Such a ridiculous time without posting merits an extra long “run-down” post. So either sit back and get comfortable or plan to do this thing in phases. One of the major barriers to posting (or at least I tell myself so) is that for a while I was working almost exclusively on Christmas presents. And really, you can’t post pictures of Christmas presents, even on your blog that most people don’t read.
Before I get down to the (k)nitty-gritty a few updates. First is that that grey sweater from two posts down is toast again. I got the whole thing totally done and it was looking super and then I sewed it together waaaay too tight, and then, for reasons that I can’t totally remember right now, instead of just cutting the seams, I took the whole thing apart and gave up on that darn sweater. I’ve got other similar patterns in mind for the yarn, but part of me believes that perhaps I was just not meant to make a raglan sleeved sweater and should stick with yolk necks. I can sew armpits together till the cows come home. Shoulders, not so much.
A quick list of things I made in this period of time that I didn’t take pictures of:
· A charming green owl baby sweater
· 8 spherical knitted fair isle Christmas ornaments
· A crochet Queen Ann scarf using handsome and inspiring home spun
Onward to actual projects with pictures!
The Grandma's Flower Garden Quilt: I got lots of work done on my quilt, and then because I had put off Christmas knitting till the last moment, I had to stop. Now I worry that my hands won’t know what to do once they get started again. I did manage to take lots of pictures of the quilt though, in various phases, with which I will now favor you:
In these photos you can see the cutting table over which I labored with my hexagonal graph in the foreground; all my little square bundles laid out, because chance is for the insane; the morning the kitten found the scraps can; and finally about how far I got before Christmas descended like a craft time absorbing sponge.
One better documented Christmas project this year is the Santa’s Clothesline. The pattern originally came from Mary Maxim, but Mary and I seem to have differing ideas about the correct sizing of clothing for a fireplace garland. Or, more aptly, I have a skewed concept of how big a fireplace is and love a challenge. I started to make the jacket and was horrified by the dimensions. I sized down repeatedly until I ended up working with bedspread crochet thread and size 0 needles. The results look something like this:
In the end I made two medium sized garlands, one Mary Maxim sized one ,and one tiny one for personal use. For those keeping score, that is 4 little jackets, pants, hats, scarves, and long johns, and 8 little mittens and socks. Here is my husband with the finished MM sized and tiny sized, as you can see, the MM sized garland actually looks very cute:
And finally, a Christmas gift that has been given and so can be posted about. Mittens. Two pair to be exact. One for my father who favors deep blues (these are the only photos I have of them and were taken before the thumbs were finished. In fact, they had complete and finished thumbs before they were given:
The second for my husband, who fly fishes, and requested convertible mittens with convertible thumbs so that he can tie flies, which apparently involves the thumb. I used the same pattern as for my dad’s mittens, from Never Knit Your Man a Sweater, the unfortunately named and concepted book with some quite nice patterns. Because I was using a thicker yarn than the recommended fingerling, a Rowan 4 ply soft, I ended up having to use 00 sized needles to get the right gauge. The ladies at knitting night said I was crazy, but really you get used to the tiny needles quickly, so that before you know it size 5 look like tree trunks. Instead of doing the diamond pattern on the back, I wanted to make them more fish related. Despite numerous drawings and graphs and consultations with real fisherman, I still ended up with something that looks like a dolphin. Also, on the first mitten I made the design by doing pearl stitch on a sockinette ground, and after being dissatisfied with the detail definition, and because these are for my husband and he doesn’t mind such lack of symmetry, I did the second mitten’s design outlined in pearl stitches, but the design itself and the ground in sockinette. One looks more like a salmon than a trout, and the other, as stated, looks like a dolphin. Thankfully my husband loves me and is so thrilled about the thumb that he doesn’t care what is on the back. The final mod I did was to do the palms in seed stitch, which seems to be everyone’s favorite detail. My father in law was so taken with them at Christmas that there may be at least one final pair of mittens in my future. In non-Christmas related and exciting news, I was a finalist on the Mochimochi Land blog photo contest. I made it to the final 10 with this charmer:
I’m already planning my entry for next year.
The icing on the cake is a wedding gift cross-stitch. This is actually the most complex project I’ve ever designed myself. Because I’m computer un-savvy, I used MS Paint zoomed all the way in the make the graph. Changing Mario’s colors was the most challenging, and my favorite part is the shading in Peach’s bodice. The finished product was framed in an oval of gold. The happy couple’s names and the date were done below in block letters in dark blue.
I think that is all. In honor of the new year I will make attempts to post at least once a week, if not once a month. We’ll see what happens.