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Giving Thanks to You, Part 2, With a Free Pattern

 

The past 2 weeks have been quite busy for me here at casa YarnKat. My consignee at Buy Hand – Laguna Beach placed an order for extra animals for 2 events the shop will be having, so my work stopped and the animals have been crocheted and delivered. Then our newest YarnKitten, Gizmo, got, um, neutered. Uncle Baggy is taking good care of him while he recuperates.

Thanksgiving just a week away now and the next FREE PATTERN is my QUICK KNIT FINGERLESS MITTS. They are knit with super bulky #5 or #6 yarn like Lion Brand Hometown USA, Bernat Softee Chunky, Premiere Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday Chunky, Plymouth Yarn Encore Mega or Malabrigo Rasta. One skein/hank of at least 75 yards will make the mitts.

 

For 1 week only, the pattern will be free, after that it will be $4.00 in my pattern shop.

If you prefer to have just the written pattern, without all of the dialog, please go to the patterns section and grab it HERE.

The sample shown is made with Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn, in Cincinnati Red color, #6 Super Bulky, 5oz (142 gm), 81yds (74m), US 10½, (6.5mm) straight knitting needles.

Lion Brand Hometown USA Bernat Softee Chunky

 

Materials

1 skein/hank Chunky yarn

US 10½ (6.5mm) straight knitting needles

Large darning needle

Scissors

Removable Stitch Marker

 

Terminology

K-knit               P-purl              BO-bind off                RS-right side

 

Notes:

Since I do not have 9inch circular needles, these mitts are knit flat, leaving a long tail to stitch the side seams together.

 

Instructions

Row 1: With a long tail, using Long Tail Cast On, cast on 20 stitches

Row 2: *Knit 2 (K2), Purl 2 (P2), *repeat across to end of row, turn

Row 3-6: Repeat row 2, turn (5 rows of ribbing) measures about 2 inches

Row 7: Knit across (place removable stitch marker at beginning of row), this will be RS

Row 8: Knit 2, Purl to last 2 stitches, K2.

Rows 9-23 Repeat Rows 7 & 8 until piece measures 5 inches long from cast on edge to needle, (approximately 15 rows)

Rows 21-25: Repeat Row 2 (k2, p2) for 5 rows.

Bind off in k2, p2, leave a long tail.

Assembly

Starting at bind off edge, fold right side together (place removable stitch marker told in place) and whipstitch down the 5 rows of ribbing, making sure you stitch tight to close the seam. Leave tail for now and go to opposite edge of mitt, whipstitch from bottom up the ribbing, place mitt on hand and continue to stitch closed until you feel comfortable with the thumb opening.

My Little Helper

 

If you did not leave a long tail on one end, you can weave in thru the stitches to get to opposite side and finish stitching seam closed. Repeat for other mitt, turn inside out, and you are ready to wear. When finished I had 2 ounces of the original 5 ounces remaining. If the ribbing had been shortened, there would have been enough to make a second pair. Something to consider if you do not want to have any leftover yarn.

These mitts make great gifts, you can wear them while knitting or crocheting, walking the dog in the morning, or driving.

Feel free to leave comment on this free pattern. I would love to see your mitts, so be sure to post your pictures on Ravelry, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and hash tag #yarnkat #quickmitts

 

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Giving Thanks To YOU with a Free Pattern

The holidays are fast approaching, Thanksgiving is 3 weeks away, and YarnKat is 1 year old. I am thankful for your support of my blog and website. In order to show my thanks I am giving you a FREE CROCHET PATTERN that can be made in 1 day or 2 days. This pattern is a crochet scarf. For 1 week only, the pattern will be free, after that it will be $4.00 in my pattern shop.

You using this yarn? It’s fits my head perfectly.

 

I call this my Rolling Along Infinity Scarf.  The  scarf is an easy pattern for the novice crocheter, the more experienced will find it can be crocheted it in a short time. The sample shown is in Premier Yarns Sweet Roll Cake, in colorway Pink Swirl. It is an acrylic yarn, worsted weight #4, with 245 yards. It is machine washable, and the recommended hook size is US I-9 (5.5mm).

