Thursday, 18 August 2011

Cute As !

Baby Anna had grown out of her Gumnut Hat (see last photo) so I handed over Baby Byz earlier than I was going to.

Haven't had enough cuteness yet? Here's more ...

The hat is based on Byzantium, which you can find in my Ravelry  projects here.
The design is very versatile - any yarn, any gauge.
Here I've done 2 x 2 rib, sections of stocking stitch alternating with reverse stocking stitch x 4, three-needle bind off at the top (inside), and soft tassels. 
Yarn was Mondial Bizzarre.


 Here is another version of Baby Byz, modelled beautifully by a bucket! Heh.

This was in a finer yarn, for a newer baby , Cleckheaton something ... , 2 x 2 rib, only two reverse stocking stitch sections. It was a gift, but I don't have photos of the recipient. 


 And here is Anna with her Gumnut Baby Hat, made to match the Baby Wrap Cardi. Both items came with her for her visit to Australia from Spokane. I was honoured and flattered that they warranted inclusion in the luggage!

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Knitting, There Has Been Knitting, Part 1

It may not seem that way, with many of my ABC-Along posts not being knitterly-related, but There Has Been Knitting!

For this post, there is a top-down in-the-round raglan jumper for JJ. He's modelling it here. One of the beauties of top-down is that the jumper can be tried on as I knit. So far it's not too bad.
I will need to make sure the arms don't get too wide when I pick them up at the raglan end. JJ has slender arms. I will knit the arms on circular needles too, which will mean no seams.

The yarn is three different colourways of Moda Vera Crave, blue-to-black, grey-to-black and green-to-black. Rather than just joining in a new colour, I've done a transitions stripe of 1-4-2-3-3-2-4-1. Add this to the already colour-changing nature of the yarn, and the striping looks a lot more complicated than it is.
I have superimposed this row pattern on the close-up photo above.
The photo below shows the bottom rib border, which I finished after JJ tried on the jumper
And, bonus, JJ says he likes it! Must finish it while it's still winter.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

J Is For JJ

Here is my beautiful boy, age about two.

He was a delight at every age, although I had to work hard to stay connected during his teenage years. Watching Rage together and playing the same computer games helped.

There's some more about him in the slide-show below. Let me know if it doesn't work properly.

And here he is with his Choc Mudcake birthday cake, with candles, in March this year.
He's just turned 24.
P.S. JJ is not his name, nor his initials. It's the initials of one of his on-line nicknames.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

I Is For Illusions

"It's not an optical illusion
- it just looks like one!"

I have been fascinated by illusions and optical illusions since childhood.
Please excuse the quality of the top photo - it was taken forty years ago! I was mucking about with school-friends, when I spotted the possibility here. So, the snap. I didn't really have a schoolmate small enough to stand on a friend's hand!

Three-and-a-half decades later, I'm still at it, playing with illusions in photo compositions. Here, JJ can hold up our campervan in just one hand! He's strong!

And here, Mr M pats the top of a lighthouse. He's veeeery tall!

Just so you know, this is that lighthouse, shown below. The person at the bottom gives the true scale.

This illusion above is more natural, a rock that looks like an animal. It's the swirl of the water which enhances the illusion, making it look as if the creature is swimming along.

Of course, its the persistence of vision which provides the illusion of continuous motion, the basis of film, movies and animation. Here is a short animation made from still shots of an Escher print. It was an exercise for school; the Photoshop work took all day - the animation compiling took about ten minutes!

There is also illusion knitting, also known as shadow knitting. I've had a try at that, with this top. Directly front-on, there's just horizontal stripes.
At an angle, the vertical stripes magically appear! (must finish it one day ...)

And last but not least, the illusion here - how many rail-tracks are here? The angle of the sun was just right to make this illusion. And I had the camera ready. Oh, the location? Busselton Jetty, in WA. - It's the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere - 2 kilometres long.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

H Is For Hat

Of course!
I like making hats.
For a slow knitter like me, they give a quicker reward.
I can also experiment more easily, with less time and materials lost if it doesn't work out.

This hat is the Very Versatile Toque (VVT), made for my Bag Swap swapee.
It's my own design, but really, it's pretty generic for the most part. Knit a flat top, knit the sides, felt like crazy.Here Polly models the unfelted hat. It's way too big! Unfortunately, even after three hot washes and even drying in the tumble-dryer, it was still too big. The yarn was "hand-wash". Felting really is a random event.

The VVT is basic black felted hat that can be adorned to match any outfit -dress it up or dress it down – it will go with anything!

The secret is the in-built tab. This can be used to thread a scarf or ribbon, or attach a brooch, studs, an ornament or fascinator.

The integral tab is shown here.

There is a lined top form included inside the hat. This provides a firmer shape for the top of the hat. The photos were taken with the form in place.

Here the toque is adorned simply with a netting circlet and rosette on a brooch clip.

Here the leopard print scarf is tied through a buckle and added below the netting.

A simple twisted velvet ribbon passes through the loop at the end of the ribbon, and then through the tab and tied off.

A multi-coloured silk scarf is wrapped twice and knotted around the tab.

An extra-long scarf is passed through the tab once, then twisted on itself and wrapped around the hat again. The ends are tucked in.

I don't know if my swapee liked the hat: she didn't say. I don't even know if it fitted, or if she even tried it on. Oh well. Now I know why many people only knit for themselves.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

G Is For Glass

I like glass. Sparkly, shiny, transparent, translucent, sometimes almost invisible.

The glass sweeties were a present from my mum, who guaranteed they were zero calories. Bit crunchy, though.

While I haven't set out to collect glass, sometimes it just comes my way; a bit like the dragons. I especially like the blue cobalt glass, the real stuff, but other colours (or clear) can be chosen - it's just what appeals at the time.My kitchen window gets the sun all day, and is the perfect spot to put the pieces.
They look lovely backlit.

The glass candlestick is Mexican. I like its quirky imperfections, its lopsidedness, the trapped air-bubble, and the way the top blue bit seems to float in the air because of the transparent support stem.
The very round piece was a birthday present from Mr M last year. He got it "signed" (engraved) by the glass artist who made it. That wonderful curved shape is just begging to be held and petted. Not the same way as alpaca yarn, of course, but it's still a very tactile piece.

I also have some prisms and faceted crystals hanging in the window. Not in a hippy way - more in a scientific way - the refraction of a light source, the scattering of rainbows all through the kitchen. Yeah, really. The house was designed on passive solar principles, so the angle of the roof blocks the sun in summer. As the year progresses, the angle of the sun gets lower, and the crystals light up again. My rainbows return round about Valentine's Day. They make up for the days getting shorter.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

F Is For Finished

I was taking part in the Australian Bag Lady Bag Swap on Ravelry, and now that my swapee has received her bag, I solemnly delclare, "It's Finished!" Phew.
Here is the Cheery Cherries Bag

Fellow Ravellers will find the details there. But there's some here too.

The pattern started out as an idea that came to me in the middle of the night. Luckily I keep pen and paper by the bed, so I jotted down a sketch with some notes.

Then I cut a piece of card to the size I wanted the finished bag to be.

I did heaps of calculations to get stitches per 10 cm, how to do the shaping, etc .

I spent a couple of days making charts in Excel and Photoshop.

This bag features

  • a linen stitch background for the cables - I wanted a firmer stitch than reverse stocking stitch
  • two "fronts", one white, one black, to suit the mood
  • intarsia cherry pattern from my own charts
  • three dimensional cherry-and-leaf zip pull
  • a two colour cable done as intarsia rather than carrying colours across the back. I have no idea if that’s the ‘right’ way to do it.
  • themed lining
  • braid stitch edges on the outside pockets
  • an adjustable and removable shoulder strap (in linen stitch) which can be threaded through to make short handles

I don't think I will do another swap.

I was very happy with what I received, and thought Laura did a really great job.

I did feel disappointed with how the other side of it went.
While the swapee sort of made the right noises when she received it, (more fuss over the cost of postage!), the first thing she knit afterwards was a bag, stating it was because she didn't get what she wanted in the swap. This is despite her saying "surprise me" in the swap criteria.

Now, of course, she can knit anything she wants, at any time, for any reason.
But the timing of this one, and that pointed comment, was mean, hurtful and torpedoed all my efforts. There are many, many ways that bag could have been introduced - eg, "I got all enthusiastic about all the wonderful bags that have been knitted" or "I just had to add to my bag collection" or "I really need a market bag", or, well, almost anything, really, but what was written.

I've read many forum posts about disappointing reactions to things knitted for others. I now know exactly what they mean.