so here are a few more photos of him modeling Le Mieux:



I also recently finished a scarf:


Pucker Stitch Scarf by me, with the help of Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, Vol. One: Knit & Purl, stitch pattern #207, "pucker stitch"
Foxhill Farm Millspun Cormo Silk, 65% Cormo Wool, 35% Silk (255 yards / 117 g per skein), 1 skein
US 4 (3.5 mm) bamboo circular needles

I tried this lovely yarn with several different stitch patterns before finding one that I thought showed it off nicely.


The full width of the stitch pattern in Vogue Knitting would have eaten up my yarn too fast and resulted in a very wide and very short scarf, so I modified the pattern to suite my needs. The pattern I ended up using is a 22 stitch pucker stitch pattern with a 2 stitch garter stitch border on each side (as well as garter stitch border to finish the CO and BO edges).



Yarn: DK weight
Gauge: approximately 21 sts and 30 rows = 4" (blocked) in stockinette stitch
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) needles (I knit somewhat loosely)
Size: 49" long x 5.5" wide (blocked)

-CO 26 sts.
-Knit 2 rows.
-Begin Pucker Stitch Pattern:
-Rows 1,3,5,7,9,11,13,15,17, and 19 (RS): knit.
-Rows 2,4,6,8,10,12,14,16, and 18 (WS): k2, p22, k2.
-Row 20 (WS): k2, MP* in next 11 stitches, p11, k2.
-Rows 21,23,25,27,29,31,33,35,37, and 39 (RS): knit.
-Rows 22,24,26,28,30,32,34,36, and 38 (WS): k2, p22, k2.
-Row 40 (WS): k2, p11, MP* in next 11 stitches, k2.
-Repeat Pucker Stitch Pattern until desired length is achieved, ending with either Row 19 or Row 39 for symmetry.
-Knit 2 rows.
-BO all stitches. Weave in ends.

MP* = With yarn in front, insert right needle from top into the loop (purl bump) of the stitch 9 rows (9 purl bumps) below the next stitch on the left hand needle. Slip this loop onto the left hand needle and purl it together with the next stitch in the current row. (Note: For variety, I picked up stitches from only 6 rows down every third pucker row.)

IMG_9042 "wrong" side

Bug enjoyed lounging under the scarf during our photo shoot. He found it to be quite soft and warm...


...and he appreciated the fact that the yarn coordinated so well with his eyes :)

Bug, Moana, and I wish you a happy, healthy New Year filled with knitting (and spinning) and other good things!


Baby Beth said...

The beret is definitely tres chic. I love the picture with only 1 of Bug's ears covered. Brilliant.

Virtuous said...

The cat hat is very chic! :o)

And the adjustments for a longer luxe scarf is more like it!

Dontcha just love aerial shots Tee hee! They are so hard to get!! You also reminded me I need to get some exercise blocking mats too! Haha! ;op

Great projects!

Oiyi said...

I love the cat hat! And that pucker scarf is so pretty.

Anonymous said...

That Bug. Leave it to him to set the fashion trend for felines. :-)

Great scarf!

Anonymous said...

Nothing better than cats in hats. The pucker scarf is so cool!

Anonymous said...

Bug has to be the mellowest cat on the planet. Great hat! and scarf!

Tammy said...

Wow! That's a beautiful scarf! (And lovely photos of course!)

Anonymous said...

The scarf is beautiful, but I *love* the hat. I figure I could make holes in it for Twinkie's ears, but I get the feeling she'd rip my arm off if I tried to get it on her! ;)

LittleCanoe said...

Haha! Those cats are hilarious! I love the one where he's sticking his tongue out, cracks me up!

Anonymous said...

The cats are so French :-)

Love the beret! That scarf is really unique & pretty -- the color is just perfect for that pattern.

Anonymous said...

Bug and Mona have done it again! You are so lucky to have such inspiring Muses at your disposal. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have to say that Bug has been so cute this year! Love the little beret!

Just curious to know where you found your blocking squares?

wildtomato said...

Bug is a wonderful model! Ooo la la!

The pucker scarf is awesome. It shows off your handspin perfectly.

Sarah said...

My husband and I both just got a good laugh thanks to the cats!

Happy new year to you! Wishing you many good fibery things in 2009.

Unknown said...

The scarf looks great! I'd really want to try that with a stripy yarn.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Well you three have really outdone yourselves this time--what's next, a cat poncho? (please please)

Happy New Year!!

Laural said...

The beret and model pictures are adorable!! Great job on the scarf the yarn and pattern are lovely together!

Have a great New Years!!

Anonymous said...

Instead of a comment, I'm just going to erupt into high-pitched squeals that only cocker spaniels will be able to hear. Le Mieux has been on my Rav queue since this spring. It looks divine on the Bugster (and the Moana-ster, too).

Madge said...

Tres chic chats et chapeau.

Happy New Year!

Darcys Knotty Knitter said...

I love the cat in the jaunty hats pictures so cute kept me grinning and I love the scarf what an awesome color:)Hugs Darcy

Linda said...

Have a great new year!xxx

Beth said...

Jaunty! Oh my gosh, once again, you amazed me and tickled my funny bone at the same time. Bug and Mona are beautiful and too cute. I'm knitting this for a sock monkey I know. My cat, Scully, wouldn't be as accomodating as yours. Drat it.

Woo, very scary word verification - inside dead. yikes.

Anonymous said...

I love it when your cats model! I especally love the tongue sticking out! Too funny.

Great scarf pattern too! Thanks!

Beth (big geek)

Kara said...

I think all cats should wear berets now! So cute!

Anonymous said...

Wow - my cats would *NOT* let me get that many pictures (if any) with a HAT on! That second one with the yawn is my favorite though. HA!

Rima said...

How cute is that beret! And the cat!

Jane said...

Brilliant beret!

Meredith said...

The had is fabulous! And what a great photo shoot.

blueschist said...

Nell, I absolutely LOVE Bug's "jaunty" picture in Le Mieux. Maybe since he's lived on both coasts he's feeling very worldly.

Julie Jackson said...

I LOVE meezers!! Especially meezers that love to dress up. That cat needs a Kitty Wig! ;)

Great pix!!