a Reminder that we’ve moved

theknittycat’s tips has moved to theknittycat.blogspot.com

PATTERNS and TUTORIALS CAN BE FOUND HERE.

 

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WE’VE MOVED! see www.theknittycat.blogspot.com

We've fallen in love with a Peep!

WE’VE MOVED!  see us at

www.theknittycat.blogspot.com

We've fallen in love with a Peep!

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Cute Sackboy for Sale! & Oscar the Grouch …

Or … what to make when you’re feeling grouchy … Oscar of course!

Sackboy Peep for Matt's Birthday
Sackboy Peep on flickr

I get quite a few emails from folks asking to purchase a knitted Sackboy like the one I made for Matt, but considering the fact that my poor Hub is still (a year later!) waiting for me to make one for him, I don’t think that’s feasible – even if I would ever consider selling any of my peeps (wouldn’t that be slavery??). As most of you know, I only make them as gifts of love, for friends and family.

But… I have found a solution for those seeking to purchase (rather than make), a Sackboy …


Click here to go to the page where you can buy a Sackboy

Cute, huh?!  :o)

I had planned to make a Sackboy for my Hub’s birthday last month, but life intervened and things have been kinda crazy for a while – so no Sackboy Peep yet. :o/   So when Matt mentioned seeing this little guy at thinkgeek.com I had to check it out. As is usually the case with thinkgeek, they were sold out by the time I got there, but I found them at amazon.com!  Yay!

And, YES!  My hub now has his very own Sackboy!  – just to tide him over till I can make one for him – he still wants my peep version.  ;o)   Don’t feel too sad for him, I’ve made him dozens of peeps!  Just haven’t gotten to Sackboy yet. Someday I’ll get caught up on my peep posting and you can see some of his collection. Okay…  That may never happen, but I can TRY!

This little Sackboy from amazon.com is made out of knitted fabric but (sadly) is stuffed with something rather firm, and isn’t soft and cuddly, but he’s very cute for display!  We love him!

So what peep did my Hub actually get for his birthday this year?

Oscar!

Oscar the Grouch Peep

Oscar the Grouch

(The Muppet from Sesame Street for anyone who doesn’t know him)

Or “Garbo” as I tend to call him when I can’t remember his name.   ;o)

Oscar the Grouch Peep

I had to restrain his enthusiasm as he was so excited to have his photos taken.  ;o)  You’d think he’d be used to it, but he says that Elmo and Kermit and Cookie usually grab all the attention.

He goes along with my Hub’s other Muppet Peeps, Elmo and Cookie and Kermie, whom you’ve already seen all over the place, and Grover, whom I made for his last birthday, but haven’t posted yet.

Oscar has a little friend, Bitty Kitty, whom he loves very much, and he’s not grouchy with her at all.  :o)

Oscar the Grouch Peep

Bitty feels very comfortable and secure when she’s with Oscar.

Oscar the Grouch Peep

Oscar Loves wee Bitty Kitty and watches over her carefully

Oscar the Grouch Peep

Bitty Kitty is very very tiny

Bitty Kitty, Oscar the Grouch's dear friend

My Hub says I should show you the large photo as well, so you can get a good look at her.  :o)

Bitty Kitty, Oscar the Grouch's dear friend

Yep, Oscar’s trashcan is a bit (!) small…  Duhh… I was knitting away without looking at his can (no pun intended!  Hee hee) and got a bit carried away with his size. He’s knitted all in one piece, so the trashcan was bobbing about, below my needles, and still I never noticed!  Heh heh

Oscar the Grouch Peep

“UGH!  Tight fit!”

Happily my Hub loves him, just as he is!  Yay!  And so do I.  :o)

Hope you’ve all had a lovely summer!   ;o)

You can find posts about the other Muppet Peeps here, and pics of lots of the peeps here: www.flickr.com/knittycat

=^..^=

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Notes on moving a vox blog to typepad, blogspot and wordpress…

Peter & son Charlie after eating too much tomato & pumpkin brainsAfter the shock of the news of vox’s demise wore off a bit, the concern over the task of moving my blog to another site set in. However, importing this blog to other sites was surprisingly easy!  Tweaking the sites to look how I want them to was time consuming (especially doing three at a time!) but the actual import was no problem.

Importing to typepad, with the automatic set-up that vox is providing, was glitchy at first (maybe  because I was moving very soon after the notice appeared on our blogs and there may have been a lot of folks going at once), and I did have to restart it, but all the posts and pics moved over with no real issues.
Importing to wordpress was super easy and super fast!  :o). And from there I was able to import to blogspot.  WordPress has an import choice specifically for vox. Click this and give your vox info and it’s done.
Blogspot was less simple, since blogspot only has the option to import a blogspot export file. Hmmm. Not very good marketing strategy, is it. However, once imported to a wordpress blog, you can export your blog to a file from wordpress (too bad vox didn’t give us this option), and then convert this file with this handy wordpress2blogger utility:

The only bad thing is that there is a file size limitation, so this may not work for large blogs. There may be another utility for larger ones out there.  This utility converted my wordpress file perfectly and I was able to quickly import it to blogspot.

I’ve spent a few days with the three sites and so far, I’m most pleased with blogspot.  Here are my thoughts on the three sites:

WordPress

Though wordpress has the nicest looking interface for composition and design, it has some real problems with pictures. And since my blog is totally picture heavy (except for this post, of course), this isn’t a good thing for me.  Also, it’s difficult to change the size of your text. Other than some header options, there is no sizing button, or font button in their composer. You have to manually change the HTML!  Ugh!
While posting this to wordpress, the font sizes went all wonky.  I can’t see any size tags in the html window, so ???  Like I said, there are problems with this one.  :o/

Typepad

I wasn’t pleased with Typepad at all. It’s too restrictive. And I couldn’t even have my own banner at the top of the blog. Their theme choices were very meager and allowed very little tweaking to allow you to make it better or even personalize it. Now this is a free account, so maybe there are more options for paid ones, but since I’m offering my tutorials, and patterns and hints as a service and gift for others, I’d like it to continue when I’m not around to pay a fee to keep the site, so I need a free site.  I didn’t do much with this site since I disliked the look I was able to achieve there, so I can’t speak as to it’s functionality.

While putting in this post, I have played with the tools a little and there are some nice posting features.  An option to go full screen, so you can see all of your post, instead of being restricted to a little box (wordpress has this option as well, but blogspot only has the option of making the fairly generously sized box longer, not wider), and some additional fonts, that the others don’t support, including, Comic Sans MS.  As well as having Heading1,2,3 etc, it has a lovely array of font sizes in a strange little wheel (instead of small, normal, large, extra large on blogspot, and paragraph, Heading1, heading2, etc. on wordpress).  Presumably you can really tweak the sizes if you have the patience, since you cannot type a number into this box but must use ctrl-shift-uparrow or downarrow to adjust it.  My efforts were, however, not successful. I also see an “insert a file” button, that the others don’t have, and that has an intriguing sound to it.  I’ll have to check that out.

Blogspot

Although the interface at blogspot isn’t as classy-looking as the one at wordpress, while playing around with it to set up what I wanted, I found it to be surprisingly functional!  I was able to do pretty nearly everything I wanted to do, and with minimal effort. And most importantly, everything WORKED!  This, of course, is a big deal!  :o)
I was delighted to find that I could not only set the size and font of what i was posting (with limited font choices), i could also change the size and font of the text across my entire blog with built in, and easy to achieve, customizations to the template.  And there are lots of other easy-to-do customizations of the look and content, so I can really make this look how I want it to look.

I was frustrated at one point with the site header in the theme that I chose, as it was forcing the text to be all caps in the name of the site, and I wanted all lowercase, but everything else was working, so I figured I’d live with it for the moment. But then I discovered that I could easily get to the HTML of the template itself, and modify it!  And it was simple to take out the instructions to force uppercase. Hurray!  :o)

Results

If you’d like to take a look at the results on all three sites, they’re here:
Leave a comment if you’d like to let me (and others) know your opinions of the sites, when moving your blogs. Of course, after the 15th of September you’ll have to leave your comments on one of my other sites (I’d suggest blogspot since it looks like that will be the winner for my purposes), since we won’t be able to do so on vox after that. :o(
Best of luck in your new homes, everyone!
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knittycat.vox.com has MOVED! Vox.com is closing


Vox.com is closing!

Wow!  What a shock!  Bloggers at vox.com just found out that the site is closing in less than a month (September 30th, 2010,  and we have to move everything or lose it all!