Other yarn choices: Vanna’s Choice (2 skeins), Red Heart Unforgettable (1 skein), Bernat Pop Cake Yarn (1 skein), Plymouth Yarn Company’s Encore (1 to 2 skeins), even Red Heart Super Saver Soft or With Love and Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn. These are all economical choices, each being less than $8 per skein

The crochet hook we will be using is US J-10 (6mm). In choosing this hook, there will be more loft, more flow to the scarf. It will not look so stiff because the larger hook eases the tension of the yarn.

If you prefer to have just the written pattern, without all of the dialog, please go to the patterns section and grab it here: https://yarnkatcom.ipage.com/?product=rolling-along-infinity-scarf

Materials

1 Sweet Roll Cake, or 245 yds of worsted weight, like Vanna’s Choice, Crochet Hook J-10, darning needle, tape measure, scissors and piece of cardboard (to make fringe/tassles)

Sweet Roll Cake yarn

 

Terminology

Ch-chain, SC-single crochet, DC-double crochet, V-stitch

Chain 3 counts as double crochet

Sample scarf measures 72 inches

Pull yarn from center pull.

 

Pull yarn out from center of cake, Chain 24; sc in 2nd ch from hook; sc in each remaining chain; Turn

Chain 3, skip next stitch, V stitch in next stitch; skip 2 sts, V stitch in next stitich, repeat across to last 2 sts, skip next stitch, double crochet in last stitch. Turn

Chain 3, V stitch in each chain 1 stitch from previous row’s V stitch. Double crochet in top of chain 3 st.

Close up of the V Stitch. Do you see “V’s”?

 

Repeat last row until you are almost out of yarn. Or if you do not want to make infinity scarf, you can crochet scarf at least 60 inches and bind off and take remaining yarn and add fringe/tassles to ends.

Spread the word, I would love to see your scarf. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Ravelry.

Stayed tuned for my next post. I will be offering a  Knitting item. I would love to hear what you have to say about YarnKat. Feel free to share your scarf with me. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, Pinterest with the hastag #YarnKat  #RollingAlong.

Baggy here: a FREE pattern? My human is so generous.
Spooky Halloween Kitty

Stitch Markers, Notepads, Lifelines, WIPs, Tool Bags

About a month ago, I happened to be at Downtown Disney, in Anaheim, Ca, for a knitting event. A group of about 40 ladies and a few gents, joined our illustrious hostess, Laura Wilson-Martos of Dizzy Blonde Studios for knitting in public. We sat at the Hearthstone Lounge inside of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, chatted to friends we know, met some new friendly knitters and had fun.

While we were knitting and socializing, we played a fun game: Knitting/Crochet version of Bingo. You had to fill in the squares with knitting & crochet quests like: someone crocheting amigurumi, knitting on dpns (double pointed needles), frogging an item and someone using a “Lifeline” plus more.

lifeline, red yarn

 

A Lifeline you ask? I had no idea what a lifeline was. I had to ask a fellow knitter. It is piece of waste yarn that it threaded onto a row to hold the stitches.  If for any reason you need to undo your work, you can always go back to your last lifeline, pick up the stitches and continue your work from that point on.

That has to be one of the best pieces of advice I have ever learned. When knitting a project that has lots of lace work; i.e., YOs (yarn overs), SSKs (slip slip knits), K2TOGs (knit 2 together), a lifeline will help you from having to deal with a mistake that was made rows ago. As you can see, I have placed a lifeline. Now if there is a mistake, I know I can unravel it to the lifeline and not worry about losing anymore stitches.

stitch markers

 

Stitch Markers are nice to have when working with a pattern that has many repeat sections. When you look at the shawl, the stitch markers are placed every 13 stitches, as the pattern states. The repeats are usually inside the brackets or parentheses of the pattern. One can never have too many stitch markers!

knitter tools bag

 

A Tool Bag is the accessory that a knitter carries with them when doing projects. It can include: scissors, several sizes of darning needles, stitch markers (removable or not), tape measure, stitch counter, lifeline yarn or dental floss, crochet hook, pen and notepad, portable light, magnifier, hand lotion, post its, nail file. All of this including the yarn, pattern, page protector for pattern and needles (or crochet hooks). I have several tool bags to go with my current projects.

