FO: Double the Dogs

I’ve been on a bit of a toy kick lately. Once I start something and gain momentum I like to keep riding that train (perhaps why I just keep on knitting sweaters…). Since I made Wasabi the Whale I decided to make my friend’s son Jacob a stuffed dog toy. We are hoping to visit them and he likes pictures of my dogs but isn’t 100% comfortable around dogs so I thought why not give him his own? And then once I made one I said, well I can’t leave out his little sister…
Seeing double dogs
So we’ve now had a family of four dogs in our house. Jellybean has been utterly fascinated by them. I don’t know if she wants to snuggle them or thinks they’re a toy for her to play with, so I’ve been keeping them away from her.
Seeing double dogs
Jacob’s favorite color is purple so I pulled out this really dark purple from my stash of Caron Simply Soft and decided to whip up the first dog. I didn’t stuff his head as much as I think I could have so after I washed him he’s become much more of a floppy dog. Which is super cute. His ears fall down more like Cher’s do, which I love. And I added in a little green bow tie because I felt like he was just too naked. And once I did that, Cher wanted to snuggle him. Perhaps she thought I was making her a boo?
Seeing double dogs
For his little sister Leah (you’ll remember her from this post) I dug into my stash and pulled out this super bright hot fuchsia yarn from Deborah Norville that I’ve had forever. I used one skein to make a hat and I loved the vividness of the color and how soft it was but never found something to use it with until now. I also haven’t seen this colorway ever again – why does this always happen to me? It was perfect for this project and her dog has stiffer ears because the yarn is a bit heavier. And I added a scarf to hers as an accessory. I matched their accessories to the eyes of the other dog as a fun little detail.
The entire time I was making both of these I felt like they looked so much like Jellybean since she is a chihuahua (Cher is half pug) and the dolls were even matching up in terms of size too!
Pup in progress
And since my girlfriend Rachel knows how to knit she asked me when I made the second doll to show her the progress as it was made. So I actually have a kind of step-by-step as I went along. I’m hoping these become beloved toys that they play with and love on for years to come. And I have a feeling I’ll be making a few more toys before the year is up!
Seeing double dogs
So have any of you made toys before? What are your favorite patterns?

FO: Wasabi the Whale and the Sea of Chevrons

Remember the baby blanket I was talking about last week for the baby we thought would get here this week? He arrived Friday night. Clearly he was too excited to join us out here in the real world and Matzah Ball (as he was known in utero) is now Eli! I like to think as I was finishing his blanket on Friday night he was so excited about it he decided to be born but clearly I had nothing to do with it…or did I? So before he was born my girlfriend sent this picture of his room.
Matzah' room
I actually had a bedroom floor to ceiling in that shade of green and it was my absolute favorite. So clearly since she was going with a favorite color palette of mine I was happy to knit him something. So I went with a trusted pattern and did the Chevron Baby Blanket (a free pattern from Purl Soho) but decided to make the green the accent color on the ends and have two row wide stripes in alternating grey and navy blue.
Matzah Ball's blanket
The end results I love, it’s a great blanket knit in Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Bulky on size 13 needles so it went super fast. But she also told me she was ordering navy blue curtains with whales on them for the window and the next day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw this post from @NoKnitSherlock of Wasabi the Whale.
I had to make a whale for the baby, right? It was fate!
Matzah Ball's blanket and whale
Of course I had to make one! I whipped this up in a couple of hours on Saturday after walking in a 5k for Pancreatic Research. I was tired, it was hot and I figured I could knock this pattern out that afternoon while I rested. I started around 3pm and by 7:30 I was sewing on the last fin. I think since I used child safe doll eyes I already had he looks a bit more like a manatee than a whale but either way he’s still a cutie.
Matzah Ball's blanket and whale
And he looks like he’s swimming in a sea of chevrons! I’ve said I want to make more knit toys for the little kids in my life but just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. This might be the motivation I need to pull out my fun colors in my yarn stash and make a few toys for the kids I love so much. Oh and in case you were wondering, I knit Wasabi out of the Caron Simply Soft that I knit Eli’s matching hat with last week. And in these photos he has already had a run through the washing machine and dryer and looks marvelous. He should hold up to years of hugs and kisses.

Best Nine of 2016, Part III

Okay, I’ve shared my top 6 projects of the year (part I and part II), now we’re down to the final three…And my favorites of this year of knitting? It’s hard to narrow things down but these for my top three most favorite things I knit this year.
Colorblocked boyfriend sweater
3. My Colorblocked Boyfriend Cardigan
If I could wear this sweater every day I would. I love it that much and it’s in heavy rotation and worn weekly. Knitting up the dk weight yarn on bigger needles gave it such a great drape. The shape isn’t too close fitting and I can use it as a top layer to any outfit. Oh and the colors. This pink/red/orange Madelinetosh DK is nothing short of stunning and the muted tones I wouldn’t normally gravitate towards for the rest of the cardigan make it a perfect neutral with this bold pop. I love it but it wasn’t my favorite…
Christmas Eve
2. A Christmas Sweater for Mom
Originally I was going to say that the blue vest I made for my Mom was coming in a close second place and then I finished this sweater right before Christmas. I know, you couldn’t guess this one because I haven’t done a Finished Object post on it but this was too good to not come in my top 3. I originally was going to make my Mom a two color cardigan for Christmas and then I randomly picked up a skein of bright blue sock yarn thinking I’d make her socks and then I found this pattern that combined dk weight yarn and sock yarn and I knew I had to make this sweater for my mother. When the pattern and the yarn speak to you, you have to listen. I loved this pattern because I got to try new techniques and it turned out beautifully. But the best part? How genuinely happy she was when she put it on. Her smile (and repeated wears already) was all the validation I needed. How can you not love making things for people you love? And don’t worry, full post and pics coming soon.

And my top pick of the year? I’m sure you can guess by now…
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