The Unicorn and the Wasp

August 31, 2009 § 2 Comments

I do try to avoid double posting. I really do. Today, however, it’s completely intentional, because hell if I smash my beautiful Muir in with a post about a… hat made out of socks. Seriously. I’m much too vain for that. And too proud of Muir for that.

Cause baby’s got an edge now.

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It’s very simple, which fits the overall design of the shawl. Garter stitch, thank god, it was such a relief to skip the purling for a couple of rows. There was some rearranging to line the holes up with the pattern, but it wasn’t that tricky as long as you paid attention to what you were doing for the first and last 5 or 6 stitches.

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Last night, I pinned a small portion out on the sofa, just to see what it looked like without the ugly yellow stringy provisional cast-on, and, oooooh.

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Also, on another lacy note, my grandma was cold today, so I finally convinced her to actually use the Python shawl I gave her instead of carefully stowing it away so it doesn’t get dirty and stuff.

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She’s a bit blurry there, but I assure you, she’s still every bit as beautiful as the shawl. Just not as see-through.

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Jolly good

August 31, 2009 § 2 Comments

“It’s a hat!” Neville exclaimed.
“Made out of socks,” Dora added, staring at it.
[…]
“Look, with little…” Harry leaned over and examined the small embroidered figures dancing around the edge of the hat, which did appear to be made out of sock-shapes.
“Dancing…house-elves…” Draco said.
“It’s hideous,” Snape observed.
“But in a stunning sort of way,” Dora added.

(Sam_Storyteller, Laocoon’s Children, Year One)

When inspiration hit me last night… it hit at the most inopportune moment it could have. And instead of telling me I’m insane, the more rational part of my brain went all ‘A hat made out of socks? Why, what a jolly splendid idea that is!’

So here’s what I’ve been thinking.

In a loose definition of thinking, which includes scribbling in your paper journal at 2 am as fast as you can because your alarm goes off at 6.30am.

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As the let’s-just-call-it-a-sketch below shows, first I was considering a rather boxy shape, because I couldn’t figure out how to do the decreases, so I was going to do the socks, and then decrease at four points, Center Square style.

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Then in a bit of a duh moment, I realized the ‘toes’ of the socks were going to be decreases (duh), so it would be more of a regular-shaped hat. Plus a pompom. Because a hat as ridiculous as this one definitely needs a huge, goofy, luridly-colored pompom. (Or a white one, as contrast)

The house-elf embroidery band also got abandoned in favor of ear flaps with the following duplicate-stitched on them. Or, if one was feeling particularly adventurous and interested in learning something new, double-knit earflaps with the following pattern.

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The socks themselves, of course, would have to be absolutely hilarious. I’m thinking one with snitches, one with broomsticks, striped ones in colors that clash in a way that brings to mind the big bang… maybe one in mustard, or a Gryffindor one, to keep with the Harry Potter theme.

So, in a fit of exuberance, I made up a prototype of five already finished socks that just happened to be hanging around. No idea why I’m always surrounded by socks. Really. They just pop up like daisies wherever I go.

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Rather obviously, there are some adjustments I’d have to make. Like the size of the socks. At least, I’ve figured out I’d need about 150 stitches to go around my head, so I could easily divide that by seven or so (each sock a smooth 21.4285714 sts wide), make the foot shorter, the shaft longer… and obviously not make real socks. Just flat sock-like shapes, with a short-row heel (the exact construction of which I’d have to research more in-depth than ‘hey, this sounds like a good idea!’), sewn together. With earflaps added. Although I’ve thought about at least doing the leg part in the round, simply so the flappy triangles don’t curl at the edges.

But at least this way I figured out that I shouldn’t have too much trouble with the decreases. With seven socks, it might be a rather steep decrease though. After all, that’s 14 sts every 2 rnds that are going away, which makes for only 20 rows of crown shaping. Maybe I’ll crochet a star between them? In red? And then add the pompom on top? And the earflaps?

Oh man, weirdest hat ever. But awesome. I wish I had more sock yarn scraps here. But then, a purple one with a TARDIS would raise the geek level even more. I might just do it.

