All I want (to make) for Christmas: Yip Yips stockings

OMG, these hand-crocheted Yip Yips stockings by Carissa Browning sure do make me smile. The big mouths of Sesame Street's Muppet martians are perfect for stuffing in holiday gifts (and later for storing toys, Browning suggests).

One catch: If you want these, you'll have to crochet or knit them yourself. Fortunately, Browning has provided patterns for them which can be downloaded for free from her Ravelry page.

The spaceship has landed, and any fan of late 20th century children’s public television will recognize these lovable aliens.

Crochet them or knit them, use them as holiday stockings, toy storage, kids’ laundry, whatever really!

You should also be prepared to play with ping pong balls and pipe cleaners, and do a little light sewing.

Yip yip uh-huh uh-huh

(Cool Mom Picks, Daily Crochet)

photo via Carissa Browning, used with permission Read the rest

Machine-knit Cyber Scarf ships with its source code

I'm really digging this retro-styled reversible Cyber scarf ($109) by Seattle-based KnitYak, maker of "generative mathematical" machine-knit goods.

The yarn used is a 100% machine washable acrylic in bright green and black. Ships with source code in Processing for the pixel native cyber pattern that is knit into the scarf.

Do go check out KnitYak's other scarves -- the one with the Macintosh IIfx icons is divine.

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This indoor bike can knit a scarf in five minutes: Cyclo-Knitter

To stave off the cold and boredom of waiting at the train station, Dutch design student George Barratt-Jones made a pedal-powered knitting machine that can whip up a neck scarf in five minutes flat. He writes, "[It] gets you warm by moving, you are making something while you wait and in the end you are left with a free scarf! That you can decide to keep yourself or give to someone who needs it more."

Check out his design notes and photos here:

Cyclo Knitter by George Barratt-Jones

(Colossal) Read the rest

Don these slippers inspired by Marty McFly's self-lacing sneakers

You probably missed out when Nike auctioned off 89 modern-day replicas of Marty McFly's self-lacing sneakers, but that shouldn't stop you from having a pair. While they don't tie themselves, these handcrafted slippers inspired by Marty's futuristic Back to the Future II Air Mags should do the trick. Read the rest

Check out this hand-knit Pac-Man Icelandic peysa

This woolen Pac-Man sweater, an Icelandic peysa, popped up in my Facebook feed on Wednesday and it made me squee with delight. It's the handiwork of my friend Christine Clarke.

She told me that her husband, Doctor Popular, designed the sweater in knittingpatterns.is and, after some tweaking, she knit it up for him.

"I told him that if he designed a sweater, I'd knit it for him. But since he never knitted before, it was really difficult to implement his original design, so I ended up making a lot of modifications that didn't really affect the look but made a huge difference in how easy it was to knit."

And knit it, she did...

Christine told me she has been working on the sweater on and off for months, "I started it early February of this year, and of course I only finished it now."

If you'd like to knit one for yourself (and you're roughly the same size as Doc Pop), they've been kind enough to share the pdf pattern with us. Download it here. Christine says spent about $80 on yarn "because I had to get all the different colors, so even for a small accent (like the white), I bought a whole ball of it, so I'll have to think of a different project for all the leftovers."

Can't wait to see what's next!

photos by Christine Clarke and Doc Pop Read the rest

Have you seen this ugly clown sweater?

These clowns I know were having a yard sale Sunday, so I swung by. I picked up a sweet plumed marching band hat, a pair of tinted goggles for Burning Man, and a really cool long cloak, also for the desert. While shopping, I spotted this smiling clown face sweater in the rack of multi-colored clothes.

I recognized it immediately.

Wil Wheaton had once (famously) wore one just like it.

That's a friend of mine in the lead picture (who wanted to remain anonymous, for reasons). At the sale, she tried the 100% acrylic monstrosity on with little to no intention of actually buying it. In fact, as she was pulling it over her head, she mumbled a couple times, "I'm no clown. I'm no clown." I took a photo of her not being a clown, because.

When I got home, I posted the photo on Facebook and people wanted to know if I had bought it. I hadn't.

