Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bad Sewing, Good Knits

I'm almost done with my Christmas gifts, yaaay!  I only have the collar left on Mom's cardigan and I am allll done with Christmas knitting!  After that, it's just edible gifts and figuring out what on Earth Walker wants (grumble).  All of the Christmas ornaments are done, all of the little knitted accessories are done.  I am way ahead of the game.

One of the knitted accessories is a pair of Norwegian-style gloves for one of my coworkers:

The pattern is Anemor 12 from Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitted Tradition by Terri Shea.  I absolutely love this book.  If you scroll back through this blog, you'll see that I've used it a number of times.  There are just so many beautiful gloves and mittens in there!  This particular design features a lovely north start pattern on the hand and a traditional geometric pattern on the palm:

I used my extensive store of Palette for these, Grass and Celadon this time.  I used about 3/4 of the ball of Grass, but only about 1/2 a ball of the Celadon.  If you've got some spare sock weight yarn lying around, stranded gloves are a great way to use them up.  Despite how complicated they look, these gloves knit up really really fast.  Impressive, but much easier than they look.  That could be because I was so in love with the pattern that I couldn't wait to knit the next round.  What a gorgeous (and useful!) knitting tradition!  Hopefully, Mel will agree...

For my other coworker, I attempted to make my first sewn Christmas present.  It came out...tolerably.  Knit Picks seduced me with their project bag sewing kits that included fabric with patterns that resemble knit fabric--really cute.  They still have some for sale if you're so inclined.

I started nice and easy with the reversible project bags.  They were simple enough that my lack of sewing skill went unnoticed and they are currently residing in my knitting basket--success!

However, I then made the leap from "easy" project bag to "intermediate" knitting needle roll.  The finished result is functional, but not entirely straight.  Or pretty.
Okay, the outside looks fine.  Everything is facing the same way and the fact that I substituted a snap for a button goes unnoticed (buttonholes scare me a little).
But then you open 'er up and the crookedness becomes more apparent.
See Exhibit A:
and Exhibit B:
Yuck.  Seems I have a little more practice to do before I try another one of these.  Or I need to do a better job of matching the tread color to the fabric...  I didn't even do the top stitching around the edges because I knew it was going to be ugly.

Honestly, I think this pattern/tutorial/whatever you call sewing kits is an excellent idea for a gift to a knitter--in practiced hands.  Seems I need to go back to project bags for a little while before I tackle those slipcovers (dun dun dun!).

I really have myself stressed out over those things.  I was utterly defeated by Joann Fabric the other day.  I went in with measurement figures for my couch and I was all ready to select the right fabric, but then I started second guessing myself.  I asked the nice saleslady for her advice on the matter, but felt like all the questions coming out of my mouth were so stupid that I left the store without buying anything.  Pathetic. 

I later rallied my courage and ordered some lovely blue fabric online and it should be arriving at my door some time this week.  I will probably be tackling this project after we get back from GA for Thanksgiving.  There are still some unfinished gifts that need finishing between now and then and the cheapskate in me wants to pay as little for shipping as possible :).  Then I might finally post some of the other redecorating efforts I've been working on at home--just want to give you the full effect at once!

Next time: Wilkes Christmas Sweaters



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