Wednesday, January 25, 2012

FO: Toddler Flashdance

Shoulda: written the pattern post for the Anne KATMs (one and two)
Woulda: done some knitting on a sock weight slouchy hat
Coulda: gone to bed early for some much needed sleep

But no.  I'm writing this.  Here are some legwarmers, yo.
Happy Legs [Rav link], a free pattern by Dani Sunshine; knit with less than a skein of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK in 18019 Dark Blue

I began these as an alternative travel knitting project when carting around The Socks almost begat disaster.  The first legwarmer was knit over two months of my team's weekly meetings (my coworkers are highly unfazed by this); the second one was started and finished in two days, because it was cold outside and I was determined that my daughter needed to wear a dress to a party.

I went down a needle size from the pattern suggestion (US3 rather than US4) because yarn was at a premium, my tension is generally pretty loose, and the girl child is pretty teensy for her age.  As it was, I still had a good amount of yarn when I was finished.

There are generous sizing options available, so you can recreate Flashdance with kids up to 12 years of age.  I love the texture of the broken rib with just about every fabric pattern pairing I've seen. They also look nice over bebe pants that continue to fit at the waist while becoming increasingly capri-esque in the length.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 don't match each other exactly, but they work perfectly well for my purposes.  Punkin's teacher at childcare paid me such a nice compliment: "Wow, you made those? They look just like real store-bought ones!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Knitwear at the Movies: Anne of Avonlea

Second verse, better than the first?  YES.  I watched the clam bake scene eight times...  just mentioning it makes me want to watch it again.  With director's commentary.
Marilla KOFing (Knitting on Film)

Fred's Simple Sweater Vest
Honestly, I'm only including this because Bruce McCulloch, the actor who plays Diana's fiance Fred Wright, was a member of the very awesome Kids in the Hall.
"Bruce, what's this with you and Jazz?"
Trivia Question: what other Kids in the Hall cast member makes an appearance in Anne of Avonlea?
Answer: Lewis Allen, the boastful teacher at the hospital benefit ball, is played by Dave Foley.

Gil's V-Neck Cabled Vest
This screenshot makes me swoon, even though I know in the back of my head that they're "fighting" in this scene.
I want the collared-shirt/skinny-tie/sweater-vest/newsboy-cap look to come back in a MAJOR WAY.
Extra bonus funny points: I found this Tumblr site -- genius! (language is NSFW)

Anne's Clambake Cardigan
Seriously, how do women accomplish a full-on Gibson 'do?  It staggers the imagination.
detail shot
The sleeves and back are this honeycomb pattern; the front panels feature a diagonal eyelet pattern not dissimilar to that of the cardigan I just knit (ok, fine, it was a couple months ago now... but it feels very recent.). 

Anne's Tan Teacher Sweater
Anne's new school is full of sweaters and hijinks and chance meetings with that old guy who has pretty intense mood swings.
First he's grumpy, then he's manically smiling.  Whatevs.
Seed stitch edging and lapels and slightly puffed sleeves balance the bland color for a perfectly serviceable sweater.

Anne's Sweater Vest
The middle part of AA should be called "let's hang out with rich people; it's so fun."
detail shot
It's suuuper difficult to see the texture on this (thanks, black), but I assure you that it's there.  Even better is the cool pattern on her shirt: very pretty.

Mrs. Harris's Granny Square Blanket
Just goes to show you, granny squares know no class.
I, for one, always use a lap blanket when wearing a full black taffeta dress.  That's how I roll.  Hey-yo!  (...I can't believe I just made a wheelchair joke.  Maybe it's time to stop drinking wine and go to sleep.)

Emmeline's Brown Vest
So many sweater vests, y'all.
The dipping neckline and the closures keep it unique and slightly more interesting than it could be (vest, brown, on the quiet girl). Also contributing to the interesting: teensy watch pin!  I want one!

Rachel's Mourning Shawl
Well.  It's a shawl and she's in mourning (RIP, Thomas).
Rachel Lynde really mellowed over the years.  I hope if I'm eventually alone, I'll have a friend who'll put up with me.

