To Eyre . . . is divine!

That is to say, both Carol Sunday’s knitting pattern, and the most recent Jane Eyre movie are divine.

The story in the movie is very abbreviated, of course, with only two hours to work with, but everything in it is just right.  In tone, look, and overall feel, this movie accomplishes a match to the imaginative reader’s experience better than that of any other adaptation I have seen.  I’ve seen at least half a dozen.  One website lists more than 40 film and TV adaptations.  The best match to Jane Eyre the book has to be the 1983 mini-series with Timothy Dalton and Zelah Clarke.  That one was told over 11 episodes, for a total of 239 minutes.  Cary Fukunaga, in 120 minutes, captures Jane Eyre in all her gothic/horrorific/mysterious/romantic/sexy/snarky fun.  To quote the NYT review, “reader, I liked it.”

There is no evidence to support the existence of a short row garter stitch hand knitted shawl in 1847, but I like to think that the Rivers sisters would have been clever enough to have knitted this up from local handspun wool, and lent it to Jane after she dropped onto their doorstep in rags.  In this movie, Jane wore it while gardening, cleaning out a hearth, and other such dirty tasks.  Such a garment would not likely have survived into the present, as it would have been worn until it was a rag, and then likely gone to the rubbish heap.  I wore my Jane inspired shawl in the slightly over-air-conditioned theater.  It was warm and comfy, and resembles hers, but is much larger.

On an obliging model:

To Eyre, by Carol Sunday, Version 1, the larger

On a hanger padded with a towel, while blocking:

to eyre on hanger

To Eyre, blocking

I’m already very fond of it, and likely to wear it to rags myself.


To Eyre . . .

So there’s a new Jane Eyre movie, which I’m so dying to see, should it ever come to my benighted viewing area.  In a featurette, Jane can be seen wearing this shawl.

another view:

In glorious Ravelry tradition, there is of course a KAL (knitalong)  for projects inspired by this movie costume garment.  I’m knitting To Eyre, a pattern Carol Sunday whomped up in no time flat.  I so want to be her.  My Eyre shawl is being knitted in Cascade 220, smoke blue, on size 8 needles.  I’ve just started it today, and it’s going well.

to eyre 15%

In other good news, I took a few good pictures of azaleas and such before last weekend’s storms made them look a bit raggledy.  These are on flickr, and in full size they are suitable for 1600 x 900 windows wallpaper.  please feel free to grab them if you like them.

pink azalea wallpaper 1600 x 900

pink azalea wallpaper

deep pink azalea wallpaper

deep pink azalea wallpaper

pink and white azalea wallpaper

pink and white azalea wallpaper

dogwood wallpaper

dogwood wallpaper

jonquil wallpaper

jonquil wallpaper

Please have a Happy (insert spring festival of your choice).  For me it’s Easter.

I love a reading gift

There’s a beautifully illustrated book about a girl and her mouse doll.

Phoebe’s Sweater is written by Joanna Johnson, illustrated by Eric Johnson, indie published by their company Slate Falls Press, and has knitting patterns for a girl sweater, mouse doll and dress, and doll sweater. Irresistable, right? Definitely.

Here’s my Phoebe’s Sweater in size 2:


and a closeup of the buttons:



The buttons came from JoAnn, and I’ve stacked the smaller pink butterfly button onto a round white button to frame it and make it a suitable size for the buttonholes. I do like the effect, and the pink is the exact shade of the yarn in the Phoebe mouse doll and her dress:


phoebe mouse

which makes the whole set coordinate harmoniously.  A sweater for the doll completes the set:


phoebe doll with sweater

throw in a copy of the book, and there’s an unforgettable gift for a small girl and her reading, knitting, parent to share.  I’m sad to part with the book myself, though. I’ll have to buy another one.

Merlin helped me knit them all:


phoebe doll dress

He works for ear scritches, and a biscuit now and then. Good doggie.

a hat for carmen banana

Carmen Banana is not your usual sock monkey.  She comes as a kit from Knit Picks with a wardrobe to die for.  After I knit Carmen, her fancy panties, and a dress for a night out on the town, her outfit just did not look quite put together without a topper.  Long ago, I promised a pattern on my ravelry project page, and at last, here it is.

carmen closeup

In Knit Picks Stroll yarn and at a gauge of 8 stitches and 10 rows to the inch in stockinette, this pattern will yield a hat that is 7 inches in circumference.

Use the circular knitting method of your choice.  I knit this little hat using Magic Loop on a 32” circular needle in the same size I used for Carmen.

Using the cable cast on technique and main color, cast on 56 stitches.  Place a marker for beginning of round and k1p1 rib for 4 rounds.  Knit in stockinette for 9 rounds.  Begin decrease rounds:

  1. *ssk, k5*
  2. knit
  3. *ssk, k4*
  4. knit
  5. *ssk, k3*
  6. knit
  7. *ssk, k2*
  8. knit
  9. *ssk, k1*
  10. ssk 8 times
  11. ssk 4 times

Break yarn leaving a 10” tail. With a tapestry needle pull yarn through all stitches, pull tight, pull tail to inside, weave end in and cut.

For the flower, cast on 60 stitches in contrast color, knit front and back in each stitch, knit one row, loosely cast off, leaving a long tail.  Coil the knitting, securing with the yarn tail.  Sew to the hat.

