Meet Huggy

IMG_0904

 

Meet Huggy.

He is the new friend of my boss’s son. I know this because my boss texted me a picture of her son holding Huggy (as the monkey was named as soon as the son saw it).  Apparently since getting the monkey the night before he hadn’t let the stuffy go and was planning to bring it to school later that week for sharing circle.

The picture of Huggy at his new home warmed my heart.  This little boy, who is in Grade 1, and his whole family have been having a long spring.  Without sharing details that aren’t mine to share, the family has been having a tough time and there was really nothing I could do to help them, (other than be an awesome employee).  But I wanted to do something more and this is what I came up with.

I love when the things I make are loved.  Whether it is a dishcloth for my Grannie or socks for my mom, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to see the things I make in tatters because they have been used and appreciated. I think that is part of what appeals to me about knitting/crocheting/weaving/spinning is that the art I make is usable and is ultimately consumed by use.  I can’t imagine what amateur painters, sculptors, and others do with all the things they make.

Well Huggy, welcome to the world; I’m so glad you are so well loved.  And if you want I will make you more bowties in other colors.

_____________________________________

Project: Huggy the Monkey and Huggy’s Bowtie

Pattern: Owen by the Monkey by Stacy Trock of FreshStitches

Yarn: KnitPicks Brava Worsted in Umber Heather, Camel Heather and Red

Day 2: A Mascot Project

8603356856_44e7142b6f

Your task today is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal. It could be a knitting or crochet pattern – either of the animal itself or something that makes you think of the qualities of that house. Alternatively it could be a type or colour of yarn, or a single button. Whatever you choose, decide upon a project and blog about how and why it relates to your house/creature. You do not have to make this project! It is simply an exercise in blogging about how you come to decide upon what projects to make. Try and blog about the journey which inspiration and investigating patterns, yarns, stitches, (etc) can often guide you through. You may wish to make a collage or ‘mood board’ to present several ideas, or even sketch out your own design.

I find myself pulled in two different directions on this topic, one is to embrace the animal of the Monkey and the other is to follow the path of what I see the House of Monkey as representing, challenge.

Mascot Project – Literal

The first path is the monkey itself.  In the fall I got back into Craftsy classes (mostly after they launched an iPad app that makes them much more enjoyable to view in my opinion) and I got hooked on the idea of making Amigurumi.  If you aren’t familiar, amigurumi are crocheted or knitted toys. The style (and term) originated in Japan and are quite popular.  I enjoy crocheting but I don’t love the fabric for garments and a person really doesn’t need that many afghans so amigurumi were a great choice for me.

IMG_0834

A couple of weeks ago I finished up another piece of amigurumi, a really cute whale and gave it to my boss who has been having a pretty rough go of it.  I asked her what her son’s favorite animal is and it turns out that it is a … monkey (I know, you’re shocked).

So my first mascot project is Owen the Monkey by Stacy Trock of FreshStitches.

monkey2_medium2

I will be making it as my next amigurumi, the little boy it’s intended for could use a a stuffed version of his favorite creature.

Mascot Project – Figurative

Following the spirit of the monkey rather than a literal monkey, my mascot project is one that challenges me and forces me to expand my skills.  To me there are two potential mascot projects, one is a stranded colorwork project and the other is a design project.

Endpaper Mitts

Stranded colorwork is something that I have done but I don’t feel confident in it and it’s not something I do easily or very well.  So I should probably find a stranded project to do to re-build me confidence in the area, maybe a pair of fingerless mitts.  I wear my Endpaper Mitts all the time and they hardly show any wear.  I know that many moons ago I had queued and favorited other charts that looked fantastic on that mitt pattern.  Maybe that is my project, it would require some of my own design work and a part of knitting that I struggle with.

Or maybe its going to be knuckling down and figuring out and writing down the pattern for a cowl I dreamt up a month or so ago.  This isn’t the greatest shot of the pattern, mostly because this was the only yarn in bulky weight I had on hand when inspiration struck.

IMG_0501

It is without a doubt a fashion cowl rather than a warmth cowl, but I’m pretty impressed with myself.   So this is the other option on the other path.  I can see all these being feesible projects for over the next few months, as long as I can stay on top of my sock knitting (I’ve learned I always need to have a pair of “fancy” socks on the needles) and the wedding shawls I need to make for my sister’s wedding in October.

FO: Trio of Amigurumi

As you may recall my sister’s puppy, Tosh, got a very special Christmas present, her very first handmade toys. However, due to her breed being part-terrier nature she quickly developed a nasty habit of chewing holes in these toys.  Although I was initially concerned about beaks, legs and arms being pulled off, she prefers to simply chew off the safety eyes, pull out the yarn tails and chew through the bodies.

So what you see above are two of the last amigurumi for Toshie (the Racoon and the Bird).

The slug however has never felt the teeth of Toshie, as when I showed up at my parent’s place with it, my mother immediately scooped it up and put it on a ledge in her kitchen, where it is still sitting, safely.

I had great fun making these toys and I will keep making them (with the safety eyes) and stash them away, my friends are starting to have babies and toys are always an adorable handmade treat for a new baby. Note: I know safety eyes are not safe for infants and small children, but parents deserve fun toys too.

These toys, like my previous one are all made with patterns from Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches.  I really like Stacey’s patterns and approach to crochet and design, so I’m really happy to support her by purchasing her patterns.  Also, she is really fun and approachable on Twitter and Ravelry, which just really makes me like her more.

I’ve already started my next toy, William the Whale, I like having a toy on the go, it’s nice to have choices in the WIP basket.

Don’t worry about Toshie, she will not want for toys, and while I won’t be providing them any more (watching her dog destroy the toys within 5 minutes of getting them was to much for Carla to handle) I may use my immense Brava stash to make some doggie blankets.  I get the chance to try out new techniques on a smaller scale and I know that the items will be used regardless of how well it turned out.

_____________________________

Ravelry Project Pages: Raccoon for Toshie, Hannah the Slug and Toshie Birthday Bird