Saturday, March 24, 2012

Purple Hedgehog!

Today we spotted something quite unusual in the plum trees in the yard.

Wait do hedgehogs even climb trees? I guess purple ones do. She seemed to be a big fan of flowers, because next thing I knew she was in the front flower bed, smelling the hyacinths.

Many thanks to Salvbard for his help documenting the habits of the elusive purple hedgehog.

Pattern: Huggable Hedgehog (FT228) by Debbie Radtke
Pattern Source: Fiber Trends (bought at Wild & Wooly ~2005)
Felting Yarn: Rowan Magpie Aran & Ruby Rubycampus
Novelty Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Cello in color 07
Yarn Supplies: Woolcott (closed), Cheer Wool (in Hong Kong), & Jo-Ann Fabric respectively
Needles: US 10 - 6.0 mm

Eyes and nose were embroidered with some embroidery floss from my stash in a color that coordinates with her hair. I am so happy with how she came out after felting, embroidery, and stuffing. (Pre-felting pictures viewable here.)

I probably should have gone another needle size up at least. Although the hedgehog's underside felted well, her back which has the carry-along of the novelty yarn still has some stitch definition despite my efforts. I had read in several Ravelry projects that people wished that they had gone down a needle size or two as this project just barely broke into a second ball of the novelty yarn. I can tell you from experience now, that going down the needle size you still need to go into the second ball. So it is better to just use the recommended gauge or consider using a finer yarn if you really want to use a little bit less of the novelty yarn.

Even so, this turned out larger than I was expecting for some reason. You would think the finished size listed in the pattern would have been a clue. I would love to make another one of these in fingering weight, since I think it would be tiny and adorable!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi(e) Day!

Once again it is time to celebrate pi day.

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Unlike last year, I had to work late, but with some planning ahead the traditional pot pie still happened. Many thanks to Salvbard for putting on the top crust (complete with pi symbol), baking it, and making sure there was photographic evidence.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Manly Purple Socks

This pair of socks makes just number 4 for my 26 Pair Plunge... Clearly I need to get cracking if I want to even get remotely close to finishing that goal. Fortunately I knit socks fairly quickly, particularly when they are not as many stitches as these.

The combination of the fine gauge and Salvbard's shapely calves meant that these had a whole lot of knitting to them. Trekking XXL is such a fantastic yarn for socks for him though. It is available in colors that he is happy the wear, but there is enough variation that keeps me interested. And despite the fact that the yarn is on the finer side for boot socks, they really do wear terrifically well.

This is not the first pair I have made for him from this yarn. I also made a grey pair that got an amazing 20 months of regular wear before I had to replace the toes! You just can't beat that.

Yarn: Zitron Trekking (XXL) in color 66
Yarn Supplier: Mind's Eye Yarns
Pattern: cuff down, 2X2 rib, short row heel, wedge toe
Needles: US 1 - 2.25 mm

It is funny how different a yarn can look knit up. When I first saw this yarn in the ball, it struck me as black with bits of color. When it was knit up, it struck me as purple with dark places. Fortunately Salvbard still likes them. He had better watch out though, because our friend Jasra has her eyes on them and keeps threatening to steal his purple socks.

These were a pair of 88 stitch circumference socks. For some reason I did not record the number of stitches I used for the last pair I made (bad blogger!), but this seemed big to me. Originally I had planned to decrease as I got down the leg, but when I had him try them on, it was quickly apparent that I would in fact not be able to get them as far up his calf as I thought simply because of them not reaching around the top of it.

It turns out that it is just as well I did not make the leg longer though, because the extra number of stitches around meant that I used up more yardage than I was expecting. It was not short in the end, but there was less than 35 yards left when I was done between both socks.

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Texas Wedding

You may have noticed that there was a brief break between the last post and the ones prior. Friday Salvbard and I headed out to Texas for one of my cousin's wedding.

There was minimal knitting in Texas but the trip was great and we should be back to regular posting!
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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Praying Mantis

Another Ravelry clean up post! I loved knitting this project. It made me want to knit everything in the book it is found in. Hansi is so clever!

Pattern: Praying Mantis by Hansi Singh
Pattern Source: Amigurumi Knits
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft and Sirdar Snuggly DK (doubled)
Needles: US 6 - 4.0 mm

The only reason this one has been listed as "in progress" for a year is that I wanted to do something better for the wire in the limbs. Initially I tried the pipe-cleaners as suggested, but they were far to flimsy. Then I replaced them with florist wire, which is much stiffer (and a better length). But he still could not stand up! Looking through the internets, people seemed to find that using a wire coat hanger worked best, but I did not have a ready source. As this stuffie has moved out though, he is as done as he is getting. And I have to say I still love him!

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