Saturday, November 7, 2015

A Monkey Woobie

Over the last few years, my circle of friends that I consider family has expanded considerably. This past summer I had to prepare Woobies for two babies set to join us in this world, Lucky's Godmother's first born and Lucky's baby brother or sister.  (I've known what woobie I wanted to make for my second child for a very long time, but that is the story for another post!)  For Laura's baby, I selected the monkey woobie.  I thought this woobie was adorable plus it sort of looks like an ewok.  What do you think?

I haven't knit a woobie in over a year now since I last made the Giraffe Woobie for Pals Baby #9.  I don't really remember the nuances of the pattern, but I kept really detailed construction notes from each woobie in case I was ever going to make one again.  This helps me keep track of rounds without having to count my stitches quite so much!

I used KnitPicks Shine Sport in Mongoose (Brown) and Cream and knit the woobie on size 3 (3.25 mm) needles.

My woobie collection

I had to use a new set of size of knitting needles for this project.  I accidentally snapped my last pair when I put it in the top of a soft sided suitcase on my way to Boston!  I know that KnitPicks would replace my needles if I wrote them, but this was a user packing error, not a fault of the needles.  One of the cables was a little loose so I had already ordered a pretty Caspian Wood set when I discovered the cracked pair.  Lucky me!

I realized that my size 3 and below dpn's were packed in with my stuff headed into storage rather than in my "while in limbo" kit.  I'll be able to complete over 50% of the woobie using a magic loop, but at some point I'll have to stop and wait until I have access to all of my needles.  This is only a bummer because although I don't NEED to finish this before the baby shower at the end of June if I were able to finish it then I could include it with the other shower presents.  I hope I will still finish as much as possible while this is one of the only projects I have access to.

Notes from Construction - I took a ton of notes on previous woobies, but since it has been a while since I've finished one and my notes are spread out over 4 different posts I decided to consolidate some of my notes that I kept looking up on this woobie so I can have it in one place for next time.  
  • I'm so glad for my previous notes!  With 300 stitches to cast on I'd be tempted to use a backwards loop cast on, but I see that I did a longtail cast on in the 4 previous woobies that I knit.   With the longtail caston and skipping the first knit round I'll be ready to go.  I made sure to do 4 arm lengths for my long tail before casting on.  Nailed it!  Over one arm length of yarn left over.   
  • Mongoose Ball 1 weighs 52 g.
  • As with the other woobies, I do my decreases differently than is written in the pattern.  Slip the first stitch of the round, knit until 2 sts before marker and make a cdd.  The first slipped stitch becomes part of the last cdd.  
  • Ball 1 completed near the beginning of round 16.  Brown Ball #2 weighs 53 g.  
  • CC2 (cream) weighs 30 g.  It weighs 22.5 g after the 3 cc rounds.  
  • Each time I knit a woobie I forget how long it takes to combine the CO edge with the live stitches.  Things will speed up after this round, because the decreases will make things smaller and smaller and smaller!
  • Brown Ball 2 completed on round 39 (15 rounds past the 3 round cream contrasting stripe.)  Brown ball #3 weighs 52.0 g.  
  • In past woobies, I had some counting errors with my decreases, and this caused me to count my stitches frequently.  I haven't counted heavily, except to check whether I was close to 35 sts between each marker to begin the extra decreases.  I decided for good measure to check them all and got (41, 41, 41, 41).  Woot woot, I'm on target!  
  • When I hit 35 sts between markers, I knit 1 round without decreases and started adding the extras.  
  • Next round, S1, K 15, CDD, K14, CDD around.  
  • Brown ball 3 completed after round 71 was completed (60 sts remain), 47 rounds past the cream stripe.  Brown ball 4 weighs 51.3 g.
  • After I hit 28 sts, I knit 1 more round before the next set of decreases.  (52 rounds total past the cream edge)
  • During the crossing for the bottom of the head I accidentally dropped some stitches.  Ugh, but with an extra needle things were quickly back to normal.
  • I haven't had to do colorwork on the face of one of these woobies yet.  Well, I've done a color change but that doesn't really count.  This monkey has some stranded colorwork!   The floats are rather long, but I don't think they should be too noticeable.

Less than 2 months after casting on for this woobie I've closed off the head.  Just the ears to go and then this cute little monkey man will be ready for Mr. Blue Harvest!

I lost my yarn scale in the middle of this project, so when you see weights with decimal points then you know I'm weighing on my new, more precise scale.  My old scale (MIA in the move) is +/- 0.5 g and this scale is +/- 0.05 g (although I'd really put it closer to +/- 0.1-0.2).  In the grand scheme of things I might round the numbers but we'll see how things go.   This scale is smaller than my old one, maybe 4" across or so.  I may have to use bowls more frequently to weigh yarns and other projects, a ball of yarn hangs over the edge and makes the reading less accurate.

After I finished the embroidery, Lucky (now 22 months old) kept stealing the monkey from me "Aaaa aaa aa aa" so it was really hard to take a picture.  Each time I got the woobie set up he would snitch it from me!  Soon he was carrying around both the monkey and the zebra like a proud little guy.

I mean, who can resist this face?

In the end, I had 36.6 g left of Brown Ball #4 and 16.9 g left of cream ball #1.  This project required 29 yards of cream (13 g) and 379 yards (172 g) of the brown.

These woobies are going to be great friends.  I can't wait for our little boys to meet and play together!