Monday, August 5, 2013

Beauty, a Beast and an Alien

Pretty hydrangeas and baby's breath from the garden.  The hydrangeas have been particularly lovely this year, though it's been a lot of work keeping them hydrated on the very hot days.  In early July I was watering them twice a day, both times soaking them with the garden hose.  It made a difference though, right after the wedding they opened into beautiful shades of pink and blue.

Off the needles recently was a friend for Barnacle Bill the Pirate from this post, her name is Lorelei the Mermaid and she's terrible.  She's from an Alan Dart pattern, the same as Bill, but she didn't turn out anyway near as well (not the designer's fault, by the way).

I realised during construction of her that I didn't have enough flesh-toned yarn to finish her off (she has more skin showing than most of Dart's patterns).  Instead of heading out to a reputable yarn store, I foolishly headed over to Michael's.  Now, Michael's is fine for lots of things; pencil crayons, stickers, silk flowers..., but not yarn.

I had been hoping to find something in a DK weight, preferably in a wool or wool blend, but there was nothing.  I ended up buying a DK cotton, specifically produced for making dishcloths - Bah!  She's all lumpy and has a distinct, anti-bacterial soap stink - Bah, twice!

And look at her fingers... they're like big sausages!  I'm going to have to re-do her, she's just beastly!

Also off the needles (very recently), is a bit of wall art.

Ian now has his very own alien autopsy for his bedroom wall:

I'm very pleased with how this turned out.  He's made from scraps of DK weight yarn from the pattern by Emily Stoneking.  That link takes you to her etsy shop where you can buy patterns, kits and finished objects.  If you've been paying attention over the years, you'll remember that I made the same designer's dissected frog for my niece, Thea, back in 2010 - see here.

Perhaps I should take some inspiration and give my mermaid a bit of dissection.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Knitted Wedding Gift

In honour of Elly and Steve's wedding I knit a sweet, sentimental pillow for their wee home.  It's a pattern from the book Knitalong:  Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larissa Brown, called The Pillow of Sei Shonagon.  Instead of knitting with the required linen, I chose Bourette de Soie by Pingouin, a chalky, nubbly silk in a natural colour.  After knitting a large eyelet rectangle, you write out a poem (or in this case, song lyrics) in ink, then cut the cotton into long strips and weave them through the eyelet holes.

I chose lyrics from the Belle and Sebastian song, Asleep on a Sunbeam, which are as follows:

When the half light makes for a clearer view  
Sleep a little more if you want to But restlessness has seized me now, it's true  
I could watch the dreams flicker in your eyes  
Lyin' here asleep on a sunbeam I wonder if you realize you fascinate me so
Think about a new destination If you think you need inspiration  

Roll out the map and mark it with a pin 
I will follow every direction Just lace up your shoes while I'm fetchin' a sleepin' bag, a tent 
Another summer's passing by
All I need is somewhere I can feel the grass beneath my feet 

A walk on sand, a fire, I can warm my hands My joy will be complete
I thought about a new destination I'm never short of new inspiration  
Roll out the map and mark it with the gin  
Made my plans to conquer the country I'm waiting for you to get out of your situation  
With your job and with your life
All I need is somewhere I can feel the grass beneath my feet  
A walk on sand, a fire, I can warm my hands My joy will be complete
Another summer's passin' by  
All I need is somewhere I can feel the grass beneath my feet  
A walk on sand, a fire, I can warm my hands My joy will be complete
A good song to represent setting off on an adventure together, yes?

After the wedding, Nigel and Ian had jetted off to Toronto and Chicago to see various concerts, one of which was Belle and Sebastian.  Nigel had suggested rather than giving the pillow to Elly and Steve, he should instead take it to the concert and heave it onto the stage for Stuart and the rest of the band.  I considered it briefly, but decided against it.  Maybe I should send them a link to my blog...

The band never made a video for this song, but someone uploaded the music.  Have a listen!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


Well, July has flown right by, and there have been many knitting projects that have been started and finished this year that I still haven't blogged.  So, over the next few posts (all of which are being composed today, and will be posted over the next few days) I'm going to get myself caught up on the documenting of projects that is suppose to be this blog!

Started back in March - March the 2nd if my Ravelry page is to be believed - is Paon designed by Kerry Milani.  I worked this up in Royal Wedding by Fyberspates, a very beautiful sapphire blue merino/alpaca/silk blend lace yarn with silver thread running through - this yarn was inspired by the Royal Wedding back in 2011.  I ordered the yarn back when it was first in production and it sat waiting for the right project.  After  starting and stopping another project with the yarn, I chose Paon as  the obvious choice for one particular pattern.  Why obvious, you ask?  Well, because my eldest, Elly, was planning her own wedding for July of this year with the colour/decor theme of peacocks (paon is french for peacock).  Meant to be!

Each eye of the peacock feathers are beaded with 13 beads.  I'm noticing that the one I chose to photograph has only 12 - there's suppose to be four at the base of the eye - Oops!  Thirteen being a good number, as the wedding was held on the 13th of July, 2013. 

I had thought I might have the shawl as a wrap for the event, but ended up buying a bright turquoise silk dress to wear (altered by my friend Lori - thanks again Lori!), and the sapphire and the turquoise competed too much with each other.  So, I ended up wearing a silvery-white wrap (store-bought, I'm ashamed to say), and Elly took the sapphire wrap to wear at the reception - which she didn't, because her dress was so heavy she was already over-heated!

Still, it's a beautiful shawl and she's got a lovely knitted memento of the day, in the same colour as the bridesmaids dresses!