Round Peg In a Square Hole-crafts

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2006 Wrap-Up

Whew! Got a lot more done over this holiday than usual, so let's start documenting:

First, something that turned out almost as good as I had hoped: the Cocktail Monkey Purse:
original; mine; mine.

I'm pleased with how it turned out, though this stuff is a bear to knit with. The author was right that metal needles were the way to go; you needed both the strength and the slipperyness of metal needles to make this work. Unfortunately, I usually need to use smaller needles than those recommended to get gauge, so I ended up using size 4s, instead of the size 6s called for in the pattern. The problem came in that size 4 dpns don't come in the longer lengths, and I was having trouble keeping the stitches on the needles. (Since the yarn had no give, nor any "smoosh", I couldn't find a circular of the right length, either.) For once, though, my packrat nature saved the day: I was using two partial sets of dpns, so I was able to distribute the stitches on 5 needles, and work them with a 6th, which was just enough to solve the problem. Had something of a shock when I went to block it, though; I was convinced that I had made the purse half as big as it should have been, since I only needed one stack of CDs to block it. Double-checked the pattern for the dimensions, puzzed 'til my puzzler was sore, then finally realized that the two stacks were supposed to be inserted into the purse short end first, and that you only needed the second stack if you had made it a little taller than I ended up doing. As it was, I stretched it over one stack of 8 CDs using long stitches of dental floss over the top to tension it. (The handles were pinned to the carpet on the floor of the sewing/laundry room, my usual blocking techinique.) Came out pretty well, and I was able to do the finishing work while watching the Rose Bowl yesterday. (Go USC!)

Next, we move on to a project that I promised my mom I would do for a friend of hers last year, then completely spaced. This friend is always cold, so I made her one of the cowls that I make for our Viking household at the Estrella War: on form, square, flat

The first picture shows how it is to be worn, the other two give some better idea of how the piece is shaped. (That last pic just makes me laugh! It looks like a cartoon character showing off it's muscles! But it does give you an idea of how full the edge is. Pattern will be posted here RSN.) I'm pleased with how it came out. However, after buying BOTH Nicky Epstein's knitted edging books (Knitting On the Edge, Knitting Over the Edge), I ended up inventing the design that I used for the bottom edge; go fig.

Up next, I have finally framed my mom's cross-stitch! (detail, detail) Got the mat cut some time ago, but finally had the time, inclination, and room to do the assembly yesterday. Forgot to take pics; will take some when I give it to her, if not before. Came out quite nice; the mat is the same bright green as in the stitchery, and really makes it pop! Frame is beveled white, which sets it off nicely.

And, finally, we have the scarf I designed and made for my step-great-neice: full, detail

I'm a little undecided about whether or not to give it to her. She's a tweeny, and a friend of mine thinks the scarf is a little too anatomically correct to portions of the male anatomy for a kid. Have asked the kid's grandma (my sister-in-law) for an opinion. We'll see. (Have several people, including myself, standing in line for this, if I don't give it to her. Pattern on this forthcoming, as well, though it's pretty straightforward.)

In addition, I finished a pair of stockings, a pair of mitts, got halfway through the last pair of mitts, finished my Christmas Eve sleep shirt (O.K., I only finished it yesterday, but I was still on vacation then, so it counts!), finished two loopy chenille scarves that I had started ages ago, started verifying my design submissions for Sock Madness, started diddling with a design for a scarf I saw in a store over the holidays, came up with an idea for a friend that involves both preztels and lobsters, finished the first and got almost halfway through the second of three pair of felted slippers, AND came up with a recipe for rice milk eggnog that is pretty darn good! (That will be posted over at my recipe blog RSN.)

Whew! I hope I can keep this momentum through the new year!