Tuesday, September 28, 2010

drawing letters

illustration attempt

A friend wrote a children's story and asked me to do an illustration for it. I can draw, but I'm certainly not an illustrator. Why not give it a whack? It gave me the chance to have fun with hand lettering. I did various separate drawings and then pieced them together in photoshop. I had more fun with the lettering, with the girl I felt like I was struggling with having it look too cute. The drawing may never be used for anything, but it did make me feel like I need to make a regular go at drawing, something, anything. Perhaps a Drawing Friday post? If you're looking to be inspired by hand lettering, Hand Job is wonderful, I look at it whenever I want to feel looser in my design work.

The cursed Manly Man hat is slowly moving along. The Huz was away for almost all of last week and I was lost in parenting with hardly any time to knit or blog. I knit the crown once and then had to rip it back because it wasn't deep enough, the curse continues. The crown had been knit again and I've started on the facing, perhaps next post there will be a hat.

Rhinebeck is on the horizon. I'm getting very excited about heading back there in a couple of weeks, I don't even care about buying much yarn this time, I'm just looking forward to all the good cheer. This time I'll be traveling with my friend Meganne, road trip! I'll be playing Rhinebeck Bingo, hope to see some of you there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

the manly man hat is cursed!

the manly man hat is cursed

The manly man hat that I'm knitting for my man is officially cursed. Sometime ago I decided that I would knit a hat for my husband, he has a big head and has a hard time finding hats that he likes and that fit. I showed him a few different patterns, none of which were to his liking. He seemed very reluctant to let me knit him a hat, I finally dragged the answer out of him and he was worried that he was not worthy, he would lose it somehow, did he have to wear it if he didn't like it, and that the hat that I knit would be too colorful or whimsical. Well, that was throwing down the gauntlet, how dare he question my sense of color and knitting abilities?! Of course I could knit a hat with manly colors!

I bought yarn and swatched on size 1 needles (top left). The swatch seemed a little tight to me and the Huz didn't like the oatmeal color or the blue. He would rather have gray instead of oatmeal. Ok, fine. I ordered new yarn, but horrors, the vendor was on vacation and wouldn't be able to get me the yarn for 3 weeks. I waited until I got desperate and then ordered other yarn from my LYS, which came in quite quickly.

Swatch number 2 (top right) was on size 2 needles and a smorgasborg of patterns to choose from. Huz liked them and the colors but preferred the density of swatch 1. Both swatches had been knit on double pointed needles and I realized that I didn't have size 1 circulars (more than one pair of size 2s though!) so I ran down and bought them. I figured out the math and cast on, wheee, finally.

Partway up the patterns on the brim it looked pretty clear than it was going to be ginormous. I took it off the needles and tried it on the Huz's pumpkin head. Sure enough, even for his giant noggin it was huge. I had been thinking that my gauge was off somehow but chalked it up to the fact that it wasn't 95 degrees and humid anymore. Panic ensued, had I bought size 2s instead? I tested the needles on my needle gauge and whaddoyaknow, they didn't fit in the size 1 hole. I ran down to the yarn shop in a lather and bought another pair but before I even took them out of the bag at home I realized that my circulars were 2.5 mm instead of 2.25 mm like my double points. Argh! So, they were effectively really size 1.5, foiled by the difference between metric and US sizes.

Math was rejiggered and I cast on for hat number 2. Everything seemed to be going swimmingly even though Foggy, the guinea pig, nibbled through my working yarn. I made it up to the point where I wanted to divide for the crown and my stitch count was way off. GAH! I had been thinking that my join was looking a little wonky and that my stitch count must be off slightly, but it was actually off by 11 stitches, that's almost one whole repeat of the big pattern. I've been distracted knitting lately, work, noisy kids and husband, loud budgies, TV, clearly the manly-man-hat-disaster is all their fault. I'm almost ready to throw in the towel. The poor Huz is apologizing for the agonies, but doesn't he understand that the "agony" is half the fun?

Women like Renate Hiller keep me going, she's my new superhero. An incredibly eloquent piece on the value of handwork today:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

my socks are old, I have a bike I like to hold

Mamluke socks

Socks designed in the 15th century and still being knitted today, a pretty amazing thing. I love that knitting is such an ancient art and that what I'm doing was also done by an unknown person centuries ago. What was their life like? The pattern for these socks, Mamluke Socks, is in Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. She based them, almost exactly, on a pair of socks that are in the collection of the Textile Museum in D.C. The lettering is Cufic style Arabic letters that spells "Allah". I hesitated about having the word God on my socks but decided that I wanted to stay true to such an ancient design, and the lettering is very pretty.

Mamluke socksMamluke socks
Mamluke socks

I used size 2 needles, the yellow yarn is Socks That Rock in My Little Color Brain, and the orange and blue are Koigu KPPPM. The sock has a small short row heel that creates a little buckling around the ankle, heel anatomy may have been in it's infancy in the 15th century but they are still plenty comfortable to wear. The star toe is gorgeous

my birthday bike

My birthday was last week and my family got together and got me a new bike like the bike of my dreams. It's an Electra Amsterdam Royal, sigh * it's gorgeous. Thank you!!!

birthday drawing

My daughter did this drawing for me and her birthday wish for me was that I knit all day. I think she knows her mother. It's a sheep knitting a scarf in front of the fireplace.

Gale is having a contest, head on over to her blog and check it out.