30 December 2012

More Mario Bros. Amigurumi!

I admit I've disappeared a little bit. Sorry about that. Grad school is not exactly conducive to crafting and as much as I like it, working as a TA doesn't help either. But, I'm still here and still crafty.

First thing is first: I hope everyone had a nice set of holidays. I figured since it's almost the new year, I have to post a little something. My friend Nancy took over my job at Walgreens since I went back to school. Her coworker Kristin went out to get dinner with us when we got into a discussion of Digimon, Mario and nerdy crafts. So, Kristin was impressed with my Yoshi an Kirby Amigurumis, and commissioned me I make a Goomba as a gift for her friend.

I forgot about it until I went to meet up with Nancy and her husband. I figured I had a little downtime, he'd probably crochet rather quickly. While this is indeed true, he was more difficult than he seemed. Either way, he's still super cute and I hope you like him!

If you want to make Goomba, check out Wolfdreamer's pattern on her blog here. She is very talented and if you haven't checked out her blog, I suggest you do so. I have done many projects from her blog and she has easy to follow clear instructions.

"Goomba" is copyright Nintendo. Pattern copyright Linda Potts. Pictures are my own. No copyright infringement intended.

02 January 2012

Irish Hiking Scarf, the New Year and Beethoven and stuff.

Ok so... Happy 2012 and happy late Christmas. I apologise for the lack of updates. Having had my first (and very overwhelming!) semester of Grad School at UCONN, I hardly had time to get done what I needed too, much less do something for myself.

I haven't neglected needlework, but I find that time just slips away from me. I had to tear out my afghan that will be offered as a free pattern (aka my "undisclosed" knitting project), yet AGAIN. So, instead of working with acrylics, I decided to spend the extra money for Patons classic wool, which will make for a nice warm, snuggly afghan. :) So during the newly found free time in Grad school, I decided to make a scarf for my boyfriend's mom for Christmas.

Easier said than done. Finding the right pattern was difficult. I used a cabled scarf pattern by my most trusted Lion Brand, but I swear, there was a mistake, and the pattern was way off. I know I never have done cables before, but I re-knit it 3 times, and still no luck. My good friend Mitch told me about reversible cables. The pattern was easy, but ate yarn like no other. So, I finally decided on the Irish Hiking Scarf. I had a hell of a time finding the right yarn. I'm a picky knitter as it is (or maybe I am a (k)nitpicker?) -- I like to use the best quality yarn in combination with the best quality needles because it makes the project itself go more smoothly and you have a nicer finished product. Since this wasn't for me, I was extra picky. I ended up going to Michael's with my friend Stacey in the middle of an early snowstorm to get Alpaca blend yarn from Michael's. It was nice, but I just felt it wasn't good enough and having settled for cheap knitting needles from Wal-Mart, I hated how it was turning out.

Boye needles get the job done, but having only knit previously with Addi needles, it was like... going from being chauffeured in a super stretch limo to having having to drive yourself in a shoddy car rebuilt from parts from a junkyard (I'd like to see the Car Fax for that one...).... Okay, so maybe it's a bit of an overstatement, but I think you get my point. So Stacey and I took another excursion to Glastonbury to buy some yarn and go Christmas shopping for our boyfriends. So, I ended up getting this fabulous yarn called "Taboggan" but unfortunately, the lady at the shop was less than helpful and I ended up buying way too little yarn, but I did get my Addi needles!!

By the time I got home for break, my mom and I went to Knitter's Nest to try to find my Taboggan yarn. No luck. I ended up buying an acrylic/wool blend called "Play time" which, I didn't like once I started knitting. I didn't like the way it felt in my hands, and it was a bit too thin in my opinion, to get through a Norwegian winter. But, I did get the Addi Click interchangable needle set!!!

Being rather annoyed with yarn by this point, I remembered Nancy telling me about yarn.com. I read through all of the yarn descriptions before finally setting on a blended yarn by Cascade called "Dolce". This yarn was amazing, other than when it tangled like mad when I tried to wind it into a ball. I can deal with that. It was the right amount of thickness and the right amount of soft: A worsted weight, 55% Alpaca, 23% Merino and 22% Silk blend.

I had been working on this scarf daily from the time I got the yarn, so, from 23. December, through today. I planned to actually give the gift to Åse herself, but I couldn't go to Norway for New Year's. I guess though, I was able to buy myself more time before actually sending the scarf off to Norway never to be seen again.

And without further adeiu (and rambling...) I introduce... The Irish Hiking Scarf!!

Here's a close up of the cables! 

Jealous of his Model/Composer competitor, Mozart, Beethoven models the scarf. My doesn't he look rather fetching in red!

As said before, the pattern was fairly easy. It called for a worsted weight yarn on size 8 needles. I used size 7 and close to 200 g of yarn because Dolce got pretty good yardage. I made the scarf in red because Alex said it's his mom's favourite colour. The picture is a bit dark, but the red is actually a very vibrant one. :) Now I just hope that Åse likes it! She's been knitting way longer than I have, and it was my first attempt at cables, so I hope it is well received! I know I am proud of it (and even more so that I can start a new project!)

The Irish Hiking Scarf pattern can be found here.

** This pattern is copyright of Hello Yarn. All right's reserved. The photos are my own.**