Monday, October 10, 2011

Free Literary Awesomeness

...Is right here:
Community Books

I sort of stumbled upon it while trying to find the pdf download of Principia Discordia. The whole site is great: sheet music, How-To books, , various reference books (my favorite!), Sci-Fi, audio files (including authors discussing their works), and lots more.

There are lots of languages available too. :)

I got a flyer from my local library recently about banned books (actually it was an invite to a read-aloud/light dinner get-together where I assume we will also discuss how silly it is to ban books), and Brave New World was on the list. Seriously. If you've not read it, you're being silly and you should get on that.


If you're too busy knitting/painting/drawing/bending/throwing/whatever to read with your eyes, check out LibriVox. Site members read chapters/bits/whole books and upload their audio files, and you can download and listen to them. There are loads of books, and new books and chapters are being uploaded all the time.

So seriously. Go read something.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

coming soon::

- pattern for slippers, a requested pattern created between two knitters working from different states, both inspired by different slippers (some free slippers, two paid, and all with different, great characteristics like felting, thrums, bunny ears, leather soles, etc. unfortunately there probably won't be thrums, because neither of us is any good at explaining how to do them). what a fucking challenge! we've taken both patterns and are working on collecting our favorite parts of the two and combining them into something... that looks nice. and keeps yo' feet warm.

- a collection of love in the form of quotes from different knitters/crocheters/crafters in general from ravelry/tumblr/gmail/other places, but no names will be listed.

- recycled mason jar lanterns

- breakfast cookie recipe

the main knitter here (me) has a lot of stuff going on right now... family, impending baby, a mountain of wips, school volunteer stuff, kip meetups, and too much damn holiday baking. aside from gaining a thousand pounds from treacle-dipped apples and various cheese sauces, i'll be fairly busy trying to get things in order for this doom-child while ferrying the other one to and from sports and science club.
the future likely holds less knitting patterns, but recipes, crochet, and various art-filled goodness will still abound!

follow us on tumblr for great free pattern suggestions from fabulous designers! but be warned that they'll mostly be ravelry links. :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


This pattern was inspired by another, and I've been asked not to mention any names.
Hopefully I've removed enough information to please the request of the original designer, but I do not want anybody to claim I'm trying to steal an idea. I've actually been told recently that someone had been knitting stuffed-hexagon-quilts back 40 years ago!

This is just a pattern for a hexagon. From comments I've received, it's fairly different from the pattern that inspired it, but I like it. I like it so much I want to make a king-sized quilt out of cashmere sock yarn and stuff them with feathers and never leave bed again. I won't though, because I don't have the stamina to make a billion of these. Cat toys I can handle though.
But here's what I did to make mine:
for a no-nonsense, basics-only version, scroll to the end of the post

(This pattern is written for magic loop. If you've never knit magic loop before, now is a great time to learn-- hexagons are wicked easy and if you mess up you'll only have a few rows to frog. If you're going to use two circulars or dpns, ignore the magic cast-on directions and use a provisional cast-on, crochet cast-on, or just a regular long-tail that you can seam later.)


One circular needle, 24" or longer, OR two circular needles, any length, OR dpns in appropriate size for your yarn.
Yarn! ...Anything.
Tapestry needle, scissors, and a bit of Fiberfill

Gauge:Doesn't matter. Just use needles that give you a fairly firm fabric (because of the stuffing!)

My needles/yarn, in the following pictures, are one US4 Hiya Hiya circular/Mirasol Hacho

tbl- through the back loop
M1 (R or L)- a lifted increase, Right or Left side of stitch
SSK- slip, slip, knit- slip two stitches, separately, knit-wise onto right-hand needle, slide them back to left needle, and knit both together tbl.
K2tog- knit 2 stitches together

The pattern:

Magic-cast-on a total of 24sts. --12sts. on each needle. [YouTube has a generous selection of magic cast-on tutorials]
First row: knit all stitches on first needle, on second needle knit all sts. tbl.
Next row: knit all stitches.
Increase rows:
Row 3: (K1, M1R, K until last 2 sts. K1, M1L, K1) 2 times. You've got 14 sts. on ea. needle, 28 total.
Rows 4 and 5: Knit all sts.
Repeat rows 3-5, increasing by 4 sts. every third row until you have 40 sts. total, 20 on ea. needle (increase sequence ends after the two knit rows).

(You are making your M1 increases on the second and second-to-last stitch in each increase row. This keeps a K1 border at the edge of your honeycomb and makes it look nice and crispy. You'll do the same for the decrease sequence.)

Decrease rows:
Next row: (K1, SSK, K until 3 sts., K2tog, K1) 2 times.
Next 2 rows: Knit all sts.
Repeat rows, decreasing by 4 sts. every third row until you have  24 sts. (12 sts. on ea. needle) End decrease sequence with two knit rows.
Stuff honeycomb as desired and close with Kitchener stitch.
                                          [video source. Love this video!]

Stuff you can change:
Finishing: You really don't have to use Kitchener stitch if you're morally opposed. You can three-needle bind off, but it won't be seamless and it won't mirror the cast-on edge. But if you've used a cast-on you'll have to seam it will :)
Increases: You can kfb all increases if you don't mind the purl-bumps it causes, or you can also use a yarn-over. If you yo, just knit the yo-stitch tbl on the next row.
Decreases: K2tog all decreases, SSK all, or use SL1, K1, PSSO instead of an SSK. Or just use 'em for all your decreases.

This one has been adopted by Butters:


Magic cast-on 24sts. total                                                                    
K 2 rows plain                                                                                      
Next row: (K1, M1R, K1 to last 2, K1, M1L, K1) 2 times                            
Next 2 rows: K across                                                                                                  
Repeat these two until you have 40 sts, ending with 2 K rows.                                
Next row: ( K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1) 2 times.                                    
Next 2 rows: K across                                                                              
Repeat until 24 sts remain, end with 2 K rows                                                     
Kitchener closed