Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sheer One-Piece Shawl

It's finally finished - the Sheer One-Piece Shawl from Iris Schreier's book Modular Knits. If I keep on in this fashion, I will end up making every one of Iris' designs in the book. Then I'll get started on her designs in Exquisite Little Knits. This shawl ended up larger than I expected, allowing me to really wrap up in it. I can picture myself here on the deck on cool evenings, snuggled into this pretty shawl.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Felted Geometric Tote

Felting this tote was a lesson in over-confidence. This is the Felted Geometric Tote from Iris Schreier's book Modular Knits, and for this first attempt I used 1-1/2 skeins of Lion Wool Prints, colorway Majestic Mountain, on US size 8 24-inch circulars. I have renamed it the Tiny Tote, because after putting it through 3 powerwash cycles in my front loader without checking it between cycles, I added insult to injury by leaving it overnight. It had shrunk from tote-size to a tiny 5 inches by 6 inches, and the front and back had partially felted together and had to be physically ripped apart. The lovely multidirectional diamond pattern is barely visible. The strap did not shrink proportionally, and the piece I cut off to make the loop fastener dwarfed the whole bag. I made a short length of I-cord and sewed the ends into spirals on the back of the bag, added a snap to the inside of the bag, and used a Peruvian clay peacock bead for the fastener.

This cute little bag will be sent off to Sarah, whose favorite color is amethyst, and who played a peacock in the Summer Stage production of "Honk!" at Camden County College 2 years ago.

Fear of Finishing

I unearthed several pieces of foam core board from my as yet still-packed-up stash of 'Other Projects.' They were going to be transformed into a wardrobe for Sarah's American Girl doll Samantha, but I never found the right size miniature hardware. They will have a new life as a custom-made fold-up blocking board, just as soon as I figure out how to hinge them together AND put a grid on them. That last part really has me stumped. I love my ironing board cover with the printed grid on it, and I'm so spoiled by not having to measure while I pin and block.
I have diagnosed myself as suffering from finishaphobia, or fear of finishing knitting projects. I bought a copy of Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques, now I just have to steel myself, calm my nerves, and get down to work. Seaming knits is a huge bugaboo of mine, and I just procrastinate about other things, like lining the pinwheel purse with fabric-covered stiffening and threading elastic through the loop fastener. That's boring - almost as boring as sewing the straps onto the felted bags. I figure if I just keep piling my UFOs in plain sight on the ironing board, sooner or later I will feel so ashamed of my finishaphobia that I will launch an all-day (or all-night) attack on this mounting pile of UFOs.