Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Little Tribute

The bicycle and the chicken warmer I wrote about yesterday were both entries in the Knitting Camp contest. The theme–pieces celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Schoolhouse Press–was inspiring. But given the frantic and fraught nature of my spring and summer, I figured I'd skip it because there'd be no time (and less money) to prepare something really good.

Then, as I was packing for the Provincetown trip, I got an idea for a project that would be portable, inexpensive, challenging, and attainable in a short time. I knit and mounted what is possibly the smallest-ever traveling exhibit of works by Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Trio of EZ Miniatures

All three sweaters are "true" miniatures, meaning I followed Elizabeth's formulae exactly as written, including ribbing, sleeve decreases, underarm grafting, etc. The trickiest bit was working out new numbers for the Baby Surprise Jacket to keep it in scale with the others. The yarn is laceweight and sock reinforcing thread, all worked on size zero needles.

I displayed them in a glass-fronted box under the heading GENUS ZIMMERMANNII with individual Latin labels for each specimen. My Latin's shaky (to put it mildly), but the effect is pretty funny.

And to my immense surprise, when the votes were tallied–I won.

Here's a closer look.

Miniature BSJ
Tunica mirabila infantis

Miniature EPS
Subucula mathematica, var. Retinaculorum

Miniature Tomten Jacket
Tunica tomtena

All the patterns (for full-size garments) are available in Knitting Workshop. They were fun to make, though I will advise that if you wish to enjoy a nice, relaxing knit I advice against working a 12-stitch sleeve in laceweight on four needles.

96 comments:

amy said...

I'm not sure why you're surprised! That's genius. Congratulations. :)

Penny said...

Mazel tov. :)

Lise in NJ said...

this is really brilliant, in concept and execution. FWIW, next time you need a little tiny tube, like a glove finger, a sock toe or, say, a 12-stitch sleeve -- you can work it as an I-cord.

knittinandnoodlin said...

Oh my! Those are the cutest little guys ever! =)

Meredith said...

I am in awe of your apparent capacity for working with the small and fiddly - your collection is excellent!

Anonymous said...

Franklin - That is truly awe inspiring! I used to knit sweaters for Mack truck Bulldog hood ornaments (a gift for a friend) but these little gems take the cake. Yowza! - Joe, in Wyoming

cindic said...

You deserved to win. Elizabeth would surely approve of these little guys.

Eldronius said...

who doesn't love tiny things?!

Gratz on winning and the lovely execution.

Aidan said...

What did you win?

Oh, and this just goes to prove that you are a sick, sick man in serious need of therapy. I mean, Dude. Really.

Sue said...

there are adorable, and complete proof of your insanity!

meezermeowmy said...

Bravo! You could auction the collection on-line for a favorite charity and make mega-bucks.

jeanfromcornwall said...

Those are pretty much beyond belief! Amazing! For your next trick are you going to work cross stitch on handkerchief lawn like the Spanish nuns do?

CathyR said...

Congratulations on winning. Those are awesome. You are amazing.

Phro5gg said...

Incredible, but now I am really questioning your sanity

Ivywindow said...

Genius.

Harriet said...

OMG! Truly amazing. How lovely.

Cheryl said...

adorable! Yeah the sweaters too!!

zelda said...

> Tunica mirabila infantis

*falls off chair laughing*

Your Latin is apparently doing just fine. Mine is crumbling away in a drawer somewhere, but this is flippin' brilliant.

I've been contemplating bitty fair-isle stockings as Christmas ornaments. I have the size 000 needles, but no laceweight I'm willing to sacrifice. Maybe if I take sock yarn and split the plies...? And now here you are encouraging me in this insanity.

rams said...

Sweetie, where they're going to send you if you keep this up they don't permit sharp objects.

Jenni said...

Brilliant entry, right there. I can see those pieces in a museum or, at the very least, in an issue of IK or such. Congratulations!

KnittingPuppy said...

been to http://bugknits.com/ ? The galleries are worth browsing. I didn't think anyone else did that kind of thing, but you are amazing, I shouldn't be surprised. -- Mindy

MicheleLB said...

You are insane. And brilliant. I am in awe. Congratulations!

Annette said...

Brilliant! Congrats on winning.

J3SS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J3SS said...

just wanted to point out (because you seem like the type of person to care) that your book link for knitting workshop redirects to an amazon page, rather than the page to purchase it directly from schoolhouse press, which is here:

http://www.schoolhousepress.com/gen_books.htm

about a fifth of the way down the page.

cheers!!

