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.

April 12, 2007

Finished: Baby E's Robot


The Specs:
Pattern: Robot from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy," by Jess Hutchison.
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream worsted cotton in Teal, Pumpkin, and Sunshine and some Bernat Cottontots in Lime Berry.
Needles: size 6 bamboo for the body, size 4 bamboo dpns for the antenna.
Start to finish: April 4 - April 7.
For: Little Nephew E. (and this isn’t the end of it yet…)

Rae had mentioned a few times to me that she really liked Spherey, the other toy I’ve knitted from this pamphlet, so as soon as she and Natey announced that they were going to have a baby boy visions of little knitted robots started dancing through my head. Still, I waited until two days before we were going to see the new baby to start it. I guess that fits with the procrastination theme I’ve got going on here lately. I’m nothing if not consistent.

I wasn’t too impressed with the selection of worsted wool I had around the apartment (most of it got used up in the Great Christmas Korknisse Adventure of 2006) so I dipped into the kitchen cotton stash instead. I had lots of bright colors to choose from and the stuff is washable. Can’t beat that right?


The biggest mod to the pattern was to go down two needle sizes. I wanted to knit the cotton fairly tightly since it’s less forgiving than wool and I didn’t want sloppy intarsia. Besides, the finished toy as written is pretty large (9”x10,” not counting the antenna) which is pretty big when you think about how tiny newborns are. We will choose to ignore, for the time being, that newborns have absolutely no interest in knitted robots.

Like with Spherey, I embroidered the eyes for added baby-safety.

New Techniques:
Intarsia? Turns out that it’s not so bad after all. The last time I tried it I failed miserably. I’m sure that it had nothing to do with the fact that I was attempting an octopus. In acrylic.

Final Verdict: Love it! I think Rae still wants a Spherey though.

June 27, 2006

Finished: Spherey


The Specs:
Pattern: Spherey from "Unusual Toys for you to Knit and Enjoy", by Jess Hutchison.
Yarn: Nature Spun Worsted in antique turquoise, and Cascade 220 in color No. 7830
Skeins: about 10 grams of each color
Needles: Size 5 dpns
Start to finish: June 25 - 26
For: Niece O. for her birthday

This was a last minute gift for Thunk's niece O., whose first birthday is on Friday. She is our only niece, so thorough spoilage with knitted items is practically required. You might remember her as the adorable recipient of Trelllis last Christmas. She has also been on the receiving end of this baby sweater and this pinwheel baby blanket (those two were pre-blog).

The pattern was well written and easy to follow and Jess' instructions for sewing the limbs onto the body were very helpful. I stayed with the colors she used in the book (they are elliphantom colors, after all) and was able to knit entirely from the stash (hooray!). The only thing I changed was to embroider the eyes on for baby safety. Not much else to say about this one except that it's cute, cute, cute!


Final Verdict: Love it! Wish I could keep it...

June 26, 2006

Cherry Pie

Saturday morning Thunk and I went to the farmers market and stumbled upon some sour cherries. Pie time!


I've never been much of a pie maker...this one was only my second (my career as a piemaker was cut short early on when I managed to bake the single most unremarkable apple pie the Midwest has ever seen). Things are looking up though...I would say this one fell under the heading of "delicious." We're going back next Saturday to look for more cherries.

A little preview of things to come: