New Tricks!

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You’ve heard that saying about teaching an old dog…. Well, I’m here to prove it wrong! I’m not exactly “old” but I am learning some new tricks! And with a hiccup here and there, they have turned out quite well.

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In the most recent issue of Cast On, there is a beautiful scarf designed by Mary Anne Todd. It is knitted in such a way as to have slip stitches on one side of the fabric in one color, and on the other side, the contrasting color. These types of stitch patterns that allow BOTH sides to be the “right sides” are perfect for scarves and dishcloths. Both sides look great!

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First new trick I learned was how to create a Reverse Long-Tail Cast On. The instructions were detailed in the pattern and it worked like a charm! And then I started the four row repeat, marveling at how the stripes were created through the garter stitch background. It’s fun to learn new knitting techniques! The more I learn and read about knitting, the more I realize how much there is to learn about the world of knitting! It makes me want to embark on TKGA’s Masters Knitting Program to learn it all! I just might do that one day!

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Are you wondering what that one lone white stitch is doing in the midst of all the red ones? It’s a mistake! Yep. Sure is! I realized the boo-boo just one row after, and I tinked back to try to fix it. (Tink is a cool word meaning to UN-stitch your work, one stitch at a time.) But I could not for the life of me figure out what I had done. So I just kept on going. About 7 rows after this, I realized what I had done, but didn’t want to frog the work back and fix it. (Frogging is when you rip your rows out, hoping you can then catch up the stitches and go again!) This is intended to be a gift. I kinda liked the lone white stitch in the midst of all the reds…like a little heart sitting there. Learning to live with our mistakes and letting them be a part of our lives knitting, is a valuable technique as well. ;0

BTW…the soap which so cleverly covers up my “mistake” is from Lily Leaf Soaps. Tara makes the most wonderful line of soaps, lotions, lip balm, etc. They are perfect to give with a hand knitted washcloth!

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Then, I tackled recovering a couple of lamp shades. These awesome lamps were given to me by my family at the end of July for my birthday. I had wanted to have a lamp that you could fill the base of with yarn. They found TWO of these, both different from each other, and I was soooo excited to fill them and recover the shades. I found the perfect “frenchy” fabric and dove in not having ever covered lamp shades before.

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Right away, I made a mistake! I had the shade belonging to the taller of the two lamps. I measured the distance from top to bottom and cut that length straight across the fabric. But when I draped it around the lampshade, it didn’t fit at all!!! I had failed to account for the fact that this shade was slightly smaller at the top than it was at the bottom. For a few minutes I agonized that I wasn’t going to have enough fabric to cover BOTH of them because of cutting this first one incorrectly.

But then I remembered that the other lamp shade seemed to be straighter than this one. So I went to get that shade and sure enough, PERFECT fit for it! Whew! A mistake redeemed!

IMG_2793 I love how these lamps turned out! I sewed double sided binding on the top and bottom of the fabric so that I could hot glue the binding on the inside of the lampshade. They are not perfect by any means!

“Mistakes” in our work might not be such a bad thing…it’s the essence of “handmade”, right? And might just be a key to Living Artfully.