One friend wondered if anyone we knew was involved in The Clownsweater Project which has many photos of people wearing a clown sweater, just like the one at the yard sale. Another friend, Valerie, piped in, "Me!" and shared this photo of herself. In fact, the sweater that she's wearing is the exact same one that Wil wore:

I then started reading up on The Clownsweater Project. I was happy to discover that they've shared its entire history, including Wil Wheaton's part in it on their site:

In 2002 at another EFF Fundraiser at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco, Barney (yes, the purple dinosaur) and Wil Wheaton were pitted against each other in a boxing match...

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These 'temperature blankets' show a whole year's worth of weather!

All you knitters or crocheters, this one's for you: temperature blankets

The basic idea is that, every single day for an entire year, you'll stitch up a new row (or square or circle or other shape). The color you choose is determined by the outside temperature. 

When I first came across one on Instagram, I thought it was something pregnant women did to kill time while waiting for baby to arrive. I thought these soon-to-be-moms were measuring their internal body temperature not the one outside. I can see now that I made it too complicated, and weird. To be fair, the crocheter of the one I saw had described it as her "daughter's temperature blanket."

Anyway, it's a super cool and simple idea. And it leaves plenty of room for creativity.

Most people start them at the beginning of the year, but you seem like a rebel to me. Start one today. Read the rest

Rescued elephants get giant knitted sweaters

Indian conservation group Wildlife SOS has a team of knitters that could put your grandma's afghan-making skills to shame. They create these colorful knitted sweaters for elephants in their care. Read the rest

Detangling enthusiasts trade snarled yarn to tease back into order

Online communities like Ravelry's "Knot a Problem" invite knitters to ship them their most tangled yarn, which they patiently unravel and wind into usable skeins, as a kind of knitting-adjacent hobby, one that combines problem solving with topology. Read the rest

104-year-old crocheter yarnbombs her town

Grace Brett, 104, is part of a guerrilla crochet group called the Souter Stormers who yarn bombed landmarks in Selkirk, Ettrickbridge and Yarrow, Scotland. The installation was tied to an arts festival in the area. Video below.

“I liked seeing my work showing with everyone else and thought the town looked lovely," Brett said.

Her daughter Daphne, 74, added "She thinks it is funny to be called a street artist.”

More at the Daily Record.

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X-Me Collection turns furniture into cross-stitch canvases

Ellinor Ericsson's X-Me Collection weaves colorful tubes of fabric into Nordic style furniture with latticed birch backs, adding a touch of whimsy to the clean design. Read the rest

Intricate crocheted wire heart by Anne Mondro

Artist Anne Mondro uses narrow-gauged tinned copper wire and other materials to create works like If I can stop one heart from breaking. Read the rest

A brief history of yarn in video games

A charming game called Unravel stood out at E3 2015. But before that, there was the Nintendo Knitting Machine, and you've been missing out.

Knitted anatomical dissections: readymade or DIY

We've featured the lovely knitted dissections of Aknitomy before (previously), but its proprietor, Emily Stoneking, keeps on turning out whimisico-scientific knitted fancies that please the eye and tickle the mind. It's not just her classic knitted dissections of frogs, fetal pigs, bats, worms (surprisingly affordable!), and even Easter bunnies -- she's also selling all her patterns, and even kits! Read the rest

Knitwear for the Brady Bunch

Sadly, several knit garments from the first edition of Barbara G. Walker's Knitting From The Top (1972) are not included in the most recent addition. I can only assume they were omitted by mistake, because they are splendid. See more images at I'm Learning to Share. Read the rest

Knitting as computation

K2G2 -- a wiki for "krafty knerds and geek girls" -- has a marvellous series of posts about "Computational Craft" through which traditional crafting practices, like knitting, are analyzed through the lens of computer science. The most recent post, A Computational Model of Knitting, point out the amazing parallels between knitting and computing, with knitting needles performing stack and dequeue operations, "While straight needles with caps store and retrieve their stitches according to the principle of LIFO (first in - last out), double pointed and circular needles additionally implement the functions of a queue or FIFO (first in – first out), effectively forming a double ended queue, also known as dequeue." Read the rest

Knitted monster masks

Etsy seller Tracy Widdess's "Brutal Knitting" project features a number of truly remarkable soft, knitted monster masks.

Brutal Knitting (via The Mary Sue)

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