Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Warning - Not Safe For Adam

We at City Knitty have been talking about getting involved in knitting for premature babies for quite a while, and here is my first attempt!
The idea is that when people have premature babies, they don't generally have any baby clothes in the right sizes - neonatal units like to keep a supply of tiny baby clothes which they can give to them until their babies grow a bit. Unfortunately, between the cleaning costs and the difficulties getting them back, they really can't reuse them, so they tend to get through them quite fast. One way to solve this problem is if you have a bunch of friendly knitters who keep them stocked up!

This is knitted from the Bliss pattern for 3-5 lb size. I'm amazed how tiny it is, but I guess that's just how babies are.

And as you can see, I found a way to work a geek angle into this too :o)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The lion and the lamb

This project follows on from the lions - having seen me knitting some of the pieces of the lions, one of my friends at church suggested that I could make a lamb lying down with a lamb - this comes from a bible quote:
"The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them."(Isaiah 11:6)
(I don't know why the lamb and the lion tend to get singled out from that, maybe it's just cos they tend to be very symbolic animals? Of course it's possible it's just a quote from somewhere else and I've misunderstood.)
So I thought it'd be nice to make a lion and lamb for her. The lion will use the same pattern as the gay pride lions, although this time the mane and the tail will be a sensible brown colour, and I'll need to rework the legs to make it lie down. (I should say thanks to Miya for suggesting this, I wasn't too keen on the idea at the time but thinking about it more it does seem pretty cool :o) ). I'll do this in a way much like turning tiny sock heels. to give me a tube with a hole it one side which can then be sewn on to the body.
The lamb will have the same pattern as the lion, but I'd like to knit it with loops coming off the body to make the fleecy parts(kinda like towels do?). I'm not sure how you do that yet, but I'm assured it is possible.


Monday, July 16, 2007

The Gay Pride

Well, the lions are all done and finished now. They could possibly have their manes trimmed to a more mane-like shape, but I'm very happy with them just now and not wanting to risk it. Or to change anything about them :o).

I still don't know what to do with them- the plan is still to grab some campaigny people and see if they could use them, but I'm not really sure who to ask. Another possibility is to just find someone who would like them and make them a present. A few people have asked me about getting one of them, but I'd prefer not to break up the pride. The 'Pride' thing doesn't make sense otherwise, and I think a lot of the cuteness comes from seeing them all together.

But yes, if anyone has any suggestions of things I could do with them it'd be very helpful. Or suggestions of people who might be able to help, that would be good too. Fortunately, I'm quite happy playing with them myself in the meantime :o)


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Feminist torus

Well, I've got a couple of projects I'm aiming to start fairly soon(as well as a couple about to finish), so I'll be blogging them up in the near future.
First up - another torus! The plan is to knit a stuffed cuddly version of the female sign thingy. For feminism reasons, I think this needs to be blood red. I'm not sure if it should have googly eyes yet, or if it does, where they should be. Suggestions so far are they could go on the top of the ring part, or the bottom of the ring, or possibly on the cross bar part. I'm currently planning to make it, then try them in different places and see how it looks. Of course, googly eyes can make anything cute, and I do like the idea of cuddly cute feminism :o)

Knitting-wise, the plan is to do this all by holding and picking up stitches, and hopefully without any seams - I'll knit the torus part in the round, holding stitches around the circular hole for the vertical bar as I go, then grafting the end together. Then pick up the held stitches and knit the bar, holding stitches for the two horizontal parts. I'll probably add some curtain wire to the two bars to make them hold their shape better too.
I haven't really knitted anything this way before, so this is quite experimental and hopefully will be educational.

This is planned as a present for a feminist friend - yay to her :o)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Exciting Cthulhu news!

Remember the Cthulhu mittens?
A couple of people asked me about making their own, and I finally got around to writing up the pattern properly. I checked with the nice people at Chaosium(since the artwork is borrowed from them) and they've said it's ok for me to distribute this pattern freely. They also called my knitting 'nefarious', which I much approve of :o).
So, if anyone is keen to give these a try, leave me a message and I'll sort out sending you a pattern.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

First lion

Here's the first lion, complete and ready to go! I spent quite a while fiddling with the eyes, and while they aren't really right I'm convinced that this is as good as I can get them. He does look kinda shocked...
I'm not sure how recognisably lion-ish he is - I thought he was, but showing him to people has led to some other suggestions. He still needs a haircut though, so I'm hoping that when it's more mane-shaped he'll be more easier to recognise.
I can't wait to see how they all look together!


Ok, attempts at transformer swatches! The first photo is the stranded version - I decided that the cable version wasn't really working, and this is probably the right way to go about it. I'm reasonably pleased with how this turned out, although I'll need to check it with my local Transformer-geek to see if it needs any revising. It's probably a bit taller and thinner than it should be.
There's a couple of mistakes in the eyebrows because the chart I was working from wasn't clear enough about what to do with the WS rows. Looking at the size of this motif I've decided this would go well on a pair of gloves - then I can have the Autobot logo(this one) on one glove and the Decepticon one on the other.

This is the cable version. I'd really like to do more of this kind of thing, but I think I need to do a lot more playing to work out some details. Couple of things that I need to fix:
(i) the cables are raised, but where they need to make a horizontal edge the reverse stocking stitch in the background wants to be in front. I was playing with casting off and picking up from the back of the cast off edge(I tried that on the top of the eyes). This is better, but still not ideal.
(ii) cabling the edges of raised blocks makes the edge stand up way too much(as on the eyes and crest here), it'd probably be better to work out some way to work these bits with increases and decreases to avoid this.
(iii) The points of the triangles are very wrong. Because you need to start with one raised stitch that then moves in both directions cables are not good. Just generally making cables come together is tricky because you really have to put one on top of the other.
(iv) Because the cables pull the stitches on either side together, I think you really need to add some increases to make the finished piece end up rectangular.
I think there was a good article about this on Knitty, but I can never find it. Anyway, things to play with sometime! If anyone knows how to deal with these, please let me know!


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bearding the lion

I'm quite excited about the lion project just now. The current status is that after some fiddling about making it look right I've settled on a pattern I like - it's nice and simple, but I think it keeps enough of the shape to we quite recognisable.

These pictures are from when I was designing the head - the top picture is my first attempt, which I decided was a bit too pointy and snout-like, the second is the one I settled on - it's a little shorter and has a bit more of a round muzzle. In these pictures they're both held together with dpns awaiting stuffing, and of course, the all-important mane. I've done a little of this now, and am very happy with how it's turning out. I decided to tie the threads on the inside, this seemed the quickest way to do this. I nifty side effect is that since the lengths or the threads are only done roughly, once it's all put together I'll need to give it a hair cut :o) That should make it possible to make the different lions quite varied too, so they're not all identical.

More pictures once the first lion is finished!