Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two weeks in!

We are now two weeks into 2014!
Which means that my leave is up, and I went back to work this morning. Which involved a heartbreaking moment, in which I had to put my son back in his crib before heading upstairs to get ready. That wasn't the heartbreaking part, though.
When his arms turned into little vise grips, and he clutched at my neck with all his strength, and started sobbing in protest as if to say "No Mommy don't go!!" ...yeah, that part made me start to cry a little. And then I started to count how many days I have left before my obligation to Uncle Sam is up...(326, in case you were curious.)

But anyways.
I did manage to knit & crochet up a storm during my time at home (nap times are awesome for crafting!), and I can officially mark the book Pacific Knits as done, as I've now completed three patterns from it (which is actually one more than I require to consider it "done.")(Except I'm not actually "done," since I have a cousin who is expecting and I am totally knitting another sweater from this book as a shower gift.)(Plus I kind of really want to knit myself an Antler cardigan.)
Anyway, what exactly did I knit?
Well, I made the Campfire pullover for Clinton:
Not the greatest photo, I know. It's horribly over-exposed. But it's also the only photo he's let me get! This boy runs circles around me (and Tim. And the cats.)
But you can still see the lovely Fair Isle pattern (my first experience doing stranded colorwork! Woo-hoo!) and the awesome shawl collar that Tim dislikes so much. (I agree that this isn't a style I would buy in a store...but really, it looks so cute on him!)

Anyways, I know it's just morning in North America, but here in Japan it is getting very close to my bedtime, so I wish you all good-night!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Oenfpp

Meet Oenfpp, the One-Eyed, Non-horned, Flightless Purple People-eater.
My husband hates him. My son likes him. I think he's rather cute.
I might be a little attached to him, since he's the first amigurumi pattern I've improvised. I took Stacey Trock's Craftsy class on designing amigurumi monsters, and this was my first attempt.

And, because it's the new year and I like to share things, I've written out the pattern! So without further ado, here it is!

You will need:
Yarn – worsted weight, MC: approx. 100g/220yards/200m (I used Stitch Nation Washable Ewe in Currant. This yarn has been discontinued, but any worsted weight will do.)
small amount of white yarn for eye, small amount of black yarn for pupils and mouth
Hook – size G/4mm
Polyfil
Notions – stitch marker, scrap yarn for eyes and mouth

Skills needed: Magic circle, single crochet, single crochet 2 together
Abbreviations: sc : single crochet
sc2tog: single crochet 2 together (decrease)

This pattern is worked continuously in-the-round, without joining.

Body:

Round 1: Using MC and magic circle, 6sc and join to work in round. (6)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch (12)
Round 3: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next stitch] around (18)
Round 4: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches] around (24)
Round 5: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 3 stitches] around (30)
Round 6: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches] around (36)
Round 7: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches] around (42)
Round 8: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches] around (48)
Round 9: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches] around (54)
Round 10-18: Sc in each stitch (54)
Round 19: [sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches] around (48)
Round 20: [sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches] around (42)
Round 21: [sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches] around (36)
Round 22: [sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches] around (30)
Round 23: sc in each stitch (30)
Round 24: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches] around (36)
Round 25: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches] around (42)
Round 26: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches] around (48)
Round 27: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches] around (54)
Round 28-36: sc in each stitch (54)
Round 37: [sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches] around (48)
Round 38: [sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches] around (42)
Round 39: [sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches] around (36)
Round 40: [sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches] around (30)
Round 41: sc in each stitch (30)
Round 42: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 4 stitches] around (36)
Round 43: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 5 stitches] around (42)
Round 44: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 6 stitches] around (48)
Round 45: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 7 stitches] around (54)
Round 46-55: sc in each stitch (54)
Round 56: [sc2tog, sc in next 7 stitches] around (48)
Round 57: [sc2tog, sc in next 6 stitches] around (42)
Round 58: [sc2tog, sc in next 5 stitches] around (36)
Round 59: [sc2tog, sc in next 4 stitches] around (30)
Round 60: [sc2tog, sc in next 3 stitches] around (24)

Stuff with polyfil.

Round 61: [sc2tog, sc in next 2 stitches] around (18)
Round 62: [sc2tog, sc in next stitch] around (12)
Round 63: sc2tog around (6)
Break yarn and thread through all 6 stitches, pull tight and fasten off.


