Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A kitty and a confession

Kitty is finished, and she's a cutie! This was really fun to make, as I think all toys are. With lots of pieces to make, there's an ongoing sense of completion. I also get to work with funky yarns like Fun Fur that I don't generally use when I make more "serious" things like garments. She's completed on time to ship to my niece for her birthday, and I can't wait to hear if her new little girl likes her!

The pictures below show the size of New Kitty. Our real kitties are nearly 20 pound thugs, and she's taller than they are. She also seems to have taken a liking to Smithers chair, so he's looking forward to her departure! Two kitties in the house is enough for him.

I'm halfway through test knitting the large size Drinking Gloves. Here's the Righty in the Tidal Wave colorway (still needs its bow). I have a christmas gift recipient in mind for these - I don't think she reads this blog, but I'll hide her identity just in case.

Now for the confession... In my last post, I stated that I wouldn't cast on the Coraline Top until I had finished the kitty and the gloves. Well, last night, I was feeling really good about finishing the kitty and one glove yesterday, and I thought I deserved a little reward. I decided that it really couldn't hurt to just swatch for the new sweater. OMG - but how wonderful the DK alpaca/tencel feels! It's so soft and beautiful, and the gauge was perfect. Then I started thinking about what I'd like to knit on my NYC trip in a couple of days. I imagined working on the drinking gloves on a plane - having to carry and jockey around three cakes of yarn to do the colorwork, and thought how distracting that would be to my neighboring passengers. So I decided that it would be much more polite to work on my new sweater which just feeds from one pretty little ball of yarn at a time. Long story short, I've already cast on and am about an inch up the front! It was the only polite thing to do...

Tonight I'll be checking out a new local Stitch n Bitch with a friend of mine. We're going to make a stop to celebrate her birthday over a few cocktails on the way, so I'm sure we'll have a great time! I promise I'll work on glove number two...

I'm looking forward to seeing all the NYC yarns I can later this week! I'll make sure to post some highlights for you!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eye on the Prize

At long last, I finished the Drinking Gloves this week! I also wrote the pattern in two sizes, Ladies Medium and Large - that burned a few brain cells! Now I know why I have this math degree.

Shortly after completing this Medium pair, I cast on a second pair in Tidal Wave to test knit the Large size. This pattern has constantly changing stitch counts due to the fitted sizing and all the finger hole manipulation, so I really wanted the opportunity to double check my written pattern. I'm hoping to complete pair number two soon, and once I do, I'll upload it to my site for sale. I've got some new online functionality that will allow me to sell instant downloads, and I'm itching to try it out!

I've made some progress on the kitty, too, who now has one arm! Still need to make arm #2 and a tail. I think she'll get a big pink bow around her neck - my neice likes her pink! I need to keep on this project to meet her October 3 birthday deadline - particularly since I'll be heading to NYC for a few days next week.

In order to keep myself diligently working on the above two projects, I'm dangling a new sweater project in front of myself like a carrot. When I finish these, I get to cast on the Coraline Tunic Top by Joan McGowan Michael. I just love her feminine designs and can't wait to get this on the sticks! The yarn I got is Elann Quechua, an incredibly soft DK weight alpaca/tencel blend, in the softest pale pink ever. I'll feel SO girly in this!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Fun with Fun Fur

Did I need to start another project - hell no! But I just can't pass up opportunities to make fun things for my niece. Her 2nd birthday is October 3rd, and she's crazy for kitties, so I thought she should have one!
This work in progress is coming together pretty well in spite of the "wing it" methodology I'm using. I'm working from a book called Toys to Knit by Tracy Chapman. There's a kitty pattern in the book, but it's a pajama bag, so only the head is actually knitted. The body for this pattern is a cloth bag to stick the pjs in. So I made that head - and modified it to be two colors. The dark part is one strand of black Carron Simply Soft held together with one strand of Lion Brand Fun Fur. Since features wouldn't show against that combination, I made the face white (also Simply Soft). The face is embroidered on using some of the black and some leftover pink Berocco Comfort that I had. The eyes are from my stash of safety eyes that I collected MANY years ago when I used to make teddy bears.

The body is from another animal pattern in the book - a kangaroo! I had no idea whether the sizes of the head and body would be comparable when I started this project, so I got pretty lucky! I'm modifying the kangaroo body to remove the pouch, widen the torso to fit the neck of the kitty, change the front legs, and add the kitty tail. Given that there are a couple football games on tonight, I should make some more progress today!

So this kitty is why I haven't finished the Drinking Gloves yet - sorry to everyone who is waiting for them!!!

My cousin was here last week, and I think we co-enabled each other into new projects and stash. It's always fun to have her here, especially since she is as big of a yarny as I am! While we were browsing the LYS, I purchased a new sweater pattern, and subsequently some new yummy yarn to make it from... stay tuned! I'll show it off in the next post!