Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Doilies... for science!

Hey folks!
I was doodling away last week and came up with some ideas I'd like to play with knitting. The main idea is that knitting can always be divided up into rows - mathematically we'd call this(ironically) a fibred surface. But this has some consequences - if you want to knit a shape, you start off by picking a fibration. If, though, you picked a different fibration, you could knit the same shape, but come up with a radically different pattern, and a radically different look. A very simple example would be if you were to knit a rectangle lengthwise rather than width-wise(if that's a word). I've come across examples of this elsewhere, such as (the awesome) Nona's Sidewinder socks, Ysolda's sideways hat Urchin, and especially this absolutely amazing sweater(which presumably belongs to, but I haven't been able to find there), but I'm looking to take this idea a bit further.

My first experiment with this idea goes like this - I want to take a question mark, and knit it into a doilie, but in such a way that the question mark is actually a row in the pattern, so it's somehow intrinsic to the fabric somehow.
Or course, while I'm arranging my rows in interesting and nontrivial rows, it would be a shame not to throw in some lace. this will be relatively simple this time around, but I'm really hoping that in future attempts I'll be able to make this a bit more extreme and take advantage of the interesting shapes to make some really interesting lace patterns, but I don't have much experience with lace yet, and I really wouldn't be able to create my own.

Oh yes, and you might wonder why I chose a question mark? Well, primarily because it was the first symbol I found which was simple enough to do this with, but also this is supposed to symbolise inquisitiveness, the need to always find out more which I think lies behind all good science.

So there you have it - Science doily!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More whales!

Ok, just a quick post - following on from the Erst-whale, I decided to make a little school of other whales, and that each whale would be wearing a different kind of hat. Ever since I made the bee-hat, I've been feeling the need to put tiny hats of stuffed toys. I think the whales are particularly suitable for this because with out the "1" on the side the whales are a bit plain and featureless.

So, hats. The first one is a top hat, the second is(inevitably) a fez, and the third is a floppy sunhat. I really like how the tassels came out on the fez - I had some trouble with this, but eventually found that lots of strands of sewing thread worked very well. They're tied very tightly in the inside, so hopefully this is still baby-safe. The sunhat didn't come out so well - I'd hoped that the natural curliness of the stocking stitch would make the brim turn upwards nicely, but I think it curls a bit too tightly here. This might be better if I'd knit the brim on larger needles(here I'm using DK yarn and 3mm needles, so it's quite tight). I also had some trouble making the concave edges, where the brims meet the main part of the hat - for a convex edge a row or reverse stocking stitch makes a nice fold, but the other direction is harder. I found a row of knitting through the back of the loop gives a bit of a crease, but not as much as I would have liked. Any ideas, anyone?

The photos here were taken at the Hermitage, the little nature reserve next to the Observatory, where I took the whales to see the ducks. The first one shows top-hat-whale watching the ducks over the pond. The second one doesn't show so well, but it's fez-whale meeting a suprisingly friendly robin(can you see him? On the other end of the bench?). And the third one is sun-hat-whale having a doze in the sun, reading the newspaper and enjoying the view.

The plan is to make a couple more whales(cos there's a couple more hats I want to try) and then they'll be shipped off to the Neonatal unit all at once, cos I haven't sent them anything for *ages*.
Happy wednesday!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Completed Comrade Leonine

Comrade Leonine!

So, what to say about him? He follows the same pattern as the earlier Gay Pride lions, so there wasn't too much pattern to make up. He was also good and quick to knit, since the pattern is small and aimed to be as simple as possible.

Added to the basic pattern is the moustache and little beard - these are sewn on afterwards, and I'm very happy with how they turned out. Being so small it's very delicate getting these bits just right. And then there's his little hat. This is intended to be a little baggy flat cap. I think it could have done with being a little flatter, really. The crinkly bits at the edges came out nicely, but could probably do with being a bit more pronounced. I decided the hat really needed to be lightly stuffed to hold it's shape, but I think it might also have helped to tie the top down a bit to make it less tall and bring out the edges more.

The photos are taken around KB - I took Comrade Leonine and a few of the Gay Pride lions across and had some fun posing them in different positions. There are a couple more photos, and a bit more explanation here: Facebook link.
(I took some sensible pictures too, but they seem kinda dull in comparison - I guess if you're very keen to see more schematic pictures, let me know and I'll post some).

Otherwise, enjoy, and happy July!