Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bagatelle the Second

Here is my other recent pattern. This one takes even less time to knit than Balalaika and is certainly more functional. The world probably did not need another cell phone cozy pattern. But when Matt burned his hand on a pot handle hot from the oven, it was clear that Something Must be Done.

Download pattern from Ravelry

Photographing Prophylaxis was more work than design and knitting combined, but it made for a well-received dinner party. From left to right: goat cheese, leek, and prosciutto frittata; pan-roasted asparagus and cherry tomatoes with toasted garlic; and sour cherry cobbler (all recipes adapted from the inimitable Cooks Illustrated franchise).

After designing the pattern for Prophylaxis, it occurred to me to make sure I wasn’t just "unventing" it, as Elizabeth Zimmerman would say. My researches uncovered this charming number, which I will have to make some time for the sake of the clever stitch design. However, it wraps around the pot handle in a way that doesn’t seem very foolproof.

Although the function of Prophylaxis is as wholesome as it gets, the presentation in the written pattern is just a little risque. (I challenge anyone to have resisted the temptation.) Since this would otherwise be a great design for kids to churn out presents for all the family, I will cheerfully Bowdlerize the pattern at the first request.

Friday, November 27, 2009


knit Tetris mosaic cell phone cozyI’ve been designing knitting patterns feverishly for the last year, and have gone public with precious few of them because I’ve been so focused on getting published. This post and the next will feature a couple of bagatelles that were apparently not substantial enough for the big time. But who wants substantial when it’s knitting-to-a-deadline season?

I’ll lead off with Balalaika, my homage to Tetris on that game's 25th anniversary. This cell phone case was great fun to design. It’s an interesting mental challenge to arrange the blocks without gaps (and so restful, without the blocks falling on your head as you puzzle it out). I enjoy working with mosaic patterns, and I love how this pattern looks like any old mosaic until you pay attention.

Download pattern from Ravelry

Balalaika was almost as fun to photograph as to design. The bright sunlight on the day of the shoot was a challenge, but I’m so tickled that we figured out how to make it look like the knitting was in free fall, that I’m not too fussed about the lighting.

Now that I’m done working on this project, perhaps I will finally get shed of my “Back in the USSR” earworm. Could be worse though -- I could actually remember how the Balalaika tune goes.