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.

WIP Wednesday: Knit Bunny

So, lately I have been knitting stuffed toys from Knit Animals Friends by Annie’s, and I’m doing finishing work on a bunny and am working on a dog as a follow up.  The photo at the top is where I left off with the bunny.  He’s taking shape!

I decided to knit toys because I came across the pamphlet of patterns that I had purchased a while ago.  And, I had poly fill, but apparently not enough for Mr. Incomplete Bunny up there.

It’s been fun to knit these toys.  Each animal starts off with a basic shape and basic sweater.  All of them have similar finishing, but embellishments, ears, noses, and muzzles make them different animals.  It’s a neat ideas and very smart.

I’ve had to keep an especially hard eye on Sputnik when working on the stuffed toy because he thinks all stuffed animals are his to destroy.  Silly doggo.

If you are interested in purchasing the pattern, you can get it for Kindle.  Click on the affiliate link below if you are interested.

Guilty

Has it really been over a month since I last posted?  That’s bad, and I’m guilty of being a bad blogger.  To be honest, I needed a break.  I was burned out on writing and even a little bit with knitting.

I’m a little more re-energized now.  I concentrated on a different things, like crocheting my aunt a trio of dishcloths and drawing a lot, and am ready to dive back into knitting a little more.

My Snowflake Sweater is short a sleeve, but I will finish it.  The weather has turned warm here, and my chances of wearing it soon are slim.  I’ll probably finish it is the summer, but to be honest, that sweater was a part of my burn out.

So, as a change of pace, I’m actually working on stuffed toys.  I elaborate on them in another post soon.

I hope get back to posting regularly now.  Would you please forgive my lack of writing?  I’m back in the saddle.  Actually, writing this short post is a weight off my shoulders.  I’m relieved.

Knitting Over Lunch at Work

The government entity I work for is having a “Knitting Over Lunch” group once a week.  A lady from another department runs and teaches it.  I’ve gone twice now.

It’s awesome to see different people from different departments and how diverse our knitting group is, and not just in skill level.  Beginners are certainly welcome to the group, as well as the most season pros.  Rhonda, who runs the group,  patiently works with those who are learning.  A few others, myself included, volunteer to help beginners, too.

I helped a lady named Aiesha who had started knitting a while ago, but stopped.  Same for her daughter.  She explained that she takes the train to work and would like to knit on her commute.  Aiesha had brought her previous work in to show that she had done this before, and wanted to continue with it.  I reviewed the knit stitch with her, and taught her how to purl.  Now she can go back and show her daughter, too.

It’s nice way to spend a lunch hour, and I’m meeting a few new people in the process outside my own small department.  It’s so neat to see that so many people in our local government organization knit!

Snowflake Turtleneck: Take 2

Stitch Mountain: 30 Warm Knits for Conquering the Cold by by Laura Zander is a cool book.  I got it in one of the fun bookstores in the Outer Banks, NC, USA a few years ago.  I saw the Snowflake Turtleneck pattern in there and knit it, and TOTALLY messed it up.  I think I botched the shoulder shaping.  I dissected the completed faulty sweater the other day, and that’s what I think. I never did write a post about its completion because I was too ashamed and frustrated from having a messed up sweater.

After analyzing that sweater, I decided to give it another go. I cast on with a creamy white worsted yarn that I had left over from another project, and there’s plenty of it for a nice sweater.  It took three tries to get there right gauge, but I did, so I know at least that correct!

So, here’s to giving it another go, and hopefully I can show off a completed sweater before the weather gets warm again.  I’m being cautiously optimistic that I will have a correct fitting sweater this time, too!

Darn Good Yarn: A Review

I had a Visa gift card for $50.00 that I received as a Christmas gift.  I was poking around on Amazon, and it’s unusual that I can’t find anything on there that that I want, so I decided to look around my bookmarks on my web browser to check out other merchants.  I saw one for Darn Good Yarn.  Hmmmm, I haven’t bought cool yarn in a while, I said to myself.  I opened the page.

I am one for a bargain, so I clicked on their Sale tab and was taken to Best of DGY Packs.  It was $45.00 for four skeins of recycled silk sari yarn.  Why not?  I bought the Holi pack, which includes one skein of each of the following in a pretty silk bag:

  • At the Bahamas, a fairly traded silk sari ribbon yarn
  • Nepalese *Hand-Spun* Recycled 100% Pure Silk yarn
  • The Blender, a fairly traded recycled silk yarn
  • Tibet Jewels, another fairly traded recycled silk sari ribbon yarn

With $4 for the economy shipping, I received my package in a few days, and set off winding the three that were in hanks, and got to work.

