Yarn Shopping

I loved being back at Loopy and shopping for yarn last week. (I mean shopping for yarn for ME. Of course I have continued to do a lot of yarn shopping and ordering for all of YOU while I’ve been in Colorado.) As predicted, I picked up 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces Solemate, 3 skeins of Madtosh Pashmina, 2 skeins of Madtosh Sport, and a skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. You know all of those order notes you leave us that say, “Please pick a colorful skein” or “Please match these really well, I’m making a sweater”? I actually emailed the Elves with a couple of these requests (like the LL Solemate in our exclusive Colorado color, since I knew they’d sell out) and found myself adding the same thing to my notes. “Please pick me a good one!” Which is silly, because one thing the Elves ALWAYS do is pick out good skeins and match them very very carefully, whether you leave an order note or not. But I fell right into that trap and added a note. I know they rolled their eyes at me. They don’t roll their eyes at you, but they know that I know better. 🙂

Here is the start of my sock out of Devon, that has completely derailed my Project Three work. (Pattern is Vog On). When the sock is done, I’ll be sure to take a photo that shows the striping going on in the plain knitting along the back of the sock. I love how it’s working out. (Remember, it’s hard to capture teal correctly. This makes it look a little more yellow than it is. The photo I showed on Monday’s blog is the correct color. And it’s also the reason that I pay someone else to take our official website photos and spend time color correcting them….) I haven’t knit a sock in forever. The last one I knit and blogged was back in February. I did make another one after that, however it’s still under cover and unbloggable. But it was right around the same time. No wonder I was in the mood to knit some socks.

There’s another reason that I have laid aside my Project Three. While I love the yarn and the way it’s working up, so does someone else. Every time I turn around, there’s Gracie, snoozing on it. I kept it in my project bag for awhile, but she would go to the bag and try to dig it out. She doesn’t do this with merino or cashmere. It’s always alpaca. She has a thing for alpaca. (Hmm – I wonder what she’d do if I introduced her to a real one?) The next time I want to make a blanket of any kind, I’ll turn away from the Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes, and will head for the Cascade 220. FPS. Given the fact that I’m having fun on the sock and I have a whole new stash of yarn to play with, Gracie can claim dibs on the afghan-in-the-making for a bit longer. I guess I could always make one for her, but that would make her even more spoiled, I think. If you have pets – have you ever knit for them?

Sheri Zoelikesblanketstoo,butshedoesn’tlimitherselftoalpaca


  1. Paddy Cat has his very own cat mat made from a kit. He loves it. In fact, all three of the pets love it. I need to get some yarn in a different color to make one for Maggie, and depending on time and finances, I may try and do one for Salty, though he tends to eat such things in the evenings. (Not in the morning, only in the evening. Silly dog.)

    And Paddy likes to help when I’m knitting or crocheting, no matter the fiber. He’s currently totally enamored of the Camp Loopy 3 project, as it has LOTS of ends to play with.

  2. I’m thinking Salty eats such things in the evening because he’s mad at you for being gone all day. 🙂

  3. I appreciate that the elves do match up the yarn (even with matching dye lots). I ordered yarn years ago elsewhere and wanted 3 skeins. I ended up with 2 of one dye lot and 1 of another. I contacted them and they told me they didn’t have time to match them up when packing orders, they just pulled them off the shelves. Good customer service is worth everything. I haven’t shopped at that shop again and I continue to go for the good customer service.

    I am sure I would still add that note also when I am getting yarn for a bigger project. Lately, I have been on the one skein project kick.

  4. Funny, I use Alpaca as a substitute for mohair. You see, my meezers think mohair is “kitty crack”…they go NUTS over mohair content. Alpaca – not so much. I can safely knit with alpaca. You just have to figure out your own felines and knit accordingly. 🙂

  5. Thanks, Suzanne! It’s usually a multi-person project, too. One person will pick the skeins and then several of us gather around to agree or disagree on how well they match. (That’s for the non-dyelot yarns. With dyelots, it’s much easier!) I can’t imagine anyone thinking there just wasn’t time to match yarn when pulling orders. Wow.

  6. That’s so crazy about your cat. My (late) kitty loved alpaca. I could lay out a whole assortment of yarn and she would always go for it. She didn’t really care fore other fibers, but with alpaca she would roll around on the floor like that classic picture of a cat with a ball of yarn. I made a couple toys for her out of it. I miss my Elsie.

