I can't believe May is almost over. Last week, my students finished the last of their state tests. Three days of english/language arts and two days of math. These last two months have been intense and overwhelming. Thank goodness all the testing is over. My students are severely burned out.
As part of my relaxation and recooperation, last weekend I took a trip to Maryland Sheep & Wool. The weather was absolutely beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky and the temperature was perfect. I ended up making a few purchases. I purchased a few skeins of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift from Yarns International, some yarn from Green Mountain Spinnery and some Cascade 220. Only another five months til New York Sheep and Wool.
Since my last post, I've been doing some knitting. I ended up casting on two new projects, one of which I finished. During spring break I organized most of my stash. While organizing, I came across some wool that I ordered from Elann a couple of years ago. The yarn was purchased for Which Came First?. I first saw the pattern in CRAFT magazine and immediately fell in love. Ever since then, I've been a fan of Anna Hrachovec and her patterns on Mochimochi Land. A couple of months ago, I met Mrs. Hrachovec at a book signing and trunk show at Brooklyn General for her book Knitting Mochimochi. While at the book signing, she had all the toys from the book on display. I ended up purchasing the book and yarn for Grouchy Couch. I never finished him and he's still sitting in my project bag.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, I decided to cast on Which Came First?. I used size 8 double pointed needles. Each piecewas very easy to knit. Some of the techniques worked in the piece include basic increases and decreases, i-cord and mattress stitch seaming. If you're new to toy knitting, this would be a great first toy. I ended up hand felting the chick, which isn't very evident. Up close it looks lightly felted but you can still see some stitch definition. Although I'm not proud of my felting skills with this project, I am happy with my seaming. Mattress stitch is the preferred seam in the pattern. It's very neat. Support is given for it on Mochimochi Land along with a host of other articles on stitches and techniques used in Mochimochi toys. For the crack in the egg I used a small amount of DMC floss in black (sh. 310). For the eyes, I used 9mm safety eyes.
In the end, I love the way this little chick turned out. The pattern was clear and the mattress stitch tutorial on Anna's site made the process easy.
Pattern: Which Came First? by Anna Hrachovec
Yarn: Elann Peruvian Highland Wool (sh. Daffodil, Pumpkin, Natural)
Additional Materials: 9mm Safety Eyes (Black), DMC Floss (black), Polyfil Stuffing
Needles: 8" Crystal Palace Double Pointed Knitting Needles US 8
Started: May 1, 2011
Finished: May 14, 2011
Happy Knitting! ♥