Friday, November 16, 2007


When I first saw the Woodins pattern on Knitty, I knew I had to knit it (I find little wood spirits totally captivating). But naturally, I improvised with the pattern and ended up with something slightly different.

I followed the pattern for the woodins themselves pretty closely, just changing yarns (Lamb's Pride Worsted) and needle size (3's - accidentally) and omitting the leaf tail. It was with the log that I went in a different direction.

The pattern calls for you to knit a long cylinder which you felt, fold in half, and stuff. I didn't have enough bark-like wool for the double layers, and anyways, I thought I could simplify by knitting just one stiff layer of thick, scratchy wool (Bartlett's, I think). I knit a shorter cylinder, improvising for the bark pattern, hole, and twig. The log that resulted was aesthetically pleasing but functionally a failure: it wasn't stiff enough to maintain the cylindrical shape. Ah-ha, that's why she has you knit two layers and put stuffing between them!

Amey recommended that I line it with plastic canvas to give it shape, and this is how I ended up salvaging the log. I cut a piece of plastic canvas to fit, covered it with brown fabric, and stitched it in. It took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r because my sewing skills are so rudimentary (so much for saving myself time by only knitting one layer). But I think it came out well in the end.

I'm sending it to a Finnish friend who was my roommate at my Welsh boarding school. We've only been in sporadic touch over the last ten years. But she just had a baby, and I wanted to make something special for her. The woodins pattern seemed like an appropriate gift to celebrate our two years in what was truly a magical, ancient-feeling, wooded place.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

sweater bear

Way back in September, you may remember my saying that I knit up a baby sweater for a cousin of mine. It took me ages to seam up the sleeves, but I think it all came out swell!

It's an improvised pattern, using a bottom-up raglan template and cables inspired by the Bookworm Sweater. The yarn is a soft, heathered worsted wool, and it's knit on size 7 bambo needles.

The only hitch is that it's quite small. I was shooting for a 6 month size but ended up with more of a 3 month size, according to the standard sizing list (that I only discovered AFTER I knit it). And since the baby has already been born, this may only fit for a very, very short time.

That's where the teddy bear comes in. At the suggestion of one of the women in my knitting group (very clever!!) I bought a teddy bear that fits the sweater. So even if the baby has outgrown the sweater, it'll still get some use! And it makes for a darling gift.

This final photo was a smile-inducing outtake from my teddy bear photo shoot. I wanted a snapshot of my kitty cat, who was wandering through the grass, inspecting my activities. But she moves much quicker than my shutter speed. All I got was the crook of her tail, with the teddy bear in the grass behind her.

Friday, November 09, 2007

funny faces

We interrupt this knitting programming to bring you some funny faces, for which our fans have been clamoring.

I've heard cries of "less knitting, more Isis!" and I aim to please. Here she is, trying on her sunglasses for the Dolores look-alike contest (okay, so there's a knitting connection here somewhere):

And I also want to show off my flame-eyes Jack-o-Lantern. I've been promising my family this photo for a week now -- but I kind of like dragging out the Halloween spirit as long as possible.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Monday, November 05, 2007


I feel like I've accumulated a number of things to blog about ... but for today I'll just introduce this little lady, swinging in the grapefruit trees:

Pattern: Little Sitster from The Natural Knitter (see Hob I and Hob II)
Yarn: For the hair, I used some snippets of La Lana Tussah Phat Silk, in medium indigo. For the body, I used Henry's Attic Gaia organic wool that I'd dyed with goldenrod flowers.

This vibrant yellow Hob is like a shot of energy. I have her sitting on the windowsill above my desk, and I smile whenever I catch a glimpse of her. Another thing that's been making me happy lately is persimmons:

Our local market has had a special on these jewel-like fruits, and I've been luxuriating in the pleasure of bringing them home a dozen at a time. I can't wait to plant a persimmon tree in our front yard next spring!