Yup, that's right: I knitted an ice cream cozy. Wait until you see it!
Let me start from the beginning. Last year, I got a Knitting Desk Calendar (2011) and in there was a pattern for ice cream cozies. They fit a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, hugging the condensation, insulating, protecting your hands from the cold when you eat from the carton. How awesome is that?!?!
|Pic from the Knitting Desk Calendar|
I knew I wanted to knit it. At the time I was dieting and the thought of eating right out of a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream was undo-able, so I did not knit one right away (I was not going to use it while on the diet). So, when I started thinking of who I was going to knit gifts for this Christmas, I thought, "Who can I knit the ice cream cozy for? Someone must eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream!" That's when I realized that I do, in fact, have a friend who eats this ice cream. She even goes online to find what store is selling the exact flavor she is looking for. This was a no-brainer.
Well, Christmas was sneaking up on me and I had not started it as of the beginning of December. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I was on a roll and then was out with my knitting injury (see the Origami Sweater - Part 2 post). I still have it and when I think about knitting, my elbow and arm will suddenly hurt. Ridiculous!
I started it on December 13th, which was a Thursday and was done by Sunday. So, not too bad. Here are the details:
I used some stash yarn: Bernat Softee Baby (100% Acrylic), in Soft Peach (looks pink in real life) and Premier Yarn Everyday Soft Worsted (100% Acrylic) in Baby Yellow. I have used the Bernat Softee Baby in a couple projects: I Heart Hats and Vivecita Beret. The Premier Yarn, I used in my Cookie Swap 2012, Rapunzel braid.
The Softee Baby is a DK weight and the Premier Yarn is a worsted weight. What does that mean? That means that the DK is a thinner yarn than the worsted and I had to use 2 strands of the DK to 1 strand of the worsted. That brought a challenge: I had only one skein of yarn of each, so I had to ball up the DK yarn (the peach/pink) into 2 balls.
This gave me an excuse to use my ball winder. I love that thing!
It was kind of a pain to wind it from a skein, but after a tangle or two, I had 2 balls of yarn to work with:
This way I can hold the 2 strands together without a huge mess on my hands by trying to use both ends of the skein (it would not have worked, I tried that way before I balled it up. Trust me!)
So, this is knitted on double pointed needles (dpn). The pattern calls for a size 10, but I knit loose, so I went down a needle size to a size 9. I casted-on and was off.
It's always confusing to me when I cast-on to dpn's. I always think that I am doing it wrong, but it works out somehow. So, I have started it, as you see above.
This 2 color knitting is called stranding or simply colorwork. This is where you carry the unused color behind in the work. I'll show you in a pic, down below. I worked in a ribbing pattern, so the cozy can be stretchy. I worked from the top-down.
Here is a close-up of the rib pattern, where the color changes for the knit and the purl stitch.
This is what the stranding looks like. This is a pic of the inside of the cozy. This extra "layer" of yarn behind the stitches helps insulate it, so your hand will not get cold from holding it.
Unfortunately, I completed it and then realized that it was a bit too long and looked like a sock, not a cozy. I had to rip out about 4 rounds of the colorwork. Oh well, I fixed it in no time.
That was an awful lot of yarn for 4 rounds. I put the dpn's back into the live stitches and finished it off again.
Vince and I took one for the team...the Anything-for-the-Christmas-Gifts Team. We bought a pint of Phish Food (love that one, and it is Gluten Free) and tried the cozy on it. It fit!!!! So, we ate the ice cream while watching a DVR'd episode of Dancing with the Stars. I washed out the carton and gave the gift, with the cozy on the empty Ben & Jerry's pint. I put a gift card for the local supermarket in it, so she can buy a pint for her to try the cozy out on. I'm not that cruel, that I would completely tease her with no ice cream!
There is also a Jerry ice cream cozy that I will knit at some point. I gave her an IOU for that one. I do not have any more stash yarn that fits the bill for this project, so I will buy some the next time I'm out at Joann's.
What do you think? Is this a fab gift or what?!?