Feb 122012

There are two main reasons that I don’t read much lately.  First, when I have free time it’s always a toss up between reading and knitting, and knitting always seems to win.  Second, my ideal time to read is when the house is quiet late at night which is unfortunately also the most ideal time for falling asleep.  This is usually what happens when I try to read before bed.

Last night in bed I was reading The Book of Laughter and Forgetting which is set in 1970s Bohemia.  I fell asleep with the stories and images of Czechoslovakia swirling around in my head.  All night I dreamt about Prague and the surrounding area.  Nothing concrete, just images, colors, and mostly feelings.  The gold of the countryside and the oranges of the city.  The smell of old buildings.  The sensation of the weather (we were there once in chilly March which is how my mind’s eye perpetually sees it).

Top three photos from outside Kutna Hora, bottom two are central Prague

I loved everything about this area and was sad to leave it once just as I was sad to wake up from it last night.  I awoke with a groggy nostalgia of those things and an urge to translate them into knitting.  I am in much need of an inspiring project so I’m letting the above images guide my creativity for the following week.  I’m excited to revisit this memory with a new angle!


 February 12, 2012  inspiration Tagged with:  1 Response »
Feb 052012

Orange is one color that I have never, ever liked.  Thinking back, I can’t remember one single piece of clothing that I’ve ever owned that is orange.  Having grown up in Colorado there is an automatic parallel to me between the color orange and the Denver Broncos, so perhaps that’s a subconscious turn off.  In this Year of Color, I’ve decided that I need to explore this long neglected color.  There is such a spectrum of variety of orange, most of which will not evoke images of John Elway circa 1985.

It is kind of funny to me that my last two patterns featured orange yarn.  For Dak Mai, I used orange and gray simply because that’s what was chosen by the recipient of the prototype.  I like the end result but I hate to admit that I probably wouldn’t wear it myself.  I’m not really of fan of traditionally autumn colors.  For Sputnik the Magnificent I wanted a tabby looking cat, so the orange was just a given.  The yarn for that one, Knit Picks Palette in Sweet Potato (see photo at top), is such a great shade.  Creamy, I’d call it.  I’m really liking the prospect of working with the remainder of this skein and seeing what I can do with it.  My first impulse is to match it with an ivory or cream, but I don’t know if that’s really what would be best or if it’s my lack of color matching skills that makes me steer that way.

This weekend while stuck in the house under 20″ of snow I completed a cowl with some handspun yarn from a friend.  While not entirely orange, it’s blend does feature some nice pale orange shades.  I do believe that I will actually wear this, allowing some of that foreign color to permeate my wardrobe.  Baby steps!

 February 5, 2012  Year of Color Tagged with: ,  No Responses »
Feb 032012

My old friend Daren is a professional photographer. He returned from a few years in Thailand last spring just about the same time that I finished my pattern for the Topsy Turvey Werewolf. We made a trade (a photoshoot for a home cooked steak dinner) which turned out so well that I talked him into another shoot for the Recess for Grownups pattern. This time I promised him a hand knit.

Everything in the resulting project was a collaboration between me and him. He wanted orange and gray, cables, and earflaps. It was fun to have a little bit of someone else’s brain in this project to step outside what I’d normally think of. I love the end result!

On the photoshoot for this hat, we both laughed at the idea of a photoshoot for a new pattern that resulted from payment for another photoshoot.  Perhaps the next thing I knit for him will end up as a pattern too.  Stay tuned…

The Details:
Yarn: two colors of bulky weight yarn
Yardage: approximately 128yds for the MC and 46yds CC
Gauge: 17sts/24 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
Suggested needle size: US 8
Sizes available: one
Price: $3

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 February 3, 2012  patterns Tagged with: , ,  1 Response »
Feb 012012

I am so, so in love with stranded colorwork.  I would knit stranded mittens constantly if I could.  But, really, how many mittens does one need?  I was thinking a few weeks back on how else to employ the colorwork that I enjoy knitting and designing.  What an obvious thing it was to combine it with my love for toy design!

The shaping of the cat is similar to that of shaping of a mitten.  Anyone who has knit a colorwork mitten will have no problem making the leap to toy knitting.  Really!





The Details:

Yarn: fingering weight wool, shown here in Knit Picks Palette
Yardage: approximately 115yds in MC (shown here in yellow) and 60yds CC (shown here in orange)
Gauge: 34sts and 38 rows = 4 inches / 10cm in stockinette stitch
Suggested needle size: US size 1, either 4 DPNs or one long circular
Finished measurements:  approximately 15″ tall
Price: $5

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 February 1, 2012  patterns Tagged with: , , , , ,  3 Responses »