Day 2: A Mascot Project


Your task today is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal. It could be a knitting or crochet pattern – either of the animal itself or something that makes you think of the qualities of that house. Alternatively it could be a type or colour of yarn, or a single button. Whatever you choose, decide upon a project and blog about how and why it relates to your house/creature. You do not have to make this project! It is simply an exercise in blogging about how you come to decide upon what projects to make. Try and blog about the journey which inspiration and investigating patterns, yarns, stitches, (etc) can often guide you through. You may wish to make a collage or 'mood board' to present several ideas, or even sketch out your own design.

I find myself pulled in two different directions on this topic, one is to embrace the animal of the Monkey and the other is to follow the path of what I see the House of Monkey as representing, challenge.

Mascot Project - Literal

The first path is the monkey itself.  In the fall I got back into Craftsy classes (mostly after they launched an iPad app that makes them much more enjoyable to view in my opinion) and I got hooked on the idea of making Amigurumi.  If you aren't familiar, amigurumi are crocheted or knitted toys. The style (and term) originated in Japan and are quite popular.  I enjoy crocheting but I don't love the fabric for garments and a person really doesn't need that many afghans so amigurumi were a great choice for me.


A couple of weeks ago I finished up another piece of amigurumi, a really cute whale and gave it to my boss who has been having a pretty rough go of it.  I asked her what her son's favorite animal is and it turns out that it is a ... monkey (I know, you're shocked).

So my first mascot project is Owen the Monkey by Stacy Trock of FreshStitches.


I will be making it as my next amigurumi, the little boy it's intended for could use a a stuffed version of his favorite creature.

Mascot Project - Figurative

Following the spirit of the monkey rather than a literal monkey, my mascot project is one that challenges me and forces me to expand my skills.  To me there are two potential mascot projects, one is a stranded colorwork project and the other is a design project.

Endpaper Mitts

Stranded colorwork is something that I have done but I don't feel confident in it and it's not something I do easily or very well.  So I should probably find a stranded project to do to re-build me confidence in the area, maybe a pair of fingerless mitts.  I wear my Endpaper Mitts all the time and they hardly show any wear.  I know that many moons ago I had queued and favorited other charts that looked fantastic on that mitt pattern.  Maybe that is my project, it would require some of my own design work and a part of knitting that I struggle with.

Or maybe its going to be knuckling down and figuring out and writing down the pattern for a cowl I dreamt up a month or so ago.  This isn't the greatest shot of the pattern, mostly because this was the only yarn in bulky weight I had on hand when inspiration struck.


It is without a doubt a fashion cowl rather than a warmth cowl, but I'm pretty impressed with myself.   So this is the other option on the other path.  I can see all these being feesible projects for over the next few months, as long as I can stay on top of my sock knitting (I've learned I always need to have a pair of "fancy" socks on the needles) and the wedding shawls I need to make for my sister's wedding in October.

WIP Wednesday: October 24th

20121024-081405.jpg While my blogging has been sparse, my knitting has been a bit better. I had a bit of a WIP-splosion when I moved in early September, and I am still working on those hastily started projects.

From the top we have: - Pomatomus socks for Carla - a crocheted stole (I'm about three rows in) - plain socks that have only been started and have only had 1 row knit on them - Juneberry shawl in a local wool that is similar to what I think Shelter must be like - Smile and Wave fingerless mitts - Flukra shawl in some Tosh Lace that I have been trying to knit for almost 2 years

So I think I need to get knitting, especially if I want to participate in the Tanis Fiber Arts KAL in November.

