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Finished Object Knitting

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

June 15, 2017
Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The first project of my Summer Knitting List is complete! Meet Elijah! Elijah is made following the pattern by the same name by the great Ysolda Teague! Seriously, she is one of my favorite designers. Everything she makes is so whimsical and elegant. And yes, an elephant can be elegant.

Elijah was made to be a baby warming gift for my new niece, who will be born this summer. I am throwing a baby shower and I couldn’t resist a good pink elephant theme. I can’t help it! Elephants are simultaneously cute and smart and kind, which is what I hope this new baby will be.

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The Pattern

Ysolda’s methods are so clever that I’m always wonderfully surprised at how her patterns turn out. I’m not a very visual thinker, so I don’t always see where she’s going with her instructions. But then, a turn or a flip or something and it all comes together and I’m like, “oooooh, that’s what she was doing!”

Elijah, as a stuffed animal, is a little more complex than your typical hat or shawl, but it’s really more labor intensive than it is difficult. It does feature short rows in the ears, so if those bother you, beware! There’s also a lot of pick up stitches, which I don’t always enjoy. The diagrams on this pattern are very clear however, and let you know exactly what to do. That being said, I think I picked up the stitches for the ears about 6 times, because I didn’t like the angle. That was user error though, not the pattern.

The other thing to note about this pattern is that it does rely on double pointed needles, which are…not my favorite. I ended up switching to circular needles as soon as possible on the arms and legs. This may also have been due to the fact that I could not find a whole set of my DPNs at once…

The finishing on this pattern is where things have the tendency to look wonky. I still may redo my french knot eyes. I’m not super experienced in embroidery, so one of the eyes looks a little funny to me. Also, when stuffing, be careful not to stuff TOO firmly. The head and body can be stuffed pretty tight, but the arms and legs should be looser to flop around, otherwise your elephant won’t be able to sit down!

Pattern Review: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

The Yarn

The yarn I used to this was a heavier weight than what was called for in the pattern (which calls for DK). I used Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash Hand Dyed in my favorite color: Liptstick! Because speckles are a thing right now and I love them. The yarn stood up pretty well to the pattern, but did get a little splitty when using the smaller DPNs. Nothing to cause major issues, though. I just had to slow down and pay attention. I also appreciate that this yarn is superwash, because this is going to be a gift for a baby, and you know it’s going to need a bath at least once in it’s life!

Overall, this was a very satisfactory knit. It was made with a pattern I love, from a designer that I love, using a yarn that I love. Can’t get any better than that! Have you ever knit a toy before? How did your experience go?

Knitting Lifestyle Seasonal

2017 Summer Knitting List

May 25, 2017
2017 Summer Knitting List

I don’t know about you, but summer seems to have an expectant sort of feel to it. Those longer days really make a difference. They make me feel like I can get more accomplished. I’ve been inspired by everyone’s summer reading lists (and have made one of my own), but it also made me think about my summer knitting list. I’m planning to participate in two great knitalongs; one in June and the other in July. These will be my first KALs, so I’m pretty darn excited. I’ve also got a few other projects in the works (you know, because people keep making babies). I’ve got high hopes for this summer, so lets hope I can hang on to my productivity. Without further ado, here is my modestly compiled 2017 Summer Knitting List! 

2017 Summer Knitting List - Elijah

Elijah

Isn’t this the cutest pattern? Ysolda Teague is one of my favorite designers and Elijah is one of my favorite patterns of hers. I’ve knit Elijah a few times before; always as a baby gift. I think it’s perfect. Cute, sturdy, and choking hazard free. Plus, I just love elephants. The only bummer is that it requires the use of double pointed needles. Like really, you can’t use circs. I’ve tried. (I do, however, switch to circular needles whenever possible.) This time, instead of going with the regular greyish-blue that I always use, I’m using a speckled pink! I’m really excited with how it’s turning out. And yes, I do keep singing Pink Elephants of Parade from Dumbo while I’m knitting…

2017 Summer Knitting List - Tegna

Tegna

Doesn’t this sweater just make you want to go take a long walk in nature? The sweater is Tegna, by Caitlin Hunter.  It’s going to be my very first knit along! I’m thinking of a slightly cropped version (not too cropped, I don’t have any high waisted pants..) knit in Quince and Co. Finch in Honey. I’ve always loved that colorway and I have just enough yarn to make it work. It looks like such a cute and versatile top, and I haven’t worked on a sweater in ages, so I’m eager to get started. 

2017 Summer Knitting List - Gully

Gully

I posted about Gully once already, but I am super excited to knit this in July. Brooklyn Tweed is hosting a KAL in July for their new yarn, Vale. I just got mine in the mail and it is scrumptious. Even The Hubs was like, “oooh, soft!”. The yarn seems sturdy and bouncy, but light, so I’m looking forward to working with it. If you’re familiar with Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft or Shelter, Vale seems much more uniform and consistent and not quite as rustic. I think it will produce a beautiful fabric. I chose Gully for this KAL because, as much as I love knitting shawls, I rarely wear them. I’m hoping Gully can get a little bit more use.

