Monday, September 15, 2008

Ticking Over

"I hate it when I'm boring."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. So do I. I've been so boring lately."
- my friend and me, today.

I thought I'd show you what I'm working on lately, since I am philosophically exhausted today and find myself unable to competently review a book.

Charlotte's Christmas stocking continues. It was borne in upon me that there isn't much time left if I want this done by 25 December, and with the entire family (my side, that is) here for the day, it would be a shame if Charlotte's was the only sock left uncrossed. Even Emily has one - not as big and fancy as the others, nor personalised, but at least hers would blend in.

As you can see, I've made some progress on the toboggan - compare it to this picture from June 18 which was the last time I had anything new to show.

I have cast on a new sweater. Between the purple yarn and the pattern, I've decided to call this "Grape Jaali".

My first attempt at the back of this sweater didn't go so well. I knit the cabled strip for the hem, then turned it and picked up along the long edge to begin the body of the sweater. You're meant to fold the knitted strip in half lengthwise, and pick up through both layers at once. The instructions call for you to pick up almost 1:1 - that is, for every row, you pick up a stitch. Stitches are wider than rows are high, though, and by the time I had a bit (read, ten inches) knitted I could tell this was going nowhere. The stitches were packed in so tightly that they were almost gathered - and with the hem doubled, there wasn't enough stretch to block it out effectively. Also, it seemed like it was going to be too big for me.

Ugly gathers.

I ripped, and began anew. This is the second try, and it's going much better. In case you're curious, I kept the cabled hem the same size, but picked up for the next size down - 126 stitches instead of 136 stitches. I also left the hem undoubled, and will whip-stitch it into place when I have blocked the piece to satisfaction.

Much neater.

And I have resurrected a five-year-old project, my very first attempt at quilting, with plans to finish this and hang it on my daughters' wall. It's not big enough for a bed and I don't have the wherewithal to make another umpteen blocks to MAKE it big enough. A wall hanging it shall be.

My favourite part of quilting is definitely the pressing, with the neat 1/4" seam allowances coming in a very, very close second.

I love miters.

I hope to buy the batting and backing, quilt this (hand-quilted, of course, with an electric needle) and finish it by the beginning of October. Doable, I think.

On the horizon is another sweater for Ruby, who this time will receive a nice thick pullover jumper in time for Christmas. Once I price the yarn, I can start that.

I'd also like to get some Latvian mittens knit this fall, but there are only so many hours in a day and I've got that pesky Ministry of Education insisting Charlotte gets educated...tchuh. Don't they know I've got STASH to deal with?


Kristine said...

I love your quilting. At some point, when I'm feeling particularly pathetic, I'll post pictures of the quilt I started in college. I finished two strips (queen sized jacob's ladder, WHAT was I thinking) and it's been in a basket in the closet being moth food ever since.

Not really moth food. I hope.

Gwen said...

Great work on the cross stitch. It's such a lot of fiddly work, but it sure looks beautiful when completed.

Only three months to go!!!

kate said...

Um, you're weird. Liking the ironing and such. Odd woman.

But loving all the craftiness. The stocking is coming along nicely!

lizbon said...

a) That sweater will be beautiful on you.
b) I would never in a million years have the patience to: bsub1: knit that, bsub2: quilt anything, bsub3: press all that fuss, or bsub4: cross a single stitch.
c) I knit fingerless mittens because I am too lazy and or ADD to knit a full mitten.
d) Much less two full mittens.
e) I think you are my craft hero.
f) I can be your laziness hero. If you need a laziness hero.

Anna said...

Okay, the quarter inch seams and the pressing are exactly what I hate about quilting! Although I did finish Amy's cross stitch stocking sometime during her childhood. And what do you mean, you're boring? Never!

Anna said...

Latvian mittens? Hmmm. . .

Ames said...

The little one knits, right?

Counting stitches/measurements=math.

Knitting=textile manipulation and art.

Reading patterns=foreign languages and anger management.

Washing and block= home economics

Origin of knitting= history

Put on an audio book and voila: literature.

The quilt looks great, by the way.

Annalea said...

"Don't they know I've got STASH to deal with?"

Amen. And Amen.

I'm going to go crazy if I don't get my night off established, and soon.

Shan said...

Ames, that's my kind of homeschooling, all right. It's all about the spin. (Doctoring, that is.)

Anna - thank you! And thanks for restoring my sense of perspective: "sometime during her childhood" - I like that.