Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bridal Handkerchief

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So I got this idea in my head-you know how that goes-that I could "whip up" a bridal hankie for a friend of mine who is to wed this Saturday as part of her wedding gift to her. I mean, how hard and time consuming could a lacy border be around a small cloth? Well, with a deadline of one week I knew I was cutting it close, but a small project like that should reap instant gratification, shouldn't it?

Oh, ho ho-how wrong I could be. Apparently, the main part of the whole operation, the women's handkerchief cloth is a rare breed. I searched many stores like Kohls (first time-consumption). Then I went to JoAnn Fabric's and Michaels (second time-consumption) in search of some semblance of a hankie (Michaels only has white bandannas, which I started to use until I did my practice hankie). Then I finally bit the bullet and went back to JoAnn's to find thin cotton cloth that is soo thin, you can see your hand through it. If I was gonna do this the hard way, I wanted it done right. Then, the next biggest time-consumer was finding a way to punch holes into the fabric like the old lace book with a hankie I got inspired from in the first place. No one, not even the stores could figure out how to get those holes in the fabric to crochet an edging into. And the darn book mentioned that you could buy hankie fabric at stores. Lies. After spending much time and asking around, my second visit to JoAnn's proved fruitful from an employee's suggestion to buy lace and sew it on...which I didn't want to do, since it would discard the whole reason to make the heirloom-type of hankie in the first place. HOWEVER, when she mentioned it, it brought up the idea of a thin helper-lace to sew on, which was just the ticket!

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It was all downhill after that. I did some practice rounds on scrap hankies to practice the embroidery of her initials and embellishments around the edging. That was...fun..., not. I must have done dozens of letters, using a pen to mark the direction I started. The key is: if you wanted the letter to face you from the corner, you have to turn that corner to the left before sewing. Seems counter-intuitive, in my opinion. For some reason, when you try to embroider a letter, it doesn't face the direction that you sew and the size of the letter seems to be up for grabs to when you haven't mastered it. Thus being said, after I spent all the time on the "final hankie" (hankie two, might I add), I watched in horror as the "E" was higher than her other two initials I did. After hours of non-existent freetime...I was just gonna live with that imperfection. After sewing the hem with a lovely design from the machine, I sewed on the tinsie eyelet lace as my helper holes to knit the lace edging on, and off it went. I really love the silver beading on it as well. It really adds a nice fancy touch.

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I hope my friend loves the hankie. It has that antique feel to it. Even if she doesn't use it to shed "tears of joy," she has a really beautiful hankie for her wedding day and memory box. I wrapped it up in silver tissue paper and tied together with a green ribbon containing a "congrats and care instruction" tag.

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My friend Kristi is getting married in a year in a half, so hopefully next time I'll have plenty of time to "whip it up" and master the art of embroidery placement.

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In retrospect, it would have been nice to have one for my own wedding almost two Octobers ago. Wow....two years.
All the best to you, Miss Elizabeth. Soon to be Mrs. Elizabeth.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hello, Michigan!

Hey gang. I'm at Joe's annual week-long family reunion that's up in Stevensville, Michigan. We have our own cabin (albeit far away from the rest of the fam's cabin) that is like a townhouse in the way that ours is connected to his parents/grandparents cabin, but instead of being normal-shaped...it's in the shape of a triangle. lol. The roof almost reaches the ground.

Anyways, I've been knitting away at the shawl while I and other family members watch the "I can pull myself into a stand and get into LOTS of trouble" babies. I plan on taking actual photos of these experiences when I remember to put the darn camera in the diaper bag. We are walking distance to the beach. We walked to the beach the other day and Lake Michigan looked so massive and beautiful, although quite windy, that I almost got lost staring out to 'sea'. Lake Michigan is soo expansive that it really looks like an ocean.

Question thrown out to the great cosmos: why is it that when you finally pack only 1 skein of yarn for a project instead of lots of it (being realistic)...you DO get to knit a lot and might not have enough with you on your trip to finish the project when you would have??? I guess it's a good problem if you got a lot done.

Oh, and I spent all my free-time last night while the babies were in bed figuring out the edging to the shawl...and I think I have the charted pattern now. Pfeuf! It takes a lot of stress off my back while knitting this.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Amore Shawl update

Just reporting in on the Amore Shawl that I brought out of hibernation this month.


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I've been clicking away row by row as I get a spare second. And I mean "second." I am about 2/3 done with the main panel, and I'm hoping to complete the body of the shawl this week (assuming that I can get some family "babysitters" during our annual reunion coming up this week). I still have to design the lacey edging, but I'm trying not to rush the idea...and to just visualize what would compliment lacey hearts as I come to the homestretch.


amore shawl
This bad boy needs to soak more desperately than the last shawl to really pull the heart back into shape in the places where the yarn ziggies (yup, made-up word. Meaning: where the yarn pulls funkily out of shape almost zig-zag like).

If your an longtime reader of this blog, you are probably noticing that I've used this lacey pattern before for my wedding shrug from '09. I was on some bobble kick. I have a sock pattern too that has a lacey heart and bobbles, called "candied love" socks. What can I say, I liked the texture of them, and since I hibernated the WIP, I have to continue what I started. Besides, this shawl has sentimental value, which I'll go more into length in the final post of the shawl. But for more, here's some more juicy red fruit for your eyes:


amore shawl

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Toys, toys, toys

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It's been another crazy week in the Mal' household. Can you believe that after the onset of another storm...we lost power yet again?!? We were 1 of 9 in our area to loose power (thanks to our neighbors across the street). We didn't have power for almost 2 days...which is better than the 5 days last time, but honestly we are sick of the whole thing.

Anywho, here are some of the toys as promised. I still haven't knit up the texture ball I had envisioned, but here's what the boys have already. These two blocks are crocheted. I was planning on doing a couple of knit ones too. I used 100% cotton that I had in my stash. They are soft and squishy, which is refreshing after seeing how much these two tikes constantly hurt themselves from falling on their plastic toys.




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Here's some cute knit bunnies. The yarn in chenille. I hope in the future that they can make best buds with them at nap time. They haven't found a "lovey" except for their pacifiers so far.



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The boys really have taken off, physically, in July. They started crawling one week and not 4 or 5 days after their first real crawl they learned how to pull themselves into a stand,...and boy are they getting into trouble now!



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I forget whether or not I mentioned in the last post about the other shawl I dragged out of hibernation, but I'm working on my red heart shawl again (although the last several days without power has been a setback) and hope to finish it this month. More details and pictures on that in the coming post. Ta-ta for now. We are off to Mariano's grocery store right now...it's like a 5 star grocery store on Saturday. They even have a pianist playing jazz music by the checkout. :) That's how I like to shop!
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