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Sock Monkey Blanket

Please excuse the crummy pictures, I promise that I am in the process of getting some better ones. But, this guy right here, my super adorable sock monkey blanket, is actually one of my favorite early pieces, especially of my own designs. Now, I say my own design, but there is obviously nothing super spectacular or difficult about this guy was made. A circle, a semi circle, and two 3/4 circles. Then add some eyes, a nose, and a smile. Really, really simple and quick to work up.

No, what I love about this guy is actually the yarn. This guy is made of a nylon yarn, so he is actually too warm and heavy to be used casually as a blanket, But, the softness, the texture, it is perfect for a tummy time mat or to lay on top of in general. I used Lion Brand Quick & Cozy yarn. And I have a feeling it will be discontinued soon, as I don’t see much of it on the website anymore. But man oh man, do I love that stuff.

I ordered it just on a whim one day while ordering an obscene amount of yarn from the LB clearance section. I just wanted to try all sorts of different textures, thicknesses, and fibers in general. It took me forever to decide what to make with this, because it is just so different from my other yarns. If you have never worked with a nylon yarn, touch some, your life will suddenly make sense. Well, not really, because it is amazing, but you can’t put it in the washer/dryer which makes it a pain in the rump too.

 

Anyway, I love this guy. He is one of my absolute favorites because I just like to touch him. (It’s a little inappropriate, ehh? Touching my monkey. Teehee!)

 

 

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Cockatiel

Back in March, I had a customer contact me about making a parrot blanket for her.Well, she loved it, and contacted me shortly after it’s arrival asking me if I could make one to match her cockatiel as well. I was thrilled for the challenge, as this one had REALLY COOL HAIR! And I love to put hair on things…So, once again, using the free Lion Brand owl pattern as a base for the body, I was able to whip together something that I thought was great for the cockatiel. Now, the beak and feet are actually a different color than the body, it is a lighter gray, with some speckles of black in it, but it is hard to tell with the picture. I used LB Hometown USA, which is quickly becoming my favorite yarn of all time, and the project worked up very quickly.

I think that custom blankets are my favorite thing, as there is really a challenge in them, and that is so exciting for me. I am always amazed at how good I am getting at the LB owl pattern. This is now the fourth time I have made one based off of it, and I am glad I stuck with it. The first time I used the pattern, I was ready to give up for all eternity on it.

 

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Success At Last! (Pattern Review) Lion Brands Owl Blanket

So, if you remember correctly, last month I talked about my most frustrating piece of work. This owl blanket was frogged probably 7 times before I completed it. I have never had to redo my work so many times as I did for this guy. It was driving me absolutely bonkers! I seriously thought I was losing my mind. I could not deal with this disaster.

But, I kept on, and I pulled through. And, while it is a little lopsided, it is done, and I think it is cute. I just pretend that instead of being lopsided, the owl is cocking his head to look at you. Yea, that’s it…he is cocking his head. He isn’t lopsided…you’re the one that is lopsided. πŸ™‚

I used a free pattern from lion brand to complete this owl afghan. Well, sort of. I followed it for the basic guidelines on how to make the increases actually work for the center of the body…and for his feet and beak. But, the eyes, the wings, and the expanded body was all my disaster.

The blanket in the pattern is smaller than this one. This one was designed for an adult as a lap blanket. The pattern is designed for a baby.

The pattern is really quite simple to follow…as long as you read every single word and actually follow it to the T. Seriously…otherwise you frog the blanket like 7 times because “you know better” than the person writing the pattern. 😦 This blanket would have taken me about 6-7 hours to complete…if I had actually followed the pattern. But, I didn’t…so it took about 20 instead.

Either way, he is done, he is here…and I am contemplating never, ever, ever making another one. It isn’t that it isn’t cute, or that the pattern is difficult…I am just scarred for life, I think, at all the frogging.

PS…does anyone know why it is called frogging?

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The Pain of Mohair

As discussed in yesterday’s post, I have serious yarn problems. Part of the lot of 111 skeins that I got off of EBay, was A LOT of vintage yarn…seriously…the manufacture date on some of this yarn was the early 70s. And there was one beautiful gem in the lot…a few skeins of Lion Brand Imagine, Norwegian Woods. Now, Imagine still exists, but it is now an acrylic / wool / nylon blend. But, back in the day, Imagine was an acrylic / mohair blend.

Man, if you have never felt a mohair sweater, scarf, stuffed animal…you are really missing out on some amazingly soft, fuzzy yarn. But, if you have worked with it…you understand why it was discontinued. This stuff catches on everything. It is a nightmare if you make a mistake, because there is a pretty darn good chance that you are not getting that yarn separated from itself. I cannot even think about how much pain I went through with this yarn trying to correct minor errors.

Lion Brand does make another mohair, Moonlight Mohair. It is actually more mohair, less acrylic, even softer, and easier to work with. It has definitely come a long way since Imagine.

But, let’s get back to the Imagine yarn, with it’s pretty blue/gray/brown colors. For anyone who knows me, you know that I am all about earth tones and neutral colors. Being pasty white, I do not have much of a choice in the matter, so luckily I really like them.

In my boredom and frantic rage to create things for the Funky Finds craft fair last December, I started throwing skeins of anything soft that I could find in my travel bag and worked on scarves, hats, blankets, whatever, anywhere I went. Well, not knowing what mohair was or how hard it is to work with, I threw this in there before a long road trip once. What I also didn’t realize was that due to the small gauge of the yarn, I needed a really tiny hook, which made it all the more painful.

I started working on this scarf. It had a beautiful pattern, initially. But, I kept finding all sorts of mistakes and errors and having to frog large portions of the scarf. So, I did what any good yarn worker does…I turned my mistakes into a pattern and pretended like it was supposed to look like that. The pictures do not show the difference too well, I need to take better ones, but the ends of both sides of the scarf are more open, light, pretty. The rest is a solid piece, HDC, I believe. Life was much easier once I stopped trying to be fancy.

mohair scarf

kids scarf

winter scarf

Kid’s 40″ Mohair Scarf

The problem then, was that I had not used nearly all of this yarn. I still had so much…and I did not want to do anything else difficult with it. So, I went back to an old familiar, as I always do when I am at a struggle fro what to make. The result was the cutest, softest, cuddliest elephant ever. He is tiny, just 3in tall, but man oh man is he sweet. I am actually a little afraid that this guy will sell. Which would be great, he deserves a loving home, but heartbreaking to have to part with him. I left him blind on purpose…I just could not find a yarn for his eyes that did him justice. Everything just looked wrong…so here he is, in his blind, fuzzy splendor. Gawk all you want. I am quite proud of myself on this one.

amigurumi elephant

mohair elephant

3″Β mohair elephant