Monday, 17 February 2014

Pom Pom Quarterly Spring 2014: A Review

Pom Pom Quarterly has released their Spring 2014 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we? This is the cover look. It's a pretty, wearable design.

The Confetti design is nice, or at least what I can see of it is.

The Aroha lace stole is delicately pretty.

The Moss & Deer Horns hat is nice too, if perhaps not quite what I'd think of as spring wear.

The Brill design. I like this sporty combination of stripes and lace, though I wouldn't go with this particular colourway.

The Amenoato is a pretty little cardi, though again I wish I could see all of it.

The Sólja is a fresh take on the standard Fair Isle yoke sweater. I like it and its floral motif, though I think there are better colourways than this one.

The Brolly design is probably my favourite design of this issue. It's eye-catching and drapes beautifully.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Naughty Knits

For this Valentine's Day, I decided to offer you all a selection of patterns that make me giggle like a 12-year-old in health class. I hope you enjoy them and aren't reading this at work. I know these kinds of subject matter isn't for everyone, and if you don't enjoy this kind of ribald humour, check out my Valentine's Day post from 2013, which features G-rated projects and some pretty lingerie.

The thong above is the 302 Calories design, by Dawn Payne. This pattern appeared in the Knitty Summer 2004 issue and is available for free.

For a little harmless fun on Valentine's Day, you might try these Basic Handcuffs, designed by Nikki Sayadi, on for size. There isn't a pattern available at present, but these don't look too hard to figure out. If you do make and use them, feel free to not tell us all about it in the comments.

Here's a thematically on-the-nose bra. This is the Booby Trap pattern, by ADHD Knitting. It's a free pattern.

When I posted a picture of these Elephant Trunks, designed by Aundie Molina to the Facebook page for this blog, it got loads of viewings, likes and shares. Then Facebook removed it and sat me in the corner (read: wouldn't let me have access to my blog's page or my personal page) for 12 hours to give me time to think about what I'd done. I duly thought about it and decided there wasn't anything wrong with what I'd done and that Facebook is a control freak with a misogynistic double standard. This pattern is available for $4.99(USD), and I hope it includes instructions on how to shorten or lengthen the trunk as required.

If you've been looking for the perfect thing to wear to your favourite knitting fetish bar, this matching thong and handcuffs set might be just the thing. The Knitter's Handcuffs and Thongs pattern was designed by Adelheid and is available for €3.00(EUR).

And this post wouldn't be complete with some lingerie from Joan McGowan-Michael. At some point I'll have to do a post of selected lingerie patterns, and I'm sure her work will figure prominently in it. This is the Betty design, and it's available for $4.00(USD).

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The WIP Appeal

So many wonderful patterns out there, so many beautiful yarns.... and a knitter only has two hands and 24 hours a day, much of which she is cruelly forced to spend earning a living, sleeping, taking care of her offspring.... Let's talk honestly about our works in progress, shall we? Okay, so maybe that's asking too much. Let's do an honest yet anonymized survey about our works in progress!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Knitting McGyver-Style

Here's how to make your own circular knitting loom with PVC pipe, duct tape, cottar pins, and a glue gun.

Friday, 7 February 2014

The Queen Susan Shawl

There are many, many reasons for us knitters to love Ravelry, but I think there's one story that is my favourite illustration of just how wonderful Ravelry is. This story began in October 2009, when a Ravelry user posted the above picture of a Shetland lace shawl to the heirloom knitting section of the Ravelry forums, and asked if anyone recognized the border pattern on it.

Little did she know what she'd begun. The Ravelry Heirloom Knitting Forum took up the knitted gauntlet she didn't even know she'd thrown down, and after over a month of cyclical stages of research, charting, swatching, knitting, writing, editing, and proofreading, they recreated the pattern for this shawl, with just one modernization. The shawl shown here was knitted in pieces and sewn together, while in the Ravelry version the shawl is seamless. The centre section is knitted and then the stitches for the border are picked up from the edge of the centre piece and knitted on a circular needle.

The story of the process is told in more detail on Ravelry user Fleegle's blog. The 30 or so people who created the pattern as a collaborative effort decided to name their pattern the Queen Susan Shawl, because several of the ringleaders of the project were named Susan and others had special associations with the name because they had close relatives named Susan. They also decided their pattern should be available for free to all who wanted it.

The Queen Susan Shawl project page is here and the pattern itself is available here. When I knit antique patterns, I often feel like my work is a tribute and a link to the past, but if I were ever to knit this one I think it would feel like a tribute to Ravelry itself.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Go Agnes Go

Agnes Roboknit is a humanoid robot, created by Andy Noyes, that can operate a circular knitting loom. In this timelapse video, Agnes is shown making a scarf and coming across as a creepy mix of knitting machine and loving hands at home.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Spring 2014: A Review

Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine has released its Spring 2014 issue. Let's have a look at it, shall we?

