Saturday, 1 December 2012

A New Quilt Enters the World

This project has been taking place for quite some time. But finally - a year and a month exactly after starting, I'm done.
Patchwork Quilt
This is a Christmas/wedding present for my sister who gets hitched a week on monday. Which reminds me - the fecking fascinator! I still haven't tried to assemble it. Anyway, I'll worry about that later. Meanwhile...
Detail of Quilt
Picking colours has never been my strong point but I was also challenged to include fabrics to do with Mark (the intended). He used to be in the Navy so the little bear at sea was an easy choice. But Mark also dabbles on the saxophone but I couldn't find any saxophone fabric anywhere. What to do in such a situation? Spoonflower! I washed it as soon as it arrived to check it would be ok and there it is in place.

Since I was already in Boudoir Byrne I paused to take a photo of the bunting. Knitting Sal (for it was she) was the one behind my recent fabric bonanza after her Mum destashed. One of the things included was a number of beautifully made, unassembled triangles for bunting.
Bunting Bedroom
I couldn't resist.
Blue and Yellow Bunting
I've mentioned to a couple of people the perils of renting recently. The place is never your own so you have to be careful both how you mark it (nails in walls etc) and how much bother you go to in decorating it since you don't know when you might be moving out. Hence the wonky bunting and the off-centre picture. I still love it despite that though. All it needs is a little sunshine to bring it alive. Might a be a few months before that though.

Friday, 30 November 2012

There Must Be ... 50 Ways to Kill a Knitter (NaMoBloPo #30)

The boys at work, ever sympathetic and supportive of my various plights, loved the idea of a knitting death threat and began to speculate on other ways knitters could bring about each other's demise.

number 1
At 1 we have the original suggestion - needle between the ribs. It's not as simple as that though. You'd probably want to go for a metal needle and clearly a straight or dpn rather than a circular. You're going to need a good grip so unless it's an unusually long dpn I'd stick with a straight so you can hold it firmly while still leaving enough length to penetrate the heart or lungs. And I'd suggest no smaller than 4mm because you don't want it to just bend on impact. Ideally you'll want to hit the heart so that death will be more certain so don't forget to check where it is.
Visible guts model & heart model
Seems like in the UK we get taught it is further to the left than it actually is.

At 2 we have a variation on the whole stabby-pointy-sticks theme. Time to channel your inner spy and think about dipping one end of your needle with something poisonous before stabbing it into someone. On the plus side you don't need to worry about your aim - depending on what you use stab them anywhere and it will work its way into the bloodstream. On the otherhand you also don't want to accidentally stab yourself. For this reason I would again suggest a straight needle but a shorter one - perhaps a vintage or modern children's one about 20cm long.
knitting needles
The reason being you will be able to tell easily which end is poisonous. On the other hand if you only have a dpn then you could always use a rubber band wrapped around one end. Here a thinner needle is going to be beneficial so anything under 2.5mm should get the job done.

At 3 we're getting up close and personal again. Let's talk strangulation. Here you have two options. In the UK it's cold and so most of us are showing off our finest knitted scarf. These tend to be pre-wrapped around necks so grab hold of either end and heave. I'm not totally convinced about this myself. I don't think you'd be able to get it tight enough. For that reason let's bring in the circular needle. 40cm should be long enough but for safety (and if you're a magic looper like me you'll have plenty of them) you might want to go for 80cm instead.
As strength is all (you don't want your needle snapping half way through) I'd avoid your interchangables and stick with something created with the cable and needle parts firmly attached. What are the circs we all love and trust the most? Addi of course. This also has the benefit of working regardless of whether your intended is wearing a scarf.

Kneeler 4
At 4 we're getting back to basics with your blunt instrument. This is a variation on the half-brick-in-a-sock in that it's a whole brick in a knitting bag. Most of us have knitting bags so it's a simple weapon to carry around. Whether you bring your own brick or rely on finding one nearby is a matter of personal choice. One thought on choice of bag though. If you go for conventional fabric then it's going to be stained and you probably won;t want to use it to store your knitting in, even after washing.
Orange and Pink Wool
Therefore look for a wipe clean or vinyl bag. After that aim for the head. Damage to the front of the brain has been found to be life changing but recoverable from (clearly not in all cases but as a generalisation). It's the back that does the damage.

spaghetti number 5
And at 5 we have that all time favourite - cake. Where there are knitters, there is usually cake of some form or another. Unless you want to poison everyone likely to eat the cake I'd avoid a conventional block of the stuff. Go for cupcakes or perhaps biscuits and mark the poinsoned one in some way that is clear to you but not to the proposed victim.
You could put initials on them in icing perhaps or make them all in a flavour your intended doesn't like except for one.  

