Monday, 23 February 2015

Some Sheepish Patterns

Being that we're now living the year of the sheep according to the Chinese calendar, it seemed like an opportune time to do a post of selected sheep patterns. Now that the idea has occurred to me, I don't know why I haven't done it before. We knitters certainly ought to pay tribute to the sheep, given that we owe the species a great deal. The Sheep mittens pattern, depicted above, was designed by Jorid Linvik and is available for $6.50(USD).

This Sheep Balls ornament pattern, designed by Dona Carruth, makes an annual appearance on not only this blog's Facebook page but on nearly all the knitting-related Facebook pages every December, and it's easy to see why. It's good design, it's cute, and it's a free pattern.

These are the Sheep in the Countryside Cushion and the Flock of Sheep cushion patterns, designed by Denny Gould. The patterns are available for £3.60(GBP) each.

This is the Sheep and Pickle Farm Vermont SheepScape Sweater, by Sheep and Pickle Designs. It's available for $4.50(USD), and there's also a matching hat pattern. I'm imagining this design in a more enlivening colourway, though it is effective in gray.

This is the Sheeps sock pattern, designed by Mariann An. It's a free pattern.

Isn't it great when we can use the children in our lives to indulge a sheep fetish? This is the Shaun the Sheep mobile, designed by Alan Dart.

My favourite thing about these Sheep socks, designed by Sandra Jäger, is that they look like a houndstooth pattern at first glance.

This Sheep in the Field Afghan, by Eileen Pearl, wouldn't be the same without that one black sheep in the herd. This pattern is available for $9.99(USD).

This Sheep toy pattern, designed by Jane Ellison, would make the perfect companion for the sheep blanket above. This pattern is available for £3.95(GBP).

How cute is this Sheep Dress pattern, designed by Debbie Bliss? This pattern was published in The Baby Knits Book.

Love the gradient effect in the Children's Cardigan Where the Wild Sheep Roam, by Pinneguri. This pattern is available for $5.00(USD).

The Sheep Hat pattern, designed by Renee Lorion, comes complete with a back view tail and legs. This pattern was published in 60 Quick Baby Knits: Blankets, Booties, Sweaters & More.

And we end with a little something for the adults. The Sheep Heid pattern, designed by Kate Davies, is done in natural wool shades. This pattern is available for £3.29(GBP).

Monday, 16 February 2015

Knit One/Purl The Other

"Knit One/Purl The Other" was one of the plays featured at the 2011 Minnesota Fringe Festival. Unfortunately it's too late for us to see the production, but the promo of it does give us a sense of what a nail-biting, stitch-dropping production it must have been.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Knitwear For Those Not So Quiet Evenings In

Last Valentine's Day, I did a post on selected naughty knits. This year I decided to do a post on lingerie knitting. I have mostly chosen items specifically designed to be worn before a very small audience rather than out in public, so before you have a coronary at the idea of wearing some of these, remember that the only people who will ever see you in them are those who love you just the way you are (and if they don't, the problem probably lies with them, not the knitwear or you).

The Assets of Evo shorts, shown above, are designed by Marnie MacLean, have a cute, contemporary appeal and will pair well with a simple camisole. It's a free pattern.

If you like doing some Jazz Baby role playing during your evenings at home, the Zelda chemise might be just the thing to hold up your stockings while you're brewing up some gin in the bathtub. This pattern is available for $3.99(USD), and was also published in Naughty Needles: Sexy, Saucy Knits for the Bedroom and Beyond.

I think I've been eyeing the Hush-hush nightgown, designed by Libby Baker, since Knitty published it in 2004. It's so pretty and what I will euphemistically call "fetching" without being at all vulgar. It's a free pattern.

This is Lucy's Chemise Nightgown, designed by Joan McGowan-Michael, which is available for $8(USD). I've been meaning to write a post on McGowan-Michael's incredible work for about two years now and really must get around to it soon. She is past mistress of romantic knitwear design. Er, I use "mistress" in the sense of Ms. McGowan-Michael's having mastery over romantic design, not in any other sense.

This is the "Pretty Little Knickers" Lace Lingerie Set (bralette, boyshort, and a camisole which is not shown here), designed by Lauren Riker. I can't speak to how supportive that or any knitted bra is going to be, but it would surely be possible to add some supportive construction to the inside. This pattern is available for $7.00(USD).

This Basic Bra and Basic Panty, designed by Joan McGowan-Michael, features an underwire and looks a little more supportive than the previous design. The bra pattern is available for $9.50(USD) and both patterns were published in Knitting Lingerie Style: More Than 30 Basic and Lingerie-Inspired Designs.

This Lace-edged cami and knickers, designed by Sarah Barbour, are quite cute and wearable. The pattern is available for $8(AU).

I had to include this "Bow-dacious Bikini" Triangle Ruffle Bralette and Keyhole Back Panty with Bow Lingerie Set, designed by Lauren Riker, for the sake of its saucy little details. This pattern is available for $6.00(USD).

These Sexpot Bottom undies, designed by Ashley Paige, look like they'd feel amazing when worn. There's a matching top as you can see, but I can't see enough of it to be able to form an opinion on it. Both patterns have been published in Sexy Little Knits: Chic Designs to Knit and Crochet.

I might just have to consider making this Ruched Camisole, designed by Joan McGowan-Michael, in a mohair to match the Sexpot Bottoms just above, as they'd work well together. The Ruched Camisole pattern also appears in Knitting Lingerie Style: More Than 30 Basic and Lingerie-Inspired Designs.