I’ve just imported www.knittycat.vox.com to
www.theknittycat.blogspot.com,
www.theknittycat.wordpress.com, and
www.theknittycat.typepad.com
(not to livejournal because lj does not allow importing from another blog for some sad reason).

I’ll try each of them out and see what works best.  Maybe moving to another site will turn out to be a good thing.  We’ll see…

I’m just really happy that I was able to import my posts to other sites!!  Whew!  All those peeps … nearly lost in oblivion… what a scary thought!

But now they have lots of room to play!  Alll over the internet!  ;o)

Obviously, this is a work in progress… getting the formatting fixed may take a while.  But at least the posts will survive… I HOPE!  :o)

Sadly, I’ll be losing my vox.com site counter.  :o(

Today’s count was:
vox site counter September 3, 2010
vox site counter September 3, 2010

I will cross post to all three sites for a while, to test them out, and let you know my findings.

A sincere thanks to all of you who have  followed my silliness on vox, and who have been so patient, waiting for me to come up with a pattern occasionally.  I hope to see you in my new home.  And to hear from more of you, since the commenting at each of these new places is open to anyone, not just members!

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Pudgie in Pajamas for Dorothy’s Birthday


It's been ages since I've had a chance to post any amigurumi, though I've been knitting like mad, as always.  Last night I was thinking about one that I made for my mum-in-law's birthday last year, and just really had the urge to put him up, soooo….

Introducing Pudgie in Pajamas Peep
and his dear friend, Pookie Bear Peep

Pudgie in Pajamas with his Teddy, Pookie -  for Dorothy's birthday  2009 - in my Hand

 Pudgie in PJ's always giggles when you tickle his tummy… but the original has a different reaction!  heh heh 
 
Pudge is our adored giant cat.  We're all a bit obsessed with him, and my Mum in law treats him like a grandchild ('cause he IS, of course!  heh heh), so I figured she'd enjoy getting her very own Pudge to cuddle with.  :o)

……pic of pudge….

 
 
Pudgie and Pookie are very best friends and love to be together.

 
 
 
 
They love to cuddle and giggle and nap, and they love a nice cozy lap to sit in.
 
 
 
  They are so happy, living with their GrandMaw, and they thought that the trip to Scotland was very exciting!   (we didn't send them till Christmas, though because of the mail strike in the UK – we didn't want to take any chances!!)

They enjoy having a nice dish of tuna and box of choco, and a nice bowl of honey, and having lovely bedtime stories read to them.

Pookie gets annoyed when you tweak his ear.  Oops!

 

I made Pudgie freehand (as usual) and didn't make any notes, so I have no pattern plans for him.  I am hoping though, that at some point I can get up the energy to share the simple slip stitch technique I used to make his head all in one piece (including ears).  I do hate sewing on all those bits and pieces!
 
 

The inspiration for Pudgie in Pajamas was this totally adorable Tabitha kitty design by Debi Birkin. 

 

Isn't she adorable?  If you want one of your very own, Debi has a pattern for Tabitha here:
www.debibirkin.com

More pics (if these weren't enough!) on my flickr pages here
www.flickr.com/knittycat

I'm hoping to post her other birthday peep, Kathleen Bunny, soon!  I fell in love with Pudgie in PJs and Kathleen Bunny, who are larger than my usual wee peeps (they were made for cuddling), and it was hard to send them so far away, but their grandmaw loves them, so it's all good!  :o)


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HAPPY EASTER!! A Plethora of Peeps! :o)

HAPPY EASTER!!

A Plethora of Peeps… 

Finally the peeps I've been working on for Easter are DONE!!  and ready for giving!  :o)

HAPPY EASTER!!  :o) Easter Eggy Peeps

Little Eggy Peeps sitting atop their wee pouch nests
if you missed my previous preview post about this wonderful self-patterning yarn
and a simple pattern it's here.

  

HAPPY EASTER!!  :o)  Easter Eggy Peeps
Lots of  Eggy Peeps and Easter Eggs and  Eggs with Leggs  :o)

HAPPY EASTER!!  Eggs with Leggs
Eggs with Leggs sitting on their little nests.  :o)
 
Easter Eggy Peeps
My favorite egg.
 
Easter Egg Pin Cushion Ring
an egg ring pin cushion for my sis. I tried it and it works GREAT!  I have to make one for myself!  :o)

Easter Eggs knitted with self patterning yarn
a basket of eggs showing the very cool patterning this great yarn makes!

