Baby Bear goes to her new home

It’s always nice to give someone a knitted gift that they really appreciate!

FO 6/52: Baby Bear

I **finally** have a finished object to show off.  I cannot even begin to tell you how behind I have gotten! 😦  Happily, this is a Christmas gift that I can get crossed off of my list AND blog about.  This cute little bear is going to be for my new little cousin, Addy, who was born this past February.

The pattern is from the book, Itty – Bitty Toys, and I used just a little over 1/2 skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Happy Valley.  Since my gauge is SO LOOSE, I used 2.5 mm needles – I always have a problem with my knit toys being so stretchy and therefore hard to stuff, so I really have to go down a couple of needle sizes from what most patterns recommend.

This was a relatively quick knit until I got to the feet – so fiddly and boring!!  The legs and feet are worked in 2 pieces and then the foot is sewn onto the leg.  It ends up with a cute result, but not very fun to actually perform.  I kept on putting off finishing it up, but I finally bit the bullet, and just did it!!  I have so few FOs to show off right now, it felt good to actually finish something even if I didn’t not enjoy the final finishing process!!

I am still plugging away on all of my weekly projects (I started #13 on Saturday) – still currently working on a lot of stuff that I can’t blog about until things are given to the intended recipient, but quite frankly, I’d have to finish something before I could do either…

FO 2/52: A New Sock Monkey

I have been VERY busy over the last week and I have a lot of stuff to show off this week!! I meant to post about Week 2’s project before now, but it just didn’t work out that I was able, so I am here now!  This is a 2-for-1 post.

Before I got so organized doing 52in52weeks I was waffling around all over the place!!  I had been wanting to make a couple of stuffies for 2 little girls I know, but could not decide on a good pattern for the oldest girl.  Finally I did  – A New Sock Monkey from Itty Bitty Toys.  I had already chosen (and made) a pattern from that book, Wrap Me Up Puppies, for her sister.

For the monkey, the pattern calls for fingering weight self-striping yarn.  I only have 1 skein of self striping yarn, which is fingering, but my gauge is also so much looser so I decided to order some Felici Self Striping Sport from Knit Picks and try it out for this pattern.  I really loved it!!

I went with the color, Garden Gate.  I am pretty sure there aren’t any monkeys out there in nature sporting this color scheme, but for a little 3 year old girl, I think it works out just fine!  I used 3 mm needles and ended up with a monkey that is about 7.5″ when seated.  I was hoping that I would be able to make 2 monkeys from this 1 skein, however I ended up using  about 2/3 it.  What will I do with the remaining??  I guess that is a question for another day!!

For the baby sister that loves Puppy Dogs, I opted for the Wrap Me Up Puppies.

For this project I used Bernat Satin Solids in Camel – leftover in my stash from the throw that I made my grandmother ages ago- for the puppy, and a combination of Hobby Lobby I love this Cotton in Aqua and Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Sunflower for the blanket.  Another good use of stash yarn!!

Both patterns are super easy, the monkey is a little bit fiddly when working on the arms/hands/thumb, but nothing unmanageable.

Monkey and Puppy all ready to go to their new home!!!

52in52weeks Update: Week 4

Since I was very busy last week working to complete the last Mother’s Day scarf, I did not get a lot of extra time to work on Emmaline.  I have completed the pattern through the two eyelet rows and am close to being able to separate and work on the sleeves – I thought about taking a picture to show off my progress, but there isn’t much to see other than a jumbled up mess!!

I was also able to squeeze in a quick hour to finish up week two’s project, A New Sock Monkey, from Itty Bitty Toys.  I will have a post dedicated to that project later this week, so stay tuned!

This week’s project is one that I am pretty excited about: Annette by Dawn Toussaint.  This pattern is beautiful and I only hope that I can do it justice in some way.   I’ll also get to whip out my sewing machine for this project and showcase my utter LACK of sewing skills – should be interesting!!  Can’t wait to get started on this one!

Two Toys

One of my friends from high school recently had her 2nd baby so I wanted to send her something for her new daughter – since she also has a son and I didn’t want to leave him out, this meant that I got to make 2 toys instead of just one!  I asked her what animals her son likes and she said Snakes! and that her daughter didn’t have any stuffed animals yet, but she thought kitties her good for little girls.  I was excited about both options b/c I meant that I got to knit 2 patterns that I’d never done before!

