Recently in Colinette Cushions Category

Cushion Cover Update

Midway Through Snakes and Ladders

I've hit the roughly half-way point on this project. I try to work on a little bit of it every night while I am catching up on the evening news via the NPR news streams. The colors are a little more gold and a little less orange, but otherwise are well represented.

I'm making slow but steady progress on the front of my lace jacket. Four out of 11-1/2 intervals are now complete

In other, completely un-knitting related news, Jay Allen has provided an emergency release of MT-Blacklist for those of us who have upgraded our MovableType software to v3.01D. I am close to spam free once again and I no longer have to moderate comments. Hip! Hip! Hooray! If you are a Movable Type user suffering from spam attacks, Blacklist is well worth the time to install and use. It's donation-sponsored software for those not running commercial sites, so you can try before you buy/support Jay's efforts to help keep our blogs comment-spam free.

Lucky Cushions


While the Doom 3 saga continues, I've managed to get the front of my Phil Ruban top pinned down and blocking. Tomorrow the seaming will begin.

In the meantime, I've made some progress on my Colinette cushion:

Harvest Snakes and Ladders
Want a closeup? Just click here.

And, of course, since I'm finishing up my Lucky top, I decided that I could start another project, probably my last summer top for the year. I've cast on for the sleeveless top in ArtFibers Mousse. There's not much to show for it yet, but since I'm anticipating a nice car ride back and forth from Ann Arbor this weekend, I have a feeling that I'll have a lot to show by Monday.

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders: More Crafty than Your Average Board Game

One of the hazzards of cleaning up my yarn room is that I discover things that I knew I had, but had forgotten about. It's a little like Christmas. Or finding a $5 bill in the pocket I haven't worn since last winter. In this case, it turns out to be the lovely Colinette cushion kits that I plan to turn into wall hangings for my living room. I have Snakes and Ladders and Chequers sitting, just waiting to get started. After I got them, I took a vote and Snakes and Ladders was the winner.

Inside Snakes and Ladders

Given the size of these cushions you'd expect it to come in a bigger box. In fact, canvas, instructions and yarn all come in this nice little treasure trove. The main color in this box makes me thing of pumpkins, though not quite as bright. And I have to admit, I was a little skeptical that these colors would look good together.

A New Project Begins!

So far good, I think. These colors are much friendlier with each other than I would have guessed -- and quite different from all the images I have seen online. This project requires a little more counting than the Mahjong cushion did, but it still doesn't take too much brain power -- which is a good attribute for an "I just got home from work and I want to do something but nothing too mentally challenging" kind of project.

I didn't get very far tonight. I'm getting ready for a nice long plane trip tomorrow morning, so I've been packing and ironing and making sure I have all the paperwork I need to get through security. Did you know that a lot of the major airlines will text message you now to appraise you of flight status? How cool. I'm going to try it tomorrow and see how it works.

See you again on Friday!

True Colors

Mahjong Shows Off It's Real Stuff*

I'm back. Some of the "big things" got taken care of. At least enough for me to justify rewarding myself with a little crafty happiness. Mahjong is now finished. And I actually got a daylight shot of the project (albeit under cloudy skies from which snow had been recently emanating) so the true colors of the cushion/wall hanging can now be seen.

I liked this project. I know, I know, I like most of my projects, but the color in this one makes me particularly happy. It has such a springy feeling about it, and I feel, as if by completing this project, I am doing a little bit of a dance to encourage spring to really Spring.

For anyone else who decided to do one of these, I do think that Emma has exactly the right idea by starting hers in the center and working out. I've done enough counted cross-stitch to know that inside outwards is a good rule to follow (needlepoint seems to me very much like cross stitch only on a bigger canvas), but I just ignored it here. In the end it worked out fine, but I did have to rip out a good portion of the center section and re-do after I miscalculated something. After ripping I worked things out from the center, and the results are what you see below.

Hitting the Bullseye with Mahjong**

This picture is much more representative of how much the canvas shows through than the previous closeup.

Now I so need another one of these kits. (Actually, I need another project like I need a hole in the head...but that doesn't keep me from wanting another one of these lovely projects). Chequers in Travertine anyone?

*for once, an unretouched photo from the Keyboard Biologist
** can you believe it? a second unretouched photo!

Another Obsession

On the Border with Mahjong

This project really deserves a natural light shot. But I wasn't expecting to have it show up so soon again in my rotation. Over the weekend I beceame pretty obsessed with it. If I wasn't working on the jacket, I was working on this canvas. This kit really goes pretty fast when you focus on it. Now only the center portion remains. Another evening's worth of hours, I think, and it will be ready for a frame. I promise to get a better picture of it then!

This is my third project in Giotto and I am still fascinated by the colors in the ribbon. I'm even more fascinated by how they work together to convince the eye of something they couldn't do if the color was there by itself. Seen as a whole, this project has a very Monet color palette (think Waterlillies), but when you look at the individual components you see greys and pinks (mist), a very spring green (moss), and a yarn with greens and blues and golds and pinks (gauguin) you hardly get the same impression at all. Here's a closeup that tries to prove my point a little bit...

