Saturday, December 11, 2010

More ornaments

I'm still playing with felted hearts and this is the one I made yesterday for today's guild meeting and its annual ornament exchange.   Process was the same as the one I worked on earlier this week but I went with an additional appliqued heart in a darker green.  I think it brings out the other green a little more and it fulfills the quote -- "(his) small heart grew 3 sizes that day."

These paper and fabric ornaments came to me through the Chickens in the Road ornament exchange from Kelly F.  Who wouldn't love to open a package and find handmade Christmas ornaments?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

(his) small heart grew three sizes that day

When I wanted to make felted Christmas ornaments this year, hearts were what I thought of.  And as soon as I started folding paper to cut out a heart pattern, I remembered the line from one of my favorite Christmas videos -- "Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day."  From there it was easy to see what I was going to make.

For the fabrics, I chose a heathery red wool sweater and a poison green wool blazer I'd fulled in the wringer washer.  I wanted to layer another heart in order to fulfill the quote's prophecy but couldn't come up with a third color from my stash that worked and refused to change the first two.  (Sometimes my muse is very stubborn.)  So the photo above shows my first attempt.  Unfortunately no matter how I changed the lighting I couldn't capture the true nature of the green.

Compared to choosing the fabrics, the process of making the ornament was easy.  I pressed a medium-weight iron-on interfacing to the wrong-side of the two wools before cutting out two large red and one small green heart shapes.  Then, because the white stabilizer showed along the edges, I tore off a thin piece along the borders of each before attaching them.  The blanket stitching affixing the green heart to one of the red hearts as well as the other embroidery and beading were finished before I blanket-stitched the two red hearts together.  For a hanger, I whip-stitched a loop of ribbon between the two layers of red wool.  Eh, voilĂ , the first heart was done.  More to follow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My last chulo?

Well, maybe not, but I have to say I'm glad to have this one is finished. 

DS watched me knit a chulo for his cousin last Christmas from the book Andean Folk Knits: Great Designs from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador & Bolivia by Marcia Lewandowski.  I went straight by the pattern and finished the hat in two days.  Then DH insisted he needed a chulo, too.  DS watched that process patiently as well.  So what could I say when he asked for a chulo of his own?

We determined that just as his dad had wanted a change of pattern (Celtic knot from Alice Starmore's Charts for Colour Knitting a Designer's Source Book From the Personal Collection of Alice Starmore), DS also wanted something different.  We tried combinations of his initials and llamas and even made an attempt to reduce his cat, April, to a caricature -- apparently impossible to do with some cats!  Finally he settled on a modified dog chart taken from Lewandowski's book that reminded him of Holly-dog.  I wanted to use the  Cascade 220 yarn I had on hand so Holly-dog's biscuit color translated as yellow and DS wanted to deviate from his more usual red or blue color schemes with a khaki green.  For the accent color, I used the same light brown I'd used in the other two chulos. 

This one took more than two days.  More like two months, off-and-on.  Had to frog the charted design TWICE as I added an extra row of yellow one time and managed to insert a brown spot on a solid-colored dog another.  (That's what comes of me trying to knit and watch a movie.)   I also wish I'd paid more attention to the way I carried the yarn across the back of the dog's body because by making consistently even pick-ups I created lines I'd rather have avoided -- perhaps by using an alternating carry.

Also, truth be told, I was bored with the whole chulo.  Changing out the pattern helped but, except for those diagonally-knitted dishcloths, basic socks or what I call my Girl Scout houseshoes, I NEVER knit the same thing twice, much less three times.  What kept me going was an 11yo who showed so much pleasure at the idea of having a chulo of his own that I couldn't have quit if I'd needed to.  The night I finished it, DS wore it around all evening then stashed it away before bed so he could surprise his dad with it when he got home the next day.