Knit in Progress: WATG Josie Gloves

Knit in Progress: Wool and the Gang Josie Gloves | knittedbliss.com

I’m pretty excited to  be trying out a Wool and the Gang kit- these are the Josie Gloves, which are going to be so perfect for this time of year when we are (hopefully) beginning to cross over into spring. Lately I’ve been wondering why I don’t try more kits- Okay, I do have lots of knitting supplies, but there is something wonderfully fun about opening up a pretty package that already has everything you need so you can just crack on with it:

Wool and the Gang kit: Josie Gloves | knittedbliss.com

On the left, the cool package all ready to go! On the right, there is a skein of the super squishy and soft sheepaca yarn, two different sizes of tapestry needles the pattern and a sturdy sleeve to keep it safe, and 6 (yes, six!) 5mm dpns. 

I was pretty impressed with the needles that came with it- they are surprisingly strong, and 6 dns makes a lot of sense, when you think of it. Some people prefer to use five dpns (I prefer 4, myself), and the extra functions as a handy cable needle or even as an extra needle should you lose one of the originals somewhere.  In this pattern, the yarn is held double throughout, which means that the amazing soft sheepaca yarn feels even squishier in your hands.

This kit would be the perfect sort of thing to grab before travelling too-  WATG, you need to look into a knitting kit vending machine for airports! Wouldn’t it be so cool to just pop in your credit card, pick a great kit with everything you need, and knit some awesome mitts like these on your flight to somewhere fun? I would totally do this. Even if though I bring knitting with me when I travel, I would totally buy a new kit that had everything in it for the sheer novelty factor of cranking out a wonderful knit accessory in the time it takes me to get to England.

I would have been finished these mitts already (they are a super fast project) but I made the classic rookie mistake of knitting two gloves for the same hand – I didn’t change the position for the thumb! So I ripped back to the cuff, and sorted it out. The pattern is easy to follow, assuming you actually turn the pages- which is where I went wrong.

Oh well. I’m excited to get these finished, won’t be long now!

Knit in Progress: Wool and the Gang Josie Gloves | knittedbliss.com

Finished Knit: Zebra Toy

Finished Knit: Toy Zebra | knittedbliss.com

Knitting socks with 9 inch circulars suddenly seems freakishly tiny when you make a toy zebra hold them, and he looks right at home… 

Pattern: Savannah Chaps  by Barbara Prime

Yarn: Plymouth Gina in Colourway “03”, and Knitpicks Swish Worsted in “White”.

Needles: 4mm (US 6)

Notes: I have so much love for this zebra. I was inspired by the original zebra and several of the other finished ones that I saw on Ravelry, and decided to knit him with a fun chromatic striping yarn.  The best part of this Zebra? Stashbusting all the way. Toys are so great for using up single or partial skeins.  This one knit up very quickly, I cast on one Fridya night and was finished  knitting and stuffing the limbs by Sunday night, with only a little bit more time needed for his luxurious zebra mane. That part took me a bit longer, but I added a lot more mane that was originally called for. I think my zebra totally rocks his big purple mane, though.

Finished Knit: Toy Zebra | knittedbliss.com

Here’s Zebra standing up, as well as chatting with a small bunny toy and a dinosaur. He’s a very social zebra. 

The pattern is detailed and thoughtful, and amazingly contains directions for 3 main animals – Zebra, Rhino, and Elephant, as well as a tiny mousie. I still have 1.25 skeins of the chromatic yarn leftover, so I think that my zebra totally needs me to knit him some matching friends!

 I love knitting toys, and last year I actually wrote a guest post on Craftsy with my top 7 Tips and Tricks for Knitting Toys- if you are planning on knitting any soft toys, I recommend it. I read it over again yesterday for the first time in nearly a year and I still do all the things that I listed.  But the biggest tip I can offer is this:  Get a ziploc bag or a small project bag, and keep all the bits of your toy in it. Most knitted toys and animals are knit in pieces, with separate limbs. Keeping them together in one designated place means that you are less likely to misplace an ear or a leg. Also reduces the chances of your pet/toddler grabbing a limb and running off with it.  And couch cushions have been known to swallow up small pieces of knitting before. True story.

If you enjoy knitting toys, or are curious about making them but don’t know how, Barbara actually has several detailed tutorials on all sorts of different finishing aspects of knitting toys, like this one on how to embroider the facial details, or how to properly attach the head.  Very helpful if it is your first time at the knitted toy rodeo.

I’ve just found out that Barbara has a Mystery Knitalong for a new toy- I’ve heard of them for shawls, but not for toys before! I’m going to sign up. Each week she will send out the instructions for a new part of the toy. Last year it turned out to be a mama kangaroo and joey, so I’m really intrigued by what she’s cooked up this year. It’s going to be my first ever mystery KAL! If anyone has tips for how to make the most of a mystery KAL, I’d love to hear them!

