16 September 2011

what's infinitely possible with a few stitches

Do bats knit? Maybe.

What about the blogger? Does she knit?

Yes, in fits and starts and sometimes in marathon stretches before Christmas. Not very much in the summer. Mostly accessories and not as much stuff for myself as sometimes I'd like.

I took a couple of small projects with me on vacation and managed to get both of them finished, though what with earthquakes, hurricanes, and general mayhem I haven't gotten around to writing about them.

So! The first finished thing from vacation is this:

I, Claudja

Pattern: Claudja. Yarn: Berroco Glint in 'Goddess.' Needles: 5.0 mm / US 8. Beads: ceramic glazed blue-green, and about the size and shape of Cheerios. Raveled

I was mildly amused by the number of reviews on Ravelry that described 'Claudja' as cute enough for wearing around the house, but not much cuter than that. It's a kerchief. Did anyone expect it to be suitable for, say, evening wear just because it's made of sparkly yarn?

I hope not.

Now, you might reasonably ask, why did I make a kerchief out of sparkly yarn if I'm just planning to wear it around the house? For the same reasons modern women sometimes make and wear pretty aprons: because they are functional items, but there is no rule that says that functional things must necessarily be unattractive or cheaply made. In fact, I tend to think it's better when they aren't. Cheaply made things rarely turn out to be bargains in the end. I have also a notion that well-designed, well-made, and, yes, attractive clothes show respect for the dignity of the work to be done in them. Even if it's janitorial work. Perhaps especially if it's janitorial work.

I also like being able to try out new yarns on small projects. 'Glint' is, for the record, a really nice yarn, light and soft, pleasant to knit, and pleasant to wear. It is mostly cotton, so it's easy to care for as well.  The metallic strand is in fact very subtle. I sometimes wear kerchiefs around the house and garden when I want my hair kept out of my face and dust and dirt kept out of my hair. 'Claudja' has performed those duties well enough that I'm considering knitting another.

A second accomplishment associated with this project: I finally figured out my camera's timer.

Finished project number two:

Close up.

Pattern: Eventide Tea Cosy. Yarn: KnitPicks Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in 'Queen Anne.' Needles: 3.75 mm / US 5. Beads:  Amber glass no. 6 ('E') beads.  Raveled.

A tea cosy is useful for the same reason that insulating jackets on household water heaters are useful. They keep the contents warm. Unlike the jacket on a water heater, though, a cosy will be visible on a regular basis and therefore you might as well like looking at the one you have. There is a whole sub-category of really elaborate tea-cosy knitting and I have admired many exemplars of the type, but I chose this particular pattern to knit for myself because it only looks complicated. It's stripes of stocking and garter stitch, with some cleverly placed increased and decreases to create the ripples. The rest of the effect is from the changing colours in the yarn. Adding the beads is easy-peasy; you don't even have to string them in advance.

I have a plan to tackle some garments soon, but this weekend I'll try to finish up this fellow:


He's a murloc, a fish-man that's possibly the most common hostile humanoid monster in World of Warcraft. Murlocs exist in most of the outdoor zones in the game, and in many of the dungeons, too. I think everyone who's played WoW, even on a short-term trial, has a story that ends '... and then I was swarmed by murlocs.'

(and yes, that is a brown marmorated stink bug sitting on him -- nasty thing somehow managed to get into all the photos, and I don't feel like trying to take more at the moment).

Moira Linehan

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