OK, sorry, no yarn yet, but hopefully one day. The Essex Zoo took delivery of some Mangalitza “sheep-pigs” this month in an effort to bring back curly coated pigs to the UK. Apparently once there was a Lincolnshire curly coat, but sadly, the breed died out in Britain 40 years ago. Thankfully, breeders had sent some of these pigs to Austria and Hungary, where they eventually developed the hardy Mangalitza. Now the sheep-pigs are back, and one even went to a recent London film premier with actress Emma Thompson (above). Those Lincolnshire pigs were supposed to have made very warm wool that was popular for sweaters back in the day. Maybe very soon we’ll see a spinning artisan offering some beautiful handspun from these animals.
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I know it is snowing in Kansas, but it is warm and wonderful in LA lately. My thoughts are definitely turning to Spring. You too? Check out the KnitSimple magazine Spring Preview (some of the “Soft & Simple” series patterns above). It’s hard to tell from the photos of course, but it looks like several sweaters may be top down construction. I definitely prefer that. It allows you to try things on as you knit, and have a better chance at fitting yourself correctly. Oh by the way, I blocked Mr Greenjeans, a top down cardi, and it turned out great. Believe the experienced knitters who tell you that blocking really makes a HUGE difference in your garments!
This weekend my husband and I took that “Spring Forward” thing to heart. We cleaned out our garage and reclaimed it as a gym and tidy storage space. Before launching into that job, I tried to order Julie Weisenberger’s (of CocoKnits) cool Knitter’s Blocking Kit (left). I tried several places, and everyone was out of stock. I could’ve gone with KnitPicks, but they aren’t fabric covered blocks. Well, lucky me, it turns out that we already had some big interlocking foam squares buried with our filmmaking gear in the garage. So now I’ve got what I need to fix Mr. Greenjeans. It’s my first blocking exercise, so I hope it goes well. I’m going with Shannon’s and Naomi’s comments on this post for some blocking tips. Some more blocking info is here at Knitting Daily, at Eunny Jang’s old blog, at TechKnitting, at Rebecca Danger, and at CocoKnits too.
Something very girlie seems to be happening in a lot of the 2010 fashion collections. Plus, I’m seeing a bunch of crochet. I told you about Rodarte, but check out Missoni. Always known for their innovative knits, they’ve gone kinda crochet crazy (left). So crazy, the model needs a neck brace apparently. Poor thing. I am no fan of this doily style, although I like it better than that granny square dress Cate Blanchet wore a while back. What about this outfit from Chanel? How very Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Or is that Little Red Riding Hood? About.com’s Lorain Blanken has some DIY advice on getting the Spring 2010 looks yourself on a real-world budget. Appreciate that, thanks.
You’ve got to love actress Christina Hendricks: she’s super talented, loves to knit and tells the press often, and of course, has that non-stop curvy body. She is like Jessica Rabbit come to life. Sunday night the beautiful redhead rocked the red carpet at the Golden Globes wearing the trend that seemed to dominate it—ruffles. Hate those ruffles, especially the ones that look like bed skirts, right? Hendricks’ dress was designed by the fierce Christian Siriano of Project Runway fame, who should not have put our star knitter in peach. I wonder whether or not Hendricks actually likes ruffles, and if she’s knit this crazy Berroco design yet.
This past Summer I learned to knit socks and promptly taught several of my friends. I’m not saying it took completely. There are several socks waiting to have their mates knit. Then again, some of my pals are making their second or third pair of socks. It’s a handy skill, sock knitting. Plus they are a cool gift. People like handknit socks, especially other knitters. That’s why Vicky was at the top of my list to get this nutty pair of turquoise striped Cascade Fixation crew socks. She loves them. It’s so great to give someone a gift they didn’t expect, and that they truly like.
There’s nothing like the flu to stop me in my tracks. Once I’m on the mend, I feel very lucky. The only good thing about my recent sickness is having to stop and rest. This meant reading a lot, the best of which was devouring the book The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. So beautifully written and bittersweet. I guess there’s a movie in the works from Peter Jackson. I also got to knit! Imagine that? Unfortunately, I messed up my Dandy Neckerchief and had to rip it back (ARGH!). I did work on completing those crazy Cascade Fixation socks I had done, then stopped in very stages for demonstration purposes, for my sock knitting class. They are a riot of color (see above), let me tell you. Anyways, it’s good to be able to breathe again. Hope you all are well.
I’ve got the flu. Be back in a few days. Until then, happy knitting.
It could be argued that Michael Jackson’s single glittery glove was truly one of the world’s most recognizable symbols. Transcending its humble original function, that glove became a global icon. It also launched a billion Halloween costumes. Earlier this year the famous diamante glove MJ wore in his Motown 25th Anniversary special performance of “Billie Jean,” along with thousands of other personal items, went up for auction to pay the troubled singer’s many debts. To be factual, these gloves weren’t knitted, they were primarily spandex and rhinestone-studded or encrusted with Swarovski crystals. You can get a replica. Or maybe just add a little discreet sparkle to a plain glove, and hum a little while you knit, “…She’s just a girl who claims that I am the one…”
Oh yes, there are still shows previewing Fall fashions going on in major cities around the world. Currently, it’s Fashion Week in Beijing. (It was NY Fashion Week this week on The Real Housewives of NYC, meow, but I digress.) The Chinese opened with a wild showing of work from design students competing for the Hempel Award. Check out this gallery of the fashions. The theme of the event was “simple,” and if this stuff was simple, I can only just imagine what is coming up in the next few days. Not too much knitwear so far, but the festivities are just getting started. I’m not sure who is the designer of this cozy creation (left) but if that is as soft and warm as it looks in the photo, it seems like a great way to spend those cold winter knits. Also not sure if the number is part of the design, but I’d say that ball is optional. I do love the matching slippers. None of it looks hard to knit, just get out those Speed Stix.I must admit that it gives me the same vibe as The Snuggie—that blanket with sleeves that is so popular, or at least, so popular to lampoon. My fave has been the rant and SnugWOW send up on Real Time With Bill Mahrer.