Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ever So Slowly

Despite my best intentions, I only managed to finish one sock this week. Although it is a lovely color, isn't it? (As is my custom, after finishing the first sock I immediately cast on for the second in order to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome. I just got past the ribbing and now have the stockinette portion to knit during my travels.)

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, colorway: blue violet
Pattern: "How I Knit My Socks" by Susan B. Anderson
I just love this pattern for socks - makes for great travel knitting, which is where I accomplished most of my knitting this week. I had a meeting to attend in the evening and got in a couple of hours of knitting time while I was listening to the local police chief speak. It was actually very interesting but it was nice to have something to do with my hands while I was sitting there.

There were also great plans to add a head to my sheep pillow this week but I ran into a problem with the alpaca yarn. It was turning out to have quite a bit more drape than I'd like so I had to rip it out. I'm starting to think that it's actually more of a sock weight than a dk. I'll have to find another project for the alpaca. Instead, I'm going to try to use some leftover Cascade worsted yarn for the sheep parts. Hopefully I'll have enough to finish!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

WIP: Bobble Sheep Pillow

I have a work in progress to share with you today. It's the Bobble Sheep Pillow - a free pattern from Purl Soho. So far, I have completed the body of the sheep, which consisted of rows and rows of bobbles. Although bobbles are not particularly difficult, I find them to be fairly time consuming to create.

This project is also my first attempt at a provisional cast on (it's the pink yarn at the bottom of the body). A provisional cast on is used when you want to have the access to live stitches at the beginning of the work. In this case, when you're ready to use those stitches you would carefully undo the crochet row (the pink), which will leave you with a row of live stitches that could then be picked up in order to graft the opening closed after stuffing.

The sheep's body is knit in Berroco Vintage Chunky, purchased from Yarn Love in Hummelstown. It's the same yarn I used for my Aidez Cardigan. I had almost two hanks left over from that project so I decided to use it for the sheep pillow.

The head and feet of the sheep will be knit with the handspun alpaca that I purchased at the Gathering of the Guilds in February. Originally this yarn was going to be a cowl, but I didn't have enough yardage for it to work.

I'm hoping to be able to start on the sheep's head later today. I got distracted by a stealth project so the poor sheep has been headless for a little while! I love knitting things for gifts - the only downside is that I often can't share them with you until much later. I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise by posting pictures too early (just in case the recipient is actually reading this blog)!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Love for Color Affection

Remember this post? After my little moment of silence I cast on again and earlier this week I finished the Color Affection shawl.

I'm glad I took the time to rip back and knit the colors in the correct order. It's lovely and smooshy and warm. I'm in love.

The yarn is Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Baby Yarn in "Wind Surfing," "Indigo Bunting," and "Forever." It has a wonderful texture and drape. I would definitely love to use this yarn again. 

Check out my project page here

Friday, April 5, 2013

Critters for Little People

Now that Easter has passed, I am happy to be able to share some finished object photos with you! Last year I made bunnies for my little niece and my cousin's little girls.

Easter 2012

This year, I decided to do a different animal for each child. Lydia received a lion. I had actually finished knitting the lion last summer, but had gotten caught up with other things and never managed to seam it together until a month or so ago. She's crazy about cats so I thought this time I would knit her a big kitty.
Pattern: Lion by Sarah Keen, found in her book "Knitted Wild Animals"
Anna received a reversible toy - an egg in a nest that can turn into a bluebird.

Pattern: Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest, Too by Susan B. Anderson, found in her book "Itty Bitty Toys"

Amiah received a frog that could also turn into a turtle. She was so cute - the basket with her new animal didn't come off her arm until dinner. :)

Pattern: Frog and Turtle by Susan B. Anderson, also in "Itty Bitty Toys"

And finally, Alanna received a yellow duck. Although it is not reversible like her sisters' toys, I thought it turned out to be rather cute.

Pattern: Mama Duck and Ducklings by Susan B. Anderson, in "Itty Bitty Toys"

All in all, I think it was a success! And the best part is, aside from the lion, I knit every animal with yarn from my stash. I have a fairly large collection of partially used balls of yarn. Most were left over from other projects and I felt like I should keep them. Yarn is yarn, after all. But I'm starting to have a little space issue. So I dove into the stash to create the animals. Knitting stuffed animals is a great way to use up some extra bits of yarn!

Does anyone else have a growing collection of partially used skeins of yarn? What do you do with them? Leave a comment and share your tips and tricks.