Prince George

Oh my goodness, have you guys seen Prince George’s adorable little Christmas sweater?  It’s freaking too cute to handle.   Look at those chubby cheeks (and Christmas shorts?  The British are odd). (Thanks to my friend Jenny for sending me his picture!)

_79710177_princegeorge2[1]Apparently you can’t buy the the royal sweater vest, but we’re knitters.  We don’t need to buy sweaters like common folks (or like the Duchess of Cambridge).  Let’s take a look at the sweater originally from Cath Kidston.

sweater16n-3-web[1]It’s pretty simple,  right?  Just a standard stockinette sweater vest with teeny tiny palace guards on the bottom. If you wanted to make one, just start with a simple vest pattern in navy blue:

Baby’s Banded Sweater Vest by Lisa K. Ross

DSC_0055__2__medium2[1]And work the little palace guards along the bottom.  You could work them with intarsia, or if you wanted to make it even easier on yourself, why not use the duplicate stitch?

I’ve even worked up some palace guard charts, as a Christmas present for you!  (Click the picture for a larger version

Prince George Sweater ChartNow you can make a sweater for your little prince, too!

Bo-Peep Has Lost Her Sheep

And should try looking for it in Omaha.

i[1]This little cutie (complete with Christmas sweater) was found last week in Omaha, Nebraska, and rescued by the Omaha Humane Society.

I have questions:

1. Who trains a sheep to take walks on a leash?  And, more to the point, I didn’t even know that was something you could do.

2. How do you loose a sheep?  It’s not like they run terribly fast, like a dog or cat.

3. Sweater?  Really?  I suppose it’s kind of cute, but as my dad said (when he sent me this article), it’s “sort of creepy– like a cow wearing a belt…”

 

(Upon further research, it looks like Gage the sheep was picked up by his owner soon after being found.  He’s basically a house pet… which makes me wonder, do sheep make good pets? And, can I convince my husband to get one?)

 

Hello, Everyone!

Holy moly, you guys!  When I started this blog (almost) two years ago, I never really thought it would take off.  I might get a couple readers, but mostly I thought I’d be just yelling out into the void of the internet.  But, now I just saw that I got my 150th follower!

150[1]I don’t even think I know 150 people in real life!  (OK, maybe I do, but they certainly don’t all want to hear me yammer on about yarn and my weird TV shows.)

I just wanted to say “Thank you” to all of you for reading my ramblings, even when they veer into the incoherent.  I love reading your responses to my posts, and seeing your projects on Ravelry.

So, tell your friends!  They’re all invited to the knitting party.  (And if one of you wanted to make me a ‘150’ cake, I wouldn’t complain. :D)

Adventure Time Again!

I told you that Adventure Time had a lot of knitting in it.  Although, I think that this episode (Everything’s Jake, which aired on November 24th), is the first one to actually show a character knitting.

It’s not an important plot point, and unless you were a weird-o knitter, like me, you probably wouldn’t even have noticed it.

But, the episode begins with Jake sitting on the couch, listening to his Victrola and knitting away at… something.

UntitledHe then puts down his knitting, and you get to see the rest of his WIP, where it sits on the coffee table:

Untitled1Then, if you’re a big nerd like me, you squeal in delight, because you realize that Jake is making an entire outfit for his buddy BMO, the sentient robot/gaming system.

thCASP0UENSure, he’s a robot, and probably doesn’t get cold, but, he would be so cute in his new little outfit!  (I’m pretty they show this in the episode, but, for the life of me I can’t find it, so maybe it was all a beautiful, adorable dream.  Who knows.)  And he’s such a sweetie, you know that he’ll wear the sweater just to make Jake happy.

Adventure Time Sweaters

I’ve talked about Adventure Time before.  It’s one of my favorite shows, and defiantly one of my favorite cartoons.  It’s weird, existential, goofy, and fun.

And, for a children’s cartoon, it has an inordinate amount of knitting.

Last year for Christmas, the characters even had a Christmas Sweater party.

adventure-time-sweater-time[1]Finn the Human rocked a super-chunky moose sweater.

christmas-finn[1]And Jake the Dog wore a goose-themed turtleneck.

christmas-jake[1]BMO had on an adorable Snowman number.

christmas-bmo[1]And Princess Bubblegum wore a great all-over color-worked sweater which kind of clashed with her typical bubblegum-pink outfit (and hair), but she didn’t seem to mind.christmas-princess-bubblegum[1]Want to see the rest of the gang in their holiday best?  Click here.

Which is your favorite sweater?

Pattern Spotlight: Baby Louis

I don’t know about you, but when I make a stuffed animal or baby doll, I like the final product to look as if it wants to steal my soul.  There’s no better present for your kid to open on Christmas Morning than a doll that a possibly (definitely) possessed newborn-sized, anatomically accurate baby doll.

(My husband is creeped out by all dolls-or at least most.  He freaks out when he goes through the old boxes of stuff in our basement and he comes across my old American Girl doll, so I can only imagine how much he will like this one.  Sorry, Tristan! I hope you weren’t planning on sleeping tonight!)

Anyway, meet Louis, the crocheted baby doll that was weirdly popular on Ravelry this week.

louis_medium2[1]He has eyes that open and close, and a mouth that you can put a pacifier in.  (Which is touted as a selling point, for some reason.  I think it just makes him creepier.  Think about crocheting a mouth separately and then sewing it into the face…)

start_medium2[1]Sure, this doll is firmly in the Uncanny Valley, and is definitely going to tell your kid to murder you in your sleep, but I have to hand it to the lady (or gent) who designed him.  From a technical engineering standpoint, he’s pretty impressive.  To crochet a doll that human-like is pretty crazy.  So, hats off to them.

But, while the designer was asking if they could design a nearly-human baby doll, perhaps they should have asked if they should.

