Archive for August, 2010

Kitty Knits

August 25, 2010

Apologies for the tweeness of the post title.

One of the fantastic things about Ravelry is the constant developments. One of the recent ones has been the recategorisation of all the patterns.  This has made it very easy to find patterns designed to humiliate the pet cat. Very easy indeed.  I love cats in clothes. I love the look on the face which says “I am going to piss in your knicker drawer and eat you when you sleep for this”

First we give praise to Christine Landry for providing the “cats love sweaters” pattern and endless amusement for cat owners and observers everywhere.

Pink? Seriously?! With my colouring?

Lindsay Smith provides a pattern that lets you dress a cat as a Unicorn.

The best of all, though, is the Spindles and Spices blog, which has a fantastic series of hats for extremely belligerent cats.  I love every single  one, but particularly the Statue of Liberty.

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Bone Eating Snotflower Worms

August 25, 2010

It’s a great name, isn’t it? The bone eating snotflower worm. Makes the Latin name Osedax seem almost prosaic.  As part of the Stitched Sealife series for Stitch London, I made some of these little beauties.

The first pictures I saw were of the free floating worm.  But, then I was inspired by the pictures of the tiny creatures steadily eating their way through whale bones.

So, I though an action shot would be just the thing.  This gave me the perfect opportunity to play with some techniques and materials I have been wanting to use for a while.

Firstly, I made a piece of bone.  This was an opportunity to try needle felting.  For those who have never needle felted, it’s really much easier than you’d think and lots of fun.  You take some wool roving, mould it roughly to shape and stab into it until it sticks to itself in a solid mass.  You stab it quite a lot.  Possibly while swearing.  As I said, fun, and quite therapeutic.  I cut a curve in a bathroom sponge to create a curved shape for my piece of bone, and also to give myself something to stab into rather than my own leg.

I made the worms themselves from some mercerised cotton and wool coated stainless steel that I’d bought on a reel from the Handweavers Studio a while ago on tiny needles (1.25mm, if you really want to know).  I’d been curious about the wool steel and it’s ability to hold its shape.  It seemed the perfect material for making the long curly tendrils of the worms.  It did the job perfectly.

Rowan 48: The problem’s in the styling

August 23, 2010

Earlier today, Mizelissa brought Rowan 48 to my attention.  The designs somehow sit strangely, and the styling in places is a bit dubious.  But there is some interesting construction going on in there.

The first section, Nomad, concentrate heavily on chunky textured cables.  Now, I like to look at a good sculptural knit – I love Vogue/Designer Knitting for this.  And it’s the sort of design that Rowan have featured before in their Studio magazines.  But, something is a bit flat with the designs here.  And I think it’s that they’ve tried to take something quite extreme and make it a bit more mainstream and “wearable”.

Let us look at the Wayfarer wrap.

In a more extreme form it would be quite a statement piece, but as it stands it looks a little bit like she’s wrapped a blanket around her.  It’s been toned down too much. But it’s a piece that the stylist clearly loves as it seems to find its way into several shots in the same sections.

And it kind of detracts from the scarves by not allowing them to stand on their own. Which is a shame, because the scarves could work as statement pieces. Clearly, it’s an attention seeking number which doesn’t want any of the other garments to get any attention.

As for the Russian Doll section. Well, that’s a woolly migraine all by itself.

Now, I think the Inga cardigan is an interesting garment. Just two fairly simple colour patterns in it. And it’s an interesting construction. I’d actually like to see how it looks in a simpler colourway as well. But, you cannot really see how the garment looks because of the twee fuckery going on underneath it.  Yes, lets add a busy floral dress that makes the edges of the garment disappear a bit into a mess. And lets add a bit more clash with a burnt orange scarf as well. Trinny and Susannah would be proud of the colour barf present in this one picture.

But there is a particular gem in this section. I present the Valentina coat.

Let us look at the seperate elements. We have some gorgeous geometric work for the main body of the coat. We have some lovely roses. It’s an intricately worked piece and obviously the work of a very skilled designer. Each of these design elements on their own is beautiful and would make a fantastic needlepoint pattern. Put them together in a single garment, add in a belt which cuts it in half and makes even a model look lumpy and you’ve got what looks like a dressing gown.

In this issue of Rowan, it’s the simpler pieces in the timeless classics section that I like the best.  Now, in contrast to the toning down of exaggerated style in the first section, a couple of the garments in here have very simple shapes that have a small quirk added to them.  It’s very plain but with a tiny twist.  I like Tara, a plain laceweight mohair jumper with a twist to the hemline, and Rowena, a fairly basic puffy-sleeved jumper which looks to have some interesting folding in the sleeve caps.  I think I’d like them both better in charcoaly colours – grey is  so underrated. Yes, they’re both in very thin yarns – what else would anyone expect from me.

Knitting that looks like boobs

August 19, 2010

Ever see a bit of knitting that looks a little bit familiar and then suddenly realise why?

First off, thanks to some unfortunate self-patterning yarn, I present the nipple hat heel sock, courtesy of Knitty.

Now, those with a bit of a chest may be aware of the Doreen bra.  Built like a pair of cones made of scaffolding and designed to shape your boobs into a pair of zeppelins.  Here we see the shape also works as a hat

and also as a rather nippular ball  from Berroco

Turning Saartjes Bootees into Strawberries.

August 15, 2010

This is an old project (made for my nephew who is now 2 1/2 years old), but one which people keep asking about.  I had found the popular Saartjes Bootees pattern on the free knitting and crochet patterns group in Flickr some time before (in the time before Ravelry became my main source of searching for patterns) and wanted to do something with them.  So, I decided to turn them into strawberries.

These are the modifications that I made.

1 – The bootees are made in red to row 23 (small size) or 25 (larger size) and then cast off.

2 – Seeds are sewn on using yellow embroidery cotton.

3 – Leaf straps are made using the pattern below and sewn onto the bootees. The leaf straps are fastened using press studs.

Pattern for leaf strap

Leaf 1

Cast on 2 stitches

Row 1: purl

Row 2: k1, m1, k1 (3 stitches)

Row 3: purl across

Row 4: k1, m1r, k1, m1l, k1 (5 stitches)

Row 5: purl

Row 6: knit

Row 7: purl

Row 8: ssk, k1, k2tog (3 stitches)

Row 9: purl

Strap

knit in stocking stitch until strap is long enough to be able to go around the back of the bootee and cross over in front, as shown in the picture.

Leaf 2

Row 1: k1, m1r, k1, m1l, k1 (5 stitches)

Row 2: purl

Row 3: knit

Row 4: purl

Row 5: ssk, k1, k2tog (3 stitches)

Row 6: purl

Row 7: k3tog


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