Saturday, May 24, 2008

Getting a "Real" Website!

First, please don't worry about the cost of my new patterns!! I will always offer some for free and, of course, the ones that are already posted and are free will always remain so! I am working very hard on getting the new website up and running, but it's a lot of work! I am fortunate to have FrontPage and my husband and teens to help me, but they are busy a lot and I'm left on my own!
I hope to offer the patterns in pdf format, which will mean a lot of time spent in the Publisher program first to get all the photographs and the pattern directions just right. You will be able to download them instantly!
For now, I only have two pages that work! And I don't have any patterns posted yet, just a few photos and descriptions of my new toys. The site will continue to change as I try to fix everything, so please don't be too critical yet!
If you'd care to see it, it's The Pattern Box.
I'll keep you updated! Thank you all so much for your interest and support and encouragement!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Finally Finished 20th Felted Animal Pattern!

I just finished the back legs for my giraffe! Now I have 20 felted and string-jointed animals! It's been so much fun and the ideas keep pouring out of my head! If you like the old Steiff mohair toys as much as I always have, you might like my designs. They are not toys for tiny children, as they have string joints and glass eyes. I suppose you could embroider the eyes and stitch the limbs on differently, but I am really partial to the old-fashioned look.
Also, because they are felted and stuffed, they wouldn't really be washing-machine washable. Probably surface washable only. Let's face it, once you've shaped and dried your felted wool, I don' t think you'll be anxious to see it melt away and shrink more if you throw it in the washer again! YIKES!!
Now, I'm working on my pop-up puppet! I have been fascinated by these toys for some time. A few months ago, I spotted one at Target, of all places! I had to buy it, of course! I have taken it and dissected it to see just how it all fits together. It's filled with a paper cone ... which I will not need, as felted knitting is so nice and thick on its own. I have so many ideas for puppets! ... puppets for fall, puppets for winter and Christmas, puppets for spring! WOW! I can't wait to finish knitting this first one to see if it works. Ideally, I'd like to knit most of it in one piece. You will have to pick up stitches on the inside to make the pop-up part, but I'd like to knit it all, then felt it, instead of knitting the pieces separately and sewing them together after felting separately. We'll see. Experiments are always scary! And surprising!
I have been toying with the idea (pun intended!) of getting a "real" website and making all my felted toy patterns available on pdf downloads for a small fee. I wonder if there'd really be any interest??
And, yes! I am writing up my felted teapot pattern. That would be a part of this, too.
Animals so far:
Family of four hedgehogs (different sizes), lamb, blue jay, scarlet king snake, squirrel, rabbit, lion, pig, elephant, scottie dog, two kinds of fish, two sizes of chicks, duck, goose and the giraffe.
I'm also working on designing a cardinal, a horse/pony and a cat.
The panoramic egg, along with the snow globe and the gingerbread people could be there with the teapot, too. Also thought of felting dolls ... they could be fairy-like and have mushrooms, logs, etc. they could fit inside. This would be a lot of fun. I think I will experiment with both jointed dolls and also those that have more of a pedestal base so they could stand on their own.
Well, I better get going!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Memory of Betsy Peters

You are missed already ...
Please visit CaringBridge

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Video Demonstration of K1, P1, K1 in Same Stitch!

Here is a little video demonstration of the K1, P1, K1 in same stitch. If you have any problems, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Just in Time for Summer: Take-Along Sun also known as Bain de Soleil

This little guy is sure to bring some Summer Fun wherever you go!
(Or whatever the weather)

UPDATE: May 14, 2009: If you'd rather have PDF versions of these patterns, please click here to be taken to The Pattern Box Free Patterns page. Both the original English version and the translated French version are available.

