Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yummie yarn

The Icelandic yarn is yummie. I know. I love knitting with it, it's very 'organic' somehow - or I should rather say 'alive'. Especially the plötulopi, or the unspun variety of lopi. On top of all this, the yarn smells like sheep. How much more down to earth can yarn get?

As it turns out, I'm not the only one in this household who loves this yarn. The dog loves it too. But she is sneaky, and pretends she doesn´t care when someone is around, but when no-one is looking she goes and tears it up!

As I mentioned in the last blog post I started knitting Tomten by the great Elisabeth Zimmermann out of plötulopi. I started with the dark brown and Ruby (the dog) got into the cake twice! She did ruin a bunch of yarn, but I still have some left, and I think it will be enough.

Then yesterday morning on a Saturday morning I went back to bed to sleep early in the morning and when I woke up at 10 AM the dog had gotten into the tomten, took it out of the knitting bag and ruined the cable of the knitting needle and torn some of the knitted fabric. Thankfully the knitted fabric is mostly intact and very salvageable. The rest of the cake of plötulopi was ruined however. Thankfully, I have more then enough of this color.

As you can see from the picture above, the fabric is mostly intact. I did unravel few rows to get past a stitched that had been snagged and torn out. There is another snagged stitch in the second part (one dark, one light color) but I´ll have to fix it, it's too far down to unravel.

However, the remainder of the cake of yarn is in pieces. This is how it should look. I can´t use this yarn at all. It is possible to some extent to piece it back together, even if it is in small pieces (8 inches or so), the dog had torn it up so the ends were just shredded, so it´s very discouraging to even try.

As you can see in the photo of the shredded yarn, the dog is so interested in it, I couldn´t even take a picture of it on the floor without the dog coming after it. You can see her paw as she is coming toward it while I try to take a picture.

I´ll have to outsmart her and put the project somewhere she can´t reach it and not forget and leave it out while I'm not looking.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brown Theme

I uploaded pictures for few of my projects, both finished and in progress on Ravelry. I noticed a trend. They are all brown!

When I was in San Francisco last July, I went to a yarn shop in the Mission (or Castro? I´m not sure where one neighborhood ends and the other begins) called Imagiknit. They had this exotic yarn (Japanese) made out of rice paper. How could I resist? I originally planned to make a basket out of it, but found the fabric too flimsy, so I made these coasters instead. I've made 3.5 so far. They are wonderfully variegated brown color and the texture is very special, almost leathery. The pattern starts with 6 sc in a circle and then increases 6 sc every round.

Another brown thing I'm making is a Tomten. Yes, I'm finally making my Tomten :) Oh, the wonderful, wonderful garter stitch. I can just knit and knit and knit back and forth. I can even read articles on the internet and knit at the same time (hint, it helps to use this: Readability (just click on the badge on the right and drag it up to your bookmark toolbar - top of your browser, below the URL).

I'm making the Tomten for K. (age 7) out of unspun Icelandic wool (plötulopi), double stranded. At the bottom there are 6 dark brown garters, followed by 12 garters with one strand dark brown and one strand light brown yarn and the rest will be 2 strands light brown. By the way, these are natural, undyed colors. Yep, actual sheep colors.

The third brown object coming of my needles is a ball band dishcloth.

It's made with a dark brown (Espresso) Lion Cotton background and a light brown (camel?) Peaches n Creme foreground. (Actually, Lion Cotton is Peaches'n'creme! It´s the same yarn. )

I continued to use the dark brown yarn and made a grocery bag dispenser. It's very quick and satisfying project and in the end you have a very utilitarian object. Anyone that has done grocery shopping in the US will come out with multitude of small little grocery bags and no good place to put them ;)

I wonder what other brown objects are in my future? (if any!)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Floppy Fish

It's been a while since I bought the book Amigurumi Two! , which I got at my LYS. I remember that last summer (2009) I got yarn meant for a project from this book. I loved the little amigurumi toys in there and wanted to make bunch of them. Well, I finally made one.

The yarn is Berroco Comfort with 4.00 mm hook, which is totally fake (i.e. made out of Nylon and Acrylic), but it´s soft, so I wanted to try it for toys. It is indeed soft, and maybe even too soft. The fins are a little floppy for my taste, and hence the title of the post 'Floppy Fish'. But I stuffed him very tightly so the body of the fish is not fluffy.

Now I want to make the little fish out of Cascade 220 and see what difference that will make. Then I can decide for future toy projects (whether or not from this book) what to use.

Here are some picture of the kids and the dog playing with the floppy fish. They like him and at the end of the day, that's what matters most.