Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bunny Applique and Steeks! Eek!

!I'm making progress on my applique project:

I'm glad I found my clip-on magnifiers! I was having a hard time seeing where to stitch. I'm still a little clumsy as a leftover from my right
thumb surgery, but it's getting better. Anyway, this baby quilt for
Daphne will be machine quilted. I just wanted a cute bunny center for
the quilt. The rest will be pieced. The fabric to the right is the
backing, a Beatrix Potter scenic print. The bunny is from Hop to It! by Edyta Sitar. I will be doing more applique again as I get my dexterity back!

The big knitting news this week is (drumroll, please) I finally steeked DH's Fair Isle sleeveless cardi! Ta-da!

Before I could do that, I had to graft the shoulders. It was just like doing the toe of a sock, only more sts.

Then I had to give the extra sts a haircut on the inside. Here's what it looked like:

The little birdies will be nesting soon. All that nesting material will be met with songs of joy. Just think of the baby birdies nestled down in
all that wool! Well, it isn't merino...a little scratchy,
actually...but that's what feathers are for. Softer than twigs by a
long shot! OK, back to work...

I had to cut right down the middle, which was where the two light-colored sts came together. I'm glad I had read about steeking in The New Stranded Colorwork
by Mary Scott Huff. I didn't need to sew this yarn first, but I
followed her instructions to put on your glasses (I use clip-on
magnifiers) and put something inside the sweater to keep from cutting
the floats on the other side. I used my ironing board, which worked
great, because the V-neck gave it kind of a bulge in the front, and the
ironing board accommodated it. Then I carefully cut between the two
middle sts, which I could recognize by the "V" made by the st. I
started at the neck, which was easy to see but closed up (to the left
in the photo) and paid attention to the "V", which was upside down
because I was starting from the top.

Now all I have to do is pick up a gazillion sts (one for each row, because it's Fair Isle, and that's the rule. Then I have to do the corregated
ribbing for the button band, neck trim and button hole band, all in one
piece. After that I get to do (drumroll, please!) two more steeks, this
time for the armholes. I'm sure glad I did the CLiC first, so I could
do a steek with a lot of hand-holding! It's not nearly as scary as you

In spinning news...more baby alpaca. I want to finish up what I have, which is down to a few ounces now, while I'm in the habit of making the
thin singles for fingering-weight yarn. That way, I can use up what was
left over from the Landscape Shawl. Maybe good for socks. Lots of socks!

My friend Linda at Blue Moon Ranch (one of the two alpaca Lindas) is having an alpaca fleece giveaway. To enter--and to read her very
interesting blog about her trip to Africa--go here:
You can enter as often as you like. Winner will be announced May 1st. My
fiber came from the other Linda, but this one has comparable fiber. You
can follow the link to her Etsy store, too.

I'm trying to gradually photograph old projects. The ones that are available to me,
that is. This week's submission is DH's ski sweater, which has a funny

DH and I were dating in 1964. I decided to make him a ski sweater for Christmas, but I wanted to be sure it fit, having been burned before. (Note: Always swatch if you're making
something that has to fit!!!) It was difficult to keep this a secret,
because I would need to knit in front of him, because I didn't have
much time. I really wanted it to be a surprise, though, so I developed
a plan. I knit a miniature replica of the sweater and put it into a big
box, weighted in the bottom with newspaper. I included a note: "I'm
sorry, but I accidentally used hot water to block it, and this is what
happened." Then I wrapped the box as a present. We all had a laugh on
Christmas morning. The miniature version adorned a bottle of Scotch for
a long time. I don't know where it is now. The full-size version has
seen many ski slopes, however. The pattern is from Hand Knits for Men in Bear Brand and Fleisher Yarns vol 56.

I Googled it, and it's apparently out of print, and it's even listed at the above link as an "antique" for $10. (I think I paid 60¢ for it.) I really like the pattern, but I don't understand why
they did the body and sleeves separately, which required seaming
through the pattern. (I don't like seams, but back then, I didn't know
how to do anything other than follow the pattern.)
I have some other knitted items from way-back-when I will try to feature in future blogs,
sort of a future feature. Sound like fiber fun?

What's on my iPod: Still Lorna Doone. I'm back to listening now, as I work. I don't have to concentrate so much on what I'm doing. Also, I just found
out that third book in the Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz is out
(has been for several months), so I got all three in CD format to put
on my iPod. I've already listened to the first two, but it has been
several years.

I've also been reading a real book: Knit One, Kill Two, by Maggie Sefton. This is the first book of hers I've read, and it's very
entertaining. If only I had been able to find it as an audiobook or if
I had a Kindle or iPad.

We did go on a snowshoe/hike Saturday, but I didn't take any photos. We ended up hiking, because there wasn't enough snow to make it worth
putting on the snowshoes. The pups still have little beads of dried mud
on their undersides. I keep hoping it will fall off.

Happy knitting/spinning/quilting, everyone!

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