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I have to admit I’m pretty darned proud of myself.  First of all, I sucked up my troubles and traveled to Taos for the Wool Festival and, as a reward, had an entertaining and educational weekend, made all the more special by a quick, many-miles-driven visit from my Hunky Husband.  Granted, I have been paying the price for the extra exertion since the day I returned in the form of Attack of the Dumb Disease but that’s okay.  It was worth it.


Pint Modeling the Tasha DressSecond of all, I designed, knit, crocheted, embroidered, and FINISHED The Tasha Dress.  It is the first knitted piece I have ever designed from scratch.  Usually, I rework a published pattern by changing the sleeves or the neckline or the length; well, you’ve got the idea.  I did not do this.  Granted, I made a jillion mistakes which led me to bite the bullet, rip the whole 3/4ths-of-the-way-done dress down to the hem the Saturday we were in Taos, and go down another design path BUT I did it.


Behold the Tasha dress, albeit ill-fitting for the I-so-did-not-volunteer-for-wearing-a-girl’s-dress Pint.  It should fit its wearer just fine, just below the knees.  The garter stitch hem allows it to be turned up for now and tacked down and then undone as the little one grows.

 Tasha flower

And the initial design problem?  The all-important flowers.  I think I told you before I planned on an intarsia/fair isle mix knitted into the base of the dress.  Apparently, I am not good enough to do this yet.  The knitted decreases in order to shape the A-line distorted the flowers and, besides, they did not have that innocent child quality needed for this dress.  Instead I re-knitted the deep orange base by itself and worked the flowers separately.  Then I embroidered them in place with a chain stitch and added French knots in the center.  I like them.  I sure hope the wearer does.


Now that Tasha is complete, I can get back to the myriad of family projects slated for completion/construction and maybe, just maybe I can talk my body into forgiving me for pushing it to take a trip and work long hours.  I’m beginning to tire of resembling a tobacco-loving, fifth-a-day drinking baseball player with a bad skin problem.  (I’m swollen, lumpy, and bumpy.  God love my husband for even looking at me.)


A sense of completion is such a strange and rare thing for me.  I think I like it but I have to admit I’m already missing my creation.  Hopefully, she’ll like her new home in Texas and make an already special toddler feel that much more so.




Since we created Backyardiknits, I watch the show in a whole new way.  Yes, I still enjoy the songs and the whit and I can almost understand Sherman the Worman but I obsessively stare at their clothes.  Could I knit a little sleeveless dress for Tasha?  A little jumper for Uniqua?  No, I’m drowning in a testosterone pool since my oldest girl moved out and have no little girl to dress up anymore.  It could still be done though.  Somewhere in Minnow Knits or one of the many Debbie Bliss children’s pattern books can be found a little dress that could be tweaked with either intarsia or duplicate stitch and, ta da, you have knit a Tasha.  Someone out there must still have little girls with lovely little girl hair that puts the adorning ribbons to shame.  Little girls who love frilly pink dresses and sparkly shoes would appreciate a Uniqua or Tasha dress, knit by Mom (or Dad) just for them.  No one else would have one and they would go to school and say, “My mommy (or daddy) made this just for me.”

What are you doing just sitting there?  If you’re lucky enough to both have a little princess and enjoy The Backyardigans, it is your duty to knit that dress.  When you’re done, come on back and share your masterpiece.  Make sure she is wearing the dress. 

BackyardigansTyrone, Tasha, Pablo, Uniqua, or Austin?  They all have their good points, even Tasha for goodness sakes!  After all, my eldest daughter is a Tasha, although she won’t admit it.  Her brothers have no problem telling her though so I can just sit back quietly and smile.  She’ll realize it someday and hopefully mellow a bit.

So far, we have concentrated on Tyrone, because, after all, Beth’s Jack and my Pint are both going to dress as Cowboy Tyrone for Halloween and, although Halloween is four months away, you’d think it was tomorrow.  We are both so excited about our little Tyrone-Along (TAL).

PabloBut hey, check out Pablo here.  He’s cute; he’s colorful; he’s smiley.  Maybe he panics a bit much in dicey pretend play situations but who hasn’t on occasion?  We love Pablo! 

Pablo bow tieSo it just happened this weekend when I received my weekly (?) Knitpicks e-newletter, with Father’s Day around the corner, I saw this blue knit bow tie featured along with a free pattern and a promise of a low yarn cost of $1.99.  Being knitters, those of you with aspirations of turning your little one into Pablo on All Hallow’s Eve might even have a little bright blue yarn stashed somewhere that could be substituted.  The free pattern is here.

Pablo costumeNow you might want to go the commercial route and buy a Pablo costume and, although there is really nothing wrong with that, wouldn’t it be fun to get your knit on with Pablo.  Perhaps a little top-down raglan action, making the blue to yellow color transition easy peasy, paired with your newly knit bow tie and yellow pajama bottoms?  Use Backyardiknits to find other Pablo lovers and you can have PALs.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Throw a comment or ten our way and let us know who your favorite Backyardigan is.  Alongs can be started and friends can be made.  We can all make the world a happier place, starting with five colorful and delightful animated friends who aren’t afraid of a little adventure.

Although Beth and I have both joined the Needle Liberation Front (or is that the Liberation Front for Knitting Needles) and therefore cannot yet cast on our highly anticipated Tyrone tunic sweaters for Halloween Cowboy Tyrones, I saw no problem with trying out my new Sweater Wizard Software (thank you awesome KnitPicks) on a couple Tyrones sized to Beth’s Jack and my Pint.  They are both top-down, as we each try to avoid as many seams as possible and also because it makes matching the stripes (not included in the patterns) between the body and sleeves much simpler.  Pint’s sweater is for a 20″ chest size with the actual pattern taking it up to 24″; Jack’s is for a 23″ chest with the actual pattern increasing to 27″.  Neither has been tested so I offer no guarantees but after looking them over with my addled mind, they seem sensical.

Each pattern is in word format.  If you’re feeling froggy, jump in the knitting pond.  If you need another size, you might have to bribe the Backyardiknit girls with all things fibrous.

Top Down Tyrone Pint

Top Down Tyrone Jack

By the way, as these are untested patterns, I offer no guarantees to their accuracy or their lack of mistakes.  Any suggestions or corrections will be highly appreciated and, if bofo enough, be rewarded with the aforementioned “all things fibrous.”

Embrace your inner guinea pig; you might surprise yourself.


Lauren’s Tyrone Yarn

Beth’s Jack and Lauren’s Pint are both going to be “Cowboy Tyrone” for Halloween.  Since I (Lauren) have been trying very hard to knit from my stash this year (it’s enormous and I have creatures in the yard producing more fiber as we speak), I chose these from what I had.  (Notice the attractive water mark on my in-dreadful-need-of-refinishing dining room table.)  Then the Chocolate Sheep herself, knitter extraordinaire Beth, had to go buy better Tyrone yarn than I did:

Beth’s Tyrone Yarn

You know I can’t let her show me up in this manner.  LYS, here I come.  You know, I’ll have to sneak it into the house though.