Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shhh! I'm TRYING to Knit in Here!

"Shh!  I'm TRYING to knit in here!"  Shamelessly paraphrased from the actor Divine, playing Edna Turnblad in the John Waters film, Hairspray.

If I had half a brain, I would have seen this coming over a month ago, or even in late October:  the possibility that I might eventually need to knit a holiday present or two. 

But a month ago, I was finishing up an afghan which I had wanted to give my youngest daughter Lucia as a gift for her September 11 birthday.  As it is, I didn't finish it until November.  So even if I had anticipated the need for holiday knitting, I wouldn't have been able to act on that thought.

 When I finally finished sewing the afghan together and gave it to Lucia, I turned my attention to another long-overdue task:  making a new comforter cover for the bed I share with Joe Rubin.

I bought the fabric months ago, for Pete's sake:  softly weathered-looking denim.  I'm going to piece a reversible comforter by combining this blue denim fabric with blue and yellow fabrics from my stash.

I'm going to combine this denim with some fabrics from my stash to make a new comforter cover for the master bedroom.

Any one of these would look great with that denim

I'm basically making two big, long panels and sewing them together into a big bag, 82 inches wide and 87 inches long.  It's like a big pillowcase, with a buttoned top and covered cording around the edges.

So I chose fabrics from my stash and sewed big strips of them together. 

This is one strip that will run down the middle of the new comforter.  On each side of this strip, I'll sew a strip of denim, created by cutting a 58-inch wide length of denim in half lengthwise.

This strip will run down the middle of the other side of the comforter, and it too will have a long strip of denim sewn to each side
What's it like to cut down the length of  a piece of fabric 58 inches wide and yards and yards long?
What's half of 58 again?
Finally I got the denim cut in half and the pieced strips sewn down the center of each side:

So this is one side of the new comforter cover

And this is the other side.

And this is an example of the welting (covered cording) I'll make to go around 3 edges of the cover.  The 4th edge will have buttons on one side and buttonholes on the other.
All of which is a long way of saying, no, I wasn't paying any attention to the idea that anybody might request a hand-knitted holiday gift.  In addition to working on the comforter cover, I was also putting the finishing touches on my newest piece, Two Ways of Looking at Seaside Goldenrod:

And I also spent a pleasant afternoon last week putting together this little piece:

I call it Newspaper Riddle.  It's for a show called Read/Red, a project of the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective, which will hang at the Southbury, CT library in February 2012.
So, no, I wasn't thinking of knitting holiday gifts, but then someone requested a knitted item for her November birthday.  And I wasn't able to give it to her for her birthday because I was still finishing Lucia's afghan and had only been able to start the November birthday present.  Now it's December, and that knitted item has morphed from a November birthday gift to a December holiday gift.  And as long as I was making that one, I might as well make one or two others.

 And now, even though the comforter cover isn't finished, I've shifted gears into holiday knitting mode.  But shhhh!  Because some of them are secrets.

I can show you this one because the intended recipient already knows about it.  It's a scarf, for my daughter Julia, 29.  The yarn is Ritratto by Stacey Charles.
I'm knitting as fast as I can.

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