Fall Designs Featuring Animals

This fall I’ve got a number of designs coming out, and several of them are children’s garments featuring animals.  I’ve noticed an uptick in my interest in designing children’s garments (I wonder why? *coughlittleturtlecough*).  There’s two children’s designs I wanted to highlight today.

Raynard Willow YarnsRaynard is a children’s dress featuring sweet little foxes on the front of the body and pockets.  Featuring a folded over hem at the base of the dress and on the pockets, this simple and sweet dress is an idea that came into my mind fully formed.  I blame the proliferation of forest animals featured in baby items lately – foxes just seemed to be everywhere.

The Foxes are worked with duplicate stitch before the dress is assembled, meaning this project is very approachable to beginners looking to stretch their skills.  And with the majority of the pattern worked in the round, this dress fairly flies off the needles!

It was a joy working with Willow Yarn’s Daily Worsted – this blend is washable while still being durable and soft.  And with such a range of colors, you can come up with some adorable color combinations.  Willow even offers the pattern at a kit – which takes the decision making out of the process.

You can purchase and download the pattern here!



lok-window-cat-1 I’m also excited to tell you about my first pattern in Love of Knitting magazine.  This pattern features some animals near and dear to my heart – my cats, Peake and Watson.  I’d originally envisioned this as an adult pattern, but the editor of Love of Knitting, Deborah Gerish, pointed out how perfectly it would work as a children’s sweater.

I think she was correct.

Inspired by the silhouette of Peake and Watson as they sit on the window watching the outdoors and birds, the pattern is titled Window Cat.  The cats are written as intarsia, but could also be added after the fact with duplicate stitch.  I have them on the pattern facing away from the viewer, but with a little ingenuity, you could add eyes and whiskers so that they’re facing out.

The sweater is worked in Classic Elite Yarn’s Liberty Wool, one of my favorite yarns.  Liberty Wool is sturdy and soft and long-wearing.  It’s washable and comes in SO MANY COLORS.  While the solid colors are stunning, I also think it would be fun to make the cats calico – by using one of their variegated yarns in browns and oranges and whites.  I have so many ideas for how to adapt the pattern!

I also love the finishing details on this pattern – the vintage buttons match the sweater perfectly.  They’re not too upscale.  Instead they match the quality of the sweater, casual and much-loved.

I love the brown of the trim, the garter stitch around the yoke, the crochet trim around the neck.  Simply put, I love the way this pattern turned out.

I have to admit, I have some plans for this motif in the future – I’d love to turn it into a matching hat and cowl pattern too!  So many potential options!

Do you have cats?  How would you customize this pattern?


A Collection of Life Notes

Today’s a bit of a mishmash of life-notes and thoughts, being that I’m still working through the laundry from Thanksgiving and have all my deadlines looming right at the same time, mid-month.

Not much personal knitting/crocheting has been happening in the Turtle household lately, which makes me a very boring person indeed.

I’ve been working in a sweater made in a size small.  Working a size small sample always makes me nervous: even though I know my math is correct, and the piece is measuring out correct, when I look at the knitted piece I have a hard time believing it would actually fit a real live adult person.  I keep going over to my size small dress form and holding it up, reassuring myself it really is the right size, and then working myself up into a tizzy again a few hours later.

For some reason it doesn’t happen when I work a size medium.

Anyone else ever have this problem?

Being away from home means the cats have been very needy the last two days.  I suppose this is a good thing, as I’m doing 3-5 hours of knitting each day to meet a mid-month deadline.  They can sit on my lap and I can work, work, work.

Watson and Peake helping with the knitting

Watson and Peake helping with the knitting – if you look close you can see my current project!

Still, it’s grey and rainy out, and due to be the same weather until Thursday, which seems like such a long way away.  That meant yesterday my knitting time became my nap time for entirely too long.  It also means my needy white cat, Watson, has been in my face saying “pet me! pet me!” … with his claws.

Still, it’s good to be home for a little stretch, even if it’s just shy of two weeks before we’re off again.


