Friday, 11 November 2016
Yesterday was this blog's fourth, or "fruits and flowers", anniversary. I did a post of selected floral-themed knits for May Day several years back, which means my anniversary post be all about fruit-themed designs. These are the Citrus Mittens, designed by Kris Knits. I love the artistic and realistic level of detail in them.
Kid's Fruit Cap. These little fruit cap patterns are so ubiquitous on the knitting scene I had to include them. It's easy to understand why: they are cute, quick and easy to make, and very versatile, because one can change the kind of fruit represented by changing the colour and by adding or removing seed stitches as desired.
How cute are these are the Watermelon Socks, designed by Wendy Gaal? I can't believe I like them so much -- I am not a goofy socks person, and I hate watermelon.
Apple Cloth. I wish I liked using knitting dishcloths, as I'd then have an excuse to make some of the many, many dishcloth patterns that are out there, but I'm a J-cloth woman to the bone. The pattern for this one isn't available any longer, but it would be dead easy to recreate the pattern from this picture.
The Icewine Mittens, by Em Holbert. Very pretty and winter-y.
These Strawberry Booties, by Hrönn Jónsdóttir, are what the well-dressed baby wears to the Strawberry Festival.
The Grapevine Hat, by Amy Loberg. I love these rich, warm colourways for winter wear.
The Strawberry Top, by Ewelina Murach. This is simple, wearable, and cute, but I think I'd do the strawberry outline in duplicate stitch or even in intarsia rather than crocheting it on top.
The Watermelon Cardigan, designed by Kerstin Olsson. This is a Bohus Stickning pattern from 1961, and you might have some difficulty tracking down a pattern for it, but I had to include it because I love the way the beautiful colourway evokes a watermelon slice without being too literal.
The Strawberry Mittens, designed by Natalia Moreva. In the midst of winter, you can find an invincible summer, not only within you, but also on your hands. Top that, Albert Camus.
А компот?!, by Natalia Moreva. It's no coincidence that so many of the items in this post are mittens. Mittens are like little canvases for knitters, and they're also perfect places to run with a whimsical, intricate motif that might look too juvenile or be too much work on a larger item like a sweater.
Blueberry Mittens, by Ricaco Kimura. A simple and effective graphic rendering.
Thursday, 25 February 2016
To mark the end of the watchable, if lacklustre, 2016 mini-season of The X-Files, I've decided to do a post of selected alien-themed knits. Much was left hanging in the air at the finale's end, narratively and literally speaking, and those involved in The X-Files have said they are willing to do more episodes as their schedules permit, so there may be more to come. While we await further episodes (which I hope that Chris Carter will not be writing, because he's a hack, there I said it), we can always knit ourselves some cute and cuddly aliens.
The photo above is of the Alien Autopsy pattern, designed by Emily Stoneking and available for $4.50(USD). You can use it to help yourself imagine that you are Scully, happily slicing and dicing. Don't forget to order a pizza mid-autopsy, as Scully would.
If you want a alien-themed toy for the little alien-obsessed Fox Mulder in your life and the autopsy pattern doesn't seem quite suitable for a child, this toy spaceship might be more to your liking. This design is the Orbiting Oddity, by Anna Hrachovec. This pattern appeared in Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi.
This is the Emerson the Incognito Alien, designed by Jenna Krupar, and it would seem that Emerson has decided to try to pass as a French existentialist. This pattern is available for $6.00(USD).
This is the Alien Illusion Scarf, designed by Shetha Nolke. Can't you just see a teenaged Mulder wearing this scarf to high school and using its illusionary qualities as the basis for a monotone monologue on the existence of extra terrestrial life? This pattern appears in Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook.
Here's another alien-themed scarf, and in this one the very cute alien and spaceship motifs are plain to be seen. The Anybody Out There? pattern, designed by the Galagonya Gulova workshop, is available for free.
This Aliens and Spaceship design, by Jean Woods, is so adorable that it could probably colonize the planet without anyone objecting. This pattern is available for $3.00(USD).
Speaking of adorable beings whom we're glad to have rule us, how cute this is this little guy's vest? This is the Baby Alien vest, by Barbara Gregory, and the pattern is available for $6(USD).
I find this one way cuter and funnier than the standard animal ears toddler hat. This is the Take Me To Your Leader Toddler Hat, by Sharon Mooney, and this pattern is available for $5.50(USD).
