Baby Bear goes to her new home

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

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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!!!

Baby Boy Baby Blanket

Last month was a Very eventful month for us, we bought a house and moved into it!!  We are still trying to get everything sorted out so knitting was pretty much at a complete HALT for about a week and I am gradually getting back into the swing of things.  However, before we started moving, my sweet friend Amber asked me to knit a baby blanket for her new nephew who will be arriving this summer.  I find knitting for boys to be difficult because all of the patterns that *I* like seem frilly or girly, but we were able to find a nice boy blanket pattern (Rav link) that I could accomplish easily enough.

We don’t have a lot of options for yarn around here, and we were working with a deadline, so we chose just about the only option available, Bernat Baby Coordinates in Blue Bon Bon.  (This is the same yarn that I used for the previous blanket I made for Amber, and she was pleased with it, so it seemed like an easy enough decision.) Baby Coordinates is a boucle type yarn so the pattern doesn’t show up quite as well as it would in a smooth yarn, but we were both pleased with this outcome!

The finished blanket measures about 32.5″ square.  Since the original pattern calls for Fingering weight yarn, and my yarn was DK weight, I followed the modifications of another knitter on ravelry: Cast on 139 stitches.  Changed border to seed stitch, but followed pattern and knit 10 rows of seed stitch and then 7 stitches of seed stitch on each side.  Changed basketweave to 10 stitches/8 rows (k5, p5 set for 8 rows).

***Please forgive these horrible photographs!! Our new house has wonderful lighting, however the day that I needed to take these pictures it was incredibly overcast and gloomy.  Go figure!!

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!!

Kiddie Cadet

For the most part, I am still churning away on Christmas gifts (and other gifts) but I did manage to squeeze in one baby knit last week.

This is the Kiddie Cadet, a free download on Ravelry.  I made this for my friend’s little 3 month old daughter.  It really turned out precious I think.

I used size 5 needles and a very small amount of Rowan Calmer (less than 1/2 skein) to produce a VERY STRETCHY hat.  This was my first time using Calmer and I was not disappointed!  I’ve had this brown in my stash for several years now so I was happy to get to use it for this project.  I am now definitely a Calmer fan.

I am most impressed with the little brim of this hat – I messed up the count somewhere along the way but everything turned out fine.  I am very pleased with the outcome!

For the little flower I used a pattern I found on ravelry for a 2-layered crochet flower (right now I cannot seem to locate it) and only did the first round.  I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Lake.  This yarn is so splitty!!  I think this is just a bad skein b/c it is very faded and just all around unpleasant in comparison to the other skeins of cotton ease I have used.  (In fact, my most favorite amigurumi to date is made from Lion Brand cotton ease in almond and it is the softest thing ever.)

Juniper Feather & Fan Baby Bonnet

It should be no secret that I like to knit for babies, and while I don’t like for people to ask me to make many things, I never can resist when my mother asks me to knit her a baby gift.  Baby knits are cute, quick, and cute.  What’s not to love?

So when she asked me to make a baby girl gift, I consulted my ravelry queue (there is a reason why I have 857 items queued) and chose the Juniper Feather & Fan Baby Bonnet.  All of the projects on ravelry are adorable, so it seemed like a good choice.  (I would also be able to use stash yarn!)

The directions really leave the sizing up to you depending mostly on your yarn and needle choice.  I wanted a small-ish size so I chose Elann Sonata in Nougat from my stash (bought AGES ago and never even touched – I have about 40 skeins of Elann sonata in perfectly un-usable colors), Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK in pink – also from stash, and size 4 needles.  Hopefully I’ve ended up with a bonnet that won’t fit a toddler.

This was a super quick project.  I started it on Saturday night while we were watching the football game, and finished it up on Tuesday night while watching TV.  This could EASILY be completed in 1 sitting, it just did not work out like that for me since I am also working on Christmas gift dishcloths.  I have been alternating projects in order to keep everything fresh and still feel like I was accomplishing something.

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