Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Wild Thing, I think you're groovy

As I said earlier this month, I wanted to try making a felted King of the Wild Things crown, but I was having trouble getting the recommended pattern gauge. But I decided to just wing it. I used Lopi, which is bulkier than called for, but I liked the colors best. And I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

It's more snug than I expected -- I thought it would be bigger, but after two trips through the washer, it felted down to the recommended horizontal gauge. A bit too tight for Logan, so I've been trying to make a bigger one, with mixed success.

On the right is a "medium" sized crown, knit with Heilo from Dalegarn. I tried to make longer points, with dubious success. Anyway, this felted down very small. On the left is another try, this time with Cascade 220, knitting the "extra large" size. Better circumference -- I think this one might actually fit! -- although you can really see that my vertical gauge is off.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


It was on a visit to Chicago in 1988 that I first saw the spiky signatures scrawled across the wall. They were beautiful and mysterious, like some powerful message in a language I could almost understand. A few years later tagging finally made it to Columbus, and I had to show an i.d. to buy a big black marker. I developed a brief academic interest in these intersections of crime and art, and they sparked my imagination as well. I would see the tags on signs and buildings, and I thought of them as runes, their makers writing spells of influence on the city. I even entertained a story idea that germinated in my head: a teenage boy doodling in a notebook, trying to design his own tag, manages to write a glyph that he has a magical link to.

I am thinking about tags this week for a couple reasons. Primarily, it is because of this story in the Houston Press about crafty knitting taggers. But also because Santa is on his way to our house with an iPod Shuffle for Mike. How will we know which is his and which is mine? I think a little graffiti tag of my own might look quite nice on the bare white plastic Shuffle.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dan Savage on 'The Commitment'

Dan Savage on 'The Commitment'

One day way back in November, while listening to NPR's "All Things Considered" during my drive home from work, I heard a teaser for an interview that would be broadcast the next morning: Dan Savage talking about the realization that his 7-year-old son DJ was hearing his fathers' relationship discussed as "a threat to all things decent and good." I didn't hear the interview, and for the next few days some glitch at kept me from hearing the story online. Knowing the problem would be fixed eventually, I stuck the link in a blog post, saved it as a draft, and promptly forgot about it.

This morning I ran across the unposted draft, and finally followed the working link to listen to the story. The highlight for me was Savage saying, "All kids understand a promise," and DJ coming to realize that marriage is a promise people make to stay related. Which is why when DJ is picking the rings Dan and Terry will use in their marriage ceremony, he chooses rings with skulls on them, saying, "Dad, don't you understand you're going to get married? That means you have to stay together till you die."

(If listening doesn't work for you, the transcript is available in EBSCOhost Newspaper Source. Search for "dan savage" and enter "morning edition" as the newspaper name).

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Insanity (updated)

OK, I freely admit this is insane. But I couldn't resist trying the "Magic Loop" circular knitting technique to make the joining loops in a knitted chain.

I will say this: the flexible cord of the circular needles is very easy to pull through the knitted chain links as you move the links around ahead of your working stitches. But all in all, I think doing this with short, double-pointed needles is easiest of all.

It's possible that this insanity will extend to partnering with my fabulous friend Mary to make knitted versions of her beautiful chainmail creations.

Update December 17:

The chain felted up very nicely. It's about 6 feet long, and while it probably won't be very functional as a neck warmer, it looks pretty sharp as a decorative accessory.

In the end, I kept up with the Magic Loop experiment; it got easier as I went along.

Quick hat

Going to visit my friend Beth for the first time since she had her baby this fall, and it suddenly occurred to me that knitters are not allowed to meet new babies without bringing a hat.

Hope it fits. I have so much trouble getting baby clothes to fit right. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Adventures in Felting

Last week, my mom sent me the link for a felted crown inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. I couldn't wait to get started, but all the yarns I've tried have failed to give me the correct gauge. See all these rectangles?

They're supposed to be squares. The pattern designer has been great though, even willing to customize the instructions for whatever gauge I'm getting. I think I'm just going to wing it, however, recognizing that I will need to make my crown a little bigger around and a little shorter than the instructions call for.

But seeking some mindless knitting -- you know, something I don't have to make fit? -- I tried the "Marley's Ghost" felted chain pattern in the latest issue of Knitty. Now this is some fun.