How can I do a lingerie post without including a few corsets? This Basic Corset, designed by Joan McGowan-Michael, which is another of the patterns in Knitting Lingerie Style: More Than 30 Basic and Lingerie-Inspired Designs.

The Alicia Corset, by Trudy Van Stralen. This corset could be worn either during evenings in or as a summer top. It's a free pattern.

I can hardly show a corset design without showing a girdle. Generally speaking I'm glad to be alive in an era when women aren't expected to wear corsets or girdles, but it might be fun to slip them on occasionally. The Betty pattern, designed by Joan McGowan-Michael. This pattern is available for $4.00(USD).

How fetching is the Lacy Boy Short, by Joan McGowan-Michael? This pattern is available for $5.50(USD).

Di's Lacy Pants, by Diana Kiernander, besides being trimmed with ribbon and elastic lace, are lined with silk to keep them from being too itchy or chafey on one's delicate parts. This pattern appears in I Love Knitting: 25 Loopy Projects That Will Show You How to Knit Easily and Quickly.

All of the above patterns are those that are meant to appeal to women, but let's not neglect male lovers of knitwear entirely. Here's the Men's Thong-th-thong, by Joan McGowan-Michael. It's a free pattern.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Scourged by Humanity: A Special Valentine's Day Knitting Fable

Justine had been excitedly planning her knitting group's Valentine's Day party for a month and was glad she managed to finish her new lederhosen in time.

Phillipa was glad she'd also managed to finish designing and crafting the perfect Valentine's Day outfit, but its very success was making her reconsider her acceptance of Justine's invitation. Her dedication to her craft and her one-woman effort to bring back 80s fashions left her little time for parties.

Geneva hadn't finished her latest project yet, but this was just as well as she planned to wear nothing to the party but her knitting and her smile. This was one Valentine's Day she didn't intend to spend alone.

Harley, who considered Geneva's ploys more than a little obvious, planned to be proactive and bring a whole crew of sailors with her to the party. Or just keep them for herself; she hadn't decided which.

Lance and Dermot weren't quite sure whether they'd take up Justine on her party invitation, or just spend a quiet night in. They decided to wait and see whether Harley brought her sailor boys to the party or not. Because, well, sailors.

Venus and Willa had definitely decided on that quiet night in rather than the party, but they'd made special outfits for each other all the same. Which, alas, would end up giving them both wretched heat rashes.

Franklin and Rhea wouldn't have dreamed of missing Justine's party. They planned to show up in one of their matching knitwear sets and spend the entire time ostentatiously cuddling and telling everyone how they'd just got back from their fourth honeymoon and third vow renewal at Disneyland. Then in the car on the way home they'd have an unplanned screaming match over the new car mats Franklin had bought for the car, but that would just be between themselves.

Iris decided to bring not only her boyfriend Jeremy but also her friend Max. As she reasoned, Jeremy was only going to get sloppy drunk on Justine's notoriously strong punch and pass out on the couch anyway, so she might as well make sure she had someone else there to keep her company.

Justine had asked Tad to be the party's official videographer. He was happy to oblige, but he also had an eye out for the ladies, and was debating whether to wear his new crocheted vest or tie, or perhaps both.

Pearl, who'd given up on men, Valentine's Day, love, parties, punch, sailors, and in fact anything that might make being alive more fun, had reluctantly agreed to come to the party to avoid disappointing her close friend Justine, but planned to wear her knitted interpretation of the smallpox with appropriate makeup in order to demonstrate her pro-vaccination stance and "scourged by humanity" emotional state.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Projects for Busting that Stash

For today's post, I've put together a collection of scrap yarn projects and ideas for those moments when you decide it's time for some serious hand-to-hand combat with your stash. The afghan above, which I'm going to call the Scarf Afghan, was created by the blogger at Cauchy Complete. She knit a number of garter stitch scarves, improvising the stripework as she went along, seamed them together, and then added an I-cord edging. The better you are at putting colours together, the better your scrap yarn projects will look. The Cauchy Complete blogger has made this afghan work as well as it has by picking a good colour scheme for each scarf and repeating some of the same colours in different scarves.

Felting will help your disparate colours blend together better. This is the Felted Tote with Kureyon Scraps, by Janet D. Russell. It's a free pattern.

If you have yarn in various shades of the same colour and/or analogous colours, you can go for a gradient effect by making an afghan like this one. This afghan was made by the blogger from Pinne Hobby, which is written in Norwegian, but it looks easy to copy.

The linen stitch blends different colours together beautifully and will look good on both sides, as it does here. This is the Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf, by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. This pattern is available for $5.00(USD).

This Rainbow Scrap Afghan, designed by Cathy Mangaudis, is a crochet pattern (and is available for free), but it looked so good I just had to include it. The use of a neutral background or framing colour will really help pull a scrap yarn project together.

Another gradient effect in the Transition Stash-buster Shawl, by Karen S. Lauger. It's a free pattern.

This is the Slip Stitch Sampler Throw, by Irina Poludnenko. It's a free pattern.

This child's blanket will be a good way to use up all your brightly coloured yarns. The Puzzle Play pattern, designed by Melissa Leapman, was published in Stashbuster Knits: Tips, Tricks, and 21 Beautiful Projects for Using Your Favorite Leftover Yarn.

The Vivid pattern, designed by Tin Can Knits, is another pattern that uses a neutral framework to tie the different colours together. If you have colours that do go well together, you can make each square a single colour. This pattern is available for $5.00(USD).

No scrap yarn project would be complete without a mention of the Hexapuff technique, which merited its own post some time back.