Sunday, 30 December 2007

Knitting The Christmas Bunny

Knitting the Christmas Bunny is not a good idea if you wait until the middle of December to start it! Bunny is based on the pattern for Elijah, and pictures of Pink Rabbit by Ysolda on Ravelry, with a few changes to the original pattern, but knitted up in the same way. I had to knit the head three times before I managed to work out the double central decrease for the face. This knitting malarky has a very steep learning curve!

Bunny is a Christmas Bunny because she was knitted for Mum as a present (and took a lot longer than the mug cosy for dad!), and hence the stress trying to get her finished in time. She was finished, in the (very) end, and Mum was delighted, and has since named her Lopsy, which I am not convinced about.

The pattern is not diffcult, and is very clearly described in the original Elephant pattern. The tricky bits for me were knitting the first few rounds of the arms close to the body when the already-stuffed bits got in the way, and some of the K2togs where my tension was too tight. The needles suffered a critical casualty with only an ear and a half to go, and so she was finished with one needle smaller than the others - because this is rotated, I don't think you'd ever tell - it was either that or wait unitl after Christmas when I could buy a new set!

The finished article:

The changes I made in the pattern were:
  • To omit the trunk, and use three central decreases every other row to form the face.
  • To knit the legs longer and thinner, and to omit the purl row that gave the Elephant flat feet.
  • To add some short rows in the arms so that they curve slightly forwards and downwards from the shoulders, and to omit the purl row for the paws.
  • To make the ears much longer and wider and rabbity, and pick up the stitches on four needles in a 'V' shape to give them some shaping as in The Pink Rabbit pictures. The ears get 2 stitches wider every 10 rows, and are finshed by symmetrical decreases on every row until 6 stitches remain, which are finally grafted together.
And I was very pleased with the result:

And Bunny got on very well with Elephant of course; they are made of the same stuff!

Oh, and Dad like his cosy too!

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas too, and a very Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Elephant Adventures

I am mightily relieved. After three weeks of terrible weather, frequent drenchings and gales that have kept the storm door permanently in action, I awoke this morning to glorious sunshine. The cabin fever has lifted. And Elephant came out with me to see the world...

Elephant woke up to see that the big grey door was finally open, and she ran out onto the balcony to see what the world was doing. Suddenly all seemed sunny and peaceful, and she spent some time watching the boats going by, which seemed like a very fine thing for boats to be doing, and she wondered if she could join them.

After watching for a while she thought she'd got the hang of it, and set off to commandeer her own vessel and take it out for a spin. Or a swell. Or a sail. Or whatever the word was, she hadn't quite got the hang of the terminology yet. Or actually, of seamanship generally, and it wasn't long before she was in trouble. The waves were much bigger close up than she had thought they would be from the safety of the balcony. And it wasn't long before she found she had to grab the life buoy and make a break back to shore.

Where, exhausted she pulled herself up the beach to safety.

Safe at last she rested for while, pondering exactly where she was and how to get home again. She found herself surrounded by all sorts of other things that had washed up in the storms, and set about seeing who and what was around to help her.

At one point, thinking she might find help from some local lobsters, she found herself stuck in one of their houses, and finding noone at home, had to haul herself back out on her own.

Eventually she found herself in some kind of beach garden, and she came across the strange creature who lived there. Although the creature looked a bit odd, Elephant had enough courage left to ask the way back home, and was even given an old quill so she could write down some directions. And thus armed she set off again.

She'd not gone far when, happily, she came across a friendly giant who understood straight away where Elephant was trying to get to, and could see that she'd had a terrible ordeal and needed a hand. Elephant found herself swept up and carried away. She gratefully curled up inside the giant's coat and drifted off to sleep.

When she finally awoke, feeling a lot better, she looked around and discovered that she'd been taken all the way home, and eagerly tucked into a huge bowl of soup, happy to have had her first great adventure.

Quite a big adventure for such a little Elephant I'd say. And not in time for Ysolda's competition sadly, but so nice to finally be out being silly in the sunshine again. I hope someone out there gets some pleasure out of the resulting photos too!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The Mug Cosy

I finished it, and it's worked out OK. The base was a bit haphazard, but flat enough to keep the mug upright, and it does indeed fit all of our mugs! I just hope it'll fit Dad's too....

No more blogging today; must get wrapping.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Knitting Under Siege

I'm still under siege from the storm today; the sea and sky are angry, and Dog made a dash back home after the shortest possible walk. So of course, there has been much more tea, and a chance for crafty things. I was going to take Elephant out for an adventure. (More on the elephantine adventures that are going on all over the place at the moment at their source; Ysolda.) But even she doesn't want to go outside today, and has been getting into knitting instead. And erm yes, Elephant turned out to be a she when I'd finished her - she hopes that Elijah won't take any offence from the inference from his pattern!

The project in question came about as a result of some desperate thinking about what I could knit Dad for Christmas. He's probably got enought scarves and woolly hats without me adding to the pile, and frankly I didn't think I'd have time to make any socks. Although I usually seem to find myself with ideas rather above my ability, this time I have learned my lesson from previous frustrations (I am not a stranger to throwing the thing across the room!), and decided not to knit sock to a time limit. Instead I have plumped for the tea-related option. Not being one for the tea pot, (Dad is a mug man, often whisking it away, tea-full, to the chilly workshop), I thought instead of the MugCosy. I'm not sure if such things already exist; I'm sure they must do, at least for everyone who doesn't have a vacuum-flasky mug on standby. But anyway, what a good way to use up some of the random yarn heap that's occupying a sizeable corner of the spare room. I'm making it up as I go along, and this is what it looks like so far, and I've even managed my first ever buttonhole, and yarn over, of which I am (not so secretly now I'm telling you) quite proud! Oh maybe that's not strictly true, there was a YO in the cast-on for Elephant, but although I did get that to work after a few tries, I'm not entirely sure how I managed it, or even if it was true to the pattern.

I'm knitting it as a flat piece, and intending to sew it together at the end, leaving a hole, but including a flap with buttonhole so that it can be connected again through the middle of the handle. I'm also knitting the main piece in 2x2 ribbing so that it should be stretchy enough for several mug sizes, or at least it should fit all the ones I can find in my cupboard! I also want to give it a base for extra cosiness, and so to the next quandry to fathom.... I'll have to let you know how it turns out. I might need lots more tea.

And more chocolate spread - a very sad sight the empty jar was this morning. Half a slice only; I had to make it up with marmalade. Chocolate orange anyone?

Tea by the Sea

Okay, and so for my first proper post. It's definitely been a day for tea, but being by the sea has not exactly been relaxing. It has pretty much been like this all day, with constant gales and occasional hail to go with it.

Although this morning we were treated to just enough sunshine for a rainbow, and I managed to get the dog out for a walk withouth getting too soggy. And of course, there's been plenty of tea, and comfort food.

Cheese and onion on toast, and organic pork and garlic sausages. And what could be better for my first post than food and the weather!