Monday, May 28, 2007


Ok, this one is a bit random. I came across these doilies last week, and pretty much fell in love with them- the patterns are so intricate and detailed, and from the looks of the pattern, they manage it without being *that* complicated. I've been wanting to give something delicate and lacey a try for a while, but haven't come across a good project to do it with until now.
I'm not sure what I'll do with it when it's done - they don't seem to be *for* anything at the best of times, and I'm very much not a doilie person. So I suspect this is another knitting adventure which family and friends will be bearing the brunt of.

So, I'm not sure what kind of thread to use, how fine it needs to be, or how delicate the tension is on lace knitting(especially since there's double pointed needles involved) and so on, so I'm starting off with a smaller one, and if all goes well I'll make a start on one of the really big ones(this is my current favourite, but that's changing quite a lot). Hopefully before then I'll have found a suitable target and will be able to choose appropriate colours and stuff.

But in the meantime, yes, lacey pink doilies. Let's not mention this next time people ask if knitting isn't a bit girly...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Platonic solids

The stuffed tori are kind of winding down now, so I'm on the look out for new mathsy projects.
Next up will be this one - to crochet all the Platonic solids.

The Platonic solids(or regular polyhedra) are the analogue of regular polygons in three dimensions. They're as symmetric is it's possible to be(well... with discrete symmetries, at least- spheres and things do better. And tori. But that's another story)- every face, edge and vertex can be mapped to any other face, edge or vertex by a rotation.
The neat thing is, unlike regular polygons, for which you can make one with any number of sides, there are only a finite number of Platonic solids. Five, in fact. The reason for this is a little obscure - it all comes from the Euler formula V-E+F=2, and then a certain amount of fiddling with combinatorics to see what choices that leaves.

I'm hoping crochet will be good for this, I understand there's something you can do to make crocheted objects rigid(something to do with sugar solution?). I'm also hoping that this'll make for nicer edges, since I think this would be a bit of an issue if you were to knit something with so many pieces. I'm *also* hoping that I still remember how to crochet, I haven't tried it for quite a while...

Hugh :o).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Crab torus

The crab torus!
This has been on hold for a couple of weeks because I ran out of googly eyes, but it is at last complete.
I knitted all the pieces seperately(thirteen in all), so there was quite a lot of sewing together involved, but I think my seams are getting a lot neater.
I'm really happy with how the legs turned out - they all have little 'knee' joints which bend at different angles to make them fan out. I wasn't sure how well these would show at the time, but I think they're just angled enough. Of course the curve of the body helps with this too.

My favourite part has to be the claws though. They start out with a triangular piece to let them meet the body at quite a sharp angle, then many short rows are used to make the elbow curves. At the start of the claws they seperate into two two pieces, which I then sewed together with the outside part overhanging the inner piece to give it a good pinchy look. One slight problem is that the way I worked all this out meant there was a big seam along the outside of the claws. It I was doing it again I'd rework this to hide the seam on the inside.

The eye stalks I really like too. I put little lengths of curtain wire into them to hold them upright, which makes them nice and springy, as well as fairly unbreakable. I'm not entirely sure if this is child-safe, it might just be possible to get the wire parts out, and they have a slightly sharp edge where I cut them. But then I guess all the small pieces which could be pulled off would probably be more of a problem. I very much like how it feels though, and will try using it more in future projects.

Isn't he(or she) cute though?


Friday, May 11, 2007

Completed shadow mittens

The shadow mittens are complete!
They're great fun to play with, and I'm very pleasantly suprised by how well the pattern appears.
The shaping is mostly based on Knitty's Manly mitts, but I hurriedly reworked the shaping at the top to make it lie flatter.
I should say that the pattern turns out particularly well in these photos - turns out that lighting is a bit of an issue, being lit from an angle makes the pattern show up wherever you're looking from, and the camera flash conceals this.

A couple of problems - shadow knitting is naturally stretchy, so I'm a little concerned that wearing them a lot will pull them out of shape, make the ridges less pronounced and the pattern harder to see. I'm also concerned that being raised, the ridges will tend to wear quite quickly. I'll have to see how that goes.
Also, the stripes don't quite line up on the thumbs. I think this can be nicely fixed by carrying the stripes on from the outside of the thumb gusset rather than the inside - the extra row on the inside cancels with the row lost while picking up.

Colour-wise, I'm very happy with the decision to add the vertical stripes on the cuffs. They smooth the transition from narrow cuff to slightly wider mitten-body nicely, and I really like how the main body is mostly purple, but on the cuff the blue dominates.