knitting a minion

The minion is done! The minion is done! Actually, he's been 99% finished since last Tuesday. I was a little burnt out from my late night knitting to keep this guy a surprise until we saw Despicable Me 2, and wasn't able to bring myself to knit the last detail (the strap for his eye goggle) until last night. I was pretty tempted to leave this detail off, but I am so glad I finished it. It looks so much more "done" with the strap!

I am so glad I chose this pattern. Compared to others I've seen, this is a much more substantial toy in terms of size. The body is 13 inches long (not including the legs) and 12 inches wide, making it pretty much a nice, huggable toy. My daughter's reaction? "It's so fluffy!" Good one, huh? 

Pattern: Bruce and Norm, the Despicable Minions (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted, two skeins of Creme Brulee, one skein Black, one skein Celestial, tiny amounts of Hawk (the gray), Peony (the tongue) and White (eye and teeth).
Needles: Size 6 circulars and dpn's
Modifications: skipped the "G" pocket for now, as it seemed like something that would get ripped off in the wear and tear this little guy will get from my kiddos. Other than that, none!

My favorite detail? The hands! I love the rolled cuff detail (surprisingly easy!). And the eye is pretty awesome, too. As you can see in the picture above, once it is stuffed it is pretty 3-D! Ha!

And my Montague Lace Bulky Vest? Getting closer! This is where I'm at on my right front side. I've finished the left front side and back, so the end is in sight! It really is a fast knit, I'm just not devoting consistent attention to it. I've been distracted by my cat quilt and catching up on scrapbooking. Too many crafts, too little time ...

making minions & lace

Starting the duplicate stitch to make the bib of the overalls on my minion, and it's going better than I feared! It reminds me of cross-stitch (without the cross) so it's been pretty fun, actually. I would soo be done with this project already if I weren't attempting to keep it a secret from its recipient ... hmm... 

And the back is finished on my montague bulky lace vest! Woot! Woot! I've cast on for the left front piece next!

more swap love

Got a surprise package yesterday, and it's my yarn lover's swap! Oh, this was a fun one. Who doesn't like getting new yarn? And who doesn't like shopping for yarn? And with no requirements (or expectations) to send a handmade, this didn't require much crafting energy either. I mailed my package early, as it had to head far far west to New Zealand (and arrived there in 8 days!?! crazy!). And this weekend I was happily surprised to open the mailbox and find mine! So much yarny goodness! You are looking at two skeins of Malabrigo Mecha in the Archangel colorway (destined to become a chunky cowl for moi), a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy in the Some Summer Sky colorway (I've been itching to try this brand for years now!), and finally some yarn hand dyed by my swap partner, Laurel McWilliams (aka SpinningFates). The prettiest and softest pink sock yarn ever!

But that wasn't all ... slipped in amongst the yarn were the cutest stitch markers ever. LOVE!

P.S. I'm sure you already think I've jumped off the deep end with all this swap craziness, but this will be my last one for awhile. I've got some selfish knitting to attend to, and Christmas is knocking on the door ...

swap love

You saw the tardis mitts that were just part of the package I sent my swap partner ... now look at all the goodies I was lucky enough to receive! Can you guess the theme of this swap was? Office supplies! LOL. New pens, dry erase markers, paper clips galore ... I am sooo stocked up now and I love it!

 My favorite office supply, this hilarious stamp ...

Some yummy Malabrigo! This is the Frank Ochre colorway.

And the best part of it all, this amazing chevron cowl. Love this happy rainbow! And my favorite, garter stitch! Here's the link to the pattern, it's another freebie.

hippos and elephants

I used the rainy day we're having today to finally finish up the squares that are my contribution to a friend's baby blanket! These are both Elaine Fitzpatrick patterns (Ravelry link), which are fantastic if you like animal themed washcloths (or blanket squares!). And 99% of her patterns are free, too. 

Needle: Knit Picks Harmony Interchangeables, size 4
Yarn: Knit Picks Dishie (my first time using this yarn, and I'm a fan! It is soft, and just feels nicer somehow than the Peaches 'n Cream or Hobby Lobby I Love this Cotton that I normally use). Both squares used about 1/3 of the skein (190 yards!). So I think I could totally make a third square with what's leftover.
Modifications: These squares needed to be 8" x 8" so I ended up tweaking the overall stitch count of the patterns, dropping down to 35 stitches for each square. I also did six rows of seed stitch at the bottom, but only five rows on the top.

Personally, I like the hippo better ... the pattern is easier to see because it is more simple. But they are both cute!

growing, growing

Progress to report since last week! Slow and steady on the montague bulky lace vest ... the minion, on the other hand is almost done! Just need to finish the second arm/hand, knit the eyes and then on to the duplicate stitch!

month #6: love your library challenge

I'm getting back on the love your library challenge wagon, folks. It's okay if you fell off too. June was much more successful than April and May ... I made my first hitchhiker, a pattern I'd had plans to make for quite some time now (since last Christmas, if memory serves me correctly!) and my mock cable wristers, my third pattern knit from the book 60 Quick Knits. That is an official record for me. Three patterns from one book? It started with the lion scarf, then the bobbles and cables cap, and now the wristers. Pretty crazy, huh? May your July be successful!

a mid-year review

I didn't mention it back in January, but when I posted that year-end-review/new-years-resolutions it struck me that I might be more successful in achieving all my goals for the year if I actually looked at them some point before December 31st ... ahem .... and since we've officially finished half of 2013 (already?!?!) this is as good of time as any to check my progress!

My 2013 crafting resolutions:
  •  Goal #1: Learn a new knitting technique (I'm thinking brioche stitch, or mosaic knitting!). Status: success! I learned how to make bobbles for the bobbles and cables cap back in February. And the success of the tardis mitts has got me itching to play with color this month ... I have plans for some two-color brioche cowls and playing with mosaic knitting in the works. So this goal will definitely be exceeded by the end of the year.
  •  Goal #2: Try dyeing yarn (I have undyed wool, I have the dyes, I have a pot ready to designate as my "dye pot" ... I just need to do it!). Status: success! I played with easter egg dyes and food coloring back in March, so technically this goal has been achieved. It was so much fun I'd love to set aside time to play with dyes some more, though!
  •  Goal #3: Finish at least one sweater in 2013.Status: needs work. I have one cardigan that just needs a hem, sleeves, and button bands--definitely do-able by the end of the year! I just need to force myself to just do it.
  •  Goal #4: Make one project a month out of my current library of craft books, magazines, and knitting patterns. Status: mixed performance. January? Yup. February? Yup. March? Yup. April? May? Nada. June? Yup. Getting back on track with this one. If nothing else, it has been eye-opening to realize which books I use over and over, and which patterns I already have in my library that I keep forgetting about but really do want to make ... eventually. :-D

How has 2013 been progressing for you?

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...