fo report: Mackenzie’s dinosaur

The first project I finished after Henri was born was my Sidewinders Socks.  Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to photograph them yet, so here are photos of the second project I finished- the dinosaur for my cousin Robyn‘s son Mackenzie.  When her son Sean was born I’d knit him an elephant, and she’d requested a dinosaur for Mack.  I had all the pieces knit before Henri was born, and once I’d caught up on some sleep (ha!) I took advantage of some free time to squeeze in 5-10 minute finishing sessions here and there.  It was slow going because I was still dealing with a newborn and all that comes with…but eventually I finished it.


Pattern:  Modern Day Dinosaur from Family Circle Easy Baby Knits  (Ravelry link)

Size:  one size



Yarn:  Smart Superwash, 5 balls in 5226 (purple) and 1 ball of 8615 (green).


Needles: 3.75mm needle


Dates:  January 1 – February 14 2009

Modifications:  I didn’t want to glue on felt dots (choking hazard) so instead I cut out felt circles to use as templates, and embroidered over them with the green yarn.


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.


at last

I finally had enough yarn to finish!  Woot!  Of course, it meant going out in the lovely little (ha!) snowstorm we had today, but it gave me a chance to do some other errands in that mall, so that was ok.

Don’t let me be misleading- the KNITTING is all done.  I still have the seaming to do, and for a dinosaur toy that has about 15 or so parts that all need to be seamed and assembled…that is as far as I will be going tonight.  I like to finish my projects in one sitting and think it would be creepy to walk into my office tomorrow and see a half-stuffed dinosaur sitting on my desk.

Once the seaming is done I predict I will have used half of the 5th ball of yarn.  450m to knit a 326m project.  Oh well.  It’ll be soon, now!

(p.s. Mackenzie is too young to read this blog, but his mommy isn’t…so I won’t be showing final photos of the finished dinosaur until after it has been given to its new owner.  Need to have some kind of surprise!)


so confused

I’m really confused.  I thought tonight would be simple- plop onto the couch with my knitting, my notions bag, a bag of stuffing, and a bottle of water.  Turn on the TV, watch some junk food and don’t get up until I have a stuffed dinosaur in my hands.


I ran out of yarn again!  I don’t get it!

In the book it says clearly “Astra by Patons, 50g skein, each approx 178 y/163 m” then “2 skeins MC”.

Ok, so if we work in meters here, that would mean that for the main color I need 163 x 2 meters which would be 326 meters.

If the information in the book was already wrong for Astra, and the yardage was actually meant to be the current yardage, then that is 161 y/147 m.  Needing 2 balls, that would mean 147 x 2 meters, which would be 294 m.  Now, I know this isn’t the case- Astra shrunk their balls AFTER this pattern was printed.

Ok, fine.  So I need 326 meters of yarn.

The yardage for Smart Superwash, as per the ballband in my hand says “50 g = 100 meter“.  That’s why when I first ordered the yarn, believing Ravelry’s Astra yardage to be correct, I ordered 3 balls.  3 x 100 = 300 m…so I should have had enough.  Of course as we all know I soon realized that I should have checked the yardage listed in the pattern.

Ok, fine.  I’m only about 30 m short of what I need.  My LYS has 17 balls left in stock.  I buy 1 ball, I have 100 m, I have plenty.

You’d think so. 

I have no yarn left.  I still need enough MC yarn to knit the bases for the horns and for seaming.  Granted, it’s only a few yards, not even close to a full or even half ball- probably less than 1/4 of a ball.  But still- look at that photo up there.  I don’t have any excessively long tail ends except for the green of which I have plenty.  I’ve already used 400 m and NOT HAD ENOUGH to knit what should only require 326 m.

True, I didn’t run these balls through the meter counter.  I figured “why bother?” and trusted the ball bands.  Now I’m regretting that, as I have a strong feeling that the balls were all wound short.  How else can I explain this?

RRR.  Back to the LYS tomorrow!


an explanation

I checked the book itself (Family Circle Easy Baby Knits) and the yardage they list for Astra is 178 y (not 161 y like Ravelry) and 163 m (not 147).

Which means I needed 356 y/326 m of the main color.  By purchasing 3 balls of the Smart, I only have 324 y/297 m.  Luckily, now that I know this, I can be reassured that I only need to buy one more ball and will have enough.  (I wasn’t sure how much more I’d need).


discovery stalled


I was looking forwards to having big news to share with you.  It appears that most of the dinosaur’s carcass has been discovered, and it was looking quite good that the remains of its dismembered corpse would have been discovered, if not by nightfall, then at least by sundown tomorrow.  All that remains to locate is the head, horns and arms of the beast…


Unfortunately, this is all that remains of my trusty supplies.  Don’t ask me how this happened.

Honestly, I’m confused.  The pattern called for 2 balls of Patons Astra in the main color.  According to Ravelry, Astra is 161 y/147 m per 50g ball.  So that’s 322 y/294 m needed.  I’m using Smart Superwash, which according to Ravelry has 108 y/99 m per ball.  My ball band says 100m.  I deliberately ordered 3 50g balls – which should give me 324 y/297 m, or just enough to finish.  There is no way I can squeeze out a head and two arms from what I have left- the photo isn’t very clear but there is maybe 1/5 or 1/6 of the ball left, maximum. 

The only thing I can guess is that Astra has changed its yardage since the pattern was written.  In any case, I’d ordered the yarn from my LYS and I have to wait until tomorrow or Monday to see if they’d ordered in only what I’d asked for, or if they have any other balls in this color in stock.  Either way I can’t keep working on the dino until I get more yarn.  That means both my remaining gift knits are stalled until further notice.  I hope this isn’t a portent of things to come for this year!

I think to try and counteract this luck I am going to revisit an old project instead of starting a new one.  Almost exactly a year ago I finished the first Sidewinder sock (my Ravely project) and I only need to knit one more to have a completed new pair of socks for myself.  I have the yarn, and I have the needles, and I have the pattern.  Hopefully nothing will come up to stall this project too!


amazing discovery


Well folks, you heard it here first.  Despite rumors to the contrary, dinosaurs DID once roam the earth, and even here in Montreal, of all places.  I was onhand at the unearthing of these two dinosaur “parts”, and have it on good authority that what we are looking at is the sole of a left foot, and the upper half of the foot leading towards a thigh.  It’s remarkable, people, simply remarkable.

I’m told that the skin has lasted so long and yet remained in such pristine condition due to a combination of two factors- a) the skin is composed of something called “Smart Superwash”, and b) it is freaking cold in Montreal most of the year, so decomposition rarely had a chance to set in.

In my dedication to you, my readers, I will continue to update my website as more of these parts are found.  After speaking with officials I’m pretty sure that the plan is to locate all of the dinosaur’s parts then put it all together so that we may see how this dinosaur once looked.  There might even be stuffing involved, and the ability to declassify this find from “rare and hopeless parts” to “proper child’s stuffed toy”.  We have the technology.