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September 28, 2010

Finished: Clementine's Spherey

The Specs:
Pattern: Spherey from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy", by Jess Hutchison.*
Yarn: Lily Sugar'n Cream Solid (colors: pumpkin and robins egg blue)
Needles: Size 6 dpns
Start to finish: September 23 - 26, 2010
For: My niece Clementine (warning, if you follow that link you will be so overwhelmed by cuteness that you may never recover. don't say I didn't warn you.)

Hello! Please admire my fetching rotundity.

Clementine's mama (aka my sister Rae) has been hinting that she wants a Spherey for...oh...about four years now. Even though I lovingly knitted her eldest child the robot from the same book it was pretty obvious that she secretly wished that I'd made him a Spherey. Well sometimes dreams really come true...even for ungrateful robot recipient's mothers. Hopefully the Spherey-sized hole in her heart has finally been filled.

I've knitted this pattern once before using worsted wool, but after knitting the aforementioned robot in dishcloth cotton (and finding out that it makes frequent trips through the washing machine) I decided that washable is the only way to go when knitting toys for children. The cotton isn't as nice to knit with, but Rae did go to all the trouble of producing a niece and a nephew for me, so I may as well reward her with easy-care toys.

Spherey practices his coy smile.

Since cotton yarn doesn't knit up as tightly as wool, I went down a needle size to prevent enormousness. In spite of my precautions I was surpised to find that this Spherey still came out a few inches larger than the wool one. But then I checked my previous FO post and realized that I went down two needle sizes when I made the first one. Good thing I keep records of this stuff so that I can ignore them later.

Final Verdict: Adorbs. And Rae seems happy. Hopefully Clementine will like him too!

*unfortunately this awesome pamphlet is out of print and is pretty much impossible to find. For those of you who will ask, sorry...I really don't have any special insight into where you can find a copy. And no, I will not send you copies of any of the patterns, or sell them to you either. This should go without saying, but I'll mention it here in hopes that it'll save me from having to send you a copy of my canned 'Unusual Toys' e-mail response. But I'm sure you weren't even thinking of asking. Because you're cool like that.

September 22, 2010

The Mitten Report

One week. More mittens than you can shake a stick at. If you have very bad stick-shaking skills.

Mitten Project No. 1: GROVE

After posting the Sprig Mittens last week I was all set to knit them up in the new colors...but then I had a thumb crisis. What if the side-gusset thumb isn't the best thumb construction out there? I needed to do research. Very important research that involved knitting other mitten patterns with different sorts of thumbs. Enter Jared's Grove mittens:

Hello there. I have a sexy palm gusset, but it is feeling modest right now.

It should be noted that this turn of events has nothing to do with my very short attention span. Nope. Surely not.

Mitten Project No. 2: CLASSIFIED

This is what I spent most of my weekend working on. I can't show you. Don't even ask. You wouldn't want the Mitten Mafia coming after you, would you?*

Mitten Project No. 3: SPRIG v1.2

I finally cast on for these with the new color yesterday. Hooray, right? Except that the new blue Azapa is noticeably heavier than the other colors. Knitting with the two together is like walking with a different kind of shoe on each foot...like maybe a clog and a kitten-heeled pump. It's possible, but it just feels wrong.

Greetings. I am unbalanced.

Anyway, I e-mailed the nice yarn peeps to see what they have to say for themselves. So this one's on hold for a little bit. Good thing I have more yarn on deck for another pair of these. Because I am full of surprises like that.

Sorry. Not the same gauge.

In other news, I misplaced my Unusual Toys to Knit and Enjoy pamphlet. Did I lend it to you?

*crap. now I totally have to make myself a Mitten Mafia t-shirt.

September 14, 2010

Color Fail

Today, a little glimpse into the brain of Elli.

Question: How long will I knit before I accept that the colors I picked out just don't have enough contrast?

one mitten?*

nope. 1.9 mittens.


On the bright side, these knit up ridiculously quickly. It's like I sneezed and a couple of mitten appeared. Also, I really really really love this Araucania Azapa. It's soft like a baby's butt and has a lovely sheen. Not surprising as it's merino/silk/alpaca...yum, yum! So yum, in fact, that I ordered another skein:

Hello there. I am here to save the day.**

I see more contrast in my future.

*pattern = Sprig Mittens. Something I charted up for fun...probably will be available eventually if there's any interest.
**Araucania Azapa, colors Sea Green (808), Tan (802), and Cadet (811).

Get your elliphantom on the cheap

In case you haven't heard, Vogue Knitting is having a pattern sale (ends tomorrow, Wednesday, September 15). All patterns, including three of my designs, are marked down to $2.99!

SnowMaiden_sm.jpg Snowbird_sm.jpg RainyDay_sm.jpg

It should be noted that I don't receive any royalties from these online pattern sales, but if you've been itching to knit these it's a great time to snap them up!

September 9, 2010

New(ish) Design: Arboreal Beret!

Hello there!

This is a bit tardy, but since the cooler weather is finally setting in and all good knitters' minds are turning to to thoughts of wool, I thought it would be as good a time as any to tell you that I have a pattern in the most recent Twist Collective! But you're clever so you probably already knew that.

arborealberet_a_500_sm.jpg arborealberet_b_500_sm.jpg kind of outdoorsy and rustic, yes? makes you want to stand by barns.*

The original Arboreal Beret was knitted as a Christmas gift for my sister, Rae. Christmas 2008, to be exact. But then I never blogged about it, because apparently I was going through a slacker phase.

The hat itself is a pretty standard-issue beret, sized to be nice and slouchy, the tree pattern is comprised of a mixture of cables and twisted stitches with some bobbles thrown in to take the texture up another notch. Is the knitting world still divided when it comes to bobbles? I fall so firmly in the pro-bobble camp that I have completely lost track. They're like little nuggets of knitterly yumminess...mmm...

or contemplate your woodpile.*

The pattern takes about 5oz/140g of aran-weight yarn...in other words, just about what you have left over from knitting that sweater. See? You already have the yarn. If you have some size 8 dpns cluttering up the joint you're already 2 for 3.

buy the pattern!

ravel it!

arborealberet_d_500_sm.jpg arborealberet_c_500_sm.jpg she's happy because she's thinking about bobbles.*

*photos copyright Jane Heller, and courtesy of Twist Collective.