Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Don't You Hate It When...

Don't you hate it when somebody posts pictures of you on their blog that you trusted them with??? Okay, I am the guilty party, but in a shameless plug for a dog sweater that started out in a book, and ended up on the needles to be something totally different that I designed myself I am posting some pictures that a friend entrusted me with.

The sweater is for my friend Carol's Chihuahua who is full grown and weighs less than three pounds. He came from an abusive home, and Carol and her hubby rescued him. He is so tiny and the cold is a real problem for him. He has a couple of little shirts, but doesn't care for them so much because he cannot tolerate things being pulled over his head because of the former abuse.

Hmmm. Abused and cold, that's all a knitter ever needs to hear to get the needles humming. This little sweater is only about seven inches long from cast on to cast off. It was knit with Lion Brand/Vanna's Choice Baby in the Goldfish colorway. It really is a dusty salmon color, and is cushiony and soft. The body of the sweater is in seed stitch so that it does not stretch out and get too big, and the edges have a three stitch garter rim.

Here is my friend Carol holding him. I crocheted (believe it or not) two little fastener loops and attached two black buttons.

The little Chihuahua's name is Uno, and apparently he runs the house. He is still pretty timid, but is working through his issues. Carol told me that he acted like he liked his new sweater because he marched around with it on, and snuggled down in it.

Carol and Uno, thanks for being such good sports and indulging me with photos!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Two more finished projects for 2009, and I believe that makes eight! Truly, I am not a production knitter, but more of a process knitter (unlike DM), not that you would know it by my recent progress so far this year...

I tried the Fantasty yarn by Dark Horse Yarns. It feels soft to the hands, but not quite as soft to the neck. Also, in a total of four skeins, two of each color used below, there was at least one knot in each skein of yarn. They were easy enough to untie, but still an annoyance. Also, the yarn was the tiniest bit splitty, but that could have been me as I was trying to really get these two scarves behind me and in the mail, and was knitting at the speed of light. There were also unprocessed bits of hard plastic (for lack of a better way to put it) that were similar to broom straws here and there, and the joins of the yarn that looked as if the ends had been glued together in some sort of a twist. I tried pulling out the glued areas planning to give the yarn a new twist, and luckily enough all those spots pulled out without too much trouble, and required only a minumum of work to smooth down the areas in question. The yarn was affordably-priced, and appropriate for a gift to non-fiber/non-knitting friends, but not as good as I had expected. It is softer than the value-priced Encore, but disappointingly the quality is not nearly as high as I think this yarn may be inclined to pill quickly.

The first scarf is knit with the Irish Hiking Scarf pattern which I got from Ravely. This pattern is super simple to follow, and the results are far more impressive than the amount of work it takes to complete this project. As mentioned above, this was knit with the Fantasy yarn, and measures 70 inches as it was made with the intention of being tied with the European Loop method. This scarf is really a deep crimson red, and not the cherry red as the picture shows. The friend who this was knit for fancies himself a cross between James Bond and JFK, and requested a color that 007 would wear.

The second scarf is the Basketweave Scarf by Ann Budd. I am aware that she is practically knitting royalty, but I did not enjoy knitting this scarf. While the instructions were not difficult, they were extremely tedious, and made me want to set the pattern on fire a number of times. This scarf was also knit with Fantasy, is allegedly reversible, and measures 70 inches as well.
To be honest, the Irish Hiking Scarf is far more impressive than the Basketweave Scarf, but that is just my impression. I have not really knit a lot of scarves before, and now I know why - they are as boring as boring can be. I would possibly make the the Irish Hiking Scarf again, but not the Basketweave. It was just too boring, and I had to rip it out too many times because the boredom lulled me into making mistakes. As mentioned above, it wasn't hard, just tedious because of the 18 row pattern repeat, and BORING!
I am happy to mail these scarves off to the friends to whom they will soon belong; wear them in good health, Mike and Kathy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shhhhh. You Must Be Vewy, Vewy Qwuiet...

I am working on a project for two friends that live out of town, but peek in on the blog now and again so I don't want to give any of the details away. I have one of the two items finished, and the second item is about one-fourth finished.

I will be mailing them by this coming weekend or shortly thereafter if things go as planned, and I will post pics once the package has been received.

In the meantime, mum's the word.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Little Star Bag

The bag was knit in the star stitch, and with the Debbie Mumm Traditions Yarn (Pine Needle Green colorway) that The Great Enabler gave me in one of our knitting group's stash swaps. I made two panels so that the stars would be going the right direction, seamed at the bottom and both sides, and finished off with several rows of garter stitch to keep the top edge from rolling. For what seemed like an eternity, I made a six stitch I-cord for the handle, and then a three stitch I-cord for the fastening loop. The button is something I got at Hobby Lobby several years ago.

