December 22, 2011

Holiday Celebrations

I'm sorry my owl post is being delayed so long, with my family getting ready for the holidays and scrambling to finish making their gifts, I haven't had the time to do a post. The Christmas party is on new year's day, so I'll probably update that week when the hubbub's over.

Happy Holidays friends.

December 13, 2011

Tiny Snail

My youngest sister is really fond of snails. I expect this is because of Spongebob. So when I saw the Snails and Slugs pattern by Anna Hrachovec on Ravelry, I knew I had to make a snail for her for Christmas. It was my first time knitting something so small, and it was a little tricky. It worked up pretty fast though, I made one in under two hours. My library actually has her new book, Teeny Tiny Mochimochi, and I'm dying to check it out, but it's been checked out since they got it. I'll do a post about it if I get my hands on it and knit any more tiny things. I liked how quickly making such a small plushie went, it was like instant gratification.

Here's my snail before I made its shell, so it's still a slug at this point in its development. I had this done in just under an hour.

I used Paton's Grace yarn in 'natural' for the body of the snail, and Hobby Lobby 'I love this yarn!' sport solid in orange for the shell. I used size one needles to get a nice tight knit for her snail.

Here's the finished product:

The shell was a bit difficult to sew on, I'm not very good at the sewing part of things so it was really tricky for me. Also Mr. Snail there sort of falls over because his shell is big and heavy, even though I only stuffed it with a tiny bit of fluff. I think using a variegated yarn for his shell as shown on the pattern page would look really nice, this fellow's just a simple snail. But his companion snails are pink and green, so he'll really stand out when he meets his new friends Christmas morning.

In other news, my good friend Zaphy bought me the only knit Narwhal pattern on Ravelry, Napolean the Nervous Narwhal as a Christmas gift. Another friend of mine bought me some new yarn that I'm looking forward to getting, Corntastic in Topaz. 210 yards of light blue yarn made of corn, I'm thinking about what I can make with it. I'm honestly tempted to make a Narwhal, but I'm undecided until I see the yarn in person.
 Next week I'll do my entry about owl making, so look forward to it.  

December 2, 2011

Olivia the Octopus

With the holiday season hot on my heels, I've decided to knit up some plush toys for my younger siblings. Plushies are a great knit, most of them are pretty quick and don't require complicated stitches. The oldest of my three younger sisters, Sarah, espied an octopus pattern I was looking at and proclaimed that a purple octopus would be cool. Thus for her I chose the pattern I'd been looking at, the Teacupfaery Octopus by Jane Conway.

 This is Jane Conway's lovely octopus, how could I not make one?

I was dismayed to see that despite the cuteness of the finished octopus, no other ravelry users had completed the pattern, only Jane. A cute knit, being passed up by other users? I was sold, I have a weak spot for anything that seems pathetic, especially if it's also cute. I set out to knit Olivia the Octopus for my sister.

The pattern has a couple of seeming errors, or perhaps I should say that it wasn't written as clearly as it could be, though it's easy to follow for the most part. It starts out having you knit the body of the octopus flat, then seaming it up and knitting the bottom in the round after you knit each tentacle in the round. I did knit it flat, but honestly it would have been easier and for me, faster, to knit in the round. I'd advise doing just that. I'm using Caron Simply Soft, in lavender, on size 6 needles. It makes for soft but durable and easily washable toys, so I like it for that purpose. I also like using plastic 'safety eyes' on my toys, they slip between stitches and stay fastened, forever. As long as the surrounding yarn is intact, the eyes will never fall off.

 Pictured: Safety eyes

The tentacles start with 8 stitches and decrease by a stitch every inch. I chose to i-cord the last two inches of mine, since when I was down to three stitches it was easier than trying to knit in the round. I put a pipe cleaner in each tentacle so Olivia is pose-able. Unfortunately, my yarn had a flaw and there is an odd puffy lump on her head, but she's cute even with octopus-acne. Her head isn't as round as Jane's octopus', but I attribute that to my sewing skills being lacking. I will opt to knit another octopus in the round, and as at that time I will have actually received my christmas present of a digital camera, I will take step by step photos of my process.

And now, Olivia!