My Owl is so Sleepy

I made this little dude for my MIL’s birthday. She’s all crafty and awesome and likes owls a bunch. He’s from the Snoozing Ned pattern, heavily modified.

For instance, I didn’t want to fool around with tiny gauge and pieces of felt, so I used green Bernat Softee Chunky held together with some purple sport weight. I thought this would give it a speckled appearance.

I love speckledy things.

On size 8 needles, the pieces were thick enough to not need further reinforcing with felt. I also did the wings and ears in seed stitch so they wouldn’t curl. I was going to make feet but I like him the way he is. He’s kind of big, almost a pillow. And of course, I knitted the beak.

It really didn’t take very long to make… about a day. Even with all the seaming. He’s made on straights, you see. You guys know how I am about the double-pointed goodness. But sometimes you have to make something on straights, it brings you back to the primitive beginnings.

He’s certainly primitive. And slightly abstract. But I quite like him.

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Sunshine beginnings

I thought I’d share a major SCORE I got a couple of years ago– an interchangeable circular needle set I got at an antique store for 5 dolla.

Isn’t the cover retrolicious? It’s from Sears, probably circa 1965-72. (Guesstimation, from looking through the little book that was still with it.)

Inside are needles sized 6-11, with four cables that can be attached to each other with the connector pieces, and four little discs to screw onto the ends of the cables so you can use them as straights. When I got it it also had about 6 or 7 permanent circulars thrown in on top, all pretty small gauge and some of them were the really fancy metal ones that are made in one piece. It’s only a slight pain in the ass to use. Sometimes the needles come unscrewed, and while I’ve never had them completely come off on me, it does suck that the stitches can get trapped in the crack between needle and cable. I persevere with it so I don’t have to run out and buy yet another needle set for yet another 7 to 12 dollars.

Last night I scrounged around and came up with 9 bucks, which I then took to Wal-mart. (Wal-mart = EWW, but it’s all we’ve got in this town, like so many other dying towns.) I stood there for about 15 minutes staring at the Caron Simply Soft. They didn’t have a green I wanted– it was either a lime, sage(which was more like mint), or dark green. A lot of the colors only had one or two skeins in the bins. I very nearly picked grey. But I settled on Iris– a very insane, bright but at the same time deep, blue violet.

And then, I proceeded to cast on as soon as I tore through the door with the materials. (This is my beginnings of Sunshine.)

I wasn’t sure why I picked this color until I left the icky walls of Wal-mart. Then, I realized that it stirred a deep memory in me. I was at the Opryland Hotel. If you’ve never been there, it’s effing huge, with all these exotic gardens covering acres inside. I was walking along, when I caught sight of a flower in the corner of my eye, some sort of orchid I think. Anyway, I don’t really know, because when I looked at it, the blue-violetness of it was so intense that I felt a thrumming vibration in my ears and very nearly fell on my ass. I believe I screamed. I thought I would die.

That’s what this color reminds me of. And my camera was quite freaked by it, as you can see in this detail:

So yeah, those blue speckles? Not really there. That color that looks almost like my Too Teal sweater? Nope, not even close. It’s a very deeply intense blue violet that makes me forget how to stand up when I look at it. I have come to realize how I enjoy wearing colors that are difficult to look at and at the same time are not neon 😀

I’m loving the pattern so far, it’s mind-altering to take a different approach to sweater construction. I started out on straights so I don’t have to whip out the Slight Pains for a few more rows. I read all the instructions first as I haven’t ever tackled a top-down sweater before. I have Amanda’s picture of the sweater all laid out as my desktop wallpaper, so that I can study it to see how it’s made, from across the room even. The yarn was sitting on top of my monitor last night and I could see that the exact yellow she chose and the exact crazy violet I’ve chosen are total contrasts, opposite colors. Perhaps mine is Moonshine?

Ahh, I can now relax. I have a major project in the works.

And a wearable FO for me! Hooray!

This sweater is so cozy, and it matches my monster, Abigail!

(That’s me fidgeting because I can’t stand having my picture taken… “Hurrrryyy up alreadyyyyy!!!”)

Pattern is Lo Tech Sweat by Bonne Marie Burns — the ONLY pattern I have ever purchased online. Yarn is Paton Classic Wool in Too Teal. Yay for Too Teal!!! I love this color loads.

Modifications: I added pockets, but they were different lengths and made the fact that one of the button bands was an inch longer than the other much more obvious. It was seriously wonky. Plus, since I’m kind of busty, it made me have too much fabric around my middle. (If my clothes aren’t super fitted/snug I look about 15 pounds heavier.) I put a zipper in because I’m scared of knitting buttonholes and I love zippers. I used garter stitch both on the button bands and the cuffs. I love garter stitch as a trim– I like things to be rather crude and raw.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with how it turned out. I haven’t blocked it (jeez I never seem to get around to that, EVER) but I’d really like it to be a bit more snug than it is. This poor thing has been needing the last little finishing touch for a few months now. But, it’s Fall now, and I have a cozy woolly hoodie that I love to wear!

An actually wearable FO!

It’s based on Zippy by Berroco, made with Mission Falls 1824 Cotton that I dyed myself. The lacy chevron border is from another pattern I had, from Sirdar, I think. I changed it to be knit in one piece to the armholes– I didn’t want to do front and back panels, it seemed unnecessary. I’ve not yet conquered a top down raglan pattern, although Sunshine is in my queue and on my brain a lot, being so awesome and all. I seriously mean to add a zipper at some point, maybe. The ties are to hold it on the girl for the time being. But I think they work nicely, and really, who believes that I will get around to installing a zipper?!

There are definitely impurities, such as: I haven’t blocked it, the arms are made for a monkey so I have to roll up the sleeves (blocking might help that, but I doubt it), and while the body is the right length for now, it will be too short before long. I think when that happens I may have to confront my dreaded fear of learning to crochet, to make it longer. But it’s comfy, I sent her to school in it today. It came back in one piece, so there’s that.

I’m honestly very happy to have this project done so I can stop thinking about it. Making garments is rewarding but I’m going to have to start jazzing my stuff up because it gets so dull. I’m not sure how well I like knitting with Mission Falls Cotton– it cramps up my hands. The slight nubbiness of it is interesting, it gives it that homespun look which I like. It just doesn’t feed well from the ball to the needles, there is no flow! I seamed the pieces together with it too, which was a bit of a mistake– it kept breaking.

But– all done– it’s comfy and pink and that’s all RoRoBot cares about.