Unraveled

Knit a Harvest

"But there's a full moon rising
Let's go dancing in the light
We know where the music's playing
Let's go out and feel the night"
                -- Neil Young, Harvest Moon

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So.  This year, I've been having WAY too much fun putting together monthly "care packages" for my adult children.  Usually, I organize each little package around a "theme" of some sort (which makes it easier to put them together, y'know?).  For October, I went with a "harvest" theme, and featured pumpkin stuff:  a pumpkin carving kit, pumpkin chocolates, and these . . .

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Adorable knitted pumpkins!  

Simple and quick to make -- and a big hit on the receiving end.  (Ravelry details here.)

There's still time to knit yourself a harvest this fall.  (Just sayin.')

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Be sure to visit Kat today, to see what's . . . unraveling!


Take My Hand, We'll Make It I Swear

Let's set the tone for today's post.  

Knitting with linen . . . is not for the faint of heart.

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Because knitting with linen?  Well.  It looks like C.R.A.P. on the needles.  

The gauge is off.
The stitches are wonky.
It twists.
It puckers.
It is incredibly . . . not nice to work with.

You need to have faith.  You need to keep that washed-and-dried gauge swatch nearby at all times during the knitting.  Because it all feels so very, very wrong.

We've got to hold on to what we've got
It doesn't make difference if we make it or not
We've got each other and that's a lot for love
We'll give it a shot. . . 

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You knit on when you're knitting with linen.  Just hoping for magic to happen in the blocking (which often means the clothes dryer . . . instead of blocking pins).

Ohhhhh, we're half way there
Oh-oh, livin' on a prayer
Take my hand, we'll make it I swear
Oh-oh, livin on a prayer

And sometimes?  It all works out in the end!

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Me and Jon Bon Jovi . . . livin' on a prayer!

(Find Ravelry details here.  And once Tom gets back home, some better photos!)

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And here's something very funny.  Jon Bon Jovi and I . . . used to have the same hair!

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(Oh. . . those 80s. . . )

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today . . . for more Unraveled posts.

 

 


Unraveled: Art Prize Edition

Tom and I spent a lovely afternoon wandering through several Art Prize venues in Grand Rapids.  (To read more about Art Prize, click here.)  As always, there were lots of very cool pieces to see . . . and a few that I thought would be perfect to highlight here on an Unraveled Wednesday.

First, there is this piece. . .

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Cacerolazo by Saskia Jorda (click the link to learn more about this powerful piece).

Red yarn.  Spilling out of pots and pans . . . and terribly hard to photograph.  (Here's another try of the red yarn with a filter.)

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This powerful piece is in the running for the public vote top prize in the installation category. 

Next, an amazing quilt. . .

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Pacific Quilt by Sarah FitzSimons (click the link to learn more).

This quilt is HUGE . . . and displayed on the floor -- which made it difficult to really see and appreciate all the detailed hand stitching involved.  (The colors represent the ocean topography, and the stitching represents the currents.)  Apparently, the artist intends it to be used as bedding!  (Personally, I think it would have been better displayed hanging -- because it was impossible to get a close view with it on the floor like that.)

Then, there was this collection of pieces. . .

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Making Mends by Mark Newport (click to learn more about these pieces).

Many of us have been jumping on the slow stitching bandwagon lately -- embracing hand-stitching and embroidery and mending -- so these pieces especially intrigued me.

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Finally, there was an incredible piece I want to share with you -- but, sadly, I don't have a photo. Oh . . . I could have taken a photo -- and it would have looked like a beautiful painting of a black panther.  But . . . it wasn't really a painting.  It was silk embroidery -- and I was just blown away!  You must click the link below to see it for yourself -- although even the artist's photos don't accurately depict the beauty of her delicate stitching.  

Black Panther by YanFang Inlow 

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It's always a treat to visit Art Prize.  You just never know what will be . . . unraveling!

 


All About the Pockets

Last week, I finished a pair of Alabama Chanin drawstring pants . . . in the knee-length shorts version.

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I was a bit hesitant about making pants . . . with hand stitching.  Because, really, you want the butt seam and crotch seam to HOLD, y'know?  But last fall, when Vicki and I visited the Alabama Chanin Factory, I tried on a pair.  And they seemed surprisingly stable.  And super comfortable.  So I decided to give it a go.

This particular AC pattern includes drawstring pants (4 lengths) and a drawstring skirt (also multiple lengths) -- and a variety of pocket options.  I planned to try ALL pocket varieties when I stitched up my shorts.  Kind of a . . . pocket sampler!

So.  We've got side seam pockets . . . 

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a cargo pocket . . . 

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and patch pockets!

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These really are the most comfortable pants in the world.  (And I'm happy to report that with two full days' wear, both the butt seam and the crotch seam are holding fast!)

