What a week, what a week. I don’t even know where to begin…
I think I’ll recap last week, daily, as I blog through this coming week. So now (Sunday night) I’ll tell you about last weekend, then tomorrow I’ll tell you about last Monday, etc.
Last weekend I finished the elephant! All the knitting was done Friday night, and I started the seaming. The front/back was joined together, and I had the underbelly about halfway in place when I went to bed. Saturday I was home with the boys and while they napped in the afternoon I finished the underbelly and stuffing the legs, and that night, while Yannick went out, I finished sewing in the feet, attaching the ears and working in some eyes.
After all my talk of knitting her in the round, she was done flat, and I was fine with that. The seaming went really well, fast and easy. And I don’t mind the finished look.
C’mon- how could you be upset at this face??
Pattern: Flo the Elephant (vintage pattern rewritten in Knitty.com by Franklin Habit) (Ravelry link)
Size: as written (see photo with Superman figurine for scale, below)
Yarn: Red Heart Misty (blue/purple heather) and Pingouin Safiro (purple solid) held double-stranded throughout
Note on needle size- because I used two worsted/chunky yarns held together, I could have easily gone up in needle size. My final fabric was dense and squishy, but even if you pulled the garter stitch you couldn’t see through it. I think I could have gone up maybe even a few needle sizes and still had a fabric that was dense enough to hide the stuffing, but would have given me a bigger overall toy. I was a little disappointed in the final size and would have preferred it to be bigger. (Nothing to do with the pattern- it’s just that I’d deliberately chosen to double-strand the thick yarns in order to get a bigger toy than normal. I was hoping for something as large as, if not larger than, the baby it is for).
Dates: February 16 – March 5 2011
Modifications: None. I omitted the decorative stitching and did knotted eyes for safety (and subtlety). Now that I know where everything is in the pattern, next time I would end before the tail sts and sew on a braided tail instead. I find the pattern tail too stubby (and too low) for my tastes. I had also planned on putting a rattle inside, but forgot until after all the ends had been woven in.
As usual you can find my finished (and unfinished!) projects in my “projects” page by clicking the tab up at the top of every page on my blog, and I also have this project in my Ravelry notebook here .
Flo is approximately 2 vintage, original 80’s-ish, squeeze-legs-and-pump-arms Supermen tall.
Last Sunday after swimming lessons we went to my parents’ house for chocolate chip pancakes, then while the kids napped in the afternoon I finalized the last bit of studying I’d wanted to get done before the surgery. I know from both surgeries last year that I’m going to be out of it for a few days, possibly a week, taking pain medications and sleeping a lot. I didn’t want to have to worry about studying during that, so I blocked off the first week post-op as a “no study” week. Still, the only way that would work would be if I finished up what I had to do beforehand.
When the kids got up we went back to my parents’ for dinner. It was a lot of running back and forth, but everyone had fun, and by 7:30pm everyone was home and the kids were in bed. My nerves were starting to kick in. I had been told to be at the hospital for 10:30am and to register at Emergency. I had to fast from midnight, take a shower before bed, get into fresh, clean sheets, and then take another shower in the morning before heading out.
I wouldn’t be allowed to lift my kids, or anything, really, over 10 lbs for at least 8 weeks. I wouldn’t be able to drive for at least 3 weeks, possibly up to 6 depending on what the doctor and insurance company say. I would also have to be extra careful this time, because I was careful last time and ended up with a new hernia 3 weeks after the last hernia surgery.
I knew I would be home alone for a bit, at least during the days. I knew that after the first week I would be more alert and not sleeping as much, and after my studying was done, if I were still able to sit without discomfort, I would want to knit. BUT I wouldn’t be able to lift my yarn buckets to get anything for new projects. So I decided to prepare a bag with the yarn/needles/notions/etc I’d need for the projects I’d want to work on while I was home.
Do you have any idea how hard it was to PICK those projects? Knit Picks is getting some new yarn colors for me to pick from, so that yarn won’t be on its way to me for a bit, so I can’t work on that. I have the pillows I need to complete the pillow covers for my sister-in-law…but that is of my own design and I remember only too well the messes I got into while “knitting under the (pain killer) influence” last summer. I went through my Ravelry queue and found 2 tank tops I wanted to make, to be ready in time for this Summer…but I didn’t have enough of the right weight yarn for either one.
In the end I decided to take this time to NOT start something new, and instead to finish up stuff still lying around. I don’t have photos handy, but in the project bag are 1) Henri’s Spiderman Blankie (I can hear Maaike cheering already), 2) my Featherweight Cardigan and 3) my Honeymoon Shawl.
Henri’s blanket was started sometime in his first year (2009), and is being made in 100% cotton (to be safe for his eczema). It’s lovely but huge and takes a while to knit each row. I’m probably about 60% done…though I’ll know for sure when I take it out of the bag again. You already know about the Featherweight cardi, and the honeymoon shawl is the Shoalwater Shawl that I started while actually on my honeymoon. In 2006.
To get everything ready I put all the project bags together. I wound a skein of each of the red and blue yarns used for the Spidey blanket so I’d have extra with me, and I finished picking up the stitches for the Featherweight cardigan’s band so it would be ready to “pick up and knit” any time I had the chance.
Then, as directed, I changed our bedsheets and took a shower. And somehow, ‘cus the butterflies were starting to kick in, I slept.
THIS weekend was nowhere near as exciting. Yesterday the boys and I played, and I tried to nap while they did. Today we had their last swimming lesson until the next session and then did brunch & supper with my family again. Lots of tickling, lots of playing, and lots of brotherly love. I did a few rows of the Featherweight cardi’s band while watching Supernatural with Yannick earlier, but that’s about the total of knitting done this weekend ‘cus I just don’t have the energy.
One last shot of Flo, to show the underbelly and foot pads. For those of you who like that sort of thing.
March 14, 2011 at 9:05 am
WHAT an adorable elephant 🙂
I’m not sure I can wait all week to hear how the saga plays out (but it’s a good way to do it, serial novel style) as I know a bit of the beginnings. Hope all’s well, and I’ll be avidly reading.
March 14, 2011 at 11:52 am
Don’t know if this is of any help/interest to you but we wholesale knitted and crochet toys and have loads of info on toy safety regs on our website
March 15, 2011 at 9:41 am
Hope the surgery went well and that you’re resting comfortably at home. ps: Flo is adorable!
March 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm
LOVE the elephant! I want to make one!!!! Was it easy?
April 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm
Very cute elephant. (I love elephants though)
Hope you worked everything out with all your plans and that they worked out as planned.
Can’t wait to see/read if you’ve managed to finish things like the Spiderman blanket… or not!