A new rocking chair pad and cover complete! This was an absolute must. The rocking chair came with no pad over a year ago and a new pad was on the “Must Do” list for the longest time. So over the summer I finally buckled down and got it done. I used 3″ thick padding, and I probably would have been happy with 2″ as the 3″ felt a bit too thick, but it works well. I made up the pattern according to the dimensions of the chair and it fits like a glove! I chose a soft Duck Cotton and it worked up beautifully. My one mistake, I didn’t pay close attention when I cut my pieces out. So I essentially cut with the pattern going in the opposite direction of what I intended, but it worked out fine and it’s growing on me.
I have been incredibly productive lately in the knitting/crafting front, which is great since I now have actual blog fodder that consists of actual content. However, it means I haven’t been posting because I’ve been busy squeezing every last bit of knitting time in between work and Christmas preparations.
As I finally finished a commissioned piece and they’ve received it, I can finally post about it. Not that they would have seen it here to begin with, but it involved color work which I naturally tend to dislike and when it’s Red Heart acrylic that’s being matched to a set made almost 40 years ago, well that doesn’t lend to me being thrilled with it.
There is a bit of history here, however. My paternal Grandmother was a knitter, and actually a rather specialized knitter. She made hundreds, if not thousands (I’m not kidding in the slightest here…) of these Christmas Stockings in her lifetime. She’s still around, but arthritis and eyesight no longer allow her to enjoy knitting as she used to. Personally, I blame the Red Heart acrylic with the arthritis, my own hands get achy and sore when using the stuff and it’s pretty much the one type of yarn I avoid without being allergic to it. Anyway, back to the stockings. Since my Grandmother made so many of these things, every single person in the family has one. Well, except for Macee, she unfortunately was born a few years after my Grandmother’s knitting retirement and so for the last 3 years she has been the stocking-less family member. That was until earlier this year when her Grandfather (my Grandmother’s Nephew) asked me if I could do it. I accepted much more quickly than I should have, but almost a year later I did it. It lacks the main intarsia motif that all my Grandmother’s stockings are known for, and clearly it puckered around the hearts, but I’m happy with it because I did my best, even when I wanted to stuff it down the garbage disposal and deny ever accepting the challenge.
Also, I’m just pretty thrilled that it won’t be living with me so I can now close that chapter of knitting history and open up a new one for my own family’s stockings. Which probably will include color work, but done well with wool, never again with Red Heart acrylic. (Not that I’m biased…)
I am completely uninspired for a title this time. I refuse to use the actual names of babies and children because I’m a security nut online but unfortunately the name my friend and her husband picked lends itself to a lot of cute literature twists, but they’d run too close to his name. All I can say is that against all odds they have welcomed a pretty healthy baby boy and now he properly has a knitted blankie to wrap up in for the rest of his life. And maybe use with his own children one day… One can hope anyway.
So, I did finally finish the baby blanket I was making for said baby. I got to drop it off this last weekend, only a week after Baby S decided to make his appearance. He was early though, so *technically* I would have been done on time had that not happened… This is not the first close call with a project, as my Dad likes to say, I’m a procrastiknitter.
It turned out a bit bigger than I imagined, but that can be a good thing. It’s a decent baby blanket size that will work even for a 7 year old I think.
Pattern is from Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby (pattern on page 54, aka “Large Rectangle in leaf and trellis pattern with trellis border”), though it was worked with DK weight yarn and US size 8 needles. I did one extra width-wise repeat and only did 12 pattern repeats length wise in order to make this blanket sized. I cast on in the beginning of March but I wasn’t completely dedicated until I realized the kid was most definitely not going to wait for his due date. Otherwise, a pretty relaxing knit and I did love the center panel, it worked up like a dream.
So as I was sitting down to my computer tonight I opened my desk drawer and saw my camera sitting there, and then something clicked. I never posted the picture I took of the giant drapes that I just finished and spent days
cursing at sewing.
They’re the biggest drapes in the house only beaten by my parent’s master bedroom window that is a whopping 91 inches across. Sewing-wise they are very very basic, just straight stitch, hems on 3 sides with the top fold over for the bar to be encased. My dad had to use a closet hang bar (no idea what it’s really called) at the opening since we used the fabric to replace the old badly warped doors that were abandoned in the garage since who knows when. My mother and grandmother came up with the idea and fabric and I just did the sewing.
