Spud says (the blog)

Archive for October 2009

October 30, 2009

Tiny November Knitalong

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

All of sudden I had this idea today. I have a few free pattern projects that are already finished but in my head I still had a seasonal toy that I really wanted to do for Spud says! for the month of November. Clearly I had to do it. I cast on this morning and started working and writing on the pattern for this very project. I started thinking that maybe it would be fun if you would work right along with me, kind of like a tiny knitalong. What do you think?

Here is the plan, if you are interested I am going to post this pattern in pieces in the hopes that you will join me in progress! I will also post the pattern at the end of the project as a regular free pattern in pdf format. You will be able to access the entire pattern at the end so don’t worry about piecing the pattern together, I’ll do that work for you. The pattern will create a small, seasonal for November-type toy.

I want to keep the finished project a secret but I don’t think it is too tough to figure out what I am knitting (play along just to humor me). We’ll get this one whipped up way before it’s time for Thanksgiving. Easily.

Here is some information for the project:

Yarn: Spud & Chloë Sweater (55% superwash wool, 45% organic cotton; 100 grams/160 yards), 1 skein in Rootbeer #7503 and small amounts of Firefly #7505, Firecracker #7509, Pollen#7508, Toast #7506 and Grass #7502 (or any assortment of fall inspired colors!)

Needles: US size 6 needles, double-pointed needles, set of 4 OR size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 5 ½ stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Materials:

Yarn needle

Scissors

Small amount of fiberfill

Small amount of poly-pellets (optional and do not use if the project is intended for babies or young children)

Ruler or tape measure

Stitch marker

The fun thing about this knitalong is that the project is small so we’ll be finished quickly. I would love to see your finished November-themed toys at the end when we finish all of the steps.

Here we go for the first part of the pattern:

Body:

With Rootbeer and the double-pointed needles, cast on 9 stitches placing 3 stitches on each of 3 double-pointed needles. Join to work in the round being careful not to twist the stitches. Place a stitch marker on the first stitch.

Rnd 1: knit

Rnd 2: kfb in each stitch (6 sts per needle, 18 sts total)

Rnd 3: knit

Rnd 4: kfb in each stitch (12 sts per needle, 36 sts total)

Rnds 5 and 6: knit

Rnd 7: (k3, kfb) repeat to the end of the round (15 sts per needle, 45 sts total)

Place a stitch marker on round 7 and leave it there. Knit every round until the body measures 2 1/2 inches above the stitch marker.

Let’s stop there for now and I will be back with the next step as soon as I get it knitted myself! This will be very soon, I promise. There is nothing like a little pressure to really get me going. I’m always up for a challenge.

Well, I hope you’ll join me in my first ever Spud & Chloe “mystery project” knitalong. It should be a fun one.

Happy weekend!

October 25, 2009

Old-Fashioned Yarn Dolls

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

My daughter started making yarn dolls last summer after seeing one somewhere or other. Now we have yarn dolls hanging around the house in various spots and I love them. I thought I would remind you of or pass on this fun little project today. It is perfect when you have a tiny bit of yarn left over from a project that isn’t really enough to be knit up into something else.

Yarn dolls kind of remind of scarecrows in a funny way which is perfect for this time of year. They could also make a great yarn-y ornament for your Christmas tree. Your yarn dolls could be cute tied on the top of a smartly wrapped present or on a gift bag handle. That would add a handmade touch and a little character to any gift. Better yet if you are a yarn shop owner, yarn dolls in Spud & Chloë sprinkled around the shop or in an eye-catching display of some sort would be a fun way to show off our mod color spread to your customers! Cute.

Let’s get creative and have a little yarn doll fun.

Colors in the Spud & Chloë Sweater yarn from left to right are as follows: Firefly, Pollen, Ice Cream, Splash, Moonlight and Grass. Make a doll yourself or grab a nearby child (the willing and crafty type) and let’s make a yarn doll together. It only takes a few minutes to start spreading the smiles. My daughter helped me make this bunch of dolls up today.

We made our yarn dolls out of Spud & Chloë Sweater, but you could use Fine or Outer, too. The dolls would end up different sizes which would be fun. A tiny doll out of Fine would be wonderful. I’ll try that next.

I use my Pom Tree set at 3 inches (in the photo it is set at 1 inch) but a piece of cardboard cut to 3 inches in width would work just as well. You need a scissors and a yarn needle, too. You can order a Pom Tree here. I have no affiliation of any sort with Alice (the inventor and seller of the Pom Tree), I just think it is a really cool tool.

Now the Pom Tree is set at 3 inches between the dowels. Wrap your yarn around the dowels about 100 times. This doesn’t matter so much to be exact. For example, for the yarn doll in the Splash colorway I just used up the rest of the yarn I had.

yarn-doll

With a length of yarn, tie a knot tightly toward the top to make the head of the doll. If you are using a Pom Tree you will now slide the doll off of the dowels. If you are using cardboard you will slide the wrapped yarn off before tying off the head.

Now take another cut length of yarn, about 8 inches long, and thread the end on a yarn needle.

Pull the length of yarn on the yarn needle through the center of the head and tie it tightly with a knot at the top of the head. This length is the hanging loop so tie the ends into a knot.

Cut the loops at the bottom.

By the way, if this doll was made in Ice Cream it would look like a ghost right now. You could glue on a couple of tiny google eyes and have an instant and easy Halloween decoration!

I don’t count the strands to make the arms, I just separate 3  groups of strands to form the two arms and the body. You can just eyeball it. It’s just a yarn doll for goodness sakes:)

Cut another length of yarn and tie it tightly around the body of the doll to make a waist.