The Corner of Mahjong Up Close

The flash on the camera makes the canvas reflect more and show up a lot more prominently behind the ribbon than it does when you're just looking at it without a camera.

What else did I do tonight... well... I made the mistake of checking out Elann for their new arrivals. I should really know better than to do this....but there hasn't been much interesting to me in the newsletters lately, so I wasn't expecting to find much. Instead... I ran across Muench Bergamo paired with Veronik Avery's lovely Salt Peanuts from the Spring 2004 IK. Totally not fair -- especially at 60% off. It's probably not too hard to guess what's on it's way to me... in Hyacinth... I really must stop buying yarn... maybe I need to create one of Carolyn's yarn mileage spreadsheets to remind me of how big my stash is growing...

Must... Knit... Faster....!


The Mahjong Cushion/Wall Hanging Continues

It's funny to me how taking a picture of something can change my perspective on something I have sitting right in front of me. As I folded Mahjong up for the evening I thought, "wow, I still have a ways to go". When I pulled it back out to take a picture and pulled that picture up in PhotoShop, I thought "gosh, I'm almost done with the border."

I'm having fun with this project, although I suspect that I am not using correct needlepoint technique (I did google a bit for some, but only came up with the links... anyone have any favorite needlepointing sites?). When I was doing cross-stitch, there was always this sense that truly good work was as neat on the back as on the front. By that standard, this poor piece is being poorly served. But I figure no one looks at the back of a wall hanging or a pillow.

I'm hoping that Emma will start hers soon so that I can see the second colorway come to life. I love the deep reds and blues in the Giotto in her kit. I still haven't decided which one I will do next. I'm leaning towards Chequers in the Travertine colorway. If you'd like to peek at them, you can find them here.

Meanwhile, I also plugged away a little bit at right front of dad's Lo Tech. It's almost there, but not quite there enough for pictures.

Board Games

Current Progress on the Mahjong Cushion

I'm still working on the Majhong Cushion. It makes me happy and has no brain strenuous things going on in it. However, I am thinking that it might not end up a cushion. Instead, I might frame it and use it as wall art in my living room. I think if I did one from each cushion pattern (Mahjong, Snakes and Ladders and Checkers) it would make for a very neat decorative trio.

I am worried about 2 things if I used it as a pillow:

1) My cats would lay on it and it would become a fur covered mess.
2) My cats would claw at it and the pretty Giotto would get shredded.

My mention of Audrey yesterday generated a reasonable amount of interest. I hear that Morgan and Elisabeth beat me to the punch on starting a knit-a-long for Audrey. No matter, everyone can still share in the fun. So find yourself some Calmer (or something else you like) and get on board. Rowan rates this pattern as a "one skein" pattern, so there's no fear necessary.

Still no finished pants, but I'm only a couple of inches away from the waistline. Will I be taking these acrylic masterpieces to the KIP tonight? You never know! But if you're in town and feeling like knitting, be sure to look us up at Letizia's tomorrw between 7 and 9 pm. The address is on the image in the bar on the right hand side of my page!

Needlepoint Interlude


Ah, Wednesday again, and I'm humming along, fortified with a healthy dose of Rioja and a meal that I can only describe as "Italian Tapas" from a new restaurant that we tried called avec. It was loud and fun and a great place for our date night.

A Bit Farther on Mahjong

I am making slow, but steady progress on my Mahjong cushion. I use this project to relax after I get home from work and while I listen to The World. Gotta love streaming internet news.

The lovely blue masking tape has made this project much nicer to work on. The Giotto still catches on things (it's the nature of the yarn) but much less so that before.

Kidsilk Haze in "Chill"

My Kidsilk Haze arrived today from Colourway. Hard to believe that such a tiny package can contain so much yardage! There's 229 yards on each one of those little balls. I liked the color when I saw it on line, but like it even better now that it is sitting here in front of me. "Chill" is mostly lavender, but with grey tones. The only real question is whether I will start the lacy jacket or Birch first. Probably the jacket, which, I hope will be a nice addition to my late winter/early spring wardrobe.

Tomorrow night is the KIP at Letizia's on Division at 7 pm! If you're around, do come and knit with us!

Playing Games


I'm two timing my knitting projects. Given my weakness for Giotto, new hobbies and new projects in general, I decided I wanted to get started on my needlepoint Colinette cushion kit.

The Start of the Mahjong Cushion, Opal Colorway

When I first saw these kits online, I figured that they must be created using one of Colinette's finer weight yarns. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I found a small box filled with Giotto in three different colors. Even better, the tiny skeins provided had also already been clipped into usable pieces.

The instructions are simple and the project is simple, but the result is complex because of the yarn. Color and texture change in each stitch. The area I've worked so far is a composite of two colors. Here's a little closeup that show's off the Giotto and the texture:

Mahjong Swatch

I think this project will come together rather slowly. For one, I don't have a lot of patience with untangling yarn or detatching it from where it catches on the canvas. For another, the canvas has a very rough edge, and I can't find a way to work that's comfortable and doesn't scratch my wrists as I work. Probably it would be a good idea if I got some masking tape to cover the edges with. Finally, this is pretty repetetive stuff. And, as I've mentioned before. I've got the attention span of a two year old.

Now back to Banff for a little while...