Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Christmas Orders"

My son has kindly provided for me a list.
It is a list of things that I am supposed to make for his friends and family for Christmas.
Without further ado, The List Of Christmas Orders:

  1. Egg to Penguin, for his cousin Camille
  2. Flower Fairy in a Tulip, for cousin Zoe
  3. Pigs in a Blanket for cousin Maliah
  4. Bunny & Lamb for baby cousin Charlotte
  5. The Fox & The Hen for cousin Vincent
  6. Squirrel & Hedgehog for 15 year old cousin Nick
  7. Top-Down Seamless Petticoat Dolls for 17 year old cousin Nina
  8. Snowman & Tree for Aunt Angela 
  9. Egg to Alligator for himself
  10. Dog in the Doghouse for Archie, our DOG.

As you can see, he chose each of these presents from the same book, Susan B Anderson's Topsy-Turvy Inside-Out Knit Toys.
He thought of me too. I get the yarn bowl on the dedication page.

Honestly I think it's sweet that he picked out a present for all his cousins. So we shall see how many of them get completed before Christmas!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hammerhead Shark, finished!

It took me about an hour to finish up the hammerhead, so in total he only took maybe 3.5 hours and he's very cute and full of personality for such a quick knit! I mean, same amount of time and I could have a boring hat.
The eyes were the most challenging part: the pattern suggested three rows of single crochet to "close" the eyes. I couldn't make that look good. Also, I'm not the best at embroidery so I just sewed buttons on.
I must admit, the mouth on this toy was impressively designed. It's actually a three needle bind off that creates a perfect hammerhead mouth, which you then outline with black embroidery thread. (Unless you're my son, in which case you pick pink)
The hammerhead's head was also clever, and ultimately I really enjoyed the pattern although it did have a few questionable sections. (Which, honestly, it's a free pattern so I don't expect it to be perfect, and I figured out the bits that didn't make sense.)

 A few knitters have mentioned that the shark isn't really... long enough? I did consider while knitting to lengthen the body before I got to the head shaping. That would have increased his anatomical correctness, but perhaps diminished his cute-ness. Besides, I thought at the time, then it would take longer to knit! All in all I'm quite happy with him- short, fat body and all! And my son is in love with him- named him the incredibly creative "Ham-hammerhead."

OH! And for those wondering what yarn I used: I have no idea. This ball of yarn literally came from nowhere- my son handed to me in a tangled mess that I'm pretty sure he found in a box of his toys. It's probably an acrylic blend, perhaps Wool-Ease, although I don't remember buying purple wool-ease... May be Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn, on second thought because I remember being gifted some of that and using part of the ball on a hat and then losing the rest.... Must be.

Hammerhead Shark

My son has taken a great interest in my knitting, now that he is four. Suddenly, he recognizes that all the cute toys that are in my knitting books are actually... possibilities. The yarn under the bed, all the colors and textures are all just toy waiting to happen. After I made him a manta ray for his birthday (did I ever show off the manta ray? It's crocheted.)

Anyway, after that, it's like he suddenly realized that mom can make ocean toys. He immediately requested a hammerhead shark. A quick ravelry search indicated that there are few knitted hammerhead sharks, fewer still that are free. I ended up going with this small, slightly fat hammerhead.

My son picked the yarn, a purple, and we sat down to watch Tarzan 2.

By the end of the movie I had something like a hammerhead shark!

I still have the fins, mouth, and eyes to do, but after the movie I had to go to work, leaving my son with my fiance who, alas, cannot knit. My son was very upset about this lack of knitting, and when I got home he immediately gave the project back to me demanding I complete it. "We have to finish it!" he always says, as if he has any part in making or assembling the thing!
It is now morning, and he is still asleep. I think I shall work on the fins, and try to surprise him with it when he awakens.
Happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Christmas Knitting begins...

I have this sister. She has arthritis, and so every year I make her fingerless gloves for Christmas. Something to warm the joints in her wrists, and keep her hands from feeling the pain, yet still allows her to use her fingers to text, use the remote and take care of her kids. One year, I almost didn't make her any. I wasn't feeling the Christmas knitting spirit I guess. But although other presents were forgotten or never attempted, I did end up making her a pair of fingerless gloves. She opened them up on Christmas day and exclaimed, "I've been waiting for these!"
So, it has become somewhat of a tradition. She gets mittens, fingerless gloves, gloves or wrist-warmers. Other presents can slide, but not hers!
This particular pair was made with Cascade 128 Superwash, size 10 needles, and a touch of inspiration.
Do you ever find a pattern that just sings to you? And you click on it, and you gasp because it is way beyond your budget? And you have to sulkily find something else to knit? Audrey is a six dollar pattern. I know how much work it takes to write a pattern, believe me. Yet I cannot afford the six dollars right now. Looking at the picture revealed how simple the pattern was: three rectangles and some sewing. Why, the original pattern didn't even have a thumb gusset.
A little more searching revealed this Bulky Fingerless Gloves pattern, and I was ready to combine the best of both worlds.
I think they rock!
So simple to just add a bow on, and yet it one-ups them from function to fashion! My sister will definitely love them. My son wants me to add a button on, at the middle of each bow, but I'm not sure yet.
They only took maybe 4 hours, total. Fun and simple! If this is how my xmas knitting is going to go, bring it on!