F.O: Dot the Monster

We interrupt this blanket broadcast to bring you: A Finished Object!

I swear that I’m still working diligently on the Fireside Afghan. I’m plugging away at it, churning out roughly a block a day. Six more blocks and I’ll be ready to begin sewing up! But, in the meantime, I also managed to slip in a little monster. He’s to be sent away to a new home in a swap.

DSC_0048I’m pretty enamored with this little guy. He’s knit from RedHeart Impeccable, which I bought on a whim but have decided that I like. It was a little scratchy to work with at this gauge, though soft enough as a finished project. I think if it were worked at on 8’s as, say, a lovely little entrelac scarf, it would be perfectly acceptable for against the skin wear.

DSC_0043A lot of gradient yarns fall pray to the murky, less attractive patches as the colors shift. I found this one to be lovely through and through. This pattern is a perennial swap favorite of mine, too. It’s small enough to squish in an envelope or tight box, but big enough that I don’t feel as though I’m sending along a mini. It combines all of my favorite of the designer’s techniques, too.

DSC_0054And, for proof, a quick shot of my stack of blocks hanging out in the Hexipuff bowl. I’ve given myself the deadline of my birthday, a month and a half away, to finish the two projects. I know that I’m getting close on the blanket and that I’m not far off on the puff pillow, but I think we can all agree that seaming and finishing a project can sometimes feel more daunting than the actual knitting does.

Does anyone else get squeamish about finishing techniques?

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F.O: Little Cotton Rabbit (x3)

Dear blog,

When last we spoke, I fessed up to a mild infatuation with Julie Williams’ Little Cotton Rabbits. I said things like, “I just need to knit a few dresses to get it out of my system,” and “They’re teaching me new skills!” We’ve had this conversation before. This is the conversation where I admit to going over the deep end with some pattern that I just can’t put down. Embarrassingly enough, it’s happening again. I’ve become obsessed with these little rabbits and little dresses, and am in serious need of some bunny rehab. But really, who can blame me? They’re so completely precious!

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Obviously I need help. The white rabbit is my latest finished object, and I’ve named her Carroll. As ridiculous as this picture looks, I actually have to admit that since I took it this morning another dress has been added to the collection. It’s a sickness. All of the dresses come from the Seasonal Dresses pattern except for the pink feather and fan dress and the elephant dress. I figured the elephants from an outside chart, and added them to the basic dress pattern.

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I’m really pleased with how my white rabbit turned out. Just fuzzy enough, and just fluffy enough. She’s knit out of sport weight, though, so she’s the smallest of the bunch, but the dresses still fit her well enough.

I feel like admitting my problem is the first step to recovery, so hopefully when we speak next I’ll have moved on to something new.  No promises, though. These bunnies are pretty irresistible. I don’t recommend buying the pattern if you, like me, are susceptible to the charms of little embroidered smiles and tiny buttons. I’m sure I’ll kick this one eventually, but with my luck it’ll be the day before Julie publishes her next animal pattern, which is sure to be just as sweet as the first.

Wish me luck!

F.O: Little Cotton Rabbit

My second Little Cotton Rabbit has flown off my needles and into my finished projects basket!

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Her name is Agatha Rabbit, and she loves tea cups, good books, and solving murder mysteries. But really, who doesn’t? I used Tosh DK for her body in Hickory, and Tosh Light in Laurel for her dress. I really don’t know what it is about this pattern, but I find these bunnies to be enchanting. They have such personality! The dresses have been a lot of fun to work, as well, which is evidenced by the fact that Agatha now has a wardrobe of two.

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The third is on the way. I’m justifying my obsession by telling myself that these adorable little dresses are a crash course in color work. I can’t wait to finish some more to show off!

F.O: A new Obsession Takes Root

I have a confession.

