Monday, June 25, 2007


Hi people.
So, this weekend Edinburgh hosted the Pride Scotia festival, and that forms the inspiration for this project.
The idea is to make a collection of little stuffed lions, and do their manes in rainbow colours.

[ominous pause]

It'll be a gay pride :).

I'm aiming to make the pattern as simple as possible, they should be quite small, and I think a nice simple pattern will be clearer and cuter. Also, if I'm going to make quite a few of them it'd be good for it to be a nice easy thing that doesn't take a lot of concentration. I'm not entirely sure how I'll make the manes, I'm currently thinking I could just sew the threads into the neck and tie them on the inside. That way they'd be good and solidly attached, although it's not the most elegant of solutions.
And I need to find out how specific the colours for the Pride rainbow flag are- I get the impression they're not rigidly defined and anything rainbowish is just as good. I'm also not sure what I'd do with them. I was thinking I could see if the local local LGBT society might be able to find a use to them(or y'know, just enjoy them).

Hooray for pun-geekery!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Transformer logo

So, Transformers!
A friend of mine is very keen on Transformers, and suggested I might knit something Transformer-based. I decided the autobot logo would be a good motif, being big and clear. I'd like to do this using cables, to give a nice embossed feel to it.

I'm not sure how well it'll work, one problem is that I think the cables will need to be raised, which would make the pattern kind of reversed. If this doesn't work, I think it will be possible to work it in reverse(with the cables lower than the main part) provided the indented parts are thick enough. Failing that, I can always just use colours. I'll have to make a couple of test versions to see how well it shows up.

A bigger problem will be what to do with this motif when it's done. I think it'd work best on a jumper, but other possibilities include a pair of gloves and the front of a hat.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

More doilies

So, more doilie progress - I decided having made the first doilie that the needles I was using were too small, making the fabric too dense and detracting from the lace effect. So I made a second doilie to the same pattern, this time with 3.75 needles(and the same 4ply cotton yarn), and here it is!

I think you can really see the difference, the lacey parts seem a less cramped and I much prefer it. I was quite suprised how clumsy I found the bigger needles though, I've been using the 3.25s quite a lot lately and the extra weight makes it a lot harder, especially on the shorter rows towards the middle.

I'm still having the problem with the edge sticking up. On closer inspection I think this is because immediately before the edging, there are five rows of stocking stitch, which makes the edge curl up. I'm not sure what I can do about this - any suggestions?

But yay, more doilies! At this week's City Knitty we were shown some really amazing doilies, crocheted on a tiny tiny hook, so I'm feeling very inspired to try some more of this soon :)


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Completed doilie

Many finished projects this week!
This time, it's the lacy doilie I started last week. (Strictly speaking this is a test piece before I start knitting a really big one, so maybe this doesn't *quite* count as finished?)

This is my attempt at the Flacon pattern from (the awesome) Yarn over, home of the great tagline "If you're looking to make holes in your knitting on purpose, you've come to the right place!".

I knit this with 4ply cotton on 2.75 dpns. I think in the end these needles are really too fine for lace knitting with this yarn, the fabric comes out a little too dense and doesn't quite suit the lacy effect. So my next plan is to do the same again with slightly larger needles. I should also say that I'm loving the cotton yarn, it makes a nice fabric and unpicks very very well. I suspect it would have been a bit of a nightmare trying to unpick mistakes in some of the complicated parts otherwise.

Also, the crocheted edging doesn't seem to have worked quite right, it tends to fold upwards rather than lying flat. The instructions on this were quite vague and took a bit of figuring out(thanks to the folks at City Knitty for sharing their experience on this!), so I'll have to see if I've just done something not quite right there.

Still, it was great fun to knit(a lot faster than I expected too), is a pretty little pattern and is ideal for holding cups of tea.

Friday, June 1, 2007

The completed snail torus

So, the snail torus is complete! I was a bit unsure about it at first, it looks kinda sloppy to me - the purple torus should probably have been knit tighter, probably stuffed more, and I don't think the shell quite sits straight on to body. But I've been getting some really good reactions to it, so I guess I'm being overly critical.

So, knitting - the three tori are knitted as flat pieces, then one seam is grafted together to make a tube, and the ends of the tube are sewn together. You could do them on circular needles and get rid of this seam too, but I think it's easier this way. I tried to arrange the radii so that the outer radius of each torus is a little bigger than the inner radius of the next one - turns out that isn't necessary at all, the stuffing makes them bulge plenty to hold them in place, and this offset makes them a bit too tight.

The body is knit as a tube, starting from the tail, with short rows to make it curl round. It has a couple of purl stitches each round to make little gutters, and force the tube to be slightly flatter than it would otherwise be - turns out an oval tube is geometrically the same as a round tube, so you can't get this effect just by shaping. They're a little uneven, owing to where the ends of the needles came - will have to bear this in mind when I do texturey things on dpns in future.
There's also a slight issue that I had to hastily improvise a grafted seam for the mouth, otherwise my tube wouldn't have left any openings for me to use to stuff it. I like how that turned out though, it gives it an odd expression which reminds me of the muppets when they do their 'shocked' look.

But yay, it's done, it's cute, and people seem to really like it :o)

Now, aren't you glad I got through all of that without a "nine inch snails" pun?

New home for Torikoma!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on here, but for a while(about a year) I've been playing with making torus-shaped stuffed toys. The torus is a doughnut shape, and is one of the simplest shapes in differential geometry, and illustrates many nice properties.
Most of these pre-date this blog, so they haven't had their own entries. If you're interested, you can find pictures of them in this Tori album on Facebook.

One of these was themed on the Tachikoma robots from Ghost in the Shell. A (fellow maths-geek) friend of mine recently came across the pictures and recognised the Tachikoma, and offered to give it a good home. So here you can see Torikoma, settling into his new place, making friends with the local Ribena berries and conquering a nearby harddrive.

And what better way to relax at the end of a stressful day of moving than to settle down with some knitting*?

While I'm talking tori, I should point out that Miya has been playing with my torus pattern lately, and now has himself a torus-army of his own! His Easter egg nest torus is particularly adorable.


(* - actually I think this photo was with the other torikoma, but I wanted to use it again anyway)