Death of a Ball Winder and the Birth of Socks

I have some rather unfortunate news my dear friends. My recent ball winder purchase from knit picks shall have to be returned. Seems that my ball winder, with only one day of actual use, has died. I’m not entirely sure what happened….maybe mine was just defective? If anyone else has had similar problems, please let me know. While using it, it was making the occasional popping noise…not often, but every once in a while. I was pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to be making said noise, however there was nothing that I was doing wrong. ( I have used a ball winder before, and I even watched the knit picks video before using). Eventually the handle stopped turning. I couldn’t turn it forward or backwards…and I was afraid to try to force it because it is made of plastic after all. So off it goes in its cardboard coffin to be returned.

In other news I have started socks:

It also occurs to me that I should find some more interesting places to take photographs of knitting…the brown couch is kinda boring. I like the way these socks are now…however I was almost ready to give up on them. I cast on for this sock a total of eight times. Frogged each time…. The first five times, I tried to knit them two at a time on circular needles. My needles suck and the stitches didn’t want to move on the cord at all and there was so much stress on the sides that my knitting was way too lose. These don’t have a particular pattern because I’m following like 3 or 4 different patterns. The first I didn’t like the toe….another frogging session. I like the toe on the second pattern, but not the design. The design is from another pattern, but I’m not sure I like the heel…see a problem starting here. Luckily I’m writing down everything that I do so I will be able to make the second sock look the same.

I haven’t made any progress on the “Blizzard”. I feel guilty about this…..let’s not mention it again. I need to cast on for my second bunny blanket so that my daughter will have on like her brother’s. I have the overwhelming desire to use up a ton of scrap yarn and start a log cabin blanket…with a black background. I must have lost my mind. I still have Easter knitting to do. I still have to finish these socks and another pair and two hats. I also want to start on a lace shawl and socks for my husband. I must stay strong. I will work on the sweater and these socks and I WILL cast on for the other bunny. Besides what am I thinking with the log cabin blanket….I hate working with black! Too bad I like black….

I’m debating on ordering some better circular needles for doing socks two at a time…if anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them.

Advertisements

Cuddle Bunny Pattern

Cuddle Bunny Blankie



Needles: I used 5 U.S. size 2 DPNs for the head and ears, and U.S. size 7 DPNs and circular needle for the blanket portion. Exact needle sizes are not necessary for this project, as long as you use a needle to give you a small enough gauge for the head so that the stuffing doesn't come out.

Yarn used: Bernat pipsqueak. This color was called “funny bunny” I chose this yarn because it was soft and “furry”. I used almost 2 skeins.

Other items needed: Yarn needle, polyester stuffing, embroidery thread, stitch markers

Gauge: The gauge on this project is not essential. Make sure you get a tight enough gauge on the head to hold in the stuffing.

Terms used:

DPNs=double pointed needles

kfb= knit front and back of stitch

k= knit

rep= repeat

ssk=slip, slip, knit

k2tog=knit 2 together

p=purl

pm= place marker

sts=stitches

sm= slip marker

CO=cast on

RND=round

Ears: Make 2 leaving an extra long tail when you cast on.

CO 5 sts

Knit for 10 rows

K1, kfb, k1, kfb, k1

Knit for 12 rows

k1, kfb, k3, kfb, k1

knit for 10 rows

k1, ssk, k3, k2tog, k1

knit for 4 rows

k1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1

knit 2 rows

ssk, k1, k2tog,

knit 2 rows

k3tog

Secure yarn and weave in bind off end.

Head:

Using the size 2 DPNs, I cast on 4 sts (1 on each needle).

RND 1: Using the 5th DPN, kfb of every stitch. (8 sts). Place marker to make the begining of your row.

RND 2: knit

RND 3: kfb of every stitch (16 sts)

RND 4: knit

RND 5: * k1, kfb, kfb, k1 * Rep from * to * on each of the four needles

RND 6: knit

RND 7: *k1, kfb, k to last 2 sts on needle, kfb, k1* Rep from * to * on each needle

Repeat rounds 6 and 7 until you have 12 sts on each needle

Knit 15 rows

Leaving the sts on the DPNs, I went ahead and sewed the ears onto the head using the long tails on the ears to do so. Next I used embroidery thread and embroidered a face on my bunny. I also wove in my cast on tail into the inside of the head.