Katherine Brooke's Coat
Poor quality first image, I know, but there's nothing much to be done for it.
detail image via Sullivan Movies
It's plain and simple; most importantly, it shows that Katherine can relax... even if her body language suggests otherwise.

...wait, is that really going to be the last picture?  No.
image via the Official Anne of Green Gables Wiki

There.  That's better.  :)

p.s. for those who are wondering: no, I will not be covering Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story.  I know they got all the actors back BUT they totally changed the story from the books.  So no.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Knitwear at the Movies: Anne of Green Gables

The books by Lucy Maud Montgomery were some of my favorites as a child.  I knew at a very young age that Megan Follows pronounces her name "Mee-gan."  Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe was my first crush on a boy, when I was like four or something.  It's on!!

Green hair?  What do you mean?  You've never looked lovelier.

Mrs. Hammond's Shawl
Not a lot of screen time for this first knit, though it plays a small-but-essential role on this small-but-essential character:
Looks comfy cozy, but the color's all wrong for her... though her husband did just die, so maybe her head's not in a fashionable place right now. 

Marilla's Shawl
I know Katharine Hepburn was approached to play this role, but I can't imagine anyone for Marilla except Colleen Dewhurst... who is from PEI, BTW, SROE.*
detail shot
Why are all the shawls I covet crocheted??!  This looks perfect for snagging your broach on an eyelet and forcing a false confession out of an unsuspecting innocent, if I do say so myself.

Random Lady's Mesh Lace Gloves
AKA social signal for "this is a party for genteel people, Anne with an E, be on your best behavior."
If I had those gloves, you wouldn't see me soiling them with cake crumbs.  Have you never heard of a fork?

Gilbert's Sweater Vest
Not enough Gilbert yet, you say?
You're welcome.

Mr. Phillips's Cardigan
The hair is a no, but the sweater's a yes.
detail shot
At first glance, I was a bit bored -- possibly a combination of the oatmeal color and the oatmeal personality of Mr. Phillips (the character; I'm sure Paul Brown is a very interesting man).  Closer inspection reveals a charming collection of cables; Mr. Rogers would be proud to own this sweater.

Anne's Go-To Blue Cardigan
It's that perfect garment, the one that goes with your hair and makes your eyes pop...
...equally appropriate for the schoolroom and for those disgusting kitchen discoveries (you know of what I speak, dedicated readers).

Marilla's Gray Cardigan
Speaking of go-to sweaters...
The color goes with everything in Marilla's closet, the lace front panels add visual interest without being too showy, and the slight puff in the sleeves makes me a little envious.  I wish I could rock this look, but my winter coat sleeves are too narrow; that's it: time to buy a cape!

Anne's Colorwork Cardigan
Lots of monochromatic knits here, but Ms. Shirley is knows the best way to spruce up a plain white blouse is with some colorful stripes.
I don't know that I so much like it with the patterned blouse in the first picture; however, I'm sure that's more of an of-the-time-period thing than a personal style statement.

Gilbert's Dashing Sweater Vest
Time for more Gilbert, methinks.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.  Gilbert may have gained a shawl collar, buttons and texture on the vest, a dapper tie, and a haughty expression...  but he can't lose that curly mop and the need to stare at Anne while taking exams.    -sigh-

Jo Barry's Knit Comforter
Ooooh, fancy.
The stitch pattern itself isn't fancy, but all that time, knitting a comforter for that gigantic bed?  Phew.

Matthew's Shawl Collar Cardi
Or not.  Referring to Matthew's manly, textured sweater as a "cardi" just sounds ridiculous.
Then again, that mustache is a little flirty.  (Sorry, MC, I'm only teasing.)

Matthew's Jaunty Cardivest
And the hat!  YAY!  M. Cuth is styling without even trying.
Subtle cables are perfect for a spring day and the pockets make sense for a man of Matthew's practicality.

Watch this space for Anne of Green Gables 2: Electric Boogaloo!

