given

Over the past month or so I have been embroidering this:

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A crewel-work cover for my parents’ old piano stool. The flowers that to me say thrift and yarrow have their origins in two different Katherine Shaughnessy designs. I combined them, added extra grassy stems and a wee bee.

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the fabric is a linen mix with something slightly stretchy in it — good for upholstery. All of the stitches are very simple: chain, stem, running, split, seed, french knots for the yarrow and a little bit of satin stitch for the bee. I was very pleased with the end result — and the recipients like their new stool cover just as much as I enjoyed making it.

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Other things I’ve made and given include this bag for my sister:

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The fabric is from Amy Butler’s recent upholstery range and the pattern comes, of course, from the lovely Amy Karol. I squared up the bottom of the bag with some very stiff lining fabric and added a magnetic snap fastener to the inside lining. Sweeeet!

Then there was this:
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and another pic:

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A cosy wrap for my mum in a simple lace repeat and Rowan cocoon knitted on 8mm needles. The pattern, “Haven,” is from Kim Hargreaves super new collection. A very pleasing winter knit.

Also in cocoon we have this:

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This intriguing looking item has been named The Wal-piece. My dad dislikes fussing around with a scarf, but still requires something to keep his neck warm when he’s out in the chilly winter garden. This was the answer — part polar neck, part scarf . . . indeed, part balaclava. I had a look at similar items designed for a similar purpose by Elizabeth Zimmermann in Knitting Around and came up with my own version, which accommodates the back of the neck as well as the front (unlike those made by EZ). It was knit from the top on one 6.5mm circular needle with increases between the ribs every second round to the desired width and length. When worn, it recalls those chain-mail thingies worn by knights underneath their helmets, viz:

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Thankfully, my Dad does not look *quite* like that, either in or out of his functional and cosy Wal-piece.

As well as his sweater, Mr B received a scarf inspired by this one, sported with style byThe Wire’s evil and charismatic Stringer Bell.

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his version came in lovely, soft, undyed shetland aran from Shilasdair:

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Made in garter stitch with a slip-stitch edging, this was probably the most mindless knitting I’ve done since I was 7.

Finally, my niece and nephew each received a pair of target wave mittens in shetland aran:

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I love Norah Gaughan and this is a super little pattern — I did make some mods, though — shortening the thumbs by about four rounds and knitting tighter than the recommended gauge, having read that the pattern tended to come out rather large for small hands. These ones turned out great.

I’ll post about things received shortly. Meantime, Happy 2008!

8 responses

  1. what bounty, how nice. thanks for posting all the pix, they’re inspiring, and it’s nice to think of the generosity and care that goes into and is derived from such prezzies. happy new year!

  2. I looked up the definition of crewel online and your blog came up. The crewel is very nice. The photo with the shallow depth of field is lovely.

    I love the wrap! I don’t knit but if I did I would LOVE to knit that! Can you get the pattern online…maybe one day I’ll work up to that?

  3. the seat cover is veryvery nice, but one sort of the flowers, isnt it wild carrot (daucus carota)? ;-)
    very inspiring blog! cocolina (sorry for my badbad english – schools out for a very long time…)

  4. OK, would you mind giving me the ‘pattern’ for the Stringer Bell scarf that you made? My bf really wants this.

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