Scientific Pursuits

A surprise mid-week update for you, my colleagues!  Did you think we’d forgotten about you?  No, we’ve just been busy busy with the never-ending list of last-minute details that come along with making an amazing book for you all to enjoy very soon!  And we here at Mischief Central know you’d never want us to leave out the amazing last-minute details.

To tide you over, I’ve dug back into the trunk that started it all, to share our very own Dr. Erma Melanogaster’s tale of longing and anticipation.  Enjoy!

 

My Dear Mr. Tesla,

Greetings again, and I hope this letter finds you well.  It was such a delight to chat after your presentation last month, and certainly hope you are still as excited as I am at the prospect of a collaboration.  I’ve just set up the most state-of-the-art laboratory in beautiful Seattle, Washington.  I’m sure you’ll find this coast easily as inspirational as your current one, when you do decide to relocate.  I’ve already begun drawing up some plans for shared equipment spaces, testing chambers, and the like, and am eager for your input.  Please write as soon as your busy schedule allows.

Yours truly,

Dr. Erma Melanogaster

 

My Dearest Mr. Tesla,

I understand your concern with relocating your current research efforts across the country, but let me assure you, all your supplies and equipment will be treated with the utmost of care.  Need I remind you, I’m no stranger to handling sensitive apparatus.  I’m sure you’ll absolutely love it here, and the work we produce together will more than make up for any lost time.  Besides, I’ve just put up the most gorgeous blue velvet drapes in the small lab space – I do recall you mentioning a fondness for blue, yes?  I’m sure I heard that somewhere.  They’ll be perfect for our mutual experiments requiring a dark environment.  My mind has been in even more of a whirl than usual dreaming up things we might discover together.  So, you may cast your worries aside -all will be well once you join me here.

Patiently (Impatiently) yours,

Erma

 

My darling Nikola,

Might I say, you are quite the tease, sir!  You certainly know how to keep a lady’s… scientific interest piqued.  All this talk of “but I hardly remember you” and “cease and desist” – you really needn’t play coy with me.  We’re both mature, professional adults, in the prime of our life, at the cutting edge of our fields!  Now is the time for bold action!  Let the sad, simple masses worry about common sense, the rules of society and all that nonsense.  Ah, you must know how you inspire me!  Of course, we’ve all heard about your personal moral commitments.  I must commend such a clever ploy to keep the lesser-minded ladies away.  Should have thought of that one myself, as I’m fending off such a deluge of suitors these days.  But rest assured, you are the only one to hold the coveted position in my heart and in my lab.  Enclosed is a portrait of yours truly in the space we will someday share, so you might gaze upon it until that day.

With love,

Your Erma

 

Nikki Dear,

Theo called on me the other day, and simply can’t wait to meet you!  I went ahead and labeled all your little shelves and cupboards, and got in a new sampling of tea that I can’t wait for you to try.  I do hope you’re able to get on your way soon -I keep having to dust your workspace, and you know I hate dusting.  Oh, but what am I saying?  It’s really not a bother at all, when I have your arrival to look forward to, plenty of time to fit it in while the samples are condensing.  Did you go ahead and contact the post office regarding your new address?  The majority of my letters these past few months appear to be returning undelivered, which I’m taking as a sign of progress!  Well, I must be getting back to it. Just wanted to check in while I had a few minutes.  Making your favorite dessert tonight!

Hugs and kisses,

~E 

 

If you too are a Tesla fan, I highly recommend taking a look at the Tesla Museum Fundraiser.  Fans of Kickstarter, etc will appreciate the amazing prizes still to be had – you can even get your own saucy Tesla photo to gaze at.  Though the funding goal has already been blown out of the water (horray! we know first hand what a great feeling that is), more fundraising will just to go making the museum that much better.  I’m sure Dr. Erma would be thrilled… though she may have to view it from a legally-imposed distance.

… to High Society Soirees

Hello again, my colleagues!  After the rousing success of last week’s post, I’m thrilled to bring you two more patterns from Needles And Artifice, the upcoming Ladies Of Mischief knitting and adventure book.  If you haven’t had a chance, be sure to check out the updated Ravelry links on the previous pattern reveals and tell us what you think!  We’ll be adding links to these too later this week, so you can continue to fave and queue to your heart’s content.  And we’ve been so overwhelmed by the outstanding enthusiasm you’ve shown, we’re going to continue with additional pattern reveals right up until publication!  Details will be coming soon, but for now, let’s hear from two more of our amazing designers…

Just the thing to dress up your favorite party hat

Gossip Stole

Designer: Amanda Williams

Yarn: The Painted Tiger

Three things are said about me. I’m a flirt, I like luxury and I like a challenge.

