Elliebelly’s Adventurous April KAL 2015 Begins

The Knit Along isn't actually beginning just yet, but I'm winding my yarn and gathering my notions so I will be all ready on April 1.  Looking for a KAL to join?  Our pattern, Antarktis, is a one skein project that is beginner appropriate and we are lots of fun to knit with!  You can use any yarn you want, and, if knitting a scarf/shawl isn't your thing, we also have a stuffed animal and a "learn a new technique" category.  Sign up for the Elliebelly group on Ravelry here, introduce yourself in the threads and feel free to join in with us!


I've selected my yarn after lots of back and forth.  It's Elliebelly's MCN (merino/cashmere/nylon) High Twist in a fingering weight.  It's a pale robin's egg blue called Lady Mary (if you watch Downton Abbey, you'll remember the dress that inspired the colorway!)


My runner up choice is this Elliebelly Seasilk  in Jabot.  I went with the Cashmerino blend because the Seasilk doesn't grow as much when blocked, and pattern designer Janina Kallio stresses the importance of selecting a yarn that will block well.

I'm all set.  I've got my new Darn Pretty Needles all ready to go, along with my yarn in a pretty linen bag from Churchmouse.  See you on Wednesday for the start of knitting nirvana as we all cast on.




Knitalongs: Give Aways & Progress

It is, perhaps, a bit confusing to be participating in one knitalong while planning another.  Confusing, but fun.  So, first things first.  The Sunday night yarn give away winner for the Adventurous April KAL on the Elliebelly Ravelry Group is Jamlknitter.  Lisa, message me on Ravelry and I'll get your yarn on the way to you in time for cast on!

If you aren't Lisa, don't worry.  There is still time to enter and win some Elliebelly yarn before the KAL starts on April 1, by leaving a comment to this post, before next Friday.


In the meantime, any guesses about what color my yarn, in the dye bath above, is going to be?  This photo is a little bit reminiscent of the dress that took the internet by storm a couple of weeks ago.  What color do you all see?


And, for the Malabrigo March KAL, my Monkey's eyes arrived today.  I've got three different options to choose from.  I'm almost done with the first leg, so perhaps we will be to the point where we can have an eye test soon.  The pattern calls for you to do the monkey's muzzle last — right now his face is just the big round blob you all saw last week.  But I'm glad to have the eyes ready.  I'm hoping to finish Monkey up next weekend.



Monkey Back

**if you are looking for the post about the Elliebelly Knit-Along and yarn giveaway, click here.**

I’m back to knitting Monkey. And Monkey now has a back.

Head n body

I’m completely enamored with this knit and am starting to envision an entire zoo, full of knitted animals.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one. We’ve decided to include a group for knit stuffed animals and monsters as part of the Adventurous April KAL. I’m planning a cat or bunny to follow Monkey.

There are an amazing variety of fabulous knit stuffed animal patterns on Ravelry, many of them free.

If you’ve never knit a stuffed toy, you should come join us in the KAL. And if you have made one or more in the past, you should come knit with us and share your ideas and expertise. Toys are not something I ever saw myself knitting, but my best friend and I have a 30-year tradition of exchanging gifts, so when I saw the original Monkey Jacobus pattern, I couldn’t resist. And now, I’m hooked!


The First Week Of The Elliebelly Knit Along

Two weeks ago we casted on for the first ever Elliebelly Knit Along.  In the two weeks since, there has been masterly knitting, some early finishers, a lot of talk about pattern selection, tasty yarn pictures, and, exactly what I needed, encouragement for getting my fall knitting out and going strong.

Today I thought I would share some of the projects with you.  They are all so beautiful, but I've got a few at random (the knitters who I was able to catch up with and insure it was okay to share their pictures and projects), so I will start with these few and show off the rest over the next couple of weeks.

You are in for some serious eye candy in this one!

Siobahn is knitting mitts for her Mom, a nurse.  Actually, I should say past tense, knit, as she is so amazingly quick that despite using a sock yarn, Elliebelly Ellie-Blue BFL Sock, she is finished.  Isn't her Mom lucky?  The pattern is Alexandra Brinck's Fishtail Wristwarmers and the colorway is "Purple Rain."


