Friday, 29 March 2013

Behind the Scenes: Sushi

Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some sushi.

I have always liked trying foods that others considered weird of yucky. My love of seafood stems from that as well: a lot of seafood may look strange, which puts many people off, but I was keen to try it when I was younger and still love it. Mussels, crab, lobster – I’ll have it. During my school days a Korean classmate offered me a packet of what he called fried snake. I tried it just because it was different, but today I am fairly sure there was no snake involved in the making of that Korean snack at all. Shame. It though had been quite a thrill!
Some years ago I finally had the chance to try decent sushi. It was something I had wanted to have for a long time. One bite at the new sushi bar and I was hooked! So it is no surprise that I would experiment with sushi made out of polymer clay as well.

My first attempts weren’t quite as good, but they were okay:
There are lots of tutorials available on the net and I was fascinated by the way others managed to make those little grains of rice that made it all look so real. It turned out to be easier than I thought, but it takes a long time to make one roll/cane of sushi. I don’t make them often, but they are certainly worth it.
Now you can get my little sushi creations as stitch markers, earrings and necklaces. And whenever I got out for sushi now, I make sure I am wearing my earrings too.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Abso-knitting-lutely on Ravelry

I just started a Ravelry group! Feel free to join to keep up-do-date with what is happening at Abso-knitting-lutely, share projects and general conversation.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Themed Yarn Dyeing

After two days of drying, I can finally show you the result of my last dyeing session. These three skeins are going to be part of my Super Secret Summer Surprise (details yet to come) so they are themed.

Camp fire:
Pool party:
Deep-sea diving:

There are still two undyed skeins waiting for a bit of colour, so I hope to finish them this coming week. I might keep one of them for myself because I have been wanting to knit the Smaug socks for ages, but I don't have a suitable colourway at the moment. So why not make my own?

Friday, 22 March 2013

Dyeing for a Super Secret Summer Surprise

I have been working on my Super Secret Summer Surprise today and dyed some sock yarn. I have five skeins in total, but dyed only three of them for now.
I chose particular summery themes for  the Super Secret Summer Surprise which I can't reveal to you yet, but the yarns certainly match the themes.
Curious yet?

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Three Tumbling Bunnies

You've already seen the first of my Tumbling Bunnies and originally I had no intention of making any more. But I loved the bunny with its little socks, it's feet like little prima ballerina feet, that I had to make two more.

To be honest, I prefer them without legs, but I do love those colourful socks, so I just couldn't have legless bunnies. 

They are a quick knit, easy to make and a fun toy. If you need a cute little gift for a child this Easter, these bunnies are just the ticket.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Delta Socks

They're done! I finished knitting the second sock based on my latest pattern. They turned out really well, actually. The colourway is a little too busy for the lace, but I love them anyway. 
Last night I checked the pattern and finished the PDF, so now it is with a dear test knitter who will knit the socks in a solid or semisolid yarn. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!
Delta seemed a fitting name for these socks because of the way the lace panels on the shaft converge in the foot. Not very imaginative, I know, but there you go.
I certainly had a lot of fun making these socks and Zauberelfe's yarn was a pleasure to use. The finished item feels lovely!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Ickle Bunny

Well, that was fast! This bunny took me just a few hours yesterday and here it is, socks and all! It's adorable.

Since I used fingering weight yarn, the bunny turned out much smaller than I had anticipated, but it is sweet nonetheless. The socks make it especially cute, I have to say, and I am glad I didn't kit the legs only in one colour. This is a great way to use up leftover sock yarn. 
The body is filled with polyester fibre filling that I also use for my hexipuffs, and I embroidered the face instead of using safety eyes and ribbon. The bunny even has a tiny pompom for a tail!

Right now I am working on a big brother for this bunny, in a slightly dark shade of blue. I also intend to make another one in baby blue at some point so they don't get lonely.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

WIP: Tumbling Bunnies

This week I am taking things slow and have started knitting a tumbling bunny. I've got some odd balls of acrylic yarn that I won't be using for anything but toys, so there's nothing to stop me from making a whole bunch of bunnies now! Well, I won't be making that many. 

