Handspun T-Rex Dice Bag

From FO’s

A 2011 Christmas present, finally finished.

The T-rex intarsia is a free chart by Ivy Kim, to commemorate Dinosaur Comics. The blue base yarn is my handspun aran-weight merino dyed by Yarn Chef in “Little Islands”, the most gorgeous saturated blue and the third skein I ever spun; the neon green is slightly thinner handspun superwash merino dyed by Crazy Monkey Creations.

From FO’s

I lined the bag with a fat quarter of “Really Old Cameos” by sammyk, from Spoonflower. Spoonflower is a very dangerous place, by the way. I fused the top, front, back and bottom lining to some scrap Timtex leftover from a quilting class to give the bag some structure – leaving the sides soft for some squishability. The handle is extra-wide double fold bias tape.

Rough pattern details after the fold.

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I actually knitted with my handspun!

From Spinning

These are Lumpy Fingerless Mitts, knitted from two fraternal chunky bumpy thick-n-thin skeins spun from this:

From Stash

2 oz of chunky All Hallow’s Eve spin-along goodness, from Bohoknitterchic.

From Spinning

“Oh hello! No pictures for you!”

From Spinning

The green and orange, short color repeats:

From Spinning

Black and purple, with longer color repeats. Both are singles candy-striped with coordinating holographic thread.

The batts were full of coordinating-colored nepps, in hopes that some would stay in the finished yarn. Some did – but still, during the *thwack* period after the wash, there was a short multicolored rain.

This is actually the first of my handspun I’ve ever knit with – it’s always been more fun to go on and spin the next skein, than to pause and knit with the past one. Thank you for the motivation, O SAL Small Chance of Winning Prizes!

Itchy fingers…

My Bismarck-Mandan Garden Club presentation has been moved up to 17 March, so I’ve been trying to spend all my time working on my Mushrooms and Edibles powerpoint – I’m up to my third revision, and I think it is flowing much better. The second revision was still 15 mins over time, so hopefully when I get a chance to practice this one it will have made some difference.

But it’s so hard to not have a yarn project going! My fingers want to be working on something, and my mind wants something comfortable to focus on… but of the three Projects Of Semi-Urgency that have jostled their way to the front of my list, two are original designs and need some work before I can start them; and the third is Marlaina Bird’s Thrummed Mittens, and I have to make all the thrums before I can actually begin crocheting. I can’t justify taking that much time away from the presentation. I think this is a bit of sign though that I do need to broaden my leisure activities again, so I think all this is good for me.

Well, in a week I can start something again… and then start revising my mushroom talk for the 4-H Youth Activity Day in April!

Primary Colors Hat

From Crafts

An In-Between Seasons Cap (rav link) in Schaefer Little Lola handpaint, superwash merino. The recipient picked out the skein. I know the colors are a bit busy for a textured pattern, but I needed to do something that wasn’t plain stockinette or ribbing so I wouldn’t go insane – and it was really fun to work the cable border and see how the colors shifted along its length.

I was so happy I got some pooling in the decreases at the top!

From Crafts

Now I’m really wanting some yarn variegated in the combo of yellow, oranges and greens that collected on the edge of the cable in the center of the top photo!

How many afghans can you really use?

One of the major reasons I’ve gravitated towards smaller knitting and crochet projects is that they will get USED – baby hats can be gifted at the rate of 5/year minimum especially now that people have seen what I can do; and it’s okay to have several bags around the house, even if their primary purpose is to hold my next knitting project. It’s hard for me to just make something cool whose sole purpose is display (*cough* mochimochiland‘s devastating Resisty the Resistor *cough*). I have too little storage space!

So how did I happen to get excited by four great crocheted afghan patterns at once? Argh! Yes, in winter in ND I use seven blankets in my north-facing bedroom (which is so cold I’m tempted to knock a hole in the wall to check if there even IS insulation), but you still have to put them somewhere when you’re not using them! And awesome ones like these I would want to treat nicely:

In addition to the rare fruit afghan I’m working on myself,

  • The Ankh-Morpork Knitter’s Guild on Ravelry is doing a Pratch-ghan-along, where you read one book per month and design a 6″ square based on it. Sir Terry is so prolific you might catch up in 3 years or so…
  • The Guild of Calamitous Intent has a VB-themed afghan square design project starting soon. I’ll be contributing a square based on Dr. Venture’s prided speedsuit, and likely will be dashing off a quick Phantom Limb containing glow-in-the-dark purple yarn. The designs other people have called are cool enough I’ll probably want to make them as well for a complete blanket.
  • The Dendarii Free Knitters have started a similar Vorkosi-gan design call, and I’ll be doing a Hidden Identities square where Miles’ Dendarii uniform jacket unzips to reveal his Barrayaran uniform.

Plus, while trolling for Naruto AMV on Youtube, I was reminded of this great graphic orange-navy-and-white quilt I had wanted to do…

Well, it’s a good problem to have, I suppose!

Seashell Hat

From Crafts

This is Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Triton Hat, or Three-Spiral Hat, or Dairy Queen Hat, or whatever it’s called in the latest of the four places she’s published it. Two skeins of Misti Alpaca Chunky held together to achieve gauge on the recommended 10.5 needles. When I first saw the skein of Handpaint in color Havasu, I immediately thought of the spiral sea shells I would find on the beach when I was young…The color was a bit more saturated than I had first thought, but I am quite happy with the results after cutting it with the extra skein of Cream. While the st gauge matches the pattern, the fabric does feel a bit too stiff to get the proper swirly curves; but the doubled alpaca means it’s nice and warm.

From Crafts

I have a large head, so I had to increase the cast on to 50 st; then continued with the pattern as written. This resulted in an effective 25% increase instead of the 50% specified, so it’s missing the big poof-out that would truly make the soft-serve-ice-cream shape I was hoping for. (It can’t really poof out if there’s no positive ease.) It’s probably for the best, though, as I probably have three rows max of yarn left over, and this was already expensive enough without going into two skeins of each color.

Overall I like it and will definitely wear it this winter. It’s got great ear coverage. 😉

From Crafts

Quite possibly the best hat pattern ever

The Dwarven Battle Bonnet! (Available from author’s website or as a PDF through Ravelry.) As any reader of Pratchett knows, this hat is suitable for all genders – as the only way you can identify whether a dwarf is female is if they choose to inform you.

From Crafts

I suspect there will be some fights over who gets to wear this.

I will probably embroider some Ogham characters onto the stockinette portions of the cap but I’ve not decided which ones yet. Each color required only one skein of Cascade 220, although after adding the braids the chestnut color was extremely close to running out.  I tried lightly fulling in the sink, but apparently did not do well enough as the mouth opening is wider than before washing; I’ll probably give it another go after Show and Tell Week is past.

[Color in the first picture is most accurate.]

From Crafts

If I made this again, I would probably alter the shaping of the beard on the sides so that it laid flat on my  neck and chest, and make a ponytail opening in the back to make it more comfortable with my long hair. As it stands this would be warm enough for winter wear if I fill in the gaps with a scarf.

From Crafts