Ocean Paradise

project-sandi.JPGThis is the stash for the newest project – 5 matching merbs.
One of my Mom’s co-workers ordered these after seeing the first Merb.
She’s getting married on the beach in Mexico(jealous!) and wanted her wedding party in merb form for her daughter. I’ll be doing my first 2 male dolls with this batch! I’m totally excited!
merb-sf.JPGHere is the first merb in progress. I have 3 weeks to get done and get them to her so I’m off to knit like mad!

Under the Sea

Here are the instructions for Knitted Mer-Babes. E-mail me with any problems at:

ChickenBetty at Gmail dot com – thanks for stopping by and comment if you make one so I can see your Merbs!!
Knitted Mer-Babe

Worsted yarn on Sz US4 - 6 needles

You want the knitting to be dense so the stuffing doesn’t pop through the stitches.

Work short rows for fin
Cast on 20 sts
K one row
Turn and work 19 P stitches
Turn and knit to end
K 18 sts K2tog
Turn, P2 tog , P to last st
Turn, K to last 2 sts, K2tog
Turn K2tog, K to last st, turn
Repeat in 3 row rib, decreasing at end of each row till 5 sts remain
Continue in 3 row rib now increasing at the end of each row where you had Decreased
When 20 sts are on the needle bind off

Tail(lower body)
Cast on 5 sts, pick up 10 stitches from top of the tail, cast on additional 5 sts (20 total)
Knit 10 rows stockinette
Next row increase (knit f&b) in first and last stitch
Repeat 3 more times.
K 4 rows in Stockinette
Next row increase (knit f&b) in first and last stitch
Repeat 3 more times. (36 sts)

Work following chart for transition to upper body color
Q= tail color
X=upper body color

XXXXXXXXQQXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXQQXXXXXXXX
XXXXXXXQQQQXXXXXXXXXXXXXXQQQQXXXXXXX
XXXXXXQQQQQQXXXXXXXXXXXXQQQQQQXXXXXX
XXXXXQQQQQQQQXXXXXXXXXXQQQQQQQQXXXXX
XXXXQQQQQQQQQQXXXXXXXXQQQQQQQQQQXXXX
XXXQQQQQQQQQQQQXXXXXXQQQQQQQQQQQQXXX
XXQQQQQQQQQQQQQQXXXXQQQQQQQQQQQQQQXX
XQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQXXQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQX

Upper Body
Continue in stockinette st for 30 more rows
K9 sts place on stitch holder K2tog, K14 sts, K2tog, place last 9 sts on stitch holder

This is where you pick up the pattern in the book
Under “INSTRUCTIONS Body”
7th line down: Next row: P2tog, P to last…..
For the back:
Place all 18 stitches onto one needle and begin with instruction from the book
Under “INSTRUCTIONS Body”
6th line down: Dec row: K2tog, K to last…..

Follow book instructions for arms and their placement, increase to 9” length
Join the front upper half to back upper half per book instructions

Join tail with whip stitch and secure to fin.
Crochet a dorsal fin through the whip stitches
( I did 5 sc, 13hdc, 4dc, 1trpc, 2dc, 3hdc, 9sc)
continue sc around waistline where colors meet, increase to dc for 2 stitches at the top of the hip and return to sc around to other hip, 2dc here, return to sc and continue to back.

Stuff through back opening, stitch closed

Shell top
Standard worsted yarn
US sz G crochet hook (for all crochet work)

Chain 28
Turn and sc in last 3 stiches
*Turn 1sc, 1 popcorn stitch(yo, insert, yo, pull through, yo, insert, yo, pull through, yo, insert, yo, pull through, yo and pull through ALL yos{6}) 1sc.
Slst in first row** and chain 8
Repeat from * to **
chain 28, finish

Slip knot onto hook and slst in top of popcorn stitch, chain 15, slst in top of remaining popcorn stitch. Weave in end.

Have fun!

