FO Friday: Poodle for Hire

Some time ago, I donated a custom-knit dog to a raffle to benefit a friend (sad details here).  The lucky winner was the family of Zacharia the mini poodle.  Everyone say, “Aw, what a cutie!”

This project turned out to be harder than I initially anticipated.  It was hard to find the right fiber to make the poodle’s fur look right.  I ended up with Bernat Pipsqueak … which was WAY WAY to large a yarn.  So, I un-plied it, and knit with individual strands — this took a lot of time, but it gave me the look I was going for. Eventually.

Project: Poodle for Hire

Pattern: Poodle

Designer: Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir

Available: in Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches

Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak and Swish DK

As I have come to expect from the KYOD series, this toy poodle was constructed in multiple flat pieces, then sewn together. I used Swish DK for the toes and face, and the Pipsqueak every else. I ended up modding the ears and tail, but other than that this was knit as-written. Doing the PULT stitch is Pipsqueak was especially exciting.

I’m not completely happy with how the legs came together with the body, but I think Knit Zacharia is recognizably a poodle … so I am satisfied.

FO Friday: Knit Jasper

Please say hi to Knit Jasper!

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Project: Knit Jasper

Pattern: Siberian Husky, highly modified

Designer: Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir

Available: in Knit Your Own Dog

Yarn: Palette

A friend of mine from agility lost her dog Jasper to a sudden accident.  Before he died, she incurred some serious vet bills, and the agility community held some raffles to raise money to help her out. I donated a “custom knit mini dog” for the raffle.  Someone mentioned that they hoped the winner would give the prize to Kathy … so I decided to make her a Jasper up front, so the winner wouldn’t have to give up their prize.  (The winner, by the way, has a mini poodle — look for that project soon!)

It was hard to get started on Knit Jasper, because I wanted so badly for it to be as close to perfect as possible.  This was extra hard, because the original Jasper is not any particular breed — so there wasn’t a pattern in Knit Your Own Dog that was exactly right. Eventually I decided that the Siberian Husky was closest in shape, especially the ears and head.

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I charted out the written pattern for the Husky, and colored in Jasper’s signature tri-color markings. I made the legs and body just a smidge shorter to better match Jasper’s sturdy frame. Slowly he came together … I couldn’t figure out how to put a ruff around his neck without making it look like a lion’s mane, but overall I am satisfied with the doppelganger. After I took photos, I decided to tip the right ear — I soaked it in water, pinched it in a chip clip, and let it dry overnight.  The tipped ear really helps the look!

jasper face

jasper at Kathy

Here’s another pair of knit vs. original photos — it’s important to get rears right too!

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jasper

So long Jasper, happy trails to you.

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Cast-On Monday

This week I added two new projects to my needles.  One is a design project that was accepted for publication through Knit Picks IDP, and the other is a test knit for one of my favorite designers.

The new project of mine is a “practical” shawl — worked mostly in garter stitch with superwash worsted-weight yarn, it should be warm and cozy, and knit up quickly, too.  I’m using the Danish wrap-style shawl as a basis for the shape.  To make it pretty and fun to knit, I’m adding a bit of lace here and there — but not so much as to make it un-practical, or slow down a knitter too much.  Knit Picks granted my every wish when they accepted the pattern, and then gave me Swish Worsted in Blue Violet:

2389 KP Swish Worsted in Blue Violet
I’m lucky enough to be on Kate Oates (of Tot Toppers) test-knitter list.  Periodically she puts  out photos and descriptions of patterns she needs tested, and it is a tribute to her and her designs how quickly the tests fill up!  Lately I’ve been too slow to respond, and have missed out on testing a number of great patterns, but this time I got lucky! If you read Kate’s group on Ravelry, you already know about her knitpon — a chance to pre-order her fall collection for only $33.  Today (Mon 13th) is the absolute last chance to take advantage of this deal — check out the awesome patterns:

See that stripey boy’s sweater in the top row?  That’s the pattern I’m test knitting. I ordered some great Wool of the Andes in the new Tonal colorways,  and I’m already halfway through the body.  It looks great on my youngest boy, who is very into dinosaurs.  Here’s my pretty yarn, in Blue Yonder, Springtime, and Deep Waters.

