Monday, January 08, 2007

Potholders: Finito!

I finished my potholders! It took an age I tell you, but I love them. After my dear Boy went and got me more thread on Friday night, I ran out again on Sunday and had to go back to the City to procure yet another spool. Quilting is quite a thread-consuming activity. There were definitely some hiccups along the way for Potholder 1 but things improved with Potholder 2 - I think I only ripped one seam and all of the sewing went a lot more smoothly. I basically assembled all of Potholder 2 on Sunday plus finished the binding on Potholder 1. I have become much better friends with the sewing machine through this project. Apologies in advance for the poor artificially-lit pictures; it was dark when I finished last night and when I left for work this morning.

Pattern: Square Pot Holder from Amy Butler's In Stitches.
Materials: Fabric, thread and advice from Purl.
Modifications: I hand-finished the bias edging on the front of the potholders. The book has you machine-sewing top-stitching around the edging but this resulted in a really messy finish for me and made the entire potholder look sloppy. I talked to the lovely ladies of Purl and they suggested blind stitching down the edge. This came out beautifully (apart from some slight puckering which I can live with). The only issue, which they warned me about, was that it took f...o...r...e...v...e...r - about 6 hours of hand stitching. My hands actually ached last night. But it was well worth it - they look delightful!

Things that need improving: I am not much of a sewing perfectionist yet. So, there are some wonky seams and it turns out one potholder is not quite square due to some aggressive trimming in an effort to get the edging in place. The mitered corners are also a small disaster, but they look neat and clean, if not exactly miter-y. Overall, I am quite pleased with them and can't really believe I made them! I especially love the quilting.

While at Purl I also picked up a 2x2 inch Weavette. I don't like having a stash and make every effort not to keep one around. All told I think I have stored away yarn for three pairs of socks, one baby sweater and two adult sweaters (both of which were started and ripped for various reasons) plus the odd gifted skein here and there. However, I am quickly amassing a vast number of leftover oddballs and they are stressing me out. I thought I might try my hand at weaving some of these into little squares and finding some productive use for them. Suggestions welcome.

I also made some serious progress on Anemoi #2 and the Boy's Socks. I hope to knock the socks off this week, assuming I can stay awake on the train to work on them.

PS: To answer a question on yarn dominance in the mitten, if you click on the palm picture from my last post to make it big, you can see the blue is kind of "absorbing" the white. The white stitches are supposed to make clear diagonal lines across the palm and instead they are like dotted lines. Also take a look at Tres Chic Veronique's mittens - she does a good job of explaining the issue and she has some helpful pictures. As Ann Feitelson explains in her book The Art of Fair Isle Knitting, you are meant to keep the background color in your right hand and the contrast color in your left. This allows for the proper color to dominate. All I know is I do it the other way around and in finely detailed areas the contrast tends to get consumed by the background. Make sort of sense?


Lisa said...

Potholders look great. You did a great job, despite the hiccups. Really, don't tell another IRL person, they'll never know you didn't pay way too much for them. They are almost too pretty to use to take dinner out of the oven--or are they just decoration??

Thanks for the dominant color explanation!

keri said...

I love the fabric you chose for the potholders, they turned out great!