Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My new tote bag

(somehow the picture got turned sideways when I uploaded it. I'm not sure how to fix this)
I bought exactly one souvenir (not counting a pair of new sandals) in Italy this summer. It was this tote bag, which I bought at the Vatican Museums gift shop. It shows a fresco from my very favorite room in the Vatican - the map room. It's a long narrow room with frescoes of maps of the Church's holdings as of the 16th century, plus one of ancient Italy. It's that one that's on the bag.

The only problem with the bag is that it is unlined. I would like to use it kind of like a purse, so my plan is to put in a lining with some pockets and some sort of closure mechanism at the top. I don't think this will be difficult, but it is not at the top of my priority list right now.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Heirloom tablecloth

My Aunt Inge, who lives in Denmark, is an incredibly accomplished embroiderer. She used to be a sample-embroiderer for a large and well-known Danish embroidery store, and she has made many baby gifts, wall-hangings, and even needle-pointed upholstery for an antique chair that she and my uncle have!

When my dad and I were visiting with her and my uncle Joergen this past July, I was working on a cross-stitch project, and they started to show me many of the things she had made for their house. Inge showed me this table-cloth she started many many years ago when she was expecting her older daughter (who is now herself a grandmother). It had languished, nearly finished, in her cabinet for at least the last 20 years, and she couldn't finish it because her eyesight is no longer good enough.

Since none of her daughters or granddaughters do much hand-work, Inge gave me the table-cloth and the eight (finished) matching napkins, on the condition that I finish it.

The only part left to finish is the little squares inside the little boxes in the large center motif. Here you can see the ones that are done:
There is also a small stretch of hemming to be done, but that is mostly finished. The hem has a nice little decorative zig-zag.

So on Friday I went and bought some more white thread. Luckily it is DMC thread, so even so many years later I can still get more. As soon as I am finished with my super-secret time-sensitive cross-stitch project, I will finish the table-cloth!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Colloquium socks

Yesterday was the first colloquium of the year. I worked on the purple-y sock I started this summer. Soon I will be done with the foot! Next week, CMS returns, too. Yesterday we just had an organizational meeting, so I didn't bring my knitting.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

UFO: Tea Cosy

This is a relatively new unfinished object - I started it at the beginning of the summer, before we left on our trip. I've been wanting to make a tea cosy for my lovely china teapot, and I chose the pattern from the One Skein Wonder book. I made a tea cosy from this pattern a few years ago as a gift, and it turned out well. This time, I'm changing the stitch pattern for the sides. The pattern just uses a plain double moss stitch, but I decided that since I drink tea with breakfast, I wanted a breakfast -themed tea cosy, so the the side I've already started is waffle stitch, which I found in the Super Stitches Knitting stitch dictionary. This is currently my at-home knitting project, but I have a few embroidery projects that have higher finishing priority, so I don't know how long it will be before I finish it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Baby blanket finished!

Today I am sitting at home hoping that our air conditioner will be fixed. Even for me, 90 degrees and humid inside is a bit much. Robert was fairly miserable yesterday afternoon and last night. Luckily, I don't have class until four today, so it wasn't much trouble to be at home and wait for maintenance people. The upside of being stuck at home is that I was able to finish this cute little receiving blanket for my dad's office manager. She and her husband are expecting a baby girl the first week of September.

I followed this tutorial from Sewchic. I saw this adorable flannel on sale at JoAnn a few months ago, so I bought the supplies for the blanket (it only takes a yard of fabric) and waited until I encountered a suitable recipient. When I got home from my travels, I started the blanket. It was quite easy and fast. I am thinking of making a few more to donate to my church's fall auction fundraiser, but first I have several other projects which need finishing (more posts about those objects coming up soon!)

Here is a close-up of the picot loops, or "pudbumps," as Robert has dubbed them:

Friday, August 12, 2011


I have returned from my travels! I actually got back a week ago, but now I am over my jet lag and fully back in the swing of studying. I didn't do a ton of knitting while I was on vacation, but I did some in the car on our road trip around the western states, some on planes, and some while I was visiting with my grandparents in Denmark. I love to talk about handwork with my grandmother - she and her mother were both very accomplished needle-workers, and she has many beautiful tablecloths and bedlinens made in a wide variety of crochet, embroidery, and lace types. My grandmother always asks about my knitting and other handwork, and if I'm lucky, she also tells me about things she made when she was a girl and a young woman - for example, from a very young age, her father purchased from her the handknit socks she made for all of the members of her family. She told me about one pair of socks she made, from yarn she got by ripping out a skirt she had previously knitted for herself and dyed bright red. She said the first time the socks were worn (and I unfortunately don't remember who she said she made them for), the wearer's feet and ankles turned bright red from the dye!

Before I flew to Europe, Robert and I stopped for a day in Yellowstone on our way to visit various people in our families. We saw a lot of really amazing things, including buffalo!
Here we are standing in front of one of the hot springs. It's not entirely clear in the picture, but the water was a bright clear turquoise color, the steam rising off of it was green and blue and red, and the whole thing was surrounded by great colonies of bright orange thermophilic bacteria!
And, I did make it to the Vatican, where I wore my Vatican skirt! Here I am in a courtyard in the Vatican museums:
We/I had a lovely trip, and I acquired a special new project that I will post about soon. I also have several new and newish other UFOs to add in the coming days.