2 in 2 days

I think that’s a record for me on this blog. I do have ambitions to eventually blog on it weekly if not every couple of days…someday when I start doing my own dying and making my own patterns. Someday when I’ll likely move to a different blogging service like wordpress and have my own domain name. So not today and likely not in the next year. But SOMEDAY.

Pattern: Sausage Dogs
Needles: US size 5
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Sport Weight

Another finished object under my belt. Despite making this roughly four times the size the pattern calls for, it was still a two day knit including felting and sewing it together. Unlike the bunny, this one has been much better received and is getting plenty of love. I didn’t do too badly trying to upsize it, could have made the legs a bit wider and longer; I think I did well on the ears and tail though. It’s tricky to upsize a pattern like this because not all pieces could be done to the same proportion as the body or else they’d be the wrong size for each other. Strange, but that’s how it worked. I have enough of the medium brown yarn left that I plan to pair it with some pink I have and eventually make a similar puppy for our little girl.

Being that I can not stand to be idle, I already have another project on needles. This time, it’s my February Lady sweater which I’m using my stashed malabrigo for. Very yummy to work with and it’s a lovely color to boot. Already had to frog it once, but that’s alright: it happens. I usually knit a bit on the big side, this time, I’m knitting small and so much so that it would make a big difference on the finished size. So I’ve cast on a size larger needles and going to get a little further and check my gauge again before getting too far. Every project, I tend to learn a new little trick or something finally clicks. With this project, successfully doing M1 increases has finally clicked. I shall never avoid them again. (Now in my defense, most instructions I’ve seen for doing them in the past say to knit into the bar between stitches. They never were clear enough to say, pick up the bar from the back or front with the left needle and then knit into it or the back, respectively. Suddenly, there are no more holes. Go figure.)

Time for more finished work

Because all the other bloggers seem to do it this way, I’m trying a slightly different format for recording my own.

Pattern: Monkey
Needles: US size 2

Overall, the pattern was well-written and enjoyable. I can see why Cookie A is so popular with sock knitters. Definitely makes it easy to justify buying a pattern or two of hers in the future. Part of me balks at the idea of paying $6 for a sock pattern, but well-written ones I think I can make an exception for. It had so many elements that I’m used to seeing in other sock patterns, but a better way to do them. The last couple of patterns I’ve done have been that way–so much better then the ones SWTC puts with their TOFUtsies limited edition yarns. I’m wondering if I didn’t do myself a disservice starting off with their patterns instead of ones like Monkey.

Yarn was also fantastic to work with. This and Lorna’s will definitely be go-to sock yarns in the future. It’s nice and sproingy. Has lovely stitch definition and subtlely stripes. I did not have any pooling anywhere on the sock this time. Was easy on the hands and felt nice to work with. Overall, lovely.

I forced myself to go slow with these and dragged them out an extra 3 days. On the one hand, it’s wonderful to be able to knit so fast: I get a lot of projects done and accomplished. On the other, I go so fast that I run out of project yarn quickly and that enables me to overbuy more yarn. While waiting for this baby and being able to knit all the projects in my tote, I’ve had to buy lots of yarn to keep me occupied. The more I knit, the more I want to. Have to say, it is one of the better things I’ve been addicted to doing!

Now I’m working on the larger Sausage dog for my son and wondering where I’ll go from there. I still have a lot of time to kill before I can think of starting those pullovers.

More August FOs

First, the bunny for My Bunny. I think it turned out rather well and the more of these I make, the better I get at putting noses on them. Still do not have embroidery skills to save my life, but they’re improving.

Tonight’s finished object is my Spring Forward socks, in TOFUtsies. At first the colorway reminded me of a washed out rose-themed color scheme, but upon closer inspection and thought, I realized it reminds me more of those fruity mini-marshmallows I used to eat as a child. Pattern is really easy to memorize and enjoyable and the yarn seems to work well for it. I’m not sure why TOFUtsies always allows me to make the foot of my socks shorter, but it does. Oh well, they fit and that’s what counts.
Next I believe I’ll be moving onto a birthday present for my sister so it’s out of the way and then onto that larger sausage dog for my son. I have other things I want to blog about, but am lacking the focus to do so tonight. So this entry will be short and to the point.

Small update…a few pictures.