Jess.

Shan said...

I did a Christmas tree garland last year with 1.5" sweaters and 3/4" socks, teeny scarves and hats. The socks were stranded, and had a proper turned, gussetted heel. I know just how non-relaxing your exhibit would have been.

But I didn't bother with the Latin.

pamudom said...

You are the best!! I'm not crazy enough to try that myself though..

CableMad said...

Wow. Just ... wow. Insane and very clever. :)

Marcia said...

I'm so impressed that you came up with the idea in the first place, and then carried it out too! Really inspired :)

Becka said...

Ooh! That's what you were working on and couldn't show! Amazing stuff!

Emily said...

Franklin, those are brilliant. Lovely work!!

Bobbi said...

I just KNEW that you couldn't pass up a show-n-tell!

Benita said...

Those are absolutely freakin' hilarious! Bravo! And congrats on winning.

Angie said...

How clever are you? Cleverus Humanis would be your latin title.

LeighB said...

Bravo! Did you also whittle your own tiny toothpick sized needles upon which to knit these fabulous miniatures?

Kristen said...

Well, of course you won! This is absolutely brilliant! And hilarious. Congratulations!

SJ said...

Adorable! Although now I'm very worried about your eyesight.

Susan said...

God, you seriously *are* crazy, aren't you? ;)

I guess all this time living with Dolores, it had to happen eventually.............

Kathleen said...

Those are awesome, and you are insane (in the best possible way). I second "lise in nj" on the i-cord for small tubes. If you do one stitch less than called for you can ladder up a column to eliminate the gap a la nona's i-cord gloves (which I'm making now, which is how I know). These must have made P-town even more fun.

Lynn said...

Only 0s? The sts look MUCH smaller.

You are officially insane, but in the best way.

-Lynn in Tucson

anne marie in philly said...

OMG - too funny!

smooches!

mira said...

wow! That's unreal, I didn't even know people could DO that. Of course if anyone could it would be you. Congrats.

StarSpry said...

Those are awesome! Congratulations :D

Sandra D. said...

Genius, pure and simple. Akin to EZ herself!

S.Kate said...

Crazy? Nah.

We only have to worry if you start spinning for the miniatures on itty bitty spindles.

Congratulations on top prize!

Northmoon said...

the line between genius and insanity is very thin!

I love the obsessiveness of every item totally done to scale, and your latin names are the perfect detail.

the boogeyman's wife said...

those are awesome! you're my hero - the latin labels were a great finishing touch. congrats!

Daphne said...

Very nice and I woulda voted for you as well. I mean, I would steal the knitted bicycle, but I'd vote for yours as best historical project.

Okay, okay, I wouldn't steal the bike, but I'd like the pattern.

Anonymous said...

ONLY YOU!!!! ONLY YOU!!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth B .... B not Z ... but I bet EZ is delighted!!!

soxanne said...

You are an insane genius and that's why we love you...

Congrats!

Riin said...

Dude, you rock. I knit a tiny raglan sleeve pullover years ago as a solstice tree ornament, but I got nothin' on you. I can't even really call mine tiny anymore. Just small, really.

Elizabeth would be proud of you.

Kristen said...

Hey--I just sat down to read the Fall VK that came in the mail today. Congrats!

Sarah said...

That is jaw-droppingly awesome. Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

They're so cute!
Margie in Maryland

Lee Ann said...

Try knitting a spindle for a bunny.

I swear, your bunny is going to have to be insanely good. I haven't figured out what accessory it should have yet, but it will have to be...

heu...

lifelike. :-)

angelina (in oakland) said...

amazing!! I really ought to start READING your other comments before leaving my own...*sigh* totally unoriginal yesterday...
I'm making my first tunica mirabila infantis right now... normal sized, however - I cannot imagine making a wee one!
congrats on the win!

Warrior Knitter said...

These are fabulous and marvelous. These also prove beyond a doubt that you are STILL a genius. I am agog (AGAIN!) at your talent and finesse.

But seriously, you need to get out more. The Proof of Insanity label is right on. ; ~ )

Yvonne said...

Wherever she is, EZ is having a great chuckle. Congratulations, Franklin. You've again outdone yourself.

woolywoman said...

you have officially gone over the brink. And, I'm jealous.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

So size does matter!
Of course you won. Terrific. And I don't think we needed the "stress alert" for o's and 12 stitch sleves.

Sweet Camden Lass said...

