Monday, January 9, 2012

Clancy's Hershey Kiss

So coffee mitt did NOT turn out as planned, need to fiddle and redo it (ugh, still not enthused) but in the meantime, I have a cute little cat toy for you! My mil's cat likes to steal Kisses because of the shiny wrappers which irritates her chocoholic mother to no end. So she asked if I could make him a toy to distract him. I owed the poor guy new toy mice seeing as his were (very) ratty and I hadn't gotten around to digging out supplies yet, I figured I'd do this. Ravelry search turned up nada for knitters. I could have glitched my way through a crochet pattern but what about my fellow chicks with sticks? Those who can't or won't crochet? Not happening, says I. Remember, the patterns offered on this blog are free to gift, keep, or charity donate but please don't sell them. If you aren't friendly with the needles, I will be making more and selling them on Chivalry Isn't Dead. It turns out to be about 4" high with about a 3" base and looks like a garlic knob but you know what? who cares!

You will need:

  • Size 5 dpn (set of 4)
  • Stuffing
  • Caron Christmas Glitter yarn (worsted) - since been discontinued but there are plenty of glitter yarns out there. Can't find on you like? Check out embroidery floss, they have shiny kinds, and hold both the floss and yarn of your choice together throughout. Aiming to test it with Moonlight Mohair too, I'll let you know how that works.
  • Small amounts of novelty yarn in white (I used Lion Brand Fun Fur) if you're making it as a cat toy. For a person you can stitch on a bit of ribbon, a strip of felt, or just crochet/knit a chain/icord
  • darning needle
  • stitch marker (yes that thing that keeps getting in the way)
Assembled your gear? Here's what you need to know how to do:

  • kfb -increasing by knitting into the front and back of your stitch (i specify because some patterns dont and you're left to wonder if its this sort or a m1 increase)
  • how to use dpn
  • k2tog decrease
Got all that? Let's get started!

Instructions are written for each needle, repeat the row on each needle (easier to keep track)

Cast on 3 stitches, divide on your needles (1 on each, yes its tricky but hold on) and join.
Rnd 1: kfb,
Rnd 2: kfb, k1
Rnd 3: kfb, k1, kfb
Rnd 4: kfb, k4
Rnd 5: kfb, k2, kfb, k2
Rnd 6: kfb, k3
Rnd 7: kfb, k4
Rnd 8: kfb, k5
Rnd 9. kfb, k6 - 16 stitches on each needle

Hard part is over! It does get a little squishy with all those increase, this is what it looks like spread out over extra needles:

Pretty right?

Now you get to work even for 4 rnds (takes the stress off those increases)

Dec rnds:

Rnd 1: k 6, k2tog
Rnds 2 and 3: k
Rnd 4: k 5, k2tog
Rnds 5 and 6: k

See where this is going?

When your opening starts looking small enough to keep stuffing in, start poking it in. Otherwise you'll be at the end and need to use a needle to jab it in (like I did). You can always add more as you decrease but having the bulk of it in there first makes it easier.
Keep working till you reach 3 stitches left, one on each needle (yes, again, but its easier this time, promise)
Work one round on those three stitches (I knitted one, stabbed the needle into the kiss to hold it, then went to the next needle. Told you it was easier)
Cut yarn, draw through your stitches (where that darning needle comes in handy) and fasten off. With a little scrunching and shaping, you have a garlic knob! Er, I mean kiss!

Now if you want it to be for your furry overlord (if you are a cat owner, you know), run a length of novelty yarn through the top and knot it tightly. You can either braid it with the remaining tail or do what I did and leave it loose. I confess, I tucked my end in before I thought of that but you can learn from my blunder. Otherwise, you can attach your ribbon or whatnot or just leave it plain. Give it to your kitty and watch him ignore it. Leave it plain and give it to your diehard Twilight lover as sparkly vampire repellent.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Project: Lag

Working on a coffee mug cozy (there are at least 11 pages on Ravelry and those are just the knit ones but bear with me) and I finally got one that is working. Problem? I'm becoming unenthusiastic about my own design. Awful isn't it? It's turning out, a few minor tweaks, but it's just becoming a chore to finish it before posting (you'd like a picture to go with it wouldn't you?). Maybe it's a case of the winter blahs. It's being made in the yarn that was closest to me when I started brainstorming which is a cream shade so that might be my problem. I want to make a plain one I can add motifs to as well but that will have to be knit bottom up (which is a bit intimidating). Those I can sell on etsy (don't know the shop? Chivalry Isn't Dead please look us up!) But I can at least remedy a problem that bothered me with quite a few of the other patterns. I get coffee mugs come in lots of shapes and sizes, but when I was repeatedly told "average size mug" I got a bit frustrated. I measured 3 average mugs, 2 were 10" one was 11" and thats not including the skinnier ones or the novelty shapes. There was one that featured 3 button holes for tapered mugs but it left that extra bit hanging if you didnt the extra room. And I wanted it more for a handled mug than a to-go cup. I still might test it for my oddly shaped owl mug (perfect for that mocha nom fix). Some were just odd, I don't need a fuzzy bunny shaped one, nor do I need a Twilight themed on (my feelings on glittery blood suckers aside here). So, in the end I decided to make one and add instructions for all 3 sizes (I measured a few other mugs and found a few 9" ones lurking). This still doesn't help my current predicament, design blahs. I keep getting in a few more rows between facebook games and blog sentences but it needs to be going a bit more before I can even jury rig it to a mug for photo ops. So maybe I should post so I can get knitting? Yeah I don't believe me either. My sluggishness aside, the mitt isnt a hard or bad knit, I'm just getting into a lull. Post as soon as I'm finished!

New Year, New Post

Yes, late, but it's the thought that counts right? I stayed at home on New Years (not for lack of trying) but in hindsight I'm glad I did. New Years tends to be a drunken fools game, and I for one am not a fan of hoards of sloshed idiots. But what really gets me are the resolutions. Theres always someone asking what yours is (and if any of you have, I'm not offended, just amused. you'll see why). People create all these inflated dreams and hopes for the new year and some set insanely high goals for themselves. Some are great, quitting smoking, getting in shape, keeping in touch with family. Most will break those in the first few weeks in January. Others, silly goals like having a partner by the end of the year, married in June, learn to sky dive. All things that shouldn't have a time limit. What makes me smile is that these people insist on doing it January 1st. It would work just as well March 7th or October 20th. If you really want to start fresh, then do it. Just don't do it because of the resolution hype. If you make it, all the more power for you. If not, don't be hard on yourself maybe it wasn't an attainable goal (like growing the longest eyebrows evah). I'm just hoping to finish some of those U.F.O.'s lurking around here..if I can find them all.