Gizmo – a WIP

 

WIPs, Works in Progress How many projects do you start, thinking that it’s a project you can come back to and then forget about it. You go into your yarn stash, find that WIP, and realize you did not remember what you were making. Pattern? Is the pattern printed, in a magazine, online, saved to a folder on computer, on tablet, on Ravelry? So many questions, so few answers.

One of the ways I keep WIPs from being just a WIP is to make a project bag for that project. Items needed for the bag: clear plastic storage bag- gallon size or larger, yarn, needles/hook, pad of paper, pen, Post Its.

With pad of paper, I write down pattern name, location of pattern; i.e. Ravelry, Craftsy, Lion Brand website, and keep a notation of what row/round I have worked on. For me, this works and keeps my projects safe until I am ready to finish them.

post it with pattern

 

If I have a printed pattern, I use a post it, with a notation as to where I need to continue with the pattern, next to the row or section to be completed.

I download a lot of patterns, about 90% of those patterns are saved on my laptop. I do not print the pattern, to save paper and printer ink, and I use my laptop for pattern storage, until I am ready to finish that project. When I leave home with a project bag, I move the pattern to my small tablet for portability to take along.

Currently I have 8 works in progress, with only 1 to be frogged- ripped out- if I cannot find the pattern. Not bad, if I say so myself. My goal is to get most of those projects finished in the next 3 months. All but 2 are knit shawls.

As always, I would love to your comments on this post or any of my other posts.

Kids Character Hats

The Eyes Have It, Nose Knows, Ears Hear, Brows Ask, Bow Stands Out, and Finally the Cookie

Recently, I posted pictures of kid’s character hats and matching bags onto social media and got a lot of positive responses.

A light bulb went off in my mind, and while the hat, is not my design, the bags, the eyes, ears, nose, eyebrows and bow are, so why not share my patterns?

I have assembled all the facial features for you to grab to make for your own hats. Scrap pieces of yarn is all it takes, and in little time, your hats will have added character.
I use the Magic Ring Method to start because it closes the beginning hole completely. June Gilbank (Planet June) has a great You Tube video here to learn. www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLUaywX0-WE

MATERIALS
Yarn: white & black (eyes, ears); gold (unibrow); orange (nose); red (bow); light brown/dark brown (cookie)
US G (4.25mm) Crochet Hook
Tapestry/Darning Needle
Scissors
Removable Stitch Markers (2-4)

INSTRUCTIONS

Eyes

EYES
(black) Magic Ring, single crochet 6 stitches, pull starting tail tight, then slip stitch into 1st st, bind off, cut a long tail to sew to white of the eyes.
(White)
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc into loop, pull tail tight, (do not slip stitch)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around, slip stitch into 1st sc, bind off, cut long tail 18sc
Attach black eye to center of white eye (Oscar); Elmo- attach black eye to lower portion of white eye
Cookie Monster- 1 eye in center, like Oscar; 1 eye lower, like Elmo

Elmo nose

 

NOSE (Elmo) with orange yarn, just like white eyes
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc, pull tail tight
Round 2: 2sc in each st 12sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st, sc in next st; repeat around 18sc
Round 4: Half double crochet in 1st, 2 double crochets in next 2 stitches, half double crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next stitch, slip stitch in next. Bind off, leaving a long tail.
Stitch nose to lower portion of face, then attach eyes, stitching them along upper edge of nose, making the black portion point inward towards the nose.

Oscar eyebrows

 

UNIBROW (Oscar)
With a long Tail and gold colored yarn (you will use both tails to sew unibrow onto hat)
Chain 21,
HDC in 2nd chain from hook, hdc in next 4 chains, SC in next 10 chains, HDC in last 5 chains. Slip Stitch in side of last hdc. Bind off leaving a very long tail.
To attach to hat, attach black eyes to center of white eyes, sew to hat and place them 3 stitches apart. Lay unibrow on top of eyes, with brow resting near black portion, place 1 stitch marker on both ends of brow. Take another stitch marker and place between eyes, pulling it down to form a point.
Sew one side of unibrow along outer edge of eyes, to center point, move to underside of eye, and sew back to beginning point, leaving tail for now.
Take other tail, and sew other side of unibrow, stitching top of brow and moving to lower side of brow. Once entire unibrow is stitched to hat, use sharp pointed scissors and stuff tail into each side of brow. It is used as stuffing.

