This is Kat's Writing.

Following are a series of words and imagery.
Do not be too alarmed at life nor too complacent in the world. There may be alarming things here. There may not be. Have I mentioned scatological yet?



Sunday, December 19, 2010

Que sera, sera.

I lost my mother at dawn December 16th 2010. She was a Scorpio, a brunet, a lady who'd play Duke Brothers with the local popo and a lady who'd take in stray kittens and kids. She'd fought cancer for over 6 years and her body just finally gave out. Her mind was sharp as all hell all the way.

She fought hard that night, refused the morphine, and even said she didn't want to go when my brother broke down. She hung on till he was more ready... if such a thing could be said. Finally, very late that night when all was quiet she said "OK, I'm ready now" clearly without the slurring that had stolen her voice earlier. Those were her last words. As the sun rose she was gone.

And she was smiling.

And here is some mom music for everyone. Stuff she liked. Stuff she played and listened too. You get the idea.

Bobby McGee
She used to play this. It is making me cry to hear this.

Freaker's Ball

She had this album (and others very much like it on vinyl) and we'd play it as kids and ask her what it was all about and she'd just laugh and say we'd find out. My mom was a damned hippie. 

These are others she had too.

That first picture of the bridge. She took one just like that the first time she took me there when I was tiny to see family.

Love ya mom. Come visit sometime.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Birthday Socks

I just turned 30. I'm still not sure how I feel about this event. What I do know is that it was a beautiful wonderful lovely warm day (and the nieghbourhood kids were in hiding! Yes!) and I couldn't enjoy it due to my back deciding it needed to pinch the sciatic nerve and leave me turtled all day.

Still hurts. Damn you, nerves. Perhaps more frozen spinach will help the pain (as far as I'm concerned frozen spinach is only good for a cold compress).

I did manage to finish my birthday socks. See, the first one is a Nixen-Socken.
Loved how it twisted as originally worked; when mirrored by its mate it looks even cooler. As it seemed a shame to hoard the mirror-pattern... I share it! (Please see link for other pattern)

This is a really easy pattern. Any questions, ask or google. Your choice!

Left of Nixen

sts - stitches
st - stitch
k - knit
k-f/b - knit front and back loops
w/t - Wrap and Turn
SSK -slip 2 sts as if to knit, knit together
YO - yarn over

I used a skein of Plymouth Socketta yarn in Plum colorway. It reminds me of a spring flower or a warm evening's it's perfect for this time of year. It's also a nice cotton/wool blend which seems like it would make a nice breath-y summer sock.
I used a set of 5 US2 DPNs. I'm a US size 9.5, give or take.
To re-size remember this stitch pattern is worked over 6 stitches!

I did these toe-up (I'm rather hooked). I cast on 16 stitch total, 8 on each of two needles, Turkish style. I love this cast on but you can use whatever on you prefer.
Knit the first row, knitting 4 stitches onto 4 different needles (so it will be 4, 4 4, 4). Pull the tail though the stitches as a row end marker (or add a row end marker)
Next row after slipping marker knit one, knit front and back, knit rest of needle.
Second needle: knit 2. Knit-front-back loops, knit one.
Third needle: knit one, knit front-back loops, knit two.
Fourth needle: knit two, knit front-back loops, knit one. You will be at start of new row and will have increased 4 stitches.

Continue in this fashion:

ROW 1 K1, K-f/b, knit to last 2 sts (on next needle). K-f/b, K2, K-f/b, knit to last two stitches. K-f/b, K1 (At stitch marker)

ROW 2 Knit all

Repeat these two rows until you have 66 sts (or resized number divisible by 6!). When 66 sts are reached, work the foot of the sock in stockinette until the sock is two inches shorter then the foot. You are now ready to start a short row heel.
(Seriously, these are easier then heel flaps!)

Place the bottom 30 sts on a single needle for the sole. There will be 36 instep stitches. Double check that you are not twisting the body of the sock so that the toe is all weird. (Yes.. I have done this.)