With two more cut lengths, tie the arms to make wrists. Trim all of the ends from the ties or any strays to make things even. Now, one version of the yarn doll is left with a skirt like the one above.

The other version has the skirt divided into two parts and then tied again at the ankles to make legs. We made both kinds of dolls.

So nothing too serious today, just a little yarn doll fun to share with you. This is a good project to get even really young kids involved with yarn. Even if the little ones can’t tie they could pick colors, wrap the yarn, put a finger down to hold the yarn while you are tying knots in various spots and of course, all kids love to hang the finished yarn dolls around the house.

One trick I have for tying the knots tightly is to wrap the yarn under twice instead of just once before pulling it up tight for the knots. This makes it hold better. Give it a try!

Have fun.

One more quick thing, the Ravelry link for the Outsider Mittens is here if you want to check it out.

October 20, 2009

Outsider Mittens-Free Pattern!

outsiders-on-window1

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

I am excited to bring you another free pattern for Spud says! The Outsider Mittens are a fantastic use for our thick, squishy Spud & Chloë Outer yarn. Here is some information you might like to know about the Outsider Mittens:

 

Sizes: Child’s small (child’s large/woman’s small, woman’s medium/large)

To fit a hand circumference of 6 (7, 8 ) inches

Note: The length of the hand and the length of the thumb can be made to fit any length hand.

Yarn: Outer (65% superwash wool, 35# organic cotton; 60 yards/100 grams)

Woman’s medium/large in any style: 2 skeins

Child’s large/Woman’s small in Ribbed Cuff and Short Bobble Cuff: 1 skein

Child’s large/Woman’s small in Extended Bobble Cuff: 2 skeins

Child’s small size in all styles: 1 skein

Samples:

Extended Bobble Cuff mittens knit in Sequoia #7205

Ribbed Cuff mittens knit in Carbon #7203

Short Bobble Cuff mittens knit in Peat #7204

Needles: US size 13 double-pointed needles, set of four, OR size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 2 1/2 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch

Materials:

2 stitch markers

Ruler or tape measure

Scissors

Yarn needle

Scrap yarn

 

My daughter can’t keep her hands out of these mittens. Be sure to note the size and cuff options, there are three of each. The Outsiders are knit in the round starting at the cuff which is great because you can try on the mittens as you knit. This means you can adjust the length of the thumb and hand for a custom fit.

Outer is such a treat! If you haven’t tried it yet, I hope you grab a skein and make up a fast pair of mittens. You will love it.

I hope you enjoy this quick to knit pattern. The Outsider Mittens make a perfect gift project. You’ll have your knitted gifts completed in a snap with this pattern.

Click here to download the free pattern for the Outsider Mittens!

October 19, 2009

The Outsiders

outsider mittens

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

I had a mitten-filled knitting weekend and boy, was it fun. I could not stop knitting mittens with the luscious Spud & Chloë Outer. It drew me in and there was no way out. This is the next free pattern for Spud says! and it is called, Outsider Mittens. I am so excited about this one!

It is one fast and furious project and just in time for your holiday knitting list. The pattern includes three sizes (child’s small, child’s large/adult small, and adult medium/large) and three different cuff options. The largest size requires two skeins of Outer and the other smaller sizes require only one skein for a pair of squishy, warm mitts. I used US size 13 double-pointed needles and there are no seams to be found.

I’ll be back with all of the juicy details shortly so stay tuned and get your Outer wound and ready to go….

October 16, 2009

Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts Issue

Mary Smiths Finger Puppets in IKs Gifts Issue

Marcy Smith's Finger Puppets in IK's Gifts Issue

Hi Spud & Chloë Friends,

Holiday knitting is a hot topic already this season and it is only getting hotter. Knitters are planning and making lists and some already have a good start on their gift knitting for the quickly approaching holiday season.

Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts Issue 2009 is hitting the stands on October 27th and we are proud to say that Spud & Chloë’s Fine is making an appearance in the magazine. Marcy Smith designed and knitted these adorable finger puppets called, BFF Finger Puppets. The photograph above is courtesy of Interweave Knits magazine. The girl in pink looks to be crochet and the girl in blue is knit. Good work, Marcy, the puppets are very sweet. I can think of all kinds of adventures that these two best friends could take together.

Here is some important information about the project:

BFF Finger Puppets

by Marcy Smith

Finished Size 3¾” tall.
Yarn Spud & Chloë Fine (80% superwash wool, 20% silk, 248 yd [227 m]/65 g): #7808 sassafras (pink; A), #7803 dachshund (brown; B), #7800 popcorn (white; C), and #7805 anemone (blue; D), 1 skein each. Yarn distributed by Blue Sky Alpacas.
Hooks and Needles Pinki: size C/2 (2.75 mm) crochet hook; Blu: size 3 (3.25 mm): double-pointed needles (dpn) and size C/2 (2.75 mm) crochet hook. Adjust needle or hook size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Markers (m); tapestry needle; small amount of fiberfill.
Gauge 32 sts and 40 rows = 4″ in St st on needles; 28 sts and 24 rows = 4″ in sc.

We thought you might enjoy this sneak peek at one of the projects from this popular issue from the talented people at Interweave. I know I will be grabbing my copy as soon as it hits the stands! Who could resist a cute pair of finger puppets? I have a few little people around who would love to receive these for a gift. Another option would be to add a loop on top and the puppets could be cute ornaments for your tree.

Click here to get information to order a copy!