The fabric was my main concern, my Grandmother picked out a rather thick fabric, cotton, but with the feel of canvas almost. On the edges when the hems overlapped I actually had to hand walk the machine through and even then I was a little worried I’d bend/break a needle or ruin the motor on my sewing machine. But thankfully all survived including my fingers, despite a couple deep pokes when I’d be pushing a pin through hard when it would suddenly poke through and into my finger. I’m just glad this is done, there was so much fabric my sewing desk was covered each time I’d sit and sew, worse than when I was sewing the skirt of my sister’s wedding dress.
I’m happy with it though, and I hope she will be too, even though I finished these almost a week ago my Grandmother hasn’t been here for her weekend visits yet to see them both hung and finished. Now back to even more sewing, but with much thinner fabric thank goodness!
It’s someone’s birthday today, and this little fellow decided to show up to celebrate. He’s on his way to surprise that certain someone (who I’m hoping doesn’t read this blog anymore or that she’s distracted at a certain casino she’s supposed to be at).
But never fear, this invasion is of the fiber-y goodness kind, and he bears good will gifts.
Happy Birthday Aunt E. Live long and Prosper.
*I know Star Trek doesn’t have any aliens that look like this but it’s the closest I could find to a knittable alien life form, at least unless I decide to knit a Tribble but I didn’t have any fun fur on hand.
Finished a second Aeolian Shawl this time sort of for myself. Not really sure if I’ll gift it, but it’s likely. This one I used my own handspun that was a 50/50 Merino and Tussah silk blend that I purchased somewhere in Oregon (Jacksonville I think). It was vacation fiber in a gorgeous jewel tone palette. I turned it into a 2 ply which muted the bright gold into the purples, teals and blues. Partly intentional and partly because I was a rather new spinner at the time and I didn’t understand how plying and spinning affected the colors in the roving.
It knit up beautifully and I finally conquered my fear of nupps, now I simply dislike them because they seem a waste of yarn and time. But the rest of the lace worked out wonderfully. I even sort of devised a simple little beading hook since I don’t have a crochet hook smaller than a size 8, which I think I’ll make a little tutorial for since it helped speed up the beading.
I’m half tempted to make a second with the same yarn as I have the 2nd half of the skein left over. I wrote on a card that I had 828 yards come out of the roving but after knitting up the shawl I either have at least another 400 yards or I miscounted and I had more yardage than I assumed. The 3rd picture is closest in color but unfortunately the tussah silk loved reflecting all the light in the room and from the camera so it made it a bit of a pain to take pictures of, I’ll have to see what it looks like outside since I blocked it today and didn’t pull it off the pins until nightfall.
About the pattern, I love it. It was such a fun knit and clearly after doing 2 of them I’m still not sick of it. That and I’m on a pretty big lace kick this summer. Now off to sewing and paid work, le sigh. I need to figure out how to make knitting pay more, lol. Alas, a recession is probably not the best time to find customers looking for custom work.
So after a mental health break I’m back, and with actual knitting content! So look a FO!
I’m calling it my Purple Victorian Scarf because the name it has in the pattern book is “Scarf or Shawl with center pattern” it’s from the book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. Guy actually bought me the book over a year ago and I initially planned this particular project as a gift for his mother, but I think I’m keeping it, for now at least. As for the yarn I lost the ballband some time ago but I do recall it being Knitpick’s laceweight in a purple heather colorway.
It was a very simple knit as lace goes, the knitted on border was fun to do since I’ve never done one like that before and it was a way to get my feet wet.
I’ve been busy knitting a lot more lately, as well as a lot of sewing since I’ve sort of self employed myself since my typical luck has applied itself to me finding a job, which I’m still in the process of looking for. I’ll probably start to add sewing projects to the blog since at least then I’d have something to post about on a daily basis. Sewing goes so much faster, in one day I can say “Look what I did” versus knitting which tends to go along the lines of “Look at the 20 rows of the shawl I did” which makes sewing much more photographic on a daily basis.
And what have I been up to in the last 4 months? Well, I’ve moved to the beautiful city of Riverside, Painted so much of the house that paint rollers make me a little nauseous, helped my Dad put in a new laminate wood floor (see under the purple scarf), and other home renovating things around the house. There are honestly too many to really list, and my brain likes to not think of the condition of the house when we got the keys, it’s really so much better now.
Guy and I also got back together 3 days after my last posting. I have his big brother to thank a bit for giving him a shake and telling him he was being silly. But unfortunately that means my boyfriend is in Japan now and will be until summer of next year it seems. I have a whole new respect for army wives and girlfriends. Though besides this I’m not entirely sure if I’ll really be posting much else about this. I’m going to try to keep this as a strictly craft blog. At the very least so I can organize some of my thoughts.