I don’t want just any flirtation. I want one with style and elegance. I like the old fashioned type with a glance under veil. Where you catch their eye and then look away. What better way to draw the eye than with the luxury of lace.  Lace is a luxury because it’s so unnecessary. Many design details support structure or have a role to play. Lace on the other hand is pure decoration. The work put into it is purely to catch the eye and draw it in. The end result is a testament to skill and patience.

This pattern is not a simple mindless thing.  It’s a piece to show off your skills and abilities. I hate finishing work, so this is designed to be knit without seams. The edging for the bottom is knit then the stiches are picked up to knit the body and finally the top edging is knit on. I created it to have mitered corners and for the repeats of the edging to match the repeats of the body so that you may adjust the size to your wishes. We show it here as a confection in laceweight yarn, but you can knit it with as many or few repeats as you wish and in any weight yarn. I even have a couple washcloths out of dishcloth cotton from testing the pattern out for myself. You may not be able to wear a veil in your day-to-day life, but a scarf for you neck or stole for an cool summer evening may suit you just fine.

Who was that mysterious beauty?

A more elegant wrap you may never find… just like the Lady wearing it.

Quadrille Overbust Corset

Designer: Valerie DiPietro

Yarn: Skein

The idea for the knit corset swam around in my head for many years before finally coming to fruition with this pattern. I have always enjoyed the structure and texture of traditional cabled sweaters. They are so simple, yet so complex. It was fascinating to see so much movement and life come from the simple overlapping of stitches. Similarly, the simple elegance and timeless shaping of traditional corsetry has always mesmerized me. It wasn’t until I got the idea to put them both together into one powerful piece that things got really exciting. I used a combination of textured stitches, twisted cables, complex cable latices, and open lace work to give the impression of steel boning. Additionally, this piece is fully adjustable to meet your exact measurements whether knit be worn over a laced corset or made as a striking bodice top. I hope you truly enjoy this historical juxtaposition as much as I do.

An intricate dance of cables and textures

Cinched and laced and ready to mingle

The good Dr. Erma knows when the evening calls for her more refined side

From Soaring Airships to Mad Science Labs

Greetings, my colleagues!  As promised, today I am thrilled to bring to you the first detailed pattern reveals from our upcoming publication:

 The Ladies of Mischief Interrupt Their Knitting To Present To You,

Needles and Artifice:
A Refined Adventure Story with Ingenious Knitting Patterns

Coming to you later this summer from Cooperative Press, and all of us here at Mischief Central.  Here’s an in-depth look at two of the patterns, with another two to be revealed next Sunday.  Enjoy!

Airship Captain Coraline Hackworth, always the picture of efficiency and style

Legacy Frock Coat

Designer: Sarra Loew

Yarn: Fidalgo 100% Merino by Woolgatherings

The Legacy Frock Coat was designed out of the most inspiring blend of elements- practicality combined with style. The cozy long sleeves and long tail provide coverage while the open front frames, flatters, and prevents overheating. The tail (which is adjustable to each knitter’s preference) solved a tricky fashion problem for me; I find low-rise pants comfortable to wear, but sitting in them can cause unwanted exposure. The Legacy Frock Coat sweater neatly solves this problem by covering just the back of the hips. The open front of the sweater makes it comfortably wearable in a variety of temperatures.
The style, reminiscent of formal frock coats, lends a classy feel to the coat, making it appropriate as a formal coverup. It’s not fussy at all, and is also easily utilized for day to day wear. It looks smashing in bright saturated colors, and in self-striping yarns. I have multiple versions of this coat and plan to make many more. The pattern is easy to knit and customize to your exact measurements. I hope that many knitters enjoy making and wearing this fine coat!

Miss Hackworth didn’t earn the right to run the family business by being timid

Sleek, poised, and elegant

The Null Hypothesis Scarf

Designer: Katrina Elsaesser

Yarn: Yarn Pirate Superwash BFL

I’ve always loved charted knitting designs; if you were ever a kid who drew on graph paper, or played with making pixelated characters on the computer, I’m sure you can relate. Absolutely anything you can draw out in little rectangles can be turned into a knitted garment, which pleases me to no end. I’ve also always loved the metamorphosing works of M.C. Escher, where one artistic element slowly turns into another, and into another, sometimes even morphing back around to the beginning. One fateful night, when pondering what a mad scientist might knit, those two elements fell serendipitously together and produced this scarf… all six feet of it.
Yet another thing I love is the (in my option) underutilized technique of Double Knitting. With only a few extra tricks – included in the pattern – you can produce a gorgeous, flat, non-rolling, reversible, warm and amazingly smooshy fabric. Absolutely perfect for scarves, and intricate charted patterns – floats are a non-issue!
The pattern journeys through books and beakers, gears and pipes, swirls and filigree. Take one chart element and makes some gloves, or repeat your favorite parts into a scarf design all your own. I hope this pattern takes you to you a place that’s perhaps a little mad, but quite inspired.