Next, I started knitting with the DPNs again:

Decrease Row: * k1, k2tog, k to the last 3 sts on that needle, k2tog, k1* Rep from * to * on each needle.

Plain Row: Knit

Repeat the Decrease row and the plain row until you have 6 sts left on each needle. Stuff the head with as much stuffing as you would like.

*k1, k2tog, k2tog, k1* Repeat from * to * on each needle (12 sts total).

Next RND: *k2tog* Repeat all the way around. (2 sts each needle.)

At this point I cut off a piece of yarn from the second skein (not the yarn I was using) about 3 feet long. I threaded this yarn into a yarn needle and pulled the yarn through all of my stitches on the needle. Leave the stitches on the needles, but make sure that this yarn hangs in the center so that it will be on the under side of the work. We will deal with this yarn later, for now continue on:

Blanket section:

RND 1: kfb of every stitch

RND 2: Knit

RND: 3: Working off of smaller DPNs onto the Bigger DPNs and making sure to keep your begining of row marker in place, do the following:

*kfb, k1, pm, k1, kfb* Repeat from * to * all the way around.

RND 4: Knit

RND 5:* k1, kfb, k1, sm, k1, kfb, k1, * Repeat from * to * all the way around

RND 6: knit

Now it’s time to deal with the yarn that we threaded through earlier. Pull both ends of the yarn to close up the gap in the head and tie a small knot. This will close up the bottom portion of the head and hold the stuffing in. Keep these ends, you’ll need them later. Resume knitting with the DPNs, changing to the circular when there are too many stitches for the DPNs to hold.

RND 7: *k to 2 sts before marker, kfb, k1, sm, k1, kfb* Repeat from * to * until you slip the last marker then: k1, kfb, k to end of row.

RND 8: Knit

Repeat until Rounds 7 and 8 until blanket portion is almost as big as you would like it.

Work RND 7

Then purl the next round.

Repeat round 7 and a purl round 2 more times

Work RND 7

Finishing:

Bind off using a purl bind off. ( Purl 2 stitches, pass first stitch over, *purl 1 stitch, pass first stitch over* Repeat from * to * until only 1 stitch remains. Cut off working yarn leaving a 6 inch tail, pull tail through last stitch and secure. Weave in end. Weave in any other tails, except for the ones that we used to close up the head. Thread one end through the yarn needle, and use it to sew a small section (about 3/4 to 1 inch) of the blanket to the bottom of the head to one side of the bunny’s neck. Do the same thing on the other side. This stablizes the bunny’s neck and keeps it from flopping around so much and I also think it makes the bunny’s neck look nicer. Weave in the ends. Give bunny to its intended recipient.

Notes: To make this bunny’s head smaller, just stop increasing at a smaller number of stitches instead of the 12 on each needle. Then work fewer rows than the 15 stated above. Follow of rest of the directions as is. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me on this blog. I will help in any way that I can. If you find any errors, please let me know as soon as possible so that I may correct them. Thanks.

Special Delivery

My knitpicks order came today! I was so excited. I got my ball winder. Yay! More on that when I use it. I managed to put it together though after having a little trouble with the table clamp. I haven’t opened my blocking wires yet…I think I’ll leave them in the tube they came in until I need them. I love my shawl pin….

The yarn I ordered is just so yummy!!! I definately see myself ordering more yarn from knitpicks, however I don’t know how much more the bank can take anytime soon.

You are looking at Stroll handpainted yarn in fingering weight from knitpicks. The colorway is make believe. It’s gorgeous! I have two skeins and I’m thinking I’m going to use it to make a shawl. I love the name: make believe. I envision a shawl made up with a pattern that reminds me of the forrest or fairies. The sunlight in the pics really shows the color well. It was bright and sunny today and 80 degrees where I live! It felt like a summer day until evening hit and it got a little chilly. I did have to turn the air on for a while today.

The first bunny blankie is done!!!!! The pattern will follow.

Let me know what you think…this is the first thing that I’ve knitted where I actually wrote the pattern as I went. It is super soft and cuddly. I think my son will love it.

