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Archive for July, 2007

Bobbi Bear #1 Finished!

After completing the Baby Bobbi Bear, my kids asked who it was for and were very disappointed when I told them it was for a baby other than them! I showed them the pattern for the Big Bobbi Bear and asked if they’d like one of those instead. Of course the older two jumped at the opportunity. I certainly wasn’t going to spend the dough on the specified yarn, so I started searching for alternates. Thank you, once again, to Ravelry! I plugged in tiny bits of info and pulled up all the Bobbi Bears who reside there. As luck would have it, someone had made a Bobbi using Wool Ease Thick & Quick, which is much cheaper than the Bulky Hand Dyes called for in the pattern. I quickly recalled the 7 skeins of mismatched dye lot T&Q stagnating in my stash. I bought the yarn to make the Family of Cabled Sweaters from the Lion Brand site… until I swatched with the yarn. Ick.

Anyway, I remembered the yarn, did some math, called Hobby Lobby, and took the kids for a little car ride. We exchanged the ill-fated T&Q for 4 balls each of Fisherman (for Polar Bear versions) and Taupe (Grizzly Bear versions) and came home. I immediately cast on for the first, a Polar Bear, and finally finished it today. It’s ‘hands’ and feet are really pointy–no matter what I tried to fix them, they remain pointy–but my daughter doesn’t seem to mind.

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And here’s the reaction the Bear received:

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That makes any aggravation worthwhile, don’tcha think? ūüôā

Pattern: Bobbi Bear by Bobbi Intveld/Blue Sky Alpacas

Yarn: Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Fisherman, ~1.5 balls

Needles: Size 11 US 16″ circular and dpns

Started July 25 and Finished July 30, though that should have been much sooner.

Final Measurements: 17″ tall, 13″ arm span

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Dye job and a new toy

If  you recall, I mentioned that I had ordered the Knit Picks DPN sock set and some of their Bare fingering weight merino wool so I could play chemist and try my hand at dyeing.  Well, I also ordered a set of (el-cheeso) stainless stockpots from Ebay so I could dedicate them to any future dyeing adventures.  All of the above has reached my home in good condition and I have news to report!

The kids ‘helped’ me wind the massive hank of merino around two chairs set ~9′ apart.¬† I tied the massive hank in 4 places to mark the color changes.¬† My hope is that I’ll end up with somewhat of a self-striping yarn, but I’ll be happy even if it’s a big ol’ pooled up mess, too.¬† I then prepared the 4 color solutions by mixing 2 packets each of Berry Blue, Cherry, Orange, and Lemon-Lime into one cup of water each.¬† While these were settling, I put ~7 cups of water into two separate stockpots and brought them up to just under boiling.¬† Added the color mixtures to the stockpots and placed the yarn ever-so-carefully into the pots to simmer.¬† I let the first two colors simmer until the water in the pots was clear, let them cool down, and put them carefully into a third stockpot.¬† Then I repeated the same scenario with the other 2 colors.¬† When all was said and done, I had this:

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Kindly disregard the mess.¬† Why do you think it’s called a mudroom, anyway?

Once it had dried completely, I wound it into a hank of sorts.¬† I’ll spare you the graphic expletives that accompanied this portion of the project.¬† This is what I have now:

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I love it!¬† Yes, it’s a bit bright and bold, but hey, it’s for socks.¬† They’ll be under my pants!

As for knitting, I’ve apparently hit some sort of ADHD where I can’t maintain attention levels necessary to complete a ‘real’ knitting pattern, so I’ve been doing small projects.¬† Meet Baby Bobbi #1

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And hangin’ on our deck:

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He should have only taken a day, maybe a day and a half, but I have 3 kids, so. Yeah.  Anyway, the specs:

Pattern is Baby Bobbi Bear from Blue Sky Alpacas

Yarn is Patons Decor in Taupe, less than one ball

Needles used were size 6 US

He measures ~11″ tall and should be wider but I shafted him on the arm length.¬† He’s got stubby arms, but I still love him!¬† He’ll be with us until school starts, then he’ll be sent to live with a baby born in April to a family from school.

Bet you thought that was all, huh?¬† Nope, there’s more!¬† I couldn’t resist the lure of Wollmeise sockenwolle.¬† Ooh La La!¬† Claudia is a real gem of a woman! ¬† She’s got a great sense of humor and is very easy to work with.¬† She definitely aims to please!¬† So here’s my loot:

Veilchen sock wool in medium intensity:

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Dornroschen sock wool, also in medium intensity:

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And oodles and oodles of samples in all the colors:

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And I’m exhausted.¬† Have yourself a great weekend!¬† Thanks for stopping by.¬† I promise I’ll try to post in less than a week this time, ok?

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Another Scamp and A Sweater

I finished up my second Scamp, the Dog for my friend’s 3 year old daughter.¬† From what I’ve been told, she might actually explode when the mailman delivers him later this week.¬†¬† ūüôā

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This time I used a scrap ball of what I’m pretty sure is Cleckheaton Country 12-ply in cream color (no ball band, but it sure looked like the ones with ball bands!)¬†¬† I used size US2 needles and had only scraps leftover–so approximately 2 ounces, just like the pattern says!¬† The ‘collar’ is in Patons Astra in Lip pink and I tied it into a bow instead of seaming it, that way it can be changed later.