I had originally considered lining the bag, but have decided against it as I have so many other irons in the knitting fire. Also, the star fabric is fairly dense, and I do not intend to carry anything in it that will poke through the knitted fabric.

I know this bag is no big whoop, but it is the first thing that I have ever designed and knit, and I thought it was post-worthy.

A shot that is a little bit closer so that you can see the detail in the button, as well as the star stitch.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Gettin' My Fussy On!

Sheldon, currently known as the turtle of hate, is finished! This little fella definitely gave me the chance to embrace the fussy.

The instructions for the applied I-cord to assemble the attachment panel and the shell were at best extremely flawed, and I have made numerous projects with applied I-cord, so this is not a new skill for me. I decided to just use a mattress stitch after several failed attempts (and turning the air blue with profanity) because the instructions were not panning out. This is a free pattern from Knitty, so I can't really fuss too much, but it was a challenge.

Linda and Christy have taunted me that I am not able to make just one of any given item, and so the gauntlet has been thrown down. I am pleased to report that I have risen to that challenge. I will only be making one of these horrid little turtles.

He is cute, but way, way too much trouble to EVER repeat this pattern. I have seen on Ravelry that lots of folks made several Sheldons - all I can say is there is no explaining crazy...

The Designer Sport yarn worked well as it is very soft, and I did not stuff him too full so that he would stay snuggly.

I am not entirely pleased with the eyes, but they are embroidered on so that little fingers cannot snatch off an eye and swallow any small pieces.

Tomorrow is my nephew's first birthday, but I will be delivering Sheldon the Horrible a few days late. It's kind of early, but Happy Birthday, Max! Aunt Terri loves you.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Progress on the Terrapene carolina...

TRANSLATION: Progress on the common box turtle...

A few weeks ago at a knitting get together, I mentioned to my fiber pals that I did not know why I had been so drawn to knitting toys as of late, and the Great Enabler thought that it might be because it "gave me the chance to be fussy..."

Yea, I see the irony, and maybe the Pope is Catholic too, right?

I recognize that I am the slightest bit detail-oriented, and possibly a little obsessive as well. The Sheldon pattern from Knitty is not exactly a hard pattern, but it leans heavily on the fussy side of things. This is not a pattern to knit mindlessly on at all. The pattern calls for Knit Picks Shine Sport, which is 60% cotton. Cotton makes my hands tired, and with all the pattern work on the shell I did not feel like fighting with a no-give fiber. I chose Designer Sport yet again because it is very soft, and it has a nice "sproing" quality. I am using the colorways Pistachio and Celedon for Sheldon.

Don't let my whining put you off if you are interested in making a Sheldon, just plan to spend some very focussed time with the project.

He is coming along, and believe it or not the shell has been the quickest part of him to knit so far. I think he will be very cute, and I hope much loved by my nephew, Max. This will be for his birthday, but will likely be completed after the fact. Also, his eyes will not be plastic, but embroidered on for safety's sake - Max is soon to turn one.

The body has been stuffed and seamed, but the instructions request the legs be stuffed and attached later.

This is the nearly half-completed shell. I had my doubts about it in the beginning, but so far so good.

Off to knit.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Knitting Needles Moving at the Speed of Light...

I have been knitting furiously to have the Party Penguins all knitted and assembled by today as it is my niece's fifth birthday today. Happy Birthday, Lucy! Time has gotten away from me, and I fear that I may be late on the nephew's gift now, but I still have two days...

I also re-knit the bows on the little elephants so that they could have a firmer join, and not curl. I re-knit them in stockinette, and they came out great. Here they are with the penguins wearing their new and improved bows.

These are two of the shrugs that I made for Christmas gifts for my friends at work. The purple shrug being worn on the left is knit from Bernat Satin in Plum Mist Heather, and is for my friend and boss, Sylvia. The blue shrug being worn on the right is knit from Designer Sport from Red Heart in the denim colorway, and is worn by my friend Carol who is the clerk/tech for the department.

Both of the girls were good enough to turn around so the patterning could be seen.

As you can seen, they were both really good sports to model and pose with the Dream in Color Shrugs, which more accurately could be called Dream in Bernat and Red Heart in this case...

With two days to go to get Sheldon finished and assembled, I've got to get the needles in high gear.

I hope everyone had a happy and safe New Year!