Toots

In progress

For those of you interested, I will post the pattern for the “Merb” tonight. The doll is at school with my daughter right now and I’ll have to double check my notes with the actual doll to make sure I don’t give you erroneous instructions. I’ll be out at another knitting group this evening but I’ll get it all together and post before bedtime. Thanks for the interest!
Here’s a pic of the yarn for the next “merb” She’ll be started tomorrow.
merb-yarn-20.jpg

La Mer

On Sunday, the Hubby woke me up with a great idea. At xmas-time our oldest had drawn a whole family of robots and I thought it would be cute to transfer/print them onto muslin and make embroider some simple dolls. Alas, time got away from me but the thought resurfaced in the Hubby and he started thinking about what other drawings we could turn into a doll and BANG! He glanced over at the mermaid she had drawn and thought of the dolls I’ve been making. “Honey, (here he waves coffee in front of my face to get me to crawl out from under the covers), what about Knitted Mer-babes?”
That’s all we talked about for most of the rest of the day – Knitted Mer-babes. Strangely this entire phrase didn’t imprint itself onto my 5 year-old’s brain. On Monday on the way home from school she asked her father when he thought I would be done making the first Knitted Merb. I’m not kidding – she said Merb, and was dead serious about it. So, here is the Merb!
merb.JPGmerb-2.JPG  

In October of 2006 Claire Galand Published a new book, Dream Toys, in which she 

has published a pattern for mermaids also based on her knitted babes pattern.

When the Lights Go Down in the City

paris-yarn0.jpgHere is the incredible yarn that my friend Janice brought back from Paris for me. What a doll! It’s 47% wool, 47% acrylic and 6% polyamide (From Wikipedia:A polyamide is a polymer containing monomers joined by peptide bonds. They can occur both naturally, examples being proteins, such as wool and silk, and can be made artificially, examples being Nylon, Kevlar and sodium poly(aspartate). In other words, the little nylon thread that winds around the yarn.
I also stopped in at my yarn temple, Webs, and picked up 2 balls of delectibly chocolate colored Valley Yarns Shelburne. (45% Wool, 30% acrylic and 25% Alpaca) All together this should make a fantastic keyhole scarf and gauntlet set for me. I have this whole week off so I’ll have lots of fun with projects.
* long-awaited curtains for the livivng room - these were completed later in the week
* a new mermaid bedspread for my oldest – ended up with a lovely hmd from a cousin
* a purple fuzzy pillow to go with the new bedspread - also finished later that week
* a knitted babe outfit for my friend Lou, she’s making a doll for her grand-daughter – sadly, Lou moved on to another job the week I was on vacation and never got to finish her own doll.

* finishing the hat and booties to go with the finished baby sweater - done
* emptying my garage of all the recyclables that have built up over the winter – done (I love you Hubby)
Lots’o fun stuff folks. I should have the baby hat and booties done tommorow. I’ll post pics before I hit the Post Office – Ha HA! I make me laugh

Night and Day, Knit one, Purl one…

Wow! Has it been a week already?

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Here’s my latest project – a baby sweater. I figure I’ve been having such luck lately with the doll sweaters I should expand. We have friends in England expecting their first tot and they’re planning to have the nursery in green. Keeping that in mind I made a treck to the local temple of yarn – Webs – and found some scrumptious stuff. First I found the Svale yarn (cotton, silk blend) in an irresistable apple green, and for added interst I decided to add some of Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Tweed (again cotton/silk + a little merino) in a warm mossy color. It’s also got flecks of yellow and orange, yummy. So, there we are, seed stitch forever and a gorgeous sweater coming out of it all. The original pattern, from Vogue Baby Knits Two, calls for a hood but I’m planning on matching cap and booties. I’ll post the whole set when it’s wrapped up.

Luck Be a Lady Tonight

So, it is Oscar night and I’m doing what I’ve done for the past, at least, 25 years – I’m watching the Academy Awards. This was a big thing in my house growing up. We’d look forward to it for weeks and all settle in on the couch with popcorn and baited breath to see who would win, who they’d thank and what they’d be wearing. There were never men involved in these viewings. It’s not a guy thing. Just me, Mom and my sister. Even in the years after I’d moved away from home I’d call Mom or Sis and talk with them through the whole thing. The only time I ever convinced my husband to actually watch the show with me was the year that Liz Taylor gave away the winner of best picture before reading any of the nominees by bellowing out Gl-aaaaaaadiator! My husband says that nothing could ever top that – I might have to agree. I miss that days of Billy Crystal’s musical montages to the Best Picture nominees but I’ve seen enough pointless time-filling montages tonight to fill next year’s show. All-in-all a pretty predictable show but that’s what you get when the nominees are predictable. I have to say that I did enjoy John Stewart, but then again I always do. SO the Oscars are a bust, again, but I did finish my fourth Knitted Babe and I finished a second outfit for the first Babe I made. Here’s Adahlia Adahlia in a bright springtime sweater and matching skirt. The darker blue is more of the Lion Brand Micro-Spun and the light blue was another scrap yarn. I just went crazy with the little red buttons!