Life can be difficult. Let’s face it, no matter how sunny the summer day might be outside, your day might actually be dark, dreary and depressing. To ward off such gloom, meet the Take-Along Sun. Reminiscent of my stuffed Humpty Dumpty of long, long ago (circa 1965), I hope this little guy will brighten up whatever kind of day you may be having. 
He’s knit almost completely in the round, starting with his legs. Although his nose and the rays are attached separately, overall the pattern requires minimal seaming. 
Take this portable sun along and catch some cheerful rays whenever you need them! 

Take-Along Sun
copyright 2008 Anita M. Wheeless
For the translated French version Bain de Soleil, scroll down to the bottom of this pattern.

Finished size is approximately 13.5 inches tall, from top of ray to bottom of feet or approximately 9.5 inches tall, sitting. Approximately 23 inches in diameter, from ray point to ray point.

[MC] Plymouth Encore DK [75% acrylic, 25% wool; 150 yards per 50g skein]; color: Bright Yellow; 2 skeinsFace Embroidery: Plymouth Encore DK [75% acrylic, 25% wool; 150 yards per 50g skein]; color: Black; 1 skein

2 sets US #3/3.25mm double-point needles
1 set US #3/3.25mm straight needles

Notions required: Stitch markers (the kind that look like little baby pins), polyester fiberfill stuffing, yarn needle, and straight pins with large heads.

28 sts/32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

The sun is knitted completely in the round, with the exception of his nose and his rays, which are knitted separately, stuffed, and then sewn onto his body. When an increase is indicated, please knit into the front and back of the stitch.


Starting with the legs (make 2, see instructions for slight variation on second leg)
Using one set of US size 3 (3.25 mm) double-pointed needles, and knitting back and forth, cast on one stitch.
First Row: Knit one, purl one, knit one in this stitch.
Second Row: You now have three stitches. Increase in each stitch by knitting into the front and back. (6 stitches)
Third Row: Knit
Fourth Row: Increase in each again. (12 stitches)
First Round: Divide these 12 stitches by knitting four stitches onto each of the three DPNs.
Second Round: Place stitch marker at beginning of round, join and knit this round.
Third Round: Increase in each stitch again. (8 stitches on each needle)
Fourth through 14th rounds: Knit for a total of 11 rounds.
Beginning of shaping of foot:15th round: *On needle one, SSK, then knit the remaining stitches. (7)Knit needle two (8 stitches); Knit to the last two stitches on needle three, then knit these last two together. (7)
16th round: Knit*Repeat rows 15 and 16, in order, three more times. You will be decreasing by one stitch on needles one and three each time, ending up with 4 stitches on needle one; 8 stitches on needle 2; and 4 stitches on needle 3.
23rd through 37th round: Knit for these 15 rounds.
Leaving a tail, cut yarn. Knot yarn close to the back of the leg, weave in tail. Transfer the four stitches from needle one onto needle three. Remove needle one. You now have two needles, each with 8 stitches. Set this leg aside and, taking up another set of size US 3 (3.25 mm) DPNs, begin working on leg number two exactly as above. When you’ve reached the end of leg number 2, do NOT cut yarn.

You will finish in the middle of the leg. Transfer the four stitches from needle three to needle one. You now have eight stitches on needle one and eight on needle two.
Joining legs to body
Begin by knitting where your working yarn is (right in the middle of the eight stitches on needle one on the second leg). Knit across the four remaining stitches on the needle, then, using the backward loop method, cast on 18 additional stitches. These 18 stitches will make up the body between the legs. After casting on these 18 stitches, pick up leg number 1 (the one that has been resting), and knit across the eight stitches on the front of this leg, making sure your stitches are not twisted. You can remove the needle as you knit. You will end up with 34 stitches on needle 1 (8 stitches from leg 2, 18 cast on, the other 8 stitches from leg 1 = 34 stitches). Continue knitting around onto the second needle on leg one. You are now on the back of this leg. When you’ve finished knitting the 8 stitches on this needle, again using the backward loop method, cast on 18 stitches to make up the back of his body between the legs. After casting on these 18 stitches, and again making certain your stitches are not twisted, you will now pick up needle 2 of the second leg and finish knitting the back of this leg. Just as before, remove the needle as you knit, so you will end up with 34 stitches on needle 2. You only have two needles right now, each with 34 stitches.When you’ve reached the end of this needle, you will be at the front of his leg again. To make things easier to work, divide your stitches by knitting 17 stitches onto each of four of the size US 3 (3.25 mm) DPNs. After knitting these stitches, you will be back around to the front of leg number 2 again. Here you will be working on what we will now call needle 1.

