Mini obsessions

So I have completely and utterly daffy  over tiny little foxes and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I told myself the obsession was over and tried to work on something else but found myself dreaming of foxes again.

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I found a potbellied stove at the thrift store which means I have to make a fox den so I have a mini kitchen to put it in. And of course mama fox will need an apron to wear while baking little gingerbread men for her children to eat.

So instead of finishing a cardigan that just needs a sleeve and half of a front I started a fox den. Even this wasn’t going fast enough so I cast on a faster knit last night. It is a aerie I got it knitted up in one evening. And in the morning I added a roof and knit a floor.

P1010006I found the roof at the thrift store it was on an incredibly  ugly stein. It was very easy to get it off the beer glass and even better since the mug wasn’t damaged it will go in my donation bag for goodwill.

This aerie was supposed to be a home for an owlet who lives in the tree it could  be a tower bedroom  on top of the fox den. But one of the minis has already claimed it as his own.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANone of this will keep me warm but it seems that I must get it out of my system or it will haunt me.

Now I have to get a couple of chores out of the way so I can watch the Packers play the Vikings. Lets hope they play better than last week.

buttoned up

As with any knit its the details in finishing that make or break a project. Its the one detail that many knitters would rather skip. I was one of those people that dreaded the finishing. But knitting toys is changing that for me. I like watching an animal come to life as I sew the seams and stuff the body.

here is a view of the back end. I still have a few ends to sew in on the tail and next up is the hardest part for me……. the faceor more specifically the eyes. The face and the eyes are hard for me. I try to make it easier by keeping the embroidery to a minimum on the fox I switch to a black yarn for the last few rows and that makes a nose. And then I went hunting for eyes in my button jar  yesterday.

Because I am easily distracted that turned into a sorting party. I found some nice bins at Target that stack together with clips on the side. I spent a happy hour sorting my buttons. For a mini animal I love old shirt buttons.

you can buy a jar of buttons from St. Vinnie’s for a couple of dollars. Some of them have a little scrap of fabric on them and others are kept together with a thread. My favorites are the shell buttons made from mullusk shells – shiney  white on one side  but flip them over and you can see the colors of the outer shell. Many of these white buttons are worn and chipped  and look like tiny baby teeth. I love the way these were saved to be used again even though the shirts were too worn out to wear and cut up for rags. The wear and tear on the buttons make me think that these buttons went through a wringer washing machine. The yellowish button with big holes in it might be made of bone.

I separated according to size and the ones above are the large and really large ones. When I was a kid we would raid our mother’s button jar for really big buttons and put them on a loop of string and make wonderful whizzing toys with them.

I put all the metal buttons in there own bin. I thought about using these somehow for the foxes – they would look so nice on a vest for the larger fox or maybe a button on the pocket.

I have been using old worn shirt buttons for the minis and some of the larger ones have leather buttons for the eyes. but I found a pair of old horn buttons for this hat and I love the dark centers with a white streak at the top that look like eyelids.

but here are a few other choices I have considered. This hat is one of the early ones when I was still working out increases – the fox looks a little worried or maybe angry because of how I spaced the decreases but I do like the look of these old leather buttons.

I love these polished wood buttons on this hat. And see the little gingerbread button I found at Ben Franklins – its tucked into the pocket of the mini fox.

So I will spend the morning sewing in ends and adding eyes and finishing this skulk of fox.

Then maybe clean up my very cluttered tiny knitting room and the overflow mess  in the living room unless I decide to cast on yet another toy.

owls

Last week my neighbor’s daughter was visiting. Suzie and I had a chance to catch up. And the dogs had a chance to play together. Well only a little cause it was too hot. I didn’t get a current photo of Cree so you will have to take my word that he is getting bigger and is quite a gentleman(most of the time)

As for us we tried to stay cool in the shade and work on our knitting. Suzie is working on a toy for the toy drive as you can see below. Suzie has only been knitting for a year which is hard to believe. I mean look at how nice and even her stitches are.

Now at this point you might be saying whatzthat…..but before you know it Suzie will be casting off the last stitch and folding it up……

….maybe now you can see it. See there is the beak and add a couple of eyes….

Yes before you know it there will be a handsome owl like this one.

I love Suzie’s choice of colors the red is so cheery and bright and the chest is going to be black which will show off the lacy pocket. And Suzie claims that she isn’t good at reading the charts but her Dragon skin stitch on the back is perfect. I just wish my pictures were perfect. Well I will get a better shot next visit when she is done.

there are pictures of my owls here on ravelry and there is even a pattern available.

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/mjm/howell-the-owl-pocket-pal

 

 

The tortoise doesn’t always win the race

I know I have been quiet. It is so hot here you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. Well you could if we had sidewalks. I have been hiding my head in the sand(translated– staying inside or in the shade) but I have been keeping busy.

yea- that a crochet hook all right.

I have nothing against crochet — far from it I wish I could crochet.

Sure I know the basic stitches. But I can’t read a pattern to save my life.

My finger feel like fat sausages trying to manuvere the hook in just the right way.

Should I go over or under?

Oops here comes the corner ……..I will forget to add extra stitches as I turn until I am halfway to the next corner.

Some day I must conquer the fear of the hook – because there are so many lovely things I could make. But for now I must be satisfied with plodding along and clumsily adding a finish to this shell.

And don’t tell me about the tortoise and the hare fable and how slow and steady wins the race. Because I have seen crocheters and they are speed demons with their hooks and will mow down anyone in their sights.

Don’t mind me -it is the heat talking- I have already put down the hook and picked up the needles again.Just stab it with the pointy end……….

Tiny

Whatz it in my bird bath……..a closer look…..its a tiny painted turtle — the shell is slightly smaller than a quarter.we found him on our afternoon walk wandering across the road. I quickly picked him up and carried him along with us so that a car wouldn’t run him over. I kept him over night to watch him swim in a bowl and this morning released him to swim in the lake. I know the lake is dangerous too– a big muskie might gobble him up for a tiny snack. But hopefully he will swim down into the weeds and grow to be a big turtle.

Speaking of turtles Anthony is still on the needles — I am stuck on his feet. I want a flipper like foot so I keep frogging it to try again. I made a turtle last summer for PB&J http://www.palsbringjoy.com/www.palsbringjoy.com/Welcome.html This turtle is knit in acrylic worsted weight yarn and has my signature pocket for hiding a little treasure.

So I put the Tony  on hold for a while and knit socks. But after we found Tim (the tiny turtle) I cast on a 2nd turtle. Tony was bigger than I had envisioned but I kept knitting him anyways–while I waited for some yarn I ordered to arrive.

The new yarn arrived Saturday and Sunday I allowed myself to cast on and play. I have unravelled this one a couple of times too tweaking it a little. I changed the mosaic pattern from the larger version I made. Mosaics are fun to play with. I still have a couple of changes I want to try but I think I will finish this one and then cast on second one. Both new turtles are cotton yarn. The bigger one is Cascade Pima which is wonderfully soft and shiney. The smaller turtle is organic cotton from Knit Picks in a sport weight. It is also very soft and easy to work with. Sometimes I have problems knitting with cotton it has so little give that my fingers get sore knitting with it but both of these yarns are nice to knit with.  Acrylic yarn nice for toys because it is washable but I like the idea of using a natural fiber too — so finding a cotton that isn’t hard to knit with is great. And as far as the foot problem …. I will take my knitting along when we go fishing this afternoon I am sure some thing will work out ; )Look at the beautiful colors on the flip side and the adorable flipper feet. I love how the black center of the shell is the shape of a fish.

The mini skein giveaway is closed now but stay tuned I will pick this afternoon and post tomorrow.