The sock-hat combination would make a nice 100th project, too. After all, most of the last 99 projects are either socks or hats.

Song of Freedom

August 29, 2009 § 1 Comment

I got myself the Doctor Who Season 4 soundtrack. It’s simply… gorgeous. Goosebumps-inducingly, spine-shiveringly, staring-off-into-space-dreamily gorgeous. Murray Gold is my new hero. Seriously, the man has got to be a genius. I hope he’ll be involved in the new series, too. And if not… well, at least he’s doing the music for the regeneration scene.

This post should probably be called ‘Song of Captivity and Freedom’ (which is the song of the Ood, basically), because lo and behold! It only took me half the time I anticipated to unpick the provisional cast-on of the Muir. Because just as I’d gotten a decent routine… the pick-up changed, and for no discernible reason at all, the last third of the line was cast on properly. Properly as in just-pull-the-string-and-all-is-well properly. Which was the greatest personal triumph of all. So Song of Freedom it is. Tardis pulling Earth home, me pulling a string, and everything working out just fine – fits the theme, doesn’t it.

All in all, I’m about halfway done with the lower edging – after all, it’s only about ten rows? And I haven’t really had time to sit down and knit for some extended period of time. And then it’s only eight, maybe nine pattern repeats. (Let’s ignore for the time being that one repeat consists of 32 rows of 157 stitches each, yes?)

My mother requested a shawl for Christmas. Brilliant.

Also, as I’ve repeatedly gushed about on Twitter – they have BUTTON SHOPS in London. Not only am I excited by the prospect of having a shop whose main focus are buttons – there are SEVERAL of them. Not to mention the ‘yarn boutiques’. I’ll just abandon the guys for a day or so and do a yarn shopping marathon. I’m hoping to finally find buttons for the Tempest cardi, too. I mean seriously, that thing has been finished since April 13th! And I just cannot find the right buttons. So, London it is!

I was sitting, waiting, wishing

August 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

I AM HALFWAY DONE WITH MUIR!!!!

I finished the first ball yesterday, got all excited, and spread the thing out over my legs. Yet again, I realized that this monster, when it’s done, can not only be used as a shawl, but also a blanket, tent cover and carpeting for a villa. ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Seriously, it’s huge. And it’s gonna be about twice this size, which means about 18 pattern repeats. Huge.

Thing is, though… I decided that before going on with the body, I’d do the lower border with the second ball, to avoid the slightest chance of me winding up short in the end. What I discovered was, however, that I’d knit in the wrong part of the stitch. Which means the crochet chain yarn loops through every stitch twice. Which means I can’t just pull and the stitches spring free, no, I have to go and pick at every single of the 157 stitches for about half a minute or longer.

And the thing is, I know how to do the whole provisional cast-on thing. I’ve done it before and very successfully. And now, when there’s almost 160 stitches…. I fail.

I’ve already picked up about… 10, maybe 15. It’s gonna be a couple of days till I’ve picked them all up, because hell if I do those all at once. >.<

There’s a place I go when I’m alone

August 24, 2009 § 6 Comments

These past couple of days, ever since I came back, but especially since my parents went to Paris on Saturday, I’ve been pretty stressed out. This isn’t anybody’s fault, not really, but taking care of two grandmothers would be kind of hard on anybody. As bad as it sounds, I’m actually kind of glad one of them’s in the hospital right now – mostly because that takes another load off my shoulders, since she’s all taken care off and Tina and I just pop over for an hour or so every day.

So I spend pretty much all my day with my grandma, taking care of her, washing her, making her food, shifting her from the kitchen to the living room to the bathroom to bed and back, entertaining her… which on the one hand is kinda nice, I’ve never spent so much time with her, but on the other hand, it’s horrific to see her so dependent.

So what this all boils down to is: stress knitting.

I cast on something I’ve been vaguely calling DWSLCBP, which is short for Doctor Who Scarf Log Cabin Blanket Project, obviously. Basically, a log cabin blanket with the colors of the Doctor Who scarf as well as the row number of the color blocks in the Season 12 pattern. It’s garter stitch. It’s color blocks. It doesn’t matter if I miscount. It is, however, a friggin’ blanket, although I guess I could just stop at lap blanket size if I wanted to.

