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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This little beauty was knit in the space of less than 24 hours and is already packed and ready to take to the hospital with us. The thought of the trip to the hospital is filling me with dread but kind of inevitable. Well not kind of, it is inevitable. There’s no getting out of getting baby out. I’m keeping myself busy with my needles and hoping nesting kicks in soon.
The pattern: Little Boy Blue Ribbed Hat (can be found through Ravelry)
My adjustments: I used Stylecraft Special DK rather than an Aran weight so increased the stitch count by eight and decreased as suggested by the pattern resulting in 12 stitches at the last round.
Oh my, the end of my Elijah marathon is in sight. I’ve not posted for a while because the stork has been keeping me busy by dropping off squishy babies all over Middle England which has meant no time for blogging in my busy knitting schedule. Just two more to go and then I can get on with knitting for my own stork delivery that is due in October! Yes, the stork really is working overtime and has chosen to grace Cosmo Castle with a new addition.
Elijah looks a little odd at this stage of his development. This Elijah is for Baby Button who is due to make his/her appearance into the world in May. He has grown his legs over the last week but the jungle is really still taking priority at the moment, with me waging a war on Spanish bluebells and crocuses that have escaped the crocus field into the borders. Now that they pretty little crocus flowers have faded, I don’t feel so bad about doing it but how could I do it when they look like this?
Another instant gratification pattern: Lilacs for Lila. I have cast on and finished this bonnet for Baby Button (Ravelry notes are here) , my friends little miracle baby. It’s taken just a few of hours even at my slow pace. Who knows if Baby Button will be a Martha or an Arthur (we have to wait until May to find that out) but Mummy was hinting that if Baby B is a girl, she’ll need some hats in pink so ta-dah, one pink hat.
P.S. I solved the mystery of the missing needle … it was discovered neatly tucked behind the hair bobble holding my ponytail!
The baby kimono is off the needles and waiting for seaming. I say this with mixed emotions. Amazing; I’ve finished a baby cardigan. Frustrating; there are pesky knit stitches where there should be stockinette the countless times I’ve ripped it back to fix mistakes.
This was my first garment other than hats and scarves (of which I could have clothed an army in) and also my new year ‘knit mindlessly’ project. Big mistake, not on the first garment or pattern front but on a knitting mindlessly perspective. It is like the pattern was saying to me ‘don’t think of me as mindless or I’ll bite you on the bum’ and it has done just that.
Time to turn this into a positive. I might not gift this to a baby because of the mistake I will use this as a piece to practice new seaming techniques on and I will try blocking it (I still haven’t blocked the Hermione Hearts Ron hat) coming up.
2015 is going to have to be a big year if it is to live up to 2014. There are reasons 2014 has been terrible but there are so many things that have made it amazing with the highlight being getting married then taking a whole month of work to honeymoon in the Carribean. This is the past and I now look to the future.
I enter 2015 with two WIPs on the knitting needles, a small injury that means I’ve got to take a week off when I had all intentions of getting one off the needles. I don’t usually make resolutions at this time of year but my mind is so full of ideas for new projects that I probably need to take a step back and think about what I will choose other wise I might not ever finish anything. I am resolving not to queue anything else until I have finished both WIPs. I have a plan to learn to sew properly; my friend is booking us a class as I type. And finally I will master a standing back flip that I’ve been practicing for two years (the will is probably just positive thinking because gymnastics at 30 something is quite challenging both mentally and physically).
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and happy New Year celebrations.