Tuesday, December 31, 2013

One for the Road into a New Year

I started this wall hanging two or three years ago as part of a workshop the local guild held, instructed by Paula Golden. The idea was to do something somewhat free-form using only three or four fabrics. When we chose the fabrics with which we were going to work, for a challenge I chose a couple fabrics that I thought were pretty ugly. The background fabric is silk, from a skirt I bought at a thrift store. The snake shape and pagoda are also from a thrift store. The only fabric I used that I actually liked was the one that gave me the leaves. At the workshop, I got as far as having stitched down the snake shape and pagoda and pinned the leaves in place. I found this piece last week while cleaning and re-organizing my studio. Since the last two quilts I made demanded some precision, as will the next two in my queue, I wanted to do something freer in between. While zigzagging to hold the leaves in place, I managed to put a sewing machine needle into my fingernail and finger. The villainous needle, actually bent by my nail, was, after the above photo was taken, affixed to the quilt next to the leaves in the bottom left that I was stitching at the time. I think the jewelry came from my grandmother's collection. I'm not totally pleased with the placements, which may be because the quilt is not hanging but lying on the table. For now, though, this is done, and I can start the new year by starting a new quilt that had better not take me as long to finish as this one did.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Felting for the Fun of It

I sometimes find it fun to knit something and felt it. (I have read that the correct term for subjecting something knitted to hot water, soap, and agitation is really "fulling," but more people will know what I mean if I use "felting.) It is, after all, one way to trim one's stash of yarn. Knitting this

helped pass many an evening of watching or listening to the television, usually to a sporting event or a repeat of NCIS or Law and Order: SVU. It used up ten skeins of blue wool that I decided not to use for a sweater and most of two skeins of purple yarn left over from an old project. If I hadn't wanted to felt it, perhaps I could have used it as a bizarre tablecloth. Instead, it now adorns the back of one of the couches in the living room.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Slipping By

I forget how many years ago younger son face me a knit-your-own slippers kit for Christmas. I got everything made and actually sewed one together in the first year. Then, they migrated too far back in my basket of current projects and fell victim to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind curse. When the felted slippers made by a friend started to wear through, I dug these out, sewed the second one together, and continued to have warm feet through the rest of winter.

Paying It Forward the Second

I started this scarf back in 2006 or 2007, when I did an after-school knitting group with members of the academic team at the sons' high school. I finally finished it and sent it off to a high school classmate who responded to the pay-it-forward with something handmade Facebook meme.

Paying It Forward the First

The yarn is handpainted wool, purchased when I was in Montana in October 2011 to help scatter my dad's ashes. I started knitting the scarf to have something to work on while visiting friends in Maine in September 2012. I finished it in February and sent it to a friend's daughter who had responded to one of those Facebook memes of "I will make something for the first five people who comment on this post and promise to continue the making things for others bit." I also sent a small felted bag, but since I made that a couple years ago, it doesn't count here.

Classic Icelandic Cardigan

The husband and I went to Iceland in February 2010 to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary under the Northern Lights. While we were there, I insisted we make a stop at the Lopi outlet store, where we each picked out a pattern and the yarn for it. I finished the husband's sweater first, then started mine. It languished until 2013 because of my fear of cutting the steek to put in the zipper. I finally sucked it up, took it on, and finished it up right. Interestingly, I got a book on Icelandic handknits for Christmas, and both this cardigan and the sweater I made for the husband were in it. I guess both are basically classic or prototypical Icelandic knits.

Replacement Large Sweater

I had a large, loose, very comfortable sweater from Goodwill that I wore almost daily for several winters. When it was clearly on its last legs (or arms since sweaters usually don't have legs) in the fall of 2012, I bought some Icelandic Lopi bulky yarn on sale and commenced knitting a large, loose, very comfortable replacement. I finished this early on in 2013, and it served me well, including on a trip driving from Wyoming to Virginia through something called Winter Storm Q.