Tasmyarnia! Wait, let me try that again...

First of all, I just want to say that I wrote this post three weeks ago but technology is awful and I lost it, so I'm writing it again. Now that that's out of the way, news!

I haven't posted in a long time, I know, but since I have posted, lots of exciting knitting-related things have happened!

The first news is a tragedy; the tragedy of the knitting pattern book. I design patterns from time to time, and record all my patterns in a note book which used to belong to my sister and has her name on it. As I mentioned in my last post, I have moved to Tasmania for study. I had the pattern book lying around because I had been measuring a friend for a jumper (more on that later). A few days before I moved, I went to get my notebook to pack it away to come with me. But when I opened the pattern book, I found that it was empty. An unsuspecting family member had seen the notebook, thought it was just an old one of my sister's and threw away all the pages with writing on them! Almost all of my original designs had been lost. Needless to say, I was devastated, but I guess it shows that knitting is an esoteric kind of language. Notation and glued-in ball bands don't necessarily scream knitting to the untrained eye. However, I'm a champ, so instead of packing my pattern book, I packed the finished objects which I had designed and took them with me to Tasmania. I'm slowly working through re-writing the patterns based on these FOs.

In other exciting news before I moved to Tasmania, I was commissioned by a couple of friends to make things for them. The first one was a friend from volunteering who had just bought a new keyboard and wanted "her" to have a handmade cover to keep the dust away. He basically gave me absolute creative freedom as to what I would make. This friend has eclectic tastes, from Pokemon to music to chemistry to martial arts movies to curly hair. What would I make? A runner with a Pokemon logo on it? A throw rug with cool geometric pattern on it? Or maybe something elasticised which could slip around the keyboard? "Don't go to too much trouble" he said, "whatever you make will be fine". Well, I was happy with that, as I had just finished doing an Intarsia scarf for another friend (pattern to come soon) and as much as I love Intarsia work, it is taxing. So I went for an easy design of a giant keyboard which could be draped over the actual one. The white keys (I actually used cream so the dirt wouldn't show as much) were in stocking stitch and the black ones were in reverse stocking stitch in an attempt to make it kind of 3D. In the end I was quite pleased with the finished result. The edges are a bit curly though, I forget whether I had time to block it.
My friend looked very pleased when I presented it to him. He sent me a picture of it in situ, and he has chosen to lay it with the WS facing up, which on balance I actually think looks better than the way I had originally planned. WS facing means the black keys have a bit of a white border around them. I had wanted to do a black crochet edging on it, but I had some time constraints what with moving away, and I think it looks fine the way it is. Pattern to follow at some stage (this pattern was lost in the great pattern book tragedy, but as soon as I found out it was lost, I quickly noted down a diagram, so it should be easy enough to rewrite).

The other commission was for a jumper for a high school friend. This jumper is "inspired" (let's go with inspired) by one she saw online, and has some complicated gradated dropped stitches going on. I had only ever made one adult sized jumper and one adult cardigan before, and had never designed any. I had only ever done one dropped stitch pattern before. But what they hey, I decided to give it a shot. I looked up some existing patterns and tutorials for guidance on shaping, but in the end I more or less designed the pattern from scratch. I finished it before Easter and brought it with me when I went back to Adelaide to visit. I'm not entirely satisfied with the end product in this case, but it is wearable. and I'm counting on the fact that an artist is her own worst critic. My friend was away at the time I was there so I left it with her sister. I haven't heard yet if she liked it. Pattern probably never to follow. I took notes, but I'm pretty sure they're indecipherable even to me, so I doubt I will ever properly write out the pattern, and it will forever be a one of a kind piece.

So here I am, sitting in my new bedroom in Tasmania. Here is a picture of The Knitted Kitten being eaten by a Tasmanian tiger. Good graphics, huh? Just kidding, I know Tasmanian tigers aren't blue. The Kitten lives on a shelf with a teddy bear in my room.

I'm extremely busy with study, so am rarely knitting, but in the moments when I can knit, I'm working on a nativity scene by Jean Greenhowe! Yay! I had bought the pattern book a year or two ago but hadn't got around to knitting it until now. I've made Mary, Jesus, the manger and two sheep, but the photos I have right now aren't any good, so...no photo for you. I also noticed that in a previous post I had promised a crochet pattern. That'll probably happen at some stage. Yep.

The Knitted Kitten.