Row 1 Knit to the last stitch of the heel needle. Wrap and Turn that last stitch.
Row 2 Purl across the heel needle until you reach the last stitch. Wrap and Turn Purlwise that stitch.

Repeat these two rows until you've ten stitches on each side wrapped (total of twenty wrapped stitches) and ten unwrapped stitches in the middle.

Now, pick up the first wrapped stitch, and knit (as one) the wrap and the stitch.
Turn work, slip one st, purl across to first wrap on the other side and repeat the pick up purlwise. (slight difference)
Turn, Slip one and knit to first un-worked wrap. Pick up.
Repeat this procedure until all wrapped stitches are worked and heel is complete.

Congrats. Mostly done!

Knit 6 rows (or more if you want the lace further from the heel)

Begin pattern at beginning of 7th row.

ROW 1 *2k, SSK, 2k, YO* Repeat this stitch pattern. Be careful not to loose any stitches as the YO's are at the end of the repeat!
ROW2 KNIT ALL (Original calls for a purled row between lace.. if you want to match existing socks which are purled between pattern rows.)

Repeat this till desired sock size. My little summer socks have 12 repeats of these two rows. (24 rows total)

To end, I worked three rows of 3x3 ribbing. I knit the first three sts (the higher part of the lace), and purled the last three (lower part of the lace).

Bind off as follows for a lacy very stretchy edge: Knit one. Yarn Over. Knit one. Slip needle under YO and leftmost stitch and slide both over the right most stitch. Repeat. Use a little crochet hook if it proves difficult to slide the YO and lift knit st over the right st. Use that same hook to slide the yarn tail though the very first bound off stitch to avoid a gap in the edge.

Tuck in yarn ends and enjoy!
For the record, my pattern makes ones that look like the sock with the yellow at the top. It mirrors the Nixen pattern. Please do not profit from this pattern. If anyone asks for this, send them back here to get it themselves. :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Boyfriend Sock Saga

Sometimes I'm a bad girlfriend.

Yeah, you heard me. For example. Many moons ago I told the boyfriend I'd make him some socks. And, I kind of have. House socks in some fugly Red Heart yarn of his own choice. I didn't pick this out nor do I understand just why he seems to be drawn to the fugly Red Heart multis (my skein of neon pink and red, let me show you it. Why lord? Why!??) Now, I don't mind Red Heart in its place. It makes great blankets and hard wearing items.... and after a wash and dry or three these will be very soft and comfy for around the house. It's his color scheme I don't get.

Ah, the fuglies themselves. I started these around Xmass. I was hoping to have them done by the time I went back to home-not-near-family. Then I realized that hey, this is acrylic. It won't stretch like wool or wool blends will..and manbeast has giant manbeast feet! (my ladybeast feet are also big.. but since they are attached its easy to size them.) I had my brother try them on and I stopped making them after they came to his toe... he's two sizes smaller in manbeast feet sizing. Then I stuck this one into my bag o'shame and started on the second one.

....and then when I went home I left said second sock on the US5 brand new bamboo needles laying in my mother's bedroom... I'd been in there watching TV with the small nephew beast. (We were avoiding his crabby mother.) Major Xmass sock fail. No sock and no needles. Sad Kat.

And time passes. I get teased about the lacking socks. I make socks for others; I make socks for me. The mom keeps saying she'll mail out my needles (and his sock) and instead just keeps adding to the box to be sent out. Our deteriorating car prevents a quick trip out. Thick house sock weather is almost over anyways.

And I get a coupon for Knit Picks and an idea for fun to make manly socks. As his feet are huge.. they will be in sport weight. I picked a very nice dark green solid and a dark grey for a toe, These are both colors he likes. And, I've charted up a awesome knot for the sock. Squee. Anyways, here is the initial sketch; it doesn't look that much like this in the final form. I've finally charted it... and look forward to the knitting of it. If it looks good I'll release it as a pattern.

