Monkey Has A Head!

Monkey head

Look at Monkey's cute (although sort of creepy since it's disembodied) head.  I decided to stuff it, even though the pattern doesn't direct me to at this point, because it seemed like it would be easier now, without having to navigate up the body through the tight neck.

There are a lot of comments about the Monkey Jacobus pattern from people who had difficulty knitting it, I'm finding it to be very straightforward and easy to follow, at least so far.  It's also a lot of fun.

The purl ridge across Monkey's face is the starting point for picking up stitches and adding on a big sock monkey-esque snout.  And the little bars on the side of the head, I am guessing, are where the ear stitches will be picked up.  Can you see the vertical ridge of purl stitches below?


You can follow along as I knit my "March Monkey" project here, as part of the Malabrigo March Knitalong.

Although Monkey is my first knit stuffed animal, he is not going to be my last.  There has been an outbreak of stuffed animal ideas on the Elliebelly Ravelry group as we discuss our Adventurous April KAL. There are cats and bunnies and all sorts of wonderful things, and I don't think I'm going to be able to keep myself from knitting all of them.  If you're interested in joining us, we would love to have you.  It's always a fun KAL in April.


First Finished Object — Malabrigo March KAL 2015

image from images4-b.ravelrycache.com

It's my first finished object for this year's Malabrigo March Knitalong.  Or does it count as two?  Tardis Blue mittens, knit from Malabrigo's Bulky weight Rasta yarn.  

This is a great last minute gift project, as they knit up in just a few hours at this weight.  The yarn is so soft!  This is the kind of project that makes you glad you're a knitter.


Malabrigo March KAL Begins

I'm not sure what it is about Malabrigo March — the idea that you're up casting on in the middle of the night with knitters all over the world?  Whatever it is, I stayed up past midnight and cast on my projects.

I want to go to Marz – Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Sweater


It's going to be a finicky knit, alternating three skeins (because these skeins look nothing alike!) in a light fingering yarn.  But I think it will be worth it in the long run.  The very long run — because who am I kidding?  This is going to be a long slow knit.  Do the tight little M1R and M1Ls in this yarn slows me down!

March Monkey – The Monkey Jacobus Pattern


I'm already in love with his cute little Intarsia in the round face, and I've got eyes (I hope they're the right size) coming in the mail next week.  The body is in my favorite Malabrigo colorway, Arco Iris.

Blue Mittens  - Super Bulky Mittens by Diane Soucy

Cast on

I knit a pair of these last year for Malabrigo March.  They were quick and fun, and I've worn them a lot.  I thought a solid colored pair might be a good addition to the family stash of mittens.  Here is last year's version.

image from images4-d.ravelrycache.com

I'm looking forward to all the good knitting support, inspiration and fun that always comes along with this knitalong.



Malabrigo March KAL

Do you remember the 2014 Malabrigo March Knitalong?  I amassed stash, cast on all the things, finished two cowls, a hat, and a sweater, went to Iceland, knit a lot while hiking, and finished one last hat just in time for Ellie to wear it home.  All in all, it was a wonderful month.  Knitting in Iceland!  Knitting with Malabrigo!

This year, my goals are a bit more modest.  I have two projects to knit and a longer term project to cast on and get started with, and then finish up later this year.

image from images4-d.ravelrycache.com

First up, Blue Mittens. Because it's surprisingly cold for Alabama in February.  I plan to cast these on right at midnight on March 1 and have them knit up in time to wear for the Selma march anniversary the following weekend, because I hate having cold fingers and this bulky Malabrigo Rasta yarn is an amazing chill chaser.

image from images4-d.ravelrycache.com

Next up, Monkey Jacobus.  He's going to be my first knitted stuffed animal.  He's going to be adorable – you're just going to have to trust me on this one.  And, I get to learn a new technique, intarsia in the round, along the way.

image from images4.ravelrycache.com

My last project is Hannah Fettig's Featherweight Sweater.  Yes, that's a sweater knit in a fingering yarn, Malabrigo's new Mechita.  I love their single-ply yarns, and I fell hard for Mechita in the Diana colorway.  I'm willing to accept that this one will take a while.  I'm calling it "I want to go to Marz," a goofy homage to the fact that Marz means March in Icelandic and our tour guide in Iceland played the John Grant song of this name over and over while we were in Iceland last March. 

I'm looking forward to this year's Malabrigo March KAL festivities, which are hosted here on Ravelry.


I Have Sleeves

I don't knit a lot of sweaters, so everytime I do, I tend to see something new.

Modern Garden is no exception.  In this sweater, you knit the sleeves from the bottom row up to about chest high.  Then, you knit them into the body of the sweater, keeping up with the patterning on the sleeves and in the yoke (and remembering to place your buttonholes, which has been an issue for me on this one) and complete the sweater.