(No.  They should not have.)

Mmm… Beer

My husband is a big beer enthusiast, and I am, too (although I’m a little less knowledgeable than he is).  We love visiting Seattle’s awesome microbreweries, and he even makes his own (really delicious) beer from scratch.

He knows all about the official styles of beer, varieties of hops and IBUs.  He reads brewing magazines and learns about the different techniques that are used to make each beer special.

I like pretty labels.

I know, I know, stereotypical girl, right?  But, sometimes I can’t help it.  Take, for example, Red Hook Brewery’s winter ale, Winter Hook.

RH-winterhook-6-pack-icon1I don’t even like winter ales, and I still want to buy a six-pack.

In case you can’t see it very well in the picture, the packaging is covered completely with Fair-Isle designs.  See?

winterhook-30[1]I’m sure it’s all done by computer, but the attention to detail is fantastic!  There aren’t any half stitches or other weird mistakes.  (The little skier is even done to look like a sewed-on applique!)  Someone on their design team is a knitter.

So, let’s raise a glass to knitting (or at least knitted designs) being used out in the wild!  It’s a trend I really like, and one that makes me smile a little more when I’m walking through the grocery store.

Where else have you seen knitting used in advertising?

Inspiration: Advent Calendars

When my brother and I were little, we each had tiny Christmas trees that we used as advent calendars.  My mother (or maybe my grandmother… sorry Mom, I can’t remember which) had made us both these long wall-hangings with 24 little pockets for the days leading up to Christmas.

On the day after Thanksgiving, my parents would pull out the trees, wall hangings and an old cookie tin full of miniature ornaments.  My brother and I would spend the afternoon taking turns picking out ornaments and carefully putting each one in each pocket.

Every morning in December, we would add a single ornament to our trees.  The first week, the trees always looked a little sad and bare, but by the 10th or so, they started looking quite festive.  And by the week of Christmas, it was hard to find a free branch to add the day’s ornament to.

I’m not sure what happened to my little tree and wall-hanging, but I still have some of those miniature ornaments (a bunch of them are hanging on my tree right now!), but I still remember that particular holiday tradition fondly (especially the excitement my brother and I felt when we started having trouble finding space for our ornaments!).

Interested in making your own advent calendars?  Try one of these beautiful ones (although, it’s probably too late to make them for this year!)

Mini Stocking Advent Calendar by Alison Stewart-Guinee

IMGP1939_medium2[1]Smitten (a Holiday Garland) by Emily Ivey

Smitten3_medium2[1]Countdown to Christmas by Kate Heppell

advent1_medium2[1]

Inspiration: It’s Way Too *#^@ing Cold

We are firmly in the SECOND cold snap of the winter, here in Seattle.  Seattle, where I was promised damp, cloudy, and 40s for most of the  year.  Seattle, where I moved to get away from the excessive cold of the Midwest, and the ridiculous hot of the South.  Seattle, where I expected to wear nothing but wool sweaters and flannel shirts for 90% of the year.

It is currently (at 11:30 in the morning) 27 degrees.  27!

And, there’s snow and ice all over outside.  (In November!)

It’s not right.  It’s not fair.  And I don’t like it.

All I want to do is roll myself up in a big wad of roving and go into hibernation until the temperature is back in the 40s.

Unfortunately, that’s not really approved of by society in general, so I suppose I must make do with the next closest thing.  Thrummed knitting.

Thrummed knitting involves working little tufts of roving into your knitting (traditionally mittens, but right now I would consider murder if it meant I could get my hands on a thrummed sweater).  It’s a little futzy, but not terribly so.  And, you end up with knitting that’s completely lined with glorious, fluffy wool (think of shearling, but knitted, not leather), and dotted with cute little heart-shaped stitches.  I can’t think of anything better than walking around with my hands (and feet) swaddled with woolen goodness.

Try these mittens, for some traditional thrummed action:

Yarn Harlot Thrummed Mittens by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Outside:

2895409293_91de82094a_z[1]Inside (I know, right?!):

2873388824_e07708cb94_z[1]Or, if you’re like me and have ice cubes instead of toes, these slippers would be fantastic:

Cadeautje by Ysolda Teague

cadeautje_medium2[1]Now, I’m off to go see if I can fit another sweater over the one I’m already wearing… Wish me luck!

Pattern: Evergreen Cap

Hey, guys!  I’ve got exciting news!

Who’s got two thumbs and is one of Knit Picks’ newest pattern designers?

This gal.

Totally exciting, right?  As of Monday morning, my first official Knit Picks pattern went up, and, I have to say, it’s one that I’m pretty proud of.  (I’m actually wearing the prototype as I write this.  But that has more to do with the fact that my house is very cold, and less to do with how proud I am.)

This design has been bouncing around in my head for over a year and was finalized months ago.  I’ve been dying to share it with you, and now I can!  Woo hoo!

Also, look:  they even took professional photos with a real-life model (instead of me taking weird-angled shots with my tiny point-and-click camera that eats its battery after five pictures).

55670220_4Ooh… Aah…

55670220_3And, if you want to read the blurb from the website:

“The Evergreen Cap is an exceptionally cozy unisex hat, perfect for everyone on your Christmas list. A richly cabled beanie knit in thick Wool of the Andes Superwash, this hat keeps out even the coldest winter wind. Inspired by the tall cedar trees of the Pacific Northwest, wide cables climb smoothly from the cap’s brim up to the crown. Carefully arranged decreases allow the cables to continue uninterrupted to the very top of the hat.The Evergreen Cap is a quick and lovely accessory for men and women.”

55670220_6Fun, right?!

And, the best part?  It’s free, and just in time for last-minute Christmas knitting!

Get the pattern here:

Evergreen Cap Pattern