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Friday, November 9, 2012

Look what Alex woke up to

This is Gort, the gym monster.  He's from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters, by Rebecca Danger.  When I told my boys who designed this guy, they all said
"is that her real name?"
"...her last name is Danger?"
Lets just say they had a great time with that (think stupid pick-up lines, lol).

So, Gort.  I decided to knit him for Alex for Christmas.  I've wanted to knit a monster for a long, long time.  Check my Ravelry que and see for yourself.  There are tons of them in there.  But for some reason I just never got around to it.  And I really should have because he was so much fun to make!  It took me like...two days.  I spent a lot of extra time working on the stuffing, fluffing it out before I stuffed him (like Rebecca said) and it came out right the first time.  Then I went into the shop and took advantage of the many sizes of creature-eye buttons Naomi recently purchased.  I think they look great! 

Gort is knit with three colors of Berroco Vintage DK.  I picked up bags and bags of it this summer at the sale.  I figured it was perfect kid yarn and I'm always knitting sweaters or hats or something like that for babies (or Alex) so why not stock up.  I used wasabi (2165), snow day (2100), and cracked pepper (2107).  The mouth is white felt attached with fabric glue.  Honestly, I used minimal yardage.  I think I used under half a skein of the wasabi, and that's the color I used most.  I can definitely get a second monster out of what I have left over.  I'm thinking of doing one of the others from the book in the same colors but in different combinations.  This can easily get out of hand. 

Here are some shots of this guy from our photo shoot.  You will notice that Alex is in one of them.  Although I planned to give this to Alex for Christmas, I just couldn't wait.  I wanted to make sure he even liked this guy before the big day.  Now that I know he does, I've started work on the ninja he asked me for (from the Knitwits book).  Anyway, enjoy the many faces of Gort.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Test knit complete: Alyssians

I had all intentions of using a crappy webcam shot in this post, and then I remembered that I'd picked up a sweet photo prop that a new studio put out for free the other night as I was leaving work.  I snatched it up so fast, my husband didn't even know what was happening, lol.  It reminded me of a sheep fleece (but WAY cleaner and more synthetic-y).  My cat loves this thing.  But none of that matters.  All that matters is I can get decent shots of my socks and the color stays pretty true!! 

So, this my faithful readers, is my finished Alyssians sock which I test knit for the Yarn Yenta, Heatherly Walker.  I'm looking forward to knitting the mate for this and wearing them.  I've got more mateless socks kicking around this house than you can possibly imagine.  They're all single and looking for their sole mates (har har).
Anyway, the Alyssians sock features a pretty eye-of-the-partridge heel that I'm sure I screwed up.  I'd never done one before and I second guessed the instructions because they were a test knit.  My fault.  I'm going to knit the heel flap exactly as written on the second one and see if it turns out more like the eye-of-the-partridge heels I've seen in pictures.  I'll let you know how it goes.

And as usual, I've got a pretty big assignment and I'm all hopped up on energy drinks trying to tap into my ability to use critical thinking (which suffers when I don't sleep long enough, but that didn't stop me from staying up to finish The Avengers last night...).  I did manage to write a very compelling discussion board post, complete with four or five scholarly references (one of which was a research article about the effect of Mozart on body posturography).  If you're as big of a nerd as I am, you can find that document by entering this doi number into your browser's search bar and hit the enter key: 10.3233/VES20100361  This article talks about how auditory patterns can be used to stimulate other sensory processors in the inner ear and help the listener to better engage their ability to stabilize their core (better posturography) and better balance/sense of spacial awareness.  It has interesting research implications for rehabilitation and for people with sensory processing disorders (see why I found it interesting now?).  Anyway, thanks for sticking it out through the science talk.  As a reward, here's a cat photo.  
The Inspector General

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Apogee Pullover, available for pre-order

I love when I get to announce a new pattern, and this is sort of like that :)  This is the Apogee pullover.  It's my first sweater design ever (but not my first sweater pattern release).  This baby and I went through some tough times together, which you probably know all about if you read this blog, lol.  I chronicled the entire design process as The Great Design Project (which you can access through the button on my right sidebar. 

The Apogee Pullover is much like it's sister, the Apogee Cardigan...except it's a pullover...  I guess you can see that.  This is great for those extra cold days.  The type of day when you want to be completely covered in wool and you don't want to take your sweater off (think dead of winter in most of the country and November in the North East, lol).  It has the same pretty cable along the raglan, and the same clever use of cables to create waist shaping.  It has extra long sleeves, and the pattern provides traditional and tall sizes.  I learned so much from this sweater!  And it was my intention to be able to release it earlier in the year but things got complicated and that just didn't pan out, but better late than never! 

I'm releasing the design on November 18th, but it is available for pre-order as of right now!  If you pre-order, you will receive the first page of the pattern with all the necessary information to allow you to shop for yarn and needles, and knit your gauge swatch.  The full pattern will be uploaded to Ravelry on November 19th, and will automatically update in your pattern library.  You'll even get an email from Ravelry telling you that you've got an update, so you don't have to do anything special.  And as an extra bonus, you get the pattern for the special price of $5.00.  On Nov 19th, the pattern will revert back to the regular price of $6.50.

If you think you might want both patterns, don't worry.  I'll be putting together an ebook with both patterns and a little price break after the Apogee Pullover is out. 

So go pre-order your copy now