Siobahns wristwarmers

Cricket is knitting this amazing sweater and bloomers set.  She is using Carina Spencer's convertible bloomers pattern and Elliebelly's Ellie-Blue Aran BFL yarn in Cupcake.



My cousin Ann is knitting a Shoulder Scarf using some yarn she spun from Elliebelly Alpaca Roving.

Anns yarn


She is an amazing spinner and knitter and my best role model.  Isn't that scarf an artwork in its own right?  It is so simple and so beautiful.  I cannot wait to see it completed.

Clarissa is knitting the Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz.  I'm particularly interested in seeing how this turns out as I have some yarn earmarked for the same pattern.  She is using Elliebelly's Sea Wool in "Chihuly."



Tina knit Cappuchine for an incredible little model, using Elliebelly Ellie-Blue Bulky BFL.  I've never noticed this pattern before, but now, I can't wait to knit it.  Tina managed to show the yarn off to perfection.

  image from www.flickr.com

The last bit of knit-porn for the day is Jenn's Citron, using Elliebelly's Juliet Sock Yarn in Marmalade.


Jenn's knitting is so pretty that I feel like she has captured a piece of the sun and is knitting it.

There is a lot of very cool knitting going on these days.  I'm really grateful to everyone who is participating in the knit along for all of the fun and inspiration it's bringing me!


Knit Along Progress

I have made great progress with Ollie's Sweater, having finished the raglan increases, put the sleeve stitches aside on waste yarn, and joined the body to knit down in one piece.



But my progress is not the knitting story of the day.  That story belongs to Ellie, who made this totally amazing hat in two and a half days.


Isn't she a wonderful next generation knitter?


Now you will have to indulge me and ooh and ahh over the pictures of her knitting.  I think it is the most incredible experience in the world to have lucked into a knitting child. (This is actually my second knitter, my first is here.)  Isn't she wonderful?





Casting On: Ollie’s Crayon Ragman Sweater

The Elliebelly Knit Along starts today, and I'm on top of it.

This yarn


is going to become this sweater, Donna Higgins Ragman.


I'm off to a good start. 

A very bad swatch indicated I would get gauge on size 9 needles (I've knit with this yarn before so I knew that and was too lazy to do more than just quickly confirm it.)


57 stitches, casted on using the long tail method.


And, on to the set up row for the raglan increases, followed by the insertion of pretty yarn jewelry (stitch markers).



The only hitch in the process involved our large black cat, squirt, who became enamoured with the "new toy" Mom got him, and suddenly wandered off with the ball of yarn, trailing my needles behind him.


He was very disappointed when I took it back.  Poor kitty!



Getting Ready For The Elliebelly Knit Along: A Post In Which I Expand My Choices Instead Of Making A Decision

I have a number of favorite patterns and potential choices for the Elliebelly Knit Along, which starts Saturday so I'm getting to the point where I really, really, really need to make a decision here.  I hope you'll consider signing up and knitting along with me!  You can knit any pattern of your choice in any Elliebelly yarn, with lots of fun along the way.  Sign up here.

Instead of deciding from among the patterns I looked at a few days ago, I have a couple more possibilities to add to my list.


I adore Karin's Simple Ribbed Cowl pattern.  I can't help but think it would be wonderfully warming on a cold winter's day, and I do have just enough bulky Cashmere to knit this one, although I would have to do some quick dyeing as it is still in its natural state. (This is actually not much of a disincentive, because I love dyeing and I love dyeing Cashmere).


Then there is Pinkobbit's shrug.  She used the Shrug This pattern, which uses just 153 yards of an aran weight wool.  I could probably get gauge double stranding some of my Eco Alpaca.


I also think the black and white colorway Pinkobbit used is fantastic, and it occurs to me something like that, or yarn dyed in my Urban Myth colorway would be nice for this pattern.

We are coming up on decision time here, and I don't seem to be any closer.  I'm still eyeing the Sea Three (Seacell and Silk) as the yarn I would most like to dye with.  But I haven't hit the perfect pattern for it yet, and the patterns I have found are so tempting, that I suspect a number of them are going to hit my needles between now and the end of the year.

Hopefully a few of you are doing a better job than I am of deciding what to knit.  Remember to go ahead and sign up officially once you make your decision.