Monday, October 20, 2014

Something Old, Some Things New......

It might surprise you to learn that I have a rather large number of projects in progress.  Of course, only if you haven't seen my sewing room or followed this blog for more than a day or ever MET me, but still there IS a remote chance you could be surprised.

Sometimes a project gets set aside because I have found something more interesting to work on. Sometimes one gets set aside because I am about to send it through the food processor if I have to be around it for even another second.  And sometimes it's because I have reached a part of the project which intimidates me. Which is where our story begins today.

Back in 2010, I started working on a mitten garland for winter/Christmas.  It's actually been a fun project because craft felt is wildly inexpensive, so it was the perfect time to play around with techniques and ideas.  I learned to gimp, tried using decorative thread in the bobbin, played with decorative stitching, and have pretty much just had a great time with them:
Some worked better than others, but I'm up to 27 finished mittens.  The stopping point, however, was how to string them together.

A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a knitting spool, which makes a lovely i-cord and I thought it would make the perfect garland.  And it probably would if I were going to live that long.  4 years later, I have 5 inches done.  Yep, fabulous idea for a 25-foot garland.  Then I had the idea of putting two ribbons together and sewing them together using one of my decorative stitches and a wing needle.  I lined up two colors of grosgrain ribbon.....and lost my nerve.

Finally a couple weeks ago, I decided enough was enough, tracked down a wing needle, and decided to either get the darn garland made or destroy some ribbon trying.

If you've never seen a wing needle, the following picture isn't going to help much:
It's a needle with blades on either side to actually cut a hole in the fabric.  ON PURPOSE.  One of the decorative stitches on my machine is specifically designed to work with this needle, and it stitches a little star with a hole in the center.  It's apparently wonderful if you want to tat or crochet an edge onto a fabric project because it gives you a hole to pass the thread through, or if you just like the novelty of punching holes in fabric on purpose.  My idea was that this hole would work for hanging mittens.

After a few false starts (such as trying it on just one ribbon, which destroyed the ribbon AS WELL AS shoving it down into the bobbin area), I finally got things going:
As you'll notice, it makes the ribbon a bit ruffly, which I don't really know how to solve.  We're calling it a "festive" look around here.  And in case you were wondering,
 it takes quite a while to sew 25 feet of ribbon.  I tried ironing one end to see if it would flatten out, but it looked worse, so the "festive" twisting stays and,
I have finally started to assemble the garland!  I have 27 mittens done, but a lot more cut out, so we'll see how far this takes me.  I hope to have it all put together by January when I put up the winter decorations.  So, it could be finished just over 4 years after starting.  That's not bad, right?

Which is what I'm using to make this:
seem a bit less idiotic.  When at the Oregon Jo-Anns, I might have been viciously assaulted by some self-patterning sock yarn................which travels in packs,
as you know.   Yes, there was sock yarn on its way to my house even at that time--in fact, it was being delivered THAT DAY--but it's self-patterning.  I like self-striping yarns as well, but I prefer the ones that don't look like random patterns, and I'm seeing less and less of them, and as I generally prefer nicer yarns than Jo-Ann's carries, I was not on my guard.  I'm probably lucky that I didn't end up with any MORE of them.  And my credit card and I will be spending some time apart for a while..........

4 comments:

RobinH said...

I really like Serenity...I've knit a bunch of it- it wears well and is really comfy.

Anita Palmer said...

Cool socks and the peek of your toes in the photo......will have to venture into our JoAnns to see if they carry it. Love the mitten ribbon!

Mereknits said...

Certainly you don't have many projects going on at once! You, no way!
Hugs and love the mittens and socks.
Hugs,
Meredith

Mandy said...

It will be interesting to see the finished garland. Those sock yarns look rather yummy....... you really shouldn't be tempting others to get some more:)