2017 Summer Knitting List - Yoda HatBaby Yoda Knit Hat

Alright, this one falls squarely into the “all my friends are having babies” box. I should really just keep a stash of baby knits ready. The Hubs has a friend who just found out he and his wife were expecting and he fully intends to raise a nerd baby. Star Wars, Harry Potter, the works! I thought that this hat would be a cute nod to the interests of the parents, and plus, its just fun! Can you picture a little Yoda baby wearing one of these? You can bet I’ll me making one if The Hubs and I ever have kids.

2017 Summer Knitting List - Del Sol

Del Sol

I’m mentally calling Del Sol my August knit. Let’s be real, June and July are already booked by KALs. That leaves August for this sexy little tank. Del Sol can be made in either a cropped tank or a longer tunic and I cannot for the life of me decide which one I want to do! The tunic looks so chill and laid back, and I can see myself wearing it, but that tank is calling to me! I love the cropped look and could see myself layering it over dresses… I’m torn. What do you think? Which one should I pick?

Wishful Thinking Knit:

2017 Summer Knitting List - Muna Jumper

Muna Jumper

I am in love with this sweater, but I don’t know that I will be able to finish it during the summer. It looks so casual and comfy. It actually looks way cooler than me, so I’ll have to step up my game if I want to wear this one. I actually really love knitting with bulky yarn, so I can see this knit being right up my alley. The only think I don’t love is the ribbing…Not for the appearance, but for my hands. I’m willing to tough it out anyways for a sweater this cool. If this doesn’t get knit during the summer, it may have to be number one of my Fall knitting list. 

So there you have it, my 2017 Summer Knitting List! I’d love to hear what plans you have in the works for the summer. What projects are you itching to start? Anyone else doing any of the knitalongs with me? Let me know and we can be KAL buddies!

 

Featured Finished Object Knitting Lifestyle

Jubilee Cardigan: Pattern Review and FO

April 20, 2017
Jubilee Cardigan: Pattern Review and FO

If today’s blog post were a book chapter it would be titled, “The Jubilee Cardigan: In Which Tori Has No Clue What Size Babies Are.” Seriously. I have a decent reference point on toddlers…maybe. But I have no clue how big an infant is. Can’t figure it out. If you are like literally everyone I know, you will tell me that this could be easily solved by having one of my own. I will politely deflect this comment in some way because nothing scares me more than thinking about my own motherhood. So lay off, people!

Despite not knowing how big babies are and being terrified of having kids, apparently I make a pretty decent aunt. Really. My 3 year old niece told me just this Easter that I was her very favorite Tori. The Hubs asked her if he was her favorite uncle, to which she replied, “No, Tori is.” Clearly, I am succeeding in the Aunt department. Bubbles, candy, and My Little Pony figurines help too.

Since I’m feeling pretty good about this Aunt thing, I am excited to double my aunthood this summer with the addition of another niece. Ya’ll know what this means: baby knits! Oh, I have plans. I have visions of knitting another Elijah elephant; this time in speckled pink yarn, because #specklesaresohotrightnow.  Heck, I have visions of a while pink elephant themed baby shower (It’s gonna be cute!) The first of my baby knits, however, is a pattern I’d been waiting to use for a long time. It’s the Jubilee Cardigan from the 2010 Holiday Gifts Edition of Interweave Knits.

Jubilee Cardigan: Pattern Review and FO

 

Jubilee Cardigan: The Pattern

The Jubilee Cardigan is an easy short sleeve raglan cardigan with a lower lace detail. It fastens at the top with three buttons, while the lower section is left to fall open. It’s super cute and super easy and I think I still managed to mess it up a little. The only tricky part (and the part where I think that I messed up) is remembering where to make the button holes. They’re probably supposed to only stay in the raglan section, but I put the buttonholes wherever. Oh, well.

My only qualm with this pattern (and it may just be me, because see above) is that I think that sizing may be way off. I knit the 6 month size, or at least I thought I did, but I appear to have a cardigan that would fit a 1 year old. Again, my knowledge of baby sizes is very poor, but I’m pretty sure this knits up large.

Jubiless Cardigan: Pattern Review and FO

Jubilee Cardigan: The Yarn

I used Universal Yarn’s Bamboo Pop for this project. It’s 50% cotton and 50% bamboo, which makes for a nice summery (washable) knit. I’m always stumped on yarn for baby projects. I don’t like acrylic because it can melt at high heats. I know wool is the technical good choice, but what mom is going to hand wash baby clothes? Every  mom I know would felt a wool knit in the wash in minutes. Cotton is a good choice too, but I hate knitting with it because it feels like twine.

Bamboo pop ended up being a good choice for this project, but I won’t say it’s my favorite. The bamboo gave it a little bit more stretch and bounce than plain cotton, but it also made it more slippery. I also found it to be fairly splitty, though it doesn’t appear to show many splits in the finished product. It just meant that I needed to concentrate more while knitting. Still, they have a good range of colors and I would use this again for another baby project if needed.

Jubilee Cardigan: Pattern Review and FO

I’m setting this one aside for now to wait for it’s future wearer, but I look forward to working on more baby knits in the future. I’m thinking toys and blankets and maybe a hat or two (but definitely not baby booties, because they are my kryptonite!). Yes, this baby is going to be fully stocked by the time I am done with it.