Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's beginning to Feel a lot Like Christmas

It was 28 degrees here today. In the middle of the day. In the full sun. In November. Now it is a frigid 18 degrees and that doesn't include the wind chill.
This weather makes me hustle a bit more urgently, to finish my Christmas "makings". Below you can peruse the newest items to come off the production lines in the past day or so.
The "Marf" as I have come to call it, or the man scarf, is complete. Originally meant for an unfussy-but fussy- man who can't be encumbered by the limitations of a traditional long scarf. The tails get in the way you see. And if it is tied, it "chokes" him. Fussy indeed.
The solution is a turtleneck of sorts. I got the idea from my friend Katie, who made a beauteous version and it got me thinking that perhaps these could cut down on my knitting time in making a traditional long scarf. I didn't use a pattern again, surprise, surprise. I just did a K2P2 stitch after casting on a length I thought would fit around a grown up's neck. (about 22 inches) Then I knit and purled away until the garment just felt right. I did a rib stitch so that it would stretch over one's neck-elastic like. I knit this long and only 25 rows high, including the cast on edge, then sewed it up the back, after binding off the last row. (my first binding off experience, what fun! I have only completed hats so far and those "end" with many decreases, down to one stitch, removing any chances to bind off) This only took me a few un -interrupted after- baby -is -asleep- hours, so I will be whipping up a few more for gifts this season.

Another friend of mine loaned me the new Mary Englebreit magazine, to torture me. Yes, she loaned it, it is that juicy. Those of us who love magazines implicitly understand that when a friend hands you a magazine and says, " I need this one back", you know it is going into her permanent archive. Only the most worthy issues make the archive list. This loan was given days ago, and I can't bring myself to finish reading the magazine, because I have become afflicted with another bout of Amy Butler obsession, and I don't want it to end. This time it is Amy's Snow Mum pillow, featured as a free pattern on her web site right now. (Click on "free patterns" and then on "the holidays", then scroll down a bit further, if you make it that far without having to download some of the cuteness that you will happen upon there!)

So I did my usual rebellious modifications, such as not using the recommended backing material (too monochromatic for me), and not sewing each petal one inch up the side ( new Mommies don't have that kind of time) and I embellished the center of the mum with some red beads.

Even without the extra dimension that the sewing of each of the 48! petals would have added, I am happy with the result. I used cream felt for the mum and a fabric from my stash to go with a friend's home colors. I could barely get this mum under the sewing machine foot, to assemble it, I can't think of how thick it would have been with all that extra dimension, had I sewed each petal...

For the backing, I made the stripe pattern perpendicular to the front- for fun, or in case the new owner wanted a plain look for the day, then she could flip the mum to the back.

This pattern was very easy to follow, and aside from the tedious cutting of the many, many petals, it went together very quickly. I would like to share with everyone that "Wonder Under" could quite possibly be my new favorite sewing notion. Double sided fusible webbing-who knew!?! All these years and I thought it only came sticky on one side!?!

I used the envelope pillow case idea for another project that I am not quite at liberty to divulge just yet-stay tuned, there will be a big reveal. I can tell you this: my husband and I are working on a joint project, a big one this time. And no, sorry, it's not another baby. Not yet anyway.

It certainly is feeling a lot like Christmas. I have to get some sleep, the to do list for tomorrow is just as long...


Philigry said...

oh, i love it all! that pillow with the flower is to die for!
Any time you want to come over and knit, please do so. i will be here. Knitting away!

Meggie said...

You are on a roll, woman! I don't know how you get so much accomplished. Ava must take very long naps?

Cyndi's Re-Creations said...

Love the pillows and what a great idea for the neck warmer for the guys!

Gretchen said...

I love that owl pillow! So cute