Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vintage Yarntini Mousie

Hi Knitters,
I was recently reading through Lucinda Guy's wonderful book Handknits for Kids and ran across this adorable mouse pattern. I started thinking about all of that left over sock yarn I have. I don't like a super long cuff on my socks, usually about 5-6 inches, so I end up with a lot of yarn left at the end.
The Yarntini along with this sweet pattern make a perfect union. Here is the result of that combination. I quickly knit this up yesterday morning and it took no time at all. Really any sock yarn would work because your gauge doesn't have to be perfect when you are knitting toys because no one has to wear anything at the end.
I used the fabulous Vintage Yarntini self-striping sock yarn to create the pattern called Mousie Mousie (loving the pattern name).
I used US size 3 dpns and changed the pattern slightly to work in the round. It seems that a lot of English designers knit the pieces to toys flat and then seam the pieces together. This works just fine and I know that a lot of knitters don't enjoy dpns but I am not one of them!
I'll say it again, I love my dpns and will use them as much as possible. I would much rather knit in the round and get that smooth seamless finish for a toy wherever it can possibly apply.
You can see my decreases running smoothly up the back of the mousie. The ears are knit flat in four separate pieces and then sewn together.
The fun thing is that I let the striping yarn do all of the work. I just let it flow any which way except for the inner ears, I purposely made those from the pink stripe in the yarn. Even the tail turned out great by chance with that rosie red tip.
I knit the bottom piece as is from the pattern. Then I picked up the required number of stitches around the bottom edge onto 3 dpns, using the fourth to knit onto, and knitted the rest in the round. You could easily do this too.
Lucinda Guy's Handknits for Kids is a terrific book filled with children's patterns. These are some of the best toy and children's wear designs I have ever seen. You should give this book a look if you haven't as of yet.
Mousie, Mousie is just one of the many creatively fresh ideas in this book. The sweaters, scarves, socks, toys, blankets are beautifully crafted. Her attention to detail is what draws me the most. She does lots of embellishing which I adore. Also, if you are looking for great boy sweaters and accessories this is your place to go! Her boy designs are clever and wearable.
I, of course, own all of her books. The first book, Handknits for Kids, is my personal favorite so I would recommend it if you can only get one book. And So to Bed... is fun as well, but there is just something about that first book. I would knit every pattern in Handknits for Kids. I rarely say that. Her partner, Francoise Hall, does all of the illustrations which are intertwined with the knits throughout the book. The illustrations are delightful and add a new and pleasant dimension to this knitting collection. I read an article about these two in a recent Rowan Magazine which was interesting. She uses all Rowan yarns for her designs. The books are published by Trafalgar Square Publishing.
Fairies are all of the rage over here this summer. I snapped this while I was out shooting Mousie this morning. This is my daughter's enchanted fairy garden which she painted and planted from a kit a couple of weeks ago. So sweet.
Now go and knit some Mousies!