Out of Character

Cover to Cover has gotten me to draw things I wouldn't if left to my own devices. My Moby Dick cover had more shirtless men than I've put in all of my other illustrations combined, and the last two covers (both were due today) feature exotic creatures.

Our first assignment was issue twelve of The Goon. The comic as a whole is both weird and gorgeous; this issue was bizarre and also featured a significant role for Lagarto, a Spanish lizard butler.

I really sort of love him.

Our second cover due today was King Kong. The tragic aspects of the story have always appealed to me. I was also thinking about the hugeness of New York City, even compared to the eighth wonder of the world.


Six Weeks of Knitting Makes for a Surprisingly Manic Wintersessio

Finally the pieces from my Machine Knitting class this Wintersession have been properly (more or less) photographed. First, samples!

These are samples made by manually manipulating stitches as they're knit.

The machines we use are incredibly cool; they're completely manual and don't use any electricity. Two-color pattern work--fairisle--is done with punchcards. It's an odd combination of math and mechanics and something close to a magic trick.

This is my favorite sample; unfortunately I didn't have time to work with it much, but I'm planning on adapting it for a pair of handknit socks. The sample is hand felted (my first attempt) so it's a little wonky. It's also a nod to the lovely Rachel Rabbit.

Here are the garments I made. All the garment-construction articles I read on Knitty really came in handy. I bought a cardigan from Delia's to get rough measurements, then lengthened the sleeves and made the neck a little scoop-ier. The buttons are antique shoe buttons from Valley Fabrics in Northampton. It's made with a wool-synthetic-alpaca blend, which is a little itchy, but really warm.

This is the same pattern, just not a cardigan, in a really nice wool-cashmere blend. A friend pointed out that I've been wearing it at least every other day since I made it.

Lastly, this was my final, reverse-engineered a little bit from a coat in the Vogue Knitting 2005 Holiday issue (from the collection of Victorian patterns) and taking inspiration from the costumes in Pan's Labyrinth. It fits, I have to say, perfectly, and the inner front (it's double breasted with ten--count 'em--buttonholes), collar, and inner sleves are lines with a different color of that same cashmere-wool blend. I'm waiting for spring when I can wear it as a jacket.

This class was a great departure from my normal studios. I love telling stories and I missed drawing, but it was really refreshing to embark on a project and know exactly how it was going to end. If a sleeve didn't work, I just had to readjust my math. I'm an illustrator at heart, but I want to pick machine knitting back up when I get settled after graduation. After all, machines on eBay can be aquired for just a couple hundred dollars...


Stories About Animals

I'm gradually getting into the swing of Spring Semester and liking all four of my studios. I'm taking a watercolor course, a portfolio studio that's essentially an independent study (I'm doing young adult illustrations for that), a class on licensing where I can draw graphic and adorable animals to my heart's content, and a class called Cover to Cover which is all--surprise!--book covers.

I'm really liking Cover to Cover; the range of books we're tackling is really wide, including a couple of comics. Here are the first two:

Moby Dick, in watercolor and gauche.

Animal Farm, digital printed on Reeves BFK with china marker. (If I'd had time, I would have screen printed this, but the piece got a great reaction in crit.)

As always, more to come.