Thursday, June 28, 2012


A few things have come and gone in my garden this month, but my favourite so far are the poppies. These are annuals that I planted in early April. There are few flowers so easy, so satisfying, so gorgeous, as these poppies. I want to take a photo of each one as it opens.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

hint #12

I knit a few Pookies in the Spring to give away as gifts, and also because I wanted to try out Knit Pick's Chroma worsted yarn for this toy. I thought if I worked from opposite ends of a ball, I could still get stripes, and make a bunch of toys that coordinate in a really fun way. It worked out super well, and only once did I have to skip a stripe in the ball of yarn so I could get different colours from each end. I tried the mid-winter colourway, having a little left from the Savannah Chaps, and the lollipop colourway, which turned out very bright! (Sorry, I don't have a photo of those, but will try to get one soon). To make it simple, you could use the Chroma yarn in the brown, grey, or natural colours to make the heads. For most of the toys* I used Sugar Bunny yarn to make the toys extra fuzzy, but it is a bit finer, and you can see the change in gauge if you look closely.

Besides trying out a new yarn for this pattern, I also tried a new animal. Being Spring, I though I would try making a lamb! It's very easy to modify the pattern to make a lamb: you'll need a bit of felt, and be comfortable with hand-sewing, to make one like the lamb in the photo above. Also note that the hood won't fit if you sew the ears on this way, but it's still cute without the hood.

To start, work the body and then the head up to Row 14, then turn the toy inside out so you can weave in the yarn ends. Turn the toy right side out. Next, cut an oval from paper, about the size you want the face. Try it on the toy's face, to see if you have the size and shape right. When you're happy with it, mark where you want the eyes. Use this as a pattern to cut the lamb's face from felt. Transfer the eye marks to the felt, and use sharp scissors to cut tiny slits for the safety eyes. Place it on the lamb's face, and pin in place. Insert the safety eyes, since they will help hold the felt while you sew it on. With hand-sewing needle and matching thread, sew the felt to the knitted face (a whip-stitch works well for this).

Now you can stuff the toy, and finish the toy body as written in the pattern. To make the lamb's ears, knit the bunny ears from the pattern, with this alteration: once you reach Row 3, work only 3 rows of stockinette (instead of 6), and then work the decreases. To finish, sew the ears to the sides of the head, and embroider a nose and mouth. Embellish the finished toy as you like!

Here's a bunny I made from the Pookies pattern, using the last of the mid-winter colourway.

*For those interested, I used Knit Pick's Suri Dream for the lamb's fuzzy fleece - a discontinued and much missed yarn! As a substitute, I find a 100% alpaca yarn, especially single-ply, gives a similar soft, fuzzy look.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

summer vacation sale

We're headed out west next week, to spend the summer with my family! Mountains, lakes, forests, small towns, cousins, grandparents, and all kinds of other good things. My 3-year old asks about 20 times a day how soon we're leaving. I'm looking forward to actually being there. Getting ready to go is another matter! Thank goodness we have lovely friends house-sitting for us, so there's a lot less to worry about (like poor lonely kitties).

As a little summer treat for you, my lovely knitters, I'm having a sale in my Ravelry shop. The sale starts June 27 and runs until July 11. You'll get 15% off all my single patterns, and 10% off both my ebooks. No coupon code, and no minimum purchase required (just to make things simpler for all of us). Why not pick a summery pattern, like the Alpaca with Bikini or Surfer Koala? Or if you've done these already, knit summer outfits for your other toys! You could also try using a soft cotton yarn for more comfortable knitting in summer weather. I've been knitting up a bunch of Wee Wuzzies for gifts in un-dyed organic cotton. You can get all kinds of colours which are perfect for little animals (I've used this one, and really like it).

Before we leave, I have a couple blog posts I'd like to get written. A small modification on the Pookies to make another cute animal, and I've just had a fun idea for a give-away. So check back soon!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

big teddy update

After a ridiculously long time (I think I started the teddy over a year ago), we're now releasing the updated version of the Big Teddy. I loved the original the pattern, and the toy is still around here somewhere, although a bit ragged from too many kid and kitty snuggles. However, it was long past due for an updated format, and some minor changes to the shaping. I've also altered the overalls: garter stitch borders instead of seed stitch, and the straps button to the bib so the overalls are easier to put on.

I knit the toy from Lamb's Pride Bulky, in dark grey, and have about 10 g left. If you know you knit on the loose side, you might want to have a little more than 100 g for the toy, just in case (or use smaller needles). I used some beige worsted weight yarn held double to knit the nose. The overalls were knit with Knit Pick's Merino Bare worsted yarn that I dyed with food colouring.

As always, if you've purchased the original pattern, you can have a free copy of the update. If you bought it on Ravelry, you've already been sent a download link. If you bought it elsewhere, please email me with a proof of purchase (Lulu or Etsy receipt, or just a copy of the old pattern). I don't get a lot of time to answer email, so I hope you can be patient.