Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 by the Numbers

Finished Object Fun Times
17 baby knits in total
9 baby knits for Ms. Punkin Q. Pie

2 sets of fingerless gloves
3 lace shawls
1 garter stitch shawl
2 identical wedding shrugs

3 cowls started and finished in December
1 project completed for HPKCHC
1 FO knit for myself

The Socks
cast on March 13 2010
bound off November 8 2011
over 40,000 stitches

Blog Nonsense
20 Knitwear at the Movies posts
14 Harry Potter pattern posts

The Great Yarn Fast of 2011
0 skeins of yarn bought with my own money
18 skeins of yarn received from very generous people

FO: The Socks

This has never happened before.  This will never happen again.

Salt n Pepper Socks knit for my salt-and-peppered dad.  Only took me a year and a half.  I'm not kidding.

These are Mr. Pitt's Socks (aka Dad Socks) [Rav link], a free pattern designed by Kaitlyn Wong.  The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in colorway 1207 Salt and Pepper; you may remember it from its supporting role in the NaKniSweMo cardigan.

This photo cracks me up: the foot is my father's. The phone is me on speaker, talking him through the finer points of knitwear modeling.  He's wearing the wool sock over a garden variety athletic sock; I think 1) the socks are a slight bit too big, and 2) he might have a never-before-mentioned wool allergy that he is too much of a gentleman to disclose at this time.

Socks have never happened before.  Socks will never happen again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Thing!

It's new and it's not a cowl! It's Pimpelliese [Rav link], a free pattern by Christine Ebers!  It's Lion Brand Sock-Ease in colorway 202 Taffy, yarn I was going to use for an Inspira Cowl [Rav link] but it totally didn't work!  It works much better for this project!
Isn't it pretty!  My leg makes for a weird background!  Sorry!  Exclamation!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

FOs: Mad Cowl Disease

Cowls like a crazy person.  Seriously, the fact that they look horrible on me is making me crazy.  And yet, I can't stop making them.  They're quick and stash-busting and I keep thinking I'm going to find the right pattern...

Exhibit A: Going to a Happy Place
Pattern: Canaletto Cowl [Rav link] by Megan Goodacre
Yarn:  Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted in colorway Ginger
This was my first brilliant idea, an attempt to use my small quantity of organic cotton in a fitting manner.  It started out well (detailed here), but the finished product looked meh on me.  Its new home on my sister-in-law's neck is a much more fitting location.
too disheartened to take an FO pic

Exhibit B: Do you have stairs in your house?
Pattern: A Noble Cowl [Rav link] by Emily Kausalik
Yarn:  Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted in colorway Ginger
Yeah, I didn't even try this one on.
If I get this far, I won't have to frog it.  Getting this far took four tries.
Doesn't it look nice?  Away it went to a Dirty Santa gift exchange.
Modeled and owned by the incomparable Jill Factotum

Exhibit C: Let There be Peace on Earth
Pattern: A Noble Cowl [Rav link] by Emily Kausalik
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in colorway 149 Stone
This was a request from a spirited someone who saw Exhibit B, had to have one, and I was happy to oblige!  It's my fourth Noble Cowl (my first attempt, for rubberneckers) -- guess how many I've kept for myself.  If you guessed zilch, you are correct.
Trust me, it's finished now.  Do you trust me?  Well?  Do ya?

And I have yet another cowl queued.  My first cast-on attempt ended as quickly as it began; serves me right for using the wrong yarn.  Oh well.  If I've learned anything from this venture, it's that hope springs eternal.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Knitwear at the the Movies + Pattern Roundup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

This seems a little anticlimactic, ending my reign of HP knitwear terror with this movie.  I mean it, there were no costume changes for any of the characters, it almost isn't worth it.  Almost.  :)

Screen Grab: Fleur's Reverse-Mullet Cardigan
I was intrigued by the contrast: it's all party in the front, business in the back.
It's like it was meant to be tied and she just didn't.  The nipped-in details in back + the flowing points in front = Frankensweater.  And I want one, but nothing looks quite right, so until I write something up (not really)...
Kinda Remindy Patterns
The Lighthouse Keeper's Wife [Rav link] by Melissa Schaschwary; $3.00 USD
Adrift [Rav link] by Carol Feller; $5.95 USD + long sleeves
Premiere Gathered Cuff Cardi [Rav link] by Pam Allen Classic Elite 9112

