Sunday, December 29, 2013

Some special stockings

One of the many things I've been busy with the last few months is special orders. The timing has worked out quite nicely. It seemed like just as I was finishing one order, someone else would message me a request. I only had to turn a couple of people down when it got too close to Christmas to finish their items in time.

The last order I was able to finish before Christmas was a custom order for a set of five knit stockings. The customer requested that they be 26 inches long (the ones I had in my shop were about 15 inches) and that the toe and heel be white. I was also able to find some yarn in the perfect red color that she wanted. All simple adjustments that made for a beautiful and unique stocking. (Though I'll probably be making more next year since they turned out so well.)

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get really great pictures. Most of the stuff I make is much smaller than this, so my normal photo equipment wouldn't work. I think that you can still see from the pictures how beautifully they turned out.


hand knit red stocking wool chunky Christmas cream

hand knit red stocking wool chunky Christmas cream


I was very pleased with the final stockings. It was also great to find that perfect red yarn. Last year I found some that was this color, but it was more expensive and not as thick. I'd been thinking about trying to dye some of the cream, but hadn't tried it yet. Even though this red yarn is a different type and brand than the cream, it is so similar that I was able to use them together.

I've already started making some more stockings for next year. I'm excited about some new color and style options that I will have available. I've also got some matching ornaments in the works. It's never too early to start planning for next year, right?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A couple of puppy dogs

When I asked my niece what she wanted for her birthday, she said that she wanted a toy dog like the one her friend had that could walk around on it's own. I replied that it would be pretty hard to make it walk by itself, but I could definitely make her a dog.

After thinking about it for a little bit, I decided I would make some accessories to go with the dog so that she could pretend to take care of it. My favorite part is the food and water dishes. I made the food and water removable so that she can pretend to feed the dog. I also made two different collars and a dog bed.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy

knit dog puppy water food dish toy

knit dog puppy toy

knit dog puppy toy

knit dog puppy water food dish toy
The food and water dishes. 
knit dog puppy water food dish toy
Food and water removed from dishes.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy
The poor puppy is hungry and thirsty.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy
Now she has food.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy
Now she has water.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy
She can eat her food.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy
She can drink her water.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy bed
After she's done eating, she can take a nap in her dog bed.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy
She can even wear a purple collar if she gets tired of her pink one.

knit dog puppy water food dish toy in box
Here's the puppy all packaged up with all of her accessories.

My niece was very happy with her new little friend. Apparently her brother also liked the puppy, because when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas he said that he wanted a dog also. He wanted his to be red. Doing one solid color was a lot easier than the different color patterns I did on the first dog.

knit dog puppy toy red

knit dog puppy toy red

knit dog puppy water food dish toy red

knit dog puppy water food dish toy red

knit dog puppy water food dish toy red

I gave the red puppy a black and a gray collar. I also did different food and water colors than I did for the first one. Partly to try something new, but mostly so that my niece and nephew will be able to tell them apart. I didn't make a dog bed for this one because the first one took a while and I ran out of time. It was also frustrating the first time and didn't turn out quite like I wanted. The next time I make one I will probably have to fiddle with the pattern and redo parts of it. Also something I didn't have time for. To go with the puppy, I also gave my nephew one of my knit footballs. I've made many of them, but somehow hadn't given him one yet.

I hope to edit the puppy dog pattern and put it for sale on Ravelry, but it may be a while.  There are some kinks that I need to work out with the shaping and I've got lots of other stuff higher up on my priority list. It may end up being a summer project.

Friday, December 27, 2013

What a busy fall it's been!

It's been a long time since I've posted! I've been very busy with the start of school, a new house and Christmas. I feel like now is the first chance I've had to breathe since September. Between working, cleaning, painting and unpacking and knitting custom orders and gifts, my time has been full of things that need to get done. There is still a lot to do, but now I've got a couple weeks off from work for winter break and no looming deadlines for orders to be finished. Over the next couple of weeks I will post updates on the projects I've been working on for the last few months.

One major project I had going was finishing my T-Rex pattern. I was hoping to make it a bit simpler, but simplifying it would have changed the shaping too much. I think the shape of the legs in particular really make this pattern unique and are one of my favorite parts about it. 

knit t rex toy tyrannosaurus green orange red

When editing the pattern I made several dinosaurs myself. Another green one, like the original one that I gave my nephew. He still loves it and has to have it at bedtime. :)

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy green


t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy green

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy green

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy green

Orange seemed like another good color for a dinosaur. I did a little research to see what color T-Rexs actually were and couldn't find a good answer. Apparently they can be whatever color you want, especially when you're knitting them! The orange dinosaur is also the only one left in my etsy shop right now. The other two sold rather quickly! I'm sure I'll be making more before next Christmas season.

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy orange
t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy orange
On the orange dinosaur I used felt to make the teeth and sewed it on. I thought it would be nice to add another option to the pattern.

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy orange

Finally, I chose a deep red color. I wanted three different colors for the pictures to go with the pattern and these three looked good together.

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy red maroon

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy red maroon

t rex dinosaur knit tyrannosaurus rex toy red maroon

Because some of the methods I used were a bit challenging to explain, I included in my pattern a few pages of instructions with photos to show how to do them. Even with the pictures, however, some of it may be difficult for a beginner. With this pattern I was a little nervous that parts of it would be too confusing or complicated. I always try to make my patterns as clear as possible so that knitters enjoy the process instead of getting frustrated or having to redo things. I still wanted to make the dinosaur available to other knitters, despite some of the challenges. I think the end result is worth the work and I hope that everyone who knits one is pleased with the result.

Here's one of the photo tutorial pages included in the pattern. 


The T-Rex pattern is now on Ravelry. It does have some more advanced techniques, so I would recommend it for intermediate to advanced knitters. 

That's all for now, but I've got lots to share so I'll be back soon!