Yeah, I think he'll like the birthday present. *is smug*

Naturally, as soon as this idea struck me and I bought the yarn (en route) we started to plan a me and tiny dog only trip east. So, yeah, I will get my needles and he will also get his Red Heart Socks!

Thing is the nephew just had a birthday (which no one bothered to tell me about till after it happened) and my cash flow is rather not there for a nice gift...his mother would die if I thrifted him anything and she found out about it... so I'm crocheting up something.
Apparently he was given a goldfish at a party he went to. Don't ask, I don't agree with giving any animal as a gift but what is done is done. I'm thinking a golden fishie will be just the thing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


(this was part of a prior post but I edited to expand here)

Cables. Cables are fun, cables are dandy... if you get one wrong you're in for a treat. This is a test project panel over 80 stitches wide, no repeats and no surrender. See, I've done cables before. I love the way they look on flatwork. I love them on socks. I love them on pillows and hats.

I thought to myself.. 'Kat, you love cables, you even designed a very simple X and O cabled glove (free on rav)... this lady makes awesome and awe inspiring cabled projects and well.. she needs test knitters....'


I didn't realize just how big it was. Nor did I realize that this is a non repeating pattern. And my first try was on dark green yarn. I've ripped it out and restarted more times then I care to count.

But.. I have grown as a knitter and have learned a new technique. Crocheting the mistake. You need a screwed up cable (6 or more rows down seemed to be when I noticed the problems) a number of DPNs/extra cable needles and a few small crochet hooks. (Mine were a D and an F and I was knitting with US 10 needles and worsted weight Red Heart yarn) You want to be able to have plenty of loose yarn around said hook. Oh, and a good picture or great chart of whatever you are doing is helpful!

Anyways all you do is slide the stitches to be reworked off the knitting needles. Secure the points (I stuck point protectors on mine) so no other stitches would slide off. You can unraval with the little hook pairs of stitches down to the issue and fix them pair by pair (or trio by trio) like I did with the smaller fixes.. or just yank down the entire section (as in the picture) and rework the entire piece till it looks correct. This was a 6 stitch rip down through 10 rows. I'd 4 needles holding pairs of stitches here and there as I retwisted and reworked them.
I'd miss-crossed on the first cross which was ruining the look..and forgotten to cross two others. Took almost two hours... but compared to the ten-fifteen hours it would have taken to restart the work.. Yup.

Some others reknit the ripped section. I think hooking up as for a dropped stitch is faster. YMMV.

Things I have learned about complex cabling.
(thanks to a fellow Ravelry member faeriesandpixies and others)

1. Color the different cable stitches in both your legend and the chart. Color one cable cross at a time, for the entire chart (say, starting with c2 over 2left). You will then see how that cross moves through your chart. This will be the visual representation of your pattern and will be really helpful as you knit

2. Study the differences in the cable stitches. You don’t need to memorize them, just understand them. (Hint: basically there are only two kind of cables, left- and right-leaning, or left- and right-crossing. After that, the differences are in how many stitches are crossed, what kind of stitch is crossed, and what kind of stitch is in the background. Usually the knits are crossed and the purls are in the background. And they are in this pattern.)

3. Try to use a light-colored wool or wool/blend yarn.

4. Mark off each row that you have completed. Everyone occasionally forgets what row they are on. Try to do each RS(odd #s) and it’s following WS(even #s) row in one sitting. Then look at your work to make sure it’s correct. Stopping and starting mid-row tends to make for mistakes. Knitting cables is alot about attention span and concentration (both I struggle with from time to time :).

