Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, from Tiny Ghost and Tiny Bat!

I crocheted them using the Distinctly Batty pattern by Karissa Cole (she of the Skittles amigurumi pattern), and added some modifications of my own. The pattern calls for felt wings and ears for the bat, but my attempts at cutting and attaching symmetrical pieces of felt usually end in sorrow, so I improvised them in crochet. The ghost uses the same head and body as the bat, but I gave him to have a slightly flared base (because he is wearing his ghostly robe, of course), and used the bat's feet pattern to give the ghost his little hands. If you're interested, I explained my modifications in slightly more detail on my Ravelry project page.

I say this frequently, but they are quite possibly the cutest things I've ever made.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Little pilgrim booties

Once upon a time, a coworker who was moving apartments kindly donated some of her yarn stash. She gave me a ball of super-soft Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, and suggested that I could crochet a little critter out of it, but to me it was too nice to become just another amigurumi. So it sat and waited, and I fussed occasionally about what to do with it.

Several years later, another coworker from the same job announced that she was pregnant. I don't work there anymore, but it's a baby that belongs to a friend so of course, I wanted to knit for it! And finally, that Baby Cashmerino found its destiny.

This baby's mother is a scholar who studies pilgrimage, and who went on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route the summer that she was pregnant. She was pretty pleased to have such a well-traveled pilgrim baby before she was even born, so I wanted to make her a fitting welcome-to-the-world gift. Footwear seems like the appropriate thing for a tiny globe-trotter, and the symbol of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage is the scallop shell.

I combined Petits chaussons gris, a free pattern for baby booties (available in English), with these free instructions for knitting tiny scallop appliques. The booties are knit in the Baby Cashmerino with accents in Cascade 220 Superwash Sport, and the smaller of the scallop applique patterns turned out to be the perfect size. These booties are wonderfully soft and cute, and I hope that Pilgrim Baby (and Pilgrim Mama) like them.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Calligraphy shawl

My boyfriend's mom is a talented pottery artist. We're lucky to have quite a few of her pieces for everyday use and for special occasions, and some just for decoration. I thought it was time that I make something pretty for her, so I knitted this shawl as a birthday present.

The pattern is French Cancan by Mademoiselle C, available to purchase through Ravelry. I knit it in madelinetosh Tosh DK (wonderful wonderful yarn), in the Calligraphy colorway. Although the pattern recommends a silk/merino blend for added drape, I think the superwash merino makes a great fabric and has excellent stitch definition.

This pattern was so much fun to knit. It combines some of my favorite design elements - lacey mesh and braided cables - in a unique but balanced and beautiful way. I think it's eye-catching but not over-stated, especially in a nice neutral. I won't say that it lives up to its recipient's handiwork, but I'm very pleased with it!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Tiny cat! Tiny cat!

One Sunday at work (in between my other responsibilities, of course!) I got out Anna Hrachovec's Tiny Cat kit and, ta-da, then there was a tiny orange cat! He stayed at the yarn store for a few days to meet my coworkers, and then he came home with me.

Where he met Juniper. And realized what a very, very tiny cat he is.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WIP Wednesday: My first sweater :O

I'm finally working on my first me-sized sweater! After all my angst and worries, it has so far been... very uneventful (not that I've gotten that far, as you can see). I made and washed my gauge swatch, so I'm reasonably sure that I'm producing something that will more-or-less fit me, which is about the highest I'm aiming for my first attempt.

The pattern is Laura Aylor's Serra. Although the construction is a little unusual, her instructions are very clear, and everything seems to be working out so far. I'm knitting it in Berroco Vintage - a nice yarn to work with, but inexpensive, so that I'm not sinking a major investment into my first sweater.

All of this is an exercise in serenely accepting the truth that my first attempt at anything new will never be my best attempt, as much as that fact annoys me.