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Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

I made and gifted several of these sweaters but I wanted to make one more for a dear friend, Alicia, as a sincere “thank you” for helping me adopt my new pup, Fozzie.  Fozzie has brought happiness into my home again after losing my beloved 14-year-old Edgar.

Alicia helps foster rescued German Shepherds and Miniature Pinschers as that is what her pack consists of.  She was a wealth of tips and ideas to help me get through the tough adjustment period for both dogs (Fozzie and Gonzo).  You see, all of her kids and fosters are rigorously trained.  But one special girl of hers is also an actress and has performed as “Bruiser” in a stage production of Legally Blonde.  She is aptly named “Diva” and she is the sweetest little thing who during her last visit to my home did nothing but snuggle with me.  She actually convinced me I could adopt a small dog… and in her own way helped me to adopt my Gonzo.

This special girl deserved a pink sweater… to get over her gender bending role.  Her Mom picked out the center panel of the Bon Bon cable, provided measurements and kept telling me how much Diva loved her sweaters and coats.  It took some time to complete as it was over the summer months but she finally received it in the mail… and had a fashion shoot!  Here she is in her hand knit sweater!

Miss Diva in her new pink sweater… center panel Bon Bon cable.

Side view showing side cable and moss stitch. This sweater was super easy and adaptable.

She makes it look good, don’t you think?!  Wear it in good health, Diva!

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Well, the winter being as big, bad, and ugly as it was… it did give me plenty of time to knit!  I made four more of the dog sweaters from my last post but changed out the center panel cable with different designs just to keep it interesting.

Here is the original honeycomb:

Now for Hugs n’ Kisses:

Then I had a couple of adorable girls to knit for… so I found the Bon Bon:

But there were challenges… here is my view of “knitter’s block”:

But I do have to thank my wonderful, patient, and loving model, Gonzo:

XOXOXO

 

 

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Being a long time knitter… the daughter of a life long knitter and grand-daughter of a master knitter I see a problem and I figure out how to knit something to fix it.  Not that I am the “MacGyver” of knitting but why buy an overpriced item when you can make it?

I recently adopted a 5 pound Yorkshire Terrorist Terrier I named Gonzo (yes I have a Muppets theme) who came to me under nourished and shaved down.  He really had a sad back story; apparently, Gonzo’s former human (if we can call him/her that) kept him in a crate for the last year where he was allowed to urinate and defecate in there.  He wasn’t groomed (Yorkies don’t shed but have hair that keeps growing like ours) and was rarely let out and the result was a matted coat full of feces and urine.  After he was rescued his foster mom simply felt the easiest way was to hold him down and shave him.  After this event she worked with him to get him used to bathing, grooming, manners, etc.

Now I come into the picture and I know winter is coming and his coat is not growing as fast as we hoped so I start searching for patterns.  In my mind I was seeing him in an Irish knit so I limited my search to that style and found this free pattern: Red Heart’s Cabled Dog Sweater!  Being a fair intermediate level knitter I tackled this challenge easily.

Since my boy is so tiny and knitting tends to stretch this pattern’s small size was still going to be a bit big so I adjusted the needle size to a US6.  I also played with the length since I didn’t want it draping over his bum (I could have gone longer).  I did use Red Heart’s Aran yarn which makes up two.  I am planning on doing this in denim and another in pink as gifts.  It took me a week to finish the project (actually 5 days) but I don’t knit for hours on end because if I did I could whip this up in 2 days!

He loves it, by the way!  And be prepared to answer lots of questions… people come up to me and ask where I bought the sweater and the answer “I made it” leads to lots of additional questions!

As a bit of a side note, due to his abuse Gonzo is very untrusting of most people and the sweater has helped to boost his confidence.  He sees lots of people who are curious, kind and friendly.  Eventually we will get him more socialized but we are taking baby steps.  If you are not a dog person please ALWAYS ask if you or your child can pet a dog.  You never know what an animal’s back story is and for your safety and for the safety and well-being of the animal… ask.

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On a recent trip to Vermont I noticed a great little shop.  Not for the shop itself but for the name; Six Loose Ladies.  With a name like that who could not go in and take a peek?  Well, it was a wonderful experience (for at least me who loves knitting) and I had a travel companion that was willing to risk any stereotype being seen in a yarn shop!   The two ladies I met during my two visits were wonderful and personable and simply in love with all things fiber… my people.  While there I noticed this one hat and figured it would make a great summer project.

