Sunday, 27 October 2013

Minions at Dundee Comics Day and cabling

In the afternoon yesterday we went to the Starblazers Dundee Comics Day workshop at the DCA, a
Minion hat from the At Home With the Lunchbox Guru
combination of two of Caitlin's all time favourite things and I'm not not keen either!  She spent a happy 2 hours creating Doctor Who monsters, meeting real artists and blethering her head off and having some original artwork drawn for her.  I sat on the sofa surrounded by comic artist greats and began knitting a minion hat for my friend's little girl, unfortunately I'm fairly sure it's going to be too small but it's been an education, mostly in how challenging (but fun!) it is to knit intarsia in the round.  Just lets say I have a LOT of ends to knit in!  The pattern has been straightforward and effective, thanks to Juanita McLellan for her generous free Despicable Me Minion Hat on Ravelry.  She has lots of minion patterns and I don't think this will be the last I make.

And I am finally getting on with that tunic, it is slow because you're knitting the entire thing in a
Front of tunic, yoke done with sleeve stiches on holders
single piece but I'm down beyond the yoke and on to the waist decreases.  I went back to my Wensleydale as I realised what I'd done wrong, I was trying to follow the cable patterns back and forth as you would for a pattern knitted on straight needles instead of always backwards as you do for in the round.  If you knit this kind of stuff you'll understand, if not that will be gibberish but basically it meant I was twisting loads of my cables the wrong way and the panels inbetween were wrong to an epic degree.  Almost two balls in this already!  I am really enjoying it, I realise now I need something complex like cabling, fair isle or small fiddly work when I'm knitting, I think actually, in any of my crafting, I get a little bored with plain knit.  Caitlin and I inherited her great grandmother's stash of wool including an unmade-up bear body and Val Pierce's sweet book Knitted Bears from Search Press' 20 to make series, so that's been made and we're working on an outfit, teaching Caitlin how to do increases has been challenging fun.  No, not that loop...

Meeting authors and getting inspired

As our planet tilts on it's axis towards winter we have a combination of frankly horrendous days (Friday, damp feet and jeans, miserable) and stunning (yesterday, sun, a bit chilly but beautiful colours).  Yesterday now 10 year old daughter Caitlin and I went to the Literary Dundee book festival and met Jackie Holt and Ruth Bailey, authors of Knit Your Own Scotland and the follow up Knit Your Own Britain, both of which I bought despite the presence of Maggie Thatcher in the latter, if you're Scottish you'll understand!  I bought it to make the marmite pot and make it into a pin cushion, I do love my marmite...  Just need a marmalade one now!

Both authors gave a great presentation on how they turn their ideas into their stunning figures and how they made them, they are stunning, the faces of people recognisable (contemporary, obviously!) and the period costumes stunning.  This comes from their background in theatre, both costume and prop production, and we got to touch and examine the models.  You could tell most of us were crafters from the forensic examination and oohs and ahs over the quality of the work.  They were wonderfully patient and kind to Caitlin when she went up (in her ghost bride Hallowe'en costume) to ask them to sign them.