Monday, November 30, 2009

holiday mouse pattern

I can hardly believe some of you have already knit my Holiday Mouse pattern (some people have made more than one)! They are all very cute, so you should try it! In order to make it easier for you to work on the project away from your computer, Mr. Mitten has made the pattern into a PDF file. You can download it directly, or get it on Ravelry. These wee guys take almost no time at all, and very little yarn, so they won't add too much to your holiday knitting list ;o)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Mice

Wow, I must have been really inspired, because the pattern is done and ready! Of course, these little fellas only take a couple of hours to make. Not to waste any time, on to the details!

You can knit the mice flat on straight needles, or in the round (the brown ones are knit flat, the grey one in the round, so you can see there is little difference). The materials list says to use worsted weight yarn because that's what I usually use. The larger mice are made with worsted weight yarn, but the little one is made with sport weight yarn on 3 mm needles (he's only 2" tall), so you can really use whatever you have. The hood is knit flat with a seam up the back, and the beret is knit in the round, so you can make whichever you are comfortable with. Little details like bells, pom-poms, and ribbon bows are optional, but very cute!

Since this pattern has not been test knit, please let me know if there are any mistakes, so I can correct the pattern.

Holiday Mouse

Materials: 15 g worsted weight yarn in main colour (MC), 10 g of worsted weight yarn in contrasting colour (CC), small amount of pink worsted weight yarn, stuffing, pair of 8 mm safety eyes or buttons (or black yarn), 4 mm (US size 6) set of dpns or pair of needles, tapestry needle

Size: 8 cm (3")

Gauge: 22 sts and 32 rows per 10cm (4˝) in st st

Notes: Instructions are written for knitting flat with straight needles. To knit the toy in the round on dpns, knit all odd rows, rather than purling them (except for bobbles). Please note that you may need to shuffle sts between needles occasionally, in order to work the increases and decreases. Remember to attach safety eyes and stuff head before working Row 16.

MB = Make Bobble
Row 1: increase 5 sts into next st (knit into front, then back, front, back, front of st). (5 sts)
Row 2: p5, turn.
Row 3: k5, turn.
Row 4: p2tog, p1, p2tog, turn. (3 sts)
Row 5: s1, k2tog, psso. (1 st)
Then continue with pattern...

Start at bottom. Cast on 7 sts with MC.
Row 1: P 1 row.
Row 2: k1, [m1, k1] x 6. (13 sts)
Row 3: P 1 row.
Row 4: k3, [m1, k1] x 7, m1, k3. (21 sts)
Row 5: P 1 row.
Row 6: k7, MB, k5, MB, k7.
Row 7-9: work 3 rows in st st.
Row 10: k6, k2tog, k5, skpo, k6. (19 sts)
Row 11-13: work 3 rows in st st.
Row 14: k6, MB, skpo, k1, k2tog, MB, k6. (17 sts)
Row 15-17: work 3 rows in st st.
Row 18: k2, [skpo] x 3, k1, [k2tog] x 3, k2. (11 sts)
Bind off. Cut yarn. Sew up back seam, leaving bound-off edge open. Stuff body.

Start at back. Cast on 6 sts with MC.
Row 1: P 1 row.
Row 2: k1, [m1, k1] x 5. (11 sts)
Row 3: P 1 row.
Row 4: k2, [m1, k1] x 3, k1, [k1, m1] x 3, k2. (17 sts)
Row 5-9: work 5 rows in st st.
Row 10: k2, skpo, k1, k2tog, k3, skpo, k1, k2tog, k2. (13 sts)
Row 11: P 1 row.
Row 12: k3, k2tog, k3, skpo, k3. (11 sts)
Row 13: P 1 row.
Row 14: k2, k2tog, k3, skpo, k2. (9 sts)
Row 15: P 1 row.
Row 16: [k2tog] x 2, k1, [skpo] x 2. (5 sts)
Cut yarn, thread end through remaining sts, and pull tight to gather. Attach safety eyes. Sew seam, leaving an opening. Stuff head, adding extra stuffing to cheeks. Sew closed.

