Monday, November 13, 2017

Holy Sheep, I Made Two Cushions

The rain began again. It fell heavily, easily, with no meaning or intention but the fulfillment of its own nature, which was to fall and fall. --Helen Garner
We are engulfed in rain... I can't understand why I can never remember how much rain we get on this island every year, yet here I am after four years of living here and I am still amazed at how little it rains in the summer and how MUCH it rains all other times of the year.

Good thing I know how to knit:


I had a day off today in lieu of Remembrance Day, which was last Saturday. It was a good day to finish these two cushions off. Here's my Jacob Cushion, complete with stuffing and a happy ram on the front. For such a hardy fleece, it is surprisingly soft to the touch, and even after giving it a wash, it still smells mildly sheepy, which is the best scent of all:


I played a lot of "yarn chicken" while finishing these two cushions off. Last weekend, I played around with knitting a panel to put on the back. I tried using a larger gauge and a bit of moss stitching to make the most of my dwindling yardage:


And then, while that panel was blocking, I picked up the Geoffrey and Marmite panel and decided to play around with a lace pattern to make the most of the even smaller amount of cream-coloured yarn I had left. I paged through loads and loads of lace motifs until I remembered this pattern that I used when I made my Sonata shawl a couple of years ago. In this yarn, I think it looks like a flock of sheep... almost like a fuzzy mirror image of the other side:


A couple of days later, I put this one onto the boards to block and went back to the other panel again. Incidentally: I'm really liking these blocking pins from Knitters Pride. I've used them a bunch of times now, and while I still think blocking wires are excellent, these things are great in a pinch, and even better when paired with the wires. I've used them enough times to think that I might invest in another set soon:


Anyway, I went back to my Jacob cushion and sewed the panels together with an interlocking stitch, then sat and stared at it for a while to try to figure out a way to close it up. I attempted to set a zipper into it and failed miserably. One of these days, I'm going to have to figure out how to do that without it looking like I've installed a roller coaster track into my knitting. 

Then, I remembered this lot of vintage buttons that I picked up for $10 a couple of weeks ago:


So, I did some thinking... got out some spare mercerized cotton and a crochet hook and made a band with some button loops along one edge:


I set the loop band in with a crochet slip stitch along the inside of the open edge of the back panel:


And, hey look: a closed cushion! Those buttons are way more red in natural light than they were when I was sewing them on under the lamp by the couch. I'm not so sure about them, but I think they'll do for now:


I liked that method so much that I used a similar method on the Geoffrey and Marmite cushion, except I crocheted the band directly onto the edge. I'm very happy with the result:

 

Here it is from the front:


And the back:


I am really pleased with myself that I was able to use all of three of the skeins of Jacob yarn I got during our trip to Devon in not one, but TWO sheepy projects. I did have to cheat a bit and use some merino to seam up the Geoffrey and Marmite cushion, and I did have to use the cotton for the button loops, but I'm still quite impressed that I was able to stretch those skeins out the way I did. I'm not normally driven by "theme knitting," but it's been great having a focus for my creativity: it really helped me make decisions to get closer to the vision I had in my head.

I guess the lesson here is: when in doubt, think of sheep. Not a bad motto.

I will admit that I'm really glad these things are finished. I am a TAD tired of thinking about them all of the time, but that's just what happens when your projects become an obsession. I have cast on for a new hat because I was in the mood for a quick project...

... except I've had to rip it out twice now because I keep messing it up. Hmm... I wonder if I'll ever figure out that speed is not my forte.

Onwards to hat weather... if it ever stops raining, that is...

2 comments:

thecrazysheeplady said...

These are great!

AdrieneJ said...

Thanks! They're some of my favourite projects this year.