5. Cover the rows above the working row.

6. Set yourself some goals. Do two rows, have a soda, then eight more, have a tea, then ten more.

Yeah... I'm glad I'm doing this. I'm just that much closer to writing another pattern of my own...with cables. Now I should stop procrastinating on this here blog and go finish the thing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Big Gay Socks, A Travelling Woman and Ireland Forever

My Kali approves of my Big Gay Socks. Maybe. I have a theory about this. First, she is a chihuahua. Chis and gay men do indeed travel together very often. Secondly, she was brought home by one Big Gay brother (yeah, he's my baby brother but he's still well over 6 foot..and he is very very gay; like Big Gay Al gay) and in his room he had the rainbow well covered. In this rainbow-laden delight she spent her first few weeks of formative time. Third, this brightly colored thing is taking my attention from its rightful recipient...namely, her.

This dog and these socks do indeed amuse me. She normally just tries to sit on my knitting much like a cat would. These socks get little 'riff-riff's barked at them. The socks themselves are a resized Spring Forward for my size 10 US feet. Namely, I am doing them toe-up on US2s with a reworked lace stitch.
Now my Travelling Woman shawl... it's soft and warm and of course I made it just for her to rest upon or under. I cannot throw this thing on without her trying to borrow underneath it.

I mostly took this shot to show the crocheted edge I threw on the thing to stop the edge rolling up. Yes, it's worsted, yes it is killed acrylic yarn.. but no I'm not going to sit for any damned rolling. I do love this thing for late night snuggling/book reading/knitting when a blanket would be too much or get in the way.

I'm happy I made it. I'll probably make more shawls soon...

...And here is one! This is a
Multnomah with a few mods. I started it on St. Patrick's Day hence the name.

Almost finished with the plain bit. Garter gets so dull after a while. This will probably be redyed darker green or blue...the neon is too much for this white girl.
This one will probably get to leave the house when finished.

This is a skein of Malbingo lace in colorway VAA.
No idea just what that is short for...just that this is probably the softest thing I have ever personally touched. The colors are dark green, dark brown and deepest green-blue. It looks of summer.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Estonian Lace Cliffs Notes A how-to guide deconstructing lace star stitch
With a multiple of 4+1
Star: P3 tog, but leave old stitch on left needle, yo, P same 3 stitches together, removing the old stitch from the left needle.
Rows 1 and 3: Knit
Row 2: *k1, star stitch* repeat to last stitch, k1
Row 4: k1, p1, *k1, star stitch* repeat to last 3 stitches, k1, p1, k1 collection of videos and guides

Lace Lace 101 a motherlode GUIDE TO CHARTS!!!!!!

And thus concludes my tiny gathering of usefull linkage.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Creamy Potato Soup

Creamy Potato Soup is a very simple recipe involving a potato, a few small onions, some flour, a pat of butter, a bit of cheese and milk. Oh, the ham is optional but it adds a special something to the taste or leave it out to be a vegetarian meal. It's yummy either way.

Serves Two.

1 Large Red Potato, (or two small ones.. or you can use non-red taters)
2 small onions. I like the yellow onions for this soup.
1 slice good deli ham
whole grain flour (or the white crap if that's what ya got)
sharp Cheddar cheese

Slice up the onion and potato into similar sized bits. They should be fairly small, but not smaller then a US quarter. Toss into boiling water in a 2 quart pan. Turn down heat and cook till potatoes are soft and almost fully cooked.

While they are cooking slice up the ham and cheese.

Now, remove pan from heat. Drain off half the water from the pan, tater and onions still in the remaining water. Add milk to the mix. Add at least enough milk to replace half the drained water. Return to heat till mix is hot.

Keeping mix at a constant not quite boiling spoon out 1/4 cup of the liquid. Put in bowl. Add flour to this mix till you've a thick paste like substance. Be sure to mash all the dry chunks out. Slowly pour (while stirring soup) this back into the still cooking soup. Add sliced ham and a small amount of cheese.

Continue stirring over heat till the soup thickens and the flour taste is cooked out. Allow to set a few minutes to finish thickening and serve with a nice slice of homemade buttered bread and a cheese topping.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Crisis Garden

Watch Crisis Garden Mock in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at

I now have the fear. I need a Crisis Garden!!!!! I can do this.

