Babynip DPNs

Knitting needles in Cosmo Castle appear to be made of a baby/toddler version of catnip. (I can’t quite get my head round calling Little Prince a toddler and as he’s decided shuffling around on his knees is preferable to toddling on his feet I guess he’s also happy to be my baby for a while longer.) The dpns seem to have a double strength dose of babynip. To make sure Little Prince still has eyes I’ve had to put the Elijah I’m knitting down for a while so I’ve only managed one arm in a week. Long gone are the days when an Elijah would be finished in a week. In a rare turn of luck Little Prince has gone to sleep quickly this evening so another arm is coming up.


In the round short rows with no holes!!!

So my lack of posts relates to my continued need to knit Elijah elephants. The stalk is still working overtime in Middle England. It’s really makes for boring posts so I just haven’t bothered however I’ve come across a new technique that I want to try out. One thing that has left me unsatisfied with my elephants is the little holes in the trunk when I’ve been putting in short rows to add a curve to the trunk (an adjustment I’ve made to the pattern). Because they’re knit in the round using the usual technique you get these slightly annoying holes. While looking for a solution I came across this on YouTube. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Update 31.12.17

So I’ve dropped some short rows into the back of Elijah’s trunk. I’m pretty sure I’ve not quite done this right on all of the turns as it looks a little messy to me. A bit more practice needed I think but it’s a promising start.

If ever you need a reason to buy your patterns…

Little Prince was being christened. Cosmo set about making a christening shawl. The world conspired against Cosmo. Christening shawl didn’t make it to the christening and then it gets worse.

So this is probably my most frustrating project ever. I picked a pattern from the internet for Little Prince’s christening shawl. A free pattern but not because it was free, because it was my favourite (and crochet because of the time pressure).

My first fail was to order the yarn from a web store. I did this because getting to a local yarn store was difficult with Little Prince being tiny. Unfortunately and unusually for a delivery from Wool Warehouse, the yarn took quite a while to arrive and when it did arrive, it was it the colour I ordered. Queue another wait for yarn to arrive and a trip to the post office to return to incorrect yarn.

So the correct yarn arrives. Whoop whoop. Hooks out and on I get with the crochet. Alas the delays were just too long and the shawl didn’t make it to Little Prince’s christening.

The hook went down for a while and having picked it back up and made it to the point of starting the border I logged back on to the internet to find the pattern page has expired. Arghhhhhhhh.  Looks like I’ll be trying to work it out from scratch.

If only I had supported an indi designer and picked and payed for a pattern I could keep.

Back in Action

Yarn work at Cosmo Castle has been on the back burner for a while. Firstly there was the arrival of Little Prince, who is now nearly very nearly at his 6 month birthday (how on earth did that happen) and then there was De Quervain syndrome.  “De Querwhat syndrome?” I hear you ask. I had to ask twice too but I knew I had it, it was really really really painful times.  Basically a tendon injury in the wrist resulting in physiotherapy, being strapped in a wrist brace and a promise not to knit.  The horror, I actually had to promise not to knit.  I might have done a little clandestine crochet but don’t tell my physiotherapist that.  Anyhow I’m back in action, still in a little pain but regaining movement in my wrist and trying to get back to normal. I’ve  got a crochet Christening shawl to finish then the needles are back out.

The Jungle at Cosmo Castle is blooming nicely, the first early potatoes are in, and a hole has been made for Granny’s greenhouse to be erected.  The excitement of the first asparagus spears poking their noses through the soil happened at the weekend. Spring is definitely hear. The crocus season came and went in February (blooming for Big Sister’s birthday this year), so I’ll leave you with some shots of the flowers in the garden today.

Monkey Pattern Review

So as promised, here is my totally unsolicited review of Monkey (boy) by Julie from Little Cotton Rabbits. There can’t be many knitters online who haven’t come across Julie’s super cute creations; the little cotton rabbits are joined  by a whole menagerie of animals from bears, to cats and through to monkeys. The principle is simple with each animal coming in a male and a female pattern, with only the animals shoes and clothing differing.  Each species follows a similar body pattern with changes in the head pattern being the main distinguishing feature. This creates a cohesive brand of patterns that make Julie and her LCR patterns famous.

The whole series of LCR patterns are knit flat and seamed which is a world away from the seamless knit in round Elijah (Ysolda Teige pattern) that is ubiquitously found here at Cosmo Castle.

Now this pattern is by far the longest I have ever come across. [I might be exaggerating just a little but] it gives a Sunday broadsheet a run for it’s money in number of pages. Considering the pattern is for a relatively small softie this initially seems a little excessive but on following the pattern I can see the benefit in much of the wonderful detail Julie includes. Julie even gives guidance on how much of a yarn tail to leave to seam with.  Typically I left extra just in case buy it really wasn’t needed.

For Monkey, there are 12 separate pieces to knit. This means you can achieve something in a short space of time giving you an instant gratification fix very quickly. Something that pleases me greatly.

On the head, there is some slightly oddly placed pearl stitches in the stockinette, that is until you realise they are placement markers for attaching other pieces. Ingenious! They aren’t visible after the ears and muzzle are attached.

Instructions are included for the clothing, with two different methods for the colourwork on the jumper so if you’re not familiar with colourwork you have a choice.

Overall, this pattern is seriously well written. If you don’t mind doing the seaming (which does by the way take forever so do what you can as you go along would be my advice) it is a relatively easy pattern to dabble in a little intarsia and colourwork. If you are a more experienced knitter, the pattern makes a quick and easy softie that is super cute.

All Change at Cosmo Castle

A little while ago I think I remember sharing that I was going to get myself my very own mini me. Well my mini me (or mini Hunky Husband to be more precise) made his grand entrance into the world a week ago and has been busily causing chaos at the Castle while he settles in. The Little Prince that he is is making his mark taking visitors by the gazillion and by filling the Castle with soft toys, blankets and clothes. There’s one very special soft toy that is gracing the crib right now…an Elijah that I didn’t make. Auntie Senior (aka my Big Sis) has been busy speed knitting and here he is…

Anyway, I’m sure you won’t be suprised to hear that I haven’t picked up my needles in a week. This is be rectified today with a little seaming of a Little Cotton Rabbits pattern while my Little Prince is sleeping soundly. I feel a pattern review coming on.

Finished Object: Latte Baby Coat

This is the first of two wee cardies I’ve knit for Baby.  No soft pastel colours here, just dark green.  Everything else we’ve been given has been pale in colour and not surprisingly babyish so I thought something more grown up was called for.

  • The pattern: Latte Baby Coat 
  • The designer: Lisa Chemery
  • The yarn: Stylecraft Special Chunky in Khaki

That’s right, I’ve put the yarn snob in me aside for the practicality of acrylic for this one. Stylecraft Special is such good value and easy to get hold of so why not.  The pattern is great, well written and easy to interpret.  I might have made a minor mistake in the woven basket stitch section but boy is it a nightmare to fix when you do so I’ve left it in and fortunately it’s not really noticeable.  Pay attention, close attention if you take this on when you get to the woven basket stitch if you don’t want to repeat my mistake.