Friday, September 16, 2011

Maddie & Molly

I've given you a couple of teasers on this project, mostly because I was confident that no one would ever guess the truth: that I was knitting a set of conjoined twins.

I hope you will agree with me that they are just the cutest things, and that everyone needs a pair. I have named mine Maddie and Molly, and you can see that, though they are so much the same, they have their own personalities, too. Maddie is clearly the more outgoing one, although wary of strangers. Molly is the shy one, and mostly only talks to her sister.

Revealing the dolls to people I know has been funny, because of the way they look confused and then astonished (and then mention that I'm crazy.) It's funny how everyone questions the anatomy of the dolls, wondering why there are three legs instead of four, for example. Like snowflakes, no two sets of conjoined twins are the same, and this duo happens to be joined throughout the torso, and have two arms and three legs. Nuf said.

I took a page from Ysolda when I designed these dolls. Having knit Ysolda's Sophie bunny a while ago, I realized how great it is to construct a doll completely in one piece, in the round, without having to sew pieces together at the end. That was my goal with these dolls, as well. It begins with knitting and stuffing the body, then you pick up stitches to add the legs, then the arms, then the two heads. You stuff it all as you go, so once the second head is done, your dolls are finished. Awesome.

The girls are wearing a pretty basic blue stockingette dress, with puffed sleeves and garter stitch trim. There is a single button closure in the back of the dress. They also have a white pinafore over the dress, with eyelet details and i-cord straps and ties. It would be great to make a bunch of outfits for the girls, to play dress-up, although the third leg would certainly make pants more of a challenge to knit.

I anticipate some people feeling that these dolls are, shall we say, inappropriate, but I disagree. I think it is always a good thing to show children that people come in all shapes and sizes and are just as loveable no matter how unusual they look.

Pattern forthcoming.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's a Bird, It's a Plane... It's a Chair

I found some supercool Superman fabric at the fabric store yonks ago, and picked some up with the intention of making my HLM some pj pants from it. When he saw it, his first thought was that I should use it to recover a stained old bucket chair we had in the living room. Let it be said that I don't know how to reupholster furniture, and let it also be said that this fabric is not upholstery fabric. He was adamant that I could do it (since I am crafty in many ways, he assumes I am crafty in every way) and I can't say no to him, so I put some thought into how to do it and one day tackled it.

I did the bucket part first, since I thought I knew what I was doing. My initial plan didn't really work, but I managed to jury rig something that more-or-less did. The seat cushion part eluded me for a long time, because there is actually a fabric apron holding the cushion to the chair, so a simple cover wasn't possible. Yesterday I figured out how to do it, and this morning I measured and cut and sewed the cushion cover and voila! Super chair.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Castle Stark socks

I've been wanting to knit the Yarn Harlot's Lenore Socks for years, really. Unfortunately Blue Moon isn't offering their patterns for sale as pdf files, yet, and I always forget to add one to my cart when I do a yarn order from them. They had some copies of the pattern at their booth in the Sock Summit Marketplace, so I happily snagged one. I poked around the booth to see if they had a nice skein of their Raven yarn to knit them, but Haida was what I had my heart set on, and there was none. I decided to use the opportunity to try out a new yarn. I looked high and low for nice black yarns at various booths, and came really close to getting a luxurious one at Fiber Optic, but ultimately I decided to try out Cascade Heritage sock yarn in a charcoal grey, instead.

As you can see, the top of the sock has these fantastic peaks that flow down into gothic arches. The sock was very simple to knit, particularly once past the design on the cuff. I used a few different needle sizes to change the sizing a bit, making it wider for my calf. The Heritage yarn knit up very nicely with the 2.25mm needles I used for the ankle and foot, and it seems to wear very well. I have one more skein that I picked up at the Webs booth at the Summit. It may well become my inexpensive ($12 a pair) go-to sock yarn.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Striped Star Towels

I did a couple of posts when I began these towels ages ago, and I actually finished the weaving and cut them off the loom in mid-August, but I finally got around to taking some photos of the finished product, so you can see them in all their adorableness.

As I have mentioned, they were woven in the cotton-linen blend that I still have too much of, in a 1/3 and 3/1 twill weave. If you look in the large white spaces between the stripes, you can see the classic diagonal lines of twill. 3/1 twill, incidentally, is the weave used for denim jeans, so even if you didn't realize it, you are very familiar with it.

The warp made four towels in total, but I gave one away, so there are only three in the photo. I am already planning another set, but this time with allover stars, in violet and undyed yarn. Finishing those might get my cotton linen stash down to a more reasonable amount...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hemp Produce Bag

As part of my ongoing effort to catch up on posting finished projects, here's one I finished just a couple of hours ago.

One of my friends recently came back from a trip to BC with a couple of skeins of Allhemp3 for me to play with. I decided to use one for a prezzie for her and to keep the other for my own selfish uses.

Since one skein of Allhemp3 isn't a whole heck of a lot of yardage, I tried to find some smallish useful projects for it. There were a couple of contenders (like nubbly exfoliating washcloths) but I decided to go for a mesh produce bag (free on Ravelry), instead. I made one of these a long time ago, using leftover cotton yarn, and knew it would be quick and simple (and a good palate-cleanser for me, between projects.)

I made it most of the way through the mesh part before I ran out of the red yarn. Luckily I had some orange Allhemp3 in my stash, left over from some older projects. I finished the mesh and did the handle in orange. I think the two-colour bag is pretty cute, in the end. I gave it a wash and hung it to dry, to soften the stiff hemp a little, but a bit of use and some more washing/drying will leave it as soft as it is durable.