Friday, April 06, 2012


*dusts down blog, mumbles incoherently into microphone* how's it going knitterm8s? hope you are all well and ting.

Thought this possibly merited a post. I knitted a TV!

A friend at work is leaving, he wrote a lot of the code for the TV / PS3 version 3 of BBC iPlayer. He's also a thoroughly bloody nice chap, frighteningly smart and yet more than happy to spend any amount of his time helping out less awesome coders like me. So I thought this would be a fitting leaving gift to say thankyou, and a nice ornament for his new desk.

Ravelry link is here. The pattern is based on TV Guy from Knitting Mochimochi with a couple of modifications:

  • The screen. I based this on the iPlayer for TV category selection screen.

    It was something of a challenge to realise the full user experience vision on a screen resolution of 15 x 18 stitches.

    I basically got rid of all the text and reduced all the user interface elements to their simplest form. Each programme is an intarsia square. (This was facilitated marvellously by the serendipitous arrival on my doormat of last month's Knit Now magazine with a load of free yarn bobbins.) The centre programme is focused, so it has a pink border. I didn't have any pink yarn but I did have some pink embroidery thread so I chain stitched around the central square. The navbar at the top is backstitched on with a pink cross stitch for the position indicator.

    It was tricky to represent the semi-opaque squares at the side. Semitransparent yarn is difficult to come by, so I held a strand of grey and a strand of black yarn together for this. This was a great leftovers-using-up project, I just delved into my big bag of vaguely-aran-weight oddments that I can't quite bring myself to throw away.

  • Three pin plug
    It's a UK based telly so I added an extra pin. I crocheted the pins instead of knitting i-cord, this made them a bit thinner so I could fit the extra one on.

I toyed with the idea of making an icord CAT5 cable at the back to make it a connected TV, but was talked out of it by everyone i suggested it to. I do have a tendency to get carried away with detail, and it might have made it look a bit cluttered, so it's wireless. I know it's an analogue CRT tv, so is pretty damn unlikely to have wifi capability, but I felt I had to sacrifice some technical authenticity here; chubby oldskool tellies are just cuter and more recognisable than flatscreens.

It was loads of fun to make, I had forgotten how good making toys was! And my colleague very much liked his leaving prezzie :)


Saturday, January 07, 2012

the owls are not what they seem

I have a new jumper!

The pattern is Paper Dolls, with a more owl based yoke chart. If it looks vaguely familiar to the geekier types among you, this is because the motif is a homage to the BBC Micro, my first ever computer. I know! Everybody loves an 8 bit based operating system.

bbc micro castle of riddles

You probably didn't want to go north there.

I loved knitting this pattern, it's such a thoughtfully detailed design. I'm a massive fan of corrugated ribbing and i-cord edging. The other great thing is that the yoke chart only needs a couple of decreases within it, because it's cunningly spread over the shoulders. This means you can basically substitute whatever chart of your own you fancy without too much recalculation. (Well ok, there was a bit of recalculation, and the decision to tackle this during the festive season, whiskey in hand, meant that it took me three attempts to get the yoke right. But I got there eventually.)

The yarn is, predictably, Jamieson and Smiths 2ply jumperweight. With a dash of Eden Cottage Yarns handspun. One of these days I will be ready to make something in a non-Shetland yarn. Probably.

The finished jumper is so lovely and cosy to wear. I made it a little bit longer than the pattern suggested, and had to order another couple of balls of yellow, but that was no problem. Another awesome thing about J&S jumperweight is the way it comes in 25g balls - I love this as you can buy closer to the exact amount you need, so it works out pretty cheaply.

owl close up
Now, what other retrotech pixelated delights can I coerce into jumper form? bwahahahahaaaa! *plots*


Sunday, January 01, 2012

2011 in pictures

1. headband of woolmisery, 2. audrey in unst, 3. citron, 4. socks all nicely packaged, 5. northern skies, 6. bitterroot, 7. broken stones, 8. growlithe dsi cosy, 9. tank top, 10. caterpillar toddler socks, 11. epic red shawl, 12. screenshot from ravulous, 13. hat of many greens, 14. piratelove hat, 15. little sister's dress

It's flickrmosaic time again, yay!

Here are all the things I made in 2011. Not as many as last year, but I have had some pretty Big Projects in there. The biggest thing, I think, was Ravulous. It's a bit of an odd one out in the mosaic - it's an app, which is made of 0s and 1s instead of wool. But I think it counts because it's knitting themed and it was all made by me on the kitchen table. It also sort of keeps you warm, if you put your mobile phone or tablet on your knee. It's released in the Android market and the Amazon market now if anyone wants a go. But it's still also a WIP, I am having lots of fun playing with the Ravelry API and adding new stuff in.

There are a couple of projects in there that I didn't get round to blogging about. The caterpillar toddler socks were a super quick project knitted from a mini skein of Yarn Yard Toddy. I love this yarn, and it has lasted really well despite rubbishknitterjunior spending most of his christmas holidays wearing them as slippersocks and sliding around on wooden floors.

The piratelove hat was based on an old favourite pattern, We call them pirates. My fourth hat from this pattern! You just can't go wrong with fair isle skulls. This time I modified it a bit to use 4ply and changed the chart a bit to have hearts between the skulls. The chart is here if anyone wants it. I cast on 144 stitches and just did some 2x2 ribbing instead of a hem. It's a little tight on my big heid in the photo but I made it for a smaller and more delicate lady and it fits her fine.

Excitingly, I also have an almost-done Paper Dolls on the needles at the moment, which just missed out on this year. I was hoping I'd get it finished over the Christmas break, but it turns out excessive festive whiskey intake and fair isle yoke recalculation isn't a terribly good mix.

Happy New Year everyone!