On July and Checking In

So, what has the first have of 2011 looked like from a fiber perspective -

Fibery -

  • Don’t buy as much yarn as last year Getting there, although most of my stash acquisition was during the summer and fall, however, I have been more selective on what I buy which I think it the main issue of my stashing, it was somewhat mindless, now I try to get only things for projects and things that are too great to miss out on. I elaborated about my stash back on Day 3 of Knit and Crochet Blog Week and a few weeks earlier.
  • Spin regularly and improve my spinning techniques Since the start of the year I have spun about 1062g (or just about 2.3lb) of fluff.  I have spun from both batts and combed tops, done both woollen and worsted styles of drawing, done singles, two-plys, three plys and chain-plys.  I have even done some art yarn, although most of it has been a result of mistakes and flubs, although I did make a coil yarn, something I won't do again for a while.  My spinning is getting more consistent, but I still have so much to learn and more bobbins to buy at some point.
  • Try out dyeing so that I can cut down the cost of spinning I have all the tools, but haven't had the initiative  or the space to dye, however with it finally being summer I may try some outdoor solar dyeing.
  • Improve the techniques I learned this year, including stranded colorwork, lace and cables I have done some cables without a cable needle using Glenna C's directions which rocks, and she has videos! I had originally learned how to do cabling without a cable needle for the Shifting Silt Scarf I made for my grandpa for Christmas. Also, I did some more advanced stranding (which better results) making my Endpaper Mitts this spring.  I did circular lace in my Christmas Shawl and short rows with my Annis Shawl.
  • Learn new techniques, like intarsia, double knitting, and others I have not thought of yet. I am a process knitter, as opposed to a product knitter, so I am drawn to new techniques. So far I have tried sock making, which has ended with me doing two at a time toe up socks. I made a pair of mittens where I just used the pattern as a guideline.
  • Try out crochet, I love the idea of being as bi (tri?) craftual as possible, or just become the Capt. Jack Harkness of crafting. I am crocheting and loving it, my crocheted hexagon blanket is moving along.
  • And, make a pair of mittens a month, like so many self-imposed sock of the month clubs. - I haven’t picked the patterns yet, but the first two pairs to finish will probably be my current WIPs (which include cabling for one, and colorwork/doubleknit for the other). -I think that half the mittens will come from the Woodlands Mitten Kit from Knit Picks.  Which includes six charts for mittens and enough Palette yarn to make them. This has NOT happened and is unlikely to happen, however I do need to get cracking and making the Woodlands Mittens, because I want to wear the October pair in October.
  • Document my fibery activities (knitting, spinning, felting, dyeing?, crochet?) with better pictures and blog posts. I think this has been happening, with my FO posts,  WIP Wednesdays and hopefully Fiber Friday starting up soon (the spinning version of WIP Wednesday) I have been more diligent about documenting all the fun I have been having.
So where does this leave us?  I am going to make some bold proclomations about the second half of 2011, which we will check in on New Years Eve so I can make my plans for 2012.
I will:
  • Knit something out of my handspun yarn
  • Spin a yarn intentionally for a specific project
  • NOT do any commission knitting
  • Make a fancy pair of socks (either a Glenna C or Cookie A pattern)
  • Make a pair of thrummed mittens
  • Design a Pattern

On Felting and Finished Objects

It has taken me a few days to get these up, but I had another great course at the Gateway Fibreworks back on Saturday. This time we were focusing on a single type of felting, wet felting. I present, without comment, by Steampunk Felted Dragon Mittens

I wish I had a picture of the merino braid beforehand, but needless to say it had strong varegation.  Although they are not my usual colors, I love the way they turned out.  We used fuffy white alpaca for the inside, milled on-site.

As with the previous week, the instruction from Gail and Vikki was amazing, and materials beautiful.  I wish they were closer to Parry Sound, the hour long drive to Gravenhurst is a bit tough to swing, especially because the Starbucks doesn't open in time to get caffeinated before the drive.

Since finishing those mitts on Saturday, I have finished two other projects.

On Tuesday, I finished Clapotis.  While this pattern seemed to have spread with the virulence of an infectious disease through the knitting community, I remained immune to its charm until I discovered Dream in Color Starry.  The plain, but attractive. pattern, plus an amazing material worked out to a beautiful product.  I will be debuting it in a post sometime in the next few days.

Okay, maybe just a sneak-peek.

After finishing such a repetitive and lengthy pattern I was inspired to make something quick.  Some Knit Picks Swish Bulky and a hat pattern were just the thing I needed. My Winter Leaves hat, using the Foliage Pattern out of Knitty, was finished less than 24 hours after starting.  I quite love this hat already, and I am sad that the Squirrel Heather I used has been discontinued.

Either way, I have had a productive week, and it is only Thursday!

Gettin' 'er done

After last post I was feeling swamped by all my WIPs.  As of today, I have none. I finished Annie's Mitts last Sunday, the 12th.  I was somewhat dreading making them, but they were not a big deal.  I forgot how much fun mitten making can be.

Pattern: Bella's Mittens

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Bulky (Superwash) in Squirrel Heather (discontinued)

Recipient: Cousin Annie

Mods: None

Notes: I actually got gauge, and so these should be just about the right size.

I also managed to finish my Shifting Silt Scarf on Thursday, the 16th.

Pattern: Shifting Sands Scarf

Yarn: KnitPicks Gloss DK (Merino/Silk) in Doe

Recipient: Grampa

Mods: Only 3/4 the length of the original.

Note: I had originally planned it for myself, but I like shawls, cowls and wimples so much more than scarves.  I thought it would suit my Grampa, who doesn't like long scarves so I ended up only using 150g or 369 yds, so I have another 50g of the Knit Picks Gloss DK in Doe that I can use for a hat or something else.

and finally I also got my Grannie-bel Shawl done as of this morning.

Pattern: Ishbel Shawl

Yarn: Malabrigo Baby Merino Lace in Vermillion

Recipient: Grannie

Mods:  None

Notes: It was a nice, fun pattern, it really benefits from the beautiful Malabrigo Lace Yarn.  I found the bind-off was too tight and when I blocked it I didn't get too pointy.  I would most certainly make this pattern again.

It was nice to be done so many of my gifts for the season, but now it is time to cast on that mystery test knit I have to have done and blocked by the 6th of October.