So, how the heck’ve ya been? It’s taken me an entire week to unwind from 2 manic days in San Diego.
Meanwhile, I’ve managed to keep Kay’s Folk Art Factory limping along, with a nice mix of Instant Gratification Projects and Might Be Finished In This Lifetime Projects. The instant gratifiers are a lot more fun. Just saying.
Headed For A Theological Seminary Near You
You know how when you mosey over to Norma’s to see what she’s up to, you sometimes get this feeling that there is a bandwagon about to leave without you, so HURRY UP AND JUMP ON, YA SLACKER! That happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Norma was blogging about a new Red Scarf Project. This is a project to send a handmade Valentine’s Day scarf to a college student who has aged out of foster care. Since I don’t have a nearby Einstein’s Bagels to take my scarf to, I was supposed to mail it out by last Friday. Only trouble was, I didn’t cast on until Saturday. So I mailed it today. Hopefully they’ll still be packing up scarves when they get it tomorrow.
My red yarn inventory consisted of a skein of Manos in tomato red, a half skein of Manos in deep red/magenta variegated, and a skein of wild and wonderful why-did-I-buy-this Noro Kujako in many different colors, including magenta, eggplant, and pink. Here’s what I made:
Is it just me, or is this scarf a little churchy? You could totally wear this in a Gospel Choir, or perhaps to officiate at a baptism. I didn’t notice this until it was all done and too late to secularize.
I cast on this scarf while waiting at Bank Street College for Patricia Polacco to sign a book for Carrie aka Patricia Polacco’s Greatest Fan. Since Patricia Polacco is the author of The Keeping Quilt, I thought it was appropriate to be knitting a little red schmatteh. (A little red schmatteh plays a starring role in The Keeping Quilt–if you quilt, knit, or have ever grieved for a lost loved one, this book is a must.)
Ignore the bluish cast in the previous photo. The true color of the Kujako shows here.
I started with horizontal stripes, since all the stylin’ kids are wearing horizontal stripes this year. But in the past I’ve had this problem of the cast-on edge being tighter than the bound-off edge, causing Curvature of the Stripes. I could have avoided this by casting onto two needles to keep it loose, but have I mentioned I was waiting for Patricia Polacco? I didn’t have another needle. So I cast on normally, knit to approximately the middle of the scarf, bound off, and then picked up stitches along the cast-on edge, and knit the other half of the scarf in the other direction. This straightened out the curve and made me feel Clever and Resourceful.
I didn’t quite know what to do with the Kujako. The stripey portion of the scarf was coming out a bit short. So I log-cabined some Kujako onto one end, knit the second horizontal stripey portion, log-cabinned onto that end some more (stairsteps!), did some fat stripes, and bound off. I still had bits of the two Manos yarns left, and half of the Kujako, so I went to the other end. At this point I was bored with log cabinning (shameful but true), so I went back to my arsenal of Easy Fun Riffs on the Square Shape, and knit two stripey miters. I still had some Kujako so with a mighty effort at an unfamiliar skill, I single-crocheted all the way around.
I hope the recipient likes it, and feels the knitterly luv.
A Small Object
Lookit! I made a pin cushion! I am trying to get back my rusted, busted embroidery chops. In seventh grade home economics class, I embroidered a big piece of green and white gingham with Excessively Cute Animals. It was so cute, in fact, that somebody stole it. (True that! The McMillan Junior High School of the 70s was a hellhole–a kid flaunted gingham at her peril.)
This is from a kit I bought at City Quilter. Kits are a great way to spoon-feed oneself a new skill. Lack of skill, however, did not defeat my inclination, in all crafts, to alter instructions. As I was about to sew the little felt fried-egg flower onto the cushion top, I felt it looked a little too Early American. I remembered reading somewhere about how you could applique a raw-edged piece of fabric by simply turning the edge under as you stitch. I grabbed a snippet of Kaffe Fassett’s ‘Spools’ fabric from my Underutilized Fabric Stash. It seemed so perfect for the fried-egg vibe of this pin cushion. I tried it, and it worked! Buttonhole Stitch is da bomb. Most embroidery stitches are way too free-handy and subject to Operator Error for this knitter’s grid-based mentality. But Buttonhole Stitch is nice and regular. You can get the hang of it. It behaves itself. From here on out, everything that needs sewing down is getting Buttonhole Stitched. (Aw look! It’s a pincushion party!)
Department of Sweaters That Will Never Be Finished
In December I started making Raspy from Denim People. (So those dropped stitches are on purpose. I eliminated the ones in the boobal area. Another of my silly middle-aged phobias–Fear of Flashing the Foundation Garments. I am becoming my mother. If not my grandmother.) I finished the front, which is identical to the back (yawn), on the pilgrimage to and from TNNA, and in other situations where I had absolutely nothing more interesting to knit.
The picture shows the difference that shrinkage makes–the bottom piece has not been washed and dried, the top piece has. A note to People Who Look At Me Funny When I Tell Them Denim Only Shrinks In One Direction: see how the shrinkage is all in the length and not in the width. This is one of the mysteries of the universe. Believe it. When will Raspy be finished? Hopefully while I live and breathe and knit upon this Earth. It’s a long stretch of stockinette is all I’m saying.
PS Hey everybody! We just realized the comments aren’t working right. Leave ’em and we’ll get ’em up on the blog. I just sent Ann down to the basement with a hammer and she’s trying to fix it. I can tell she’s working, by the cussing.
PPS Two of the guests at the Pincushion Party were NOT made by me! I did not mean to claim credit for such masterworks of the pincushiony art. The one I like to call Eat Your Heart Out Cezanne is by Cristina, who not only needle-felted that peach, she threw the teeny bowl it’s resting in. The pointy one is called–get this–“MIddle Earth”. It was made by Cassi of Bella Dia. (Well, I did make those felted balls in the stripey bowl; I think of them as bite-sized pincushions.)