Thursday, October 20, 2011

A finished jumper for a cold penguin.

My penguin pjs are all finished! The response to the email that went round is insane -the idea's been picked up by our big news websites and loads of people on Ravelry are getting involved. Only worry now is we might've made too many - but then they can have a choice of fashionable jumpers for many different occasions!
Let's just hope the clean-up in Tauranga picks up - the salvage is taking a long time because of the weather conditions, and the beautiful sea is getting more and more polluted. It's the country's most tragic environmental disaster, and I just hope our favourite summer beaches can be saved.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Penguin PJs for Tauranga

I'm sure all of you by now would've heard about the devastating oil spill in Tauranga, coming from the cargo ship Rena. From Auckland, all I can really do is watch in horror as a beautiful coastline and hugely popular summer destination is ruined, and see devastating images of New Zealand's birdlife being destroyed amongst it.

But we can help - even if it's just a little bit. I got a great email at work today about knitting Penguin PJs - little jumpers for the penguins whose feathers have been cleaned, but they are unable to produce their natural oil to keep them warm.
I'm not sure who to credit the pattern to, but Skeinz is happy to collect the knitted pjs and deliver them to the penguins. If it was you who created it, please let me know so we can thank you for your amazing work!

Penguin Jumper in 8ply  - Must be 100% Wool Yarn
1 pair 3.25mm , 1 pair of 3.75mm needles, 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular.

Cast on 36 stitches using 3.25 needles.K1, P1 to end of row. 
Repeat this row 7 times.  
Change to 3.75mm needles and K2, P2 rib. 
Work 4 rows increasing at each end of every row. (44 sts)

Continue until work measures 15 cms.

Decrease 1 st at each end of every row until 28 sts remain.
Decrease 1 st. in middle of next row (27 sts.)
Leave on needle.
Make second side the same.

Transfer the 54 sts from both pieces to 3 of the set of 4 3.25mm needles.(18 sts on each.) and work a round neck in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows.

Cast off.

Stitch up sides to decreasing to 27sts (opening for flipper). Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. 
Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17 cm (knots allowed). Flat elastic OK.

Visit the Skeinz website to see their postal address.

This is where I have to admit that knitting a jumper for a penguin will be a big personal challenge for me - and not in terms of knitting. Penguins scare me a bit. Most people are freaked out by spiders or sharks, but no, I'm a bit wary of penguins. It's because of watching Batman Returns when I was six. 
Nightmares for two weeks. 
I can't go to Kelly Tarlton's without getting nervous. 
I can just imagine being chased by loads of crazy emperor penguins, and it's not nice! 
I'm used to the laughs, and I realize it is a very odd and unusual fear, but I will put that aside - so much that I'm even going to unravel my reversible cable scarf that's on the needles to help.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Creepy and crazy cross stitch

I haven't really delved into other types of craft, other than a couple of crochet blankets and making ribbons for ribbon-cutting ceremonies. But this may change. After a desperate attempt to get bus money, I went to Whitcoulls and purchased Twisted Stitches: 30 Corrupt Cross Stitch and Embroidery Designs by Phil Davison.

I couldn't help myself - it just looks so funny. I've already decided I want to cross stitch the Twisted Balloons picture - might be something to do in the summer when it's too hot to handle wool.

And everyone in my household likes the weird and creepy - a zombie portrait would look great on the wall!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Product vs Process

After a year and a half of serious knitting (when I say "serious" I mean I've done it pretty consistently, but I am by no means a Knitter with a capital K yet) I've come to the realisation that I am a Product knitter.
I knit stuff that I know I will either use or wear often. I learn the skills I need for each piece specifically to make the particular thing I'm knitting, like the cables for the hoods, or stranded knitting for the Harry Potter Gryffindor bag. That's not to say I don't enjoy the process - why would I knit if I didn't - but I don't make a habit of knitting up a swatch to master a particular skill.

This also goes for my stash. I don't buy yarn on impulse, because it gets pricey and it takes up lots of space. So I buy it with a project in mind - I buy enough to complete a jumper or scarf or whatever I'm making. Does this make me unusual?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More Simple Things

I wasn't completely happy with my first Simple Things shawl. It was too small for my liking, I couldn't wrap it around my neck properly. I've found a solution though, and it's so simple that I'm annoyed at myself for not thinking of it before.

A brooch. I found this one at Let's Go Retro in Swanson. I love the skyline, and it's simple enough to work with everything.

After finding this solution, I've decided to revisit the Simple Things pattern. I'm making a new one out of the four and a half skeins of Rowan Cotton Glace I have left over from my Peppermint Twist jumper. By my math (which isn't the most reliable) I have enough to make one, and I'm just going to keep knitting until I run out.

I've been taking advantage of my new office being so close to the central library, and finding lots of inspiration in the craft section.