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! ūüė¶ ¬†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  РA 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 Рleftover 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! ūüėČ

For the kitty, I chose Greta the Captivating Cat РI 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 РI 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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