Place a stitch marker here to mark the beginning of the rounds. Knit 6 rounds more, working the stitches on all four of the needles. You will end up with quite a gap between his legs. Don’t worry. You will need this hole later for stuffing.
Shaping Body
First Round: Increase in first stitch, k7, increase in next, k7, increase in last stitch on each needle (20 stitches on each)
Second Round: Knit
Third Round: Increase in first, k8, increase in next, k9, increase in last stitch on each needle (23 stitches on each)
Rounds four through 18: Knit (15 rounds)
19th Round: Increase in first stitch, k10, increase in next, k10, increase in last stitch on each needle (26 stitches in each)
Rounds 20 and 21: Knit (2 rounds)
22nd Round: k2tog, k10, k2tog, k10, knit last two together on each needle (23 stitches on each)Rounds 23 through 37: Knit (15 rounds)Before knitting any more rounds, begin stuffing body and legs, pushing stuffing all the way down to the feet. The feet should be more rounded than the rest of the legs.
38th Round: k2tog, k8, k2tog, k9, knit last two together on each needle (20 stitches on each)39th Round: Knit
40th Round: k2tog, k7, k2tog, k7, knit last two together on each needle (17 stitches on each)
41st Round: Knit
42nd Round: k2tog, k6, k2tog, k5, knit the last two together on each needle (14 stitches on each)43rd Round: Knit
44th Round: k2tog all the way around on each needle (7 stitches on each)
45th Round: K2tog until last stitch, knit this stitch on each needle. (4 stitches on each)
You are now ready to close the hole in the top of his head.Thread a yarn needle with a length of yarn, slip all the stitches onto the needle and pull tightly, gathering all the stitches together. After pulling as tightly as you can, closing up the top of his head, knot off as close to the knitting as possible (so as not to see the knot) and weave in the loose end.

Finish stuffing body and legs. Using your hands, work the body into a ball shape, adding more stuffing as desired. When your sun looks pleasantly plump and rounded, you’re ready to sew up the gap between his legs. Thread a length of yarn in your yarn needle and using a gathering stitch, weave the needle in and out of the stitches, working fairly close together, all the way around the opening. Pull tightly, making his legs move very close together. Repeat the gathering stitch, if needed, to make certain the gap is securely closed and that his legs are right next to each other. Pull tightly and knot off, weaving in the loose end.

Cast on 9 stitches onto one size US 3 (3.25 mm) DPN. Divide by knitting three stitches onto each of three of the needles. Place a stitch marker and join. Knit for 6 rounds. Thread a yarn needle and run a gathering stitch through the stitches. Pull tightly and knot off. Weave in loose end. Set aside.
Sunrays (make 10)
Using size US 3 (3.25 mm) straight needles, cast on 18 stitches.
First row: Knit
Second row: Purl
Third row and all following odd rows: k2tog, knit to last two, SSK
Fourth row and all following even rows: Purl
Knit the last two remaining stitches together, then thread a yarn needle and run through last stitch. Tie off.
To make up sunrays
For each sunray, take two ray pieces and, placing wrong sides together, stuff lightly and overstitch edges together. Pin rays along the side and top of the sun, then stitch securely in place. Remove pins.