This is one far out baby blanket. The Outer Space Blanket pattern, by ShoedivaOriginals, is available for $10(USD).
These toy aliens are equal parts creepy and cute! The Aliens from the Planet Flangelzwat pattern, by Liz Wray, is available for £2.50(GBP).
The Sleep With an Alien Pillow pattern, by Christine Grant, is available for $3.25(USD). I'm thinking that if this is given to a kid, the pillow will be just as likely to be lobbed at a sibling or used for impromptu bowling games as slept with, but hey, why not.
The Cyclops Pocket Alien, by Dawn Finney, can be used not only for bowling or hurling at a sibling but also may be employed as a handy holder for such odds and ends as the remote or keys. Now that's a useful item. The pattern is available for $4(USD).
And here's a very cute little Aliens in Space sweater, designed by Sylvia Leake. This pattern is available for $5.49(USD).
Monday, 25 January 2016
I'm an X-Phile. I have the whole nine seasons of The X-Files plus the two movies on DVD, and I've seen them all at least twice each. When I read of the new mini-season that premiered last night, I thought I'd faint for joy. This joy was only somewhat dampened by my viewing of the first episode, which proved to be plagued by some of the worst features of the franchise (i.e., a convoluted alien plot that doesn't make much sense, bloviated monologues from Mulder, contrived conflict between Scully and Mulder), with a gratuitous reanimation of the Cigarette Smoking Man who was last seen burned down to his skull in the series finale. Critics who have previewed the series are assuring their readers that the series does get better, but sadly, such is my love for The X-Files that I'll keep watching regardless of how bad it might be -- a state of affairs that the show producers are probably banking on. Meanwhile, I'd like to pay tribute to my love for the good qualities of the show by doing a special post on some X-Files-themed knitting inspiration. I didn't turn up any actual knitting patterns in my search, probably because such patterns are
The amigurumi above are crocheted by the blogger at Moñacos, cosicas y meriendacenas, but I couldn't resist including them anyway as they are quite well done on the whole. Recreating Mulder's nose appeared to be a challenge, but then it would be.
Honourable mention also goes to the X-Files knitting game devised by Ravelry user Lindsey Knit, as described on her project page for her X-Files Cowl. As Lindsey watched the series and knitted, she put an eyelet in her cowl every time she heard or saw one of the following:
- Dated technology (giant cellphones, big computers, beepers, etc.)
- "I Want to Believe" poster
- A dead body
- Someone draws a gun
- Skinner reprimanding Mulder
- Scully says "Mulder, are you suggesting _________?"
- An autopsy
- An actual alien on screen
- Sunflower seeds
- Reference to Mulder's addiction to pornography
- Quirky Mulder/Scully banter
- "X" in the window
- The Cigarette Smoking Man
- Mulder or Scully tamper with a crime scene or evidence
- Mulder jumps to insane conclusions
- Scully refuses to believe something she just witnessed
- Scully narrowly misses seeing something extraterrestrial
I like the idea of a knitting game as opposed to a drinking game because taking even a modest sip of an alcoholic beverage on those terms could have one in a coma before too long.
These X-Files themed mittens, designed and knitted by Etsy vendor Bad at Math Knits, are terrific, although there are no patterns available.
There's also this Scully and UFO pattern, created by the blogger from Lattes and Llamas, who has generously made the chart available as a free PDF. I love that Scully has her back turned on the UFO and that her body posture says she isn't buying this crap because science.
Pinterest member Archaeopterknits posted this photo of a "knitting idea that didn't work out" to her Knitted board. Even though it wasn't finished, I thought the knitted replica of Mulder's iconic poster was quite well done and might give other X-Files fans an idea of how to knit their own similar tribute projects.
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
I've found myself thinking lately about putting "knitted dolls" on my project list for 2016. They'd be a great way to use up some of the odds and ends in my stash, they'd make terrific make-ahead baby shower gifts or contributions to Christmas toy drives, and they look like they'd be fun to make. These intentions gave me an excuse to spend a happy hour researching doll patterns on Ravelry — which in turn gave me material for a post of selected doll patterns. And as you have probably gathered, this is that post.
This is the first doll pattern, Catherine, A Tudor Lady, designed by Joanna Marshall and available for $4.00(USD). Making dolls in historical costume could be a fun way of encouraging a child's interest in history.
