All Together for Christmas

December 25th, 2009 | 1 Comment

Chinese Zodiac Family

Pattern: Chinese Zodiac Amigurumi , also available from edafedd
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted, assorted colors, and Lion Brand Wool-Ease, #122 Sienna
Hook: E 3.5mm

This is the first year that I am not spending Christmas in Wisconsin. My in-laws are coming in from Japan tomorrow, so we decided it made sense for us to stay put in Houston and, y’know, clean the house.

This is the second year in a row that Christmas is…different. Last year my parents spent Christmas by themselves in Atlanta, where they were seeking treatment for my dad’s cancer, while my brothers, my husband, and I had Christmas in Wisconsin. Not only was the family not together for Christmas, but we all kind of knew that it would probably be my dad’s last.

And of course, this year is the first one without my dad. And while this Christmas doesn’t have the same dark mood as last, and I am very much looking forward to seeing my in-laws, I still wanted to do something that would let us all be together, if only symbolically.

So I made Chinese Zodiac amigurumi.

The front two are me (monkey) and my husband (rabbit). The back row, from left to right: my dad (horse), my mom (snake), and my two brothers (rat and tiger).

Of course I decided to do this on December 20. Plan ahead for holiday crafting? What’s that? After one solid day of doing almost nothing but crochet, I just had the tiger left to do. And I discovered that the best color I had was…Cheetos Orange. No medium browns, not even a red in the right yarn weight. Just Cheetos Orange.

Chinese Zodiac Family

I tried to make a tiger in Cheetos Orange. It made my eyes hurt. And there are no yarn shops open at midnight on Sunday. So I made a quick trip to Big Box Craft Store for some Wool-Ease after work Monday night (tried the LYS first but it was closed), finished the tiger, dropped everybody into a box and posted it Priority Mail on Tuesday morning.

Miracle of miracles, they arrived in Wisconsin in time for Christmas. I got a call from my mom this morning and it sounds like they’re having a very merry Christmas over there. Though she does not believe me that my husband was born in the Year of the Rabbit. And we’re having a merry Christmas here too. So all is well. :)

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CogKnition posted this on December 25th, 2009 @ 2:37pm in Crochet, Finished Objects, Toys | Permalink to "All Together for Christmas"

Tangled Up in Bobbles

November 23rd, 2009 | 2 Comments

So I have been knitting.

If by “knitting” you mean knitting and re-knitting the same section of sweater over and over again. I am now officially a working stiff (of the hellish-commuting/lots-of-overtime variety), which means on a good day I’ll get to sneak maybe 20 minutes of knitting before I pass out on the couch. Anything more complicated than stockinette is now completely beyond me.

I reached the yoke part of the Tangled Yoke Cardigan, attached the sleeves, and continued working merrily along in stockinette. Until I discovered that I’d missed the decreases on the row where I attached the sleeves. Frog. Re-knit.

Missed the first round of yoke decreases. Frog. Re-knit.

Got to the cable pattern and miscounted the number of stitches between the 5-in-1 increases. Frog. Re-knit.

Tangled Yoke Cardigan

Missed the second set of 5-in-1 increases. Frog. Re-knit. Re-knit wrong, frog and re-knit again. It’s still wrong, so I frog and re-knit again, this time successfully.

I finish the cable pattern, and the next round of yoke decreases, and feel all proud of myself that I finally finished the hard part and can go back to zoning out on stockinette.

And then I looked more carefully. Check out the picture above again. Notice something?

Here’s a hint:

Tangled Yoke Cardigan

There were four dots on the chart that I thought were purl stitches. Turns out they were bobbles.

Continue reading… »

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CogKnition posted this on November 23rd, 2009 @ 12:46am in Tutorials, Unfinished Objects | Permalink to "Tangled Up in Bobbles"

Stackable Cats

October 17th, 2009 | 1 Comment

Stackable Cats

Pattern: Stackable Cats from Mochimochi Land
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted, #1203, #599, #194, #515, #217, #180; Pittsburgh, #9143
Needles: Addi Turbos, US 6 (4.0mm)

Three stackable cat brothers went frolicking through my in-laws’ house. They ran into cousin Maneki Neko

Stackable Cats

…and a proselytizing flying pig.

Stackable Cats

They spent some time practicing for their Cirque du Soleil audition…

Stackable Cats

…before retiring to their permanent homes. Calico went to my mother-in-law, Siamese to my aunt-in-law, and Striped Tabby went to my sister-in-law.

This is the third time I’ve knit one of Anna’s patterns and it is once again very clear and produces adorable results. I did make a few modifications when knitting the striped tabby. If you do a straight 2-row alternating stripe as suggested in the pattern, you’ll wind up with one very fat 4-row stripe after picking up stitches to make the rest of the body. So I made the first stripe only one row thick and then resumed alternating 2-row stripes. You still wind up with a 3-row stripe (which you can see at the top of the cat’s head), but I thought that was less noticeable.

In addition, the join will wind up at the front of the cat, so I knit an extra half-round to push it to the back, where the jog would be less prominent. I also finished up the last part of the body—the flap that becomes the bottom of the cat—all in white instead of in stripes.

The cats were declared to be very kawaii by my in-laws. I think so too. And well…

Stackable Cats: You can agree with me, or you can be WRONG!

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CogKnition posted this on October 17th, 2009 @ 9:36pm in Toys | Permalink to "Stackable Cats"