Polar Bears

How about a couple of polar bears?  I knit these just for the fun of it.

Yarn:  Merino Style DK bare from Knitpicks and Wool of the Andes in coal.  I think after knitting the two bears, I have enough yarn left to knit another cub.

Needles:  US 7 interchangeables and double pointed needles

Pattern:  Polly the Polar Bear and her cub by Nicole A Davis.  I bought it from Knitpicks.  I didn't make any changes to the pattern except to go down a needle size (I think).  The pattern is clear and easy to follow.

It is strange to knit all the pieces because apart from each other, they don't really look like a bear, but once you sew them together, it starts to look more like a bear.  It isn't necessary to do a great job wiht th esewing because the felting hides all.

Felting:  I felted the polar bears in the washing machine.  Before each one was completely felted, I pulled it out, stuffed it, added the eyes and the nose and sewed the back end shut.  I then finished felting them.  The pattern has clear instructions regarding assembly and felting.

I enjoyed this pattern.  I finished the cub in one evening - quick and easy to knit.

Benny's Blanket

A couple of years ago, I knitted the Pickets Baby Blanket, for the baby of a member of our church.  This year, the family was blessed with a new addition, a little boy named Benny.  I knit another baby blanket.  This time it was the Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting.

I chose this pattern because I liked the look of the blocks.  I picked the colors because I didn't want to knit the normal baby blue blanket, but wanted something with a stronger look.  Once I finished it, I decide it reminded me of the legos my kids used to play with.

Yarn:  Knitpicks Shine Worsted
  • Serrano (red) - 4 skeins
  • French Blue - 5 skeins
  • Dandelion (yellow) - 3 skeins
  • Macaw (green) - 3 skeins
  • Black - 2 skeins
Keep in mind that I always over-order yarn.  The numbers above are the number of skeins I ordered - it was more than enough.

I used a US #4 interchangeable needle from Knitpicks.  This is smaller than what the pattern calls for, but I always go down a needle size.

The pattern is Moderne Baby Blanket from the book Mason-Dixon Knitting. Since the yarn I used was not the one from the pattern, I had to alter the number of stitches and rows to adjust the size.  Once I established the first garter stitch count for the first block, I was able to just proportionally adjust the row count for all of the other blocks.  The proportion was 14/28/42.

I also added black rows between the blocks.  I was inspired by this blanket on Ravelry.  Instead of picking up stitches with the next color, I picked up stitches with the black.  I then knit a row side row with the black, and then I started with the next color.

This was only a problem on the portions of the blanket that are intarsia. The first time that happened, I added two black stitches between two colors.  It's between the large yellow and red blocks.  The stripe is too wide.  The next time I used 1 stitch of black, which worked better.  This was the first time I have done intarsia, and I have to say that I didn't really like it.  It worked OK, and I did the twisty thing (twist the two yarns together) which prevented holes, but it slowed my knitting down too much.
Knitting Time:
I started in the middle of August of 2013 and finished in the middle of November of the same year.

The pattern was fine, and I would recommend it.  The yarn choice was good, too. The blanket was very soft and drapey.