Next on the Agenda, no clue really. I’ll see what I get done tomorrow, I have a shawl that’s getting close to complete but as it’s lace it really looks like cat yak at the moment since it’s not blocked. So probably sewing…
Proving that I actually can knit a scarf without killing myself, the Kernel is done.
I used my own handspun. About 50g Merino gifted to me several years ago that I spun into a 2 ply laceweight (light fingering in places due to my newbieness back then).
The pattern was easy to follow when I would finish a repeat at a time. Though that’s probably due to my own scatterbrained state lately. I had some beads from the bead stash that I used, no clue about the size or color (if they had one) though my proudest moment was using every last yard of the yarn. I knit the end and left it attached to the end of the ball, thinking I’d at least be able to estimate that I needed that much in order to use up the very last few yards. Well I knit and passed the suggested number of repeats (I think I wound up with like 30.5) ending mid chart where the diamonds half finished before the last halves were knit and sure enough, I had 1 yard exactly to use to graft the sides together. I like to live on the edge, and it paid off. After weaving in all ends and grafting I saw the scraps, I think I had no more than 12 inches of yarn left all scraps combined.
My birthday was Wednesday, I’m now 23 and I sleep with a bear Guy gave me on my last birthday.
The sleeping with the bear really comes more from the fact that the one birthday gift I wish I could have had was Guy because we’ve been apart for about 7 months now. I’ve been struggling more with not being engaged yet because of his job keeping us apart and my age/birthday.
So this FO is actually older than Guy and my relationship by a couple weeks. I finished this on Dec 31st 2007. It oddly kind of reminds me of us when I see the pattern worked along it lol.
It starts off as a single stitch, small and inconspicuous, not really even knowing what beginning to unfold. The lace weaves up the edges slowly growing into more, and around here I even had a small blip when I forgot a bead, but it was easily fixed because I caught it soon. But there it was steadily growing and expanding and involving several lace patterns in a beautiful display.
The center panel (and really about where I feel right now with Guy, but I know enough to say the rest seems like us too) was longer than I felt comfortable knitting in one pattern after the tip, while the twisting continues the pattern mellows out. It’s consistent and constant just a few rows repeating in the center as I slowly proceeded anxious to get the next part. Then it changes, the whole thing becomes a twist, every facet joining and weaving in together and beginning a whole new piece, the wing.
The wing, like the tip, begins on one or two stitches. Like a new beginning and a new pattern, this time expanding much more rapidly as the feathers form, beads glitter along the wing like drops of ice and diamonds. Finishing with longer feathers and rows of beads, finishing and completing the whole project with a sort of glamor I’ve yet to find in another stole pattern.
I loved knitting this, it’s so light and airy, yet incredibly warm. Looking at the pictures makes me want to knit a second…
Ravelry link here, and it *should* be visible to non members as long as you use that link to get to it.
(My only other FO to show is a sewn item and I was too busy sewing other things to take pictures so you get this little tidbit instead, hope you like it.)
For some reason every year I always resolve to blog more and yet it’s always the one resolution that fails miserably. So this year, I’m not going to worry about it. (For surely the moment I say I’m not going to blog, I do so. I’m weird like that.)
What I should do is catch up on the backlog of stuff I’ve been meaning to blabber about. The great No-Handmade-Gifts-so-I don’t-go-nuts-Christmas of course turned into the Well-I can-squeeze-in-a-few-without-going-nuts-Christmas.
First, because of the wedding that sucked away several months of my
life year, we had a new family member that was lacking a matching stocking. (I should write about them in detail one day, the whole family has hand knit stockings made by my paternal Grandmother and since she’s retired from knitting I thought I should pick up the tradition.) But so began the design and knitting of this stocking. It actually only took a week of knitting to do, but it did show me that despite being fairly good at Fair Isle (pardon the pun) and short quick floats, I fail horribly at Intarsia. (The snowman is tied in from the inside to make sure he doesn’t pucker or fall out >.< )
Then of course I couldn’t leave out my sister, who now needs all sorts of housewarming type gifts. I decided to use up the rest of her Wedding dress fabric and turn it into a set of pillowcases. My plan would have been perfect had I measured before cutting and making one pillowcase, I was officially short 1.5 inches on the shorter width of the pillowcase dimensions. So I fudged it a bit and substituted some Bridesmaid dress fabric so that it would at least match the colors of the Wedding.
Sorry about the picture, they turned out really big and hard to photograph because of the shine that is satin.
And, I just looked at the clock. I’ll save the rest for another day because it’s 2am and I need to get in bed so I can sleep before Tobi wakes me up ready to start his day.