Sooooo, I have TWO things to show you this week because I'm that awesome!
|Bergen Street Tuque (project page)|
Pattern: Bergen Street Tuque by Caryl Pierre
Time Frame: started December 12, 2012; finished December 19, 2012
Yarn: Cascade 220 in 7807 Regal (kind of a royal purple - the photos don't do it justice)
Needles: US #7 (4.5mm) and US #8 (5mm)
Size: M/L (see modifications)
Modifications: I CO for the M/L size on smaller needles in hopes that my gauge would work out because I was too lazy to search out the size needles called for. Also, it turned out to be a beanie rather than a slouch, which I'm perfectly fine with.
Thoughts: I think that if I make this again (and I might), I'm going to make the brim more of a standard length, keep the smaller needles with the M/L size and have it be a standard beanie. I do have a couple reservations about the pattern. There are some nuances about the pattern that aren't explained very well and they all have to do with the decreases and crown shaping. This is not a pattern for beginners or even advanced beginners. You have to be able to read your knitting and think about what you're doing well in advance of actually doing it. I've been knitting for four years and I had difficulty with it. The crown decreases are in the seed stitch section and you have to know what you did on the round previous (hence being able to read your knitting) in order to know how to continue the decrease section. But, it's not just that. You have to look ahead in the pattern to the crown shaping for a very specific direction about how the crown shaping looks best...and then you have to do some math. You have to know how many stitches are in your seed stitch sections, how many rows it's going to take to decrease those sections down to one stitch, and then you have to coincide those numbers with the length you want while making sure that you're within two or three rows beyond the cable row when you get to the crown shaping. In short, if you're making the M/L size hat, you want to start your crown decreases on the cable row (so you do the cable and start decreasing in the same row). That way, when you get to the crown shaping, you're just beyond the cable row and the hat doesn't look goofy. Do not misunderstand me: this is a fabulous hat and the results are lovely. If I could figure out a better way to explain how to do the decreases and crown shaping, I would let the designer know. Enough people have made it and left notes on their project pages that I think anyone that would want to make it could probably ask for help if/when they get stuck.
|Little Man's Giraffe (project page)|
Time Frame: started May 11, 2011; finished December 21, 2012
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Citron (light green) and Christmas Green (dark green)
Needles: US #6 (4mm)
Size: Pattern specifications
Modifications: I had a lot of difficulty with the poms that you're supposed to use on top of the horns, at the end of the tail, and for the mane. I rigged up some small balls for the horns and tail using the contrast color (Christmas Green) and for the mane, I used a tutorial by Susan Anderson for a Twisted Loop Stitch that is for a completely different toy. Her original tutorial is for a toy knitted in the round but I changed it to being worked flat across 7 stitches. I CO 7 stitches and on the RS rows, I did the twisted loop while I purled across on the WS rows. I then stitched it onto the toy where the mane would go.
Thoughts: Susan Anderson's toys are fabulous and I can't say enough good things about them! I don't know that I will ever make this particular toy again but I do love how it turned out. I hope that Little Man treats him well (I may put him up high until he's old enough to understand all the work I put into it). He's been loving on him for months now, ever since I attached the head and legs to the body. He was also fascinated with the mane while I was knitting it. The only things I would change if I were to make it again would be to add the poly pellets (in a nylon) to the body to give it some weight and to knit the balls for the horns and tail as part of the piece instead of knitting them separately and attaching them. Because it's such a large toy, it's a good "first" toy, though it may take awhile to make. Also, for crocheters, the Crochet Loop Stitch may work well for the mane.
I hope you've enjoyed my last two FOs of 2012 :) I hope you'll be back for 2013! Oh, and for more FO Friday fun, visit Tami (I'm sure she's got something up today!).