Birthday Yarn

Now, please note, my birthday isn’t until October, but my aunt and uncle recently moved, and rather misplace my gift during their transition, my aunt chose to give it to me while she knew where it was.  She gave me some BEAUTIFUL birthday yarn.

The yarn is by Leading Men Fiber Arts, and I made the mistake of going on their website and absolutely DROOLED over their gorgeous yarn.  Absolutely beautiful, guys.  Well done.  Here’s a closer look at the two fingering weight skeins I now have in my possession. Get updates from these guys on Facebook.

Beautiful birthday yarn!

You can read the details on the tags, like the colorways and such.  They a soft and squishy, and yarn like this should be.  YUM.

The yarn came from Main Street Yarn in Rebersburg, Pennsylvania, USA, which is not only a yarn store, but a lovely book shop.  How nice!  Knit and read.  Like them on Facebook.  You know you want to.  They threw in some extra goodies with the yarn, too.  The notepad will be particularly useful.

Main Street Yarn goodies

Now, what to make with this beautiful yarn?!  I will have to pick the perfect project, and my aunt deliberately chose colors that coordinate.  Any ideas?  I’m open to suggestions.

I love my birthday yarn.  I really appreciate the thought that went into the gift.

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Sputnik and His Sweater

See Sputnik in his sweater?  Yup, I knit him a sweater.  Since he’s a short haired dog, I figured a sweater would be a good idea for him in the upcoming colder months that I really don’t want to think about right now.

Details?  I used Colette Smith’s Easy-On Dog Sweater pattern available for purchase over on LoveKnitting.com.  As for the yarn, I used the recommended Cascade 220 worsted weight for the project.

He didn’t quite know what to make of his outfit.  He bit at it a little bit, but with some treats and patience, my husband and I were able to get a few photos of him, such as the one above.  Good dog!

Sputnik checking out his sweater.

I think I overestimated sizing for the sweater, but it still works, and he’s still gaining weight and growing.  Sputnik may fill out into it.  Otherwise, I think it’s a successful project, I’m proud of it, and I my dog looks adorable in it.  Yay!

Unintentionally AWOL

Readers, I am truly sorry for going unintentionally AWOL.  Really.  I have been experiencing creative blocks not only in writing, but in my knitting, photography, and art, as well.  I can’t seem to start a project, and if I do, it takes a lot of effort.

I have been knitting, but have felt that what I have been doing isn’t worth writing about.  I have a shawl to photograph for LoveKnitting.com, and I can seem to find the motivation to do so.  I am stuck.

Life has been really busy, at work and at home.  I know, excuses.  I hope the picture above placates you with cute doggos.  The one standing is mine, Sputnik, and the golden retriever belongs to our neighbor.  The dog’s name is Ella.

I’m hoping that by writing this I’m make a breakthrough in the creative wall I have hit.  Perhaps when I hit the publish button, a weight will be lifted off me.

Have you ever dealt with a creative wall?  How did you get past it?  Any advice?

MillaMia Yarn From LoveKnitting

The nice people at LoveKnitting sent me some yarn to try out.  Yay!  Yarn!  What I received in the mail yesterday was three balls yarn from their Scandinavian line, MillaMiaThe yarn is Naturally Soft Cotton, it comes in 50 gram balls, a it is a sport weight yarn.

The weather just got as hot as blazes around here in Pennsylvania, and I like to use cotton yarn during warm weather, so I was glad to see this yarn.  Secondly, I dig the colors I was sent, too.  I’m not normally a yellow person, but this is a nice yellow.  It’s called Lemon Yellow, the orange is Tomato, and the red is Bright Red.

First impressions?  Nice yarn!  It’s soft, the colors are bright, and it seems to be well made.  But, how does it knit?  That’s the important question.

So far, it knits quite beautifully!  I am only a few rows into a simple lacy shawl, The Tuscon Lattice Shawl from One Skein Designer Wonders.  I have knit this shawl quite a few times.  It’s easy to memorize.