What was better… the pattern was free.  Actually, the second visit was to write down the name of the pattern so I could find it online.  I bought the same yarn used in the shop… multi colored wool with a black merino as the contrasting color.  I wish I had purchased more since there was a pattern for coordinating fingerless mitts.  Check out Fake Isle Hat on Ravelry… membership is free!

This hat took me less than a week to make – but I have to admit if it were winter it would have only been a couple of days at most.  Spring/ Summer has me in my garden more than on my couch!  I used size 6 (4 mm) 16″ length circulars until the decreases at the top forced me to use 4 size 6 DPNs.  After a cold bath in some Woolite and a good blocking I am pretty happy with the result!

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It’s finally done…

I may need to lose a little weight to fit into it but I am very proud of this sweater.  The reason? I started it on my own and finished it on my own but I could hear my Mom encouraging me all the way.  It all began with a trip to a local yarn shop and the discovery of this yarn which is so soft I could curl up and die of happiness in it… alpaca.  It was also a pleasure to work with making up the sweater in short order (if I didn’t put it down half way through).  I had made a mistake and didn’t have the courage to rip out one whole front.  When I picked it up a month ago that was exactly what I had to do.  I then knit both sleeves at the same time using two balls of yarn… makes it a bit more to do but they are identical and worth the effort.

A few things I learned along the way…

  • Knitting both sleeves, both fronts or both ties at the same time makes them identical for all increases/ decreases.
  • Lightly blocking the pieces before sewing up makes the sewing up process easier.
  • Sewing seams should be done when not tired and/or cranky… and with utmost patience.

Happy knitting!

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With some finish work on a recent sweater being done as time allows I pine for some actual knitting.  Sewing up is the worst part of knitting for me… honestly!  Having missed Valentine’s Day because of the sweater… I had a Heart Pattern stashed away for a rainy day.  With St. Patrick’s Day coming soon and the Corned Beef and Cabbage purchased and in the fridge, I set out to find a pattern for a shamrock.  I wanted to combine the two to make a Heart the Irish door hanger.  I found a few patterns and made them up with varying degrees of success… and then I remembered this great site – Natural Suburbia from the Heart Pattern.  This blog has more fun (and amazing) stuff that I just can’t wait to make… it was no surprise that it had a Shamrock Pattern that was perfect for my plan!  Here are the results… if you like the results, thank Linda at Natural Suburbia by visiting her blog and making something and telling her about it!

Happy knitting!

             

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To be totally honest, my inspiration for this project was a wreath in a local Starbucks here in Boston in 2008.  Every time my co-workers and I went to get coffee… I would point to it and say, I love this… I have to make one…  Keeping it in my crafters’ back pocket until I had some time and energy to devote to it I find myself in 2010 and in a Michael’s Crafts store with some money to burn.  I stepped up my version with a grapevine wreath base rather than the styrofoam based inspiration piece.   I bought enough to make 2; one to keep and one to give away to another knitting friend. 

The inspiration piece had similar shades of perfectly matched yarns and while I continued this into my version I think that anyone with an arsenal of leftovers would be able to make this if they didn’t feel the need to coordinate all the colors.  You will need:

  • Wreath base of choice; evergreen, grapevine, styrofoam, etc.
  • Styrofoam balls to be the basis of the yarn balls in assorted sizes.
  • At least 4 variations of yarn colors.
  • Ribbon, wired
  • Hot glue, zip ties, floral pins, etc.

You will spend a couple of hours wrapping yarn around the balls to completely cover them and do so in an esthetically pleasing way.  I started out with small, medium and large balls and covering each size with one yarn color before moving onto the next one.  For dealing with the ends; I used a quick tuck under other yarn on the ball.  If you want a more permanent solution a floral pin or even hot glue can be used depending on your preference.  Arrange the yarn balls in a visually pleasing yet random looking manner on the wreath base and secure with glue, zip tie or other method of choice. 

To finish I wove a ribbon around and through the wreath and then created a full bow in a coordinating ribbon and voila!  My own one-of-a-kind knitter’s wreath for the front/back door of the house. 

Happy Crafting!

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