Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Stitch In Time...

It's ironic that I've been having this big creative streak during the period when I have the least amount of free time.  It was a real challenge in the weeks before Christmas to hand-make gifts; however, I had determined to make as many of them as I could. 

For Todd, I found a fun vintage map coloring book on etsy.com and ordered the Oregon page (his place of birth).  I used a light box and a water-soluble pen to transfer as much of the image to cotton as I could, but it was really difficult because the images were so tiny, even though the entire image was 8 1/2" x 11". 

I barely made it!  Sorry, purists, I inserted a mountain where Crater Lake is supposed to be...I ran out of space and time...but the rest of the map should be accurate!

I also knitted him a pair of socks for work.  NEVER AGAIN will I knit men's socks on size 0 needles, which are basically the size of toothpicks.  My wrist was so sore after finishing these socks that I had to take a 3-week knitting break.

For a friend, I embroidered a meadow scene:

I sewed on a piece of plaid and made it into one of those envelope pillows:

Unfortunately, I didn't pin it together first to see how it would look, and I think the embroidered part would look better closer to the seam edge.  Oh, well, she really liked it!

I made some little hedgehog pincushions:

I embroidered the design and made a little pocket with fabric bits.  It wasn't an actual design, but it worked!

I also made some lavender drawer sachets with embroidered initials. 

Again, I just embroidered the image on cotton fabric and used squares of printed fabric to make tiny pillows filled with dried lavender.

For another friend, I embroidered cloth napkins.  One had squirrels and nuts around the edges and the other had cats and mice.  I'm addicted to cloth napkins now and love the idea of adding some whimsical animals and insects!

Right before our Portland trip, I cast on for a big bulky cowl with a lovely deep maroon Malabrigo yarn.  The pattern utilizes a "herringbone stitch," which involves knitting one row as K2tog, drop the last stitch, and the second row as K2TBL, drop the last stitch.  The best part?  Using size 13 needles.  I finished the cowl after just two weeks and it's nice to have big, soft, fluffy fabric to wrap a few times around my neck, especially now that winter has come to South Carolina!

I just cast on for a pair of fair isle socks, too:

Knit Picks had their end-of-year sale recently, and I stocked up on sweater-quantity yarn.  The first sweater will be grey with a yoke of white and various shades of purple:

The second sweater will be a long-ish cardigan with an offset button band and button-up or lay-flat cowl neck in a beautiful brick red color:

The third sweater...well, I just can't resist a good deal.  This plain tan yarn was just $10 for the whole group.  I'll find a sweater pattern when it's time to knit it!

Mainly, though, I've been snatching minutes here and there to work on quilting.  Over the long New Year's weekend, I locked myself in my office and diagrammed out the shapes and color schemes for my next project.

It's not very intuitive since your wedges are backwards and in reverse order, but I slowly fell into a rhythm and now it's become quite easy.  This quilt is paper-pieced and I'm not sure I'll be able to go back to the old way!

I'm still not very good at color selection, just like with knitting - I just don't have the eye for it.  But I'll keep working at it and hopefully I'll learn more as I go. 

Next up is a fairly large cross stitch project!   

Have a great week!

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