With the colors I was sent, I had an idea as to how to incorporate them into the shawl.  When it’s done, I’ll share what I did, of course, but for now, here’s a sampling of what I’ve done so far.

Cast on Shawl

To start with, the yarn seems to have decent stitch definition, and isn’t too slippery to use or splits, like some cotton yarns tend to do.

I probably will some yarn left over from the shawl, so I’ll be able to put the yarn through paces with other projects, maybe something with crochet. I could see this yarn making lovely dishcloths and only getting softer with use.

MillaMia Naturally Soft Cotton is a Swedish wonder!  I like it!

Check out LoveKnitting and see what other great yarns and patterns they have.  You can also share your projects, and learn new techniques.  It’s a great one-stop experience for any knitter.

 

Crocheting Like a Mad Woman

Sometimes I like to mix things up and do a little crochet for a while.  This past weekend I was crocheting like a mad woman!  I finished the above elephant, yes, that’s what it’s supposed to be, and did another project, too.

What really inspired me to do this was to up my crochet game a little bit.  I wanted to learn mostly how to decrease and increase stitches.  I did accomplish decreasing with said elephant above.

I learned that from an impulse buy magazine that I got at the grocery store check out line.  It’s simply called “Crochet” and is put out by PIL.

Crochet by PIL

It’s actually a pretty decent book!  It takes you through the basic techniques of crochet, and gives you eleven projects you can do with your newly learned skills.  The elephant is one.

Beady eyed elephant

Elephant from the side.

Yeah, he’s over stuffed, but he’s cute.  I like this stuffie!  Now, I’m suddenly interested in amigurumi.

Second, I did a case for my Nintendo 2DS, using the tablet case pattern from the above book.  I just didn’t do the cool chevron pattern repeat as much, since my 2DS is a bit smaller than a tablet.

Crochet 2DS case

So, that’s what I accomplished over the weekend!  Crocheting is always a nice change of pace for me, since I’m still pretty much learning the basics of it.  It’s fun!

Stuffies WITH Faces

My stuffies are done!  Rather than got through the frustration of embroidering on their features, as the pattern called for, I decided to go a different route.  Either way, say hello to my stuffies WITH faces above!

Looking at the photo, you can tell what I did.  I got some pom poms, and grabbed my fabric glue.  Boom!  My stuffies came alive with their facial features.

As a side note, I’m was holding my dog back as I was taking the photo for this post.  He loves stuffed toys, and enjoys eviscerating them with glee.  Sorry, boy, these aren’t for you!

So, that’s the end of my stuffie saga.  If you’d like, catch up on the rest of the story here and here.

And, to conclude, the pattern for these critters comes from Annie’s Knit Animal Friends, and you can get it for Kindle over on Amazon.

Stuffies Without Faces

Yup! My stuffies from Annie’ Knit Animal Friends are coming along, though they are currently stuffies without faces.  I’m still deciding on how to go about that.  I’ll tell you why I don’t want to do what the patterns recommend in a sec.

First of all, the doggie looks much better than the anemic-ly stuff rabbit.  As I said in my previous post, I didn’t have enough stuffing for him.  He doesn’t look bad, just, well, sad.

I did get more poly fiber fill, as the very full doggie shows.

Now, as to why there are no eyes on both and a nose of the dog.  The pattern calls for simple embroidery, like the satin stitch and the straight stitch.  As you can sort of tell on the rabbit, I attempted to do the satin stitch for his eye.  It looked horrible, so I sort of tore it out.

I tried buttons.  With what button I had, it didn’t look right.  What should I do?  I open to suggestions.  I’m learning towards gluing googly eyes on them, too, but I don’t have them right now.  I think little pom poms might work, as well.  Ideas?

So, that’s where my stuffies are are the moment.  If you are interested in checking out the Kindle edition, click on the affiliate link photo below.