Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011 KAL : Shape unveiling

Happy Birthday Mr. Verne!
Jules Verne 183rd birthday was yesterday, February 8th. Google celebrated his birthday with a little interactive doodle.
As you all know by now, Mr Verne is the source of inspiration for our 2011 KAL, which I will call "Lace Adventure Around the World". Because we are once more venturing into unknown, mysterious territory, armed only with a ball of really thin string and pointy sticks. Fear not! At the end of the year, we will accomplish a stunning piece of work that will tell a story all of its own.

Jules Verne was the greatest armchair traveller that ever lived. Born in Nantes, his education was as a lawyer. He worked as a stockbroker, but his soul was in writing. He wrote theater plays, until the success of his novella "Five Weeks in a Balloon" allowed him to write full time. After that, he produced at least a book a year, many of them forever a part of popular culture. Verne, a man with absolutely no scientific or technical training, and who hardly travelled far from home, took his readers in wild, adventurous trips to places nobody had been before: the bottom of the sea (in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, where he created one of the most famous heroes of literature, Capt Nemo and his submarine the Nautilus), to the moon (From the Earth to the Moon), to the center of the Earth (Travel to the Center of the Earth), to the Russian plains (in the horse of Mihel Strogoff, the Czar's courier). He wrote about floating cities, mysterious islands, space travel. Here is the unbelievable long list of his writings. In the fashion of many truly visionary writers, many of his "inventions" have come to life in later years - more notably the submarine; The first all-electrical AND the first nuclear subs were called "Nautilus". 

We will talk in more detail about Around the World in 80 Days as the weeks go by, because we are not just stacking together a bunch of patterns in this shawl, but indeed following the comings and goings of the characters, and the final result will have a more cohesive feel to it than our 2010 sampler did!
If you haven't read the book, don't remember it, or haven't seen a movie, here is a link to the original theatrical trailer for the 1956 movie starring David Niven, Mexican comic Mario Moreno "Cantinflas", Shirley McClain and Joseph Newton in the main roles.
Click on the "see trailer". You can also rent the movie
It won 5 Oscars and had more than 40 cameos by famous artists, including Frank Sinatra!. If you want to watch the movie, don't even consider the 2004 flop starring Jackie Chan. I love Jackie Chan, but they turned Fogg into a bumbling idiot of an inventor, instead of the supremely cool and composed English gentleman. Watch that delightful snippet in the trailer where Passepartout scoops snow from a mountain peak to add to Fogg's tea while flying in a balloon.

Soooo ... What are we making? And the answer is:
Our 2011 shawl will be a square one, knitted on the round from the center out. BUT... we will also give the option to make a half-square shawl (essentially, using two repeats and knitting back and forth), which would give you a triangle!. Yay! I love options!!!!. Get about 2000 yds if you want to do the full square, and half that much for the triangle. And YES, there will be options to do nupps, beads, or nothing at all so you can adjust the look and the difficulty level. Excited??? I sure am.

In a few days, I will post an update about choosing your yarn and colors to represent the different characters in the book. It may not matter to you, but it is a fun bit anyway, and it will give us the chance to do some virtual shopping through some gorgeous yarns. I will also post a list of materials, and the sign up rules.

A knitter's happy place
How many times do you gift a knitted item, one in which you have pour hours of effort and work, only to get a lukewarm reception or outright dismissal? And why do we keep making knitted gifts anyway?

The answer is: because sometimes, somebody is absolutely elated, enchanted, enamoured or just totally amused, and we live just to see that moment.
Autobots (good guys) in front

Decepticons (bad guys) in back

Reversible! "more than meets the eye" caption

Such is the case with my son's Transformers Toque. He loved the damned hat so much he popped it in his head the minute I finished weaving ends. That night, he slept wearing only his PJ pants and the hat (no shirt - he hates PJ tops). He wears it around the house while brandishing his plastic sword (so loved it is held together with duct tape). I could cry in happiness.

Winterchild is out!
And you probably knew already because Karen "puffycats" blew the horn, LOL!!! Knitpicks moved pretty quick in putting this guy up for sale. Here is the knitpicks pattern site, and Here is the Ravelry pattern page.

February is going to be a HUGE month for me; Yarn Forward Magazine (in its issue #35) is publishing my first pattern ever to appear in a real trade magazine! And another one soon to appear in the Spring issue of Tangled Magazine!. Very excited :). I will give you a heads up.

Scraping the bottom of the WIP drawer...
Yes! I finished the Sylvar sweater!
One down, three more UFOs to go (and a couple of designs in the Messing Around phase). I have moved on to finish my Cliffrose out of Gaia Lace - yum! I forgot how scrumptious that yarn is. I am well past the half. Also still laboring on the edge of my 2010 KAL. I get easily distracted, but I am also past the half. I need to clean out stuff because I plan to start not one, but TWO 2011 shawls!!!

1 comment:

  1. I love how you make even simple announcements to KALs sound like the most exciting things ever!! I can't wait to do the "Around the World KAL" and will definitely download the book to listen to as I knit..

    jjabie on Rav