Friday, October 31, 2008
This photo was taken 2 years ago, on Hank's first Halloween. The sweater is hand knit, using the babies neck down cardigan pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple and Lambs Pride worsted weight yarn. This pattern's a real winner. I've knit it a lot and it always comes out nice. It's totally seamless, which is the only way I roll when it comes to sweaters.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
It's embarrassing how many times I've seen "Pink Floyd's The Wall". I don't think it's a terrific movie but it made a huge impression on me when I was a kid. I first watched it as a middle schooler, and, really, it blew my mind. I was so into that album then (I still am) and the music combined with young Pink's bleak British early adolescence and the trippy animation really resonated with me. Now, as an adult, I can see where it's goofy and heavy-handed but I still love it.
I was watching it last year with a knitter's eye and was struck by how beautiful Fair Isle sweater vests are. I thought it was sad that that totally ubiquitous English fashion never really made its way to the states and decided I wanted to knit something like it for Hank. So I searched youtube for clips from the movie, paused it on a couple of good ones, and charted the pattern for young Pink's sweater vest as best I could.
Here's what I came up with:
I don't know that I really achieved what I was aiming for. The pattern's pretty close but something about the yarn isn't right. The grey isn't warm and heathery enough. The gauge is too big. I actually thought of trying again but decided it was too nerdy and bordering-on-crazy to have even done it once and moved on.
Here's a scene from the movie that features both the sweater vest and the gorgeous song "When the Tigers Broke Free":
This crazy knitting project got Colin and I joking about the idea of knitting sweaters from iconic movies. At some point we were watching The Shining (because we watch it...a lot) and I was like, "Oh my god. I should knit the Apollo 11 sweater!"
I was actually kidding. I'm so scared of The Shining that I wouldn't even want to knit Danny Torrance's sweater, let alone put it on my own kid. In fact, this picture sort of makes my blood run cold. But for whatever reason, Colin thought it was a great idea and pestered me about it. And because I'm loathe to turn down a knitting challenge, I'm considering facing my fear (the fear that, by knitting the sweater from The Shining, I'll conjure the ghosts of the characters in the movie and they'll haunt me and my family). If I do knit the Apollo 11 sweater, it'll be an art project and an homage to Stanley Kubrick, who's one of my creative heroes, not a garment for my child to wear. That's where I draw the line.
Friday, October 17, 2008
I knit this last winter and wrote the pattern out in a very serious way, thinking I might submit it to Knitty. I never did, but, man, writing a knitting pattern was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It took forever. I'll post it here.
I think this pattern would be an awesome way to use up a lot of similarly-gauged leftover yarn. Every stripe could be a different color and you could keep going until you'd finally used up all the little balls of leftover yarn accumulating in the bottom of your knitting basket. It's knit in the round which I thought might make it too warm but it's not. It's pretty cozy.
Here's the scarf in action, keeping Hank warm on a Christmas visit to my parent's house in Vermont:
And here's the pattern:
(It's my first attempt at sharing a knitting pattern so let me know if anything's unclear)
Child’s Snaky Keyhole Scarf
Length: 40 inches
Rowan Kid Classic [70% lambswool, 26% kid mohair, 4% nylon; 140m per 50g skein]; 1 skein of each color
[A] #817 Bear
[B] #828 Feather
[C] #851 Straw
[D] #856 Tattoo
[E] #847 Cherry Red (only a small amount of this color is needed so feel free too use some leftover yarn instead)
1 set US #6/4.0mm double-point needles
18 sts/23 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch
I made this scarf using leftover yarn from another project and, sadly, my favorite of the four colors I used – Ice Jade – has been discontinued. But I substituted it with Tattoo for the sake of this pattern which also looks pretty.
Using A, CO 12 sts. Divide on 3 needles, placing 3 sts on the first and second needles and 6 sts on the third. Join yarn and knit one round.
Needle 1: k1, kfb, work to the end of the needle.
Needle 2: work to the last 2 sts, kfb, k1.
Needle 3: k1, kfb, work to the last 2 sts, kfb, k1 (16 sts).
Repeat increase round two more times (24 sts).
*Knit 1 round
Increase 1 round*
Repeat 6 more times (48 sts).
Next round: begin working the Eye Chart, only on Needle 3.
After completing the pattern, knit 5 rounds in A.
Place work on a piece of scrap yarn to hold for later and CO 8 sts, using double pointed needles and E (make sure to leave a long enough yarn tail to attach the tongue to the rest of the scarf).
Join work and knit 15 rounds.
Split sts onto two needles (4 sts on each).
Knit an I cord on the first needle for 4 rounds.
Break yarn, draw through remaining sts, and weave in yarn end.
Repeat on the other needle.
Draw tongue through the hole in the end of the scarf and attach.
Embroider eyes onto the white areas of the Eye pattern using a tapestry needle and D.
Now pick work back up, dividing evenly on three needles (16 sts on each). Begin working the Scale Chart, switching colors whenever the chart calls for a new one. I chose the order of my colors randomly, by reaching into my knitting bag with my eyes closed. Feel free to come up with your own order.
Continue working scale pattern until work measures 27 inches from the beginning of the scarf (not counting the tongue) and ending with round 2 of the scale chart.
On round 3 of the scale chart: k6, BO 12, k12, BO 12, k6
On round 4 of the scale chart: k6, CO 12, k12, CO 12, k6
Continue working scale pattern 9 more times or until work measures 33 inches, ending pattern with A, on the last row of the chart.
Rearrange sts on needles so that there are 24 sts on the first needle and 12 sts each on the second and third needles and begin decreasing, continuing to use A.
Needle 1: k1, ssk, work to the last 3 sts, k2tog, k1.
Needle 2: k1, ssk, work to the end of the needle
Needle 3: work to the last 3 sts, k2tog, k1
Repeat decrease round on every third row until 8 sts remain.
Knit 2 rounds
Separate sts onto two needles (4 sts on each)
*K1, k2tog, k1* repeat once
Break yarn and draw end though remaining 6 sts
Weave in ends and stitch together the two sides of the keyhole seams with a tapestry needle.
Hello and welcome to Little Green Knitting Blog. I have an illustration blog too, Little Green House, where I posted a new drawing each day over the course of 8 months. Eventually I ran out of drawings and have since been working on things that aren't ready to share - some picture books and work for an art show - so I've sort of abandoned it. I never wrote anything on it because there wasn't much I felt like saying about the drawings but I always felt like by blogging on my wordless blog I was missing out on half the fun. So now I have a knitting blog. I have lots to say about knitting. I spend way too much time doing it and I love it a lot - maybe even as much as I love to draw.
Anyway, without further ado here's a photo of my first project of the season, completed last night:
I knit this for my son, Hank, who's very excited about the solar system these days. When I started this vest, Saturn was his favorite planet. Alas, I didn't knit fast enough and now it's Jupiter. But you know what's even better than Jupiter? Sharks!
I used the Knitting Pure and Simple children's vest pattern and leftover Rowan Kid Classic, one of my favorite yarns. The planet and letters are done in duplicate stitch and Saturn's rings are embroidered. I think this vest is the kitschiest thing I've ever knit. Fortunately, Hank's 2 1/2 so he can rock anything.
Amazingly, this is the 3rd vest I've knit for Hank. "Amazingly" because nothing says "inappropriate gift" like a wool sweater vest for a toddler (unless you're living in war era England, I guess). They're so quick and easy to knit though, I can't help myself. The first one had a tiger on it and was accidentally felted in the washing machine. The second was a recreation of the Fair Isle sweater vest worn by young Pink in "Pink Floyd's The Wall". I'll post some pictures of it sometime.