First, the Cute Baby Picture... My Favorite Pirate...Jake and the Neverland Pirates as played by DGS for Halloween...
What a cutie!!
I have been knitting and crocheting quite a bit, in fact, I having been reading as much as I usually do because I have been doing so much needlework.
Here is an adorable Giraffe Lovey. I made him with yarn I already had in my stash (Score!). I used Caron Simply Soft and Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the gold. The only modification I used was to use Safety Eyes which I thought really stood out and I used a "J" hook for the blanket part since my last Lovey blanket was a little too small and the tension was too tight. This was a great pattern and well worth the money and I actually made all the pieces twice except for the head and blanket so I can finish a second one quickly. I will say there were a LOT of ends to sew in and stuffing the Giraffe Antlers was a pain in the Giraffe butt...lol.
I also completed some socks, one pair was a Mother's Day Gift, one pair is a Christmas Gift, and the other was supposed to be a gift but I struggled with the pattern for fit soooo they ended up being for me! (I mean, oh, too bad...).
The first pair was in a yarn I bought at a great yarn shop in La Grange, TX called The Quilted Skein in a lovey warm brown with some goreous highlights from Pagewood Farms in Denali SuperWash Merino/Nylon (80/20) called "Maple Leaf". I ordered an awesome Wool Girl Yarn Club kit called "Earl Grey Tea" and used the sock pattern included in the kit called Bergamot by Jane Robbins (which is exclusive to the club I believe as it is not on Ravelry). It was a really nice pattern and the pattern repeat was easy to memorize. I used Addi Turbo 1.5 32" circulars and followed the pattern top-down until the foot where I reduced to 60 stitches from 64 since these were for my Mama and she has a narrow foot. I kept the pattern in place for the 32 top-side and just reduced the number of stitches on the sole. These flew off my needles, I would knit the pattern or the yarn again for sure.
The second pair are a VICE Paradigm sock yarn Merino/Nylon (80/20) in the Krazy colorway. I was wanting to knit a pair of socks for ?? for Christmas and when I saw this colorway it just screamed ??. I used Chiao Goo Red Lace Needles in 1.5 32" and I have to say these are my new favorite needles, perhaps even upsetting the reigning winner of Addi Turbos. These were knit toe up with 64 stitches, a Fleegle heel, and a fun lace pattern at the top for interest. I hope she likes them! PS - her foot is a little bigger than mine so these are a bit loose in the picture.
The final pair of socks in today's post is Los Monos Locos (Crazy Monkeys) which is a toe-up version of the popular Cookie A Monkey Socks. One of my resolutions for 2013 was to make the super popular Monkey socks by Cookie A. I tried years ago, but wasn't experienced enough to "read" my knitting and just couldn't get the rhythm of the pattern repeat. Flash forward to 2013...I LOVE this pattern repeat, I now know what all the fuss is about. Plus they make crazy variegated colorways look amazing. However, I probably re-made these socks at least 10 times. I COULD NOT get fit. I finally got it but I actually had to not re-use some of the yarn as I had worn it out from frogging and re-knitting! Here is what I did (I have a narrow foot so that didn't help, but I understand other people have had trouble with fit as well).
With US1.5 32" circular needle, cast on 24 (don't like pointy toe), after setup round, KFB, knit till 2 stitches left, KFB, K, repeat for 2nd half of round, K next round then repeat theses 2 rounds till 62 stitches (last round KFB at beginning of round only). This puts only 1 stitch between increases rather than the traditional 2 and it lays flatter on the sides of the toes. Use 32 stitches on 1st half of round for pattern stitch and 30 on sole side. After 7 repeats of pattern, begin Fleegle heel, restart row 1 of pattern on front of sock after finishing heel with 64 stitches total. Begin this pattern repeat with increase to US2 32" circular and finish pattern repeat only on front of sock, then switch to pattern repeat in front and back of leg of sock. I did 6 repeats of pattern then switch back to US1.5 32" circlulars and knit 10 rounds of twisted rib patten and bound off using a modified Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bindoff.
It turns out that that with all the re-knitting to get fit to go over the heel, etc. I got them about 1/2 inch too long in the foot for my DD, so I guess they have to be mine! I picked up this beautiful colorway of Regia 4-ply (75 SW Wool/25 Nylon) Garden Effects by Kristin Nicholas in the Blue Thyme 3304 Colorway in Albuquerque at Village Wools on a business trip- it has more purple than blue though. I loved knitting with this and love the socks as well, so much that I have cast-on with another sock yarn using this adapted pattern!
I'll finish up with some pictures of my Halloween Luminarias from last year...