Monday, January 16, 2017

Funny Bunny

Funny Bunny

I love this little bunny; it was a super fun knit!  When I finished the bunny, I kept thinking "Funny Bunny" so I guess that's his name.  I used to love to read a book called "It's Not Easy Being a Bunny" to Zach when he was small (see the book HERE).  The bunny in the book is named P.J. Funnybunny.

This knitting pattern is called "Bonbon" and is available for purchase on Ravelry for $6.00.  Here is the LINK.  This is one of the most clever patterns I've ever followed and I am immensely impressed.  The pattern directs you to make the legs, arms, tail, and ears first and then you leave some live stitches at the end of each appendage.  Then as you knit the body, followed by the head, you are able to stitch the appendages into the body and head as you knit so there is no additional sewing at the end.  Brilliant!   

This pattern is by a designer named Susan Claudino.  You can see all of her cute patterns at this LINK.  I have made one other pattern by Susan Claudino and that pattern is called "Voo Doo You Love Me?"'; you can see that cute little bugger HERE.  The Voo Doo pattern is such that you have to sew the arms and legs on after you sew the head and body. I much preferred the technique in the bunny where the arms/legs/ears/tail were knit into the body and head as you go.  Very clever!   

Here are a few more photos of Funny Bunny.  But first, I should add that Funny Bunny is knit in Cascade Superwash 220 Paints in the "Fruit Smoothie" colorway. My friend, Belinda, and I thought we could get two bunnies out of one ball of yarn so we bought this yarn together and split up the ball.  Perhaps if I would have used smaller needles I would have not run out of yarn, but I did. So the tail and the lower halves of the ears are knit in Berroco Vintage worsted weight yarn in the "Mochi" colorway.  Funny Bunny is definitely one of a kind with his two-toned ears.

I should mention the pattern does include instructions for how to stich a nose and mouth onto the bunny but I find that hard to get just right. I might just leave Funny Bunny's face as is.  I think he has plenty of character just as he is.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #9

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #9

Over the holidays, I worked on Block #9. I took these photos in natural light to capture the details a bit better but the color is way off in the photos.  The color is called "Black Currant" (Berroco Vintage Worsted Weight yarn).  In person, this color is more of a burgundy, but the photos it looks purple. 

When it comes to knitting these blocks in the darker colors, I sure wish I had better light by which to knit. What ever the case may be, I love knitting these blocks.

I need to take a little break from these blocks as I prepare for the new afghan class I am teaching.  The last Friday of each month, I'll be teaching a class called "Building in Color".  The afghan pattern is by Michelle Hunter.  I'll be sharing more about this soon.  This weekend I am working on a knitted stuffed animal which I will probably finish in a jiffy.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Messy Bun Hat

Messy Bun Hat


Here's a cute hat with a story.  I am piecing things together here but it seems as if a gal named Stacey posted on Facebook, in some sort of small group where you can buy/sell/trade items, a picture of a cute hat and she said she was making and selling the hats for about $15.00.  Some how the photo of the girl with a messy bun sticking out the top of her crochet hat went absolutely viral... I mean VIRAL as in "nearly broke the Internet" viral.  Some where in that time, a mom I know sent me a photo (the photo of the girl in the hat above) and asked me, "Hey, can you make one of these for my teenage daughter?"

I did a little research.  I found that Stacey herself had typed up her pattern but she asked folks to be patient with her, as she had never typed up a pattern before.  As I looked further, I found all sorts of other folks using Stacey's photo of her viral sensation hat and these folks were trying to sell their patterns using Stacey's photo.  Crummy, really crummy.  I wasn't wanting to buy Stacey's pattern if it really hadn't been tried and tested.  And I wasn't wanting to buy a pattern from someone stealing her photo and trying to pass of Stacey's design as their own.  Also, all of this was going on during my Etsy shop holiday rush, so I put this all on the back burner for a little while.

But I kept thinking about he cute hat with the messy bun sticking out the top.  I closed my Etsy shop (vacation mode!) the other day to take a little holiday stress off of myself.  I looked on Ravelry and, sure enough, there are lots of "Messy Bun Hat" patterns now available on Ravelry.  I happened to find this pattern (LINK HERE) called "It's All About the Messy Bun" by June Nemeth.  I appreciated the fact that she was up front about fact that she saw the viral sensation hat on the Internet and made up her pattern to make a hat for her daughter.  At that time apparently, Stacey had not yet typed up her pattern.  June is offering her pattern for FREE and is not trying to pass off Stacey's work as her own. I printed off the pattern and remembered this great yarn in my stash.  The yarn worked out great for this pattern. I hope the recipient love the hat.  I delivered the hat to her mom today.

