Friday, December 29, 2006


Today I ...did absolutely nothing. But I discovered a new band.


Beirut's smoothly pulsing Balkan melodies have stolen my heart these past few days, or weeks I daresay. They fuse accordians and trumpets, tambourines and male vocals, to create something completely unique that I never imagined I would love. Seriously, listen to one song and you will understand, because in each of us is a longing to root ourselves into the cultures of the world.

Beirut - Postcards from Italy

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Edmund the Owl

I knit this cuddly owl while watching Superman Returns today. Lately I have been engulfed by adventurous movies starring idealistic male heroes. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. It is quite natural, I believe, for people to be drawn to such figures, but I always hoped I would be different. The fundamentals of human nature are to blame, for sure.

Edmund the owl is named after such a figure, if less physically than morally strong, from Jane Austen's fantastic novel, Mansfield Park. It's not a bad movie, either.

Here is Edmund. I suppose he is rather owlish. Edmund from the BBC version is more of a llama, and ironically, I have been keen to knit an andean llama purse. Anyway...

Here is Edmund the owl! I love his scarf, though it is not very eighteenth century. Maybe I should knit him an ascot and a military jacket.

I will type up a pattern soon, but seeing as it is 2:30 in the morning, I should probably go to bed.



Here is the pattern.

Edmund the Owl

Edmund’s body is worked in the round on double-pointed needles, His eyes, wings, ears, and beak are made separately and stitched on later.

120 yards of worsted weight yarn, brown in color, (I just used some scrap yarn, lion wool possibly)
size 8 double-pointed needles
size 8 straight needles
tapestry needle
sewing needle
stitch marker
felt (cream colored and black colored)
Thread (cream colored and black colored)
Small amount of contrasting color (for scarf, optional)


Using double-pointed needles, CO 6 sts. Place marker and join into the round.
Increase each stitch of first round (12 sts)
Knit 1 round.
Repeat first 2 rounds (24 sts)
(Knit 1, Increase 1) around (36 sts)
Knit 1 round.
Repeat previous 2 rows (54 sts)

Knit until piece measures 6 ½ inches long. (You can make him shorter or taller as you wish)
Now would be a good time to firmly stuff the bottom of Edmund with fiberfill. Take your time and make sure Edmund is stuffed to perfection. He should be a vertical oval shape. Stuff to the top, near your knitting needles. Remember you can add more fiberfill to stuff the top as you knit it.

K1, k2tog (Knit I, knit two together) around (36 sts)
Knit one round
Repeat previous 2 rounds (24 sts, stuff the top as you need it)
K2tog (knit 2 together) around (12 sts)
Knit one round.
Repeat previous 2 rounds (6 sts)

Cut 5 inches of yarn from the end. Using the tapestry needle, thread it through the remaining 6 stitches, pull tight, and knot.

Wings (make 2)

Using straight needles, cast on 6 sts.
Work 10 rows in stockinette stitch.
Row 11 – K2tog, knit until 2 remain, K2tog (4 sts)
Row 12-14 – Purl 1 row, Knit 1 row, Purl 1 row.
Row 15 – K2tog across row (2 sts)
Cut yarn, thread through last two stitches, pull tight and knot.

Ears (make 2)

Using straight needles, CO 4.
Purl 1 row
K2tog, knit rest of row (3 sts)
Purl 1 row
K2tog, knit last stitch.
Cut yarn, thread through last two stitches, pull tight and knot.


Using straight needles, CO 2 stitches.
Increase stitches across row (4 sts)
Purl 1 row
K1, K2tog, K1 (takes up entire row – 3 stitches.
Purl row.
Cut yarn, thread through last three stitches, pull tight and knot.

To make the scarf I think I cast on about 60 stitches and knit 2 rows before binding off. To make a neater-looking scarf, cast on 4 or 5 stitches, and knit until desired length. It’s up to you, make him your own. J


Cut out two larger cream colored ovals from the felt, and two small black circles, in proportion to the picture below. Sew them into place using the needle and thread. Using the tapestry needle and yarn, sew on the wings, ears, and beak according to the picture below.

If you have any questions (which I expect, seeing as this was quite a finicky pattern) feel free to ask. Enjoy your cuddly new owl!