03 March 2014

camel and cotton


Pattern: bunny girl in a dotty dress
Source: Little Cotton Rabbits
Yarn: handspun camel, old cotton boucle from my Grandma's stash
Knitting Specs: Camel and Cotton


It's odd...I loved that photo of the bunny head in the pottery bowl...but now that the bunny is all done I find that photo looks rather gruesome! Like I beheaded a bunny...


It was really so wonderful to have something so complicated to work on during reading week. Now that I am back to the academic grindstone, it's back to the endless, mindless stockinette...oy vey. At least it's still knitting.

The cotton boucle that I used from my Grandma's stash was a nightmare to seam with, but it was still worth using. I love the vintage, worn feel it gives to the toy. My bunny face also looks a little more sad than Julie's...but I kind of have a thing for slightly bedraggled, sad-faced toys. I love my emo bunny.


I obviously made a few minor edits, mostly involving the dress, making it solid instead of polka-dotted. I also changed yarn for the legs, preferring to make little undershorts and continuing the camel body into the legs. Instead of the tail called for in the pattern, I made a pom-pom. It helps her to sit better, and it's adorable.

I accidentally sewed the legs on opposite sides, so the strap of the shoes that was supposed to be on the outside is on the inside of the foot. I decided to make do by putting buttons on the outside to draw attention there. Removing the legs would have destroyed the cotton boucle.

The pattern was impeccably written, which I do not take for granted. Hats off to Julie for fantastic, professional work.

I love my little wabbit. It will remind me of my mum's generous gift of camel yarn and of my beautiful Grandma's love of knitting.


I hesitate to post this last bit here since it's slightly...gauche? But as a student of Linguistics I have to share. I originally called this project Camel Tail...get it? Like Cotton Tail? And I couldn't figure out why that was bothering me or what it was reminding me of until...SMACK. LANGUAGE, SO FUN!

16 February 2014

the camel that grew up to be a rabbit


What an absolute joy it has been to work on this rabbit. I have admired the work of Julie Williams for quite some time. I have a week off from university studies next week, and after months of brainless stockinette, I needed a complicated project.

I am knitting the body of the rabbit from handspun camel that my mom brought back from one of her trips. At 90 yards, the skein didn't really have enough to make anything that I could wear. And so, it has sat unused in my stash for a few years. It has finally found what it wants to be! The camel is just perfect for the body of this rabbit. I will be making the accessories (a dress and shoes) from some boucle cotton that was in my Grandma's stash, so this project will remind me of both my mom and my Grandma.

I am usually quite a practical knitter; I want things that I can wear. It has been so much fun to step outside of that zone and to knit something just for the pure creative joy of it.

12 February 2014

happy anniversary


As of yesterday, I have had my darling boy Scruff for one whole year. He was spoiled with presents, including the Chippy in the photo above. He refuses to be apart from it.

We easily recognize the giant things that change our lives...but small things can have big impacts too. Like a tiny old man Westie.

I have a preternatural sense of self-preservation, and say "no" more than I say "yes". This is especially true if I think there's a chance of any kind of vulnerability.

Scruff, you are one of my 'yeses'. One day, you will break my heart into pieces. But you have also expanded it, and have shown me the beautiful, beautiful things that can come from saying 'yes'.

I love you, my darling.

11 January 2014

coesite

Pattern: Coesite
Source: Twist Collective
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Sock
Knitting Specs: Coesite


Oh how I loved everything about this hat! The yarn came from a gift from my dear friend Ellen, and the idea to make this pattern from my dear friend Katie, who had knit it before. I say loved in its past tense because I made the difficult decision to use it in my family's aforementioned bartering system. I don't regret that, since it was traded for a very good purpose. But oh...how I want one of my own. This will probably be one of the few times where I make a pattern multiple times. That seems to happen most often with hats, for me.


I did make a fairly signifiant alternation to the pattern. The alteration was not significant in difficulty (in fact it simplified the pattern), but was significant in the final effect. The Coesite pattern has a zigzag pattern running throughout the main portion of the hat. Because the Malabrigo is so variegated, I left out these zigzags entirely, doing the entire main portion of the hat in stockinette. I am really pleased with this mod, and would do it again in the future. This pattern is lovely, with just the right amount of slouch. I also love the asymmetrical detail of carrying up part of the ribbing through to the top. Knitting it on US size 0 and 1.5 needles was a labour of love, though...it took quite a bit longer to knit than, say, a worsted weight hat. But the result is so delicate and refined...it's worth it. I have to make another one this year.


The beauty of this skein of yarn is that I had enough left over after making the hat to make a matching pair of fingerless mitts! That's value for money.

30 December 2013

driftwood

Pattern: Driftwood
Source: Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Mink Heather and Arctic Pool Heather
Knitting Specs: Driftwood


Stripes! I really, really love stripes. The pattern here, Driftwood, calls for four row stripes. I like a thinner stripe, so I made mine two rows each. I believe that is the only major pattern modification that I made.


The photo above shows  the detail that made me want to try this sweater. There is a trend in modern knitting to prefer knits that are completely seamless. A large reason for this is that many knitters have a phobia about sewing up their knits. I prefer seamed sweaters myself, both for their structure and their appearance. I find that shoulders and sleeve caps without seams appear misshaped and saggy. However, Susie Myers has recently developed the contiguous method. This involves knitting a sweater from the top down in a way that, to my eye, strongly resembles the look of a seamed sweater. The structure may still not be as strong, but for all intents and purposes it's a pretty good match! And it was really fun to do.


The wool was a generous donation from a knitter who cannot wear it due to the itch factor. Thanks again, Sarah!


Oh my...these photos do make me miss the summer green. And I'm somebody who loves Winter! But tonight, they are calling for a windchill of -50 degrees celsius...even the hardiest among us are balking. Good thing I'm a knitter...

29 December 2013

and the winner for best gift wrap goes to...


...my sister L.

I squealed like a 5-year old when I saw this box under the tree. It has a matching lid with a big red bow on top. And inside? A sweater's worth of deep red Ultra Alpaca from my siblings! I am dreaming of this coat...minus the pockets and the belt. Can't wait!

28 December 2013

Northmans

Pattern: Northman Mittens
Source: Southern Cross Fibre
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca (one skein Steel Cut Oats and one skein Cobalt Mix) and Grignasco Top Print (for the lining)
Knitting Specs: Northmans


Oh, what a joy it was to knit these mittens. I fell in love with the Ultra Alpaca...so much so that I requested a sweater's worth for Christmas! 


There is a phenomenom among knitting known as second sock (or second mitten) syndrome. This pattern has you knit a lining into each mitten, so I definitely got a little fourth mitten syndrome! The result is so warm and lovely though, that it's worth the effort.


The amazing thing is that I actually have enough yarn left for another pair! I will have to reverse the colourwork colours, but still...that's pretty incredible value. I have knit a few of David Schulz' patterns, and I find them to be impeccably edited and so tasteful.

Unfortunately the lining yarn, Grignasco Top Print, is discontinued. I bought it while on a hiking trip, in Lethbridge, Alberta. I really love the colour mix, so it's too bad I won't be able to work with it again!