Another Harold on the needles

I have been itching to do some non-Christmas-related knitting so I can share what I’ve been up to on the blog. My Christmas present projects are heaps of fun, but I don’t want to give anything away. I finished my dad’s and my sister Rachel’s gifts. Mom’s is probably 35% done and Nora’s is past the halfway mark. I’m just waiting on more yarn to come in from my LYS.

I also finished a takeaway coffee cozy the other day for knits by emma. I whipped up a quick little design and finished it off while watching Gilmore Girls (my all-time favorite show).

Demonstrated on my wrist until I can get a cup

Demonstrated on my wrist

Two nights ago I cast on another Harold. It’s kind of a funny story.

So I purchased The Big Book of Knitted Monsters for my kindle probably a little over a month ago now. I haven’t had the “right needle sizes” to get anything started, but Rebecca Danger believes in working with what you’ve got, so I decided to just go for it and make it work for myself. Plus a monster is very season-appropriate.

I browsed carefully through every pattern in the book and hunted for photos of finished monsters on ravelry. Finally I decided to just start with the first monster in the book, since I eventually want to knit them all anyway. I was about halfway into the body, which I’m doing in stripes to use up some leftovers, when I realized I was making Harold the Houseplant Monster. I turned to Matt and exclaimed, Omigod! It’s another Harold! We had a giggle at the coincidence. The only other toy I’ve ever made was named by me: Harold Bartemius Hippo.

Harold 2 now has a body and is currently gaping and stuffed. I need to run to Spotlight and see if they have any eyes I can use for him before I close up the top. He will also get felt teeth.

I guess I should have realized he’d be HUGE since I’m using bulky yarn. I’ll keep tabs on my progress. I expect things to slow down a bit in the knitting department since NaNoWriMo starts TOMORROW. Happy Halloween everyone!

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Welcome to Knitober!

October is out and Knitober is in folks! I hope that all you crafters have been smarter than me about preparing for your Christmas crafting. I realized the other day that it is crunch time. I’ve decided to launch Knits by Emma on January 1st 2014 (to give it a sense of occasion), so between that and all the prezzies I need to make, we have entered Knitober.

It’s been about three months now since I picked up the needles again and I am loving every minute. I’m knitting in front of the TV, on my lunch break at work, and even tucked into bed long after I should have gone to sleep.

I’ve ordered some lovely Malabrigo sock for my mom and sisters’ presents, and later today I’m hitting a few stores to stock up on some new needles and yarn for a secret new project I alluded to in the last post.

Despite having so much to do, I couldn’t help but start a new project this week. My first toy!

It's not a teepee!

It’s not a teepee!

I’ve heard several people claim that toys are their favorite thing to knit. The sound of it, honestly, has never appealed to me. I don’t have kids (yet) and none of my super close friends do either, and knitting toys has seemed to be more about the finished product that enjoyment of the actual process. Boy, was I wrong!

Fiber fill time

Fiber fill time

While trolling on ravelry this week, I became fascinated with Rebecca Danger’s The Big Book of Knitted Monsters. I thought they were so cute and I could just imagine making tons of these funny little guys to add character to our home. Unable to wait for it to be posted out to me, I opted to purchase the ebook. While I was at it, I bought Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Toys as well, just…for good measure? I’ve heard about Susan as a knitted toy genius, so I definitely wanted to learn from the best.

Two colors for a nice thick body

Two colors for a nice thick body

I read carefully through both ebooks, quickly noticing that I did not have the right needle sizes in my stash to start any of the monsters. In fact, I only have one set of 3.25mm double-pointed needles (dpns), and a too-short circular needle. Today I plan to round out that collection with a few more, but the other night when I was itchy to start something, I went with a project from Itty Bitty instead.

Head and a kindle

Head and a kindle

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kindle. I love that when I’m desperate to read a book, I can download it in seconds. My parents got me this kindle when Matt and I were home in Minnesota for Christmas last year. I promptly went out to the Mall of America to get my new toy a lovely case from Vera Bradley. I also have an old duffel bag from them that I love to keep my knitting in when I bring it with me out and about. It’s great to have tons of books in my handbag at all times all conveniently stored on my little e-reader. However, I will say that if I could have, I would have purchased the actual books in this instance. For knitting, and especially for toys, it would be nice to be able to flip back and forth quickly between pattern pages, and the tips in the beginning chapters. And seeing everything in color would be preferable as well.

Kitchener stitch for the nose

Kitchener stitch for the nose

One thing in the kindle’s favor, though, is that I don’t have to hold it open. Some books don’t sit open nicely for you to just glance at every now and then. My kindle fits lovely on the arm of the couch.

I’ve still been listening to podcasts while knitting, and funnily enough, I happened upon the Never Not Knitting episode where Alana interviews Susan about Itty Bitty! It was so crazy to be in the middle ofย  knitting up one of her patterns and listening to her talk about the book at the same time!

Have you guessed what it is yet?

Have you guessed what it is yet?

Late last night after a lovely dinner and a movie date with Matt, I finished up the head. This morning I whipstitched the head onto the body and got started on an arm while Skyping my dad. I have a busy day of errands and yarn shops ahead, but I’ve been dying to blog for days so I wanted to post quick before I go.

I probably shouldn’t have started a toy project when I have so much deadline knitting to do, but I just couldn’t help myself. And I have to say, I’m a convert! I simply LOVE knitting toys. It might even be my favorite thing…go figure!