Whenever anyone tells me "Hey, I like your blog," I feel compelled to say: "I don't post enough! But I just like crafting more than I like writing about it." As a result, a lot of projects never make it onto the blog because they were finished so long ago that by the time I get it together to write a post, I'm onto something totally new. But I've done a lot of projects recently that I like, so I'm just going to overwhelm you with a big smorgasbord of finished projects. Dig in!
Completed Under the Sea Blanket
Here is the finished Under the Sea blanket. Though I am pleased, and my friend who received it is pleased, it somehow never lived up to my elaborate conception, (which was much more sculpture than blanket). All of the items button on with toggle buttons, and so they can be re-arranged and moved around.
More socks for my mom. They are both from patterns that you've seen here before and that just work particularly well. I liked the Sidewinders pattern so much, that I knew I wanted to make a pair for my mom. I used some Felici self striping yarn and it ended up coming out so perfectly! The last pair of Skew socks got rave reviews for fit, so I thought I would make another pair. This time around I used an acrylic blend so that they won't be quite so warm as wool. A summer sock.
More socks! This time socks for my husband, who, you may have noticed, doesn't get a lot of stuff. The items in the cue for him are long and varied and he is very patient about it, so I got the lead out and actually finished something for him. These were designed by the witty little knitter, and the pattern is here. I was worried about tightness in the ankles, so I did the all of the white accents on the leg in duplicate stitch. I hadn't really ever given a lot of though to the technique of duplicate stitch, but thankfully and serendipitously, smartygirl at the filmcraft blog posted a link to a Watermelish tutorial on duplicate stitch which was awesome! And everything came out much neater than my original attempt.
The completion of tiny seahorse!
Tiny seahorse is finished! I put it off for so long because I was worried I wouldn't be able to pick up the stitches for the belly. I hadn't even considered how absurdly small the back fin would be. So tiny! This is, once again, a Hansi Singh pattern. I didn't have to change the pattern at all, just used smaller needles and yarn. People's main reaction has been, "how do you make it so tiny," and my only answer is "tiny needles." The stick supporting the seahorse in this photo is actually one of the needles used to knit it. They are size 0/6 and I got them from BagLady, where I also got 0/4 and 0/5. They don't sell 0/8, thank goodness, or I would probably be blind.
And I know I'm kind of burying the lead here, but ta-da! Tiny chameleon. He was inspired by a little guy you may have seen in the news a little while ago:
One new chameleon was found on Nosy Hara, an islet off the coast of Madagascar. Named Brookesia micra, it is the smallest of the four species. Juveniles are small enough to stand on the head of a match. Well, I didn't quite get it that small, but pretty close! Also, chameleons are incredibly fun to look at! When ever I'm doing a project where I'm trying to match something in nature, I do a lot of image searches first, and that was how I learned the super fun fact that baby chameleons ride around on their mom's faces. So, then, of course, I knew what I had to do.
Both mom and baby are Hansi Singh patterns. The mom was knit with sock weight yarn and using 0/4 needles. The hardest part by far was the tail, but it wasn't impossible. The legs are knit separately, but the head and eyes are knit with picked up stitches. There are wires inside the legs so that they are positionable.
This octopus is another Hansi Singh pattern. He is done in worsted weight yarn and is larger than I typically make my toys. He is bigger because he is destined for a very special project which is finally getting some momentum. More on that later.
I know, I know, what do I do, just sit around making Amigurumi animals all day/night?Yes, yes, that is exactly what I do/would like to be doing.Well, here is the fiddler crab, one of those patterns I mentioned in the last post that aren’t in Hansi Singh’s book, quite tragically, but are for sale on her Ravelry page, quite fantastically.
I modeled my crab on this photo of a real fiddler crab.Turns out there are a lot of fiddler crabs out there with a lot of pizzazz, so actually it was a little bit of a challenge finding one in colors that still looked convincingly natural in yarn.
Of course, like the mantis, he came out WAY TOO BIG. I mean, as it was, I did this guy on size 2s, and he still came out like some kind of hulking beast.But who wants to do a toy pattern for the first time in sock yarn?Even I shutter to think of some weird aspect of a pattern I haven’t even dreamed of that would be impossible somehow to do tiny, or to do with dpns instead of circular needles, or something.And so I will be fated to make all these toys normal sized at least once.
When I had made a few legs I could see which way the wind was blowing, and as a pretext for checking out a new yarn store (The Swift Stitch in Santa Cruz) I got some blue and white and red lace weight alpaca.I looked for tinier needles than I have, but those don’t seem to have hit the general commercial market (imagine that!)I thought I could use the 000 needles, but you know what, they are too large (I say this with glee tinged with dread), and so I’ve ordered 0000, 00000, and 000000 needles.I’m pretty excited, and also concerned.If I start typing the blog in tiny sized font, someone should come help me.The next question would be which critter should really be the first to be the tiniest of all?The seahorse is a long time favorite pattern, and I’m always trying to make life-sized seahorse (more on that later).However, in general I’m worried about bending these tiny needles making toys, but even a bent needle knits straight, right?Isn’t that a Zen koan or something?
I have found that because I picked out these colors and combinations so long ago, as I build the rows I get to experience them all over again.Also, little hexagons sewn together look much different from squares on a table.
I don’t think I actually wrote about the process at all in earlier posts.I’m doing the quilt traditional paper piecing style, except I’m using plastic forms for the inserts instead of paper inserts.The hexagons are about the size of silver dollars, each side is one inch long.I cut all my fabric into squares first, because I didn’t want to spend my life cutting out hexagons.The process is as follows:
·Pin the plastic hexagon form to the fabric
·Snip off the corners of the square so it is more hexagon shaped
·Fold over and base the edges of the fabric around the plastic form
·Then, sew the based pieces together with whip stitch and when all six sides of a form have been surrounded, remove the insert
I’m working in rows because that uses the fewest amount of inserts at one time.
Next on the old agenda, another under the sea item.A lovely crocheted conch shell.I had the worst time figuring out the directions, especially for the point, but as you can see, I was finally successful.Also, it makes a good home for another under the sea buddy.