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...


thecrazysheeplady said...

These are great!

AdrieneJ said...

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