Ravelympics Day 14: Wrap-Me-Up Pup

I've finished knitting this little puppy his very own knitted blanket...
And that, my friends, is the completion of my Ravelympics projects for this year!

This pattern "Wrap me up Puppies" is also from the book Itty Bitty Toys.
I just love this book. This is now the 3rd pattern I've knit from it.
I'm pretty sure that Susan B. Anderson is a toy knitting genius.

My daughter absolutely loves putting her stuffed animals and dolls to bed.
That is by far her favorite playtime activity. From the first time I flipped through this pattern book, I knew that this is a toy that I would definitely make one day.

I just love how you can wrap this little blanket around and fasten it up like a little puppy burrito.

Very clever.

This puppy and blanket only took a few days to knit,
and was the easiest toy out of the 3 to make. I would definitely consider making this one again.

My daughter is of course thrilled to add puppy to her knitted toy collection..

...which is growing quite large these days...


Ravelympics Day 13: Almost Done

Almost done with toy #3!
This little sleepy puppy just needs a knit accessory from me before it is completed.

He's awfully cute, isn't he?


Ravelympics Day 12: Odds and Ends

I've now gotten started on toy #3 for the "Ravelympics"!

This time I am pleased to be using up some partial skeins of yarn from projects past.

The tan skein is leftover from my daughters knitted horse from ages ago.
The blue is leftover from the reversible blue bird I knit up recently.

It feels so good to knit things from scraps!


Ravelympics Day 11: Lamby

Yep! Its a Lamb! Isn't he cute?

This was a pretty fun pattern to make.
It only took me a couple of evenings to create. I knit my Lamb from the Itty Bitty Knits book,
but you can also find this pattern for free online here in Petite Purls magazine.

What knitter doesn't love a knitted lamb?

My daughter loves him too.. especially since she didn't have to
wait a long time for him to be done.

I used Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan for his nubbly woolly body, and O-wool Balance for his legs and face. The combination makes for quite a cuddly little toy. I love the boucle texture of the Astrakhan yarn but it was sort of a pain to knit with on such a tight gauge. The results were well worth it though! I think that the textured body really makes him extra special.

His I-cord legs are stuffed with pieces of a plastic drinking straw to make them rigid so that he can stand. I think that I made my legs a little too long, so Lamby is not so great on his feet. My daughter helps him though.. :)

Well.. its 11 days into the "Ravelympics" and I have 2 out of 3 toys completed!
Don't Francis and Lamby look so cute together on my daughter's shelf?

I've been working very hard on my Ravelympics projects and I'm glad that I'm ahead of the game. I didn't plan the end of this month very well.. and now I have Stitches West, the Ravelympics and a new podcast episode due all at the same time! Ahh!
What exactly was I thinking?


Ravelympics Day 10: Halfway There

I am almost done with "Ravelympics" toy #2!
I just have 2 more legs to attach and a face, ears and tail to knit.
I think I might be able to finish it tonight!

This little guy is from one of my favorite toy books, "Itty Bitty Toys".
Anyone know what kind of animal this one is?


Ravelympics Day 9: Onto The Next..

I've started my next "Ravelympics" toy!
Working with this soft boucle yarn is a welcome change
from the thin cotton I was using for Francis.

I think that this new little animal will work up awfully fast!

Meanwhile.. my daughter is having a lot of fun with her new turkey friend.

I love the way Francis the Turkey turned out..
but I don't think I would ever want to knit him again.
The pattern was a bit fiddly with lots of pieces, sewing, intarsia and woven in ends.

Was it worth it? Yes! Was it fun? Not exactly. :)


Ravelympics Day 8: Meet Francis

On my last "Ravelympics" post, many of you guessed what kind of creature I was knitting up. Great guesses! Many of you thought I was making a chicken or an ostrich.. and one of you guessed that I was making a kiwi. :)

But only one of you (Christina) guessed correctly.

Its a...


