Thursday, 14 April 2011

Knitting Beauty or Beast?

My Sweetheart knows my very well it's true. He always knows how to make me smile and has always been incredibly good at finding me the perfect gift for whatever occasion. That is why I wasn't in the least bit surprised when this little piece of amazingness came into my life through him. He would know that the following would simultaneously delight, confuse, horrify and inspire me...

What do you think of these...?

Brilliant eh? :)
The above knitting books - "Beastly Knits" and "Fowl Knits", fabulous titles aren't they?! - were written in the 1980s by Lalla Ward, companion to Tom Baker's Doctor Who as Romana the Time Lady. Who would have known that someone with such a high public profile would end up releasing two knitting books. And not just any knitting books, because let's face it, these patterns are anything but ordinary! The main idea behind "Beastly Knits" is a selection of jumper with - have you guessed? - knitted animals on them. 30 patterns for animal jumpers. Which are apparently suitable for "little children and trendy teenagers through to the elderly and statelier members of your family". I think that you may have slightly over stretched yourself Lalla... :)

Cat on front, cat on back!
Now there may be some among you who think I'm crazy, but I actually think that these jumpers are quite brilliant in their hideousness. I mean just look at the cat above, with it's paws hanging down the back, isn't that sweet? OK some of the patterns are a bit terrifying, for example the monstrous cow below shouldn't be worn in view of small children who would probably get nightmares, but I still think that these patterns really do have charm. Or maybe I'm just strange, who knows!

The cow... Dun dun dun!!!
"Fowl Knits" is dear old Lalla's follow up pattern book, this time just focusing on birdies as opposed to beasties. Now I must admit that the pictures in this book are a real treat, whoever styled these girls deserves a medal! Particular favourites of mine are the following:

The Finches

The Scarlet Macaw

The Red Junglefowl
I mean, who wouldn't want to chew a piece of straw whilst wearing a jumper with a great big cockerel on it? :)

Now, what I'm about to tell you may shock many of you, some of you may even think I have screw loose, but I am going to knit one of these unique sweaters for my very own. I'm going to do some major adjustments to the patterns, making it more fitted and generally a lot cuter, but it will for all intents and purposes be one of Lalla Ward's "Beastly Knits". Hurrah, Huzzah! And the pattern that I have selected is....... The Dachshund!

The Dachshund!
 The Dachshund pattern is particularly cute because the dog's stomach stretches around the whole of the back of the jumper, so that both his head and front legs and his hide legs and tail are on the front of the jumper. I have always loved dachshunds, I dream of having one of my own one day when I have the time and money, and so when I saw this pattern I just couldn't resist! I have already chosen some lovely alpaca wool for this project, and have started knitting up my gauge swatch so I can start altering the pattern. So watch this space, there will soon be a little dachshund jumper trotting around London! (Or at least there will be when it's cold enough to wear jumpers again)

I want a real one of these please...
To finish I will leave you with some pictures of the fabulous Dita Von Teese with her adorable dachshunds. They are clearly pets with style :)

Bye for now!


Caroline C. said...

Hahah, Beastly Knits indeed. ;)
I think it could work....if styled properly and with the full knowledge that you realize the patterns are fairly silly so that it doesn't seem like you're truly oblivious to the "beastly-ness". Also making them more fitted would help a lot which is part of your plan.

If you do end up knitting one, holy cow that would be a lot of work and impressive! Seeing the posts Tasha has on her knit-along made me realize how much work goes into knitting a full sweater, especially with any kind of design.

LandGirl1980 said...

I am actually in LOVE with the rooster jumper!!! How landgirl-esque is that!! I also love the titles of the books :)

Wendy said...

Great Post!! It looks like a fantasticly 80's book, the cow one does scare me, not sure I would want udders on a jumper:)

Though I really love the cat one at the top and think it would really look great on a more fitted jumper! Good Luck with the Dachshund I'm sure its going to look great, I'll have to keep my eye out for you! :)

Miss Katie said...

Caroline C - I know, this is going to be a fairly hardcore project! I've been knitting for years but I am pretty much a novice when it comes to resizing, so this could be very interesting... I'm doing Tasha's knit along, isn't she inspirational? I can't believe she's only been knitting for a relatively short time. Do you knit yourself? It's a great hobby, I love it!

LandGirl1980 - I do think the rooster is sweet, you're right, he is very landgirl-esque! If you want a copy of the pattern I'd be happy to scan it for you, I could make your rooster jumper dreams come true :)

Wendy - Thank you! I do love all the patterns, however horrific they may be, even the terrible udders! :) The cat is so cute, it was my second choice for adaptation, it just lost out to the dachshund :)

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