Ears

 

EARS (for kitty) Make 2 White yarn
Magic Ring, chain 1, 4sc in loop
Round 1: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next stitch, repeat once more 6sc
Round 2: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 2 sts, repeat once more 8sc
Round 3: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 3 sts, repeat once more 10sc
Round 4: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 4sts, repeat once more 12sc
Round 5: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 5sts, repeat once more 14sc
Round 6: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 6sts, repeat once more 16sc
Round 7: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 7sts, repeat once more 18sc
Round 8: 2sc in 1st st, sc in next 8sts, repeat once more, slip stitch in next stitch. Bind off, leaving a long tail. 20sc
Attach ears starting at 3rd round of hat, down to 6th round of hat.

Bow

 

BOW (for kitty hat) red yarn
With a long tail, chain 13
Row 1: SC in each stitch, ch 1, turn
Row 2: (from now on) Sc in back loop of each stitch, ch 1 turn
Row 3: Repeat previous row for the next 5 rows, slip stitch in last stitch. Bind off and leave a long tail.
With darning needle, thread the needle, and stitch to center of bow, weave in from one side to the other, the pull to create crease. Wrap around center of bow at least 10 times. Take both tails, and make a knot to secure. It will be ready to sew onto front of ear on the hat.

Cookie

 

COOKIE (for Cookie Monster) light brown and dark brown yarn
Round 1: Magic Ring, 6sc in ring
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch 12sc
Round 3: sc in next stitch, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 4: sc in next 2sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Round 5: sc in next 3sts, 2sc in next stitch, repeat around 30sc
Rounds 6-8: sc around 30sc
Round 9: sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 24sc
Now grab a long piece of dark brown yarn, thread darning needle, and make little “chip” strips all around the cookie. Keep the needle attached and continue to decrease
Round 10: sc in next 2sts, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 18sc
Round 11: sc in next st, sc2tog in next stitch, repeat around 12sc
Add more chips to the underside of the cookie.
Round 12: sc2tog all around. Slip stitch in next stitch, bind off, leaving a long tail.
Use both ends of the dark brown yarn to tie a knot. Cut the yarn. You will now attach the cookie to the top of the hat.

crossbody close up1

Summer’s Ready Cotton Crossbody Bag

My original crossbody bag

Have you ever flipped through a magazine, walked into a store, found an article of interest and said to yourself, “I can do that”? Well, that happened to me recently and I had to do something about it. 

While walking through the local mall, I came across a purse on a mannequin that caught my eye. It had fringe on it, with a long strap and it was crocheted! My thought was, “I could make that.”

I couldn’t get it out of my head, I just had to crochet that bag or one similar. Maybe make one with fringe, a long strap to be worn crossbody, big enough to put wallet and sunglasses in it, but not too big.

On Saturday morning, with a cup of hot tea in my hand, I sat down in my “cave” (aka the office) to begin the process of crocheting a bag. First I had to determine a few things. Such as, how big would the bag be? What yarn would be used? What size crochet hook? And, so on.

Yarn.

Originally, I grabbed my stash of Lily Sugar & Cream Cotton yarn, in the colorway Sonoma Print for the bag. The skein is large, 12 ounces, approximately 600 yards, but I need both ends to crochet the bag with 2 strands held together, so my husband wound off half the large skein onto the yarn winder. It’s great to have a yarn winder, much easier than rolling into balls.

Choosing the crochet hook.
Cotton yarn will stretch a bit, so a larger hook, like P, will make the bag airy and will stretch whatever you put in it. A J hook will make the bag stiff, which is good but you do want some give in the bag. My choice for the bag is N-9mm. It will make the bag flow, while still hold its shape.

Let’s crochet.
If you do not want to follow this with all the photos, commentary and instructions, you can pick up the pattern from the patterns link above. For 1 week, you can get the pattern for FREE, afterwards it will be priced at $4.00.

