Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ben Ice Cream Cozy

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?!?


Heather said...

I love your write up, and I'm so happy someone else agrees that an ice cream pint cozy is a necessity for ice cream lovers. They've made my life all the better. :-)

Heather ~ aka pattern author

Nancy said...

Heather, my friend has told me that her 2 daughters want one too! Looks like I'll be knitting these for awhile!