29 April 2006

Five blossoms and preliminary poppies

I finished the five blossom project earlier in the week and the whole blossoms hanging from a stem is sort of mixed result. The distance between each blossom along the central icord stem was fine as shown in the picture below left.

I blew it on the length of the last two offshoot stems -- knitting them just a bit too long as shown in the
picture to the right.

The overall idea has a few problems too -- my original idea of only putting wire through the main stem and forming a graceful arch that the offshoot stems and blossoms dangle freely from seems to make the whole thing far too front loaded to not topple over.

If the angle/arch of the central stem is more upright the offshoot stems would seem to need some sort of support to not just droop back on themselves in a chaotic cluster.

That said, the chaotic cluster when turned around (blossoms coming down from rather than up from a stem) is rather charming. I could see it as a really fun beginning and end of icord for a hoodie or some other drawstring application.

If I can resolve some of the design issues and find a good green for lilies of the valley (which btw, have between 5 and 15 blossoms on a stem) I'll probably worry this notion a bit more in future. I think killer bluebells could also be formed using the same idea with a bit or refinement. So I'll keep playing.

For some reason or another working this project reminded me of poppies. I suspect that it was the red colour more than anything else.

The original idea of ruffling these out a bit bit the dust when I took the time to look at how the petals of poppies are actually oriented to each other.

So, I launched off into one of my "I wonder if this will work" exercises. The answer to the musical question posed ended up being "not as I expected" which is to say the end result wasn't what I was after but I saw a number of promising possibilities from what did happen.

These images show the flat petals formed from a number different angles.

23 April 2006

Earth Day, Saint George's Day & Orthodox Easter

For me, last weekend was mostly dedicated to taxes, design submissions, recalcitrant computers and laundry -- what fun.

Yesterday was Earth day and today is both Saint George's day and Orthodox Easter. Only one more British Isles saints' days remaining this year. My yesterday was all about getting packages into the mail and doing the odd mitvah.

My walkabout knitting has been a little project called five blossoms -- so named because ultimately there will be five blossoms coming off of an icord stem.

The first pass was okay, but starting with the blossoms and working up to the icord presented construction issues that my acknowledged lousy Kitchenering was not loving.

So I rewrote the pattern to start from icord and work down to the blossom. In the final phase I think the first blossom will be knit from bloom to stem and the others from stem to bloom.

In addition to three of the original abandoned for this project because of the construction issues, I've three of the redesigned five blossoms well on their way to complete.

In working through this and my more realistic daff rewrite, I'm thinking that these can be the basis of a couple of other flowers such as lilies of the valley, poppies, bluebells and perhaps fuchsia.

Once the icord is complete, the blossoms are fundamentally based on an incorrect read of how to knit a "lies flat" swirl triangle.

When there are enough stitches on each needle to divide evenly by 4, the shape is elongated with a bit plain knitting before continuing the knitting as to form a swirl square. When the number of stitches is evenly divisible by both 3 and 4, short rows form the petals. Then the centre decreases revert to the triangle formula. And the flower is folded back into itself to produce a closed loop.

In the images here, I do have a bit of floral wire running through the icord to show the final desired result but when I'm actually knitting it is a bit like hauling around a medusa. FWIW, the yarn is DMC Baroque Crochet Cotton and the needles are 2mm.

14 April 2006

Realistic daffs, rain and rejection -- good Friday indeed

Rejection sucks but realistic daffodils lessen the blow.

Today the IK submission came back with the polite but perfunctory thank you but no thank you letter. Simple but solid design with enough variations to make for a good staff project but it got a bye.

Suck it down, move on and put the finishing touches on the Knitty design for upload tomorrow. I just wish the shots of the lilies on the monument at Pioneer Park had better lighting, that the shots in the botanical building didn't have quite so much glare or that I had enough Photoshop skills to correct both problems.

Onto realistic daffs -- Plymouth Wildflower DK Green and DMC Senso Sunflower Yellow and bit of icord into polygon action combined to create the darling daff at left lounging in front of its organic captive cousins in the blue vase.

Surviving litter-mate girl cat Kali ko opo is trying oh so hard to help me write this entry and she's making writing this oh so harder than it needs to be.

04 April 2006

April Showers San Diego style

In most of the Northern Hemisphere rain in April is part of the whole "April showers bring May flowers" thing -- you know? Something to be expected? But I live in San Diego California where weather denial is the name of the game.

Let's see, storms have very recently leveled parts of the mid-West but somehow a rain that dropped less than a half inch of water in the greater downtown portion of town is a hard rain -- yeah, right. I've lived here for the better part of 23 years but I'm still not a weather wimp and I know that the wussy showers we've had here are going to play out a lot worse as they move East. So, apologies in advance those of you who will be feeling real weather soon.

But as wussy as the media and the locals can be I'm still trying to figure out how it is that the paltry amount of rainfall that fell during Tuesday's somewhat soggy trek to the local shops resulted in a two inch deep puddle of water covering an entire lane of Normal Street.

This lovely little puddle's formation is more mysterious/annoying since this part of town has been through no less than three recent street improvements in the last decade that apparently managed to miss that little infrastructure thing and with yet another improvement project on the books for Normal Street itself, I have no reason to believe that the next project is going to improve the underlying problem.

Wednesday morning I faced the morning commute and observed that, although it has been the law since July 2005, at least half of the cars on the road did not have their headlamps on in the rain. And in no huge surprise they tended to be the light coloured difficult to see vehicles who also seemed to still be harbouring under the illusion that driving in packs/blocs of cars is a good idea. Typical and also typical that there was almost no rain South of the 8 on the 163 and lots of rain on the mesas.

Tomorrow's post will not be about San Diego and rain but flowers, blogging and things of actual interest.