  7. My cat *knows* that everything I knit is actually a kitty blanket. Sometimes I just make the blankies stupidly small and she has to work really hard to get her big furry butt on the corner of the blanket.
    Also, she has no idea why I call her blanket corner a “heel”… O_o

    She’s not discriminating, either. As long as it’s a natural fibre, it’s all good by her.

  8. Ha ha – Grace! (Me, too.)

    Sarah – I’m sorry about Elsie. Time to add a new cat to your household?

    Kiki – so nice that your cat likes everything. I’ll have to teach Gracie not to be so discriminating, for pete’s sake.

  9. So I’m not the only one with a cat that goes nuts for alpaca? She had never paid any attention to my knitting until I made an alpaca last year, then she had to “love” the ball of yarn whenever she could find it. Then when a box containing some alpaca was at my house a week or so ago, she actually hissed at my daughter when she tried to move her away from the box — and this is a cat that almost never hisses at anything or anyone. Took us a while to realize that she wanted whatever was in the box in the worst way. She didn’t get it though, and the scarves have gone on their way. Thanks for letting me know my cat isn’t totally nuts, Sheri

  10. My cat thinks all my knitting and crocheting projects are invitations to use my lap as a bed. Once she is fully sprawled in my lap, she proceeds to use the project as a pillow. She sure loves it when I knit.

  11. I’ve made Kitty Pi beds for my cats – not only are there about 5 in the house, there are 2 for the cats at work—and my Magic kitty was cremated in hers, she loved it so much. I’ve made lots of knitted mice toys–1 of our clients even requested I make some for her cat that has problems with his mouth, because he loves them too!
    I’m planning on making sweaters for 2 of my dogs this winter, too!

  12. The Elves do a very good job of taking care of us walk-in customers. They especially like to show us lovely things made from the fibers, almost as if tempting us.

    I crochet or knit something and invariably an animal sits on it. My dogs don’t like sweaters and the cats had lovely fur. So the only way to make something for them was to make an afghan and let them sit on it.

  13. I have knit for both our cats!. A pretty blanket for our Harry Potter, who likes to sit on the granite kitchen island, but finds it cold beneath his royal behind. And a scarf for Hobbes to snuggle into – that scarf started out as something for me, and felted in a front loading washer after people swore to me that couldn’t happen. Malabrigo, too. It started out a deep, deep blue, but with the butterscotch hairs that have intertwined themselves with the fabric, it’s more of a beige these days.

  14. I keep my knitting in a locked room, because otherwise my kitty will do something worse than sit on it. She has taken projects out of bags and wound them around chair legs and the entire dining room set. It was a bit of a nightmare to untangle.

    Saru-chan has also eaten yarn, though thankfully I was able to get the yarn out of her relatively safely. I keep it away from her, because I just don’t want my hobby to cause her trauma (and by extension myself trauma when I see she has tried to eat 10 yards of wool).

  15. My cats love knitted things, regardless of fibre. They have a couple things that are “theirs,” but if they manage to find a cardigan or blanket in a horizontal location they purr like crazy, “knead” it (this does not destroy the item like I used to think it would!), then curl up and go to sleep on it. If there is a knitted item hanging somewhere or draped over something, they may attempt to bring it down to where they can enjoy it.

    They are indifferent toward my crocheted blanket. Little brats.

  16. Not only have I knit smallish blankets for one of my cats, I’ve knit them in his favorite colors. Yes, more than one. He was a rescue and not very bright from the abuse he survived as a kitten and had a distinct preference for red and purple toys. Loved mohair and alpaca and would fall asleep on the skeins and/or work in progress purring and drooling. (Bit of concern the first time I found a soaking wet skein on the floor, relieved to find it was kitty drool) Made him a small blanket out of sale yarn. Which one of the other cats would claim, so I made 2 more. Odd bits of yarn and sale yarn are made into kitty blankets/throws. Good for covering parts of furniture where the kitties sleep, easy to wash. And sometimes used to lure them into cat carriers. Security blankets at the Vet’s.

    None of my cats have bothered with playing with my projects or yarn. Needles must be kept up though. The girl kitty who commandeers the other cats favorite toys and blankets also steals needles, crochet hooks, pens, scissors….any thing she thinks you might use. Fortunately her stash pile is under the rocking chair. Easy to find missing objects. The neighbors cat I cat sit has tried to snag my knitting right out of my hands. No knitting around him. Only recently have I heard of bits of yarn causing intestinal blockage so bits of yarn have joined plastic bag tabs and thread in being contained.

