Saturday, 25 August 2012

The Beret Project redux: Sharkie the Beret

This is a story about a girl called Tammy. Tammy just turned 21. Tammy loves Sharks. Tammy deserved a special birthday present. What's more special than a hand-knitted accessory?

(Just as an aside, how do you tell if someone is 'yarn-worthy'? That is are they worthy of the time, care, sweat off your brow, blisters, pricked fingers and general hard work that goes into a hand knitted item?  I'll leave it to Franklin Habit of the Panopticon blog to explain how you make such an important decision - complete with flowchart and slightly 'salty' language. Read on here. Please be assured Tammy that while you fit neither of the two categories mentioned, you are still worthy).

So here is the next instalment of the beret project. I hereby introduce you to Sharkie the beret.

Pattern: The Cascade Beret by Kimberly Sherlock Porter. The Cascade Beret is a cable and lace beret knit in the round and inspired by the shapes and movement of water as it tumbles over rocks.
Yarn: 8 ply machine wash pure wool in Shark Gray.
Needles: a set of four 2.75 mm dpns (double pointed needles)  for the band and a set of four 3.25 mm dpns

Close up detail
(This is my second Cascade beret. I also knitted a bright red one for a uni friend of the eldest daughter's but neglected to ever take a photo of it)

Here is Tammy enjoying her other birthday present. I think this one's name is Bruce.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Owlishly warm

Owls are just so cute! It always amazes me how you can depict an owl with just the eyes and a beak and a general birdy body shape.  Look at these gorgeous needle felted owls, distinctly different but still unmistakeably owls. (Hint to my family: I love both of these designer's work if you are ever looking for present inspiration).

Knitting Owl ornament by Scratchcraft
More cute needle felted owls by Melanie Ann Green of feltmeupdesigns
I've only made three dimensional owl figurines before like the Gradu-owl and Harry Potter's Hedwig.
The Gradu-Owl
Hedwig (known to hang around with Harry Potter)
But lately wearable owls are popping up all over the fibre world. It all began with the original O w l s jumper designed by Kate Davies. It currently has 5507 projects listed on Ravelry (as of 3rd August 2012). Even though the owl cable as used in this jumper is not a new idea, going back to at least the 1950's, this jumper reminded the world of just how effective an owl cable can be.

Kate the trumped it with her even cuter Owlet.

Owlie Socks by Julie Elswick Suchomel. (Hey family notice the designer's middle name? Cool hey!). These are on my to-do-list...

So when I got my Simply Knitting magazine Issue 94, I just had to make these gorgeous Owl Mittens.

These were wonderful fun to make. A real quick knit.They are knitted flat with no thumb shaping, just a cast off one row and a cast-on the next. I made two pairs in a weekend over the school holidays using up recycled 12 ply (aran weight) wool from the stash.
Yarn: 12 ply pure wool (the creamy bone colour is part of a large bag bought at a moving sale at an op shop for 50 cents. The brown wool was part of a mixed bag of oddments I acquired from a clean up of someone's stash).
Needles: 4.5 mm (knit on two needles)
Buttons: Relics from the grandmother's button collection

The creamy bone mittens belong to the middle daughter Mel and the brown ones are mine.
Look at my cool owl mitts!

They just so go with the girls' new mustard duffel coat

Brown Owl
Fist bump
 It is at about this stage that the photo-shoot degenerated into a slightly wild martial arts demonstration.
Not boxing gloves - Martial art gloves - cool blocks guys
Squaring off