Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mud and Meadows

More squares for Si's knitted farmland:What's a farm without some mud?...and the pigs seem to love it!

There will be several different kinds of meadows on the farm. The square above, I've decided, is a field of golden bell heather. I used loop, or elongated, stitch to create texture and the illusion of raised plants. I'm also using this same technique for squares of different grains.

I needed to choose a yarn for the grassy areas and meadows of the Farmland. Although there were several different green yarns in my stash with which to choose from, when I recalled that I had a few extra skeins of Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed, I realized that the flecks of color inherant to the tweed would make lovely meadow flowers. The color in the photo isn't exactly true, but it's as close as I could get.

More Farmland squares, coming soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stripy Mittens

He's got a cardigan, a hat, and socks in this ginger and blue yarn, so why not some mittens, too! With all of the snow we've been having, he really did need a pair to keep his hands warm.

Here they are, in action:
Whoever thought of putting mittens on a string to keep them from getting lost was a genius.
This is the Bold Banded Mitten pattern from Zoe Mellor's Adorable Knits for Tots. Just a slight variation: 4 extra rows added before decreasing, to make them a bit longer. I'm hoping he'll still be able to wear them next winter.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Carrots anyone?

Uh-oh. Looks like a rabbit's gotten into the carrot patch. Where's Mr. McGregor when you need him.
This is one of the first squares knitted for Silas' Knitted Farmland. I'm most likely going to have 64 squares total, and with only 10 or so completed, I have a long way to go. It's a lot of fun, though, as each square is unique. --So fun, in fact, that I had to needle-felt a little bunny to cause some trouble...
I'm basically making this up as I go along and am hoping it all comes together in the end.

I will post pictures of more squares as I make them.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The stockings were hung...

Our little holiday nook...Silas can turn the lights on and off with the switch on his right. It has fast become a favorite game.

I finally finished the third stocking. Till today, it's been sitting in my basket, all done except for about 3 rows on the heel. I ran out of green, unfortunately, and was feeling too stingy to go buy an entire skein just for 3 rows. Finally today, I looked through my stash and found another skein of Lamb's Pride in a dark green. Not the same dark green, mind you, but close enough. I guess I didn't feel like being picky, and at any rate, I'm the only one who will ever notice, most likely.

Anyways, the are all done, hung, and ready to go!
Making these stockings was an incredibly joyful experience. Here's a slightly closer look at my stocking, Stocking #3, with two different snowflake motifs. Very appropriate, given today's weather (see this post on my family blog).
Now that the stockings are completed, I've moved on to Silas' knitted farmland. This is a BIG project. I've already completed about 10 squares, but I intend on having at least 48, but most likely 64 (8 x 8), so I have a long way to go!

I'll post pictures of a few after I've blocked them.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Meet the Sheep

It occurred to me recently that it might be nice to post a picture of the sheep on the blog and talk briefly about each one. These four Romney sheep belong to Shannon, who owns the property I live on. The sheep's "house" is only about 20 feet from the southeast corner of our home.

Here's the rundown.

Bart is the sheep in front. He's got more black wool than the other sheep and we really have no way of knowing if he's pure breed. Shannon bought him at a garage sale and he was her first sheep. Bart is by far the tamest of the four. He's the only one who will let you pet him. This is probably due to the fact that Shannon led him around the neighborhood on a leash when she first got him. Bart and I have a love/hate relationship. One time, when I was trying to get into their pen for something, he pushed me over in order to run out of the gate. I am not a fan of being knocked down into sheep poo and mud and I made sure to tell Bart that as I chased him around the yard. That was a trying day for us. Most of the time though, we're cool.

Blu, the sheep on the right, was bought as a companion for Bart, and that's all I really know about his origins. I call him the split personality sheep because he can never seem to make up his mind about things. Do you want the treat, Blu? Yes. Do you want to get close to the human in order to get it? No. Will you go for the treat? Yes. Will you really go for the treat? Yes, yes...no, wait! maybe no, maybe I like it better back here. I want that treat though, but no I don't, maybe. Clearly, he has very complex emotions. Blu's absolute favorite thing in the world is the swing hanging from our big oak tree. When we let the sheep out of their pasture into the yard, he'll go stand by the swing, gently rubbing his head on it. He'll stay by that swing for hours.

Next to Blu is our little girl, Audrey. We named her Audrey because she resembled Audrey Hepburn when she was a lamb (must have been the eyes). If I had to describe Audrey in two words, it would be "trouble maker." "Escape artist" would likewise be appropriate. The two phrases go hand-in-hand. Each time she is sheered, we have to prepare for several weeks of Audrey-corralling. She's tiny enough to find spots in the fencing where she can squeeze through. Luckily, her wool grows fast and before long, she fluffs up and can no longer get out. One time, when she was not yet fully grown, she got her head stuck in the gate. It took us 45 minutes to get her to turn her head and move back so that we could slide her out. Sheep, apparently, (or at least this one) only want to move forward.

And last but not least, in the background is our young alpha male, the incomparable Azure. I should say, that Audrey and Azure are both from the same flock, so I think of them as siblings, even though they are not. They were given to Shannon only a month or two after we moved to the farm. They were considered too runty for the flock, or some such nonsense. Given the fate of most livestock, especially those considered not up to par, these sheep really lucked out. Anyways, back to Azure. He is the most beautiful of the sheep. I love the coloring of his coat. A few years ago, he broke a leg, which in the olden days would have meant a trip out to the field with Pa's shotgun. But, he survived. I cannot express to you how much it sucks trying to keep a splint on a sheep. Despite this injury, Azure still became the alpha sheep. Whenever dogs or coyotes come into the pen to threaten the sheep, Azure always stands in front as the other three huddle behind him. I'm not playing favorites, but, well okay, Azure is kind of my favorite.

That's about all. Drew still can't tell them apart, even though we've lived right next to them for over 5 years and they don't look identical. Sheep have individual personalities, just like any other sentient being, but their personalities may be admittedly subtle. And I won't lie. They're not the brightest bulbs on our little blue marble, but they are endearing. And they make wool, and lots of it, lest we forget :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Prepster (Fall/Winter fashion shoot #2)

Here's another sweater I made for Silas while I was pregnant with him, and which finally fits him. This basic v-neck pullover is "The Prepster" from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Kid Knits by Julia Carles and Jordana Jacobs. It certainly lives up to it's name! I feel like I should be enrolling him in Ivy League Pre-school. It was a perfect show-off outfit for Thankgiving.

I used Cascade 220, which is an incredibly reliable yarn, in my opinion, and works well to give this sweater a consistent and polished appearance. I remember being very pleased when I finished this project, ever so long ago (though that's about all I remember about it). I'm glad it finally fits!