* that's "Significantly Raising One Eyebrow."  That's the newest thing the kids are saying.  I know it's true because I just made it up.  And they speak in abbrev, obvi.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Two thousand and twelve

New beginnings and all that.  I'm not the only one with Startitis, but mine is by design.  I've been a one-project woman since I finally bound off The Socks in early November and my project loyalty is freaking me out a little.  Monogamy: good for my marriage, bad for my knitting.

Ahem.  More new things!

It's the beginning of a hat.  Why?  I dunno!  I heart hats, even though they're difficult for me to wear; my short hair makes every tuque look like a chemo cap and every beret I've tried falls off within five minutes.  Maybe it'll end up in the gift pile, maybe I'm making some hat magic.

This is for me me me (I think I'm getting the hang of selfish knitting [Rav]), since this beautiful Cascade Pacific was a gift from Kris Kringle, bought specially for me at Yarn Soup.  PLUS: it's a sweater; they just take so dang long.

I feel like I'm on a roll with this sweater; I even managed a gauge swatch:
And don't you dare say this thumb-sized piece of immediately-frogged fabric doesn't count as a swatch, because it's as close as I get.  The color is much more accurate in this picture, even with the bad lighting.

I also cast on another cowl.  WHAT.  I know.  And it gets worse.  This is stranded colorwork, knit flat, in a cotton/tencel blend, for a gift, and I'm improvising.  Open eye, insert fork... I'm building up serious knitting karma here.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Off-Topic: Mental Illness

Hi guys.  So I don't normally talk about this, which puts me in the majority, as most people back away from this subject.  My silence comes not from discomfort, but an actual lack of language: I literally cannot find the words to talk generally about mental illness -- depression, bipolar disorder, et cetera ad infinitum -- because it affects me so specifically.  I'll not go into detail here, but I find that if I'm frank about the manifestation of my mood disorder or about my suicide attempts (yes, multiple, but I like to think I'm done now), it's much more alarming for the other participants in the conversation than it is for me.  They tend to shut down and nervously change topics; after all, it's lived in my brain for years, I can't possibly be shocked by it, but it's not something typically discussed in mixed company.  However...

However.  In the last three months or so, there have been some important blog posts written by one or two very brave people on this subject.  Their writings (and drawings) affected me deeply, in much the same way that F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Crack-Up or Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper had years before.  And the responses they've gotten to their posts serve to remind us just how many people are touched by this.  As more people open up, the shame spiral that surrounds this disease dissipates and transforms into communal healing.

Jenny Lawson's proposal of wearing silver awareness ribbons is just one way people can break the silence in their everyday lives; the #silverribbons Twitter campaign is happening now, but we can't let it die down.  If the battle with mental illness affects you or someone you love, please know you're not alone.

FO: One Little Kitten

One little kitten has found her mittens -- or should I say, they found her.  And she won't stop moving:
The Stay Put Mini Mitts [Rav link], a free pattern by Jennifer Alexander; knit with Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Paints in colorway 9860 Jelly Bean

The outside got super cold overnight, so I whipped these up in an evening... which means that two days later, the temperature is back in the 50s °F, of course.
They're big, probably big enough to last her through the entirety of next winter; the oversize oven-mitt-ness discourages her from her new favorite game, Take Off the Stocking Cap.  Most of all, I like the way they coordinate with her gigantically puffy coat.

Monday, January 2, 2012

FO: Variegartered

My final project of 2011 was completed at 8:30pm on New Years Eve...

Pimpelliese [Rav link] by Christine Ebers; knit in Lion Brand Sock-Ease, colorway 202 Taffy

I love the way these colors work together.  Teal is my fave and I like the way it looks with the dark mustard; the taupe-y color softens the contract between them nicely.

My blocking messed with the selvedge a bit.  I used a couple of blocking wires and was less than careful about it: the upshot is, the raised bumps look a bit like eyelets now.

The knitting on this was simple and enjoyable.  The photography on the project, however, was less than desirable.  That is, my photography skills leave a lot to be desired.  I mean, look at all the weird backgrounds and messy lighting.  I may have to set up a makeshift "studio" in my guest room.