My first one still needs legs and facial features that I will embroider onto the bunny in the end. So far it looks good! It is very small though because the yarn is about fingering weight. I used DPNs in size 2.5 mm and have filled the body with polyester fibre filling.

So now on with the legs!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Super Secret Summer Surprise

 (Source)

Shhhh! Mysterious things are going on in my little flat in Bath. Skeins and skeins of yarn, lots of colour, clay, little bits and bobs - what could it be? Hm, I am not telling, tempting though it is! 

To get ready for the sunshine this spring and summer, I am getting ready for a special at AbsoKnittingLutely. This spring I will introduce one of these Super Secret Summer Surprises so keep an eye out for it! All I can reveal is that it will be summer-themed. I am very excited about it and hope you will be too.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Behind the Scenes: Beach Hut Stitch Markers

When I was little,my family would often go on holiday to the seaside. Usually, we went to places like France or Italy, and on one memorable occasion we went to Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. The beach there was full of crabs and I was afraid to walk to the water because of them. That was many years ago now and I have been told that all the crabs have since vanished due to environmental changes, which is very sad.
(Weymouth)

When I moved to the UK I fell in love with the little colourful beach huts that line the shore. I just like the sight of those cheerful structures, especially on grey days when it feels nothing like summer at all. 
(Shanklin, Isle of Wight)

So of course I had to try my hand at making such huts from polymer clay one day. I miss the beach and this way I will at least have a few beach huts in the home while I wait for the next vacation.
Recreating the wooden panels on the front wasn't enough to make them interesting, though, so I added lifesavers and fish as features. They turned out rather well and I am glad I gave them a try. The huts come in two sizes, attached to a lightweight snagfree ring. Perfect stitch markers for summer knits!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Designing Socks With Lace

I am currently making my way through a pair of socks that is taking me a little longer than usual. That's because I am designing the pattern as I go along. I want to offer knitting patterns on AbsoKnittingLutely and Ravelry at some point and am slowly designing items that are interesting, but not too difficult to knit. 
These as yet nameless socks have two lace panels along the cuff that will converge in the foot. I think they will converge much sooner than expected so I will probably add another lace section to the top of the foot once I get there. 

So far it is a pleasant process and the knitting itself is going quickly. Having knitted so many socks already, I was very confident with these - only to discover I messed up the heel turn the first time around. Sometimes I get the order wrong in which it should be done and have to rip back a little. Luckily, it wasn't too bad and I've fixed it now. I am working on the gusset at the moment.

Once the pattern is ready, I will ask some test knitters to knit these socks in solid or semisolid colours to make the lace stand out more. That lace is really pretty to look at, so it would be a shame not to show it.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Behind the Scenes: Absolutely Bollywood

It's the first of March and spring is almost here (even though you wouldn't know it looking out the window)! The perfect time to introduce a new feature: a series of blog posts that will take you behind the scenes of Abso-knitting-lutely to give you an idea of what influences my work and to explain what goes around in my head from time to time.  

The best place to start is here, with my hand-dyed lace yarn Absolutely Bollywood:
There is a story behind the name of this colourway. We probably all associate the Indian subcontinent with a riot of strong, intense colours and I tend to name my most colourful yarns in ways that evoke the atmosphere of the place. Absolutely Bollywood may not be the most in-your-face colourway, but it immediately reminded me of Bangladesh.

As you may know, I spent part of my childhood there between the ages of 7 and 12, going to school, absorbing the language, culture, images, tastes and smells. Now, one thing that you will aways find in every household on any special occasion is mishti, sweetmeats of all kinds. Someone would go out to a shop and buy their favourite mishti and return with a dark blue cardboard box tied with pink string. So when I held the just-dyed yarn in my hands, that is what I saw, a mishti packet! I still can't believe how true the colours are.

Although I have not been back to Bangladesh since 1990, the memories are still there and impact my work from time to time.

What influences your work? I am sure there are many stories to tell.