Dr. Erma Melanogaster may have a few screws loose, but her style is unquestionable

When creativity and science come together, ingenious things happen

The Ladies at TNNA

Greetings, my colleagues!  My goodness, how quickly the countdown to publication is going.  And on that note, I wanted to pop in quickly with some very exciting news…

This coming weekend is one of the largest and most exciting knitting events of the year: The National NeedleArts Association’s Trade Show!  And amongst the who’s-who of designers, yarn dyers and knitting innovators will be our beloved Cooperative Press to officially unveil the glorious details of the Ladies Of Mischief knitting book!  Shannon will be on hand with pattern photos, sneak-peaks of content, and even a precious sample knit for you to fondle.  So please, pop by, say hello and be the envy of your friends!

Can’t make it to TNNA?  Well, fear not! because we’ll be offering a simultaneous unveiling on the blog too!  Be sure to tune in this Sunday and next Sunday for the first ever detailed pattern shots, yarn info, and exclusive designer insight on a hand-selected assortment of patterns from the book.  We’ve had to keep so much under our fancy hats for so long, we absolutely can’t wait to show you the results of our tinkering!  See you then!

A Look Ahead…

Hello, my dear Colleagues!  We’ve arrived on the other side of Submission Day, and have gotten a couple well-earned weeks of recuperation under our belts.  But our work is far from done!  What will the next few months before Book Day hold?

  • Crafting and sending gifts to our amazing Kickstarter supporters (those that don’t include copies of the book , of course).  Your patience and support are so greatly appreciated, and will be well rewarded!
  • Planning the Launch Party To End All Launch Parties.  If you can make it to Seattle, you’re invited!  Details forthcoming, but start planning your costumes now!
  • Final edits, photography, cover art, and general Polishing To Perfection with our publisher.  This will be delicious eye-candy proudly displayed on your coffee table, not hidden away on a bookshelf.
  • Spreading the word!  Setting up bookstore and yarnshop visits; telling all our friends and neighbors; and generally getting incredibly excited!  Please, drop us a line if you’d like the Ladies to pay your place of business, party, event, etc a call.  We are all about the win-win that is local business and crafters supporting each other.

We hope you’re getting excited too!  To help with that, here’s a few more tantalizing teasers (from a High Society soiree, if I’m not mistaken)…

 

 

 

The Final Countdown

Greetings dear colleagues!  My goodness – we’re mere weeks away from the final project deadline here at Mischief Central, at which point a year and a half of creative and collaborative effort will be handed off to the capable team at Cooperative Press.  From there, the final touches, tweaks, and meticulous details are hammered out and the whole shebang becomes A Book, available for your enjoyment in a few short months.  We can’t believe it’s nearly here, and we certainly wouldn’t be here without the whole team.  Speaking of, today I’d like to showcase the outstanding talents of our Team Illustrator and fellow Mischief Maker, Nicole Allin.  She recently shared a lovely snippet of the book artwork, as well as a behind-the-scenes view of her creative process.  We’re sure you’ll enjoy her amazing work as much as we all do, and are thrilled to count her among the multi-talented friends that make up Team Mischief.

And now, back to work!  Pattern testing, final costume sewing, photoshoots – it’s going to be a glorious sprint to the finish line!  See you all on the other side.

Having a Ball

Hello, my dear colleagues!  As you know, we are in the final few months of preparation on the Ladies of Mischief book, and life is certainly busy!  However, I knew I must take a moment to share with you a few pictures from the Ladies’ surprise appearance at the lastest Steampunk Exhibition Ball.  According to a recent communication, they had a most lovely time; the sights, fashions, technology and dazzling pageantry were greatly enjoyed by all…

Coraline studied the latest maps and trade routes, ever the savvy Airship Captain

Theodosia was all the rage in her highly functional and fashionable Jungle Exploration ensemble

Dr. Erma enthusiastically observed all the latest innovations, with her usual eccentric flair

I hope to have more delightful photos, teasers and other treats to share with you soon!  Though now, it’s back to work once more.  Who ever said the life of an Archivist was dull?

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