During the summer we took a trip to Glendeer Pet Farm in Drom outside Athlone. It’s near my brother’s house, where we were staying for the weekend. He is vegan, so he only came along under duress.
I was sure I had taken some pictures of their Llamas but I think it must have only been video. You’ll have to make do with cute shots of the sheep, goats and geese.
And, of course, their emu.
My brother has long been fascinated by my knitting. He’s a mathematician and physicist so the concept of a linear vector being transformed in to a three-dimensional form, by means of two sticks, intrigues him. He claims that either my sister, or I, taught him to crochet many moons ago. I don’t recall; so I’ll give my sister the credit.
To acknowledge his interest in my hobby I wanted to knit him something for his birthday – it’s the standard response of any knitter when you get positive feedback, isn’t it? I also like to be positive about his Veganism, even if it would not be my life-style choice. I had told him before that knitting fibres were not all animal based and he was interested to learn about Bamboo and Seacell. However, I worried that chosing a plant-based fibre would not be enough – what animal-based chemicals might be used in the dying?
Through judicious use of the Internet, I found Ecobutterfly and an organic colour-grown cotton called Pakucho. I ordered a skein each of green and brown. When they arrived, I couldn’t get over the richness of colour that was achieved purely because it grew this way!
I started this by casting-on 8 sts onto two needles (four onto each) using a whirlpool cast-on á là Cat Bordhi. I accidentally added a stitch early on without noticing. Then, using some helical knitting of single-round stripes of each colour, I maintained a jogless-join as I increased 9sts every two rounds. I kept going until the circle was big enough to cover my husband’s crown – I reckoned his was a good stand-in for my brother’s.
So, increases over, I dug into my copy of Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns until I found a pattern in her mosaic knitting section that I felt was suitably representative of His Noodely Goodness, The Flying Spaghetti Monster.
I’ve wanted to make a FSM hat ever since I first came across the description of Knitting Scout Badges on the Cast On Podcast Blog . [I think we found this on the Web when my husband – jokingly – did a Google search for Knitting & Divorce! Sure enough – they’ve a badge for that.] Their reference to Flying Spaghetti Monster Hats (scroll down to The “I Will Crush You With My Knitting Prowess” badge) was my first introduction to His Noodely Goodness – much to my husband’s amazement. Then, with further judicious use of “d’Intherneh” he happily educated me about Creation – the very creation of FSM Himself.