Archive for March, 2007

Stripes The Long Eared Bunny

Is he or isn’t he?
Is He or Isn’t He?

So I picked up my first Rachael Ray magazine last night. My husband and I used to enjoy her old $40 a Day show way back when. (Yeah, we’re cool, we were into her before she sold out and went mainstream, man.) I’ve always thought she was a bit too “chummy”, like your goofy friend that the boys make fun of but secretly like. But hey, that happens to everyone, right? No? Well, nevermind then…I know she’s quite in vogue these days with all the tv and the Oprah and I’ve read the amusing net backlash as well. (“Raytard”. Enough said.) I only bought the issue because cooking is not my forté and I’ve been hearing that a lot of her recipes are simple, and, for lack of a better term, man-pleasing. Superbowl steak sandwiches. Chili. She wrote a book called Guy Food, for goodnes sake, And since my beloved will barely eat what I do prepare, I thought she deserved a chance.


Enough of the backstory. I’m surveying the mag after a late night grocery trip and finding nothing simple nor manpleasing. Since it’s a bit of a lifestyle magazine as well, there are cute tablesettings and household tips and such. I reach the “Everyday Faves” section, which showcases the current must-haves in fashion and home items. And what to my wandering eyes should appear? A forlorn little bunny with floppy striped ears! As surprised as I was to see crocheted toys advertised in a hip mainstream magazine, I was immediately saddened by a mental picture of the poor sweatshop workers having to mass produce them. It looks like all single crochet with color changes every three rows…I get a blister just thinking about it.

I halfheartedly closed my new useless recipe book and dragged the kids to bed alongside my sickly (and possibly malnourished) husband and fell asleep without further thought about cooking or sweatshops. So, imagine my surprise this afternoon while surfing some blogs when I saw this post pointing to a “cute, snuggly knitted bunny”. I know there is enough polarization in the fiber community, and may the great Skein in the Sky forgive me if I am wrong, but I do not believe in my heart of hearts that this animal is knit.

Rachael’s got it listed for sale at apartment48.com, a site which gives no indication of the thing’s construction. A quick google reveals he’s (and let’s call him he for the sake of argument, shall we? I’m sure no one is questioning the gender of a stuffed toy) made by Schylling and sold by dozens of progressive Ikea type boutiques online. Some sites, including Amazon, say he’s knitted, while others have been saved by the don’t ask, don’t tell policy popularized by today’s military. Notice also that he can be “long eared” or “long earred”, which only serves to add more fire to the stew. Though what really caught my attention was the total lack of copywriting originality. Each site seemed to be remixing each others’ descriptions like I did when I copied my term paper out of an encyclopedia in the 7th grade.

Down and Dirty in the trenches

Listen, I know it’s tough enough to crochet in a world that caters to knitters, so let’s set the record straight if we can.

By passing over all the rhetoric, maybe we can out this bunny and bring a peace unto a nation of crafters.

Perhaps it’s true, by Stripes we can all be healed.

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Ripple-Along





Pattern from here:
Easy Ripple Afghan by SusanB

I have joined the denizens of the cult of ripple. As in the afghan meme, not Fred Sanford’s beverage of choice nor the lovely Grateful Dead classic. I got inspired by the idea of layers of color and all the feelings they evoke. Things start getting dour, and it’s time to liven it up with the bright and cheery. Spring is just around the corner and I’m excited about warm colors and pastels. My kids like helping me pick what’s next. I’m choosing colors as I go and trying new fibers. Which is a first for me – I don’t mind buying just a skein or two of nice wools to play with. (I’m cheap like that, though I’m well past the Boone’s farm stage.) I’m also using a lot of miscellaneous acrylics from my stash, yay!

I was also excited to try a new hook for this project. I picked up some older Phildars from eBay, they’re longer than the standard American fare. CGOA doesn’t list any statistics on why. I’ve seen some Inox and possibly Prym brand hooks like this too. I really like the longer length. It’s not like I have man-hands, they just feel more comfortable. Maybe because I’m left-handed, or the way I was taught. My Mom – a righty – would sit across from me so I could copy what she did. To this day I have to hold a mirror to some directions to learn a new stitch.

Project Linus recommends the pattern for charity projects. It’s an easy fast double crochet, and so far, I’m still pretty jazzed about it. Though I may only get half a row done on any particular day, the color changes provide me with motivation to get it done. I’m sure I’ll do more of these, now that I know the basic ripple theory. Check out Pumamouse’s site for a formula to customize your ripple, if you’re a bit mathematically inclined. Let’s see, I can fool around with different hill and valley heights, color combinations, stitch variations, it’s endless! I think a ridge of back-loop between changes would be nice. A super zig-zaggy black and white would be fun for a kids afghan or even a baby blanket. (Remember a few years ago when contrasty themes were purported to stimulate a newborn’s brain?) I’ve seen a Spiderman round ripple that looked cute too. Oooh, and a soft waved rainbow….oh, if I had as much time as I had ideas, I’d be rolling in yarny goodness!

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Kuler = Cooler Color

*kuler*

Not directly crochet related but definitely of interest to anyone planning a color scheme for a project. Follow the link above and choose from different “rules” such as Analogous, Complementary, etc and play with the colors until you make a scheme you like. The combinations are endless! Browse other themes by popularity or rating. With names ranging from Japanese Garden and Cherry Cheesecake to Watermelon Stomp and Tech Office, you’ll no doubt be inspired by the creative input of other users. Register to save and publish your palettes, as well as download them for use in several Adobe software packages such as Illustrator and Photoshop.

I’m starting a ripple afghan this week and I’m definitely going to try this along with the random stripe generator at Kiss Your Shadow.

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