Now . . . I'm thinking I need a long pair.
(And maybe the skirt . . . )

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today . . . to see what else is Unraveling!


Baby, Baby

I know you've seen this before (and - hands down - voted for the round buttons), but not in finished form.  The little guy arrived this week, so it was time to get those buttons sewn down snug!

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I think baby sweaters are so much fun to knit.  Tiny.  Sweet.  And full of hope.

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I hope this little baby has many happy hours of playtime ahead -- wearing this warm little sweater, knit with love.

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(Ravelry details here.)

 


So Many Ways to Unravel

Not your typical Unraveled post . . . but unraveled all the same!

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Early in the evening last night, a severe thunderstorm moved through . . . wreaking havoc in our up north neighborhood.  It is so scary to be in the woods during strong winds and storms -- to see the wind whipping those trees around, to hear all the branches falling onto your roof and against your windows, and especially to hear the THUD of a giant tree hitting the ground.*

We lost power.  We tried to make the best of it by playing Scrabble by candlelight.  (And taking selfies while wearing our headlamps.  Because what else are you going to do?)

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But after continuing thunderstorms through the night - and the sound of more trees falling - we knew power restoration wouldn't be simple or quick.  (When we lose power up north, it's not just electricity that we lose.  It's also water-- because the pump on our well is electric.)  

So our lovely end-of-summer week up north unraveled a few days early.  We packed up . . . and headed home.

(But that's okay.)  (Our toilets flush at home!)

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  • While many trees came down all around us, our little cottage was spared any damage.

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Be sure to visit Kat today, for Unraveled posts that are likely MUCH more relevant to the world of knitting, stitching, and reading than this one!


Another Sort of Election Day

Yesterday was primary election day here in Michigan.  

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But that's not what this post is about.  

This post is about another sort of election day:  A knitting sort of election day!

You see, I have just finished knitting a most darling baby sweater for a soon-to-arrive baby boy.  Here it is, on the blocking board back in my guest room at home (we headed north yesterday, after voting) . . . 

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I'm experiencing Button Indecision, however, and thought I'd throw it out to a little vote.

What do YOU think?

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Fun and charming little brass star buttons?  (Might be tedious for a parent attempting to button a squirmy-baby into a sweater, though.)

OR

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Rather plain yet perfectly serviceable standard round buttons?  (Certainly easier for putting on and taking off of squirmy baby.)

It's Button Election Day!  
(Please help me decide.)

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To read more Unraveled posts today, head on over to Kat's!


Just a Bit of Messing Around

Earlier this month, I had a notion to make myself an Alabama Chanin tunic.  Just plain-vanilla.  A single-layer black tunic using the Factory Dress pattern.

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It was my first project using Natalie Chanin's new book, The Geometry of Hand-Sewing, and the Really Useful Stitching Cards that come with it.  (Those white dots you can see on my edging above?  I used a chalk pencil to mark my binding strips so I could make uniform stitches.  The dots will wash off, leaving near-perfect stitches that make me look like a better hand-stitcher than I actually am.  Highly recommend.)

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I finished the tunic in record time -- but decided I wanted to mess around a bit with those Really Useful Stitching Cards and some beads. 

So I marked up the front edge of my tunic . . . 

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dumped out a bunch of beads . . . 

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and started messing around.

The trick here is . . . moderation, mixed with a bit of random.  I'm working slowly, just a little at a time.  I want to be sure I strike the right balance of bling here -- nothing too uniform, and nothing overdone.

So far, I like it . . . 

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this particular kind of messing around!

What are you working on this week?

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Be sure to stop in at Kat's to read other Unraveled posts this week.


One Week . . .

I'm not a fast knitter.  

I guess that's not it, exactly.  I just don't finish things quickly.  I am not one of those always-knitting people, y'know?  I like to knit a little every day.  But it's often just that . . . a little.

I don't think I've ever knit anything in just (cue soundtrack) . . . One Week

Until last week.

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Chickity China the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin'

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Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy

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One week!

(Ravelry details here.)

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Hop over to Kat's to read other Unraveled posts today.

 


Unraveling Up North

Being up north . . . 

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means plenty of time for stitching!

And after my last project -- which required multiple balls of yarn and constant counting - I wanted to work on something simple.  Something that I could knit in the car.  Or on the boat.  Or sitting around the campfire.  No counting.  No juggling balls of yarn.  Something . . . fun.  And portable.

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So I grabbed a ball of interesting yarn and decided to try this pattern.  (Added BONUS:  the pattern is free!)  At first, I wasn't sure of this particular yarn-pattern juxtaposition, but I think it's growing on me.  And the pattern certainly works for a simple knit -- just set it up, place a marker, and pay slight attention every 12 rows or so.

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And if the rain holds here for the rest of the afternoon, well . . . I just might even finish this thing before I get home tomorrow!

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Head over to Kat's for more Unraveled tales today.