Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Love Lamp.

Once upon a hard rubbish night, a poor little lamp was cast out upon the footpath. The little lamp's only crimes were being slightly bashed and marked, and also being pretty blah to begin with...

Poor little lamp. Awww :'(

But suddenly, in a shower of magic and sparkles, the Fairy Scroungemother appeared. "Little lamp!" She said. "I will rescue you and make you fabulous." And (several weeks later, when she got around to it) with a wave of her knitting needles and paintbrushes, she made it so:

Yayy! :D

And no, I'm not just looking around at things and saying I love them*. I really do love this lamp. I'm so happy with how it turned out. The repainted base worked so well - I'm not sure what I expected to go wrong with the paint, but I wasn't sure if it would stick. Man, you guys! How good is paint? I am such a big fan of it now. You can make brown things purple. That's just brilliant!

And also, the shade is such a great way to show off the colours in the skein of Noro Chuubu ('Tube') yarn I had in my stash. It's awesome chunky stuff - a great, long bit of i-cord.

It was easy to knit up, because the bottom and top of the shade frame are the same circumference. So, I just knitted up a just a rectangle slightly smaller than the circumference and height. It's knitted in stockinette, with every row of knit done with yarn overs to make bigger stitches. Then I just stitches it onto the frame. TOO EASY!

*Just for the record, I didn't really like Anchorman all that much. But I couldn't resist the reference.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Rainbow Chameleon and Randall the Rooster.

One of my Christmas presents was copy of 'Knit and Purl Pets' by Claire Garland. It's a good fun little book. The photography is quite cute and isn't bad technically, which is a point I feel many knitting books let themselves down on. There are quite a few typos, though, which is exactly the kind of thing that drives me nuts. You'd think they could take a little more care. BUT, the really important thing is the patterns and I reckon it's got a pretty good variety of animals in there, to cater to all tastes. For instance, while I am probably never going to knit the pony or the labrador pup, as soon as I opened the book, I immediately started knitting the chameleon on pages 94-99. It was impossible to resist. I mean, LOOK AT HIM:

No, really, LOOK:


I also whipped up a quick chook as a birthday present for the Aunty who gave me the book. The book says the pattern is for a hen, but Aunty Liz and I agree that my result was much more like a rooster. So, I present to you, Randall the Rooster:

(I bet the henz all call him 'Randy'. You know what I'm saying? I know you do.)

I'm really pleased with how the colours look together. I was originally planning to do a more realistically coloured, gingery chook, but when I saw the teal yarn in my stash, I knew it was kismet. Just perfect.

The yarn is DK, but I used really tiny needles - 2mm or something like that - to make sure the fabric was tight and the stuffing didn't show through. This had the desired effect, but DAMN knitting DK on such tiny needles is HARD WORK. I whipped up most of him in one day, and almost gave myself some serious finger strain (as in, I spent a week waking up in the morning with my left hand curled into a wizened, traumatised claw).

So, remember, kids: knitting is X-treem and you can hurt yourself. Stay in school, don't start forest fires, and put your litter in a bin. But now you knit, and knitting is half the battle. < /PSA >