Argyle Cardigan. This isn't a bad design, but I don't suppose too many young boys will be willing to wear this colourway. That's easily remedied, of course.

Ballet Wrapover. Ten years ago I made one of my nieces a pink surplice sweater similar to this that she was able to wear as her warm-up sweater for ballet class (as well as other places). The other little girls in her class asked her where did she get it and what did it cost, and when they found out it wasn't going to be possible for them to buy one like it, they were distinctly not happy. I like this design even better than the one I made for my niece — the lines are better — so if you make this cute sweater for the little ballet student in your life, be warned that it may not go over well with her classmates. Teeth may be bared and ballet slippers may be stolen.

Boxy Jacket. Oh dear, this is not good. The yarn is unattractive and the fringing makes the sweater look like it's ravelling. The shaping isn't so bad at least — it's not as boxy as one would expect from the title of the design.

Cable and Lace Cardigan. Nice little classic design.

The Cable Pullover is another nice classic piece.

The Cable Vest is another standard piece.

Love the subtle elegance of the Chair Throw. I'd want to make it into a full-sized afghan.

The Chevron Lace Skirt is pretty but the way the model is standing makes me suspect that it doesn't hang that well when it isn't forced taut. It's also see-through.

The Chevron Lace Top is also pretty but on the shapeless size. I'd neaten up the fit by making the sleeves shorter and narrower and adding waist shaping.

College Cardigan. Don't care much for this one. It's just too bulky, shapeless, and crude looking.

Cowboy Shirt. Don't like this one much either, which like the design above is also a crude imitation of a classic style. I don't even know what those devices on the yoke are supposed to resemble.

Eagle Cardigan. This one's a bit better in terms of evoking the charm of the original design it's imitating. I don't care for the colourway, but of course it's possible to make it in any colours one wants.

Hooded Zipped Jacket. Nice basic piece. It's so basic I would want to make it in a more interesting yarn — something with some texture or slubs of a another colour.

Intarsia Jacket. Not crazy about this one, which is more than a little loud. I'd at least go with a colourway that works together a little better, i.e., different shades of one colour with maybe one accent colour.

Laundry Bag. This item is very Martha Stewart-esque in effect, but a knitted laundry bag doesn't sound like the most practical of ideas. Laundry can get heavy and a knitted bag will stretch out. Also, won't it absorb odours?

Lavender Pockets. I think I prefer the usual sachets for holding scent, and I prefer my lavender in cookies. Specifically these ones, which rock.

Mexican Sweater. I rather like this one. The symbols on it would appeal to a small child.

Moss & Garter-Stitch Cushion. Quite like this one, with its quietly elegant texture.

Moss-Stitch Blazer. This one is so poor an imitation of a suit jacket that it's just sad. It sits so badly (check out the way that front centre pulls up in the front), and the pocket handkerchief is cheesy. I can't imagine any little boy of my acquaintance wearing this at all willingly.

Moss-Stitch Tunic. This one isn't bad, though I would neaten up the fit a little.

Poodle Motif Cardigan. This is kind of cute, but I would make it to fit a little better. Children's clothes should be loose-fitting to allow for growth and comfort (and to be age appropriate, as fitted clothes are such an adult look), but "loose fitting" is not a simile for "huge" or "sloppy".

Red & White Striped Top. This one's cute. I like the collar, which evokes the middy style.

Shawl-Collared Jacket. I like this one in general, but again it's too big.

Sherrif's Waistcoat. This one's cute, and look, it fits!

Sleeveless Top with Fringe Detail. Not good. The yarn is just so unattractive, the fringe detail has that nibbled-by-the-gerbil look, and the lines are awkward and unflattering. This top is actually bulging out in front.

Sleeveless Top With Peter Pan Collar. This isn't bad, though again I might neaten up the fit.

Star Kerchief. This could be a cute costume detail for your little western movie aficionado.

Striped Cushion. Simple (and an easy knit) yet effective.

Striped Sweater. Wearable and basic.

Striped Throw. This simple design is eye-catching and attractive.

Trench Coat. There are a number of knitter versions of classic fabric garment designs in this issue, and I think this one might be the most effective. It looks quite smart, and it's wearable.

V-Neck Sweater. And we end well with this design. I love the very clever sailboat and life preserver details on this tennis and yachting club style sweater, which makes for a perfect child's version of an adult's classic. Very cute!