The yarn is crocheted with a Size H crochet hook and you start the hat at the top, where there is a big opening for a gal to make a messy ponytail or bun at the top of her head.  The yarn I used is by Plymouth Yarns and is called "Stained Glazz".  The crown of the hat is crocheted in rounds, all in double crochet.  You can see the top of the hat below.

The ribbing of the hat was crocheted perpendicular to the body of the hat in single crochet in rows. The ribbing portion was definitely the labor intensive portion of the hat.  You can see the ribbing in progress in the photo below.  The only part of the hat that I stumbled on was the very last instruction. When the ribbing was done, the pattern directs you do slip stitch the beginning of the ribbing to the end of the ribbing.  I found that a little tricky and I am not quite sure I did that very last step correctly. 

Of course when I posted a photo of my completed Messy Bun Hat on Facebook last night, a few moms I know asked, "Oh, are you making and selling these?"

No, I am not.  One Messy Bun Hat was enough for this gal.  But if you'd like to crochet one, I highly recommend this pattern. 

Now, on to the next project...

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #8

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #8

What a fun and pretty block this is.  I only struggled with one thing in this block and that resulted in me making a few mistakes along the way. The cables in this block are worked over six stitches.  Sometimes you work the cable over the first four stitches and sometimes you work the cable over the last four stitches.  The chart will show that better. See below...

I did NOT notice this when I first started the block so I made mistakes on the very first row with cables.  I got adventurous and laddered down to the mistakes and fixed them a few times without ripping out rows and rows of knitting. That made me happy!

My Etsy shop has kept me busy making pillows for the past several weeks so knitting on this block was my treat when I would finally sit down and put up my feet for a spell.  I put my Etsy shop on "vacation mode" last night so I can catch my breath and enjoy this week.  I still need to put up my Christmas tree!  I am looking forward to knitting and some other projects.  I am feeling the desire to bake some cookies, too.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #8 REPAIR

Uh oh!

I was nearly done with block #8 of Norah's Vintage Afghan when I discovered I had made a mistake in a cable.  I did not have the presence of mind to take a photo of the mistake; I just ripped down about four rows (only over the six stitches in the cable) and tried to fix it.  It still was not right; I needed to go down maybe four rows deeper. So I set it aside, determined to try again in the morning.

As you can see in the photo above, I am just dealing with the six stitches in the cable portion. Once I figured out where I was in the pattern, it was not that difficult to fix the cable. I just isolated those stitches and followed the chart and reworked the stitches row by row. The hardest thing was moving the cable needle from the back of the work to the front of the work, with all those loose strands of yarn in the way, so that I could knit off the cable needle.

Ta Dah!  All fixed.  I was pleased I did not have to rip out those eight or ten rows.  I do love knitting these blocks, but when I am nearing the end of the block, I grow a wee bit tired of it and I want to be done and move on to the next. 

This block will be finished soon. I'll be sure to post a photo when it's all done.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #7

Block #7

Hello!  Here's another update on Norah's Vintage Afghan.  This is block #7 and the color is "Black Currant" (Yarn: Berroco Vintage Worsted Weight yarn).  I just love this yarn and I love this color.  This block was pretty straight forward; oodles of cables.

I have grown accustomed to cables in knitting being done a certain way; specifically, I am used to cables being flanked by purl stitches to the right and to the left of the cables so the cables really "pop" or stand out.  In this pattern, as in this block, there are cables which are flanked or surrounded by knit stitches so the cables are a little flatter (if that makes sense).  It just gives the cables a different look and it is making me look at cables a bit differently.  I really enjoyed this block.  I find that I am excited to cast on the very next block just as soon as I finish a block. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Norah's Vintage Afghan: Block #6

Block #6

Hello!  Here's another post to update you on my progress on Norah's Vintage Afghan.  This is my first block made in black; the color is actually called "Cast Iron" (Yarn: Berroco Vintage Worsted Weight).  I was rather nervous to knit with the black. I was concerned the pattern details would not show up and I was concerned it might be difficult to knit with such a dark color.  These old eyes struggle!  It was hard to photograph the completed black square but I did not finding knitting with the black yarn to be too terribly difficult. I also feel the details show up just fine.  This square was very challenging at the beginning. I actually had to enlarge the chart so I could read it (again...these old eyes).  The first several rows (1 through 11 on the chart) were challenging because there was so much going on.  You can see that portion below at the bottom of the photo.  It's a triangular portion with a lot of texture.  After that, the rest of the block was much simpler.  So if you start this block and find the first part of the chart to be a real struggle... don't give up... it gets way easier after row 11.  You will only complete rows 1 through 11 of the chart one time. Phew!

Sorry these photos are not the greatest.  My iPhone camera has a mind of it's own when photographing certain colors in certain light.