With sun facing you, with feet forward. Find the small mark in the middle of his face where an increase was made. This marks the spot where you will attach his nose. Sew nose securely in place.Using the black yarn, thread the yarn needle and using a satin stitch, embroider the eyes. Using a chain stitch, embroider the smiling mouth.
I hope you enjoy making him! Please let me know if you do; I'd love to post photos of your finished suns ... also, as always, if you run into any problems as you knit him, please email me and I'll figure it out for you.

To find this pattern translated into French, please visit le monde de christhalainette where Christhalinette has the entire pattern for you.
Here is the translated version for you from Christhalinette's website:
Bain de Soleil
Environ 34 cm de hauteur de la pointe du rayon au bas des pieds ou environ 24 cm assis.
Environ 58 cm de diamètre d'un rayon à l'autre
Coloris principal (CP) : Plymouth Encore DK (75 % acrylique, 25 % laine ; 150 yards pour 50 g par pelote) ; coloris : jaune vif : 2 pelotes
Pour le visage : Plymouth Encore DK (75 % acrylique, 25 % laine ; 150 yards pour 50 g par pelote) ; coloris noir : 1 pelote
2 jeux d'aiguilles doubles pointes 3,25
des aiguilles droites 3,25
Divers : Des marqueurs (genre ceux en forme d'épingle de sûreté), du rembourrage, aiguille à laine, des épingles à grandes têtes.
28 m x 32 rangs = 10 x 10 cm en jersey
Le soleil se tricote en rond sauf pour le nez et ses rayons qui sont tricotés séparément, rembourrés puis cousus au corps. Pour augmenter, tricoter 2 fois la maille, une fois dans le brin avant, une fois dans le brin arrière.
SSK : glisser 2 m à l'endroit l'une après l'autre sur l'aiguille de droite, puis les reprendre sur l'aiguille de gauche et les tricoter ens à l'end.
Commencer par les jambes (en faire 2, voir légère différence pour la 2ème jambe).
Avec les aiguilles doubles pointes 3,25, monter 1 m. (tricoter en allers retours)
R 1 : 1 m end, 1 m env, 1 m end dans cette maille
R 2 : On a maintenant 3 mailles, augmenter en tricotant 2 fois chaque maille (= on a 6 m)
R 3 : à l'end
R 4 : Augmenter de nouveau en tricotant 2 fois chaque maille (= 12 m)
1er tour : Répartir les 12 m en tricotant 4 m sur chacune des 3 aiguilles
2ème tour : Placer un marqueur en début du tour, joindre et tricoter ce tour
3ème tour : Augmenter de nouveau en tricotant 2 fois chaque maille (= 8 m par aiguille)
4ème au 14ème tour : Tricoter 11 rangs
Formation du pied : 15ème tour : *sur la 1ère aiguille, SSK, tricoter les mailles restantes (7 m), Tricoter la 2ème aiguille (8 m), tricoter jusqu'aux 2 dernières m de la 2ème aiguille et tricoter les 2 dernières m ens à l'end (7 m)
16ème tour : à l'end. * répéter les rangs 15 et 16, dans l'ordre 3 fois. On va diminuer 1 m sur la 1ère et la 3ème aiguille à chaque fois, pour finir on a 4 m sur la 1ère aiguille, 8 m sur la 2ème aiguille et 4 m sur la 3ème aiguille.
23ème au 37ème tour : Tricoter ces 15 tours à l'end, couper le fil en laissant un peu de longueur. Faire un noeud côté dos de la jambe, rentrer le fil. Transférer les 4 aiguilles de la 1ère aiguille sur la 3ème aiguille. Enlever la 1ère aiguille. On a maintenant 2 aiguilles de chacune 8 m. Mettre en attente et tricoter une 2ème jambe avec les aiguilles doubles pointes 3,25, en commençant la 2ème jambe exactement comme la 1ère. Quand la 2ème jambe est terminée, NE PAS couper le fil.
On termine au milieu de la jambe. Transférer les 4 m de la 3ème aiguille sur la 1ère aiguille. On a maintenant 8 m sur la 1ère aiguille et 8 m sur la 2ème aiguille.
Joindre les jambes et former le corps
Commencer en tricotant où se trouve le fil (au milieu des 8 m de la 1ère aiguille de la 2ème jambe). Tricoter les 4 m restantes de l'aiguille, puis, monter 18 m (méthode par enroulement du fil en spirale). Après avoir monté ces 18 m, tricoter la 1ère jambe (les mailles restantes), et tricoter les 8 m du devant de cette jambe en veillant à ce que les mailles ne s'enroulent pas. On peut enlever l'aiguille pour tricoter. On termine par 34 m sur la 1ère aiguille (8 m de la 2ème jambe, 18 m monbtées, les 8 autres mailles de la 1ère jambe = 34 m). continuer à tricoter la 2ème aiguille de la 1ère jambe. On est maintenant au dos de la jambe. Quand les 8 m de cette aiguille sont tricotées, monter de nouveau 18 m de la même façon pour faire le dos du corps entre les jambes. Après avoir monté ces 18 m, en veillant de nouveau à ce que les mailles ne s'enroulent pas, on reprend les mailles de la 2ème aiguille de la 2ème jambe et on termine le dos de cette jambe. Juste avant, enlever l'aiguille pour tricoter, on termine avec 34 m sur la 2ème aiguille. On a seulement 2 aiguilles maintenant, avec 34 m sur chacune d'elles. Quand on est à la fin de cette aiguille, on est de nouveau devant la jambe. Pour faciliter l'ouvrage, répartir 17 m sur 4 aiguilles doubles pointes 3,25. Après avoir tricoté ces mailles, on est de nouveau au devant de la 2ème jambe. Maintenant on va tricoter sur celle que l'on va appeler la 1ère aiguille.