And isn't he so funny and ugly-cute?! I love how fat he is.
We have a lot of Wild Turkeys around where we live.
They really are ugly things in real life, but fun to watch and listen to.

This "Francis Turkey" pattern is from the book
The Organic Cotton Kids Collection put out by Rowan yarns.
All the patterns in this collection are super adorable, and all use Rowan purelife organic cotton.

This book seriously has some of the cutest toy patterns I've seen.
If you like Francis you will love the other patterns too.

But more about Francis tomorrow.. its getting late and he's off to roost...


Tea Leaves Cardigan

My Tea Leaves Cardigan is done, and I absolutely love it! It fits great!

The only thing I'd change about the pattern is the buttonband. I would
definitely pick up fewer stitches next time.
This current buttonband could use some shortening.
I might fix it one of these days.. if I feel like it... maybe.

This cardigan is super cozy and wonderful, one that I will wear often for sure!

What? You want one too?

Well the...

beautiful pattern is found here. Soft madelinetosh yarn is found here. Fabulous lightweight buttons are found here.

Ravelympics Day 7: Legs!

He has legs! And don't you just love those knobby knees?

Any guesses yet to what kind of little creature I'm knitting for the Ravelympics?


Ravelympics Day 6: I-cords

This little toy that I am making for the "Ravelympics" requires many knitted I-cords.
So that's what I was doing today. I-cords. And lots of them.

I-cord trivia: Do you know why they are called I-cords?

Answer: Elizabeth Zimmerman named these little knitted tubes "Idiot Cords" in honor of her accidental discovery of the simple technique. "I-cord" for short. :)

So there you have it... an idiotic mistake turned knitting invention!

Learn how to knit one HERE with this video tutorial.


Ravelympics Day 5: Blank Canvas

After a few hours of work...and some wool stuffing...

...I've got this nice plump animal body.

A perfect blank canvas for all sorts of knitted body parts to be sewn onto.

I feel like I'm finally making progress now.


Ravelympics Day 4: Steaming and Seaming

Today I am doing some ironing and sewing up.
I've learned that finishing work isn't so terrible when you do it
as you go rather than leaving it all for the end.


Ravelympics Day 3: Little Helping Hands

This is what I've created since yesterday. And Yes.
Little intarsia pieces like this take awhile when knitting with 4-ply cotton on size 1 needles!

I can see that just getting this little guy knit up
for the ravelympics is going to be a challenge in itself.

The funny thing about knitting up these toys is
seeing my daughter's reaction during the process.
She is always talking about her new toys, and questioning my speed and knitting ability.

"Mom! Are you done with my toy yet?"
"What is that thing?"
"Why are you making it like that?"

...Can't wait until she's a teenager.. :)


Ravelympics Day 2: Why I Hate Intarsia

Nothing much to see here... just a neat stack of knitted pink body parts and...

some messy tangly intarsia...

No matter what I do with intarsia it always looks this way! Ive tried bobbins, small lengths of yarn.. everything!

I think the key is to just unravel and untangle at every color change. What a pain!



Meet "Cosette", my newest shawl design!

Cosette is a large cozy wrap to keep you warm in cool weather. The curved shape with tapered ends is very versatile and lends itself to being perfectly draped over your shoulders and tied in front. Or for a dressier accent to your outfit you could fasten Cosette with a brooch like I have in the above picture.

But if shawls are not your thing.. Cosette works beautifully wrapped and tied around your neck as a scarf. It would look great under a winter coat with just a little color peeking through.

The yarn that I chose for this design is one of my favorites, madelinetosh. The body is made up of Tosh Merino in Olivia and the border is worked out of Eyre in the Fig colorway.

This beautiful color combination came about my accident.
I had originally ordered these yarns separately for different projects
but was continually fascinated by how well they worked together.
I think that the combination makes for a very rich looking piece.

Also the Tosh Merino is such a wonderfully cozy yarn.
I reviewed it in Episode 30 of my podcast if you would like to find out more about it.

I think that the super soft merino wool paired with the eyelet picot border makes Cosette the perfect balance of functionality and feminine style.

