Sunday, October 3, 2010

DIY Swift Compendium

Back when Matt made me my CPVC swift, I did a lot of research on what sorts of DIY swifts other people had come up with. Wrote it all up nicely in an Excel spreadsheet and then sat on it for a year. Ahem. Anyway, a recent comment on the CPVC swift entry prompted me to finally get around to posting the spreadsheet. While I love my swift, making it is not going to be for everyone. In my research I found swifts made from lazy susans, Legos, Tinker Toys, coat hangers, lamp shades, plastic pipe and good old-fashioned wood. Enjoy!

DIY Swift Comparison Spreadsheet (Excel) - last updated 2011-07-01

A few of the links have gone bad since I first compiled the information. Rather than deleting the bad links, I've just crossed them out -- there may be another way of finding the content.

I'd love for this to be a living document, so if you know of a URL that you think should be included, please let me know, and I'll try to keep the spreadsheet up to date.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

King Me

Here it is! my second pattern with Petite Purls. The non-girly lace, as promised. Still, I think little girls will like these socks, too.

I have a good friend who prides herself on wearing mismatched socks, so I designed these "fraternal twins" for her little boy. The socks represent the medieval game of checkers from the tops of their crenellated cuffs to the tips of their pointy gothic toes.

Since buttons may not be appropriate for young children, I have also included instructions for making duplicate stitch checkers. The placement of the button checkers depicts a game after each player has made one move. The game on the duplicate stitch socks is in full play.

Special thanks to the model for my initial photo shoot, who will grow into these socks sooner than I think is possible.

He's already grown out of the prototypes (what's black and white and red all over?), which were darned cute and just about impossible to photograph--combining, as they did, the mystic art of red reproduction with the conundrum of getting both black and white exposed properly.

In other news, I have yet another pattern gig coming up soon, probably later this week--I will be publishing a girl’s sundress, my first pattern with the KnitPicks Independent Designers Program.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wearing of the Green

Should recent posts have raised any doubts about my girliness quotient, I hope these socks will put those doubts firmly to rest.

just-spring-petite-purlsI'm thrilled to have this pattern published in Petite Purls, an online magazine that features real clothes for real children, and has quickly become one of my favorites. The spring issue has a bunch of excellent patterns (and a couple of highly edible babies).

I will also have a pattern in the summer issue of Petite Purls. That one won't be a bit girly. Well, no backhoes, or anything really cool like that. Lace, in fact. Yet not girly. In three months, the conundrum will be resolved....

Special thanks go out to the models for my initial photo shoot, Adrienne and Bella, for making some darn cute pictures.

just-spring-socks-on-adrienne     just-spring-socks-on-bella

Sunday, March 14, 2010


In Just-
spring       when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles       far       and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far       and       wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan whistles

photos: Brandy Fortune

Often when I come up with one design, I am inspired to imagine a whole related series.  e. e. cummings' "in Just-" was easy to interpret.  I could probably design an apt cloche for:

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
--the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

But the really interesting challenge would be to create something in response to "here is little Effie's head" (..."whose brains are made of gingerbread").


When a Young Woman's Fancy Turns to Thoughts of Backpacking

En-Pointe-toe-cushion I know backpacking season is still a good three months away, but it's never too early to start gearing up.

No one looks at you funny if you say you can’t hike as far as you used to because of knee problems, but it’s embarrassing to say you need to stop because your toes hurt. I’ve tried different boots and different lacings, but haven’t figured out how to keep my big toe from jamming against the front of the boot when hiking down hill. I tried silicone toe cushions made for dancers, which are effective, but unpleasant to wear and nasty to remove.

Finally, I thought to try knitted toe cushions, and my toes haven’t looked back. I don’t know if these would be cushy enough for dancers, but for the hiker needing a little extra protection, they are a great boon. I imagine they could also be helpful (suitably modified) on any toe that is particularly prone to blisters.

Oh, and did I mention they're ultralight? About 2 grams or so. Light enough to carry a clean one for each day.

The pattern for En Pointe is available as a free Ravelry download (no membership required).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

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