Hattata Flatatta

New finished project!
Well, new-ish. The Offspring year-end class project was on WWII, specifically the evacuation of children. The final day of the project involved them living as children being evacuated, beginning with them being delivered to the “evacuation centre” in the morning, in period costume, and being issued with their ration cards and gas mask (previously created in lessons).
The Offspring decided he needed me to knit him a proper flat cap, sooo…. He already has one, from Cheryl Andres’ Inishmore Cap pattern, but could we find it? So I made another, in some Aranweight natural Herdwick I have lying around. No biggie. He also wanted an authentic vest -preferrably Fair Isle, the picky varmint – but I said nay. I’m not making a Fair Isle vest in under a week. Instead I put him in his old Bam-bam vest (a modified Sherwood by Angela Hahn), banking on Aran-ish patterns being sufficiently common by the 1940s. I made this for him when he was about 4, but with added length in hopes it would last a while. He’s now 10 1/2, so it worked – although the collar is a bit on the tight side. It does look a bit skimpy, but we were going for the impoverished inner-city rapscallion look anyway. Ahem.
At the end of the day, parents were asked to collect their children (their own children, mind) in period costume as their evacuation foster parents. Now my wardrobe is severely lacking in utility frocks, but I looked up how to do Victory rolls in my hair. Sadly, I do not have 1940s hairspray either, so this was a bit of a flop. They just about stayed in at the front, so I wore a headscarf a al Rosie the Rivetter to cover the rest. My frilliest blouse, baggiest workman denims and wellies, and I was a Land Army gel! I thoroughly mortified the poor child by marching in as “Captain Bagshot”, checking teeth and muscles on the ‘malnourished city boys and gels’, and demanding to know what each of them knew about ploughing and calving before making my choice.
Asante sana Squash banana, as they say, or: My work as a mother is done…
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Maquereau Beret & Mitts in Knotions Re-Launch!

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I am fizzing about this being published!

It’s pretty amazing, an honour, really, to be selected as one of the designers in a launch issue, or re-launch in this case. But when it’s a publication like Knotions, it’s a bit special: Knotions is the webzine that offered a platform for Magknits patterns, after that site vanished overnight, along with designers’ fees. Extra karmic brownie points for that, Knotions.

Then, there’s the other designers. WoollyWormhead is in it too! and she is the goddess of all things hatty! and my hat is right beside hers on Ravelry! I’d also mention Elizabeth Helmich, except I hate her because she stole all the best names, and because the gorgeousness that is Jane of the Wood sneers at me from my favourites, saying things like “Not yet, fat girl!*” and “Lace? With those sausage fingers?” I may have to have a go at Sidhe’s Beret, though. Okay, I’ve already selected the yarn. Then, there’s Louise Tilbrook, who has a way with socks that is magical. Honeycomb Cables is particularly mesmerising, shifting shape according to the viewing angle. And finally, Jody Richards managed to produce the cabley City Creek Mitts as well as organising the re-launch, and doing the tech editing and layout for the patterns! Wow! Why am I in this issue again?

Finally, and no less excitingly, it is my beautiful niece and god-daughter’s professional debut** as a model! She has a quirky, fresh-faced beauty** that shows the set to perfection. She performed beautifully, climbing up walls and rickety gates for shots despite being afraid of heights, and never once whined or sulked or demanded cocaine. What more could you ask for?

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* – The size range actually goes above my size. But I am also a lazy fatty who who would rather knit smaller garments…

** – Meaning I paid her in actual money, not just hot chocolate and the hat and mitts.

*** – Just like her aunt.

 

LOLkid Hat

Lol Kids Accessories
© Practical Publishing
© Practical Publishing

The proposal for what started out as a baby accessory set, but was finally published as the Tiny Teddy Hat in Knit Now #48, and modelled on possibly the most grumpy baby ever! He just knows he’s being humiliated… This is so cute, and so ridiculously easy to make, it could even be used to teach a beginner how to knit.

I do feel it’s a mother’s duty to put her offspring in silly hats and take pictures. I have a lovely slideshow that I’m planning to play as a backdrop to my hilarious speech at Dread Lord Chthulu’s wedding. That’ll teach him for kicking me to bits for nine months!

Very simple, bing bam boom. I probably wrote too much, but that for was two patterns. The sketch was, I feel, less helpful than the diagrams.

The rights should be back in September – just in time for Christmas knitting!

Time to increase the medication, methinks…

I have been in a stew of rage recently.

It started with the business of my trip to Belfast, and the chewing out I got for (supposedly) not telling anyone that I was going. Really – Imabee 46 next week, people. Been dressing myself and tying my own shoe laces for damn close to half a century! I’m really tired of having to squeeze my news into 10 words or less before I get interrupted, talked over, etc. Believe it or not, dear family, there are people  who shut up when I walk into a room and take notes when I speak, and who would never dream of monologuing on Great Sandwiches I Have Known over my learned and witty discourse(s). No sir!

But the fury is leaking out everywhere. I have insulted entire continents online, and yesterday I very nearly rammed a car IRL. Well, what the feck were they doing parking across the petrol station slip road?!?! Two of us trying to leave, one trying to enter, and another already in but unable to park because YOU, you dribbling moron, decide to GET IN THE BLOODY WAY.

Currently what is wearing my molars is test knitting. A few months ago, I decided to have a practice run at having a design test-knit using a pattern I’d already published. It’s a pretty popular free pattern, lots of downloads, in a lot of queues, but no one’s got round to making it yet.  I thought it would be a good learning process to ease me in. No biggie, right? Well, it’s been a fecking nightmare. First I had to fill in a form that made my PhD look like a toddler’s wall scribblings. I, the trained researcher, nearly lost the will to live doing the research for this form, trawling through the archives of helpful notes and guidance. Not that I’d mind if I’d got my testers, but only one person responded. Then I started getting messages about the progress of the test. They were standard-letter style messages, but felt rather brusque, nitpicky, officious and unhelpful.

