Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Yarn Along

Over the weekend I cast on my final Christmas gift project.  It's the most difficult one yet, so I don't know what possessed me to knit it last.  I hope I can get it done in time.  In a fit of uncertainty I looked for a comparable item to gift just in case, but I couldn't find one I thought my gift recipient would like.  So.  The pressure's really on!

Since I can't show it or any of my Christmas knitting -- yet -- I thought I'd instead share two things. 1) My Finished Object Report on Nathan's Big Birthday Owl and 2) this amazing amazing hand-dyed yarn that arrived today from Brambleberry Yarns:

The color is called Sunshine Yellow, and as it sat in the car next to me on the trip home from the post office (yes, I opened it in the car) it reflected back the warm yellow light of the sun.  It's beautiful!

Cynthia from Brambleberry Yarns dyes her yarns and fibers with plants she grows in her garden and finds in the wilderness around her.  Does that intrigue you the way it does me?  This yarn was dyed with goldenrod.  All of a sudden I'm a sucker for yellow, but I've always been a sucker for blue, and she has some gorgeous blues and purples in her shop right now.  If you're in the market for new yarn, I hope you'll stop by her shop!

On to the Finished Object Report: Big Birthday Owl

Pattern: Big Snowy Owl by the Purl Bee
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky in Bare, Porchini, Hazelnut and Chocholate
Needles: Size 11 circular and size 11 DPNs
Rating & fun factor: 5 out of 5 stars

This pattern is clever, interesting and fun to execute.  What more could I want in a pattern?  I know, a finished object that my son will actually play with!  But really, I went into this knowing he'd never play with the owl.  It was 10 days before Nathan's second birthday and I realized that I didn't have a gift for him -- or even one in mind -- and when I came across this pattern I knew I had it figured out.  And I had an idea that he wouldn't really play with the owl -- yet.  Someday, sure.  All he does for now is throw him around or toss him out of the way to get to the more interesting toys.

But the good news is, the owl is super squishy and he gets to live in my house so I can hug him whenever I want.

Two things I'd do differently if I knitted him again:

1.  I'd use smaller needles so I don't see so much stuffing through the stitches.  The pattern calls for super bulky yarn, but I only had bulky, so I went down two needle sizes.  I could have gone down another size or two, but I didn't want the owl to get smaller, too.

2.  If I used smaller needles and had tighter stitches, I would have added a lot more stuffing.  I like how downright squishy he is -- I did it intentionally -- and adding more stuffing wouldn't have made him less squishy... but it would have stretched the stitches further and shown off even more stuffing than it already does.

It was a fun and easy knit.  I hope you'll give him a chance for a little (or big) one in your life.  Just make sure he or she is older than two.  :)


  1. That yellow is just beautiful! I never thought of goldenrod as being useful, usally I am saying some very unladylike words to it because of my allergies! :)
    You know I love the owl and now you have me thinking about casting one on for the wee one, although it will have to wait until after the holiday!

  2. That owl is so fun!
    You gotta love such a huggable knitted friend.

  3. I save the softy toys for the bed :) They can also make awesome pillows- especially the nice ones like your owl!

  4. The owl is so gorgeous and such a wonderful size. I love the colour of the yellow yarn, so warm.

  5. Just how big is the owl? The photos are playing tricks on my eyes! Is that a small rocking chair and is your tree normal size? And in the photo with you - are you holding it out or really close?
    Oh...it's just too early in the morning for me to looking at these adorable knits.
    Great job!

  6. Love the owl, so cute! And he really does look wonderfully squishable!

  7. Love the owl. I have it in my queue...thanks for the notes on it :)

  8. Kaylana, the owl is about 18 inches tall -- he's big! The rocking chair is child-sized, and the Christmas tree is about 8 or 9 feet tall. Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you -- he's huge!

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind comments!

  9. The owl is so cute! I have been thinking about sewing one, never thought about knitting one! Now I may attempt that...after the holiday craziness is over.

  10. Super cute, Kelly. I'm sure he's going to love it.

  11. Love her yarn - the yellow is gorgeous. I just knit a robot. I used worsted weight doubled on size 5 needles. It worked well for stuffing control. Love the owl.

  12. Love, love, love, love, love that adorable OWL!

  13. I am stopping by from the yarn along. I love, love, love the yellow Brambleberry yarn. My four your old son asked me to knit him a yellow dog and I had been looking for just the right yellow and I saw that Brambleberry yarn and I wanted to order it so bad, but I have to wait until after the holidays. I am so jealous of your right now. I can't wait to see what you make with it and of course the owl is totally awesome.

  14. kelly, i don't know whats cuter, the owl or you. you are so adorable. love the photo of the two of you. i have the owl queued because of you, it's just darling. thanks for the tips too.
    and that yellow brambleberry wool...i will have to try that too in the new year.

  15. Goldenrod? Wow! I love that idea! And that owl is awesome! Enjoy your week!!

  16. That yellow is beautiful! I have checked out her site more than a few times...always beautiful yarn!

  17. I love this owl. I am tempted to make one myself as I have received some cream Super Bulky yarn for free. I think I would keep him to myself to squish!

  18. The owl is adorable and the yarn looks divine!!

  19. Just found your blog this morning, and it's lovely!!
    I wish you and your sweet family a very Merry Christmas.
    ...from a feltmaker who is your neighbor in Delaware County!

  20. Goodness, that owl is charming. Just begs for a hug. I am really trying to keep envy at bay...I don't know how to knit! But it's on my list for 2012, and a friend has agreed to teach me. How long will it take to go from zero to owl?!


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