Sunday, September 30, 2007

bride and groom

Originally uploaded by mricon
One photo to tease you :)

I'll post a few more from the honeymoon once I get back. I'm so looking forward to spending the next 2 weeks relaxing with my sweetie. No set plans, just go where the mood takes us. I'm hoping for lots of walks on the beach and in the woods, with a little bit of yarn shopping, and good music in cozy pubs.

short break

The weather yesterday was beautiful, and the backdrop to a perfect day. I am now a very happily married woman.

Today a bunch of our friends are coming by to help us celebrate (there will be knitting involved, knowing some of my friends). Tomorrow we're off on our honeymoon for 2 weeks, so there will be a short break here. If I have a chance, I will post a few pictures for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

learning sometimes hurts

I'm taking a break from knitting toys for a while. I started a lovely tuque, knit from alpaca/silk/merino tweed in green, white, and orange. I even used a lacy leaf pattern to make it more autumnish. But after nearly finishing it twice, I have come to the conclusion that I may not have enough yarn. It is waiting for me to decide how to proceed.

I was planning to take only a single pair of socks on my honeymoon - using the wyvern pattern with my sail-away yarn. Waves and ocean colours seemed appropriate for a trip to Nova Scotia. I thought a head start couldn't hurt, so made a start last night and knit a little this morning. I am trying the magic loop method with one circular needle, for the first time. For good or ill, I am the type of person who likes to figure things out for herself, even when I have access to lots of useful information. After a bout of cursing and grumbling, I managed to figure out the hang of it. Now I have two very pretty socks (although they are only 1 inch long so far). Unfortunately (who didn't see that coming?) this method makes me knit in a tighter gauge, and the socks are too small.

Time to frog the knitting, and try not to curse and grumble about my faults.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

yarn tales

ready to be sewn
Originally uploaded by baprime
I've been meaning to write this post for almost 2 weeks now, but all this wedding stuff has kept me rather busy... and it's a very small wedding. I am SO glad I'm not having some crazy, 500-guest wedding with all the bridesmaids and flowers and food. I like things small, quiet, and cozy.

Anyway, this post is about some of the yarns I like to use and why. Certainly not an exhaustive list, just my favourite yarns, or ones that I think make great toys.

The yarn I use most often is 100% wool, either Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool, or Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. Both are inexpensive, soft, and come in a variety of colours. Both Wally's body and sweater are made from this type of yarn. I noticed that Knitpicks recently added some tweed yarns, and I wish my stash was small enough to let me buy some :)

Another yarn I like is Elann's Peruvian Quechua. It is alpaca and tencel, so it's a little fuzzier than wool, and the tencel gives it a nice shine. The texture of the knitted fabric is very nice too, quite different from wool, but hard to describe. I used it for the sweater for this toy. I wish it came in more colours suitable for toys.

I have also tried cotton yarn, like this one. The knitted fabric is again very different from wool, with very clear stitch-definition. But this brand of cotton is not very soft or cuddly, although I know some kinds of cotton are. It is also less stretchy, which might be a good thing for toys. You could stuff them much firmer without the stuffing showing through the fabric.

The last kind of yarn I really like using is Red Heart Symphony. While this is 100% acrylic, and the kind of yarn you're likely to find in discount stores and bargain bins, it makes the best little lambs ever. It's super soft and fuzzy, and I love the colour-variation in the yarn. Plus you get excellent milage - I made 6 toys from one ball of the Earth Brown colour-way.

Finally, to get around to to yarn shown in the photo above (Red Heart Buttercup). This is 100% polyester, and while it is unbelievably soft and fluffy, it kills my hands to knit with it. I made 4 other toys while procrastinating about knitting this kitty. It is also impossible to see your stitches - I even have trouble telling the knit from the purl side. But it does make excellent baby toys, and I love the confetti look of the coloured yarns. If I use this yarn in future, I think I may need to modify the pattern so I can use larger needles without getting a huge, fat toy.

If you have any thoughts on the yarns I've listed, or would like to tell me about any you love knitting with, please leave me a comment. I hope all this information has been useful to you!

Monday, September 17, 2007

mailing list

Would anyone be interested in me having a mailing list? I could send notes on shop updates etc. If you would like to be on the list, please leave a comment on this post, or send me an email. Thanks!

Monday, September 10, 2007

hooded cardi

Originally uploaded by baprime
Several people have asked about the hooded cardigan I recently knitted for a couple of little lambs. I was planning to save it to include with another toy pattern, but that idea has stalled, so you can now buy the cardigan pattern on it's own. Although it means the sweater uses more yarn, I love the way the hood looks. This should fit any of the toys (except the big teddy, of course). I think it looks cutest when a bit baggy, which means you need to use the same weight of yarn you use for the toy (or slightly heavier).

Friday, September 7, 2007

more totoro knitting

I was thinking of making this bonnet for my sister's baby (sorry I can't post a picture, some people are weird about things like that). But she gave me worsted weight yarn, and I don't feel like messing around with swatches and gauge. Maybe I will make it for another lucky baby sometime.

Anyone have favourite patterns for a baby bonnet or tuque?

Monday, September 3, 2007


Although it is still a few weeks away, I wanted to let you all know that my sweetie and I are getting married on September 29. Then we're going on a honeymoon for 2 weeks. While this is all good news for me, it means my Etsy shop will be closed for the first 2 weeks of October. It will still be possible to buy patterns from my Lulu shop, since I don't have to email the patterns for those orders.

I plan to keep making toys and bags and other things, and everything I get done over the next month will be listed in my shop around the middle of October. Don't worry, I'll let you know when it's all there :)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Knit a Totoro

Knit a Totoro, Side View
Originally uploaded by acornbud
I just found that a contact of mine has a free pattern for a knitted Totoro. I must make one, when I haven't a million other toys to knit!

I think My Neighbour Totoro is one of my most favourite movies. Whenever I come home tired and grumpy from work, I have the urge to watch it and just relax and laugh :)