One starts with a worm bin. A worm bin can be something as grand as this 100 dollar deal or as simple as my old large ice cream bucket and lid. (Ice cream bucket was from some cheapo ice cream we get in bulk 5 gallon pails for the manbeast to feed his lust for all things sweet. And yet, he's the skinny one!)

For a bucket like mine you punch it full of holes for air exchange and drainage..making sure the holes aren't so big the worms can escape. I also have a plastic 'root saver' (one of those plastic things they stick in the bottoms of pots to give the soil and roots a small air space over the bottom of the pot) to keep my mulch off the bottom of the pot. Gives wormies more air flow.
One adds some sort of dampened bedding (mine's old spag moss from orchid re-pots and newspaper) and old food/peelings/egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds... basically organic food garbage. I was feeding mine this this round:
That's eldery rice and even more elderly curry. I have a small bin because me and the manbeast do not create much food waste. This is it for the last month outside of tea bags and potato peels.. those I didn't bother with a picture!

Anyways, scoop out the ready to use compost. It'll be the decomposed non-identifiable non-smelly brown gunk in the bin. Add it to a soil mix in your pot. Add fresh damp newspaper over the pile of the gross food bits in a section of the bin. Replace lid. Replace bin under kitchen sink. (yes, that is where I keep mine. No, you can't smell it.)
Oh, I got my worms at Petco. I just asked for 'red wigglers'. They sell them as turtle food. The number they give you is just about right for a little bin like mine. They ran me 3-4 dollars. Bait stores will also carry them and probably for less dough.
More worm info?

Now we are here.
I used an old knife to 'chop' the compost material into the potting soil mix. It's some peat potting soil blend... anyways, wet fully while gently chopping the two soils together. If you find a stray worm or worm egg (look like tiny clear marbles) throw it back into the worm bin.

Now for my crisis veggies!!!! I LOVE me some garlic and onions! But, I always end up with slightly more lively individuals then I want to eat.
Little bastards. Trying to grow green parts and roots and all. You'd think they didn't want to be food! Anyways... dig holes in the container and shove them in. Cover up the bulb parts. Water well and stick outside (if the freeze-time is over) or in a nice sunny window.
Gloat that you just saved over 149 dollars and still have a 'crisis garden' any sane person can enjoy. Next time I'll share my yummy potato soup method. I promise the pictures will be more appetizing! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Education is in Great Shape

I found this song both beautiful and moving.

It actually made me angry to hear the lyrics. There is such a disjointed feeling between what I know to be true and what the words paint as true to be jarring to anyone with any kind of decent education. And yet in Texas very recently they have rewritten the history they will be teaching the kiddies.
It may as well be an accurate account of what some persons would choose to have the kids learn... wonderful things like the Confederate president is as worthy of note as Lincoln; Reagan was Even More Awesome(TM) and that all Founding Fathers were Christian...oh, and McCarthyism had a point.. the commies were there after all. Just bloody wonderful.

Lyrics here just in case.

Then, you have this. I graduated HS in 98. I remember kindergarten as mostly being all about the gluing of paper together, playing with letter blocks and learning to write "My name is >>>>" and other stuff...oh, and learning about stranger-danger and stuffs.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Calm. Centered. Calm.

Emerald City


Cindy from Optimara

To induce the calm enjoy these lovely African Violets.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Glen Beck is ...


Pure creamy.. cashmere...mmm plus dye and me makes this lovely. I dubbed it 'Cherry cordial' because the colors reminded me of the candy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My First Malabrigo

It's kinda like one's first lay. Apparently it is just that important.

Anyways, here she is.

She's gonna be a 198 yards of heaven.

Funny enough a traded for hank came at the same time. This one's lace weight though.

I'm thinking Sommerwind?

Monday, March 8, 2010

स्नो Scenes

मदर नतुरे इस मिघ्टी एंड पोवेर्फुल इन हेर अन्गेर.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Giving it a go

It was brought to my attention that I should actually post on one of these. So.. here goes.

This might be fun.