For years now, YEARS, I have been flat out coveting the beautiful, entrancingly cute work of Julie Williams over at Little Cotton Rabbits. You can see some of her amazing creations here. I wanted them. Bad. I love toy knitting for reasons that I can’t really explain. Many conversations have been had about how we become the kinds of crafters that we are (sock knitters, sweater knitters, blanket makers, etc.) but I think it’s just down to what we find most soothing. Underneath the frustration, swearing, and fiddling that comes with sewing up little creations, I truly do find them relaxing to knit. I know that I already have more stuffed knit toys floating around my house than any grown woman can possibly explain. I know that I really don’t have anywhere to store another bag of fiber fill. But I love toy knitting, and I really felt the pull of Julie’s adorable bunnies.

Then, to the jubulation and celebration of toy knitters everywhere, she released her pattern.

And then she went and published a pattern set for 14 perfect little dresses.

I tried to resist the pull, but it just wasn’t in me. Instead I told myself, “oh, knit one and get it out of your system! You’ll get over the obsession quickly enough.” This sounded in my head like solid logic. In the space of about 24 hours, this little darling emerged:

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Meet Coral the Rabbit. She charms the pants off me. Yes, she’s a little wonky. Her ears are crooked, her mouth is uneven, and we had a serious miscalculation of gauge. My worsted weight yarn was too thick, and my fingering was too thin. As a result she has a massive head, monster arms, and her dress is a little shorter than a respectable young bunny lady probably ought to wear. But still. Those are polka dots on that dress, and I do colorwork so rarely that they’re a miracle in and of themselves. The shoes are darling as all get out, and, though you can’t see it, she has a perfect fluffy bunny tail. She’s going to be a babyshower gift, which I knew when I downloaded the pattern.

I also might have known that I was lying to myself when I said I would knit one and get it out of my system. You may be able to tell that because I surreptitiously snuck out to the yarn store almost as soon as I had cast on and purchased a lovely, plushy skein of suspiciously bunny colored yarn. You may also be able to tell by the notes that I made as I went along, about minor details I would change “in the future”. The biggest giveaway is probably this, though:

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Meet Agatha the Rabbit. She as a head, two arms, a body, and most of a shoe. I’m already planning her wardrobe. I start my new job in two weeks, so I have about that much time to get this pattern out of my system.

Do you ever get obsessed with patterns, or is it just me?

FO, Kind of

My camera arrived today! I’m seriously and irrevocably bonded with my sparkly new Nikon D3100. I’ll be adjusting to the world beyond point and shoots as a ween myself into manual mode over the next month. I finished up another monster pattern this week, and I broke out my new camera to get some photos!

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This photo shoot was quickly interrupted, though, by a nosy model who couldn’t stand to be ignored.

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The Pattern is Daphne and Delilah by Rebecca Danger. This is my second time around with this one. It’s too cute to resist, and pretty simple, too. This is my favorite introduction pattern when people are asking which one they should start with. Their mouths, I will admit, are a little wonky. I don’t have the magic touch when it comes to hot glue, so I need to try again.  I’ll take a second round with the pictures, too, when  Josie isn’t trying to crash the shoot.

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FO: Mystery Project

The identity of my mystery project can finally be revealed!

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Isn’t he sweet? My goal for June is to build up my sister’s monster collection a little. She is an elementary school teacher, and the monsters live on her bookshelves so that they can be checked out by students as reading buddies. When we were cleaning out her classroom after the last day of school, though, I noticed her collection was looking a little paltry! We’re beefing it up with a new stock of monster buddies. This is Cecil the Computer Monster from Rebecca Danger’s Big Book of Monsters. This is my first time with this pattern, and it came together pretty quickly. I did a purl ridge mouth instead of a pick up stitch mouth, because this yarn splits like crazy and picking up with it is a nightmare. I love how toy patterns come together right in front of you. An arm, an ear, a smile, and the next thing you know you’ve got a smiling little creation!

What do you think about toy knitting? Do you find it rewarding, or too finicky to bother?