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Thursday, April 17, 2014

FO: Russ the Chick in an Egg

Last month I received my very first installment of the freshstitches kit club!  Stacey assembles these darling kits once every other month and sends them to you with the yarn, pattern, and anything special you will need to create one of her cute creations!  The pattern you get in the kit club is exclusive to the club, so it's either a fresh pattern or a modification of one of her existing patterns, so this month it was one of her regular patterns but we felted it!!  Yay!  There is a special thread in the freshstitches Ravelry group for the kit club so it's kind of like a mini CAL.  The only catch is that you have to keep the pattern a secret for about a month after you get the kit (so you don't ruin the surprise for people who haven't received theirs yet).  So...  I've been holding my tongue, but I can finally talk about what I made!

Just in time for Easter, it's a felted Russ, the Chick in an Egg.  Russ turns inside out so he is either a chick or an egg... however, I felted mine pretty thickly so he doesn't turn inside out very easily, so I'm just going to leave him as a chick.  This is the first time I have ever felted crochet and it doesn't get as smooth as knitting does.  I wanted it to be as smooth as possible though, so I ran it through the wash and dryer three times!  lol.  I finally got the look I was going for:

Here is Russ in his (slightly lumpy) egg:

And here he is posing with his stamp in my freshstitches passport!

And now the details...

yarn details
worsted weight 100% wool yarn that came in the kit

a tiny bit of stuffing and sew-on craft eyes

pattern details
pattern: Russ the Chick in an Egg by Stacey Trock... with super secret modifications from the Spring 2014 Kit Club #4
finished size: 4.5 inches tall
hook: J (6mm)
duration: March 24-April 6, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Evergreen Lake Mittens: To Be or Not to Be?

I enrolled in the Craftsy class Stranded Colorwork: Basics and Beyond which (supposedly) teaches you how to work stranded colorwork by using three pairs of mittens as example projects.  I was somewhat disappointed with the colorwork basics portion of the class - she does a good job teaching how to trap a float, but other than that, there wasn't a whole lot of useful instruction on how to knit with multiple strands. However, I also enrolled in the Simple Sweaters: Stranded and Steeked class which has a much better intro to stranded colorwork, so I was able to pick up enough to fill in the gaps and make the first mitten in the course: the Evergreen Lake Mitten.

I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.  The colorwork doesn't pucker too much and the strands on the inside are smooth.  It also has a cool hem that I really dig.  I'm not so sure about these colors though... I bought the yarn on sale and had a limited selection of colors to choose from and I wanted something that would be high-contrast, so this is what I went with.

Anyway, the thing is that I don't really wear mittens and I can't think of who I would gift these to, so I'm not sure if I want to bother knitting the second mitten.  I did it just for the colorwork practice, but now I think I've got it down and I'm ready to apply it to a pair of socks I've been wanting to start.  But I hate leaving a project half-finished!!  Maybe I'll just think of it as a really elaborate swatch...?

Maybe Monday: Footie Socks

It's no secret that I love knitting socks... so it should be no secret that I have tons of leftover sock yarn!  I often think, "Gee, I could probably knit a pair of footie socks with the yarn I have left here...."  And today as I was browsing the Ravelry Top 20, I found a pattern for footie socks!  Yay!  I don't know for sure if I would wear these myself, but I can think of a few people who would probably go crazy for them (like my mom, for one).

So, will I knit these?

I may not knit them because... I don't know for sure if I would actually wear them, I'm more of a full sock kind of gal.

I will probably knit them because... They would make great gifts and I can probably use leftover sock yarn to make them!  Plus, you get the satisfaction of knitting a sock without all the time involved.... sounds kind of neat!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Secret Springtime Spectacular Swap: What I Got!

Hooray!  Last night I got my package in the mail for the freshstitches Ravelry group's Secret Springtime Spectacular Swap!  I love everything in it - Briggie totally nailed it!

So, here's my haul:

Why yes, that is my very own copy of Crocheted Softies!!  Can you believe it?  I have been coveting this book for a long time but just never got around to purchasing it.  I can't wait to crochet Stretch the Giraffe and Zork the Alien.  You may have also noticed that giant bag of delicious gummy worms in the back.  Yum!

Of course, the "main event" was the adorable stuffie that Briggie made me - one of my favorite freshstitches designs - Cliff the Brontosaurus - all striped out in my favorite colors.  (Plus she gave me the leftover yarn!  It is super soft!!)

And, in case you were wondering what that thing is that looks like a keyring... it's actually a set of awesome Colorado-themed stitch markers!  Groovy.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Recent Acquisitions

I added some yarn to my stash this weekend.  I know, I know, I'm not supposed to be adding to the stash.... but, I have decided it's okay to buy yarn if I know exactly what I'm going to do with it, and I do.  So it's okay.  Trust me.

First, this Cascade 220 Superwash is just gorgeous.  It was on clearance at WEBS and I love the color!  It's called Montmartre.  I'm going to use it to make the Artemisia sweater on Craftsy.  However, I don't think I'm going to get started on it right away because I don't want to knit a sweater that fits me now, and not have it fit me if I gain/lose weight by the time sweater season rolls around again.

Next, I bought some yarn from Knit Picks slated for amigurumis...  Ro, specifically.  I got some Brava Bulky in Peapod and their new crochet cotton Curio in Bluebell and White.

I also ordered some Cascade 220 sport from Craftsy during their flash yarn sale.  That hasn't arrived yet, but it is also intended for amigurumi.  Some for Ro monsters and some for tiny Nel the Owls.  Should be super cute!  I love tiny things!!

p.s.  don't you love my pictures?  I'm working on beefing up my photography for you!  lol.  :)

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Fun New Obsession

I can't say why, but I have recently become obsessed with the idea of crocheting Ro the Tiny Monster in all yarn weights.  I have already done him in worsted and fingering, so all I have left is lace, sport/dk, bulky, and (possibly) super bulky.  As a consequence, I have gone on a little yarn shopping spree this week buying up all the yarn I need to make this dream a reality.  (Of course, I stupidly forgot to buy the correct size crochet hooks for each of these yarn weights, but I'm praying that I will be able to make do with the hooks that I have on hand).

Here is the start of my little Ro family....  Soon to be added: red, green, and pink!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When I Wasn't Knitting....

When the doctor told me I couldn't knit, I started trying out some other hobbies, one of which was learning embroidery.  This has been so much fun and I'm glad I had the chance to learn it!  As usual, I took a Craftsy course, Design It, Stitch It: Hand Embroidery by Jessica Marquez.

Here are four of the samplers I completed in the course.  In clockwise order, starting at the top left, my cross stitches, my flat stitches, my knotted stitches, and my looped stitches.

The looped stitches were my favorites - those are lots of fun!  There is a fifth sampler of filled stitches that I started but didn't finish.  I tried out all the stitches and did enough of them that I felt comfortable with the technique, but they are so time (and floss) consuming that it felt like a waste to complete the whole sampler when I know I'm not going to be doing anything with them.