Screen Grab: Neville's Cardigan
What's black and white and full of awesome?
image via the Harry Potter Wiki
It's the fair isle heard round the world!
free!  Neville's Sweater [Rav link] by Joannie Newsome
Neville Longbottom (the BAMF)'s Cardigan [Rav link] by Sarah Garry; AU$5.50
free!  Neville's Sweater [Rav link] by Megan Ellinger

Inspiration: Nagini
Really?  Yes, really.  But Nagini is horrible.  Yes, I agree.  But this hat and these socks are really pretty, and their tangential connection to the wretched beast are the only way I can think to feature them.  Chalk it up to my lack of imagination.
the parseltongue hat [Rav link] by tiny owl knits; $5.50 USD
free!  Nagini [Rav link] by Monkey Toes

Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's a Cowl Christmas

Happy fourth/fifth day of Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa Eve Eve, Merry Christmas Eve!!  ... what am I missing?  Probably stuff.

My name is Cyprienne and I'm a cowl addict.
This is the third attempt at the third cowl in as many weeks.  The fact that I've gotten through the first pattern repeat bodes well for the rest of the project.

This is my fourth attempt at this particular cowl pattern, which means: mods, y'all. 
Shortened: The original pattern calls for 2.5 pattern repeats; I'm doing 2.25.
Similarity: See how some of the shields have two  center stitches and some have one?  Yeah, I'm fixing that for this new cowl.
Symmetry: The traveling edges between the shields will have mirrored decreases instead of all k2tog.

Help me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Pattern Roundup: Holiday Animated Shorts

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
image via Cultural Construct
OMG baby slippers! OMG Bumble feet!  Best yet: these awesome crocheted Abominable Baby Slippers [Rav link], designed by Melissa Mall, are free!

image via IMDB
PLUS a couple versions of "the most famous reindeer of all" for your crafting pleasure:
crochet Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer [Rav link] by Stephanie Garcia; $5.00 USD
crochet Jointed and Posable Reindeer Plush Toy [Rav link] by Tiffanie Aylesworth; $10.00 USD
knit and crochet  Christmas Rudolph reindeer with saddlebag by Loly Fuertes; $4.50 USD

Honorable Mention: The Year Without a Santa Claus
Never seen it.  Does that make me a bad person?  It just seems so cheesy.  Anyway, Erin Scull has some pretty great crochet patterns of the Heat Miser and the Snow Miser for $3.00 USD apiece.

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Electro-who-cardio-flux, y'all!

But let's get to the patterns, shall we? The Grinch's shoes? Really? Yes.
The pattern rocks, BUT the French version is only available in the book, Les accessoires tricot Biscotte & Cie, for $22.00 CAN.
+ French  Le Grincheux - The Grinch [Rav link] by Louise Robert; $5.00 USD

The hands of the Grinch are furry and pointy -- super expressive and dramatic, perfect for a grumpy old queen beloved cartoon character.
free!  Grinch Gloves [Rav link] by Susan B. Anderson
free!  Witchy Hands [Rav link] by Lion Brand Yarn

If you feel like recreating the Grinch himself:
free! knit  Grinch Chart [Rav link] by Amy Nero
crochet  The Grinch Amigurumi [Rav link] by Rachel Bateman; $4.00

Then there's the matter of the Grinch's heart, what with the growing and all:
The free crocheted Amigurumi heart [Rav link] designed by Sandra Åhlberg (also available in Swedish) is sufficiently pointy.
If you'd rather make hearts in three sizes:
free! knit  Little Stuffed Hearts [Rav link] by Julie Edwards
free! crochet  Corazoncitos amigurumi hearts pattern [Rav link] by Mia Zamora Johnson

I realized for the first time that the Grinch's mane-like fur collar is far from unique:
Can I be her when I grow up?  She's fabulous!
free!  Like a Lamb Scarflette [Rav link] by CJ Mello