The sleeves are bulky and I'm knitting them on  DPNs, instead of magic loop because I don't have an additional circular needle in this size.  They were a little too cumbersome to take along with me on vacation, so I put the sweater aside and worked on hats while I was away.

Modern garden sleeves

But I picked the sweater back up last night and am working on sleeves.  The first one is ready to incorporate into the yoke and my hope is to have the second one there tonight so I can put everything together and move on to the yoke next week.

And, a reminder.  We are starting a Knit Along on the Elliebelly Group on Ravelry on April 15.  You're welcome to join us — you can knit with any yarn you choose and there is no official date you have to finish by.  We would love to have you, whether you are a new knitter or a more experienced one.


An Update on Malabrigo March: a Month of Knitting with one Company’s Yarn

Malabrigo March is almost over and it has been a whirlwind!  I've been out of town almost as much as I've been in town, which has been bad for blogging but rather interesting for knitting.  Before each trip, I cast on several projects and then negotiate with myself over space in my suitcase.  I have been known to turn two changes of clothing into a week's worth of outfits, just so I can take four knitting projects along as well.

I'm getting ready to head out of the country for the rest of the month and, predictably, I'm taking four projects along with me.

The first is so new that I've only just cast on and will be working on the brim during the flight.  The pattern is Fuego and I'm knitting it in Malabrigo Worsted in Fuschia.

Fuego start

I'm also taking along my Lutz Jump hat.  I'm midway through the first of three pattern repeats and I highly recommend this pattern.  It zips right along and has clever little stitches in it, like one reoccurring motif that depends on a slip one, knit one, make a yarn over and pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch and the yarn over.  It's fun and fast, and I love it in this Damask Rose colorway.  I've never made a pom pom before, but I think this hat will need one!


I haven't gotten far with my Steam Punk Cowl.  The pattern is called Metallurgy and I adored it on sight.  But, it hasn't been my favorite knit so far.  I'm hoping that under the influence of very cold weather on this trip, I'll get more excited about knitting it. (and yes, for those of you who follow my Maine Moon Cats, that's Hermione guarding my knitting).  I'm knitting with Silky Merino in Smoke.


Last, but not least, I'm taking the current quilt square in progress for my Barn Raising Quilt.  My goal for this year is to knit one a month while doing other projects and to finish up knitting squares by the middle of next year so I can put it together before my darling daughter goes off to college.  It's nice to have a child who knits and appreciates knitting, and I'm hoping the quilt will be a piece of home she can take with her when she leaves the nest.  I"m knitting the quilt from Malabrigo Sock in Piedras.


That's it for me for now, although I will try to do a couple of quick posts or at least photo updates while we travel.  Please keep my house in your prayers as it is in the hands of our two twenty-something children while we head off.  This could be interesting!



Recently Finished Knitting

At the beginning of March, I queued up a sizeable number of projects using Malabrigo yarn and promptly decided I was crazy to even attempt so much at once.  But with the month almost over, the verdict is in, and I think the support and enthusiasm generated but all the knit-a-longs and chits chat.

In my last post, I showed you my first finished project, the ReDeux Hat.  SInce them, I've finished several more to share with you.


Douglas Fir was one of the hats chosen for a knit along this March, and I adore the result.  Although my youngest has claimed it for his own because green is his favorite color, this hat is really perfect for anyone and the cable motif is fun to knit.  Fair warning if you decide to take this one on — the brim is fidgety and takes at least as much time as the remainder of the hat.  But conquering it will make you feel incredibly accomplished!  There are video tips on the brim included in my pattern notes that may help.


I fell in love with Malabrigo Mecha in the Pocion colorway and ultimately decided to knit a Shimmering in Blue Cowl with it.  I've worn it constantly since it came off my needles.  It's an awesome pattern.

Gray cowl

Finally, I finished a Simple Ribbed Cowl in Plomo Rasta.  The red tip at the bottom is the leftover yarn from my ReDeux hat, and the two together are perfect.  This cowl is warm, warm, warm and although I had my doubts about it while I was knitting, it gets compliments from total strangers on the street. 

I have a couple of projects left on my needles that I'm going to take along on my last trip of the month — a couple of hats, another cowl, and a quilt square.  I've reluctantly decided that my in-progress Sunny Garden Cardigan is too bulky now to pack in a suitcase.  The body is done up to where the sleeves need to be knit in, and I'm midway through the first sleeve.  Knitting them on size 13 DPNS is awkward and I've decided it's not good knitting to take along while traveling, so finishing the sweater will have to wait for next month.


Finally, there are two last projects I planned for this month that I haven't cast on yet.  I love them both and am thinking about casting them on so that they get in under the wire for Malabrigo March and then working on them in April.  All in all, Malabrigo March has been a great month for knitting!