Ok, so I’m willing to admit that whatzitknitz may have had a point when she said do I sense a love of fiddly toys starting ; ) two in a row is all I am saying. Though I still maintain that it is due to the fact that after the Fiddliest Fiddling Octopus, nothing can match the level of fiddliness, and thus many other toys seem super easy to make now.
And by many other, I mean, three in a row.
Yes, there may be something to it after all…
(In case anyone is wondering, it’s Mousie.)
A flamingo, of course!
This baby flamingo has just hatched. He is still lacking feathers and is having some trouble with balance, but nothing out of the ordinary for a newborn.
In the meantime, the octopus has finally got all its legs and is having a swim at the deep end of the blocking pool.
…but I got down to it last night and afterwards thought to myself contentedly: “Aaaah, now it’s at least done!” And then this morning I got up and saw this.
The knitting is fine. The button placement is not. ALL three will have to go out and in again (I’ve checked, moving just one won’t do it). Well, at least it’s ONLY three. Or so I keep telling myself. But it’s definitely not DONE.
p.s. Have a good week, everyone!
…and I have already made five and a half vows that I will never ever ever knit this again.
And don’t even start with that “But it’s sooo cuuuuuteeee’ stuff like everyone else. Let me just explain to you that this involves making 8 tiny little heel turns, with short rows and picking up wraps and everything. Knitted in the round on 8 stitches. And changing colours too.
And yes, it has occurred to me that a rainbow octopus would be super cool. But no way. No. Someone else can do it. Shush now.
Not a lot of knitting lately… The most I can manage is bits here and there, but luckily I’ve got just the thing for that.
The Socktopus pattern, available for free from Knitty, is small and fun. It is also fiddly and thus slow-going, but I’m beginning to accept that just comes with the territory of knitted toys.
I thought this would be fun to knit in leftovers of sock yarn (it is the SOCKtopus, after all), but I’m afraid the toy would come out tiny in that case. So I’m using my leftovers of worsted weight.
After Socktopus is all done and stuffed, I’ll be moving on to Flamingo, another free pattern my knitting group got very excited about recently, because our regular meeting place is a cafe of the same name. :) Are you knitting any toys lately?
Choosing the right buttons can be quite a challenge, and I often feel quite insecure about it.
This time as well I felt completely at a loss, but I had some help, and I am very happy with the solution we came up with together!
I’ll have a lot to say about this piece when it’s finished… For now, here’s just a quick photo from the blocking board.
For the buttons, I was struggling for ideas… until someone mentioned wood. Yes, I think nice natural real-wood buttons would actually fit perfectly here, don’t you agree?
Well, I finally got off my sorry ass and released the Kindle cozy pattern out into the world! You can find it on Ravelry here, for free.
I hope you like it, and if you end up making it, pleeeease send me some photos, I’d loooove to see :) And if you find something that I totally messed up, pretty pretty please let me know so I can fix it.
I would like to use this opportunity to say a huge huge thank you to my amazing test knitters, who not only provided useful feedback on the knitting and advice on phrasing things clearly, but also an inordinate amount of moral support when things were looking topsy-turvy and I was ready to cry, hide under my desk and pretend that I had never even tried putting together a knitting pattern. (Yes, pattern writing is that stressful. For me at least.) Thank you so much, Sarah, Franca, Dona, Thea, Abbey and Elena. You were awesome.
Thank you for the wonderful response to my call for pattern testers! Several lovely ladies are currently playing around with my pattern draft and I am super curious to see what they come up with! In the meantime, to appease my impatience, I thought I’d join in with the testing.
This little thing is such a quick knit, it really takes no time at all, so it wasn’t difficult to decide to cast on this second version.
So far the most difficult thing about pattern writing has been knowing where to stop! I am constantly getting new ideas… Oh the cast on could be done like this. And I could include another version for the bind off. Maye I should note that the colourwork can be moved to another section. Wouldn’t it be fun to include an alternative chart to give people more options. Shouldn’t I do several sizing options like one commentator suggested. And so on, and so on. If I don’t stop myself, before you know it this little Kindle cozy pattern is going to be 5 pages long! I guess I’ll just have to keep reminding myself that I can write other patterns as well! No need to cram all my ideas into this one… :)
Today, I have a lesson for you, my friends. It’s very simple: enter your yarn data into Ravelry. Your full yarn data. Including the colourway (and yes, even dye lot, as useless as it often feels). Why, you may ask? Well, because you may find yourself in the following situation:
It’s been a year since you purchased the yarn. You’ve made a few projects with it but they were mostly improvised so you didn’t bother noting the colourways down. Who cared anyway? You had so much of this stuff that you didn’t know what to do with it. And then, because you had so much of it, you might decide to start a blanket with it. And then (do you see it yet?), you will most certainly (and completely unexpectedly), run out of it. The shop where you had bought it originally will not carry the same colour anymore (because it’s a small shop and they order things haphazardly, and even if you asked them they probably wouldn’t know what those two shades of gray were that they happened to have last winter). The yarn company in question will offer 9 (nine!) different shades of gray all of which will be very similar to the one you (don’t) have (anymore). This will make it impossible to tell from the photos alone which one you need. Especially when you take into account the fact that the same yarn looks different in different photos (see for example the colour 8400 here and here). And displayed on different computer screens. And then all you will be left with will be detective work and guessing.
After a while, you will place your order, from two different yarn shops in two different European countries (both different from the one you currently live in), cross your fingers, and hope for the best.
So there you go, my friends. Enter your yarn data into Ravelry.
p.s. Special thanks go to Cascade’s website for their great overview of yarns and colourways, and Laine et Tricot for their useful note on the shades of Cascade grays (also, they sell the yarn much cheaper than any of the other European shops I found, too bad they did not have the colours I needed!).
p.p.s. I’ll keep you posted when they arrive…