I’m sick of the socks already. I cast on yesterday and knitted half of the toes…(toe up two at a time), ripped it all out and cast on again. This time I’d finished the toes and was ready to move onto the pattern and ripped it out. Today I cast on for the third time and I’m only a couple of rows in. It’s the needles’ fault….they are cheap and they suck. Basically to get gauge I have to use a size 0-1 needle and the cable on my circs is slightly larger than the needle itself. I’m having a terrible time moving the stitches around, and where I have to pull so hard to make the cable go through it’s putting stress on the parts where the stitches are on opposite sides of the needle and the stitches are ending up way to loose in those areas….looking like the socks have holes where holes aren’t supposed to be. I really do need to order some better circular needles….if anyone has any recommendations please let me know. So sadly I don’t have any sock pictures to share with you. Hopefully tomorrow I will….

Rainy Days Make Good Knitting Days

Today has been warmer, but gray and rainy. I’m not in a bad mood though…rainy days are good for knitting after all. When I left you guys last, I was about 1/4 through the Rainbow scarf, started on the bunny blanket, and still had not started on the socks that I need to make. I’ve had some progress.

Here is the scarf:

Here is a close up:

I used two skeins of the Bernat Mosiac and I really like the way it turned out. The pattern was easy to follow and I’ll definately have to use it again with a different multi-color yarn. If you want the pattern, please see my previous post for the link.

I have made a lot of progress on the bunny blanket:

I’ve started on the second skein for this, and I’m onto the easy part: the blanket section. I’m happy to report that I’ve written everything down as I’ve went, and I will have the pattern up as soon as I find the time to sit down and write it all out. I haven’t decided if I’d like to have it a little smaller for the second one or not…this one is quite big, not huge, but big. Anyway the pattern is easily adaptable to make it a little smaller, and I’ll get into that when I write it up. Hopefully I’ll have the pattern ready so that anyone who wants to make one before Easter can do so.

I went to our local knitting group today, but it was kind of a disappointment. We had to leave early because the one lady that usually lets us stay an hour past the library’s closing time didn’t show and we had to leave early. In addition to that, not many showed up. But it was fun with the few that were there. I’m looking forward to the group having a meeting somewhere else when the weather is nice enough….so that we can knit outside! I’m thinking the park, or the little park behind the library.

I’ve happened upon a knitting meme that I hope to start on this blog soon. It lasts for thirty days, and each day I’m supposed to answer a question that has to do with knitting. I haven’t decided if I should start it whenever, or to wait until the 1st and do it for the whole month. We shall see.

“The Blizzard” as I’ve deemed the sweater for my husband’s cousin is a little bigger, but not big enough that it warrants another picture yet…rest assured it looks the same as it did in the last picture, just slightly longer. I hope to finish the bunny in the next couple of days. I have to go for now because I STILL HAVEN’T STARTED THOSE DARNED SOCKS!!!!!! (Hangs head in shame).

Spring is Approaching

Today is such a beautiful day. The air is nippy, the sun is warm, and there is a gentle breeze…it doesn’t get any better. Spring is definitely around the corner. That said, I’m having a rather good day. I’ve caught up on some housework that I was avoiding, and the hubby has cooked Chinese food for dinner…so I’ll have to make this quick and go eat.

I mentioned last night that I was going to cast on something new because I couldn’t work on my bunny until I get embroidery thread, I didn’t feel like working on the sweater, and I couldn’t start the socks last night because I didn’t have the yarn wound. Here is what I started…

I’m calling it the Rainbow. It reminds me of Spring, with all of those bright pastel colors. The pattern is found here…. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pioneer-braid-scarf, and the yarn is Bernat Mosiac: colorway Daydream. Interesting yarn I have to say. Not bad to work with, but the thickness has some inconsistancies in it. Nice colors though and machine washable. I’m thinking it would make a really cute romper for my daughter so I may pick some more of it up next time I make a trip to the craft store.

In addition to the nice day and good food, I finally got my yarn wound into balls. I borrowed my friend’s ballwinder today at the library. My son even helped to wind for a little bit. I didn’t have any problems at all using it, which I consider a good thing. I’m looking forward to get mine in the mail. It was quite a bit of yarn:

Tonight I hope to have some more of the scarf knitted, and if I’m feeling up to it I should probably start on those socks or work on “The Blizzard”.

 

The Funny Things Kids Say…and Knitting Progress

I was talking to my son today, and I started teasing him. I was saying that he was my little girl, and that Calliope was my little boy. He laughed and said that he was a boy and not a girl. So I kept on for a while and he still told me he was a boy and that she was a girl. Then I asked him why. He said that he was a boy because boys have pee-pees and girls don’t. Once again I asked him why. His reply? “Because that’s the way Wal-mart makes them!” I cracked up and had a good laugh at that.