Easter Eggs with Leggs
okay I love this photo!  heh heh  Eggys with Leggys!  hee hee

Easter Eggy Peeps
Easter Eggy Peeps tucked inside their little pouch nests
 

We wish you all a very Happy Easter!! 
and a joyous Spring!!

Don't you just LOVE SPRING?!!!  Yay!  Flowers and baby animals and sunshine!!  What could be happier?!  :o)

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What happens to eggs the Easter Bunny Brings? :o)

Have you ever wondered what hatches out of the

eggs laid by the Easter Bunny?

If the picture isn’t moving, please click on it to see…

hee hee

Eggy/Bunny Pattern pdf is available here.

When I made this nest (part of the many peeps and accessories made for Easter gifts), I couldn’t decide which side should be the outside, because I liked the patterning of the yarns so much on the knit side, but it looked more like a basket than a nest on the knit side… soooooo… And that’s how I get my ideas!  heh heh

I don’t have a pattern for the nest/basket, but it is a simple circle with sides, made with two bulky textured yarns held together (in this case Bernat’s Soft Boucle and TLC Amore).  See the directions for the Eggy Peeps in the previous entry.  It will be the same, up to the point where you begin to decrease.  You won’t do any decreasing.  Just keep knitting around till it’s the height you want, making sure it’s enough to get the top to curl down (sometimes stockinette’s inherent curl is your friend), and then bind off.  You don’t want a loose bind off for this.  The handle of the basket is simply i-cord.  Make sure it’s the length of the curve that you want to tuck it into, so it won’t show.

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Eggy Peeps, Pretty Easter Egg Yarn, And Free Pattern!! :o)

I recently got some beautiful self-patterning yarn, Bernat Baby Jacquard, to make some socks and while looking at the socks I had made from one of the skeins, I thought that it would make wonderful Easter Eggs!  :o)  Soooo….

Chiwaluv and I were "chatting" about the Easter Eggs and Eggy Peeps, that I'm making for Easter gifts, and it occured to me that you folks might like to know about the yarn for your Easter knitting and crocheting.

I'm including notes for how I knit my eggs, plus a few egg pattern links, both in crochet and knit ….

Easter Eggs and Eggy Peeps in progress

inset is the pattern on the bottom of the egg

The one with feet (in progress – ends still sticking out and feet just pinned on) is from the
same skein as the hatching egg!

a bunch of eggs and one Eggy Bunny in progress
(the orange and yellow striped egg is made with a variegated yarn
-Red Heart Kids, I think- for a special nephew who adores those colors)

This Bernat Baby Jacquard yarn is just terrific!  From one skein, you will get lots of eggs, each different from the others.  The eggs I've made (so far) are from three different colorways, but just from one skein, I've gotten several egg designs with real variety!  :o)

I'm also making little nests and bags for the peeps.  Nothing so elaborate as last year, since I'm still quite sick, but I LOVE making these sweet eggies!

Knitting the self patterning yarn in the round creates these wonderful patterns that they were designed for, but it would be very interesting to crochet with it (or knit the eggs flat) to see what kind of patterning that makes, too!  :o)

My version of eggs is super simple.  They could be done on dpns or converted to flat but I knit them  in the round on two circular needles.  If you haven't tried two circs yet, this would be a good opportunity to try them on such small projects -  it's soooo much easier using the two circs than working with dpns, and it's much easier on your hands as well.  Of course that's just my opinion that they're easier to work with – 'cause I'm not coordinated enough to use dpns.  ;o)

Pattern Notes:
Using Bernat Baby Jacquard or other self patterning or variegated yarn and (2) U.S. sz 3 circular needles…

I make my eggs like I'm making a ball for the first half, then just add a couple of extra plain rounds to the middle (in addition to the couple of plain rounds you normally do) to elongate it. Then for the decreasing
rounds, I do two plain rounds between the decrease rounds instead of one which makes the tapered top.

Disclaimer:  These pattern notes have not been tested, so if you're unsure, use one of the patterns written by the experts that I've linked to at the bottom of this post.