  17. Our cat loved it when I would knit, and she would deliberately lie down on any project I had on my needles to test the item. If she didn’t like the yarn, she would leave it alone. We buried her in her favorite blanket I knitted especially for her. My former father-in-law still knits little coats and booties for their toy poodles, making them the best dressed pets in mid-Michigan IMHO.

  18. I love that Gracie covets your alpaca! I wonder if my cats would do the same? They both seem to like the any of the 100% wools, must be all that natural fiber calling to them. But I do agree, it does make the knitting a little difficult when a cat tries to hog it all and I always worry about all the cat hair when knitting things for other people. I always give everything a good soak and rinse, but I know there are little bits of cat hair left behind!

  19. Yea….all the cats I have ever shared my life with have their own blankies! I don’t see it as spoiling them, I see it as preserving my sanity and my stash! Have 2 cats now and they know which blanket is who’s. And will carry on cat like if either one tries to use the wrong blanket. One loves wool to cuddle in/on and the other is an Alpaca lover. If I am knitting I set the blankets out in the living room and they retire to their spots rather then trying to nap on my knitting project! It is actually a good way to direct them to or from areas I don’t want them in…but don’t tell them….after all they are cats and cats don’t allow themselves to be “directed”.

  20. Yes, I do knit for my cat. He is my pirate prince. He owns a couple toys he loves, a blankie on the back of the couch and a felted bed. I think if they live with you then they should be spoiled. Happy Knitting!

  21. Sheri, Are you going to be able to come up to Estes for Alpaca Mart this weekend? The Switzer’s have a paco-vicuna named Corvis, who is an absolute sweety and so ridiculously soft. I am sure Gracie would trade your alpaca for a little paco-vicuna.

  22. Gracie has excellent taste in fibers. Alpaca is my favorite too. My kitties love to fondle my knitting as I knit. They help pull yarn out of the project bag to keep the tension loose enuf! I have made them yarn balls and tug of war ‘ropes’ from leftovers. quiled them blankets too.

  23. Cats do LOVE alpaca! When I was writing an article on an alpaca farmer, I brought home some roving, but even before I got it out of the bag, the cats both went nuts anyway over my jeans, boots and jacket that brought in all those alpaca scents, they pawed everything to make sure there was no real alpaca hiding anywhere. I told the cats someday they can have their very own alpaca as a pet if they will take care of it! Starli and Shamrock have two felted beds but I did not include alpaca in the mix when knitting them, only b/c at the time I didnt have any on hand. Next time!

  24. The only thing I have knit for the animals is some catnip mice for the kitties from Wendy’s pattern, both plain and cabled.

  25. Here’s the story – my kitties are Merlin and Tinkerbell. Merlin is my skinny all black male – who is showing some grays lately as he just turned 10 this July!! Tinkerbell is my “healthy” calico baby… She’s only 6. Anyway, I have started numerous practice pieces that have ended up as their blankies, but none that were ever finished on purpose for them… yet. I was working on a small afghan for a friend at work… Merlin kept wanting to lay on it… The blanket was distributed this morning so I think I’ll have to start working on another one so they have something to look forward to.
    I don’t think they have experienced alpaca yet but I don’t think i want to spoil them just yet!!! 🙂 Sheri your kitties are soooo gorgeous!
    Keep you posted if we ever bring an Alpaca home – I did get to hold a baby one during the summer but since I was travelling, the kitties at home didn’t get any sniff time in.
    Have a great weekend!

  26. I don’t intentionally knit for my furry overlords, but both blankets I’ve made have ended up claimed by them. This includes the first one I made when I picked up knitting again after several years absence. It’s one knit on size 60 needles, four strands of yarn held together, and was a stash buster for all the odd pink and purple acrylic yarns I had. It turned out really long, but just wide enough to cover one person, which is perfect for snoozing on the sofa! It gets softer and fluffier with each washing, and the cats wait impatiently for me to pull it out of the dryer and return it to it’s proper spot so they can lay on it. It is “The One Blankie” in our house. 😀

  27. Am currently crocheting a cat mat from my own handspun for my cat, Ivy. Of course, her favorite place to sit is on any shawl whether it is complete or in progress. Happy September, but where did this last 3 months go?

