New Purses!

So this week, here’s two new purses.

Hummingbird heroIntroducing the Hummingbird Easy Double Knit Purse. This one’s got a bird on it. Because I’m from Portland and I do everything Portlandia tells me to do. Plus, I really like hummingbirds. We have a little lovely in living in a pine tree in our backyard. She’s raised three pairs of chicks in the past three years. She works so hard, and we make sure to have nectar for her every day. This is for you, Beautiful!

Modern PurseAnd here is a Mid-Century Modern geometric design. Cause why not. I think it’s striking.

You can find the patterns here. I have included detailed instructions, including how to deal with the most common problems that beginners face.

And as always, more to come in the coming weeks!

Mrs. Hudson’s Wall

Sherlock hero

Oh, poor Mrs. Hudson. She tries so hard to keep things nice, but what does her mad tenant do when he’s bored? He tears the place apart.

Bored

Show your love for the world’s greatest consulting detective, declare yourself on the side of the angels, bored perhaps but never boring, by making this homage to the great man himself. Poor Mrs. Hudson. It really is nice wallpaper.

Smile closeup

What do you think? Not bad, eh? I found this fuzzy yellow yarn that perfectly matches the look of spray paint on the wall, It’s amazing, better than I ever thought possible. The pattern includes step by step instructions for how to get that third color inserted into double knitting. It actually went well. It got a little ridiculous with all those little yellow yarn ends dangling, but it worked out just right and the pain didn’t last too long before returning to the ‘simple’ black and white wallpaper pattern. And that wallpaper – mmm – I didn’t really appreciate it in all its glory until I knit up the pattern. It’s just gorgeous. Which makes the cheery face all the more inappropriate, which makes it funnier.

I love this one! If you do too, you can find the pattern on my Ravelry page, here.

Introducing… Double Knit Purses!

K-9 Purse Hero

Want to learn how to double knit, but this lady’s crazy long scarves in lace weight yarn too terrifying to contemplate? No worries! Here’s a simple, fast, easy project that will make you a cute and useful item: little purses!

And I have not one but two designs for you today.

K-9 Purse back    K-9 Purse open

The K-9 purse has a Gallifreyan’s best friend on the front, cool bowties inside, and dalek dots on the back. It will fit a paperback book for those long lines at the big conventions, or a fine selection of everyday essentials at any time.

Each pattern includes detailed written instructions on how to double knit as well as how to make the I-cord straps. This project should take you between 8 and 14 hours, depending on your skill level.

 Hobbit heroHobbit cute   Hobbit open   Hobbit back

The There and Back Again purse has a lovely round hobbit door on the front, a treasure chest on the inside and Rivendell on the back.

These were done in sport weight yarn for 6 by 8 inch dimensions, but you can easily make these purses in worsted weight for a 7 by 11 inch purse. And you could felt it for greater sturdiness, too!

You can get the patterns here. Make one for yourself, one for your friend, one for a sweet kid you know and one for fun. Or just make one. That’d be all right. You don’t have to go nuts unless you roll that way.

In other fab news, I just learned that a wonderful Raveler entered her There and Back Again Story Scarf in the Oregon State Fair and won the first place ribbon! I’m so proud; I feel like a grandma. I’m not surprised, mind you. But proud, yes, very proud.

So many more new designs coming, folks. This is just the beginning.

Lots and Lots and Lots of Things Coming

…Hang in there…  I have sooooo many pretty projects to show you this fall! I’m not sure, I’ll have to check again, but I think it’s about one per week from the beginning of September to Christmas. And more beyond that, though maybe one every two weeks at that point, right through to March. Some are still in the design stage, so I get to keep knitting all fall. Yay! 

I need photos taken and to finish up instructions on all the lovelies I have done, and then we’ll be ready to rock and roll. There are more geeky and fancy scarves, a hat or two, and …drum roll… purses! They’re so great, quick projects, especially good for learning how to double knit.

So I’ll be back soon, with the first pictures – if all goes well. I can hardly wait to show you. 

I’m excited! 

A Life Well Lived

Last night, my husband and I had dinner with some friends, Ed and Zelle. Zelle just turned 100 years old, earlier this month. She is in excellent health, hears reasonably well, and has a sharp mind. In a couple of months she and her husband will celebrate their 75th anniversary.

I found myself, halfway through dinner, looking at her and hoping that I could have an old age like that. You never know, of course, everyone’s path is different, but it was a profound feeling to realize that I am only half her age. The past year, I’ve been feeling pretty old. Ha!

This sweet couple has children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. They have many stories about their lives, and how they had to start over more than once, leaving one kind of life to start another. They’ve had their share of trouble and they’ve been richly blessed.

She wanted to invite me over especially because she knows I knit, and she wanted to give me a pattern. She’s given up doing fine embroidery work, examples of which were all over the apartment she and her husband share in the retirement community where they live. But she kept knitting after moving there, and she’d kept her one favorite afghan pattern. I asked, but she couldn’t remember how many times she’s used it to make afghans and lap blankets. A lot, though, for sure. I have one in my office, given to me by her husband a couple of years ago. The paper pattern, part of a little booklet, is curled and well used. Her favorite, and she gave it to me.

Then, appreciating my enthusiasm for her kindness, she invited me to take her very last pattern – one for making dishcloths. She’d saved it because it was easy and I think she couldn’t imagine not having some sort of project to work on. But she gave it to me, and then she also wanted me to accept her little wooden framed cloth knit holder thing with a last few balls of dishie cotton yarn, and her last pair of knitting needles. “Take it,” she said. “I won’t be making any more. You finish them.”

I am honored. As her kind-hearted husband escorted us back down the elevator to leave, he said, “When she’s gone, you can remember that Zelle gave that to you. You can tell people about her.”

I am honored. God bless that dear couple. I am blessed to know them, here near the end of lives well lived.

I get the feeling that I’m not so much being pulled down as I am being pushed.

As Phoebe Buffay said, “Don’t get me started on gravity.”

There’s no knitting in this video, but there are some things I love and wanted to share with you: interesting info about space that most people don’t know, the voice of Alan Tudyk, a brain parasite that says, “Wah-wah,” (so cute!) and, best of all, Wil Wheaton messing around. Watch to the very end, if you trust me.

That’s all well and good you say, but where’s the connection to, you know, knitting and/or yarn? Where are the kitties? How about a song? This one is still sciencey but also points out the superiority of yarn in such a way that even Einstein has to acknowledge it.

String < YARN!!!

PS: One more – I like OK Go’s videos, but I have to say this one is SO visually complex I’m not even sure what I’m looking at. Astonishing.

Copycat, Copycat!

This excellent Ted talk from a few years ago about the (almost) complete lack of copyright protection in the fashion industry has been really helpful in shaping my thinking about the whole issue of copyright in general. Johanna Blakley makes the point that there is no need for copyright protection – copying good design leads to more good design. No one creates in a vacuum.

This doesn’t mean I think it’s ok to rip off original works, like a publisher reprinting a book without paying anything to the author, or random people distributing bootleg copies of albums or movies. That’s not OK.

But when you think about how free George Lucas has been with Star Wars – long ago he decided not to go after anyone who made art, films, remixes, or any kind of creative endeavor with a Star Wars theme – and how much that freedom has increased the popularity and endurance of Star Wars, well. Who could argue that viciously protecting his intellectual property would have been a better idea?

Anyway, watch this video if you’d like, and see if it has an impact on your thinking about copyright.

http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture