Wednesday, April 29, 2009

LadyBird Socks for Bug

Great-niece Cate, also known as "Bug" by her parents, turned one back when I was broken-ankled, so her present didn't get finished until recently. These are the Ladybird Shoes from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit by Zoe Mellor.

So that they would fit a one-year old instead of a baby, I used worsted weight yarn (Berroco Comfort). I also added a cuff, as in some of the other bootee patterns in the book, and I made a double sole, so there are NO BUMPS to bother her feet! (The smooth face of the stockinette stitch is where her foot will be!

Other modification was not to do the spots fair aisle, but rather to embroider them on before I sewed up the back seam. Cute shoes, but lots of needlework after the knitting was done!

Pittlely Projects. . .

I'm all about "pittlely" -- those little projects that keep me busy so I can avoid the pressing responsibilities of life -- grading papers, cleaning house, balancing my checkbook.

Here are some little pittles that have occupied me lately. . .

1. The Spritely Elf's sister needed slipper socks. These are made with Berroco Comfort chunky, plain stockinette, 5-stitches per inch. I feel bad I didn't embellish them. . .

2) A charity sweater (T-top pattern) for my mom's church group that sends handknit sweaters to Africa. Yarn is Hobby Lobby "Love this yarn." It's probably a size 2 or 3.

3. Flower Hat from Mr. Funky's pattern book. Crocheted. Gauge with this yarn was less than called for in the pattern, so it will be for a baby. Where can I find a BABY?

There are more pittlely projects on my other camera. . . I'll have to try to find them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spritely Elf Necessities: The Set

I had made some hats for my 9-year old niece Anna, but 6-year old Sophie wasn't too keen on having one until she decided that maybe she would like me to make her an elf hat.

When I asked if she would rather have an elf hat or shoes, she twisted her lips to the side, and concentrated very hard. Her face brightened with a huge grin as she said, "The SET!"

How could I refuse?

Recipe for Felted Elf Slippers.


1 skein Lion Brand Wool in green elf color (or other 100% worsted weight wool)

1 skein DK weight Comfort yarn, in a matching color (will be used for cuff)

small bit of scrap acrylic yarn in a contrasting color

Beads and embroidery floss for embellishment

Suede slipper soles by Stonehenge Clothing, and matching acrylic yarn to sew them on.

size 10 double points
size 5 double points

CO 36 stitches with one strand of the Lion Brand Wool, size 10 needles. You will need a loose gauge, approximately 3.5 stitches per inch.

Begin your sock from the top in stockinette stitch, following any basic sock pattern . Continue until you reach the toe area.

Use "Elf toe" pattern by Storm in the Attic. Available free at:

Weave an acrylic yarn or some other non-feltable yarn through each stitch at top. You will later unpick these stitches and use the little holes left to pick up stitches for the cuff.

As you can see, before they were little, they were BIG! (They fit a size 8 woman's foot.)

Felt slippers in hot water in washing machine with a little bit of wool soap.

Note: This yarn felts very quickly!

When the slippers reach an appropriate elf-size, roll them in a towel to soak up extra water, shape and dry. Tug a little on the point of the slipper to get it to look nice and elfy.

When dry, sew on the suede slipper bottoms, available from Stonehenge Clothing Etsy shop. This is really much easier to do BEFORE you knit the cuff, as you can reach inside the slipper easier. (I tried it both before and after!)

Now make the cuff. Pick out the contrasting yarn one stitch at a time, and using a small crochet hook, pick up a stitch in each hole with the DK weight cotton yarn. Place stitches on size four size 5 double point needles (you should have 36 stitches at this point). Knit 2x2 rib for approximately 3 inches, BO loosely in pattern.

Add beads, bobbles and embroidery floss to adorn the Elf Slippers.

Disclaimer: If there are any mistakes in either the slipper or hat recipes, I'm sure it was the forest GOBLINS that tried to mess them up. Please let me know if you find anything that needs to be changed!

Recipe for a Spritely Elf Hat

Size: Small to Medium Elf Size (21" circumference)


2 skeins Berroco Comfort DK in leaf green

beads and embroidery floss for adornment


1 size 9 16" circular or dbl points, as you prefer

1 size 8 16" circular

Using size 9 circular, CO 72 stitches.

With size 8 circular work one row K1 P1 rib, and when you come to the end of the row, join to work in the round. (When you are done, close up the little gap with the yarn tail.)

Continue with the size 8 circular needle and knit approximately 6 rows, or 1 inch.

Switch back to size 9 circular needle, and working in stockinette, increase (knit front & back) every 8th stitch (you will be increasing in a purl stitch.)

Work the 81 stitches in the round for approximately 26 rows, or 4 inches.

Begin decreases as follows:
Place marker at the beginning.
Knit 7, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 4 rows even.
Knit 6, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 2 rows even.
Knit 5, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 4 rows even.
Knit 4, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 3 rows even.
Knit 3, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 2 rows even.
Knit 2, SSK, repeat around.
Knit 1, SSK, repeat around.
SSK around.
SSK around, knitting last single stitch together with the first SSK of the previous round.
You should now have 4 stitches left.

Work a 4 stitch I-cord for approximately 1/2 inch, BO, and then stick yarn tail through to back side and weave in end.

Embellish with beads and/or embroidery, however the elfly spirits move you!

Give THE SET to any deserving elf and watch her dance through the forest!