Monday, March 29, 2010

Aloha, Mr. Fu

"Please don't say goodbye, just say aloha..." That's the tag line from Howard Louie Bluie Armstrong's song, "Kanaka." Aloha means "hello" and "goodbye," and sometimes goodbye is just too hard to say. On Sunday, Stephanie and I bade a loving aloha oe to Fu Man Chu. He was one week past 16 years old this past Sunday.

He had his last drink the way he liked it and he gracefully sauntered from the bathroom and out of this life.

The vet said that 16 years is a good long run for a cat, it's the human equivalent of 77 years. As I wash and pack his fountain away I remember that funny croaking meow at 6:00 am. I'll miss his quirky fascination for plumbing, his great love of shoes, the thumping of his big fat feet as he stole food from the table, his fear of the blanket monster, his love of people, his passion for play... we'll miss this little guy dearly.

Aloha oe, Mr. Fu Man Chu Wissinger. A loko e hana nei, good friend. We will never ever find another kanaka like you.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Knit PH at Prospect Perk Café, March 9, '10

Another warm night in winter — 70°. The weather has been unusually warm but I'm not complaining.

I had been craving an almond croissant all day. Kelly arrived first, she's new to the group. I introduced myself as bits of almonds flew from my mouth. She and Mariam are both in the legal field.

Look at Lindey's baby blanket. She has a good eye for color and texture — bold stripes of cream and moss. She the shell pattern is simple, it's based on a pillow sham (I think).

Evelyn used to knit a long while back and she's picked up her needles again. I helped her kick-start a sweater for her husband Tom. Tom is one of my drinking buddies.

Pat arrived later along with Liz and Amy. She brought her new-new project. We can't say that Marci is new to knitting anymore, she's crossed over to the "dark side" from the world of crochet. Although Knit PH is not a "learning circle" or a class, we've all helped each other along with information.

But learn we more than knitting, Meg L. pointed me towards KickStarter, an angle capital organization. She's been one of my biggest supporters of my LOTR  project.
Meanwhile Meg is contempled her next project, a lace skirt. But what would one wear under it? Men's knits are never that complicated. As long as a sweater can disguise a beer gut and a dirty t-shirt it has done its job.

Monday, March 08, 2010

LOTR Knits: Eryn Harn

My friends Anna and Justin are casually strolling through the Woodland Realm in their Eryn Harn — that's Sindarian for woodland helmet. This tilted toque is more Elvish play wear than it is combat regalia. This hat is a birthday present that I made for my friend Matty Kuhn. I guess that make this a man's hat, but Anna thinks otherwise.

I used two yarns: a variegated sepia, and a dark worsted chocolate. It gives this hat a rustic quality as if it were made from old tree bark. This is a great project for left over yarn when accurate yardage is not as important.

The garter stitch has a humble home-spun feel, and it's very elastic, but I don't use it very often in my design work. The garter stitch makes a very thick, spongy fabric — which makes this hat very warm and snug.

I designed this cap entirely in short row, knitting flat from left to right — as opposed to "top-down." Eryn Harn is based on three tapered leaf shapes flanked by small gussets.

 That's Samwise Gamgee in the background standing by the "You Are Here" sign in the Giladrial lobby.

Some sewing is required — the two sides are joined at the back.

I'm not very big on embellishments. I finished the edge with a four-stitch I-cord for stability and trimmed it with a black crab stitch border. A small I-cord loop marks the back.

This hat was inspired the classic representation of the Loatian Buddha. What a happy fellow, no?

Initially I worked on each leaf-shaped panels separately and pieced them together like a soft jigsaw puzzle.

The gussets (marked in orange) are actually of increased and decreased sections

This combination of short row shapes and gussets makes the hat tilt back and curve softly towards the front.