This sweater was made for my husband, Baruch, out of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Hunter Green, Burgundy, and Wheat Sprinkles. It started out as a rather unusual and charming (in my humble opinion) cabled sweater. When I showed it to Baruch, he tried to feign enthusiasm but I could sense that he was disappointed. I asked him what was wrong and he answered, "I was hoping for something .... different."
"No way." He's been asking me to make him something with pigs for years, as the pig is his favourite animal but this is Israel, after all. Can you imagine a nice orthodox man with a big kippah and tzitzis and beard walking around the Western Wall wearing a Pig Sweater? If he were over 6' tall and a body-builder, I might have relented but he's only 5'4".
"Molecular structure diagrams?" Baruch is a microbiologist by profession. I thought about it and studied his sketches. The angles of the lines and the hexagons looked like a charter's nightmare and I decided, in the end, that I wouldn't be able to translate them into knitting, not in the immediate future.
"How about the Periodic Table?"
I pondered for 2 minutes, then said, "That's do-able." He photocopied the periodic table from his highschool chemistry textbook and I charted the actinides and lanthanides. Halfway through the lanthanides, I realised that I didn't need a chart after all and just knitted it directly from the photocopy. Any mistakes were corrected later with duplicate stitch. The sleeves have fungi on one sleeve and bacteria on the other. His sweater was a hit at work and he was invited to give special showings in the chemistry labs.
Front and back charts are 109 stitches x 112 rows. Each scan (half a chart) is approximately 160 K. I cut the charts in half so that they could be printed easily.
Tetris Baby Blanket
Last year I was "surprised" in the mail by a couple balls of Red Heart Tropical Fruit Variegated 100% acrylic from Knitlister Manny Olds. To be honest, they were used as packing material for the real yarn and I got off lightly. Leigh Witchel was mailbombed with 12 skeins of the stuff and he's still waiting for his enemies to start producing babies so that he can use it up. The photo really doesn't do the colour justice. Think of ..... rainbow Kleenex ..... Easter eggs ..... polyester bridesmaids' dresses with sweetheart necklines, puffy sleeves and shoes dyed to match.
While finishing coffee one morning, I grabbed a couple double-pointed needles and skein of this yarn and knitted a garter stitch square. Then I cast on in another direction and knitted some more. I picked up stitches along the side and knitted a garter stitch rectangle. I ripped out the whole thing when a lightbulb went on. I decided to make a baby-blanket (currently functioning as a printer cover) knitted in different directions, each piece conforming to the shape of a block from Tetris (any of you oldies remember that game? Blocks falling from heaven to the strains of Moscow Nights?), and knitted consecutively, with no breaks in the yarn. It took some pretty tight mitering and judicious use of double-points and a 16" circular needle. Some of the joins are, admittedly, not as neat as they could be, as I only became more proficient at joining neatly (there are no seams--everything is knitted together) towards the completion of the piece.
These are decorations for Sukkot, that time of year when we live in a hut on the balcony for a week with a far-from-waterproof "ceiling". It doesn't often rain in Israel so early in the fall but occasionally we do have a downpour. I watched all our paper decorations dissolve during a shower. As soon as the holiday was finished, it occurred to me to use up all the garish acrylic yarn which I had bought years ago for baby toys and knit fruit. They're stuffed with styrofoam etrog packing material and knitted mainly in chunky yarns on size 8 double pointed needles.
Top row, l. to r.: pomegranate, etrog (sort of an upscale lemon), grape cluster. Bottom row, l. to r.: myrtle, olive branch, date cluster, palm leaves.
I made these for our son out of cotton yarn scraps when he was only six months old. I miss the days when you could put anything on him and he didn't complain.
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