Monday, May 7, 2012

Kitty & Klimt

Remember the black/gray/rust yarn? It's not far away in the previous post if you don't. I'm knitting it up into a Mira's Cowl (free on Ravelry). It's soft as a tortoiseshell kitty because the yarn is partly bunnies, not kitties, but I bet it's gonna feel like wrapping a cat around your neck only without the sneezing, swollen eyes, and the claw marks. The pattern's very simple and very adaptable to almost any kind of yarn. The knit purl sequence is 60 stitches long, so you can repeat it as many times as needed for the cowl length you want.

But I've had something else on the go lately, dredged from a different stash. I had a sudden craving for a big change of fiber gears, and dived into a stash of needlepoint kits to start doing this:
 needlepoint designs by Candace Bahouth based on the paintings of Klimt. There are not many needlepoint designs I like. Most of them seem either cutesy or stuffy, dull, and frumpy. Like this, for example. Kaffe Fassett's work is a little better, but it's still rather domestic for my taste. Pictures of flowers and teapots and whatnot. Bahouth's designs are more about pattern than picture, and for Klimt she includes GOLD, just like the original artist did in his paintings. I buy Bahouth kits when I find them on sale and stash them for when the desire strikes me. Needlepointing is more of a no-brainer than knitting, at least if you're doing someone else's design. It's kind of like coloring, only with fiber, and the end product is something useful and quite durable. I have 3 of these Klimt kits. The first is done and I've started #2. When they're all done, they will make up a bench seat cover.

But I'm about to embark on a long trip, and a needlepoint frame is just a bit unwieldy for the airplane seat. There isn't enough work left to do on the kitty cowl to make it worthwhile taking along, so I did swan dive into the yarn stash and came up with this:

A tote bag kit from Knit Picks, fine gauge on small circular needles, just perfect for the elbows-in position in airplane seats. Its unique construction means that I don't need to take the whole pile of different colored balls and a big chart. The bottom and back side of the bag are knitted separately from the picture panel, so there will be plenty to work on while hauling and managing only one yarn ball at a time. When that's all done, the picture panel is worked flat, and then grafted on to the rest of the bag, with top rows worked in the round to finish. Pretty clever, eh?