Let us put by some hour of every day for holy things...

Think on th' eternal home,
The Saviour left for you;
Think on the Lord most holy, come
To dwell with hearts untrue:
So shall ye tread untired His pastoral ways,
And in the darkness sing your carol of high praise.

--from Keble's The Christian Year, Thoughts in Verse



Sunday, February 3, 2013

A Needlework Week

Oh, dear...  So much for good intentions. I had planned to write out a proper blog post today (you know--one of with lots of inane banter) but the afternoon as slipped away from me, along with my energy. However, I did manage to load some photos last night so I can at least show you what I've been up to this week.

Last month, it was sewing....sewing... desperately sewing gift/favor bags. I made so many I temporarily burned myself out at the sewing machine, so have switched gears to crocheting and knitting.

First, let me show you this vintage crocheted bangle hat, which I spotted and seized upon in the local Goodwill a few years ago. I had longed for one of these for eons, but they seemed to exist only in my addled memory. To have one actually in hand was the impetus I needed to ponder and figure out how these were made and attempt designing my own. I've made four or five of them since then, each a bit different than the one before.

My prized vintage bangle paillette hat.
Backtracking again, I mentioned a few posts ago that I was working on a teal-colored bangle hat for my daughter. I hadn't found any solid-colored teal yarn, so I played around for a while with some variegated stuff. The results were so-so. Then, wonder of wonders, I chanced upon a lovely ball of teal yarn at a thrift store a couple of weeks ago. Just enough for a hat!

And here it is, in all its (dubious) glory:
 
My camera isn't accurately reproducing the color, but it is a lovely mallard-duck blue. AND I added a new twist this time... I added metallic gold thread accent loops, which give a wonderful, glinting, flamboyant sort of appeal. 

Here is a close-up of the detail. You'll see the vintage gold hat also has gold threads, though not in such lavish, riotous abundance. Hopefully my daughter won't run screeching in the opposite direction when she opens the package. I think it's rather fabulous!



The other fun I've had this past week is making of two new wool squares for my planned sampler afghan. I really enjoy doing textured knitting patterns. These, in particular, are simple to do, but give such impressive results. The red square is Irish moss stitch, and the cream one is basketweave. You don't have to be an advanced knitter to do these--each uses only simple knit and purl stitches.



Here are instructions for each pattern:

Basketweave:   http://newstitchaday.com/basketweave-stitch/
Irish Moss Stitch:  http://www.easy-knit.com/Moss_stitch.htm

My next project will be the Craftsy February Mystery Knit-Along, for which I'm already making a test swatch for proper gauge. I'll tell you all about it in my next post, and you can follow my ups and down along the way as I attempt to make a lace shawl using the finest cobwebby wool I have ever used. 

Meanwhile, I've opened my Etsy shops again after a lovely six-week break. I'm hoping to ease back into selling without losing any more of my sanity than is absolutely unavoidable. My shops MelmacParadise and MyPalPeppy are featuring reopening sales. Get 20% off your total if you purchase 2 or more items.  The coupon code is 2fer20. Just type it in at checkout. I hope you'll pass it along!

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