mermaids

Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

Hedgies

Posted on: 1 January, 13

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Every now and then, there is project I just have to do for sheer joy of just doing it.  That was totally the case with these hedgehog mittens from Morehouse Farm.  As luck would have it, a good friend who loves hedgehogs has a birthday every year.  For once, I did not procrastinate… and that was a very good thing.  I was worried about learning how to knit a mitten, specifically the thumb part.  (There is a thumb in the photo, I just have my thumb tucked in so you can see all those quills.)  Well, a mitten thumb is no big deal, but those quills!!!  The quills were not hard, but they were time consuming… and plentiful. 

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Look at all those quills.  Take a moment and look at how many there are.  I highly recommend this pattern because the mittens are to die for, but be prepared for all those quills.  They are worth the effort because look how cute they are. 

If you are making these for a gift, start early.  I started in October even though my friends birthday is in December.  Those quills take a long time.  I made lots of progress during the 24 hour gaming marathon.  The students cheered when I reached the end of the quill section on the first mitten.  Once the first mitten was completed, I had the motivation to power through the second one.  The mittens were completed before Thanksgiving.  The hard part was keeping them a secret until my friend’s birthday at the end of December.  Yes, there was lots of squealing when she opened the present.

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Ok, one eye looks a little wonky in this photo.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to take a photo of a mitten while you are wearing it???  I guess I could have used the timer feature and a tripod.  Besides, the wonky eye adds to his charm.

Oh… some details about the pattern.  It was about $30 for the kit which includes the pattern, yarn, eyes, and shipping.  The yarn is quite lovely and there is plenty to complete the mittens.  The directions were fine.  It took me a minute or two to wrap my head around how to do the quills, but I soon had plenty of practice and was whipping out those little buggers pretty fast in no time.  I don’t know how warm and/or functional these would be for real mittens, but they sure are cute.  My friend is an elementary school librarian.  She does a hedgehog unit with itty bitties every year.  These will be a huge hit!

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I am knitting as fast as I can to finish some holiday gifts.  In the meantime, here is a sock that I finished ages ago, but never got around to posting. 

The pattern is Jaywalker, which I found on Ravelry… which is where I find almost all of my knitting patterns.  Super easy pattern that knits really fast.  The yarn is Berrocco Comfort Sock, English Garden colorway.  It is not a fancy yarn, but I love it.  Smooth knitting and oh so comfy to wear. 

I had tried a couple other patterns with this yarn, but it really needed a simpler pattern like Jaywalker to take advantage of the self striping. 

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I don’t know if I just had a lot of time on my hands or if this was an easy pattern, but these socks were completed in no time at all.  The yarn was found at a wee little yarn shop when my friend and I ran away to the beach during spring break.  We both fell in love with the little sparkly bits that don’t show up in my terrible photos.  The yarn is hand spun and hand dyed.  Beyond that, I don’t really know what it is.  My friend and I just call it “pretty.”  I am terrible at keeping track of yarn names, types, etc.  I select yarn based on prettiness and softness.

The delightful woman at the beach yarn shop said the skein might have enough for two pairs of socks since we both have small feet.  Being a good friend, I made my friend’s socks first.  From Ravelry, I selected a few patterns that looked fun for me to knit, then I let my friend pick her favorite.  She chose “No Purl Monkey,” mostly because she liked the name.  As you can see, we have very discriminating criteria for our projects.  Does it sparkle?  Does it have a fun name?

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My friend was beyond delighted with her new socks, her first pair of hand knit socks.  Since I love to knit socks, yet don’t really wear socks, this will not be her last pair of hand knit socks.  Hmmm… what else do people blog about knitting?  The yarn is soft and pretty, the pattern was easy, the socks fit…..  Any burning questions that I have not addressed?

My matching socks have been completed, but not yet photographed.  (I don’t wear socks unless it is really, really cold.)  Stay tuned!

After a couple years of daily blog posts, it is going to be a bit quiet around here for a bit.  There is a lot going on at the Mermaid’s Lagoon.  Some very hard decisions are being made.  When I get a few minutes, I am doing a little stress knitting.  It will all need to be re-done because it is way too tight, but that doesn’t matter right now. 

Don’t forget about me.  When this storm passes and the waters are calm in the Lagoon, I will be back. 

Stymied

Posted on: 13 July, 10

There are so many projects in my Evernote file.  There are so many designs in Ottobre that I love.  Then there are the knitting projects.  I don’t know where to begin.  I have a dress that I started cutting out before my surgery, but it is more of dress that I would wear to school instead of a fun, flirty summer dress.  I am working on a pair of toe-up socks, but not sure I have enough yarn to finish them. 

I am stuck.  I am blinded by too many choices.  What do you do when you can’t decide what to do next?

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Yes, I have officially slipped into madness.  Not only am I knitting socks, I am knitting socks for dolls.  These are ridiculously easy to do.  I had yarn left over from my Skew Socks, so something had to be done. 

What do knitters do with the bits of left over yarn from projects?  I cannot bear to throw it away.  How do you know how much you have left and if it is enough for a given project?  There is so much to learn about this knitting stuff.

Oh, back to the socks…  I used this pattern as a starting point, but then I sort of made it up as I went along.   The little girls at the doll mini-camp when nuts over them.  When I make up my doll packages to donate to the toy drive, socks will definitely be included.  There is still a bit of this yarn left over.  I might try a matching sweater.  Yes, I have totally slipped into madness. 

4758974542_6ab4eb489d_m[1]The Skew socks have been finished for a while, but I am just now getting around well enough for a photo shoot.   Self portraits of socks are not easy, especially when you can barely bend one knee. 

These socks were not nearly as difficult as they look.  The directions are very well written.  Just keep the faith, follow along, and don’t question the directions.  It will all be fine in the end.  My biggest issue is having a foot much smaller than the size of directions.  Unlike regular socks, which are rather easy to adjust for sizing, these do not allow for much wiggle room in the sizing.  I adjusted by using much smaller needles.  In that respect, it is a good thing that I knit very tightly.  This is the second pair of socks I have made.  If I can make these as my second attempt, they cannot be that difficult. 

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Look how cool the swirly part is from the back?  I love things that are not traditional or expected.  These socks definitely fall into that category.  Sorry for the tilt in the photo.  Self portraits are not easy, especially when one is still having difficulty standing for more than a few minutes. 

The yarn?  I should know what kind of yarn it is, but I don’t because I am still learning yarn.  I went to AC Moore and picked one with pretty colors. 

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Here is another view just because these socks are so much fun.  My tight knitting was good for sizing issues, but less so for wearing issues.  The Skew socks are noted for being snug to pull over the over the instep and heel.  That comes from the band that wraps around the back of the heel.  Given the construction of the sock, there really is no way around that except to not knit as tightly as I do.  (This would be the case where my tight knitting is a bad thing.  I am learning to loosen up a little with the needles.)  Nonetheless, I really like these socks.  I don’t wear socks very much in the summer because I live in flip flops if at all possible.  I never look forward to cold weather, but at least I will have some snazzy socks awaiting me this winter. 


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