Should you wish to explore all of this further there is a brilliant book by Pamela Branch called "Murder Every Monday". Don't be put off by the cover. I came across it as a green penguin in a charity shop but have read it over and over because the idea is so clever, the writing very enjoyable and the story highly engaging. Also remember that none of the suggestions above talk about how to get away with it afterwards. While there are more and more of us out there every day, restricting yourself to death-by-knit is hugely narrowing the pool of suspects. So, you know, don't try this at home.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Haters Gonna Hate (NaMoBloPo #29)

I'd written quite a long. discursive post about the reaction to yesterday's post but that was before one commenter said I risked ending up with a knitting needle between my ribs. A death threat? Over knitting?


So much hate!

Yarn bombing at the NGA
If you genuinely believe yarn bombing serves a useful purpose then you go for it.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

It's Not Anarchy, It's Awful (NaMoBloPo #28)

I have just begun another Coursera course. The last was on Gamification, run by the University of Pennsylvania, and was brilliant. This one is called "How to Reason & Argue", run by Duke University, and I've already learnt a lot. For instance, explaining and persuading are ways of arguing. When explaining, the conclusion is already agreed to be true and it is the premise that is being discussed. When persuading, the conclusion has not been agreed and the arguer wishes to bring the arguee to agree with their conclusion. Not knowing the readers' feelings on the topic I don't know if I am explaining or persuading but my conclusion is...

Guerrilla knitting and yarn bombing are a waste of resources motivated at best by a wish to bring craft to the attention of a wider audience and at worst by a self-satisfying desire for attention.

Knitting is awesome. And crochet is ok too. Weaving, spinning all good. Felting - if you must. Some people think it is all grannyish. Some can't see the point. Fair enough. Such people probably have interests I would have similarly unenthusiastic opinions about.
Celtic v Manchester United

The thing with knitting though, is that it makes something actually real and usable. Graffiti changes an existing object from one colour to another. There's not much else you can do with paint other than paint something. But knitting can be used to clothe something - usually a person. It can be used for comfort or warmth. It can give someone a way to keep warm or give a bit of comfort to someone who has nothing else. Knitted toys comfort children who have been orphaned in war zones, "angel blankets" give parents of still born or too premature children something to hold their baby in before they say goodbye. If you've got time and the yarn to think "oh yeah, I could use this to make a tree cozy" then you could change that to "oh yeah, there are charities needing knitted items so I'll knit them something."
The thinker
To waste your time and resources making some self-serving piece of neon craft vomit which will become bedraggled and hopefully be cut off within a few days is just stupid.

Be smart - create with a real purpose, not with pomposity.

Charities in the UK Looking for Knitted Items

There are lots more! Look at charities in your local area and ask what they need.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Fascinating (NaMoBloPo #27)

I've still not started the fascinator for my sister's wedding. I have Milliner's Block.
Nightmare. I think I've made the mistake of acquiring too many materials. I have too many options to choose from.
Punching is an Option.
I feel slightly guilty about the number of feathers I've got. I keep hoping they're the by-product of the food process and there aren't bald birds walking around because of me.

I have found this tutorial on Jezebel now. I knew it was for me when I saw she'd taken a photo of herself with a can of cat food on her head. And then published it online. My kind of lady. There's a lot of people like me out there. Not that the boys at work would agree. But to support my argument I give you this:
Famous "cat on head" guy
This is a man in New York who wanders around with his cat on his head. Yep, that's a real cat. I guess I don't have time to train one. Bummer.

Monday, 26 November 2012

So Much Done, So Little To Show (NaMoBloPo #26)

Usually, right about now, I would be proudly displaying my weekend's output. But most of it is presents. So for instance...what's the big deal with this book?
How and What to Dance Book 2
And why is this deal with the pudding?
Cross Stitch Christmas Pudding and Holly
I just can't say. But I guess the posts after xmas are going to be heavy laden with FOs.

One thing I can share is a tiny bit of patchwork.
Tiny Miniature Patchwork Hexagons
Plus another hexagon made from diamonds.
Diamond Patchwork Star
Actually, when I say a "tiny" bit of patchwork, that's literal.
I put the Chibi in for scale. Each of the tiny hexagons is 1/2" top to bottom. I've never made them that small before (usually mine are more like 2") but I rather like it. It makes you think differently about the fabric you use because so little of the print/pattern is visible on each. I've been toying with the idea of entering the miniature quilt competition at Festival of Quilts next year. It's been my favourite class the last few years so I'd love to be part of it. This is one from the competition this year - about 12" across.

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