On the other hand, if I decide to follow through with this (I’ll wait another two, three days to check if I’m not totally off my rocker) it’s gonna be the 100th project in my Ravelry portfolio. And a blanket as the big double oh would be pretty appropriate for such a… landmark.

Of course, my Rav projects don’t take into account the second cotton garter stitch I made, or the three fuzzy scarves I made as Christmas gifts that year, or my hideous first sweater disaster with arms as big as tents, or the fact that what I bundled under Christmas Presents 2007 was actually five hats. And the second pair of garter stitch mitts I started but never finished because I was too lazy to crochet the first one shut.

So all things considered, whatever I knit next is going to be my 111th project.

Though some were abandoned, and some punish├ęd.
For never was a story of more wit, than this of Patti and the things she knit.

… or something. Somebody take me to a padded place where I can mangle Shakespeare without hurting my head as I bang it on the wall as self-punishment.

One eye in the mirror

August 23, 2009 § 3 Comments

Photo dump time!

Expect one in the next couple of days, too, because I went all photo-happy this morning, but here’s stuff I’ve been meaning to post and never got around to.

First off, Muir is approaching a ridiculous size. And I’m only halfway.

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Still, looks nice in the SHRUBBEREH!

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Then, TARDIS socks! (photos not as big because let’s face it, they’re much less spectacular than that monster of a shawl)

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I have to admit the TARDIS design isn’t quite as obvious as I’d like it to be. Still, knowing these socks have a phone box pattern knitted into them fills me with childish glee, and that’s enough. Ronnie the 7 kilo kitty loves them, too.

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Speaking of the TARDIS! The other day, while I was still in Leipzig, I got a huuuuuge package. The contents?

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I’ve already gushed about the bio. But the other thing, the reason for the ginormous size of the package?

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(please excuse the mess on the edges)

OMG I HAVE A TARDIS ON MY DOOR!
Which, of course, means that my door is doubly geeky, since the outside has a sign saying ‘The Internet!’… so I can sit in the kitchen and say ‘I’m just gonna check the Internet!’. Sigh.

Last but not least, have some salad.

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Oh, and look! It’s a face!

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Hair slowly but steadily approaching the length it was before I buzzed it off. Man, it’s warm under all that stuff! Also, I desperately need a redye.

And with that, the randomness ends… for tonight.

Here… come… the drums! (HERE COME THE DRUMS HERE COME THE DRUMS)

Watch out, Europe

August 21, 2009 § 4 Comments

Watched ‘The Producers’ last night, and by god, is that movie offensive. To everyone. Men, women, gay people, straight people, Americans, Germans, Swedes, dove breeders… it’s crazy! Mel Brooks must have sat down with a list of the most offensive things he could come up with and just ticked them off one by one.

I loved it. Friggin’ brilliant. Two hours of complete and utter tastelessness. It was great. My enthusiasm might have something to do with the fact that it was 3.30 when I finished, but… oh man. Plus the songs are really catchy, which can also be a drawback. Since I’m a person who is likely to randomly burst into song, and it’s kinda bad if that song is ‘Springtime for Hitler’.

Anyway, I’m basically posting to complain about the internet – doesn’t work in my room at all since last night, I’m in my sister’s room right now, and it’s SLOOOOOW.

But also, my geekery has made it onto my shopping list:

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I’m amazed at how well the Dalek came out. It was just a quick sketch to show my Grandma what my washclothes looked like, but… it looks pretty good for something that took me all of thirty seconds to get to paper.

Off now, watching the music bits of the Master episodes (‘Here – come – the drums!’ HERE COME THE DRUMS HERE COME THE DRUMS and the bit with ‘I can’t decide’ by the Scissor Sisters) to get that Springtime song out of my ear.

By the way, knitting TARDIS socks. Socks that have the pattern from the Tardis dishcloth on the front. Quite pretty, that. Almost done with the first one.

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