There will be abbreviations in the pattern here:
ch  chain
st-stitch
ss  slip stitch
sc  single crochet

hdc  half double crochet

Round 1 of bag

 

For the sample shown the directions I am using Lily Sugar & Cream yarn-Americana Ombre colorway. With 2 strands of yarn held together, make a slip knot and chain 22. SC in 2nd ch from hook, across to last chain, 2sc in last chain, turn work to underside and 2sc in same stitch, sc across chain, 2sc in last stitch.

10 Rounds SC

 

Place a removable stitch marker, SC in each stitch around for 10 rounds. As you can see from the photo here, this is what it will look like. After the 10 rounds, which forms the base of the bag, you will now hdc around for 12 rounds.

13 Rounds HDC

Do not bind off, its time to add the shoulder strap. HDC in the next 4 sts, turn, sc in each st, continue to make the strap… it will be at least 100 rows. But don’t worry about counting the rows. Just crochet as long as you want the strap. When you have the strap length, lay bag flat, lay the strap on top of the bag, and sc the 4 stitches to the bag.

Attaching strap to bag

DO NOT BIND OFF. You will now make the closure flap. SC in same stitch as the strap edge, sc the next 19 sts, ending with sc in strap edge. Turn and continue to sc across this for 10 rows. Decrease first 2 stitches, and last 2 sts of each row, until there are 2 sts remain. Chain 5, slip stitch in 2nd chain from hook. Add a cute button to close and you are done.

Envelope Decreasing

 

If you do not want to make the envelope closure as in the Americana sample, and just want the flap to be a straight edge, as in the tricolor purse, all you have to do is single crochet 15 rows. Cut fringe to a length that will meet the bottom edge of the purse. And there you go.

Summer’s Ready Crossbody Bag

 

Let me know what you think about the bags. They are fun to make and can be made in less than 8 hours.

crochet edgings

Crochet Edgings, A How To

Edged Baby Blankets

Crochet Edgings

At the knitting guild I belong to, one of the classes we learned from was how to add crochet edgings to baby afghans. It is a nice embellishment to an ordinary item. All it takes is 1 yard of fleece fabric, a rotary cutter with a skip cut rotary blade, some yarn and in no time will you have a great gift.  Thanks go out to our instructor, fellow guild member Cathy McFarlane for teaching the class.

Here is your supplies list:

1 yard fabric  Go to your local craft, fabric store. You can usually find remnant pieces already cut to size, no need to shop for the fabric, its already done for you.
Rotary Cutter (or Scissors) and Mat Round cutting blade in a handle and a mat that doesn’t cut.
Yarn  I use scrap yarn from my stash
Crochet Hook  I use US H/8, 5mm crochet hook
Skip-Cut Rotary Cutter Blade  Makes perfect holes in fleece and other material for crochet edge blankets
Needle and Thread/Embroidery Floss used for Running Stitch- Hand-sewn stitch that weaves in and out of the fabric, resulting in a dashed line.

Instructions:

With each 1 yard fabric piece, you will be able to make 2 blankets. Take your rotary cutter or scissors and cut the fabric in half at the fold. Set one piece aside. Lay one fabric piece on the table. With the needle and thread, you will sew a running stitch along all 4 sides of fabric. It’s about a 1 inch hem.

Lay fabric on mat, put the skip-cut blade in the rotary cutter. Be careful as the blade is sharp. Roll the cutter along the inside of the hem, only rolling once. When you get to a corner, carefully turn your piece. I use a pin, to mark the last cut. If you cut it more than once, it will leave a larger hole. Go around all 4 sides.


Time to crochet the edging. With all crochet projects, start with a single crochet row. Make a slip knot, insert your hook and yarn into a hole, be sure to go through both thickness, single crochet. Go across the edge, make 3-5 single crochets in corner. You may need to trim the corner, so it is not too thick, and continue around all 4 sides. Slip stitch to first single crochet.

Now the fun begins. There are many crochet stitches you can add to the single crochet: Double Crochet, Shell Stitch and Picot Stitch just to name a few. You can change yarn colors, or keep it the same, its up to you. Here are samples of my crochet edgings.

double crochet edging

Double crochet- dc each stitch gives you a nice border. My sample shows you the nice edging. When at the corner, add a chain between each single crochet to keep the corner from rolling up. Or do 2 double crochets in each stitch.

shell stitch at the border

 

Shell stitch- 5 double crochet in each stitch gives you a nice scallop edge. For my sample, I did 5DC in 1 stitch (st), skip 1 st, single crochet in next st, skip 1 st. Do this until you get to corner, at the corner, 6dc in center of corner stitches.

picot stitch edging

 

Picot stitch- Ch 3, 4, or 5 and slst into first ch (picot made!). Work two, three, or four stitches, then make another picot. My sample shows ch 4, slip stitch (sl st) into 1st chain, sc in next 3 stitches and repeat across. When at corner, ch 3, sl st into 1st chain, sc in next st, ch 4, sl st into 1st ch, sc in next st, ch 3, sl st into 1st chain and continue around. Repeat this process for each side and corner.

These are just a few of the many crochet edgings you can add to your projects. Not just for crochet and knit items anymore!
What are your favorite crochet edgings to use? Just post in the comments section on the page, I would love to hear your favorites.

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To Block, Or Not To Block (Knitting)

To Block or Not To Block?

That is the question when it comes to knitting. You have made a lovely shawl with some beautiful yarn. It looks good as is. You wear it, people say it’s lovely, but something is missing. What do you do?

Do you block it?
Most knitters will say, “YES” to blocking. “Absolutely block your garment. The stitches will shine through, and the compliments you will get from it don’t hurt either.”

I’m going to answer a few common questions below.
• Will all fibers block?
• What items are needed block the garment?
• Where to purchase the supplies for blocking?
• How to block a shawl.

Let’s get started.

Blocking pads, cat not included


Blocking Mats:
Foam rubber mats fit together like puzzle pieces to make the size and shape you need. It is an affordable and portable alternative to blocking boards. One side is smooth, one side has texture. The mats shown can be purchased online at  www.KnitPicks.com. You get nine 12″ grey squares in the set. If you want colorful mats, check out amazon.com.

Baggy here: I like the mats, they are soft and squishy. Good for a scratching too, but don’t tell Kathy.

More helping paws and T-Pins


T-Pins.
Pins that are shaped like a capital T, made of nickel plated steel. The pins hold your garment in place on the mats. These can be purchased at retailers like Jo-Ann’s, Michaels, Target, and even office supply retailers like Office Depot and Staples.

Fabric wash


Fabric Wash:
Some fibers, even after knitting, still feel a little rough. Washing the fabric usually will soften the garment. You do not use the washing machine for these laundry washes. SOAK, EUCALAN, UNICORN FIBER WASH, are a few good soaps. Use a capful in kitchen sink, let the shawl sit for 15 minutes, and ring out excess water from garment. No rinsing needed.

Enjoying blocking pads, ignoring T-Pins

As shown in the picture, this shawlette is being wet blocked with T pins and blocking mats.  

Cat not included.

Baggy here again: As you can see, I am a very efficient worker. I am keep the shawl in place with my body, and relax. Sometimes I even make the extra effort to move a pin when it gets in my way.

Acrylic yarns will block if steam is used instead of water. Using your steam iron, set the temp on high and with the shawl pinned, hold the iron close to the shawl, not touching it. Press the steam button to apply steam to shawl.

Blocking Cotton Shawl

 

You can block any type of natural fiber for any type of garment. Animal fibers, like wool, alpaca, yak will wet block nicely. Even cotton yarn will block. This pink, green and white shawl took almost 3 days to block since cotton is a heavier weighted yarn. As you work, remember to get the knitting into the desired shape without stretching it out or damaging the fibers.

With so many yarns out there, why not take some time to block that garment?

Blocking pads are comfy


Baggy here: Some might be asking, what is blocking? It is a technique for stretching, easing, and redistributing stitches in a finished piece of hand knitting. Blocking creates an even fabric, making it easy to work with and nice to wear. And you thought all I did was lay around!