Calliope too has been in a funny mood today. She lays in her play pen while I’m at the computer or busy with something. Everyonce in a while I’ll peek over the top at her and say Boo or blow raspberries at her and she will just smile and giggle away. Days like this make me glad that I’m a mother.

Remember this:

Well I finished one for my daughter and I’m kinda happy with the way that it turned out. The cat toys actually work well as a rattle and I put two of them in mine for extra noise since my cat toys were so small. I just have to wash it now and let it dry before Easter. I think I’ll wait until I get everything made first and wash them all together….can’t have her putting things in her mouth before they are clean!

I also started making the bunny that I talked about in an earlier post. The one with a bunny head and the rest is a blankie. Good news is that I’m writing it all down as I go so that I can make a second one. It’s also good news for my readers, because that means that I will have a pattern for you soon. I’ve gotten half of the head and the ears finished. My only complaint is that it’s turning out a little bigger than I had originally hoped, but that’s ok. I actually think it will be nice bigger because it will be the center piece of the kids’ Easter basket, and it will be a friend that they can carry around and play with.

You can see here that it’s pretty good sized…those are regular sized DPNs. I’m happy with the way that it looks though. I’m thinking that I would like to get my hands on some embroidery thread to make the face. I don’t want to use buttons for eyes or anything because I want it to be comepletely safe for my baby girl. This one is for my son though…the yarn for my daughters’ has pink and purple in it. I want them to match though…my son has a tendency to be a little bit jealous if he thinks someone is getting something that he isn’t. My progress on this bunny stops here for a few days sadly. I don’t have any embroidery thread and our local store doesn’t carry any. Luckily my mother in law embroiders and is mailing me a skein of her thread. I should get it in a few days.

I’m waiting on my ball winder before I start on those socks. As you can see from my last post, my yarn is on a cone. Not good when you want to make socks two at a time. I had hoped to catch my friend who has been weaving at the local library and use her ball winder, however, she wasn’t there the day that I was in town. For now it’s back to working on the “blizzard” aka, the white sweater. I’ve deemed it “the blizzard” because it’s white like snow and never-ending. I’m also thinking that I need to cast on something new since I can’t work on the bunny or the socks. Maybe I should make something for me? Part of me says that I should make something for me, however the other part of me says that I still have Easter knitting to do.

That’s all for now….one kid is sleeping and the other is watching a movie. That means it’s knitting time for this momma. Join me tomorrow to see what else I’ve started. Thanks for reading!

On the Needles and New Plan

I just ordered some stuff from knitpicks. I’ll post pics when it arrives, but in case you wanted to know what I got…… I ordered a ball winder, a shawl stick, blocking wires, some DPN needle holders, and 2 skiens of yarn. I plan on making some shawls in the near future, hence the wires and the shawl pin.

Currently in progress….

This is part of the back of a sweater I am making for my husband’s cousin. She wants it below her knees, so the thing will be long…and I am no where near finished. Actually it is somewhat bigger now than in this pic, but not by much. The pattern is completely my own…I don’t know if I’ll get to write up a pattern for it or not.

The next thing I’m working on:

This is the mushroom cap to the baby rattle I posted on my previous post…one of my daughter’s Easter basket gifts. So far it’s cute.

In other news, this came in the mail today:

Lion Brand 1878 fingering weight 100% wool. This is going to be two pairs of socks for a guy that used to be my teacher and his wife. We’ll see how it goes.

I also was browsing around and reading other people’s blogs, and I found an entry with an idea that intriqued me.

http://fortheknitofit.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/wips-socks-shawls-and-sweaters-oh-my/

This lady has certain days set that she works on certain projects, and I thought that I might accomplish more if I did the same.

Monday: Miscellaneous projects (this means I can work on anything I have going on, or something else entirely)

Tuesday: Commission project # 1 (at the moment this is the sweater).

Wednesday: Project for my kiddos…whatever I happen to be making for them at the time.

Thursday: Commission project # 2 (the socks I plan on making)

Friday: Something for myself

Saturday: Commission project # 1

Sunday: Commission project # 2

I guess I’ll see how this plan goes and tweak it later if it doesn’t work…I may end up abandoning it completely if I don’t like it. So now I’m off to hopefully finish that mushroom tonight and maybe start on another Easter project.