Fair Trade

I’m going to change gears slightly now and tell you a little bit about Darn Good Yarn.  They employ women from India and Nepal to make their yarns, giving these women a good living wage and selling their products at a reasonable rate.  This is basically what fair trade is.  In addition to this, a lot of the yarn is recycled, mostly from saris, which are those brightly wrapped dresses that a lot of people in Nepal and India wear.  You can read more about this idea on the Our Story page.

I adore fair trade.  There’s an awesome fair trade store called Ten Thousand Villages in my area that I sometimes go to.  I also have a dress and a skirt made from recycled saris, too.  DYG’s product and philosophy sucked me right in.

The Yarns

Yes!  Let’s get to the yarns!

At the Bahamas

Scarf knit from At the Bahamas sari yarn from Darn Good Yarn

At the Bahamas was the first skein I sunk into.  I got a pattern for a one skein sari scarf that I found on DGY’s site, and started to work.  I had the needles it called for, and now I had the yarn, so I went ahead and started knitting.

The yarn sections are knotted and sewn together, so they are really fastened well.  Don’t worry about the knots, as I think it gives a nice texture.  The colors are fun, too!  I have finished this scarf, and am wearing when I go outside now.  It’s a great length to wrap around with!

Only drawback:  it does have a slight odor to it.  It’s not bad, but it’s strange.  I’ll have to have the scarf dry cleaned to remove the smell.  No biggie, though.

Nepalese *Hand-Spun* Recycled 100% Pure Silk

Nepalese Hand spun recycled silk yarn from Darn Good yarn

This is a worsted weight yarn that comes in a ball.  It’s got slubs, thick and thin parts, and lots of fun texture.  I really like it.  It takes the fun fur concept and makes it sophisticated.

I knit a scarf out of it on small-ish gauge needles ( I think US 4), and cast on 15 stitches.  I used seed stitch until I had only enough yarn to bind off.  All I have to do is weave it the ends!

This yarn is a little frustrating work with at times.  I did have a spun join break once, and only once.  I just reattached the yarn and kept on going.  It also has a tendency to curl back into itself like it’s overspun, which is part of the charm of the yarn, really.  Just an FYI.

The Blender

The Blender yarn from Darn Good Yarn

The Blender is probably the least favorite, but I still like it. The skein makes one short scarf on big needles.  I intend to sew the two ends together and make a really cool cowl.

I think this yarn would be fantastic for arm knitters!

Oooh, and maybe a few skeins together would make a really funky shopping bag, too.

Tibet Jewels

Tibet Jewels yarn from darn Good yarn

Ah, the last gem in the pack.  Pun intended, of course.

I like Tibet Jewels!  The colors and the fuzzy textures make nice contrasts.  Again, this is a recycled sari yarn complete with knots that are reinforced with machine sewing. You will be fine.

When I knit the scarf, the skein again rendered a scarf that is really short, so I’m going to sew the ends together to make a cowl.  Think how those colors would look against a black shirt!

That’s my review of DGY’s Holi pack.  It’s a great bargain and you get some fun yarn to play with.  You really do!  There’s tons of cool stuff on their site besides yarn.  There’s ready made jewelry and clothing, as well as beads to make your own projects, too. It’s really worth your time to check them out.  You’ll be helping women, helping the earth, and helping augment your yarn stash.  It’s a win-win-win!

Cone-free Doggie

My husband and I took off Sputnik’s cone, ZenTube, and bandages off yesterday.  He was nekked for  little bit, but we did put his regular collar back on him, of course.  Cone-free doggie, at last!  Since the cone has come off, he’s once again curious about yarn, but there’s improvement.

I inadvertently used natural fibers around him, a soft merino superwash .  It was from a Zauberball actually.  He had no problem with it.  Then I took out an alpaca blend that I am knitting a simple shawl with, and we were a little curious about that.  After a firm correction and praise, I was able to knit.

I know there are still going to be times when he thinks yarn is a toy.  He’s young, and will be seven months old tomorrow.  Still, knitting around Sputnik is getting better.