And the lucky CraftActivism winners are: The Book – Debbie in New York State, Yarn Local Lucy, who has already picked it up, and Jessica from Kansas City. Thanks to all for playing.
I have been working on some stuff for publication since summer. The initial designing is fun, but I really don’t enjoy having to keep track of things, and figuring grading/sizes, stitch counts and yarn amounts.
Christmas knitting is a welcome relief, even though it’s small. I made a stocking for Miss Minerva, my newest great niece. One of my first two color knitting projects was for her mother, 30 years ago. I also made her a Christmas stocking. This is when I learned that steaming and acrylic yarn doesn’t mix. It’s a kind of limp stocking, and I don’t have a photo, thank goodness.
New baby Minerva needed one. Her nickname is Squirrel, so she got some of those, and some cats for the four she lives with, and since her father is Italian/Sicilian, I put seven fishies swimming around the foot. (For the Feast of the Seven Fishes, those of you in parts outside of Northern New Jersey.)
I had so much fun doing this. I used whatever yarn I had, I made it up as I went along, and wrote nothing down. I did draw the charts, though. I’m not that casual.
Of course, this type of knitting is not trouble free. The first green I used was a dark spruce green. Lovely on its own, but didn’t show up well with the red. One of my students, an art major, explained how you need a green with more yellow in it, or the red pushes the green to black, its complement. That’s why there are those rather unattractive greens on the worsted shelf – this shade of Naturespun is called Elf Green. You can see it in this picture, the ribbing is the darker green and the tree between the squirrels is the new green. I cut off the ribbing, picked up the stitches, and then re-knit it.
The squirrels looked, according to my husband, ‘enigmatic,’ so I stitched a little on their tails to make them fluffier. Compare and contrast:
Much better now:
I tried to needle felt her name in cursive across the top. I thought I’d write it with some tailor’s chalk first. Check out this tailor’s chalk. I think this box has been in possession of some member of my family since 1947.
I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture of the attempt. The pre-war tailor’s chalk didn’t work very well, and the actual needle felting was so lame I pulled it right out. Back to duplicate stitch. (The trees and snowflakes are also duplicate stitched – oh, wonderful technique of many uses.)
I have a few more gift projects to finish, thankfully of the quick and dirty variety. Two pairs of sock/booties to be felted later, worked with doubled worsted weight should be doable by Christmas morning, don’t you think? Off to do a little stash diving.
Happy Solstice to you all. And happy birthday to my brother, who I miss every day.