Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Curious Oliphaunt

Stewart loves his new Oliphaunt. Just finished, we thought he looked like he was asking a question when he has his head tilted to the side a little bit, so Stewart decided he would be "curious Oliphaunt". I am particularly happy with his eyes. I found some of the black Zephyr left over from the Kitri socks, and lo and behold, there were still some beads strung on it! So I decided to try and integrate a bead for each eye, and make his eyes look a bit more interesting. While this was a fairly easy knit, I am still not crazy about knitting stuffed animals. I don't like the finishing, trying to hide ends inside a body and not sure if the ends will stay afixed. I did change the ears for this guy - several people had done knitted ears rather than the crocheted ears called for in the pattern. While I can crochet, I just didn't like the way the ears were turning out when I crocheted. I thought the knitted ears looked better. With his big floppy ears, he is definitely an African elephant!

Moving along to my next project, I decided to cast on Annie Modesitt's Backyard Leaves scarf instead of beginning the grey sweater for me. Numerous reasons for this, but I am not unhappy to put the sweater on hold for a bit. The backyard leaves pattern is beautiful and fairly easy to follow, except you have to be right on top of the pattern all the time. No watching TV and knitting on this one. This will probably become less critical as I knit a few repeats and get the pattern down pat. Anyway, love the pattern and the colour of the yarn. I'm thinking ahead to spring...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

St Valentine's Day

I have never been too keen on the idea of knitting stuffed toys, but when Stewart asked me to make him this cute little elephant it was hard to say no. The designer created this elephant in striped colours, but Stewart decided on this bright variegated yarn. It needs ears, a tail and embroidered eyes, but the bulk of the work is done and Stewart likes the way he looks so far. Thanks, Julie, for showing us your Oliphaunt and inspiring me to create one for my boy. A great way to celebrate Valentine's Day - making something that he will love!

This is a good point to mention how much I am enjoying Ravelry. I found Julie and her Oliphaunt on Ravelry and I am spending time (that could probably be better spent knitting - or - perish the thought - doing housework) looking at peoples' projects and oohing and aahing over the beautiful yarns that are available. A great time waster...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Geometry and colour

I always did love geometry. However, I am reminded once again that I don't like colourwork (either Fair Isle or intarsia). I know, I know, you are supposed to turn the needle carefully back and forth as you work, and one row you cross the yarns and the next row you untangle them. That's fine in principle, but I always end up with a tangle to sort out anyway. I hate tangled yarn. So this project kept being put back in the basket while I got on with other things. Result was that I lost my tension control (or switched needles - who knows?) and the front and back tensions don't match. It has reiterated once again for me that I need to be a one project knitter. Well, this little sweater is not my best work. I should probably have taken the thing apart early on and started again, but as it was not a project I was enjoying too much, I couldn't face doing it a second time. The result is not too bad, considering that I was so frustrated a few times. The bonus is that my backlog is now clear (except for the bark pattern sweater), so I can begin a new project. Wish me luck!