Archive for April, 2010

The Dark Side of Amigurumi

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

I love the fact that while other amigurumi crochet designers are creating puppies, kitties, rainbows and unicorns, Karabouts is making things like little death metal guys (above). Hysterical. Hostile. Fun. She posted her ode to Norwegian black metal musicians last week on her blog. You may recall her “tribute” to Vanna a while back. More on the Karabouts website. Who says amigurumi has to give you a complete and total sugar overload?

Want to enjoy some black metal sonic stylings? I’m gonna recommend Gorgoroth.

Summer IK Preview

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I’m back from my travels just in time to catch a preview of the new Summer Interweave Knits. They certainly don’t have knitting magazines in the airport stores. I did find a cool thing: TravelMart convenience stores let you buy their books at full retail, but return them for 50% of your money back. Buy a book in Dallas and return it in Hartford if you like. Cool. Green. Cheap. Anyways, back to knitting. Here’s the IK gallery. Nice, quiet, fairly classic looking patterns— OK, overall.  I like the Lacy Leaf Satchel designed by Pamela Powers (above). Good for your travels?

Knitting On Airplanes

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Our delightful TSA’s own blog says that knitting being prohibited on airplanes is an Urban Legend. Their site clearly states that needles are permitted. Yet stories persist of Neanderthal TSA Agents stripping distraught knitters of their beloved Addi Turbos. Flying with needles brings anxiety. I’m off to Dallas on business tomorrow, then on to Miami to visit family until early next week. Of course I want to take my WIP, the Cropped Cardi, but am terrified of having to surrender my stuff. I’m wondering if I should just take my slightly abandoned sock WIP. I got #3 bamboo needles into LA’s storied Criminal Courthouse last Summer for Jury Duty without any issues, so I figure TSA won’t have a problem with those either. While I’m gone, I won’t be blogging. Until then, happy knitting, and feel free to search the archives for a little fix.

That’s the silly Compubody Sock (above) on Bekathwia’s flickr, found via Knittsings.

Weird Yarn: Wooly Pig

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

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.

Improvisational Knitted Lace

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Last February I blogged Myra Wood’s new book, Crazy Lace. Now you can get a peak into Wood’s ways with her Crazy Lace Cropped Cardi over at the Stitch Diva Studios website. It’s more of a knitting recipe than a traditional pattern, and teaches a knitter to use the “inherent logic” behind lace to create surface patterning for this simple cropped raglan design. Sounds interesting. The result is pretty (left), especially knit up in just one skein of Stitch Diva’s lovely lace-weight Studio Cashmere.

2 New Hats From Naomi

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

Designer Naomi Drew of Matataki Design is at it again. She has created two new FREE hat patterns that feature color work in interesting geometric shapes. There is the Winter’s Night Hat (that’s a segment of the chart, above) and Susie’s Stranded Knitting Hat. Both are a great way to use up that stashed or leftover wool as we head into warmer weather, and get a jump on Winter gifts. I know, how very efficient. You can also check out Naomi’s blog as she assesses her WIPs .

KnitScene Spring/Summer Preview

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

You’ve got to love a knitting magazine issue that is dubbed, “Easy.” The new KnitScene is packed with small simple projects that are perfect for knit beginners or slackers looking for low-impact projects. I’m digging Lisa Shroyer’s Easy Peasy Slippers, the Loop Vest by Sara Fama, and Wendy Bernard’s Frontier Blues Jacket. There are two charmers from Cecily Glowik MacDonald, here and here. My favorite design is the Bowtie Girl (above) designed by Ruthie Nussbaum in Colinette Wigwam and Mohair. So cute. Warm weather is coming, get ready to pack up all that heavy wool.

Craft Crusader

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Amy Wizer is out to change the world. A Jakarta-based visual artist/activist/environmentalist, she leads the Invisible Sisters and the XSProject, both geared towards the re-use of consumer waste to create useful and beautiful items while providing gainful employment to some of the world’s poorest people, especially unemployable women. Read more in a mission statement here. That is a quilt piece created by the Invisible Sisters artisans (left). It looks like it is made by knit and crochet with yarn, plastic bags, old cassette tapes, computer wiring and other post-consumer waste to completely transform yucky trash into lovely artworks. Some of the XSProject products are here. See the CNN video of Wizer making the case for why we should actually buy our garbage back from these organizations. Very inspiring.

Found via the Craftivism blog.

Knitting Pixel Recognition

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

This is a cool project by UCLA undergraduate art student Ali Guerin for a class lead by Casey Reas. It’s called “Mirror Mirror: Needlepoint in Real Time,” but it could also be titled “Instant Intarsia.” Using processing and webcam, Guerin’s project allows a computer to view a live image and display it as a yarn-like rendition. Watch a video here to see people turning themselves into intarsia. That’s my buddy, Gail, who also teaches at UCLA (above) making herself into a pattern.Want more traditional intarsia? You must see the pattern master himself, Kaffe Fassett.

Knitted Hyperbolics

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Norah Gaughan is never ever boring. Want to get a look into her amazing design mind? Check out this audio podcast where Norah walks us through her latest design collection: Norah Gaughan Volume 6. I knew she was bright, but what impressed me was how friendly and relaxed she sounds describing her work, which in this case is based on the idea of hyperbole or exaggeration. Pieces often including hyperbolic increases that result in beautiful organic embellishments,  like you see here on  the Iaccaria cardigan (above). By the way, all the patterns are named after lichen and fungi. See the online flip book, and download it as a PDF here.