Thursday, February 21, 2013

Christmas Knitting

Sure Christmas was two months ago, but I never really wrote about the awesomeness that was my Christmas knitting. My little sister (currently residing in So. Cal) pinned a blanket on pinterest. I knew the blanket would be easy, but very costly to recreate so we got chatting about some other options for her.

I had seen Umaro in person at Webs awhile back and recommended that along with a handful of other options. She thought umaro would be perfect and then we had to get into a very involved discussion revolving around yarn. Her specifications: Machine washable,  natural colored and squishy. I immediately thought of a handful of wool yarns I have used in the past, but most of them weren't washable so were not an option. Then there were some really cheap options, lionbrand, red heart, vannas choice, etc. None of those highlighted the squishy-factor that she was looking for. In the end I went back to one of my very favorite blanket yarns: Berroco Comfort Chunky

This yarn is perfectly squishy and since I bought it at webs it wasn't hugely expensive, though it would have been cheaper had it been on sale. Also note, that while webs keeps their entire stock of yarn online, they no longer keep all of it at their store location so even if it says they have 30 skeins in the same dye lot you may only be able to find 6 in store. This is not a dig on webs, I love them and always recommend them as a yarn source, great prices and wonderful customer service.

So I started on 10.5, then went to 11s, then back to 10.5 because the yarn is slightly smaller than the one called for in the pattern.  A couple restarts and all was well. 11 skeins later I got that sucker done! It was even off in the mail well before Christmas!
Color is WAY Off in this picture, but that's pretty much the whole thing
So it arrived before Christmas, and she really wanted to open it early, but she didn't (way more willpower than me). She even dragged the box all the way to AZ where she ended up spending Christmas at the last minute. So hilarious

Color is right here, and it looks perfect in use!
Of course after binding off I found a zillion mistakes, but nothing catastrophic so I left them in and I don't think the recipient really minded

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Inheritance

Tradition: Inheritance

Story:

I don’t believe in inheritance. At least not in the way that many people do. I don’t believe my parents’ or grandparents’ money is mine, their house is mine or their other belongings are mine. I do believe I’ve inherited traits (good and bad), knowledge and ideals from them, but things are just things. While I would LOVE my mother’s fine china when she passes, I’m not fighting over it nor do I think I “deserve” it. If she decides to sell or give it away while she’s alive it’s not something I’ll worry about because it belongs to her. As I’ve experienced the loss of two grandparents my ideas on inheritance have been solidified and my thoughts that things should be used up or given up during life is still a basic stance in my personal religion (not to be confused with the religion I share with others). Even with planning, there are still sudden deaths, details missed and only so much you can do. I’m still sewing, and knitting so I don’t get rid of my stash, but I do try to use it and give away those things I no longer like/won’t be using, but if I die tomorrow there is plenty of decent yarn and fabric for people to deal with. So what do you do with items that you no longer have a use for? Well, there is always etsy, ebay and other selling websites where materials for crafting can be sold, or you can do as my grandma did and allow others to steal away with your half finished projects.

Last year when my mom was in UT to run a marathon and hangout with family I joined her. A few of my sisters were there too and we had an amazing time hanging out and watching our mom and cousin run the marathon. While we were there, my mom and I stole away to the basement to use my grandma’s sewing machine and look around her sewing room. My grandma was an amazingly organized sewer. She had a closet with little boxes that were labeled and everything was exactly where it should be. She also had a storage room with one wall stacked to the ceiling with brown file boxes. Some of these boxes were full of fabric, some with books, some with lace, buttons and other bits and bobs. There were also a couple of boxes filled to the brim with unfinished projects. This was like a gold-mine for me. My mom and I came upon hundreds of Dresden Circles (like Dresden plates, but without the points), some Sunbonnet Sues and some other random applique blocks. I asked my grandma to give me an idea of where they came from and what she was using them for, but all she could remember was that she was using up scraps. Knowing that grandma could no longer quilt, my mom and I asked if we could take some of the half-finished items. Grandma was happy to see them go somewhere they would be used. I came home with a suitcase full of things from grandma and a mind full of ideas of what to make!

The plan was to take some of the Dresden Circles and make them into items for my sisters and maybe my aunt/uncles if they wanted something, but I was in the middle of some projects of my own so that didn’t really happen. That is until November. In November, my sister got her mission call and I made plans to be in Oregon right before she left. All of my other sisters were going to be there too. Then the day after thanksgiving grandma passed away and I set to get the projects started and completed before I went home in January. I let my sisters and mom all choose their project and ended up needing the following: 1 Pillowcase, 2 throw pillow covers, 1 wall quilt and 1 quilt square. So I got started appliqueing (I had to learn first, thank you youtube) the Dresden Circles onto fabric and quilting up a storm. I finished a couple days before I needed to leave (thanks to a forced vacation from work). I took them with me out to Oregon and gave them away. It was a completely satisfying project which has, of course, spurred a couple more projects. 2 more pillow covers for my aunt and something for me. I learned that appliqueing onto an already created pillowcase is a pain, but the finished project is pretty amazing.

Finished items Pillow cover (back), wall hanging (right), plain square (mid-bottom), pillowcase(left)
pillowcase with 1 applique piece completed, the other just laying on top

This one turned out the best. I love the quilting in the center, it looks like a diamond and the quilting on the pieces is very flower/sun-esque