The deep curved shape of the shawl is created by use of short rows.
This is the same technique I used in shaping the Cedar Leaf Shawlette pattern.
Short row shaping is great. I like how it creates shapes invisibly and cleanly.

The pattern contains detailed instruction for the short row technique. But here are two instructional videos that may prove helpful as well. Click HERE and HERE.

Here is some further pattern information for those who are interested in knitting Cosette:

Length: approx 60 inches from end to end after blocking
Width: measures approx 16.5 inches at deepest point of center including eyelet picot border.

[MC] Madelinetosh Tosh Merino [100% Merino Wool; 210 yd/192m per 90g skein]; color: Olivia; 3 skeins or approx 500 yds of a worsted weight wool or wool blend.
[CC] Madelinetosh Eyre [60% Merino Wool, 20% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk; 120 yd/110m per 60g skein]; color: Fig; 1 skein or approx 75 yds of a worsted weight wool or wool blend.

Alternate yarn for [MC] and [CC]: Malabrigo Worsted, Madelinetosh DK, Dream In Color Classy, Lanas Puras Melosa

1# 32” US #8/5mm circular needle
Tapestry needle
Optional: Stitch markers for marking wrapped sts

16 sts/30 rows = 4" in Stockinette stitch on size 8 needles or size needed for accurate gauge.

I hope that you enjoy knitting and wearing it!

Cosette is now available in French! Click HERE to purchase the French version!

(Yarn shop owners: Please contact me about carrying "Cosette" in your shop!)

Ravelympics Day 1: Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe

I'll be casting on for the Ravelympics this evening at 6 pm.

It was hard to figure out which of my daughter's knitted toys to cast on for first...
They are all so cute and tempting. After much deliberation I've decided
to first cast on for a charming little animal friend
that uses this color combination of Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton.

You'll have to wait and see what kind of animal he is!


Coming soon!

A sneak peak of what's coming up!
This is another wrap design that I've been working on in the past month.
It has misbehaved greatly on the needles.. I've had to knit it twice to get the shaping just right.

So get some size 8 needles, and your favorite worsted weight wool ready...
the pattern will be available soon!
Just in time for the ravelympics this year!


Getting Ready For The Ravelympics!

The Winter Olympics is starting soon, and you know what that means...
Its also time for the Ravelympics!

The "Ravelympics" is an event put on by Ravelry.com. The concept of Ravelympics is to challenge yourself by starting and finishing projects during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Choose a project that will be a stretch for you or that will force you to perfect a new technique.
Ravelry.com states, "The goal of the Ravelympics is to support you in expanding your knitting/crocheting horizons.
Just remember the one rule: Challenge yourself!"

The Ravelympics officially begin at 6 pm Pacific Standard Time February 12, as the Opening Ceremonies begin in Vancouver. Now is the time for all of us to pick our projects, enter the events and pick a Ravelympics team.

(Please click here for additional information on how to proceed.)

Please join team Never Not Knitting for the Ravelympics this year!

We have a wonderful, active ravelry group and would love to have you knit along with us. Also there will be a special Ravelympics drawing in the Never Not Knitting group for all of you who complete your Ravelympic project goals.

(Please leave a comment on this ravelry thread to add yourself to our team list.)

Show your support for Team Never Not Knitting and add this button to your blog.

The button is located at:

and then just make it link to:

As for me....

I've gathered all of my Ravelympics knitting supplies.

My goal is to complete a series of little knitted toys for my daughter AND to share my progress on the blog every day during the Ravelympics!

So be sure to check back often to see my progress. I'm keeping the toy projects secret on the blog for now.. I thought it might be fun for you to guess what they are as I go. :)

The yarns I chose are mostly natural organic fibers in lovely muted tones.I think that this color palette lends itself very well to children's playthings. I cannot wait to get started!

I am desperately trying to finish up my Tea Leaves Cardigan before the Ravelympics begin.I hope to have finished pictures to share in a couple of days! :)