Those are beautiful! So, so gorgeous!

I am going to find the miniature long johns I knitted, and then lost.

They have to be in the flat somewhere.

~x~

Joanna said...

Sheer Genius (genus)! You never cease to amaze me with your skill and sheer determination to make something wonderful out of what is at hand .... inspired idea.

Lynn said...

You are just so much fun. It's wonderful that the innernets came along just in time for all of us to witness your special brand of ... well, you.

Terri D. said...

OK, now you're scaring me. In a good way. I think.

Mary Lou said...

Taking absolutely nothing away from your clever, clever entry, but I bet the bicycle woman was pissed. :) Never mind. You risked your eyesight for the cause. I have just discovered your wonderful blog and have already bought two T-shirts. Knitting, art, and wit in one blog?? Love it!

holli said...

you just continue to amaze me.

Rosi G. said...

congrats mi amigo loco. because only mi amigo loco would attempt such a thing! LOL but i love mi amigo loco. he's so kah-yute!

Rosi G. said...

oh, forgot to ask: what'd ya win??

Anne said...

I am in awe.

Alwen said...

See, I knew I liked you! Lace and tiny little tubes.

We shall seduce you to the dark side yet. Double knitting in three colors!

http://www.ravelry.com/groups/double-knitting

la takahashi said...

The title could also be: Genius Zimmermannii because she certainly was. I loved your miniatures so much! Glad you won, because a rubber chicken warmer is just scary, funny but scary. :O)

knititch said...

you are one little tomte, in the meaning full of surprises. i adore those little numbers with latin names. even more than i adore their grown up siblings.

bravo, franklin

Jean said...

Franklin, that's absolute genius, and of course you won -- but it should be "tunica mirabilis infantis". "Mirabilis" nominative, to go with "tunica". "Infantis" of course is genitive.

It's a wonder I have any friends. Maybe I don't.

Love Jean

esmerel said...

that is absolutely brilliant. Even my non-knitter husband is highly impressed and amused.

Molly said...

Oh, my.

They're so tiny!

Great idea.

MollyBeees said...

OMGosh! I can't knit that darn BSJ in the regular size and you did it to fit a gerbil! I bow to the Master!

Nic said...

Most excellent!

lizbon said...

Genius. Both of you.

alala said...

Brilliantly conceived and executed. Congratulations on your victory.

New Jersey Laura said...

Summa cum laude!

Elizabeth said...

New here, found you through Brenda and can only say WOW...truly brilliant idea. Congrats on winning! Obviously well deserved!

Knitting Linguist said...

They're brilliant. Absolutely brilliant! And now I'm scared to sign up for knitting camp; I'd never be able to knit those sleeves...

Cathy said...

you are incredible! These totally deserved to win!

Anonymous said...

Franklin, those are EXCELLENT!
CONGRATS- you totally deserve it!
Judy in AUS

FiberQat said...

Well done! I know the tomtena is difficult to catch when it is attached to its host.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

you'rr insane! but cute.

gina said...

they're darling. good work!

Sock Knitter said...

I am not surprised AT ALL! They are the sweetest things I think I have ever seen!

You are a man of so many talents!! I wish I had HALF of your imagination!!

Sock Knitter said...

ACKK! I am sorry, Franklin - I forgot to say CONGRATULATIONS! Duh!

Patti said...

there you go again with those itty bitty needles... how is your eye sight holding up?

Congratulations on Winning! Isn't it about time for someting on say oh, about a size 7 needle now?

=Tamar said...

Wow!
(By the way, I did design a sock from the shin out. Now I just have to knit it.)

Terri said...

This is a wonderful idea, and I like the way you displayed it. How long did it take you to create these little wonders in total?

Anonymous said...

Franklin, they are simply fabulous. You are so generous to continually thrill us with your creativity. Elizabeth is CRACKING UP in heaven...she would be delighted!

Anonymous said...

Soooo clever....putting them under glass and naming them 'Genus Zimmermannii' - brilliant. Just loving your blog.

anywhere_Smile said...

Though, it will take longer links jewellery but the results will be more long term links of london uk and sustainable.If you are targeting cheap links of london easier as well as less competitive areas you will links london bracelet obtain some high-quality links that will london links charms go on to grow over time. In the long run there is links of london watches sale more steady value from a few solid links coming from discount links of london rings quality sites than having hundreds of low-quality blog links any day.

khani said...

I like this blog, good luck ..! also visit hotel in bandung or nikon digital camera cases