Teddy Bear Body, 75% complete
Originally uploaded by panopticon.
I'm sick at home today. Some kind of stomach bug. You shall be spared further details.
My bones ache so much that I cramped up when I tried knitting to pass the time. So I have to content myself with photographing what I'm working on.
(That's how bored I am. You know I'm not much of one for photographs of works in progress.)
This is 75% of the body of a teddy bear, which I'm making as a present for C because he asked for it specifically (the only circumstance under which I will knit anything for anybody).
It's the pattern for "Jack" from Sandra Polley's The Knitted Teddy Bear. Making it has been a watershed for me, and I'm not even close to finished.
It's my first piece with yarn lighter than worsted weight.
It's my first piece that involves a lot of three-dimensional shaping on the needles. (The hats I've made have all been of the perfectly circular, pull-on variety.)
It's the first piece I've ever started (meaning, actually cast on) during my commute, and that's where most of the the first half was created.
You knit the body halves starting with the ass end (see illustration) and finish with the shoulder shaping.
I got to the shoulder shaping just before my train pulled into the station near my office. When we arrived, I got off the train but sat on a bench on the platform to finish casting off.
Suddenly, what had been a wonky piece of flat knitting popped into a three-dimensional shape I could recognize: a sloping shoulder, wide hips, a pudgy tummy*, even a humped back (Polley is gratifyingly attentive to the shaping details of old teddy bears).
People who don't knit probably would snort at the application of the adjective "thrilling" to the process.
They will never understand.
I confess to needing another project to balance the endless charcoal stockinette of the bear.
I originally pulled the teddy patterns book off the shelf thinking it might be nice to knit something tawny and light after four projects in black, navy, navy, and gray. When C said he'd like a bear, I was delighted and told him to pick out any one he liked.
He picked the black one.
So, I need something with BRIGHT COLOR in it. And I am dying to try sock knitting.
I know there are sock people who read this blog. Help me out here.
Do you have a favorite basic pattern for a first pair of socks?
How about yarn choice? Brands? Colorways?
These socks are most likely going to be hidden inside boots most of the time (just about the only thing I wear on my feet), so I'm not concerned about sticking to "masculine" shades.
I thought I'd ask here, first, since the service I get in the yarn shops in Chicago often leaves much to be desired, whereas y'all are a veritable font of friendliness.
(Even when some of you are suggesting I made you look like a syphillis advertisement in your new banner, when what I was really trying to do was highlight your captivating good looks. Ahem.)
By the way, if you are one of the seven knitting people in the continental United States who didn't go to Maryland Sheep and Wool, Tricky has done his usual splendid job of writing it up (with copious illustrations).
And and usual, I find myself wanting many of the things (and a few of the people) featured in the photographs.
On that note, back to the couch with me. I have a lighthearted filmfest waiting, consisting of the first two episodes of Fanny and Alexander (the television version) and Akira Kurosawa's Ran.
*You know I'm sick when I start using words like "tummy." Gack.