This doll is Forget-Me-Not, designed by Irish Magda. The pattern is available for €3.75(EUR).
Almost any child would love to get a character doll from his or her favourite story. This is an Alice in Wonderland doll, by Wendy Phillips, and the pattern is available for $4.99(USD).
What's cuter than a doll with a doll? Maisie and her little doll, designed by Elizabeth Phillips. This pattern is available for $4.95(USD).
This is Belinda Jane, designed by Wendy Phillips, who has a real gift for making adorable doll clothes. This pattern is available for $4.99(USD).
These Amish Plain Folk Dolls, designed by Debi Birkin, are made to resemble traditional Amish cloth dolls, which never have facial features as the Amish believe making dolls with faces contravenes the Biblical fourth commandment as well as other Old Testament injunctions against making idols. This pattern is available for £2.00(GBP).
For the little, or not so little, Sherlock Holmes fan in your life. This is the Detective doll, designed by Jean Woods. This pattern is available for download for $3.00(USD).
I don't know how many children watch Charlie Chaplin movies these days, but certainly a number of adults do. Dolls aren't, after all, the sole property of children. My sister, who is a big fan of the current Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, has asked me to make her a little Sherlock amigurumi, and I intend to make one for her this year's Christmas stocking. This is the Comedian doll, designed by Jean Woods. This pattern is available for download for $3(USD).
These carolers would make special Christmas toys. The patterns for A Christmas Carol: The Boy, and A Christmas Carol: The Girl, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appear in Christmas Treasures, FORTY PAGE SPECIAL!.
Here's the perfect doll for the child who aspires to be not only a cop but an English bobby when he or she grows up. Some children do have very specific dreams. The pattern for the Policeman doll, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's Mascot Dolls Knitting Pattern Booklet: Ten Dolls with Knitted Display Stands.
The Toy Soldier pattern, by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's little gift dolls: Eighteen delightful knitted characters.
And here's one for a future Shakespearean scholar. The Romeo and Juliet pattern, designed by Alan Dart, is available for download for £2.50.
I wish I'd come across this pattern when my niece Peaches was small and dance-mad. I love the details on this one. There's even a layer of tulle under the skirt. Peaches is nearly nineteen now and studying medical science rather than dance, so any ballerina dolls that I happen to make will have to go to some other little ballerina. The Ballerina Girl pattern, designed by Irish Magda, is available for €4.00(EUR).
I wish this post weren't almost all white dolls. I searched quite specifically for dolls of different ethnicities, but found very, very few, and some of those I found were poorly rendered. A doll's skin tone can always be changed with a simple yarn substitution, of course, but it's helpful to have examples of different types of hair and features to use and I'd have liked this post to be more inclusive on general principles. This cute little moppet is one of the Dolls from the Tearoom, designed by Susan Hickson, and this pattern is available for £4.25(GBP).
Love this little witch. Spelladonna, designed by Deena Thomson-Menard. This pattern is available for $6.00(USD).
Would this one mysteriously travel from place to place in one's home? The Green Fingers Gnome, by Alan Dart. This pattern is available for download for £2.50.
I can remember really wanting a topsy-turvy doll when I was very little. I never got one, but I think I can satisfy that childhood desire by making one and giving it to a little girl who would love it. The Cinderella Topsy-Turvy Doll pattern, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's Christmas special.
Isn't this a scurvy beauty? I especially love the parrot. This is Barnacle Bill, designed by Alan Dart, and the pattern is available for download at Alan Dart's website for £2.50.
For the future, or present, physicist in your life. The Einstein Baby, by Loly Fuertes. This pattern is available for $4.50(USD).
This scarecrow is totally cute and could also come in handy for a Wizard of Oz re-enactment. The Sam Scarecrow doll pattern, designed by Jean Greenhowe, appears in Jean Greenhowe's scarecrow family: Seven knitted dolls and baby's pushchair.
I absolutely loved the Hans Christian Andersen "Snow Queen" tale when I was a little girl, and this doll is a very worthy, and well, cool, depiction of the titular character. The Snow Queen doll pattern, designed by Alan Dart, is available for download at Alan Dart’s website for £2.50.
I couldn't resist including one more Wendy Philips creation. Lucy Lavender and her Rabbit look like they should be members of the 1980s-era Strawberry Shortcake gang. This pattern is available for $4.99(USD).