  28. vog-on is one of most favorite socks, I think I have made it 4 or 5 times and have had friends I teach to knit make it as one of their first projects..it is always gorgeous!!

  29. My baby kitty, Pearl, loves when I’m making a Snuggle Sak for a newborn. She trys to climb inside of it while I’m knitting. See, I had made a mistake when I made the first one by using Pearl as my model and ever since then she thinks this is the best thing ever and wants one of her very own. So Sheri, you ask if I’ve every knitted for my pet….well I think the day is fast arriving. Pearl will be getting a SS from Santa this year!!

  30. I have yarn to crochet a sweater for my oldest son’s little dog, but I haven’t started it yet, does that count? And, once, when one of my dogs had to have ACL surgery on a rear knee, many years ago, I had to crochet an emergency leg onto a purchased dog sweater, to keep that poor leg warm in the winter!

    So that’s where my 2 skeins of Lorna’s Lace Solemate ran off, to, Sheri, that were in my basket, lol? Seriously, I do hope you will be ordering some more. 🙂

  31. I have yarn to crochet a sweater for my oldest son’s little dog, but I haven’t started it yet, does that count? And, once, when one of my dogs had to have ACL surgery on a rear knee, many years ago, I had to crochet an emergency leg onto a purchased dog sweater, to keep that poor leg warm in the winter!

    So that’s where my 2 skeins of Lorna’s Lace Solemate in your Colorado exclusive color, that were in my basket, ran off to, Sheri, lol? Seriously, though, I do hope you will be ordering some more one of these days. 🙂

  32. Yes, I have knit for my pets. My very first cat was one of those Siamese who has a thing for wool. His favorite place in the world was in my lap if I was knitting. He loved the texture of cables, and would do the kneeding thing, letting the yarn squish up between his toes. He had to go in for some icky surgery, so I knit him his own wool blanket. Ultimately when he had to be put down, he was wrapped in his blankie. I love my current cats, but I still miss Fred. He was the best cat ever.

  33. Careful, I lost a $120 wrap made out of Rowan Big Wool that way – Ganache the Wonder Cat would cry and cry unless I spread it out for her to snuggle on while I knit it. (Chorley Wrap pattern.)

    I have to admit, it looks better on the cat than it does me, unfortunately. And she sleeps on it every day, with a big smile on her face….

  34. Hmm, my cats don’t see to love the alpaca. Maybe I just never had any around. I will have to make them some alpaca catnip mice and see if what happens.

  35. I had a cat that would stalk and kill anything that I made with Alpaca in it. I had to seal up the project in those heavy plastic zip bags that sheets and blankets come in. Even then she would attack the bag. It was funny watching her creep across the floor, tail flicking, then the little butt wiggle and POUNCE! Back up and hiss. I couldn’t help but laugh at her and when I did she would stalk off all offended with a parting look over her shoulder that well if looks could kill I expected to read my obituary in the paper the next morning. She also would run and jump in the sink to play in the water any time you turned it on. Took a couple of unexpected showers with me too. Had to leave her behind when I moved boy do I miss that little monkey.

  36. I had a blalck and white cat named Spatz and he ate part of a cashmere sweater I foolishly left on the bed. He maximized his fiber input (and output) for many days! He was an odd sort of fellow, walking with us and yowling when he wanted us to turn and go home. Oskar, our beautiful tabby, has his own handspun yarn ball (two yards). He prefers the Malabrigo bought for the third Camp Loopy project. I must keep the yarn container zipped so that only a small opening is left for the yarn to come out; otherwise he paws at the purse until he opens the purse enough to snag the ball of yarn and pull it out. His latest trick is perching on the dining room table waiting to get in trouble. Anyone have experience with ferral cats? My son said he received Oskar from a woman who said Oskar and his sister came to her house. The female would only eat and resist any contact. Oskar kept trying to get into her house! He is a very, very affectionate cat – always wants contact with me.

  37. I’m knitting a sock with Devon right now too – I just love the colors!

    I also have a kitty that only harasses alpaca yarns. I can leave anything else sitting out with ends trailing everywhere and they won’t touch it, but the alpaca has to get put away otherwise Katherine has to cuddle it, and then she starts washing it. She doesn’t shew it, but it always needs a bath. Silly kitty!

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