And now for the detail-laden FO.

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I started off with the ‘Raglan Cardigan with Fully Fashioned Shaping’ by Debbie Bliss.¬† That’s where things started changing.¬† I chose the cardigan because my youngest son has a pumpkin-sized noggin.¬† Hubby promptly shot the idea down in flames because in his opinion, cardigans are, hmmm…shall we say… Less than masculine.¬† So I decided to follow the basic instructions, but knit the sweater in the round.¬† I omitted the seaming stitches and went to work.¬†¬† At the underarms, I left the stitches on waste yarn instead of binding them off.¬† I also knit the sleeves in the round to the underarm.¬† I knit in two colors to help eliminate some stash of Wool Ease.

In conclusion,

Two-Tone Raglan Sweater, knit in the round
26″ chest measurement, knit on sizes US7 & US8¬† at approximately 4.5 stitches and 6.5 rows per inch in stockinette. (18/26 over 4″)

Lion Brand Wool Ease in Blue Heather for the sleeves and Oxford Grey for the body and neckband; just over one ball of grey and just under one ball of blue.

Started July 10 and Finished July 17.¬† Would have gone much faster if not for that silly Ravelry!¬† ūüôā¬† I’m almost embarrassed to admit that it took me as long to knit this little thing as it has to knit a full sized sweater for an adult.¬† Oh well.¬† I apologize for not offering up any photos of the littlest one actually wearing the sweater.¬† Apparently cooperation is NOT on the menu this morning!¬† LOL¬† Dealing with not-quite-two-year-olds can be tough sometimes!

Have an excellent day wherever you are!

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Busy! Busy?

I have been so enthralled by Ravelry that I just haven’t been knitting anywhere near as much as I’d like to be. That hasn’t stopped me from finding new things to knit–whenever I decide to start knitting again, that is. ūüôā

We’re working through our little issues with Rocky and Larry… Larry seems to be doing better and Rocky now looks horrible. He’s developed swollen, puffy, watery eyes and we have no idea why–if it’s related to the upper respiratory infections they both have, if it’s something horribly wrong, if it’s some odd allergy to something in our home. We’ll figure it out, though. Hopefully sooner than later.

As for knitting, I have done very little. I ordered a neat little dpn set from Knit Picks because I really like how pointy their Options set is and kinda don’t enjoy knitting my socks with the bamboo needles I have to work with. I hope the new dpns are a better fit for my style, but only time will tell!

I cast on last week for a little sweater for my youngest son using some of my seemingly massive stash of Lion Brand Wool Ease. I started with the Raglan Cardigan with Fully Fashioned Shaping from the Baby Knits for Beginners book by Debbie Bliss and made several mods. I’ll detail more later if I ever finish the little thing. Ever since Ravelry, I’ve been completely unable to complete anything substantial at all. Silly Ravelry. ūüėõ

You might recall that I finished that little toy doggie called Scamp, the dog, last week. Well, I emailed the photos to a good friend for her amusement and she made the mistake of opening this email while her 3 year old daughter was hanging around. Her daughter proceeded to cry gleefully that (I) would be knitting a dog for her! A couple of days went by without mention of the doggie, then out of the blue, the dog was recalled and asked for. The old, ‘Where’s the doggie aunt ___ is making for me?’ routine. This actually makes me really happy and I’ll merrily cast on for my second Scamp, the dog toy later tonight when my own kiddos are in bed.

I also bought some dyeable merino for some socks from Knit Picks when I got the dpns. Hey, it pushed me into free shipping zone!! So I set two chairs ~9′ apart and asked the older kiddos to sit on the chairs for me (so the chairs wouldn’t move around) and I proceeded to wrap the entire skein around the chairs, then tied it off into four separate sections. I intend to dye it using some Kool Aid in some fun colors just as soon as my stock pots arrive. I found a cheap set on Ebay and figured it couldn’t be all that bad, even for so cheap, as long as it’s not aluminum/copper/cast iron. Hubby made fun of me, but what the heck. ūüôā

I’m hoping I’ll have something to show the next time I post, but for now I’ll have to leave you with some cuteness. Hope you all had excellent weekends and wish you a great week as well!

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I was able to finish the Jelly Baby toy as found in Jean Greenhowe’s book Little Gift Dolls.¬† So far, I really like her patterns because they’re much less fiddly than others I have attempted.¬† Both of the toys I’ve done have managed to stay out of the “Misfit Zoo” in my craft room.¬† (The Misfit Zoo was coined by the hubby to describe all the toys who haven’t exactly turned out as planned.)

So here’s my Green Jelly Baby–

jelly baby

and in his ‘natural’ habitat:

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Silly, isn’t he?¬†¬† The specs are as follows:¬† I followed the Jelly Babies pattern as found in the book I mentioned above, using the specified 2 US needles and some leftover Patons Classic Merino Wool in Leaf Green.¬† I’d say I probably used a quarter of a ball or less.

