Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sometimes a craft project works and sometimes it doesn't.

Holy cats. You mean I haven't done a knitting post since August? I'd better rectify that.

Some projects work out the way you think they will, and some don't. So it is with the first project in this batch -- the Sun Glitter Shawl, which I completed last summer. A friend bought the yarn on a trip to Ireland and gave it to me. I carefully blocked the finished shawl so the lacy panels would have a concave curve along the bottom edge, just like the photo on the pattern -- and as soon as I wore it for ten minutes, the curves stretched out. Oh well. (Also, my photo is lousy. Sorry about that.)

Copyright Lynne Cantwell 2020

I'm not going to show you the next project I finished because it really didn't work out. The sweater is called the Dacite. It's long-sleeved, with an interestingly-shaped collar that comes all the way up under the chin. The problem is that the designer, bless her heart, didn't respace the knitted-in buttonholes for the larger sizes -- which is to say the neckline is too tight and the collar doesn't lay right. To make things even worse, I tried to do a fancy thing and add pockets, except the sweater is designed to be waist-length and the pockets ended up being girly pockets (i.e., too small to be of any use). In short, the sweater needs an overhaul. I have plenty of yarn left, so now that I am on sabbatical, I'm going to rip back the bottom edging and lengthen the sweater by several inches, then rework the pockets so they're a usable size. I'm also going to sew those knitted buttonholes shut and install snaps. Then I'll post a photo on the blog.

Next up was the Dotted Rays Shawl, designed by Stephen West and knitted with yarn I bought at his shop in Amsterdam last spring.

Copyright Lynne Cantwell 2020

Toward the end of February, I started working on a long, shawl-collared vest. The pattern is the Everyday Favorite Vest. It's written somewhat confusingly, but I've done enough sweater-type things by now to figure out what she was after. I finished it today.

Copyright Lynne Cantwell 2020

You're supposed to use a decorative hook-and-eye closure, but of course I had a better idea. Since I was knitting it in Silky Wool, which has kind of a rustic vibe, I decided to make ties from some latigo leather lacing I bought years ago. How to attach the ties to the knitted fabric, though?

At first I planned to loop the lacing around the shanks of some buttons I already had, but the shanks were too short. Then I remembered I had used some interesting metal closures with screw backs on a shawl several years ago. I went searching for the manufacturer and learned the closures were called conchos. Now conchos are used in leatherwork. Moreover, if you look for conchos on Etsy, you can find approximately a billion designs in all sorts of sizes -- plus they're about a third of the price I paid for the ones I bought at a yarn shop.

The vest took me longer to knit than normal because I stopped partway through it to make masks. And then when those didn't suit (I'd essentially glued the two pieces of fabric together, so I couldn't breathe through them at all), I used a better mask pattern to make a couple more.

Having powered through all of that, plus the kimono-style jacket I wove... Wait. Did I not post about that here, either? Well! Here is the kimono-style jacket I wove. It took four loom warpings, a fair amount of cursing at my sewing machine, and Fun With Tear-Away Fabric Stabilizer, but I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Copyright Lynne Cantwell 2020

Now then. Where was I? Right. Having powered through all that, I picked up a quickie embroidery project and finished that today, as well. This requires some explanation: Sometime last year, as a way to help mark the passage of #escapevelocity time, I bought myself a bunch of trinkets and stuck them in paper bags, one for each week I had left, with a piece of chocolate in each bag. The idea was to give me something to look forward to on Mondays (by the way, it worked really well). Among the things I picked up were oversized safety pins with three little loops on one straight side, one each in gold, silver, and bronze finishes, plus charms to hang from the loops. Once assembled, they would be shawl pins. I made sure I opened the bag containing the card of safety pins fairly early on, but I mixed the charms in with the rest of the trinkets.

Fast-forward to last week and the start of my sabbatical. I have opened all but the bags intended for my three post-sabbatical, pre-retirement Mondays. The silver pin has been completed long since. I have a gold pin, a bronze pin, two gold charms, and two wooden circles that are meant to be cross-stitched. (Looks like they've been discontinued. Sorry if I got you excited.) I remembered having trouble finding bronze charms, but I couldn't remember if I'd meant to use one or both of the earring blanks on the bronze pin. So...I peeked. And in two of the three remaining bags I found one more gold charm...and one more silver charm.

I don't know what the hell I was on.

Anyway, I stitched up the earring blanks today and ordered a bronze charm from Etsy. Here's where we are.

Copyright Lynne Cantwell 2020

Anybody want a silver Celtic knot charm? It'll be available to ship in early July.

These moments of crafty blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Practice physical distancing! Keep washing those hands!

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