Round Peg In a Square Hole-crafts

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Feral-ville and Its Environs

O.K.! Now that I finally have 5 minutes to breathe, I'm going to try to get caught up on my recently finished projects, recently started projects (sigh) and more, with special attention to those dear friends, the Feral Projects.

When last we spoke, I believe I had just finished the Lobster Pretzel scarf (which, BTW, has still not been delivered to its intended recipient, through very little fault of my own) and Kate's pumpkins, and was set to frog Sam's Christmas sweater yet again (I thought of it as my own private low-impact workout, for a while there). Yes, that sweater was a charter member of the "Let's annoy Bridget" club: frogged the body three times, and the sleeve twice, before making it all work out. And then I couldn't find buttons I liked! I found something that would do, finished it at West Hollywood Stitch & Bitch the week before Christmas, and here it is:
I'm very pleased with how it came out, considering I didn't have a pattern and was making it up as I went along. But Sam liked it, and has worn it, and it fit, though I think I need to get some bigger buttons, as these don't seem to hold. But I like it. However, as we know, the traditional reward for a job well done is another job--I now have to make this sweater for Samantha's doll Molly, a soft-sculpture about two and a half feet high. Sigh. I hope I took good notes on how I made this thing....

Next up, we have a corset, of which I have no pix, that a friend ordered from me this summer and I really wanted to get it to her (and off my list!). It's a lovely grass green slubby silk, trimmed in white, (just like this one, but in a different size) and I was very pleased with how it came out, as well. I finished it in November, and it covered the last of what I owed myself for my little jaunt last summer.

Next, we have Yet Another Tea Cozy. This one is for my friend Suzie, and, surprisingly, did NOT give me much trouble. Oh, O.K., I didn't like the flowers that were given in the pattern, but I borrowed Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers from a friend, and made a few of those to mix in and that did the trick. And Suzie loved it, which is the important thing.

Now, we come to my recent foray into Fun Fur land! Those are just four of the dozen or so skinny Fun Fur scarves that I made over the holidays. I even tried a new trick: I used two colors of eyelash held together, which makes for an interesting look. (No pix of those scarves, unfortunately.) These things are great, and work up very quickly. The bad news is, requests for these breed: every time I thought I was done, I thought of more people who needed them, or got requests for more. But I got them all done in time, without much rush. Even got some yarn to make a few more for myself!.....

Finished up Barbie's coat, also in fun fur, and Samantha helped me wrap it, then "helped" Barbie unwrap it on Christmas morning. More Nicky Epstein patterns; the coat worked well, but the hat didn't. shrug

Made a chemo cap for a Ravelry knit along. Not as happy with this as I wanted to be. It's hard to get gauge, it's hard to measure gauge, with this yarn. Might stick to things like scarves, where one size really does fit all.

Enough of the fuzzy stuff! I forgot that I never did a final report on Teo's jeans:
(must have blocked it out, because of the pain....) This is the pattern from Knitty called Blu and it was great. Not sure about the whole purpose behind the dropping the stitch all the way down, then picking it back up, since I don't think it looks all that much like a seam, except on the reverse stockinette "cuff", but no big deal. What was a bigger deal was that I bought the recommended amount of yarn and came up an inch short AND Elann was out of that color and not expecting to get any back in. Grump. I guess that's what I get for substituting yarn; will have to remember to check yardage as well as weight, in the future. However, Ravelry came through for me, and I was able to trade for enough yarn to finish them up. In all, I'm very pleased with how they turned out, and they fit Teo, so it's all good. (In a "any landing you can walk away from" sort of way....)

What next......a quick hat that I made for the Hubster for Christmas.
Don't think he really likes it, but I'm pleased with it, and he was looking for a hat recently, so I thought he might get some use out of it.

What was MUCH more successful were the camp shirts I made for the Hubster and his brother for Christmas:
The fabric is FABULOUS! I call it "Space Babes", though the selvedge says Futurella. (Think generic Barbarella figures and poses.) This is the first "stereo feral" project I've done in recent memory (don't ask about SWAT and Chess) and it had it in SPADES. To start with, I bought the fabric two years ago, which means, of course, that it is no longer available. O.K., technically, it is "available": on ebay, as fat quarters, for $10 each. (Just for the record, a fat quarter of this fabric would be virtually USELESS--the pattern is just too big to get a reasonable segment of it in that small a piece. You'd be lucky to get one whole space babe.) And they even offer to sell it to you uncut, at the same price. You do the math; it comes out to $40/yd, and you need more two yards/shirt for this width. (Ask me how I know....)

In any case, two years ago when I bought it, I only thought I'd make a shirt for the Hubster, so I think I bought three-ish yards, but I forgot that when I went to cut. O.K., so the first thing to go was the collars; I figured those could be made in black cotton w/o impacting the impact (as it were) of the shirts. Still not enough, so I made the second facing in the black, as well. )First one was already cut.) STILL not enough, especially when you have to juggle the front to place the pattern felicitously AND be able to cut a matching pocket. Then the real death blow: the fabric was too narrow to cut the sleeves together, I had to open the fabric out and cut them one at a time, and even spaced that way, I could only get most of three sleeves. Finally decided to shorten the sleeves by 2", extend it with the black, then cover the extension with a black cuff. Still had to piece one sleeve, but was able to match the pattern, so it's not too visible.

And you know what? The black collar and cuffs made these shirts. They look much more sharp and put together than they would have otherwise. So I guess you never know. Hubster liked his and BiL LOVED his; too bad he can't wear it to work w/o drawing a harassment suit. I suspect he'll have fun with it, anyway.

Was also able to finish a Hawaiian shirt for Thomas, and design and test knit a sock for Sock Madness. They were desperate for patterns, thinking they might not get enough to run the game, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I like the pattern I designed, but I chose poorly on the yarn. Ah, well, things to learn. Fortunately, they got enough patterns, so the game will go on. If my sock gets used, great! If not, that just means the pattern will be posted here sooner! :-)

I suspect I've forgotten some projects, but that's the gist of finished things. Currently on the needles are the second sock for the Sock Madness design, the final two tea cozies (both TOTALLY feral, so look forward to hearing me gripe about those, soon, I hope), a test knit of Annie Modesitt's Red Carpet Convertible, plus all the things I had in work last year, that I haven't finished. I'm getting exhausted just thinking about it......

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