Crochet lace about to be repaired

Crochet lace about to be repaired

I’m tearing through the last of the finishing that’s due before Christmas, and hoping to get it off a little before the holiday.  I’ve had a number of rather challenging projects: a fisherman’s sweater that had seen better days, and a crochet bedspread made a difficult repair simply because it was so LARGE.  If you’ve been waiting on your finishing to arrive before Christmas, it should be going off sometime around the 18th.

Meanwhile I haven’t started on Christmas cards, nearly any shopping, or cleaning the house.  I’ve been vibrating a little with holiday tension. If I wasn’t knitting for work, I’d be knitting for stress relief.

Still, I get to listen to as much of the holiday music as I can stand, which is a huge plus.

duplicate stitch on knitting

Foxes being embroidered

When off shopping with my mother and sister over the holiday, I noticed no fewer than five different shirts on adults and children (in different stores) featuring foxes.  One of my current designs has a fox on it.

I’m so excited for it to be out in the world.  Foxes are soooo in right now.  And it’s great – I think they’re adorable!


Off on Vacation!

I’m heading out for a week and a half to Yosemite with Michael’s family, so the blogging will probably be rather sparse while I’m gone.

You can expect regular posting to resume somewhere around July 2, and there’ll probably be bunches of really great photo’s I’ll want to share.  I wonder how much knitting I can get done in 10 days… Michael and I will be spending about 3 of those days riding a train cross country (of course)!

Attack of the Yan Snatchers!

Yesterday a Michael was getting ready for work he told me that he had a dream about the cats getting into the yarn.  After he was finished telling me about the dream, I commented how long it had been since the cats had gotten into the yarn – I’d gotten good about making sure to put things away at the end of the evening.  He laughed and headed out of the bedroom as I began dragging myself out of bed, when suddenly I heard, “Sweetheart…” and the note in his voice made me very nervous.

“The cats got into your yarn.”
Michael must have heard the cats running around in his sleep and realized what it meant.  The cats had really gotten into my yarn this time.  500 plus yards of yarn were spread throughout the main room of our apartment, threading themselves through chairs and tables, around the couch and the rest of the room.
The cats had a really good time.  Somehow Peake (and I know it was Peake, as he looked entirely too smug) managed to push open the zipper of my backpack and get into my knitting bag from there.
The last two nights have been spent untangling their mess, but I’m happy to report that no yarn was lost to their play.
It’s a good thing these guys are so cute.  I’m nearly over being mad at them.

Snowday, again.

We got about 5 or 6 inches of snow today.  Needless to say, everything was pretty much shut down.  Mr. Turtle and I stayed holed up in our apartment.  Mr. Turtle was recovering from a cold, and every time he coughed the cats got startled.  For once in my life (shockingly!) I was the preferred human to cuddle, which was a little awkward as I was working on an upcoming pattern.

At one point both cats were poured into my lap, a rather startling feat.

Michael snapped a picture.

Me, lovely in my “Knitter” Sweatpants and Penguin Sweatshirt;
the cats, keeping my lap warm.

The pattern was giving me fits today.  It’s a new sock pattern, and the heel took three tries to get right.  It’s a perfect fit now, but I had to try out everything that didn’t work before I settled on a shape that worked.

Stay tuned – next week I’ll be announcing some exciting news!

Feline Friday.. on Sunday.

Mr. Turtle and I had been planning on going to the farm for a short weekend, but with the inclement weather on Thursday and Friday, decided against making the trip.  I have to say I’m relieved… it meant we had a much needed weekend resting at home with very few things that needed to be done, aside from the normal chores.  It also means we have been marathoning the second season of House of Cards.  The show, which I didn’t think I would like, has drawn me in – with characters that are morally ambiguous and endlessly fascinating.

It also meant that the kitties could spend a whole bunch of quality time snuggled up with us.

I love that these two are snuggled up, practically mirror images of each other.

I also love catching the cats yawning.
Cats yawns go from “cute cute cute” to “oh my.” to “I’m going to eat your head!”
And It happens very very quickly.