2385 Dino Sweater Test Knit

Ravelry Monday: Comfort Slippers for Japan, Holes, and Knit Purl Knitting Bag

First Pick: Comfort Slippers for Japan, by Reiko Arato ($2.50)

A sweet little pair of house slippers, using only 50 g of sock yarn — and the designer is donating the proceeds to the Japanese Red Cross.  Here is her message:

I was born and grow up in Sendai, Japan, and have lived in Shanghai, China since last year. My parents live in Sendai. Many friends also live there. For my hometown and Japan which had suffered serious tsunami damage, I had thought what I was able to do from Shanghai. Then, I decided to sell my pattern and to contribute the total amounts I received for Japan to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

I don’t usually buy patterns until I’m ready to start knitting, but in this case I made an exception.

 

Second Pick: Knit Purl Knitting Project Bag, by Nicole Montgomery ($4.99 at TrappingsandTrinkets)

I’m not much of a “bag” person usually, but I really like this one. Simple, stylish, plus a sheep! Who could ask for more.

Third Pick: Holes, by Frankie Brown (FREE! (donation to Children’s Liver Foundation suggested)

The latest pattern from Frankie Brown just plain makes me happy. I love the creative use of garter-stitch short rows to make square donuts that button together. Clever!

Test Knitters Needed: Drop Everything and Kudzu

I’m working on two projects for Classic Elite.  Both will eventually be FREE! to the world via CEY’s daily web-letter. Right now I’m working on the samples, and they are looking good.  I also need a few intrepid test knitters to help me eliminate any errors and clarifying confusing bits.

Dear reader, this is where you come in! One of the projects is quick-and-easy; the other is more involved-and-complex.  If you have time over the next 2-3 weeks to test knit a pattern, please let me know.  I’ll email you a test version of the pattern, you supply the yarn and mad knitting skillz.  You get to keep your finished object, and earn my undying gratitude ;).

Drop Everything Scarf

Quick and fun drop-stitch scarf, using ribbon-style bulky yarn.

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1369 Drop Everything swatch

Flavor text:
Ribbon yarns shine in drop-stitch projects. Katydid’s exceptional softness and drape make this straight-forward drop-stitch scarf something special, and just the thing to accessorize in springtime.

The pattern alternates between large sections of horizontal drop stitches between rows of garter stitch and vertical drop stitches between columns of stockinette.

The easy pattern repeat and big needles means it works up quickly. This project should appeal to experienced knitters and beginners alike.

Sizes: 6″ wide, 5 feet long
Approximate Hours to Complete: 6
Deadline: March 15
Tools needed: US#10 needles (6.0 mm)
Material needed: appx 250 yards of aran yarn, ideally a ribbon-style yarn
Pattern Difficulty: Easy
Pattern Style: written
Testing needs: Check for errors, test for ease of understanding drop-stitch directions

Kudzu Shawlette

This is a leafy lace shawlette, with a pattern that flows from one motif to the next. Intermediate-to-advanced level lace: stitch count varies row to row, and knitter must understand & execute sk2p vs. s2kp correctly.

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1373 Kudzu swatch

Flavor text:
In the southern US Kudzu flows over the land like waves caught in time. I tried to capture the impression of motion in this shawlette. The twisted rib grows leaves that expand to cover a lattice.

This lacy shawlette can be worn over the shoulders with a fancy accent button or shawl pin to hold it in place. It can also be wrapped twice around the neck for a more casual look.

Directions are be provided in both chart and written format.

Sizes: appx 10″ deep and 50″ long
Approximate Hours to Complete: 25-30
Deadline: March 22
Tools needed: US#6 needles (4.0 mm)
Material needed: appx 750 yards of sport or DK yarn, button (if desired)
Pattern Difficulty: Experienced
Pattern Style: fully charted and written
Testing needs: Check for errors, especially in the written directions.