Yep, the Whos down in Whoville know how to put an outfit together:
Grinch Hand Knitted Jacket [Rav link] by Alla Koval; $9.95 USD
Grinchy Grinch Hat [Rav link] by Jeanne Giles; $3.00 USD

My favorite part of this half hour: it features my daughter.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Hello, I'm Lucy Van Pelt.  It's nice to meet you.

image ©
If you feel like making the whole gang, Cecelia at Siempre Josefina offers a whole mess of amigurumi patterns via Ravelry and Etsy. Or you can make Snoopy for free.  Free, in price and in personality:
image ©
crochet  Snoopy [Rav link] by Nanthapohn Jiranuwatana

The iconic tree wins all the prizes.
image ©
Good Grief! [Rav link] by Morgen Dämmerung; $5.00 USD

Monday, December 19, 2011

Pattern Round-up: Christmas Knitwear at the Movies

I celebrate Christmas, so this is what you get.  :)

Confession: I didn't actually watch this; I fast-forwarded with the volume muted.  In my defense, I have a lot of movies to get through before Christmas arrives. The stocking cap worn by Jovie (Zooey Deschanel) is pretty spiffy, so it was worth my time.  Weird to see her as a blonde, though:
free!  Jovie Hat (from the movie Elf) [Rav link] by Megan Ortmann

Scrooge/A Christmas Carol
There are so many movie versions of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol; my all-time favorite is Scrooge (1970) starring 35-year-old Albert Finney.  The man is amazing.
image via IMDB
free! knit  Scrooge/Kratchit Nightcap [Rav link] by Glenna C.
free! knit  Cratchit Garter Mitts [Rav link] by Susan Newhall
free! crochet  Ebenezer Scrooge Ami [Rav link] by Melanie Blake

A Christmas Story
I don't know what I'll do if TBS discontinues their 24-hour Christmas Day marathon of A Christmas Story.  Before you ask: no, I wasn't able to find a full bunny suit pattern. But I did find this hat, worn by bully Schwartz (R.D. Robb):
image via A Christmas Story House
That's cold.
free!  Schwartz' Stocking Cap [Rav link] by LaDonna Bubak

The Preacher's Wife
I enjoy this 1996 movie, a Whitney Houston-powered remake of 1947's The Bishop's Wife.
Either way, the view is nice.
Gospel music, Denzel Washington, and a lot of knitwear? Sold!  I'm just going to post pictures with any applicable patterns and zero description, because this post is getting out of control, yo.

Easy Childs Hat [Rav link] by Amy Loberg (FiberWild!); $5.00 USD

free! knit  Vintage Allure Beret [Rav link] by Romy Kremers
free! crochet  Crochet Beret [Rav link] by Teresa Richardson
free! crochet  Tivoli Beret [Rav link] by Lion Brand Yarn
free!  Ribbed Hat and Scarf [Rav link] by Coats & Clark

It's a Wonderful Life
It's not Christmas until I watch this every year.

In the Battle of Mary v. Violet, Mary is the clear winner.  But Vi brings it in the cardigan category.  I want one in every color.
free! Vignette [Rav link] by Amy Herzog
free! Perfect Paula [Rav link] by Jennifer Little

It's hard to see in this photo, but George's scarf is a very subtle herringbone pattern.
free!  Herringbone Scarf [Rav link] by Dori Betjemann
Reversible Herringbone Scarf [Rav link] by Bruce Weinstein; $5.00

Standard garter stitch scarf.  I just love the looks on his face in this scene.

Mary's airy scarf is the perfect way to keep snow off your hair while saving your family.
free!  Wisp [Rav link] by Cheryl Niamath
free! + Italian  100 grammi [Rav link] by Cristiana

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas
Halloween movie? Christmas movie?  This is a serious question, as I've never seen it.  (and now my brothers and 75% of my friends are exclaiming with shock and disbelief.)  OK, fine.  Wait a sec.
...alright, I'm back and have watched the movie in its entirety!  Stuff!

