Friday, March 23, 2007

Guster is not okay!

Finished Guster tee!, originally uploaded by rubychan4.

I had never stencilled, so I bought an extra shirt to practice for a project I have on my back burner. I found an image of a Guster bumper sticker online that I liked, so I created a stencil of it with a few modifications: the bumper sticker is in shades of blue, and it says "is OK!" underneath the name. I got rid of "is OK!" because I think Guster is better than okay, I prefer simplicity, and because it's difficult to stencil. I am already hatching plans for a Blue Sun shirt, modeled here by the talented Adam Baldwin.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Name the nudist! A contest of sorts!

I have recently been referring to the little man doll in progress as my "knitted nudist" or as my "little nude man." However, I would say any man (and especially one who will have so much work put into his creation as this fellow) deserves to be called something other than a collection of adjectives. And a little knitted man perhaps more so, because he has less control over his myriad appellations, being unable to protest, so it is important that we, in his society, respect him for who he is, and not judge him for being made out of cotton, clay and wire as opposed to flesh, bone and blood.

I am afraid I am guilty of the crime of calling him by a series of adjectives, partially because he is incomplete, and partially because I originally felt that his name would come to me, in the way that a name just fits a person, once I had finished creating him. And then there is the fact that it is easier to name the little fellow with adjectives, since, for me, choosing names requires a great deal of research (or creative effort, if I invent the name). But I will stand for it no longer.

And here is where you come in: I am opening up the naming process to anyone who reads this. Suggestions should be given in the most serious of spirits - names like Guy, Fitzwilliam or Woody, while they once had their time, simply sound ridiculous on the modern tongue - and a baby naming book (or website) might be a good place to begin. (Names like "Nudie Man," "Captain Nekkid" and "Mister No-Pants" will also be rejected flat-out.) I should add that I can give no guarantee of accepting any name you suggest, although every submission will be considered carefully, and if I do choose the name you pick, there will be a prize. (I haven't decided on what the prize will be yet, but the winner and I can be in dialogue on the subject.) For the particularly enthusiastic, you can submit up to three names. Foreign names or names of your own invention are also welcome, and they will not be weighted as better or worse than others. All names should be put in the comments to this post.

The contest will last as long as the little man remains unfinished. In other words, once I declare the little gentleman complete, I will choose a name, either from your suggestions or from my own resources. And so, let the game begin!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Work has begun in earnest

on the little nude man. His body is completely knit, though I made his arms and legs half the length indicated in the pattern (and I plan to ignore instructions for hands and feet) and I stopped knitting somewhere around his shoulders. This is because I am making his arms from the elbow down, his legs from the knee down, and his neck and head out of clay. Wire will run through his clay parts and into his stuffed, knitted body, as a skeleton of sorts. And because of the way in which I am making him, he will probably spend the better part of his existence clothed. I will explain all this at some point, but I just don't feel right detailing the neuroses of a being that, as yet, has no head.

Meanwhile, I have begun re-knitting the sweater I mentioned from July. The story behind this sweater is that I unraveled a Gap duster that I never wear and knit as far as the collar, where I ran out of yarn. Because I am unlikely to find another duster to unravel and because I had knit it too big to begin with, the plan is to re-knit it in a smaller size, not only so that it fits me properly, but so that I have enough yarn to finish it. So far, I have the hem and an inch or so of the body. I had admired the pattern from when first I saw it, and I am knitting it (both times) with few modifications - mainly, I'm knitting the body and sleeves in the round rather than seam it, though the collar and sleeve caps will be knit flat, and the sleeves will be seamed to the body. I have tried knitting set-in sleeves in the round, but I was never entirely comfortable with how it was coming together. The main reason I rescued the yarn is because I love the color, which, I'm afraid, I didn't capture incredibly well in either picture. In person, there's less white. It's more like a light maroon, or a dusky, dark pink.

Switching between DK-weight yarn and US0 needles and worsted-weight yarn and US7 needles is certainly odd (imagine working with toothpicks, and then switching them for pencils). Size seven needles feel giant, unwieldy, clumsy, and then going back to size zero makes them feel tiny, fragile, like I could break them with every stitch I knit. I suggest you use the squares on my blanket, seen in the pictures, for scale. And the Dead Elmo vest? The body is finished, seamed, and all the ends are woven in. All that remains is the collar, and stitches have been left live, a circular needle already threaded through them, ready to be knit. However, it will take a little consultation with its intended wearer before I can finish it. I'm not thrilled with the project, mostly out of boredom, so I'm perfectly happy to let it sit in a drawer for a couple weeks.

Quote of the Day: Another comic instead: Out in the world.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Dead Elmo vest,

despite all predictions to the contrary, is really zooming along. As you may have surmised, I am not the most patient of people, so knowing that I was going to knit something that's a whopping sixty inches around (two hundred and forty stitches, to be exact, and, might I add, nearly twice the size of my tiny Asian mother) was greeted with something more like resignation than excitement. 'She is my mother,' I told myself. And I reminded myself that, with the insanity of finals, I never had the time to come up with a Christmas (or birthday) present for her. Which is pathetic. As it stands now, the back is finished, and the right front is growing. My mother wasn't incredibly clear about design, so I will have to stop soon in confusion about what she wants at the collar. Knowing the way she likes her garments, it is knit in the straightest of straight rectangles. And I mean, there is not one bit of shaping of any kind. And it actually does not curl and twist like that at the top: I'm using circular needles to knit and hold the stitches, and circular needles have their own funny little twists in them. It drives me crazy.

Here we have an earlier incarnation, before the back was finished. There is also a ruler (that silver thing at the bottom) for scale.

Quote of the Day: "I don't have sex for money!"..."No, for furs, for jewels, for favors, like a lady..."

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Dead Elmo Vest

is coming along faster than I had thought it would. I am knitting it in one piece from the hem to the underarm, where it splits into front left, front right, and back pieces. I just split it at the underarm, and I have knit an inch or so on the back piece above the split for the armhole. And, yes, I already have several things lined up in my mind: I'm curious to try my hand at dollmaking, mostly inspired by the little nudist and by Howl (besides having a new little person to clothe in hand knits), there's a sweater I started in July (July!) and have been meaning to rip and re-knit, I've wanted to knit a shrug to wear over short-sleeved shirts in cold weather (the lace is pretty but impractical. The obvious stipulation here is that I finish it while the weather is still cold, though I suppose it would still be nice on a cool summer's evening), and there's this gorgeous cashmere blend from a failed attempt at a shawl (unfortunately, the only problem was that I ran out of yarn and it's discontinued) that's been waiting to be reborn as a shell. Whew! And, oh yes, there are classes, papers, reading, and tests to consider. There just aren't enough hours in the day...

Quote of the day: "Let your mind go and your heart will follow."