Placer un marqueur ici pour indiquer le début des tours. Tricoter encore 6 tours en tricotant toutes les mailles des 4 aiguilles. On a bientôt un trou entre les jambes, pas d'inquiétude, on aura besoin de ce trou pour le rembourrage plus tard.
Former le corps
1er tour : augmenter dans la 1ère m, 7 m end, augmenter dans la m suiv, 7 m end, augmenter dans la dernière m de chaque aiguille (=20 m par aiguille)
2ème tour : à l'end
3ème tour : augmenter dans la 1ère m, 8 m end, augmenter dans la m suiv, 9 m end, augmenter dans la dernière m de chaque aiguille (= 23 m par aiguille)
4ème au 18ème tour : à l'end (= 15 tours)
19ème tour : augmenter dans la 1ère m, 10 m end, augmenter dans la m suiv, 10 m end, augmenter dans la dernière m de chaque aiguille (= 26 m par aiguille)
20ème et 21ème tour : à l'end (= 2 tours)
22ème tour : 2 m ens à l'end, 10 m end, 2 m ens à l'end, 10 m end, tricoter ens à l'end les 2 dernières m de chaque aiguille (= 23 m par aiguille).
23ème au 37ème tour : à l'end (= 15 tours).
Avant de continuer, commencer à rembourrer le corps et les jambes en poussant le rembourrage vers les pieds. Les pieds doivent être plus arrondis que le reste des jambes.
38ème tour : 2 m ens à l'end, 8 m end, 2 m ens à l'end, 9 m end, tricoter ens à l'end les 2 dernières m de chaque aiguille (=20 m par aiguille)
39ème tour : à l'end
40ème tour : 2 m ens à l'end, 7 m end, 2 m ens à l'end, 7 m end, tricoter ens à l'end les 2 dernières m de chaque aiguille (=17 m par aiguille)
41ème tour : à l'end
42ème tour : 2 m ens à l'end, 6 m end, 2 m ens à l'end, 5 m end, tricoter ens à l'end les 2 dernières m de chaque aiguille (=14 m par aiguille)
43ème tour : à l'end
44ème tour : 2 m ens à l'end tout le tour sur chaque aiguille (= 7 m par aiguille)
45ème tour : 2 m ens à l'end jusqu'à la dernière m, garder cette m sur chaque aiguille (=4 m par aiguille)
On peut maintenant fermer le trou en haut de la tête. À l'aide de l'aiguille passer le fil dans les m restantes puis tirer pour serrer les mailles. Serrer le plus possible pour fermer le haut de la tête, faire un noeud le plus près possible du tricot (de sorte qu'on ne voit pas le noeud) et rentrer le fil.
Terminer de rembourrer le corps et les jambes. Avec les mains, travailler le corps pour lui donner la forme d'une balle, en ajoutant du rembourrage si nécessaire et souhaité. Quand le soleil a une forme sympa et ronde, il suffit de coudre l'entrejambe. Utiliser du fil et une aiguille et coudre en grafting. Serrer le fil pour que les mailles soient bien proches les unes des autres et resserrer les jambes. Répéter la couture si nécessaire pour être sûre que l'entrejambe est bien fermé et que ces jambes sont bien côte à côte. Serrer et faire un noeud, rentrer le fil.
Monter 9 m avec 1 aiguille double pointe 3,25 et répartir sur 3 aiguilles (= 3 m par aiguille). Placer un marqueur et joindre. Tricoter pendant 6 tours. Passer le fil à l'intérieur des mailles et serrer, faire un noeud, rentrer le fil, mettre en attente.
RAYONS du SOLEIL (en faire 10)
Avec les aiguilles droites 3,25 monter 18 m
1er rang : à l'end
2ème rang : à l'envers
3ème rang et tous les rangs impairs : 2 m ens à l'end, tricoter à l'end jusqu'aux 2 dernières m, SSK
R 4 et tous les rangs pairs: à l'envers
Tricoter les 2 dernières m ens à l'end puis passer le fil dans les m et serrer.
Pour former les rayons
Pour chaque rayon, prendre 2 pièces ensemble envers contre envers et coudre les côtés en rembourrant. Épingler les rayons le long des côtés et du haut du soleil puis les coudre. Enlever les épingles.
Prendre le soleil face à soi, les pieds devant. Trouver la petite marque au milieu du visage où on a fait une augmentation. Cette marque est l'emplacement pour attacher le nez. Coudre le nez et sécuriser. Avec le fil noir, broder les yeux au point de satin. Broder la bouche au point de chainette.
J'espère que vous aimerez le faire ! Dites moi si c'est le cas. J'aimerais voir des photos de vos soleils...

Monday, May 5, 2008

My Tour de Malakoff is Blooming!

Looky! Looky! It's my Tour de Malakoff! Isn't it beautiful? And, what a fragrance!

Some people don't like the color, but I think it's lovely!

Many years ago, I purchased several antique rose bushes. I was very much fascinated by fragrant flowers (and edible flowers, but that's another post), reading every book I could find on the subject. I decided I wanted to plant my own roses so that I could make fragrant potpourri. That year I planted lots of herbs, too ... patchouli, lemon balm, sweet woodruff, etc.

Anyhow, the roses were not own-root roses. They were grafted onto "sturdier" rootstock. The first year, most of them did quite well ... but my Tour de Malakoff ... the most fragrant of the bunch, only had one rose and then the bush bloomed with another rose! It was very hardy and bloomed and bloomed, but it wasn't the Tour de Malakoff.

For the past several years, my roses have been sadly neglected. I simply don't have time to garden as I once did. It's quite an untamed mess right now ... and new little rose bushes are everywhere, blooming from the roots that have spread out all over the area. They are covered with flowers, so I'm not sure how to proceed with them! BUT, in the midst of all of this, guess what?

The Tour de Malakoff is blooming!!! Many flowers, too!!! Ah, the fragrance is wonderful! What a strange thing! After all these years!