Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aren't I just the crafty one?

I mentioned previously that I was planning to join in a quilt along. The task for the first week was to go get supplies. I already had a fabric that I loved intensely that I was going to make someone else turn into a quilt for me. Given this great opportunity, I just had to take that fabric back (sure am glad I didn't let it go to Maine with a bunch of other fabrics), and find friends to go with it. Here's a picture of the motif on the favorite fabric (I'm going to use it in the quilt top and as the binding), and another of it with its new friends. I sure do hope they like each other...

In the meantime, I finished a couple of knitting projects and started two more. I'm very pleased with both completed projects, and I hope the recipients are as happy when I finally mail them.

These socks were an absolute dream to work on. I love, love, love the Yarn Pirate Merino/Tencel blend. It's incredibly soft and forgiving. I used the Pillars of Atlantis sock pattern by Chrissy Graham. The yarn and pattern combined nicely into a quick and satisfying knit.*

The sweater was a true learning experience - it had seams. I'm very pleased to say that I can stitch together knitted pieces now, which is something I could not do before. Of course, the sleeve on one side went in when I was sleepy, and then I accidentally cut the wrong yarn when I tried to take it back out. This resulted (of course) in needing to reknit the shoulder section where I made the mistake. ::sigh:: You do something well, you learn; you make mistakes, you learn more. This is the Seed Stitch Baby Jacket by Elinor Brown. The mother went to my Alma Mater, and she's very devoted to the school. I decided to make the sweater in a size the baby should be able to wear when the weather turns cold again, and felt that a sweater in our school colors was just the thing.** Don't you just love those cute little flower buttons?? Hopefully, all will work out according to plan and I will be able to post a photo of sweater on baby in October.

Currently in progress, I have a pair of socks and baby blankets for my sister-in-law and the impending birth of the twinlets.*** The sock yarn is Sanguine Gryphon Kypria in an exclusive colorway for a sock club at my local yarn shop. The pattern is also exclusive, written by a local designer named Beverly Roberts. Sorry the picture isn't that great. I could either show stitch definition (sort of, since it's a lace pattern and will show best on-foot), or the color. This is pretty true of color. They're knitting up crazy fast, and I'm hoping to have them finished in time to take them to her this week. We'll see...

The baby blankets are a simple garter stitch on the bias, and I'm going to make them in alternating stripes of cream and blue for one and cream and green for the other. I wanted them to be functional, so I'm making them in Plymoth Encore Worsted, which is attractive, warm, and machine wash/ dryable. I would have done something more involved, but she already has a very nice baby blanket her grandmother made before she passed on. I don't want to be disrespectful and try to compete with that. Unfortunately, her grandmother didn't know she'd be having twins, so I thought it might be nice for her to have two blankets that she felt less sentimental about.

Here begins a SOAPBOX MOMENT:

The joys of creating with one's hands cannot be overstated. I heartily encourage everyone to find some craft they enjoy and just do it. A technician at the orthodontist's office once looked at my knitting and said, "Gosh, I sure wish I could do that." YOU CAN!!! Don't be such a doubting Mustafa!!!**** Do whatever it is that tickles your fancy. You could enjoy making music or woodworking or painting or writing or knitting or quilting or all of the above or something I haven't listed. You won't know if you like it or can do it until you try it. Whatever it is. Don't worry if your efforts aren't immediately awarded with perfection. As long as you're having fun (and not putting yourself in the poor house), keep at it. You'll get better, or - if you don't - at least you'll be enjoying yourself. Party down, people!

* I feel safe posting a picture of the end result because my mom doesn't actually ever read my blog - this will naturally be the one time she does - and even if she gets around to it, I doubt she'll be sad that she's seen the socks before she's seen the socks.

** Our 10 year reunion is this fall. Note: she also does not read my blog.

*** My sister-in-law who does not read my blog...do you sense a theme developing here?

**** Reference unknown at the moment, but I'm sure I hear the line in Billy Crystal's voice.

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