The shape of Carmen’s head is such that she will lose this hat unless you secure it to her head, either by sewing, or with a tiny safety pin on the inside, as I did.

download the pdf:  Hat with Flower for Sock Monkey or Doll


Stitches South ’09 continued

On Saturday, I ate a hurried lunch in the registration area with two charming young women, LaraBoBara and SarahBess.  Lara blogs at and Sarah at  Haha, you two.  Now you have to update.  I’d have liked to spend more time with them, I really enjoy their company and conversation.  So I was feeling energetic and positive (thank you, ladies) when I got to my class with Chris Bylsma titled “Beyond Basic Buttons“.  Our first instruction: “You are all 8 years old. You are at camp, and you are in the arts and crafts cabin.” I thought, I’m going to enjoy this.  And I did.  I love playing with yarn, glue, scissors and odd bits.  Here’s a picture of some class projects:

mine are on the barf colored swatch.  it looks better irl, really.

mine are on the barf colored swatch. it looks better irl, really.

and me with Chris:

Chris Bylsma and adoring fan

Chris Bylsma and adoring fan

and most of the class.  a lucky and clever few escaped before my camera was ready.

beautiful and clever women, all

beautiful and clever women, all

That evening I arrived at Scalini’s along with some other Stitches attendees and vendors for a banquet dinner which I think every last one of us enjoyed very much.  These are our renegade leaders.  theknitwitch is holding the yarn.

click em to biggen em

click 'em to biggen 'em

My charming tablemates to the right:

sorry about the red eyes, ladies.

sorry about the red eyes, ladies.

And to the left:

Miss Babs and company

Miss Babs and company

And two happy prize winners:

pinksquirrel and project bag

pinksquirrel and project bag

knittermonkey with handspun yarn

knittermonkey with handspun yarn

and here is my favorite for best handknitted accessories:

this look is awesome

this look is awesome

I would love to link the face above to a website, sombody please point me the right way?

And one more photo in closing, a thing of beauty, as promised in my last post.

every bit worth the dietary splurge

every bit worth the dietary splurge

That’s the right way to begin check-out day.  I can’t wait to go to Stitches South in ’10!


It’s possible I may have unvented something.  Y’all tell me if you’ve seen this before.  Double i-cord trimmed seam.

and from the side:

Yes, that is Merlin at the lower left.  It’s a challenge to take a photo of my knitting without getting some of Merlin in it. Besides, he makes a nice background.

This sample is scheduled for felting, and I think the i-cord trim will be just the right accent.  The cool part is doing the seam and making the i-cord is all the same process.

Want to try it?

Pick up and knit stitches along both edges you wish to seam.  I’ve picked up one stitch in each garter ridge on each side.  In the photo, these are on the colorful needles.  With dpn, cast on six.  *On “right” or “public” side, place a stitch from the right holding needle onto the dpn.  k2tog, k2, sl 3 as if to purl.  Turn work.  On “wrong” or “private” side, place a stitch from the other holding needle onto the dpn.  p2tog tbl, p2, sl3 as if to purl.*  Repeat between *s until all stitches are taken up.  Bind off.  Reward self for cleverness with chocolate, if available.

Wasn’t that easy?  For those of you with sharp eyes and nosey attitudes, you’ve probably noticed that I’m knitting with two strands held together, and that the right holding needle is accidentally poked into the i-cord.  I also know you’ve counted and noticed that I have seven stitches of the i-cord yarn on the needle, one from a holding needle (leftmost), and that the work is ready to turn, and work a “wrong” side row.  You get more chocolate for your extra cleverness.  You are wondering about that extra i-cord stitch, right?  It’s between the two icords and knit on both sides, to be garter stitch.  Theoretically this could be any number of stitches.  That would make this technique extremely useful for say, a boxed pillow cushion, you choose the pillow’s thickness.  More stitches, fatter pillow.  Without middle stitches, a knife-edge pillow.  Skip the bind off, and weave the last stitches into the cast on.

I’m off to find some chocolate now.

Dyeing, Fiber Prep, What Next?

I recently had a birthday, a landmark one, the kind with a zero in it.  DH likes to buy me toys, and this one is special.  A really landmark toy.  A Strauch finest double wide motorized drum carder (whew, that’s a mouthful, too).

Just this week he gave me the perfect accessory for it. sells a Bosch “gravity-rise wheeled table saw stand” that happens to be the perfect size for my extremely cool birthday present.  This gives me some very appreciated capabilities.  1) I can use the drum carder while seated.  No hunching over, reaching, wearing my back out.  2) I can move the drum carder from place to place myself.  3) Smaller footprint when folded, taking up less precious space.  It’s getting crowded around here, what with all the stash and toys.  I am NOT complaining about that!

folded for travel:
folded for travel

and set up for work:
set up for work

The drum carder is cleverly attached to the table by heavy duty cable ties, cheap, very effective, and won’t leave any marks on the wood.

I thought it appropriate that DH should have my first handblended on the new carder (with fiber I hand dyed) and also my first handspun FO, modeled here by a young friend, not DH:
handspun hat for Jay

Can you see the fuzzy little bit of halo?  There’s colonial top, corriedale, fawn alpaca, tussah silk and a wee bit of angora (halo).  It has a nice soft hand and should be very warm.

It’s a little bit more than 4 oz. total and looked like this before carding:
1st batt composition

and like this after carding:
1st batt take 2

and then pulled into a roving:

1st batt pulled roving

and like this after spinning:
1st batt 2-ply

Here’s another batt which consists of 1) corriedale dyed in the crockpot along with 2) some tussah silk, and 3) a hint of green/blue firestar.  I pulled the dyed roving apart and sorted by color, then did the three color sections separately.  I think it will be a 2-ply yarn, with the colors sequential, not mixed.

corrie, silk, firestar

Any suggestions would be appreciated.  I’m still so new to all this stuff!  And so obsessed.  And having so much fun.  I wonder if I would enjoy weaving?  Would the structure of my family unit survive yet another fiber craft?  I’d better not even think about it.  Forget I even brought it up.  No, really.