Monthly Archives: October 2014

Silver Stocking Set For Ashley

So far, all the stockings I’ve made have been requested from people I know. It has been so awesome¬†to create what I hope will become treasured family heirlooms for these friends and family. Ashley is another mama in my playgroup who asked me to make a set of stockings for her family of three.

I have worried over these stockings more than I worry over anything I make for myself or my family. It’s for good reason: I want to make sure I give my customers my very best work. Generally, my motto is, “Finished is better than perfect!” but since I’m being paid for these, I feel like I should get as close to perfect as possible.

In the designing process, I’ve learned, it’s helpful to think about how your design will be constructed with yarn and needles. It’s a lot different than coloring in a grid on a piece of paper. Two of these stockings ended up being more challenging to create than I anticipated when doing the design.

Ashley’s stocking is a mirror image. There were a couple of places where there were only one or two stitches in a row of a different color. Rather than carrying the yarn along the whole round, I only carried it from the first stitch to the last. This made for more ends to weave in, but as we’ll see later, carrying the yarn along most of the round can lead to some interesting issues, especially when the background color is lighter than the carried color.

I really like this one. It was Ashley’s idea to do the drip or flame gradient and I’m so glad she asked me to do this. I love working with an request that I get to be really creative with. I may do more of these in other colors for next year. One with shades of blue and one with green, maybe?

Ashley Stocking Front

Matthew’s stocking is a variation of the green gradient I made earlier. I wasn’t able to do the big stripes from dark to lightest like I did on the green one – there just weren’t that many shades of gray available in this yarn – but I really like the way this one fades in and out.

Matthew Stocking Front

I love the simplicity of Fenner’s stocking. Very minimalist, just two colors, but the gray has just a hint of sparkle. I will definitely be making more of this design.

This is one of those times in the design process that it would have been helpful to think about how the actual knitting would be done. I ended up having to redo the section with the snowflake. (I’ll post photos of that process later.) The first time, I carried the gray yarn along behind the white and it created a gray shadow in the background (you can kinda see it in this photo.) It wasn’t that noticeable from afar, but when you got in close, you could silver yarn and sparkly peeking out between some of the white stitches.

I thought about it and thought about it and I just couldn’t let it go like that. I knew I could do it better and I want to make sure I sell my best work. I ended up removing the section with the star, knitting it in plain white and duplicate-stitching the star on. I am so much happier with the way it turned out and I am so glad I redid it.

Fenner Stocking Front

I really love this set of stockings. I love that they’re all different designs, but the silver sparkly ties them all together. I love the simplicity and the monochrome palette. I even love the challenges and learning opportunities these stockings gave me. It was so fun to work with Ashley and I hope that they grace her mantle for years to come.

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All those plans

Sometimes, things sneak up on me.

Like right now, we’re down to one can of cat food for our problem cat. (The other three will eat just about anything, but this one… well, he has problems.) This is the type of cat food that you can’t just get at the grocery store, you have to got to the vet and hope that they have enough to sell you a month’s worth. (They usually do. Our vet is really wonderful.)

I often have moments of, “Oh crap, that’s happening soon and I’m unprepared!” Like when a trip is two days away and I haven’t even started thinking about what to pack.

Or when Halloween (which I actually care about again, thanks to Jellybean) is happening this week!

I’ve been trying to come up with a costume for him. I’ve been pondering it for months and been having trouble deciding on something I can actually manage. And then, here we are, a week before and I have to make a split decision on something that may or may not work out because it’s crunch time. If it works out, I’ll post photos. If not… I’ll probably post photos anyway.

While I was out shopping for non-candy treats for our various Halloween get-togethers, I spotted a halloween-themed bandana while I was pondering Jellybean’s treat bag. BINGO!

P1010178

This is just a simple box-bottom bag with handles sewn on to the top hem. It was so easy to do, and if Jellybean had decided to take a little bit longer nap, I could have finished it all in one day. I think it’ll hold a very nice amount of treats. At least he’ll have that.

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Oh, that hat!!

Can you even stand the cuteness of this??

Zach Vikings Hat

Jennifer, thank you so much for sending me this adorable picture of Zach in his hat!

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Back home and back to routine.

Well, the getting back to routine may still take a few days. My little Jellybean hasn’t napped well this last week because we kept wanting to do stuff when he would normally be napping. Hiking, visiting grandma and grandpa, more hiking, lunch with friends… it all managed to happen right in the middle of the day and interrupting naptime. Luckily he is both a good traveler and an easygoing kiddo, so he has handled it well.

We had a good time on vacation at Fall Creek Falls State Park. It was rainy (very rainy!) and cold, but we got out anyway. We walked around the trail by the lake for a bit when we got there Tuesday and it wasn’t quite so cold and wet. Jellybean was able to run and play at his own pace.

Leaves (or "doofs", as he calls them) are a favorite collector's item these days.

Leaves (or “doofs”, as he calls them) are a favorite collector’s item these days.

 

Playing in waterfalls

Water is also a favorite play thing. This little stream was running down into the lake Tuesday.

 

The next day, we hiked from our cabin to the Fall Creek Falls overlook. Normally, we would have also hiked from the falls to the nature center and down to the cascades, but it was wet, cold, muddy and Jellybean was over it. We did get a break in the rain for Hubby to get some good pictures of the falls.

Fall Creek Falls.  All the rain made for some spectacular waterfalls.

Fall Creek Falls. All the rain made for some spectacular waterfalls.

 

The next day, we got our traditional family photo at Millikan’s Overlook (where we were married) and drove over to the nature center to get our traditional photo at the Cascades.

Down the Gorge

Cane Creek Gorge from Millikan’s Overlook. I love the way the mist is coming out of the trees.

Cane Creek Cascades

Cane Creek Cascades

Our usual annual photo at the cascades is taken right on the left there that’s now covered in water. We stepped forward and got a really good shot with the falls in the background. I’ve never seen so much water on these falls.

Cane Creek

Cane Creek

We all had a good time. I got some knitting done… ran myself out of sparkly again! We even stopped by to visit with Grandma and Grandpa on the way home and had lunch with them.

I may have the set of three stockings with sparkly to show you on Thursday, but I make no promises about that. I’m almost finished knitting the third, but I still have to weave in ends, stitch the names on and wash, block and photograph them. We’ll see how much this week will let me do.

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