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Vacating ….

I’m sure to be knitting, making, thinking, and so on … but from places of silence and repose near and far.   To be certain, there will be plenty to share after the summer holidays.

Here’s hoping your summer is as productive as I’m hoping mine will be.


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Monsters and horror night at the aknitmation festival!

Japanese filmmaker Mai Tominaga combined live action, animation and knitted puppetry in his  award-winning animé fantasy, “WOOL 100%.”

And to take it into the wee hours, a few more suggestions:  Attack of the Killer Crochet Hook, Killer Crochet, and Yarn Monster Walk.

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Perhaps its time for a bit of “high culture”, and crochet.  The next feature in this aknitmation festival mixes needlework techniques and literature: “Poetree”, by Castlegardner, in which the crocheted and knitted puppet was made by Ceri Watling, and Don Carlson declaimed “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe.

My fingers are twitching.

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And what about aknitmated music and drama?  Here is a music video by Max Alexander for the tune ‘I am Ahab’ by Not-Too-Distant-Future.  As described by the maker:

After a fight with his girlfriend Ahab becomes overcome with madness and takes drastic action to change himself. But things only get worse when he encounters a blood hungry rat monster. Ahab’s quest takes him across turbulent seas and through strange watery worlds on his hunt for a better life. Will he find what he’s looking for or will the monsters get the better of him?

And another:  “the wool” (2003), by German animator Ali Soozandeh:

Partners beware!

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If the nostalgic “Ball of Wool” was sweet, and the activist “Don’t Let it All Unravel” savory, then perhaps it’s time for something spicier. Here’s an example of the art of intimate communication by redknittingannie.

Perhaps we might call it “in-knit-imacy”?

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Yes, some days are bitter cold.  Or wet and bitter cold.  But others are mild, a bit steamy.  The afternoon sun is warm on our shoulders as we do weekend errands.  So it’s been time to pull out the unfinished winter projects – the last pair of mittens for the nieces, the remaining hats – for me, and one to send off to the Sioux elders.

Wanting to study twined knitting this year, I’ve been working on a couple of pairs of mittens that draw on a variety of twining and colorwork techniques.  I finally finished a pair of mittens for the youngest niece-let (finally, because I seemed to have been knitting on fumes after the winter holiday rush to finish so many gloves and mitts).  No pattern for these little dainties (but guided by those shared by other generous knitters here and here), some skeins of Araucania pink and magenta, US 3 (3.25 mm) dpns, and online discussion of twined knitting techniques.  Somehow, I managed to include most of the technical elements I’d set out to study:  multi-color casting-on (3-strand braided cast-on) and corrugated ribbing (on the cuffs), bands of twined “crook” or chain stitches (above the wrists).  This project was a delight to research: twined knitting resources abound on the net (here and here, for instance), and it’s easy to find powerful inspiration from amazing twiners like Anna-Maj’s and Asplund.

A pair of multi-color
Wintergreen mittens (pattern by Kate Gilbert) finally came off the needles, a bit later than planned.  Worked in a niece’s favorite earthy colors (Araucania Nature Wool Multi, US 2 / 2.75 mm – would go up a size next time around), these were a challenging treat to execute.
  1. Recharted the leaves, to turn them so that they point towards the fingers now;
  2. revised some of the twists so that they lay flatter, using decreases and increases instead of 3 st twists; and
  3. worked a thumb gusset at side instead of inset thumb on palm. Wish I’d gone up a size on the needles, but soldiered on, having frogged the cuffs once.

detail of the surface – compare twisted sts with dec and increase techniques

Vertigo hat by Kerstin Michler, just in time for the vernal equinox. A straightforward little pattern, which made a wonderful hat with the colors I anticipate from spring.  Noro Silk Garden and US 6 (4.0 mm) needles (16″ circulars and dpns).  Worked with 40 sts (instead of 45) for woman’s hat. Used just over 1 skein of yarn to knit the 11 sections required.

KOB Ying Yang Beret IV,

Ying Yang Beret by Nancy Marchant
Noro Silk Garden, US 4 (3.5 mm) needles
Just because I love this pattern. Just because I want to try KOB instead of brioche. Just because I love Silk Garden yarns. Just because I could use a Noro hat to match my scarf. Just because my US 4/3.5 mm dpns are empty. Just because I could manage another rehearsal project.Nb. substituting KOB for brioche worked just fine. Made double increases in similar manner (k1, yo, k1 in same st), and decreases also work similarly. But, on next round, I worked sl1, k1 (to make only 1 yo in back instead of 2) in preparation for the decrease (next row), and then kkob to k2tog. Helped to place both strands on the needle before knitting. And, did a double braid at edge (I like it firmer). Otherwise, the beret seems indistinguishable from its traditional “brioche” twin.

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Love Potion #9

We usually keep things pretty quiet for Valentine’s Day, trying to spread the lovethroughout the year.  But this year there was knitterly inspiration.

A figleaf (thong) … (Men’s Thong-th-thong by Joan McGowan-Michael, Cascade Fixation; my own pattern for the giant fig leaf)

And a Dr. Seuss-inspired willie warmer …. Wee Willie Warmer by Victoria Bales, Plymouth Encore remnants).  Still can’t figure out how it’s to be worn. But the Greeks set Priapus statues in their gardens … we’ll call  it “Middle Age Mistletoe”, hang it over the bed, and hope for the best!

Post Valentine’s Day addendum (4.4.09):

Couldn’t resist trying to give him a heart (he’s had mine for 33 years), after the enthusiastic response to the knitted intimates.

Size:  incredibly full
Pattern:  Heart by Kristin Ledgett
Materials: Araucania Nature Wool Solids, US 4 / 3.5 mm dpns

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