In celebration of our new camera, I bring you new and improved FO pictures. At least they’re more color-accurate and I can use the fun tulip feature to get in closer so you can see details on my projects. Seriously, I haven’t read the manual for this thing yet and still managed to take wonderful pictures on my own. Cybershot, your days are numbered, my “friend.” I shall not settle for a yellowed out, washed out, too dark, too light, you-focused-on-something-that-was-not-the-subject, etc etc, picture again.Here they are, the previously mentioned Zombie socks in all their purple and black glory. (I love this colorway so much that I’m beyond a little tempted to purchase more of it and possibly in a larger quantity to make a tank top or light sweater of it.) The drop-stitch pattern was fun and easy to do. Also easy to memorize. I would love to do it again in the future, maybe next time in BMFA STR Raven of some colorway. I think the stitch pattern would stand out better in a yarn with less varigation, but a nice hint of color. I can’t bring myself to use a true solid color yarn. This is the happiest I’ve been with a pair of socks I’ve made myself yet and I think I’m starting to get a really good feel for how to get a proper fit. I still have issues making my tension tight enough since I have this fear that ribbing isn’t going to stretch. Silly, I know.

And here’s a picture of my test sausage dog, also mentioned last entry. I finally stitched his face on and I will openly admit, hand-sewing and embroidering are not my strong suit. Regardless, he turned out rather well and I now know for sure that I want to upsize the pattern to make a version for DS, even went so far as to purchase new yarn to make sure the colors would appeal to him. I adore Blue Sky Alpaca’s various yarns and their sportweight alpaca is no exception. It is so heartbreaking to live in such a warm climate that I can’t use it for anything to wear! At least I can make cute toys out of it. They have such nice neutral shades as well; it can be such a pain to find a non-icky brown yarn. I’m debating purchasing a contrasting color to go with some sport weight I already have for DD’s future puppy…though some of the current color line is just too pretty to pass up and makes it tempting to purchase new. I will likely work on another pair of socks for myself before I start on the larger sausage dog for DS: toys take such little time to knit that I may as well put it off a short while. And let’s face it, I like variety. (And am a rather fast knitter.)

No pictures of my current project. I’m making yet another Jelly Bean Bunny from one of the first patterns I ever purchased. I’d argue that three uses in just over a year is not bad for a $3 pattern. I keep coming back to it because it is so easy but so cute at the same time. (Unlike that putzy Sheldon. Grrr…I still can’t make another of those. Even thinking about it makes me twitch. Today I reasoned that by going up a needle size and using bamboo DPNs rather then nickel plated ones, he may not be so painful this time around and I can slightly upsize him.) I upscaled this pattern a bit to use some chunky weight yarn I’ve had sitting in my destash pile that no one seems to want to take off my hands. It matches perfectly with some tapestry yarn my MIL gave me that was left-over from a sweater she made DS. So, I’m making a manly little bunny for my bunny. There will likely be enough of both left over that DH has requested that he, too, needs a bunny. He seems to have some love for the homemade stuffed animals.

In non-project news, the new Twist Collective online ‘zine was pointed out to me and WOW, is it impressive and pretty! It has taken me awhile to wrap my head around the idea that all the patterns are individually priced and have to be purchased as such, but it wouldn’t exactly be the first time I’ve purchased patterns that way from a specific designer’s site…so really, it isn’t much different. I for sure plan to purchase Pam Allen’s Come Together pullover as well as Cookie A’s Lissajous knee socks. There are a couple other patterns I’m debating purchasing, but I’m assuming they won’t take them down and I have time to decide for sure what I think and if I find it worth it to purchase. This ‘zine has by far impressed me more then the fall previews of magazines I usually enjoy. For instance, there will not be a Fall Rebecca, Vogue, or IK in my home–unless IK has some seriously fabulous articles in it. Fall Knitscene is fab, but that’s about it. Oh well, less to pile onto my queue from any of them. As if it needs to be flooded with tons more projects.

Speaking of my queue, it’s about to get bogged down in items from Kim Hargreave’s Nectar collection once I knit up all my Zephyr Gals patterns I have yarn for. After much searching, I was able to find a retailer that had the book in-stock and I went from wanting to make one-two patterns from internet glancing, to wanting to knit almost the entire book. I have a serious designer crush on Kim right now and I may have to see if finding back issues of Rowan is worth it. (She also has another collection that was previously available only online coming to a book available on Monday, if all goes well. *Crosses fingers* This time, I think I’ll just pay the extra $10 and order from the UK rather then going through the hassle of finding a copy state-side. Of course it had to be another collection of hers that I’m a fan of and not one of the ones that I have little interest in.)