Some Christmas Knitting

I have to admit that I did not do a lot of knitting for the holidays this past year – you are supposed to have more energy in your 2nd trimester (which I did) but that did not mean that I had any more FOCUS!!  Therefore, Christmas gifts hand knit by me, were few and far between!!  This dishtowel and 2 hot pad set was sent down to Debby in Key West – b/c really, they don’t exactly need hats and scarves down there!!

Dishtowel pattern is a free pattern from Lion Brand, Cottontail Dishtowel and the hot pads are ALSO a free pattern from Crochet Today! magazine, Your Nana’s Potholders.  These were all very satisfying projects that were finished quickly!!  The backs of the potholders worked up a little looser then I would have liked, thereby making them a little ‘puffy’ when they were attached together.  I would not use them as proper potholders for this reason, but they will make great hotpads!!

Yarn used: Bernat handicrafter cotton in Soft Yellow, Lily Sugar N Cream in Ecru and Soft Teal. 4.5 mm hook

More to come!

 

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…

Easter Cloths

After I finished up my Anthropologie Inspired Capelet last week, I used my ‘free time’ before starting project #2 to finish up a WIP that was being ignored.  Since I did not get these finished in time to use them around Easter I did not stress myself on finishing them up quickly.  I was, however, ready for them to crossover from the land of WIP to the land of FO.  Each cloth is such a quick knit that I didn’t have to spend much time finishing up the 2 or 3 that remained.

Easter Cloths, design by Kris Knits…

I love going through my stash of cotton yarns and choosing the color for each cloth.  I always think that I want to use up the majority of my cotton and have a smaller stash, but then that would take away so many of my color options – and for some reason I *always* want to have a lot of cotton yarn to choose from.

For these cloths I used a size 4 needle (b/c my size 3 was occupied) and used Sugar N Cream in Rose Pink, Yellow, Hot Purple, Cream, Tea Rose, Hot Green, Robin’s Egg Blue and Soft Teal.

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!!

Maria’s Birthday Beach Cloths

For Maria‘s birthday this year she got the Beach Cloths Set!  She loves to go to the beach, but doesn’t get to as often as she’d like (and let’s face it — Who does!?).  Now when she is doing dishes she can drift away to a tropical Oasis- LOL!

Colors Used:

Sailboat Cloth – Cornflower Blue
Seahorse Cloth – Tea Rose
Fish Cloth – Sunburst
Bikini Cloth – Rose
Palm Tree Cloth – Soft Teal
Pail & Shovel Cloth – Yellow
Sand Castle Cloth – Jute
Seashell Cloth – Ecru

Cold Weather Accessories

Two of my most recent FOs are the Boneyard Shawl for me, and the Pismo Hat for Jason.

For this project I used almost an entire skein of Chameleon Colorworks Twinkle Toes in Briar Rose – I believe that I procured this skein of yarn on our travels to Seattle last year, but I didn’t write down the name of the store where I purchased it – It is driving me crazy not being able to remember!!

I followed the modifications that several others on ravelry did – instead of M1R and M1L I opted for the YOs – and instead of the garter stitch edging I chose the Picot bind off – This was my first time to do a knit picot bind off so I was concerned the entire time that I would end up using up all of my yarn too early and therefore RUN OUT! I got about 1/4 of the way through the bind off  and was convinced that this very scenario was going to play out, so I endured the very frustrating task of ripping out my last section and carefully adding all of the stitches back onto my needle — only to end up with 10 grams of yarn left over!!!  I was not a happy camper as I had really wanted to use up every last inch of this yarn…However, I think we would all agree that having leftovers is much preferred to having not enough!!  (I later learned that the battery on my scale was in the process of going bad and all of my weights weren’t accurate!)

Another topic entirely is the seemingly never ending quest that Jason and I have to find him the perfect hat pattern – Jason has been blessed with a lot of brains and therefore a rather large head to accommodate all of them.  🙂  He is also rather picky about how his hats fit and doesn’t like it when after a lot of wear they begin to stretch out – even though that is the nature of the beast when dealing with knitted items.  Add in my rather loose gauge problems and there you have it!

This hat seems to mostly be a winner – I used Koigu so it is a nice warm hat that isn’t too bulky – However, it is VERY stretchy and my gauge is a lot looser than I wanted. 😦  But on a happy note Jason says that of his knit hats this one is his favorite so that makes me happy.  I do however have to more patterns to try out for him in the future, another by Marnie MacLean called the Carlsbad Hat and then one by Pierrot, a Japanese company that I have discovered on Ravelry.  I’ll have to brush up on my chart reading for that one tho!!

The modifications on this hat were copied from other ravelers who found that the top of the hat was way too pointy, so I just followed what several others had done regarding the top decreases.  My goal for all of Jason’s hats are to make them 9″ long in order to cover his ears, so I had to write out every line of the decreases so I would know how long they were in order to know how long to make the hat BEFORE I started the decreases – that was a bit of a headache, but it turned out exactly 9″! so YAY!!! It did bloom once I blocked it – and that was really just soaking it in some wool wash and not doing anything but laying it out to dry.

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