Finished Knit: Toy Zebra | knittedbliss.com

 

Modification Monday: Beekman Tavern

Modification Monday: Beekman Tavern | knittedbliss.com

Original Pattern: Beekman Tavern

Knitter Extraordinaire: Susan (Ravelry ID, blog)

Mods: Revamped the neckline, raised the back with short rows, and created a funnel neck. Details can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: The neckline of a sweater has a massive impact on it’s wear-ability- if you don’t feel comfortable in it, or you don’t feel it’s flattering on you,then you probably aren’t going to wear the sweater much. And if you’ve spent all that time knitting a beautiful modern aran like this one, you want to wear it. Susan cane up with a great solution- the original neckline wasn’t working for her,  so she added a bit more coverage at the back of the neck with short rows, and added this beautiful funnel neck. The style works perfectly with this sweater- timeless and flattering, just like an aran should be.

Modification Monday: Beekman Tavern | knittedbliss.com

 

Pin Ups: My Favourite Things on Pinterest This Week

Pin Ups: Lemon Meringue Pie Bites | knittedbliss.com

I’m already in love with these lemon meringue pie bites! They come together with just 4 ingredients, and have all the flavour but far fewer calories ( assuming you don’t eat them all in one go- and they are pretty tempting). And you guys know what a sucker I am for lemony desserts, even though winter isn’t a typical time for them.

Pin Ups: Easy Mocha Protein Smoothie| knittedbliss.com

This easy mocha protein smoothie is a great breakfast shake or afternoon snack  that will keep you going until dinner time. Only 4 ingredients and you’re in smoothie heaven!

Pin Ups: Easy Weeknight Chicken Pot Pie | knittedbliss.com

An easy, weeknight-friendly chicken pot pie recipe? Heck yes! Let’s hear it for winter comfort food. Don’t let the word casserole fool you, that just means it’s one big pot pie and you get to dish it out.

Pin Ups: Marbled Boxes | knittedbliss.com

I’m crazy about these boxes covered in marble contact paper. Because who knew storage boxes could look so chic and glamourous? Great DIY in the link.

Pin Ups: Printable 3D calendar | knittedbliss.com

Okay, I know it’s the end of February and you probably all have calendars sorted, but I just saw this free printable 2015 3D calendar, and I am going to print it out and make it for my desk. It’s so freaking cool.

Have a great weekend, everyone! I hope you get to do lots of knitting, crafting, reading, or whatever you most want to do.

All Sorts of Stuff: Life, WIP, and a New Pattern in the Works

I got knocked on my ass a couple weeks ago with an illness that went through our entire little family: Lila got it, then Guy, then me. Lila had flu-like symptoms over a weekend, but didn’t seem too bad, after a little children’s Advil she perked up.  A couple days later, Guy started to feel something coming on, and then a day later Lila woke up with red spots all over her face. Now, Lila is all up-to-date on all her vaccinations, so even though there have been reported cases of measles in Toronto, I thought it was chicken pox (which I had been vaccinated against as a child but still got around the same age Lila is now).

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my little broadway baby, after her weekly toddler dance class

I’m going to tell you right now- it wasn’t measles. But that didn’t stop the doctor from sending us to the hospital for tests, since her symptoms so closely mimicked measles, and Guy and I were developing similar symptoms. There had been a confirmed case of measles in someone who had only one vaccination (apparently you need two to be fully immune- I know so much more about measles than I ever wanted to know!) so we had to get top-up shots, they had to run loads of tests, and they had us in an isolation room in the hospital for the entire day.

We were eventually allowed to go home, but told to keep ourselves quarantined- which was fine because at that point no one was feeling very well. We went to bed and stayed there for a week with the worst virus I have ever had the misfortune of coming across. Not to get too gross here, but my throat was so swollen I couldn’t take a deep breath and I was having to chug glasses of water through the pain. I fantasized about being able to drink big gulps of ice cold water.  It was bloody awful.

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But hey, at least it wasn’t measles, right?

Having been bed ridden, all projects were on hold while I was sick. I’d been working on a couple new designs, one of which I’ll show you today:

Hyperballad Cowl  knittedbliss.com

If you follow me on any social media channels you’ve seen this cowl  (and it’s previous iteration) as part of a Nice & Knit Knitalong I participated in. The pattern will have two sizes: this one is the single skein DK (about 220 yards), and I’m working on a larger one that will take 2 skeins. It’s called Hyperballad, after one of my my favourite Bjork songs.

Next up, this is almost the zebra from Savannah Chaps pattern by Barbara Prime, which I adore- I totally want to knit all the animals (the pattern has directions for a zebra, elephant, rhino, and a tiny mouse creature)!  I adore knitting toys, they are so addictive. Now if I could just keep Lila from running off with various zebra limbs, I’d be able to get this all sewn together and photographed. That’s what’s new around the KB household – I hope you are all  getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying healthy!

Zebra WIP | knittedbliss.com