Debbie Bliss Teddy Bears

I decided to knit something totally different this time and I bought the Debbie Bliss book on teddy bears and clothing for them. I have always admired the knitted toys done by other MWK members and a teddy was challenging for me. However, I cannot get the proper gauge/tension required by the pattern. I spent 2 days making swatches, trying all sorts of needle sizes but had absolutely no luck and I'm not talking about a 1 stitch variance here. Has anyone had experience with the patterns in this book? I've given up and put the book away in exasperation.

New cast on

I"m doing a Sophie Purse out of Lopi. Its a really coarse wool. Felts great though. Anyway, I usually do a Norwegian long tail cast on. It was harder than heck to pick up my bottom edge to get it into the round. I fought it for like an hour. Learned an invisible cast on last night and started another purse, and man, what a difference. I can't believe I hadn't learned another cast on before now. I'm on a roll. Made 3 purses in the last 4 days. I might make my Christmas deadline! :-)

Black Shrug

this Shrug is made from Baby Alpaca Grande yarn with size US11 circ. Pattern is fairly easy.

CO 120 (I used long tail/slingshot)
K2P2 Rib for 7.5 inches
Decrease to 60 stitches using K2tog,P2tog
Continue Pattern of K1P1 Ribbing for 16 inches
Increase back to 120 stitches by
K1, M1-kwise (bar increase) PF&B across.
Continue in K2P2 ribbing for 7.5 inches, bind off.

Your piece now looks like an odd hour-glass. stitch sides up 9 inches from C/O-B/O edges. (top right to bottom right, Top left to bottom left. The narrow portion which is now left open are the armholes.

Pullover

This pullover was knitted from a New Zealand wool "Touch" which is super fine kid mohair and merino wool - very, very soft and warm. I don't care much for knitting in this wool as I tend to drop stitches for some reason. But, admittedly, the feel of the final product is very nice.

The colours are a variegated greens, gold, burgandy, rust and tan. I was pleased that they didn't knit up in a stripey fashion but more blotchy. The colours don't show up well in the photo.

I did steeks for the sleeves and curved them so that I eliminated the drop sleeves. The front neck line is a semi-circular steek. Instead of adding the extra stitches to the last round of ribbing, I added them at the sides on the way up. It worked well.

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knitting behind the wheel

So, for those who don't know, I live on an agricultural island 10mi N. of DT Portland, Oregon. Usually pretty sedate, around this time it becomes the land of pumpkins. Combine 3 truck farms with one bridge, (currently being replaced) and you are looking at a line of traffic 3+ miles long waiting to get off the bridge. 1 HOUR, 45 MINUTES for what usually takes 3 minutes, tops! Thank god the knitting was in the bag next to me: Knit 30 stitches, move 5 feet. Knit a row, move 20 feet. I'm getting to the point where I NEVER want to be without at least a sock to work on. Wasted time drives me NUTS! My Ranger isn't a very roomy place to work in, I have to admit, especially with the gym bag, change of clothes, knitting bag, portfolio, laptop, jacket, etc etc etc on the seat next to me. Bob: The homeless knitter living out of his car. Sometimes it seems as such. sigh...