My current work in progress:

1. Woodfords, designed by Elizabeth Doherty, knit from Madelinetosh Merino Light in the "paper" colorway on U.S. size 3, 5, and 7 needles.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Sherman

Check out this little cutie:

Sherman080712 240x142 Sherman

This is Sherman the Square Dancing Stegosaurus, knit from a Rebecca Danger pattern.

I knit Sherman from Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in the “Hullabalo” colorway, using a U.S. size 2 (2.75mm) needle to achieve a nice firm fabric.

Sherman measures 14″ from the tip of his nose the the end of his tail and took around two-thirds of the skein of yarn.

I did make a few mods — rather than knit the spines and legs separately and sew them on. I picked up stitches from the body and knit them directly onto the body. To aid in this, I marked the placement of the appendages along his body with locking stitch markers:

ShermanUnfinished080712 240x105 Sherman

I knit Sherman entirely on two circular needles. I used Judy’s Magic Cast-on to cast-on the few stitches needed to start his nose, As you knit the body, you stuff as you go, so that by the time you have bound off the last stitches at the tip of his tail, you have a fully stuffed critter.

Picking up stitches and knitting the spikes and legs from a stuffed body was a bit awkward but I discovered a trick that helped — I divided the stitches over my two circular needles (all the appendages are knit in the round) but instead of using the end of the same needle to knit the stitches, I knit each set off onto another circular needle. It’s a lot easier to do this when you are knitting the stitches right up next to the stuffed body. When I got an inch or so away from the body, I was able to go back to knitting on the two circulars normally.

My favorite thing about Sherman?

His little feet!

ShermanFeet080712 240x160 Sherman

Lucy is enjoying her Sunday brunch.

Lucy081212 240x144 Sherman

Kureyon Coat: After

I am very happy to report that the felting of my Noro Kureyon Coat was a complete success.

To review, here it is before felting:

CoatWorn080512 135x240 Kureyon Coat: After

And here it is after felting:

CoatWorn080712 156x240 Kureyon Coat: After

Here it is on Gwendolyn:

Coat080712 160x240 Kureyon Coat: After

I put it in the washer with two large towels (to provide friction) and set it for a hot wash/cold rinse cycle. I selected the 8-minute wash cycle, the shortest cycle, just to be cautious. After it was done, it was barely felted. I sent it through another wash, this time with a 15-minute wash cycle. This time when it came out it was perfect!

I took it out and carefully laid it flat on the floor and straightened it out so everything was even. Using t-pins I pinned the front bands down in place. And I left it to dry.

CoatFlat080712 240x167 Kureyon Coat: After

The coat now fits me beautifully.

I measured a square post-felting and calculate that it shrank 17 — 18% during the felting process.

I am particularly pleased with the neckband. I picked up and knit stitches for the neckband after joining the back to the fronts. For the first half of the band I decreased stitches at each side front and at each side seam every other row so the band would not stand straight up from the body. I also worked a buttonhole in the neckband. I’ll be able to button my coat up all the way to my chin.

The buttons I ordered for it arrived today, so I can sew those on.

Buttons080812 240x143 Kureyon Coat: After

As I mentioned before, I’m not writing up a pattern for this because there are too many variables involved for the sizing. What I did:

1. I knit a mitered square. I used a needle size that would result in a slightly loose fabric because I knew I’d be felting this.

2. I measured the resulting square, and figured out how many squares across the back I wanted to get the width I wanted. (If I were a rational being, I would have used this square as a sample, felted it at this point and measured it after felting and used those measurements to figure out the final measurements of the coat. But I never claimed to be rational.) I figured out how many rows of squares I needed to make the coat as long as I wanted. My coat back was 6 squares across by 8 rows, or 48 squares.

3. For the two front pieces, I knit 3 squares across (half the width of the back) by 8 rows, but on the top row of each piece, I knit one triangle instead of a square at the beginning of one row/end of one row. This created the curve for the neck in the front.

4. For each sleeve I started with three squares across at the bottom and did three rows of squares. On the second row I worked a triangle at each end to widen the sleeve and worked five squares on the top row.

5. I picked up and knit a band at the bottom edge of each sleeve.

6. I picked up and knit a band on each front — button band and buttonhole band. I worked 7 buttonholes in the buttonhole band — one in each square. I did not extend the band up into the 8th row of squares because the 8th row had the triangle that makes the curve of the neck.

7. I attached the front to the back at the shoulders. I picked up stitches and knit the shoulders together. The shoulders are 2 squares wide.

8. I picked up stitches around the neck to make the neck band. I picked up along the top of the front band, the triangle on the front piece, across the middle 2 squares of the back, and then down the triangle of the other side front, and across the top of the front band. I knit the neckband, decreasing stitches on every right side row at the front edge of the triangle and at the shoulder halfway up the band, and then knit straight for the rest of the band. I worked a buttonhole in the front band at the edge above the buttonhole band.

9.I sewed up the side and sleeve seams. I did this by carefully backstitching. I did all the sewing using the yarn I used to knit: Noro Kureyon. I had to be very careful because it is a single play loosely spun yarn — not the best for sewing. But because the piece is felted, it is important to use the same yarn so it will shrink the same way. Otherwise it might end up with rippled or lumpy seams. I cut short pieces of yarn to use for sewing so each piece had minimal manipulation.

10. I picked up and knit stitches all the way around the bottom hem of the coat, worked a few rows and then bound off.

11. I felted the coat.

And that, in a nutshell, is how I made the coat.

Lucy is tired just thinking about it.

Lucy080712 240x160 Kureyon Coat: After

 

Kureyon Coat: Before

I have finished all the knitting on my Noro Kureyon coat. I ended up using just over 31 skeins.

CoatFlat080512 231x240 Kureyon Coat: Before

I picked up and knit down the fronts to make a button band and buttonhole band:

FrontBand080512 160x240 Kureyon Coat: Before

I knit bands at the bottom of the sleeves:

SleeveBand080512 160x240 Kureyon Coat: Before

I knit a collar band with a buttonhole in it.

Collar080512 240x160 Kureyon Coat: Before

As you can see, it is a tad large for me.

CoatWorn080512 135x240 Kureyon Coat: Before

Sleeves are a bit long:

CoatWornA080512 240x191 Kureyon Coat: Before

I will be felting the coat this afternoon. How will it turn out? I don’t know for sure. That’s part of the fun.

I don’t see how Lucy can sleep through all this excitement., but sleep she does.

Lucy080512 240x160 Kureyon Coat: Before