Monday, October 27, 2008

Mason Dixon Knitting Strikes Again!

I have been working on the "Liberty" afghan from the new Mason Dixon Knitting book (Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines) in my copious spare time. Since I didn't have the $ to buy the yarn for the whole piece, I started using stash yarn, changing it up as either I got bored, or ran out of one of the colors. Above is a detail of the steek and one side of the long binding (I chose to knit the binding on before cutting the steek as I am a steek virgin).

Here is the whole piece folded over on the sofa so that I could fit it all into one photograph. I like how my tension changed as I worked the piece. I started on the left with primarily Lamb's Pride and Cascade 220, working my way through stash of that, Mountain Colors, and finally new Ella Rae, Cascade 220 Superwash and even a bit of the Berocco Ultra Alpaca the original pattern called for. It's a bit longer than the 69" the pattern in the book called for, but I used what I had on hand (40" size 7 circs, amazingly my tension is so loose now I have to go down a needle size or more when working a pattern). I figure it doesn't matter that much since it is a blanket. It has also been nice to work on these colder fall evenings. I currently have two rows left to go on the other long binding, then it is time to cut the steek.

I love both of the Mason Dixon knitting books, they opened my skill set up so much. I am really happy that I am comfortable to knit with colors in two hands now and have several hats planned now for the Canton show.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Every Bunny Loves Somebunny Sometime

Rabbits have been an influence for quite some time. When I was a child, my mother painstakingly embroidered this lovely growth chart for me, using a stamped kit from Lee Wards.

(Evil Bunny, detail)

While I admired the work and the colors and that it had my very own name on it, the eyes on this rabbit always gave me the heeby jeebies. They just seemed wrong to me and I was very happy when I finally outgrew the growth chart and it went into my mom's drawer of memories.

I forgot about it for a long time, and then late last year I began doing some sketches with a Bic pen in a Canson sketchbook:

Carnival bunny with cathedral window headdress.

Always being a fan of picture in picture stuff, I gave the rabbit a "rabbit on rabbit " look.

The next piece in the progression, a jester stick design.

And combining a rabbit and a bat in a pastoral setting ( I always loved the illuminated manuscripts' images I'd find in our Time-Life collection of history) with a bit more whimsy.

Detail of the memento mori collar and the crown, this rabbit has a secret.

And finally back to fabric, where I drew the rabbit onto a piece of canvas, painted it with Setacolour paints, and then embellished with machine embroidery, beads and sequins. Still in process.

Closeup, Evil Rabbit grows up.

It's funny how I forget about that rabbit wallhanging until I am cleaning in the studio and come across it, but obviously it has never been too far from my thoughts.