Friday, July 21, 2017

Toys for Elaina

 I've been making knitted toys for my baby during nap times. She only naps for 30-40 minutes at a time, which is super annoying, and not enough time to really get anything done.. so I knit toys. It's easy to get an arm and a tail knitted during a nap. So far, I've made this bear in a dress, a naked cat and a naked polar bear, and a dinosaur that I don't really care for.

The bears and the cat are patterns from Little Cotton Rabbits, and they are excellent patterns. I've never used a more thorough pattern. There are tons of pictures showing everything from how to make the eyes to how to make the tail curve. The cat pattern has like 10 different ways to make the head to end up with different cats. I love these patterns and I will surely make more dolls for Elaina.

This dinosaur: hmm. I have a book called Knit Your Own Dinosaur that I got in Portland last year. This one is whatever Brontosaurus is called now- I forget. It looks more like the Loch Ness Monster to me, and oh gosh was it fiddly, and not in a fun way. The two sides are knitted separately, along with the tummy. Then it all gets seamed together around some pipecleaners. The body has like no shaping, and the neck is weird. It's so long and skinny, and since you have to seam it top AND bottom it's super easy to torque it. I clearly did that in a few places because this poor beast looks like his neck has been broken a few times. Overall I'm not impressed with this pattern.

But I do like this bear.

I'm proud of myself for using entirely scraps and little leftover balls for these toys. The cat is Madelinetosh Vintage, so he fancy. The dinosaur and both bears are random Knit Picks yarns, and the dress is leftover sock yarn. Next I need to make some clothes for the two naked ones. I'm also thinking about using some leftover dishcloth cotton to make some rings for stacking. Finally, a use for the bins of leftover bits that I can't seem to throw away.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

New Pattern: Sonoran Desert Bucket Bag

I have a new pattern out in the August issue of I Like Knitting! This is the Sonoran Desert Bucket Bag. It's a fairly simple intarsia pattern. The two intarsia panels are knitted flat and seamed together at the sides, then the live stitches at the bottom are worked in the round in garter stitch. The base of the bag is circular and is stabilized with some of that needlepoint mesh stuff (technical term.) Metal eyelets and rope handles make it look more polished.

For the sample, I used Cascade Avalon in White, Georgia Peach, Enamel Blue, and Tannin. I like this yarn for this pattern because it's a 50/50 cotton acrylic blend. Nobody wants to take a wool bag to the beach.

You can fit a ton of stuff in this bag. It would be great for the beach, or sightseeing, or maybe for kids' stuff for a day trip. Lots of options. You could also work it in a DK or sport weight and end up with more of a purse-sized bag.

To get the pattern, subscribe to I Like Knitting here, if you're not a subscriber already. It's pretty inexpensive for a year, and you get 30 patterns per issue, which is a ton, and 6 issues a year, which is also a ton. I wasn't a subscriber until this particular issue because this sweater caught my eye and I simply. must. make. it.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

New Pattern: Millington Cardigan

Last year, I was asked by Berroco Yarns to contribute to their Portfolio Volume 4, using a new yarn called Ultra Wool, a superwash worsted. My idea was one I've been tossing around in my head for awhile- a cardigan with integrated, fold-over pockets. I dislike knitting really long ribbed cardigan edging, and I almost always wear my cardigans open, and I like cables, so this ticks all my boxes. This is the Millington Cardigan.

The cardigan is knitted in pieces from the bottom up and seamed. The fronts start out really wide, then once they are knitted up past the pocket top, they get much, much narrower. Then when you seam the fronts to the back, you fold the pocket over the front and seam through both edges. The bottom band is picked up after seaming and closes up the pocket bottoms. The body and sleeve fabric is double moss stitch because I like texture.

For a clean edge, I did knitted-on i-cord all around the pocket edges, up the fronts, and across the back neck. I do love me some i-cord.

I can't wait to get this sample back! I love love love how this design turned out and I'm so happy Berroco asked me to contribute. Made me feel legit.

Get the pattern on Ravelry here.