Arms:

Round 1: Using MC and magic circle, 6sc and join to work in the round. (6)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch (12)
Round 3: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next stitch] around (18)
Round 4: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 2 stitches] around (24)
Round 5-22: sc in each stitch (24)
Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Stuff arms with small amount of polyfil and sew to body.

Eye:

Round 1: Using white yarn and magic circle, 6sc and join to work in the round. (6)
Round 2: 2sc in each stitch (12)
Round 3: [2sc in first stitch, sc in next stitch] around (18)
Break yarn, leaving a long tail. Using black yarn, embroider pupil (or use a safety eye if you prefer)
Sew eye to body.

Mouth: Using scrap yarn, embroider mouth as desired.

And enjoy! Oenfpp makes an awesome bookshelf guardian, couch buddy, or just add to your monster menagerie!

This pattern is also available as a Ravelry download.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's December What? (weekend wind-up)

It's a bit late to be posting a Weekend Wind-up, but here I am anyway.

Today was the last day to ship to/from a Fleet Post Office and be sure that your package will arrive in time for Christmas.

Momma, I am sorry, I did not get yours out in time.

But I did manage to get all the hand-knit goodies for my 6(!) nieces & nephews in the post today.
I don't want to ruin the surprise, but I don't think any of them read this blog, so here's a little peek anyway:








I hope that 1) these fit and 2) they are liked. I will even be happy with one of the two.
Oh, and those pretty hats in the middle? Both of those came from Pacific Knits, which means that this particular book can be marked as "Complete" in my little project.
(What project? The one I decided to take on a few months ago, described in this post. I'm rather terrible about updating, though - really need to work on that!)

Of course...I might have totally added a few more patterns since then. The count is up to 1091. More to come on that.

I hope you are having a lovely holiday season!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Beekeeper's Obsession

So, I started knitting these:
And they are every bit as addicting as knitters on Ravelry lead you to believe.

In case you aren't familiar with hexipuffs, I invite you to check them out.

I decided to use the handy-dandy calculator to figure out how many hexipuffs I would need to make a twin-sized quilt. I figured, if I continually knit these for the next 17 years (which shouldn't be too hard), I should have enough to make a quilt for Clinton to take with him to college.
A 40"x80" quilt (which would just cover the top of an extra-long twin bed, which is standard-issue dorm furniture) will take 547 puffs.
There are five already made. In order to finish by my son's 18th birthday, I will need to knit approximately 32 each year. That's more or less 3 each month.
I think I can handle that.

Oh, but wait...we plan on having another baby (or two). And of course I'll need to make puffy quilts for them, as well. That's another 1094 hexipuffs. If I want to have them all completed at the same time, (and just keep the ones for my not-yet-conceived babies tucked away safe and sound until they graduate from high school,) I'll need to knit approximately 96 per year, or 8 per month. That's two per week.
I might still be able to do this, since I always have knitting with me at work for my breaks.

Hey, did I mention that I've had this pattern sitting in my library for a while? I can mark this one as completed :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Holiday Crunch

I'm actually embarrassed about how poorly I keep this blog updated. I would blame work, or the holidays, or my son...but the truth is, I just haven't much felt like writing.

That's not to say that I haven't been knitting, crocheting or quilting. I've done all three. (Of course, I let the camera battery die, so there's little evidence of this right now.)(I will rectify this later.)
I've managed to piece two quilt tops, started making blocks for a third & fourth one, and just got fabric for a fifth one. Three will be Christmas-y. Yay!

I realized the practicality of having a Christmas tree up with three cats and a toddler was not very great, so I crocheted a small tree instead. For real. (Yeah, I need to charge the camera.)
I made Clinton's Halloween costume last month. We entered him in a local costume contest. Sadly, he did not win...but I did manage to snap this adorable picture of a very sleepy dragon:




Halloween quickly rolled into Veterans Day, and now it's almost Thanksgiving, then my son turns 1, and Christmas will be really soon after that.

I don't really want a big production for any of it. Except the birthday - which won't happen - so...maybe I should get back to knitting Christmas gifts?

