Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Finished Farm

Here it is! The finished Spud & Chloe farm that I made as my Olympic challenge for myself. I will always remember knitting this for E and watching the US women's gymnastics team win gold, zillions of volleyball matches, lots of water polo that I still don't understand, some close soccer matches, and many a swimming final that I had to rewind because I was knitting an animal foot.

Here are is the entire gang. Total number of pieces knitted: exactly 100! Everything except for the barn and hay was knitted on double-pointed needles. I used Spud & Chloe Sweater (a worsted weight) for all pieces. I opted not to make the mice (yuck) and hen/chicks. I also only made one pig due to a yarn shortage. However, this pig is bigger than the one in the book because I used worsted yarn instead of fingering weight.

The sheep (Spud) and the Little Lamb both used a twisted loop technique that was not difficult, but took some time to do. Another technique to put in my head as I design blankets and hats. Could be a fun little dreadlock hat number.

I spent a good deal of one evening on Chloe's hair. I wanted it "just right" so I patiently threaded each strand onto her head and then got it all arranged into a ponytail. 

I think the Brown Cow is my favorite animal. I really thought it was going to be Spud, but the cow won me over. He is so cute! One of my goals in this project was to use up all the bags of fiberfill I had laying around. I ran out with half the cow and the pig and lamb to go. Determined not to buy another bag of stuffing, I stuffed the remainder of the animals with yarn snippets from various projects. It worked great! Might have to do that for future projects. A perfect use for all the yarn ends that knitters trim off of projects. (I have a thread/yarn snippet "trash bin" that is made from fabric and hangs off the table or arm chair. You just pop the threads in it as you go so that they don't gather on the sofa. It is a super cute sunflower pattern, so it doesn't look like a trash bin, but instead a cute decor item. I found mine years and years ago at a quilt store in St. Louis when my SIL lived there, but I'm sure you could find them on Etsy.)

After buying the book for the patterns and the nice yarn that it called for, I didn't want to spend any extra money on this project, so I didn't use embroidery thread for the facial features. Instead, I used the skein of black that I bought to make Little Lamb.

Riley keeps looking at them all like he is jealous of the time I've spent with the "other animals"! I suppose at some point I should knit a few of these up for him and Kiki as toys.

As always, Susan did a FANTASTIC job with these patterns. The way that the different elements were thought out was genius. I especially enjoyed that the fence was a combo of i-cord and a magical crochet hook finishing technique instead of what could have been feet of DPN work. And after all these years of knitting, teaching, and designing, I FINALLY tried out double knitting on the barn sides. Still trying to get my head around the technical side of it. I plan to play with it for some kitchen cloths and a maybe a block blanket. If I was still teaching at a LYS, it would be thrown on the schedule!

If you have little ones in your family, here is a link to the book on Amazon. You could easily opt for lower priced yarn than called for (although you will LOVE Spud & Chloe if you invest in it). Would be a great project for a family of knitters to do as a knit along.

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