Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sometimes the morning just starts off right.

From Salon's War Room:

"CQ Politics has just moved the November outlook for the district once represented by Tom DeLay from "no clear favorite" to "leans Democratic.' "

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tea Cozies

My sister's bridal shower was last weekend. Early on in the planning, she made one request: that it be a Mad Hatter's Tea Party (my sister is a huge Alice in Wonderland fan). All of the bridesmaids took that into account and planned a tea with some Mad Hatter/Alice touches. At some point we all decided that we should have teapots in which to serve the tea. At Ikea, I found the cheapest teapot I have ever seen:

Now, this pot is very functional, but it is also very plain; it looks like a coffee carafe. I immediately suggested that I would use leftover yarn from various projects and make wild cozies for all ten of the pots (yay, using up stash yarn!). This idea was accepted, so I commenced making a basic design using a pi increase for the bottom and then trial and error for the rest. Then one night it occured to me that the pot is kind of shaped like an upside-down top hat. At that point, I realized that it might be fun to make some of the pots characters in a very abstract sort of way. That was also the point at which I totally fell off the stash-using bandwagon.

The cozies were very much a surprise, and my sister reads my blog, so I was not allowed to blog about them before. Here are the best pictures I have of them (some of the pictures are not very clear, and all of the colors are not quite right because I had to use the flash indoors):

The Mad Hatter. The brim ws a bit more ruffled than I had planned, but I thought my other sister's Happy Bunny card was a nice touch.


The March Hare. He only has one ear because the handle represents the other ear, and that's his tail on the bottom.

The White Rabbit. He also only has the one ear and a tail on the bottom, and he has a clock on the bottom.

This represents the Red Queen and all of her cards. It was meant to have card-symbol buttons, but I managed to lose them.

The Cheshire Cat. He was the most abstract, and there was much debate as to whether or not I should outline the teeth; I think he came out very well.

The rest actually *were* random, and I *did* use stash yarn for them (albeit occasionally stash yarn that was leftover from the character cozies):

This one is from the Eighties. The stripes are textures using stockinette and reverse stockinette stitch.

This one used up quite a bit of my leftover Fizz and some leftover alpaca sport. The bottom is more purple than that; the flash washed it out.

One of my sisters said this one reminded her of what Neville Longbottom's grandmother might wear; therefore, it is named "Neville Longbottom's Grandmother."

Last, but not least, this one was meant to be forest-y.

Here are all of the cozy teapots on a table before the shower:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Baby blanket

One of my best friends, L., had a baby girl last December. I met the baby (also L.) in January, and I met her again at the beginning of August:

Isn't she cute?

I decided last year when I found out that L. was pregnant that I should make a baby blanket. I also decided that it should not be a normal baby blanket: it would not be pastel, it would be big enough to use for several years, and it would be in some way Star Wars-themed. L. and her husband C. are huge fans, you see. I decided that illusion knitting would be the way to go, in washable cotton because they live in Florida (the machine-washability is why the edges are not quite even in the pictures--no blocking+machine drying=uneven edges). I had never actually done any illusion knitting, and I had to design it myself, since (unsurprisingly) a pattern of this sort did not exist at all. In fact, I entered the Knitting Olympics with this blanket, and I would have finished it if the plumbing in my basement hadn't exploded.

I am quite pleased with the way it turned out. I finished the blanket in February and sent it off without taking pictures because at the time I didn't have a digital camera. When I was in Florida at the beginning of the month I remedied that oversight:

The yarn is Tahki Cotton Classic in red and dark grey.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My favorite Explainer ever.

Slate's explainer is usually interesting. This is my favorite, ever. The actual question is: "What's the proper way to transport a snake on a plane?"

More posts coming--I have been mostly out of town for three weeks.