Friday, June 8, 2007

Eye Candy Friday: Petunia

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have a niece-in-progress. As a baby shower gift, I've decided that I will attempt to knit her two things. One is the Matinee Coat from Debbie Bliss' Simply Baby. The other is the Elephant Toy from Joelle Hoverson's Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

The second step (after pattern selection) was to find the yarn. I needed little girl colors (the mom is a bit particular that way), and I wanted to find yarn that was soft and completely machine washable. I ended up with some Sirdar Snuggly DK.

Baby stash!

I decided to start with the elephant. I've been calling her Petunia the Purple Pachyderm. I'm over halfway done, and all I can say is that (for me) this is definite tongue-out knitting! That aside, I am learning a lot and enjoying the process. I thought it best to share (honestly) my experience knitting this up so far. I expect that experienced knitters will get a good chuckle...

Following the directions, I started with the arms. To complete them, I had to learn how to do a mattress stitch, which seamlessly joins up stockinette stitch. I figured out how to do this, to my great pleasure. As promised, here's photographic proof:

Elephant arm

From there, it was time to work on the body. This is knit starting by knitting two squares for legs, keeping the stitches live, then joining the legs and knitting in the round for the body. Then comes the shoulder shaping. I must have done something wrong in how I joined the legs or something, because the shoulders (as I knit them) would have ended up in the middle of the chest and back.

*much mumbling and frogging*

At this point, I ended up frogging everything (except my perfect arms). I decided to knit this up holding the yarn doubled. I like how it's made the fabric feel a bit stronger and sturdier - a good idea for a baby in my mind. This time, I saw that the shoulders were going to end up in the wrong place, so I just did some mental math to get everything in the right spot.

I knitted happily along, pleased with punch at myself. I put stitches on a stitch holder for future use in the trunk (can I just say how much I love the KnitPicks Options set - the cables are perfect stitch holders!). I stopped knitting in the round and instead knitted back and forth. Then... I had to do a provisional crochet cast on. At this point, my internet was down, I didn't have the pattern book handy, and only one of my books covered this - poorly.

I followed the book directions carefully, made a chain, cast on the stitches, and knit around in the row. At this point, my book mentioned removing the crochet chain, which I did... and those "new" stitches unraveled. (You saw that coming, didn't you?).

*puzzled frogging*

I then this again... and got the same result. Even if it's wrong, at least I'm consistent, right?

*frustrated frogging*

I decided to back slowly away from the needles, saving my mumblings for my ISP, and wishing for restored internet.

I have since had my internet restored, and I realize the error in pulling out the crochet chain before it's time. I haven't yet had the time to sit down and move forward (again), but this time I hope to make it a bit farther before needing to frog.

Elephant, currently. Frogging count: 3


blueadt said...

looking good....

Romi said...

That is going to look adorable!