Ah, yes, knitting. Well, since my last post, I have finished:
 DNA sweater for my nephew
 Little Hoodlum for my niece
 Greyson for Clinton
 Halloween costume for Clinton
 Sock Monkey for a co-worker's baby
 Random triangle scarf for no reason other than I like to knit on my breaks at work, and sock yarn projects don't need much space in my bag.
 Christmas tree

...I think that's it, but I may have forgotten something.
 Oh, I also made a diaper cake for my co-worker's baby shower. She's using cloth diapers (yay!), so I snagged the ones from her registry and created this:
Yes, the sock monkey is totally wearing a diaper, too.


Anyway, I've still got a few projects that I'm working on this weekend, and then next week is a lot of cooking (because we have two different Thanksgiving parties to attend), and then somehow I need to throw together a birthday party for Clinton. Because for my first child, I cannot not throw a first birthday party. Even if it's just grilling hamburgers and watching his smash a cupcake.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekend Wind-up

Well, I'm back from my two-week hiatus. And you know what? I managed to accomplish what I set out to do...and then some!

If you recall from this post, my challenge to myself was knitting two items that wrap around the neck.
They haven't been blocked yet, but that is due to weather in Sasebo, which has been switching between raining and very high winds. I can't use the floor inside for anything thanks to three cats and a crawling baby, so blocking has had to wait.
But here's the Common Bean:

And the Windsor Warmer:
And I also decided to make a sock monkey. It's crocheted, so not technically a sock monkey, but it's still handmade, which is better than the cheap piece of yuck that I saw on a friend's baby registry. (Yes, the sock monkey will be a shower gift. Along with a diaper cake, because I'm a show-off like that.)
His ears aren't sewn on yet, for some reason they've been giving me issues, but here he is:

Pretty neat, huh? But wait, there's more! Since the expectant friend is also planning to use cloth diapers, I had to knit her some diaper covers as well:
So there it is. Two weeks of yarnalicious activity!
The next two weeks are supposed to be dedicated to motifs. Hopefully I can do this!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Weekend wind-up

It's Labor Day Weekend, so I can post this on Monday instead of Sunday (which is good, because yesterday I really didn't have a chance to write this.)

I've been thinking, and knitting, and planning, and I think I have a method worked out.
For now, anyway.

Here's the schedule thus far:

September 1-14 – Neckwear
Common Bean
 I actually have this one mostly finished, I cast on yesterday and now I'm just 12 rows away from binding off.
I'm using Berocco Voyage (love this yarn!)

Windsor Warmer
 This one, I've done a gauge swatch, but my size 7 needle tips are attached to another project (along with the 40" cable), so I'm trying to decide how I want to go about it. I may just choose a different project.


September 15-28 – Granny Squares
Beyond the Square : 13 motifs (or, a motif each day with a day off)
The nice part about this, is that I already have seven motifs made from this book, so to"close" this book I only need to create 13 more. (Curious about the ones I've already made? Check them out here, here, here, and here.

September 29-October 12 – Hats
Hurricane Hat
 I have the perfect yarn for this, and it will become a Christmas gift for my Aunt Sue. The yarn is mainly purple, her favorite color.
Little Nutbrown Hare
 I will have to do some digging to find a sock yarn that is not "too girly" to knit this for Clinton. We have "Guess How Much I Love You," and it's also the theme of Clinton's baby book. So I have to knit it.
Ballyragget
 I bought the book, "Contemporary Irish Knits" by Carol Feller, and then gained an undisclosed amount of weight while pregnant. I am too big for most of the sweater patterns in it (which is a bummer,) but I can certainly make the accessories.

October 13-26 – Children's Sweaters
Lizzie's Little Hoodlum
 This is in progress. I'm stuck on the sleeves. I don't like knitting sleeves. They are really, really boring.
Link's Greyson
 I've made this pattern for Clinton, now his cousin will get one.

October 27-November 9 – Neckwear
Multnomah
 I would like to make this shawl because it is very pretty. And I have a lot of sock yarn, despite not knitting socks.
One-Skein Scarf
 To balance out a full-sized shawl knit in fingering weight, I need something quick and easy. Plus, I've had this book for years and so far I've not crocheted much from it. 


So that's the plan. Of course, this is all subject top change without notice. Especially since I may have to stop and make a Halloween costume, plus knit a baby gift for my pregnant coworker...
But that all just makes for more blogging material, so it's all good.

Enjoy the holiday weekend!