All the News That’s Fit to Stitch: Part the Ninth

From far and wide, from across the Interwebs (a.k.a. the Electronic Cat Database) and beyond, I bring you all the news from the worlds of knitting and stitching that I could gather this week:

  • Professor Fonz has done it again! You may remember her designs, like the “Deduction Game Chullo,” from my obsessive posts on the knits featured in BBC Sherlock series (the first one in the series is here). To go with her cardigan based on the popular “The Wallpaper Had it Coming Again” fair isle pattern, the “#SherlockLives Cardi,” she has added a boatneck-style sweater entitled, “Let’s Play Murder.” According to the Ravelry pattern site, it’s “crime-solving at its most luxurious.” I’ve been working on ampersand design’s “The Wallpaper Had it Coming (Again)” mittens which, although based on the same fair isle pattern, is obviously a much smaller design, and I have to agree with Professor Fonz’s assessment that this fair isle patterned sweater is probably not a project to be entered into lightly by someone who is just beginning to work with the fair isle technique. The results speak for themselves, of course:
Let's Play Murder by Professor Fonz
“Let’s Play Murder” by Professor Fonz

Li’l Monkey Blanket WIP, Part II: Monkey Faces

Li'l Monkey Blanket
Li’l Monkey Blanket in all its glory

Here’s the Li’l Monkey in its completed state, all seamed up and featuring three monkey faces (one boy, one girl, and one unisex/transgender, a.k.a. “Sock Monkey Classic”).

Here’s a close-up of the girl monkey face (note the badly executed black and white “ribbon” near her right ear — because she’s fancy):

Li'l Monkey Blanket Close-up of Girl Monkey Face

Here’s a close-up of the boy monkey face (note the bow tie). Apparently, he’s dressed for the Sock Monkey Ball (or about to get beaten up at Sock Monkey Elementary):

Li'l Monkey Blanket Close-up Boy Monkey FaceAnd here’s my unisex monkey face (a.k.a. “Sock Monkey Classic”):

Li'l Monkey Blanket Close-up Unisex Monkey FaceBelieve me, these faces are not as creepy in person as they are in these photos. You’ll just have to take my word for it since the photography gods are not working in my favor today. This is actually quite a cute blanket.

For this project, I used Rowan Cashsoft Chunky (red, color 709), two strands of Suss Love (ivory) and two strands of Schachenmayr Punto (marled gray, color 90). Unfortunately, the Suss Love, although usually a wonderful yarn, does not work very well in granny squares; it unravelled when I laundered it and I had to recreate the white centers of a couple of the granny squares. An interesting experiment in crochet repair, especially given my limited crochet experience. But I think I made it work — fingers crossed!

Li’l Monkey Blanket WIP

Lil Monkey Blanket WIP
Li’l Monkey Blanket, designed by Carmen Watkins, from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch n Bitch: The Happy Hooker book, WIP

Well, I’ve struggled through making what seemed like 100 million granny squares of different descriptions, and the blanket’s building blocks are now complete. Ellen Bloom of L.A. is my Beat calls granny squares “the building blocks of the universe” — who am I to quibble with such wisdom? Now I’m fixated on arranging them in the absolute perfect way in order to better showcase the sock monkey faces I’m going to attach when I finish them. Phew.

I must admit that, while I love the simplicity and speed of making granny squares, I absolutely dread seaming them all together. My distaste for seaming (and I know I’m not the only one) goes so far as avoiding certain patterns if they involve too much seaming or involve coming up with elaborate non-seaming alternatives. For the most part, I’ve managed to avoid having to do a lot of seaming and still feel like I’m living a fulfilled life as a knitter.

I probably wouldn’t have done this pattern either if it hadn’t been that my brother and sister-in-law are going with a monkey theme for the bedroom of the soon-to-be Cutest Niece in the World. Now I’m glad I did.

More pictures tomorrow after I make some monkey faces (you know what I mean).