For the snake I knew exactly what pattern to use, Curly Snake from the book, Itty-Bitty Toys.  (I love everything Susan B. Anderson!)

This is from the section of toys using sock yarn, so I was able to use some stash yarn – Red Heart Heart & Sole in Green Envy – probably not something I’d want to wear on my feet, but it makes a pretty cute snake!! This little guy used about 1/2 skein on size 2 needles.  Susan recommends using size 3 in the book, and while my gauge was actually tighter than what was called for in the book, I actually prefer this fabric.  I am terrible at stuffing knit items and not having them stretch out all over the place, so I was interested in a stiffer fabric.  The good thing about toys is that gauge is not all that important – so that is perfect for me since my gauge is typically all over the place anyway! 😉

For the kitty, I chose Greta the Captivating Cat – I did not immediately think to knit this cat, I was going to crochet one, but I did some browsing on Ravelry and saw this one.  I already had this pattern, so it was perfect!!

I used about 1.5 skeins of Patons Paradiso doubled with size 5 needles to produce a very thick fabric!  So think in fact that if I were to do this again I would go up to a size 6 needle just out of sympathy for my hands!  This was a struggle to finish due to hand cramping!  I have had this in my stash for AGES! Literally since I began knitting about 6 years ago.  I bought it on ebay from some lady that sent to me half made up into a sweater! I had to rip her sweater out to reclaim my new yarn. hahaha  This is great yarn for baby girl toys so I am already planning my next project with it – i have 6.5 skeins left!!  You’ll definitely be seeing it again.

One modification I made on Greta was that I did not choose to do the 3 needle bind off on the top and then stuff the entire kitty through the small opening at the bottom. I did not think that I would be able to stuff it properly or completely, so I chose to stuff the kitty from the top and kitchener stitch the top closed.  I was NOT trying to be fancy, I just did not want to get everything closed up and have to stuff poly-fill thru the tiny bottom opening all the way to the top of the kitty’s head. ;0)

Kitty and Snake – Ready to go to their new home and meet their new friends!!

Basil, The Monster

I have so much to share!!  I have been a really way-ward blogger in 2009 – so maybe my 2010 resolution should be to not neglect my blog so much! 😉  I will try and do better about staying up to date b/c I have been doing a lot of knitting and crocheting!  Of course I have several projects to share that were secret for Christmas, but before I get to those I am going to share the ‘special’ project that I made for Jason’s student worker,Jennifer’s, graduation gift!

I used the pattern, Penelope the Empathetic Monster and I definitely recommend it!! In fact, I liked the finished product so well, I am going to have to make one for myself!  Even Lamby was impressed! 🙂

Since I have become such an incredibly LOOSE knitter in the recent past, I used size 4 needles in order to get a dense fabric with the Vanna’s Choice yarn (stash yarn).  Colors used are Dusty Blue and Dusty Green – a combo I thought looked pretty good!!

Jennifer named her monster, Basil, and you can read about Basil’s adventures here!  I was so excited to see that Jennifer loved Basil so much that she created a blog!  This is definitely one pattern/Finished object that was a PERFECT FIT for the recipient!!

Happy December!!

I can’t believe that it is already December – but I have been doing my best, along with the help of “The General“, to be prepared with all of my Christmas knitting this year.  Fortunately, I have been able to significantly shorten the recipient list due to lack of ideas – I have already made most everybody in my family all of the gifts that I can think to make for them!  Therefore, only a very few are getting that last “I want to make this for you and here it is” gift.  Takes a LOT of the pressure off of me!!  I say it every year and this year I really mean it, next year the only people getting knitted gifts will be my husband and my mother!! 🙂

I did manage to squeeze in a little Thanksgiving project while working on my other commitments, the Tiny November knit-a-long at the Spud & Chloe blog.  I love everything by Susan B. Anderson, so this was a fun project even tho I didn’t actually get to knit along with her – I was a few days behind getting started and then a LOT of days behind getting finished.  Nevertheless, Franklin is completed:

I used Lily Sugar n Cream in Warm Brown, Wine, Yellow, Jute, and Sage Green.  All from my stash – so this was a really fun way to use some stash yarns.

I have recently discovered how loose of a knitter I am, so I had to use size 3 needles in order for my fabric to be tight and my stuffing not show thru.  That can be a little rough on my hands and that is why I had to go a little slower on knitting this.  But I had him finished for Thanksgiving and took him to show off at my grandmother’s.  He was very well received and now sits by the TV waiting for next year!!

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