Friday, June 27, 2008

Comrade Leonine

Back to the awful puns, I'm afraid- I have a geeky friend who is very much into his soviet history, and is a very big fan of Lenin in particular, and asked me if I would be able to knit a Lenin doll. There are some soviet Lenin caricatures around, particularly the one above, and I'm told the beard and the cloth cap are the main identifying features.
However, I decided that getting the human features right would be a little too difficult - I think you need to get them *just* right to look good. So instead, I came up with this scheme - based on the lion pattern I've played with before, I'll make a little lion with Lenin's hat and beard - hence, Comrade Leonine :o)

I should say, I'm really not keen on communism in general, or the soviets in particular. I am, however, very keen on history, and people being interested in history. I should really read more of it myself.

So yay, happy knitting, and happy history-ing, people o/

Monday, June 23, 2008


Hey folks!
I've been putting a few patterns up on Ravelry lately, and it only occured to me recently that actually I have made it kind of hard to find them. So I thought I'd put up a quick post listing the patterns which are available just now, and try to post in future if I add any new ones.
I'll post ravelry links for each of them, as well as the direct links to the patterns.
So yep, here they are - if you want to give any of them a try, let me know(I'd love to know how they're doing), and happy knitting!

Crab torus
A stuffed toy based on a crab, incorporating a torus. Or you could make it with a disc. I think the pattern isn't entirely clear, hopefully I'll get around to making some edits soon.

Cthulhu mittens
A pair of mittens featuring runes and symbols relating to the Cthulhu stories(with artwork borrowed from Chaosium). I think the shaping for the mittens was a little iffy, you might prefer to just use the charts - it would make a lot more sense to duplicate stitch them on once the mittens are finished.

A knitted 'd' orbital - actually 3dz^2, it represents one of the ways in which an electron can behave in an atom. It's quick, simple, geeky, and I'm told it would make a good baby toy.

It's a stuffed bee, in a little pointy hat. I really like how the little dangly legs turned out, so I'm planning to make a few more.

Feminist torus
A squishy huggable stuffed female sign. I'm totally delighted with how well the shaping came out on this(seriously, you'd be amazed how much maths is involved in this).

My little collection of toy lions, the Gay Pride. I really like this pattern, the shapes are all very clear and simple, and I like how they turn out.

These are the two trefoil knots - one is a mirror image of the other, but no amount of fiddling will let you rearrange one into to other. They also have googly eyes and make good stress toys.
The pattern was written a while after I knit them, so it's really only "as far as I remember".
Also, in a minor correction, you really need to stocking stitch a row or two after you cast on - the pattern tries to make you start working short rows immediately.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Marine research

Ok, for some reason I seem to have quite a few aquatic projects I'm planning to make at the moment, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to post them all at once.

First, whales! I think I mentioned I was keen to make more whales, so there are likely to be at least a couple more. And given how much I enjoyed making the bee, they're likely to have hats. I have a bit of an ongoing hypothesis that all animals look better in fezs, so we'll see. It rather depends how silly I'm feeling at the time, but I think a small school of whales each with a different hat would be very cute. I suspect these will be headed to the Simpson neonatal unit, because I would like to send them more toys.

Second, pufferfish! I had an idea a few weeks back that it would be very cool to make an inflatable pufferfish. I played around with some stitch patterns, and I think I came up with a way for this to work. The fabric needs to be very stretchy, so the fish can inflate to a good size. More difficult to work were the spines - ideally these should show when the fish is inflated, but be concealed when it's let down. I think I can make this work using a combination of ribbing and a modified fur stitch, but it remains to be seen how convincing this will be as 'spines'. I still need to play around with the fins a bit, and see how much like a fish I can make it look, but I'm fairly confident it'll at least look cute when it's inflated.

Also, psalmon! (This is another of those awful puns) I'd like to knit a small collection of salmon, each of which will have a verse/phrase/something from a psalm sewn onto the sides. This might be tricky because they're likely to be smallish, so there won't be much space, and I'll have to work the shaping to leave a big enough blank patch for sewing onto. I think the fins might be a little tricky too, I think I'd like to make elaborate lacy patterns to represent the patterns on them.

And finally, hammerhead shark! There's something fascinating about their shape, which I think would be fun to try and knit. It'll be interesting to try to contrast this with the whales, see how well I can bring out the difference between them. I understand (female) hammerhead sharks are capable of undergoing parthenogenesis, which is my mind makes them badass feminists, so I'll be looking to make this into another feminist toy. I'm not quite sure how that will work yet, but I suspect it'll depend on what I can come up with to do with it when it's done.

So yes, lots of ideas, with varying levels of vagueness. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with most of them yet though