Monthly Archives: February 2011

New Year Bunnies

Once again, Chinese New Year is here, which means another set of CNY prints. This being the Year of the Rabbit, the cards feature a wee family of the critters.

I started several weeks ago with this very loose little sketch,

mulled it over in my head for a while and came up with this as the final product:

Cute, sure, but I have to say that It would have been more complex if I’d been able to take more time for it. As it was I chose the ease and speed of lino (well, Speedcut block to be precise) printing again, and a simple design, just not feeling up to anything more labour-intensive.

When I started this series my goal was to use it to spur myself to learn more print techniques and develop as an artist. I definitely did that in the Year of the Ox, and though I wasn’t terribly challenged by the Year of the Tiger print, it did at least push what I’d done in that particular medium.

This year, however, I felt like it would have to be enough just to get it done. Heck, I even managed it more or less on time. But I sincerely hope that by next CNY I’ll be feeling a little more in control of my time, a little less overwhelmed by just getting through each day, let alone trying to be a better artist.

So here’s hoping for a peaceful bunny of a year, with time to recover from the Tiger.


Surprise!

This is it, the Baby Surprise Jacket.

The real surprise, to me at least, was that I actually managed to complete this in a reasonable amount of time, and it still fits him a month and a half later!

The pattern is great fun: just enough variety to keep one awake while knitting, but with simple enough technique that even a relative beginner could do it with a little bravery and concentration. And of course the surprise bit, knitting up this wobbly warped thing that turns into a jacket with two easy seams. The only modification I made was the addition of a very simple straight collar, just enough to keep drafts off the munchkin’s chubby little neck.

For me, the number of seams in a garment is inversely proportional to my delight in knitting it, so the only thing that could have made me happier with it would have been making it with one yarn so as to avoid all the ends to weave in. Of course the upside of that is the satisfaction of using up all those great little skeinlets of yummy yarns.

The jacket itself is genius: the full arms are easy to pull on over long sleeve shirts and short enough that they stay out of the way of busy, grabby little hands. I only got four buttons sewn on on of the six I made holes for, but it seems like it would be fine with any button arrangement one chose to use.

I love this jacket and am sure I’ll have to make another in the toddler size for next winter.

Coming soon: more finished objects, and this year’s Chinese New Year prints!