FO Extravaganza, part one

First up, Smooch. Apologies for the over-the-pillow photo, but this thing blocked to 30" at the bust -- just fine for the bodies at the store, but not near big enough for any of the real women in this house.

Pattern: Smooch from Rowan All Seasons Cotton Collection
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton #221
Needles: Addi Turbo 24" #8, 32" #6
Mods: None, that I know of, but as I mentioned some of the directions in the pattern were less than clear, so I did my best, came out with the right stitch count in the right places, and made a tank that looks remarkably like the one in the picture.

I do like the finished product, and now that I have sussed out the issues with the pattern, I will likely make at least one for us (in a much larger size). Rowan All Seasons Cotton is very similar to Dive Cotton Club, of which I have at least four bags around here. I also have a bag of bright orange Lang Twin Lame which for which I can probably adapt this pattern as well.

While I was at the store dropping Smooch off, I met and fell in love with Molly. She had to come home with me (in orange). I haven't had a nice summer bag for a long time, and Molly is just perfect.

Next, the penguin.First, before felting (Elle added for size perspective).
Here he is right after felting, stuffed with old socks to help him keep his shape while he dries.
And here he is completed.

Pattern: Playful Penguins from Fiber Trends
Yarn: Valley Yarns Berkshire #7 Black; Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky #12 Orange, #1 Cream; Lion Brand Fun Fur Black
Needles: Addi Turbo 16" and 40" #11
Other: 12mm post eyes, poly-fil, white felt
Mods: Well, the pattern calls for DK weight wool held double throughout. Would you believe that not one of the DK weight wools I have access to is feltable? So, I opted for heavier wool single-stranded. I went for a heavy worsted rather than the bulky for the black because it was being knit with the fur.

The finished penguin is cute, but the felting was a little strange. As you can see in the pics above, he didn't really shrink all that much -- more just kinda pulled in on himself. In fact, the fun fur so impeded the shrinking of the black that I was able to mattress stitch the back together when I was done stuffing him. Overall, however, I like the final shape; I think it makes him look like a juvenile, which could be perfect for his next destination which is a fundraising auction at M's school.

And finally (for today), Bette.
Pattern: Bette from Elsebeth Lavold, Book Four, The Sophisticated Lady Collection
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed #02 (we call it cherry cola, they call it purple)
Needles: Addi Turbo 32" #4 and #6

I made one of these as a sample for the store quite a while ago (before they killed the yarn) and really liked the pattern. Bette has actually been sitting, fully assembled, in my knitting bag for a couple of months now, waiting for the finishing touches which I finally sat down and did yesterday. I love her, and I'm expecting that come summer she will become my favorite for cooler weather with just a tank top underneath.

I am about 1/3 done with the second sleeve of Fantine so expect pics soon. Maybe I can even get the Cork pullover I abandoned over a year ago finished this weekend.

We leave Monday for our few days of escape in the mountains. In addition to the jaywalkers which are my current port-a-project, I will be taking the yarn for the crocus tank I am making for M and I and perhaps something else. I am also taking a couple of books. Like I said before, this week is intended as a retreat. We're going to go hang out at a great inn and knit and read before the fire. I cannot wait.

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