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I’ve also added something new to my knitting routine – an exercise bike! That’s right folks – Baby Got Back, I just don’t want the warning beep when I back up so I’m working on bringing it down a bit. My husband got a chuckle when he came home from the grocery store to find the bike, which has been living in our garage for 6 months, finally in the bedroom and all decked out with a basket on front for my knitting. If I’m gonna spend 30 minutes a day on this thing I’m gonna get some knitting done. And I have… Here is Keekee in her pretty new pink dress.

keekee-1.JPG

She looks a little Anime with her white hair and all but that’s what my three year-old wanted so that’s what she got. She’s knitted out of a standard off-brand worsted acrylic and the hair is a combination of Cotton-Tots and fun fur. I made the bubble sweater from the book and then picked up stitches along the ribbed edge and knit in stockinette for about three inches before beginning a ruffled edge in crochet. My daughter also picked out the yarns for the dress. When I asked her what color dress she would like for her doll she ran right over to one of my stash drawers and took out both yarns. She said she had been watching the yarn to make sure I didn’t use it on anything else because it was the right color for her! It was in the back of the bottom drawer, under a whole bunch of other yarns! Three year-olds!

That’s it for this weekend. I’ve mostly recovered from the flu though I still feel a bit weak and groggy but I am looking forward to getting back to school and work and my Monday refreshment – my knitting group :)

Best Imitation of Myself

I hate being sick. Just trying to be yourself is a struggle. The Flu has run through both my munchkins and It ran into me last night. The only upside to being huddled under the covers alternately shivering or baking in a hot-flash is that I’ve got all that time to knit. Hopefully I’ll have a dress done for my 3 year-old’s doll, Keekee, by tomorrow afternoon. The bodice is done I just have to work the skirt, I’ll post a pic when its done.
If anyone is looking for something interesting to read check out Self-Made Man by Nora Vincent

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Norah Vincent absorbed a cultural experience and reported back on what she observed incognito. For more than a year and a half she ventured into the world as Ned, with an ever-present five o’clock shadow, a crew cut, wire-rim glasses, and her own size 111/2 shoes—a perfect disguise that enabled her to observe the world of men as an insider.

This is great, and quick read. You’ll really look at men differently after this one.

The Ladies, The Ladies

SO, here was my first attempt at one of Claire Garland’s Knitted Babes.
The first doll was named Adahlia Adahlia by my 5 year old.
adahlia-adahlia-1.JPG
She is sporting a jaunty orange and yellow hoodie – perfect beachwear, except that it is snowing outside! I had fun making the doll but the head was wobbly and my husband kept calling it Rodger – American Dad, anyone? I couldn’t give my little girl a doll that looked like a goo-spewing alien, so I whip stitched about a 1/2 inch of the neck together and vastly improved it’s appearance.

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The second doll was also for my 5 year-old, I called this one Diana Ross till it was done, it’s all about the hair. My daughter decided to name her Aluna and that’s that. I didn’t want to end up with another enormous head so I modified the pattern a bit and was much happier with the shape and stability that this one had. I decided she just was coming back from a trip to the islands so, I made a bright and flirty dress for her and accesorized with a feather boa and a floral purse.

After the overwhelming success with the first two dolls my daughter insisted that I make one for her best friend’s upcoming birthday and I did. Here’s Rachel.

rachel.jpg

My daughter picked out the yarn for the skin and hair because she wanted it to look just like her friend. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to take a pic of the doll in her “Brazilian Ballet” outfit. A saucy little red number with a ruffled skirt and matching toe-shoes, but you do get to see her “Mountain Retreat” get-up. Comfy sweater, jeans and a flopy hat.

I’ve finished a fourth doll for my three year old and though it only has underwear at this point, she has named it Keekee and won’t let go of it. I’m working on a little pink dress and I’ll post a pic as soon as its done.

If anyone is in the Framingham, MA area on March 8th check out Children’s author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka at the Barnes & Noble. His new book, Giddy Up, Cowgirl is awesome and he is a super sweet and funny guy.