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



Monday, February 29, 2016

My Idea of a Good Time


What old people do for funToo funny
Posted by Todd Leach on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's been two glorious Etsy-free months for me now and I'm having a ball--of yarn, that is! Wonderful, wonderful free time! And I've spent it indulging in all the pent-up knitting I've wanted to do for seemingly eons. 

I suppose some of you will find it pretty lame that my idea of a good time is an uninterrupted afternoon of clicking needles, but I am unrepentant. There's something innately satisfying in producing a lush, lovely piece of fabric from a ball of string. Toss in a good true crime show or black-and-white movie classic on Youtube, a pot of strong black coffee, and my three little fur friends curled up beside me, and I am a happy camper. 

Now I can't show you everything I've been working on, because several of the projects are slated for birthday and Christmas presents for certain individuals who may stumble across this post. But I will share some of my recent output. 




Here's a shawl I've been working on; it's finished now but I still have to block it. I'll probably end up selling it or giving it away, because in my enthusiasm for the stained-glass window effect, I forgot that black yarn and dog hair do not mix! It's made of vintage wool worsted.

Another project I had worked on but set aside months ago was this baby Surprise Sweater (an Elizabeth Zimmerman design classic). I've wanted to try it forever, but was always put off by the instructions, which seemed incomprehensible when I looked them over. But like so many things in life, I found that when I jumped in and just gave it a try, the doing of the pattern made more sense than the reading of the pattern. Looking at the sweater before one folds it into the right shape, you'd never guess how the thing will work. Here's the "before":



And here's the "after":
Unfortunately my littlest granddaughter is already too big for this sweater, so I'll hang on to it for a future baby shower gift. There's bound to be one, sooner or later. (Ghastly things, baby showers! All those horrible, tedious games. Shudder!)

Following a bad experience with a pair of handmade socks from a fellow Etsy seller (that's a story for another day) I decided that, if little girls in the colonial era could knit socks, I could jolly well buck up and learn to do it, too, I signed up for a Craftsy.com video class, My First Socks with teacher Lucy Neatby. What a kick, and what a great teacher! I highly recommend the class. I can see myself becoming addicted to making socks now. It's mostly mindless, they work up quickly, and the yarns available are colorful and fun! Here are a couple examples of what I've done so far:




My oldest granddaughter has become very fond of dolls recently, and so one evening I decided to take some leftover sock yarn and see what I could come up with for her to play with. This little mostly-seamless top-down raglan sweater was the result. It fits the vintage Vogue "Love Me Linda" doll that B has christened "Sister". Now I need to make one for my daughter's Blythe doll... 




Love Me Linda, better known around my house as "Sister"

Then I was off on a crochet tangent, after getting a request for a custom order classic pink toilet tissue cozy. (Even without being active with Etsy, the occasional poodle plea comes in!) Pink poodles are always my favorite to make, and I couldn't resist making a soap puppy cozy to keep this gal company. One of these days I really will have to come up with a pattern for these...





This recent needlework spate led to my perusing the thrift store for vintage yarn a few days ago (like I need more!) But it's hard to resist when I find it, though, because brand new quality wool or mohair yarn is so expensive, whereas a big bag of yarn like this makes each ball cost about 50 cents. This lot had the added benefit of having two nice panels of crocheted puff-stitch pieces in it, made of mercerized cotton yarn--a bonus. 

$6.99 lot of vintage yarn from a local thrift shop

Better yet, when I opened the plastic bag and dumped the skeins out on my kitchen table, to my great surprise and delight, I found this:



...a gorgeous hand crocheted handbag, needing only a button to make it complete, made in shell stitch of terrific seafoam green cotton thread. I imagine it dates to the 1940's. How's that for serendipity?!


My current project is a triangular neck scarf made of faux mohair in lovely spring pastel colors.





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