Monday, April 21, 2008


Well it looks like Spring has finally sprung around these parts so this weekend was all about putting away the warm woolens and taking out the spring gear. A couple of Julian's old jackets worked as perfect hand-me-downs for lolobean, but sadly none of the hats fit! So naturally, I had to knit one up pronto...

Cluck! Isn't this hat a riot?! I came across the pattern on Ravelry last week and it had my Lolo's name written all over it. I knit it from a ball of stash Rowan All Seasons Cotton in 'cookie' and a few yard of Knit Picks Shine in 'cream' for the bone tips and ties. I looove it!

I made a few mods: I altered the placement of the earflaps by counting 7 stitches from the centre back rather than 10 as indicated in the pattern before picking up stitches for the earlflaps so they would fit better, and I knit he drumsticks separately and then sewed them on rather than picking up stitches. Other than that, I knit it as written. And can attest that it is a riot to knit as well. Can't wait for it too be cool enough for him to wear it.

You see it's been unseasonably warm this week and except for the mountains of snow that remain, it's felt a lot like summer. In our desperation, we've taken to shoveling our yards and helping mother nature melt the snow faster by flinging it across the driveway in the warm air and letting the sun do the rest. This sounds crazy I know, but we're all doing it daily. It's gonna take some time still because there really was a crazy amount of snow this year...

Ah, but that's all behind us now, come on Summer!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Julian's raisin bag...

I came across this Mochi Mochi Dokomun backpack on Ravelry and couldn't resist knitting one for Julian. I thought it would make a perfect book bag for our trips to the library. Though after seeing it start to come together, he had other ideas about what he might like to carry around inside: pencils, scissors (not allowed), trucks, and raisins. Silly billy ;0)

I knit it from Elann Peruvian Highland Wool (2.5 balls of russet brown #3729 and odds and ends of natural and ruby red for the teeth and mouth). This one seemed to literally fly off of the ginormous 8.0mm/US11 needles the pattern calls for. Including the intarsia bit this took less than a day to knit! You just gotta love that!

Then it was time for the hard part: felting! You see, I have one of those energy-efficient front-Loading washing machines and had never had much success felting in it...until now that is because I finally figured out the trick ...

If you have and LG Tromm (or a machine with similar options) here's the secret recipe: put your bag in a king-size pillow case and tie a knot in the end. Put a few drops of dish soap (I use Shaklee's uber concentrated, environmentally/kid friendly dish soap) in the detergent tray. Set it on quick cycle, hot wash/cold rinse, and select the no-spin option. On my machine, this works out to 18 minutes. I checked on my bag and decided to go for a second cycle to get it to felt the way I wanted.

Ta-da! It's perfect! This was such a success that I think my hand-felting days are finally over! Oh, I should mention that I didn't add anything else to the machine for agitation, just the knit bag in the pillow case. I read somewhere that this might actually be more efficient for felting in a front-loader.

Now all I need to do is brave Wal-Mart to get a zipper and a couple of big black buttons for the eyes. I really dislike that store, but their button selection is so much better than our local fabric shop that I just have to suck it in! I also ordered the webbing and buckles from etsy (will share the links once I receive the goods and am happy with them) which will be all that's needed to turn this flat Domokun into a bonafide back pack full of raisins for my quirky little guy;0)

Happy knitting!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Nerdy pants!

It was knit at first sight for me and these nerdy pants and the only way to get them out of my system was to put everyone to bed, creep back downstairs and cast-on the gazillion stitches required for these quirky pants that very night. Because really, when you feel that strongly, resistance is futile ;0)

I think it's the name of this pattern that hooked me. I mean, come on, hyperbolic baby pants? That has got to be the greatest pattern name ever! It is just so much fun to say: "oh this? I'm just knitting a pair of hyperbolic pants!" I just love to watch people's reaction: part awe, part puzzlement, part am-I-being-punk'd! It's great ;0)

I would have kept them on the needles longer just so I could keep messing with people's minds, but my own curiosity about how the weirdo funnel I was knitting would magically fold into baby pants was too strong and I just could not put these down until they were all done.

They were a cinch to knit too. The pattern (did I mention yet that the pattern is from the current issue of Craft?) is really simple and straightforward: if you can count and if you can decrease, you can knit these pants! Of course the counting is the hard part with little ones around -- ever notice how everyone has a question when you are counting stitches?

Here they are in all their nerdy goodness. I just love how these look in the variegated yarn (I used 2.5 balls of Elann Sonata). Love, love, love! I knit these as per the instructions except for one little afterthough modification: I folded the ‘waistband’ over about half an inch and sewed it in place keeping an opening in the front center through which I pulled a crochet-chain cord to fasten the pants.

The only downside to these mathematical pants? Excessive crotch! I found this really bothersome and disappointing when I first finished seaming these up but perhaps this won’t be a problem with a chubby baby tush inside ;0)

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Hi there, I'm Loopy. And I'm a knit washcloth...hear me roaaaarrr!

Meet Loopy. Isn't he brilliant!!! And a blast to knit too. I can't believe this pattern (Grrr from last summer's Knitty) hadn't caught my eye sooner because it's super quick (Loopy here took less than 2 hours to make start to finish including embroidery, hanging loop and weaving ends!), it's super cute, uses less than a ball of stash and it's functional too!

Naturally, I had to immediately cast on for another. He's Loopy II and I've been petting him all afternoon. So soft and fluffy. I may need to knit another for myself since both these cubs have already been claimed by mine ;0)

I knit them both from stash Knit Picks Shine in Sunflower and Terracotta. I didn't know if I would have enough yarn for the full sized version so I knit Loopy using the smaller version (22 sts wide) with inch and a half loops to be safe but it turns out I didn't need to worry at all since I had lots of yarn leftover.

So I knit Loop II using the larger instructions and with a shaggier mane, and still had yarn leftover so if you knit one of these, don't fret too much. I think I used less than 70 yards even for the larger cloth.

So go knit one already. I personally guarantee that you'll be glad you did! If you're not, just pop it in the mail and send it to my kiddos ;0)

Now on to my hyperbolic pants. Heehee!