Hats -- all listed are free
knit  Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas Hat Pattern [Rav link] by Kody May Kline
knit  Jackyll & Hide [Rav link] by Saskia de Feijter
crochet  Jack Skellington baby hat [Rav link] by Sara Merrill

Softies (AKA knit dolls/toys) -- all listed are free
Jack, Sally (seen as "Patch Doll" below), and Zero the dog are all very popular.
knit  Jack Skellington [Rav link] by Sunshyne Leland
crochet  Jack Skellington Crochet Pattern [Rav link] by April Draven
crochet  Patch Doll Amigurumi Pattern [Rav link] by Irene Strange
crochet  Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas [Rav link] by Mishymishy
crochet  Zero the Ghostly Dog [Rav link] by Meg-Ann Skilton
knit  Zero the ghost dog [Rav link] by Raynor Gellatly

Randomness -- all listed are free
Knitting On Film sighting! 
crochet  Jack Skellington Ball [Rav link] by Catrina Usher
knit + French  Jack Skellington Coffee Cozy [Rav link] by literaryladybug

Skellington-Adjacent Wristwarmers
So you can make this pose.
Burtonesque [Rav link] by Jacquelyn Landry; $5.00 USD
free!  Jack Skellington Inspired Wristwarmers [Rav link] by Nichole Verville

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why Buy the Cowl...

when you can go to Melk for free?  Wait, that doesn't make any sense.  What I mean to say is: it's time to knit cowls for no reason!  Other than...
  • Christmas is coming and they're quick
  • I already have nice yarn in small quantities
  • I'm known for NOT being thoughtful -- this'll show 'em
  • I have no other WIPs.  None!  Really!
  • except for the toddler legwarmers.  Which are boring.

First up: Canaletto Cowl [Rav link], a free pattern designed by Megan Goodacre:
new computer = new photo software.  I'm not very good yet.
The designer suggests a variety of spiffy yarns that I am not about to buy (it's December, I'm in the home stretch of the Great Yarn Fast of 2011!), so I'm using Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton stash yarn Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic Worsted in colorway Ginger.  It's pretty and neutral and machine-washable and -dryable.  AND it has more give than your average 100% cotton yarn -- to prevent hurting hands -- but no real stretch, so the cowl will keep its shape nicely.

I'll probably make it a present.  But if it slips and falls into my dresser drawer, I won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pattern Roundup: Coraline

I've been meaning to watch Coraline for ages.  Not only do I love anything and everything by Neil Gaiman, but I've been such a fan of Althea Crome, the production's knitwear guru.
I saw this video detailing her creation of the signature star sweater and almost stabbed myself mid-purl:
So intricate, so tiny, so precise.  Soooo amazing.
Let's see them, shall we?

Coraline's Real Mom's Pullover
I feel like this most days.
I don't know if Ms. Crome knit this (the video credits her with the star sweater and coveted gloves), but sweaters are knitwear, so it counts.  And this shot was too good to pass up.
Classic Raglan Pullover (Ladies) [Rav link] by Jane Richmond; $5.50 CAD human adult
Lightweight Pullover [Rav link] by Hannah Fettig; $4.95 USD human adult

Coraline's Star Sweater
Yes.  Just yes.
How did she do this?! I mean, I understand it in theory, I've seen it in practice... but I'm still boggled.  As an added bonus, the Coraline movie website offers a much-larger pattern.
free! Coraline Star Sweater [Rav link] by Jenn Jarvis human child

Coraline's Striped Gloves
Just.  Just wow.  WOW.
free! Coraline Gloves [Rav link] by Tika Belle human adult

Inspiration: Coraline Mittens
Designer brella has given us this free pattern [Rav link] for knit mittens that feature The Cat, a jumping mouse, and a button-ended key.

Inspiration: Amigurumi Dolls
Claymation lends itself especially well to doll duplication, as you'll find with these knitted and crocheted toys.
- Allison Hoffman offers this crocheted Coraline Doll Amigurumi pattern [Rav link] for $5.99 USD; it includes customization instructions to make a mini Cyprienne, for example.
- This Little Me Doll [Rav link] designed by Kimberly Kwon is Coraline-inspired; you can buy this knitting pattern for $5.00 USD.
- Sharon at Homemade Obsessions seems to be obsessed with Coraline, if her free crochet patterns for amigurumi dolls of Coraline, Wybie, The Cat, and a ghost child are any indication (Rav links for all her patterns here).