1. Using two circular needles (I'm using U.S. sz 3's), cast on 6 st 
with Judy Becker's Magic Cast On
(or cable c/o 3 on 1 ndl, k acr, p/u  3 on 2nd ndl from bottom of cast on)
2. Inc in ea st (inc1, k1) arnd (12)
3. K arnd
4. (Inc1, k2) arnd (18)
5. K arnd
6. (Inc1, k3) arnd (24)
7. K arnd
Cont. in this manner, increasing 6 st ev rnd till you reach the 
diameter you want (I went to 36 stitches)
8. (Inc1, k4) arnd (30)
9. K arnd
10. (Inc1, k5) arnd (36)
11. K arnd 8 or 9 times
Start decreasing in the same way that you increased, but with an extra 
knit rnd between (decrease 6 st ev third rnd)…
Oh and start stuffing before the hole gets small!  ;o)
12. (K2tog, k4) arnd (30 st)
13. K arnd 2x
14. (K2tog, k3) arnd (24 st)
15. K arnd 2x
16. (K2tog, k2) arnd (18 st)
17. K arnd 2x
18. (K2tog, k1) arnd (12 st)
19. K arnd (only 1x to make it a little more rounded at the top)
20. K2tog arnd (6 st)
 Kitchener st closed (or close as you would normally close a ball)

Hatching Easter Eggy Peeps

Make the same as the eggs, but switch to yellow yarn (I used a fuzzy  yarn) after the first decrease round.
 (I carry the egg yarn up through the egg to make the cap in one piece with the egg, instead of breaking and reattaching it.)
Add a cap by knitting a disk and sewing it on, or in one piece as follows:

When you have decreased down to 6 st again, switch to egg yarn
rpt  steps 2-7 of the beginning of the egg pattern
Then decrease back down again as you would decrease for a ball.
1. (K2tog, k2) arnd (18)
2. K arnd
3. (K2tog, k1) arnd (12)
4. K arnd
5. (k2tog arnd (6)
6. Kitchener st closed (or use your favorite method of closing)

Flatten the shape you have just made and stitch it down with the tail of yarn.
Add a few bits of yellow below the start of the yellow rounds with duplicate stitch to make it look jagged, or you can slip some of the stitches on the first round of yellow.

If you want to crochet eggs, I would think it's the same premise except eliminate half of the knit plain rounds.  So you'd increase every round till reaching your desired diameter (like making a ball), crochet around several times without increasing,  and then decrease every other round to taper.

And here are free patterns from the experts… 
Littlecottonrabbits' pattern includes really beautiful fairisle ones!
(I don't like to do colorwork, so I LOVE self-patterning yarn!!)

Jean Greenhowe's free pattern (knit flat)
http://www.jeangreenhowe.com/Images/Novelty_Eggs.pdf

Littlecottonrabbit's free pattern knit flat with fairisle instructions for pretty colorwork!
http://littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk/free_knitting_patterns/

Curlypurly's, purlbee's and emmyknits, in-the-round on dpns free patterns
http://www.curlypurly.com/eggs.html
http://www.purlbee.com/knitted-easter-eggs/
http://emmyknits.wordpress.com/2009/04/11/easy-knitted-easter-eggs/

And here's a couple of crochet patterns that I found, too!:
http://knittingcrochet.suite101.com/article.cfm/easter_egg_crochet_pattern
http://www.thecraftytipster.com/amigurumi-egg.html

I bought the yarn here:
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?pageName=search&flag=true&PRODID=xprd561154

Spring is coming! Yay!

 

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HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! from Lambie Loveykins



HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!



with lots of Love from Lambie Loveykins,
and theknittycat and anthor


Yet another Lambie Peep!  :o)  This is the little guy that I made for my Hub for Valentine's Day – he wanted another Lambie!  Seriously!  He LOVES these little guys!  (well, I do too!)  He want's one for Easter, too!  Good thing that I like making them.  ;o)  These and the Pocket Lambies are the only peeps that I like to repeat making… over and over and over…
 
We think she looks like the girls who used to sell candy and flowers at the theaters, etc. in the 30's/40's.  :o)

Her heart-shaped hat…

Sorry, the bow from her little hat is a bit messy in the pic, and you can't see the back very well.  I took these in a hurry because I just finished her last night!    Yeeks!  close one!  ;o)
(being sick is putting me way behind in my knitting… and Easter is coming!!)
 

Hope you all have a day filled with Love!  We send lots of Love to all of you and to your dear ones!

Hugs from theknittycat

more peeps of my peeps:
on flickr.com  http://www.flickr.com/knittycat
and ravelry.com http://www.ravelry.com/projects/theknittycat

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