I tried getting testers in a less stressful environment. But all I got was a rather unhelpful reply saying my pattern wasn’t what I said it was… I don’t think I’ve ever felt such bile towards someone I don’t even know. Seriously, if I could have reached down the internet and broken every one of his/her fingers, I would have. I’m still livid.

———–

And I had to walk away from the computer just there, as I was in danger of Hulking out and this is my last pair of clean trousers. So I went and deep-cleaned the dishwasher, on the same principle that my dear old silver-haired granny told me to eat a teaspoonful of dogshit each morning*. And isn’t it good that I did**? because I know exactly h to handle it now***. Lady-like, self-aggrandising, with big words.

I am also feeling rather better about the seething ire. Because it does bother me – I think of myself as pretty chilled. I gots a rep to maintain, yo. It’s good because I’ve been feeling like crap for so long that getting mad was too much effort. It was easier just to get more miserable and defeated. Now, knocking heads together sounds like a fun plan, and plans are always better than vegging.

ION, I have begun taking the dog up the forest in the mornings, after dropping the Mighty Offspring to the bus. The exercise half kills me – I’m still stiff from this morning – but I shall continue undaunted, although the foraging is rubbish this year. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, my arse – not one of the brambles will be ready before the frost hits, the wild strawbs never got round to fruiting, and there’s no sign of the mushrooms that were carpeting the place this time last year. The currants got blown off the stems back in July, and even the sloes aren’t putting in an appearance. My cherry crabapple has ONE apple on it, and the plums, cherry and pear didn’t even bloom. I have a few tiny, miserable apples and maybe a handful of raspberries to show for the season, and my heritage potatoes still aren’t ready – and they were first earlies!

TTFN!

* – i.e., that nothing worse could happen to you that day.

** – walk away. Not eat the dogshit.

*** – again, not the dogshit. The unhelpful replier.

New Pattern!

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Because You Can Never Have Too Much PI – pi fez!

Okay, it’s a beanie – unless you felt it into shape. And add a tassel. The numbers down the sides list π to 50 decimal places. To  be specific, it starts: Π ≈ 3.14… i.e., π approximates to 3.14, etc. Cos that’s how I roll.

Fun Facts About Π:

  1. 50dp is overkill. Only 39 decimal places of Π are required to calculate anything to redundant levels of precision – for example, you could navigate across the known universe and be no more than one atom’s width from your intended destination at the end. More than my satnav can manage…
  2. The Guinness World Record for memorising Π is held by Lu Chao – 67,890 digits. Some people really have nothing better to do.
  3. Π is known to 10 trillion dp – calculated by Shigero Kondo in October 2011, using an ordinary home computer. Mr Kondo was unavailable to comment at his parents’ basement, as he was waiting for a pizza delivery.

More Gloves…

The black gloves are a pair I made for my teaching placement mentor. The pattern is Susie’s Reading Mitts from Dancing Ewe Yarns, and I used one skein of Katia Merino 100%.  Looks great, and can be used for wiping a whiteboard at a pinch.

The Pi Mitts I made for Pi Day – 14th of March, or 3/14 in American. As in 3.14? Because I have a bit of an obsession with π, as the numerati will deduce from the quote under my avatar. Utterly wasted on the little darlings at school, who are largely unaware of the symbol, and the fact that the decimal places continue beyond .14. But I like them. I started with green as the main colour, but found it didn’t quite ‘pop’ enough for my liking, so the second glove uses the red. It’s Teddy DK, wholly acrylic. They’re a little tight on my hands, but I was in a hurry. The pattern is a free Ravelry download.

Because I am a sucker, I made the skully convertible gloves and the Tam of Rassilon for X at Christmas. He has somehow become totally unequipped for winter, no jumpers, coats, gloves, anything to keep warm. I’d always intended to make both for him anyway, but the separation got in the way. The tam had to be blocked on a pizza dish! It is vast – though doesn’t look it worn. It’s now March, and I think he’s probably lost them already, doubtless on a binge. Certainly haven’t seen him wearing or carrying them since January.

I have deleted all the patterns I had favourited for him on Rav. That’s all, folks. I’m done.

On the right is a Drops shawl pattern, a basic garter-stitch domino specifically for long-repeat yarn, somewhat enlarged by m’self. The yarn is Teksrena 4-ply 100% wool, a Lithuanian yarn I got off eBay. The photo doesn’t do justice to the glowy colours. I call this Burning Embers.

It’s not a pretty-pretty shawl, but what I wanted was a big blankie that I could wrap around myself. It’s been very useful in the late and bitter winter weather we’ve had. It’s big enough to wear like a Faroese shawl, tied at the back. People like it a lot: I always get compliments when I wear it.

And finally for this post, Mickey Mouse. The Mighty Offspring has developed a real fondness for Mickey’s Playhouse, to the point where I am actually prepared to take him to Disneyland Paris for a few days this summer. Not going mad and considering a fortnight in Orlando, just 3 or 4 days. I… do not share his enthusiasm. Never have, even as a child. That squeaky voice just infuriates me. At least he’s dumb at Disneyland.

The pattern is Leisure Arts #3293, Disney Home: Mickey and Minnie Dolls, which I scored off eBay. I want to make it in Sirdar Snowflake, but while collecting the necessary colours, I made this in Teddy Vanguard DK, Spectrum Strata, and Robin Bonny Babe which I had to hand. The shorts come off, and I have an order for pyjamas already…
T’ra!