In other news, I was able to buy this here yarn on ebay from a local Illinois hand-dyer and I can’t wait to use it for a nice pair of socks!

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The seller’s ebay ID is pkaeluvlabs if you wanna go take a look.¬† Just don’t steal any auctions from me, ok?

Hmmm… What else?

Hubby saw my latest IK mag–summer issue–and flipped through it.¬† He honed in on the only male pattern in there, the Luvtroja Mans sweater, and said “I want you to make me that”…. ouch.¬† We’re talking a 48” man’s sweater in fingering weight yarn.¬† Guess what I’ll be making soon?¬† The things we do for love, huh?!¬† I’m in the process of seeking sub yarn– not gonna spend $125 or more to make this one!¬† If you have suggestions, lemme hear ’em!

And my last note is an “I’m irritated” tirade, so if you’d like to check out now, I completely understand.¬† Here I go…

As you two readers know, we adopted two kittens from a local humane society just shy of two weeks ago.¬† They are perfect and the kids love them.¬† They let the kids attack them and hold them waaaay longer than I would if I were a kitten.¬† They don’t scratch or bite or anything!¬† They’re just great.

However, when we adopted them we were instructed to sign a contract which partly stated the Humane Society’s role in the adoption, specifically their duties to give us a kitten who has been checked for, among other things, fleas, ear mites, obvious illness, etc.¬† If any of those issues were found on their examination, they were treated for said issue prior to being sent home with us, yadda yadda.¬† So we assumed that everything was well.¬† Not so much.¬† We had noticed that both kitties had been sneezing a fair amount and that Larry had some goop around his eyes.¬† Didn’t think too much of it.¬† Then I happened to have Rocky on my lap and started looking closely at him, his ears specifically.¬† I could barely even see the pinky-white color of his ears because the mites were sooooooo badly caked.¬† DAMMIT.¬† I know we’re in large part responsible for this because we were idiots and took the word of an agency, but we figured that since the HS claimed the kitties were good and the vet didn’t say anything, we were good to go.¬† Long story short(er)… I took them both to OUR vet (not the one contracted by the HS) and found that both have ear mites, upper respiratory infections, and flea dirt.¬† Thankfully, no live fleas, but WTF!¬† They’re both on medications for the colds and the mites and have been given a dose of flea/mite drop stuff.¬† I felt so horribly guilty for not seeing the signs of trouble sooner that I was almost in tears as the vet told me what was going on.¬† She was really nice and understanding, though-not accusatory or anything like that.¬† Actually, she seemed pretty aggravated with the HS and vet we had dealt with.

Ok, off my high horse and back into knitting.   I hope you have a great day and I am headed off to make some headway on the little raglan I started for my youngest son.

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New FOs!!

Over the weekend, I was able to finish a pair of socks using some yarn I’ve had in the stash for almost as long as I’ve been knitting.¬† These are generic toe-up socks using Wendy’s pattern and Bernat Sox in Jazz Hot color.¬† In total, I used about 1.5 balls, but I knit each sock separately from it’s own ball of yarn…¬† This means I have a full ball for the heck of it, plus two little balls of less than half each.¬†¬† It works out well, actually, since I have a daughter to knit for!!¬† There ought to be just enough for some cute matching socks for her.¬† ūüôā

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And a close-up of the picot hem:

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And I also knit up this little guy last night and this morning–a super fast knit that uses a very little amount of yarn–great stash buster for all those little scraps left over from bigger projects!!

His name is Scamp, the dog from Jean Greenhowe’s book MacScarecrow Clan.¬† I used size 2 needles and Plymouth Encore Worsted in Ecru ~.25 of a ball.¬† He measures about 5″ long and 3.5″ tall.

scamp, facescamp side1   scamp side 2scamp back side

Hoping to be back tomorrow with at least one more of the Jean Greenhowe toys to show.  I ordered the new DPN set from Knit Picks and am anxiously awaiting those so I can get started on some new socks and a little elephant toy I found via Ravelry!

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I was looking through our exceptionally messy coat closet the other day when I remembered I still haven’t put a zipper into my son’s Tomten…¬† That’s when my daughter saw me holding the tomten and asked if it was hers.¬† When I told her “No, it’s your brother’s” she asked me to make one for her.¬† Not one to pass on the opportunity to a) buy more yarn and b) make something specifically requested by my kids, I took her to the LYS and let her pick out her color choices.¬† We came home with this:

  tomten yarns

And I got to work on a gauge swatch.  After working on this for about a week and a half, this is what we ended up with:

  tomten front

 tomten back

Specs:

Pattern is the Modular Tomten Jacket in Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann

Yarn used:  Plymouth Encore Worsted in Rose Bud, Lt Periwinkle, Ecru and I-Cord edging using Lion Brand Wool Ease in Grey Heather

Needles:  Size 9 Knit Picks Options

Gauge:¬† 16 stitches and 32 rows over 4″ in garter stitch

Cast on June 24 and Cast off July 3, 2007.

Daughter is sufficiently happy and excited for winter so she can wear it!¬† ūüôā¬† Mommy scores!

N ow I’m off to work on a pair of socks.

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