Start at front. Cast on 22 sts with CC yarn and straight needles.
Row 1: K 1 row.
Row 2: skpo, k18, k2tog. (20 sts)
Row 3: k2, p16, k2.
Row 4: skpo, k16, k2tog. (18 sts)
Row 5: k2, p14, k2.
Row 6: K 1 row.
Row 7: k2, p14, k2.
Row 8: k8, m1, k2, m1, k8. (20 sts)
Row 9: k2, p16, k2.
Row 10: k9, m1, k2, m1, k9. (22 sts)
Fold hood in half and graft together back from neck to point. Or, work one more wrong side row, then bind off, and sew back seam of hood. Add a couple lengths of yarn or ribbon to front corners for ties. If you like, add a pom-pom or bell to the hood point.

Cast on 18 sts with CC yarn and dpns. Join in the round.
Row 1-2: [k1, p1] x 9.
Row 3: [k2, m1] x 9. (27 sts)
Row 4-8: work 5 rows in st st.
Row 9: [k1, k2tog] x 9. (18 sts)
Row 10: K 1 row.
Row 11: [k2tog] x 9. (9 sts)
Row 12: K 1 row.
Row 13: [k1, k2tog] x 3. (6 sts)
Cut yarn, thread end through remaining sts, and pull tight to gather. Secure yarn ends.

Ears (make 2)
Ears must be knit flat.
Cast on 3 sts with pink yarn.
Row 1: P 1 row.
Row 2: [k1, m1] x 2, k1. (5 sts)
Row 3: P 1 row.
Row 4: k1, m1, k3, m1, k1. (7 sts)
Row 5: P 1 row.
Row 6: k1, [k2tog] x 3. (4 sts)
Bind off.

If you're not using safety eyes, sew on button eyes, or embroider them with black yarn. Embroider a nose with pink yarn. Sew bound-off edge of ears to head or hat. Sew head to bound-off edge of body. Sew hat onto head (add a bit of stuffing to the hat if you like). For the tail, make a braid or a length of I-cord from pink yarn. If you're hanging the mouse on a tree, add a loop of yarn to the top of the head. If the mouse will be a toy, you may want to sew down the sides of the bobble feet.

K or k = knit
k2tog = decrease 1 by knitting 2 together
m1 = increase 1 by picking up loop between stitch just worked and next stitch, and knit into the back of this loop
P or p = purl
p2tog = decrease 1 by purling 2 together
skpo = slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over
st or sts = stitch or stitches
st st = stocking stitch

Monday, November 23, 2009

holiday pattern poll results

Thanks so much for all your ideas, and for participating in the poll. Although I had planned to just let your ideas and votes point me in the right direction, and let my creativity go from there, the mouse had such a clear majority I've decided to design that. There were lots of other interesting ideas, and lots of support for those too, so a few of them might get worked into future patterns.

I've got a little start on writing the pattern, and now it's time to get out my needles and yarn. If all goes well, the pattern should be ready for you within the next week. Just in time for you to make one or two for holiday decorating!

Friday, November 20, 2009

holiday pattern ideas

Thanks so much for all your ideas! You've really inspired me. I read through all the suggestions, and drew up sketches of all the ones I thought would be doable in the limited time I have. Here's a sketch and a brief description of each one, to help you make your choice:

1: Mistletoe and holly: little white or red berries with options for each kind of leaf. I think these would be great on their own, or to add to wreaths, table decorations, etc.
2: Pullover: this would be based on a simple pullover pattern, with striped sleeves, and a snowflake worked as intarsia on the front.
3: Skirt: to dress-up your toys for the holidays. It would be knit in the round (with optional instructions for knitting flat), possibly with stripes or a colour-work design.
4: Mouse: a small ornament, with bobble feet, and with head and hat sewn on.
5: Elf hat and boots: to fit smaller toys. A pointy striped hat, and boots with pointy toes. Both items would probably be easiest to design knit in the round.
6: Sleeping bag and pillow: simple and quick item to knit, and a nice addition to a gifted toy.
7: Angel wings: similar design to wings from owls/penguin/duck patterns. I'll probably add some way to strap them onto the toy. (there are lots of dress patterns already which could be adapted to make an angel's gown)
8: Elf: I know people probably wanted a full-size elf toy, but I just haven't time! This would be made similar to the mini alien (and much cuter than my terrible sketch).

You have until Sunday evening to vote for your favourite idea. I'll choose the winning design based on which gets the most votes and which one I feel most excited to design. Hopefully it won't take too long to get ready for you, so you have a few weeks to get your needles busy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

holiday pattern

For the past two years, around this time, I've released a free holiday-type pattern. Unfortunately, I can't think of a fun, original idea this year (not like me, really. I blame being sick and distracted by my almost-toddler). A quick look at Ravelry shows dozens of decorations, ornaments, and other things of that kind. I had thought of quickly knitting and writing up a clothing bundle for the toys, but sadly we just don't have the time, what with trying to get Fuzzy Knits done.

So, I thought maybe the best idea would be to ask what you would like. Is there some type of decoration or ornament for which you just can't find a good pattern? Is there an item of toy clothing you'd love to be able to knit for the holidays? It will have to be something relatively small and not too complicated, since we're running out of time (yes, scary thought for me too)! Please leave a comment this week, and on Friday I'll post a poll with all the ideas I think I could accomplish. You can vote on your favourite idea over the weekend, so I can get started next week on the most popular one.

P.S. This seemed like a good post to mention the gift tags I made a while ago.

Friday, November 13, 2009

under the weather

Oh poor, dear blog! You've been so neglected lately. This time it was a cold keeping me away. A horrible, mean cold that's kept me under the weather for a week now (the state of our house makes it seem longer). Only today am I feeling a faint hope of being well someday soon.

Sweet Mr. Mitten has spent his evenings keeping the dirty dishes and stray toys from overwhelming us, as well as being a stellar daddy, so there hasn't been much progress on the new Fuzzy Knits. But with so much of the work being done in tiny bits and pieces, we'll probably sit down to work on it one day, and have it ready in a blink!

I did find a wee bit of time the other day to snap a few test shots for the book. I think the photos are a good start, although I wish there was a hobby shop around here with fun miniatures. I'm pretty stumped for ideas for a few of the toys, so I guess it's all right that we're not quite ready for the pictures yet.

I do have a cool idea for a holiday clothing pattern for you, and the yarn for it is ordered. I just hope it gets here soon, and I have enough time to make it up, before all the holiday craziness really gets rolling!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

lulu issues, again

We just realized that the Lulu pattern store is not working, so don't go there for patterns. If you're looking for something, please use Etsy or Ravelry. I know I don't have all my patterns there, so I will add a few others to the Etsy store for now. I also have a few printed copies of the books to add. Hopefully things will be fixed soon!

Monday, November 2, 2009

shop update

In case you missed the notice on Facebook, or don't check up on Fuzzy doings over there, I had a nice little shop update last Friday. There are still several kits and zip pouches, so go check them out! I love the kitty print fabric so much, I nearly kept one of those pouches for myself. But Mr. Mitten reminded me that I have half a dozen knitting bags littered around the house, so I put it up for sale after all.

In other news, I was working on the very last pattern for Fuzzy Knits this morning. Woo hoo! A few days of knitting should get that critter done. Then it's just a matter of kicking someone in the butt to get everything formatted (I really love him, but he can procrastinate with the best ;) Oh, and take all those photos (though the photo editing takes twice as long as actually shooting photos)! Hopefully we can get all the individual patterns updated soon too, but those are more work.