Friday, October 29, 2010

If Project Runway could see me now...although it's probably for the better

It's Halloween this weekend, and we had our costume party today at the nursing home.  I've never been one for scary costumes, and I was really hurting for costume ideas a week ago, so when a coworker suggested I dress up as the star of Where's Waldo, I knew it was fate.  I used to be a huge fan, and besides, here is a costume requiring a knit hat!

It was a pretty affordable costume... I think I put out about $7.50 for the yarn and duct tape.  I was very pleased that people were so surprised that the white stripes were my own handiwork. 

Fueled by my apparent success, I suddenly found myself a font of ideas.  Really corny ones.  So if you're trying to figure out what to dress up as this weekend and have an aversion to store-bought costumes, I'm gonna give you a few of these babies for free.  So reach for the antacid and revel in my phosphorescent wit...

If you like wearing pink, you could be a flamingo or (thank you, sis!) the gum on the bottom of your shoe.  I was able to fashion a beak out of construction paper, tape, a hole-punch, and some ribbon. For the gum, tie a shoe to your head.  Both of these assume you are wearing everything pink you can obtain.

Wrap yourself in plastic wrap and call yourself a bubble.

Or wear a white sheet, perhaps a white pillow on your head, and throw balled-up socks or white shopping bags at people.  When they become angry with you, tell them you are the abominable snow man.

It gets worse.  Start with a black, hooded cape (or white sheet) and add a utility belt, hold a wrench, or wear a badge, and possibly a police hat.  Then call yourself 'Spectre Gadget.  I can hear the groans now.  But I would totally do it.

Or how about this one: A witch costume, a rubber chicken, and a bottle/bag of sand.  Chicken sandwitch.  Or, if you wish, wear a fish.  Fish sandwitch.

Speaking of fish, I was determined to get someone to wear my fish hat.  So I gave the poor victim a grass skirt and a bit of hot pink bling, and stuck the fish on her head... Fish Bait.  (She's al-lure-ing!)

I'm gonna stop that now.  I'm beginning to feel ashamed.

On another note, I have been knitting like a fiend, but feel like I have little to show for it.  I whipped out a pair of mitts that I'm delighted to have finally made.  The gray wrist gear somehow reminds me of Wonder Woman, and I feel a bit like a super-cool superhero when I wear them.

It's kinda nice that I'm starting to knit up enough accessories in these blues and greens that I can coordinate my cold-weather gear.  Peacock, anyone?

I also knit up the new Brambles beret for a friend.  It's a fun little knit, and had some of the fun catharsis of blocking lace.  Forget that I fumbled and bumbled my way through the blocking of this hat.
I'm just about finished my Akimbo shawl, as well as knitting up some baby mitts for a coworker.  I've also been staring at books of stitch patterns in an attempt to get inspiration for a shawl of my own design as one of the ten that I still aspire to knit before the new year.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.  The Akimbo will put me at seven... and Christmas approaches fast.  We'll see what happens, as I don't intend to knit really big gifts this year.  If only people I know liked beanies and berets!

Anyway, have a great, safe, and corny weekend.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Drumroll, please!

I told you Stephen West's first book of patterns was soon to be released; today is that day!

I didn't necessarily intend to be a fan, but I guess I am.  Here's what I like about Stephen as a designer:
His patterns are accessible to fairly beginner knitters, yet I usually find myself learning another trick to keep in my bag.  His patterns are simple and allow a lot of room for reinterpretation; at the same time, they are interesting and have a twist to keep the knitter interested.  And of course, his patterns are unique and stylish and versatile.

Stephen holds a special place in my heart because back before he became the knitting celebrity that he is today, he helped reestablish shawls as a hip accessory for men--at least among knitter-folk.  I must admit that before I came across his blog, I was rather set against shawl and lace as being "for girls." Since then my feelings have changed.  Not everyone agrees with my opinion that guys can pull off wearing shawls and kerchiefs without coming across as flamboyant.  But Stephen eased me into a place of comfortability with shawls until I became hooked.

So when Stephen asked me if I would test knit for him, I was flattered.  I still am not sure how I made it onto that list, but I love being a part of it.  I get to help him see the pattern as a lousy knitter would...or that's sometimes how I feel.  For instance, I got stuck on how to wrap yarn in intarsia.  It's not rocket science, folks!

Anyway, that's enough words.  Now to see the test knits!
I knit Piece Out in Peace Fleece, so I called it Peace Out.  Ha. ha. ha.  I'm so witty, I know!

Next comes Flagstone, with its interesting geometric appeal:

Here's Skinny Skid.  I ruined a nice hat by binding off too tightly on the brim.  I'm seriously considering knitting another one so I can try to get it right.

And last but not least comes Westward.  This was a fun knit, and it is written for one of my favorite yarns--Malabrigo Twist.

I forgot to mention that, designing aside, Stephen's a gracious person.  When I met him, he helped me pick the colors for the Skinny Skid.  Good thing I have enough left to try again...